YOU’RE FIRED: Trump Sacks U.S. Attorney Probing Fox News For Hiding Sexual Harassment Lawsuits

On Friday the White House announced that it was asking forty-six U.S. Attorneys to submit their resignations. They were further instructed to clear out their desks by the end of the day. Replacing staff at the Department of Justice is a routine part of most administration transitions. However, it is rarely done so ham-handedly without prior notice or opportunity to orient the replacements.

Preet Bharara Donald Trump

By acting so impetuously, Donald Trump is leaving numerous in-progress investigations without leadership or direction. They include cases involving terrorism, drug trafficking, civil rights abuses, and more. There is no reason to rush these lawyers out the door. Most are career attorneys who have served during both Democratic and Republican administrations.

One possible explanation for Trump’s hastiness could be something he saw the night before on Fox News. Sean Hannity demanded that anyone affiliated with the Obama administration be summarily dismissed ASAP. What he was advocating was nothing short of the purges conducted by old-school tyrannical regimes. Perhaps it’s a coincidence that Trump carried out the ideological cleansing the next day. But there is abundant evidence that Trump responds obediently to things he sees on Fox News.

Which makes the case of fired attorney Preet Bharara especially troubling. Bharara is the U.S. Attorney for the Southern District of New York. In that jurisdiction he has had responsibility for high profile prosecutions of organized crime, Wall Street corruption, and political malfeasance. He has a reputation for being thorough and non-partisan. He was even personally asked to remain by President-Elect Trump last November, which he agree to do.

What makes Bharara’s dismissal so controversial is that one of the cases he is currently investigating involves Fox News. Last month the New York Daily News reported that:

“The feds are conducting an ‘ongoing criminal investigation’ of Fox News Channel and whether Rupert Murdoch’s company hid from investors the payments it made to employees who alleged they were sexually harassed, an attorney alleged in court Wednesday.” […]

[Attorney Judd Burstein, representing former Fox News host Andrea Tantaros] “said Fox News’ payouts to female employees claiming sexual harassment are not disclosed in Fox’s Securities and Exchange Commission filings, which could be a violation of federal securities law.”

The ever-increasing number of former female Fox News staffers alleging sexual harassment is not just a moral atrocity. It also threatens to cost the network millions of dollars and loss of prestige. The current rash of scandals began with Gretchen Carlson and quickly spread to others including Andrea Tantaros, Juliet Huddy, and even Megyn Kelly. As such it’s pertinent to any analysis of the company’s fiscal health and they have a responsibility to inform investors. Fox News already lost its founder and CEO. Roger Ailes, as a result of the scandal.

To say the least, it is unseemly for Trump to shove Bharara out the door while he is working on such a sensitive case. Fox News is Trump’s most devoted media cheerleader, thus Trump has an incentive to shield them from legal jeopardy. And for this act of presidential protection to take place immediately after a plea from Hannity – Fox’s most adoring Trump fluffer – just compounds the inappropriateness.

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

Bharara, as a matter of principle, refused to cooperate with the Trump purge. CNN reported that he would not comply with the request for a resignation. In effect, he dared Trump to fire him. And given Trump’s penchant for petty vengeance, that is exactly what Trump did. This opens the door for a replacement who Trump is already considering. Marc Mukasey is a lawyer who counts among his clients Fox’s ex-CEO Roger Ailes. Were he to assume the position, it is unlikely that the case against Fox News would proceed. This is how Trump drains the swamp.

Megyn Kelly Is NOT The Women’s Champion Fox News Pretends She Is

Ever since Megyn Kelly was promoted to anchor of her own primetime program, “The Kelly File,” she has been heralded as “the future of Fox News.” These tributes came from a surprisingly diverse assembly of media watchers and even competitors. For the most part they were based on a couple of incidents wherein Kelly took positions that gently contradicted the Fox doctrine.

Megyn Kelly Roger Ailes Fox News

The most noticeable of those partisan detours occurred during discussions of issues of concern to women. But like most conservatives, Kelly only adopts progressive positions when they affect her personally. For instance, she soundly thrashed a couple of male colleagues who belittled her upon her return from maternity leave. And then there was her question to Donald Trump during a Fox News Republican primary debate. She put him on the defensive by asking about his derogatory references to women as “fat pigs, dogs, and slobs.” That led to a prolonged and public feud between Kelly and The Donald. She later made up with Trump and granted him an hour of softball questions that ignored his blatant misogyny.

However, a more thorough examination of her record does not show her to be much of a feminist icon. She has been a frequent critic of Planned Parenthood and efforts to advance reproductive health care. And she callously dismisses the gender pay gap as a “meme.” But the best evidence of her conflict with the interests of women comes in the pages of her new book.

RadarOnline got a pre-release copy of the upcoming book and published some excerpts. In these remarks she discusses her encounters with former Fox News CEO Roger Ailes. For the first time Kelly admits that she was also a victim of his unwanted advances:

“Roger began pushing the limits,” she alleges. “There was a pattern to his behavior. I would be called into Roger’s office, he would shut the door, and over the next hour or two, he would engage in a kind of cat-and-mouse game with me — veering between obviously inappropriate sexually charged comments (e.g. about the ‘very sexy bras’ I must have and how he’d like to see me in them) and legitimate professional advice.” […]

“But in January 2006, she claims, he “crossed a new line — trying to grab me repeatedly and kiss me on the lips.” When she shoved him away, she alleges, “he asked me an ominous question: ‘When is your contract up?’ And then, for the third time, he tried to kiss me.”

It’s about time Kelly came clean on the abhorrent behavior of her ex-boss. The problem is that she waited ten years to do so. If she was harassed in 2006, then her silence for a decade thereafter allowed Ailes to victimize countless other women. She didn’t even come forward with a public statement after the Ailes affairs broke in the press. It was her colleague Gretchen Carlson who took the courageous step of challenging Ailes – her boss and the most powerful man in media. Kelly essentially left Carlson hanging in the wind.

It’s not as if Kelly wasn’t aware of the consequences of her silence. The book excerpts include a quote wherein she expresses her concerns about other potential victims. She asks “What if — God forbid — he was still doing it to someone?”

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

Yeah – What if? In fact, he was doing it to other women and Kelly permitted it to continue for ten years until she was ready to publish it for profit. That is not how a champion of women’s rights behaves. That’s the behavior of a self-absorbed coward who is only concerned about her own welfare. And now Kelly is exploiting her experiences to squeeze a richer contract out of Fox. She’ll probably get it. Proving that the only woman who benefits from her “activism” is Megyn Kelly.

YOU’RE FIRED: Fox News CEO Roger Ailes To Be Canned For Alleged Sexual Harassment, Sources Say

The continuing saga of Fox News Chairman and CEO Roger Ailes just took a leap off a cliff. Longtime Ailes watcher and biographer, Gabriel Sherman of New York Magazine is reporting that:

“Roger Ailes’s tenure as the head of Fox News may be coming to an end. Rupert Murdoch and sons Lachlan and James — co-chairmen and CEO, respectively, of parent company 21st Century Fox — have settled on removing the 76-year-old executive, say two sources briefed on a sexual-harassment investigation of Ailes being conducted by New York law firm Paul, Weiss.”

Roger Ailes Fox News

Sherman’s sources say that the Murdochs are torn between waiting to pull the trigger until after the Republican National Convention, or giving Ailes a choice to quit now or face being fired.

Ailes was recently named in a lawsuit by former Fox host Gretchen Carlson for sexual harassment, gender discrimination, and retaliation for reporting those abuses. The suit alleges that Ailes told her “I think you and I should have had a sexual relationship a long time ago.” And shortly after Carlson’s suit was filed numerous other women came forward with similar accounts of improper conduct by Ailes.

Roger Ailes long history of exploiting sex in the workplace has been well documented. The environment at Fox is known for making inappropriate demands on female staff, including wearing revealing clothes and engaging in other provocative behavior on-air. Sherman wrote in his biography of 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.”

In addition to Gabriel’s reporting, NPR’s media correspondent David Folkenflik was told that Fox News, on Ailes instructions, made use of a “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.

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

If these reports are correct then Ailes’ days at Fox are numbered. His role in creating the network, and serving as its chief executive for twenty years, could end in disgrace and humiliation. And for that to happen just as Fox News is covering their biggest GOP event of the year, it could have serious political ramifications for Donald Trump’s campaign as well. The Murdoch kids who are assuming control of the company are not likely to be as supportive of Trump as Ailes. This story is still unfolding, so stay tuned.

And the plot thickens: “Kelly has told investigators that Ailes made unwanted sexual advances toward her about ten years ago when she was a young correspondent at Fox.”

Gretchen Carlson Sues Fox News CEO Roger Ailes For Sexual Harassment, More Women Coming Forward

If anyone was wondering where Fox News host Gretchen Carlson has been for the past few weeks, the mystery has now been solved. Without any public notice or explanation she was fired last month and removed from the air. Now the reasons have been made clear. According to The Hollywood Reporter

“Gretchen Carlson, a broadcast veteran, claims in a sexual harassment lawsuit that she was let go from Fox News on June 23 as retaliation for rebuffing Roger Ailes’ sexual advances.”

Fox News

Carlson is alleging both sexual harassment by Ailes and retaliation for reporting discriminatory behavior prior to that by her Fox colleagues. Her complaint says in part that…

“When Carlson met with Ailes to discuss the discriminatory treatment to which she was being subjected, Ailes stated: ‘I think you and I should have had a sexual relationship a long time ago and then you’d be good and better and I’d be good and better,’ adding that ‘sometimes problems are easier to solve’ that way. Carlson rebuffed Ailes’ sexual demands at that meeting, and nine months later, Ailes ended her career at Fox News.”

Carlson had been with Fox News for eleven years and was hosting her own daytime program “The Real Story” which was number one in its time period. She was previously a co-host on Fox & Friends where she says was subjected to “severe and pervasive sexual harassment” from her co-host Steve Doocy. The Hollywood Reporter notes that…

“In 2009, Carlson says she complained to a supervisor that Steve Doocy, one of her co-hosts on Fox & Friends, ‘had created a hostile work environment by regularly treating her in a sexist and condescending way, including by putting his hand on her and pulling down her arm to shush her during a live telecast..”

It was in response to those and other incidents that Carlson met with Ailes in September of 2015. Carlson alleges that her complaints were not taken seriously at that meeting and she was further harassed by Ailes with more explicit demands for sex. After her refusal she charges that she was punished with a cut in salary and other retaliatory measures including slashing her appearances on the network, and being denied social media and public relations support.

Roger Ailes has a long history of exploiting sex in the workplace. He has required his female anchors and contributors to wear revealing clothing and engage in other provocative on-air behaviors. Gabriel Sherman wrote in his biography of 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.”

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. O’Reilly has had his own problems in this area. A few years ago he paid a multi-million dollar settlement to his former producer, Andrea Mackris, for sexual harassment. 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.”

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

Additionally, there is another mystery surrounding a different female host at Fox News. Andrea Tantaros was a regular member of the panel on Fox’s “Outnumbered.” She disappeared in April with the only explanation being that it was “a contract issue.” While there were incidents of sexually improper conduct with regard to Tantaros as noted above, there is no evidence at this time that her departure is related to that.

It remains to seen if Roger Ailes will be held accountable for what appears to be a pattern of inappropriate and unprofessional behavior. But this complaint is a major breakthrough that took courage for Carlson to file and is likely to result in further revelations. The male-dominated culture at Fox News, conspicuously known for its abundance of blondes, could produce many more examples of sexist conduct and discrimination. We may just be at the tip of the iceberg.

UPDATE: CNN’s Brian Stelter is reporting that “In the hours since the lawsuit was announced, ‘at least ten’ other women have contacted the law firm, wanting to speak about Ailes’ treatment, according to a spokesman for the firm.” That didn’t take long.

Fox News Created Donald Trump In Their Own Lying Image

This bears repeating: Fox News created Donald Trump in their own lying image. And if anyone is looking for more proof of that, the Fox Nation website provided it today.

Donald Trump

An article posted on Fox Nation bore the headline “No, Donald Isn’t Deluded.” It was referring to Trump’s assertion that he saw “thousands and thousands” of Muslims in New Jersey celebrating the fall of the World Trade Center towers on 9/11. There has never been any evidence of that happening. There are no photographs, no video, no police reports, nothing. In other words, Trump is either very much deluded, or lying through his dentures.

It is, of course, ridiculous to believe that thousands of people could assemble in a major city for any purpose and leave no trace of it ever having taken place. Nevertheless, Trump has steadfastly clung to the obvious falsehood. And he’s had help from Fox News, who has been there to defend the indefensible many times in the past. However, this new attempt is astonishing for its own brazen dishonesty.

The Fox Nationalists linked to an article from the New York Post, a sister publication that is also owned by Rupert Murdoch. The Post’s article was titled “NJ police captain says some Muslims did celebrate on 9/11.” That’s accurate, as far it goes, which isn’t very far. The Post used as its source an article published by a New Jersey news website and written by Mark Mueller of NJ Advanced Media. Nowhere in the article were Trump’s assertions affirmed. In fact, very near the beginning Mueller wrote that…

“The NJ Advance Media inquiry, encompassing more than two dozen interviews conducted since Nov. 25, found Trump’s broad assertion that thousands of people cheered to be baseless.”

That’s a pretty clear statement that the investigation had failed to uphold the ludicrous claims made by Trump and parroted by Fox News. And yet, the Post’s article cut and pasted many of the anonymous and uncorroborated accounts of relatively low-key partying by some small groups of people, but never reported the primary finding that the claims of mass celebrations were baseless.

What’s more, Mueller was interviewed on Fox News yesterday by Gretchen Carlson, who sought to churn the author’s article into a bigger story than it was. Unfortunately for her, after her first question inquiring as to what he found, Mueller doused the whole affair by saying that…

“First I can tell you what we didn’t find, which was large celebrations at multiple locations. As the reporter who wrote this story I have a great concern that this story will be used for political gain, so I wanted to set that out there right away. Donald Trump claimed that there were thousands and thousands of people celebrating in Jersey City. We have found no evidence of that whatsoever.”

So Mueller anticipated that Fox News would try to stir up a phony controversy and put it to rest before it could even be launched. Carlson soldiered on, trying to pretend that it was just as bad that a couple of dozen people might have celebrated, as if that would exonerate Trump for his gross dishonesty.

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

Since Carlson knew that Mueller’s investigation had concluded that Trump’s claims were baseless before she booked the interview, she clearly intended to deceive her audience by not addressing the most salient fact in the article. Making things worse was the New York Post, who published their own article based on Mueller’s without mentioning once that it essentially proved Trump to be a liar.

And worst of all was Fox Nation who, after the publication of Mueller’s article, and the airing of Carlson’s interview, and a day’s extra time, still posted their piece declaring that Trump was not deluded. Let that sink in. They knew that the investigation found “no evidence whatsoever” that Trump was right, but they still posted an item hailing how right he was – the complete opposite of reality according to their own sources. Does that sort of oblivious, self-obsessed behavior sound familiar? Like I said at the start: Fox News created Donald Trump in their own lying image. And they shamelessly mirror each others deceit.

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

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

Sarah Palin

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Reporters Shot On Live TV: Glenn Beck Says God Did It To Warn Him

Today another tragedy occurred when a gunman took the lives of two innocent people in the course of doing their jobs. Reporter Alison Parker and cameraman Adam Ward were shot by a former colleague, Vester Lee Flanagan (aka Bryce Williams), as they were conducting an interview. And predictably the media has sprung into action with blanket coverage that is mostly comprised of repetition, speculation, and sensationalism.

The other predictable response comes from self-interested parties who seek to gain attention and support by exploiting the pain and grief of the victims. Already Breitbart News has published an article with a belligerent headline that baselessly declared the crime to be a Race Murder In Virginia.” Rush Limbaugh used the story to advocate for arming all reporters as if there is a raging war on journalists. Never mind that all the evidence currently shows that this was a workplace dispute where the workers just happened to be in local television reporting. And Fox News anchor Gretchen Carlson, in the early hours of confusion following the murders, complained that they haven’t been designated a hate crime.

Glenn Beck Messiah

However, what appears to be the most perverse and far-fetched take on the matter so far came from Glenn Beck (video below). I know, try to contain your shock. Beck sees something far more consequential than the sad reality of lost lives due to a disturbed individual with access to a deadly weapon. For Beck this was a message direct from God to him:

“I think God is giving me one final warning. He’s telling us, ‘You got one more chance, this is it.’ I’m telling you this is it … This is God saying, ‘Last chance.'”

Beck went on to remind his radio disciples that fifteen years ago he said that if…

“…you ever start to hear me reading right from the Scriptures, you know we’re at the end. I’m reading today right from the Scriptures … I’m telling you, as we watch things like a shooting on television and a shooting in the street, this is the beginning of sorrows. This is the beginning!”

Setting aside that Beck can’t seem to make up his mind as to whether this is the beginning or the end, he is plainly convinced that the shooting in Virginia was the work of God who did it to warn Beck of impending doom from the Heavens. The fact that a disgruntled ex-employee killed his former colleagues, something that unfortunately happens with a fair degree of frequency, is proof to Beck that the Lord is losing patience with the human race and is about to condemn us to eternal damnation. Of course, Beck has made predictions of The Perfect Storm that would herald the End Times in the past so often it is more like a running joke than a prophecy.

The depressing inevitability of opportunists taking advantage of tragedy is a sorry statement on the nature of our society. But it is a constant that can be predicted with near total accuracy. What is sometimes less predictable is just how low these callous vulgarians can sink.

News Corpse Presents: The ALL NEW 2nd volume of
Fox Nation vs. Reality: The Fox News Cult of Ignorance.
Available now at Amazon.

Gays vs. Nazis: In The Battle Of Offensive Comparisons Fox News Gasses The Competition

The ever-increasing hostility that has become the hallmark of cable news programming was ramped up this week by the undisputed heavyweight champion of rancorous hyperbole, Fox News.

The debate over Indiana’s new “Religious Freedom Restoration Act” set the scene for a bruising battle that ultimately escalated to a point that most partisans would regard as out of bounds. The legislation allows businesses to openly engage in bigotry against gays or any other party not afforded protected status under the law. Under federal law those parties include race, color, religion, creed, ethnicity, ancestry, national origin, sexual orientation, marital status, military or veteran status, age and disability (See clarification in comments below). The reasons these groups are included is that they have been victims of systemic discrimination, which the law endeavors to remedy.

However, the state of Indiana’s list of groups protected from discrimination is not as comprehensive and notably does not include sexual orientation. Consequently, it opens the door to legal prejudice. A battle royale on this subject took place Friday on Fox’s Real Story with Gretchen Carlson, where right-wing radio talker Mike Gallagher went for the knockout punch by asking “Would we force a Jewish sign maker to make swastikas?”

Fox News

So Fox News is now comparing gays to Nazis. And who would ever object to a business owner wanting to be able to deny service to a such a reprehensible piece of human scum. The Nazi, that is. But the takeaway from the comparison is that a proprietor would be within his rights to have the same view of doing business with a gay patron.

This is wrong on so many levels. Let’s set aside the unfortunate fact that many bigots actually do hate gays and want no part of their business. It’s the legal aspect of this argument that is absurd. Gays are protected from discrimination in federal law, and businesses have obligations when they are licensed to provide services to the public. This debate should have been settled decades ago when it was decided that bigots could not refuse to let customers in a restaurant sit at their counters.

Nazis, on the other hand, have no such protection under the law and thus, no Jewish (or any other) establishment would be required to provide services to them. So the comparison is not only offensive, it is legally without merit. It is only raised by weasels who cannot form coherent arguments to support their advocacy of prejudice. Alan Colmes made a valiant effort to rebut Gallagher’s pro-hate tirade, but Fox makes the rules on their network so Carlson gets to tamp down reason with lies about there being other similar laws already on the record. (They are not similar and not nearly as broad).

This is just another example of how low conservatives will sink to protect what they regard as their right to be bigots. They shamelessly exploit emotionally unsettling scenarios that have no actual relevance to the subject. This not only taints the debate at hand, it insults and trivializes those who were victimized by the Nazis and are still being targeted by their modern day descendants. And leave it to Fox News to bring it all to us in heap of vitriolic acrimony while leaving out any relevant context.

News Corpse Presents: The ALL NEW 2nd volume of
Fox Nation vs. Reality: The Fox News Cult of Ignorance.
Available now at Amazon.

Je Suis Charlie? Not On Fox News Where It’s Je Suis Connerie

This morning there was a gruesome terrorist attack in Paris that took the lives of twelve people at the French satirical newspaper Charlie Hebdo. It was the sort of assault that generally stirs both outrage and an international commitment to unity in bringing the assailants to justice and preventing anything like it from occurring again.

For the most part that has been true. The governments of the world have expressed sympathy and solidarity for the victims and their families, the people of France, and journalists worldwide who are too often the targets of such violence.

Fox News Bullshit

President Obama issued a statement saying in part…

“I strongly condemn the horrific shooting at the offices of Charlie Hebdo magazine in Paris that has reportedly killed 12 people. Our thoughts and prayers are with the victims of this terrorist attack and the people of France at this difficult time.”

But leave it to Fox News to take this tragedy and politicize it in the most nauseating way possible. Before the blood stains on the floor have even dried, Fox News set out to grab political advantage by laying blame on the usual targets of their wrath. And, of course, it begins with attacks on Obama. Fox contributor Jonah Goldberg of National Review Online spent several minutes castigating Obama for his depiction of the attack, saying that it was not enough to call it terrorism, but it must also be labeled Islamic – even before there is any investigation that establishes whether that’s true.

And Goldberg was not alone in shifting the dialog from the attack and its victims to rank politics. Fox’s K.T. McFarland took the same path saying that “This is radical Muslim extremists […] Let’s take the political correctness away and call it what it is.” The abhorrent Ralph Peters (who has advocated for the rampant slaughter of civilians as a tactic in the war on terror) also demanded that the President specifically use the term “Islamist terror.” That was after he took a swipe at Sen. Diane Feinstein and the Senate’s report condemning the use of torture. Peters said that “These terrorists who did this monstrous attack in Paris are the people Sen. Feinstein doesn’t even want to waterboard.” Peters not only condones torture, but he has specifically called for military attacks against the media, which makes him an especially vulgar choice to interview after a tragedy like this.

Monica Crowley took up the political correctness theme in a segment with Fox’s Gretchen Carlson. Afterward, Carlson devoted the whole of her “My Take” commentary to criticizing Obama for not calling the Paris attack terrorism – which of course, is precisely what he called it. She ended by asking whether the United States will be the next victim of a terrorist attack. She must have forgotten that the U.S. was already a victim back in 2001, and that we have been on alert ever since. But there’s nothing like a little fear mongering to brighten up the Fox News morning.

Then there were the Kurvy Kouch Potatoes of Fox & Friends, who turned their bony fingers toward New York City Mayor Bill De Blasio. Elisabeth Hasselbeck said that “As soon as police act they’re painted with a racist brush, even by, in fact, our own mayor here.” What that had to do with anything is a complete mystery. But perhaps the worst offender was Fox’s military analyst Lt. Gen. Tom McInerney. He was prompted by co-host Brian Kilmeade to address some unattributed Tweets that alleged that in France “most cops choose not even to carry a gun.” Kilmeade added “That, thankfully, is not the case in New York.” to which McInerney responded…

“This is a classical radical Islamist attack. […] With the current leadership in New York — and I’m referring to the mayor, the communist mayor you have up there — that may change. […] The political correctness is killing us.”

For Chrissake! This imbecile is absolving the terrorists of responsibility for these attacks and assigning it to Mayor De Blasio and political correctness. What’s more, he holds the utterly delusional belief that De Blasio is planning to let NYPD officers choose whether or not to carry guns. Where does he get that idiot notion from? And finally, his incongruous and despicable insult that the mayor is a communist is the sort of stuff that is generally left to wingnut, conspiracy theorists like Alex Jones, Glenn Beck, and Sean Hannity.

The political correctness argument that Fox is so fond of is a thinly veiled desire for racist policies that accuse all Muslims of being terrorists. The insistence that acts of violent extremism be called, not just terrorism, but Islamic terrorism, is a demand that is rarely heard for any other act of violence. Why for instance, didn’t Fox News refer to the murder of Dr. George Tiller as Christian terrorism? And what about Eric Rudolph’s bombing of the Centennial Olympic Park? Or the bombings of Planned Parenthood offices? Or the murder of 77 children in Norway by radical Christian Anders Breivik? Or the Tea Party terrorists who murdered two police officers in Las Vegas? Or the entire history of the Ku Klux Klan and Christian Identity movements? [The SPLC has a more complete list here]

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These are all examples of what could be called Christian terrorism if the Fox News model of journalism were applied fairly. But don’t hold your breath waiting for that to happen. For the radical partisans at Fox the only priority is how can this or any event be exploited to inflict political pain on their ideological enemies. They don’t care about the victims of terrorism or the safety of society or even justice. They only care about slandering the President and other Democrats in pursuit of their ultra right-wing agenda. And if that means twisting a tragedy into a partisan political screed, then that’s what they will do. It’s shameful and contrary to every code of ethics for journalism or common decency.

* Connerie = Bullshit

Debating The Ebola Czar: The Fox News “Power Panel” Of Dunces

The Ebola mania continues in the media as the White House announces the appointment of an Ebola response coordinator. Ron Klain, who served as chief of staff to both Vice President Biden and former vice president Al Gore was chosen for his managerial skills to assume a purely administrative role. No sooner was the announcement made than Republican pundits and politicians piled on to criticize the move.

At this point, anyone who takes criticism from the right seriously has an acute deficiency of mental capability. President Obama’s opponents are so notoriously kneejerky that whatever they say has lost all meaning. Recall that they spent months during the President’s first term deriding his advisers as “czars,” comparing them to Soviet apparatchiks, and demanding that they be dismissed. Then the Ebola situation occurs and the same folks demand the immediate appointment of a czar. But after Obama agrees with them and appoints one, they grumble that he chose the wrong guy. This is further evidence that there is nothing that Obama can do that will satisfy these trolls.

While at the Fox News asylum, the inmates have taken over. The naming of Klain was belittled as a political gesture and Klain himself was said to be unqualified. But the people making these assessments were themselves lacking in any credentials on either public health, infectious diseases, or government administration. Take for example the “Power Panel” assembled on The Real Story with former Miss America turned Fox News anchor, Gretchen Carlson.

Fox News Ebola Panel

The panel called upon to grade the President’s performance consisted of Matt Schlapp, a right-wing activist and chairman of the American Conservative Union, Rick Reichmuth, a Fox News weatherman, and Philip Segal, a criminal defense lawyer. Not a single one of them had any experience with public health, infectious diseases, or government administration. Yet they were somehow qualified to pass judgment on Obama and Klain. And this was not some random group of talking heads who simply wanted to express their opinions. This was the “Power Panel.”

The panel began on a hilariously ironic note when Schlapp tried to raise the anxiety level by saying that the CDC “has shown incompetence” and that he would “move from being alarmed to being scared.” Then he laid into the czar question saying that “Now we’ve picked a czar over this who is more a political spinner than a health expert.” Remember, this is coming from a professional political spinner. The lawyer didn’t contribute much more to the discussion.

Surprisingly, Reichmuth the weatherman made the most cogent remarks, reminding the panel not to over hype the “crisis,” and that not responding to AiDS in a timely manner in the eighties led to a real tragedy. Reichmuth didn’t venture further on that subject, but we know that it was Ronald Reagan who said nothing about AIDS until after some 20,000 people had died. Contrast that with the current “outbreak” where there has been only one fatality in the U.S.

Fox News has been decidedly negative about every aspect of the administration’s response to Ebola. They opposed the czar. They opposed sending troops to West Africa. They opposed bringing infected Americans back home for treatment. The only measures they advocate are those that seal the United States off from the rest of the world in a continental haz-mat suit that prevents travel and border crossings. Never mind that actual experts dismiss those ideas as being ineffective and even counterproductive.

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All of this panic over an epidemic that has never materialized has drawn attention away from the midterm elections. But the idiotic rhetoric, fear mongering, and other ill-informed blathering by the right should serve as a reminder of the real importance in voting on November 4th. If the Republicans gain more control over our government, we can expect a couple of things that would be truly disastrous. First, they would initiate impeachment proceedings for Obama over Benghazi or health care or gay marriage or something something Kenyan something Muslim something. And secondly, they would contract an exterminator to tent the entire nation and fumigate to rid it of pests whom they define as Democrats, liberals, minorities, non-Christians, and women who don’t know their place.

They are praying that you don’t vote. And when they aren’t praying they are passing legislation to make it harder for you to do so. Don’t let them succeed. There are more of us then there are of them. If we vote, we win. So vote and make sure everyone you know votes. Well, except for your lost friends and family who still listen to Rush Limbaugh and watch Fox News.