NAUSEATING: Fox News Absolves Cop Killer Of Responsibility For Murders

Conservatives have long portrayed themselves as the voices of personal responsibility. They insist that the traditional values encompassed by patriotism and faith demand that individuals be accountable for their actions. But when it comes to the brutal assassination of two New York police officers, Fox News exploits the tragedy to lay the blame on innocent people that they regard as political adversaries.

Fox Nation

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The blinding hatred that Fox News has for New York Mayor Bill De Blasio and Al Sharpton doesn’t justify splashing the blood of dead officers on people who had no part in their demise. Other cretinous pundits have gone so far as to indict President Obama for this horror. The only thing that sort of vile and false condemnation achieves is to reveal the rancid bigotry of the accuser.

The butcher who assassinated two NYPD officers yesterday was a deeply disturbed and violent man with a long record of criminality. And despite news reports that sensationalized a few comments on social media that referenced Eric Garner and Michael Brown, his motives are still not clear. He may indeed have had opinions as to the injustices in those cases (as did millions of righteous Americans), but it is impossible to spin his shooting of his girlfriend in Baltimore prior to traveling to New York as part of a vendetta against the police. Plainly there is something else that is darkly lurking beneath the surface of this still unfolding drama.

One thing for certain is that the only person responsible for the murders is the perpetrator. It is wholly inappropriate to shift the blame to others who are just as repulsed by this as those feverishly pointing their sanctimonious fingers in other directions. That sort of flailing rebuke not only slanders the targets, it pardons the guilty. And it is particularly disgusting when the intent is such a brazen act of partisan politics.

You have to wonder why there was no similar condemnation of the treasonous Tea Party brigades that flocked to Nevada to defend tax cheat Cliven Bundy. Among their ranks were a couple who later went to Las Vegas and executed two police officers as they ate their lunch in a diner. The Tea Party cop killers failed to meet the Fox News criteria for condemnation because they were a white, Christian couple from Indiana. Consequently, Fox quickly dropped the story without any sermonizing about responsibility.

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On the other hand, right-wingers were quick to mock Garner and Brown, for whom rallying cries reflected their final moments with utterances of “Hands up, don’t shoot,” and “I can’t breathe.” These unintentional epitaphs became fodder for the conservative martinets of virtue to disregard the human tragedies and shift the blame to vague criticisms of black culture, families, and values. The spokesmen for these deliberate distractions were paraded across Fox News along with the absurd and insensitive notion that the victims caused their own deaths. The conservative viewpoint was that responsibility for their fates was their own and that the people protesting ought to accept that as a fact.

Now, suddenly, responsibility is no longer attributable to an obvious offender, but is shamelessly cast on perceived enemies. It’s such a Christian thing to do in this season of peace and goodwill. And it’s just another hypocrisy by malicious jackasses who care more about their own spiteful prejudices than the very real losses suffered by both police officers and citizens whose lives are stolen too soon and without reason.

Obama’s War On Men: Media Rattled By Women Reporters At Press Conference

President Obama held his last press conference (CSPAN video here) for 2014 on Friday. It being a volatile time in the world there were questions that reflected the many serious issues facing the nation and the world. They spanned from North Korea to Cuba to tax reform to Keystone XL to race relations. But you’ll never guess what the media focused on at the conclusion of the affair.

Fox Nation

Apparently, the breaking news that sprung out of the press conference was that Obama only called on women journalists. That fact trumped everything else that was said about the other major issues of the day. The very first comment by Gretchen Carlson of Fox News after the event ended was about the gender makeup of the questioners. She also found it curious that Obama didn’t call on any reporters in the first row where the TV network correspondents sit.

Funny, I don’t recall ever hearing anybody take note that only men asked questions in prior press conferences. Particularly back when there weren’t any women at all in the White House press corps (with the exception of Helen Thomas). But for some reason this was regarded as newsworthy and even historic.

There was a clear implication that Obama had deliberately orchestrated this in order to advance his “War on Men.” Plus, the pundit class seems to believe that women would ask less confrontational questions. That’s an opinion that also extends to the reporters sitting behind the network stars in the first row.

To be fair, it wasn’t just Fox News. Other networks and numerous print news outlets made the same observation. But what sets Fox apart are the comments on their Fox Nation website that castigate this “gender discrimination” as more proof that Obama is weak, or gay, or committed to destroying God’s natural order of white, male, Christian supremacy. And that ugliness ought to be more newsworthy than the gender scoring that the self-obsessed media is engaging in.

Congratulations Fox News: Exaggerations About Ebola Is PolitiFact’s 2014 Lie of the Year

The Pulitzer Prize winning fact checking site PolitiFact has revealed their 2014 Lie of the Year. It is an annual honor that they bestow “based on how broadly a myth or falsehood infiltrates conventional thinking.”

This year the award goes to a news item that was feverishly disseminated by conservative media and especially Fox News: Exaggerations about Ebola. Curiously, just after the midterm election the hysterical pronouncements of a rapidly spreading pandemic that was being deliberately orchestrated by President Obama seemed to fade into the ether from whence it came.

So as a service to the nation, News Corpse will reprise its feature article that studiously reminded readers of what the short-lived Armageddon-Lite had unleashed on the world, and the doom we all narrowly escaped thanks to Fox News curing the disease as soon as the election was over (which we’re sure was just a coincidence).

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Remember when…

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

GOP Tents America

Remember when…

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

Fox News Bill O'Reilly

Remember when…

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

Keith Ablow

Remember when…

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

Fox News Ebola

Remember when…

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

Fox Nation Ebola Outbreak

Remember when…

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

Glenn Beck Ebolamania

Remember when…

…A Republican congressmen rushed to Fox News to feverishly accuse Obama of plotting to flood the U.S. with foreign Ebola patients?

Fox News Ebola to America

Stay tuned for more lies and hysteria from Fox News as the 2016 election heats up in the coming weeks and months.

[Addendum] In PolitiFact’s readers’ poll for Lie of the Year (as opposed to their editorial selection) the winner (loser?) was the statement that “Global warming is a hoax.” While PolitiFact attributed this statement to a losing GOP congressional candidate, it has also been proffered by many other Republican pundits and politicians including Jim Inhofe, the incoming chairman of the Senate Environmental and Public Works Committee.

Why Fox News Gets Away With Being Racist: 1% Of Their Audience Is Black

This may not come as a surprise to most people who are paying attention to the media landscape, but another survey by Nielsen reveals that African-Americans are not very well represented in the Fox News audience. The latest numbers from Nielsen, as reported by Mediaite, show that only 1% of Fox News viewers are Black.

Fox News Black Viewer

However, this does explain how Fox can be so brazenly racist in so many of their broadcasts without worrying about the consequences. After all, they have little to lose by offending a segment of the television universe that doesn’t watch their programs anyway. Combine that with Fox’s partisan incentive to suppress Democratic votes and their strategy of inflaming racial animus for political gain doesn’t seem so bad in their warped perspective.

Four years ago News Corpse reported that the Black viewership for Fox was a dismal 1.38%. So, if you can believe it, that meager showing has actually declined since then. The breakdown is an indictment of the rightist network’s bigoted marketing objectives that ignore the diversity of the country and badly trail the racial composition of their competitors. Mediaite writes that…

“During the primetime hours of 8-11 p.m., MSNBC’s audience is 24% black, CNN’s audience is 16% black and Fox News’ audience is just 1% black. By comparison MSNBC’s primetime audience is 67% white while CNN’s is 73% white and Fox News’ is 92% white.”

With numbers like that it is no wonder that Fox can describe Hip-Hop mogul Jay-Z as a “former crack dealer,” dismissing his many years as a successful artist, businessman, and philanthropist. It is why Fox anchor Megyn Kelly is comfortable declaring as a fact that Jesus and Santa Claus are white. It is why virtually every time there is a controversial story that tests the racial tolerance of the nation (Trayvon Martin, Michael Brown, Eric Garner, Voter ID, Immigration, etc.) Fox News takes the side of the white majority. It is why whenever there is an allegation of racism against a person or institution, Fox’s kneejerk response is that racism doesn’t even exist anymore.

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The argument that racism ended after the slaves were freed is one that has been expressed by Bill O’Reilly, Sean Hannity, and many other Fox contributors. Some of the more open-minded Fox commentators assert that racism ended more recently with the election of President Obama, conveniently forgetting that nearly half the country voted against him. But the consensus among them is that anyone who alleges prejudice is a “race hustler” and that there is no such thing as “white privilege.”

So, is the low number of African-American viewers of Fox due to the content of the programming, or is it the brazenly racist programming that has driven away Black viewers? It hardly matters at this point because it is clear that Fox no longer cares and doesn’t believe that they have any obligation to cater to an audience demographic that has almost completely abandoned them.

The problem is that that means they also don’t feel any obligation to the racial diversity and harmony of America. Sadly, we can count on Fox to continue to continue to incite the bigots that flock to their network, and the end result will be to create more division and to encourage distrust and hate. Here’s an example what that kind of agenda will produce.

Fox Nation vs. Reality: Searching For Liberal Soul-Searching Hypocrisy On Drones

Last week the Senate Intelligence Committee released its report on the CIA torture program that was used to extract information from alleged terrorists. The report revealed a disturbing pattern of unlawful activities that failed to produce much, if any, useful intelligence.

The resulting controversy ignited a much-needed debate on the questions of law and humanity. Most conservatives and Republicans were outraged that the report was made public. In fact, they were more upset with the publishing of information derived from taxpayer-funded investigations than they were with the revelations that our national security apparatus was flagrantly violating the standards of decency as well as international and domestic law. And lacking any reasonable argument to defend the actual practice of torture, they attempted to divert the discussion to the public exposure of it.

Another diversionary tactic taken up by the right was to seek an equivalency between the torture program that was mainly advanced by the Bush administration and other programs with similarly questionable methods that could be attributed to President Obama. To that end, Fox Nation posted an article sourced to the Washington Examiner that asked “Liberal Hypocrisy: Why No Soul-Searching On Drones?”

Fox Nation Drones

That would be an excellent question except for the fact that its premise is so far removed from reality you have to wonder where these quibblers have been for the past six years. The article complained that…

“President Obama and his allies are quick to denounce harsh interrogation techniques as torture, framing the renewed scrutiny of Central Intelligence Agency methods as crucial to restoring U.S. moral authority on the global stage.

“They are less eager, however, to apply the same standard to the administration’s reliance on remote-controlled, targeted killings, a drone campaign that critics say invites natural comparisons to extreme interrogations employed during George W. Bush’s presidency.”

How they surmised a lack of eagerness on the part of liberals to renounce drones is a complete mystery. Liberals were the first, and most vociferous, critics of Obama’s drone policy. There is ample evidence that goes back to the very first days and weeks of his presidency. These early critics came from the most staunchly progressive media outlets and were expressing their consistent opposition to practices that demonstrated a lack of respect for human life and suffering. For example:

These are typical of the harsh judgments aimed at the drone programs implemented by the Obama administration by liberal persons and institutions. It has never been ambiguous where progressives stand on this issue. And while there have been some critics of drones on the right, for the most part the same wingnuts who favor torture have been supportive of drones.

In addition to those listed above, filmmaker Robert Greenwald of Brave New Films directed and released a full length documentary blasting drones titled Unmanned: America’s Drone Wars. And some the favorite targets of conservative wrath – comedians – were also among the most biting critics. Stephen Colbert took on the drone issue, as did his colleague Jon Stewart in “Romancing the Drone.” Perhaps the most searing (and hilarious) beating the drone issue has taken was delivered by John Oliver in an extended and entertaining harangue. Sit back and enjoy the show. And don’t let the phony protestations of Fox News fool you into thinking that liberals never took aim at any drones.

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Video Mashup On Fox News Falsely Places Al Sharpton At Scene Of Anti-Cop Protest

The hosts of Fox & Friends went out of their way Sunday to malign civil rights leader and MSNBC host Al Sharpton. In multiple segments throughout their morning broadcast they aired videos of Sharpton at a rally in Washington, D.C. to protest the deaths of Michael Brown in Ferguson, Missouri, and Eric Garner in Staten Island, New York, and other victims of police brutality.

However, in a deliberate act of journalistic deceit, they spliced those videos together with a separate event in New York City where some protesters were heard disparaging the police and chanting for “dead cops.” [Video below]

The implication by Fox was that Sharpton was leading those marchers. But the anti-cop marchers were not a part of any official program connected to the New York protest and certainly not connected to the rally in Washington where Sharpton spoke. They were described by the New York Daily News as a “breakaway group” from a much larger, and largely peaceful demonstration in Manhattan.

By editing together these unrelated videos, Fox leaves the impression that Sharpton himself was calling for the death of police officers. The Fox hosts made things worse by adding their own commentary to the same effect. Here is a sampling of the dialog from the program:

Tucker Carlson (laughing): Huh. So the first clip you heard people are saying, “We want the cops dead.” And the second you heard Al Sharpton say “We’re not against the police.”
Clayton Morris: And a lot of protesters were holding signs that said “Real thugs wear flag pins.” And Sharpton saying “We’re not anti-police?”

Co-host Anna Kooiman did note that there were 25,000 people there who feel very strongly about the cause and that “largely it was peaceful.” She added that she didn’t hear any of the anti-police chanting but acknowledged that “there are always bad apples” in large crowds. At that, Carlson expanded on his diatribe.

Carlson: What they were doing as a group is making this into a racial issue, and that’s what I object to. I don’t have any problem with a conversation about police brutality. I don’t want the police looking like Delta Force. I think that’s a real conversation I’m happy to engage in. I may agree with them. What I don’t think this is about is race. I don’t think these are examples of racism, and I think it’s totally unhelpful to make this a conversation about white vs. black. And it’s ridiculous to have it led by Al Sharpton who has zero credibility at all. He’s a hustler and, I think, a criminal.

Let’s just set aside the fact that Carlson’s characterization of Sharpton is itself racist in tone and he failed to support his reckless accusation of criminality by Sharpton. Carlson’s alleged interest in a conversation about police brutality is completely disingenuous. Prior to this becoming a national news story he never sought to initiate such a conversation. And while he may want to dismiss the racial component of the crisis, the facts show that African-American men are 21 times more likely to be shot dead by the police than white men. Ignoring these statistics makes it impossible to have an honest debate on the subject.

Next the Curvy Couch Potatoes set about to shift the discussion to another topic that better fits their prejudiced viewpoints. Like many other conservative pundits, they drift off to question why civil rights activists never address the breakdown of the family or the incidence of crime in their communities. Of course, that’s a false charge because those topics are a constant part of the dialog, but the elitist TV personalities at Fox are simply too far removed from the real world to have noticed it.

Carlson: It’s so much easier just to claim that white racism is America’s biggest problem. […] You don’t have to do anything about massive unemployment in the black community, about crime in the black community, about the destruction of the black family. Those are the real issues, but you get to ignore them when you blame it all on racism. And so it serves the purposes of a couple of people – President Obama, Al Sharpton – but it kinda shafts everyone else.

Carlson’s analysis is exactly backwards. In truth, by focusing only on unemployment or crime you get to ignore racism, which is the cause of many of the other problems faced by the black community he pretends to be so concerned about. And he makes certain not to miss the opportunity to portray the President as exploiting the race issue, because what else would a black president do?

The arrogance and condescension of these privileged TV divas is emblematic of the Fox News approach to race. They are certain that they know better than the people who are directly affected by society’s bigotry and if only those black folks would listen to them everything would get straightened out in a matter of days. And race wouldn’t have anything to do with it. But that view is unrealistic and based on their own sheltered experiences. They are demonstrating an ethic that was profoundly articulated on a sign that somehow got included in the video that Fox aired for this very segment:

Fox News Sign Blame Poor

That could not be a more perfect image to represent Fox News: “Rich people paying rich people to tell middle class people to blame poor people.” And that message is ironically sitting right above Fox’s text that blatantly lies that “Al Sharpton leads protest against police.” To be clear, the protest was NOT against police. It was against unlawful use of excessive force. It is a distinctly pro-police position to advocate on behalf of the majority of officers who are lawful, decent, protectors of all citizens. Good cops don’t want bad cops sullying their reputation.

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Bachmann’s Last Stand: Tea Party Queen Laments Imaginary Snub By Obama

In many ways I’m going to miss Michele Bachmann. She has provided an unending stream of hilarity during her brief tenure in Congress, and especially her epic run for the Republican nomination for President in 2012.

Michele Bachmann Tea Party

As a parting gift to comedians everywhere, Bachmann visited her pal Bill O’Reilly on Fox News (video below) to regale him with an account of her adventures at the White House Christmas party (which O’Reilly belittled as a “holiday” party). While bragging that attendance at the event was a high honor, she also complained about the less than respectful treatment she received from President Obama. The sad tale went something like this:

“I knew that this would be the last time that I would speak to the President as a member of Congress and I thought, I want to say something substant (sic) to him about what I think is the most consequential issue of the day. […]

“‘Mr. President, with all due respect, I’m concerned about the Iranian nuclear program and I think it would be wise to bomb the program before they obtain a nuclear weapon because once they obtain a nuclear weapon the world changes.’

“The president smiled, and he was fairly condescending and patronizing and said, ‘Well, it’s not quite that easy, Michele. But that’s okay,’ like I’m just, you know, an idiot and I don’t know anything.”

Had Obama intended to imply that Bachmann is an idiot it would have been entirely appropriate. She has proven it herself innumerable times. However, the President’s response was in no way disrespectful. It was pretty much all he could say under the circumstances. Bachmann confronted him with her comment in a photo line where many guests were waiting to greet the First Family. What did she expect him to do? Was he supposed to interrupt this photo-op to engage her in a protracted debate on a complex matter of national security standing there in the foyer? Perhaps she thought his eyes would light up with surprise and he would thank her for contributing such a brilliant idea that had never occurred to him. All things considered, Obama was rather polite after having been lobbied at a Christmas party to bomb another country.

It is that sort of laughably arrogant nonsense that we will miss in the coming years. Unless of course Bachmann signs up with Fox News and joins her comrade Sarah Palin in delivering comic relief (in the form of pseudo-political analysis) whenever she can score some airtime. But we will always have her past record of lunacy to cheer us up. Here’s a short summary of some of her classic moments:

  • Bachmann believed that the government had been infiltrated by enemy Muslims and she joined a group of congressional colleagues to insist on an investigation to uncover them.
  • Bachmann proclaimed her intention to be subservient to her husband were she to be elected president: “…the Lord said, ‘Be submissive. Wives, you are to be submissive to your husbands.’”
  • Bachmann signed a pledge circulated by a radical evangelical asserting that life for African-Americans was better during the era of slavery.
  • Bachmann gushed her admiration for a serial killer: “Just like John Wayne was from Waterloo, Iowa, that’s the kind of spirit that I have, too.” Actually, it was serial murderer and clown painter John Wayne Gacy who was from Waterloo.

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Hip Hop Mogul Jay-Z Is Reduced To A Crack Dealer By Fox News

New York City was rocked this month by a grand jury’s refusal to indict a police officer who was caught on video choking a man to death over a few loose cigarettes. The shock this produced from across the country, and across the political spectrum, resulted in a long overdue discussion of race and the role of law enforcement in minority communities.

Many Americans are participating in this discussion, from protesters in the streets, to civil rights leaders, to victims advocates, to the President of the United States. And, yes, even celebrities have something to say on the matter. In fact, many of them are uniquely suited to comment because they have often traversed the economic extremes of bitter poverty and opulent wealth.

One of those is rapper/producer/mogul Jay-Z. He is a man who has risen from dire, and sometimes violent, circumstances in his youth to become a preeminently successful figure in entertainment and business. But when called upon by the governor of New York to help address the crisis facing his home town, Fox News predictably resorts to maligning him in the most racially offensive way possible.

Fox Nation Jay-Z

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The lie-riddled Fox Nation, the community website for Fox News, posted an article sourced to their sister publication, Rupert Murdoch’s New York Post. The headline blared “Andrew Cuomo Meets With Admitted Former Crack Dealer Jay-Z to Discuss Police Policy.” Notice that nowhere in the headline did Fox note that Jay-Z was one of New York’s most prominent businessmen. Nor that he was a chart-topping creative artist. Nor that he has a long record of philanthropic service to the community. The only part of Jay-Z’s long resume that has any significance to the Fox Nationalists is that he had engaged in some criminal activity in his youth while growing up in a rough neighborhood where opportunities were scarce.

Jay-Z’s life story ought to be one that conservatives like those at Fox celebrate. Despite the harsh realities of his childhood, through hard work, creativity, and perseverance, Jay-Z beat the odds and achieved unparalleled success. He left behind what might have been a life of crime and heartache to become a respected member of society whose contributions have helped many others to find their own pathway to self-reliance.

If the only label that Fox can affix to a man with Jay-Z’s life experience is that of a drug dealer because he sold drugs many years ago, then News Corpse has some suggestions for a few of the people that Fox News employs and frequently fraternizes with. Here is how Fox should introduce the following people:

  • Fox News host and convicted arms trafficker and perjurer, Oliver North.
  • Former New York Police Commissioner who was convicted of tax fraud, conspiracy, perjury, and ethics violations, Bernie Kerik.
  • Racist ex-cop, felon, and Fox contributor, Mark Fuhrman.
  • Video mangler convicted of improper trespassing in Senator’s office and ordered to pay $100,000 for defamation, James O’Keefe.
  • Election fraud convict, Dinesh D’Souza.
  • Prostitute patron, Sen. David Vitter.
  • Suspected car thief and arsonist, Rep. Darrell Issa.
  • Fox News host and sexual predator who paid out millions to his victim (Andrea Mackris), Bill O’Reilly.
  • News Corp. CEO whose company hacked into the accounts of hundreds of politicians and celebrities and even a murdered schoolgirl, Rupert Murdoch.

Until the repugnant bigots at Fox News apply the designations above to the criminals they favor, they ought not to demean someone who demonstrated the true meaning of redemption, a value that the faithful Fox evangelists pretend to revere. And the next time anyone on Fox complains about being called racist, they can refer to this example for the evidence of the charge.

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Bill O’Reilly Flunky Gets Booted From Mayor De Blasio’s Press Conference

The media hoax that is Fox News continues to embarrass itself with pathetic stunts aimed at glorifying their egomaniacal propaganda peddlers while debasing the practice of journalism. The latest example of this adventure in tabloid trivialities occurred today during a press conference held by New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio.

Fox News Jesse Watters

In the middle of the event Jesse Watters pops up and pretends that he has an actual question to ask. For those who don’t him, Watters is a producer on the The O’Reilly Factor and a practitioner of ambush journalism. He is also the “brains” behind the lie-riddled Fox Nation website. After being recognized by de Blasio, Watters demonstrated why is regarded as such an imbecile as he turned the press conference into a bitchfest with his whining about de Blasio’s refusal to grant O’Reilly an interview.

Watters: Mr. Mayor, Bill O’Reilly has a question for you.
de Blasio: OK. Are you his emissary?
Watters: You don’t know Watters’ World?
de Blasio: Again please.
Watters: I’m Watters, this is my world right here, OK?”
de Blasio: OK. Continue.
Watters: We’ve been trying to book you on the show for weeks, and your staff hasn’t been very respectful towards us we’re just trying to…
de Blasio: I’m sure they’re very respectful.
Watters: Actually not.
de Blasio: I’m sure they are.
Watters: We’re just trying to get to know you better, what’s the problem?
de Blasio: I appreciate the invitation, and my staff will follow up with you.
Watters: But they haven’t been following up, and that’s why I’m here.
de Blasio: I’m glad you’re here. Let’s take some serious questions. Go ahead, Henry.
Watters: We’re fascinated by this de Blasio mystique. Can you help us out mayor? […] You haven’t responded.
de Blasio: Henry.
Watters: Will you do the show?
de Blasio: Henry. Just start talking Henry.

Shortly thereafter, Watters was escorted out of the press conference by security. And as it turns out, de Blasio’s office had previously responded to O’Reilly’s request with a rather gracious denial. His staff later tweeted evidence of it. But that isn’t even what makes this so stupid. A press conference is not the place to badger a public official about appearing on a cable news program. It is exceedingly rude and unprofessional to take the time of a busy mayor, and all of the legitimate reporters, just to try and book a guest on a program hosted by an angry and adversarial loudmouth who the mayor has no interest in accommodating.

But Watters isn’t concerned with professional behavior. He has never bothered to exhibit it in the past. His childish pranks have earned him the ridicule of his peers, and of Stephen Colbert who featured him in a hilarious segment earlier this year. And for more documented examples of Watters’ sleazy escapades in pseudo-journalism…

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What Dick Cheney, Fox News, And Other Torture Apologists Are Missing

The release of the report (pdf) on the CIA Detention and Interrogation Program (aka torture) produced by the Senate Intelligence Committee has incited Republicans, Fox News pundits, and warhawks from the Bush administration to respond with unrestrained fury. They have resorted to accusations of political motivation and reckless disregard for possible future harm that public knowledge of these activities might cause. But there is a key consideration that they seem desperate to avoid: If honestly acknowledging and condemning torture could put Americans at risk, maybe we shouldn’t be torturing people.

Dick Cheney CIA Torture

The torture apologists appear to be more upset by the disclosure of their brutality than by the brutality itself. And even as the report concluded that “enhanced interrogation” (which is like calling rape “enhanced fornication”) was ineffective and produced nothing of value to our intelligence or military missions, the right continues to blindly defend the practice and falsely claim that it prevented terror attacks and led to the capture of terrorists, including Osama Bin Laden. It did not.

The chief apologist among the torture advocates is, and has always been, former Vice-President Dick Cheney. In responding to the news of the CIA torture report’s release Cheney blasted it as “a terrible report, deeply flawed,” adding “The report’s full of crap.” This coming from the man who said that it was “pretty well confirmed” that the 9/11 terrorists were working with Saddam Hussein; that Iraq had sought uranium from Niger; that aluminum tubes could only be used for nuclear centrifuges; that we would “be greeted as liberators” upon invading Iraq; and who still believes that Hussein was hoarding weapons of mass destruction. None of those assertions were true, which casts a decidedly negative hue on the accuracy, or honesty, of his pronouncements.

In a particularly curious exchange that Cheney had with Fox News anchor Bret Baier, they addressed the report’s revelation that President Bush asked that he not be informed about the secret detention centers where the torture was being conducted. Cheney denied that saying “there was no effort on our part to keep him from that.” Which raised the question: Who is Cheney referring to when he says “on our part?” Was there a clandestine national security apparatus that included the Vice-President, but not the President?

Pretty much everybody on Fox News slammed the report, and the decision to release it, as a political stunt that would hurt the country. But it requires a massive quantity of self-deception to ignore the inherent harm that is caused by authorizing acts of torture in the first place. The fact that there is so much hysteria on the right over the disclosure is itself evidence that the practice should never have been permitted.

The whole argument that Americans will be put at risk by this disclosure is phony on its face. The terrorists already knew that the U.S. was torturing people. They knew it from personal experience and the accounts of their comrades. The repercussions from that were already being observed with the attacks on U.S. facilities overseas and executions of American citizens.

The only people who were not being informed about the torture program were the American people. And therein lies the real concern by the torture apologists on the right. It isn’t the alleged risk to Americans at the hands of terrorists that worry them. It’s the risk to Republicans at the hands of voters that they fear.

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