Bill O’Reilly Says American Journalism Is On The Verge Of Collapse, And He Should Know

Every now and then a crumb of truth falls from the lips of a Fox News propagandist, usually without him or her even knowing it. The latest example of that came last night when Bill O’Reilly sought to lay the blame for Ted Cruz’s dishonest campaigning at the feet of CNN.

Fox News Bill O'Reilly

The backstory is that Cruz’s team spread a rumor that Ben Carson was ending his campaign just as the Iowa caucuses were about to begin voting. That news bite doesn’t really have much significance since Carson’s supporters would hardly move the dial on the caucus results. But it didn’t stop Donald Trump from making ridiculous claims that the tactic had hurt him and he was threatening to sue.

Now Bill O’Reilly is picking up the baton to beat CNN with (video below). He is making a wholly unsupported argument that it was CNN that created the whole controversy. O’Reilly began by asserting that CNN’s Chris Moody “tweeted misleading information about the Carson campaign.” That was O’Reilly’s first lie. Moody simply tweeted that “Carson won’t go to NH/SC, but instead will head home to Florida for some R&R. He’ll be in DC Thursday for the National Prayer Breakfast.” O’Reilly said that tweet was “Flat out untrue.” And if it weren’t for the fact that it was entirely true, O’Reilly would have been right.

Moody followed his tweet seconds later with one saying that “Ben Carson’s campaign tells me he plans to stay in the race beyond Iowa no matter what the results are tonight.” O’Reilly didn’t bother to report that and went on to assert that “There is no question that CNN is responsible for the false report.” But no matter how many times he repeats that lie, it will not become true. However, O’Reilly did stumble into a factual statement that deserves recognition:

“Talking Points has said it many times: The state of American journalism is on the verge of collapse. Ideology has permeated hard news coverage and honest reporting is becoming almost scarce. Especially in political circles.”

And if anyone should know about the scarcity of honest reporting it’s Bill O’Reilly. He has a trademark on it and he is demonstrating beautifully the collapse of American journalism. It’s funny that whenever anyone on Fox criticizes the dishonest media they seem to forget that the most significant new development in modern journalism has been the rise of Fox News. Ya think there’s a connection? The truth about the CNN report is that they relayed information about Carson that was unambiguously true. Moody’s tweets were totally accurate, and they were followed up on the air by CNN’s Dana Bash who said that…

Ben Carson is gonna go back to Florida, his home, regardless of how he does tonight here in Iowa. He’s gonna go there for several days and then afterwards he’s not gonna go to South Carolina, he’s not gonna go to New Hampshire, he’s gonna come to Washington, D.C. And he’s gonna do that because the National Prayer Breakfast is on Thursday […] If you want to signal to your supporters that you want it, that you’re hungry for it, that you want them to get out and campaign, you’ve gotta be out there and doing it too. And he’s not doing it. It’s very unusual.

She never said that Carson was suspending his campaign. She was simply reporting factually on his immediate schedule and the fact that most contested campaigns do not set aside several days to leave the campaign trail when so much is at stake. That doesn’t mean that he’s closing up shop. It just means that he might be taking a strategic risk. It was the Cruz campaign that spun that into a rumor about Carson calling it quits.

All of the facts enumerated here were available to O’Reilly at the time he broadcast his attack on CNN. He simply refused to pay attention to any fact that interfered with his predetermined intention to disparage his competitors at CNN. And he knows quite well that his ill-informed audience will eat up his lies without question.

How Fox News Deceives and Controls Their Flock:
Fox Nation vs. Reality: The Fox News Cult of Ignorance.
Available now at Amazon.

After the news broke regarding Cruz’s smarmy tactics, Carson called on Cruz to demand the resignation of anyone on his staff who participated in spreading the rumor. However, today there is more news about the Carson campaign that wasn’t available previously. The Washington Post is reporting that Carson’s campaign funds are drying up and as a result he has fired 50% of his staff. Now that doesn’t necessarily mean that his campaign is over either, but it sure looks like it’s headed in that direction. And in the end, it may actually be the explanation for why he took the unusual step of heading home to Florida rather than going straight to New Hampshire.

ObamaCare Liars On Fox News Get Bitchslapped – On Fox News

There has been an aura of the absurd permeating this election season for many months. And it isn’t all connected to Donald Trump (although that’s a huuuuge part of it). The circus atmosphere of the Republican contest has exceeded all bounds of reason. They are calling each other liars, flip-floppers, and worst of all, Republicans. Who would have thought a year ago the the foulest insult that could be aimed at a Republican would be the accusation of being an “establishment” member of your own party?


Amidst the turmoil and tantrums, Fox News, the staunchest evangelist of right-wing gospel, has itself come under pressure from within their own congregation. Most notably Donald Trump has pounded the network as unfair, unbalanced, and rife with dummies, losers, and bimbos. And he’s not the only wingnut taking swings at the conservatives favorite network. Everyone from Rush Limbaugh, to Glenn Beck to Ann Coulter has hurled broadsides at Fox. Well, those critics are not going to be happy about what happened the past couple days on the channel that had made destroying ObamaCare its prime directive.

Like most Republicans, Ted Cruz (R-TX) has feverishly attacked ObamaCare and promised its repeal if he were to be elected. This week he reiterated the demonstrably false GOP dogma that Obamacare was “the biggest job-killer in the country.” And when the subject came up on Bill O’Reilly’s show it did not receive the typical mindless thrashing that is the hallmark of Fox’s coverage.

O’Reilly noted that the Associated Press fact-checked Cruz and found that, not only was his statement false, the opposite was true. More jobs were created (over 13 million) simultaneous with an increase of nearly 17 million people getting health insurance who were not able to get it before ObamaCare. However, O’Reilly went on to cite dubious statistics that muted the beneficial aftermath of ObamaCare.

In response, his guest/victim, Kirsten Powers, disputed O’Reilly’s numbers, but also argued that even he were right “you have to make the connection that it was caused by Obamacare, and I don’t think that Cruz has made that connection.” Unfazed by facts, O’Reilly continued to muddy the debate by baselessly asserting that both sides have valid arguments. To which Powers replied with specific examples of conservative studies that affirm the positive impact of ObamaCare on employment. Characteristically, O’Reilly refused to budge, even while failing to offer a substantive rebuttal. He closed with a weak concession that Cruz ought to have sourced his data which, of course, O’Reilly himself didn’t do.

Today on Fox News Sunday the same issue was discussed. Ted Cruz was interviewed and given an opportunity to defend his own false allegations. He faced Fox’s Chris Wallace who surprisingly confronted him with the facts. Cruz typically dodged the question with a knee-jerk slam on the “liberal” media.

Wallace: The fact checkers say you’re wrong. Since that law went into effect, the unemployment rate fell from 9.9% to 5% as 13 million new jobs were created, and 16.3 million people who were previously uninsured now have coverage.
Cruz: Fact checkers are not fair and impartial. They are liberal editorial journalists. And they have made it their mission to defend Obamacare.

Of course. Everyone knows that fact-checkers have always been biased proponents of recklessly doling out healthcare to any slob that was dumb enough to get sick. Cruz’s notion that fact-checkers are not actually checking facts is a lunacy that is reminiscent of the Romney campaign in 2012 when his pollster declared that “We’re not going to let our campaign be dictated by fact checkers [who have] jumped the shark.” Republicans keep admitting that the truth is of no use to them. And in that spirit the answer Cruz gave ignored the facts entirely, offered no alternative data to confirm his view, and then veered wildly off topic. Then he became obstinate and angry when Wallace pressed him to address the subject at hand.

How Fox News Deceives and Controls Their Flock:
Fox Nation vs. Reality: The Fox News Cult of Ignorance.
Available now at Amazon.

Veteran Fox-watcher Gabriel Sherman of New York Magazine has reported that personality issues and infighting have left Fox News grasping to shape an image during this campaign. But that is only part of the explanation for their spongy positions on matters that were once hard-coded. The viciousness exhibited by the Republican candidates toward one another presents an inherent conflict for a network that is so accustomed to agreeing with whatever the guy on the right said. Now they’re struck with the dilemma of who to suck up to if the choices are all right-wingers? And that predicament has left them confused and unprepared when a marginally progressive argument is dropped in their lap. They are simply so befuddled that they can’t keep their stories straight. Let’s hope this lasts until November.

Bill O’Reilly’s War On Reality: There Is Not A Gun Crime Epidemic

When it comes to being utterly oblivious to easily observed facts about the real world, no one is more wrapped in delusion than Bill O’Reilly of Fox News. And the wonderful thing about Billo is that he is not shy about providing evidence of that on a regular basis.


Last night O’Reilly delivered his response to President Obama’s address on gun violence (video below). It was a typically disjointed lecture that relied more on bluster than logic. Right out of the gate O’Reilly sought to establish a premise that was totally contradicted by the facts that he provided himself:

O’Reilly: According to the latest FBI stats, slightly more than 8,000 people were victims of firearm murders in 2014. There were 118,000 robberies involving a firearm. And almost 150,000 aggravated assaults involving guns. The population of the U.S.A. is approaching 330 million.

And his conclusion from all of this: “So you can see there is not a gun crime epidemic.”

Really? More than 8,000 deaths – over twice the number killed on 9/11 – does not constitute an epidemic even though it is repeated annually, not just once fourteen years ago? And there were nearly 300,000 additional crimes that involved guns, but were not fatal. But O’Reilly cavalierly dismisses these statistics – and the victims – as unworthy of recognition as a crisis. That callousness is representative of the right-wing attitude that regards the suffering of hundreds of thousands of Americans as the price we pay for the alleged “freedom” to possess any kind of weapon we desire. And to the NRA-theists it doesn’t matter if you are a felon, a domestic abuser, or even on the Terrorist Watch List. Gun nuts have even advocated for the “rights” of the blind, the mentally ill, and the dead to own guns.

For the record, Media Matters has compiled documentation showing that gun violence in American is indeed at an epidemic level. They note that the National Physicians Alliance has called it “a public health issue that has reached epidemic proportions;” the medical director of the New York State Office of Mental Health said that “the mass murders infesting our country now behave like an epidemic;” and the Surgeon General has said that it “constitutes a public health issue.”

O’Reilly went on to embarrass himself by making self-contradictory statements. In an effort to argue that background checks are a meaningless exercise that will have no effect on crime or gun violence, O’Reilly said…

The truth is terrorists are not gonna submit themselves to background checks. Neither are dangerous felons or insane people. They’re not gonna sign any paper when they buy a gun. They will buy their guns on the black market. And no registration law will prevent that.

On the other side, the NRA and gun owners should be reasonable. The FBI should background check anyone buying a firearm in America. That just makes sense.

Huh? Why does O’Reilly think it makes sense to “background check anyone buying a firearm in America” if he also thinks that all of the people the checks are intended to prevent from buying guns aren’t going to submit to one? Either he knows that background checks work, or he’s arguing for a policy that he thinks is pointless. In any case he’s being blatantly dishonest and swinging so wildly that he has abandoned all reason.

Abandoning reason is nothing new for Bill O’Reilly. After all, this the same guy who denied that there were any homeless veterans in the U.S. He’s the same guy who contends that Fox News is not a conservative network. He’s the same guy who argues that racism is a nearly non-existent problem. He’s the same guy who insisted that no one on Fox ever said there was a jail penalty for not getting ObamaCare, despite all of the video evidence.

That’s the advanced state of O’Reilly’s obliviousness to reality. He simply lives in another world where whatever he imagines is made manifest in his warped mind. And that’s how he can enumerate all of the tragic statistics on gun violence and then blithely declare that there is no epidemic. It’s a classic case of “ignorance is bliss,” or more simply – plain old ignorance.

How Fox News Deceives and Controls Their Flock:
Fox Nation vs. Reality: The Fox News Cult of Ignorance.
Available now at Amazon.

The Year In Hate And Lies On Fox News: An Embarrassing 2015

Annual reviews are often routine exercises that involve collecting a few thematically aligned events and presenting them in an ordered list to remind people of what went down in the previous twelve months. However, for Fox News it just isn’t that simple. There are so many examples of blatant dishonesty, cringe-worthy ignorance, and shameless biases that any list would be too long for anyone to wade through.

Consequently, this year News Corpse is limiting the 2015 retrospective to a few instances that were notable for how embarrassing they are – or would be to a network that had the capacity for shame. And even this list is not meant to be comprehensive, but it will give a taste of the journalistic malpractice and general noxious mismanagement of the news as practiced by Fox – a network that has the unique distinction of having started the year with a huuuge majority of its ratings on PolitiFact (61%) deemed “Mostly False, False,” or “Pants On Fire.”

Fox News PolitiFact

1) French TV: Laughing At The Credibility Of The Fox News Clowns And #FoxNewsFacts

Fox News hosted Steven Emerson, an alleged terrorism expert, who claimed that the entire city of Birmingham, England was occupied by radical Muslims and was inaccessible to anyone else. His remarks were widely ridiculed, including by David Cameron, the British Prime Minister, who called Emerson an “idiot.” Emerson later recanted and apologized for his “terrible error.” But Fox wasn’t done embarrassing itself with false tales of horror. Click the link above to see the hilarious video.

Fox News

2) High Schoolers Scorch Bill O’Reilly/Fox News For Lack Of Journalistic Ethics

Fox News has been proven repeatedly to be a purveyor of disinformation and outright lies presented as facts. Knowledgeable observers long ago ceased to take their reporting seriously. However, it’s one thing to be called out for shoddy journalism by experienced media analysts and news professionals. But when a high school class can demolish the highest rated cable “news” network with ease, the folks responsible should reconsider their career choices.

Fox News

3) Bill O’Reilly’s Cavalcade Of Lies: A Handy Collection Of The Damage – So Far

After NBC suspended Brian Williams for six months for a single incident of embellishing his experiences in Iraq, it seems like a fair and balanced review of O’Reilly’s behavior would net him a suspension of two or three years. Of course, Fox News does not generally hold itself to the standards of journalistic ethics to which real news enterprises adhere. Nevertheless, O’Reilly and Fox News should not be allowed to sweep these fibs under the floorboards.

Bill O'Reilly

4) Watch John Oliver Bust Fox News For Falsifying Refugee Video

Fox News mounted a relentless campaign to slander Syrian and Iraqi refugees as terrorists seeking to infiltrate Europe and the U.S. This propaganda blitz is based on nothing but invented tales of horror and racist speculation. But apparently those attempts to deceive their pre-rattled viewers were not sufficiently frightening. Consequently, Fox News had to manufacture “evidence” of the doom that awaits any nation that shows empathy for the suffering refugees. So they enhanced their fictional narrative with video that was completely unrelated to the story. And John Oliver caught them red-handed.

Fox News John Oliver

5) Fox News Propagandist Caught And Arrested, Charged With Fraud

Wayne Simmons has been a frequent guest on Fox News for many years, providing what they said was expert analysis of intelligence and military issues from an experienced professional. Fox often relied on his commentary to inform their audience about serious national security issues as they arose in the news. But as it turns out, Simmons had lied on his resume to the federal government when seeking employment and contracts, and now he is under indictment for “major fraud against the United States, wire fraud, and making false statements to the government.”

Fox News

6) After Falling For Hoax News Site, Sean Hannity Takes On PolitiFact’s ‘Stupidity’

You really have to give the wingnut media credit for standing firm in the face of flagrant ridicule. On Sean Hannity’s Fox News program last week he cited a statistic that was not only wildly implausible, it was sourced to an Internet website that was obviously satirical. The hoax website, Real News Right Now, also prominently displayed plainly absurd (and humorous) articles like “Starbucks Opens Five Stores in Jordan’s 2nd Largest Refugee Camp,” and “Trump: I Would Have Prevented the Asteroid From Killing the Dinosaurs.” The author of these articles is R. Hobbus J.D, who the website says is the recipient of the Oscar Mayer Award for Journalistic Excellence. And it was from this source that Hannity based his reporting.

Sean Hannity Dumbass

7) Foul-Mouthed Fox News Obama-Hater Is Given Time-Out By Puppet/Anchor

The seething hatred of President Obama by Fox News came gushing out this morning by one of the network’s most notorious hatchet men. Lt. Col Ralph Peters (whose name translates to “vomiting penises” in Slanglish) appeared on Stuart Varney’s Fox Business program to discuss/bash Obama’s Oval Office speech on terrorism. Peters was virtually spitting teeth as he was unable to control his most primitive tendencies.

Fox News Ralph Peters

8) Fox Nation Commenter Arrested For Making Terrorist Threats

Anyone who has watched Fox News long enough is aware that the alleged “news” network engages in a relentless stream of hate speech and incendiary rhetoric that has the potential to incite actual violence. Indeed, there have been violent incidents already that are directly attributable to Fox News. Now there has been an arrest in Washington state of a man, Scott Anthony Orton, who has been posting terrorist threats aimed at an organization formerly associated with Planned Parenthood.

Fox Nation Is Murder

How Fox News Deceives and Controls Their Flock:
Fox Nation vs. Reality: The Fox News Cult of Ignorance.
Available now at Amazon.

And there you have it. A nauseating, albeit incomplete, list of some of the most embarrassing moments on Fox News in 2015. This collection will serve as a reminder of the past year as well as a warning for the year to come. 2016 is an election year with what may be the most embarrassing candidate either party has produced in modern times. Donald Trump has already spewed a fountain of lies which News Corpse is compiling in the Donald Trump Bullshitopedia. So next year’s retrospective will have plenty of material from which to choose.


Media Mangler Of The Year: Serial Liar Bill O’Reilly Of Fox News

In a year when lying has become the key strategy of the front-runner for the Republican nomination for president of the United States (see the Donald Trump Bullshitopedia), it seems only appropriate that the award for the worst mangler of news reporting goes to someone whose repeated, deliberated falsehoods rivals Trump’s own record of mendacity.

Appearing nightly on Fox News, Bill O’Reilly has done more than his share to tarnish journalism. His documented dishonesty combined with his arrogant bluster makes him the runaway choice for Media Mangler Of The Year. And so, with out further ado, here is a re-post of the article that details O’Reilly’s transgressions and fabrications, for which he received no punishment from his bosses at Fox News.

Bill O’Reilly’s Cavalcade Of Lies: A Handy Collection Of The Damage – So Far

[March 2, 2015] Three weeks ago News Corpse published an article revealing that Bill O’Reilly of Fox News had been less than truthful about his alleged exploits as a “war” correspondent. Two weeks later Mother Jones Magazine did an even more thorough analysis of O’Reilly’s pathological embellishments with solid evidence of blatant dishonesty. Ever since then the flow of embarrassing revelations that expose O’Reilly as a self-aggrandizing, jet-powered ego has run non-stop.

Bill O'Reilly

ONE: The parade of falsehoods began with O’Reilly’s claim to have been “on the ground in active war zones” during the Falkland Islands war with the United Kingdom. He wasn’t. And now there is video of him reporting from Buenos Aires, Argentina that contradicts the accounts he gave afterward.

TWO: O’Reilly also claimed to have been outside the Florida home of George de Mohrenschildt where he said that he heard the shotgun blast that marked his suicide. De Mohrenschildt was an associate of Lee Harvey Oswald and was scheduled to testify at a congressional hearing on the JFK assassination. However, a recording of a contemporaneous phone call shows that O’Reilly wasn’t even in Florida when de Mohrenschildt died.

THREE: On another occasion, O’Reilly told a story about how he “saw nuns get shot in the back of the head” in El Salvador. That also was not true and O’Reilly himself admitted it in a statement that said he had actually just seen some “images of violence” but did not witness the incidents himself. Oddly, while admitting that his original assertions were false, he neither apologized nor acknowledged any wrongdoing.

FOUR: This was a similar case where O’Reilly spoke of his visit to Northern Ireland. While there he claimed to have witnessed bombings, however, when challenged Fox News issued a statement similar to the one about El Salvador that said he had merely seen pictures.

FIVE: Then there was the time that O’Reilly was covering the riots in Los Angeles sparked by the acquittal of the police officers who beat Rodney King. He claimed to have been the target of attacks by rioters, however, his associates covering the story deny that any of them were assaulted or injured. They do, however, contend that some tensions flared due to O’Reilly being an asshole.

These fabrications by the guy who pretends to be running a “No Spin Zone” are hardly the only times he has lied. There have been numerous other episodes including bragging about winning two Peabody Awards (he didn’t), and claiming to be a registered Independent (he was a Republican for several years at the time).

Some other incidents may not have been lies technically, just horribly wrong statements that he refused to correct. For instance, he once argued that there were no homeless veterans in America; as proof that his boycott of France was working he offered a report by the “Paris Business Review,” which does not exist; and he insisted, after doing extensive research, that no one on Fox ever said that people who didn’t pay ObamaCare penalties would be subject to prison. PolitiFact gave that one a “Pants on Fire.”

How Fox News Deceives and Controls Their Flock:
Fox Nation vs. Reality: The Fox News Cult of Ignorance.
Available now at Amazon.

After NBC suspended Brian Williams for six months for a single incident of embellishing his experiences in Iraq, it seems like a fair and balanced review of O’Reilly’s behavior would net him a suspension of two or three years. Of course, Fox News does not generally hold itself to the standards of journalistic ethics to which real news enterprises adhere. Nevertheless, O’Reilly and Fox News should not be allowed to sweep these fibs under the floorboards. They must be forced to correct the record, submit to punishment, apologize to their audience as well as to those whose valor they stole, and make a good faith effort to ensure that it does not happen again.

Short of that, we must make sure that the truth is disseminated widely and continues to be raised whenever Fox or O’Reilly seek the trust of the public they are so badly abusing. If they don’t atone in some manner for their misdeeds, then news consumers must be reminded continuously that Fox News and Bill O’Reilly are charlatans that cannot be trusted to tell the truth. So keep the pressure on and let any advertisers know that you don’t appreciate them supporting unabashed liars.

ANNOUNCING: The Trump News Channel (Formerly Known As Fox News)

As News Corpse has been reporting for the past seven months, the media has been saturated with Donald Trump in his quest to be crowned King of America. It is a disgraceful display of journalistic malpractice that has provided a racist, neo-fascist demagogue (he doesn’t deny it) an unprecedented platform to compete for residency in what he and his followers wish was a truly “White” House. But as bad as the collective press has been, Fox News is far and away the worst of the lot.

Donald Trump News

Media Matters has been doing monthly analyses of the time distribution on Fox News for the Republican candidates. Every month has produced the same results with Trump far outpacing the rest of the field. At times Trump’s airtime on the network has exceeded ten of his rivals combined. And now, looking at the year-end summation from May to December, the dominance of Trump on Fox News is both astonishing and nauseating. Media Matters notes that…

“Trump’s 22 hours and 46 minutes of airtime was more than twice as much as any other candidate during the period studied. Trump racked up more airtime on the network than Sen. Ted Cruz, former Gov. Jeb Bush, and Sen. Marco Rubio combined.”

Calculating the frequency of Trump’s Fox News appearances reveals that he was on the network for an average of 11.5 minutes every other day for more than seven months. That comes to about 19.5% of the total time given to all sixteen of the GOP candidates. And note that this only represents the amount of time that Trump appeared on Fox. There was much more time spent talking about him, promoting him, and defending him, when he himself was not on the air.

Breaking it down by some of the top Fox programs is equally unfair and imbalanced. Of the amount of time devoted to candidates on Bill O’Reilly’s show, Trump received 37%. Likewise, he received 32% of the total candidate time on Sean Hannity’s show, 30% on Fox & Friends, and 22% on Greta Van Sustern’s show. The only other Fox primetime program is The Kelly File, where Trump appeared only 2% of the time due to his ongoing feud with Megyn Kelly. Is it any wonder that Trump is leading the Republican primary polls? How would the standings be different if Jeb Bush or Marco Rubio had received the amount of airtime that Fox gave to Trump?

Nevertheless, Trump relentlessly bitches about the allegedly unfair treatment he gets from Fox News. What more could he possibly want? And yet, despite the vastly preferential attention he gets, he is never satisfied. In September Trump declared that he had “decided that I won’t be doing any more Fox shows for the foreseeable future.” That was accompanied by retweets of his followers advocating a boycott of Fox. Like most of what Trump says, that obviously wasn’t true.

How Fox News Deceives and Controls Their Flock:
Fox Nation vs. Reality: The Fox News Cult of Ignorance.
Available now at Amazon.

And it’s still going on. In a tweet today Trump whined that “@FoxNews treats me so badly.” That utterly delusional whimpering is typical of Crybaby Trump. I’m sure his opponents would love to be treated so badly. If Trump is so offended by Fox’s treatment of him, why doesn’t he just decline to appear on the network like he threatened to a couple of months ago? Well, because he knows that he’s lying and is feeding off of the constant attention he gets from Fox. Perhaps a better question is why does Fox continue to give Trump so much more attention when all he does is whine about it and insult their anchors and pundits? Certainly the ratings, and corresponding revenue, could have something to do with it. But no reputable news organization would subvert democracy so conspicuously for profit. And that’s the advantage that Fox News has: They don’t have to pretend that they’re reputable.

BE AFRAID! Republican Candidates Read From The Fox News Fear Script

On Tuesday Republicans held another debate that showcased a field of candidates that is utterly unprepared to lead a great nation. If there was one overarching theme from the affair it was that all Americans should be trembling with fear that ISIS sleeper cells are tucked away in their pantries ready to burst out and spray them with hot lead at any moment.

Fox News Scary Christmas

From the very start, the debate was oozing a scary tone intended to send nervous citizens scurrying to their basements. Even before the actual debating got under way, these excerpts from each of their opening statements show just how obsessed they were with frightening the nation:

  • Rand Paul: The question is, how do we keep America safe from terrorism?
  • Chris Christie: America has been betrayed. We’ve been betrayed by the leadership that Barack Obama and Hilary Clinton have provided to this country over the last number of years.
  • Carly Fiorina: Like all of you I’m angry. I’m angry at what’s happening to our nation.
  • Jeb Bush: Our freedom is under attack.
  • Marco Rubio: America’s influence has declined while this president has destroyed our military.
  • Ted Cruz: America is at war.
  • Ben Carson: Right now, the United States of America is the patient. And the patient is in critical condition.
  • Donald Trump: People like what I say. People respect what I say.

That’s pretty much all you need to know about the debate. The rest was variations on that theme. And with the exception of Donald Trump, who characteristically focused his comments on himself, the other candidates all seem to believe that the United States is at risk of being destroyed by a band of thugs in a desert hideout thousands of miles away (Trump believes that too, he just didn’t mention it until later). They literally think that the U.S could be crushed by this enemy and cease to exist. Marco Rubio is running TV ads that say “either we win or they do.” Lindsey Graham frets that “they are gonna kill all of us.”

To be sure, terrorists are capable of causing serious harm to the innocent victims they target. There is no way to diminish the grief felt by the survivors of the fourteen people murdered in San Bernardino last week. But to extrapolate from that that ISIS has the capacity to kill the rest of the 350 million of us and declare victory over America requires either a debilitating psychotic dysfunction or a deliberate desire to incite irrational fears.

The fear-fest orchestrated by the GOP candidates is itself a type of terrorism. After all, they are seeking to instill terror in the American people in order to influence how they vote. It’s their goal to convince people that President Obama and Hillary Clinton are responsible for weakening the nation to the point that it is at risk of being taken over by an army treading sand in converted Toyota pickup trucks. That’s right. What Germany, Japan, China, and the Soviet Union were unable to accomplish, ISIS is going to do.

But they didn’t come up with that horror story on their own. They are following the script that Fox News has been using for several years. Take for instance the candidates’ positions on targeting civilians with carpet-bombing raids. Ted Cruz used those very words to describe what he would do as Commander-in-Chief. Apparently he and his colleagues are not aware that it would be regarded as an international war crime. Rand Paul, to his credit, was the only one who pointed out that such a plan would require “tearing up the Geneva Conventions.” But Ben Carson and others were not dissuaded from advocating direct attacks on the families, including children, of suspected terrorists. Donald Trump framed his support for the policy by asking “So, they can kill us, but we can’t kill them?” Actually, the answer to that is “Yes.” Because they are terrorists and we, presumably, are not. Earlier this month Trump made his own explicit call to “take out” the families of terrorists.

So where might they have gotten these ideas? Well, one notable source could be Fox News strategic analyst, Lt. Col. Ralph Peters (ret), who has advocated precisely this abhorrent tactic. He appeared on Fox News to complain that the U.S. military needed to buck up and produce more civilian casualties. He has also advocated targeting the media for military attacks, including in the U.S. That sort of barbarity sits well with Fox News and earns one frequent invitations to return. However, Peters was recently suspended for using naughty language on the air (he called Obama a “pussy”). So Fox News will punish you if you cuss, but not if proselytize for murdering women, children, and journalists. Shows you where their priorities lie.

The fear agenda was also pushed just one day before the debate by Fox’s star bloviator, Bill O’Reilly. In his hackneyed “Talking Points” commentary, O’Reilly employed his trademarked bluster to announce that “Anger and fear are presently driving American politics.” Considering his contribution to both, it might seem like he was bragging. No one has done more to frighten and enrage TV viewers than O’Reilly. His red-faced tirades, and brutish treatment of guests who disagree with him, are the model Fox uses for political discourse.

None of this is new for Fox News. This is their standard operating procedure to inject panic into the electorate. It’s a tactic they share with religious cults who seek to dominate weak minds. Just prior to the last election Fox was obsessed with Obama’s intention to deliberately infect every American with Ebola. You couldn’t turn on Fox News without being subjected to some scary music and graphics backing up a frantic dialog of imminent doom. Then, miraculously, the day after the election, Ebola was cured and disappeared from Fox’s broadcasts. And if it isn’t Ebola it’s illegal immigration, ObamaCare, the deficit, or Climate Change. Now Syrian refugees are today’s Ebola, and they are just as deadly as the frightful virus that Fox alleged would destroy America.

How Fox News Deceives and Controls Their Flock:
Fox Nation vs. Reality: The Fox News Cult of Ignorance.
Available now at Amazon.

In Fox’s world there is always something that is threatening to wipe this country off the map. It’s an odd paradigm for a network that also worships America as the bestest, strongest, nation in the history of mankind and, of course, God’s favorite. There is something schizophrenic about believing that we are simultaneously invincible and teetering on the brink of collapse. It’s an irrational mindset that only deeply indoctrinated cultists can hold. So, of course, the GOP has adopted it and made it the signature plank in their 2016 platform. And just in time to insure that everyone will have a Scary Christmas.

Fox Nation Commenter Arrested For Making Terrorist Threats

Anyone who has watched Fox News long enough is aware that the alleged “news” network engages in a relentless stream of hate speech and incendiary rhetoric that has the potential to incite actual violence. Indeed, there have been violent incidents already that are directly attributable to Fox News.

Fox Nation Is Murder

For instance, Bill O’Reilly’s repeated references to Dr. George Tiller as “Tiller the baby killer” preceded the doctor’s murder in his church by an enraged anti-abortion activist. A mosque arsonist explains his crime by saying “I only know what I hear on Fox News.” An ordained minister in the Christian National Church pleaded guilty to plotting a massacre of the citizens of an upstate New York community of Muslims after hearing a Fox News analyst say they were training to launch domestic attacks. And when Glenn Beck was on Fox he was responsible for inspiring at least three violent criminals.

Now there has been an arrest in Washington state of a man, Scott Anthony Orton, who has been posting terrorist threats aimed at an organization formerly associated with Planned Parenthood. Orton, who used the name “Joseywhales” (after a pro-confederate Civil War outlaw), posted his comments on the Fox News community website, Fox Nation. The content of his posts were transparently hostile indicating both his own intent to commit murder, as well as an appeal to induce others to do so. Here are a few examples of Orton’s comments (more below):

“Kill StemExpress employees. I’ll pay you for it.”

“Stop the death of innocents. Kill the killers.”

“I’ll take care of [Victim 1] myself.”

As grotesque as these comments are, they only scratch the surface of the routine hate speech that is tolerated (encouraged) on Fox Nation. News Corpse has been compiling examples of such speech for a few years and has them on display at The Collected Hate Speech Of The Fox News Community. It is a revealing look at the mindset of the Fox News audience that openly expresses the most vile thoughts. It is also significant that the other commenters rarely object to these posts and the Fox moderators leave them in place to inspire other hate mongers.

How Fox News Deceives and Controls Their Flock:
Fox Nation vs. Reality: The Fox News Cult of Ignorance.
Available now at Amazon.

The dangerous dialog that occurs daily on Fox Nation is part of the reason I wrote two books about the website (Fox Nation vs. Reality: Volume I and Volume II). It is the meeting place of the most deranged faction of the Fox News audience. And it serves as a de facto congregation of like-minded malcontents who support each others malevolent fantasies, molding them into realities. The result is entirely predictable, and is perfectly illustrated by this most recent incident of Fox News inspired terrorism.

[Update:] Raw Story has found some additional comments by “Joseywhales” that also threaten violence against President Obama, Baltimore state attorney Marilyn Mosby, former Attorney General Eric Holder.

Fox Nation Comments

The Clowns Of Cable News: Laughing At Fox News, Not With Them

There has been a meme circulating around the InterTubes for some time saying that “I get my news from Comedy Central and my comedy from Fox News.” It’s a concise way of articulating the reality that programs like The Daily Show are far more reliable sources for information than Fox & Friends or Bill O’Reilly.

Fox News Bozo

But something that seems to have been developing without much notice is that Fox News is actively reshaping their programming to be more like an actual comedy network. Alone among cable news broadcasters, Fox News is airing actual comedy shows. Already on the schedule is their late night entry Red Eye. Earlier this year they premiered The Greg Gutfeld Show, spinning off the former Red Eye host. And they just announced a new show starring Bill O’Reilly stalker/producer and Fox Nation editor, Jesse Watters, that will expand on his Watters’ World segments from The O’Reilly Factor. [See this epic smackdown of Watters by Steven Colbert]

Setting aside the fact that there is scarce evidence of actual humor in any of these programs, what is interesting is that Fox News is investing so much of their airtime in a form of entertainment that literally makes a mockery of their pretense to being journalists. And considering their epic failure in this genre, the execrable “Half-Hour News Hour,” they have some measure of courage to attempt it again. For a network that whines so often about not being taken seriously as reporters, this trend will do little to enhance their already tattered reputation.

Making matters worse is the fact that Fox News has been so fiercely derisive of comedy programs that deign to direct their barbs at news subjects. Over many years there has been a constant drumbeat of outrage from Fox aimed at comedians whom they regard as unqualified to have worthwhile opinions on the news or the talent to find humor in it.

And no one has taken more abuse from Fox than Jon Stewart. Sean Hannity called him “a sanctimonious jackass.” Megyn Kelly said that “He was not a force for good.” Bill O’Reilly labeled him “a key component of left-wing television.” O’Reilly also went after Stewart’s audience saying that he has “stoned slackers watching your dopey show every night.” And this anti-Stewart doctrine comes straight from the top. Fox News CEO Roger Ailes publicly scolded Stewart saying that “He hates conservatives. He’s crazy.”

Fox News generally demeans anyone in the entertainment field who speaks out about politics, unless it’s Ted Nugent or Dennis Miller, but then it’s a stretch describing them as entertaining. If George Clooney or Sarah Silverman exercise their rights as citizens, Fox News considers it an abomination and unleashes a rancid stream of unreserved hostility. Fox contributor Laura Ingraham even wrote a book titled Shut Up and Sing,” to advocate for silencing show biz folk who want to participate in American democracy.

How Fox News Deceives and Controls Their Flock:
Fox Nation vs. Reality: The Fox News Cult of Ignorance.
Available now at Amazon.

So after disparaging entertainers, and especially comedians, for engaging in the centuries old art of satire, it is rather odd to find Fox News devoting a significant amount of time and money to doing what they hate so many others for doing. But while it is common for comedians to take on political topics, it is unheard of for news networks to commit whole programs to comedy. Certainly a news network can interview a comic or report on a humorous news story, but Fox is getting ready to launch their third comedy show. And they still want people to take them seriously as journalists? Well, that ship has sailed. If anything, Fox could continue to debut new comedy programs until they fill the schedule. Then, at least, people will be laughing at Fox for the right reasons.

Bill O’Reilly: If I Were Attorney General I Would Arrest People I Don’t Like

As the Grand Poobah of Insufferable Sanctimony on Fox News, Bill O’Reilly takes his role very seriously. That’s why he exhibited a particularly grating level of angst after the Senate declined to pass legislation that he personally proposed and promoted. The bill that he called “Kate’s Law” would impose mandatory sentencing (never a good idea) for certain undocumented immigrants convicted of a felony. And the failure of that vote inspired his commentary entitled “Anarchy in America.”

Fox News Bill O'Reilly

O’Reilly took out his anger on a variety of victims (video below), starting with the senators who voted against his pet bill. And for some reason he leaped out of reality to accuse them of having violated some unnamed law themselves. “Forty-five senators failed to uphold federal law,” he said, “violating their oath of office. Where is the outrage?” It appears that O’Reilly thinks that not voting for passage of a bill that he supports makes them guilty of not upholding federal law. That, of course, is just plain nuts. However, if wants to know where the outrage is, all he has to do is look in the mirror.

Next O’Reilly laid into Malia Cohen, a member of the San Francisco Board of Supervisors. He was furious that the local government (something conservatives usually revere) voted to maintain their “sanctuary city” ordinances. But he was probably even more upset by what she said:

“We cannot allow hateful conservative news stations to drive how we respond to incidents in our city. I’m not afraid of Fox News and they don’t influence how I make my policy decisions here in San Francisco.”

Uh oh. Now she’s done it. Because the hateful news station to which she referred was, of course, Fox News, and specifically O’Reilly’s grandstanding on the subject of sanctuary cities, and his revolting exploitation of the tragic death of Kate Steinle. After playing the video of Cohen’s remarks, O’Reilly said…

“Now let me be very clear. That woman is a disgrace. And if I were the Attorney General of the United States I would immediately place her under arrest. I might not win the case, but I would send a message to all subversive office holders in this country that if you do not obey federal law you yourself will be prosecuted.”

Imagine for a moment how O’Reilly would react if a Democratic Attorney General suggested using the authority entrusted to him by his position to harass and threaten people with whom he disagreed. O’Reilly would regard that as a blatant abuse of power that bordered on tyranny. What’s more, he would be right. Law enforcement agencies are not permitted to use their legal authority to intimidate or to “send a message.” He’s probably thinking of the Mafia. In fact, it is illegal to arrest anyone, or to bring charges against them, without having a reasonable prospect of obtaining a conviction. So O’Reilly is admitting that he would break the law were he in that position.

O’Reilly’s hatred for San Francisco is all consuming. He went on to say that “The city of San Francisco is hopeless. It’s a free-fire zone of anti-establishment behavior.” That’s an interesting comment considering how often he himself criticizes the establishment. But O’Reilly has had it in for San Francisco for a long time. Way back in 2005 he even gave permission to Al Qaeda to destroy the city:

“If Al Qaeda comes in here and blows you up, we’re not going to do anything about it. We’re going to say, look, every other place in America is off limits to you, except San Francisco.”

You have to wonder what has gotten into these wingnuts. O’Reilly articulates his desire to break the law by using government powers to intimidate his ideological foes. Ben Carson recently said that he would use the Department of Education to police college campuses “for extreme political bias and deny federal funding if it exists.” And Donald Trump just said that he would support closing down mosques.

These extremist conservative sentiments should be remembered whenever you hear Republicans claim to care about the Constitution. Each of these examples of their true beliefs violate constitutional laws. The party of small government wants it to big enough to arrest its dissidents, to tell women what they can and can’t do with their bodies, to force its favored religion on all citizens, to censor speech and thought, and to enrich the upper-crusters who keep them in power. And every now and then, like O’Reilly, they admit it.

How Fox News Deceives and Controls Their Flock:
Fox Nation vs. Reality: The Fox News Cult of Ignorance.
Available now at Amazon.