Ben Carson Reveals Himself To Be A Delusional Conspiracy Theorist On Fox News Sunday

This weekend Fox News Sunday interviewed the Tea Party flavor of the week, Dr. Ben Carson. The interview (video below) was notable for some of the uncharacteristically clear-headed questions from host Chris Wallace that exposed Carson as the extremist nut case that he is.

Ben Carson

Wallace introduced the segment by noting that Carson has made some controversial remarks for which he will be held to account. That is an understatement, to say the least. Comparing ObamaCare to slavery, and America to Nazi Germany are not your conventional campaign slogans. Wallace even told Carson point blank that “I think you would agree that, at best, your a distinct long shot.” But the statement that Wallace singled out was when Carson warned that, somehow, the 2016 election would be canceled. It was a profoundly stupid notion without any rational foundation, which Wallace seemed to recognize when he asked his question.

Wallace: You said recently that you thought that there might not actually be elections in 2016 because of wide spread anarchy. Do really believe that?

Carson: Well, I hope that that’s not going to be the case, but certainly there is the potential because you have to recognize that we have a rapidly increasing national debt, a very unstable financial foundation, and you have all these things going on like the ISIS crisis, that could very rapidly change things that are going on in our nation. And unless we begin to deal with these things in a comprehensive way, and in a logical way, there is no telling what could happen in just the matter of a couple of years.

Huh? There is a potential that democracy will be dispensed with because of the national debt and ISIS? What in holy hell is he talking about? The United States and its democratic system has endured for over 200 years, through economic catastrophes, civil and world wars, Nixonian corruption, and assassinations. Yet Carson thinks that it may all soon be over because of our present economy (with it’s soaring stock market, record profits, and low unemployment), and a band of desert rats 8,000 miles away?

It is stunning that anyone would take this man seriously as a candidate for president. But the party that has previously placed at the top of their presidential wish list people like Michele Bachmann, Herman Cain, Donald Trump, Rick Perry, and Sarah Palin, is just the party to hoist Carson’s flag. He recently placed a close second (after fellow Tea-publican Ted Cruz) in a straw poll by attendees of the right-wing, evangelical Values Voters conference.

For a party that vehemently castigated President Obama as lacking the necessary experience to be president when he launched his campaign, the Republicans have an intense infatuation for candidates with even less experience. Wallace also addressed this hypocrisy in the interview with a cleverly worded question.

Wallace: After looking at Barack Obama and what’s happened with his lack of political experience in the last six years, wouldn’t putting Ben Carson in the Oval Office be akin to putting a politician in an operating room and having him perform one of your brain surgeries?

Carson: I don’t think so. What is required for leadership is wisdom.

Indeed. And the wisdom demonstrated by a political neophyte who thinks that there may not be an election in 2016, but if there is it will be dominated by voters who “have been beaten into submission,” is exactly what the “doctor” ordered, if that doctor is Dr. Strangelove.

Even the Wall Street Journal noticed that the bizarre rantings of Carson were trouble for the GOP. Columnist Peter Wehner, who served in the past three Republican administrations, wrote that “This is the kind of rhetorical recklessness that convinces many Americans that Republican leaders are extreme, irresponsible, and fundamentally unserious.” […and that…] “Dr. Carson’s comments are evidence of a political mind that is not simply undisciplined but also fanatical.” […and that…] “Any political party or movement that is associated with such utterances will pay a price.”

Carson recently declared that the “likelihood is strong” that he will run for president, despite his having none of the requisite knowledge or skills for the job. His putative candidacy rests entirely on his support from Tea Party zealots and Fox News who, in breach of every code of journalistic ethics, continues to employ him as a commentator despite his admitted status as a candidate.

For more fully documented examples of unethical dishonesty…
Get Fox Nation vs. Reality. Available now at Amazon.

Does Fox News Think That Ronald Reagan Tried To Panic The Markets?

This weekend’s edition of Fox News Sunday had a segment wherein the host, Chris Wallace, interviewed Treasury Secretary Jack Lew. In the course of the interview Wallace addressed the government shutdown and the approaching debt ceiling crisis with this phony premise:

“This week both you and the president seemed to be trying to panic the markets about both raising the debt ceiling and the government shutdown, saying that they should be more concerned.”

Fox News

In fact, President Obama merely observed what every credible economist has said about the prospect of the United States defaulting on its financial obligations. It would throw the world economy into turmoil and inflate the U.S. debt by billions due to higher interest rates. Just the threat of taking such an irresponsible step would panic the market without Obama having to say a word. And Obama is not the only one who thinks so. Here is what the GOP’s sainted Ronald Reagan had to say about it back on September 26, 1987:

Reagan: Congress consistently brings the Government to the edge of default before facing its responsibility. This brinkmanship threatens the holders of government bonds and those who rely on Social Security and veterans benefits. Interest rates would skyrocket, instability would occur in financial markets, and the Federal deficit would soar. The United States has a special responsibility to itself and the world to meet its obligations. It means we have a well-earned reputation for reliability and credibility – two things that set us apart from much of the world.

The hypocrisy of the Tea Party Republicans pretending to care about impacting the financial markets is monumental. Their own words (not to mention their actions) have been far more threatening than anything Obama has said. They have been saying for five years that Obama and his Marxist policies would bring the nation to ruin. They said he would destroy the economy and the country; that ObamaCare would bankrupt the nation and lead to civil war; that asking the rich to pay a little more in taxes, rather than putting the burden on the poor and middle class, would crush the recovery; that anything the President ever proposed would be a job killer and a disincentive to investment.

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Those predictions were about as accurate as last year’s Mayan end-of-the-world prophecy. The stock market is higher now than it was before the recession. The unemployment rate has dropped from 10.1 to 7.3 percent. And ObamaCare has proved to so popular that the demand crashed the government servers. Given the right’s record on forecasting the future, how can anyone take them seriously? Even the words of their idol, Reagan, don’t seem to diffuse their rabid Obama Derangement Syndrome.

Roger Ailes’ Limp Dictum: Keep Flinging Scandals Until Something Sticks

Last week has been described by many in the press as the worst week yet for the Obama presidency. It was a week that saw purported scandals hyped furiously by Fox News and other right-wing media. They almost cheerfully segued from Benghazi to the IRS to the Associated Press, and then looped back for more of the same.

Most of the reports were rife with falsehoods and errors. Most striking was the story aired by ABC’s Jonathan Karl who blatantly lied about his “exclusive” access to internal administration emails but, as it turned out, he not only did not have any emails, he unethically regurgitated false and damaging misrepresentations fed to him by Republicans in congress. And while he issued a vague note of regret for the phony attributions, he has yet to admit that his sources were partisans with an axe to grind. [NOTE: David Shuster appeared on CNN’s Reliable Sources this morning and smacked down GOP apologist Jennifer Rubin in grand fashion on this subject. Video below].

Ever since these stories emerged, Republicans have been spinning with feverish glee in the expectation that they might bring down this president that they hate with such vicious intensity. And as an added bonus, refocusing attention on manufactured melodramas allows them to avoid doing any actual work for the people they supposedly represent. The GOP House has voted 38 times to repeal ObamaCare, but not once for a jobs bill.

But a funny thing happened on the way to the witch hunt. Obama’s approval rating has risen 6 points since March in a new CNN poll. And majorities say that they believe Obama’s statements about Benghazi and the IRS. So despite the aggravated bluster of the right, Obama’s fortunes have been faring well.

So how does Fox News react to a scenario wherein they have flung virtually all of the feces they could gather and none if it sticks to their target? Being Fox News they simply get dirtier and more insane as their desperation builds.

Ailes Limp Dictum

Each of the headlines in these stories were built from scratch to disparage the President. And each has not even a smidgen of truth.

The item asserting that Obama “Admits He’s A Socialist,” was wrenched from an article in the New York Times where the author offered his opinion that Obama longed to “go Bulworth.” That was a reference to the Warren Beatty movie where he played a senator who abandoned the pretenses of politicking and went out to say what he really thought, including some positive remarks about socialism. However, the author of the Times article never mentioned the socialism part of the story. He only meant to refer to the straight-talk that Beatty embraced. And more importantly, Obama never mentioned any of it. It was all the musings of the Times author. So there was no “admission” by Obama by any stretch of the imagination.

In the article from the Wall Street Journal, Kimberly Strassel presents her theory that Obama was secretly signalling to people way down the ladder from the White House, his desire that they target conservative non-profits seeking tax-exempt status. The method he used was to say things that he believed. How insidious. Strassel’s idiotic theory would mean that anything any public figure says is evidence of complicity if some other people he’s never met do something illegal or unethical connected to that opinion. For instance, George W. Bush would be guilty of homicide because he publicly stated his opinion that abortion is murder and then George Tiller, a doctor who provides abortions, was fatally shot at his church. See how easy that was?

In the other two headlines Fox simply plucked the word “irrelevant” out of comments made by White House Senior Adviser Dan Pfeiffer without providing any context. In the first one Pfeiffer was asked about whether any laws were broken in the IRS affair. His answer merely reflected the fact that he was not a lawyer, but that regardless of whether laws were broken, the behavior was inexcusable. He was not saying that “the law” was irrelevant, but that it wasn’t relevant to the determination that what happened was wrong even if not unlawful.

Finally, Pfeiffer’s remarks about the relevance of Obama’s whereabouts during the Benghazi attack came in the course of Fox News Sunday anchor Chris Wallace repeatedly asking him where Obama was that night. Wallace seemed obsessed with which particular rooms in the White House the President might have visited. Eventually Pfeiffer responded by bluntly saying “I don’t remember what room the president was in on that night. That’s a largely irrelevant fact.” Which is unarguably true. Wallace was wandering down some weird and delusional path that had no bearing on anything. But Fox spun Pfeiffer’s response to suggest that it meant something broader with regard to Obama’s overall attention to the unfolding crisis.

This is the kind of nuttiness that ensues when liars become increasingly desperate as they see their lies falling flat. They get more and more surreal as they strain to have an effect. And when the effect turns out to be the opposite of what they hoped (i.e. Obama’s approval rising), they keep walking down that dead-end path, accelerating their pace, until it leads to a cliff. In the next few days and weeks we will see if Fox and the GOP are crazy enough to keep walking right over the edge. This should be fun.

And now for something completely different: Shuster Mauls Rubin…

Fox News Covers the Obama Inauguration: ‘Saddest Day Of The Year’

Seconds after the first inauguration of President Obama, Chris Wallace of Fox News speculated that he wasn’t really president because the oath was flubbed by Chief Justice John Roberts. That suggestion that Obama was not a legitimate president foreshadowed what would become a cacophony of Birthers and Republicans determined to reject any and all of what Obama put forth.

On this morning’s broadcast of Obama’s second inauguration, Fox News continued their dismissive coverage of the President. They led it off with the kiddies at Fox & Friends who exhibited their respect for this historic day by reporting what an awful day it is.

Steve Doocey: “As if a cold Monday in January wasn’t dreary enough, today has been dubbed ‘Blue Monday’, the most depressing day of the year.”

I’m quite sure that the day of Obama’s inauguration is decidedly depressing for the these remedial, right-wing buzzkills. But Fox was not through casting aspersions on this day and the President. Immediately following the inaugural address, Fox’s panel of sourpuss pundits picked apart the speech, which they universally agreed was a partisan screed aimed at bashing the GOP.

Chris Wallace: “This was an unyielding, uncompromising espousal of a liberal agenda.”
Brit Hume: “This is utterly bereft of an outreach to the opposition.”

Never mind that the President repeatedly spoke of how the nation’s greatest accomplishments were achieved by working together and how that was a necessity for moving forward today in light of the difficulties that lie ahead. Fox is positioning itself for another four years of blind opposition to anything that might help this president – or this country while this president is in the White House.

Fox Nation

Their community web site, Fox Nation, went to even further extremes to disparage the President with at least five derogatory articles by virulent Obama adversaries, including their headline piece featuring Mark Levin who was quoted from a Breitbart interview where he ripped the President in the most repulsive terms.

Levin: “I think there’s a lot of perverse thinking that goes on in Obama’s mind, radical left-wing thinking. He was indoctrinated with Marx and Alinksy propaganda.”

And this is how Fox News covers Obama on the day of his inauguration, a day usually set aside to celebrate America’s democratic principles and offer best wishes for the new administration’s efforts to meet the challenges facing the nation. We can hardly wait to see what Fox is dreaming up for tomorrow, or the next day, or the next four years. And Fox wonders why they are shunned by the White House.

Fox News Shamelessly Politicizes Petraeus Resignation

This afternoon Gen. David Petraeus resigned as Director of the CIA with a letter that cited his having had an extra-marital affair.

Petraeus: Yesterday afternoon, I went to the White House and asked the President to be allowed, for personal reasons, to resign from my position as D/CIA. After being married for over 37 years, I showed extremely poor judgment by engaging in an extramarital affair. Such behavior is unacceptable, both as a husband and as the leader of an organization such as ours. This afternoon, the President graciously accepted my resignation.

Despite the specificity of his letter, Fox News immediately began speculating as to the timing of the resignation and suggested that it had something to do with the investigation of the murders in Benghazi, Libya, and his scheduled testimony before congress next week.

Surprisingly, as Fox anchors were rumor mongering about Benghazi, Chris Wallace emphatically shot down such talk pointing out that Petraeus is a man of integrity who should be taken as his word. Wallace went on to point out that nobody tries to cover up political matters by confessing to cheating on their wife. But that moment of sanity was short lived.

The news broke on MSNBC at about 2:51pm ET, but Fox didn’t report it until 3:00. Then they spent about ten minutes stewing in Benghazi sauce without mentioning the Petraeus letter or the affair. It was clear they wanted to clutch onto the conspiracy theory that Obama must have orchestrated the whole thing to cover up his complicity in Benghazi-Gate. At one point Fox’s Trace Gallagher cryptically referred to Petraeus’ reason as “what we will now say is ‘unknown,'” which is evidence that he knew more than he was saying. And even after Wallace’s rational refutation, the conspiratorial ravings continued on Neil Cavuto’s program and The Five.

It simply doesn’t matter what the issue is. If Fox can’t pervert it into something that tarnishes President Obama, then it isn’t news. It couldn’t be more obvious that Fox intends to escalate their journalistic distortions in the coming second term of Obama. But it is repulsive that they would exploit this personal family tragedy as just more scandal bait to titillate their juvenile and easily manipulated audience.

Andrew Breitbart’s Imaginary Democratic Primary

The chronically choleric Andrew Breitbart has published an amusing speculation as to who the Democratic Party could field for president instead of Obama. This is really just an attempt by BigGovernment to sow new discord among the unusually united Democrats.

The article was written by Joel Pollak, the editor-in-chief of Breitbart.com, and features a roster of barely Democratic names who are arguably more conservative than many Republicans (i.e. Harold Ford and Joe Manchin). It also includes a couple of Democrats that would be bitterly opposed by the BigGovernment crowd if there were any real chance of them running (i.e. Hillary Clinton and Andrew Cuomo). However, two names stand out for their surreal presence on any list of of reputed Democrats.

First is the anchor of Fox News Sunday, Chris Wallace. Pollak’s basis for including Wallace on a list of Democrats is a five year old article in the Washington Post that reported that Wallace was a registered Democrat. Unfortunately, Pollak didn’t read the whole article that quoted Wallace as saying…

“The reason I’m a registered Democrat is that in Washington, D.C., there is really only one party,” Wallace told us yesterday. “If you want a say in who’s going to be the next mayor or councilman, you have to vote in the Democratic primary.”

So Wallace’s registration is just his way of being able to influence the outcome of primary elections for a party that he opposes. We know that he opposes the Democrats because of the way speaks about them publicly and slants his reporting. For instance…

  • Asking the Weekly Standard’s Stephen Hayes “is it unfair to say that this is a president whose heart doesn’t seem to be into winning the war on terror?”
  • Asking Rush Limbaugh what Obama has done TO the country.
  • Awarding ACORN pimp, James O’Keefe, the “Power Player of the Week.”
  • Calling Democrats “damn fools” for declining to appear on Fox News.
  • [My favorite] Admitting that he “generally agrees” with Sean Hannity.
  • Jumping to the defense of George W. Bush after director Ron Howard suggested comparisons to Richard Nixon.
  • Declaring Sarah Palin to be a “new star in the political galaxy.”
  • Asking George Bush if he was “puzzled by all of the concern in this country about protecting [the] rights of people who want to kill us.”
  • In a criticism of Democratic health care plans, making the absurd observation that “people don’t even contemplate end of life until they’re in an irreversible coma.”

Never mind that Wallace has no experience in politics or government, and has never run any enterprise that might prepare him to be the manager of an Olive Garden, much less the presidency.

But the number one Democratic choice by the BigGovernment editor to replace Barack Obama is —-> Sen. Joe Lieberman – who is NOT a Democrat. Lieberman was run out of the Democratic Party by the voters of his own state who chose Ned Lamont in a senate primary. Lieberman’s ego refused to step aside, so he ran as an independent and was returned to the senate by a majority of Republican voters who abandoned their own nominee in favor of Lieberman.

Pollak’s article is a joke that has failed to inject a sense of humor. It is his effort to distract Breitbart’s flock so that they don’t focus on the hilarity of their own cast of characters running for the GOP nomination. I don’t blame him. If Democrats were running a pack clowns like those in the GOP, I’d want a distraction too.

Republicans Reveal Their Top Priority For America In Iowa Debate

At a time when the nation faces some formidable challenges on critical matters of economics, employment, national defense, health care, etc., the Republican candidates for president met in Iowa to debate the issues that they regard as most important to voters and the country.

Leading off the Fox News sponsored debate, Fox anchor Bret Baier summarized just what issues the GOP held as their highest priority, and it wasn’t any of those enumerated in the paragraph above.

Bret Baier: We have received thousands of tweets, Facebook messages and emails with suggested questions. And the overall majority of them had one theme: Electability. People want to know which one of you on this stage is able to be in the best position to beat President Obama in the general election. And that’s the number one goal for Republican voters, obviously.

So there you have it. The number one goal is not restoring the nation’s economic health. It is not creating jobs or strengthening the middle-class. It is not Iraq, Afghanistan, Iran, Al Qaeda, or any other source of international hostility. It isn’t even Republican pet causes of guns, gays, God, or repealing ObamaCare. The number on issue is electability. Republicans are focused squarely on the singular issue of evicting the Kenyan socialist from the White House, to the exclusion of all other principles or positions. Just like Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell said shortly after Obama was inaugurated.

Taking this theme to heart, the debate continued with a series of question that addressed nothing substantive other than the candidate’s prospects for beating President Obama next November. Here are the first seven questions asked at Thursday’s debate:

Bret Baier: Speaker Gingrich, since our last debate your position in this race has changed dramatically. You are now physically in the center of the stage, which means that you are at the top of the polls, yet many Republicans seem conflicted about you, They say that you’re smart, that you’re a big thinker. At the same time many of those same Republicans worry deeply about your electability in a general election saying perhaps Gov. Romney is a safer bet. Can you put to rest, once and for all, the persistent doubts that you are indeed the right candidate on this stage to go up and beat President Obama?

Megyn Kelly: Cong. Paul, you have some bold ideas, some very fervent supporters, and probably the most organized ground campaign here in Iowa, but there are many Republicans, inside and outside of this state, who openly doubt whether you can be elected president. How can you convince them otherwise, and if you don’t wind up winning this nomination, will you pledge here tonight that you will support the ultimate nominee?

Megyn Kelly: Sen. Santorum, no one has spent more time in Iowa than you. You have visited every county in the state. And yet, while we have seen no fewer than four Republican candidates surge in the polls, sometimes in extraordinary ways, so far you and your campaign have failed to catch fire with the voters. Why?

Chris Wallace: Gov. Romney, I want to follow up on Bret’s line of questioning to the Speaker because many of our viewers tell us that they are supporting Newt Gingrich because they think that he will be tougher than you in taking the fight to Barack Obama in next fall’s debates. Why would you be able to make the Republican’s case against the President more effectively than the Speaker?

Chris Wallace: Cong. Bachmann, no one questions your conservative credentials, but what about your appeal to Independents who are so crucial in a general election? If you are fortunate enough to become the Republican nominee, how would you counter the efforts by the Barack Obama campaign to paint you as too conservative to moderate voters?

Neil Cavuto: Gov. Perry, by your own admission you are not a great debater. You have said as much and downplayed debating skills in general. But if you were to become your party’s nominee you would be going up against an accomplished debater in Barack Obama. There are many in this audience tonight, sir, who fear that possibility and don’t think you’re up for the fight. Allay them of their concerns.

Neil Cavuto: Gov. Huntsman, your campaign has been praised by moderates, but many question your ability to galvanize the Republicans, energize the conservative base of the party. They’re especially leery of your refusal to sign on to a “no tax hike” pledge. How can you reassure them tonight.

Nothing is more revealing of a party’s intentions than what they themselves place at the forefront of their campaigns. And nothing could be more clear than the fact that Republicans simply do not care about issues or the welfare of the American people as much as they do about their own selfish quest for power.

What’s more, the debate sponsor, Fox News, and other right-wing spokesmodels concur with the GOP’s directive on beating Obama above all else. That’s why the questions were littered with words like “worry,” “doubt,” “fear,” and “leery,” to describe the electorate’s mood toward the GOP frontrunners. And the debate amongst Republican elites is raging at an unprecedented pace. Rush Limbaugh thinks Romney is a milquetoast candidate. Glenn Beck called Gingrich a progressive (a pejorative for Beck) and the one candidate he would not vote for. Even Fox’s Chris Wallace slammed Ron Paul saying that a win by Paul in Iowa would discredit the state’s caucuses.

So what we have here is both the candidates and the media fixated on electability. All they talk about is the horse race and not the underlying issues. And of course, the reason for that is that they don’t care about the issues, only the power that comes from political control. And now they have confessed this obsession unabashedly.

Unfortunately for these polito-Narcissists, they aren’t quite smart enough to craft accurate predictions of who is or isn’t electable. They will undoubtedly make the wrong choice and their anointed candidate will suffer an embarrassing defeat. But to be honest, that’s an easy call for me to make because any of the current GOP candidates would be the wrong choice. They are all presently losing to Obama in national polls, and that’s quite a feat considering Obama’s low favorability ratings. The best thing that’s happened for Obama’s reelection prospects is that he’s running against this batch of pathetic Republicans.

Fox News Anchor Chris Wallace Is “In Touch” With His Ass

Chris Wallace has been described by some of his peers as the face of journalistic integrity on the famously biased Fox News Channel. Even the Daily Show’s Jon Stewart once praised him saying that…

“I think that you are here, in some respects, to bring a credibility and an integrity to an organization that might not otherwise have it without your presence.”

That was an uncharacteristically muddled moment for Stewart. He was right, of course, that Fox News has no credibility, but he was way off in his assessment of Wallace who has repeatedly demonstrated that he is right at home on the network that deliberately falsifies the news.

On today’s Fox News Sunday, Wallace provided another example of his overt prejudice when he rudely cut off his colleague Juan Williams (video below). They were discussing presidential politics when Williams sought to make a point about the Republican’s affinity for the rich One Percenters:

WILLIAMS: The Republicans, in this time of Occupy Wall Street, are the protectors of the super rich.

WALLACE: [Laughing] I’m not sure if we should talk about Occupy Wall Street as a plus anymore…

WILLIAMS: Yeah, I think we should!

WALLACE: Really? With all the violence in the streets? You really think that most of the American people…

Wallace pointedly interrupted Williams to make a snarky remark about OWS, which he followed up with a distortion about the incidence of violence. Most of the violent episodes at OWS sites have been perpetrated by law enforcement against the protestors. Williams made a valiant attempt to counter Wallace and complete his thoughts, but Wallace was unrelenting.

WILLIAMS: You know what? You are getting distracted, and you’re getting distracted by people who are crazy…

WALLACE: I think I’m in touch with what most people are thinking, which is they’re getting fed up with it.

When did Wallace become the arbiter of “what most people are thinking?” He is the host of the lowest rated Sunday news program and a representative of a minority viewpoint with regard to the key issues expressed by the 99% movement. Every poll shows that broad majorities agree with the agenda of OWS, particularly on taxation of the rich, protection of Social Security and Medicare, and reining in the power of corrupt and abusive corporations and getting them out of politics.

Clearly Wallace is wildly out of touch with the American people and pitifully unaware of that fact. Consequently, he persists in trying to censor Williams who plainly tells Wallace that he is not in touch.

WILLIAMS: The fact that is when you ask most people is Wall Street out of control; is there inequality in terms of income in this country? People say ‘Yes.” And those are the basic tenets of Occupy Wall Street.

At this point Wallace cuts Williams off again even as Williams is pleading to be allowed to finish is point.

WALLACE: Juan, there’s a limit. We want to play fair here.

WILLIAMS: You’re not playing fair, but go right ahead.

Wallace was determined to prevent any positive characterization of OWS from being articulated on his program. It was obviously a frustrating moment for Williams who criticized Wallace on the air for his unfairness. That’s nearly unheard of in these news talk circles.

It is particularly interesting in that Williams regards himself as the victim of editorial repression at the hands of his previous employers at NPR. He wrote a book on the matter called “Muzzled.” One has to wonder if that’s how he felt this morning with Chris Wallace.

Chris Wallace Begs Michele Bachmann’s Forgiveness

On last Sunday’s broadcast of Fox News Sunday, Anchor Chris Wallace listed a few of examples of why many people, including Republicans, consider Michele Bachmann to be a “flake.” Bachmann expressed her dismay at being insulted by Wallace, then left the studio to tell a Fox News reporter that she has the same spirit as serial murderer John Wayne Gacy.

After receiving harsh feedback from Bachmann’s supporters and Fox News disciples, Wallace immediately posted a video apology on the Fox News web site. However, that wasn’t enough because Wallace also had to call Bachmann that evening and personally kneel to kiss her ring.

All of this genuflection on the part of the Fox News anchor toward a favorite character on the network’s political soap opera is rather curious. One has to wonder why Wallace never apologized for calling President Obama and his administration “the biggest bunch of crybabies” he’d ever dealt with. Wallace also never apologized for calling Democrats “damn fools” for not gracing his program with their presence. These were insults that were aimed directly at his adversaries and represented his personal opinion, unlike the Bachmann episode where he was relaying the opinions of others. Yet he never felt compelled to apologize.

Does this represent Wallace’s fairness and balance? Or is it more representative of the point Jon Stewart made after getting Wallace to admit that Fox News “tells the other side of the story.” Wallace has since tried to back away from that comment by claiming he meant to say the “full” story. However, this isn’t the first time Wallace has used that framing to explain the Fox News bias. In July of 2008, Wallace told an interviewer that…

“…whether you like Fox News or don’t like it, it seems to me that it is a healthy development if only because it creates another view point.”

Yep. Fox News has been creating another point of view for years. Creating it from scratch at the behest of the conservative Republican hierarchy. That’s why no affront to liberals or Democrats is deserving of an apology, but when it comes to folks like Bachmann the amends must be made within minutes and repeatedly.

Fox News vs Jon Stewart vs Politifact

Last week The Daily Show’s Jon Stewart appeared on Fox News Sunday with Chris Wallace. The interview included a discussion of Fox’s well known conservative bias and disinformation. While noting that Fox’s Washington chief, Bill Sammon, dictated “marching orders” to the network’s anchors and reporters (a segment that Fox edited out of the television broadcast), Stewart remarked that “the most consistently misinformed? Fox. Fox viewers, consistently, every poll.

Subsequently, the non-partisan fact-checkers at PolitiFact analyzed Stewart’s comment and concluded that it was false. This set off a flurry of activity in the blogosphere with lefties defending Stewart and righties hailing PolitiFact.

To be sure, there is room for debate on the matter of Stewart’s accuracy. Stewart himself accepted PolitiFact’s findings and apologized. But Media Matters made an excellent case refuting PolitiFact’s analysis and charging that they were making dissimilar comparisons. For instance, PolitiFact cited surveys that measured the civic knowledge of viewers. However, asking whether a viewer knows how many amendments there are to the Constitution is not the same asking whether the viewer believes that the health care bill contains “death panels.” The former is a civics lesson, the latter is misinformation.

One fact that is inarguable is that Fox is responsible for a great deal of misinformation. Politfact’s conclusion was strictly literal, holding Stewart accountable for saying specifically that “every poll” found Fox viewers the most misinformed. That may have been an exaggeration and, had Stewart said simply that many polls placed Fox viewers at or near the bottom of the pack, he would have been correct and PolitiFact would have agreed. On several points PolitiFact noted that…

  • Fox isn’t last on the list, although it’s close.
  • Once again, Fox News as a whole ranked fairly low among regularly used media outlets.
  • Fox clearly did the worst among the major news outlets.

After reporting PolitiFact’s findings, and apologizing, Stewart made a another attempt to illustrate the point he was originally making with Chris Wallace: that Fox misinforms their viewers, and they do so frequently. He used PolitiFact’s own research to make this point by enumerating some of the incidences where PolitiFact ruled against Fox News. It was a hilarious bit that itemized them in a rapid-fire fashion. As a public service I am reprinting them here, following the video, for those who wish to take their time to savor the irony:

  • Glenn Beck:Less than 10 percent of Obama’s Cabinet appointees have worked in the private sector.” — False (December 2, 2009)
  • Steve Doocy:White House Political Director once served as right-hand to ACORN chief.” — False (September 30, 2009)
  • Gretchen Carlson:The Texas State Board of Education may eliminate references to Christmas and the Constitution in textbooks.” — A Pants on Fire! liar award (March 12, 2010)
  • PolitiFact’s 2010 Lie of the Year: “Health care reform is a government take-over of health care.” (December 16, 2010)
  • Glenn Beck:The Muslim Brotherhood has openly stated they want to declare war on Israel.” — False (February 15, 2011)
  • Karl Rove:American troops have never been under the formal control of another nation.” — False (March 29, 2011)
  • Brian Kilmeade:Florida Gov. Rick Scott’s approval ratings are up.” — False (April 15, 2011)
  • Laura Ingraham:The Massachusetts health care plan is wildly unpopular among state residents.” — False (May 16, 2011)
  • Sarah Palin:There’s been more debt under Obama than all other presidents combined.” — False (June 1, 2011)
  • PolitiFact’s 2009 Lie of the Year: “Health care bill includes Death Panels” (December 18, 2009)
  • Kimberly Guilfoyle:Cash for Clunkers will give government complete access to your home computer.” — False (August 3, 2009)
  • Sarah Palin:Halting Gulf drilling costs $8 billion a day in imports.” — A “Pants on Fire!” liar award (June 3, 2011)
  • Sarah Palin:Democrats plan largest tax increase in history.” — A “Pants on Fire!” liar award (August 4, 2010)
  • Bill O’Reilly:Attorney General Eric Holder was involved in the dismissal of criminal charges against the New Black Panthers.” — False (July 23, 2010)
  • Sarah Palin:Obama voted ‘present’ in the U.S. Senate quite often. ” — False (February 8, 2010)
  • Glenn Beck:John Holdren proposed forced abortions and putting sterilants in drinking water.” — A “Pants on Fire!” liar award (July 29, 2009)
  • Glenn Beck:Labor union president Andy Stern is the most frequent visitor at the White House.” — False (December 7, 2009)
  • Glenn Beck:America is the only country without automatic citizenship upon birth.” — False (June 19, 2009)
  • Bill O’Reilly:O’Reilly never called Dr. George Tiller a baby killer, only reporting what others called him.” — False (June 5, 2009)
  • Bill O’Reilly:Only Fox News picked up that Anita Dunn said Mao was one of her favorite philosophers.” — False (October 27, 2009)
  • Bill O’Reilly:Nobody at Fox News ever said you’re going to jail if you don’t buy health insurance.” — A “Pants on Fire!” liar award (April 27, 2010)

Is that misinformed enough for y’all?