Scandal Roulette On Fox News: This Week’s Winner: IRS Emails

With the midterm election now relegated to a past too distant for Teabaggers to recall, Fox News is struggling to advance their scandal mongering. They have dropped Ebola entirely. Benghazi was just debunked by the Republican-run House Intelligence Committee. There haven’t been any terrorist attacks or gun confiscations or Christmas tree burnings that they could blame on President Obama. So that pretty much leaves his birth certificate or IRS emails.

Fox News Scandal Roulette

On Yesterday’s episode of the ong-running soap opera “America’s News Headquarters,” co-host Julie Banderas launched into a frightening alert that some secret documents that were being cloistered in the dark crevices of the White House basement were miraculously discovered.

“Topping the news this hour: First they were lost, seemingly forever, 30,000 of Lois Lerner’s emails at the center of a massive IRS scandal. But today…get this. They have been found. We begin today with the government’s version of lost and found. Federal investigators have recovered as many as 30,000 emails of Lois Lerner. Remember, they had gone missing?”

Get this, people! There were 30,000 of these suckers that were scattered to depths of Hades, but now they have been captured and returned the land of the living conspiracy nuts.

What needs to be known about this revelation is that it is not really much of a revelation at all. The data that is being reported as “recovered” comes from Treasury Department computer back ups that had previously been identified as part of an ongoing investigation. Nobody at Fox News has seen the contents of these allegedly scandalous documents, but that doesn’t stop them from describing the scale of the scandal as “massive.”

Furthermore, there is a possibility that the recovered documents are duplicates of data already delivered to the committees in Congress investigating the matter. Since they have already received over 67,000 such documents, it may be more a probability than a possibility.

There has been no evidence of any effort to conceal information. Indeed, this new crop of data was found by analysts with the Treasury Department, demonstrating their good intentions and thoroughness. And after two years there has been no evidence of any wrongdoing by the administration. It is very likely that any information culled from this data dump will be just as benign as everything else that has been revealed so far.

In the meantime, however, Fox News can squeal with glee as they falsely characterize data that they have never seen and have no idea whether it reveals any misbehavior. Just planting the notion in the minds of their dimwitted viewers is enough, because they will retain it even after it has been debunked. After all, Fox has already labeled this a massive scandal despite not having any proof.

Stay tuned for the next episode of Scandal Roulette. Will Fox find Obama’s Muslim prayer rug? Will they uncover secret videos with his gay lover? Will they find the ashes of the Constitution baked into a gluten-free muffin in Michele’s Che Guevara gym bag? Only time will tell.

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So That “Shrimp On A Treadmill” Thing? Just Another Fox News Sham

Back in May of 2011, Fox News assigned its crack investigative reporting team to expose a case of government malfeasance on a grand scale. They claimed to have uncovered wasteful spending on scientific research that served no purpose other than to line the pockets of academics engaged in questionable studies. At the top of the list was a now infamous project that involved the absurd but adorable image of a “shrimp on a treadmill.”

Fox News Shrimp Treadmill

This story became emblematic of government’s incompetence and inability to exercise fiscal restraint. Fox News took it up in big way with hundreds of segments featuring the by now exhausted little sea creature. It was featured on nearly every Fox program with Neil Cavuto playing a prominent role in hyping it with a hefty dose of smugly delivered disgust.

Well, if you haven’t guessed yet, it turns out that this is just another fraudulent invention of the myth spinners at Fox News. David Scholnick is the professor of marine biology at Pacific University in Forest Grove, Oregon, where the notorious research was conducted. Earlier this week he published an article for the Chronicle of Higher Education that laid out for the umpteenth time what was actually being studied and the true costs involved.

On behalf of the National Science Foundation, Scholnick developed a project to ascertain “how recent changes in the oceans could potentially affect the ability of marine organisms to fight infections.” He justified the study by linking it to the very real risk of bacteria contamination to the food supply. But more to the point, he adamantly denied the accusations of any fiscal improprieties.

“Exactly how much taxpayer money did go into the now-famous shrimp treadmill? The treadmill was, in fact, made from spare parts—an old truck inner tube was used for the tread, the bearings were borrowed from a skateboard, and a used pump motor was salvaged to power the treadmill. The total price for the highly publicized icon of wasteful government research spending? Less than $50. (All of which I paid for out of my own pocket.)”

The truth is that the $3 million dollars attributed to the study was actually an aggregate sum that was used for a variety of NSF projects. It was not the amount spent on the shrimp experiment. And there is no evidence that any of the funds were misused or were not justifiable from a research perspective.

However, given the attitude of Fox News and conservative politicians toward science, it is not surprising to find them falsely accusing scientists of malfeasance. The wingnut community staunchly denies the existence of man-made climate change, evolution, and even the harmful effects of excessive sugar, salt, and tobacco. It’s only a matter of time before they begin to challenge the “theory” of gravity.

At the end of his article Scholnick takes a well deserved swipe at his right-wing critics by offering to sell his shrimp-sized NordicTrack for the bargain price of $1 million – a 67% discount on the bogusly reported cost. That’s the sort of special only found during the Black Friday sales after Thanksgiving. Some lucky buyer is going to get endless hours of satisfaction and be the envy of his friends and neighbors.

Stay tuned for the Fox News correction of their erroneous reporting, which I’m sure they will be broadcasting just as soon as they are finished spewing lies about Benghazi, IRS emails, executive amnesty, ObamaCare, the Keystone XL pipeline, voter fraud, Ebola, trickle-down economics, and – oh never mind. It may be better not to stay tuned after all.

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Obama Quoting Scripture Is Repugnant To Fox News

During President Obama’s speech on immigration Thursday, he made the case for delaying the deportation of family members of U.S. citizens with a moral argument against separating families and demonizing those who came to America seeking a better life. Part of the justification he used were references from the Bible. The President said that “Scripture tells us that we shall not oppress a stranger, for we know the heart of a stranger –- we were strangers once, too.” Indeed, the Bible makes numerous references to the treatment of others, including foreigners. Leviticus 19:33-34 says

“33. And if a stranger sojourn with thee in your land, ye shall not do him wrong. 34. The stranger that sojourneth with you shall be unto you as the home-born among you, and thou shalt love him as thyself; for ye were sojourners in the land of Egypt.”

The morning following the President’s speech, the Kurvy Kouch Potatoes of Fox & Friends discussed his remarks and were, not surprisingly, appalled (video below). However, their outrage was not limited to the standard kneejerk Fox objections to anything Obama does and says. Extending the wingnut talking points beyond the crackpot allegations of tyranny and lawlessness, they ventured into decidedly more hostile and racist territory.

Fox News Bigots

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What rankled the tender sensitivities of the co-hosts Steve Doocy, Elizabeth Hasselbeck, and Tucker Carlson was that Obama had the temerity to express himself through his faith. The exchange that took place was a nauseating display of intolerance and undisguised hatred. It began with Carlson condemning Obama for “lecturing” on faith.

Carlson: For this guy specifically, the President, who spent his career defending late-term abortions, among other things, lecturing us on Christian faith? That’s too much. This is the Christian Left at work, and it’s repugnant. […]
Carlson: To quote scripture? That is just totally out of bounds.
Hasselbeck: Do you think it’s out of bounds that I just quoted scripture?
Carlson: No.
Doocy: It’s just different for him.

It’s just different for him? In what way? They never bother to get into it any deeper than that. but just the suggestion that a different standard exists for “specifically” this president reeks of bigotry. Whether it is rooted in race or politics it is disgusting and completely outside of the expertise of these hate mongers to pass judgment.

The statements by the Fox & Unfriendly crew would be bad enough without any other factors to consider. They are not remotely qualified to interpret either the Bible or any person’s intentions in citing it. However, as Media Matters noted, their commentary exhibited a rather astonishing measure of hypocrisy.

“It was only 48 hours prior to their November 21 broadcast that Fox & Friends criticized Obama for not espousing Christian values often enough. […they asked viewers to…] remember the time when American presidents weren’t afraid to talk about traditional values, as Ronald Reagan did back in 1981.”

So Obama is immoral when he doesn’t mention God, and repugnant when he does? And it’s OK for Reagan to wrap himself in biblical justifications for his agenda that included demonizing the poor as “welfare queens,” throwing the mentally ill out of institutions and unto the street, labeling Nelson Mandela a terrorist, selling arms to hostage takers in Iran, and using the proceeds to bankroll murderous rebels in Nicaragua. But for Obama to advocate for the unity of families is “totally out of bounds.”

The flagrantly biased, hateful, and hypocritical hosts of Fox & Friends might want to look to a recognized authority on Christian faith for guidance on how to deal with immigrants.

Pope Francis: Migrants and refugees are not pawns on the chessboard of humanity. They are children, women and men who leave or who are forced to leave their homes for various reasons, who share a legitimate desire for knowing and having, but above all for being more.

For more examples of mutilated journalism…
Read Fox Nation vs. Reality. Available now at Amazon.

[Update:] Fox News host and prospective candidate for the GOP nomination for president (and sanctimonious jerkwad), Mike Huckabee, has joined the chorus bashing Obama for quoting scripture.

Republican Intelligence Committee Report Blows Up The Benghazi Hoax [Updated]

The Republican-led House Intelligence Committee responsible for investigating Benghazi released its final report in a pre-Thanksgiving Friday news dump. Their conclusions debunked nearly every right-wing, Fox News, conservative fruitcake, conspiracy theory that has been circling the wingnut drain for the past two years.

Benghazi

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The Associated Press is reporting that the Committee’s findings absolve the administration of any wrongdoing. That includes the grossly unfair attacks on then-UN Ambassador Susan Rice, the allegations that military rescue units were told to “stand down,” and numerous assaults on Hillary Clinton’s character and management of the State Department. The House Committee report’s conclusions affirm those of the Senate Intelligence Committee who issued their own report on Benghazi nearly a year ago. The AP said in part…

“In the aftermath of the attacks, Republicans criticized the Obama administration and its then-secretary of state, Hillary Rodham Clinton, who is expected to run for president in 2016. People in and out of government have alleged that a CIA response team was ordered to ‘stand down’ after the State Department compound came under attack, that a military rescue was nixed, that officials intentionally downplayed the role of al-Qaida figures in the attack, and that Stevens and the CIA were involved in a secret operation to spirit weapons out of Libya and into the hands of Syrian rebels. None of that is true, according to the House Intelligence Committee report.”

Some of the flaws in the follow-up to the attack were identified by the committee as being the result of mistakes by “intelligence analysts, not political appointees.” This absolves both the Obama administration and Clinton, who Republicans were hoping to smear with false allegations connected to the Benghazi affair.

One area that received criticism in the report regarded whether adequate security was in place at the time of the attack. The report concluded that the facility was not well protected. However, it did not go into the fact that it was a diplomatic outpost, not a military base. Generally diplomatic facilities are designed to be open to the public and welcoming of local residents. A militaristic presence would defeat the purpose of the diplomatic mission. Consequently, the fine line between security and accessibility is often difficult to define.

The question now is whether the new House Select Committee on the Politicization of Benghazi that GOP Speaker John Boehner impaneled will continue its work. In order to do so they would have to presume that their colleagues on the Intelligence Committee screwed up. That would make for an interesting fight between fellow GOP chairmen Mike Rogers and Trey Gowdy. However, the new Committee, that was formed last May, hasn’t done much work and has held only one meeting in the six months since its creation. If it were to dissolve tomorrow it’s probable that nobody would notice. So while failing to uncover anything untoward, the GOP has spent millions of dollars struggling to create a controversy, but succeeded only in proving that they are utterly inept.

It will also be interesting to see if Fox News even bothers to report the conclusions of the Intelligence Committee. Fox has spent innumerable hours flailing Obama, Clinton, Rice, and anyone else they thought they could impugn with slanderous allegations for two years now. They have attacked people as liars, incompetents, even traitors, and called for the impeachment of President Obama. Never mind that they never had any evidence of any wrongdoing.

And now their own GOP inquisitors have given the administration a complete vindication. Will Fox News do a special hour report on “Benghazi: The Exoneration of the White House?” Not that that would compensate for the Benghazi fixation that has consumed Fox for so long. In addition to their relentless blanketing of the airwaves with Benghazi porn as a matter of routine, they have produced several special reports on the subject with hyperbolic titles such as…

  • Fox News Reporting: 13 Hours at Benghazi.
  • Fox News Reporting: Benghazi: White House Cover-Up Revealed?
  • Special Report Investigates: Death and Deceit in Benghazi.
  • Fox News Reporting: Benghazi: The Truth Behind the Smokescreen.
  • Special Report Investigates: Benghazi – New Revelations.

And nothing has come of any of it. When does Fox News broadcast a retraction and an apology to those whose reputations they have tarnished? When do they admit that it was all a partisan scheme to demean Democrats and help Republicans? When do the begin to honor their slogan “fair and balanced” by giving their viewers a more complete picture of reality?

Don’t waste too much time pondering the answers to those questions. Fox will never exhibit the integrity required to be legitimate journalists. They were conceived as a right-wing propaganda operation and they will remain faithful to that nefarious mission. Even as facts emerge, like those from the House Intelligence Committee, that prove they are flagrantly partisan and dishonest.

For more examples of Fox’s shamelessness…
Get Fox Nation vs. Reality. Available now at Amazon.

[Update:] Fox News posted an account of the House Intelligence Committees’s report on their website that was predictably biased. It failed to report any of the exonerating conclusions made by the GOP-led panel. Instead, it appeared under a misleading headline that read “CIA gathered intelligence on weapons to Syria: Benghazi report,” and focused on ancillary issues that were either not in contention or were the flawed product of intelligence analysts.

[Update: 11/22] Fox News finally mentioned the House Intel report on the air in a segment that lasted only 36 seconds and, true to form, they completely ignored the salient facts that exonerated the administration.

[Update: 11/23] On Fox’s MediaBuzz, host Howard Kurtz raised the question of whether the committee report received the amount of coverage that it warranted. He concluded that it did not.

“The House Intelligence Committee issued the results of a two year investigation of Benghazi and, among other things, the committee controlled by Republicans says that their was no intelligence failure. There was no stand-down order. There was no cover up by administration officials, or at least no intention to deceive. […] Given all the attention that Benghazi has gotten, including on this network, should that have gotten more coverage?

Also on the program was disgraced former CBS reporter Sharyl Attkisson who disagreed for some absurdly petty reasons.

“There were no answers, I think, to the great imponderables, which may be why it didn’t get more coverage. Like what was the President doing that night? Why can’t we see the White House photos. What happened to the surveillance video in Benghazi.”

First of all, all of those “imponderables” were previously pondered and answered. But more to the point, it is ridiculous to suggest that seeing photos from the White House, thousands of miles away from the scene, is more important than than correcting allegations of a cover up or debunking scurrilous conspiracy theories claiming that Americans were deliberately left behind to die. Attkisson, who wants to taken seriously as a journalist, is embarrassing herself again with a fixation on tabloid irrelevancies.

Fox News Responds To Obama’s Immigration Speech: Bitch, Bitch, Bitch

President Obama delivered his address this evening that laid out his proposals for immigration reform. His plan was a balanced collection of enhanced security measures along with the more controversial initiative to delay deportations for family members of citizens.

Obama: We Were Once Strangers Too

The President made an impassioned plea to preserve families and the values that define American character. He supported his authority to take these steps by noting that every president – Republican and Democrat – for the past half century have taken similar actions. And he prevailed upon the Congress to produce legislation that would make permanent reforms and negate entirely the need for this executive action.

And the response from the conservatives who inhabit the Fox News asylum of kneejerk negativity? Well, you can probably guess. There were four main arguments that the right-wing politicians and pundits threw back at the President, and none of them addressed the substance of the issue.

  • One: Obama is overstepping his legal authority and venturing into the realm of an unconstitutional breach of separation of powers. However, most actual legal experts (including Bush’s former Attorney General Michael Mukasey earlier today on Fox News) agree that the specific measures being implemented by Obama are within his authority to take.
  • Two: The president should have waited for Congress to act rather than “going it alone.” But by any objective analysis that would have taken longer than the President has left in office. Congress has shown a distinct disinterest in advancing this issue. There is already a bill that was passed by the Senate on a bipartisan basis that would pass tomorrow in the House if Speaker John Boehner would allow a vote. Don’t hold your breath.
  • Three: They wonder why Obama didn’t get a bill through Congress during the first two years of his first term when Democrats controlled the House and Senate. For the record, Democrats did not have a filibuster proof majority in the Senate for six months after the election while votes were still being counted and contested for Al Franken’s seat in Minnesota. After that there was a full agenda that included health care, recovery from a severe economic collapse, and matters involving the two wars that were still raging in Afghanistan and Iraq. And in the final analysis, it is congress that sets the agenda for what legislation will be taken up, not the President. That’s the same congress that has distinguished itself in the last six years as the least productive in history. More to the point, this has nothing whatsoever to do with the debate today. The only reason it is brought up is to distract from the issue at hand.
  • Four: The Fox contingent accused Obama of hypocrisy for saying in the past that he didn’t have the legal authority to do this, but now he is doing it anyway. However, they are badly conflating two different positions. Obama’s prior remarks correctly stated that he could not assume the authority of congress to make laws such as granting citizenship. But that isn’t what he did today. It is entirely within the President’s purview to instruct his Department of Justice on matters of prosecutorial discretion. Furthermore, it is within his authority direct the law enforcement resources of the Border Patrol and Immigration services.

The problem with Fox News and the GOP is that they complain about the President trying to move forward, but offer no solutions themselves. They allege that he is doing it solely for political purposes. So why don’t they stifle his scheme by passing a bill of their own? Not only would that deny Obama the political high ground they think he is trying to grab, it would nullify the executive action announced today that they so bitterly oppose and believe is unconstitutional. Why do they engage in evasive arguments by reaching back to the President’s earliest days in office, and even before that, to raise irrelevancies that ignore the real issue?

By refusing to act, Congress is demonstrating that all of their whining is no more than a disingenuous and partisan temper tantrum. They prove that they are more interested in having an argument than a solution. Congress has the power to set the course going forward and cast aside what they regard as a presidential power grab, but they won’t exercise it. And until they can explain why, their bitching has to be dismissed as cynical political carping and distraction.

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Glenn Beck’s Failing Health And Wealth Gets Treated By Fox News Spin Doctors

When Glenn Beck lost his perch on Fox News three years ago, his public profile shrunk considerably. He was no longer seen by a million addled viewers every day who clung worshipfully to his every utterance of apocalyptic doom. Yet he soldiered on promising to become “a thousand times more powerful” in whatever new venture he undertook. That was a promise he has not been able to keep.

As a result, he has resorted to literally begging his audience to subscribe to his Internet webcast, reaching out to investors he once swore off as limiting his free expression, and prostrating himself to the television gods hoping to regain access to their domain. It gives the title of his 2010 book a whole new meaning as to whether Beck himself is going broke.

Glenn Beck Going Broke

Beck’s recent confessional regarding his health problems has stirred a great deal of controversy from skeptics who regard the performance as a cynical ploy for attention and revenue enhancement. News Corpse addressed that skepticism with the observation that Beck had conveniently healed himself at the same time he announced the mystery malady. However, he also confirmed that throughout much of the time he was accused of saying crazy things he actually was (is?) crazy.

Enter Fox News to clean up the mess Beck created and put it all in a glowing light of blessed prosperity. Fox’s whoring media analyst, Howard Kurtz, brought in conservative shill Joe Concha to polish the story. Concha began by lionizing the woefully ailing Beck as a brave figure who is leading the “the humanization of opinion journalism” (whatever that means). He added that…

“Guys like [Mark] Levin, and [Rush] Limbaugh, and Glenn Beck – they’re humanizing this whole process as well. Think about what Glenn said when he made that statement. He said ‘You know what? This isn’t meant for the press. This is between you and me.'”

Note to Joe Concha: When someone posts a two hour video monologue, seated next to a long-suffering wife, while sobbing and praising God for a miraculous healing, that is not a personal message to a private audience. And if you think that Beck was not aware of the interest in this campy melodrama among members of the tabloid press, you really should get out of the media business.

Concha continued his defense of Beck by taking a cowardly swipe at Cenk Uygur, who he called “a former MSNBC host screaming to be relevant again,” but whose name he could not utter. Ironically, if anyone is screaming to be relevant again it’s Beck, but that was beyond Concha’s ability to comprehend. Instead, he criticized Uygur’s assertion that Beck was hyping a dubious illness in order to get back on television and make more money. Then Concha rattled off a list of mostly unverified accounts of Beck’s wealth. He sought to belittle Beck’s critics by smugly declaring that “Anybody who says he’s going bankrupt and he made up this whole thing because he doesn’t have a couple of dollars in his pocket doesn’t live in a reality that has Google, a calculator, and basic logic.” To which an obviously enchanted Kurtz responded “Alright, you’ve settled that question,” which, of course, he had not done.

To the contrary, it is Concha who has abandoned both logic and any understanding of basic economics. What’s missing from his Beck-fluffing analysis is that income is not the sole determinative component of net worth. You also need to factor in spending and debt. And by Beck’s own account he was bleeding money and needed to be rescued by either his loyal disciples, outside investors, or a return to television.

Beck has wailed plaintively in the recent past that “Already I’ve lost quite a tidy sum.” As a result he was forced to beg his disciples to increase his subscription base because “I thought I had time. I need your help.” That doesn’t sound like a healthy business enterprise. To be sure, he has spent heavily on a new television studio in the suburbs of Dallas. And he is allegedly bankrolling a film studio modeled after the Walt Disney organization, complete with high tech animation and effects facilities. He is also running retail businesses and stage presentations and publishing imprints. All of these activities have costs associated with them.

Beck does not disclose financial statements for himself or his businesses, so there is no way of knowing whether the mega-bucks he is reported to be pulling in cover his expenses. However, the debt he is compiling may be what led to his filing with the SEC seeking $40 million in funding for TheBlaze (As of 7/1/2014 he had only $6.4 million). This comes after he previously vowed to abstain from outside investors saying that…

“I do not want outside investors. We have talked about it. We have had outside investors come to us. We have had hedge funds come to us. People want to invest in my business because we are creating jobs and creating wealth. I do not want outside investors because I do not want to have to answer to anyone else.”

Apparently he wants them now. He also wants back on TV. He has been working furiously to get cable operators to carry his video blog. That in itself is an admission that the web business is failing. If he does get the cable carriage he longs for, that programming will be available for free to all of the current cable subscribers on the system. So why would anyone pay for the web programming? If the Internet subscription model was working for him, Beck wouldn’t risk cannibalizing his online customers by offering the same content for free on cable.

It’s clear that the hacks on Fox News haven’t taken these factors into consideration. Consequently, they mouth off on subjects about which they are totally ignorant. But then that’s how they got their jobs at Fox in the first place. Being ignorant, or at least willing to lie with a straight face, is a prerequisite for employment at Fox News. What else could explain Sean Hannity, Steve Doocy, Gretchen Carlson, Keith Ablow, and, of course, Joe Concha and Howard Kurtz?

Obsessive Gruber Syndrome: Fox News Suffers From Its Own Manic Spin Cycle

A week after some stale and unfortunate comments by M.I.T. professor Jonathan Gruber were revealed, the conservative media circus have drenched themselves in it. And leading the way, of course, is Fox News where there isn’t an hour that goes by without some new and highly hyperbolized reference to Gruber’s remarks.

Fox News Gruber Brainwashing

An analysis by PolitiFact found that mentions of the Gruber affair occurred 779 times on Fox News since November 10th. That’s once every fifteen minutes, 24 hours a day, for eight straight days. It suggests an editorial obsession that exceeds anything they have exhibited for other current news events, including immigration, Ebola, and the battle against ISIL who just executed another American hostage. By comparison MSNBC mentioned Gruber only 79 times and CNN had 27 mentions. Of course, Fox News believes that the rest of the media are inappropriately ignoring the story, but the truth is that there is no news here other than a single person who is not a legislator or White House staffer saying things that no one else has corroborated.

Implicit in the incessant rash of criticism of Gruber, and by extension, the President, is the assertion that supporters of the Affordable Care Act (aka ObamaCare) have lied about its contents. But if you’re interested in an assemblage of ObamaCare lies you need to look at the Republicans and their mouthpieces on Fox News.

Rarely mentioned is the fact that the substance of what Gruber said is not representative of anything but his own opinion. President Obama has dismissed him as a consultant and repudiated his insult to American voters. It has also been noted that ObamaCare is one of the most thoroughly debated pieces of legislation that has ever trudged through the Congress. So Gruber’s flippant references to a lack of transparency simply make no sense at all.

What’s more, it is pointless to reach back in time to a remark about ObamaCare when the bill has already been implemented and the results can be seen in action. There are more than ten million people who have insurance coverage now than did before the bill had passed. Those who have signed up are overwhelmingly satisfied with the coverage and the cost. And there haven’t been any disasters erupting from alleged secrets tucked into the bill.

Gruber - Hatch

The portion of Gruber’s remarks that has received the most attention is where he alluded to “the stupidity of the American people.” Right-wingers have never been shy about calling voters stupid in the past, particularly when discussing those who support Democrats. But in this case they are exploiting the gaffe in order to bash ObamaCare and the President. However, if you edit slightly Gruber’s wording you can arrive at an observation that is unarguably true. And that is that a certain segment of the American electorate is very noticeably stupid: Fox News viewers. They have been conned by the network’s relentless assault on ObamaCare. The current fixation on Gruber is simply a reaction to their inability to criticize the program on substance.

If, however, you are determined to look back to find something relevant to the current health care debate, you might want to check out Mitt Romney’s speech in April of 2006 when he signed the Massachusetts health care bill that was the model for ObamaCare. Romney took time to thank those he relied on to draft and implement his plan. And one of those people was Jonathan Gruber, about whom Romney said…

“I want to thank the many, many people in this room who were critical to crafting and coaxing the bold health care initiative that I’m about to sign. […] Jonathan Gruber at MIT devoted hours and hours to an essential econometric model.”

For an interesting Gruber reference you won’t see on Fox News, here is a clip from the Lawrence O’Donnell show on MSNBC in October of 2011 that identifies Gruber as a “Romney health care consultant.” It will be interesting to see if the Republicans who are hammering Obama for his association with Gruber will cast the same measure of scorn on Romney.

Shameless self-promotion…
Get Fox Nation vs. Reality. Available now at Amazon.

[Addendum] Fox Nation is already beating on another video where Obama is quoted as saying “I have stolen ideas from [Gruber].” But in this case the video is from April of 2006, when Obama was a senator, and his remarks were about the launch of The Hamilton Project, an economic think tank from the centrist Brookings Institute. So it was before he was president and had nothing to do with health care. But Fox’s deceitful reporting never mentioned any of that.

Stupid On Steroids: Right-Wing Reprises The Preposterous ObamaCARS Lie

A little known website with no reputation or credibility recently published a story that purported to reveal a shocking abuse of the American people’s treasury. The headline from the “American News” wailed that “Congress Approves Bill Offering Free Cars To Welfare Recipients.”

Goodness me. That won’t do at all. What’s wrong with those dippy congress critters?

As it turns out, there may be plenty wrong with our representatives in Washington, but giving cars away to welfare recipients isn’t one of them. The article was originally published by the openly satirical website Empire News. American News picked it up without attribution and tens of thousands of conservative blockheads thrust it into viral status. The article said in part that…

“Recently, the White House announced a plan to offer free vehicles to welfare recipients. According to reports, the bill passed in a narrow vote. The program was initiated by President Barack Obama, and in many way mirrors what has become known as ‘The Obama Phone’, or the program through which welfare recipients can get free cell phone service. […] This free vehicle assistance program is designed to change the way Americans are currently living. The President will sign the bill later this week, and the planning will be put into motion.”

For the record, the Obama Phone affair was another fabrication of the rightist Fib Factory that distorted the real purpose of the program and then sought to blame Obama for the invented travesty, while neglecting to disclose that the program began under Ronald Reagan.

The American News story was reviewed by PolitiFact who declared it a Pants-On-Fire lie. However, this isn’t the first time the ObamaCars nonsense surfaced in the wingnut world. In June of 2013 the Kurvy Kouch Potatoes of Fox & Friends displayed their crack journalistic skills by reporting on an outrageous breach of the public trust. Here is an excerpt from my article at the time:

ObamaCars

“On Fox & Friends, the curvy couch potatoes were joined by radio shrew Laura Ingraham, Bush’s former press secretary, Dana Perino, and Rupert Murdoch’s personal lawyer, Peter Johnson, Jr. (the man with three names that are all synonyms for penis). In the course of their conversation they introduced a budding scandalette that they clearly believe will rip the heart out of their beastly foe in the White House.

“What the Foxies are alleging is that, in the words of Steve Doocy, “there’s a provision in the Immigration bill that could be used to give free cars, motorcycles, scooters, and other vehicles, to young people.” Oh my. That would troubling – if there were even a scintilla of truth to it which, of course, there is not. This laughably ridiculous claim seems to have originated at the Official Birthplace of Laughably Ridiculous Claims, Breitbart News, where they extrapolated a nonsensical analysis of an amendment attached to the bill to allocate funding for youth job programs. The language that Breitbart and Fox found so offensive simply described that the funds were to be used … [for busfare] (Continue reading this article here)

Back in 2013 PolitiFact also analyzed the Breitbart article and gave it a Pants-On-Fire rating as well. Fox News, in keeping with their no-apologies corporate doctrine never acknowledged or corrected their erroneous reporting. And since the psychotic wingnut brigades are reluctant to ever let any phony scandal fade into the obscurity it deserves, the ObamaCar business is once again hitting the streets. It can join the recently resurrected ObamaCare Death Panels, and look for the currently out-of-favor Ebola and Benghazi freakouts to regain momentum soon.

For more outrageous examples of proven Fox lies…
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Congress Set To Vote On Koch Brothers Wealth Enhancement Act Of 2014 (Keystone XL)

There have been so many lies told about the Keystone XL Pipeline by self-interested corporations and whoring pundits that many of the facts get obscured in the bitterly polluted atmosphere. That trend is escalating as Congress prepares another pointless vote to advance the project despite President Obama’s vow to veto it should it arrive at his desk.

Koch Brothers Keystone

On this weekend’s Sunday news programs representatives of the oil industry, and their lackeys in Congress, made a concerted effort to muddy the debate again by deceiving viewers with demonstrably false assertions.

Among the deceivers was Russ Girling, CEO of the pipeline builder TransCanada, who told ABC’s Martha Raddatz that “the 42,000 jobs created by the Keystone XL pipeline are ‘ongoing, enduring jobs.'” This statement was reiterated after Raddatz explicitly challenged Girling on the figures. However, PolitiFact investigated the matter and found Girling’s statement to be false:

“Importantly, as Raddatz said, these jobs would only be supported during the construction phase, which is expected to take one to two years. After construction, the pipeline would employ about 50 people, primarily for maintenance.”

So Girling was only off by about 99.9 percent. This is typical of the disinformation campaign orchestrated by the fossil fuel folks who brazenly put their profits above the health of people and the planet.

This propaganda on behalf of greedy polluters is facilitated by the Republican PR division, otherwise known as Fox News. In recent weeks Fox has disseminated the same dishonest analyses on several programs. Among them were Happening Now where last week host Heather Nauert made the false claim of 40,000 jobs created, and Fox & Friends where co-host Anna Kooiman did the same the week before.

The truth that there will only be about fifty permanent jobs created shows just how distant reality is from the unscrupulous mouthpieces of the Dead Earth trade. But that isn’t the only falsehood they are spewing. The entire project is a scam devised to enrich oil exporters. The product that would flow through the pipeline is Canadian oil destined for markets in Europe and Asia. The President noted this on Friday advising people to…

“Understand what this project is: It is providing the ability of Canada to pump their oil, send it through our land, down to the Gulf, where it will be sold everywhere else. It doesn’t have an impact on U.S. gas prices.”

Will the truth prevail in the debate that is being rushed through the Senate this week? Will the fact be addressed that the project cannot even proceed until the states through which the pipeline passes grant permission? And will the American people finally realize that the Koch brothers have more sway with the Republican congress than they do, and do something about it?

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Delusional Fox News Host Says It’s Government Policy To Give Welfare To Terrorists

On the morning when tragic news that another America hostage was executed by radical ISIL terrorists, Fox News exploited the tragedy to fabricate a ludicrous allegation regarding immigration and national security.

On Fox & Friends Sunday (video below), co-host Tucker Carlson, possibly the stupidest man on Fox (and that’s saying something) responded to remarks by a former Navy SEAL who thinks that terrorists are on their way to the United States where we will “take [them] into our warm embrace” and get them lawyers to “get [them] off of these charges.” For Carlson that mouthful of madness was not only reasonable, but he agreed and added “Or give tons of social welfare benefits, which is exactly our policy now.”

Fox News Tucker Carlson

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If the other two blockheads on the couch next to Carlson had any functioning brain matter they might have asked Carlson to point out precisely which policy grants “tons of social welfare benefits” to migrating terrorists. Since it is “exactly” our policy now, that shouldn’t be difficult to do.

Carlson, however, wasn’t through disgorging his nearly hollow cranial cavity. in addition to his deranged notion that ISIL is dining on lobster and champagne courtesy of American food stamps, and lounging by the poolside of a subsidized penthouse apartment, Carlson also has the impression that their fighters are being granted free admittance into America without so much as a sideways glance. He dissembled that…

“We have no policy that I’m aware of that restricts immigration from countries where ISIS is popular into the United States. Why wouldn’t we be doing that? I mean, this is more dangerous to us than Ebola. And yet, I’m not aware of any public debate about restricting movement from those countries where ISIS is, you know, a group of folk heroes into the United States. Why?”

Why? Because just the fact that you are not aware of something doesn’t make it so. The truth is there are laws that restrict immigration into the U.S. from nations that are state sponsors of terrorism, including Syria where ISIL is from. There are also similar laws restricting those associated with Foreign Terrorist Organizations. They specifically declare that “representatives and members of a designated FTO, if they are aliens, are inadmissible to and, in certain circumstances, removable from the United States.”

A quick note on Carlson’s assertion that migrating terrorists are “more dangerous to us than Ebola.” Among other things, being sucked into a black hole is more dangerous to us than Ebola; getting carried off by Bigfoot is more dangerous to us than Ebola; and mostly watching Fox News is more dangerous to us than Ebola. But that didn’t stop Carlson from fretting last month that “In light of the seriousness of this [Ebola] problem, it’s inexplicable that the president dismisses almost with the wave of his hand the notion that you would restrict air travel from the places afflicted.”

So Carlson has demonstrated that he is wholly ignorant of the subject he is blathering about on the air. That in itself should not surprise anyone. It is the standard state of affairs at Fox News. It is in keeping with their mission to spread fear through ignorance and disinformation. What’s surprising is that propagandist mouthpieces like Carlson are not even trying to disguise their idiocy or hide their lies in plausible rhetoric. They have obviously determined that, given the intellectual retardation of their audience, subversive tactics are unnecessary.

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Cold Dead Hands: Gun Nuts Demand 2nd Amendment Rights For Zombies

Note: This is not a joke. Fox News is reporting that police in Buffalo, New York are collecting guns from the estates of deceased firearms registrants. And the ammosexual radicals are furious. The Fox story begins by stating that…

“A plan by police in Buffalo, N.Y., to begin confiscating the firearms of legal gun owners within days of their deaths is drawing fire from Second Amendment advocates.”

Zombie Charlton Heston

It seems like it should be unnecessary to point out that dead people cannot be “legal gun owners.” But that’s how Fox frames the issue. Even Charlton Heston conceded that his guns could be taken after he had died. The article goes on to quote Tom King, a gun rights group representative, claiming that the heirs are not told that, under the law, they can sell the weapons or apply to have them re-registered. However, there is no confirmation of that claim. In all likelihood the heirs must be told of their legal options and probably are.

King also asserts that the law is the latest example of authorities targeting law-abiding gun owners. Once again, dead people are not law-abiding gun owners, so the law cannot be targeting them. And the heirs, absent a registration in their name, are not in compliance with the law.

The Buffalo Police Department held a press conference to explain that the policy is intended to keep firearms out of the wrong hands. When a registered owner dies, the weapon often is not safely secured by surviving family members, if they even know that it exists. It is also not traceable in the event it is stolen or used in a crime.

A pro-gun website was quoted in the article as saying that this is “the camel’s nose under the tent to get at every firearm they can.” That is a typically paranoid response by gun nuts who seem to think that dead gun owners are a significant constituency of Americans whose constitutional rights must be protected. Let’s call them 2nd Amendment Zombies.

Naturally, the right-wing media circus has come to the defense of this newly christened special interest group of Departed-Americans who are being discriminated against. The story is spreading fast to outlets like the Tea Party News Network, conspiracy king Alex Jones’ Infowars, and Glenn Beck’s TheBlaze.

This law is just common sense. It is no different than title rights to cars or houses or other similar property that cannot remain in the name of the deceased. Eventually all gun owners will die and, without enforcement of this statute, every gun would become unlicensed and untraceable. The fact that gun nuts are getting worked up over this demonstrates the extremism of their views. They don’t bother to spell out their alternative, which is apparently to allow the registrations to lapse and let thousands of guns go unaccounted for.

Therein lies the true agenda of the NRA-theists. They are already suggesting that, due to this law, 2nd Amendment “patriots” should decline to register their guns so that the feds won’t know about them when they die. Their worship of guns is so fanatical that it extends to the afterlife, and they will oppose any registration policy that interferes with the free distribution of guns to anyone who wants them, including criminals, the mentally ill, and terrorists (and, yes, the NRA has opposed legislation prohibiting gun purchases by those on the terrorist watch list).

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What’s next for these lunatics? If guns can remain registered to corpses, then why not allow new weapons purchases to be registered in the name of a recent migrant to the hereafter or a favorite departed uncle? Why not just register all your guns Jesus? Maybe I shouldn’t give them any ideas.

Or as Dennis Hopper says in Land of the Dead: “Zombies, man…They creep me out.”

Fortunate Son Burn: To Fox News An Anti-War Song Is Anti-Military

In a never ending quest to find artificially negative themes with which to provoke their mentally unstable viewers into irrational panics, Fox News latched onto the broadcast of an HBO tribute to veterans on Veterans Day. The atrocity that caught their attention was a performance by Bruce Springsteen, Dave Grohl, and Zac Brown, of the classic 1960’s song “Fortunate Son” by Creedence Clearwater Revival. And it was literally, according to Fox, an outrage.

Fox News Fortunate Son

What ruffled Fox’s chickenhawk feathers was their addled interpretation of the song as anti-military. And what made the song anti-military was that it was allegedly anti-war. Fox pounded that view into their audience all day with segments on Fox & Friends, where co-host Anna Kooiman said it was “a slap in the face” to veterans; on Outnumbered, where it was characterized as an “outrage;” and on The Five, where co-host Eric Bolling called the choice of material “a mistake.”

First of all, the song is not anti-war. It is anti-elitist privileged classes that exempt themselves from the burdens of society. It explicitly criticizes the rich and powerful who vote themselves tax cuts and shield their kids from the dirty business of defending the freedom that they exploit. The song’s title should make it obvious enough that the hacks on Fox wouldn’t need to struggle to figure it out.

Secondly, even if the song were anti-war, that does not translate to anti-military in any sane person’s mind. Some of the most anti-war people you will ever meet are soldiers and veterans. This makes perfect sense because they are the ones most affected by war. When military conflicts are averted they remain safe and their families are spared the anxiety of separation and potential tragedy.

For Fox to contrive an anti-military spin to the concept of anti-war requires them to adopt the view that in order to be pro-military you must be pro-war. That is ludicrous on its face. In fact, the opposite is true. Anyone who is truly pro-military wants every possible measure taken to avoid sending America’s sons and daughters into battle. Once in battle, support for the military is expressed by wishes for the safe completion of their mission and return home. No supporter of the military also supports an enduring war.

Nevertheless, the confused anti-military viewpoint of the talking head set is precisely what Fox News wants to project to their dimwitted audience. They obviously have no grasp of the real nature of patriotism, and they are even worse when they pretend to be rock music critics.

For your entertainment pleasure, here is the awesome version of Fortunate Son performed at the Concert for Valor:

So F**KING What: Hillary Clinton Is OLD And Fox News Wants You To Know It

Now that the midterms are out of the way, Fox News can concentrate on the 2016 presidential race, and that means relentless and asinine criticisms of prospective Democratic candidate Hillary Clinton. In fact, the obsessive bashing has already begun with Fox pulling sentence fragments out of context and making fun of her laugh. And now they are raising an issue that is certain to register with their overwhelmingly elderly audience: Millennials Have No Idea Hillary Clinton Is Old.

Fox Nation Hillary Clinton

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That’s right, Fox News thinks it’s important to know that young Americans don’t know how old Clinton is. And the reason they find significance in this is…Oh, who the hell knows. Perhaps they think that young voters won’t support a 67 year old candidate. But if that’s true they would also have to dispense with many Republicans who are even older than Clinton, including the new Senate Majority Leader, Mitch McConnell.

This is an insult to every senior citizen in the country. There is a distinct odor of ageism in it that compliments Fox’s racism, jingoism, homophobia, and other assorted flavors of bigotry. What other purpose could there be for making an issue of this rather bland factoid?

The article that Fox published on their lie-riddled Fox Nation website was sourced to the uber-rightist Daily Caller, which happens to be run by Fox News host Tucker Carlson. in the piece it is reported that “a new Pew Research poll” found that only 27% of 18-29 year olds were able to correctly say Clinton is in her sixties. On the surface that would seem to be flattering to Clinton who appears younger than her years. But Fox wants to make sure it is seen as an insult.

However, digging a little deeper and you find that this isn’t a new poll at all. Pew published this data back in March as part of a larger survey that also showed the public as generally supportive of Clinton. She was viewed by majorities as being tough, honest, and a plurality thought that this old broad has new ideas.

This isn’t the first time that Fox has gone after Clinton based on her age. Earlier this year Fox contributor Karl Rove lashed out at Clinton saying…

“In American politics, there’s a sense you want to be new, you don’t want to be too familiar, you want to be something fresh, you don’t want to be something old and stale.”

Exactly, You don’t want something old and stale like Ronald Reagan who was older than Clinton when he took office. You don’t people like Fox News viewers whose average age is 69 years old. You don’t want people who have a past filled with experience. If you’re Fox News you just want people whose thinking is from the past. You want youngsters like Rand Paul and Ted Cruz who oppose civil rights and voting rights and women’s rights, and who advocate economic policies that favor the wealthy and were responsible for the worst recession in nearly a hundred years.

And finally, if you’re Fox News you have no problem insulting the largest demographic group that makes up your audience, not to mention the most reliable voting bloc among the citizenry. Nice work, Fox. Keep it up. You have just demonstrated that you hate senior citizens and you think Millennials are stupid.

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Not So Breitbart: Attack On Obama’s Attorney General Nominee Snares Wrong Victim

On Friday the White House announced that President Obama would nominate United States Attorney Loretta Lynch to succeed Eric Holder as Attorney General. Almost immediately the sharpened knives on the right came out to express their intentions to gum up the works, which is the only thing that they have proven to be adept at in the past six years. But the announcement also inspired an epic failure by a wingnut website that is no stranger to failure.

Breitbart

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The President’s critics, led by Ted Cruz (TX-Teabagger) burst out of the gate with a ridiculous insistence that the nominee preemptively declare a position on whether the President has the legal authority to issue an executive order addressing immigration. What makes it ridiculous is that there is no executive order pending that Lynch could evaluate. Additionally, it is settled law that president’s have broad authority with regard to executive orders that has never before been used to blackmail Cabinet nominees. But that won’t stop the current crop of Tea-publicans who have also floated demands related to Fast & Furious, the IRS, and Benghazi as potential ransoms for confirming Lynch.

Republicans are also complaining that Obama should wait until after the next session of Congress is seated before seeking Lynch’s confirmation or, for that matter, any judicial appointments or other critical work of the government. They are, in effect, asking to take another two month vacation where nothing of significance is accomplished on behalf of the American people they pretend to represent. It is cynical and hypocritical posturing such as this that infuriates the nation and results in Congress having an abysmal approval rating of 13%.

But sinking to the bottom of the barrel is an alleged “news” enterprise that went out of its way to attack Lynch. Breitbart News published an article with the scandalous headline “OBAMA’S ATTORNEY GENERAL NOMINEE LORETTA LYNCH REPRESENTED CLINTONS DURING WHITEWATER.”

That is really a rather dull revelation, as scandals go. What would be wrong with an attorney performing legal services for a client, particularly when the client was later found not to have been implicated in any wrongdoing?

However, the big problem with Breitbart’s article is that it failed on one small measure of journalism: It isn’t true. The article made the amateurish mistake of confusing the AG nominee with an entirely different person who happened to have the same name. This is typical of the shoddy reporting for which Breitbart is known. Apparently it was too much of a strain to simply verify the identity of the person they were citing.

All of this would be bad enough, but Breitbart wasn’t through screwing up. Another article on the site repeated the false claims, also without bothering to verify them. Then the original article was just disappeared so as to make it look like the mistake never happened. Of course, the article still lives on in Google cache, where it can be seen with a meager attempt at a correction that appears at the end of the article. The correction said simply that…

“The Loretta Lynch identified earlier as the Whitewater attorney was, in fact, a different attorney.”

That’s an awfully timid way of saying that the entire premise of the article was a fraud. And it was so inconspicuous that anyone who didn’t bother to read all the way to the end, or neglected to pay attention to an addendum attached at the bottom, would never know the all-consuming nature of the error. And by deleting it entirely, the original false assertions remain uncorrected in the right-wing blogosphere where it had already taken root. If you have the patience (and the stomach) you may want to explore some of the 800+ comments attached to phantom article.

While the usual crackpots on Fox News and elsewhere are fulminating over whether Obama is attempting to ram another commie, lesbian, radical, gun confiscator through a lame duck Congress (and don’t forget the virulent racism spewing on Fox Nation), Rupert Murdoch, the CEO of Fox’s parent corporation, has endorsed the nominee tweeting

“Seems Obama made good choice for new AG. Reputation for fairness and strict legality.”

That, however will not prevent his wingnut roster at Fox from castigating Lynch and smearing the reputation that Murdoch praised. Fox also disagrees with Murdoch’s positions on Climate Change and immigration. Apparently it is more important (or profitable) at Fox News to attack liberal policies and values, even if it means attacking the corporate boss.

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Remember Ebola? Apparently The Election And Fox News Cured It

Remember way back a week ago when Ebola was the most fearsome threat America faced since The War Of The Worlds? Fox News and other media portrayed the virus as the harbinger of the Apocalypse. We were all just an errant sneeze away from contracting a deadly disease that was certain to sweep through the nation unabated.

Well, last Tuesday there was an election that seems to have put an end to the panic that had previously consumed the press. And just in time since Fox is now focused on helping Republicans to scuttle health care which is no longer needed by anyone. So, no longer are there hourly updates on the raging pandemic. No longer are politicians and pundits jumping in front of every camera to proclaim that the End of Days are upon us. No longer do psycho Chicken Littles rant about how President Obama is personally responsible for the uncontrollable outbreak.

Fox News Defeats Ebola

But it was just a week ago that Ebola was the calamity of choice for Fox News fear mongers. And since that is so far back in the distance past, News Corpse is providing a public service to remind everyone of the horrendous doom we narrowly escaped. For instance…

Remember when…

…a travel ban on anyone from West Africa was the Republicans’ most important immigration issue in the nation?

GOP Tents America

Remember when…

Bill O’Reilly insisted that the administration was lying to us and demanded that the CDC chief resign if he wouldn’t appear on his show?

Fox News Bill O'Reilly

Remember when…

…Fox’s “psycho” analyst Keith Ablow accused President Obama of wanting Ebola to spread in America because he “sees Americans as having infected others with our deadly economic policies?”

Keith Ablow

Remember when…

…Fox News was consumed by the threat of terrorists streaming across the southern border dripping with Ebola?

Fox News Ebola

Remember when…

…the transmission of Ebola to a second American nurse constituted an “OUTBREAK?”

Fox Nation Ebola Outbreak

Remember when…

…Bill O’Reilly brought in Glenn Beck to accuse Obama of facilitating the spread of Ebola in Dallas because Dallas hates him (even though Dallas voted for Obama in larger majorities than he won nationally)?

Glenn Beck Ebolamania

Who knew that an election would be such an effective cure for Ebola? In the end the virus infected only two people in the United States, and only one foreign national died. When you think about the hysteria that surrounded the contrived crisis, it is curious that there isn’t a similar outcry over the guns that kill over 30,000 Americans every year. There is a good case to make that the NRA is more dangerous to Americans than Ebola ever was. So is tobacco, influenza, pollution, and lightening. In fact, you are even more likely to die by your own hand (39,000 annual suicides) than to be killed by Ebola. So whatever you do, don’t get on any plane that you are on.

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Ben Carson Sacked By Fox News As His Loony Presidential Bid Takes Shape

Dr. Ben Carson has no more chance of being elected president, or even getting the Republican nomination, than Michele Bachmann, Donald Trump, or Montgomery Burns. Nevertheless, he is slated to appear in an hour-long infomercial (that he calls a documentary) that celebrates his journey from poverty to world renown as a pediatric brain surgeon.

His quixotic fantasy of being leader of the free world is entertained despite his numerous pronouncements of unadulterated wingnuttery. He is an unabashed conspiracy theorist whose delusions include assertions that President Obama is a tyrant; that the Affordable Care Act (aka ObamaCare) is akin to slavery; and that America is very much like Nazi Germany. Not exactly the sort of soaring, patriotic oratory that is employed by most prospective presidential candidates.

Ben Carson

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The aforementioned television infomercial was the impetus for Fox News to terminate Carson’s contract as a network contributor. While Fox has a policy prohibiting active political candidates from being employed as on-air personalities, they have frequently ignored the policy. In the run-up to the 2012 presidential race, Fox permitted Sarah Palin to remain on the payroll despite her coy flirtation with running. And Fox still allows Mike Huckabee to host his own program even as speculation mounts as to his status as a candidate. But at least with regard to Carson, Fox is playing by the book.

The odds of Carson obtaining the GOP nomination are so remote that even Fox News Sunday host Chris Wallace openly sneered at the thought. He asked Carson directly…

“Do you really want to spend the next two years begging people for money, shaking hands, eating a lot of bad meals, when I think you would agree at best you are a distinct long shot?”

Apparently the answer is “Sure, why not.” Carson has the benefit of a rabid cult following that has contributed millions of dollars to a Super PAC aimed at drafting him to run. And therein may be a hint as to what his true aspirations may be. He’ll need some excuse to spend all that money. And by launching a presidential campaign Carson can keep himself in the media spotlight where he can promote his books and speaking engagements. He can also raise his profile so that he can negotiate even richer contracts with Fox News or other media following his inevitable failure as a presidential contestant.

There is a constituency for Carson that he can amicably share with the likes of Ann Coulter, Glenn Beck, and Alex Jones. He has promoted the writing of a Nazi sympathizer. He believes that the suffering of veterans neglected by the V.A. was a “gift from God.” And he even came to the defense of Vladimir Putin as champion of Christian values.

That’s why Carson will continue to be seen on Fox News, although not as an employee. He will still be invited to spew twisted opinions to the dimwitted Fox audience that eats up that sort of hog slop. That’s precisely what happened with former Fox contributor Scott Brown after he left to lose the senate race in New Hampshire. Speaking of which, after everything Fox did to promote his candidacy, Brown still lost.

However, there is another group of Americans that will be even more excited about a Carson candidacy: Liberals, Democrats, comedians, and lefty media bloggers. So bring it on, Benny. Your history of hysterical extremism is just what the doctor ordered. After all the bad news from the midterm election, this has really made my day.

[Extra] Carson now says “I feel fingers” of God driving his aspirations for the White House. Well, Michele Bachmann, Rick Perry, Sarah Palin, and Herman Cain, have all said the same thing, and we know how that turned out.

Unethical And Embarrassing: Fox News “Psycho” Analyst Blasted By Medical Pros

The Associated Press has published a scathing profile of Fox News Medical A-Team member, and disgraced psychiatric fraud, Keith Ablow. The article by the AP’s media analyst David Bauder solicited opinions from distinguished psychiatric professionals and academics and found Ablow’s quackery to be outside the bounds of acceptable conduct, saying that…

“…the Fox News Channel analyst freely mixes psychiatric assessments with political criticism, a unique twist in the realm of cable news commentary that some medical colleagues find unethical.”

Keith Ablow

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Indeed, Ablow has demonstrated himself to be a committed purveyor of vitriol aimed at President Obama and other mostly liberal targets. His most recent screed for Fox made an absurd and dangerous argument for an “American Jihad,” wherein he advocated for a military campaign to force other countries to adopt the American political system.

For more on Ablow’s unique brand of assholiness, see these selected choices from the recent past: He charged that President Obama was waging psychological warfare on the American people. He praised Newt Gingrich for being unfaithful to multiple wives. He welcomed the pain of Americans suffering through the recession. He offered his recipe for building a terrorist that read more like building a Tea Party. He repeatedly diagnosed President Obama and others without ever having examined, or even met them. And my personal favorite, he actually had praise for the Unabomber’s sociological philosophy.

A couple of the assessments of “doctor” Ablow’s misconduct by his the real psychiatric pros he would like to imagine are his peers include…

Dr. Jeffrey Lieberman, chairman of psychiatry at Columbia University’s College of Physicians and Surgeons: It is shameful and unfortunate that he is given a platform by Fox News or any other media organization. Basically he is a narcissistic self-promoter of limited and dubious expertise.

Dr. Ford Vox, Shepherd Brain Injury Rehabilitation Center : [R]eally just irresponsible and it’s embarrassing for physicians in general.

But perhaps the most stinging criticism came from the spokesman for the primary target of Ablow’s virulent wrath. Apparently Ablow’s attacks had little to no impact on his intended victims. Jay Carney, who recently left the post of White House Press Secretary wasn’t even sure who Ablow was, saying…

“I’m confident that no one in the White House spends any time thinking about him. Fox is Fox. It doesn’t really matter who the salesman is. The product is always the same.”

That just about sums it up. Ablow is an ineffectual scoundrel whose lunatic ravings are generally ignored. Yet he is emblematic of the hateful bias that permeates the alleged “news” network. In fact, the description of Ablow as “a narcissistic self-promoter of limited and dubious expertise,” could actually apply to almost anyone at Fox News: Bill O’Reilly, Sean Hannity, Megyn Kelly, Neil Cavuto, Steve Doocy, etc.

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Media Matters has compiled a revealing video collage of Ablow’s dementia.

[Update] Ablow has characteristically responded with a stream of venomous drivel, saying that “As a medical professional it is readily apparent that [Obama] is a President who has issues with the nation of which he is President.” He regards Bauder’s article as “an unfair attempt to impair my credibility.” But that would require that he had any credibility in the first place.

Whining On Fox News: Correspondent Sulks When Democratic Candidate Snubs Him

Poor thing. Fox News correspondent John Roberts went into a deep depression after he was rejected as a debate moderator by Democratic Senate candidate Michele Nunn of Georgia. Roberts took his mopey lament to Neil Cavuto’s program on Fox News and complained about being shunned by meany Michele saying that…

“For some reason, the Nunn campaign just does not want to talk to Fox News […] They didn’t like the idea that someone from Fox would be moderating that debate, so out I went.”

Fox News Whining

Out he goes, into the cruel, cold world of right-wing hacks who make a career out of bashing Democrats and liberals. Now, “for some reason,” he is reduced to having only Cavuto and the rest of the conservative Fox machine into which his lonely teardrops can fall.

As usual, Fox is demonstrating their rank hypocrisy by criticizing Nunn for requesting another moderator (who turned out to be a local Fox affiliate anchor). But they haven’t been the least bit critical of Joni Ernst, the GOP senate candidate in Iowa, who has refused to grant ANY interviews with Iowa journalists. However, she did go on Fox News.

It’s laughable that Fox would try to extract sympathy for being shunned by a Democrat. They know damn well the reason. They are a brazenly hostile enterprise whose mission from day one was to smear progressive values and those who profess them. Roberts fits squarely into that mold, making him an inappropriate moderator for a fair and balanced debate. And in the same segment with Cavuto he provided evidence of why no one at Fox should preside over any debate when he admitted that Fox is just a communications vehicle for the Republican Party, saying that…

“In states where you’ve got to get independent, Republican votes, doing something with the Fox News Channel is something that they need to do.”

This complaint is even more laughable considering the fact that Republicans are the ones who wrote nixing debate moderators into their campaign handbook. Reince Priebus, the chairman of the Republican National Committee, announced last year that the party intended to handpick their debate moderators and would not countenance any whom they regarded as unfriendly. Discussing debate strategy with Fox News (who else?) he said that

“I think 23 debates is ridiculous, but the second thing that is ridiculous is allowing moderators, who are not serving the best interests of the candidate and the party, to actually be the people to be deposing our people. And I think that’s totally wrong.”

Somewhere Priebus got the notion that moderators from the press were supposed to serve the interests of the candidates. Certainly the interest of the voters never entered into it. And to that end he led the party to ban CNN and MSNBC from hosting any GOP primary debates. That leaves Fox News as the only cable news network that Priebus considers friendly enough to host his party’s debates.

While Republicans have openly declared that they have implemented a wholesale ban on moderators they don’t like from across the mediascape for the entire primary season, they are sorely miffed at a Democrat who asked to substitute a single moderator at a single a debate. So when Fox asks “Are candidates limiting media access?” you have to wonder why that is so disturbing to them when they don’t care at all if a whole political party does it. It really makes you feel sorry for them, but not in the way they hoped.

Fox News Crocumentary On Alleged Bin Laden Shooter May Be Bogus, Unlawful, and Dangerous

Last week, amid great fanfare, Fox News announced that they would be airing a special presentation that features a Navy SEAL who claims to have fired the shot that killed Osama Bin Laden. The press release for the program that Fox calls “an extensive, first-hand account of the mission,” contains this description:

“The two-night presentation will feature an exclusive interview with the Navy SEAL who says he fired the shots that killed terrorist leader Usama Bin Laden. […] Revealing his identity and speaking out publicly for the first time, the Navy SEAL, also known as “The Shooter,” will share his story of training to be a member of America’s elite fighting force and explain his involvement in Operation Neptune Spear, the mission that killed Bin Laden.”

Fox News

There are, however, a number of problems with this project, beginning with what Fox says in their own press release. The first paragraph describes Robert O’Neill as “the Navy SEAL who says he fired the shots.” While he may “say” that he fired the shots that killed Bin Laden, there is no confirmation of that from anyone else. Not his fellow SEALs, not his superiors, not any eyewitnesses, not the Pentagon, no one. Fox News has to rely solely on this person’s account of the mission for their story.

Relying on this one account is also troubling because simply by coming forward the person is bringing into question his own credibility. First and foremost, Navy SEALs are bound by non-disclosure agreements that prohibit them from talking about the details of their missions, particularly those that are confidential and involve national security. The Pentagon has taken notice of this and urged that he comply with his obligations and honor his duty. A Pentagon spokesperson told a reporter at Business Insider that…

“Navy SEALs continue to serve and fight bravely around the world, accomplishing critical missions that keep our nation safe. The major details of the bin Laden mission are well known, many of them a matter of public record. We urge any former SEAL to abide by the SEAL Ethos, particularly the core tenant, ‘I do not advertise the nature of my work, nor seek recognition for my actions.'”

By appearing on Fox News O’Neill, if he is who he says he is, is violating his oath to the Navy SEALS and, quite possibly, the law. In a previous instance of a SEAL going public with information about the Bin Laden operation, Matt Bissonnette is currently undergoing a criminal investigation for publishing a book that he failed to vet through the Defense Department. Fox News is well aware of this as they reported his legal jeopardy two years ago. They also reported that his fellow SEALs were upset that he had published a book that could endanger them and future missions. What’s more, it was Fox who outed Bissonnette, whose book was published under the pseudonym, Mark Owen. By revealing his identity Fox subjected him and others to death threats. The network was criticized harshly by members of the military and media ethicists.

There is no reason why the new Fox News program on Bin Laden would not have the same consequences. The Pentagon has already weighed in, and the risk to other SEALs is just as plausible. By disclosing his own identity he could inadvertently lead revenge seekers to discover the identities of his associates. Should any of them or their families be harmed, the responsibility lies with him.

And for what? There is no apparent news value in what he may have to relate. Sure, there is curiosity about a first-hand account of the operation, but there is nothing that is pertinent to the public’s understanding, while there are real risks to individuals and future missions.

He is nothing but a glory hog who is grabbing attention for himself at the expense of his comrades who participated equally in the dangerous operation, but who are honoring their oaths. His contribution to the record consists mainly of soap opera melodrama that appeals to the tabloid set as demonstrated by Fox’s press release:

“Offering never before shared details, the presentation will include ‘The Shooter’s’ experience in confronting Bin Laden, his description of the terrorist leader’s final moments as well as what happened when he took his last breath.”

Spoiler Alert: Bin Laden’s final moments were probably him wondering who these dudes were in his bedroom for about a second and a half before he took a bullet to the head. And you didn’t need a two night Fox News ratings gimmick to learn that.

This program is abetting potentially unlawful activity and endangering lives. And there is no way of verifying its authenticity. Under the circumstances, a legitimate news enterprise would never consider airing it. Fortunately for Fox, legitimacy has never been a part of their business plan. As for the alleged SEAL, he should keep his mouth shut until such time as the story can be told responsibly with credit going to everyone who deserves it.

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[Addendum 1] Phil Bronstein wrote an article for Esquire if February of 2013 that purported to be the story of the “shooter.” It was shortly thereafter criticized as “a giant fraud.” Also, now promoting a new book, Bissonnette has admitted that he was wrong to publish classified material about the Bin Laden operation.

[Addendum 2] Fox News gets scooped by the UK’s tabloid Daily Mail. They published an article identifying the “shooter” on November 5th, a week before Fox’s big “exclusive.”

[Addendum 3] CNN also scooped Fox by airing an interview with O’Neill prior to Fox’s broadcast. This brought out the jealousy of Fox News as anchor Shepard Smith complained that after Fox announced the project “everybody and their mother jumped on this,” and he singled out CNN saying that it’s “really kind of embarrassing for them.” Smith went on to say…

“Others have had input on this cause I’ve seen them over on the hater channels. People on the hate channels are like ‘He should never have done this.'”

The “hate” channels? Is he sure he wasn’t watching Fox? And the people he is talking about are Navy SEALS who have had the integrity to honor their oaths to their comrades. Don’t let anyone tell you that Smith is somehow different than the other hacks on Fox.

Fox News “Psycho” Analyst Gives Terrorists Justification To Attack Americans

The fanatical warhawks that routinely appear on Fox News have distinguished themselves by always managing to find new reasons to deploy military forces against perceived threats like ISIL, Iran, North Korea, Russia, immigrants, married gays, minority voters, or MSNBC. But now, for the first time, a Fox regular has advocated declaring war on any nation that isn’t sufficiently aligned with the American model of democracy.

Keith Ablow Jihad

The Fox News “psycho” analyst, “doctor” Keith Ablow has issued a call to arms that is international in scale and universally insane. His op-ed is titled “It’s time for an ‘American jihad'” and represents the worst of nationalistic supremacy and aspirations of world domination. He followed up the editorial with an appearance on Fox & Friends where his mania was eagerly lapped up.

By invoking the term “jihad’ Ablow is deliberately plugging into the controversial mission of many of the radical Islamic forces responsible for world terrorism. He openly admits that his definition of the term includes a “war or struggle against unbelievers” and “a crusade for a principle or belief.” So he regards it as proper for the United States to take action against other sovereign nations based solely on their having different beliefs than we do. And by calling it a “crusade” he seems to be utterly insensitive to the genocidal history associated with that word.

But Ablow’s rant has an even more dangerous impact on international terrorism. He is actually validating the reasons that terrorists have for declaring their jihad against the West. They have long argued that Western democracies are the aggressors and have ambitions to overrun their countries and suppress their people. Now Ablow is telling them that they’ve been right all along. Here is how he begins his tirade:

“An American jihad would reawaken in American citizens the certain knowledge that our Constitution is a sacred document that better defines and preserves the liberty and autonomy of human beings than the charter of any other nation on earth.”

How different is that expression of superiority than the wild declarations of fundamentalist Muslims who insist that they have the spiritual authority from God to impose their theocracy on others. By referring to our Constitution as sacred, Ablow is flipping the debate from a political context to a holy war. He goes on to say that America has a “manifest destiny” to “spread around the world” our brand of government and to “insist on its reflection in every government.” In other words, global tyranny.

Ablow says that the world would be a better place if every country in it would only adopt the American way, and that his jihad would be aimed at working toward that end. His methods of achieving his goals include some profoundly disturbing notions.

First of all, he would have American children be indoctrinated with “feelings of pride in our democracy as superior to all other forms of government.” That, of course, would be contrary to the principles of free expression and critical thinking that requires good ideas to rise based on their merits.

Secondly, he would require that American aid be tied “slowly but inexorably, toward reflecting our Constitution.” That would exclude a large number of nations who are presently our allies, but worse, it would remove us from nations that we would hope to foster closer ties to. It would also transform our objectives for providing aid from humanitarian to purely political. That would only serve to drive potentially friendly countries farther away while discrediting our motives.

Thirdly, Ablow suggests using American funds to bankroll “an international mercenary force,” which is against international law. In addition to that he also proposes that our military take a role because we would have to “accept the fact that an American jihad could mean boots on the ground in many places in the world.” His justification for such missions is that “we have a God-given right to intervene.” Didn’t Osama Bin Laden say that?

Perhaps the looniest proposition offered in this supremely loony sermon is Ablow’s suggestion regarding what amounts to infiltration of foreign governments. He says that…

“We would urge our leaders, after their service in the U.S. Senate and Congress, to seek dual citizenship in other nations, like France and Italy and Sweden and Argentina and Brazil and Germany, and work to influence those nations to adopt laws very much like our own. We might even fund our leaders’ campaigns for office in these other nations.”

I wonder how Ablow would feel about other countries adopting that proposal toward the U.S. I wonder if he knows that it would violate our laws if another nation were to fund campaigns for American offices. So Ablow wants to force other countries to follow our laws while advocating that we violate them. I guess it’s OK for us because we’re ordained by God.

Finally, Ablow has to take a shot at President Obama because if he doesn’t he goes into severe withdrawal. He drools that…

“An American jihad would turn back and topple the terrible self-loathing in our citizens set in motion by President Obama.”

This is a regular theme in Ablow’s psychosis. He believes that Obama “has it in for America.” He is convinced that the President has an affinity for our enemies and hates his own country because his parents abandoned him, or were communists, or were victims of colonialism, or launched him into space from the dying planet Krypton. What’s more, Ablow believes that the American people are so gullible that they have succumbed to Obama’s hypnotic demands to hate themselves. Why else, other than self-loathing, would they have elected him to the highest office in the land twice?

Perhaps Ablow could be persuaded to leave the country for some derelict nation that hasn’t confessed its worship of America where he could run for office. I’m pretty sure he could get a significant amount of donations to advance his campaign if it meant he would not be spewing any more of these deranged theories and further polluting the public discourse here in the U.S.