Fox News White House Correspondent Steps In A Big Pile Of It

So Fox News wants to be taken seriously as a credible news organization? If that’s true, then why do they keep destroying their own credibility with stunts like this:

Fox News - Wendell Goler
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During the daily briefing yesterday, Wendell Goler, Fox’s White House correspondent, took the opportunity to ask press secretary Jay Carney if he would “comment on Ezra Klein’s book indicating that the President has agreed to support his former Secretary of State in 2016?” Carney answered that he was not aware of the book, and with good reason. Ezra Klein has never written the book that Goler described.

What Goler was apparently referring to was the book “The Amateur” by wackadoodle Obama-hater and Clinton conspiracy nut Edward Klein. Ordinarily, it should be a forgivable offense to verbally mangle a couple of similar names, but the problem here is that even if Goler had gotten the name right, it was an utterly inappropriate source to cite in the White House press room.

Ed Klein is a certifiable nutcase who has proffered some of the most inane theories and accusations this side of the Weekly World News. He is a proud and persistent birther. He alleged that Bill Clinton had raped his wife Hillary, whom he believes is a lesbian. All these fantastical delusions and more were advanced by Klein without evidence or named sources. His books have been denounced by critics across the political spectrum.

Nevertheless, this is the cretin who Goler actually intended to cite as his source for some secret deal between Obama and Clinton for future political office. That information by itself would not be particularly surprising, but Klein’s version comes complete with a bucket load of melodrama and personal animus between the parties.

What’s more, the book containing this news bite is more than a year old. It has only come back into discussion because this week marks the release of the paperback edition. So what we have here is Fox News raising the issue to support the marketing campaign of a year-old book that was ridiculed when originally released in hard cover.

It would be one thing if Fox merely had Klein on Sean Hannity’s program to discuss the book (which they did), but to feed this thinly veiled advertisement into the media via their primary White House reporter is unconscionable. It is demeaning to the reporter who now appears to be no more than a pitchman for a disreputable product. Nice work, Fox.

Why Is Fox News Attacking Ben Gazzara?

In the past few weeks Fox News has been on an all-consuming rant that defies logic and insults the intelligence of the American people. On an almost 24/7 basis, Fox has broadcast hundreds of false and disparaging reports with little substance and zero evidence. And all of this to vilify a respected man who has given much to his country.

Ben Gazzara was an actor best known for the 1960′s TV series “Run for Your Life.” He was also acclaimed in films such as “Husbands,” “Saint Jack,” and “They All Laughed.” He made 38 movies and worked with many of Hollywood’s biggest stars and directors. He was honored by prestigious nominations for Emmys and Golden Globes. He originated the role of Brick Pollitt in the Broadway production of “Cat On A Hot Tin Roof.” Gazzara passed away earlier this year of pancreatic cancer.

This makes it all the more curious why Fox News would embark on shrill campaign to stain the memory of this beloved American icon. They have featured hundreds of stories alleging malfeasance, deceit, and even treason. The reports were all aired amidst a backdrop of riots, terrorism, and flaming ruins. Somehow Fox even managed to persuade public figures (politicians, pundits, retired military, etc.) to appear and contribute to the smear campaign.

What could possible have driven Fox to attack this fine man so mercilessly/ It is disgraceful and unwarranted and…..

UPDATE: Apparently there has been a small misunderstanding. It seems that Fox News has been reporting on the Libyan town of Benghazi, not actor Ben Gazzara. So…..Never mind.

Actually, there are still some relevant insights in the commentary above. In fact, the entire first paragraph of this article applies perfectly to Fox’s irresponsible reporting on Benghazi. Let’s read it again:

In the past few weeks Fox News has been on an all-consuming rant that defies logic and insults the intelligence of the American people. On an almost 24/7 basis, Fox has broadcast hundreds of false and disparaging reports with little substance and zero evidence. And all of this to vilify a respected man who has given much to his country.

Alone in the media, Fox is trying to elevate a tragic, isolated event into a scandal of gargantuan proportions. They have devoted an inordinate amount of airtime to a story that lacks sufficient facts to draw a conclusion. And then Fox gets pissy because other media isn’t foolish enough to run the same phony story. What’s worse, Fox has shamelessly politicized the tragedy in order to damage President Obama in the midst of the closing days of a heated campaign. The families of the victims have spoken out explicitly requesting that their sorrows not be exploited for political gain:

Ambassador Chris Stevens’ father: “It would really be abhorrent to make this into a campaign issue.”
Navy SEAL Glen Doherty’s mother: “He shouldn’t make my son’s death part of his political agenda.”

Nevertheless, Fox News has jumped on every particle of news no matter how diaphanous. They sensationalize the most specious reports as if they were confirmed as fact. As an example, they trumpeted the release of State Department cables that referenced claims that Al Qaeda had taken responsibility for the Benghazi attacks. However, those cables were never meant to confirm such claims. They were merely reporting an uncorroborated Facebook posting that was later refuted by other agents of Al Qaeda. But for Fox, any nutty assertion on the Internet is golden and true, so long as it reflects badly on President Obama.

Another example is a report by Ed Klein, a thoroughly discredited Obama-hater who writes for the birther web site WorldNetDaily. Fox Nation featured the story this morning. Klein asserts that Hillary Clinton asked Obama for more security, and Obama said no.

Fox Nation

There is not a single nugget of truth anywhere in the story. Klein claims that his source is a legal counsel to Sec. Clinton. Think about that claim. Klein expects us to believe that a representative of Clinton would give sensitive information to a known Obama adversary. Even more unbelievable, it is a legal representative who has ethical obligations not to disclose private information. So this source, according to Klein, has jeopardized not only his allegiance to his boss, but his future in the practice of law. It’s fair to say that this source, in all likelihood, does not exist.

Klein is notorious for making wildly absurd claims without any substantiation. His sources are never revealed or corroborated. Consequently, his writings are nothing more than fables by an overtly partisan, proven liar.

Unfortunately, we will probably have to endure continued false reporting from Fox as they brazenly exploit dead Americans in their effort to help push Romney into the White House. But I would bet that after the election, Fox will suddenly fail to find anything newsworthy about Benghazi – or Fast and Furious, or Solyndra, or any of the other fabricated controversies they have been slinging. The veracity of their reporting on Benghazi is just as blatantly untrue as if it were about Ben Gazzara (R.I.P).

Update: The brilliant Stephen Colbert has perfectly framed the absurdity of how Fox is handling this non-story:

Fox Nation: The Virtual Book Tour For Right-Wing Hacks

What kind of a news enterprise would promote an author with a record of outrageous lies, uncorroborated allegations, and a stream of denouncements from across the political spectrum?

Look no further than the online community for Fox News that is published by a super-secret cabal that refuses to identify their editors: Fox Nation.

The author in this case is Edward Klein. He has spewed more delusional conspiracies and slanderous insults than anyone this side of Glenn Beck. He has called Hillary Clinton a lesbian, Bill Clinton a rapist, and, of course, Obama a Muslim usurper from Kenya. His previous works have been blasted by staunch conservatives like Kathleen Parker, John Podhoretz, and Peggy Noonan, whose Wall Street Journal review described his book as “poorly written, poorly thought, poorly sourced and full of the kind of loaded language that is appropriate to a polemic but not an investigative work.”

However, in the past few days the Fox Nationalists have posted six separate stories based on allegations from Klein’s new book. None of the allegations have been affirmed by any independent source, but they are repeated at Fox Nation as if they were facts. Here is the recent rundown of the phony articles:

Fox Nation

When was the last time Fox Nation featured six stories from any other single source? But now they have posted six articles all based on the same book by a notably disreputable character. That’s a pretty generous contribution of free PR for a marginal author and an untrustworthy collection of hearsay. There are only two reasons why the Fox Nationalists would go to these lengths.

1) The slander proffered by Klein achieves the primary goal of everything on Fox: disparage President Obama. It doesn’t matter if it’s true or even plausible. Just shout as loudly and as often as possible the most asinine garbage you can think of and you’re liable to get your book promoted by Fox.

2) Fox Nation is wholly unaccountable for their ranting. They do not publish the identities of any of their editorial or administrative personnel. No one can be held responsible or asked to justify their work product. That’s convenient because so much of what appears on Fox Nation is so childish and embarrassing that no one would want to take credit (or blame) for it anyway. It is highly unusual for a legitimate news organization to keep their editorial team secret. Fox Nation is the only one I can think of who does so, but then they have an excuse – they are not a legitimate news organization.

In this election season we can expect to see more of this. There will be other books by sleazeballs like Klein that will get the same treatment on Fox and other right-wing media platforms. These people are not concerned with journalism. They are focused only on negative propaganda. And for that you don’t need credentials or that pesky detail that honest journalists call truth. Fox News has perfected the promotion of this dreck, and they will surely continue to lead the way.

Fox News Full Court Press Promoting Disreputable Author

Rupert Murdoch’s regime is coordinating closely to disseminate false allegations from an author that even conservatives regard as disreputable.

Edward Klein just released a book that alleges that Bill Clinton called Obama an amateur and tried to persuade Hillary to resign as Secretary of State and run against him in the 2012 primary. However, Klein is a sordid character whose work has been repudiated by fellow journalists. He has even been denounced by right-wing pundits like Byron York, and Fox’s own Greta Van Susteren. But that hasn’t stopped Murdoch’s Machine from blanketing his “news” assets with new accusations from Klein:

Fox Nation

The headline on Fox Nation, “Report: Obama Campaign Offered Jeremiah Wright Cash To Keep Quiet,” is sourced to Klein’s latest book of lies. Note that the allegation against the Obama campaign was not an accurate representation from Klein’s book where a go-between was cited as having made the alleged bribe. Fingering the Obama campaign was Fox Nation’s idea and, recognizing their own dishonesty, they later changed the false headline to say “Report: Obama Ally Offered Jeremiah Wright Cash To Keep Quiet.” It’s still false but maybe one degree less so. [Update: Fox Nation changed the headline yet again, this time to make it sound more scandalous: Obama Team Tried to 'Bribe' Rev. Wright: Book]

This same story was pumped out by Murdoch’s Fox News and New York Post. Clearly there is a coordinated effort to push this fakery and to reenergize the ancient Rev. Wright controversies. That suggests a fair measure of desperation on the part of Murdoch and his rightist cohorts who feel it’s necessary to rerun already debunked smears from a four year old campaign. And they didn’t work back then either.

Klein’s past excursions into Fantasyland have included assertions that Hillary Clinton is a lesbian; that Bill raped her; and that old stand-by, Obama is a Muslim from Kenya.

ThinkProgress has a more detailed bio of Klein and his past record of disinformation and deliberate dishonesty. Suffice to say that he is a weaver of tall tales that have no basis in reality. Which makes him a perfect source for Fox News and a desirable guest for Fox’s Lou Dobbs, where Klein is scheduled to appear next week.

It’s funny, in a despicable way, that the conservative media is hyping nonsense like this, while simultaneously accusing the President of not wanting to run on his record. The truth is that Obama has been highlighting his record at every public appearance, while the GOP harps on ancient irrelevancies. Did I mention that they were desperate?