Almost since its inception Fox News has confused the role of television journalist with that of televangelist. Their anchors and guests routinely veer away from reporting to the advocacy of what they regard as Christian values and dogma. If they aren’t waging battle in the War on Christmas, they are admonishing President Obama and others for not being sufficiently pious. Any perceived slight of religion by not saying “God” enough times in a speech or committing the sin of showing respect for the diversity of faith in America, is evidence of covert Satanism.
Today Fox News published an op-ed by Dan Gainor, the Vice President for Business and Culture of the ultra-rightist Media Research Center, with the title, “Reverend Al Sharpton expels God in MSNBC promo sermon.”
Umm…What is a “promo sermon?” The video clip to which Gainor is referring is actually an advertisement for Al Sharpton’s program on MSNBC. It is no more a sermon than the familiar program interruptions that compel you purchase hamburgers or Viagra (although some of them can seem kinda preachy). Gainor’s characterization of the ad as a sermon exposes his own twisted analysis of media.
The specific complaint Gainor has is that Sharpton left out the words “under God” in a part of the promo that quoted from the Pledge of Allegiance. Sharpton said…
“We must have a renewed fight for many of the things we fought for. Because voting rights, and women’s rights, and the rights of people against discrimination, whether they’re African-American, Latino, lesbian and gay, must be protected, until we have a nation that is really living up to the creed of one nation, indivisible, with liberty and justice for all. Not all of one kind. But all.”
So F**king What?
Gainor objected feverishly that Sharpton had not accurately quoted the Pledge. However, Sharpton left out almost all of the Pledge, including the part that said “I pledge allegiance to the flag of the United States of America, and to the republic for which it stands…” Gainor didn’t seem to be the least bit upset about those omissions.
In fact, Sharpton only included the parts of the Pledge that directly related to the point he was making about the diversity of the American people and how they all need to be treated equally under the law. And no matter how obsessed Gainor is with proselytizing his faith, this was still just a TV commercial and not a sermon. It is typical for the far-right martinets of virtue to impose their perception of God on the rest of the country, but to turn a marketing promotion into a religious screed borders on the surreal. In America we do not worship via the solicitations that come in between programs on television. Unless, of course it’s for Goldline or Exxon or some false prophet being promoted by Fox News.
In a Fox News op-ed, Dan Gainor, of the uber-conservative Media Research Center, hurled some disparaging and nearly incoherent insults at Touré, one of the hosts of MSNBC’s The Cycle.
Gainor took issue with a commentary Touré delivered (video below) about the GOP’s unfounded and politically-motivated attack on UN ambassador Susan Rice. Touré made some rather cogent points about the spectacle Rice’s critics, particularly Sen. John McCain, were making over a manufactured controversy. McCain and others seem feverishly obsessed with Amb. Rice’s comments on a number of Sunday news programs regarding Benghazi. Any fair observer would have to recognize that what Rice said was provided to her by intelligence authorities and was the best information available (or permitted to be disclosed) at the time. But fair observation is not the business that Gainor and the MRC are in.
Gainor’s tirade was topped with a headline that read “MSNBC Anchor Touré makes shameful attack on McCain.” What constitutes shamefulness to Gainor is hard to figure. His specific complaints were that Touré was playing the “race card” in his remarks. But Gainor’s examples were not the least bit focused on race. For instance, Gainor cited Touré saying that McCain…
“…gave us the horrible optics of he and Lindsey Graham as old, white, establishment folks wrongly and repeatedly attacking a much younger black woman moments after an election in which blacks and women went strongly blue.”
Gainor’s shallow grasp of the English language resulted in his interpreting that as a racial criticism of McCain. However, the rest of the English speaking world would notice that Touré was speaking about the “optics” of the criticism, not whether there was any actual racism involved. Touré was plainly addressing the potential harm for the Republican Party in being perceived as insensitive to racial and gender issues by repeatedly attacking minorities and women. That’s not an accusation of racism or sexism, it is an acknowledgement that the subjects of such attacks might be less likely to support those who make the attacks. That’s not only common sense, it is precisely what occurred on election day a couple of weeks ago. And to affirm how cognitively-challenged Gainor is, he added this as further evidence of Touré’s alleged race-baiting:
“Never one to ignore a chance to paint all Republicans as racist, he added one more dig: ‘Looks like the GOP is already laying the foundation for losing in 2016.’”
How is that one more “dig” that paints anyone as racist? If anything, it is one more affirmation that Touré was speaking only about political matters. Nevertheless, Gainor is determined to turn this into a “shameful” racial affair. With that purpose in mind Gainor reached back to a September column wherein Touré wrote “Part of my job when I speak about politics is to speak up for black people and say things black people need said.” If Gainor thinks that that is shameful, he needs an EKG EEG stat, because there is good reason to suspect that there is no brain activity going on his head. The reason that it is important to have diversity in the media is precisely because it provides perspectives that otherwise would not be represented. Our media is enhanced by the inclusion of minorities and women who say the things that these previously excluded members of society need said.
Notwithstanding the fact that Gainor’s tantrum over Touré’s commentary was ridiculous and he failed to identify anything remotely racial about it, Fox News is demonstrably racist and the evidence of that is in its coverage. While it may be too broad to say that Fox’s attacks on Amb. Rice alone constitute racism, take a look at some of the most prominent targets of Fox’s smear machine and ask yourself what they have in common:
That pretty much says it all. If Touré had wanted to make an issue of racism, he would have plenty of evidence.
It may seriously be time to have the folks at Fox committed to an institution for evaluation. They have become utterly unhinged, particularly with regard to election polling which is notoriously volatile. So without further ado, here’s a graphic illustration of the depths of their dementia.
Then Fox News hates polls and banishes them when Obama surges into the lead:
Then Fox News loves polls again when Romney gets a post-debate bump:
They are leading their audience on a roller coaster ride of propaganda and censorship as they shift from celebrating positive electoral news to suppressing the negative. Fox is so determined to shut out anything that might challenge their delusions that they even fail to report their own Fox News polls if Obama is ahead.
That’s how important it is to them to make sure their audience remains ignorant. And all the while they seem to think that it’s liberals who are fooling themselves.
The article above was written by Dan Gainor of the uber-conservative Media Research Center. The MRC recently launched a campaign to get people to stop watching what they call the “mainstream” media which, of course, doesn’t include Fox News, the highest rated cable news network. That’s really just a campaign to put blinders on the eyes of their right-wing disciples to keep them from being tainted by honest journalism and diverse opinions.
It’s ironic that Gainor is criticizing liberals for disparaging a poll when conservatives are the ones that are totally blocking out any polls they don’t happen to like. They spent hours on the air alleging that the media is deliberately skewing the polls. But what’s worse is that Gainor is making up his allegation that liberals attacked the Pew poll. There is nothing in his article that supports that charge. In fact, quite the contrary. While Gainor cited the Daily Beast’s Andrew Sullivan and the New York Times’ Nate Silver, neither of them criticized Pew’s survey. And Gainor thoroughly misrepresented the column by Joshua Holland of Alternet saying that Holland’s column “could be summed up in one word: disbelieve!” For the record, here is what Holland had to say about whether the Pew poll should be dismissed:
“No. That’s making the same fundamental error as the “poll truthers” on the right. [...] Good polls using industry standard methodology can and do find wide variation in party ID – leave the trutherism to the nutjobs at Fox News.”
At no point did Holland say to “disbelieve” Pew or any other poll. In fact, his column is a great resource for understanding and evaluating polling in their proper context and is highly recommended reading. It offers a calm and sane approach to analyzing news, as opposed to the feverish ravings of the FoxPods who accuse all of the media of skewing all of the polls – that is, until the polls favor their candidate.
The only thing Gainor’s article does is affirm the dishonesty of the right and their obsessive determination with controlling the thinking of their cultish followers. His fabrications are surely part of the reason that readers and viewers of Fox News are so lost in a muddle of conflicting fantasies. Generally when someone is this detached from reality they are taken somewhere where they cannot present a risk to themselves or others. Unfortunately, these deluded souls are still allowed to drive automobiles and, worse, to vote.
Last week the results of a study were released that measured the public’s perception of incivility in the media. Not surprisingly, Fox News had the honor of being viewed as the most uncivil news network.
This in itself is hardly news. What is immensely more interesting is that Fox News is actually proud of their exceptional rudeness. Today Fox News published an editorial by the uber-rightist Media Research Center’s VP of Business and Culture, Dan Gainor. The article took exception to remarks by President Obama’s political adviser, David Axelrod, who came out in opposition to hecklers and other rude behavior intended to disrupt campaign speeches. Axelrod said…
“I strongly condemn heckling along Mitt’s route. Shouting folks down is their tactic, not ours. Let voters hear both candidates and decide.”
Axelrod was speaking to fellow Democrats and admonishing them to refrain from the sort of vulgarities that too often mar appearances by candidates from either side. He even went so far as to say that, even if Republicans employ these tactics, polite Democrats ought not to. So how was this plea for civility received by Gainor?
He immediately mocked the left as “the party of Occupy Wall Street fanatics [and] gay glitter bombers,” and assailed them for their “Alinsky-esque tactics.” He embarked on a rant blaming Democrats for every instance of poor behavior, while dismissing any rudeness by Republicans, including the recent episode where a Daily Caller “reporter” interrupted a presidential address.
Then, inexplicably, Gainor went off on a tangent where he seemed to cease to understand what heckling is. Amongst those he accused of being hecklers were Occupy protesters who objected to police abuse, journalists who complained when they were prohibited from covering a public event, and audience members who expressed disapproval of a speaker’s comments.
In conclusion, Gainor asserted that “Axelrod and the left are scared. They saw that Romney fought hard against opponents in the primary,” and he promised that Republicans would fight back. He growled that “if Obama can’t cage his lefty animals, the GOP will respond in kind. You’d think Axelrod would like it.”
That’s the right’s response to a top Obama adviser declaring that all of the childish heckling and rudeness, no matter what side, is inappropriate and should stop. Axelrod even used the word “condemn” to describe his feeling on the matter. Yet Gainor comes away from that statement with the impression that Axelrod “likes” public vulgarity.
It is that sort of incoherent reasoning that makes it nearly impossible to deal with narrow-minded ideologues like Gainor. And it explains why most people surveyed view Fox News as the most uncivil network in the news business. What was unexpected was that Fox would publish an editorial essentially bragging about being more repulsive than any other kid on the block. OK, Fox…you win. Congratulations.
Ordinarily Fox News is the strongest advocate on behalf of the Greedy One Percent (GOP). They fiercely defend the the privileged class that they have endearingly tagged “job creators” (although that is far from true). They relentlessly oppose efforts to reform the tax code into something more equitable. And even though billionaires like Warren Buffet and Bill Gates agree that people like themselves are not paying a fair share, Fox News shouts nonsense about a class war that they invented.
But nothing comes as close to psychotic derangement as the right’s obsessive hatred of George Soros (except maybe Saul Alinsky and President Obama). In today’s FoxNews.com opinion section is an editorial titled: George Soros — the rich man who is hated around the world. What’s really interesting about this column is that the author, Dan Gainor of the uber-conservative Media Research Center, is actually correct.
Gainor has done his research and discovered that there are many nations in the world where Soros has cultivated a profound dislike. Gainor even provides a list of some of them. They include: Slovakia, Croatia, Hungary, Romania, and the Soviet Union. The thing that most of these places have in common is that they all suffered under oppressive regimes prior to Soros coming to the aid of the people.
So what we have here is Fox News complaining bitterly that the dictators and communists who were deposed by the freedom-loving citizens of their countries, with help from Soros, do not now regard Soros affectionately. Fox is literally taking the side of the former tyrants who, not surprisingly, are somewhat upset with Soros. By extension we must assume that Gainor would prefer that Soros had minded his own business and let the tyrants continue their rule and their reign of terror.
This is the same sort of deranged thinking that resulted in Fox finding fault with the Seal Team assault on Osama Bin Laden. If Obama had anything to do with it, it must be bad – no matter how good it is. And the same goes for George Soros. So even though Soros helped to defeat the bad guys, the only thing Fox notices is that now all the bad guys hate him, and somehow that make Soros a bad guy.
This twisted criticism, however, is not the only point that Gainor sought to make with his article. He is also emphatically opposed to Soros’ philanthropic activities. Gainor complains that Soros has committed $8 billion to his Open Society Foundation that aids a diverse variety of international charitable organizations. But Gainor sees no irony in the fact that he is the Boone Pickens Fellow at the Media Research Center. That means that his position was endowed by another billionaire who bankrolls international charitable causes. What’s more, the Media Research Center is the beneficiary of millions of dollars from the John Birch Society, the Koch brothers, and the Scaife family foundations – all wealthy philanthropists with designs on influencing the direction of certain nations, particularly the United States. And we can add Rupert Murdoch to that group as his news enterprises are among the biggest customers of the Media Research Center.
Dan Gainor is a profoundly inept critic. He once condemned an imagined conspiracy by Soros and, in the process, implicated himself. He further embarrassed himself recently by declaring that Arianna Huffington is “the most powerful propagandist since a guy named Goebbels.” Then he penned a column upbraiding Rachel Maddow for a mistake made during her program, apparently unfamiliar with the cornucopia of on-air gaffes that Fox News seems to add to daily.
Fox News has made preaching the divinity of capitalism a staple of its programming. And they love nothing more than a wealthy individual who they can promote as proof of their Randian orthodoxy. But whatever you do, do not become a liberal billionaire. Fox has an entirely different standard for those practitioners Satanism. In fact, Fox hates them. What is it that Fox hates about rich people that actually care about people who are not rich?
In a stroke of utter dementia, Fox News has published an editorial taking Rachel Maddow of MSNBC to task for a gaffe during a live broadcast. The author of the column is Dan Gainor of the uber-rightist Media Research Center.
Gainor distinguished himself recently by declaring that Arianna Huffington is “the most powerful propagandist since a guy named Goebbels.” He once condemned an imagined conspiracy by George Soros and, in the process, implicated himself. Gainor may not be the sharpest tool in the shed, but he is a tool.
The problem Gainor has with Maddow concerns a segment on the night of the Iowa caucuses where she read a news item saying that Gov. Gary Johnson, a former GOP candidate for president who has since changed gears to seek the Libertarian Party’s nomination, had abandoned his campaign and decided to throw his support to Ron Paul. As it turns out, that item was a hoax and Maddow quickly corrected the record.
However, this incident has Gainor in such a fever that he composed an editorial castigating Maddow and MSNBC as derelict journalists and he yelps that they “are not newsmen and women. These are Democratic political operatives disguised as TV hosts.” Well, he ought to know. His experience with Fox News is good preparation for recognizing phony journalists. But he never bothers to explain how a botched report about Johnson and Paul is advantageous to Democrats.
Gainor’s umbrage over Maddow’s mistake takes on a surreal hue when compared to the record of incompetence and/or deliberate falsification of the news that is the hallmark of Fox News. Here is just a brief compilation of some their most entertaining blunders:
This is a mere sampling of Fox’s ineptitude. It doesn’t include the many times they have mislabeled Republicans as Democrats, and vice-versa (usually to the detriment of the Democrats). It doesn’t include the affair when Fox was caught reporting a GOP press release as if it were their own news item – complete with the typo that was in the original GOP document. And these examples did not occur in the rush of a live broadcast. They were prepared in advance with plenty of time to review. It got so bad at one point that Fox had to issue a threatening memo to their employees warning them to take greater care or suffer the consequences:
“[E]ffective immediately, Newsroom is going to ‘zero base’ our newscast production. That means we will start by going to air with only the most essential, basic, and manageable elements.”
“Mistakes by any member of the show team that end up on air may result in immediate disciplinary action against those who played significant roles in the ‘mistake chain,’ and those who supervise them. That may include warning letters to personnel files, suspensions, and other possible actions up to and including termination.”
Needless to say, there haven’t been any consequences. The same bumblers continue to foul up at Fox with impunity. The reason for that it is that it’s difficult to enforce a “zero tolerance” policy if the enforcers can’t count up to zero. Also because many of the alleged mistakes were intentional. Fox deliberately falsifies their broadcasts to advance their political agenda. For more evidence, here’s a collection from Fox Nation that are indisputably lies.
For Gainor to write this article, and for Fox to publish it, just shows how far they will go to deceive their audience. There has never been a “news” enterprise that has so brazenly distorted facts for ideological purposes. And if the best they can do to tarnish the reputation of their competitors is a harmless gaffe that occurred on a live broadcast, it only confirms how pitifully unfit they are to be called a news network.
Fox News waited until the last day of 2011 to publish the most absurdly hyperbolic piece of journalistic comedy/trash of the year. And that’s a high bar for Fox.
Dan Gainor is a VP for the Media Research Center, an ultra-conservative operation that exists to bash Democrats and advance the myth that the media is liberal. In an op-ed for Fox, Gainor breaks all records for overstatement and ironic tunnel-blindness. He begins the unintentionally hilarious article by declaring that the…
“Huffington Post, HuffPo, as it is sometimes called, has evolved from a simple news aggregator into one of the most sophisticated propaganda operations the world has ever seen. [...and that Arianna Huffington is...] the most powerful propagandist since a guy named Goebbels.”
That’s the kickoff to Gainor’s Fox News article that castigates Arianna Huffington and the Huffingtong Post as left-wing missionaries of fascism. [This just in: The CEO of Huffington Post/AOL, Tim Armstrong, has contributed the maximum donation this year to the presidential campaign of Mitt Romney.]
It doesn’t get much better after that. Gainor carelessly contradicts one of the primary edicts of conservative free marketing: that Fox News and talk radio are so abundantly successful because the media consuming public prefers the conservative message. He says of Huffington that…
“The site was started by political chameleon Arianna Huffington, who used to be conservative before she discovered it was far more lucrative to be liberal.”
There you have it. Apparently the people do want liberal media. From there Gainor goes into a diatribe against HuffPo that would make a much better tirade were it directed at Fox’s own Fox Nation. It’s astonishing how oblivious he is to the twisted irony of his words. For instance, he wonders aghast that “Everywhere you look on the site, Republicans and conservatives are doing something bad.” Replace “Republicans and conservatives” with “Democrats and liberals” and you have a perfect description of Fox Nation. Then he continues his HuffPo rant…
“The few stories that mention Democrats at all are such puff pieces that most journalists would be embarrassed to be associated with them. One shows a baby putting his hand in Obama’s mouth: ‘Obama Gets A Mouthful,’ readers are told in this thoroughly silly story.”
Indeed. A thoroughly silly story that most journalists would be embarrassed to be associated with. Which must be why Fox Nation featured it for six days running as their “Pic of the Day.” And their version was adorned by a mocking headline that evokes child abuse and cannibalism. Would they have chosen that imagery for a white president?
But Gainor is clearly unaware that he is insulting the journalistic integrity of his pals at Fox. Just as he is unaware of the similarity of the following invective aimed at HuffPo to the Fox Nation business model:
“Of course, they don’t write it all themselves. The HuffPo staff is masterful at combing the internet for stories and digging through them for one nugget that makes their point. They write a couple graphs about the nugget, package it with a sometimes huge headline and a stock photo and, voila, their work is done.”
That’s Fox Nation in a wing-nutshell. Except that they write none of it themselves. Every single article on Fox Nation is merely a reference and a link to some other (usually brazenly biased) source. And often its presentation is overtly dishonest as demonstrated here. And Gainor isn’t through yet.
“But the site doesn’t work if it doesn’t generate traffic. After all, Americans aren’t forced to read Arianna’s propaganda. So it’s filled with sex, more sex, comedy and enough other trash to keep people visiting.”
You mean like this? I took a look at Fox Nation’s “Pic of the Day” for just this year and found an abundance of evidence that they are obsessed with naked women, particularly their breasts.
And being a young blonde in a short skirt appears to be a prerequisite to be a female reporter on Fox News. Just ask Megyn Kelly, Martha MacCallum, Shannon Bream, Gretchen Carlson, Monica Crowley, Ainsley Earhardt, Courtney Friel, Alisyn Camerota, Molly Line, Molly Henneberg, Julie Banderas, and Steve Doocy. [Oops. I have to scratch one of those. Julie Banderas is not a blonde].
For Gainor to use an editorial on Fox News as a platform to gripe about the Huffington Post being a liberally-slanted web site is an Olympian feat of hypocrisy. But for him to venture off into Nazi references is offensive in the extreme. Arianna Huffington is not responsible for the slaughter of millions of innocents and the comparison to Hitler’s regime trivializes the horror that was the Holocaust. Furthermore, his assessment of HuffPo as biased is an affirmation of acute self-delusion. He is so altogether unaware of his perversion of reality that he can utter this phrase about HuffPo without meaning it sarcastically: “It’s also unmatched on the right.”
Unmatched on the right? Certainly Gainor has read Fox Nation. He is also presumably aware of The Daily Caller, The Blaze, BigGovernment, Townhall, National Review, Weekly Standard, Drudge Report, RedState, WorldNetDaily, Washington Times, NewsMax, and many more.
Gainor’s editorial is typical of the ignorance-inducing disinformation that is the hallmark of Fox News and his own Media Research Center (publisher of the reprehensible net newsrag, NewsBusters). He launches odious insults, accuses his targets of improprieties that he engages in himself, and ignores obvious information if it contradicts his predetermined conclusions. And all of this intellectual mendacity comes together at the start of a new year as if to christen 2012 for a journey to new and more loathsome states of dishonesty and thought control.
The ultra-rightist Media Research Center has just completed its four part series purporting to reveal the truth about the George Soros domination of the media. The series was authored by the MRC’s Boone Pickens Fellow, Dan Gainor. The first three parts of Gainor’s project were laughably muddled dissertations on an imagined world ruled by the omnipotent Soros.
The allegations submitted thus far put Soros at the helm of a network of dozens of “major media organizations” with a reach of over 300 million people worldwide. The only problem with Gainor’s theory is that he never proves any it. The entire series is based on phony assumptions, ludicrous extrapolations and tangential associations. For instance, Gainor’s idea of a major media organization is the Center for Investigative Reporting, which is not exactly the New York Times or CNN. What’s more, it is also supported by Rupert Murdoch, whose Times of London is a CIR affiliate. Gainor also lists NPR as beholden to Soros despite the fact that his total contribution to the radio network amounted to a mere fraction of 1% of NPR’s receipts.
The fourth chapter of this faulty thesis runs farther off the rails than the three that preceded it. It focuses almost entirely on Fox News as a victim of leftist hostility. The opening paragraph attempts to belittle criticism of Fox News but actually defines it pretty well.
“To hear the left tell it, Fox News has a ‘history of inciting Islamophobia and racial and ethic animosity’ and tries to ‘race bait its viewers.’ One staffer is called a ‘hit man,’ while his network is accused of ‘attack politics.’ A highly questionable study is hyped by numerous outlets claiming that it ‘confirms that Fox News makes you stupid.’ Fox is called simply: ‘The Liars’ Network.’”
That’s all pretty much true. Fox does have a history of lying, inciting racism, and engaging in attack politics. But one of the items enumerated above hits close to home here at News Corpse. Gainor’s reference to the study that “Fox News makes you stupid” was linked to an article I wrote that was re-published by Alternet. It reported the results of a University of Maryland survey that showed that Fox viewers were significantly more misinformed than consumers of other news sources.
Consequently, Gainor is now alleging that I am part of the Soros-Funded Echo Chamber. To that accusation I would just like to say: “I Wish!”
As usual, Gainor’s logic is riddled with nonsense. His attempt to tie me to this supposed Soros plot demonstrates how far he has strayed from reality. And because he cannot produce an actual link between me and Soros (because there are none), he settles for the connection to Alternet. Then he attaches Alternet to the Soros empire by virtue of their membership in The Media Consortium, which has received donations from Soros. However, the Consortium is a trade association whose members are not beneficiaries of Soros. To the contrary, they pay to belong. Gainor’s argument against my article is summed up in a “disclaimer” he extracted, minus the context, from the study:
“This suggests that misinformation cannot simply be attributed to news sources, but are part of the larger information environment that includes statements by candidates, political ads and so on.”
That statement affirms the integrity of the study that Gainor, nevertheless, disputes. However, the study’s researchers did not insert it to refute their own findings. Whatever effect the statements of candidates and political ads had on viewers, that effect would have been produced across the board, not just at Fox. Yet the study’s results unequivocally show Fox viewers as being the most misinformed even considering the “larger information environment”.
Gainor cites as further evidence of the Soros-left’s assault on Fox News that the blog ThinkProgress“slammed Fox more than 30 times in six months.” No, really? When you calculate that down it comes to one slam per week. If you ask me, that’s a fairly restrained schedule of slamming because Fox broadcasts dishonest, partisan attacks on Democrats and progressives numerous times every day. If ThinkProgress reported on Fox smears only once a day that would come to 180 times in six months. How on earth did they keep it down to 30? I’m gonna have to call them on the Soros Hot Line we’ve all been issued and ask them why they’ve been slacking off.
There is a sublime irony in the primary objective of Gainor’s poorly reasoned treatise. While harboring a compulsive obsession with Soros as a left-wing financier of partisan media (which he never proves), he exhibits a severe blindness to his own rabid partisanship. The media analysis organization for whom he produced this paper is itself funded by right-wing media barons like Richard Mellon Scaife and the Koch brothers (through their Claude R. Lambe Charitable Foundation). His articles were dutifully re-published by Rupert Murdoch’s Fox News and Fox Nation. And his position at the MRC was endowed by oil billionaire T. Boone Pickens.And let’s not forget that it was Murdoch who donated a million dollars to the Republican Governor’s Association and another million to right-wing Chamber of Commerce.
What Gainor imagines to be a leftist cabal determined to bring down Fox News and advocate on behalf of progressive ideology is nothing more than like-minded authors and activists pursuing an agenda in which they believe. The left doesn’t need Soros to slam Fox. We are fully capable of recognizing unethical journalism on our own and taking action independently.
Much of the rest of America is starting to take action as well. The results of the latest Nielsen ratings book for May 2011, show that viewers are turning off Fox News in growing numbers. That isn’t Soros’ fault – or mine either (though I like to think I played a role). It is the result of Fox’s repeated deceptions and overt advocacy of GOP doctrine. Their decision to flaunt an editorial bias rather than engage in honest journalism is the cause of their problems in the ratings and amongst critics.
So despite Gainor’s delusional paranoia, there is no Soros-funded echo chamber. We are not a zombie horde prowling the conservative mediasphere. Nothing like that exists. You can’t prove it. We are a figment of your demented imagination. However, we are coming to get you, Dan. And your little Fox News too. Be afraid.
The uber-conservative Media Research Center has been fixated lately on a pathetic “study” of the media reach of George Soros. The author, Dan Gainor, may be one of the most ineffectual researchers to ever publish on the InterTubes. The product of his research seems more like a symptom of the debilitating syndrome that hobbles many of his ilk, OCD: Obsessive Conservative Disorder. The latest chapter is the third of a four-part series. Let’s re-cap:
In Part One, Gainor introduced his premise that George Soros “has ties to more than 30 mainstream news outlets.” He never documented any ties other than some donations to charitable organizations, none of which were major news outlets. There were some non-profit institutions that focus on journalism, but even in those examples Gainor didn’t explain how Soros’ donations would have given him any control over them. Neither did he cite any evidence that the organizations were influenced by Soros’ donations.
In Part Two, Gainor claimed to expose millions of dollars of influence peddling by Soros to media enterprises. For the most part it was a rehashing of Part One. The new information turned out to reveal that the organizations Gainor disparaged for their connection to Soros were also connected to right-wing billionaires like Rupert Murdoch and T. Boone Pickens. Gainor himself is the Boone Pickens Fellow at the Media Research Center.
Now, in Part Three, Gainor asserts that Soros-funded media “reach more than 330 million people around the globe.” Again, he never reveals how he arrived at that calculation. He merely cites a few examples that figure into the total without actually adding it up. And his examples are hysterically misconstrued. For instance, Gainor cites a $1.8 million contribution to NPR. That would represent a fraction of 1% of NPR’s funding, not exactly enough to wield much influence. And then Gainor frantically reports that…
“Soros funds nearly every major left-wing media source in the United States. Forty-five of those are financed through his support of the Media Consortium. That organization ‘is a network of the country’s leading, progressive, independent media outlets.’”
Did you get that? Nearly every major left-wing media source in the United States! Really? The forty-five that Gainor mentions as receiving funding via their membership in the Media Consortium actually receive nothing for their membership. In fact, they pay the Consortium to belong.
However, I think I discovered the real reason Gainor has been hammering on this. The Media Research Center is now featuring an ad that asks “Help us expose George Soros.”
“Left-wing billionaire George Soros has undertaken a war on conservative media to make it easier to spread his anti-American views, and the liberal media are his willing accomplices.”
The MRC says that if you make a donation today your donation will be matched dollar-for-dollar. Will those matching funds come from a right-wing billionaire who has undertaken a war on liberal media? I don’t know. They don’t say where the money will come from. But we do know that the MRC is funded by Pickens and another media billionaire, Richard Mellon Scaife. We also know that they have partnered with Rupert Murdoch’s Fox News whose former managing editor, Brit Hume, considered them indispensable.
So perhaps this is just a symptom of another sort of OCD: Obtain Conservative Donations.
Last week Fox News published an article by Dan Gainor of the ultra-rightist Media Research Center that purported to reveal a web of connections between George Soros and the mainstream media. The article failed completely in its mission. As I wrote last week:
“On the Fox News web site today, Dan Gainor, a VP at the ultra-conservative Media Research Center, wrote an op-ed that asked, ‘Why Don’t We Hear About Soros’ Ties to Over 30 Major News Organizations?’ The answer, as it turns out, is because there aren’t any such ties. [...] Gainor has utterly failed to support his thesis. Not only does Soros have no control over these organizations, but they aren’t even the big media powers Gainor describes them as.”
Today Fox News published part two of Gainor’s series. Not only did he continue to fire blanks, he actually revealed information that implicates the right in a vast media conspiracy.
Most of part two was a rehashing of part one with even fewer specifics. The threads in the alleged web Gainor is weaving merely tie Soros to some media organizations that are also funded by many other people and groups who seek to advance the state of independent journalism. And while pointing out the connections, Gainor never discloses anything sordid resulting from them. There isn’t even a hint of some effort to slant their reporting or engage in biased coverage. So the only conclusion is that Soros donated money to a number of reputable organizations that have demonstrated their integrity and that Gainor is apparently opposed to that, as are most conservatives. The last thing they want is news that is truly fair and balanced.
One area where he provided some new information was in identifying a few more of the “major” news organizations for whom Soros is supposedly the puppet master. There is just one thing wrong with these revelations. They are also affiliated with news organizations on the right:
The Center for Investigative Reporting lists Rupert Murdoch’s Times of London as an affiliate.
The Center for Public Integrity is connected to the Associated Press, of which Murdoch is a member of the board of directors.
The Lens is affiliated with WVUE-TV in New Orleans, a FOX affiliate.
The Texas Tribune’s founding investor was T. Boone Pickens.
That last affiliation is particularly notable because Gainor is the “Boone Pickens Fellow” for the Media Research Center, and that Pickens himself is an MRC trustee. So Gainor’s job at the MRC was endowed by the same man who bankrolled one of the media enterprises connected to Soros and that Gainor says is irredeemably leftist.
Uh oh. That means that Gainor himself is connected to Soros and this whole series of articles must be a plot orchestrated by Pickens, Murdoch, Soros, and probably President Obama and the Muslim Brotherhood. Be afraid.
On the Fox News web site today, Dan Gainor, a VP at the ultra-conservative Media Research Center, wrote an op-ed that asked, “Why Don’t We Hear About Soros’ Ties to Over 30 Major News Organizations?” The answer, as it turns out, is because there aren’t any such ties. In the opening paragraph Gainor writes that Soros…
“…has ties to more than 30 mainstream news outlets – including The New York Times, Washington Post, the Associated Press, NBC and ABC.”
Then Gainor fails to provide a single piece of evidence that Soros is connected to any of those enterprises. The article is a hodge-podge of guilt-by-association assertions that are held together by the thinnest of threads.
Rather than support his headlined accusation, Gainor offers as examples of Soros’ omnipotent influence the fact that he has donated to a few independent, non-profit institutions that focus on journalism. The organizations he chose to pick on are ProPublica, the Center for Public Integrity, and the Center for Investigative Reporting. These groups have indeed received donations from Soros, as well as many other donors. Soros has no executive control of any of them. But more to the point, these groups hardly qualify as being “major news organizations.”
Gainor’s problem with these groups, other than that they were beneficiaries of Soros’ generosity, is that they have some working journalists serving as board members or advisors. Perhaps Gainor would prefer that media foundations put more banking and oil executives on their boards. The wild-eyed players that Gainor is so disturbed by include rabid partisans like David Gergen and Christiane Amanpour. And, again, Soros has no influence over these individuals or whether they accept invitations to serve on foundation boards.
Gainor has utterly failed to support his thesis. Not only does Soros have no control over these organizations, but they aren’t even the big media powers Gainor describes them as. However, Gainor’s column appeared on the web site of a bona fide major news organization: Fox News. And the owner of Fox News, Rupert Murdoch, also has control over an empire of media enterprises including the Wall Street Journal, the New York Post, Dow Jones NewsWire, and BSkyB, Europe’s biggest satellite television provider. What’s more, Murdoch is also on the board of directors of the Associated Press, another bona fide big media player.
Finally, it should be noted that Gainor’s own employer, the Media Research Center, is funded by foundations run by right-wing media baron Richard Mellon Scaife. It is also closely tied to Murdoch’s Fox News. When former Fox anchor and managing editor, Brit Hume, accepted an award from the MRC, he thanked them…
“…for the tremendous amount of material that the Media Research Center provided me for so many years when I was anchoring Special Report, I don’t know what we would’ve done without them. It was a daily buffet of material to work from, and we certainly made tremendous use of it.”
So, as usual, the allegations levied by the right turn out to be the very same improprieties they are guilty of themselves. Some things never change.
[Update]Media Matters reveals that Dan Gainor is “the Boone Pickens Fellow” for MRC, and that Pickens himself is an MRC trustee. Pickens is also a major player in the natural gas industry, which ProPublica has reported on and exposed for its grim environmental record. Funny that Fox News failed to disclose the conflict of interest in which Gainor is engaging by attacking ProPublica for its coverage of Pickens’ business.
Also, Glenn Beck referenced this article on his television program today and completely misstated its contents. He said that Soros funds ABC, CBS, and the Koch brothers. Not only is that not what the article says, it’s downright insane. Or in other words, typical Beck.