Did James O’Keefe Send His Goons To Smear The Hillary Clinton Campaign?

Conservative muckrakers have been very busy lately producing deceptive videos that deliberately slander Democrats and progressive organizations. It has become their favorite method of spreading malicious lies via dishonest editing and unsupported allegations. Most notably of late are the videos that falsely portray Planned Parenthood as engaging in various unlawful practices.

Fox News James O'Keefe

The technique was famously employed by serial liar James O’Keefe when he produced videos wherein he pretended to be a pimp in order to damage the reputation of ACORN, a philanthropic organization that helps the poor obtain housing and register to vote. Although the videos were proven to be political disinformation, they resulted in ACORN losing funding and eventually shutting down. Later O’Keefe was sued by a former ACORN staffer and was ordered to pay $100,000 judgment for his libel. On subsequent projects O’Keefe was caught trying to seduce a CNN reporter, cast illegal votes, and tamper with the phones of a United States senator. For that offense O’Keefe was arrested and eventually pleaded guilty after his felonies were bargained down to misdemeanors.

So it was just a matter of time before this craven tactic was aimed at the campaign of a prominent Democrat running for high office. Time is reporting that…

“Hillary Clinton’s campaign offices around the country have been put on alert after at least two women approached Iowa staff under the guise of being supporters in an apparent effort to catch the campaign engaging in improper or illegal activity, a Clinton campaign official said.”

As described by Time, the modus operandi is typical of methods used by O’Keefe and company. There are even photos of some of the con artists sent to scam the Clinton campaign. One woman in the photos is a known operative who has worked with O’Keefe in the past. Time further reported the account of the attempted scam given by Clinton’s spokesperson:

“A Clinton campaign official alleges that the women engaged in several efforts to entrap supporters. In one scheme, described by Clinton staff, a woman attempted to pass a cash donation to Clinton volunteers and interns. In another, a woman approached the campaign on Aug. 19 and said both her parents had donated to Clinton the legal maximum of $2700 each and wanted to funnel an additional donation through their daughter, a violation of federal law. On Aug. 13, a woman claiming to be Canadian approached another Clinton fellow to ask how to falsify an address for a campaign donation.”

At this time it appears that the political dirty trickery failed. But just the fact that these cretins are out there trying to pull off their hoaxes is troubling. The possibility of a naive campaign volunteer getting fooled or being subjected to a video manipulation that casts them in a negative light is always a risk. Not that it proves any wrongdoing by the campaign, but it takes time and effort to debunk the lies and some people (e.g. Fox News viewers) will believe them no matter how ridiculous.

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And that’s pretty much the point. They know that they can have a deleterious effect even if exposed as crooks. Let’s hope the Clinton campaign, and every other potential target of these charlatans, remains vigilant and wards off their attempted scams.

Hillary Clinton’s Fox News Problem

This evening on Fox News Shannon Bream, filling in for Megyn Kelly, did a segment about how dismal Hillary Clinton’s future is now that her poll numbers have descended to unfathomable depths, particularly with regard to favorability.

Hillary Clinton Favorability

Like much of the rest of Fox’s recent coverage of Clinton, the impression made is that Clinton has about three weeks before she will drop out of the race and report to prison. To open the segment Bream gleefully reported that…

“A new poll now showing Clinton may be more disliked than she has been in decades. As a brand new survey from CNN shows her unfavorability rating is now at a whopping 53%. A number that Clinton has seen just one other time in twenty-three years of polling.”

What the “fair and balanced” propagandists at Fox are leaving out is that Clinton’s favorable rating in the CNN poll that they referenced is better than all of the Republicans that were polled. Clinton scored 44% favorable. That compares to Donald Trump at 36% and Jeb Bush at 34%. What’s more, Clinton’s unfavorable rating is lower than her most likely opponents. She pulled 53% while Trump and Bush were higher at 59% and 56% respectively.

Clinton has had the honor of being ranked as the most admired woman in the world nineteen times in Gallup’s annual survey. She received that honor the last thirteen years in a row. It is not particularly surprising that in an election year where seventeen Republican candidates are bashing her relentlessly her public image might suffer. Add to that the effect of the smear job that Fox engages in every day and it would be a miracle if her numbers didn’t decline a bit.

Notwithstanding those assaults, Clinton is still faring better than her GOP rivals who have had very little mud thrown at them. She is still beating them in head-to-head match-ups. And her support in the Democratic Party is unwavering.

What Fox News is trying to do is project their open disgust for her in the hopes that it will harm her electoral prospects next year. That’s also why they keep promoting Bernie Sanders and Joe Biden. They obviously hate them just as much as they hate her, but for the time being they are happy to use them as wedges to create chaos for the Democrats.

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

If Clinton’s 53% unfavorable rating can be characterized as “whopping” by Fox News, then what would they call Trump’s 59% or Bush’s 56%? Of course the answer is that they wouldn’t call it anything at all because they wouldn’t devote a segment of a primetime program to their “favorability problems.” In the Fox world everyone loves Republicans and they always will win every election. At least that’s how they present it to their dimwitted audience who are later shocked when they lose.

Watergate Envy: Fox News Desperately Lusts For A Clinton Scandal They Can’t Have

The ferocity with which Fox News is chasing the story about Hillary Clinton’s email is becoming a pathetic tale of desperation and jealousy. It’s not enough that they report wild speculation as fact, they are determined to shape their coverage into what they regard as the Valhalla of scandals: Watergate.

Hillary Clinton Watergate Envy

For the record, the Watergate affair involved blatantly criminal activity like burglary, political corruption, bribery, obstruction of justice, and presidential abuse of power. It began as a plot by the Nixon White House to steal private documents from the Democratic Party in order to secure his reelection by fraud. Then it evolved into a cover-up that included threats, deception, and million dollar payoffs.

The attempt to analogize Watergate to Clinton’s use of personal email accounts on a private computer server stretch the boundaries of absurdity. Even if the allegations that there were classified documents involved were true (and there is no evidence of that at this time), there is absolutely no suggestion, by even her harshest critics, that she was motivated by any larcenous effort to advance her own interests financially or politically. In other words, there was no intent to commit a crime.

However, to hear Fox News tell it, Clinton’s email controversy is identical to the felonies committed by Nixon’s thugs, many of whom went to prison for their crimes. Today Fox News contributor Meghan McCain (John’s daughter) wondered if “this could be this generation’s Watergate.” Yesterday Fox’s Special Report aired an entire segment devoted to baseless conjecture about Watergate. Also yesterday, Fox’s judicial analyst Andrew Napolitano tried to compare Clinton’s use of personal emails to Nixon’s habit of secretly recording everything that took place in the Oval Office. He never really got around to explaining what was similar about it. It was enough, for Fox’s purposes, just to plant the slanderous suggestion. Fox contributor John Bolton also weighed in to imply some conspiratorial connection between Clinton’s current email flak and her service on the Democratic Senate staff that investigated Nixon.

There was much more of this Watergating going on at Fox on other programs as they went all out to align Clinton with what is perhaps the worst political scandal in American history. But Watergate belongs to the Republicans no matter how much they whine about it. And whine they do. Before the Clinton campaign launched it was a regular obsession with Fox to compare anything associated with President Obama to Watergate. From Benghazi, to the IRS, to Libya, to Fast and Furious, and even to UFOs, Fox saw everything through their Watergate filter. [See News Corpse’s Illustrated Guide To The Fox News Obsession With Watergate]

Now they want to transfer their shame to Democrats so badly that they have lost all rational comprehension of what Watergate even entailed. Their accusations just seem anguished and impotent. But don’t let that make you think they will abandon their fetish for projecting Watergate’s stigma on Clinton or other Democrats. They are fully committed to their rewriting of history and they know that their dimwitted audience will eat it up.

Fox News Is So Terrified Of Hillary Clinton That They Invent Fake Email Scandal

For months there has been a concerted effort by Fox News to torpedo the presidential campaign of Hillary Clinton. They have done it by relentlessly airing stories about alleged scandals that they have trumpeted with glee would end her White House aspirations. Those stories include everything from Benghazi to the Clinton Foundation, to her aide Huma Abedin’s alleged ties to Muslim extremists, to her private computer server. Never mind that there has never been a smidgen of actual evidence showing that she had engaged in thing unlawful or unethical. Just the wild accusations repeated ad nauseum on Fox News is enough to plant the notion in the mind of the public and drive down her poll numbers for trustworthiness.

Benghazi

The mission of Fox News is obviously to sabotage the campaign of the strongest Democratic candidate for the 2016 presidential election. They know that Clinton, even after the smear crusade, still manages to out poll every Republican challenger. Consequently, they need to persist in the propaganda blitz until they succeed in bringing her down.

While previous attempts focused heavily on Benghazi, the inability to make their false charges stick has driven Fox to elevate a different scandalette to the forefront. So now Benghazi has been at least temporarily sidelined in favor of the dreaded lost emails. What Fox is trying to turn into a political frenzy is the allegation that Clinton had sent or received classified email communications using a private computer server rather than one hosted by the feds at the Department of State. This, they imply, may have exposed sensitive information to unfriendly nations.

The first point that needs to be made is that recent reports have revealed that hackers have already trespassed into the official government servers that store data for millions of federal employees. However, there is no evidence whatsoever that Clinton’s server security was ever breached by anyone. So Clinton may have actually protected the information she was handling by segregating it on her server while the feds were being hacked. The second pertinent fact is that there is no evidence that any classified emails were sent or received through Clinton’s server.

However, what really makes this media farce so dishonest is that the so-called journalists at Fox News are fabricating a controversy that doesn’t exist in reality. They spend endless hour of valuable airtime yammering about missing emails and mysterious servers. Even though Clinton, in an unprecedented display of transparency, turned over 55,000 pages of emails. This was never done by other Secretaries of State who also used private servers. Nor was it done by her GOP opponents who as governors did the same thing.

To make matters worse, Fox News completely ignores previous incidents when emails went missing. For instance, when the Bush administration was under investigation for various improprieties, they suddenly announced that, not thousands, but millions of emails had mysteriously vanished. This scandal even included allegations that then-White House operative Karl Rove had been communicating with a private server located at the Republican National Committee.

At the time, Bush’s Press Secretary Dana Perino (now a host on Fox News), insisted it was an unfortunate but innocent computer glitch. This is the same Perino who now calls Clinton’s email situation a criminal offense. And at a congressional investigation of the Bush matter, the GOP’s Clinton inquisitionist, Darrell Issa, also tried to dismiss the Bush debacle as a glitch. Furthermore, then-CNN reporter Ed Henry (now also on Fox News) speculated that the Bush affair might be a violation of the Federal Presidential Records Act.

As if that weren’t enough, the Fox News family has another email scandal in its past. When Rupert Murdoch’s British newspapers were caught hacking into the phone and email accounts of private citizens, celebrities, politicians, and royals, they tried to cover it up by making millions of emails disappear. This destruction of evidence was not merely alluded to, but was proven with internal, News Corp. memos describing their policy of destroying emails “that could be unhelpful in the context of future litigation”.

So you have to wonder what moral authority anyone at Fox News has to complain about Clinton’s emails, which have never been proven to contain anything untoward. Clearly Fox isn’t interested in compliance with the law or good government. They are deploying a well-coordinated attack on a political rival whom they desperately fear. And they wonder why no one regards them as a reputable news network.

New Poll Shows 18% Of Republicans Are Ignorant Dupes With Severe Mental Decay

There is much being made about a new CNN poll that shows Donald Trump leading his GOP rivals in the race for the Republican nomination for president. However, there is less substance in these numbers than the media is pretending there is. What is astonishing is just how shallow the media analysis of these polls are. The ranking at which Trump finds himself can easily be explained by the clinical dementia of today’s Republican (Tea) Party. And despite these polls, Trump will never get the nomination or reside in the White House.

trump-house

Let’s take a closer look. Trump currently has 18% of the support of the GOP voters. The truth that everyone is ignoring is that that’s an awfully pitiful expression of support. It means that 82% are not supporting him. Why does anyone in the press think that’s a positive showing?

Nevertheless, the media is heralding Trump as the runaway GOP leader with his measly 18% of support. For perspective, note that Bernie Sanders, in his campaign against Hillary Clinton for the Democratic nomination, is pulling support from 19% of Democratic voters. Yet the press is dismissing him as trailing Clinton badly. So Sanders has more support among Democrats than Trump does among Republicans, but the schizophrenic media declares Sanders a loser and Trump a phenomenon.

This same schizophrenia is shown in how Republican operatives and pundits portray the relationship between the media and the candidates. If Clinton declines to do an interview or makes reporters walk behind a rope line so they don’t interfere with her interactions with voters, she is condemned as being anti-media and disrespectful to the fine men and women of the press who are struggling mightily to bring truth to the American people. But if Trump or any other Republican bashes the press or denies them access (as Trump just did to the Des Moines Register), they are cheered for putting those unethical press weasels in their place.

Getting back to Trump’s placement in the GOP polls, the explanation for it is that there is a demographic in the Republican electorate that can best be described as batshit insane. And Trump has managed to secure a near monopoly on that addle-brained GOP faction. Prior polling has revealed that a significant subsection of the GOP holds some hysterically idiotic views. For instance:

Having established that a fair percentage of Republicans embrace a measure of dumbassedness in frightening proportions, the fact that a particularly knuckleheaded candidate has corralled them into his camp is not especially surprising. In fact, it would be surprising if these dimwits did not coalesce around a similarly daft contender, just as they did in the last election cycle with Michelle Bachmann, Herman Cain, Newt Gingrich, et al.

Consequently, Trump’s confederacy of dunces is sufficient in numbers to rise above his rivals, so long as there’s a lot of them. That’s because when you divide the remaining Republicans who are not wacko-birds (h/t John McCain) among the fifteen other candidates, there aren’t enough of them left to surpass the Trump/crazy constituency. That does not mean that Trump has a commanding lead. It means that there are way too many players on the field diluting the results for each of them. As they whittle down to a more manageable number, the 82% of non-Trump supporters will disperse to other candidates who will then tower over his paltry flock.

While the media is obsessing over the fake Trump “dominance,” they are missing some real news in the same CNN poll. For starters, they missed that Trump has the highest unfavorables of all candidates, Republican and Democratic. Meanwhile, Clinton has the highest favorables of all candidates, Republican and Democratic. Furthermore. Clinton is beating every Republican matched against her (Trump loses by 18 points). And the icing on the cake: Sanders is also beating the Republicans in head-to-head matchups (Trump loses by 20 points).

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Fox Nation vs. Reality: The Fox News Cult of Ignorance.
Available now at Amazon.

This is what passes for political reporting these days. Is it any wonder that people hold the media in such low esteem? They are littered with lightweights who seem to have no analytical skills or historical memory. If they did they would not be so shocked that a loudmouth buffoon has earned the admiration of the GOP’s most radical, racist, and ignorant bloc of voters, while four out of five of the poll’s Republican respondents reject him.

Media Ignores That Hillary Clinton Is Crushing Donald Trump And All Other GOP Candidates

For most of the past decade TV news has struggled to adapt to the Internet era by employing sensationalism and tabloid scandal-mongering to boost ratings and save their failing industry. This seems like a scenario custom made for the political ascendancy of a faux-reality cartoon character like Donald Trump. In this environment a clown like Trump steals the editorial spotlight every time he belches out some typically ignorant and/or hostile opinion. He revels in all the attention he gets, despite the fact that most people are laughing at him. And the media regards their ratings as evidence that they are producing valid journalism.

So it is not surprising that when a new poll is published that shows Trump leading the pack of Republican losers, that the press will jump on that news and try to invent some sort of relevance to the state of the political landscape. In truth, Trump’s poll-topping position could not be more irrelevant. As reported here at News Corpse, polls that attempt to capture the mood of the GOP electorate at this early stage of a campaign are not particularly meaningful. Republican voters are as fickle as they are ignorant. Anyone who expects Trump’s polling to remain at these levels is woefully ill-informed about these election cycles.

While most of the media was pumping up Trump’s temporary and insignificant poll numbers, some other data released in the same survey was far more consequential and nearly entirely ignored. The USA Today/Suffolk University poll also did head-to-head matchups between Hillary Clinton and each of the GOP’s leading candidates. The headline that ought to have leaped out at the news editors’ desks was that “Hillary Clinton Beats All Republican Challengers.” That’s right, every last one of them, including the allegedly surging Donald Trump.

Hillary Clinton

Clinton is beating Jeb Bush by four points, Marco Rubio by six, Mike Huckabee by nine, Rand Paul by ten, Scott Walker by eleven, Ben Carson by thirteen, and the Golden Boy of the quarter-hour, Donald Trump, by a landslide seventeen points. So Trump is actually faring far worse than any other Republican candidate against the likely Democratic nominee.

What’s more, an ABCNews/Washington Post poll shows that while Clinton’s favorables have risen to a majority (52%), Trump’s numbers, although improved, are still at 61% unfavorable. That includes 81% of Latinos (who Trump laughably said he would carry) having a negative view of Trump. And if further evidence of Trump’s unpopularity is needed, a Fox News poll last month reported that Trump led the field in candidates for whom voters say they would never vote. A substantial majority of 59% said that Trump would never get their support.

So why all the hoopla over a poll that shows Trump leading his Republican rivals? When there are sixteen candidates vying for the nomination, it doesn’t take much to grab the lead. Indeed, it only takes 17%, a number that no self-respecting candidate would ever brag about. It means that 83% of your own party’s voters chose someone else, or no one. Yet these are the numbers that the press has been hyping all day long, while virtually ignoring the far more significant results showing Hillary Clinton easily besting all of her GOP challengers. And her popularity is increasing even after a season of Clinton bashing over phony scandals about emails, charitable donations, and the unrelenting specter of Benghazi.

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

For the record, this is not the first time that the media has ignored polling that showed Clinton beating her GOP rivals. Two months ago the same thing happened with a Quinnipiac poll where Clinton also beat every Republican they matched against her. It kind of makes you wonder whether they will ever report any poll reflecting positively on Clinton. Especially when there is hoax candidate like Trump in the race.

No, Fox News, Bernie Sanders Did Not Honeymoon In The Soviet Union

When Hillary Clinton was running away with the Democratic nomination, it was not unusual to hear Fox News pundits pumping up Bernie Sanders. It wasn’t because they admired his progressive policies or his grassroots appeal. It was because they reflexively jumped at any opportunity to knock Clinton down a peg.

Now that the Sanders campaign is actually looking competitive, the same Foxies are getting nervous and looking for ways to discredit him. The primary line of attack has been to feverishly repeat that Sanders is a (gasp) Socialist. Under ordinary circumstances that would be sufficient to rattle the fear centers of their perpetually anxious viewers.

Bernie Sanders Honeymoon

However, these are not ordinary times. Consequently, more creative measures were required by the Fox punditocracy. So they brought in Jamie Weinstein, senior editor of Tucker Carlson’s ultra-rightist Daily Caller, to slip a brazen lie into the discussion at the very end when there was no time left for it to be rebutted. The segment sought to concern-troll Clinton’s less commanding, but still substantial, lead over Sanders, while simultaneously dismissing the surging challenger as a far-left crank.

Where the broadcast went off the rails was at the end when Weinstein concluded his final diatribe by making an assertion that was utterly false and intended to defame Sanders. He offered as evidence of Sanders supposed extremism that he had spent his honeymoon in the Soviet Union. That allegation is almost laughable, but it will assuredly be swallowed whole by Fox’s dimwitted viewers. Following Weinstein’s false comment, Fox News anchor Gregg Jarrett smiled and noted that you learn something new every day. The problem is that, with Fox News, what you learn each day just makes you more stupid than you were the day before.

The origin of the this made-for-Fox fallacy was a 2007 interview of Sanders’ wife, Jane, by Vermont Businesses for Social Responsibility. In the interview she was describing how she and Bernie met and some of their early engagements which were almost entirely related to their shared interest in community affairs. They were so involved in these sort of activities that she joked…

“The day after we got married, we marched in a Memorial Day Parade, and then we took off in a plane to start the sister city project with Yaroslovl with 10 other people on my honeymoon.”

The context was obviously humorous. Who could possibly read that and come away thinking that she seriously meant that they honeymooned with ten other people who were implementing a sister city project? Well, apparently Weinstein and others of his ilk came away believing just that. Weinstein likely picked up the lie from uber-conservative John Fund who wrote an article for the National Review containing the same misrepresentation of Sanders’ diplomatic trip.

We are going to have to get used to wingnuts hyperventilating over the political labels attached to Sanders. Today there was an extended discussion on Fox’s The Five about “Sanders’ Socialist Agenda.” At no time during the broadcast did anyone on the show identify any policy advocated by Sanders that they could actually call Socialist (if they really have any idea what the word means). The policies they did mention were his support for higher taxes on the rich, for expanding access to education, and for single-payer healthcare. Those are pretty mainstream policies that millions of Americans support. And the right has been absurdly calling Obama a Socialist for so long that the word has lost all meaning.

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

There was also much feigned hand-wringing about whether Sanders was going to pull Clinton farther to the left and damage her electability in the general election. The consensus on the program was that she was already a far-left candidate without Sanders’ influence. But these cretins think that just being a Democrat means being far-left. What they don’t realize is that Sanders’ platform leans to the mainstream of the American people who elected President Obama twice. Any effect he has on Clinton moving in that direction will only enhance her electability. So bring it on, and don’t complain if the people once again reject the regressive and repressive policies of the Republican Party in November of 2016.

So F**king What? Fox News Obsessed With Hillary Clinton’s Media Rope Line

You can always tell when the right-wing media is getting desperate for mud to fling at liberals, Democrats, and especially Hillary Clinton. The lunacy level of their attacks increases geometrically in both content and frequency. Today was one of those days when the wingnut press simply ran out of BS to spew.

Hillary Clinton Fox News

During a fourth of July parade in New Hampshire this weekend, Hillary Clinton marched and celebrated with the local residents pretty much like every candidate does on such an occasion. The difference this time is that Fox News needed a hook to slander Clinton and there wasn’t one that was readily available. Consequently, they invented a controversy having to do with the the manner in which Clinton separated herself from the media mob that constantly surrounds her.

Clinton used the common practice of placing a rope between the candidate and the media (aka a rope line). However, since this event was a moving parade, her staff got creative and had the rope move along with the press pack down the path of the marchers. There was nothing remotely scandalous about this. But Fox News turned it into a metaphor for their preconceived and derogatory portrayal of Clinton as being hostile to the media. Then they ran it over and over again all day long.

This may be one of the most stupendously trivial attempts to manufacture a political controversy. Does anyone really care that some reporters were directed to walk a few feet away from a candidate who was trying to connect with voters? Would anyone really care if Clinton had packed them into bus and sent it to an Appleby’s in the next county? Most Americans don’t have much regard for the press to begin with. A Pew Research poll in 2013 found that only 28% felt that “journalists contribute ‘a lot’ to society’s well-being.” And that was a ten point drop from 2009.

But what really makes this more than a piddling waste of time is the fact that Fox News is turning somersaults to suddenly pretend that they have some empathy for the media. No news organization is more hostile to the non-Fox press than Fox. They constantly complain that journalists are biased and ill-informed and arrogant and elitist. And particularly with regard to Democrats, Fox is convinced that the media is working for them to advance their socialist plot to destroy America.

So you have to wonder why Fox is making such a big stink about these reporters being “corralled” like “cattle,” as if walking behind a rope was some sort of torture. If it were abusive, and a Republican did it, Fox News would be cheering the candidate for giving the media what it deserves. Every time that Ted Cruz, or Marco Rubio, or Jeb Bush, lash out at the press, Fox News gives them a figurative high-five. Chris Christie’s verbal abuse of reporters has made him a hero to Fox News and their audience. But if Clinton asks them to stay behind a rope line so that they don’t stumble all over each other and interrupt her conversations with voters it is viewed by Fox as “bad optics” that “reinforces the images of the regal queen in a coronation into the White House.”

This is part of Fox’s well-worn tactic of whining that Clinton doesn’t spend more time talking to reporters. But if Fox really believes that the press are Clinton’s lackeys, why are they so interested in her spending more time with them? Wouldn’t they just ask her softball questions and promote her candidacy? Clearly Fox’s complaints are either completely disingenuous or they make no sense at all.

They are simply complaining because it’s what they do. If Clinton starts giving more interviews to the media, Fox will immediately switch sides and complain that she is desperate for attention, or hogging the limelight, or ignoring the voters. And besides the reporters are all her pals who won’t challenge her on anything anyway. Fox pundits will demand that she stop preening before the press and do some old-fashioned campaigning – exactly like she is doing now.

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

Hopefully Clinton will do something Fox considers newsworthy soon, like slipping on a banana peel. Otherwise we will have to endure their made-up scandals for the foreseeable future. In which case, you better get ready for the bombshell disclosure that Clinton’s socks don’t match or that she uses the wrong kind of mustard on her pastrami sandwich.

To Kill A Meme: No Ted Cruz, Hillary Clinton Did Not Start The Birther BS

There must be something in the DNA of right-wingers that prevents them from grasping simple truths and retaining them for periods longer than a Vine video. Case in point: Conservatives who for years have been suckling on the moronic accusations that President Obama is not legally qualified to serve because, they say, he was born in Kenya, have also disseminated a related bit of idiocy that Hillary Clinton was the first Birther. Despite the easily obtainable facts that prove that Clinton was not in any way involved in birthing Birtherism, wingnuts cling fiercely to the lie in an attempt to divert attention from the fact that they have been fully immersed in this nonsense from the beginning. And it isn’t just some fringe characters who have this trouble differentiating fantasy from reality.

Ted Cruz Birther

In an interview with Katie Couric on Yahoo News, Sen. Ted Cruz, a candidate for the Republican nomination for president, was asked about critics who raise his Canadian birth as an obstacle to his candidacy. Rather than simply repudiating them as idiots who don’t understand the Constitution, he veered from Couric’s question to this wholly unrelated and irrelevant drivel:

“The whole birther thing was started by the Hillary Clinton campaign in 2008 against Barack Obama.”

If you think that a sitting U.S. senator and aspiring president should know better than to spew demonstrably false information like that, then you don’t know Ted Cruz (or most of the GOP). This charge against the Clinton campaign has been around for seven years now. And some proponents of the lie attribute the meme to Clinton herself (see the headline from Fox Nation above). However, a little research shows that the roots of Birtherism lie with an extremist group of hard-core Clinton supporters who were not affiliated with the campaign. As revealed by Daily Beast editor John Avlon:

“[T]he Birther conspiracy theory was first concocted by renegade members of the original Obama haters, Party Unity My Ass, known more commonly by their acronym, the PUMAs. They were a splinter group of hard-core Hillary Clinton supporters.”

The theme was then taken up by Philip Berg, a 9/11 Truther who filed the first Birther lawsuit. He also had no connection to Clinton or her campaign. Thereafter, it spiraled out of control online and in emails. And all the while it was Republicans furthering the fallacy. Many of of them were prominent figures in the party, notably another current candidate for the GOP nomination, Donald Trump. [Fun Fact: Cruz is, so far, the only Republican candidate who is defending Trump’s repulsive and bigoted comments about immigrants for which Cruz doesn’t think Trump has any need to apologize]

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

It is significant that Cruz employed this dodge to answer a question that had nothing to do with Hillary Clinton. He wants to duck allegations by the lunatics questioning his own national origin without calling them lunatics and alienating an important GOP constituency who still believe that Obama is a foreigner unlawfully squatting in the White House. This is how Republicans embrace ignorance and pass it along to their followers. And no one is a better representative of that mission than Ted Cruz.

Murdoch’s Media Machine Digs Desperately For Anti-Clinton Dirt

Republicans just got a jolt of reality smashed in their faces by a new NBC News/Wall Street Journal poll showing that Hillary Clinton is wildly popular among Democrats (92%) and is beating the GOP front-runners by substantial margins (Jeb Bush by eight points, Marco Rubio by ten, Scott Walker by fourteen). This is after much of the right-wing media has been crowing about how Clinton is supposedly damaged goods due to the manufactured scandals that have been aimed at her. Fox News in particular has been almost giddy reporting that Clinton’s reputation for trustworthiness has allegedly been tarnished by Fox-generated stories about emails and charities and Benghazi.

The new poll results indicate that the glee in the imagineering suites at Fox may be premature. So something in the realm of Rupert Murdoch must be done to churn up the Clinton-loathing and cheer up the Fox viewers. And they apparently have settled on their plan.

Clinton Bash

The Murdoch-owned New York Post just published a story by Peter Schweizer, author of “Clinton Cash,” the the widely debunked book from Murdoch’s HarperCollins publishing subsidiary. The Post article then became the topic of a segment on Murdoch’s Fox News program “Fox & Friends.” The article was also re-posted on the Fox News community website, Fox Nation. This is obviously an effort to flood the zone with as many Murdoch-run outlets as possible. The article features a headline that will likely score the Delusional Headline of the Week Award: “Clinton Cash Author Demolishes Hillary’s Self-Defense.” That headline is completely accurate – as long as your definition of “demolish” is “to utterly fail to rationally impair.”

Schweizer attempts to rebut some recent comments made by Clinton in response to a reporter’s inquiry. She was asked about her role in approving the sale of a uranium mining company to a Russian enterprise. She answered clearly that she had no role in the decision as it does not fall into the purview of the Secretary of State. Schweizer seems to have been incapable of understanding that response and set about to “demolish” it in three steps. Here is what Post readers and Fox viewers are supposed to think is a demolition of Clinton’s defense in Schweizer’s own words:

“First, nine investors who profited from the uranium deal collectively donated $145 million to Hillary’s family foundation … But Hillary expects Americans to believe she had no knowledge [of it].”

The issue of donations to the Clinton Foundation is old news that has been extensively analyzed and dismissed for lack of any trace of wrongdoing. There are thousands of donors to the Foundation which, unlike similar groups, fully discloses who their donors are. And with all of that information available, there has not been a single proven allegation of the Clintons trading favors for contributions. Furthermore, Clinton has never said that she had no knowledge of these affairs, just that the decisions were made at a lower level within the State Department. Therefore, there could not have been any influence peddling.

“Second, during her Sunday interview, Clinton was asked about the Kremlin-backed bank that paid Bill Clinton $500,000 for a single speech delivered in Moscow. Hillary’s response? She dodged the question completely.”

What makes this assertion interesting is that the paragraph following the one in which Schweizer accuses Clinton of dodging the question completely, includes her explicit answer to the question. Some dodge. Clinton said plainly that “The timing doesn’t work.” because the speech, and the compensation for it, came “before I was Secretary of State.” So having failed to make any sense, Schweizer shifts gears to point to an entirely different financial transaction about which Clinton was not asked. Even so, without having been asked, her prior response stating that she could not have traded any favors since she was not making the decision applies to this transaction as well.

“Third, Clinton correctly notes in the interview that ‘there were nine government agencies who had to sign off on that deal.’ What she leaves out, of course, is that her State Department was one of them.”

Not only did Clinton correctly note that nine agencies are required to sign off on the deal in question, she has repeatedly noted that the State Department was one of them. In fact, it was Clinton’s staff that corrected the error in Schweizer’s book that omitted this fact. So Clinton did not leave out the State Department’s role, but Schweizer did leave out the role of the other agencies. What’s more, he continues to suggest that there are some financial shenanigans on Clinton’s part, even though she could not push through any favors for donors because without the other agency head’s approvals there would be no deal.

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In the end, Schweizer failed to coherently rebut a single thing that Clinton said in her interview. His only recourse was to incredulously ask whether Americans can believe Clinton’s version of events. Well, according to the poll cited above, the answer seems to be an enthusiastic “yes.” And all of the effort, investment, and deceit that went into this full-court press by the Murdoch media against Clinton seems to have been wasted. Unfortunately, that is not likely to deter these unethical, pseudo-journalistic cretins from doing more of the same for the next year and a half. So settle in for a campaign season of viciousness and lies, because that’s all the right has to work with.