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

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

Fox News Bill O'Reilly

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Watch: Bernie Sanders Nails Clueless Media On Their Donald Trump Obsession

In an interview with CNN’s Chris Cuomo, Bernie Sanders made some salient points with regard to the unprecedented amount of coverage that the media has given to Donald Trump since he announced his campaign for the GOP nomination for president.

Bernie Sanders

Cuomo set up the issue by asking Sanders about the media role in the campaign and Donald Trump’s success saying “His popularity is inarguable. How he is becoming popular is the source of a lot of argument and criticism. […] Why is it working so well for him?” That’s an odd question for Cuomo to ask Sanders, but it resulted in this exchange (video below) with Sanders placing the onus where it belongs:

Sanders: Well Chris, You’re gonna have to ask the media precisely why. Trump is a smart guy. He’s a media guy. He had a TV show. I’ll give you one example. A recent study showed on ABC evening news, Trump over a period of time got 81 minutes of time. Bernie Sanders got 20 seconds. Now you tell me why. And I think it has to do with the fact that Trump is very smart. He knows that media is not so interested in the serious issues facing this country. They love bombastic remarks. They love silly remarks […] I think this is more of an indictment of the media actually than it is of Trump.
Cuomo: I don’t see it. Do we cover him more? Yes. Why? He’s number one in the polls. He’s highly relevant. He drives the discussion.
Sanders: But Chris, explain to me how he becomes number one. He boasts of the fact…He says, ‘I don’t even have to pay for commercials. The media’s going to put me on all of the time.'”

Cuomo continues to insist that the media plays no role in Trump’s dominance of the media. Clearly that’s an unsupportable position. The press was covering every Trump event from beginning to end from the day he entered the race. They would interrupt programming to broadcast his stump speeches live. And they weren’t doing it because of his popularity. They were doing it because of his proclivity for disgorging shocking and offensive rhetoric that would drive, not the discussion, but ratings. If it were solely because he was leading in the polls, then why weren’t they doing the same thing for Hillary Clinton, who has also been leading in the polls? Or for Sanders who has been breaking fundraising records set by President Obama in 2008?

Sanders was correct in stating that Trump boasts about the media putting him on all the time. Last August Trump even made it a key point in his speech to a crowd in Alabama saying sarcastically…

“Every time I go on television it’s gotta be live. It’s live. I said ‘Oh, can I have a rest please?’ […] How come it always has to be live? Why don’t they just cover me like anybody else where they go the next day and they show little clips? Every time I speak it has to be live. It’s ridiculous, but it’s OK. Right? We have to suffer with it.”

If Trump recognizes that it’s ridiculous, why doesn’t the media? And even after he taunts them about how tightly they are wound around his fat finger, they persist in following him around like lovesick puppies, even though there is nothing in his speeches that makes them the least bit newsworthy. Trump sees it but Cuomo doesn’t? He would have to be pasting quarters to his eyes and wrapping his head with duct tape.

This exchange is emblematic of the problem that the media has assessing its own shortcomings. Sanders spells out the blatant bias, provides a specific example of it, and CNN’s anchor remains oblivious and defensive. It’s also notable that the example was for ABC News rather than Fox News where Trump’s partisan omnipresence is expected.

Cuomo never responds directly to the example Sanders gave about the 81:1 coverage ratio that was documented by the respected television analyst, the Tyndall Report. Then the discussion just drifted off into other subjects, insuring that the disparity will very likely continue for the remainder of the campaign. And the media will continue to be blind to their failures.

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

WTF? CNN Guest Advocates Bombing Syrian Schools And Hospitals

Today on CNN, Michael Smerconish hosted former CIA analyst Michael Scheuer, who is more often seen pitching his doomsday fetishes on Fox News. The discussion (video below) centered around how best to respond to the threat posed by ISIS and other terrorist entities. Suffice to say that Scheuer’s methods took inhumanity to new lows.

Michael Scheuer CNN

While professing to be a non-interventionist, Scheuer complained that Americans don’t have the stomach to do what he thinks is necessary to defeat ISIS. His prescription for victory requires going “all in,” which means tolerating vast numbers of civilian casualties. He laments that American politicians are not comfortable with that saying “There’s not one person out there who’s willing to kill a civilian.” Of course, he’s wrong about that because several Republicans have publicly supported massive military campaigns that would decimate much of Syria. But that may not be enough for Scheuer who, when asked what he meant by “all in” said…

“All in to me would be to take out every piece of infrastructure: hospitals, universities, irrigation systems, that make it impossible for the Islamic State to raise money, to provide electricity, sanitation, potable water. Do exactly what we did to the Germans.”

In effect, Scheuer is advocating that the United States commit war crimes. He thinks that hospitals and universities, which are places notable for the absence of combatants, should be explicitly targeted for destruction. He’s not merely suggesting that civilian casualties should be tolerated, but that they should be deliberate and aimed at the most vulnerable people. And the other targets he proposed are also notable for having expressly civilian purposes. Irrigation systems serve farmers, not soldiers. Electricity, sanitation, and potable water are likewise services that are used mostly by peaceful families.

Scheuer could have proposed targets like command centers, training facilities, munitions storage, transportation assets, or black market oil operations, but all of his suggestions were predominantly civilian in nature. What’s more, his reference to “what we did to the Germans” ignores major differences between World War II and today. We were actually at war with Germany. We are not at war with Syria, and their civilian population is not responsible for terrorism. In fact, they are the victims of it, which accounts for the biggest refugee crisis since WWII. His plan would be more analogous to one that sought to bomb all the Jews in Germany and hope some Nazis were among the dead. And his callous disregard for human life was expressed further in this exchange:

Smerconish: Do you think that the Western world, Americans in particular, would stand by for the film footage that would be shown, on CNN and elsewhere, of the so-called innocent civilian death count?
Scheuer: I don’t know if they would. They should. What’s the difference? They’re not Americans.

Well, that makes everything OK then, doesn’t it? The only deaths that matter are those of Americans. Maybe Scheuer would have approved of bombing the Bataclan concert Hall in Paris when the terrorists had taken control of it. We would have killed a few terrorists and a few hundred Parisians, but why would that matter? They’re not Americans.

Something obvious missing from Scheuer’s analysis is that what he is suggesting is not only barbarous and against international law, it is the best recruiting tool for terrorists imaginable. The more innocent civilians who die at the hands of Western infidels, the more survivors that will become radicalized and hunger for vengeance. Smerconish actually pointed out to Scheuer (with video evidence) that terrorists were already using him in their propaganda. Scheuer responded saying that they were just using his message of American military incompetence because it was “the reality.” How patriotic.

This is not the first time that Scheuer has articulated his repulsive philosophy. A few years ago he was on Glenn Beck’s Fox News program and outlined his concern that the American people were not sufficiently afraid of future terrorist attacks. He regarded that absence of fear as dangerous complacency. But he had a solution (video): “The only chance we have as a country right now is for Osama bin Laden to deploy and detonate a major weapon in the United States.” That’s right – Scheuer came out in favor of Al Qaeda nuking America.

Just last year Scheuer wrote an article endorsing the assassination of President Obama and British Prime Minister David Cameron. After alluding to them as tyrannical, he quoted an historical figure who said that “every man might kill a tyrant; and no names are recorded in history with more honor, than of those who did it.” Wink, wink.

That is the magnitude of derangement that we’re dealing with here. Scheuer is a madman bordering on treason. And it is unconscionable that CNN would provide him a platform for his noxious views. It’s bad enough that Fox News does, but at least it’s consistent with the rest of their toxic propaganda.

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

WTF? Trump’s Rambling Policy-Free Speech Covered Live By MSNBC – Only

Donald Trump’s campaign promised that his speech today would provide details of his foreign policy agenda. The location he chose for the address was the deck of the USS Iowa battleship currently docked in San Pedro, California. But as usual, Trump arrived, greeted the crowd, and gave his standard stump speech that consisted mainly of glorifying himself and tossing out nearly incoherent, monosyllabic cliches and insults. No doubt his brain-dead fans ate it up.

What was unusual about this speech was that ordinarily all of the cable “news” networks would obediently fall in line to broadcast Trump’s irrelevance and inanity live. That didn’t happen today. Perhaps they are wising up and realizing that Trump has nothing to say and that he has been exploiting them to get free advertising.

So this day marks a milestone for media independence and journalistic discretion. Except for one thing. While CNN aired about a minute of Trump’s speech before cutting away to a panel of pundits, and Fox News ignored the speech entirely, sticking with their regularly scheduled broadcast of Bill O’Reilly, MSNBC cut away from the Rachel Maddow Show and aired Trump’s speech in full and uninterrupted. Yes, MSNBC.

MSNBC Donald Trump

Something is terribly wrong when Fox News employs a more appropriate editorial policy with regard to a Republican candidate than MSNBC. And ironically, throughout most of the segment MSNBC’s graphic read “Trump Gives Major Policy-Free Speech.” Which begs the question: Then why are you airing it? Even Trump recognized the absurdity of the constant live coverage he drew when he said in Alabama last month “Why don’t they just cover me like anybody else where they go the next day and they show little clips? Every time I speak it has to be live? It’s ridiculous.”

Indeed, why don’t they cover him like anybody else? A few weeks ago I wrote a column lambasting all three cable “news” nets for their flagrant whoring to one candidate for the ratings they expect to garnish. But now I fear I must remind the one network that ought to have known better in the first place. So MSNBC, pay attention:

“Even after Trump taunts them about how tightly they are wound around his fat finger, they still bow down to him. Even after he correctly notes that it’s ridiculous, they persist in following him around like lovesick puppies. Even though there is nothing in Trump’s stump speeches that makes them newsworthy, other than some fresh bit of noxious racism or ignorance, his arrogant mugging is carried live. His circus sideshow offers no justification for preempting regular programming to broadcast his ego-ranting as if the fate of the nation depended on it, but they do it anyway. […]

“The media should cover Trump like any other candidate. No more, no less. By arbitrarily providing live broadcasts of only his campaign speeches they are violating their professional duties by serving as the PR team for one candidate. Trump’s public appearances are pep rallies for his own aggrandizement, not news events. […]

“The live coverage needs to stop, or at least be reserved for only events that warrant it for their news value. Absent that, the networks should register as lobbyists for the candidate and be required to report their airtime as in-kind donations […] to benefit a raging demagogue whose primary appeal is that he could spontaneously combust at any moment.”

It’s impossible to say whether CNN and Fox declined to air Trump’s speech out of principle or if they just weren’t in the mood today. We will see what happens when Trump gives his next speech. But MSNBC has got to stop embarrassing themselves by demonstrating lower standards than Fox when it comes to campaign coverage.

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

Foxified: CNN Taps Sarah Palin And Hugh Hewitt For 2016 Campaign Coverage

The decline of CNN has been in progress for several years now. It is a network that is struggling with an acute personality disorder. It wants very badly to emulate the ratings success of Fox News, but it has no idea why Fox is popular. They seem to think it has something to do with presenting a conservative slant on the news. But that is not how Fox became king of the cable news hill.

Fox succeeds by seducing the most extreme right-wing viewers with media trickery that mirrors entertainment programming, such as flashy graphics and audio, manufactured conflict, and soft porn in both their stories and anchors. But CNN’s misunderstanding of these tactics has led them to make glaring mistakes that fail to produce any positive results for their ratings or their journalistic integrity. The latest examples of this doomed strategy include the recent announcement of two conservative mouthpieces who will be featured prominently in their election programming.

Sarah Palin CNN

First we have Sarah Palin. That’s right, having been ditched by Fox News, CNN is throwing her a life preserver and bringing her aboard to provide campaign analysis on this Sunday’s “State of the Union.” It’s hard to imagine what insight they think she will bring to the discussion on presidential politics. Her own experience was fraught with embarrassing episodes that only demonstrated how woefully ill-prepared she was for public service at that level. And since then she has only succeeded in distinguishing herself as an ignorant hack with negligible comprehension of the issues that face the nation. Nevertheless, CNN has tapped her to toss her word salad ravings on their network’s signature political program.

Secondly we have Hugh Hewitt, a starkly partisan wingnut who will be featured on CNN’s Republican debate this month. CNN could have selected actual journalists to pose questions to the candidates, but instead they picked only a stalwart Republican radio talk show host (and no one from the left) who will join CNN’s Jake Tapper.

Of course, conservatives are capable of asking tough questions when they want to. However, when they do they will be insulted and dismissed by the candidates and the GOP constituents. Just ask Megyn Kelly. Hewitt himself is taking heat for an interview he did with Donald Trump that demonstrated how ignorant Trump is on foreign affairs. Typical of Trump, he is now hammering Hewitt for what he calls “gotcha” questions. [Note: To Republicans, gotcha questions are any question they are too dumb to answer] In this case, the real problem for Trump was not whether he had been ambushed, but that his answer was at first a lie, followed by obvious ignorance. Check out the first 30 seconds of this video:

Notice how Trump hesitates and stretches the word “Yeessss” when answering whether he was familiar with Quds leader, Gen. Soleimani. Then he adds “Go ahead. Give me a little…go ahead tell me.” Clearly he was lying when he said he knew who Soleimani is and he employed a childish dodge in order to get Hewitt to inform him. That was confirmed when Hewitt told him that Soleimani “runs the Quds forces,” and Trump responded by saying that “the Kurds had been horribly mistreated by us.” Hewitt immediately corrected him, but Trump continued to dissemble. Why would he bring up the Iraqi Kurds in response to a question about the Iranian Revolutionary Army (Quds)? Well, his explanation later in the day was that he misheard Hewitt and thought that Hewitt said “Kurds.” But if that were true then he was asserting that Soleimani was the Kurdish leader (who is actually Masoud Barzani), proving that he doesn’t know anything about the Quds or the Kurds. In the end, Trump’s answers are proof that his ignorance is insufficient to cover up his lies.

To make matters worse, Trump was asked a question about Soleimani by Bret Baier during the first GOP debate on Fox. His answer then also showed that he had no idea who Soleimani is. And after having been queried on that exact subject during a critical debate he never made an attempt to educate himself.

The fairness and degree of difficulty of Hewitt’s questioning notwithstanding, there is still a problem with CNN placing an overtly partisan person on the panel with no balance. Can you imagine Fox News having a GOP debate and getting Rachel Maddow to moderate? And this isn’t a first for CNN. In the 2012 election cycle they co-hosted their debate with Tea Party Express, an organization that was even snubbed for their corruption within the Tea Party community.

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

What CNN is doing with both Palin and Hewitt can only degrade their teetering reputation further. If there is one thing that American media doesn’t need, it’s another Fox News. The first one is already doing a stellar job of misinforming the public and advancing the agenda of the Republican Party. What’s more, emulating Fox has done nothing for CNN’s ratings. Why should it? Viewers who are in the market for dumbed-down histrionics, Democrat bashing, and a steady diet of right-wing falsehoods, already have a proven provider.

Donald Trump Is Right! The Media Is ‘Ridiculous’ For Covering Him Live

The Doctrine of the Broken Clock has come into play with some recent remarks by Republican front-runner Donald Trump. That is, despite distinguishing himself as being wrong about pretty much everything, he said something that happens to be worth consideration without even knowing it.

Donald Trump

It was at a rally in Alabama (video below) where Trump assumed a mock state of despair and complained that…

“Every time I go on television it’s gotta be live. It’s live. I said ‘Oh, can I have a rest please?’ Tonight it is live on Fox. Who likes Fox? I like Fox. It’s live on CNN. Who likes CNN? And it’s live on MSNBC, right? How come it always has to be live? Why don’t they just cover me like anybody else where they go the next day and they show little clips? Every time I speak it has to be live. It’s ridiculous, but it’s OK. Right? We have to suffer with it.”

Exactly! What is wrong with the media? Even after Trump taunts them about how tightly they are wound around his fat finger, they still bow down to him. Even after he correctly notes that it’s ridiculous, they persist in following him around like lovesick puppies. Even though there is nothing in Trump’s stump speeches that makes them newsworthy, other than some fresh bit of noxious racism or ignorance, his arrogant mugging is carried live. His circus sideshow offers no justification for preempting regular programming to broadcast his ego-ranting as if the fate of the nation depended on it, but they do it anyway. Why?

There is no precedent for how the media is covering this carnival barker. No other candidate gets this much attention. Could it have something to with Trump’s reality show persona, his penchant for dumbfounding soundbites, and the media hunger for ratings? Obviously it does. But none of that falls within even the broadest definition of news, and the media is whoring itself in a quest for ratings and the advertising dollars they bring.

Even Bernie Sanders, who is outperforming Trump by every metric, isn’t treated this way. That’s right, Sanders is beating Trump in head-to-head polling. He is drawing bigger crowds. He has better (i.e. positive) favorability ratings. And while Trump’s popularity is a media-hyped myth created by the quantity of GOP candidates, Sanders is popular with a broad cross-section of the American electorate. What’s more, when Sanders speaks he actually addresses real problems and offers real solutions, as opposed to Trump’s vapid cliches and narcissism. True, Sanders doesn’t have a hat with an asinine slogan on it that bitches about America not being great, but his hair is at least as notorious. Still, no live coverage for him because the press knows that he isn’t likely to start screaming the “N” word or slap an immigrant orphan across the face.

The media should cover Trump like any other candidate. No more, no less. By arbitrarily providing live broadcasts of only his campaign speeches they are violating their professional duties by serving as the PR team for one candidate. Trump’s public appearances are pep rallies for his own aggrandizement, not news events. Even his press conferences have no business getting live coverage. When has the media done that for any other candidate?

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

The live coverage needs to stop, or at least be reserved for only events that warrant it for their news value. Absent that, the networks should register as lobbyists for the candidate and be required to report their airtime as in-kind donations to the campaign. This used to be true mainly for Fox News, but now all the cable news networks are exhibiting the same lack of journalistic ethics to benefit a raging demagogue whose primary appeal is that he could spontaneously combust at any moment.

[Update] As evidence of the faulty priorities of the press, President Obama gave a speech today in New Orleans on the ten year anniversary of Hurricane Katrina that was properly carried live by all three cable news nets. Well, except for Fox News who cut away after less than two minutes. So for a presidential commemoration of an historic event that devastated a major U.S. city, cost the lives of more than 1,800 Americans, and displaced tens of thousands more, Fox News could only spare a little over a minute. But for Trump’s stump speech they stay live for an hour or more.

New Poll Shows 18% Of Republicans Are Ignorant Dupes With Severe Mental Decay

There is much being made about a new CNN poll that shows Donald Trump leading his GOP rivals in the race for the Republican nomination for president. However, there is less substance in these numbers than the media is pretending there is. What is astonishing is just how shallow the media analysis of these polls are. The ranking at which Trump finds himself can easily be explained by the clinical dementia of today’s Republican (Tea) Party. And despite these polls, Trump will never get the nomination or reside in the White House.

trump-house

Let’s take a closer look. Trump currently has 18% of the support of the GOP voters. The truth that everyone is ignoring is that that’s an awfully pitiful expression of support. It means that 82% are not supporting him. Why does anyone in the press think that’s a positive showing?

Nevertheless, the media is heralding Trump as the runaway GOP leader with his measly 18% of support. For perspective, note that Bernie Sanders, in his campaign against Hillary Clinton for the Democratic nomination, is pulling support from 19% of Democratic voters. Yet the press is dismissing him as trailing Clinton badly. So Sanders has more support among Democrats than Trump does among Republicans, but the schizophrenic media declares Sanders a loser and Trump a phenomenon.

This same schizophrenia is shown in how Republican operatives and pundits portray the relationship between the media and the candidates. If Clinton declines to do an interview or makes reporters walk behind a rope line so they don’t interfere with her interactions with voters, she is condemned as being anti-media and disrespectful to the fine men and women of the press who are struggling mightily to bring truth to the American people. But if Trump or any other Republican bashes the press or denies them access (as Trump just did to the Des Moines Register), they are cheered for putting those unethical press weasels in their place.

Getting back to Trump’s placement in the GOP polls, the explanation for it is that there is a demographic in the Republican electorate that can best be described as batshit insane. And Trump has managed to secure a near monopoly on that addle-brained GOP faction. Prior polling has revealed that a significant subsection of the GOP holds some hysterically idiotic views. For instance:

Having established that a fair percentage of Republicans embrace a measure of dumbassedness in frightening proportions, the fact that a particularly knuckleheaded candidate has corralled them into his camp is not especially surprising. In fact, it would be surprising if these dimwits did not coalesce around a similarly daft contender, just as they did in the last election cycle with Michelle Bachmann, Herman Cain, Newt Gingrich, et al.

Consequently, Trump’s confederacy of dunces is sufficient in numbers to rise above his rivals, so long as there’s a lot of them. That’s because when you divide the remaining Republicans who are not wacko-birds (h/t John McCain) among the fifteen other candidates, there aren’t enough of them left to surpass the Trump/crazy constituency. That does not mean that Trump has a commanding lead. It means that there are way too many players on the field diluting the results for each of them. As they whittle down to a more manageable number, the 82% of non-Trump supporters will disperse to other candidates who will then tower over his paltry flock.

While the media is obsessing over the fake Trump “dominance,” they are missing some real news in the same CNN poll. For starters, they missed that Trump has the highest unfavorables of all candidates, Republican and Democratic. Meanwhile, Clinton has the highest favorables of all candidates, Republican and Democratic. Furthermore. Clinton is beating every Republican matched against her (Trump loses by 18 points). And the icing on the cake: Sanders is also beating the Republicans in head-to-head matchups (Trump loses by 20 points).

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

This is what passes for political reporting these days. Is it any wonder that people hold the media in such low esteem? They are littered with lightweights who seem to have no analytical skills or historical memory. If they did they would not be so shocked that a loudmouth buffoon has earned the admiration of the GOP’s most radical, racist, and ignorant bloc of voters, while four out of five of the poll’s Republican respondents reject him.

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

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

Fox News

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Killing Bill O’Reilly: The Fox News Bloviator Calls Everyone Who Is Against Him Poopyheads

The case of the Bill O’Reilly war mythology is continuing, and even heating up, as O’Reilly embarks on a take-no-prisoners mission to exonerate himself and crush his enemies. [Read this if you need to catch up] Unfortunately for him, he is shooting blanks that make a loud noise but fail to inflict any injury on those he is targeting.

Fox News Bill O'Reilly

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On CNN’s Reliable Sources Sunday morning, host Brian Stelter reported that he has statements from six other reporters who covered the Falklands war for CBS and not a single one corroborated O’Reilly’s self-aggrandizing accounts. To the contrary, they repudiated O’Reilly’s ludicrous embellishments entirely.

Stelter interviewed Eric Engberg who was a CBS News correspondent stationed in Argentina at the same time as O’Reilly. Engberg flatly denied O’Reilly’s claims that there was gunfire and people dying all around him in Buenos Aires, which is 1,200 miles from the actual war zone in the Falklands. Engberg also said that O’Reilly lied when he claimed that he was the only CBS correspondent courageous enough to leave the hotel during the demonstrations that followed the Argentine surrender to the UK. According to Engberg and others, there were as many as five reporters with camera crews in the field.

So O’Reilly phoned home (aka Fox News) to defend himself on Howard Kurtz’s MediaBuzz. He immediately set off on a mouth-foaming rant castigating his critics with childish insults and accusations of political and personal motives to destroy him. In his tantrum he called Engberg a coward and even browbeat his colleagues (Kurtz and media critic David Zurawik) interrupting them frequently to belligerently press his case, for which he provided no factual basis other than that his critics were left-wing meanies and thumbsuckers who just don’t like him. This exchange is typical of the tone O’Reilly set during the interview with his Fox associate and defender as represented in this exchange:

Kurtz: [David] Corn has been a Washington reporter for a long time and some people respect his work.
O’Reilly: Who? Name one. [Kurtz giggles] You can’t. He is a hatchet man. You know he is. He’s an aparatchnik (sic) from the far left and all of this is driven … Stelter from CNN … you don’t get more far left than this guy.

No one will be surprised that O’Reilly resorted to name-calling and politically inspired McCarthyism to attempt to demean and dismiss anyone who says something about him that is less than worshipful. But his allegations about Engberg and Stelter are outright delusional and blatantly self-serving. What’s more, his hostility toward Kurtz, who has taken his side during this sordid affair, shows just how desperate he is. For his part, Kurtz was obviously cowed by O’Reilly’s assault. His furtive giggling and acquiescence to O’Reilly’s assertion that, because he wasn’t prepared with a list of Corn’s admirers there must not be any, was almost painful to watch. As was O’Reilly’s blustery defense of himself and conviction that he would do everything the same if he had it to do over:

Kurtz: Seems to me, in my analysis of this, that the Mother Jones piece ultimately, if you boil it down, comes down to this semantic question. You have said you covered a “combat situation” in Argentina during the Falklands war. You’ve said “war zones of Falkland conflict” in Argentina. Looking back do you wish you had worded it differently?
O’Reilly: No! When you have soldiers, military police, firing into the crowd as the New York Times reported, and you have people injured and hurt and you’re in the middle of that, that’s a definition, alright? This is splitting hairs, trying anything they can to bring down me because of the Brian Williams situation.

Yep, as always, it’s all about him. Never mind the facts. And his “definition” of a war zone makes no sense. Policing a demonstration is completely different from combat, even if the demonstration turns deadly. And there is no corroboration of that from his CBS colleagues. O’Reilly cannot produce a single person to validate his story. He is utterly alone in his pompously boastful memories. That makes judging his veracity pretty easy. The one piece of written evidence he cited was a story in the New York Times that described the protests in Buenos Aires. However, the author of that article points out that O’Reilly deceptively edited the portion of his story that he read on the air.

As an example of O’Reilly’s hilariously twisted recollection, he told Kurtz that Engberg’s dispute was due to the fact that “he wasn’t there.” And O’Reilly knows this because when he left the hotel Engberg was still there. And when he returned in the evening Engberg was also there. Obviously, therefore, Engberg never left the hotel. In O’Reilly’s shrunken brain Engberg could not possibly have left after O’Reilly, spent the day reporting in the field, and returned before him.

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Fox Nation vs. Reality: The Fox News Cult of Ignorance.
Available now at Amazon.

In the end, this latest episode in O’Reilly’s media campaign to exonerate himself fell flat. He offered no proof of any of the controversial remarks he has made and they have all been refuted by others on the scene. He launched a shock and awe attack on his critics who have no ax to grind. All he did was cement the impression of him as a bully and a blowhard who demands that the world love him as much as he does. This isn’t going to go away any time soon, and O’Reilly can’t pay off his accusers as he did with Andrea Mackris, the O’Reilly Factor producer he sexually harassed. You can read more about that in this 2004 Washington Post article written by – – Howard Kurtz.

UPDATE (2/24/2015): Obviously O’Reilly thinks this a potentially damaging issue. For the second consecutive day O’Reilly spent much of his program defending himself. He played segments of the original video provided by CBS from Buenos Aires in 1982. Nothing he aired corroborated his account of people dying or his reputed acts of heroism. And his latest defense never addressed his false claims to have been in an “active war zone.” But one thing the video did do is prove that O’Reilly lied when he said that he was the only CBS correspondent courageous enough to leave the hotel to report the demonstrations. The video shows three other reporters doing remotes: Eric Engberg, Charles Gomez, and Bob Schieffer.

In other news, O’Reilly had an exchange with a reporter from the New York Times that ended with him threatening her saying that if he was unhappy with the story “I am coming after you with everything I have. You can take it as a threat.” And that’s a perfect illustration of how O’Reilly, and Fox News generally, deal with criticism.

The Fox News Primary: CNN On Kissing Rupert’s Ring And Other Body Parts

Sunday morning’s media analysis program on CNN, Reliable Sources, aired a segment (video below) that exposed the overtly partisan promotion of Republican candidates on Fox News. The obvious biases that infect the network’s programming have long been known to anyone paying attention, and the necessity to win the favor of the Fox Politburo is unquestioned.

Fox News Primary

Host Brian Stelter introduced the segment saying…

“Will those two guys, Fox News president Roger Ailes and his boss Rupert Murdoch, be picking your next president? It may sound ridiculous. It may sound like some liberal conspiracy theory. But there’s no disputing that they have real power in the GOP primary.”

That’s an understatement. Not only is Fox News a real power in the GOP primary proper, they often launch candidates from among their own employees. Just looking at the 2016 presidential cycle, Fox vets Mike Huckabee, Ben Carson, Sarah Palin, Donald Trump, John Bolton, Rick Santorum and John Kasich have all indicated an interested in running. And most of the other prospective candidates (i.e. Ted Cruz, Marco Rubio, Rand Paul, Bobby Jindal, Rick Perry, and Paul Ryan) have staked out territory on Fox’s air on a regular basis. This led Stelter’s guest, Gabriel Sherman, author of the Ailes bio The Loudest Voice in the Room, to say…

“Without a question Roger Ailes controls the largest block of reliable Republican voters. They watch Fox News. They turn out in large numbers on primary day. And the candidates are already kissing the ring.”

For some evidence of the influence imposed by Fox, News Corpse reported this week that Mitt Romney’s departure from the race likely received more than a little push from Rupert Murdoch, whose anti-Romney stance was expressed publicly on more than one occasion. Stelter also noticed Murdoch’s remarks and coyly called it “purely coincidental.” Nevertheless, when the Fox News media analysis program, MediaBuzz with Howard Kurtz, reported on Romney bailing out, they laughably portrayed it as being the result of some ambiguous, negative media coverage, with an on-screen graphic reading “Did The Media Sink Romney?”

Yeah right. No mention of Romney’s negative coverage on Fox. Likewise, no mention of the disparaging comments by Murdoch, or Sean Hannity, or numerous other Tea Party mouthpieces on Fox. Not surprisingly, a conservative guest on Reliable Sources, the Daily Caller’s Matt Lewis, dismissed any talk of influence on the part of Fox News. He would have to be seriously oblivious to reality in order believe that or to say…

“In terms of them having some sort of conspiracy to help boost one candidate or another – I mean look, if they had their way the Republican Party would be a pro-immigration reform party right now.”

Lewis must not watch very much Fox News if he hasn’t seen the Republican fluffing that goes on hour after hour. And to suggest that the network that continues to use the word “illegals” in reference to undocumented residents, even after most reputable news organizations have abandoned it (including the Fox Latino website), shows just how warped his view of the network is. Fox News is unashamedly hostile to immigration reform, as well as to immigrants, and so are most of the GOP candidates.

For the next year and a half Fox News will continue to work on behalf of the Republican Party. They are already in league with the Republican National Committee’s plans for primary debates. And during the general election Fox will openly promote the GOP candidate and lie shamelessly about the Democrat. It’s what they do. And the parade of GOP hopefuls kowtowing to Ailes and Murdoch know all too well how important it is to kiss their rings, and other body parts as required.

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