Like the Tea Party, Fox Nation is turning five and behaving very much like any other five year old. They whine when they don’t get their way. They throw tantrums if they are denied. They invent their own reality and dismiss facts that don’t validate their delusional world view. They exaggerate their victories and insult their perceived enemies. It’s a truly pathetic display of childish egoism.
“These are not mere differences of opinion or discussions that might have varying degrees of perspective. They are obvious, provable, out and out lies. They are manifestations of a disconnect with the real world. But they are not the result of psychosis or mistake. They are deliberate and purposeful. They are aimed at an ill-informed audience that is only interested in having their prejudices affirmed. And Fox News is only too happy to accommodate them.”
As an example from the book of one of the blatant departures from reality employed by Fox, take a look at this article where Fox Nation published an item with the headline “Obama More Unpopular Than Tea Party.” However, the New York Times poll cited in the article actually reported Obama’s favorability at 48% and the Tea Party at 20% – a complete reversal of the declaration in the headline.
That’s typical of the way Fox Nation distorts the real world for the benefit of readers who prefer fantasy. And now Fox Nation is bragging about how they have been providing these tales for half a decade. So let’s wish them a happy birthday, but continue to keep an eye on their falsifications and deception as they endeavor to defend the wealthy individuals and corporations they were created to support.
[Update] Joining Fox Nation’s birthday celebration is Breitbart News who interviewed the website’s editor, Jesse Watters (who is rarely identified as the editor in public). Watters revealed that “Matt Drudge and Andrew Breitbart were inspirations” for the site, removing all doubt that it was designed as a right-wing propaganda outlet from its inception. Watters also admits that he is unconcerned with truth-telling:
“If there were any stories his Fox Nation promoted that turned out to be less than factual, Watters won’t dwell on such things. ‘Everyone has regrets about things that are posted. You learn from mistakes and move on,’ he said.”
Of course, what Watters means by “learning” is not taking care to be more truthful, but taking care to avoid getting caught when lying. He also expressed his pride in the site’s followers whom he described as “vibrant, engaged and fiercely loyal.” He left out fiercely racist – like this, or this, or this.
Anyone familiar with Breitbart News will not be surprised to learn that they did something stupid, again. After all, they are the geniuses who think that “E Pluribus Unum”is English. But their latest inanity stretches the boundary of blockheadedness even for them.
The story began when conservative muckraker Matt Drudge boasted on Twitter that he had just paid what he called his “Liberty Tax,” a reference to the penalty for not getting health care coverage. The problem is that this fee is not payable until his 2014 taxes are due in 2015. Subsequently, Drudge was chastised by more knowledgeable people (e.g. almost anyone) who wondered whether he was deliberately lying or just ignorant.
Coming to Drudge’s defense is Matthew Boyle of Breitbart News. Boyle proceeds to back up Drudge by accusing his critics of not understanding how businesses pay taxes. So Boyle sets out to explain it to them and cites language from the IRS form for filing estimated taxes:
[S]ince he is self-employed as the proprietor of The Drudge Report, he files as a small business. According to the IRS’s website for self-employed individuals, they are required to pay taxes quarterly. [...] So, when they file and pay those 2014 first quarter taxes, such individuals have to pay the Obamacare Individual Mandate tax if they opted to not have health insurance—like Drudge just did. [...] Additionally, the IRS form (1040-ES) for estimating quarterly taxes specifically recommends adding the mandate penalty to line 12 for ‘other taxes’ — to pay before the first quarterly deadline of April 15.”
It’s true that some self-employed individuals are required to make quarterly estimated payments on their taxes. However, none of them are required to include the penalty for not getting health insurance until the following year. In fact, it says just that in the same paragraph that BreitBrat Boyle quoted only a portion of. Here is the whole paragraph:
“Health care coverage. When you file your 2014 tax return in 2015, you will need to either (1) indicate on your return that you and your family had health care coverage throughout 2014, (2) claim an exemption from the health care coverage requirement for some or all of 2014, or (3) make a payment if you do not have coverage or an exemption(s) for all 12 months of 2014. For examples on how this payment works, go to www.IRS.gov/aca and click under the ‘Individuals & Families’ section. You may want to consider this when figuring your ‘Other taxes’ on Line 12 of the 2014 Estimated Tax Worksheet. For general information on these requirements, go to www.IRS.gov/aca.”
Furthermore, Boyle’s defense is based on Drudge’s assertion that he is filing as a business, not as an individual. But what both Boyle and Drudge neglect to mention is that the mandate for businesses with fewer than 100 employees (which certainly includes Drudge) to provide health insurance to their employees was delayed until 2016. So no matter how you slice, Drudge has no tax liability for the coverage mandate in 2014.
So Drudge’s “Liberty Tax” really turns out to be an “Idiot Tax,” because he doesn’t actually owe it. If he did pay the penalty (which we don’t have any proof of) it’s his own ignorance of the law that is to blame, not ObamaCare. And Breitbart’s lame-brained attempt to rescue Drudge only proves that when dumb right-wingers do dumb things, other dumb right-wingers will jump at the chance to compound the dumbness. And dumbest of all is that Drudge is bragging about putting his health in jeopardy by not having insurance. He regards liberty as being at risk for devastating financial hardship that would ultimately fall to other Americans in the form of higher premiums and fees for services.
The staff at Breitbart News has never distinguished itself as particularly astute or intellectually gifted. A recent case in point was their giddy victory dance when Coca-Cola supposedly validated the right-wing campaign for English-only ads by adding the Latin phrase “E Pluribus Unum” to a TV commercial.
Today Breitbart’s senior editor-at-large, Ben Shapiro, penned a column outlining what he called “Obama’s Top 5 Distractions.” The article regurgitates a well-worn attack strategy that alleges that anything the President says or does that is not about ObamaCare is a deliberate attempt to distract from that issue, rather than the responsible performance of the duties of his office. BreitBrat Ben begins by admitting his own mental shortcomings:
“Psychologists posit that the brain can only handle so many narratives at one point; if we are distracted by problems at home, for example, we tend to perform less well at work. The same holds true in politics: if our brains are occupied with worries about the war on women, for example, we’re less likely to be thinking about the horrors of Obamacare.”
Poor Ben. By inconsiderately managing the broad array of issues that any president must address, Obama is taxing the shallow capabilities of one of Breitbart’s senior staffers. How dare Obama deal with trivialities like raising workers out of poverty; or mitigating the environmental, economic, and national security threats of Climate Change; or taking action to relieve the suffering of poor families and hungry children; or advocating on behalf women who are exploited, abused, and discriminated against; or endeavoring to advance solutions to the long-term hostilities in the Middle East.
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In Shapiro’s world, placing those five items on the presidential agenda are merely attempts to distract people from the only issue that really exists: ObamaCare. And for the White House to engage in any other domestic or foreign policy can only result in a cognitive breakdown, emotional distress, and a severe brain owie. In the view of these mental deficients, political leaders must always concentrate on a single issue to the exclusion of every other event in the world. Shapiro closes by claiming that…
“…the bottom line is that the Obama administration will do everything in its power over the course of the next few months to distract from the issues Americans care about most.”
These are all issues that the Obama administration has identified as priorities. The American people expect him to work toward advancing their interests on these and many other areas, including health care, taxes, crime, the environment, and immigration. And he must do them all simultaneously. In fact, if Obama were to abandon other issues and focus solely on health care, Shapiro would be among the first in a long line of hypocritical right-wingers to criticize him for being too narrowly focused and negligent.
If BreitBrat Ben has his way the nation will be stuck in a single-issue ditch that doesn’t put a burden on the limited brainpower of dimwitted conservatives and Tea Party twerps like himself. So at least we can be grateful that he will not get his way no matter how noisy his juvenile tantrums.
Fox News has labored vigorously to establish its reputation as America’s whites-only cable news channel. Simultaneously they have distinguished themselves as the nation’s foremost purveyor dishonest and politically biased “reporting.” But every now and then they manage to score extra points by melding these two achievements into a single story. That goal was realized today by Fox’s community website, Fox Nation, with help from their disreputable pals at Breitbart News.
The headline declaring that “ObamaCare [is] Recruiting Illegal Immigrants” is absolutely, provably false. As is the content of the article that says in the opening paragraph that “Covered California–the flagship of state Obamacare exchanges–is recruiting illegal (“undocumented”) immigrants to sign up for the program, regardless of their eligibility.”
There is no truth whatsoever to that claim. But adhering to factual reporting has never been the mission of Fox News. It’s especially humorous that Joel Pollak, the BreitBrat author of the article, attempts to align his bogus assertions to Republican congressman Joe Wilson who, you may recall, shouted out “You lie,” during President Obama’s 2009 State of the Union speech when the President stated that the Affordable Care Act would not cover undocumented immigrants. Pollak believes that Wilson is due an apology based on his deeply misconstrued interpretation of a page on the Covered California website.
The shoddy news sleuthing by BreitBrat Pollak turned up a page that informed readers that they did not need to worry if they were “undocumented and want your family to enroll in health insurance. That was the spark that set fire to Pollak’s active imagination. Without wasting any effort on reading further or trying to understand the context, Pollak concluded that this was an attempt to enroll undocumented immigrants in ObamaCare, which the law explicitly prohibits. This is what the very first paragraph on the page actually said:
“According to the laws and implementing regulations, the information provided by individuals for coverage can not be used for purposes other than ensuring the efficient functioning of the insurance market (Covered California) or administration of the program, or to verify certain eligibility determinations including verification of the immigration status of these people.”
If Pollak had the comprehension skills to grasp this, he would have noticed two things: 1) The page is assuring applicants that the information they provide will not be shared with immigration agencies. And 2) That verification of immigration status will be a determinant condition of their eligibility.
The importance of the first item is to reassure people that an application will not result in an investigation or potential deportation. Many Latino families have mixed immigration statuses and they are sensitive to the possibility that their families could be separated. Consequently, they refrain from enrolling in benefits programs like ObamaCare. That means that many people who are actually citizens (i.e. children who were born here, or naturalized adults) would be deprived of services to which they are entitled because of their concern for other family members who may not be documented. This assurance allows them to apply without having to fear unrelated consequences.
The second item should be an assurance to bigots like Pollak that no undocumented immigrants would receive health care benefits under ObamaCare. It is an explicit declaration that citizenship is required for eligibility. And it is what makes Pollak’s assertion that illegal immigrants are being recruited regardless of their eligibility such a blatant lie.
It’s interesting to note that the Fox News Latino website does not have a story on this matter. Fox News Latino often takes positions that sharply contrast with those of the Fox News mothership. It is their way of trying to lure in the fastest growing demographic in the country without alienating them the way Fox News does. Although, there is a story that addresses the administration’s efforts to reach out to Latinos. And in that story they correctly point out the dilemma of mixed immigration status families who worry about separation, saying that “One big issue is that the law requires that those seeking coverage provide the immigration status of members of their household to determine eligibility.” That is what the page on Covered California is there for – to alleviate that concern.
It is remarkably dishonest and unethical to portray the information provided on Covered California as attempting to recruit undocumented immigrants to enroll in ObamaCare. Yet that is precisely what Breitbart and the Fox Nationalists did. And they did this despite the fact that the correct information was plainly in front of them on the same page. Therefore, it can only be assumed that they knew the truth and deliberately chose to ignore and/or distort it. But that’s the one thing that is not surprising about this. That is, in fact, standard operating procedure at Fox News.
The rightist wing of the Republican Party (aka Tea Party) has never been shy about making fools of themselves, particularly with regard to popular culture. An advertisement by Cheerios that featured a biracial family was a recent example of this as the conservative wackos went ballistic over a tweet that correctly predicted they would hate the ad. Following that, Coca-Cola incited wingnut rage by committing blasphemy with a multilingual rendition of “America the Beautiful” during the Superbowl.
Not content to growl menacingly at heart warming celebrations of America’s diversity, Tea Party factions are now claiming that their bigoted tantrums have won them a victory over the liberal multiculturalists in charge of the international soda conspiracy.
Breitbart News is reporting that Coke has “surrendered” to the Tea Party after complaints that their commercial offended right-thinking conservative xenophobes who are unable to tolerate people who show their love for America in a variety of languages.
It is the evidence of this surrender that is so strikingly preposterous. The Coke ad was reworked a bit when it was broadcast during the opening ceremonies of the Olympics. A short segment was added to the beginning of the ad with the words “E Pluribus Unum. Out of many, one.” It is that modification that the BreitBrats are asserting is proof that their vilification of human harmony was successful. So let’s get this straight. Coke, they said, “bowed to conservative critics” who insist on English-only by inserting a short phrase in — Latin.
These are the same rocket scientists who carried signs to their Tea Party rallies saying “Government hands off of my Social Security.” They are the same people who pledged to burn their ObamaCare cards (which do not exist). And now they think that appending a Latin phrase onto an ad is a testament to their strength in getting a cold corporation to acquiesce to their demands for an English-centric America.
All I can say is ach du lieber. These people are obviously loco. If they had any esprit de corps with their fellow Americans they wouldn’t show such disdain toward them, capiche? After all, these are the villains upon whom they are showering their hate:
The Republican Party has been engaged in a prolonged and determined campaign to suppress the votes of citizens whom they believe are inclined to vote for Democrats. Their disingenuous claims to be battling voter fraud are exposed as lies by the fact that they cannot certify any significant incidence of unlawful voting, and the solutions they propose to the non-problem all seem to serve as impediments to voting by youth, minorities, seniors, and the poor. These are all commonly regarded as Democratic constituents, but I’m sure that’s just a coincidence.
Conservative media, and especially Fox News, has been a full partner in this voter suppression effort. They have openly taken positions in support of the GOP’s discriminatory initiatives and given a platform to right-wing partisans who advocate for purging the electorate of Democratic voters. The issue has become a near obsession for the rightist media machine as it seeks support for restrictions that require photo IDs, reduce polling places and hours of operation, and limit the ability of independent organizations to register voters.
All of this is done in the name of cracking down on illegal election activities. Which makes it all the more ironic that Fox News is now defending someone who has been indicted for actual election fraud, Dinesh D’Souza. As a veteran of right-wing punditry, D’Souza is a frequent guest on Fox News and is the writer and producer of the anti-Obama crocumentary, “2016: Obama’s America,” based on his own widely debunked book, “The Roots of Obama’s Rage.”
D’Souza was recently indicted for felony violations of election finance laws. He is alleged to have solicited people to make donations to a candidate for the senate and then reimbursing the donors as a scheme to exceed contribution limits. The response to this by D’Souza’s pals at Fox News was to assert that the prosecution is all a part of a plot by President Obama to silence his critics. It’s an absurd and unsupported claim that doesn’t explain why Obama would go after a minor figure like D’Souza, whom few Americans have heard of, while allowing more prominent critics like Rush Limbaugh to remain free. Nor does it account for the fact that the same Justice Department that indicted D’Souza also convicted a Democrat for the same crime.
The attempt to whitewash D’Souza’s criminal activity included a guest spot on Sean Hannity’s program. Hannity called D’Souza “the latest victim to be targeted by the Obama White House,” without any evidence of White House involvement. Then Hannity gave D’Souza an opportunity to rebut the charges made against him. D’Souza said…
“Well, as you can imagine, it’s been quite a week. I can’t really talk about the case but I will say that I’m determined to continue my work. I’m making a big film called “America,” which is about the greatness of America that’s gonna come out for July 4th this year. So I just want to say that I’m undeterred and I’m marching full speed ahead.”
The notable thing about that response, other than its shameless self-promotion of a future project, is that D’Souza never once denied the charges against him. While he may not be able to discuss the details of the case, there is no prohibition on proclaiming his innocence. It is curious, to say the least, that when given the opportunity to do so in a friendly environment, he would so conspicuously refuse. Then when Hannity inquired whether D’Souza considered the indictment to be political retribution, D’Souza said…
“Well, I will say that “2016″ was a film that does seem to have gotten under President Obama’s skin. And the reason for this is that it wasn’t just a critique of ObamaCare or his policies, but I, in a sense, went into Obama’s world and also into Obama’s mind. There I was at the Obama family homestead in Kenya. I interviewed his brother. And, of course, we advanced the thesis that here is a traumatized, and somewhat of a messed up guy who is, in a way, haunted by the dreams of his father, the topic of his own biography. There was a rant against the film on Obama’s own website, that is BarackObama.com, so we know the film rattled him. We know that it upset him. And whether this is some kind of payback remains to be seen.”
Once again, there is no denial guilt. But there is speculation about payback that is not backed up by any facts. There are also some rather ego-drenched assertions that his cinematic screed had a prodigious impact on the President’s state of mind, when in all likelihood Obama never saw it or cared about it. He’s a little too busy being the leader of the free world to be concerned about an amateurish hit piece by a disreputable hack.
Over at Fox’s community website, Fox Nation [see the ebook Fox Nation vs. Reality for documentation of their brazen dishonesty], they posted a link to an article by Charles Hurt on Breitbart News that went even further in defense of the criminal activities alleged against D’Souza. Hurt even conceded the question of D’Souza’s guilt and still excused him saying that he “very well may be guilty of a few winks and nods that wound up violating limits on campaign contributions’ The “few winks and nods” added up to more than $20,000 dollars in fraudulent donations. But the central theme of Hurt’s article is that the prosecutor, Preet Bharara, is some sort of White House enforcer assigned to rubbing out the President’s enemies. The article’s title calls Bharara a “hatchet man,” and Hurt’s first paragraph ominously intones that…
“Mr. Bharara is the snapping jaws of Attorney General Eric H. Holder’s junkyard attack dog and the velvet fixer of President Obama’s thorniest political problems.”
Bharara is the U.S. Attorney for the Southern District of New York, and supervises over 200 lawyers who handle hundreds of cases. He has presided over the recovery of a half-billion dollars in civil fraud cases. He has locked up numerous terrorists, narcotics traffickers, and violent gang members. Yet Hurt’s article cites only a couple of cases that he deems relevant to his theory that Bharara is Obama’s hit man. Neither of these cases were political in nature, nor did they involve any personal interest of the President. One case involved an Indian diplomat who allegedly lied about her employment and payment of a nanny. The other was a case where forty-nine Russians were charged with defrauding Medicare. In both cases Hurt seemed to imply that all of these lawbreakers should have been set free despite their crimes. And having made no logical connection to Obama, Hurt just seems to be praying that his readers are dumb enough not to notice what a laughably insipid argument he is struggling to construct. Since his readers are on Breitbart News, he doesn’t have to pray very hard. Hurt concluded by saying that…
“Certainly, Mr. D’Souza very well may be guilty. Same with the Russian diplomats – and perhaps the Indian attache really needed to be strip-searched. However, a filmmaker skirting campaign donation limits does not tear at the fabric of this nation of laws. Russians cheating our welfare system is not a constitutional crisis. A constitutional crisis that tears the fabric of this nation of laws is a federal prosecutor who uses his office to advance political vendettas.”
Hurt’s argument seems to be that any crime that he doesn’t regard as upending the Constitution should be dismissed. Therefore we should let all the murderers and drug dealers and embezzlers off the hook. Just think how much money we would save by shutting down the federal courts and virtually emptying the nation’s prisons.
Conservatives often portray themselves as being the party of law and order. However, the truth is that they only embrace the law when it serves their purposes, and they abhor it when it gets in their way. That’s why they advocate more laws that would deny a ninety year old citizen the right to vote if she doesn’t have a driver’s license. But they forgive, and even praise, a political crony who breaks the law in order to funnel money to right-wing candidates. It’s a perverse concept of justice that favors elitists and the corporations that they believe are people.
There’s an old saying that wisely counsels to leave well enough alone. Unfortunately, the Tea-guzzlers at Breitbart News have dismissed that advice and unleashed an assault against CNN and its chief, Jeff Zucker. Never mind that CNN has devolved into a nearly useless platform for right-wing propaganda as evidenced by their recent interview of Glenn Beck by Beck’s own employee, S.E. Cupp. But that’s not good enough for the BreitBrats. Now they are launching an attack on CNN that is so feeble they had to make up quotes to hammer them with.
The title on Breitbart’s article is “CNN To Republicans: Drop Dead.” Of course, no one on CNN ever said or even implied that. The flimsy impetus for the citation occurred in an article that was a slobbering love sonnet to Fox News by BreitBrat Tony Lee, whose feathers were ruffled by a remark made by CNN’s Zucker at a TV convention. Zucker responded to a question about a recent Fox criticism of CNN by correctly pointing out that “I think we all know what’s going on there. The Republican Party is being run out of News Corp. headquarters [and] masquerading as a channel.” Zucker was merely acknowledging the obvious: that the cozy relationship between Fox and the GOP is a well documented fact. [Note: Fox happily reposted the Breitbart article on their own web of lies, Fox Nation]
BreitBrat Tony rushed to Fox’s defense with a quote by the Chairman of the Republican Party, Reince Preibus who denied that Fox was his party’s mouthpiece saying “Hey Jeff Zucker, we’re the Republican Party and we speak for ourselves, pal.” Sure they do. They just do it mostly on Fox News, and when they aren’t available, Fox does it for them.
Lee then gets to the point by alleging that “It’s an interesting strategy Zucker has: trash the Republican Party and, by extension, all Republicans.” Except where in Zucker’s remarks did he trash the Republican Party? He merely noted that Fox is a GOP friendly network, which no one who is paying attention would dispute. Zucker’s comments were not even directed at Republicans at all. They were characterizing Fox News’ obvious partisan bias. But apparently associating Republicans with Fox News constitutes “trashing” in Lee’s view.
The rest of the article went on interminably about how Fox is beating their competition in the ratings, as if that had some relevance to the subject or to the measure of news quality. Lee’s conclusion, therefore, was summed up in the article’s second made up quote: “These factors led The Hollywood Reporter to declare that Roger Ailes and Fox News had won the cable news wars.” The only problem with that is that the Hollywood Reporter declared no such thing. In fact, it was Ailes himself who made the declaration in an interview with the Reporter.
It takes an astonishingly low grade level of comprehension to take a quote by Ailes and attribute it to the Hollywood Reporter simply because that’s where it was published. But the quote itself was deliberately misleading and self-serving, as one might expect coming from the the CEO of Fox News about his own network. The only people who still believe that cable news quality is measured by ratings are the marketing and the PR departments. The truth is, in a point made often here at News Corpse, is that being number one is only a measure of popularity, not quality. After all, McDonalds is the number one restaurant in America, but very few people would say that it is the best quality food in the country. However, they do have something in common with Fox News:
The burden of coming up with ever newer and more hair-raising scandals against the Obama administration must be wearing heavily on the Fox News flunkies assigned to that task. What else could explain the article posted to Fox Nation that alleged that Mark Udall, the Democratic senator from Colorado, had “Asked State to Cook Books on ObamaCare Numbers.”
For more documented examples of Fox Nation’s dishonesty,
read the acclaimed ebook Fox Nation vs. Reality, available at Amazon.
The article alleged that “Udall’s office pressured the Colorado Division of Insurance to downplay the number of insurance cancellations caused by the rollout of ObamaCare.” However, the evidence of that claim was not provided. The Fox Nationalists linked their article to a column on the uber-rightist Breitbart News, where a concerted effort was made to spin the story in the most negative manner possible. At issue were the number of Colorado residents who had policies canceled by their insurance companies, and were not given an opportunity to renew them or switch to a similar policy.
Only by following a trail back several more steps to the original source in the Denver Post was the truth revealed.
“Many of the cancellation notices, however, also contain language allowing customers to renew their existing policies.
“One consumer advocacy group said that while the impact on the small number facing an absolute cancellation is real, ‘there’s been a lot of hype and not a lot of drilling down into the facts.’”
So, in fact, many of the alleged cancellations were not really cancellations at all because the customer was permitted to renew the policy. Sen. Udall simply wanted the number of cancellations reported to reflect that fact. But in pursuit of another phony controversy, the Fox Nationalists, in conjunction with the BreitBrats, manufactured a marauding senator putting pressure on a beleaguered bureaucrat.
As usual, there was no controversy, there were no cooked books, and the only departure from the truth was by the fabulists at Fox News.
From the day that health insurance reform was proposed by President Obama and the Democratic congress, Fox News has been fiercely opposed to any change in the system that had been failing so miserably for decades. Conservatives were united in support of policies that left millions of Americans uninsured while making millions of dollars for insurance companies (and the GOP politicians who backed them).
Since ObamaCare was implemented, Fox News has worked tirelessly attempting to persuade people to refuse to participate in the program. It’s a mission that seeks to cause ObamaCare to fail. Fox has feverishly rolled out blatant scare tactics aimed at keeping citizens from taking advantage of the improved access to medical care and the lower costs that the ACA provides. And as the year comes to a close, Fox News is augmenting their fear mongering with dreadfully bad advice that, if followed, will cause certain harm and suffering.
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The article, “Eight Ways to Opt Out of ObamaCare,” was published on the Fox News community website and lie factory, Fox Nation (see the acclaimed ebook Fox Nation vs. Reality for more than 50 documented examples of proven lies). It was a reposting of an item from the disreputable rightist hacks at Breitbart News who have been Fox’s partner in falsely smearing ObamaCare and all things liberal. Below are the actual tips offered by the FoxPods and BreitBrats to convince people that not having legitimate, dependable health insurance is a good idea.
1. Join a health care sharing ministry
These “clubs” are set up as charitable organizations wherein people are reimbursed for their health care costs by the other members of the collective. But in order to join, applicants must first pledge their Christian faith and promise not to drink, take drugs or have sex outside of a traditional marriage. Some even require a reference from a minister. Clearly, this is not an option for most people. Furthermore, those with preexisting conditions are not accepted for membership. The coverage also doesn’t include “products of un-Biblical lifestyles,” such as contraception or substance rehab, or some preventive medicine, including colonoscopies and annual mammograms. The clubs are are not obligated to reimburse anyone for anything and there is no regulatory oversight that protects the consumer.
2. Purchase a short-term health insurance policy
Short term health insurance policies provide coverage for a period of six months or less. They are intended for use between jobs or other temporary lapses in insurance coverage. They are not renewable, but you can purchase another after one expires. However, any condition that was being treated while one policy was in effect is exempted from coverage by subsequent policies. Short term health insurance policies are generally intended to only cover major medical expenses. In addition to excluding coverage for preexisting conditions, such policies generally exclude coverage for services like preventive treatment (e.g. routine physical exams and immunizations), pregnancy or childbirth.
3. Buy alternative insurance plans such as fixed-benefit, critical illness, or accident insurance
Fixed-benefit plans are described by Consumer Reports as “Stingy plans [that] may be worse than none at all.” These plans will reimburse you a fixed amount for a specified illness. It is usually far less than necessary to cover the services, and you’re responsible for the remainder. Illnesses not specified are not covered at all. Critical illness and accident insurance are similarly narrow and often do not cover common medical conditions. Included in this tip is a laughable suggestion to increase the accident coverage of your auto insurance policy as a alternative to real health insurance.
4. Visit cash-only doctors and retail health clinics
Cash-only doctors and retail health clinics provide only basic services that can be performed in the doctor’s office. Any more serious treatment like surgery, or services that require more sophisticated hospital equipment like MRI’s, must be paid for separately. Consequently, the most expensive types of care are not covered at all.
5. Sign up for a telemedicine service
Telemedicine is a great leap forward as a tool for providing a service in conjunction with conventional doctor’s care. However, it is wholly insufficient as a replacement for insurance. It basically gives a patient the opportunity to talk to doctor, but no actual treatment is covered. Costs for anything from a vaccination to open-heart surgery would be born by the patient alone.
6. Use generic prescription drugs whenever possible, and compare prices between pharmacies
This is prudent advice for any patient but, once again, it does not in any way replace health insurance. It doesn’t even provide the pharmaceutical benefits of a legitimate health care plan that can provide drugs for small co-pays of a few dollars.
7. For surgery find a facility that offers up-front “package” prices for self-pay patients
This is essentially a suggestion to shop around for cheap surgeons after you have already determined a need (and it does not address how that medical determination was arrived at or paid for). It does not guarantee that the costs will be affordable, even if they are less costly than the average doctor. And while comparison shopping for a Sony HDTV might save you a few bucks, is anyone really comfortable with having a heart bypass performed by the guy who offers to do it for the lowest price? Paging Dr. Nick.
8. When a hospital visit becomes necessary, work with a medical bill negotiation service
This advice can lower the cost of hospital services, but there is no promise that the fees will be reduced to an amount that is manageable for people with limited resources. For instance, your $50,000 cancer treatment might be reduced to $35,000, which is fine if you have $35,000 laying around. If not, you will wish you had insurance.
Every one of these tips are misleading and dangerous. They could result in people being unable to get necessary medical care and/or thrown into bankruptcy. For Fox News to offer them as suitable alternatives to health insurance is irresponsible and potentially tragic. The well-to-do pundits and editors at Fox won’t be the ones to suffer from this extremely bad advice, yet they knowingly put others at risk. And it’s especially offensive when the program that Fox is steering people away from is one that actually provides comprehensive care for more people, at lower cost, than anything that has been available in the past.
Health care is something that every citizen is going to require at one time or another, without exception. And while ObamaCare is not perfect, it is a step in the right direction. The more people who enroll, the more efficiently costs can be controlled and reduced. And of course, the fewer illnesses and injuries that go untreated. These are apparently goals that Fox News and the Republican/Tea Party right-wing oppose, hence this list of resolutions that can only make the new year a nightmare for those foolish enough to adopt them.
The intrepid team of weasels at Breitbart News have published an “exclusive” scoop that threatens to sink the political career of Republican Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell. McConnell participated in a conference call with Karl Rove’s Crossroads PAC and a couple of dozen conservative donors wherein they discussed the political strategies for future electoral victories.
The article on Breitbart News was authored by Matthew Boyle, a notoriously dishonest reject from Tucker Carlson’s Daily Caller. Amongst his previous work for Breitbart was an article that invented the existence of ObamaCars, free vehicles that would allegedly be given out to illegal immigrants. He should be writing for The Onion.
In Boyle’s latest piece of fiction he claims to have an anonymous source who was on the conference call with McConnell and Rove and had some juicy tidbits to expose. The opening paragraph of Boyle’s article declared that…
“Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell said on a conference call organized by Karl Rove’s Crossroads organization for large donors and their advisers on Oct. 30 that the Tea Party movement, in his view, is a ‘nothing but a bunch of bullies’ that he plans to ‘punch … in the nose’”
Oh my lord. Mitch McConnell is threatening to assault the noses of some Tea Party bullies. And it must be true because there isn’t any indication in that paragraph that the remarks were conveyed by an unknown third party with no proof.
McConnell has had prior run-ins with Tea Party noses. [Author's Note: You cannot imagine the willpower it took to avoid saying that "Tea Party noses are running."] A couple of months ago McConnell’s campaign manager, Jesse Benton, who was hired specifically to appeal to Tea Party voters in Kentucky, was recorded telling a colleague about his reluctant association with McConnell. Benton said…
“Between you and me, I’m sort of holdin’ my nose for two years because what we’re doing here is going to be a big benefit to Rand [Paul] in ’16.”
Subsequent to that gaffe, the McConnell campaign released a lighthearted attempt at damage control showing McConnell standing next to Benton who was holding his nose. But now that we know how McConnell really feels about those Tea Party guys, perhaps Benton isn’t avoiding the stench. Maybe he just got slugged in the schnoz by the scrappy minority leader.
Ordinarily, embarrassing revelations about Republican politicians would be a welcome treat. And this one fits the bill because McConnell has previously expressed concerns about fringe candidates mounting primary challenges against sitting Republican senators and then losing winnable seats to Democrats. Boyle’s source told him that McConnell explicitly attacked the Tea Party and some of it’s rising stars like Ted Cruz and Mike Lee.
Upon reading Boyle’s article, however, there were some gaping holes that a conscientious reader could not ignore. For instance, McConnell is a highly partisan, right-wing, attack machine, but he isn’t stupid. It seems highly implausible that he would make derogatory remarks amount a significant bloc of constituents during a telephone conference call on which he doesn’t know who might be listening. What’s more, by citing an anonymous source in this sort of political dust-up, Boyle prevents his readers from having any sense of who is making these charges. It might very well be a supporter of Matt Bevin, the Tea Party candidate who is challenging McConnell in his own Kentucky primary.
Boyle did include a response from a spokesman for Karl Rove who flatly denied the charge that McConnell had demeaned either the Tea Party or Cruz:
“Your source is ascribing things to the call that simply were never said [...] nothing about the Tea Party or Sens. Cruz or Lee.”
That unambiguous denial didn’t stop Boyle from posting an article that maligned McConnell. As it turns out, there was good reason to be suspicious of Boyle’s exclusive. Washington Examiner reporter Charlie Spiering did what real reporters actually do. He contacted Rove’s people and arranged to hear a recording of the conference call. In his column he noted that…
“McConnell’s comments about dealing with “schoolyard bullies” by punching them in the nose, as reported by Breitbart News, were accurate but were explicitly directed at the Senate Conservatives Fund, not the Tea Party or a specific conservative senator.”
So it appears that Boyle’s source was something less than credible, which is something that wouldn’t much bother Breitbart or Boyle. It is no secret that the BreitBrats are openly hostile to establishment Republicans and that they frequently promote Tea Party challengers. It would be consistent with their agenda for a mysterious McConnell critic to surface and assign comments to him that would harm his reelection effort. And Boyle is just the guy to invent a controversy that would help a candidate running against McConnell. It wouldn’t be the first time that Boyle has come to the aid of McConnell’s opponent. He’s written at least six other articles for Breitbart that feature Bevin favorably and McConnell disparagingly.
Despite the Examiner’s debunking of Boyle’s source, there has been no retraction on the Breitbart website. That’s typical of their shoddy brand of dishonest journalism. Even so, it’s hard to know who to root for in this affair. McConnell the repugnant, Republican pugilist, or Boyle the disreputable, right-wing hack. I must admit, though, it’s a highly entertaining show.
Fox News has been engaged in a massive disinformation campaign against the Affordable Care Act (aka ObamaCare) for going on three years now. After all that time, and having exhausted the considerable creative resources that came up with twelve “Pants on Fire” lies about the program, Fox’s desperation is showing.
The right-wing’s Fright Offensive over ObamaCare keeps getting more deranged every day. If they aren’t spreading fears of getting victimized by hackers, or the horrors of Americans voting, or the return of the Zombie ACORN, then it’s threats of ObamaCare prisons and gun registries.
News Corpse previously reported the utterly inane allegation that the ObamaCare website contained an invisible contract that granted the government an unfettered right to spy on health insurance consumers. Of course, as any freshman law student could tell you, there is no such thing as an enforceable, invisible contract. The gist of the complaint was that there was language secretly inserted into the website’s source code that could not be seen but nevertheless bound users to an agreement that they have “no reasonable expectation of privacy.” However, this “ghost” language was actually removed with the use of HTML comment tags by the site’s programmers rendering it inoperative.
The mental deficients pushing this notion are getting way too wrapped up in Halloween. Unfortunately, amongst those imbeciles is at least one member of Congress, the dishonorable GOP Rep. Joe Barton of Texas (where else?). In a hearing today investigating the shortcomings of the ObamaCare website implementation, Barton asked representatives of the software contractor about the “hidden” code that he said violated the law. With a flair for both ignorance and panic he yelped “The privacy section on the ObamaCare website says your privacy will be protected. The hidden source code seems to say, ‘just kidding.’” He later added “That’s Obamacare in a nutshell. It says one thing on the surface and says something totally different behind the scenes.”
Not to be left out, Breitbart News editor, John Nolte, wrote a column about the congressional hearing under the headline “Hidden In Obamacare Site: Applicants Surrender Right To Privacy.” In the column he added his own chunk of stupid saying “[T]he fact that you are giving up your right to privacy is hidden in source code. [...] The fact that the government is hiding the fact that you are giving up your right to privacy should be a major media scandal. But it won’t be.” BreitBrat John is right about it not being a major media scandal, but only because he’s wrong about everything else he wrote.
Finally, Fox News weighed in with a report by correspondent John Roberts who said that this is “another step down the rabbit hole of ‘Big Data’ [...] As we’ve learned, source code in the web site’s terms and conditions states that users have “no reasonable expectation of privacy.” Roberts hasn’t learned anything at all, nor have his viewers. And apparently none of these grown men in the press or politics has as much technology savvy as a fourteen year old WoW gamer.
Several news agencies reported the fact that, after announcing his decision to have Congress weigh in on the matter of a response to Syria’s chemical weapons attack, President Obama dashed off to get in a few holes of golf. It wasn’t a particularly newsworthy observation considering that the key disclosure in the announcement was that nothing substantive would be happening until Congress returned from vacation next week (which, by the way, none of these news vultures seemed to think was frivolous on the part of congress). It was perhaps a mildly interesting factlet, but hardly the stuff of national emergencies.
Nevertheless, that is precisely how Breitbart News framed the story with a headline blaring “Obama Hits Golf Course After Announcing National Emergency.”
The numbskull dishonesty of the article begins with the fact that Obama did not announce a national emergency. But it gets worse. BreitBrat Mike Flynn, in a moment of lucid self-awareness, says that “I’m not an expert in foreign policy.” That confession is made more obvious when he continues with his suggestions for what the President might have done instead of golfing.
Flynn: There are probably some Congressional leaders who ought to be briefed. There are likely one or two world leaders who would appreciate a chat about the US plans. No doubt generals in the military would have a thought or two about how things should proceed.
Flynn must have ignored the President’s speech entirely and switched from Honey Boo Boo to Fox News just as the network’s scandalous details about Obama’s golf outing were exposed. Had he listened to the speech he would have known that Obama had spoken to all of the congressional leadership prior to making this announcement. Likewise, he spoke explicitly about his discussions with both the civilian and military national security chiefs before venturing out to the Rose Garden to brief the press and the American people.
Obviously the BreitBrats are so consumed with disparaging Obama that they can’t be bothered with actually paying attention to what he says. And if they were so concerned about presidential golf trips, why didn’t they ever complain about this:
In that video, George W. Bush did not scurry off to a tee time after making remarks about looming terror threats. No, he made them directly from the golf course, and then immediately trivialized the serious nature of his words by comically drawing attention to his alleged athletic prowess.
On the other hand, Obama conducted himself with the dignity that his office implies and the gravity that the circumstances demand. Then he went about his personal business which he is entitled to do. Maybe Flynn should spend more time researching his stories than rerunning videos of Mylie Cyrus twerking.
The diseased minds at Breitbart News and David Horowitz’s Freedom Center are joining together to fill what they perceive as a void in media criticism. Not satisfied with the efforts by richly financed conservative operations like the Lie Factory of Fox Nation, the Media Research Center’s NewsBusters, the Washington Free Beacon, or Breitbart’s own BigJournalism, this new cabal is forming with the unmistakeably hostile mission to…
“…unmask leftists in the media for who they are, destroy their credibility with the American public, and devastate their funding bases.”
As for BreitBrat Ben’s partner, David Horowitz, he is a notoriously racist fringe conservative who believes that slave labor has benefited contemporary African-Americans. He also publishes “Jihad Watch,” which has labeled President Obama a “practicing Muslim.”
The new TruthRevolt project describes itself as “a conservative counterpunch to Media Matters, the Obama-linked organization that focuses on silencing conservatives in the media.” Of course, there is no Media Matters link to Obama offered by the BreitBrats, nor any evidence that they have ever silenced any conservative. What right-wingers regard as silencing is really just getting caught saying what they actually believe. That’s all that Media Matters does.
Breitbart has been after Media Matters for a long time. They have challenged the tax-exempt status of Media Matters; accused them being anti-Christian and anti-American; charged that they get their marching orders from the White House, George Soros, or any other convenient rightist bogeyman. Even their hallowed leader, St. Andrew, has taken cheap shots at Media Matters and its founder, David Brock. He published an absurd article alleging some sort of conspiracy by the media to hide an old photograph of Brock that he characterized as narcissistic and homoerotic. But he could have been talking about himself and the photos he posed for in Time Magazine:
Breitbart’s destructive tendencies are well documented. He once swore to “bring down the institutional left” in three weeks. He’s more than four years overdue. Now his successors are nursing the same obsessions. And as usual they are incapable of providing a single example of anything that Media Matters has done that was incorrect or deserving of criticism. Their unambiguous goal (as they admitted above) is to tear down an organization that does nothing more than document the conservative bias in the media. It is a plainly articulated, well-financed, censorious revolt against truth – hence their name.
What do you do when you are the national mouthpiece for vile propaganda against a political party and a president that you were created to destroy, but all of your efforts have collapsed into a pile of bullshit due to the complete lack of evidence or even common sense? Well, just ask Fox News who have seen their every attempt to manufacture scandal blow up in their lying faces.
From Benghazi to the IRS, Fox News has struck out in their efforts to hang a juicy controversy around President Obama’s neck. So their answer to the question above is to trot out a brand new conspiracy theory that they invented from scratch: ObamaCars.
On Fox & Friends, the curvy couch potatoes were joined by radio shrew Laura Ingraham, Bush’s former press secretary, Dana Perino, and Rupert Murdoch’s personal lawyer, Peter Johnson, Jr. (the man with three names that are all synonyms for penis). In the course of their conversation they introduced a budding scandalette that they clearly believe will rip the heart out of their beastly foe in the White House.
What the Foxies are alleging is that, in the words of Steve Doocy, “there’s a provision in the Immigration bill that could be used to give free cars, motorcycles, scooters, and other vehicles, to young people.” Oh my. That would troubling – if there were even a scintilla of truth to it which, of course, there is not. This laughably ridiculous claim seems to have originated at the Official Birthplace of Laughably Ridiculous Claims, Breitbart News, where they extrapolated a nonsensical analysis of an amendment attached to the bill to allocate funding for youth job programs. The language that Breitbart and Fox found so offensive simply described that the funds were to be used…
“…to provide summer employment opportunities for low-income youth, with direct linkages to academic and occupational learning, and may be used to provide supportive services, such as transportation or child care, that is necessary to enable the participation of such youth in the opportunities.”
“Supportive services,” as regards transportation, are nothing more ominous than bus fare. They are certainly not promises to purchase vehicles for kids looking for work. Yet that is precisely what the conspiracy theorists at Fox have alleged. This delusion was directly refuted by Sen. Bernie Sanders, the author of the amendment, who said that…
“…the program has the option of providing funding for bus fare or subway tickets or other means of transportation. It is only the wild imagination that we have come to expect from Fox TV that would come up with this preposterous idea that we are buying automobiles for young people.”
Where does the dementia end with these people? It would be one thing if this were a fringe newsletter published by radicals in robes and hoods, pretending to defend liberty from their wilderness camp in Idaho. But is this Fox News, the most-watched cable news network, and their leading anchors and contributors. The next thing we can expect to hear from Fox is that Obama supporters were found to be using their ObamaPhones while driving their ObamaCars which led to their need for emergency ObamaCare. Don’t laugh. I’m sure they are working on this story right now.
Breitbart News has suffered a dramatic decline in the “quality” (if you can call it that) of their yellow journalism since the sudden demise of their guiding blight, Andrew Breitbart. They embarrassed themselves by falling for a hoax from the same satirical site they previously blasted the Washington Post for believing. They published a “scoop” claiming that Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel took donations from a group that, as it turns out, didn’t exist. Their practice of “vetting” President Obama yielded dud after dud. And their attempt to cinematically canonize their namesake bellyflopped at the box office. The magnitude of their collapse is almost too painful to watch.
Consequently, they seem to have grabbed a life line from Fox News to prevent any further shrinkage. Their web site now features a section where they post headlines from their “partners,” but the only partner listed is Fox News. They have posted adoring homages to Fox personalities like Kirsten Powers who pretend to be liberals while bashing everything to the left of Attila the Hun. And for their sycophancy, they now get regular promotions of their articles on Fox News.
But this week revealed the most blatant Fox fluffing yet between the two conservative lie factories. On June 5, Breitbart published an article defending Fox News CEO Roger Ailes from disclosures contained in a new book by reporter Jonathan Alter: The Center Holds: Obama and His Enemies. For some reason it took the the three biggest cheeses at Breitbart News to compose this syrupy ode to Ailes: Stephen Bannon, Executive Chairman; Larry Solov, President; and Alexander Marlow, Managing Editor. And just last week the same three stooges penned a fawning tribute to Ailes titled “The Ailes Manifesto: America Rallies Around Roger Ailes and Fox News.” Of course, America did no such thing, but the Breitbart executive sweets sure exposed their deep infatuation.
This week, Breitbart’s sensationalistic headline called Alter an “MSM Tool in the War Against Roger Ailes and Fox News,” and dismissed him for being employed by a news enterprise owned by a partisan billionaire (Michael Bloomberg). Amazingly, the BreitBrats displayed no sense of irony considering they themselves are busy licking the boots of their own partisan billionaire (Rupert Murdoch).
After several paragraphs of self-righteous and predictable carping over their delusional perception of the media as hopelessly liberal, the BreitBrats think they have nailed Alter with this assertion: “Breitbart News did some checking, and according to authoritative Fox and News Corporation sources, Ailes never talked to Alter for this book.” Well, they didn’t have to check with Fox for that because Alter never claimed to have talked to Ailes for the book. Then, after that criticism that failed to cite any Fox Newser by name, the BreitBrats complained that Alter failed to cite “any inside Fox or News Corp. sources” by name.” Then they followed that up with another quote from “one Fox source.” In fact, the rebuttal to nearly every criticism the BreitBrats made of Alter’s book was based on either an unnamed source, or had no attribution at all. There were thirteen itemized passages from Alter’s book with which Breitbart took exception. They were all summarily dismissed with ambiguous notations like…
“…declared a high-placed figure…”
“…security sources at Fox…”
“…according to a longtime hand at News Corp…”
“…According to our reporting…”
“…Says a News Corp. building source…”
“…according to Fox sources…”
“…Sources tell Fox that…”
So after castigating Alter for deigning to employ unnamed sources, the BreitBrats rely almost entirely on unnamed sources for their rebuttal. But even worse, they tally up the results of their own missive and report that six of Alter’s thirteen allegations were false. That means, of course, that 7 were true or partly true.
Someone may need to inform the BreitBrats that if you’re trying to refute a list of assertions in a critical book, you are not making much headway if a majority of them, by your own reckoning, are true. And that doesn’t even take into account the likelihood that the ones Breitbart tagged as false may still be true, despite their objections. After all, as Alter said in response to an article in Politico where Ailes rebuffed his book, “The question is, do you believe me or Roger Ailes?”
Setting aside for the moment that Ailes is a professional liar, for the BreitBrats the answer to alter’s question is obvious. They believe their corrupt and corpulent sweetheart, Roger Ailes. And they would follow him anywhere, as long as he continues to plug their pitiful blog. Romantic, aint it?
When a dishonest “news” enterprise is so determined to disseminate misleading information to disparage their enemies, they often get careless and wind up hitting themselves with a sort of journalistic friendly fire. That’s what happened as the editors of Fox Nation rushed to republish a petulant little hit piece from Breitbart News.
The article by Matthew Boyle (known for his discredited smears that falsely alleged improprieties by Sen. Bob Menendez), took aim at an attorney who represented the United Church of Christ (UCC) when it was being investigated by the IRS for potential violations of its tax-exempt status. The inquiry was prompted by a speech made by then-candidate Barack Obama in 2008.
The Fox Nationalists plastered a lurid headline atop their posting that said “Chief IRS Counsel Bailed Jeremiah Wright’s Church Out of IRS Probe in 2008.” The only thing wrong with that headline is…well, everything. First of all, the attorney, William Wilkins, did not work for the IRS in any capacity at the time. He was in private practice with a firm that specialized in tax matters. Secondly, his client was the UCC, not Rev. Wright’s Trinity United, which was just an affiliate of the denomination. Thirdly, he had no power to bail anyone out. What he did was represent them in the investigation, which he did in a manner that produced a favorable outcome.
This was a thoroughly hollow assault that was contrived by unethical partisans to hurt the President. But how can you blame them? This barrel of lies touched on so many of the phony components of their smear machine, it was just too good to pass up. After all, it had Obama, the IRS, and an old fave, Rev. Wright.
What both the BreitBrats and the Fox Nationalists missed in their haste to bash Obama was the fact that this investigation was another example of the Bush administration deploying the IRS to harass organizations they perceived as unfriendly (i.e. Greenpeace, NAACP, et al). In this case it was a liberal church that invited a Democratic presidential candidate to deliver a speech on faith.
So not only has the right-wing media cabal missed their target by a mile, they inadvertently weakened their case that the IRS is a rogue outfit that exclusively harasses conservatives. Nice work, kiddies.
Following in the footsteps of “Atlas Shrugged” and “Sarah Palin Undefeated,” the new documentary “Hating Breitbart,” about the late Andrew Breitbart, made a beeline for the bargain bins at your local video store. It was a dismal flop at the box office despite massive marketing to the Tea Party crowd that producers thought would eat it up.
In their desperation the producers have initiated a unique marketing plan that illustrates just how delusional they are in believing that they can salvage their investment and/or integrity. The plan involves persuading their most mentally-deficient followers to buy copies of the DVD for various liberals in what they describe as a “sponsorship” in the vein of those late-night television appeals for starving third-world children. From the Hating Breitbart web site:
“At Hating Breitbart, we believe liberalism is an illness that is best treated with a healthy diet of being exposed to different points of view. We’re offering fans of our movie the chance to “sponsor” an intellectually malnourished member of the mainstream establishment by ordering a copy of the film to be sent to them to help overcome years of indoctrination by the liberal elite.”
Pleasse forghive me. It is mush hard er to type whil laughing hystrically than I thoght. OK, let me try this again.
The BreitBrats think that it’s a good idea to convince people to buy extra copies of their DVD (at 15 bucks a pop) for liberal politicians, journalists, entertainers, etc. The producers must be stuck with a warehouse of these paperweights and believe that their fans are dumb enough to bail them out by buying more. Of course, the intended recipients (i.e. Michael Moore, Rachel Maddow, Nancy Pelosi) are only going to deposit the DVDs in the trash.
Since there is no chance whatsoever that they will waste their time watching this dreck, the only real purpose for this campaign is to separate the flock from more of their cash and to enrich the incompetent producers. Wouldn’t it just be easier to double the price and tell them the proceeds are going to Jesus? But a bigger problem is that these conservative Randians are abandoning the pretense that they actually believe in the primacy of the free market. The people have spoken with their wallets. For God’s sake, let it go.
The notoriously dimwitted hacks at Breitbart News practice a form of pseudo-journalism that reeks of ultra-rightist propaganda (or just plain reeks). They rarely bother to fact check their stories as was demonstrated recently when they published a false item about Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel receiving donations from an organization that, it turns out, doesn’t exist. Likewise, they posted a story as “news” that they sourced to site that produces satirical articles. And to make matters worse, they had previously mocked the Washington Post for falling for an article from the same site.
Today, however, the BreitBrats deserve credit for an article that accurately and comprehensively takes apart a collection of conspiracy theories revolving around a perfectly ordinary transaction by the Department of Homeland Security. The DHS has provided a reasonable and verifiable explanation for a purchase order that allows the department to buy ammunition at discounted prices over a five year period:
“Federal solicitations to buy the bullets are known as ‘strategic sourcing contracts,’ which help the government get a low price for a big purchase, says Peggy Dixon, spokeswoman for the Federal Law Enforcement Training Center in Glynco, Ga . The training center and others like it run by the Homeland Security Department use as many as 15 million rounds every year, mostly on shooting ranges and in training exercises.”
Breitbart’s debunking methodically stepped through eight components of the myths that have been circulating in the right-wing media about this paranoid fantasy, and countered it with facts to offset them. What they didn’t disclose is that they were among the most flagrant disseminators of the phony horror stories in the first place.
On at least four prior occasions, the BreitBrats posted apocalyptic warnings of a federal government intent on massacring its own citizens. But in this new piece they begin by saying…
“There are dozens of articles hyping government purchases of ammunition over the last nine months. After spending weeks researching this topic, this is a collection of commonly held myths that are based more on panic than fact.
“With the recent release of a letter from the Department of Homeland Security to Senator Coburn, the numbers we calculated independently seem to corroborate the narrative coming from DHS. The concerns surrounding DHS stockpiling ammunition are nothing but more fear-mongering and largely unwarranted.”
So all of a sudden the frightful government plot that the BreitBrats have been pushing is dismissed with a wave of the hand. How convenient. For good measure, Fox News re-posted the Breitbart debunking, and similarly neglected to note their role in creating the faux panic.
This is rather atypical behavior for right-wing media that generally avoids ever admitting they were wrong. In this case they have shot down their prior implausible claims because they have been shown to be the ravings of lunatics. Then they steadfastly refuse to acknowledge their previous support and just hope that nobody notices the spine-jostling flipping and flopping that has taken place. While it’s good to see them recognize that the fear mongering about tyrannical government agencies plotting genocide is the product of sheer delusion, it would be even better if they confessed that the delusion was of their own making and apologized. And for the record, Sarah Palin has not yet corrected her statements regarding Ammo-Gate.
This weekend the Fox News farce “News Watch” featured its customary panel of four slobbering ultra-rightists and one alleged Democrat. This week’s lefty lamb was Kirsten Powers, who did her job of pretending to be a liberal while denigrating everything liberals stand for.
In a segment about an NPR story on wasteful spending for disability programs, the discussion suddenly veered off course to attack Media Matters with the program’s host, Jon Scott, calling it “that liberal media watchdog group funded by George Soros.” Scott complained that Media Matters had “a problem” with NPR’s report because “it has become fodder for the right wing.”
Right off the bat it should be noted that Jon Scott, whom Fox inexplicably installed as host of a media analysis show, is the Republican Party’s man at Fox News. He was caught red-handed (by Media Matters) reading “news” copy that had been cribbed, word for word, from an RNC press release.
Scott also suffers from a malady that has infected most of Fox News that could be called “Soros Tourettes Syndrome.” Its primary symptom is the uncontrollable shouting out of the name George Soros whenever some organization is mentioned that he might have made a donation to in the past five decades. Given that he is a well known billionaire philanthropist, that’s a pretty long list. In this case. Soros did make a donation to Media Matters exactly one time two years ago, which hardly puts the organization in his pocket. What Scott failed to report was that NPR, whom Scott is alleging was attacked by the Soros-funded Media Matters, also received a hefty donation from Soros. In fact, it was nearly twice what he gave to Media Matters. So Scott seems to think that Soros is attacking one of his front groups with another.
Which brings us to fake Democrat Kirsten Powers. When asked about the NPR affair, she detoured to make this baseless observation: “I just want to say first of all, Media Matters is not a legitimate organization. And they do not exist to be a media watchdog group.” She provided no support whatsoever for her allegation, however, it was enough to attract the adoring gaze of Breitbart’s John Nolte. He posted a short item fawning over Powers for her “honesty” and gushed “I disagree with Powers on almost everything, but she’s good people.”
The assertion that BreitBrat John had substantive disagreements with Powers struck me as peculiar given her overt conservative leanings. So I looked up some previous references to her on the Breitbart web site for evidence of how starkly their opinions differed. This is what I found:
Liberal Kirsten Powers Fights Back Against Obama’s War on Fox News
Kirsten Powers: Obama Nominating Rice As Secretary Of State ‘Would Be His Undoing’
Kirsten Powers: Obama’s ‘You Didn’t Build That” Comments Offended Me Too
Kirsten Powers: What Did Obama Know and When Did He Know It?
Kirsten Powers: ‘Obviously, There’s A Bias Behind’ Cable News Not Covering Catholic Lawsuit Against Obama
Liberal Pundit Powers: Obama Removing Work Requirement From Welfare Huge Issue For Romney
Liberal Columnist: Double Standard In Media’s Attack On Rush
These were just the articles that referenced Powers in the headlines. There were many more plaudits for her on the site within various articles. So all of this admiration and accord raises an obvious question. When Nolte says that he disagrees with Powers on “almost everything,” what the hell is he talking about?
Powers is plainly another right-wing plant in the Fox News garden. She consistently rips the President and other Democrats and rarely offers enthusiastic praise or defense for progressive policy or people. She is only on Fox representing the left because Fox couldn’t get Ann Coulter to do it believably. But Powers is in the same conservative bag as Coulter, even going so far as to outrageously accuse Obama of sympathizing with terrorists. No wonder BreitBrat John is so infatuated.
With the Supreme Court’s deliberations on a pair of marriage equality cases last week, more and more right-wing “Christo-crats” are affirming their faith-based opposition to the Constitution’s guarantee of equal protection under the law. And increasingly, those affirmations are taking the form of inadvertent admissions that marriage is not within the purview of the state to decide. It is constitutionally impermissible for courts to rule for or against specific religious dogma.
Nevertheless, That is exactly what the martinets of virtue on the right are advocating. For example, former CNN contributor Dana Loesch wrote an editorial that appeared on both RedState and the lie-riddled Fox Nation that sought to refute the notion that marriage equality is a conservative position. She insists that it is not, and that…
“Marriage is a covenant between a man, woman, and God before God on His terms. It is a religious civil liberty, not a right granted by government. [...] In suing over “marriage” itself one is demanding that God change His definition of the union between a man and a woman.”
Loesch does not bother to reveal where in God’s Dictionary the definition of marriage occurs, nor does she reveal where one can pick up a copy of God’s Dictionary. If she is referencing passages in the Bible, then she is conveniently excluding from God’s definition those pious Biblical figures who maintained multiple (sometimes hundreds of) wives. Likewise she leaves out God’s mandate that rapists be forced to marry their victims. But more to the point, she is admitting that marriage is a construct of religion and, therefore, it is unconstitutional for the state to have a hand in it – except, in her view, so far as Christian-approved nuptials are concerned.
That same doctrine was addressed by Breitbart’s John Nolte in a column accusing the media of trying to destroy religion. That’s the same media that just completed endless hours of blanket coverage of the selection of a new Pope; the same media whose Christmas specials preempt everything else on the air. Nolte argues that recognition of the right for same-sex couples to marry would improperly impose on the right to religious freedom for Christians who regard such behavior as sinful. But if the religious freedom of Christians is violated every time something they regard as a sin is allowed under the law, that would make premarital sex unconstitutional [not to mention lust, gluttony, greed, sloth, wrath, envy, and pride. By that measure, the Constitution would require the dissolution of Congress] Nolte says that he is in favor of civil unions, but…
“I oppose same-sex marriage because marriage is a sacrament, and there is a big difference between asking one to be tolerant, and demanding one condone.”
Once again we have an evangelical conservative admitting that his opposition is based on spiritual grounds. And once again, that would make it an invalid argument so far as the Constitution is concerned. They simply cannot assert that something is subject to legal prohibition because it conflicts with their religious beliefs. Were that the case, Jews could seek a Supreme Court judgment mandating that all food in America be produced in accordance with the laws of Kosher. What’s more, no one is demanding that any particular behavior be condoned, merely that it not be discriminated against. That’s a distinction that conservatives have trouble comprehending, or perhaps they just enjoy being bigots.
RedState’s Erick Erickson chimed in with an article asserting that “‘Gay Marriage’ and Religious Freedom Are Not Compatible.” He hinges his argument on the Bible passage, Matthew 19:4-6, wherein Christ says…
“…He which made them at the beginning made them male and female, And said, For this cause shall a man leave father and mother, and shall cleave to his wife: and they twain shall be one flesh? Wherefore they are no more twain, but one flesh. What therefore God hath joined together, let not man put asunder.”
Erickson acknowledges that in this passage Christ is answering a question about whether it is permissible to divorce one’s wife. It was not a question about who is allowed to marry. But he dismisses that fact and focuses only on what he interprets as a definition of marriage, rather than as a direct response to a specific question. Likewise, he dismisses the part about divorce being against God’s law. This is an example of the convenient piety of so many sanctimonious religious zealots that permits them to pick and chose which principles they will honor. If Erickson wants to make a federal case of the definition of marriage as expressed by Matthew 19:4-6, then he should be consistent and call for a constitutional prohibition of divorce. Instead he impugns the sincerity of his ideological foes by calling them “a bunch of progressive Christians who have no use for the Bible,” even though he’s the one twisting it to fit his political prejudices.
Like Loesch and Nolte, Erickson is admitting that he sees gay marriage as “a legal encroachment of God’s intent.” Therefore, without realizing it, he is admitting that it is not a valid argument in a nation whose Constitution says that it “shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion.” Even Bill O’Reilly has noticed that the anti-marriage equality crowd is obsessed with religious justifications, rather than sound legal arguments. He praises gay advocates for saying that…
“‘We’re Americans. We just want to be treated like everybody else.’ That’s a compelling argument, and to deny that, you have got to have a very strong argument on the other side. The argument on the other side hasn’t been able to do anything but thump the Bible.”
Indeed, Bible thumping is not generally viewed in legal circles as a basis for constitutional findings. Yet, as the issue winds through the maze of judicial debate, the Tea-vangelical’s arguments continue to devolve into nothing but sanctimonious sermonizing. It is evermore apparent that their bigotry has no justification under America’s law, so they fall back on God’s law and attempt to ram their beliefs down the nation’s throat. They clearly have no respect for the Constitution or the freedom it guarantees for religious liberty nor, of course, for the equal protection of the law that forbids the state from discriminating against same-sex couples who seek to marry.