Bill O’Reilly Is Scare Mongering Over Millions Of Imaginary Illegal Aliens Voters

One of Bill O’Reilly’s favorite new attack themes is something that he calls the “Grievance Industry.” Apparently it is any person or group who registers a complaint against something that O’Reilly likes. For instance, racial discrimination or tax policies that favor the rich. It’s curious, though, that he would invent a disparaging way of looking at something that is protected by the First Amendment to the Constitution: “…to petition the government for a redress of grievances.” And the larger irony is that no one is more of a complainer than O’Reilly himself.

Bill O'Reilly

Take his latest Talking Points Memo segment wherein he makes a case for voter suppression via voter ID laws that do not address any actual problem. He begins with his boilerplate whining about how “the grievance industry believes that requiring an ID to vote is a right-wing plot to deny some Americans their voting rights.” He asserts that the push for voter ID is because of voter fraud, but like everyone else on the right who has beaten this path, he provides no evidence of the fraud that he alleges.

In an effort to belittle his opponents, O’Reilly says that the left denies that there is any voter fraud. That’s a lie. In fact the left acknowledges that there is voter fraud, but that it is on such a small scale as to be insignificant. And it doesn’t come close to justifying the imposition of obstacles to voting for millions of legitimate citizens.

Attempting to introduce some substance, O’Reilly cites an “investigation” into voter fraud in the state of North Carolina. The only problem with that is that it has produced precisely zero examples of any unlawful activity. The project was so flawed that when Dick Morris made the same reference to it as O’Reilly, PolitiFact slapped him down with a rating of “False.” They further pointed out that the data used was previously shown to be utterly unreliable. In Kansas they bragged that they had uncovered 185,000 potential cases of voter fraud. But all that came of it was fourteen referrals for prosecution and zero convictions.

O’Reilly then specifically made an allegation, which he portrayed as a fact, that “at least 81 North Carolinians voted in 2013 after they died.” But there is no evidence to support that claim either. In previous similar incidents there was always a simple explanation such as that the voters had cast absentee ballots and then died prior to election day.

O’Reilly then endorses a plan to put photos on Social Security cards and use those as voter identification. Critics of this proposal note that it would introduce serious privacy risks, a complaint that O’Reilly casually dismisses. However, Social Security cards have a unique purpose in our society and the prospect of making them a universal form of identification does expose people to a greater risk of identity fraud. Your Social Security number was never intended to a form of identification.

Perhaps the most outlandish assertion in O’Reilly’s rant was that “There are about 12 million illegal aliens in the U.S. who could vote without proper ID in place.” Oh my. That’s twice the margin by which President Obama beat Mitt Romney in 2012. So where all of these illegal aliens plotting to corrupt the American electoral system? There certainly isn’t any evidence of them having voted. And they’ve been around for many election cycles. It doesn’t even make any sense that people who are here without documentation would risk jail and deportation in order to cast a ballot for candidates who will not represent them.

The only reason that O’Reilly would even raise this phony issue is to fan the flames of bigotry that are already burning in the souls of his audience and much of the extremist right-wing that he represents. It is a reprehensible and irresponsible appeal to people who are predisposed to hate anyone different from themselves. And sadly, it is an appeal that will find agreement by viewers of Fox News despite the irrationality of the argument.

O’Reilly invented the “grievance industry” concept so that he could dismissively waive off any allegation of prejudice as something unwarranted, trivial, and/or fabricated. It’s his way of belittling those who make observations about the racism that still infects our society. But he is the best example that bigotry, in all its hateful glory, continues to be a problem that the goodhearted American people need to redouble their efforts to eradicate. And we could start with Bill O’Reilly.

Fox News Deceiver-In-Chief, Bill O’Reilly, Calls Stephen Colbert A Deceiver

Late last month Bill O’Reilly offered his rebuttal to the argument that income inequality is contributing to the current state of economic stagnation and the bitter partisanship in political circles. He dismissed any notion that there is a problem with having 400 of the richest Americans controlling more wealth than the rest of the 350 million of us combined. Instead, O’Reilly said that…

“The truth is there will never be equality in this world. That’s impossible, an opium-laced dream. I will never have equality with my fellow Irishman Shaquille O’Neal he is bigger and stronger than I am by nature. I will never be as smart as Einstein, as talented as Mozart or as kind as Mother Teresa. Each human being is born with abilities, but they are not equal abilities.”

Bill O'Reilly

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This demonstrates that O’Reilly doesn’t have an inkling of understanding what the income equality debate is about. It has nothing to do with artificial uniformity of human life forms, physically, intellectually, or emotionally. It is about society sharing responsibilities fairly. It is about insuring that powerful elites and faceless corporations are not permitted to exploit everybody else while shirking their own civic duties. Or as Stephen Colbert said facetiously…

“Shaquille O’Neal is taller than Bill O’Reilly, therefore the richest 1 percent of Americans should control 40 percent of the nation’s wealth.”

Colbert’s hilarious smackdown of O’Reilly (video below) must have gotten to Papa Bear. On last night’s episode, O’Reilly devoted his opening Talking Points Memo to lambasting Colbert in the harshest terms. He called Colbert “a deceiver” and an “ideological fanatic” who is “misguided in the extreme.” But O’Reilly wasn’t done yet. He continued saying that…

“Colbert can be dismissed as clueless, but the guy does do damage because he gives cover to the powerful people who are selling Americans a big lie, that this country is bad, that it intentionally oppresses many of its own citizens. That is a lie. That point of view is shameful.”

Of course, Colbert never said or implied that the country is bad. But he and millions of other Americans recognize that it is flawed with respect to the over-weighting of influence by upper-crusty plutocrats. Recent decisions by the right-wing dominated Supreme Court that give ever-more power to the rich are evidence of the wealth-centric bias that keeps average citizens from having an equal say in public affairs. When money equals speech, the rich get more of it, and the poor can only buy silence. That’s a position that fits squarely with O’Reilly’s world view. Last year he actually lamented the fate of the rich as the ones who were really oppressed.

O’Reilly also sought to school Colbert on the philosophy of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. saying that “Maybe Colbert should understand that Dr. King gave his life for equality of opportunity.” But that is a stupendously false and ignorant misreading of King’s message. King gave his life in the fight for actual equality and freedom from oppression, not the “opportunity” of it. And the fight continues to this day with people like O’Reilly who defend a status quo that favors rich folks like himself.

One thing that O’Reilly got right is that “Each human being is born with abilities, but they are not equal abilities.” And clearly O’Reilly doesn’t have the intellectual or comedic ability to go toe-to-toe with Colbert.

How Fox News Is Spinning The ObamaCare Enrollment Success Story

Conservative opponents of the Democratic health insurance agenda are heavily invested in its failure. From the outset they have portrayed it as a dangerous descent into tyranny that would destroy the magnificent American health care system and the nation as a whole. In its role as PR division of the Republican Party, Fox News did its part to demonize the law and frighten people away from signing up.

Now that the numbers are in showing that, defying all expectations, the program surpassed the goals that had been set in an early analysis by the Congressional Budget Office, Fox News is shifting into high gear to dismiss the facts. The latest example of this determination to avoid reality comes with the release of an extensive survey conducted by Gallup. The core of the survey’s results are apparent in their headline which reads “In U.S., Uninsured Rate Lowest Since 2008.” And if that isn’t clear enough, Gallup leads off their analysis by saying that…

“The uninsured rate has been falling since the fourth quarter of 2013, after hitting an all-time high of 18.0% in the third quarter — a sign that the Affordable Care Act, commonly referred to as “Obamacare,” appears to be accomplishing its goal of increasing the percentage of Americans with health insurance coverage.”

The news of Gallup’s results was widely reported by the media. The Associated Press distributed an article to its member news organizations with the headline “Survey: Health insurance gains pick up.” This story was published by numerous outlets that represented a broad array of opinion, including the Miami Herald, ABC, Washington Times, Newsmax, NPR, Houston Chronicle, and even local Fox affiliates in Atlanta, Orlando, Phoenix, Chicago, and more. All with the lede provided by AP. However, Fox News chose to handle the same AP story in its own unique way by altering much of the content and changing the headline to “Gallup survey suggests sign-ups under ObamaCare not as high as White House says.”

Fox News ObamaCare

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Clearly Fox News contrived to present a more negative version of the story than the one told by the survey’s actual findings. A closer look at the differences between the AP’s original article and the one published by Fox reveals just how committed Fox is to misrepresenting the facts. The AP’s article began…

“A growing share of Americans got health insurance as sign-up season for President Barack Obama’s health care law came to a close last month, a major survey released Monday has found.”

The Fox News version altered that to say…

“A major new Gallup survey suggests the ObamaCare sign-up numbers are not as soaring as the White House claims.”

The AP’s article goes on to say that…

“The Gallup-Healthways Well-Being Index provides independent validation for White House claims that the law is expanding access, particularly for working people with no coverage on the job.”

That sentence was removed entirely from the Fox article, which choose instead to focus on speculation as to whether the total number of enrollees reached the 7.1 million mark touted by the administration. Although another sentence that was edited out by Fox said that…

“‘The Affordable Care Act, commonly referred to as `Obamacare,’ appears to be accomplishing its goal of increasing the percentage of Americans with health insurance,’ said Gallup’s analysis of the findings.”

In addition, Fox removed a couple of quotes in the AP article. One was by White House senior adviser Dan Pfeiffer, who pointed out that there were “200,000 people who had started applications but weren’t able to finish by the deadline.” The other by HHS spokesman Aaron Albright, who noted that “This survey and other independent analyses highlight a historic expansion in coverage.”

To be sure, there were elements of the survey results that addressed possible shortcomings in the law’s uptake. These were covered by both Gallup and the AP. But they were featured prominently by Fox News, to the exclusion of most of the positive data. But Fox wasn’t satisfied with merely cutting out parts of the AP article that they didn’t like. They also added their own segments in order to further slant the coverage negatively. Where the AP said this…

“The survey also speaks to concerns about the consequences from last fall’s wave of insurance cancellations. Gallup’s data suggest most of the people whose existing policies did not measure up under the law were able to get new coverage, or took advantage of exceptions belatedly issued by the White House.”

Fox News substituted this…

“Some feared the cancellations of more than 4.7 million policies that didn’t measure up to the law’s standards would actually swell the ranks of uninsured people. That created huge political problems for Obama, who had promised Americans they could keep their insurance if they liked it.”

When comparing the presentation of the same data side-by-side, it couldn’t be more clear that Fox is endeavoring to manipulate their audience so that they come to a negative conclusion about ObamaCare. Gallup’s results are recognized as being a neutral snapshot of the nation’s opinions at a specific point in time. And even though many other news sources, including those with staunchly conservative views, published the AP’s story without alteration, Fox couldn’t help itself and chose instead to introduce a blatant bias into their reporting through a series of deceitful edits.

It is this sort of unethical and unprofessional conduct that makes it impossible to take seriously the Fox claim to being “fair and balanced.”

NBC News Exclusive: Putin Dissed George W. Bush’s Dog

As evidence of how far American journalism has fallen into the abyss of infotainment, minus the info, on Friday NBC’s Today show assigned their crack correspondent, Jenna Bush Hagar, to interview her father George at the opening of an exhibition of his paintings at his presidential library.

NBC Interview Jenna/George Bush

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The interview violated a slew of journalistic ethics, most notably avoiding a conflict of interest, real or perceived. The relationship between the former president and his daughter obviously precluded any potential for an enlightening news report. An example of the depth attained in this segment is this brief exchange about Bush’s encounters with Vladimir Putin:

Jenna Bush Hagar: You could tell from the very beginning that he was interested in power. And there is an anecdote that you’ve written about that is symbolic of that.
George W. Bush: Well, as you know, our dear dog Barney, who had a special spot in my heart, I introduced him to Putin. Putin kind of dissed him.

Indeed. Putin’s uncomplimentary remarks about the First Dog are symbolic of his aspirations to embark on a territorial clampdown that destabilizes the region and sours his relationship with the community of nations. Thanks to Jenna’s dogged reporting we now know more about the Barney Doctrine than was ever previously disclosed.

Unfortunately, Jenna never asked her dad about the war in Iraq, enhanced interrogation (aka torture), the economic meltdown, or any other area of controversy that enveloped the Bush presidency. And since Bush has rarely subjected himself to the media since he left the White House, any unfulfilled chance to fill in some of the blanks is a bitterly missed opportunity from a journalistic perspective.

For NBC to broadcast this charade represents a sad milestone in the collapse of television news. Whoever thought it would be a good idea to let Bush be questioned by his daughter should suffer eternal shame in the eyes of his or her colleagues. What’s more, any media critic that doesn’t condemn this sort of fluffery isn’t doing their job. Imagine the outrage that would have ensued if NBC News permitted Chelsea Clinton (whom they did briefly employ) to interview Bill Clinton. Fox News would have had a collective conniption.

And speaking of Fox News, their ability to fairly recognize media malfeasance is lacking, to say this least. On today’s episode of MediaBuzz, host Howard Kurtz made the following observation:

“Look, I know this constant coverage has been very, very good for [the] ratings, but I just don’t get the obsessive focus.”

Kurtz was talking about CNN’s coverage of the missing Malaysian plane. The first part of that statement that rubs reality the wrong way is that he doesn’t “get the obsessive focus.” Of course he does. He knows very well that it’s about ratings and he even says so in the beginning of the sentence. But more importantly, he is oblivious to the fact that the same commentary could be applied to Fox’s coverage of Benghazi. Although Fox’s motives are far more nefarious than merely goosing their ratings. Their obsession is focused squarely on attacking President Obama, and Hillary Clinton.

In other Bush news, Fox aired an hour long commercial for Jeb Bush’s prospective presidential campaign. It came in the form of an interview at the George H.W. Bush library during an event that was closed to the press. Lucky for Fox, they are not regarded as press and their own Shannon Bream was the interviewer. Her segments with Jeb were broadcast on the Fox News Channel along with cutesy bits from Mama Bush and other close associates.

However, the program may do Jeb more harm than good. He articulated a couple of positions that are not going to endear him to the fanatical Tea Party wing of his party that of late holds the keys to any nomination. For instance, he offered a rather sane opinion on immigration that will surely boil the blood of folks like Rush Limbaugh and Sarah Palin:

“They crossed the border because they had no other means to work to be able to provide for their family. Yes, they broke the law, but it’s not a felony. It’s an act of love. It’s an act of commitment to your family. I honestly think that that is a different kind of crime that there should be a price paid, but it shouldn’t rile people up that people are actually coming to this country to provide for their families.”

In addition, Jeb defended the Common Core educational initiative. Saying that “I’m totally committed” to Common Core is not going to win him any friends in the Tea Party. But what will surely bring the knives out in force is his criticism of fellow Republicans who caved to the irrational opponents of Common Core:

“I just don’t seem compelled to run for cover when I think this is the right thing to do for our country. And others have, others that supported the standards all of a sudden now are opposed to it. I don’t get it.’

Between George Bush’s inquisition by his daughter Jenna, and Jeb Bush’s friendly sit-down with a Fox anchor at a supposedly press-free event, the media has demonstrated this week that ethics are the last thing on its mind. And the fact that both of these affairs involved members of the Bush dynasty suggests that they, and the media, are not yet through screwing up our country.

The ‘Fundamental Flaw’ In The Republican Brand According To Fox News

Always on the lookout for ways to help the Republican Party, Fox News published an editorial by Maggie Gallagher, a founder of the anti-marriage equality group, National Organization for Marriage, entitled “Hey, GOP, want to win in 2016? Fix fundamental flaw in Republican brand.”

GOP Rebranding

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Indeed, the Republican brand has suffered of late with even the Chairman of the Republican National Committee, Reince Priebus, conceding that the problem is so serious it required an “autopsy” following the 2012 election to address the party’s tendency to drive away critical constituencies. The RNC’s “Growth and Opportunity” report identified several areas of concern that included poor outreach to minority voters, alienating the youth demo, and too many candidate debates (an admission that the more people see their candidates, the less they like them).

Now Fox News is weighing in with an opinion as to what the “fundamental” flaw holding back the GOP is. The article begins with a premise with which it is difficult to disagree:

“America’s economic problem isn’t just unemployment, it’s the deadly combination of steady mild inflation and stagnant wages that is leading to pervasive declines in middle class working families’ standard of living.”

Setting aside the curious assertion that “mild inflation” contributes to a “deadly” situation, Gallagher’s recognition that stagnant wages lead to a decline in the living standard of middle class working families is spot on – and something that Democrats have been focused on intensely. Republicans, in the meantime, have been staunch opponents of raising the minimum wage; they have drafted legislation to eliminate overtime pay; they support corporate policies that encourage sending American jobs to other countries; and they favor mergers that result in massive layoffs.

The Democratic agenda is squarely aimed at improving the economic status of America’s middle class, while the Republicans drive headlong into crushing it in favor of the wealthy business elites whom the right mistakenly regard as job creators. [This graphic illustrates who the Real Job Creators are] While Gallagher acknowledges that GOP rhetoric is overly focused on the needs of voters’ bosses, she also dismisses the notion of raising the minimum wage as “feeble.” So what is Gallagher talking about when she refers to the fundamental flaw in the Republican brand?

“One obvious place Republicans could show they “get it” is relentlessly focusing on the pay cut ObamaCare means for many middle class working families.”

Of course! It’s ObamaCare. The cause of the entire world’s descent into a dystopic cataclysm that threatens to devour liberty and thrust the planet into eternal depression and tyranny. Never mind that ObamaCare is actually reducing the financial burdens that have plagued middle class families who have suffered either exorbitant and ever-increasing insurance premiums, or worse, devastating medical bills that drive them into bankruptcy. With ObamaCare the middle class no longer needs to worry about being denied coverage or having their policy canceled should they have the audacity to file a claim. Nor do they need to remain shackled to a low-paying and unfulfilling job just to stay insured.

Gallagher’s retreat to ObamaCare as the universal thorn in whatever right-wingers are complaining about at the moment is absurd in the extreme. But her contention that this is the fundamental flaw that the Republican Party needs to fix makes even less sense. Where has she been the last four years? Undoing ObamaCare has been the single most prominent obsession of the GOP since it was introduced. If she thinks that the Republican brand is suffering because they haven’t done enough to oppose ObamaCare, she may need to take advantage of the mental health care benefits the new law has made possible.

Finally, Fox News frequently does stories about how the GOP can improve their electoral prospects. However, they never do stories with similar advice for Democrats. That may not be particularly fair and balanced, but judging by the advice that Fox is giving to the GOP, perhaps the best thing they can do for Democrats is to keep giving advice to Republicans.

Did GOP/Fox News Plan Fort Hood Shooting To Distract From ObamaCare Success?

As the March deadline for enrollment in the Affordable Care Act (aka ObamaCare) arrived, the White House proudly revealed that it had surpassed the goal of seven million enrollments set by the Congressional Budget Office. It was a target that many thought to be out of reach following the technical glitches that plagued the program’s Internet rollout. Under ordinary circumstances, such an achievement would have dominated the news for several days. The positive glow from having succeeded when most predicted failure could have permanently altered the public perception of ObamaCare which was already trending more positively in recent polls.

The very next day there was a horrific reprise of a deadly shooting at the Fort Hood army base in Texas that has sucked up every ounce of airtime across the television dial. Coincidence?

Of course it is. To be clear, there is absolutely no chance that either the Republican Party or Fox News had any part in orchestrating the Fort Hood shooting, despite the admittedly sensational headline of this article. This has been a demonstration of how Fox News would have responded if the news about ObamaCare was negative and some other news event pushed the bad news out of the spotlight. Fox would have objected strenuously to the media giving the President a pass rather than drooling over a potential White House flop.

This is not conjecture. It is precisely how Fox News has behaved in the past when they alleged that everything from the minimum wage to Syria to immigration reform were deliberate efforts to distract the public from the health care law when it appeared to be in trouble. It seemed like it would just be a matter of time before some rightist conspiracy nut (probably Glenn Beck) would come up with an alien baby for Sarah Palin as an excuse to avoid discussing ObamaCare.

Sarah Palin

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The Fort Hood shooting is a tragedy that deserves the attention of the media. However, it is usually the case that the press will fetishize a story to boost ratings, rather than to objectively inform their audience. Consequently, the uplifting success of ObamaCare will get short shrift following the Fort Hood homicides. Also bumped from the news cycle is the previous press fixation on Malaysia’s flight MH370.

One of the more interesting tangents dangling from the ObamaCare story that is now likely to be ignored, is the utter failure of right-wing critics of the law to predict the eventual outcome. Notable among them is former Bush crony and current GOP Super-PACman, Karl Rove who, when asked about the seven million sign up figure, said with complete and delusional confidence that “There is no way they’re gonna get anywhere close. It just ain’t gonna happen.” And he was not alone in mistakenly predicting failure for ObamaCare long before the numbers were in:

  • Investor’s Business Daily: Obama Just Guaranteed ObamaCare’s Failure
  • Human Events: ObamaCare’s ultimate failure
  • New York Times: Obamacare, Failing Ahead of Schedule
  • Daily Caller: New enrollment numbers suggest Obamacare is hurtling toward failure
  • New Republic: Obamacare Failure is a Threat to Liberalism
  • CNN: Opinion: Obamacare and the failure of half-baked liberalism
  • Townhall: Obamacare Is Failing Because The Product Sucks
  • Newsmax: Coburn: Obamacare is ‘A Failure Already’
  • Fox News: Former Gov. Sununu: ObamaCare ‘a complete failure
  • Fox Nation: ObamaCare: A Failure in Progress

As usual, there is no accountability for the media when they are wrong. It simply doesn’t matter how often they screw up, they will continue to enjoy a platform for their pitiful prognostications. As a result, the press gets to rant for months about what an abject failure ObamaCare is, and when all of that is proven to be bovine excrement, they pretend they never said it and hurriedly adopt a new obsession. Either that or they double down on their lies with no push-back from their pals on Fox. Even still, GOP deceivers like Sen. John Barasso go on Fox News and, without any evidence, claim that the administration is “cooking the books.” And Fox News clown-in-residence Jesse Watters alleges that Obama was “straight-up lying” about the sign-ups.

The GOP and Fox News certainly did not plan the Fort Hood shooting, but they gladly exploit it for their own partisan self-interests. So don’t expect to hear any more about the seven million ObamaCare enrollments on Fox, unless it is to claim that the numbers are fake. Ultimately this will leave Fox viewers in the dark again when everyone but them knows the truth about ObamaCare and everything else that actually happens in this world.

Fox News Reporter And His Publisher In Bogus Book Marketing Scheme?

When it comes to making up fake stories in order to advance a partisan, right-wing agenda, nobody does it quite as well or as often as Fox News. Generally it involves deceptively spinning some event or purposefully mischaracterizing the comments of a Democrat. But frequently they will manufacture a phony story from scratch, and that may be what happened with this one by Fox News reporter Todd Starnes.

Fox News - Todd Starnes

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Starnes is perhaps the Fox figure who is most fixated on the perceived persecution of Christians in America. He has produced story after story on the same subject with alleged examples of innocent believers being harassed, oppressed, or maligned. However, many of his yarns turn out to be fables that are proven to be false when examined in full.

This week Starnes reported on a five year old girl whose father claims she was prohibited from praying in her school’s cafeteria. No one else can corroborate the charge. The school administration investigated and found no evidence to back up the claim. And there is no policy at the school that would prohibit a student from praying at lunchtime. This how Starnes began his story:

“A Florida school district is giving teachers a refresher course on religious liberty after the parents of a five-year-old kindergarten student said a teacher told their daughter that she was not allowed to pray before eating her lunch time meal.

“Marcos Perez, of Oviedo, Fla., said the incident occurred earlier this month in the lunch room at Carillon Elementary School.”

However, Starnes left out a pretty significant bit of information regarding his personal relationship with the family in the story. The Orlando Sentinel reported that Marcos Perez, the father of the girl, is also the Vice-President of Sales for Charisma House, a Christian book publisher that just happens to be publishing Starnes’ own book about – guess what – discrimination against Christians: “God Less America: Real Stories From the Front Lines of the Attack on Traditional Values.” That is a fact that Starnes failed to disclose in his story. [Note: After this association was revealed by the Sentinel, Starnes edited his column to add his relationship with the girl's father] It can hardly be seen as an inadvertent omission when Starnes’ story includes quotes from a man he surely knows without revealing that fact.

So to recap: Starnes has a book coming out soon that describes alleged episodes of discrimination against hapless Christians. A Christian schoolgirl is allegedly forbidden from praying in a story that could have come right out of Starnes’ book. And the beleaguered child is the daughter of the man responsible for selling the book and coming up with attention-getting marketing schemes. But I’m sure it is all just a harmless coincidence.

Bill O’Reilly: Obama Supporters Are ‘Blatantly Ignorant And Lazy’

In last night’s episode of The O’Reilly Factor, Bill O’Reilly began the program with his routine and hackneyed Talking Points Memo segment. As usual, O’Reilly’s perspective was arrogant, insulting, and entirely devoid of substance or factual basis.

Bill O'Reilly

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The issue that set O’Reilly off on this occasion was a CBS News poll that showed that 53% of the American people say that President Obama has strong qualities of leadership. Obviously there must be something wrong with those results because O’Reilly knows better than everyone else. He asks “How can that be possible?” and asserts that the people are just “confused.”

The first problem O’Reilly sees with the poll is that the respondents were “adults,” rather than registered or likely voters. For some reason he thinks that’s significant. However, he is now demonstrating his own ignorance because those distinctions are only relevant in polls measuring the current status of an election. For polls gauging the opinions of the general public there is no reason to narrow the respondents to voting demographics. O’Reilly is just desperately grasping for some excuse to dismiss the results.

But the worst part of O’Reilly’s spin comes when he expresses an open hostility to pretty much everyone who supports the President:

“The harsh truth is that many of us are blatantly ignorant and lazy. We simply will not pay attention to the world around us. We get our information from other people, who may be as dumb as we are.”

In O’Reilly’s mind it is impossible to have a positive view of Obama unless you are mentally deficient. It isn’t just a matter of a difference of opinion, it is an inherent inability to comprehend the world you live in. So if you disagree with O’Reilly you are just plain dumb. And since the poll shows that 53% of the nation disagree with him, O’Reilly thinks a majority of the American people are ignorant and lazy. Wouldn’t it be nice if the American people told O’Reilly what they think about that?

The best part of O’Reilly’s remarks is that taken by themselves they are a perfect description of his own arrogance and the willful ignorance of his viewers. It is they who blindly follow the fact-free ramblings of a rabidly biased pundit whose mission in life is to deceive and distort and to disparage his ideological adversaries. And that’s the harsh truth that O’Reilly is too ignorant and lazy to grasp.

COVER-UP: Fox News Reveals Shocking Malaysian Jet Passenger Conspiracy

The story of the missing Malaysian jet continues to fascinate and confuse the world as we enter the third week without a definitive explanation of what happened. The vacuum that forms in the absence of knowledge often leads to wild speculation and conspiracy theories.

Leave it to Fox News, though, to engage their masterful journalistic skills to bring bona fide facts to the issue and to ensure that their viewers are always kept apprised of the latest verified details.

Case in point, this morning the kiddie crew on the curvy couch at Fox & Friends reported on a shocking revelation that the mainstream media has been suppressing. Their investigation, that mainly consisted of reading the UK’s Daily Mail (the National Enquirer of England), turned up photographs of the two passengers who were thought to be traveling on stolen passports. Now, even though everyone who dug into this concluded that the passengers were Iranians seeking to escape the oppressive regime and find refuge in Europe, Fox News believes something nefarious was afoot – or more accurately – a leg. They even got the lie-riddled Fox Nation to repost the article. Fox anchors Steve Doocy and Elizabeth Hasselbeck brought up the budding scandal with an ominous tone:

Doocy: Meanwhile, Fox News Alert: New questions about those two Iranian men who boarded flight 370 with stolen passports. Did somebody Photoshop this picture of them, because they both appear to have the same legs. That’s leading many to believe there is a cover-up happening. [...] The Malaysians are saying ‘No, we didn’t Photoshop or anything like that. They had a Xerox copy and part of the guy on the left was put on top of the duplicate of the guy on the right. Do you buy that?

Hasselbeck: And you can tell he’s carrying a duffel bag. But if they say that this is a mistake, why don’t they correct it? Why don’t they send us the good pictures?

Indeed, the pictures (posted below) show the two men with similar lower bodies. However, the explanation by the Malaysian authorities appears to make perfect sense. Especially because there doesn’t seem to have been any attempt to disguise an alteration of the photos. The obvious line dissecting the man on the left is consistent with what would appear on a Xerox copy with another photo beneath it. If there were some secret plot in the works it would have easy to conceal the line or even supply a different set of legs. But to Doocy and Hasselbeck, the fact that Malaysia hasn’t sent them “good pictures” is evidence that they are hiding something.

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If we, for a moment, take the ravings of these FoxNuts seriously, what exactly would be the dastardly scheme that is allegedly being perpetrated? For what possible reason would the Malaysian government deliberately (and ineptly) hide the legs of a passenger in a security photo? Would the exposure of his real legs have given away a classified government pants-related secret? We may never know.

Nevertheless, Fox is cranking up the conspiracy machine to titillate their already on-the-edge audience who are all too happy to swallow whatever moronic feast of crackpottery that Fox serves up. And if they think that these pictures are suspicious…..

Fox News Cover Up Passengers

Just wait until they get a look at this…..

Fox News Cover Up Obama

St. Vladimir: The Putin Worship Continues On Fox News

The old saying that “the enemy of my enemy is my friend” has been taken to heart by Fox News and much of the Republican Party. That is the only explanation for the ongoing love affair that is playing out on Fox News for the Russian dictator Vladimir Putin. Given an opportunity to compare Putin with President Obama, Fox News invariably comes out on Putin’s side.

St. Vladimir

The latest example of this is Fox News host Jenna Lee who interviewed the Wall Street Journal’s Dan Henninger yesterday. The segment focused on how Putin is teaching the west a lesson that “fatigue isn’t an option,” a reference to the observation that Americans, after more than a decade of war, are tired of it and reluctant to commence a new confrontation over Crimea. In the course of the discussion Lee presented a scenario that favorably juxtaposed Putin to Obama and other American leaders:

“[Putin] had people openly weeping in the crowd. I don’t remember a time when any of us have been moved to weep based on a speech about America. That actually alarms me.”

Really? Because Fox News was one of the most ardent critics of Obama’s impact on his audience. They frequently characterized him as Messianic and looped video of supporters crying, and even fainting, during his speeches. They called him a “celebrity” president and insulted voters as having been swayed by his soaring rhetoric and appeal to emotion, rather than the substance of issues and policies.

Perhaps when Lee says that she can’t remember “any of us” being moved to weep, the “us” she is referring to is Fox News personnel. Certainly the only weeping Obama has ever induced from them is when he defeated Republican opponents at the ballot box – twice. Obama’s passionate oration is often belittled on Fox as theatrics, but the drama produced by Putin is seen by Foxies as powerful and patriotic. They are dripping with admiration for the Russian strongman and lament that Obama doesn’t emulate his persona and tactics. Of course, if he were to do so, Fox would turn and pounce on him for sounding like a tyrant.

Just this morning Fox strategic analyst Ralph Peters called Putin “gifted” and said that “He is a dynamic, powerful leader with a clear vision of what he wants and the west is leaderless.” Sarah Palin’s schoolgirl crush causes her to see Putin as “one who wrestles bears and drills for oil. They look at our president as one who wears mom jeans.” Sean Hannity was “humiliated for my country” after seeing photos of a shirtless Putin doing a butterfly stroke next to a picture of Obama riding a bike (which was a manly pastime when George W. Bush did it).

The infatuation that Fox has for Putin is palpable. But it is also opportunistic. They only admire him so long as they can convert their idolatry of Putin into disparagement of Obama. They tried the same thing with conflicts involving Syria and Iran, but after the administration’s success in forcing both countries to retreat from their pursuit of weapons of mass destruction, Fox News likewise retreated. And if Putin fails to achieve his goals in Ukraine, look for Fox to forsake their besainted one. But don’t expect them to give any credit to Obama. That would be sacrilege.

War Lusters: Why Are Tea-Publicans So Obsessed With War In Ukraine?

For the past few months (years?), the Republican Party has been fixated on a single issue that crowded out any other topic of political conversation. Terrorism, taxes, climate change, abortion, the economy – you name it – was ultimately shoved aside in favor of bashing the Affordable Care Act (aka ObamaCare). Health care has dominated the news coverage on Fox News on virtually every program. That is, until Vladimir Putin sent his troops into the Ukrainian province of Crimea.

This begs the question: What is it about this matter that supersedes the GOP obsession with ObamaCare? Why is the conflict between a couple of former Soviet states such a powerful draw for America’s Tea Party extremists? After all, not too long ago, Crimea was, in fact, a part of Russia. It was just in 1954 that the Soviet Russian Republic ceded control of Crimea to the Soviet Ukraine Republic via a “Decree of the Presidium of the USSR Supreme Soviet” that stated it was…

“…transferring Crimea Province from the Russian Republic to the Ukraine Republic, taking into account the integral character of the economy, the territorial proximity and the close economic ties between Crimea Province and the Ukraine Republic, and approving the joint presentation of the Presidium of the Russian Republic Supreme Soviet and the Presidium of the Ukraine Republic Supreme Soviet on the transfer of Crimea Province from the Russian Republic to the Ukraine Republic.”

This is not unlike the transfer of authority for Ellis Island from New York to New Jersey by the Supreme Court. The Soviet leadership certainly did not anticipate that their country would break up and the newly independent Ukraine would scamper off with Crimea. Sixty years later, Crimea is still a predominately Russian community. Seventy-five percent of its population is ethnic Russian. And while the referendum vote last Sunday was rampant with obvious fraud, it is unarguable that a majority of the Crimean residents still associate themselves with Russia. The map below illustrates how segregated the population is. In the blue areas the residents speak Ukrainian. In the red area, virtually all of Crimea, they speak Russian.

Republican War Lust

If there were ever a regional conflict that the United States had little business poking its massive proboscis into, it is this one. It’s fine to take sides rhetorically and even to organize a coalition of nations to advocate on behalf of sovereignty and independence, but rattling the sabers of war over a regional matter that is of no national interest to the U.S. is irresponsible and dangerous. Repeating the mistakes of the previous administration will only cost more American lives without securing anything of value for the loss.

Ron Paul, in a disagreement with his senator son Rand, asked the key question saying “Why does the U.S. care which flag will be hoisted on a small piece of land thousands of miles away?” That question has yet to be answered by the likes of John McCain, Ted Cruz, John Boehner, or any of the squawking heads on Fox News like John Bolton, who take a morbid glee in castigating President Obama as weak and ineffectual because he hasn’t launched World War III yet.

The hypocrites who assert that Obama’s foreign policy is responsible for inviting Putin’s aggression fail to recognize that Putin has never looked to the U.S. for permission to embark on his military misadventures. If that were true, those conservative critics would need to explain what it was about George W. Bush’s foreign policy that invited Putin to invade Georgia. Was he also weak and ineffectual, even after invading and overthrowing the governments of two nations (including Iraq, never did anything to threaten the U.S.)?

So what could possibly be the incentive for so many conservative politicians and pundits to so adamantly excoriate the President and advance the cause of war? The first thing to consider is that Obama’s critics live for chastising him, whether he deserves it or not. They frequently scold him even when he is promoting their ideas. Which is the case with ObamaCare, which was originally a conservative initiative developed by the Heritage Foundation and adopted by folks like Newt Gingrich and Mitt Romney.

More importantly, there is a thread of Apocalyptic fervor that runs through the ranks of the right. They have an intensity that is rooted in deep faith and a conviction in infallibility that stems from the same source. They believe that, with God’s help, they will overcome any adversity and that the deadly consequences are not worthy of consideration. And even if they fail, it would be God’s will and that they would be Raptured into Heaven ahead of the Armageddon they so enthusiastically await (and some seek to provoke).

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Consequently, military conflict with a nuclear-armed Russia over a border dispute that has no significance for the U.S. becomes an acceptable option. Diplomacy is the Devil’s way and must be rejected at the outset. The military response is always the first one considered by these dedicated Rapturists. And why not? They won’t be around to suffer anyway.

This is an argument that has no basis in reality and for which there is no rebuttal. You simply can’t convince someone who believes that he is the Lord’s messenger that the voice he hears is coming from his own dementia – or from a Fox News chicken-hawk.

Disgraced CBS Reporter Resigns Causing Fox News To Weep (And Lie About Benghazi)

Earlier this week investigative reporter Sharyl Attkisson announced that she had resigned from CBS News. According to Politico, sources say that her departure was due to her frustration with what she considered the network’s liberal bias. However, the truth is more likely that the network was disappointment with Attkisson’s sloppy and partisan reporting.

The notion that CBS News is some kind of bastion of liberalism is impossible to take seriously. Just last November CBS ran an embarrassing 60 Minutes segment on Benghazi that was based wholly on the account of a disreputable figure whose story they never verified. They later had to apologize and retract the story, but the problem was not due to an unfortunate mistake. The right-wing bias at CBS gets its direction from the very top. The President of CBS News is David Rhodes, who came to the network from Fox News. Politico also reported that…

“Attkisson’s coverage of the Obama administration, which some CBS staffers characterized as agenda-driven, had led network executives to doubt the impartiality of her reporting. [...and that...] Pat Shevlin, the executive producer of CBS Evening News, was especially wary of Attkisson’s motives and had even dismissed her, in private, as a partisan carrying water for Republicans.”

Generally Fox News is openly hostile to what they regard as the establishment media and they mercilessly pound their competitors as neither fair nor balanced. But in the wake of Attkisson’s resignation, Fox has become her biggest cheerleader. Yesterday Neil Cavuto brought in rightist media hack Brent Bozell of NewsBusters to lament Attkisson’s fate and complain that CBS had cut her off because of her politics. However that opinion ignores the fact that Attkisson’s reporting had recently been shown to be inaccurate and unfairly critical of the Obama administration. That is the reason that her stories have not been getting on the air.

In the course of this full-throated defense of Attkisson’s journalistic failures, Bozell went on an extended rant aimed at all of the “mainstream” media and CBS in particular. He complained about what he believed to be insufficient coverage of the attack on the U.S. consulate in Benghazi, Libya. Only on Fox is there still a raging controversy over what the administration did and said following the attack. Everywhere else the phony allegations promoted by conservatives have been thoroughly debunked. But Bozell went completely off the rails when he said…

“It stands to reason that she [Attkisson] is out because they stopped letting her report the news when she started reporting on Benghazi. [...] If George Bush – if it had been on his watch that we had Benghazi, do you think they’d be quiet?”

To this Cavuto replied “He’d be impeached.” And once again, the rank hypocrisy of Fox News is displayed in all its partisan glory. If Fox were the least bit interested in factual representations of events they would have to have acknowledged that during the Bush administration there were at least thirteen Benghazis (i.e. terrorist attacks on U.S. embassies and consulates that resulted in dozens of casualties including the death of David Foy, an American diplomat). Not only was Bush never threatened with impeachment over those atrocities, no one at Fox ever suggested that Bush was the least bit responsible for them. Nor did they criticize Bush as weak for not retaliating afterwards.

Fox News

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Attkisson says that she is going to focus on completing the book she is writing with the totally non-biased title “Stonewalled: One Reporter’s Fight for Truth in Obama’s Washington.” It is being published by HarperCollins, a subsidiary of Rupert Murdoch’s News Corp. From there it is a fairly safe bet that she will find a perch at Fox News where she can continue to peddle her dishonest stories and her rightist views with the full support of her bosses. After all, Fox has long history of scooping up the worst rejects after they have been discarded by other networks.

Guess What The Fox News “Psycho” Analyst Found Inside The Mind Of Vladimir Putin

The Fox News Medical “A” Team’s resident psychiatrist, Keith Ablow, has a long history of going “inside the mind” of pretty much anyone who is in the news (and especially President Obama). I recently compiled a list of 35 articles in which Ablow entered the minds of unsuspecting victims of his quackery. What they all share in common is a deep disregard for medical ethics and a penchant for sensationalism, wild conjecture, and deranged diagnoses – such as his affection for the Unabomber. [Here is the News Corpse file on Ablow's vast crackpottery]

Keith Ablow

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With the Russian foray into Crimea, the rank opportunist in Ablow has marched himself straight into the mind of Vladimir Putin. And you’ll never guess who he found there. After rattling around for a bit to make some baseless assumptions, Ablow discovered that President Obama had established occupancy and become the key factor in everything that Putin does. In fact, Ablow’s excursion into Putin’s mind is really just an excuse to foster ludicrous hypotheses about Obama’s psychological state. Ablow begins his inane adventure by saying…

“I believe Putin’s psychology is being directly fueled by that of President Barack Obama. Obama being Obama helps Putin be Putin.”

Isn’t that simple? Putin isn’t an autocratic dictator with a compulsion for power and influence. He’s just a vessel into which Obama pours his omnipotence. Putin wouldn’t have invaded Ukraine – he might not even have existed – but for Obama. But despite the fullness of Obama’s ability to fuel Putin’s emptiness, Obama is still Putin’s lesser who is motivated by a desire to weaken America, the nation he rose from simple beginnings to lead. Ablow says that…

“Putin apparently believes he was placed on this planet to be the most powerful person he can be, to assert his religious and social beliefs unsparingly and to help reestablish his Russia as the dominant power in the world. Barack Obama apparently believes he was placed on this earth to be the most powerful person he can be, in order to restrain America in the expression of its power.”

Makes perfect sense, doesn’t it? The interracial child of a single mother struggles his whole life to achieve lofty goals that most people believed to be unattainable just so he could rip it all apart once he arrived. It’s a theory so brilliant that only Ablow himself can understand it as anything other than idiocy.

Ablow goes on to assert that Obama thinks that “national (American) character is a bad thing,” and that Obama is only interested in “in disempowering the United States.” But it isn’t just America as a nation that Obama is determined to destroy, it is every individual in the nation, whose autonomous freedom Obama has set out to eviscerate. And naturally, Putin’s superior observational capability is further praised by Ablow who said…

“I do not believe that Vladimir Putin would miss the fact that Barack Obama has imperiled the notion of individual autonomy (by seeking to disarm Americans, by seeking to make Americans dependent on unemployment checks and food stamps and by making it officially impossible to choose how to spend your own money, via the Affordable Care Act).”

Somehow, in this article purporting to be an examination of Putin’s mind, Ablow has managed to turn it into a parade of nearly every negative talking point about Obama on the Republican Party’s hit list: guns, unemployment, food stamps, health care. If he had thrown in Benghazi, and taxing the rich, he would have completed the set. But he wasn’t finished. He still had to concoct a conclusion that would denigrate the President as being more harmful to America than Putin or its other foes. And this is what he came up with:

“If Crimea becomes part of Russia or all of Ukraine does, it will be in no small measure due to the psychology of Vladimir Putin, and, in equal measure, due to the psychology of Barack Obama.”

There you have it: Keith Ablow’s excursion into the mind of Vladimir Putin – where the mind of Barack Obama rules. It still isn’t clear how a weak and vacillating Obama in mom jeans can overpower the mental superiority of a masculine and virile leader like Putin (Ablow and his right-wing comrades truly love Vlad), but Ablow’s analyses were never intended to make sense. His sole purpose is to attack the President, and it hardly matters if the attack is coherent. His audience is infected with an inability to grasp reason or logic, and they are overtly hostile to facts. And with psychiatric advice from wankers like Ablow, don’t expect them to get any better.

Is This The Most Hateful Fox News Commentary Ever?

This weekend Fox News ran their regular commentary by reporter Liz Trotta. For those unfamiliar with Trotta’s work, she gained a certain measure of infamy when she joked that President Obama should be “knocked off” along with Osama Bin Laden. On another occasion she criticized women in the military for complaining that they are “being raped too much.” Trotta never defined what an acceptable amount of rape would be, just that these soldiers should expect it.

Fox News Liz Trotta

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On the scale of loathsome miscreants, Trotta has set a pretty high bar for herself, but her newest commentary may have succeeded in surpassing all previous efforts. She has managed to squeeze derogatory references to women, men, liberals, African-Americans, gays, teenagers, and Puerto Ricans – all into one grotesque editorial retch. Trotta began by disparaging women as unfit to serve certain roles in government:

“Is there a lesson in the fact the the President, clinging to his diversity mantra, has appointed mostly women to top security and state department jobs? America the exceptional has become America the incompetent.”

Apparently the lesson is that women are incompetent. It’s funny that Trotta never bothered to express this opinion when George W. Bush appointed a women as National Security Adviser and Secretary of State. But then Obama has always had to live by a separate set of standards according to these right-wing hypocrites. Next, Trotta unleashed a barrage of things about which she has grown tired, including…

“…tired of the random rudeness and coarse language on and off the street, especially from oversexed teenagers who advertise their sex and then claim abuse.”

Indeed. Those irresponsible teenagers flaunting their nubile sexuality are just asking for it. They have no right to complain when they are subsequently abused by perverts who can hardly be expected to resist such temptation.

“…tired of weaselly young men with their testosterone challenged beards and mincing ways who would rather do the dishes than defend our country.”

We’ve all seen them, haven’t we? Those young bearded men bellying up to sinks, cleaning dishes, are everywhere. Meanwhile, the quarter million men in the armed services are hardly ever spotted on city streets. They probably have some lame excuse like they’re fighting terrorists in Afghanistan, or they’re stationed in army bases, or some such nonsense.

“…tired of racial imperatives. Hollywood’s robotic devotion to groveling liberalism by requiring every picture to showcase the liberated ingenue as assertive heroine and a cerebral black man as its sensitive anti-hero.”

Exactly!. The last thing we need is Hollywood casting women as positive role models, rather than the dutiful housewives or hookers-with-a-heart that God meant for them to portray. And as for black men, what ever happened to the days when they were rightfully confined to roles as gang-bangers, drug dealers, and dancing slaves? Who ever heard of a cerebral, sensitive black man anyway?

“…tired of the deification of homosexuals who may have won the media race and silenced the incompetent opposition, although many Americans find their lifestyle repugnant.”

It’s good to see that the struggle for civil rights has been reduced to a media race. And the fact that many Americans are repulsed by gays is justification enough for oppressing them, just as it was with African-Americans before they got uppity.

Liz Trotta is obviously bursting at the seams with animus for a wide variety (and a clear majority) of Americans. She even went after Puerto Ricans (who are American citizens) asking “When was the last time you saw an American flag at a Puerto Rican Day Parade?” Well, it took me about two minutes to find this photograph from a parade in Chicago last year.

Trotta is just another in the long line of pseudo-patriots who spew an unending litany of hatred for their country. She ended her rant with a generalized insult directed at the nation as a whole saying “America, the incompetent, rules.” We should be grateful for Trotta and her enablers at Fox. They let us know precisely how they feel about America. It’s too bad their viewers are too addle-brained to recognize that the network they worship hates them and their country.

Foxettes On Parade: Is Fox News Breaking The Massachusetts Upskirting Law?

This week a Massachusetts judge dismissed the conviction of a man who was caught surreptitiously taking photographs underneath the skirt of a female undercover transit officer. The dismissal was based on the judge’s contorted interpretation of the law that found that the woman was not “partially nude” and therefore not a victim.

The Massachusetts legislature quickly drafted and passed an amendment to the law that clarified what constituted a violation. Gov. Deval Patrick signed the bill Friday, making this statement:

“The legislation makes the secret photographing, videotaping, or electronically surveiling of another person’s sexual or other intimate parts, whether under or around a person’s clothing or when a reasonable person would believe that the person’s intimate parts would not be visible to the public, a crime.”

The media was all over this disturbing story with a nearly lascivious glee. It’s the sort of sex crime controversy that starts tabloid editors salivating. So it is not surprising that Fox News, the tabloidiest channel of them all, covered the story excitedly in their broadcast. However, Fox may be exposing themselves to legal liability due to their penchant for featuring the physical assets of their female hosts and guests.

Fox News Upskirting

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The evidence that is abundantly available of Fox News videotaping “under or around a person’s clothing” could be used against them in a court of law. If one of their employees were to press charges it wouldn’t be difficult to make a case given the thousands of hours of video proof. What’s more, executives at Fox have privately admitted that exploiting the sexuality of their nearly all-blonde roster of women presenters is a key part of their corporate culture. Gabriel Sherman wrote in his biography of Fox News CEO Roger Ailes, “The Loudest Voice In The Room,” that Ailes has repeatedly given direction to his staff regarding the display of female body parts. For instance:

  • When the view of reporter Kiran Chetry was obstructed, Ailes called the control booth to demand that they “Move that damn laptop, I can’t see her legs!”
  • Ailes complained about host Catherine Crier’s attire saying that “I did not spend x-number of dollars on a glass desk for her to wear pant suits.”
  • The casting of The Five included one particular co-host because “I Need The Leg. That’s Andrea Tantaros.”

megyn-kelly-gq2
Furthermore, NPR’s media reporter David Folkenflik was told by knowledgeable sources about the Fox News “Leg Cam” that “goes directly for the legs.” And when host Megyn Kelly was interviewed by GQ (with an accompanying, and revealing, pictorial), she was asked about her own “glass table that shows off your legs.” She responded that “Well, It’s a visual business. People want to see the anchor.” That must be why Bill O’Reilly wears those low-cut blouses. Also, when Gretchen Carlson was tapped to replace Megyn Kelly in daytime, she revealed that “pants were not allowed on Fox & Friends,” and teased viewers with the prospect that on her new show “I might forget my clothes the first day.”

It would fun to see Fox News get hit with an indictment for breaking the Massachusetts Peeping Tom law. But don’t hold your breath. The Foxettes are firmly committed to the mission of their employer despite the fact that they are being exploited as sexual objects. They know that their livelihood depends on the 60+ male demographic that makes up the bulk of their audience. So if they have to suffer the indignity of catering to those perverts, they suck it up, cash their hefty paychecks, and try to remember to keep their legs tightly crossed.

Another Right-Wing Cable News Network To Challenge ‘Liberal’ Fox News

Despite having the top rated cable news network in the country, and a ridiculously undue influence over much of the rest of the mainstream media, conservatives are still not satisfied with their stranglehold on the press. That’s the only explanation for why they keep launching new right-wing cable news networks to compete with Fox News.

Most of these competing enterprises complain that Fox News has betrayed their cause and defected to the enemy liberal camp. Thus the necessity of forming a new network that is devoted to the true conservative agenda that Fox has abandoned. The disappointment with Fox’s brand of conservatism has stirred a flurry of challengers and even a boycott by some determined Tea Party “Fire Ants.”

Fox News Boycott

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The latest entry in the field is the ultra-rightist webzine, Newsmax. The CEO of Newsmax, Chris Ruddy, has a staunchly conservative resume going back to the days when he opposed the Clintons and accused them of murdering their friend Vince Foster. These days Ruddy claims to be on more friendly terms with his former adversaries and is positioning his NewsmaxTV as a “kinder, gentler Fox News.” But It’s hard to see where NewsmaxTV will succeed in the wake of the other recent attempts to pry wingnuts and Tea Partiers away from Fox.

In 2010, a project from Hollywood conservative (and Friend of Abe) Kelsey Grammer and former Comcast-Spectacor chairman Ed Snider, was given a flashy fanfare as it promised to bring conservative values to both news and entertainment programming. However, the RightNetwork never seemed to get past the website stage and today doesn’t even have that.

That was followed by the much hyped One America News Network in March of 2013. One America was announced at last year’s CPAC with support from Herring Broadcasting and the “Moonie” Washington Times. It’s founder, Charles Herring, said he was motivated by his perception that “the sources of national news tend to lean to the left…and all we have is Fox.” So far, that has not proven to be a sufficient justification for a new right-leaning network.

And now we have NewsmaxTV – a network that admits that much of its success will rely on the same advertising and hucksterism that fuels Newsmax. That business model is heavily reliant on two non-journalism revenue streams: 1) Selling the email lists of conservative pundits, and 2) Selling highly dubious nutritional “supplements” and medical services. Business week described Newsmax as

“…a smorgasbord of political, health, and financial information, self-help books, and even vitamin supplements constantly pushed through the website and e-mail lists. This eclectic array of products—the company made $46 million in subscription revenue from its 17 newsletters and $6 million from vitamin supplements in 2013—makes Newsmax less of a news business and more of a strange hybrid of the Heritage Foundation and Amway.”

Given the rapidly expanding roster of competitors, Fox News is surely quaking in their Tea Party tri-corner hats and pilgrim boots as a result of this new player in the right-wing media circus. Keepe your eyes peeled because, if NewsmaxTV is anything like the efforts that preceded it, it isn’t going to be there for very long.

ABSOLUTELY UN-AMERICAN: Fox News And Darrell Issa Squelch Democrats In IRS Hearing

In an extraordinary hearing Wednesday morning, Republicans put on a display of tyrannical suppression of speech that would make the Taliban green with envy.

Fox News

Darrell Issa, chairman of the House Oversight and Government Reform Committee (and recidivist criminal), called to order a hearing on allegations that the IRS targeted conservative groups for enhanced scrutiny on their applications for tax-exempt status. The sole item on the agenda was testimony from former IRS official Lois Lerner. Lerner had previously notified the committee that she would be exercising her Fifth Amendment right to decline to answer questions. Ignoring that, Issa scheduled the hearing anyway as a sideshow that he hoped would embarrass his Democratic colleagues. His strategy blew up in his face.

After making a five minute opening statement, Issa proceeded to ask a series of questions, each time eliciting the same response from Lerner saying that, on advice of counsel, she was exercising her constitutional right to decline to answer. Since Issa already knew that Lerner would not be testifying, it is clear that his only purpose was to hear himself ask a bunch of questions that he framed to imply something incriminating. But it’s what happened next that demonstrates just how disreputable and dictatorial Issa is. [Full video of the hearing via C-SPAN]

Upon completing his opening statement and faux inquiry, the committee’s ranking Democrat, Elijah Cummings, began his opening statement, as is the practice of congressional proceedings. However, Issa immediately cut him off and ordered the hearing adjourned. Issa did not permit Cummings, or any other Democrat to utter a single word on the record. And after silencing Cummings, Issa stomped out of the hearing room.

Not surprisingly, this outraged Cummings who insisted on having his time to address the committee and the witness. Whereupon Issa instructed his staff to cut Cummings microphone off. Cummings valiantly persevered without a mic and made his objections known. He pointed out that Issa’s behavior was one-sided, wrong, and “absolutely un-American.”

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The coverage on Fox News of this shameful display of Republican hubris was pretty much what you might expect. Fox broadcast most of Issa’s opening statement and questions. Then, when Cummings began to speak, Fox curtailed their coverage after showing a brief portion of the dust-up between Issa and Cummings. Fox did not show any of the remarks Cummings made after Issa walked out of the room. Ironically, Fox host Martha MacCallum said that “We’re trying to give equal time to both of these gentlemen here.” Apparently equal time on Fox News is seven uninterrupted minutes of a Republican harangue and 42 seconds of a Democratic response.

Following the hearing, the same measure of biased coverage occurred when Issa and Cummings addressed the press. Fox again broadcast Issa’s press conference in its entirety, but cut away as Cummings approached the same podium from which Issa had just finished speaking. Fox aired none of Cummings remarks to the press. [Full video of the press avails via C-SPAN]

To matters even worse, Fox aired a segment about the hearing shortly afterward with a reporter from U.S. News and World Report. In addressing concerns by Lerner that she was getting death threats, Fox host Jon Scott made this unbelievably grotesque comment:

“I can see why if you’re getting death threats, maybe you wouldn’t want to open yourself up to more scrutiny. But at the same time, it would seem that answering some of the questions might cause some of these people who are so angry to ease up if she’s got legitimate answers for why the IRS did what it did.”

In other words, just comply with the demands of those making death threats and maybe they won’t kill you. See? Problem solved.

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After numerous hearings, testimony from more than three dozen IRS employees, and review of thousands of pages of documents, the Issa Inquisition has proven none of its allegations about corruption, partisanship, or White House involvement. What Issa has proven is that he is a brazenly dishonest hack who has repeatedly deceived the public and the media by issuing reports and releasing documents that he purposefully manipulated to create a falsely negative impression of malfeasance by Democrats. In the process he would systematically remove any data that contradicted his fictional version of events.

As for Fox News, they could not have been more obviously biased in their coverage of this affair. In all they broadcast about a quarter hour of Issa’s propaganda and less than a minute of the Democratic side of the debate. What’s more, they are already promoting appearances by Issa (and only Issa) on Fox News later today. And not once has Fox made note of the fact that Issa, and his GOP led committee, held an unprecedented hearing where only he was allowed to speak.

[Update 3/6/14] The Congressional Black Caucus has put forward a motion to condemn Darrell Issa for his tyrannical abuse of power and to remove him from the chairmanship of the committee. However, Speaker John Boehner has already expressed his continuing support for Issa whom Boehner believes acted appropriately.

Also, Media Matters has obtained and posted the emails that Issa referenced during his sham hearing. Consistent with Issa’s repeated acts of deception and partisan cherry-picking of information to make public, these emails actually prove that IRS director Lois Lerner was taking great pains to avoid any politicization of the agencies activities. As usual, when all the information is made available, it shows that Issa and Co. have lied through their teeth.

IRS Email

JesusCare Being Pushed By Fox News As An Alternative To ObamaCare

Enrollment in the Affordable Care Act (aka ObamaCare) has been accelerating every month since the mangled launch of the Internet health insurance exchanges. Despite the early difficulties, nearly four million people have acquired insurance that is comprehensive and inexpensive. Millions more are now covered by Medicaid or policies purchased by their parents. Americans overall have indicated in most polls that they prefer keeping ObamaCare in place and fixing any problems, rather than repealing it.

Those facts are the incentive for Fox News to redouble their efforts to sabotage the new law by proposing irresponsible alternatives that virtually guarantee to cause suffering, both physically and financially. On New Year’s Eve Fox News offered up eight alternatives to ObamaCare that failed utterly in providing the protection that is expected of an insurance plan. And now Fox is following up with what may be the most absurd suggestion on the list.

Fox News JesusCare

On Fox & Friends First, and later on America’s Newsroom, the anti-health network ran stories about what they called a Christian alternative to ObamaCare. But what they were peddling is just a medical expense sharing collective that has numerous deficiencies such as no coverage for preexisting conditions, no coverage for routine medical services like annual physical exams, no coverage for “products of un-Biblical lifestyles,” such as contraception or substance rehab, or some preventive medicine, including colonoscopies and mammograms.

What’s more, in order to participate the applicant must pledge their Christian faith and promise not to drink, take drugs or have sex outside of a traditional marriage. And perhaps most worrisome is the fact that, because these organizations are not insurance companies, they are not legally obligated to reimburse anyone for anything and there is no regulatory oversight that protects the consumer.

JesusCare is about as effective a replacement for ObamaCare as faith healing. It may pay for a flu shot, but if you need an appendectomy or are diagnosed with diabetes, you are either going to have to go without care or descend into a financial abyss. Either way, you and your family will suffer unnecessarily.

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For Fox News to continue to do stories promoting this sort of fringe enterprise is downright dangerous. And the only reason they persist is because they are so fixated on doing harm to ObamaCare by attempting to constrain participation. Like the Republican Party, who early on declared that they hope President Obama fails, Fox News wants ObamaCare to fail. And they don’t seem to mind that the people who will be hurt are Americans who were gullible enough to take their bad advice.

The Delusions Of Sarah Palin: Putin’s Bear Wrestling vs. Obama’s Mom Jeans

Yesterday Sarah Palin demonstrated the world-class idiocy that has become the hallmark of her public persona. She pretended that she had predicted the current events in Ukraine, but her version of reality was unrecognizable to anyone who actually has a grip on it. To make matters worse, Palin popped in to Sean Hannity’s show to sop up some fawning validation from her Fox News colleague.

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Hannity jumped in with praise for the phony Palin prediction, but it was Palin herself who dragged the whole segment into a pit of pitifulness. Her moronic stammering and belching of buzzwords was almost painful to watch (video below). She often didn’t even seem to know the meanings of the words she strung together, such as when she lambasted President Obama for weakness that she imagined in “the perception of him and his potency.” This may be the first time in history that a president’s potency has been discussed in public.

It went downhill from there, if you can believe it. In a non-sequitur response to a question from Hannity about whether Putin had designs on more than just Crimea, Palin lurched into an obviously prepackaged insult that she was determined to slip in, whether it was contextually appropriate or not. The alleged punch line went like this:

“People look at Putin as one who wrestles bears and drills for oil. They look at our president as one who wears mom jeans.”

Seriously? This is what passes for foreign policy analysis on Fox News? Palin didn’t bother to identify the people who she thinks look up to Putin. Most of the world sees him as an autocratic aggressor who is violating international law. There was no mention of the complexities of the regional dispute and ethnic division? Nothing about the pending sanctions or the suspension of G8 summit activities. Both Palin and Hannity failed to note the successful unification of the western allies against Russia’s aggression. Palin didn’t offer a single proposal of her own to resolve the situation. Nor did she notice that Obama’s proposals were in line with what every knowledgeable diplomat in the U.S. and our allies have had to say on the subject.

Instead, Palin’s juvenile taunt served to aggrandize Putin in her own image – he as a bear wrestler, she as a moose slayer. And they both loves them some oil drillin. Palin, along with most of her right-wing comrades have been heaping praise on Putin as a leader, while purposefully tarnishing the reputation of their own president in the midst of a serious crisis. This is behavior they fiercely damned during the Bush administration if anyone uttered an opinion that was the least bit derogatory about George W. What was regarded as treasonous in the previous administration is now a daily affirmation from the conservative pews, without regard to the damage it does to our national interest.

WARNING: Climate Science Imposter On The Loose On Fox News

Be On The Lookout: In recent days a disreputable character has been making the rounds on Fox News claiming to be a co-founder of Greenpeace while peddling PR spin straight from the ivory tower suites of the energy industry.

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This imposter is Patrick Moore. He was last seen on the Sean Hannity program where he continued to misrepresent his association with Greenpeace. Hannity’s introduction was typically dishonest and dripping with animus as he declared that “For years the left has been spinning their lies about global warming, all in an effort to push through their radical agenda.” And he took full advantage of Moore’s subterfuge by noting that his climate science denial was surprising “coming out of your mouth.” What is surprising is that Moore is getting away with passing himself off as a co-founder of Greenpeace and an environmentalist.

The recent sightings of Moore in the media have been exploited by conservative outlets eager to dismiss the broad agreement in the scientific community that the Earth’s climate is changing at a rapid pace, and that it is caused by human activity. In fact, 97% of the scientists in the field have affirmed this in peer reviewed publications and research.

That hasn’t stopped Moore from conducting his charade wherein he asserts that there is “zero evidence that the earth is warming because of human activity.” His persistence is understandable with the knowledge that he is a paid representative of a variety of nuclear power and energy firms. Without any credentials in the field of climatology, Moore makes broad allegations that are not supported by verified research. Then he invents a vast liberal cabal that he claims is conspiring to build some sort of holy congregation of environmental opportunists:

“It is a powerful convergence of interests among a very large number of elites including politicians who want to make it seem as though they’re saving the world, environmentalists who want to raise money and get control over very large issues like our energy policy, media for sensationalism, universities and professors for grants [...] it is a kind of nasty combination of extreme political ideology and religious cult all rolled into one.”

Contrary to his false identification as a co-founder of Greenpeace, Moore actually became affiliated with the group’s Canadian branch after it was already operating for a year. He left Greenpeace in 1991 to cash in on the lobbying fees he could collect from America’s pollution industries. And that’s what he has been doing for the last twenty-plus years. Greenpeace set the record straight about Moore a couple of years ago refuting any claim that Moore represents Greenpeace. They posted a detailed description on their website that revealed the facts of their past association and Moore’s current pro-pollution activities:

“Patrick Moore, a paid spokesman for the nuclear industry, the logging industry, and genetic engineering industry, frequently cites a long-ago affiliation with Greenpeace to gain legitimacy in the media. Media outlets often either state or imply that Mr. Moore still represents Greenpeace, or fail to mention that he is a paid lobbyist and not an independent source.”

This is just another example of how Fox News deliberately deceives their audience. With full knowledge of the false representations, and utter disregard for the truth that qualified scientists provide, Fox dispenses a litany of lies that keeps their viewers ignorant. For more information about Moore’s deceit, and the cooperation from Fox News and other rightist media organizations in proliferating his hoax, see the analysis by Media Matters.