Fox Nation vs. Reality: Romney Would CRUSH Obama If Fantasy Ruled The World

A new CNN poll was released that asked a frivolous little question that has no real bearing on anything. They asked who respondents would vote for in a hypothetical rematch between President Obama and Mitt Romney. However, the coverage of this poll by Fox Nation not only ignores the broader context of the data, it leaves out some fairly significant facts.

foxnation-reality-poll-obama-romney

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These sort of polls are merely fanciful diversions that have no real world insight or impact. There are several reasons why the results are useless for anything other than political posturing, but perfect for Fox News propagandists. First of all, this poll is only a reflection of the public’s satisfaction with the current state of the nation. It doesn’t really measure any actual campaign contest, nor does it measure Romney’s popularity. In fact, it tracks perfectly with Obama’s job approval rating in most other recent polls.

Secondly, the results of this poll are constrained by the fact that only Obama has a record for which an opinion can be formed. Since Romney lost the election in 2012, he has no record on which the public can make a judgment. If he had won two years ago he would very likely be suffering from the same dissatisfaction with current affairs and, more likely, would fare even worse since his policies would have exacerbated the problems begun by his predecessor, George W. Bush.

Thirdly, the spectacle of Fox News gleefully reporting a Romney victory over Obama is nothing less than hysterical. After all, Fox insisted right up until election day 2012 that Romney was ahead in the polls then. In a fit of poll trutherism, they declared that all other polls were skewed and that Romney was headed for a landslide victory. They even failed to report their own polls when Obama was shown to be leading. On election night, Fox pundit Karl Rove threw a hissy fit, refusing to accept the network calling Ohio, and thus the election, for Obama. Apparently they still can’t accept it.

Finally, the Fox Nationalists plastered a decidedly biased headline on the article that ignores far more relevant data from the same poll. In a hypothetical contest between Romney and Hillary Clinton, Clinton would beat him by an even bigger margin in double digits (55-42). While all polling of this type is speculative, this has more merit in that it represents a real possibility in 2016. While no candidates have confirmed that they are running at this point, we know for certain that Obama will not be one of them. Fox is clearly fixated on the past and is oblivious to the future.

This is a perfect example of how Fox keeps their audience mired in ignorance. They feed them irrelevant information, witthold information that has actual value, and diverts their attention from realistic futures to a past that Fox can alter, dressing it up to look prettier to forlorn conservatives. Hopefully they will keep this up through election day 2014 and 2016.

Desperate Wingnuts Revive The “Hillary Cackle” In Lame Attack On Clinton

When you’ve got absolutely nothing with which to criticize your political opponent, then resort to childish and sexist personal insults. That’s the Republican strategy for taking on Hillary Clinton’s possible campaign for the presidency.

Fox Nation Hillary Clinton

The Fox News community website (and lie-riddled propaganda rag) Fox Nation proudly posted a video compilation of Hillary Clinton’s appearance on The Daily Show Tuesday that consisted of only her laughing at Jon Stewart’s jokes (video below). This is the best evidence yet that right-wingers have completely run out of ideas and have concluded that their only hope of beating Clinton, should she run, is to act like snotty little brats by making fun of irrelevant personal traits.

This should also help to drive away virtually every woman voter from the transparently anti-woman GOP. It’s not enough that Republicans want to deny reproductive health care, allow corporations to come between women and their doctors, vote against equal pay, oppose non-discrimination, cut funding for single mothers and day care, and just this week, advise Republican men to talk “down to a woman’s level.” Nope, now they have to lower the bar even further with lame insults.

Media Matters compiled a surprisingly long list of press references to Clinton’s laughter during the 2008 campaign. It was characterized as everything from a “cackle” to a “maniacal giggle,” but always in manner that was distinctly sexist. Comparing one’s laugh to witches and harpies is not something that would be done to male politicians.

The video posted by the Fox Nationalists was provided by the ultra-rightist Washington Free Beacon, a pseudo-news enterprise that is run by Republican operatives and affiliated with the Koch brothers. So the partisan parentage of this silliness is clear. It’s also clear that the people responsible were emotionally stunted at sometime around junior high school. If this is representative of the campaign tactics that Clinton will face if she decides to run, then she’s got an open path to the White House.

Here is the video from the Free Beacon’s edit of Clinton on The Daily Show:

And here is video of Fox News mocking Clinton’s laugh six years ago:

Days Of Our Lies: This Means Warren – The Clash Of Hillary And Elizabeth

The saga of the Clinton Dynasty continues on Fox News as they deliver a new episode of their blithering soap opera, Days of Our Lies.

Days of Our Lies

In the last chapter, you will recall that disgraced author Edward Klein laughably asserted that he had access to private conversations between Hillary and Bill Clinton. In those intimate liaisons it was revealed that Hillary was sinking into despair and losing her enthusiasm for public service. That despite the fact that she is handily out-polling all of her potential Democratic and Republican rivals.

The story continues with another excerpt from Klein’s new book wherein he is still managing to get insider scoops that any rational person would know are unavailable to the likes of him. He again cites sources who we are supposed to believe are among the closest confidants to the Clintons, yet are betraying them by blabbing to the right-wing media’s most vociferous and vicious Clinton enemy. Klein’s account of the private world inside the Clinton fortress includes these unlikely scenarios:

“President Obama has quietly promised Massachusetts Sen. Elizabeth Warren complete support if she runs for president — a stinging rebuke to his nemesis Hillary Clinton.”

“Obama has authorized his chief political adviser, Valerie Jarrett, to conduct a full-court press to convince Warren to throw her hat into the ring.”

“The Obamas believe that Warren sees things from the same ideological point of view as they do. She is a committed progressive who, like Obama, wants to transform America into a European-style democratic-socialist state.”

“Both Valerie and Michelle Obama have convinced the president that Elizabeth Warren is his Mini-Me.”

Warren, of course, has said repeatedly and emphatically that she is not running for president. She pledged explicitly to finish her term in the senate which ends in 2019. She even signed a letter, along with fellow senate Democrats, urging Clinton to run for President. These are not typical actions by someone plotting to mount an opposition candidacy in pursuit of a shared dream of European socialism.

Nevertheless, Fox News, along with their partner in melodrama, the New York Post (which is also their partner in the notoriously dishonest Murdoch media empire) are providing a platform for Klein’s delusional chronicles. Not only is there no evidence that any of Klein’s ravings are true, there is no conceivable way that he could have had access to the encounters that he is pretending to describe. And to top it all off, Fox illustrates the article with a deceptively edited photo that makes it appear that Obama and Warren are about to lock lips in a heated embrace.

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However, like the soap operas that are broadcast on other daytime television programs, the audience of gullible wingnuts is woefully undiscriminating and will believe whatever is put in front of them by the yarn spinners at Fox. Stay tuned for the next episode of Days of Our Lies, brought to you by Fox News, when Hillary reveals that she is hopelessly in love with daughter Chelsea’s husband, who has gone missing after stumbling unto a mysterious Kenyan birth certificate.

Days Of Our Lies: The Epically Stupid Fox News Soap Opera Starring Hillary Clinton

Much of the routine disinformation and scandal mongering that is the core of Fox News programming is designed to produce melodrama in order to enrapt their dimwitted viewers and warp their grasp of world affairs. It is key to the editorial philosophy of Fox’s chairman and CEO, Roger Ailes, who conceived the “Orchestra Pit” theory of journalism.

Fox News Soap Opera

Shameless self-promotion…
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So it is no wonder that Fox would recruit Edward Klein, an author so disreputable that he is has been renounced by a broad range of critics, both liberal and conservative. In an editorial for Fox, Klein delivered an account of a conversation between Bill and Hillary Clinton to which he could not possibly have had access without having hidden in the broom closet. Here is the opening scene:

“During a recent break in her national book tour, Hillary Clinton sat at her kitchen table in Chappaqua, N.Y., rubbing her forehead. She had been experiencing splitting headaches and was finding it increasingly difficult to hide the throbbing pain in her head while doing television interviews.”

From his vantage point in the closet, Klein managed to observe Clinton alone in her kitchen nursing her headache and sinking into despair. His representation of her mood is in stark contrast with the video evidence of her media interviews where she appears to be engaged and upbeat. Klein also contends that she is depressed because her book is an historic flop. However, that is also contrary to the facts. But the real drama has yet to begin.

Enter Bill Clinton, who Klein apparently observed as he “poured Hillary a glass of green tea, and massaged her shoulders.” Then, in the privacy of their kitchen, unaware of the guest in the closet, they began to discuss the hardships of her book tour and prospective presidential campaign. And for some reason they chose to speak in a dialog that emulated junior high school playacting. Here is the script exactly as Klein “heard” it:

Hillary: The media have me in their cross-hairs. Everything I say is twisted and used against me. I can’t get any traction. They are pouncing on everything I say.

Hillary hesitated for a moment, and then continued.

Hillary: I’m seriously losing my appetite for combat. I never thought I’d say that. I’ve been a fighter all my life. You guys have never seen me back down, but right now I am punch drunk.

Bill bit his lip and said…

Bill: We all have a right to feel sorry for ourselves from time to time. But you’ve got history to make.

Hillary: Right now I’m feeling like they can all go f**k themselves. I know the country needs us, but they aren’t acting like they deserve us. Just f**k ‘me (sic).

Bill: We’re going to fight and win the White House. That will be our reward and our revenge.

It would be one thing if this was a fanciful dramatization of a conversation that Klein imagined might have taken place. But he is offering it as factual account of an actual discussion between two people in their own home. And Fox News was so impressed with its veracity that they went ahead and published it. But anyone who believes that this is how adults talk, particularly Yale-educated lawyers with decades of political experience, is flakier than a day-old croissant.

It’s pathetic that Fox would post this nonsense, but it’s even worse that they know their audience so well that they can have a fair measure of confidence that it will be accepted as reality.

IMPECCABLE SOURCES? Fox News Praises Disreputable Professional Clinton Basher

If there is one man in America who’s reputation is irretrievably stained with bias and deceit it is Edward Klein, the author of the new book “Blood Feud: The Clintons vs. the Obamas.” Klein’s history of unfounded allegations and obviously invented accounts of life in the Clinton sphere has been denounced by scores of critics from across the political spectrum. But that won’t stop Fox News from hailing Klein and providing a platform for his transparent lies.

Fox News - Edward Klein

Klein’s new book is filled with ludicrous “quotes” that invariably cast Hillary Clinton, and other Democrats, in a negative light. While they are ridiculous on their face, and Klein fails to validate their authenticity, they are precisely the sort of raw meat tabloidisms that appeal to Fox’s executive propagandists (i.e. Roger Ailes) and woefully gullible viewers. Among the published nonsense are these morsels of mendacity:

  • Bill Clinton advised Hillary to “put on widow’s weeds, dress in black” if he died because “it would be worth a couple of million votes.”
  • Hillary “managed to keep her medical history secret out of fear that, should it become public, it would disqualify her from becoming president.”
  • Oprah Winfrey claims to have “a much warmer relationship with Hillary than I do with either Michelle or Barack,” and that the Obamas “make me jumpy.”
  • Bill Clinton said “I hate that man Obama more than any man I’ve ever met, more than any man who ever lived.”
  • Hillary Clinton considered resigning over Benghazi because Obama allegedly forced her “to say that the attack had been a spontaneous demonstration triggered by an obscure video on the Internet.”

Some of these assertions were presented as private conversations between two individuals. For instance, the last item was said to be from a phone conversation between Bill and Hillary. Which begs the question, how could Klein quote them verbatim when no one else was even listening? His source would have to have been Bill or Hillary. Sure, that could happen.

Klein’s past books have included some of the most repulsive fabrications ever levied against the Clintons. He alleged that Chelsea was conceived after a domestic assault wherein Klein said that Bill raped Hillary. Again, how on earth could Klein have known that? Were there witnesses who have spoken only to him? Klein is also a confirmed Birther who believes that Obama may have been created to be a Manchurian candidate from Kenya.

This is the sort of person that Fox News is now promoting on air and online. The lie-riddled Fox Nation website has already posted three articles promoting the delusional revelations in Klein’s new book. Media observers have become accustomed to the reality bending and partisan slanting of virtually everything that Fox broadcasts, but they have sunk to new lows by endorsing the maniacal ravings of Edward Klein, a conspiracy kook who comes close to making Glenn Beck look sane.

CLASS WAR: So Now The Right Is Against People Who Make Money?

Whatever you have heard about the conservative movement’s mission to advance the welfare of the 1%, you may now discard it as yesterday’s news. All of their sycophantic worship of the wealthy as “job creators” (they are not), and entrepreneurs, and the Ayn Rand-inspired architects of abundance from whom the drops of prosperity trickle down to the peasants, is but a mirage of the past. No longer do they regard success as a worthy aspiration, but as something for which to be punished.

At least that’s how they see it so far as Bill and Hillary Clinton are concerned. Conservatives are bursting with hostility for the Clintons, whom they are comparing unfavorably to the Romneys. They have abandoned their defense of Mitt Romney as a paragon of American ingenuity and ambition, and are now conceding that he was just an arrogant, out-of-touch, elitist who lost credibility with average Americans. Which is precisely how they now see Hillary Clinton.

This sudden change of perspective was precipitated by recent remarks Clinton made in response to questions about the financial status of her family. Of course, in order to portray Clinton’s comments as socio-economically aloof, they first had to brutally mutilate her actual words and present the distortions as if they were verbatim quotes. In other words, they had to lie.

Fox News

The first rhetorical misrepresentation occurred last week when Clinton was asked about whether she would be hurt by perceptions of her rapid income growth after leaving the White House. Clinton defended her earnings saying that “We came out of the White House not only dead broke, but in debt.” That, of course, was true. Not only that, but the Clinton’s were always middle-class. The first home they ever owned was the one they moved into in Chappaqua after they left Washington.

But the conservative media circus was not satisfied with the truth. They deliberately misrepresented Clinton’s remarks to suggest that she was complaining about being poor post-presidency, and even currently. But that isn’t what she said. She was merely pointing out, correctly, that her family had incurred debts greater than their assets and that they had to take steps to resolve that imbalance. She never said she was poor or that she had no opportunity to generate revenue. And recall that she was answering a specific question as to the reasons she began highly remunerative speaking engagements so soon after becoming a private citizen. She was not whining about her misfortune, as the media portrayed it. She was simply explaining why it was appropriate for her to make some money to pay her debts, as any responsible person would do.

With this week comes a new misrepresentation. This time a reporter with the Guardian asked Clinton whether she could be credible on the issue of income equality given her personal wealth. Clinton responded that voters “don’t see me as part of the problem, because we pay ordinary income tax, unlike a lot of people who are truly well off – not to name names.”

As expected, disreputable conservative media hacks (pardon the redundancy) immediately set about to distort the nature of Clinton’s remarks. They uniformly characterized her as implying that she is not prosperous. However, the only rational interpretation of her comment requires the presumption that she was including herself in the group of those “people who are truly well off” It only makes sense as a comparison between herself and others in the same strata.

Clinton was referring to people in the upper income brackets who pay less than their fair share by arranging their returns to reflect only interest earnings which are taxed at lower rates. The Clintons, on the other hand, are taxed at ordinary rates associated with business earnings and labor. If Clinton was not comparing her tax status to others in high income brackets, her statement wouldn’t have made any point.

The attempt to cast Clinton as oblivious to her wealth, and consequently the plight of average citizens, was adopted by all of the usual suspects in the wingnut press. Fox News, of course, was prominent among them, airing this deceptive distortion repeatedly since the Guardian’s publication. In one instance, Fox’s supposedly serious White House correspondent, Ed Henry, agreed heartily with the co-hosts of Outnumbered that Clinton’s comment was troubling and potentially damaging to her prospects for the White House – for which she has not declared any intention to run.

The upshot to all of this concern-trolling by the right is that they seem to regard the fact that the Clintons have been financially successful as a fault. These are the same pseudo-free-market evangelists that generally praise people who manage to enrich themselves through ambition, creativity, and hard work. Unless those qualities are held by liberals. In that event, they are seen as opportunistic advocates of wealth distribution and socialism. There has always been a sharp distinction between rich conservatives and liberals. News Corpse examined this in detail last month saying in part that…

“The Republican rich can usually be found bankrolling people and projects that benefit them personally or professionally. Thus the Kochs’ fixation on opposing unions and denying climate change is closely aligned with their exploitative and polluting business interests. Well-off Dems, on the other hand, commonly finance more philanthropic endeavors (civil rights, environment, aid to the poor) that aim to improve the quality of life without necessarily enriching themselves.”

But if the right is going to concede that not all wealth reflects a positive social value, then maybe we ought to take them up on it. Let’s challenge right-wingers to take the same standards they are using to condemn Clinton and apply them to the Koch brothers. Let’s see if the newly sensitive conservatives will join the movement to reverse Citizen’s United. The right has already come out against SuperPACs – at least those benefiting progressive people or causes. For instance, Jonathon Soros, the son of the right’s all-purpose liberal bogyman, George Soros, created the Friends of Democracy PAC, a SuperPAC aimed at ending the influence of SuperPACs. Likewise, Lawrence Lessig’s MayDay PAC has the same noble goal of rescuing our country from the Big Money interests who are holding our democracy hostage. Lessig hopes to “pay the ransom and get it back” by building “a SuperPAC big enough to end all SuperPACs.”

Fox News has already come out against these SuperPACs. They published an article by the Daily Caller on Fox Nation attacking Lessig with the endearingly disparaging headline “Harvard Professor’s Anti-Big Money Super PAC Collects Big Money From Filthy Rich Leftists.”. But maybe we can get them to show some consistency and direct their SuperPAC hatred to the rest of the blatantly partisan special interests that are trying to destroy the environment, break unions, restrict access to voting, etc. After all, if it’s terrible what Hillary Clinton, George Soros, and Tom Steyer are doing and saying with regard to wealth, than isn’t it the same with the Koch brothers, Sheldon Adelson, Rupert Murdoch, Donald Trump, and Joe Ricketts?

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Even though Clinton’s remarks were savagely mischaracterized by right-wing deceivers, the gist of their criticisms should apply to anyone in the same caste. And if conservatives now want to attack rich people as out-of-touch and unfit to represent ordinary Americans, then let’s make them hold their own accountable to the same standards. The result could be fewer wealthy special interests crowding out the majority of the population at election time. The only problem is getting the right to apply their standards consistently. In fact, the probability of that is so remote that there really are just two words to sum up this entire article. And they are…..“Never mind.”

Fox Nation Follies: The “Stupid People Are Ruining America” Edition

We at News Corpse will risk life and limb to ride the rapids of the ridiculousness that emanates from Fox News, but there are times when the flow is difficult to keep up with. At times like these it may be necessary to compile some of the most significant stories into one article. But rest assured, we will always persevere in order to bring you, our readers, the critical information that you need to get through your busy day. You’re welcome.

First out of the gates is a ripe bit of nonsense from pizza magnate, and former GOP presidential front-runner, Herman Cain. Cain spoke at the Faith and Freedom Coalition’s Road to Majority conference last week. This is an affair produced by Christian Coalition founder, and Jack Abramoff accomplice, Ralph Reed. The competition for “Most Ludicrous Comment” is stiff at this conference that hosted rightist luminaries like Michelle Bachmann, Ted Cruz, and Rick Santorum. It’s the classy sort of gala where one can find Obama figurines in urinals. But it was Cain who came away with the zinger of the week:

“I have even heard people say, ‘Well I don’t vote because I don’t know what’s going on.’ And I say good. Stupid people are ruining American and I’m glad some of them stay home. The solution is real simple folks. Those of us who are informed have got to out-vote the stupid people.”

Exactly! What this nation needs is more people like Herman Cain deciding America’s fate at the polls. After all this is the man whose encyclopedic knowledge of the world gave birth to the state of Uzbeckibekistanstan. And the coverage of Cain’s comedy routine at the conference provided additional examples of the not-stupid by the geniuses at Fox Nation:

Fox Nation Herman Cain

The Fox Nationalists also reached out to their ideological allies at Infowars, Alex Jones’ ultra-fringe conspiracy theory website, to find an article that alleged that border agents were resigning en masse over their objections to foreign-born gang members being allowed to freely invade our peaceful, white, Christian neighborhoods. These alleged gangsters were reputed to be coming from the ranks of the immigrant children being housed at federal facilities while awaiting deportation or unification with their families.

Fox Nation Infowars

The problem with this story is that the local newscast from which it was derived interviewed a border patrol union official who said only that some of his agents were suffering from low morale and were looking for other jobs, but that none had quit. He was also asked how many gang members he estimated were crossing the border. His answer was “A few, not too many,” thereby dispensing with the whole false premise of the article. And the photo in the Fox Nation posting is of gang members in Central America who have nothing to do with the current crisis of minor children immigrating unaccompanied into the U.S.

But what’s really troubling is that the Fox Nationalists saw fit to cite Infowars as the source for their disinformation. And this isn’t the first time. They have previously sourced articles to Infowars with similarly absurd reports. For instance:

  • Homeland Security to Purchase 141,000 Rounds of Sniper Ammo
  • Ex-TSA Screener: Officers ‘Laughing’ At Passengers’ Nude Images
  • DHS Video Characterizes Terrorists as White Americans
  • TSA Deploys Weiner Watchers at Super Bowl
  • Anarchists Plan War on Tea Parties April 15th

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Finally, Fox News has shamelessly exploited the terrorist attack in Benghazi for their craven political objectives. In the process, they have tried to cast Hillary Clinton as responsible for the tragedy and uncaring about the consequences. However, it is Fox, and their right-wing cronies, who have sullied the memory of those killed in the service of their country. Fox, and their GOP pals, has even used the deaths as a means of raising money for Republican organizations.

Now another example of that callousness is on display on Fox Nation. Jason Mattera, a blitheringly idiotic wingnut who has carved a reputation out of embarrassing himself by attempting to embarrass others in foolishly contrived ambush videos, makes an appearance in a new video where he approaches Hillary Clinton at a book signing. When Clinton asks for his name, Mattera asks that she make it out to Christopher Stevens, the murdered ambassador who was also a friend of Clinton’s. Clinton refused his crass request and politely dismissed him saying “I think it would be great if you read.” the book. Mattera then made a couple of snarky remarks about Clinton’s security, who quickly ushered him away. However, he did successfully demonstrate how to disparage the memory of fallen patriots in pursuit of self-serving publicity.

And that’s today’s episode of the Fox Nation Follies. We hope you enjoyed the parade of repugnant imbeciles that populate the Fox newsroom. And with any luck, Herman Cain’s vision for America will come to pass and the sort of dimwits who make up the Fox News/Tea Party audience will stay home in November and stop wrecking the country for the rest of us.

Obama Captures Suspect In Benghazi Attack To Distract From Benghazi

You might think that today’s news that a suspect in the Benghazi terrorist attack was captured in Libya would be greeted with satisfaction and relief. You would be right with respect to the reaction of the American people, but over at Fox News it’s a different story.

As usual, nothing that Obama does can be characterized positively at Fox News. They work studiously to maintain their warped view that Obama is a foreign-born, anti-American, terrorist-sympathizing, incompetent, evil genius. And so it is with the apprehension of Ansar al-Sharia commander Ahmed Abu Khattala.

Fox News

Within seconds of the report, Kennedy, co-hosting today on Outnumbered, launched into a paranoid rant infused with suspicion and conspiracy that dismissed the arrest as a political stunt (video below). Following an absurdly presumptive statement by Fox News analyst Pete Hegseth, who asserted that “we all have questions about the timing.” Kennedy offered a thinly veiled swipe at Hillary Clinton:

Kennedy: “You have the former secretary of state, who is in the middle of a really high-profile book tour, and I think this is convenient for her to shift the talking points from some of the things that she’s been discussing.”

Hegseth agreed and added that the administration had some sort of motivation to execute this mission today, again slyly referencing Clinton. And for some reason they all seem to be afraid to say her name as if saying it three times might cause her to appear in the studio. (Beetlejuice. Beetlejuice. Beetleju…)

Hegseth: “I think this thing needs to be tied in a bow for certain individuals to have a clean break from an incident that has become, and will continue to be a scandal — an anchor around a certain individual’s neck, who may want to run for president.

Kimberly Guilfoyle picked up on the theme and added that “She’s having an interview today on Fox News.” That clinched it for Hegseth who, appearing quite pleased with himself, laid out the reasoning for this dastardly plot:

Hegseth: “What a great thing to announce on an interview tonight at Fox News, that the perpetrators have been brought to justice. It’s all too neat, and it’s too cute.”

Exactly! The impulse to bring to justice someone who was responsible for the deaths of Americans had to be inspired by a desire to create something to talk about in a TV interview. Because otherwise there would have been nothing to talk about except the newly published book that was the whole reason for the interview. Surely Clinton didn’t want that to come up.

It’s ludicrous in the first place to suggest that Obama contrived the timing of this capture to help Clinton. The timing isn’t all that helpful to her being two years before a presidential race for which she hasn’t even announced her candidacy. Then, of course, why wouldn’t he have timed it to help himself when the health care rollout was floundering? Or when the IRS was accused of targeting the Tea Party? Or when the Veterans Administration affair erupted? Let’s face it, no matter when this terrorist was apprehended something else would be going on somewhere in the world that conservative nutcases could claim it was a distraction from. And they would have.

The shockingly obvious determination to turn this good news into an evil scheme is typical of Fox News to the point of being cliche. They have made it their mission to defame this president, and all liberals, from their inception. And the uniformity of thought suggests that they were given orders to present this news in the twisted manner that they did. And the fact that they conspicuously avoided uttering Hillary Clinton’s name even once in the segment, despite making her the single subject of their conversation, it is likely they were forbidden to do so by Roger Ailes or their other handlers.

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This isn’t the first time they have done this sort of thing. They similarly attributed ulterior motives to the killing of Osama Bin Laden, which many wingnuts saw as an attempt to distract from his “fake” birth certificate. And they assigned a half dozen different news events as alleged distractions from the travails of the ObamaCare launch (although now that it’s a success, it is Fox that is playing the distraction game).

So you can bet on it. Before too long somebody is going to accuse Obama of orchestrating the capture of this Benghazi terrorist as an attempt to distract from Benghazi. More times than I can count, these delusional rightists have proven that their reality is funnier, and more far-fetched, than any satire that I can concoct.

[UPDATE:] The New York Times is now reporting that Khattala “was moved to attack the diplomatic mission to take revenge for an insult to Islam in an American-made online video.” Which means that everything that Obama, Clinton, and Rice (and the whole intelligence community) said in the initial stages of the attack was true. Which means that one of Fox’s most desperate lines of attack is shredded. Whatever will they say now? (Don’t worry. They will ignore this detail and continue to make up whatever they want, just like they always do.)

Fox Nation vs. Reality: Hillary Clinton’s High Ethical Standards Infuriate Fox News

The folks at Fox Nation are working overtime to unearth scandals they can attribute to Hillary Clinton. Lately their crack(head) reporters have discovered that, although Clinton did leave the White House in debt, she later made lots of money (Oh my!). They ferreted out that she is no longer young (You don’t say?). They alleged that she had suffered brain damage (Uh-oh!). And they continually try (and fail) to blame her for Benghazi. But now they may have hit on a charge that could stick: Hillary Clinton is an ethical attorney! (Yikes!)

Fox Nation

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The Fox Nationalists posted an article that they sourced to the ultra-rightist Washington Free Beacon announcing the discovery of “The Hillary Tapes” from deep within the – well, the very public archives of the University of Arkansas, Fayetteville. The release of these tapes were intended to tarnish Clinton’s reputation as an advocate for abused women and children. The article began saying that…

“In 1975, the same year she married Bill, Hillary Clinton agreed to serve as the court-appointed attorney for Thomas Alfred Taylor, a 41-year-old accused of raping the child after luring her into a car.

“The recordings, which date from 1983-1987 and have never before been reported, include Clinton’s suggestion that she knew Taylor was guilty at the time. She says she used a legal technicality to plead her client, who faced 30 years to life in prison, down to a lesser charge.

“The full story of the Taylor defense calls into question Clinton’s narrative of her early years as a devoted women and children’s advocate in Arkansas—a narrative the 2016 presidential frontrunner continues to promote on her current book tour.”

Apparently the Fox Nationalists, and their ignorant pals at the Free Beacon, are unaware of the constitutional provision that grants all defendants the right to competent counsel. It is the responsibility of the attorney to work on behalf of the client’s best interests regardless of guilt or innocence. And in this case Clinton did just that after being assigned the case by the court. It would have been unethical to do anything else.

What’s more, the “technicality” that Clinton employed was that the lab contracted by the prosecutor had lost the material evidence in the case. That’s a pretty significant technicality. The defense can’t examine or rebut, nor can the state convict, on evidence that doesn’t exist.

So Clinton did her job as the law requires her to do. And for demonstrating those strong principles Fox tries to twist the story into something negative. Instead, they expose themselves as opponents of the Constitution and those who respect it. Descending to these depths of dishonesty in order to demean Clinton tells us something about Fox in the clearest terms: They are staggeringly scared of Clinton and the prospect of her candidacy in 2016.

Where’s The Outrage? On The Tenth Anniversary Of Ronald Reagan’s Death

Ten years ago, on June 5, 2004, former president Ronald Reagan died after a long illness including severe Alzheimer’s disease. It’s a curious fluke of timing that this anniversary should occur just as some prominent events have sprung up in the news that parallel notable capstones of his term in office. And while many of these affairs have erupted into frenzied allegations of high crimes and misdemeanors on the part of President Obama, they generated a far more sedate reaction from Republicans of that era.

Ronald Reagan

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Embassy Attacks

For almost two years now, the GOP has been furiously scratching at the walls to find something incriminating with regard to the tragic attack on the U.S. diplomatic facility in Benghazi, Libya. In all that time, and after numerous congressional hearings and independent investigations, they have turned up nothing. So of course they decided to launch a new Select Committee on the Politicization of Benghazi in order to continue their fruitless and frivolous charade.

Perhaps on this day of remembrance, Republicans might take into consideration the fact that there were more embassy attacks, with greater loss of life, during the Reagan administration. And yet, there was never the degree of vitriol directed at Reagan for such deadly serious incidents as this:

“In April 1983, radical Shiite suicide bombers blew up the US embassy in Beirut, killing 63. Reagan did nothing to prevent this attack, and his ultimate response to it and a later deadly attack on US Marines in Beirut was to quietly withdraw from Lebanon.”

Climate Change

Last week President Obama announced an initiative to address the persistent problem of Climate Change that threatens to cause profound damage to our environment and our economy, while triggering profound national security risks. The Republican response to that was typically hostile, with rants about unlawfully overstepping his authority and deliberately attempting to sabotage the economy. However, no such rants were ever issued when Reagan said this in a letter to the Speaker of the House of Representatives and the President of the Senate requesting increased funding of nearly $500 million:

“Because changes in the earth’s natural systems can have tremendous economic and social effects, global climate change is becoming a critical concern.”

Voting Rights

A constant burr in the right’s britches has been their faulty analysis of alleged election fraud. Despite years of complaints, they have failed to turn up anything but trivial evidence of a handful of infractions, which they use to deny voting rights to tens of millions of citizens. Obama’s support for reform has yielded accusations of tyranny and advocacy of fraud. Recently the conservative-dominated Supreme Court drastically scaled back the scope of the seminal Voting Rights Act of 1965. Reagan opposed the legislation at the time, but during his presidency he had a somewhat different view that failed to garner the insults that Obama has suffered:

“To protect all our citizens, I believe the Voting Rights Act should and must be extended. [...] The Voting Rights Act is important to the sense of trust many Americans place in their government’s commitment to equal rights.”

Veterans Administration

Another hot topic on the GOP outrage agenda is the news that some of the Veterans Administration facilities have badly failed the soldiers they are intended to serve. While most of the veteran community report that they are “highly satisfied” with the service they receive, the disclosures of malfeasance are serious and unforgivable. The problems appear to be locally based, yet that hasn’t stopped Republicans from placing the blame directly at the feet of the President. Funny, they never did that to Reagan when these VA fiascoes plagued his term:

In 1981 a former Marine committed suicide after claiming the VA had failed to attend to his service-related disabilities. In 1982 VA director Robert Nimmo was “criticized for wasteful spending, including use of a chauffeured car and an expensive office redecorating project,” after failing to address veterans problems with Agent Orange. in 1984 “Congressional investigators find evidence that VA officials had diverted or refused to spend more than $40 million that Congress approved to help Vietnam veterans with readjustment problems.”

Negotiating With Terrorists

More recently, Obama’s decision to rescue Sgt. Bowe Bergdahl from five years of captivity by agreeing to release some aging former Taliban leaders has resulted in political attacks against the soldier, his family, and calls for Obama’s impeachment. Right-wingers complain that there is no justification for negotiating with terrorists and that Obama has violated a long-standing policy not to do so. That, however, is totally false, as proven by Reagan himself. The notorious Iran-Contra scandal was centered around Reagan’s initiative to free hostages in Iran by agreeing to sell the terrorist nation over 1,500 missiles. The proceeds from that deal were then illegally funneled to anti-Sandinista death squads in Nicaragua. Reagan’s surreal confession to these acts continues to strain credulity:

“A few months ago I told the American people I did not trade arms for hostages. My heart and my best intentions still tell me that’s true, but the facts and the evidence tell me it is not.”

2016

Special Bonus Outrage: Setting up a future political battle, Republicans are going after presumptive Democratic presidential candidate Hillary Clinton. Their fear of her is palpable as they struggle to bring down her popularity with the American people. A new survey shows her handily beating every GOP candidate she is matched against. Consequently, the right has gone all in to cast Clinton as “old and stale” (as Karl Rove said). Rove also suggested that Clinton was suffering from brain damage. Then the Drudge Report hilariously misinterpreted a People Magazine cover of Clinton leaning on a chair, which Drudge imagined was a walker.

All of this ignores the reality that Clinton is, by all credible accounts, in good health. But more to the point, she would be younger at inauguration than GOP pols like John McCain, Bob Dole, and, yes, you guessed it, Ronald Reagan, who still stands as the nation’s oldest president. This might be a good time to recall Reagan’s retort to rival Walter Mondale, who made some sly references to Reagan’s age:

“I will not make age an issue of this campaign. I am not going to exploit, for political purposes, my opponent’s youth and inexperience.”

While remembering the legacy of Ronald Reagan, which is fraught with disagreement and controversy, on this, the anniversary of his death, it would worthwhile to recognize the hypocrisy of contemporary Republicans who seem to have forgotten history entirely.

Late Additions

Immigration: Reagan granted amnesty to three million undocumented residents.
Al Qaeda: Reagan funded the Mujaheddin, from whom sprung the Taliban and Osama Bin Laden.
Gun Control: Reagan signed the Firearm Owners’ Protection Act that banned fully automatic rifles.

D’Souza On Young Clinton And Obama: The Hippie And The Street Thug

The arch conservative author and filmmaker, Dinesh D’Souza, has a shameful reputation characterized by dishonesty and immorality. He was forced to resign as the dean of a Catholic university due to his marital infidelity. More recently, he pleaded guilty to a felony charge of election finance fraud. As a veteran of right-wing punditry, D’Souza is a frequent guest on Fox News and is the writer and producer of the acidly anti-Obama crocumentary, “2016: Obama’s America,” based on his own widely debunked book, “The Roots of Obama’s Rage.”

On the eve of the publication of his new book, “America – Imagine a World Without Her,” D’Souza is once again demonstrating his affinity for the scum stuck to the bottom of the barrels he is scraping. The Washington Examiner posted some choice excerpts from a pre-release copy. While pitching the tome as “a passionate and sharply reasoned defense of America,” D’Souza has actually produced another tunnel-blind screed attacking his political enemies as villains on a mission to “finish off” America.

Lacking utterly in originality, D’Souza seizes on the old canard famously hyped by Glenn Beck, that that all contemporary liberals were weaned on Saul Alinsky. And like Beck and his diseased spawn, D’Souza casts Alinsky as some sort of horned demon sent by from Hades to destroy mankind. Consequently, the picture D’Souza paints of Barack Obama and Hillary Clinton is slathered with absurd invective that says more about D’Souza than it does the targets of his animus.

Dinesh D'Souza

D’Souza: “If you see early pictures and video of Hillary, she looks and sounds like a former hippie. Overtime, however, Hillary started dressing like a respectable middle-class mother and speaking in a clipped, moderate sounding voice. Young Barack Obama, too, looked like a bit of a street thug — in his own words, he could have been Trayvon Martin. Over time, however, Obama started dressing impeccably and even practiced modulating his voice.”

It’s called growing up. Let’s set aside the repugnant and racist association of both Obama and Martin to thuggery. That’s standard rightist rhetoric. More revealing is that D’Souza is flabbergasted by the notion that American youths might conform to the fashion trends favored by their generation, but later mature and adapt to conventional styles more appropriate for business and public service. That evolution, in D’Souza’s mind, is not a natural part of growing up that millions of Americans experienced. He thinks it is an organized conspiracy to conceal subversive intentions beneath a veneer of respectability.

D’Souza: “Hillary and Obama both adopted Alinsky’s strategic counsel to sound mainstream, even when you aren’t. These are the ways in which our two Alinskyites make themselves palatable to the American middle class, which to this day has no idea how hostile Hillary and Obama are to middle-class values.”

So hidden under the pant suits and business attire are tie-dye, headbands, love beads and, of course, radical plans to replace the Constitution with the Communist Manifesto. And the fact that under Obama the economy has soared, Wall Street has hit new highs, corporations are earning record profits, and taxes are lower, the Tea Party contingent still believes that this administration is anti-capitalist.

The Hippie & The Street Thug

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Finally, if anyone is hostile to middle-class values, it’s D’Souza and his confederacy of wingnuts who are opposed to universal health care, raising the minimum wage, unions, student debt relief, clean air and water, banking reforms, and virtually every other significant initiative that benefits average Americans.

Fox News Suffers Worst Ratings In Thirteen Years – And That’s Not Their Big Problem

Fox News has fallen and it can’t get up. Ratings for the month of May 2014, have just been published, and the numbers are devastating for Fox News. While still occupying the top slot among the cable news networks, Fox saw about a quarter of its audience dissolve across every demographic group and time period.

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Every Fox program in primetime dropped by double-digits, with Bill O’Reilly taking the deepest dive. Sean Hannity posted some of his lowest numbers ever in his new 10:00 pm time slot. And Megyn Kelly’s new, and highly anticipated, primetime show failed to improve on the ratings performance of her predecessor.

To be sure, Fox was not the only network to see declines. In fact, CNN had an even larger dip. The news was much better for MSNBC who was down the least of all the cable news networks. They lost a relatively insignificant five percent of total viewers, but actually saw increases for Morning Joe, and for Chris Hayes and Rachel Maddow in primetime.

For Fox to post numbers that they haven’t seen since August of 2001 (before 9/11) is a painful blow to both their reputation and their bank account. But they have even bigger problems. The viewers that do tune in to Fox are significantly older than viewers of their competitors. Fox News has always had the oldest skewing audience in cable news. With a median age of 68.8 years, Fox’s audience is over six years older than either CNN or MSNBC. It’s even worse for their top rated program (O’Reilly) who’s average viewer is over 72 years old. And their Great Blonde Hope (Kelly), who was specifically brought in to draw younger viewers, also exceeded Fox’s average with her typical viewer voyeur being over 70.

An analysis of the audience composition for the three cable news networks shows that, of Fox’s total audience, a pitiful 20% are in the 25-54 age group favored by advertisers. It’s even worse for their primetime schedule where only 15% fall into that group. That compares to CNN with 30%/35% respectively, and MSNBC with 31%/28%. In other words, CNN and MSNBC draw 50% more total viewers in the younger demos, and they double Fox’s ratio in primetime.

This makes it all the more curious that Fox News is barreling forward with a strategy to viciously insult their biggest viewer bloc. Recently, Fox regular Karl Rove launched an attack on Hillary Clinton with vile inferences that she is “old and stale” or perhaps brain damaged. Expressing such open contempt and belittling of the capacity for older persons to be effective leaders is not a particularly sound way to ingratiate oneself with the senior citizens that make up the bulk of ones audience.

Apparently Fox is not satisfied with alienating African-Americans and Latinos and women and youth and the middle-class and workers and, of course, most of America’s liberals and moderates. Now they are aiming to narrow their appeal even more by driving away the last remnants of their audience – senior citizens. Keep up the good work, Fox.

Geezer Karl Rove Tells Fox News That Hillary Clinton Is ‘Old And Stale’

The Republican Party already has serious problems with some of the most critical voting demographics. They have thoroughly alienated African-Americans and Latinos. Their appeal to young voters is weak and worsening. Thanks to their opposition to reproductive choice and pay equity, women are loathe to consider Republican candidates. And now the politically tone deaf GOP is determined to antagonize the nation’s most reliable voting bloc – senior citizens.

Karl Rove

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It’s not bad enough that Republicans have already put some distance between themselves and seniors by proposing cuts to Medicare and the privatization of Social Security. The latest insult to older Americans is that they are not fit to serve in public office, particularly the presidency.

This view was clumsily articulated by master GOP strategist, Karl Rove, who appeared on Fox News today to criticize Hillary Clinton. According to Rove, the former First Lady, Senator, and Secretary of State is in a “vulnerable position” due to her age and experience. Rove said that people won’t like Clinton because “they want to see a fighter,” which he seems to believe is a trait that only the young’uns can muster. His precise wording was…

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

Make no mistake, Rove deliberately chose the words “old and stale” to invoke Clinton’s age. It was just as deliberate as his disgusting choice of words last week to falsely suggest that Clinton had suffered brain damage in a fall last year. This is typical Rovian, slash-and-burn politics.

It is also strikingly stupid when you consider the most recent Republican candidates for president, whom Rove certainly supported. There was Mitt Romney, a two-term governor who ran for president twice, making him rather familiar. There was John McCain who is even older than Clinton and served as senator for more than two decades. Before that it was Rove’s own invention, George W. Bush, another two-term governor and the son of a president and the grandson of a senator. Prior to that it was the 73 year old, 27 year senate veteran and Republican leader Bob Dole. Before him was W’s dad, who had been around Washington for decades as a congressman, CIA director, and vice-president. Preceding him was Ronald Reagan, who was also older than Clinton when he was inaugurated after serving as governor of California and multiple runs for the White House.

Do the terms “fresh,” or “new,” or “unfamiliar,” apply to any of those candidates? Does Rove’s perception of what is old and stale only apply to Democrats – or women? And is Rove suddenly enamored of the sort of inexperience and unfamiliarity that he used to disparage when talking about President Obama? In fact, the entire Republican Party that once mocked Obama as a novice, is now almost exclusively fixated on even greener pols like Ted Cruz, Rand Paul, and Ben Carson. Those are the candidates to whom Rove is referring when he says that voters are looking for “a Republican with a constructive conservative agenda with the future.” Unfortunately they, like most Republicans, have their sights set squarely on the distant past, circa Dark Ages.

Worst of all, Rove is demonstrating open contempt for senior citizens with his insults to their capacity to be effective leaders. So even dismissing his rank hypocrisy, he is not making any friends with the older voters he clearly despises. Hopefully, Clinton’s campaign, should it materialize, will remind these mature voters just how scornfully Republicans regard them and their ability to contribute to society.

Charles Krauthammer Of Fox News Has Hillary Clinton Amnesia

Often portrayed as the intellectual voice of contemporary conservatism, Fox News pundit Charles Krauthammer seems more like a doddering old coot with a touch of dementia. How else to explain the whimpering challenge he issued during an interview on Hugh Hewitt’s radio show on Tuesday. It was also picked up for a segment today on Fox News.

Fox News

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Krauthammer: When people talk about Hillary being a superb secretary of state, I just ask one question. Name me one thing, just one, not three, give me one thing she achieved in her four years as secretary of state. I have yet to hear an answer. … She traveled a lot. So did Marco Polo. And you want him to be president?

Obviously the rightist audience listening to Hewitt’s program wouldn’t want Marco Polo because he was an illegal immigrant pretty much everywhere he went. But as to the substance of Krauthammer’s inquiry, you would have to wonder who he was asking. Most likely it was other wingnut enemies of Hillary Clinton who wouldn’t give her credit even if they could cite something positive.

It would not be difficult, though, for Krauthammer to get an answer to his question if he really wanted one. Or maybe The Google is just too confusing to him. Here is, not one, but eight achievements for which Clinton can take at least partial credit (h/t The Week):

1. The liberation of Libya
Clinton was among a group of administration officials urging Obama in 2011 to help Libyan rebels overthrow longtime dictator Moammar Gadhafi, over objections from Defense Secretary Roberts Gates and others.

2. The opening-up of Myanmar
In 2012, Clinton became the first secretary of state in 50 years to make an official visit to Myanmar, part of the Obama administration’s efforts to reward the ruling military junta for taking concrete steps toward a freer society.

3. Playing peacemaker in the Middle East
In late 2012, Clinton brought all her diplomatic resources to bear during a bloody outbreak of violence between Israel and Arab militants in the Gaza Strip, performing a whirlwind tour of the region that many credited with helping prevent an all-out war.

4. Freeing a Chinese dissident
Clinton’s May 2012 visit to China, ostensibly about mutual economic and security concerns, was ensnared in a full-blown diplomatic emergency, after human-rights dissident Chen Guangcheng escaped house arrest and took refuge at the U.S. Embassy.

5. Killing Osama bin Laden
Clinton was not intimately involved in the clandestine operation to kill Osama bin Laden in 2011, but she will be indelibly linked to the moment, thanks to a photograph showing her real-time response to the operation in the White House Situation Room.

6. Tightening sanctions on Iran
Clinton announced new sanctions on Iran with Treasury Secretary Timothy Geithner, played an important role in the U.S.’s efforts to win international support to isolate Iran economically. The sanctions have been the most severe Iran has ever dealt with.

7. Isolating Syria’s Assad
Clinton condemned atrocities committed by the regime of Syrian President Bashar al-Assad and played a central role in the administration’s efforts to corral international support against the regime.

8. Fighting for women’s rights
One of Clinton’s main initiatives as secretary of state was to champion the cause of gender equality, one of the hallmarks of her political career that stretches back to her days as First Lady.

Fox News, of course, isn’t interested in having an honest discourse on this subject. The truth is that Krauthammer never expected an answer to his disingenuous inquiry. Just floating the question raises the doubts for which he is aiming. He knows that most people can’t extemporaneously recite the accomplishments of any Secretary of State, or most other government officials.

In all likelihood Krauthammer himself could not cite any of Condoleezza Rice’s accomplishments when she headed the State Department. And he would certainly have forgotten the six times American embassies were attacked on her watch. With the frothing intensity that Fox has attacked Clinton over the tragedy in Benghazi, just imagine how much more severe their rage would be if Clinton had six Benghazis like Rice did.

A Typically Malicious Morning On Fox News

With no new scandal bait emerging over the weekend for Fox News to exploit, they may consider this a slow news day. But in the 24/7 world of cable news the show must go on. Consequently, the editorial team over at Fox was forced to scrape up some chum for their ravenously disgruntled audience. And this is what they came up with:

Fox News

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The Clinton Suck-Up
There’s a new book contains flattering remarks about Hillary Clinton by Gen. David Petraeus. He says that “she’d make a tremendous president,” and sites as an example of her qualifications a reason that is certain to rattle your average Foxie:

Petreaus: “Like a lot of great leaders, her most impressive qualities were most visible during tough times. In the wake of the Benghazi attacks, for example, she was extraordinarily resolute, determined, and controlled.”

Uh oh. A respected general who was revered by the right, and even solicited by Fox News CEO Roger Ailes to run for president in 2012, has high praise for Clinton and her handling of Fox’s favorite anti-Clinton cudgel, Benghazi. Fox’s response was to rush John Bolton into the studio for his reaction. Bolton seemed a bit confused as he struggled to find the meaning of this development. He eventually settled for claiming that Petraeus must have made a mistake or that he was sucking up to Clinton. That was about the best they could on short notice as they sought to walk the fine line between their reverence for Petraeus and their hatred for Clinton.

Trapped In ObamaCare
If Clinton and Benghazi are Fox’s favorite punching bags, ObamaCare is a close second. They have spent countless hours trying to sabotage the program and frighten their viewers from participating in it. This morning they brought in Fox Business anchor Melissa Francis to discuss what they called an “ObamaCare Coverage Gap.” In reality what they were describing were people whose income fell below the threshold to qualify for ObamaCare subsidies.

Originally these people were supposed to become eligible for Medicaid, but last year the Supreme Court issued a ruling that made that provision voluntary in each state. It is in mostly Republican controlled states where they declined to take advantage of the billions of federal dollars available to expand their Medicaid programs. As a result, the low income residents of those states have been left without any coverage at all. So the coverage gap that Fox attributes to ObamaCare is actually the fault of GOP governors and legislatures who were more interested in scoring a political blow than they were in the well being of their citizens. For some reason Fox left that detail out of their report.

The Olympic Terrorist Bombing
On Fox News Sunday this weekend, the Chairman of the House Committee on Homeland Security, Mike McCaul (R-TX), discussed his concerns about terrorism at the Sochi Olympics and said that “There’s a high degree of probability that something will detonate, something will go off.” This is a concern that has been articulated by many people, especially after a couple of actual terrorist bombings in southern Russia. But few officials have gone so far as to say that it is “probable.” [For the record, the last terrorist bombing that occurred during the Olympics was in the United States at the games held in Atlanta. The bomber was a right-wing extremist upset by socialism and abortion. Before being caught he bombed a couple of family planning clinics.]

Which brings us to the appearance this morning by Fox contributor Ralph Peters. For those who are unfamiliar with him, he has a long record of vile commentary that includes advocating torture and accusing President Obama of seeking “common ground” with Al Qaeda. Asked to respond to McCaul’s prediction, Peters went on a bender of his own. After agreeing that the risk in Sochi is real, Peters offered some praise for how the Russians handle these sort of affairs.

Peters: “Sometimes a heavy hand and brutality works. [The Russians] don’t do stop-and-frisk, they do stop-and-frisk and beat the hell out of you. And you know what? It’s brutal, it’s ugly, and sometimes it works.”

Obviously Peters approves of the exercise of brutality. And this is not the first time he has said so. He believes that American soldiers should use the same tactics that are used against them by enemy forces and terrorists. In his view there is no place for preserving the values and humane principles that most Americans revere. And by repeatedly inviting Peters onto their network, Fox News is just as bad.

That’s how the morning went at Fox News. It was fairly typical and filled with the sort of lies and animus that is characteristic of the network. No doubt they will escalate their hostile rhetoric as the day proceeds. The morning crew is setting a pretty high bar for the prime timers, O’Reilly and Kelly and Hannity, to clear later today.

New York Times Demolishes Benghazi Hoax – Fox News Freaks Out

After what was described as an “exhaustive investigation” the New York Times has published a report that thoroughly debunks right-wing accounts of attacks on the United States mission in Benghazi on September 11, 2012. The story concludes that there was no direct Al Qaeda involvement and that many of the participants in the attack were motivated by an anti-Islam film, an explanation that Republicans and conservative media had dismissed.

The months following the attack led to a relentless campaign by Fox News and others to promulgate their Benghazi Hoax theory of events, but they were never able to supply the evidence to support their wild accusations against President Obama, Secretary of State Hillary Clinton, UN Ambassador Susan Rice, and other administration targets of their politically inspired wrath.

Benghazi Hoax

Excerpts from the New York Times article: A Deadly Mix in Benghazi

Months of investigation by The New York Times, centered on extensive interviews with Libyans in Benghazi who had direct knowledge of the attack there and its context, turned up no evidence that Al Qaeda or other international terrorist groups had any role in the assault. The attack was led, instead, by fighters who had benefited directly from NATO’s extensive air power and logistics support during the uprising against Colonel Qaddafi. And contrary to claims by some members of Congress, it was fueled in large part by anger at an American-made video denigrating Islam.

The violence, though, also had spontaneous elements. Anger at the video motivated the initial attack. Dozens of people joined in, some of them provoked by the video and others responding to fast-spreading false rumors that guards inside the American compound had shot Libyan protesters. Looters and arsonists, without any sign of a plan, were the ones who ravaged the compound after the initial attack, according to more than a dozen Libyan witnesses as well as many American officials who have viewed the footage from security cameras.

[O]n Sept. 8, a popular Islamist preacher lit the fuse by screening a clip of the video on the ultraconservative Egyptian satellite channel El Nas. American diplomats in Cairo raised the alarm in Washington about a growing backlash, including calls for a protest outside their embassy.

There is no doubt that anger over the video motivated many attackers. A Libyan journalist working for The New York Times was blocked from entering by the sentries outside, and he learned of the film from the fighters who stopped him. Other Libyan witnesses, too, said they received lectures from the attackers about the evil of the film and the virtue of defending the prophet.

Republican arguments appear to conflate purely local extremist organizations like Ansar al-Shariah with Al Qaeda’s international terrorist network.

The leaders of Ansar al-Shariah…lauded the assault as a just response to the video.

Not surprisingly, Fox News reacted swiftly to the New York Times reporting to defend their vested self-interest in advancing some sort of conspiracy on the part of members of the Obama administration. First to take Fox’s fire was Hillary Clinton. On Fox News Sunday, host Chris Wallace asked GOP Rep. Mike Rogers a particularly loaded question whose premise was not supported by any evidence.

Wallace: Do you think there was a political motivation for this Times report? Some people have suggested that, well, this is trying to clear the deck for Hillary Clinton in 2016.
Rogers: (saying that he “finds the timing odd”) I don’t know but I find it interesting that there was this rollout of stories.

Wallace never identified who the people were who suggested that the Times was clearing the deck for Hillary. He simply used the old “some people” contrivance to disguise the fact that it was Wallace himself who making the ludicrous suggestion.

Fox’s Catherine Herridge also did a report about the Times story that dismissed much of its findings, but offered no substantive rebuttal to the facts as they were laid out by the Times. In addition, she brought along a uniquely preposterous angle that did little to advance the discourse:

“Fox News was able to review the findings of an independent data mining firm which assessed the social media traffic in Benghazi in the 24 hours leading up to the attack and the 24 hours after the attack and, significantly, the first reference to this anti-Islam video was in the day following. It was in a retweet of a Russia Today story. So once again, this does not comport with the idea that this was in response to the anti-Islam video.”

This is a demonstration of Fox’s desperation to belittle the Times’ story. Trying to tie references to Twitter mentions of the event with affirmations of its execution is absurd in the extreme. Especially when there were verifiable accounts of information about the film being broadcast on local Libyan television, and many witnesses testified of its impact as an inspiration for the violence.

Stalwart proponents of the Benghazi Hoax also appeared on TV this weekend to defend their rapidly dissolving positions. They included GOP super-hawk Peter King and the mastermind of a flurry of fake scandals, Darrell Issa, who said on Meet the Press that “We have seen no evidence that the video was widely seen in Benghazi, a very isolated area, or that it was a leading cause.” If Issa hasn’t seen any evidence, he obviously hasn’t been paying attention. Or more likely, he is deliberately diverting his attention to the dishonest horror stories he prefers to peddle.

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Fox News has behaved true to form in the wake of the revelations published by the Times. They circle their wagons and defend their phony and sensationalist version of what they laughably call “news.” They fail to address any of the specific assertions in the story and retreat to friendly interviews with conservative characters who will plod forward with their false narratives. The last thing Fox wants is for people to be exposed to actual journalism that presents information in a coherent and factual manner. That would destroy the whole Fox business model if it got out of hand.

Addendum: You didn’t think that Fox Nation was going to be left out of this hoax-mongering, did you? They jumped in with two stories about the New York Times article, and both were typically dripping with lies and partisan distortions, as they have been known to do (see abundant proof in the acclaimed ebook Fox Nation vs. Reality).

Fox Nation

RNC Votes To Ban CNN/MSNBC Debates – Which They Have No Power To Do

For the past couple of weeks there has been a flurry of fretful reporting about a threat by Republican National Committee chair Reince Priebus to ban CNN and MSNBC from the GOP primary debate schedule. Priebus is disturbed by currently non-existent projects about Hillary Clinton that he is certain will characterize her favorably.

Today Priebus made good on his threat by shepherding a resolution though the RNC’s annual meeting that declares that they “will neither partner with these networks in the 2016 presidential primary debates nor sanction any primary debates they sponsor.”

Fun Fact: How many GOP primary debates did the RNC sponsor in 2012?
Answer: Zero
There were twenty debates held and not a single one was sponsored by the RNC. However, every debate on Fox News was sponsored by a state Republican Party affiliate. Also notable is that MSNBC held a debate co-sponsored by the Reagan Library, and CNN held debates co-sponsored by Tea Party Express, the Heritage Foundation, and the American Enterprise Institute.

There is, however, a small problem with the Priebus declaration. The RNC has no power whatsoever to prohibit any debate by an network. Sure, they can pass resolutions that make grandiose claims to authority that they don’t have, but reality trumps their hubris. The truth is that any network can announce its intention to produce a debate. They can invite candidates to participate. The candidates are free to accept or reject any offer as they see fit. Chances are, the second and third tier candidates will accept virtually any opportunity to promote themselves on national television. Subsequently, the frontrunners will be reluctant to let their competitors have the stage to themselves. So the debates will go on with a full cast of characters.

Priebus’ threat, therefore, is an impotent cry for attention. He is not empowered to force his will on the people who are vying to be the next leader of the free world. In a best case scenario he may be able to influence the number of debates, which is a goal he has previously articulated. After all, it is fairly obvious that the more Republican candidates are exposed to the American people, the more they will embarrass themselves, and the more votes they will lose. The GOP has a distinct interest in limiting their exposure, and that is what Priebus is aiming for.

The hypocrisy of Priebus’ resolution is apparent in the fact that he is only nixing CNN and MSNBC, even though there have been reports that Fox may be producing the NBC project. Priebus cannot extend his toothless ban to Fox or there would be no cable news networks available to host a GOP debate. But there is no reasonable explanation for why Fox would be given a pass (other than their role as the GOP PR division).

Fun Fact: What do you get when you remove the vowels from Reince Priebus’ name?
Answer: RNC PR BS

The full text of the resolution cites campaign donations by the head of NBC’s entertainment division to Hillary Clinton, but the head of Fox News’ parent corporation has done likewise. Also, the News Corp political PAC, News America Holdings, has given more to Democrats than Republicans in each of the last four election cycles. So if producing Clinton documentaries and donating to her campaign warrant prohibition as debate hosts, then Fox clearly qualifies.

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Rush Limbaugh

Finally, there have been recent calls for the RNC to recruit right-wing loyalists as moderators for their debates. The names mentioned most frequently include Rush Limbaugh, Sean Hannity, and Mark Levin. In response, Levin has said that he is ready and willing, despite the fact that he has previously said that he will do whatever he can to prevent Chris Christie from becoming the GOP nominee. As for Limbaugh, he told his radio dittoheads that he is “too famous” and would “overshadow” the candidates. That’s a telling remark in itself, as it demonstrates just how diminutive is the stature of the GOP field. Perhaps the GOP should nominate Limbaugh.

This tussle could not be better for Hillary Clinton and the Democratic Party. If the RNC is successful in limiting the number of their debates it will have effectively cut off millions of Americans from learning about their candidates (although, as noted above, that might a good thing for the GOP). But even worse is the prospect of debates led by staunchly conservative radio talk show hosts. Priebus and company think that friendly moderators will help avoid the antagonistic questioning that he presumes would occur on other networks. But to the extent that that is true, it will also result in the candidates being woefully unprepared for the full-contact combat they will eventually encounter in the general election. What’s more, the rightist Taliban, as represented by Limbaugh et al, will be more likely to force candidates to stake out extreme positions which they will be unable to “Etch-a-Sketch” away after the primaries. The wingnut media are notoriously committed to the sort of ideological purity that voters find repugnant.

So if the RNC wants to proceed with this self-defeating initiative, they will have the full support and cooperation of their pals at the DNC. Nothing would please Democrats more than Republicans digging themselves ever deeper holes of extremism. The outrageous statements and gaffes that occur at the “official” RNC events would still be broadcast on the other networks afterwards. So Priebus’ efforts to limit the damage would be futile, and even counterproductive. As would his admonition that disobedience “may include severe penalties for candidates that participate in unsanctioned debates.” That’s right – Priebus plans on giving the reprobates a good spanking. Wouldn’t that look great on a candidates permanent record?

HUH? Fox In Talks To Produce NBC’s Hillary Clinton Project

Earlier this week, Republican Party chairman Reince Priebus went apoplectic over the announcement that NBC Entertainment was developing a miniseries based on Hillary Clinton’s post-White House life. With no script, or even a firm decision to go forward, the GOP, and their PR division, Fox News, lashed out at the network for even considering such a thing. Priebus threatened NBC and CNN (who are considering their own Clinton documentary) calling it “appalling” that they “have taken it upon themselves to be Hillary Clinton’s campaign operatives.” He continued…

“If they have not agreed to pull this programming prior to the start of the RNC’s Summer Meeting on August 14, I will seek a binding vote stating that the RNC will neither partner with these networks in 2016 primary debates nor sanction primary debates they sponsor.”

RNC Debates
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Both networks waived off Priebus’ threats saying that he was prematurely judging the projects that are both in very early stages of development. They also pointed out that the projects would be produced by their respective entertainment divisions and that the news divisions would have no role whatsoever in their content. Priebus dismissed those responses and persisted in his assertion that the programs would be biased and that he would not permit his Party to be engaged with the networks should they proceed. He does not believe that the distinction between the news and entertainment divisions has any merit.

Well, today this melodrama became significantly more complex. The New York Times is reporting that NBC is in talks with Fox Television Studios to produce their miniseries. Fox has confirmed the report. NBC’s decision to go with Fox would be influenced in part by Fox’s extensive experience with long-form television.

The problem for Priebus and the GOP is that now they would have to exclude Fox News from holding any of their primary debates. After all, if they are going to take it upon themselves to be Hillary Clinton’s campaign operatives, then the GOP would be forced to show them the same treatment they show NBC and CNN. And Priebus couldn’t argue that Fox’s entertainment division is separate from their news division because he already rejected that argument.

So now the Republican Party may not be able to have debates on any of the cable news networks. This leaves them with only ABC and CBS. Well, technically, there is also the highest rated national network, Univision, but that doesn’t seem like a good fit for the Hispanic-hating GOP. Perhaps they could work something out with Al-Jazeera America. The GOP is getting closer to Rush Limbaugh’s ideal. Yesterday he offered some advice to Republicans:

“Do ‘em on your own network. Put on your own debates with your own moderators,” he said, because “Wherever you go outside of Fox, you are going up against the Democrat Party.””

The opportunities for Republicans are getting narrower every day. I continue to believe, as I wrote last week, that the best thing that could happen to the Democrats is for Republicans to sequester themselves in the bosom of Fox News. It would limit their exposure to the broader electorate and the independents they need to win. It would also insure that their candidates were unvetted and unprepared for the real-life battles of a campaign. If they spend the primary season being fluffed by Fox, when they eventually face the general election they will be surprised by sharp criticisms from which they were shielded in their chummy primary.

But now they may not even be able to go to Fox. What will become of them? Will they wander the countryside looking for local broadcasters to carry their debates? Will they abandon TV altogether and have their debates on talk radio? I’m sure Limbaugh would appreciate that. Or more likely, they will retreat from their pompous rhetoric and consent to have their debates wherever they are fortunate enough to get an invitation. That is, if they’re smart. So don’t hold your breath.

[Update:] Priebus made a hysterical appearance on CNN’s State of the Union and tried desperately to wriggle out of any obligation to extend his GOP boycott to Fox News if they assume production of NBC’s project. His all too obvious dependency on Fox was in evidence as he attempted to dismiss their lead production role as akin to catering. He also reiterated that his goal is to protect Republican candidates from what he believes are unfriendly moderators. So, again, let him parade his flock on networks that will fluff them lovingly. That will soften them up for the kill when they reach the general election.

Fox Nation vs. Reality: Clinton Polling Ahead Of Every Republican Is “Underwhelming”

While it is still more than three years before the next presidential election, Fox News is desperately spinning polling results in order to diminish the broad popularity of Hillary Clinton.

In an article on Fox Nation (the notoriously dishonest Fox News community site), a poll conducted (pdf) by Monmouth University is given a thorough, four paragraph, analysis by conservative fabulist Michael Barone. The conclusion he draws from his careful examination of the poll data is that Clinton’s showing is “underwhelming.”

Fox Nation

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It takes a seriously determined feat of self-delusion to make that assessment. Clinton is shown to be beating every prominent Republican matched against her in the poll. She is ahead of Chris Christie 43-39; Marco Rubio 47-36; Jeb Bush 47-37; and Ted Cruz 48-32. She has the highest favorable rating (52%) of anyone in the field, including a net positive in the survey’s “red” states. The GOP’s Tea Party all-stars fare considerably worse: Rand Paul, 34%, Rubio, 33%; Cruz, 22%. And, not that this will be any factor in 2016, but Sarah Palin’s unfavorability soars over everyone else at a whopping 61%.

This tendency for Republicans to mis-read polling seems to be a permanent part of their character. During the 2012 campaign they famously embraced what they called “unskewed” polls, but were actually perversions of polling data that proved to be astronomically wrong. Facilitated by Fox News, these defective analyses produced a reality shock when President Obama was handily reelected. There was a near mental collapse on the right who didn’t think that such a thing was possible, despite all the legitimate polling that predicted it. Even Karl Rove persisted in an embarrassing on-air denial as the race was called for Obama.

After the election, the GOP and Fox News resolved to reexamine their perspectives on strategy, analysis, and reporting. However, it now appears that they have sunk back into their old habits of self-deception and disinformation. It’s fair to assume that this psychosis will produce the same results in 2014 and 2016 as they did in 2012. If you can’t face the reality of a situation, you can’t respond to what is actually taking place. And Fox seems determined to maintain their aversion to reality which, as Stephen Colbert has revealed, has “a well known liberal bias.”

GOP Calls For Impeachment Of President Hillary Clinton

Vowing to get an early start on efforts to remove Hillary Clinton from the White House, Republican leaders in congress have announced their intention to hold hearings on what they claim are the high crimes and misdemeanors that Hillary Clinton will commit once she assumes the presidency in January of 2017.

Hillary Clinton

Although she has not yet been sworn in to office (or elected, or announced her candidacy) Republicans are determined not waste any time in initiating her impeachment. House Speaker John Boehner told reporters that…

“We do not want to repeat the mistakes we made in the previous [i.e. current] administration where we waited too long to get the ball rolling. After all, President Obama was in office for nearly a month before we took meaningful action to remove him.”

Some members of the GOP attribute the failure to impeach Obama on the late start they got on manufacturing allegations of malfeasance and ginning up outrage over imaginary scandals. Consequently, they chased after flimsy accusations of foreign birth and socialist aspirations that never caught on with the public. That left them facing a reelection campaign dominated by impotent sound bites of whether or not small businesses “built that” and desperate rejections of real data including poll results and unemployment numbers. Republican strategist Karl Rove Rove addressed these shortcomings saying…

“We are proud of the fallacies we created and promoted. No one worked harder to invent phony issues than we did. Could we have done better? Should we have connected Obama to Hitler more often, or the spread of the Bubonic Plague? Sure, but it’s always easier to criticize with hindsight.”

This is not to say that there weren’t zealous attempts to plunder the Obama presidency. Republican politicians, with the help of Fox News and the Koch brothers, worked feverishly to construct controversies designed to hobble the administration. They labored over “Fast and Furious,” Solyndra, Bill Ayres, and ObamaCare, which they unsuccessfully took all the way to the Supreme Court. Each of these affairs, and several more, were alleged to be “Obama’s Watergate,” but none of them gained any traction with a populace that proved to be smarter than the Tea Party – admittedly, not a very high bar.

The latest episode for which conservative muckrakers are crying wolf (or Watergate, as the case may be) is the tragedy that took the lives of four Americans in Benghazi, Libya. However, even with the help of near blanket broadcasting of Benghazi hysteria by Fox News, the utter lack of any compelling evidence of wrongdoing has turned the whole affair into a mushy smear campaign notable only for the tacky theatrics of the accusers. Even the specter of a cover-up fell flat when the proponents of that theory could not explain what exactly was being covered-up. “We forgot that little detail,” said Rep. Jason Chaffetz (Tea Party-UT).

Rather than risk a similar fate in the event that Clinton runs for and wins the presidency in 2016, Republicans are casting their lots now. Since it doesn’t matter whether the object of their scorn has actually done anything unlawful, why wait until the former senator and Secretary of State is in office to try her for the crimes they are planning to pin on her no matter what reality ultimately serves up. It’s a strategy that they believe conserves a great deal of political energy that would otherwise be wasted on honest politicking and the responsible stewardship of government.

Senator Mitch McConnell, who declared shortly after Obama’s first election victory that his primary legislative goal was to “make him a one-term president,” is devoting the same measure of commitment to the effort to pre-impeach Clinton. In remarks to the GOP caucus last week he reminded his fellow Republicans that their priorities ought not to change just because the complexion and gender of the person in the White House does.

“We have spent five years obstructing everything this president has attempted to do, from passing bills, to appointing judges and cabinet officials. This is not the time to let our guard down and be distracted by the burdens of actually governing or helping the nation recover from adversity.”

Asked for a comment when Clinton was told of the Republican campaign to impeach her, she said incredulously “What the fuck?” And walked away laughing uncontrollably. Her office later followed up with this statement:

“We have always known that these clowns were certifiable, and now we are seeing some of the best evidence of that. The Secretary has not yet made a decision as to whether or not she will run for president, but if she does she expects to campaign vigorously and appeal to the hearts and minds of the American people. She also expects to face dipshits in the Republican Party who, with their pals at Fox News, will manufacture insane theories and conspiracies, and she plans to wipe up the pavement with their lame asses.”