Vile Fox News Audience Reacts To Shooting At Colorado Planned Parenthood

Once again, the people who watch Fox News are demonstrating their appalling lack of decency and, ironically in this case, respect for human life. News reports about an active shooter situation at a Planned Parenthood facility in Colorado Springs are still somewhat vague as to the shooter’s motives and the status of victims. There are confirmed reports of police officers wounded by gunfire, and citizens are virtually trapped in nearby shops as they await a conclusion.

[UPDATE: The gunman was captured alive and taken into custody. The investigation is ongoing. But none of that alters the atrocious nature of the comments by the Fox News audience.]

In the heat of this live crisis the Fox News website is hosting some of the most nauseating responses imaginable. They run the gamut of hateful rhetoric from anti-choice extremism (“Too bad the abortion doctor and the nursing staff weren’t all killed.”) to overt racism (“I know this isn’t PC….but n***gers are just plain bad news.”). Never mind that there is little information about the shooter or his motives (he has been identified in one report as a white male), the Fox News audience is focused entirely on their inbred hostilities toward minorities, women, and President Obama, whom some are accusing of setting this up.

For these cretins to be celebrating this domestic terrorism and the potential loss of life being caused by another madman with a gun is particularly loathsome considering they regard themselves as pro-life. But it isn’t surprising as they have a long record of similarly disgusting responses to news events [See The Collected Hate Speech Of The Fox News Community] If you have the stomach for it, here are some of the responses captured from Fox’s website.

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

Fox News Comments

[ADDENDUM:] This might be a good time to remind people that most national security experts regard domestic terrorism as a bigger threat than Islamic extremists.

Thanksgiving Day On Fox News: Anchor Refers To Immigrants As Cattle

Always anxious to reflect the spirit of America on its revered holidays, a Fox News anchor took the time to produce a commentary that expresses his views on immigration. And what better occasion than Thanksgiving to contemplate the sacrifices of people from far off lands enduring long and perilous travels in the hopes of a better life in a new world?

In that spirit Todd Starnes, Fox’s Christian Taliban representative, sought to demonize immigrants as less than human with an obscure reference to a classic TV program. Starnes opened his commentary saying…

“Most Americans agree with Donald Trump — the illegal aliens have to go. Head ’em up, move ’em out.”

Todd Starnes

Fans of the old western show “Rawhide” will remember its theme song by Frankie Laine (video below) that went: “Move ’em on, head ’em up/Head ’em up, move ’em out/Move ’em on/head ’em out Rawhide!” It was a cowboy ode to wrangling livestock, often on long, arduous cattle drives. did he think that no one would notice the sly way he equated immigrants with cattle?

Apparently Starnes regards that as an appropriate way to address the issue of immigration, and particularly the plan by Donald Trump to round up some 11,000,000 undocumented residents and “herd ’em out” of the country. Starnes’ choice of that phrase proves that he regards immigrants as animals. But it is also typical of the racist rhetoric so prevalent on Fox News and among Republican bigots. In this context the lyric perfectly expresses the hatefulness of people who don’t see the irony of their own past as immigrants, especially in the part of the verse that says em>”Don’t try to understand ’em/Just rope and throw and grab ’em.”

Starnes continues his rant by citing the results of a Fox News poll that found that a slight majority of 52% of respondents favor deporting immigrants who are living in the United States illegally. He then characterizes that as proof that “Americans agree with Trump – Illegals Must go.” But in his own commentary he reveals that it isn’t Americans so much as it is Republicans. The breakdown of the poll shows that 70% of Republicans hold that view, but a majority (58%) of Democrats oppose the inhumane act of mass deportation.

Starnes also misrepresented another question in the poll that asked “Which of the following best describes how you feel about identifying and deporting millions of immigrants who are living in the U.S. illegally?” The responses were that 41% considered it “a smart idea,” which Starnes included in his commentary. However, for some reason, he left out that 54% considered it “Silly because it would be impossible [or] Wrong even if it were possible.”

Taking the numbers in their totality, it is ridiculous to conclude that Americans agree with Trump on immigration. Only someone intent on deception would make such a case. But Starnes wasn’t finished with his offensive diatribe. He went on to enumerate a series of known falsehoods about immigrants:

“Americans are frustrated — they see illegals taking away our jobs. They see our tax money funding sanctuary cities and funding social programs that a good many legal citizens don’t have access to. They see a government that turns a blind eye to the illegals as they murder American citizens and pillage and plunder local economies. They see a White House that favors the illegals over immigrants who are trying to enter the United States legally.”

There are so many outright lies in that paragraph it’s hard to know where to begin. But let’s start with the observation that Starnes, a self-appointed martinet of allegedly Christian values, repeatedly uses the racist slur “illegals” to refer to undocumented residents.

As for the immigration myths he is perpetuating, the facts are not with him. No one is stealing “their” jobs. The jobs are being offered to immigrants by American employers, yet nobody talks about punishing them for violating the law, and no one calls them “illegals.” What’s more, immigrants are actually responsible for expanding the job market and growing the economy. And they do this without tax money or burdening the welfare system because they are not entitled to most benefits.

The contention that immigrants are “pillaging and plundering” is both repugnant and entirely without basis. In fact, the undocumented immigrant population in the U.S. has a lower rate of criminal activity than native-born citizens. And Starnes’ assertions that the government is “turning a blind eye” to murders, and that the White House favors “the illegals” over other immigrants is downright delusional. He doesn’t bother to cite any examples because there weren’t any up his ass with the rest of what he pulled out for this commentary.

So what we have here is a Fox News anchor fabricating blatant lies in order to foment hatred toward a vulnerable population. He couches the whole tirade in a racist theme that casts his targets as sub-human cattle. And he chooses Thanksgiving Day, a day meant to celebrate brotherhood and the welcoming of strangers, to insult and smear people who want nothing more than to provide for their families and enjoy the blessings of liberty. Nice work Your Assholiness.

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

Are The Obama Haters At Fox News TRYING To Look Stupid?

Yesterday President Obama and French President Francois Hollande held a joint news conference at the White House to address the aftermath of the terrorist attacks in Paris. They presented a united front against terrorism and each delivered opening statements that virtually mirrored one another. The gist was that, as Obama said…

“This barbaric terrorist group — ISIL, or Daesh — and its murderous ideology pose a serious threat to all of us. It cannot be tolerated. It must be destroyed.”

It was a forthright statement of unequivocal determination to prevail over evil and nothing Hollande said surpassed it in tone or substance. Nevertheless, Obama’s critics in the American media snarled predictably about what they viewed as the weakness of his remarks, as compared to Hollande, without citing a single instance of how they differed. For example, Rupert Murdoch’s New York Post (and Fox Nation website) disparaged Obama in a headline article as being “dangerously nonchalant about ISIS threats.”

However, where they went cascading overboard was with their wildly absurd misinterpretation of comments both leaders made about the upcoming United Nations Climate Conference in Paris. For the record, here are the excerpts from each opening statement that addresses the conference:

Obama: Next week, I will be joining President Hollande and world leaders in Paris for the global climate conference. What a powerful rebuke to the terrorists it will be when the world stands as one and shows that we will not be deterred from building a better future for our children.

Hollande: There is no greater symbol than holding this conference on climate in Paris with some 150 heads of state and government. Never before did France host so many leaders of the international community. They’re coming to sort out the climate challenge, and again, to work and to find the right agreement so that we can limit greenhouse gases emissions and make sure that our children and our grandchildren live better, or simply can live.

What is plainly obvious is that both men were declaring their resolve to forge ahead with the conference despite the attempt by terrorists to stir panic and to disrupt the lives of free people in Paris and everywhere else. It was a proclamation of their commitment to proceed with life’s affairs without being hobbled by fear. But the Fox News crowd is either to stupid to recognize that, or they are deliberately twisting it to arrive at a ludicrous conclusion that fits their anti-Obama narrative. Here is a sampling of their mindless exercises in disinformation:

Fox News

  • Rudy Guiliani: You know, you know, I really feel very stupid. I consider myself somewhat of an expert on law enforcement, terrorism, cybersecurity, security, and I never thought of the fact that if we just waged war on global warming we could defeat ISIS, and that’s really going to shake them up. I don’t think I’ve ever heard anything more absurd from a president.
  • K.T. McFarland: President Obama thinks that climate change is the greatest strategic and geological and existential threat to our future. You know, here we are — and the irony, if it were not so tragic it would be funny — here we have ISIS, which is attacking with suicide vests and Kalashnikovs and potentially chemical weapons in the French water supply. What are we doing? We’re going to fight ISIS. We’re going to have windmills. We’re going to have solar panels. We’re going to show them. It’s just really — all it does is it gives encouragement to the terrorists who feel that they have been selected and chosen by Allah to establish the caliphate and kill everybody who disagrees with them.
  • Eric Bolling: At the White House news conference alongside the leader of France today, President Obama really stuck it to the terrorists by reminding them he’ll be attending a weather summit soon.
  • Kimberly Guilfoyle: Wow, we’re going to stick it to the terrorists when we start talking about climate change.
  • Jesse Watters: He’s saying we need to fight terror by using a poem on the Statue of Liberty. OK, I don’t even know what that means. And then he’s going on and saying the biggest rebuke to terrorism is to talk about the weather. […] I don’t think Americans care if we rebuke the terrorists. I think we should be nuking the terrorists.
  • Andrea Tantaros: Obama: wait til they get a load of us at the Climate Summit in a few wks….”a rebuke.” Because nothing scares jihadists like the weather.
  • Peter Johnson: I think the people join me at home today on this in being confounded and astounded … by that statement that the President of the United States, Barack Obama, the most potent weapon in his arsenal against ISIS, against al-Qaeda, against all of these terrorists, is somehow convening a conference on global warming, on climate change.

These maroons actually believe that Obama was arguing that Climate Change reform was his response to terrorism. They are so intellectually feeble that they could not grasp that he was talking about proceeding with the conference, rather than canceling or rescheduling it, as the “rebuke” in that it demonstrated that the terrorists could not upset our lives with their barbarous tactics. We will persevere no matter what they do, they cannot force us to retreat into bunkers. It is a message of strength. And even though the Fox dimwits directed their insults at our president, while praising Hollande, they completely ignored the fact that Hollande said exactly the same thing.

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

This is what happens when people allow themselves to become so consumed with hate that they can’t hold a coherent thought in their diseased brains. It exposes them as frauds who have only their own narrow interests at what remains of their heart. But most of all it signals an innate idiocy and inability to engage in critical thinking. Which may be a good thing for Fox News pundits. Because their audience is even less able to understand simple concepts or process information in any logical manner. Fox knows who they’re playing to, and their audience appreciates being talked down to – and even lied to.

WTF? CNN Guest Advocates Bombing Syrian Schools And Hospitals

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

Michael Scheuer CNN

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Sarah Palin And GOP Favor Gun Rights For Terrorists To Open Carry, Just Like Jesus Said

It’s the most wonderful time of the year. The time when the War on Christmas warms the cockles (whatever they are) of American patriots as they prepare to celebrate the release of another Sarah Palin book: Sweet Freedom: A Devotional. Palin’s latest butchering of the English language “invites you to draw strength and inspiration from 260 meditations based on guiding Biblical verses.”

Sarah Palin

One of the inspirational verses in the book is Luke 22:36, which says “But now, he that hath a purse, let him take it, and likewise his scrip: and he that hath no sword, let him sell his garment, and buy one.” And from that Palin has constructed an interpretation that strains the bounds of reason. She spoke with Tom Sullivan of Fox News Radio and delivered her warped analysis of the scripture:

“In the New Testament, Luke:22. We’re talking about gun control. Jesus, I swear he was a proponent of open carry. Because he told his disciples, he said ‘You better arm yourselves. You better protect the innocent. You don’t rely on the authorities. You don’t rely on others peoples.’ He said ‘You carry your sword.’ He told his disciples ‘Before we go on our journey, if you have a cloak, if you have your purse, OK, go get ’em. But if you don’t have a sword with you…’ – which was their arms back then – ‘…then you sell your cloak and you go buy a sword. And you get out there and you defend the innocent and yourself. Let’s go.’ He was all for self-defense and the Second Amendment.”

Really? Then why on the next morning did he tell his disciples to cease any defense of him, saying that “all they that take the sword shall perish with the sword.” Biblical scholars read this verse as Jesus merely advising the disciples to be prepared with necessary tools for the tasks of survival (i.e. hunting, and cutting cloth or building materials). That explains why after he told them to buy swords he replied that “It’s enough,” when they responded saying that they had two already. Certainly two swords would not have been enough to fight the officers who would come to arrest Jesus. But they would be plenty as parts of a tool collection.

What’s more, nowhere in the verse does it say that Jesus advocated using swords, or any weaponry, to “defend the innocent and yourself.” To the contrary, he preached against violence and favored passive resistance as in “turn the other cheek.” Palin’s interpretation sounds like Jesus was assembling an early incarnation of The Avengers to suit up and take on the evildoers of Jerusalem.

In an oddly significant juxtaposition to Palin’s mangling of the Bible, Fox News reported yesterday that terrorists have had nearly unfettered access to guns in America. Gretchen Carlson’s story (video below) quoted a study by the Government Accountability Office on the ability of people on the Terrorist Watch List to legally purchase guns:

“People on the Terrorist Watch List here in the U.S. – Who knew they were still legally able to buy guns? Look at this data from the Government Accountability Office going back to 2004. Suspected terrorists made more than 2,200 attempts to buy guns from U.S. dealers. More than 2,000 of them, or 91% were successful.”

Who knew? Well, actually many people knew. Even Fox News knew and reported on it many times. This has been an issue for gun safety advocates for years. There have been several attempts, going back to at least 2007, during the Bush administration, to pass legislation to close what has been called “The Terror Gap,” but they have always been met with fierce opposition from the NRA and Republicans in Congress.

One of those Republicans who has opposed the legislation is Texas representative Tony Dale. Ironically, Dale is now citing the ease with which guns are available as a reason to deny entry into the U.S., and Texas, by Syrian refugees. Dale is worried that among them will be terrorists who will be able to purchase guns thanks to the legislation that he voted for. And another opponent of closing the Terror Gap was the late Adam Gadahn (aka Azzam the American), an Al Qaeda operative who issued a directive to his comrades saying that…

“America is absolutely awash with easily obtainable firearms. You can go down to a gun show at the local convention center and come away with a fully automatic assault rifle, without a background check, and most likely, without having to show an identification card. So what are you waiting for?”

It’s rather strange that Carlson would be so surprised that this is occurring when it is something that has received so much attention in the past. And her editorial take on the subject seems to be aligned with the gun safety advocates who are pushing for restrictions on gun purchases by those on the watch list. That would put her at odds with the rest of the Fox News team, the GOP, the NRA, and Sarah Palin. Which means, of course, that she is at odds with Jesus the Avenger. Uh oh.

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

The Republican Crisis Recycling Center: Syrian Refugee Edition

In what is being described as the worst refugee crisis since World War II, the plight of displaced Syrians continues to be a daunting humanitarian problem that is putting pressure on nations around the world to find a compassionate solution.

The United States is among those nations, but it is battling opposition from within. Not surprisingly, it is the Republicans and other conservative politicians and pundits who are adamantly against allowing Syrian refugees safe harbor in America. So far, more than half of the state governors are on record as opposing resettlement of Syrians in their states, and all but one of them are Republicans. [Legal note: These constitutional fetishists are unaware that they do not have the authority to dictate immigration policy, which rests with the federal government]

The GOP’s arguments against welcoming these refugees are consistently based on the fear that terrorists will clandestinely slip in among the legitimate migrants. While there is very little evidence of that occurring, it remains the favored excuse of the refugee opponents. The typical refrain goes something like this:

  • We must immediately prohibit those people from entering the United States.
  • Those being let in will include terrorists.
  • If our leaders won’t protect us they should resign.
  • It’s not our problem. Let others in their own region deal with it.
  • We can’t be humanitarians. We have to protect ourselves first.

Oh, sorry. Those were actually the reasons that Republican politicians and pundits opposed letting people from West Africa into the country last year during the Ebola outbreak. The degree of hysteria expressed by the wingnut contingency at that time was deafening. For their trouble they earned PolitiFact’s “Lie of the Year” award for 2014. It was a well-deserved tribute to their deranged insistence that Americans were going to be infected by the millions, and those who were fortunate enough to avoid the disease would be slaughtered by terrorists. Some of these fear mongers, like Glenn Beck and Fox News’ Keith Ablow, accused Obama of deliberately orchestrating this mass extinction of the U.S. population.

And while we’re on the subject, those were also the very same excuses the rightists gave for opposing the resettlement of Latino children. When thousands of kids were stranded in the Southwest they were treated like a plague and accused of being disease carriers, or having associations with drug traffickers or terrorists.

Let’s just call it the “Republican Crisis Recycling Center” where they repurpose their standard complaints to fit whatever outrage they are currently trying to push.

Republican Crisis Recycling

This might be a good time to point out there were never any outbreaks of Ebola in the U.S., nor did any of the kids who were eventually placed in foster homes blow up any pizza parlors. The irrational hysteria of the rightist fear merchants never materialized as they predicted (hoped?). And all of the available evidence points to the same results if we welcome the Syrian refugees in to America. There are, in fact, already some 2,000 Syrian refugees who have resettled here since 2011, and in four years they have done nothing but try to put their tattered lives back together.

Donald Trump was among those who exploited the Ebola crisis and charged that infected persons would be pouring across our southern border. Now he is doing the same to Syrians who he is convinced are serving as a “Trojan Horse” for terrorists. His plan is to acquire a parcel of land in Syria and make it a “safe zone” for the refugees. All 4,000,000 of them? It would have to be a city the size of Los Angeles. And no matter how good a builder he fancies himself, he isn’t going to construct such a metropolis overnight. These people need housing and food and medicine and all the other necessities of life, not a tents in the desert.

Sadly, that’s the sort of dumbfounded thinking (with an emphasis on the dumb) that dominates the Republican mindset. Another example is Mike Huckabee’s suggestion to only allow Christian refugees in. President Obama called that religious test “shameful.” How he would differentiate the Christians from the Muslims and others, he did not say. I suppose he could tattoo a number on all the Muslims to identify them for rejection. Then he can help Trump load 11,000,000 Latinos into train cars to deport them to “safe zones” in Central America for his reprise of Operation Wetback.

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

What the right seems to forget is that these refugees are fleeing the same violence and terrorism that we are fighting in Iraq, Syria, and elsewhere. They also seem to forget the values embodied in their faith that calls for compassion, service, and brotherhood. And finally, they quite easily forget the example of America’s principles expressed by the gift from France that beckons to the world…

Give me your tired, your poor, your huddled masses yearning to breathe free; the wretched refuse of your teeming shore; send these, the homeless, tempest-tossed, to me. I lift my lamp beside the golden door.

[Addendum:] Jesse Watters of Fox News managed to connect the refugee crisis with the Ebola outbreak. On The Five he said “Obama has imported dangerous things into this country since he got there. He’s imported socialism here, He’s imported Ebola into America. He’s imported illegal aliens. Remember he brought all of the Ebola victims into this country?” All of them? This is the sort of idiocy that permeates the racist right-wing ideology on issues that go far beyond the current problem with refugees.

The Wingnut Reverse Beetlejuice Doctrine: Say ‘Radical Islamic Terrorism’ Three Times

The warped philosophy of conservatives in America has long held that the primary reason for the persistence of terrorism is that President Obama and other Democrats are reluctant to utter the phrase “radical Islamic terrorism.” They somehow have concluded that those magical words are key to defeating groups like Al Qaeda and ISIS. And they wonder why we think they’re stupid.

Fox News Beetlejuice

Following the Democratic Debate in Iowa on Saturday, the call to cast the magic spell was once again made the centerpiece of rightist criticisms. GOP candidates, and right-wing pundits on Fox News and elsewhere, have uniformly adopted the fabled “Reverse Beetlejuice Doctrine” wherein you shout “radical Islamic terrorism” three times and ISIS disappears. Actually, it isn’t even required to shout it. You can just tweet it. For example:

  • Donald Trump: Why won’t President Obama use the term Islamic Terrorism? Isn’t it now, after all of this time and so much death, about time!
  • Jeb Bush: Yes, we are at war with radical Islamic terrorism. #DemDebate
  • Ted Cruz: We need a President who is unafraid to name our enemy — radical Islamic terrorism — and will set out to defeat it.
  • Rick Santorum: Yes, @HillaryClinton we are at war with radical Islam! You are not qualified to serve if you cannot even define our enemy! #DemDebate
  • Mike Huckabee: You’re all grown up now. You can do it. Three words. Ten syllables. Say it with me: “Radical Islamic terrorism.” #DemDebate
  • Carly Fiorina: We need a President who will see and speak and act on the truth…Hillary Clinton will not call this Islamic terrorism. I will.
  • RNC (Republican National Committee: Hillary refuses to say we are at war with “radical Islam.” #DemDebate
  • Todd Starnes (Fox News): If your #DemDebate drinking game words are “Radical Islam” — you’ll be going home cold sober tonight, folks.
  • Eric Bolling (Fox News): Just so all you vapid @HillaryClinton supporters know. She just said “we are not at war with radical Islam”. #parisisburning
  • Donald Trump (again): When will President Obama issue the words RADICAL ISLAMIC TERRORISM? He can’t say it, and unless he will, the problem will not be solved!

In addition to these individuals, conservative media is singing from the same hymnal. National Review, Breitbart News, Washington Times, Free Beacon, and the Daily Caller are among those in the choir. It’s clearly an obsession with these folks. They are convinced that babbling a few specific words is a better indicator of the determination to fight terrorists than actually fighting terrorists. So even though Obama ordered the successful assassination of Osama Bin Laden, and as Commander-in-Chief presided over the killing of thousands of terrorist operatives, including many of their leaders, he can’t possibly be serious about the mission until he recites the approved scriptural incantation.

For the record, just this week under the leadership of President Obama, missions were carried out that are believed to have resulted in the deaths of the ISIS chief in Libya and the infamous ISIS executioner known as Jihadi John. And all without invoking the magic spell.

At Fox News they are engaging in their standard game plan of distorting reality in a way that twists it to their far-right biases. Ed Henry, their senior White House correspondent, in a post-debate report told Sean Hannity that “At one point [Hillary Clinton] said ‘I do not believe we’re at war with radical Islam.’ The reaction to that online and overnight will be very interesting.”

Of course the most interesting part of that is that it is not what she said. What she said was “I don’t think we’re at war with Islam. I don’t think we’re at war with all Muslims. I think we’re at war with jihadists.” Nevertheless, Henry’s bastardization of her remarks is what will stick in the already gooey minds of Fox viewers. The cult simply will not permit free thought based on verifiable facts.

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

There are numerous reasons for declining to fall into the “radical Islamic terrorist” trap. News Corpse spelled them out early this year in some detail. The gist is that we have legitimate concerns regarding our ability to form coalitions with the Muslim nations in the Middle-East whose cooperation is required to prevail against ISIS. That is not helped by demeaning their faith. But it’s more than that. By accepting the terms and definitions of the terrorists, Republicans, Fox News, et al, are acting as the PR department for the terrorists who desperately aspire to be regarded as the legitimate voice of Islam. Why are they insisting on granting the terrorists that victory?

And here’s some perspective from Muslims on the anti-Islam extremists who pretend to be Muslim.

Pres. Obama: This Is An Attack On All Of Humanity. Rupert Murdoch: Nuh Uh

The world watches stunned as yet another horrific act of terrorism is carried out that senselessly takes the lives of innocent people. The city of Paris is in shock as it struggles to recover and to understand the nature of a lethal and elusory enemy. And decent people worldwide are united in sympathy, concern, and determination to prevail over evil.

President Obama expressed the condolences of the American people in statement (video below) that was heartfelt while recognizing the difficulties of the tasks that lie ahead. He said that “This is an attack not just on Paris, it’s an attack not just on the people of France, but this is an attack on all of humanity and the universal values that we share.”

The truth of that statement is reflected in the nearly unanimous agreement from national leaders around the world such as German Chancellor Angela Merkel who said that this “Attack on freedom was not only meant for Paris, it is against all of us.” Iranian Foreign Minister Hossein Jaber Ansari condemned attacks saying that “Those terrorist groups that committed the Paris crimes do not believe in ethical principles and they are not loyal to any type of divine religions — including Islam.”

There was, however, a notable exception. Rupert Murdoch, the CEO and Chairman of the parent corporation of Fox News, explicitly contradicted the President and others in a tweet saying that the “Paris outrage not an attack on all humanity, but an attack on us. ie, Western civilisation!”

Rupert Murdoch

What a despicable expression of egocentric, supremacist bullcrap. Murdoch’s insistence that terrorism is not a plague on all the nations of the world exposes his rancid bigotry and ignorance. It is self-centered and delusional to suggest that the only targets of terrorism are people like himself. He is apparently unaware that the most frequent victims by far of radical Islamists are other Muslims. Why does he think there are currently some three million refugees from Syria flowing into neighboring countries? They are peaceful and frightened people fleeing the barbarism of ISIS that has taken the lives of so many of their friends, families, and fellow citizens.

These people know the horror and heartbreak of terrorism far better than Murdoch does from the comfort and safety of his penthouse. Yet he callously dismisses them as not being the targets of terror. His assertion that Westerners are the only victims, that it isn’t an attack on humanity, may be because he doesn’t regard them as human. And choosing this time to excrete his vile prejudices, while the blood of Parisians, including very likely the blood of innocent Muslims, is still staining the streets of Paris, could not be more repulsive.

It is so sad that such a blatant bigot controls one of largest media empires in the world and that it so closely mirrors his hate mongering. Murdoch was a fervent proponent of, and propagandist for, the war in Iraq that destabilized the region and allowed groups like ISIS to flourish. And now he belittles the suffering of the people most devastated by the chaos and brutality for which his efforts were a major contributing factor.

Murdoch could not be more wrong. What happened in Paris was most definitely an attack on all of humanity. Murdoch just doesn’t have enough of it to know that.

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

[Addendum:] One of Murdoch’s favorite guests on Fox News, Milwaukee’s wingnut Sheriff David Clarke, tweeted his response to the Paris attacks: “If GOP plays this politically smart they can end any chance that the Dems win the WH in 2016. War is politics carried on by other means.” It’s bad enough that he is brazenly politicizing this tragedy while the bodies are still warm, but he’s also implying that the objectives of the terrorists are aligned with those of the Republican Party. In effect, he’s looking at “the bright side” of this horror for his political pals. How sick is that?

David Clarke

Fox News On Bloomingdale’s: What Could Be Funnier Than Date Rape?

Earlier this week Bloomingdale’s came under an onslaught of well-deserved criticism for an ad that seemed to advocate sexual assault by surreptitiously drugging your female friends. It is inconceivable that this ad went through their marketing department processes and emerged as acceptable to publish. Eventually Bloomingdale’s acknowledge their abysmally poor judgment and apologized.

Fox News Bloomingdale's

That, however, is not the end of the story. Because Fox News still had something to say on the subject. And it was left to the kids on the curvy couch of Fox & Friends to articulate the network’s response (video below). Thereupon, co-host Elisabeth Hasselbeck, the lone woman on the program, called it a reckless ad. Unfortunately her fellow-co-hosts were somewhat less disturbed. Clayton Morris jumped in to praise Bloomingdale’s for apologizing like a remorseful wife-beater. And Steve Doocy actually tried to make excuses for the ad saying “Remember back in the old days when people used to make jokes?” Morris then joined in to add “When people had a sense of humor.” Yeah, you remember humor? Those uniquely human moments when we are amused by violence against women. [Ironically, I just published an article about how Fox News aspires to be a comedy network]

Indeed, those were the good old days. Men could spike the drinks of women and have their way with them without repercussions. And alluding fondly to those carefree times (for men) is nothing more than a bit of good humor. Bill Cosby must be thinking back on those days with some longing. It’s reminiscent of the time when the Fox & Friends gang happily joked about NFL running back Ray Rice knocking out his fiance in an elevator. Co-host Brian Kilmeade helpfully observed that “I think the message is – take the stairs,” presumably to avoid being videotaped in the commission of an assault.

Fox News has a history of downplaying the seriousness of sexual assault. On one particularly repulsive occasion, commentator Liz Trotta complained about women in the military who whined about being assaulted by their comrades. Trotta argued against “this whole bureaucracy upon bureaucracy being built up with all kinds of levels of people to support women in the military who are now being raped too much.” Although she never actually defined how much rape was acceptable before it would be considered “too much.”

The takeaway from this is that whenever you hear Republicans talk about returning the country to a past that they imagine as serene and untroubled, what they really want is to roll back the clock on women’s rights and civil rights and any progress made on advancing individual freedom and reducing bigotry. They revere nothing more than a past when white, male, Christians dominated the nation’s social and governmental institutions. And that deranged expression of nostalgia just isn’t funny anymore.

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

The Clowns Of Cable News: Laughing At Fox News, Not With Them

There has been a meme circulating around the InterTubes for some time saying that “I get my news from Comedy Central and my comedy from Fox News.” It’s a concise way of articulating the reality that programs like The Daily Show are far more reliable sources for information than Fox & Friends or Bill O’Reilly.

Fox News Bozo

But something that seems to have been developing without much notice is that Fox News is actively reshaping their programming to be more like an actual comedy network. Alone among cable news broadcasters, Fox News is airing actual comedy shows. Already on the schedule is their late night entry Red Eye. Earlier this year they premiered The Greg Gutfeld Show, spinning off the former Red Eye host. And they just announced a new show starring Bill O’Reilly stalker/producer and Fox Nation editor, Jesse Watters, that will expand on his Watters’ World segments from The O’Reilly Factor. [See this epic smackdown of Watters by Steven Colbert]

Setting aside the fact that there is scarce evidence of actual humor in any of these programs, what is interesting is that Fox News is investing so much of their airtime in a form of entertainment that literally makes a mockery of their pretense to being journalists. For a network that whines so often about not being taken seriously as reporters, this trend will do little to enhance their already tattered reputation.

Making matters worse is the fact that Fox News has been so fiercely derisive of comedy programs that deign to direct their barbs at news subjects. Over many years there has been a constant drumbeat of outrage from Fox aimed at comedians whom they regard as unqualified to have worthwhile opinions on the news or the talent to find humor in it.

And no one has taken more abuse from Fox than Jon Stewart. Sean Hannity called him “a sanctimonious jackass.” Megyn Kelly said that “He was not a force for good.” Bill O’Reilly labeled him “a key component of left-wing television.” O’Reilly also went after Stewart’s audience saying that he has “stoned slackers watching your dopey show every night.” And this anti-Stewart doctrine comes straight from the top. Fox News CEO Roger Ailes publicly scolded Stewart saying that “He hates conservatives. He’s crazy.”

Fox News generally demeans anyone in the entertainment field who speaks out about politics, unless it’s Ted Nugent or Dennis Miller, but then it’s a stretch describing them as entertaining. If George Clooney or Sarah Silverman exercise their rights as citizens, Fox News considers it an abomination and unleashes a rancid stream of unreserved hostility. Fox contributor Laura Ingraham even wrote a book titled Shut Up and Sing,” to advocate for silencing show biz folk who want to participate in American democracy.

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

So after disparaging entertainers, and especially comedians, for engaging in the centuries old art of satire, it is rather odd to find Fox News devoting a significant amount of time and money to doing what they hate so many others for doing. But while it is common for comedians to take on political topics, it is unheard of for news networks to commit whole programs to comedy. Certainly a news network can interview a comic or report on a humorous news story, but Fox is getting ready to launch their third comedy show. And they still want people to take them seriously as journalists? Well, that ship has sailed. If anything, Fox could continue to debut new comedy programs until they fill the schedule. Then, at least, people will be laughing at Fox for the right reasons.