America Wants A Black Jon Stewart For President – Or Center-Right Nation My A…

The conventional (alleged) wisdom from mainstream media punditry has been telling us for years that America is a center-right nation. Never mind the contrary evidence that polls reveal about a populace that favors higher taxes on the rich, marriage equality, action to mitigate Climate Change, immigration reform that includes a pathway to citizenship, enhanced gun safety measures, breaking up big banks, fewer foreign military engagements, an end to gerrymandering and voter suppression, and greater access to healthcare. Somehow the pundit class still manages to define the electorate much farther to the right than reality dictates.

Jon Stewart

Two polls this week illustrate the fallacy of the media perception of where America stands. These aren’t the first polls to set the record straight, but coming out within a couple of days of each other as a new presidential election cycle begins to gear up is instructional and ought to have an impact on how the press frames the political discourse for the next few months.

The first poll is from NBC News and the Wall Street Journal. It asked respondents to indicate their comfort levels with various traits of potential candidates. The poll produced an index that expressed the mood of the voters with regard to these traits. Topping the list as the most acceptable trait was “African-American,” with a rating of 75. Those that followed with ratings above fifty were women (74), persons under age 50 (66), Hispanics (63), military background (62), governors (62), and Catholics (57).

Even more telling (and troubling for Republicans) were those at the bottom of the list with negative ratings. They were persons with no prior elected experience (-39), Tea Party leaders (-28), and persons with no college degree (-22). Notables in those categories include Ben Carson, Carly Fiorina, Ted Cruz, Rand Paul, Marco Rubio, and college dropout Scott Walker. Additionally, our allegedly center-right nation is more comfortable with a gay or lesbian presidential candidate (33), than with an evangelical Christian (7), or any of the previously mentioned bottom dwellers.

By contrast, when the poll is segmented by party affiliation, Republicans are exposed for their overt biases. They do not rank an ethnic minority until the fifth and sixth spots: Hispanic (69) and African-American (66). Women don’t rate until ninth place with a comfort level barely above fifty (54). However, as might be expected, gays and lesbians are second to last with a negative 15 rating.

The other poll is from Reuters who surveyed Americans to ascertain their favorite pundits. On this poll Jon Stewart and Stephen Colbert were in a virtual tie with about 47% saying they admired them. The same two topped the charts on the question of who “generally shares your view of the world.” Rush Limbaugh brought up the rear with only 25% giving him any admiration. And it was all right-wingers (Ann Coulter, Laura Ingraham, Glenn Beck, etc.) at the bottom for both the admiration and the world view questions.

One pundit in the survey must be particularly pissed off by these results. Bill O’Reilly ranked significantly lower than Stewart and Colbert on every issue. Since he has been obsessed with attacking them as “deceivers” and the “key components of left-wing television,” he isn’t going to take well the news that large majorities of Americans prefer the Comedy Central duo to him.

The real question is: When will the media take notice that the United States is not the center-right nation they keep pretending it is? We now have evidence that covers both policies and personalities that undeniably paints the country as more progressive. And the only reason that our political representation doesn’t reflect that is because of the corruption of money in campaigns and the corruption of gerrymandering in drawing legislative districts.

News Corpse Presents: The ALL NEW 2nd volume of
Fox Nation vs. Reality: The Fox News Cult of Ignorance.
Available now at Amazon.

Were those problems resolved we would see where the nation really comes down ideologically. But don’t count on Republicans to willingly allow more fairness and honesty in the electoral process. The corruption in the system currently is the only reason they have any power now and they aren’t about to let it go. It will have to be taken from them by committed proponents of true democracy. In the words of Patti Smith: “People Have The Power. The power to dream, to rule, to wrestle the world from fools.” We just need to exercise it.

Sorry Fox News, Ebola Wasn’t The Obama Apocalypse You Hoped It Would Be

Last year the world was gripped by fear over the deadly outbreak of Ebola in West Africa. There is no doubt that it was devastating for the victims and their families. However, for most of the rest of the world, and particularly the United States, it was a remote concern that required only some common sense preventative measures and compassionate commitment to those affected.

Today the World Health Organization declared the Ebola crisis in Liberia over. That determination was arrived at by the absence of any new infections for 42 days, twice the incubation time for the virus. The neighboring nations of Guinea and Sierra Leone are not officially out of danger, but both have recorded only nine new infections, the lowest number since the outbreak began.

This news cannot help but recall the lengths to which Fox News, and other media, went to foment fear of the virus and the foreigners who were carrying it. But even more repulsive was the determination of Fox to turn the crisis into something political. For instance…

Fox News Ebola

The purpose-driven campaign by Fox to drench the nation in panic occurred, not coincidentally, in the weeks just prior to the 2014 election. Miraculously, the subject that was the source of so much manufactured terror virtually disappeared immediately after election day. The notion that the hysteria whipped up by Fox was political at its core simply cannot be avoided. A few weeks later, PolitiFact named “Exaggerations about Ebola” their “Lie of the Year” for 2014. [An interesting side note: PolitiFact’s readers’ poll for Lie of the Year was another Fox News fabrication that “Global warming is a hoax.”]

While there was plenty of crazy to go around, perhaps the most surreal accumulation of outright dementia seeped out of the mind of Fox News “Psycho” Analyst, Keith Ablow (whose name is an anagram for “K With Ebola”). Ablow pushed the usual Fox News fallacies that Ebola was a threat to the every American and was being spread by aliens and even pets. But he went even further to say that…

“I believe the president may literally believe we should suffer along with less fortunate nations.”

That is what passes for a medical diagnosis from this alleged doctor who has previously accused Obama himself of being a virus. It is also what passes for journalism from a network that exists to misinform its audience and exploit phony crises to drive them trembling into bunkers stocked with guns, gold, bibles, and freeze-dried pork. If Fox News were really interested in addressing an epidemic that is killing tens of thousands of Americans every year, they would report on the scourge of guns and the NRA, which kills more Americans in a single day than Ebola has killed ever.

News Corpse Presents: The ALL NEW 2nd volume of
Fox Nation vs. Reality: The Fox News Cult of Ignorance.
Available now at Amazon.

For the record, here is a collection of headlines from Fox News during the alleged Ebola crisis in America:

  • Ebola crisis: Team Obama takes politically correct approach, ignores science.
  • Obama’s Ebola plans: A new boondoggle?
  • Could Ebola virus become ‘bioterrorist threat’?
  • As Ebola fades, questions arise over billions in US aid.
  • Ebola outbreak: Why Obama is allowing Ebolaphobia to spread.
  • If Obama thinks Ebola is a ‘national security priority,’ why no travel ban?
  • Ebola crisis: Yes, we need to help but is Obama ready to keep Americans safe?
  • The ambivalent American: Obama fights Ebola, not ISIS.
  • Ebola crisis: Obama White House won’t sound alarm, just wants to reassure.
  • Report: Hundreds Of Immigrants From Ebola Outbreak Nations Caught Along The Border.
  • Trump: Ebola-Infected Immigrants Will ‘Just Walk Into The Country’ Via Mexico.
  • Rep. Steve King: Undocumented Immigrants Bringing Ebola, Beheadings To U.S.
  • Ebola crisis: Is Obama’s CDC adding to fears?
  • Could Ebola be used as a weapon of terror?

Be afraid, America. Be very afraid.

Glenn Beck ‘Made A Little List’ For Bill O’Reilly Explaining Why He Left The Republican Party

Last week Glenn Beck made an announcement that generated an overly prodigious amount of media attention. He said that he was done with the Republican Party, elaborating that…

“I have made my decision. I am out. I am not a Republican. I will not give a dime to the Republican party. I am out. I highly recommend run from the Republican party. They are not good.”

And that Republicans…

“…have the spine of a worm, the ethics of whores, and the integrity of pirates.”

Glenn Beck

Since then, Beck has gone to war with Karl Rove and other GOP apologists. But he also praised some notable GOP worms, whores, and pirates. He virtually endorsed Ted Cruz for president, while maintaining that his mind is still open to Rand Paul and Scott Walker. All three are Republicans. He expressed surprise that his public resignation from the party created such a stir since he has said the same thing for years. That’s true, but if so then why did he say it again in the present tense and with such a flair as if it was a new revelation? It wouldn’t have been for the media attention, would it?

This week Beck visited his old pal Bill O’Reilly to explain his departure from the Worm Party. O’Reilly was convinced that Republicans were doing what they had to do in order to win elections (i.e. whores). But Beck wouldn’t have any of that. He had prepared a list of the grievances he holds for the Grand Old Pirates. Here is that list:

  • They surrendered on the abortion bill.
  • Surrendered on executive orders on illegal immigration.
  • Common Core.
  • They helped push through 3.5 trillion dollars of deficits this last year.
  • They won’t fight ObamaCare.
  • They voted to confirm Cass Sunstein.
  • They thwarted the bill on the NSA data collection.
  • They’re still not doing anything on Benghazi.
  • They haven’t done anything on the targeting of conservatives by the IRS.
  • They haven’t done anything on the V.A.
  • They also threw an election against Chris McDaniel to Thad Cochran. They actually went to the Democrats and played the race card.

That list is a steaming heap of wingnut dementia. Let’s explore its contents.

Beck doesn’t say what abortion bill was surrendered, but I defy anyone to identify an anti-abortion bill that Republicans didn’t support 100%. The only recent issue is a bill on sex trafficking into which Republicans slipped some anti-abortion language without telling Democrats. So Democrats have held up the bill, but Republicans are still standing firm. So contrary to Beck’s assertion, there is no surrender.

On immigration and executive orders Beck seems to think that Speaker Boehner’s unprecedented lawsuit against the administration is tantamount to surrender. Likewise, holding up the confirmation vote for Attorney General nominee Loretta Lynch doesn’t convince Beck that the GOP is serious about opposing the President on this.

Beck’s inclusion of Common Core in this list merely reveals his utter ignorance of the issue. Common Core is an initiative launched and implemented by local and state education officials. The federal government has nothing to do with it and there is no law to oppose. It is an entirely voluntary project.

They won’t fight ObamaCare? Apparently more than 50 votes to repeal or cripple the law doesn’t qualify as fighting it.

Cass Sunstein is a favorite foil for Beck. He has called Sunstein “the most dangerous man in the world.” Only Beck can explain what drives that obsession, however, most Republicans in Congress voted not to confirm him for his position as administrator of the Office of Information and Regulatory Affairs (from which he resigned two and a half years ago). Only five Republicans voted for him and had they not, Sunstein would still have had enough votes for confirmation.

Benghazi? Really? They’re still not doing anything on Benghazi? Hundreds of hearings, subpoenas, and a media assault that has made the word a sad cliche to represent delusional overreaction, and Beck still thinks that they have done nothing?

On the IRS and the Veterans Administration – see Benghazi. And google Darrell Issa.

The list item that Beck saved for last concerned an election in Mississippi where a Tea Party candidate that Beck supported was defeated by an incumbent Republican in the primary. Beck is still holding a grudge over his candidate losing, even though McDaniels pretty much threw the election himself by participating in a scandalous invasion of privacy that his campaign executed wherein they sneaked into a nursing home to take pictures of Cochran’s ailing wife.

In short, Beck’s list of reasons for leaving the Republican Party are mostly a result of his clinical dementia. For the most part Republicans have been pursuing everything that Beck would have them pursue. The fact that they are getting nowhere is only due to there being no there there. If Beck had any better method of achieving his goals, or any better evidence of wrongdoing, then why hasn’t he presented it?

News Corpse Presents: The ALL NEW 2nd volume of
Fox Nation vs. Reality: The Fox News Cult of Ignorance.
Available now at Amazon.

The only thing Beck has to offer is his hysterical conspiracy theories and his determination to glorify himself. He has all the credibility of a snake oil salesman turned revival show evangelist. And the fact that Fox News continues to give him a platform to spew his psychotic ramblings is just more proof that Fox is a network that has nothing to do with news.

Captain Oblivious: Bill O’Reilly Denies That Fox News Is Conservative – Jon Stewart Proves It

After nineteen years of flogging the most partisan right-wing propaganda and serving as the PR division of the Republican Party, It is astonishing, and somewhat comical, that Fox News can still present itself as “fair and balanced.” That delusion requires a measure of either self-deception or rank dishonesty that defies comprehension.

Bill O'Reilly

Please click here to SHARE this On Facebook

And yet, that is precisely the position taken by Fox’s Godfather of Gumption, Bill O’Reilly. On Thursday’s program O’Reilly butted heads gently with his frequent guest and sycophantic hanger-on, Bernie Goldberg, who tried meekly to assert the obvious.

Goldberg: Liberal news organizations are gonna play down liberal screw-ups. But Fox News is gonna play down conservative screw-ups.
O’Reilly: I disagree with that. Let me tell you why.

Thereupon, O’Reilly set out to prove that he and his “flagship” show is a paragon of neutrality goodness. As evidence he bragged about featuring “unbiased” commentators like Charles Krauthammer and Brit Hume. Which is a little like saying that inviting David Duke to dinner proves you’re not a racist. O’Reilly goes on to insist that rabidly partisan Fox hacks like Megyn Kelly, Bret Baier, and Chris Wallace are ideological straight shooters. And while Goldberg agrees with him on every count, he still asks O’Reilly incredulously…

Goldberg: So Fox isn’t the conservative network? Is that what you’re trying to tell us?
O’Reilly: What I’m saying to you is that I never bought that Fox is the conservative network. I buy that Fox gives conservatives a voice that they don’t have on the other networks. There’s no right-wing jihad on this network. If somebody’s screwing up on the right they get hammered.

Well, except for all the times that Fox has simply declined to mention conservative screw-ups, scandals, and blatant lies. And when Fox can’t help but mention some right-wing fiasco, they devote most of their time and energy to defending the wingnut miscreants responsible for it.

A conveniently timed example of this came in a segment from Thursday’s Daily Show with Jon Stewart. Reporting on the hypocrisy of Fox News coverage of the Justice Department’s investigation of police conduct in Ferguson, Missouri, Stewart noticed Fox’s one-sided focus on the exoneration of officer Darren Wilson, while completely ignoring the DOJ’s conclusions that the Ferguson PD engaged in routine discrimination and racist behavior. Stewart compared Fox’s response to the DOJ report with their non-response to a Republican House Intelligence Committee’s report debunking the lies that Fox had been telling about Benghazi for years. Summing up he succinctly articulated…

“…the beauty that is the ugliness of Fox News. They demand accountability for anger and divisiveness, whilst holding themselves entirely unaccountable for their anger and divisiveness.”

You’ll be waiting a long time for Fox News to apologize for getting virtually everything wrong about Benghazi. Apologies are a foreign concept to Fox. And O’Reilly is the poster boy for arrogant refusals to take responsibility for mistakes, deceptions, and outright lies. The recent unveiling of a career-long pathology of dishonesty and personal glorification, complete with documentary evidence of his deliberate falsehoods, has failed to produce the slightest bit of contrition or shame, much less an apology. To the contrary, O’Reilly’s response has been to lash out by insulting and literally threatening his critics. And when he isn’t on the attack, he resorts to distractions such as this week’s anti-Semitic segment calling Jewish philanthropist George Soros a “Puppet Master” who controls governments and banks and other institutional levers of power.

News Corpse Presents: The ALL NEW 2nd volume of
Fox Nation vs. Reality: The Fox News Cult of Ignorance.
Available now at Amazon.

O’Reilly’s anger, divisiveness, and evasion of accountability are emblematic of the Fox mindset. And his inability to admit the starkly conservative biases of Fox indicates an acute case of denial. Anyone who continues to believe that Fox News is a fair arbiter of information needs to adjust their meds. And that includes O’Reilly.

Racists On Fox News Can’t Decide Whether Racism Is Over Or Not

For several year now the mantra that has been chanted on Fox News and other right-wing media is that racism is a thing of the past. America’s shameful legacy of prejudice was allegedly buried sometime between Rosa Parks’ refusal to give up her seat on a bus and Barack Obama’s election to the presidency. Never mind the continued instances of discrimination in hiring, housing, and education, or the horrific violence and intimidation that persists, or the many chapters of the KKK and other congregations of bigots that flourish in many parts of the country.

Fox News Racism

Please click here to SHARE this On Facebook

For some people the fact that a little more than half of America’s voters chose an African-American president is evidence that the old hatreds have disappeared. But anyone who believes that just needs to ask themselves “What about the other half.” The presence of racism is visible to anyone with eyes and ears and a mind uncluttered by political partisans trying to eliminate a thorny campaign issue. You need look no further than the video that popped up this week showing members of the Sigma Alpha Epsilon fraternity at the University of Oklahoma to understand the depth of the problem that still persists.

The evidence notwithstanding, there are still deniers that either refuse to acknowledge the existence of racism, or excuse it as a trivial matter that doesn’t really interfere with anyone’s pursuit of the American Dream. And last night on Megyn Kelly’s program on Fox News she managed to dismiss the obvious occurrences of institutional racism in Ferguson, Missouri, that were outlined in a report by the Justice Department. Reacting to a portion of the report that addressed racist emails by Ferguson police officers, Kelly said that…

“There are very few companies in America [where] you won’t find racist emails.”

That was her defense of the Ferguson PD? First of all, a police department isn’t a “company.” And while there is no justification for Brewski Barn employees to be exchanging racist emails, law enforcement officers must be held to a higher standard. The inherent power that comes with the badge, not to mention the Constitution, requires unambiguous fairness and equal treatment. The fact that Kelly can wave off racist emails by the police is disturbing all by itself.

However, Kelly’s remarks have another component that must not be ignored. She is flatly asserting that most American companies are harboring racist employees. But didn’t Fox News declare that racism is over? What about these declarations of America’s racial harmony:

  • Eric Bolling: I don’t think there’s racism.
  • Bill O’Reilly: We are not a racist nation. […] Fair-minded Americans should be deeply offended, deeply offended that their country is being smeared with the bigotry brush.
  • Steve Doocy: I don’t know that Barack Obama could have been elected president if he was living in a racist nation.
  • Ann Coulter: Unfortunately for liberals, there is no more racism in America.
  • Republican National Committee: Today we remember Rosa Parks’ bold stance and her role in ending racism.

There you have it, racism is kaput. And yet Kelly explicitly states that racist emails can be found at all but a few of American companies. So which is it? Has America solved its race problem and embraced its rich heritage of diversity? Or are there legions of bigots firing off offensive messages on business computer networks seemingly free of any shame or concern about being caught?

Either way, Kelly’s points are utterly absurd. If she’s right about the racism at most American companies, how does that excuse the racism at the Ferguson Police Department? Although it was her intent to refute the Justice Department’s report, she has only succeeded in affirming the need to better scrutinize the behavior of local police departments. And for good measure she has opened the door to more reflection on the overarching problem of racism across the nation at all of these companies she has just called out.

Sadly, Kelly’s objective was to dispel all criticism of racism, whether it be imposed by cops or accountants. Her argument is that since racism is so prevalent at workplaces across the nation, why should anyone bother about it by police officers? The idiocy of that argument is self-apparent. And it’s almost as stupid as her colleagues at Fox who say that racism doesn’t exist anymore.

News Corpse Presents: The ALL NEW 2nd volume of
Fox Nation vs. Reality: The Fox News Cult of Ignorance.
Available now at Amazon.

Loving And (Mostly) Hating Fox News: Bill O’Reilly’s Desperation Is Showing

Not since the days of Keith Olbermann’s reign at MSNBC has Bill O’Reilly resorted to such relentless attacks on the network. His perceived victimization by a media cabal that he says is simultaneously impotent and omnipotent is reaching psychotic levels. And all of this is due to the fountain of lies that he has been spewing for decades and for which he is now being called upon to answer.

O’Reilly’s latest retaliatory harangue (video below) came at the opening of Monday’s Factor where he set out to claim once again that everything he does is sanctified by God because he has high ratings (First Church of Nielsen the Redeemer). His Talking Points Memo, titled “Hating Fox News,” heralded a new Quinnipiac poll that O’Reilly bragged “shows that Americans trust Fox News more than any other TV news agency by a substantial margin.”

Fox News

Please click here to SHARE this On Facebook

As anyone familiar with O’Reilly’s aversion to the truth would know, he did not tell the whole story. The same poll shows that Fox News is also the network that is least trusted by Americans. Now why do you suppose he left that out? The fact that Fox received a vote of confidence from 29% of the poll’s respondents means that 71% trusted another network more. That is not exactly something of which to be proud. What’s more if you add up the two categories of positive responses for trusted networks (a great deal + somewhat), Fox News is second to the last. It beats only MSNBC by a mere 3%.

If anyone is “Hating Fox News” it is the majority of the American people who reject its frothing hostility, fear mongering, and perversion of the facts. But no one should mistake O’Reilly’s tirade for a reasoned commentary on the popularity of the media. This rant is a thinly veiled assault on those who are demanding that he come clean about the frequent lies he has told to portray himself as an intrepid reporter risking life and limb to bring truth to the people. But rather than taking on his critics forthrightly, he takes a more cowardly approach by pretending to be a victim of powerful enemies seeking the destruction of his employer. He’s attacking a broader, ambiguous foe because he’s afraid to face his critics head on. And of course that foe is, in his mind, a humongous titan of evil, even though he also insists that it is a weakling that has no support and can’t compare to the superhuman powers of Fox News.

Somehow all of this makes sense in O’Reilly’s cartoon brain. However, his campaign against his critics consists entirely of bluster, distractions, and outright threats. That’s why in Monday’s program he never once addressed the growing number of documented falsehoods he has been caught telling. He just continued boasting about his ample audience and the prominent role that Fox News plays in shaping the American media.

On that note, O’Reilly pulled back the curtain on the journalistic fraud that is Fox News. The facade of fairness and balance is just another one of the lies that are baked into the Fox mission. In this one episode O’Reilly repeatedly confessed to the unethical biases of Fox. For instance, he said that…

“Our primetime programs set the political agenda.”

“The fact is that Fox News is now a deep threat to the progressive movement and the far left despises us so they are in full attack mode desperately trying to marginalize FNC.”

“There are just two national news agencies that challenge the progressive agenda with authority: the Wall Street Journal editorial page and the Fox News Channel.”

“If FNC did not exist, America would be a far different place and the far left ideology would have a far easier time. But we do exist and now dominate the primetime news cycle. Not good news for progressive politicians, the liberal media, and crazed zealots on both sides.”

How are any of those overtly partisan statements consistent with the practice of professional journalism? O’Reilly is admitting that Fox is a political advocate of the right. This is why most media observers regard Fox as nothing more than the PR division of the Republican Party. Additionally, O’Reilly’s analysis that Fox’s very existence is bad news for progressives flies in the face of reality. Someone should inform him that President Obama was elected twice despite the existence of Fox which fought so hard against him.

There is one thing, however, that O’Reilly got right. America would be a far different place without Fox. There would be far less wingnut propaganda and conspiracy theories masquerading as news. We wouldn’t have to deal with wild goose chases for presidential birth certificates or claims that snowballs disprove the scientific evidence of Climate Change. Mentions of Sarah Palin and Donald Trump would produce confused looks and replies of “Who?” And the Tea Party would still be a gathering of folks who appreciate brewed herbs and pastries.

News Corpse Presents: The ALL NEW 2nd volume of
Fox Nation vs. Reality: The Fox News Cult of Ignorance.
Available now at Amazon.

Former Fox News Watch Host: The People Who Watch Fox News Are Cultish

This morning on CNN’s “Reliable Sources” host Brian Stelter interviewed the former host of the Fox News program “News Watch.” That program was canceled in 2008 and its host, Eric Burns, was fired. It’s replacement, “MediaBuzz,” is now led by a more reliable hack, Howard Kurtz, who isn’t troubled by having to peddle the partisan garbage that Fox spews.

Fox News

Please click here to SHARE this On Facebook

On Reliable Sources, Stelter raised the ever-expanding controversy over Bill O’Reilly’s diuretic flow of lies about his past adventures as a news superhero. Stelter opened with with statements from the order of nuns who lost four of their members to death squads in El Salvador. They were disturbed by O’Reilly’s false assertion that he had personally witnessed the executions. O’Reilly later admitted that he had only seen photographs, but failed to apologize or even acknowledge that his prior claims were false.

At the top of the interview segment, Burns told Stelter that he had experienced the extraordinary effect of the audience loyalty at Fox News, saying that “The people who watch Fox News are cultish.” [a condition that News Corpse documented a few months ago] and that “O’Reilly, as the head of the cult, is not held to the same standards as Brian Williams. Burns went on to give credit to MSNBC’s Keith Olbermann who had frequently pointed out O’Reilly’s predilection for lying, with evidence proving it. Then Stelter asked Burns to comment on the shift by Fox News to ever more right-wing slanted programming. Burns said that…

“I thought that as Fox got more and more popular that Roger Ailes, who runs the network, would say ‘Well, the right has nowhere else to go, so if I move a little more to the center I can get a bigger audience and not lose my core audience.’ He did just the opposite. He went more to the right.”

It’s important to note that Burns hosted a program that was already severely slanted to the right. He had four panelists that included a single “liberal,” pretty much setting the model for every other panel on Fox (i.e. MediaBuzz, The Five, Special Report, Cashin In, Fox News Sunday, etc.). So Burns is no progressive mole. However, he was astute enough to recognize the downside of being associated with Fox News and replied to inquiries after his departure by expressing relief that…

“I do not have to face the ethical problem of sharing an employer with Glenn Beck.”

On Fox’s MediaBuzz this morning, host Kurtz completely ignored the O’Reilly affair, choosing instead to focus on negative stories about Hillary Clinton’s email, Obama’s speech in Selma, AL, and Netanyahu’s speech before Congress. Throw in a suck-up profile of Rand Paul and all of the criticisms expressed by Burns begin to be obvious. But don’t tell that to the cult members who watch Fox. They threaten to throw another Tea Party.

And Speaking of Cults: Get the ALL NEW 2nd volume of
Fox Nation vs. Reality: The Fox News Cult of Ignorance.
Available now at Amazon.

Watch Bill Maher Let Loose On ‘Blatant, Bald-Assed Liar’ Bill O’Reilly

The heat is being turned up on pathological liar Bill O’Reilly and his enablers at Fox News. The numerous accounts of his deliberately falsifying his resume with self-aggrandizing tales of journalistic heroism continue to be the source of deserved criticism and ridicule. The latest dishonorable mention for O’Reilly comes from comedian Bill Maher, who was characteristically candid on his HBO program last night (video below).

Bill O'Reilly - Bill Maher

Please click here to SHARE this On Facebook

Maher was puzzled about the lack of attention that O’Reilly has received from much of the press for his obvious embellishments and outright lies about his experiences as a reporter. So Maher let O’Reilly’s own words bury him by merely reading the things that O’Reilly said that have been proven to be false.

“These are out-and-out lies. Now, I understand why Fox News backs him because they’re not really a news service. They’re like, ‘You expect the truth? That’s not what we do here.’ But why isn’t the mainstream media going after him with the same ferocity – the supposedly ‘liberal media’ – as they did to Brian Williams?”

Good question. At this point the evidence of O’Reilly’s dishonesty is overwhelming. His resorting to overt threats aimed at reporters covering the story is typical of his bullying tactics. His cowardly refusal to address the substance of the allegations proves that he has no defense other than to shout and stamp his feet and brag about his ratings.

Indeed, O’Reilly’s ratings are quite good for a cable news program. But that’s nothing to brag about when your product is unmitigated bullcrap. By failing to hold O’Reilly accountable, Fox News is embracing and condoning his moral and professional transgressions and conceding that their network proudly employs liars and engages in unabashed deception. It is an insult to their viewers who they presume will accept any heaping portion of steaming shitola that’s put in front of them. Well, on that note Fox may be right. After all, their viewers have been eating up O’Reilly and Sean Hannity and Sarah Palin and Donald Trump for years.

The mindset of Fox was perfectly framed by Maher’s conservative panelist, Genevieve Wood of the ultra-rightist Heritage Foundation. She excused Fox’s failure to sanction O’Reilly because, unlike Williams who acknowledged and apologized for his embellishments, O’Reilly stubbornly denies that he misrepresented anything in his past, the facts notwithstanding. In a state of severe delusional panic, Wood said…

“Fox is going to defend him as long as he’s saying ‘I did what I said I did,’ and nobody else is really able to challenge it.”

Huh? Everybody else is able to challenge it. And it isn’t just people who have different recollections of the distant past. There are contemporaneous videos and tape recordings of O’Reilly himself that contradict his present day mythologies about his grand adventures. But Wood’s justification neatly fits the Fox view of news. They regard it as a mutable commodity that can be molded to whatever serves their agenda. And Fox will indeed continue to defend O’Reilly because he is doing what they pay him to do – which is to lie.

Consequently, it is time that the rest of the media acknowledge that Fox is not in any way, shape, or form a news enterprise. They are purveyors of propaganda and disseminaters of deception. They have no journalistic principles or respect for their audience. They are comfortable with liars like O’Reilly because lying doesn’t violate their standards, it upholds them. And for those who say that O’Reilly’s malfeasance is different than Williams’ because O’Reilly is an opinion commentator and not a journalist, they need to remember that he was, in fact, a journalist when he did the things about which he is lying today. Also, when discussing factual events there is no exemption from truth-telling for opinion commentators.

Finally, for those who say that catching Fox News lying isn’t newsworthy because everyone knows they do it, that is a cop-out. It remains the obligation of legitimate news operations to report the sort of serious departures from the truth that O’Reilly has demonstrated. And any news organization that condones such dishonesty must not be treated as a credible news source. The media cannot continue to pretend that Fox has anything to do with news.

News Corpse Presents: The ALL NEW 2nd volume of
Fox Nation vs. Reality: The Fox News Cult of Ignorance.
Available now at Amazon.

The Collapse of Liberal Media: Bill O’Reilly’s Wet Dream As His Reputation Disintegrates

The past couple of weeks has seen an ever-expanding exposition of brazenly dishonest reporting from Fox News star Bill O’Reilly. There are now at least five documented examples of his embellishing his own exploits in war zones and other “dangerous” assignments. His accounts have been refuted by both hard evidence and the testimony of his colleagues.

So how does O’Reilly respond to these charges that would severely damage his credibility if he had any? Well, after issuing some unsupported but emphatic denials, and threatening journalists covering the story, O’Reilly is now widening the battlefield and lashing out at his favorite target, the “liberal” media (video below).

Fox News Bill O'Reilly

Please click here to SHARE this On Facebook

On last night’s Factor O’Reilly presented a segment on “The Collapse of Liberal Media.” Of course, O’Reilly has done this before and has even declared the liberal media dead. So the fact that it is well enough to be collapsing is kind of an improvement in its condition.

O’Reilly began his rant by exalting himself (surprise) and his success in the ratings as compared to MSNBC. It’s true that Fox News has been the dominant player in cable ratings, but that is not a particularly groundbreaking revelation because it has been true for several years. So why is O’Reilly suddenly making a headline out this worn out self-promotion? Could it have anything to do with his fury over being exposed as a pathological liar and his compulsion to seek revenge against his accusers?

The guest for the segment was O’Reilly pal and disgraced former CBS reporter, Bernie Goldberg. The first point Goldberg made was that in five of the last six presidential elections the more liberal candidate won the popular vote. Therefore, he surmised, that should have been helpful to liberal media. How he came to that conclusion is a mystery as there is no correlation between ratings and the political party of the White House. In fact, MSNBC’s best ratings were achieved during the Bush administration.

Goldberg went on to offer his list of the three reasons that MSNBC was is such dire straits. And they actually weren’t bad. Particularly the first reason which he said was the most important:

“Liberal news media violate the cardinal rule of all media. They’re not entertaining.”

That’s true. Fox News has redefined television journalism by fundamentally transforming it from an information medium to an entertainment medium. They dress up their pseudo-news segments in the same melodramatic packaging that entertainment outlets use: conflict, scandal, mystery, and hyper-charged emotions including hero worship and fear. Fox employs flashy graphics and attention-grabbing audio whooshes and gongs to decorate their reports that are presented as “ALERTS” regardless of the news value. And always there is sex. Fox’s roster of hosts has more former beauty pageant contestants that journalists. And they aren’t shy about putting their “talent” in revealing clothes and camera angles. In fact, Fox CEO Roger Ailes demands it. As for news, Fox’s concentration on tabloid thrill-fiction like Benghazi and Obama’s birth certificate is the news equivalent of porn.

This presents a dilemma to serious news enterprises that seek to carry out a mission to inform the public, but also need the public to watch. Fox News has gone out farthest on this limb and virtually abandoned the practice of ethical journalism. MSNBC and other networks need to find the proper balance.

Goldberg’s second reason was also surprisingly rational. He said that…

“People tune in to opinion journalism not so much to get information, but to get their own opinions validated by people on the air.”

Indeed. However, that isn’t something that explains MSNBC’s ratings or distinguishes them from Fox. There is no network that is more guilty of pandering to a partisan ideology than Fox News. So Goldgerg’s second reason only manages to accurately describe why Fox is so successful in corralling a loyal, uncritical audience.

On the other hand, his insight into MSNBC is way off base. He asserts that MSNBC fails because their politics are so far-left that they don’t validate the liberals in their target audience. Apparently Goldberg has never watched MSNBC. The notion that it is radically leftist could only be held by someone who is either unfamiliar with the network or utterly confused about liberal politics. Plus, he ignores the three hour morning block anchored by Joe Scarborough, a conservative Republican and former congressman.

The third reason Goldberg gave for MSNBC’s poor ratings is that “there are plenty of other places to get left-of-center information.” He’s right. And that is a key factor in Fox’s success. They have cornered the market for right-wing TV news. That means that viewers who want conservative slanted reporting will congregate at Fox, while all other viewers are dispersed across the dial, thus diluting the standings of any single network. So it isn’t that there are more conservatives watching TV, it’s just that they all watch one channel. Additionally, Goldberg conceded that Fox was designed from the start to be the right’s mouthpiece saying that…

“If you want to get conservative information on television, you do what Roger Ailes did. He found the niche, as he put it. Fifty percent of America.”

O’Reilly didn’t bother to object to Goldberg’s characterization of his boss or his network. Fox hardly ever tries to defend their fairness or balance any more. They now proudly regard their biases as a marketing feature to the wingnut demographic. But when the discussion turned to alternative sources for news, both O’Reilly and Goldberg slipped off the rails. They asserted that there were few places to find conservative views online. It makes you wonder which Internet they are using if they aren’t familiar with the Drudge Report, Glenn Beck’s TheBlaze, Breitbart News, the Daily Caller, National Review, WorldNetDaily, Townhall, Newsmax, and of course, their own fib factory Fox Nation.

On the flip side O’Reilly gave his impression of the left’s Internet presence in a rant that was loaded with his unique brand of animus and hostility. He was veritably frothing as he said that…

“There are some conservative websites, but the left-wing dominates the Internet. There are all these sleazy, slimy, far-left throwing it out. And that’s hurt the television industry.”

So O’Reilly and Goldberg don’t see any significant right-wing Internet sites, but the many left-wing sites they see are all slimy. How they are hurting television isn’t explained. In all likelihood, O’Reilly is covertly referencing his own problems with Internet sites like Mother Jones that have exposed his rank dishonesty. By telling the truth about him, O’Reilly believes that his Internet critics are destroying television. And, according to O’Reilly & Company, all of this is happening in an environment wherein it is the so-called liberal media that is collapsing. But how is a collapsing liberal media destroying the all-powerful conservative media?

O’Reilly really needs to make up his mind. Are liberals a dangerous cabal that are having a profound and negative effect on O’Reilly’s TV kingdom, or are they a band of weaklings who are struggling to keep from dissolving into the ether? Or is it a waste of time trying to figure out the hypocrisies that infect O’Reilly’s mind since the only thing that’s ever on it is what benefits him?

News Corpse Presents: The ALL NEW 2nd volume of
Fox Nation vs. Reality: The Fox News Cult of Ignorance.
Available now at Amazon.

Rachel Maddow: Fox News Has A Bill O’Reilly Problem (Or Do They?)

Last night Rachel Maddow reported on the downward spiral of Bill O’Reilly’s already shaky credibility. Since reports last month about his false statements placing him “in a war zone…in the Falklands,” the cascade of additional lies has accelerated exponentially. Just keeping up with the new revelations is difficult, so News Corpse provided this handy summary:

Bill O'Reilly

Please click here to SHARE this On Facebook

On her program Maddow ran through a partial list of the lies exposed so far, including the Falklands affair, the misrepresentations of his experiences in Northern Ireland and El Salvador, and his blatantly dishonest account of being present when a figure associated with the Kennedy assassination committed suicide. She spent a fair amount of time on the latter, with audio tapes of O’Reilly debunking himself. But a highlight of her report was the response she got after requesting a statement from Fox News:

“We asked them for comment of the substance of the allegations. What they sent us was a lot of information about how great Bill O’Reilly’s ratings are.”

That’s a fairly typical response from the Fox News PR department that seems to think that having a large number of easily duped viewers is evidence of truthful reporting. To the contrary, it’s the fact that there are so many gullible Fox watchers that makes lying to them so easy. What Fox defenders fail to understand is that volume does not equal quality. McDonald’s is the number restaurant in America, but few people would say that it has the best food.

Maddow’s commentary on O’Reilly was couched in a dialogue that addressed what happens “when cable news goes wobbly.” She related the O’Reilly situation to other incidents of the sort of error-prone reporting that occurs when being first is more important than being right. However, O’Reilly has had years to shape his storytelling and, if necessary, correct the record, but instead has repeated the falsehoods with every new opportunity. This makes it clear that his intent all along has been to deceive. And that’s a problem for both him and the network he represents. As Maddow said…

“The Fox News channel has a problem now. They have a problem with the face of their network, their flagship anchor, having all of this stuff trailing him around with no plausible explanation for what exactly he said and did and why they haven’t tried at least to fix it. The network has also not apologized or retracted any of Mr. O’Reilly’s overt threats to other reporters who have just covered this story about the real credibility they have got with him right now.”

Indeed, O’Reilly has the highest rated program on Fox News. He is the first person most people would think of if asked to name a Fox News personality. And he is a pathological liar. However, the rational observation that that would be problematic for Fox may not be entirely accurate. After all, Fox News has made its reputation by lying incessantly in support of their right-wing political agenda. They slander liberals and exalt conservatives. They ridicule progressive policies and push those that advance the interests of the conservative elite. So the question of whether or not O’Reilly hurts Fox needs further analysis.

There is no shortage of examples of Fox’s brazen dishonesty and disregard for journalistic ethics. Their mangling of the truth was baked into their pseudo-news recipe from the day they debuted. So why would it trouble them if their featured anchor is a proven prevaricator? In fact, O’Reilly is the perfect representative of the Fox brand. He’s the biggest liar on the network of lies. If the bulk of your programming is littered with partisan bullcrap, than Bill O’Reilly isn’t a problem at all. He’s your poster boy.

News Corpse Presents: The ALL NEW 2nd volume of
Fox Nation vs. Reality: The Fox News Cult of Ignorance.
Available now at Amazon.