New Year’s Resolutions From Fox News: Gamble With Your Life And Bankrupt Your Heirs

From the day that health insurance reform was proposed by President Obama and the Democratic congress, Fox News has been fiercely opposed to any change in the system that had been failing so miserably for decades. Conservatives were united in support of policies that left millions of Americans uninsured while making millions of dollars for insurance companies (and the GOP politicians who backed them).

Since ObamaCare was implemented, Fox News has worked tirelessly attempting to persuade people to refuse to participate in the program. It’s a mission that seeks to cause ObamaCare to fail. Fox has feverishly rolled out blatant scare tactics aimed at keeping citizens from taking advantage of the improved access to medical care and the lower costs that the ACA provides. And as the year comes to a close, Fox News is augmenting their fear mongering with dreadfully bad advice that, if followed, will cause certain harm and suffering.

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The article, “Eight Ways to Opt Out of ObamaCare,” was published on the Fox News community website and lie factory, Fox Nation (see the acclaimed ebook Fox Nation vs. Reality for more than 50 documented examples of proven lies). It was a reposting of an item from the disreputable rightist hacks at Breitbart News who have been Fox’s partner in falsely smearing ObamaCare and all things liberal. Below are the actual tips offered by the FoxPods and BreitBrats to convince people that not having legitimate, dependable health insurance is a good idea.

1. Join a health care sharing ministry

These “clubs” are set up as charitable organizations wherein people are reimbursed for their health care costs by the other members of the collective. But in order to join, applicants must first pledge their Christian faith and promise not to drink, take drugs or have sex outside of a traditional marriage. Some even require a reference from a minister. Clearly, this is not an option for most people. Furthermore, those with preexisting conditions are not accepted for membership. The coverage also doesn’t include “products of un-Biblical lifestyles,” such as contraception or substance rehab, or some preventive medicine, including colonoscopies and annual mammograms. The clubs are are not obligated to reimburse anyone for anything and there is no regulatory oversight that protects the consumer.

2. Purchase a short-term health insurance policy

Short term health insurance policies provide coverage for a period of six months or less. They are intended for use between jobs or other temporary lapses in insurance coverage. They are not renewable, but you can purchase another after one expires. However, any condition that was being treated while one policy was in effect is exempted from coverage by subsequent policies. Short term health insurance policies are generally intended to only cover major medical expenses. In addition to excluding coverage for preexisting conditions, such policies generally exclude coverage for services like preventive treatment (e.g. routine physical exams and immunizations), pregnancy or childbirth.

3. Buy alternative insurance plans such as fixed-benefit, critical illness, or accident insurance

Fixed-benefit plans are described by Consumer Reports as “Stingy plans [that] may be worse than none at all.” These plans will reimburse you a fixed amount for a specified illness. It is usually far less than necessary to cover the services, and you’re responsible for the remainder. Illnesses not specified are not covered at all. Critical illness and accident insurance are similarly narrow and often do not cover common medical conditions. Included in this tip is a laughable suggestion to increase the accident coverage of your auto insurance policy as a alternative to real health insurance.

4. Visit cash-only doctors and retail health clinics

Cash-only doctors and retail health clinics provide only basic services that can be performed in the doctor’s office. Any more serious treatment like surgery, or services that require more sophisticated hospital equipment like MRI’s, must be paid for separately. Consequently, the most expensive types of care are not covered at all.

5. Sign up for a telemedicine service

Telemedicine is a great leap forward as a tool for providing a service in conjunction with conventional doctor’s care. However, it is wholly insufficient as a replacement for insurance. It basically gives a patient the opportunity to talk to doctor, but no actual treatment is covered. Costs for anything from a vaccination to open-heart surgery would be born by the patient alone.

6. Use generic prescription drugs whenever possible, and compare prices between pharmacies

This is prudent advice for any patient but, once again, it does not in any way replace health insurance. It doesn’t even provide the pharmaceutical benefits of a legitimate health care plan that can provide drugs for small co-pays of a few dollars.

7. For surgery find a facility that offers up-front “package” prices for self-pay patients

This is essentially a suggestion to shop around for cheap surgeons after you have already determined a need (and it does not address how that medical determination was arrived at or paid for). It does not guarantee that the costs will be affordable, even if they are less costly than the average doctor. And while comparison shopping for a Sony HDTV might save you a few bucks, is anyone really comfortable with having a heart bypass performed by the guy who offers to do it for the lowest price? Paging Dr. Nick.

8. When a hospital visit becomes necessary, work with a medical bill negotiation service

This advice can lower the cost of hospital services, but there is no promise that the fees will be reduced to an amount that is manageable for people with limited resources. For instance, your $50,000 cancer treatment might be reduced to $35,000, which is fine if you have $35,000 laying around. If not, you will wish you had insurance.

Every one of these tips are misleading and dangerous. They could result in people being unable to get necessary medical care and/or thrown into bankruptcy. For Fox News to offer them as suitable alternatives to health insurance is irresponsible and potentially tragic. The well-to-do pundits and editors at Fox won’t be the ones to suffer from this extremely bad advice, yet they knowingly put others at risk. And it’s especially offensive when the program that Fox is steering people away from is one that actually provides comprehensive care for more people, at lower cost, than anything that has been available in the past.

Health care is something that every citizen is going to require at one time or another, without exception. And while ObamaCare is not perfect, it is a step in the right direction. The more people who enroll, the more efficiently costs can be controlled and reduced. And of course, the fewer illnesses and injuries that go untreated. These are apparently goals that Fox News and the Republican/Tea Party right-wing oppose, hence this list of resolutions that can only make the new year a nightmare for those foolish enough to adopt them.

Fox Nation vs. Reality: The Obama Vacation Myth

Just as every December comes with the annual Fox News War on Christmas, there is a right-wing ritual that engages whenever President Obama and his family take a vacation. The wingnut whine factory ratchets up its outrage at the deplorable notion of a presidential holiday, particularly if the president isn’t a Republican whose vacations are always proper and well deserved.

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The latest hissy fit being thrown by the right comes from the Fox News community website Fox Nation (whose many documented lies can be found in the acclaimed ebook Fox Nation vs. Reality). The article sports a shocking headline that asserts that President Obama has taken more vacation time than private sector workers – as if that comparison had any relevance to anything. After all, how many private sector workers are on call 24 hours a day, seven days a week, even while they are on vacation?

But even the obvious inaptness of the example doesn’t come close to the dishonesty proffered by the Fox Nationalists. Their source is CNSNews, a division of Brent Bozell’s uber-rightist Media Research Center. CNSNews in turn cites as its source the rabidly right-wing Government Accountability Institute (GAI), which was founded and run by the same pseudo-journalistic charlatans who bring you Breibart News.

GAI’s report takes data from the Bureau of Labor Management and spins it into an unrecognizable slop of fraudulent PR. They state that Obama’s average vacation days per year (21.5) exceeds that of private sector workers who have been at their jobs for five years, which GAI reports as 19 days. However, a quick glance at the actual BLM data (pdf) shows that the 19 day figure is a mean average that is brought down by the 20% of workers who get less than 15 days of vacation, and some as little as two days. In fact, the number of employees who get 15-19 days off is only about 20%. The majority of private sector workers (60%) get greater than 20 days of vacation. So the truth that GAI and Fox is concealing is that most private sector workers get more vacation than President Obama. That, of course, is the complete opposite of what their headline and article assert.

And just to add some context, these conservative dissemblers also fail to note that Obama has taken far fewer days off than his predecessor, George W. Bush. Obama’s average of 21.5 vacation days per year makes him look like a workaholic compared to Bush’s 110 day average per year – more than five times Obama’s. But if you’re a rich white Republican you can’t be accused of being lazy or shiftless when you are enjoying some leisure time at your ranch in Crawford or on your yacht in Kennebunkport.

The Fox News Dynasty Comes To The Aid Of The Duck Dynasty

Right-wing blowhards have never been known for their intellectual consistency or for shying away from hypocrisy. They have always been among the first to attack those with whom they disagree and demand satisfaction in the form of terminating the employment of outspoken liberals. There isn’t a progressive public voice whose job hasn’t been threatened by conservative activists who have campaigned for the firing of people like Rachel Maddow, Ed Schultz, and Al Sharpton.

Today, however, these same martinets of virtue are appalled that A&E has suspended Phil Robertson of Duck Dynasty (the show with “nasty” right in its name) after he unleashed a vile tirade of hateful commentary about homosexuality, which he likened to bestiality and rebuked as sin. The debate has consumed conservative media with pundits railing over this intolerable injustice. And leading the charge, of course, is Fox News. Their community website, the lie-riddled Fox Nation, posted six articles on this one subject.

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The magnitude of obsession with a single topic might seem appropriate if the topic were imminent war, a deadly epidemic, a natural disaster, or an economic collapse. But for Fox all it takes is a missing white girl, a high-speed police chase, or a bigoted hillbilly being put on leave from a lucrative television program. And as is always the case when a conservative says something offensive and dumb, his defenders wail about free speech. Here are a few examples of the more hyperbolic grousing that has been heard:

Todd Starnes (Fox): A&E is apparently run by a bunch of anti-Christian, bigots. Duck Dynasty worships God. A&E worships GLAAD. If Phil had been twerking with a duck the network probably would’ve given him a contract extension. But because he espoused beliefs held by many Christians, he’s been silenced.

Ted Cruz: Phil expressed his personal views and his own religious faith; for that, he was suspended from his job. In a free society, anyone is free to disagree with him.

Rush Limbaugh: I think they’ve essentially fired the guy, and in the process, they have thrown away the largest audience on cable television. They’ve just thrown it away. They’ve thrown away all that advertising.

Limbaugh’s complaint is ironic in that he has some personal experience with throwing away advertising by saying stupid and offensive things, like calling a young woman a slut and a prostitute because she advocated in favor of access to reproductive health care. But the larger point regarding free speech is something that conservatives get wrong repeatedly. They seem to believe that free speech means being able to say anything you want, but that no one else has the same privilege if they disagree with you.

The truth is that the Duck Dude has free speech and he exercised it. His critics and defenders also have free speech and they are exercising it. Even A&E has free speech and they are within their rights to punish an employee whose behavior reflects poorly on their enterprise. Robertson’s suspension has not impaired his freedom to speak. He could appear on Fox News tomorrow if he wants and reiterate his repulsive views. I’ll bet he has already received numerous invitations.

Finally, Fox News has an abundance of free speech that they utilize to advance a right-wing agenda. That’s why, in a world that is not lacking for subjects that have a profound impact on people’s lives, Fox has devoted six articles to the triviality of a cable TV reality program whose bigoted star is gonna have stay home in the swamp for a little while enjoying his wealth and killing defenseless creatures.

Fox News Hypes PolitiFact’s Lie Of The Year, One Week After Saying Never Trust PolitiFact

It’s time once again for the unveiling of the “Lie of the Year” by the fact-checkers at PolitiFact. This year the dis-honoree is President Barack Obama for his promotional assurance that under the Affordable Care Act (aka ObamaCare) “If you like your health care plan, you can keep it.”

Pretty much everybody, including Obama, now concedes that making such a blanket statement was unwise and unsustainable. There were signs early on that some plans would be terminated because they fell so far below the standards for acceptable coverage that they were effectively useless. Obama could have made small modifications to the statement that would have been easier to defend, such as: “if you like your health care plan, what the fuck are you thinking?” However, I’m pretty sure that comment wouldn’t have made it past the first draft.

The whole concept of liking one’s health care plan is rather comical to begin with. How often have you ever heard someone bring up in casual conversation how much they liked their health insurance provider? Insurance companies are rarely the object of much affection. Especially for those who get their coverage from the private market rather than from an employer. And that small subset of the population (about 5%) is all that is affected by this.

Whether or not the President’s statement deserved to be the “Lie of the Year” is subject to debate, just as every year’s selection is. But it is notable that PolitiFact’s explanation for their choice began by saying that…

“It was a catchy political pitch and a chance to calm nerves about his dramatic and complicated plan to bring historic change to America’s health insurance system.

‘If you like your health care plan, you can keep it,’ President Barack Obama said — many times — of his landmark new law.

“But the promise was impossible to keep.”

A promise, of course, is completely different than a lie. If it was the President’s intention to deliver on the promise, but in the course of legislative compromises and flawed implementation it failed to materialize as expected, than it was not actually a lie at all. But it is obvious that PolitiFact’s analysis is aimed at the distance of the intention from the outcome, not the veracity of the statement itself. And that’s fine since most people apply the same reasoning with regard to the truthiness of a public figure. Also, Obama didn’t help himself by initially trying to defend or rewrite his original comment. Although he does get credit for eventually owning up, apologizing, and taking steps to correct the matter.

The selection of this statement by the President is certain get a lot of attention from the press, particularly the conservative media that eats it up whenever they can shine a spotlight on presidential missteps. Therefore, it’s no surprise that Fox News has leaped to the front of the line to hype PolitiFact’s findings. Ironically, it was Fox Nation that was first out of the gate with a simple headline at the top of their page saying “Politifact: Lie of the Year!”

Fox Nation LOTY

Coming from a website that has been documented to be riddled with lies (see Fox Nation vs. Reality: The Fox News Community’s Assault On Truth) obliterates any moral authority they have to disparage the honesty of others. What’s more, the impact of their reporting might have been greater had they not posted this headline just last week: “Never Trust Politifact Again.”

Fox Nation Never Trust

To recap: On November 5, Fox admonishes its audience to never trust PolitiFact, and on November 13, one week later, they feature a PolitiFact ruling at the top of their website. This really says more about Fox than it does about PolitiFact, or even Obama.

For the record, while PolitiFact selected Obama’s comment as their “Lie of the Year,” they also posted the runners-up. It is not unreasonable to expect the winner to get the majority of the attention from the media, however, there is a notable trend amongst the year’s other lies that ought not to be dismissed. Most conspicuously that out of the remaining nine lies in the top ten, eight of them are from republicans or conservatives.

  • Ann Coulter: No doctors who went to an American medical school will be accepting Obamacare.
  • Betsy McCaughey: Obamacare will question your sex life.
  • Bloggers: Obamacare provision will allow “forced home inspections” by government agents.
  • Ted Cruz: Says “President Obama just granted all of Congress an exception” to Obamacare.
  • Chain email: A United Nations working group has “adopted a proposed agenda” to enable member nations to “disarm civilians within their borders.”
  • Barack Obama: The Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Court “is transparent.”
  • Saxby Chambliss: The United States has never stood by and seen innocent people slaughtered to the extent that’s happening in Syria.
  • Chain email: Says the word “Dhimmitude” is on page 107 of the health care law and means “Muslims are specifically exempted from the government mandate to purchase insurance.”
  • Michele Bachmann: The IRS is going to be “in charge” of “a huge national database” on health care that will include Americans’ “personal, intimate, most close-to-the-vest-secrets.”

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So while Obama may have captured the big trophy for the year, conservative liars were far more prolific in fabricating and disseminating disinformation in pursuit of an agenda that they obviously don’t believe merits honest discourse. It illustrates a pattern of behavior that marks the right-wing as incorrigibly deceitful and wholly untrustworthy. At least President Obama apologized, a gesture that is foreign to the unprincipled cretins on the right.

So F**KING What? Fox News Goes After America’s Disabled

Just in time for Christmas, Fox News has found time to publish distorted information about American beneficiaries of disability insurance. On their community website Fox Nation (a notorious peddler of lies), they posted an item sourced to the uber-conservative CNSNews that expressed concern that there are “More Americans on Disability Than Population of Greece.”

Fox Nation

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The apparent purpose of this ludicrous comparison is to stir up animosity toward people who are already suffering. It’s a recurrent theme for Fox who are also hostile toward the poor, the sick, victims of discrimination, veterans, etc. However, their attempt at fomenting faux outrage fails at the outset.

First of all, the number of disability beneficiaries in the U.S. is about eleven million and, yes, that is slightly more than the population of Greece. What that has to do with anything is a mystery? It is also only about 3% of the U.S. population. What’s more it includes a couple of million children and spouses of disabled persons. But driven by their hunger to disparage these folks, the Fox Nationalists took the number and shopped around for a small nation whose population was lower. And if silly, unrelated comparisons are all they are interested in then they might want to take note that there are more people on disability…

  • …than saw The Hunger Games last Saturday
  • …than are vegan.
  • …than condoms used in 18 days.
  • …than people who like to watch bowling.
  • …than people who watch Fox News (three times more).

Stupid comparisons notwithstanding, it is obvious that Fox is focused solely on making the lives of people who are already struggling, even harder. It’s fair to say that the point they are making is not that the population of Greece is too low. Consequently, it’s clear that they are advocating a reduction in benefits for the disabled, just as they do for recipients of food stamps and the unemployed. And they went out of their way to make this point in the days before the celebration of the birth of their savior who is so well known for refusing to help those poor, sick, hungry, moochers. Merry Christmas.

A Very Fox News Thanksgiving: Bash Your Stupid, Obnoxious, Liberal Relatives

On this traditional day of unity, family, and the fellowship of all people, Fox News has embarked on a media blitz more in keeping with the hostility and boorishness that is the hallmark of American conservatism.

On the Fox News community website, Fox Nation, they have taken great umbrage at reports that a Democratic organization is encouraging people to take the opportunity during Thanksgiving to have conversations with their friends and family about the Affordable Care Act (aka ObamaCare) and rebut the many myths they may have picked up from dishonest sources like Fox News.

The Fox Nationalists featured a headline story criticizing Organizing For America’s lighthearted “Have the Talk” website for “pushing turkey table talking points.” However, they must have forgotten their own efforts to do the very same thing, only more often, more politicized, and more insulting.

Fox Nation

If you haven’t already got your copy of the acclaimed ebook,
Fox Nation vs. Reality, this might be a good time.

The OFA campaign is merely a suggestion that people discuss matters of importance in a civilized way. They emphasize that the point is to convey that you care about the health of those you love. Contrast that with the tone of Fox News conservatives who portray liberal relatives as stupid, obnoxious, and something you must “survive.” The language in the articles includes additional vile and childish statements that demean their supposedly loved ones who “won’t stop spouting vapid Democratic talking points,” and who should “keep your stupid mouth shut,” because “they aren’t buying OFA’s ObamaCare baloney.”

Now, isn’t that in keeping with the spirit of the season? And somehow, these hate-filled right-wingers think that they have a monopoly on patriotism, traditional holidays, and family values.

The hypocrisy of the right continues to demonstrate that it has no bounds. They will shamelessly smear their perceived enemies for sins they themselves commit repeatedly. They even show contempt for their own families. And while invoking the name of God on holidays that they regard as sacred, they brazenly lie, disparage their neighbors, and seek to divide the nation on the one day that most epitomizes its mission of unity. Happy Holidays from Fox News.

Fox Nation vs. Reality: The U.S. Closes Imaginary Vatican City Embassy

In it’s ongoing struggle to find evermore outrageous atrocities to attribute to President Obama, Fox Nation has reported that Catholic groups are appalled that the United States is planning to close its embassy in Vatican City. There is just one little problem.

Fox Nation

For more examples of Fox Nation’s departures from reality,
get the acclaimed ebook Fox Nation vs. Reality.

The United States does not have an embassy in Vatican City. Nor does any other country. The Vatican is simply too small to host any of these facilities, so they are actually headquartered in Rome. The truth of the matter is that the U.S. is closing one of its offices in Rome that houses the ambassador to the Vatican, and relocating it to a much larger compound that also houses the U.S. embassy to Italy. It will continue to have its own building and entrance, and its even a little closer to the Vatican itself.

This hasn’t stopped the right-wing media circus from hyperventilating furiously about some sort of imagined insult to Catholics. The Fox Nationalists, quoting from the “Moonie” Washington Times, which was quoting from Breitbart “made up” News, said that “The Obama administration, in what’s been called an egregious slap in the face to the Vatican, has moved to shut down the U.S. Embassy to the Holy See.” That actually goes even further into false territory because it doesn’t simply suggest a relocation, but an elimination, neither of which are true.

It is curious that this particular crockery should erupt in the days following a rather remarkable publication from the Pope that condemns unfettered capitalism as abusive to the poor and other excluded members of society that the church is duty bound to protect. The Pope even went so far as to repudiate the conservative gospel of “trickle-down economics” as a theory that “has never been confirmed by the facts.”

Could it be that the Pope’s unambiguous support for income equality and the moral principle that “all citizens have dignified work, education and healthcare,” has prompted the conservative fib factory to invent a new controversy as a distraction from a papal declaration that eviscerates conservative values?

Fox Nation vs. Reality: A Birther’s ObamaCare Conspiracy Pushed By Fox News

In my book, Fox Nation vs. Reality, I document more than 50 examples of outright, provable lies that appeared on the Fox News community website. Obviously, no one expects an enterprise that cares so little about truth to demonstrate much integrity. However, it is still jarring when a major news organization mainlines reporting from disreputable outlets like WorldNetDaily.

WND is America’s Birther Headquarters. It’s founder and editor, Joseph Farah, has been the most aggressive skeptic of President Obama’s national origin. Farah financed a billboard advertising campaign with the message “Where’s the Birth Certificate?” And Farah’s publishing arm put out the widely ridiculed book with the same title by crackpot conspiracist Jerome Corsi.

Fox Nation

Sitting atop the Fox Nation website yesterday was a feature article by Aaron Klein, the author of the WND published book of bullcrap, Impeachable Offenses. Klein’s headline declared that “Media Matters Funded ObamaCare Deceit.” Clicking through to the WND source revealed a rehashed jumble of articles that Klein had written years ago. The centerpiece of his so-called reporting was his unsupported assertion that Media Matters had bankrolled an imagined campaign to deceive the public about ObamaCare. However, the only thing the article succeeded in revealing was the fact that a progressive think tank, the Herndon Alliance, was the beneficiary of support from a Media Matters affiliated entity, along with a couple of hundred other progressive groups. There was no evidence presented of any Media Matters role as the financier of anything having to do with ObamaCare. Neither was there any evidence of any intent to deceive. But there was an abundance of wild accusations and fear mongering about Saul Alinsky and George Soros, two of the right-wing, tin-foil hat brigade’s favorite bogeymen.

Apparently WND and Fox News found it shocking that like-minded progressive organizations would rely on one another to advance their common interests. Conservatives never do that. Unless you count the highly coordinated activities of the Koch brothers, Americans for Prosperity, FreedomWorks, Club for Growth, the Heritage Foundation, the Heartland Institute, the Competitive Enterprise Institute, the Mackinac Center, Tea Party Nation/Express/Patriots, the Franklin Center, the State Policy Network, the Family Research Council, the National Rifle Association, the Republican National Committee, [oh, I could go on] and of course Fox News.

There really is a “Vast Right-Wing Conspiracy,” and it is working feverishly to fabricate the existence of a vast left-wing conspiracy, while concealing its own nefarious activities. And Fox News, as a founding member of the VRWC, is doing its part to slander progressive groups by promoting the dishonest cretins and professional liars at WorldNetDaily who are obsessed with impeaching our gay, Kenyan, Muslim, socialist president.

Fox Nation Posts Radio Rant Against MSNBC That Also Attacks Fox News

One of the most notoriously hyperactive conservative radio shoutcasters is Mark Levin. Some of his on-air convulsions boil over into such bombastic rage that he seems close to having a cerebral aneurysm. He is filled to the brim with contempt for those with whom he disagrees, and that’s a long list.

Fox Nation

This morning his target was MSNBC (again) and the roster of hosts whom he regards as vile character assassins. But while lashing out in what was pure projection, Levin also snared Fox News in his net of wild invective. The subject of his attack was what he considered to be an affront to his Wingnut Queen, Sarah Palin. So he let loose…

“We’re getting way too comfortable with these character assassination efforts by the media, by the left, by the sycophants and their operatives against certain individuals in this country. Did the Republican National Committee speak up for Sarah Palin? No. Did Karl Rove go on Fox to defend one of his colleague? No. Did all of those folks on Fox, with a few exceptions, stand up for her? No.”

In defending Palin’s alleged honor, Levin orchestrated something short of a surgical strike that left his pals at Fox News bleeding in the rubble. This isn’t the first time either. Levin has frequently attacked Fox News and its so-called personalities. He has blasted Rove as “sleazy” and a “liar.” He has called Dana Perino a “jerk.” He hammered Bill O’Reilly as a “fraud.” And, remember, Levin is a frequent guest on the network he is lambasting.

However, what’s notable in today’s news is that the Fox News community website (and Fib Factory), Fox Nation, posted an audio clip of Levin that included his condemnation of Fox. Apparently Fox is so consumed with disseminating anything negative about their enemies that they were either unaware or indifferent to the negativity aimed at themselves. You could probably go on Fox and call the network a festering boil on the ass of television, so long as you also said something nasty about President Obama in the same sentence.

Just for fun, Levin also took a swing at Jon Stewart saying that “Stewart is quoted all over like he’s some kind of a news guy, some kind of an analyst. He’s a comedian, and he’s vile and repulsive and dimwitted. Nobody writes my stuff.” Like anyone would dare to take credit for the asinine swill that Levin pukes.

Fox Nation vs. Reality: Bigfoot’s Epic Battle With ObamaCare And Congress

In takes a monumental heaping of chutzpah for Senate Republican Leader Mitch McConnell to criticize the approval rating for ObamaCare when he is the lowest ranked political leader in the nation with 22% favorability. He lands well below President Obama (49%), Nancy Pelosi (35%), House Speaker John Boehner (27%), and Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid(27%). But even this act of audacity is eclipsed by Fox Nation’s brazenly deceitful presentation of it.

Fox Nation
You think this is bad? Read Fox Nation vs. Reality for 50+ more.

The Fox Nationalist’s headline reads “McConnell: More Believe In ‘Bigfoot’ Than Obamacare.” However, that is not what McConnell said. The source article from the Washington Examiner quotes McConnell commenting on ObamaCare’s implementation saying that “just 12 percent of Americans think the rollout has gone well.” So this is not a referendum on the Affordable Care Act itself, just the admittedly glitchy launch of the website. McConnell failed to note, though, that the job approval rating for Congress is only 11%, so the nation regards Congress in even lower esteem than the ObamaCare website’s botched debut.

McConnell went on to note that 14% of Americans believe in the existence of Bigfoot (which is a sorry reflection on America). However, there is no argument that the vast majority of the country believes that ObamaCare exists. So the comparison doesn’t make any sense. If, instead, they had polled on the public’s approval of Bigfoot we might have a more apt (and interesting) comparison. But I still suspect that Bigfoot would have kicked McConnell’s ass off a cliff (figuratively and literally).

Fox Nation vs. Reality: Putting Words In The President’s Mouth

The determination of Fox News to criticize President Obama over anything that he says or does is well established. They have a knee-jerk negative response to his every utterance, even if he is agreeing with them. But apparently that isn’t even an aggressive enough expression of disgust. So now they are inventing quotations that never occurred and assigning them to the President.

Fox Nation
For more Fox reality-busting, read Fox Nation vs. Reality

In an item posted to Fox’s community website, the Lie-Riddled Fox Nation, the headline reads “President: ‘I Don’t Know … and I Don’t Want to Know’” If the editors were referring to their own interest in what truthfully took place, that would would be an accurate headline. They clearly don’t know and don’t want to know the truth. However, they are allegedly quoting President Obama who never made those remarks.

The support cited by Fox were three items that took Obama to task for not knowing about the NSA’s alleged spying on a variety of world leaders. The first was an op-ed in the Wall Street Journal written by Reagan speechwriter Peggy Noonan. The second was a Bill O’Reilly rant on his Fox program. The third was a segment from The Daily Show with Jon Stewart. In none of these citations did Obama say the words that the Fox Nationalists attributed to him. They had three shots at the brass ring and missed all three times.

It is ironic, though, that Fox chose to include Noonan’s article to ding Obama on what he knew about some clandestine national security matters. Noonan’s former boss, you’ll recall, was summoned to Congress to give an accounting of his knowledge of the Iran-Contra Affair wherein he sold weapons to the Iranians in order to earn money with which to support fascist rebels in Nicaragua. He answered “I don’t remember” or “I don’t recall” 124 times. This far exceeds any allegation by Republicans today as to Obama’s mindfulness.

I guess Noonan, and Fox, can’t be expected to remember those serious felonies when they are so preoccupied with slandering Obama, who broke no laws. In fact, the sort of spying in question is presumed, by most intelligence professionals, to be occurring routinely every day by every major country. The only thing that is extraordinary about it is that it became public. And that’s all Fox needed to assemble their best storytellers and make up some things to pretend that Obama said.

Fox Nation Asks: Did Woman Fake Fainting During Obama’s Speech? And Other Idiocies.

No matter how prepared one is for outrageous stupidity and mind-numbing paranoid delusions, Fox News still manages to come up with surprises. Today the Fox Nationalists have sprung another winning lunatic exclusive on its assembly of gullible readers. The article asked the question that every batshit crazy American is hungering to know: “Did Woman Fake Fainting During Obama’s Speech?”

Fox Nation Fainting Woman
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The item linked to the blog of the “Lady Patriots” whose intrepid detective work uncovered this dastardly conspiracy to concoct a phony medical crisis in the middle of President Obama’s speech on the Affordable Care Act. Author: “Dr.” Sharon Schuetz discloses that she “couldn’t believe how phony it was. [...] It is obvious that there are quite a few people involved in this latest fraud put out by the Whitehouse.” After admitting that she doesn’t watch a lot of television, Schuetz said in the video she narrated that she recognized the conspirators discussing the plot and their efforts to carry it out. Thank goodness we have people like Schuetz around to unravel these plots that, to everyone else, just look like some folks on a podium helping a pregnant woman in some distress.

Also today on Fox Nation, they explore the burning question as to whether ObamaCare killed the “Dollar Menu.” We could only hope. Think how many lives it would save.

Fox Nation Dollar Menu

And finally, the brain trust at Fox sought to learn what would happen if Sean Hannity called the ObamaCare hotline. What happened was that a pleasant agent answered almost immediately and was kinder to him than his obnoxious behavior deserved.

[Update: 10/24/2013 6:42pm] It turns out that Hannity got the agent fired. On his radio program today he spoke to her and tried to make amends by offering her money and saying he would try to help her get another job. Of course, none of that would be necessary if he hadn’t lured her into a conversation that violated her terms of employment.

Fox Nation Hannity Hotline

Fainting woman conspiracies, fast food menu murders, and exposes of well functioning call centers. It’s all in a day’s work at Fox Nation.

Fox Nation vs. Reality: Hundreds Of Thousands Get Better, Cheaper Insurance

In keeping with their knee-jerk opposition to everything President Obama does, The liars at Fox Nation posted an item sourced to NBC News with a foreboding headline declaring that “Hundreds of Thousands Lose Their Health Insurance.”

Fox Nation
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The first problem with this is that NBC News was not the source of the information Fox was referencing. This misattribution was an attempt by Fox to ding NBC, one of Fox’s favorite punching bags, as well as to pretend that a respected news source was criticizing ObamaCare. The actual source was the Henry J. Kaiser Family Foundation, a nonprofit, nonpartisan health policy research and communication organization (not affiliated with Kaiser Permanente).

More to the point, the Fox Nationalists grossly misrepresented the substance of the original article. Contrary to the overtly biased headline, the newsworthiness of the article was not that insurance companies were terminating old, non-ACA compliant plans. It was that the new plans available on the ObamaCare exchanges were both better and cheaper. In fact, the third paragraph down began “By all accounts, the new policies will offer consumers better coverage, in some cases, for comparable cost — especially after the inclusion of federal subsidies for those who qualify.” ThinkProgress did an analysis of the changing plans and found that…

“Many policies currently sold through the individual market do little to help people who actually get sick. These plans come with appealingly low monthly premiums to draw in consumers. But those supposedly ‘affordable’ rates typically mask high deductibles, big gaps in coverage, and large co-pays [...] Insurance companies have been able to get away with this because they were largely unregulated before the health reform law’s passage. Now, Obamacare is changing that.”

Fox simply ignored the critical passages in the article to which they linked in favor of advancing their agenda of fear mongering about ObamaCare. They rely on the incurious nature of their audience to fail to read even three paragraphs of the articles they post. It is consistent with their efforts to frighten insurance consumers with poorly researched stories that allege exorbitant price increases, but fail to take into consideration the subsidies and tax credits for which most of the affected people will qualify. So we can chalk this up as just another lie from the folks at Fox Nation.

Fox News Promotes Nazi Insults Aimed At First Responders By Anti-Obama Protesters

Fox News presents itself as the red, white, and bluest cable news network the world has ever seen. They savor their Patriopathic zeal and wear their jingoistic bias as a badge of honor. Of course, it’s all a disingenuous affectation manufactured to lure in gullible tea-billies that Fox whips into a frenzied mob to oppose our socialist, Muslim president from Kenya. That makes it all the more blatantly hypocritical when those Blockhead Brigades march on the Capital to protest a government shutdown that was planned and executed by the Tea Party right.

Fox Nation

The Fox News community web site and Fib Factory, Fox Nation, posted an item celebrating the “Million Vet March,” that only managed to attract a few hundred marchers. The event was a sorry spectacle despite having star attractions like Sarah Palin and Ted Cruz topping the bill. Protesters expressed their outrage that several war memorials were closed due to the shutdown. So they “stormed” through barricades that could be easily pushed aside, and milled around the memorials without paying much attention to them. Later they carried the portable barricades to the street in front of the White House and discarded them there as an act of ….. petulance?

The Fox Nationalists included a video (below) of this rally that was labeled “Veterans face off with Obama Storm Troopers At White House!” The reference to “Storm Troopers” (Hitler’s paramilitary wing of the Nazi Party) is rhetoric that is all too common with these right-wing extremists. In the video the protesters loudly boo the arrival of the police. You can hear them shouting chants and slurs such as “Looks like something out of Kenya,” and “It’s the Brown Shirts,” another Nazi reference.

The police, of course, are there to protect people and property from harm, behavior that the demonstrators already proved they are willing to engage in. Officers never made any aggressive moves toward the demonstrators that would have justified the bile spewed at them. And if something terrible had happened, these same abusive protesters would be clamoring for assistance from these brave public servants. It is thoroughly repulsive how these Teabaggers can go from praising first responders during natural disasters or terrorism, to vilifying them for doing their jobs during an unruly demonstration.

It is also notable that the Tea-Publican Party malcontents who caused the government shutdown are now so fixated on just one of many of the repercussions for which they previously cheered. They characteristically have chosen to focus on a symbolic outrage having to do with some senior citizen veterans being able to visit some statues in a park. Wouldn’t it be nice if they cared just as much about the children who have been locked out of programs that provide necessary food and health care?

GOP Shutdown

And if you thought that this weekend’s rally had something to do with veterans, or a health care plan, or government spending, you just need to listen to the words of Freedom Watch founder Larry Klayman, who was a featured speaker at the rally and said…

“We are now ruled by a president that bows down to Allah. [...] I call upon all of you to wage a second American nonviolent revolution, to use civil disobedience, and to demand that this president leave town, to get up, to put the Quran down, to get up off his knees, and to figuratively come out with his hands up.”

Fox Nation vs. Reality: The Case Of The Half-Naked ObamaCare Promotion

Now that the Affordable Care Act (aka ObamaCare) health insurance exchanges are open, Fox News has been shifting into overdrive to sabotage it and frighten away Americans for whom it will be valuable service. And not to be left out, Fox Nation is joining the assault with its customary disrespect for truth and ethics.

Toward that end, the Fox Nationalists posted an item criticizing what they regarded as a weak first day showing by ObamaCare because “Less Than 1% of Visitors Are Signing Up For ObamaCare on State Health Exchange Websites.” Who knows what Fox would consider a strong showing, but a 1% conversion rate is considered pretty good in the direct marketing business. It also rep[resents 65,000 sign-ups on day one. Is that supposed to be bad? At that rate, by the end of the year, that would add up to nearly seven million.

Factor into this the fact that, due to enormous interest, the heavy volume produced some technical glitches that prevented many people from completing their applications. Also factor in the fact that buying insurance online is not like buying socks or light bulbs. Consumers are going to want to compile information, compare options, and consult doctors and family members. Consequently, they may not make a purchasing decision as a result of the first visit. Finally, it’s likely the sign up rate will increase over time as people learn more about the benefits and get positive word-of-mouth feedback from satisfied customers.

Nevertheless, Fox is ramping up their typical disinformation campaign in order to cast a negative light on the new law’s implementation. But it doesn’t even come close to the ludicrous dishonesty displayed in another story posted this morning with the provocative headline “Obama Hires Half-Naked People To Promote ObamaCare.”

Fox Nation
Click here for more documented examples of Fox Nation’s battle against reality.

Oh lawdy, pass the smellin’ salts. Young folks wearing beach attire are on the mall distributing literature. What has become of this country? Thank goodness that Fox is around to expose our President for engaging in these sinful acts. It would be even more of a blessing if any of it were actually true.

Reading down the page a bit reveals that these morally loose boys and girls were not hired by Obama at all. Right there, just below the sensationalist headline, it says that “Colorado HealthOP, a consumer-run cooperative selling insurance plans on the exchange, sent models in skimpy clothing — and sporting signs with information — to greet Denver’s 16th Street Mall lunch crowds.” So contrary to Fox’s sweaty panicking, it was a privately run insurance coop that hired the semi-nudists to advertise their insurance products available on Colorado’s state exchange. It had nothing whatsoever to do with Obama or the federal administration of the Affordable Care Act.

The headline on this Fox Nation article is 100% false. And Fox’s attempt at deceit was so inept that it was contradicted a few lines down on its own propaganda tract. Clearly, they aren’t even trying anymore to disguise their lies.

Fox News Admits Ted Cruz Isn’t Ready To Be President (Or Rand Paul, or Marco Rubio)

The Fox News community web site and Fib Factory, Fox Nation, posted an item this morning that sought to discredit President Obama’s qualifications to be president. In the process they not only disqualified several Tea-publican presidential hopefuls, but they demonstrated what a laughably unserious source for news Fox has become.

Fox Nation
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NBC News had nothing to do with the article about Obama’s readiness to be president. They certainly did not “admit” anything of the kind. It was Joe Scarborough of MSNBC, a Republican host and pundit, who made the comment that “Barack Obama has proven over the past five years that he wasn’t ready to be president of the United States.” Of course, that’s a position that GOP pundits have held since before Obama ever took office, and can hardly be considered breaking news.

The funny thing is that Scarborough’s reasoning behind his opinion is that “Obama ‘came out of nowhere’ as a freshman senator [...] with less than a full term in the U.S. Senate, also unimpressive. Most of his time there seemed to be spent running for the presidency.” That description fits freshmen senators and prospective presidential candidates Ted Cruz, Rand Paul, and Marco Rubio, as well as it does Obama. Therefore, we can assume that Fox also regards these Tea Party darlings as unfit for duty in the White House.

And just to drive home how fiercely Fox News is competing with supermarket tabloids for the Batboy-loving news consumer, they juxtaposed the article about Obama with one featuring a reporter being groped by a monkey (insert Schwarzenegger joke here). If this doesn’t send a message about Fox’s credibility as a news enterprise, I don’t know what will.

Fox Nation vs. Reality: Here’s How To Fear Monger About ACORN

After all these years, the right’s fixation on ACORN is still burning with the heat of a thousand white-hot suns – with an emphasis on the white.

Fox Nation

The chronic liars at Fox Nation posted an item that purported to quote Bertha Lewis, the former head of ACORN, as giving advice on “How To Put ‘Fear’ In The ‘White Man’.” However, Lewis did not say what the Fox Nationalists attributed to her. In fact, the text below the headline on Fox Nation proved the blatant misrepresentation by quoting Lewis in full. Her remarks to a meeting of the Congressional Black Caucus were merely a call for the African-American community to support immigration reform.

Lewis: For the first time ever in history, African-Americans outvoted white Americans. Oooh. That’s the fear of the white man. That could change everything. That’s why [immigration] should matter to us.

Lewis was plainly stating her opinion that engaged minority voters are something that already brings fear to white politicians and strategists. She was not in any way advocating the use of fear to intimidate whites or any political opponent. Yet that is precisely the false inference that Fox put forth with the mutilated quote they posted.

To the contrary, Lewis was simply noting that Republicans are already running scared. That is unarguably true, as evidenced by the extreme steps Republicans have taken to suppress voting by minorities and to redistrict them out of existence. Lewis noted that in a few years America will be a majority-minority nation, and that frightens the GOP. Even Reince Priebus, the chairman of the Republican National Committee, said much the same thing in an election postmortem following their 2012 defeat:

Priebus: I didn’t need a report to tell me that we have to make up ground with minority groups [...] By 2050, we’ll be a majority-minority country, and in both 2008 and 2012, President Obama won a combined 80 percent of the votes of all minority groups.

The GOP has an ongoing obsession with ACORN, an organization that was dedicated to advancing minority participation in the democratic process. It was that focus on equal rights that made ACORN a target of conservatives in the first place. And despite the fact that it doesn’t exist anymore, and that multiple investigations never found any evidence of wrongdoing, the right continues to be preoccupied with its ghost. So much so that they disseminate fake quotations in order to make them look scary and dangerous.

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This is a tactic that will only serve to further alienate the constituencies that will eventually dominate the electorate. Even while the GOP recognizes the need to reach out to minorities, their actions prove that they really aren’t the least bit interested in including them in the American family. They would rather continue insulting and excluding them. Nice work, GOP. Let’s see how that works out for you in 2014 and 2016 and beyond.

More Anti-Latino Bias On Fox Nation

The Fox News community web site (and Fib Factory) Fox Nation, has a long record of insulting Latinos and lying about about issues that affect them. This was documented in my article last year: Fox News Flim-Flam: Conning Latinos For Politics And Profit. The marked difference between articles on Fox Nation, and articles on the same subjects by Fox News Latino demonstrate that Fox is deliberately trying to exploit Latinos, the fastest growing television market.

For instance, Fox News continues to refer to undocumented immigrants as “illegals” even when the person was brought into the country as a child and, thus, committed no crime. Many news outlets have abandoned the use of the term “illegal immigrant” because it is both inaccurate and insulting. Fox News Latino is among those who have officially banned its use. Fox News, on the other hand, uses it frequently. Fox is also a vigorous opponent of the Dream Act, that offers undocumented immigrants who were brought here as children, finish school or enlist in the military, and have no criminal records, the opportunity to become legal residents and eventually citizens.

Another example of Fox’s overt prejudice was displayed yesterday with an article on Fox Nation that announced that the “Amnesty Bill In House Collapses.” Of course, there is no amnesty bill in the House. There is an immigration reform bill that includes a pathway to citizenship after paying fines and meeting other rigorous conditions that may lead to eligibility for citizenship after some fifteen years. And since amnesty is a forgiveness of criminal behavior and a waiving of punishment, this bill is the opposite of amnesty. But this story isn’t about amnesty at all. It is about the breakdown of the legislative process. It was that angle that was addressed in the Fox News Latino article titled, “House Republicans Quit Bipartisan Immigration Group, Weakening Chance Of Legislation.”

Fox Nation
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Notice that the Fox News Latino article properly describes the substance of what took place without resorting to pejoratives, as opposed to Fox Nation’s version. The Fox Nationalists also didn’t bother to point out that the Republican exodus from the working group was based entirely on politics rather than on the best interests of the nation. Only in the Fox News Latino article was it pointed out that the GOP representatives who bailed on the reform effort said that “We want to be clear. The problem is politics.” They went on to admit that their objection is not to the substance of the law, but that it would be enacted under the administration of President Obama:

“If past actions are the best indicators of future behavior, we know that any measure depending on the president’s enforcement will not be faithfully executed. It would be gravely irresponsible to further empower this administration by granting them additional authority or discretion with a new immigration system. The bottom line is – the American people do not trust the president to enforce laws, and we don’t either.”

Contrary to the delusional claim by these Republicans, polls show that a significant majority of the American people back the President’s view on immigration reform. What’s more, it is idiotic to assert an opposition to a law due to who occupies the White House rather than the efficacy of the law.

But that’s just how the modern GOP works. Hating Obama takes precedence over everything else, including responsible governing, the economy, the welfare of Americans, even questions of military engagement. And you can always rely on Fox News to be right there advancing the obstructionist right-wing hatefest, because Fox doesn’t care anymore about the American people than the Tea-publican extremists in Congress.

Fox Nation Promotes Creepy Uncle Sam Video To Discourage ObamaCare Sign-Ups

As previously reported here, Fox News has been engaged in a coordinated campaign to drive down participation in the Affordable Care Act (ObamaCare) by preventing eligible citizens from learning about their options under the new law. It is Fox’s goal to see ObamaCare fail because they prefer a system that gouges patients, fails to serve at-risk constituencies, and enriches heartless corporations, who in turn enrich their Republican benefactors in Congress.

In addition to keeping citizens ignorant about their legal opportunities for access to health care, Fox is now helping to promote a campaign that is attempting to frighten young consumers away from ObamaCare with blatant disinformation and outright lies (See Fox Nation vs. Reality for a compendium of Fox lies with full documentation). The new campaign features a video (below) produced by a Koch Brothers-funded operation called Generation Opportunity. Their mission is to prevent younger, healthier people from enrolling in ObamaCare, which would strain the financial viability of the program. Unfortunately for those who are fooled by this effort, it would also subject them to greater risks to their health and the threat of financial devastation should they become ill or injured.

The videos show young patients visiting their doctors for routine examinations, but are then surprised by the appearance of an “Uncle Sam” character who has a decidedly perverse demeanor and intent. The young patients react with justifiable horror, which is the same reaction that the video’s producers hope to instill in viewers. The ending tag line is “Don’t let the government play doctor,” which is followed by an appeal to “Opt Out” of ObamaCare.

However, the video does not describe anything in the health care law that would permit the government to interfere with a patient’s relationship with their doctor. There isn’t even an attempt to provide any facts that support their contention that the government would have any role in your medical care. The fear mongering in the video is entirely fabricated and untrue. It is the sort of typically vacuous dishonesty that permeates the GOP’s opposition to health care. Another recent example of this deceit is the charge that “ObamaCare will question your sex life.” That charge was obliterated by PolitiFact as a “Pants On Fire” lie.

Ironically, it is the Republican Party that has been most aggressive in their pursuit of intrusive medical practices. Several GOP governors and legislatures have enacted or proposed laws that prevent women from receiving the reproductive health care that their doctors prescribe. These bills call for invasive vaginal probes that are unpleasant and medically unnecessary. It is precisely the sort of perverse intrusion on a patient’s rights that the “Uncle Sam” video implies, but does not substantiate. Consequently, a better illustration of the horrors of medical interference would feature a Republican villain in the lead role.

Fox Nation
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Here is the offensive and dishonest video that Fox is helping to distribute:

Fox Nation vs. Reality: Fox News Recycles Three Year Old ObamaCare Lie

The professional prevaricators at Fox News really had to extend themselves to achieve their latest pinnacle of dishonesty. The lead story on their community web site, and Home of Flagrant Fallacies, Fox Nation, was another in their series of attacks on the Affordable Health Care Act (aka ObamaCare). The blazing headline read “Even Obama Buddy Warren Buffett Has Soured on ObamaCare: Scrap It and Start Over!”

Fox Nation

That would be a disconcerting development if it were true. But like so many things on Fox, it is not only untrue, it is an embarrassing fictionalization that reputable news enterprises avoid at all costs. Fox, it seems, seeks out this sort of malarkey.

Here’s the story. An obscure web site (Money Morning) that appears to thrive by hooking readers into dubious investment schemes, published an article that purported to be a recent interview with the Oracle of Omaha, Warren Buffett. The article, titled “Buffett: Scrap Obamacare and Start All Over,” presented quotes that were portrayed as his current, and negative, opinions about ObamaCare. For instance…

“We have a health system that, in terms of costs, is really out of control,” he added. “And if you take this line and you project what has been happening into the future, we will get less and less competitive. So we need something else.”

There are just two little problems: 1) The comments were actually made three years ago and 2) They were so far removed from context that Buffett’s spokesman disavowed them. The truth is that Buffett was commenting on a draft version of health care reform that was being debated in the senate in 2010. Contrary to the impression left by Money Morning that Buffett was criticizing ObamaCare in its current state as the law of the land, Buffet was merely offering his opinion of what he would prefer while the bill was still being crafted.

It is fair to say that Buffett had some constructive criticism at that stage of the bill’s development. However, when asked directly whether he would support the bill, he said that he would favor it over the other option of no bill at all. So Money Morning misrepresented the timing of the quotes, as well as the substance of their meaning. And to make matters worse, their blunder was picked up by numerous right-wing news outlets who were more than happy to hype what they thought was a falling out between Obama and Buffett.

Along with Fox Nation, the false story was published by the Wall Street Journal, the Weekly Standard, and the highly choleric NewsBusters. Since the publication, Money Morning edited their article to reflect that the content was three years old, but they did not acknowledge that their previous version was wrong (here is a link to the cached original text). Both the Weekly Standard and NewsBusters posted corrections. But neither of Rupert Murdoch’s properties, the Wall Street Journal and Fox Nation, have bothered to set the record straight.

The degree of dishonesty exhibited here was documented by PolitiFact, who did a thorough analysis. Their conclusion was that the misrepresentation of Buffett’s comments was a “Pants On Fire” lie. It is well worth reading their entire article. Included in their findings is the fact that Buffet expressed his support for ObamaCare just last year, and he praised the Supreme Court’s decision upholding it.

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It’s noteworthy that the Fox Nationalists posted their phoney story well after it was already known that it was wrong. And they have had plenty of time to discover the error and correct it, but have not done so. That’s because they don’t care whether their reporting is true or not. They only care if they can influence their gullible audience, even if that means misinforming them. And that is something that they do better than just about anybody else.