The Wingnut Reverse Beetlejuice Doctrine: Say ‘Radical Islamic Terrorism’ Three Times

The warped philosophy of conservatives in America has long held that the primary reason for the persistence of terrorism is that President Obama and other Democrats are reluctant to utter the phrase “radical Islamic terrorism.” They somehow have concluded that those magical words are key to defeating groups like Al Qaeda and ISIS. And they wonder why we think they’re stupid.

Fox News Beetlejuice

Following the Democratic Debate in Iowa on Saturday, the call to cast the magic spell was once again made the centerpiece of rightist criticisms. GOP candidates, and right-wing pundits on Fox News and elsewhere, have uniformly adopted the fabled “Reverse Beetlejuice Doctrine” wherein you shout “radical Islamic terrorism” three times and ISIS disappears. Actually, it isn’t even required to shout it. You can just tweet it. For example:

  • Donald Trump: Why won’t President Obama use the term Islamic Terrorism? Isn’t it now, after all of this time and so much death, about time!
  • Jeb Bush: Yes, we are at war with radical Islamic terrorism. #DemDebate
  • Ted Cruz: We need a President who is unafraid to name our enemy — radical Islamic terrorism — and will set out to defeat it.
  • Rick Santorum: Yes, @HillaryClinton we are at war with radical Islam! You are not qualified to serve if you cannot even define our enemy! #DemDebate
  • Mike Huckabee: You’re all grown up now. You can do it. Three words. Ten syllables. Say it with me: “Radical Islamic terrorism.” #DemDebate
  • Carly Fiorina: We need a President who will see and speak and act on the truth…Hillary Clinton will not call this Islamic terrorism. I will.
  • RNC (Republican National Committee: Hillary refuses to say we are at war with “radical Islam.” #DemDebate
  • Todd Starnes (Fox News): If your #DemDebate drinking game words are “Radical Islam” — you’ll be going home cold sober tonight, folks.
  • Eric Bolling (Fox News): Just so all you vapid @HillaryClinton supporters know. She just said “we are not at war with radical Islam”. #parisisburning
  • Donald Trump (again): When will President Obama issue the words RADICAL ISLAMIC TERRORISM? He can’t say it, and unless he will, the problem will not be solved!

In addition to these individuals, conservative media is singing from the same hymnal. National Review, Breitbart News, Washington Times, Free Beacon, and the Daily Caller are among those in the choir. It’s clearly an obsession with these folks. They are convinced that babbling a few specific words is a better indicator of the determination to fight terrorists than actually fighting terrorists. So even though Obama ordered the successful assassination of Osama Bin Laden, and as Commander-in-Chief presided over the killing of thousands of terrorist operatives, including many of their leaders, he can’t possibly be serious about the mission until he recites the approved scriptural incantation.

For the record, just this week under the leadership of President Obama, missions were carried out that are believed to have resulted in the deaths of the ISIS chief in Libya and the infamous ISIS executioner known as Jihadi John. And all without invoking the magic spell.

At Fox News they are engaging in their standard game plan of distorting reality in a way that twists it to their far-right biases. Ed Henry, their senior White House correspondent, in a post-debate report told Sean Hannity that “At one point [Hillary Clinton] said ‘I do not believe we’re at war with radical Islam.’ The reaction to that online and overnight will be very interesting.”

Of course the most interesting part of that is that it is not what she said. What she said was “I don’t think we’re at war with Islam. I don’t think we’re at war with all Muslims. I think we’re at war with jihadists.” Nevertheless, Henry’s bastardization of her remarks is what will stick in the already gooey minds of Fox viewers. The cult simply will not permit free thought based on verifiable facts.

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

There are numerous reasons for declining to fall into the “radical Islamic terrorist” trap. News Corpse spelled them out early this year in some detail. The gist is that we have legitimate concerns regarding our ability to form coalitions with the Muslim nations in the Middle-East whose cooperation is required to prevail against ISIS. That is not helped by demeaning their faith. But it’s more than that. By accepting the terms and definitions of the terrorists, Republicans, Fox News, et al, are acting as the PR department for the terrorists who desperately aspire to be regarded as the legitimate voice of Islam. Why are they insisting on granting the terrorists that victory?

And here’s some perspective from Muslims on the anti-Islam extremists who pretend to be Muslim.

GOP Debate Lowlights Featuring Donald Trump’s ‘Sarah Palin Moment’

Fox Business Network is patting itself on the back for pulling off the most boring primary debate to date (transcript). They led the candidates through what amounted to a two hour Republican infomercial. The moderators were so detached that when Donald Trump flew off on a tangent about China in response to a question about the Trans-Pacific Partnership trade deal, they failed to inform him that China was not a party to the deal. Rand Paul stepped in to correct the record, but they never followed up to get a straight answer from Trump.

And speaking of Donald Trump, he contributed some of the most hair-brained comments of the evening. Most notably, Trump may have delivered what will become his “Sarah Palin Moment.” He was asked what he would do in response to Russia’s aggression in Ukraine, Trump said “I got to know [Vladimir Putin] very well because we were both on 60 Minutes.” That’s about as delusional as Palin’s belief that her geographical proximity to Russia gave her insight into the region’s labyrinthine complexities.

The Republican Foreign Policy Dream Team:
Donald Trump Sarah Palin

Furthermore, Trump never actually met Putin who taped his 60 Minutes segment in Moscow. Trump was interviewed in his Manhattan penthouse. So what he meant by being “stablemates” is incomprehensible. It’s impossible to avoid the conclusion that he was being deliberately misleading.

In addition to his fudging a close relationship with Putin, Trump came out against raising the minimum wage because he thinks that people “have to work really hard and have to get into that upper stratum.” He continued saying that if wages were higher it would make the U.S. less competitive. In other words, he expects American labor to compete with the slave-wage earners of China and other nations that abuse their working class. That should make a good campaign bumper sticker.

But a Trump rant wouldn’t be complete without his descending into rancid bigotry. And Trump didn’t disappoint. While answering a question about his utterly ludicrous proposal to round up and deport eleven million undocumented residents, Trump sought to validate his approach by comparing it to a program implemented by President Dwight Eisenhower in 1952. And as if to put a sunny disposition on the controversial program, Trump introduced the comparison with a reminder of Eisenhower’s chummy campaign slogan, “I like Ike.” What Trump left out is that Eisenhower’s Operation Wetback (yes, that was what it was called) resulted in dozens of fatalities and a taint of racism. Approximately 1.2 million people were deported to rural areas of Mexico with none of their possessions or other resources necessary to survive. Trump is calling for ten times as many deportations and still won’t explain how he will do it.

Now we don’t want to pick on Trump exclusively. Ben Carson also indicated his opposition to raising the minimum wage saying that “Every time we raise the minimum wage, the number of jobless people increases.” Once again, Carson is pulling data out of a human body part far removed from area that he generally operated on. There is ample evidence that raising the minimum wage has no negative impact whatsoever on job creation. But not satisfied with merely misstating reality, Carson went on to actually call for lowering the minimum wage for some workers.

Marco Rubio weighed in on the matter of wages and education. Apparently he is not too anxious to encourage Americans to seek higher education. Consequently, he advocated for vocational training as opposed to college. Of course, there isn’t anything wrong with vocational schools, which may be superior alternatives for some students. But Rubio reduced the argument to “Welders make more money than philosophers. We need more welders and less philosophers.” However, Rubio’s argument is not based in reality. The median salary for philosophy professors is almost $64,000. The median salary for welders is about $37,400. And philosophy majors (who often go into many other lines of work where an understanding of people and society is required) command higher average salaries throughout their careers. We need both welders and philosophers, but no one should be persuaded based on dishonest applause lines from self-serving politicians.

Rand Paul’s breakout moment in the debate came during a discussion on income inequality when he said that “If you want less income inequality, move to a city with a Republican mayor or a state with a Republican governor.” Not surprisingly, this is another Republican distortion of the truth. Of the ten states with the worst income inequality gaps, six are run by Republicans. Do these people ever get tired of being wrong?

Apparently not. Because Carly Fiorina joined the parade in a rant against the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau. She inexplicably said that “We’ve created something called the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau, a vast bureaucracy with no congressional oversight that’s digging through hundreds of millions of your credit records to detect fraud.” What Fiorina considers a “vast bureaucracy” is a relatively small agency with fewer than 1,000 employees. For comparison, the IRS has about 90,000. What’s more, it has the same measure of congressional oversight of almost every other federal agency. It’s director must be confirmed by the Senate, and it is subject to budgetary constraints imposed by Congress. Finally, you’ll have to ask her what she finds so offensive about uncovering fraud and protecting America’s consumers.

To give credit where it’s due, there some questions that where genuinely probing and worthwhile. Sadly, not one of them got a direct answer. The candidates exercised the old debate strategy of not answering the question you are asked, but the question you wish you were asked. And the moderators did nothing in the way of follow ups to attempt to get a responsive answer. Here are three outstanding, and unanswered, questions:

Gerard Baker, Wall Street Journal: Now, in seven years under President Obama, the U.S. has added an average of 107,000 jobs a month. Under President Clinton, the economy added about 240,000 jobs a month. Under George W. Bush, it was only 13,000 a month. If you win the nomination, you’ll probably be facing a Democrat named Clinton. How are you going to respond to the claim that Democratic presidents are better at creating jobs than Republicans?

Maria Bartiromo, Fox Business: [Hillary Clinton] was the first lady of the United States, a U.S. senator from New York, and secretary of state under Barack Obama. She has arguably more experience, certainly more time in government than almost all of you on stage tonight. Why should the American people trust you to lead this country, even though she has been so much closer to the office?

Baker: Income inequality has been rising in the United States. Fifty years ago, for example, the average CEO of a big corporation in this country earned 20 times the average salary of one of his or her workers. Today, that CEO earns about 300 times the average salary of a worker. Does it matter at all that the gap between the rich and everyone else is widening?

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

This debate was a peculiar creature from the start. The Fox Business Network has program ratings so low that Nielsen doesn’t even publish them. The only explanation is that it was a gift from the Republican Party to Rupert Murdoch and the Fox News family. As it turns out, it was a generous gift in that the debate drew a record number of viewers (13,500,000) for the tiny network. Although it was still the smallest audience of any of the debates held so far this election cycle. The next debates are scheduled for November 14 (Democrats on CBS) and December 15 (GOP on CNN).

Super Sleuths At Fox News Finally Find Hillary Clinton’s ‘Smoking Gun’ Email

On Friday the latest batch of nearly 7,000 of Hillary Clinton’s emails were made public. As with with prior data dumps, conservative media feverishly combed through the documents desperately seeking some damaging material with which to put Clinton out of their misery.

Most of what they found was precisely the boring material that Clinton has been telling everyone would be there for months. There was nothing incriminating, or even controversial. The best they could come up with were emails that exposed her as inquiring about the use of smileys on her phone and having communicated with Ben Affleck. It’s not the stuff on which impeachments are based. That is, until Fox News stepped up to uncover the biggest bombshell to date that may upend her campaign for the presidency: “Hillary’s Email Subject Read ‘GUNMEN Try To ASSASSINATE Head Of Libyan Army’ But That’s NOT What She Wrote About…”

Fox Nation Hillary Clinton

That’s right! The former Secretary of State exchanged emails with a top aide that were not related to what was written in the subject line. Assemble the firing squad!

What we have here is a situation wherein Clinton aide, Huma Abedin (whom most wingnuts are certain is a mole for the Muslim Brotherhood), sent Clinton an email with an attached article from the Associated Press about an event in Libya nearly a year before the famous Benghazi attack. So Clinton took advantage of the email to reply with something else that was on her mind without bothering changing the subject line.

Millions of Americans do this every day without being accused of treason. But to the brainiacs at Fox News this was so significant that they posted it to the very top of their Fox Nation website, where it remained most of Sunday morning. [When they eventually updated the site it was with another article about Clinton that implied she was headed for jail] After all, this is big news. And notice their use of caps that were not used on the actual email.

The absurdity of this article was evident in the graphic that the Fox Nationalists were kind enough to include. It shows the exchange between Clinton and Abedin, with the ominous parts highlighted in red.

Fox Nation

If this is the sort of “journalism” that Fox News thinks will bring down Clinton, they are pitifully delusional. Although it is typical of their lame efforts in the past to attempt to turn completely trivial events into full-fledged scandals. Jesse Watters has proven himself to be an immature, logic-challenged, amateur in his role as editor of Fox Nation, as well as his duties as staff doofus on Bill O’Reilly’s show.

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

The only thing this type of story can accomplish is to set the saliva glands of the dimwitted Fox audience to flowing uncontrollably. But that isn’t a particularly difficult task. All you really have to do is show them a picture of Clinton or President Obama with a swastika and stink lines and these miscreants will guffaw and wave their Gadsden flags.

How Fox News Proved That Hillary Clinton Won The Benghazi Games

The long awaited battle between Hillary Clinton and the Republican’s Committee to Politicize Benghazi is now in the history books. It was a marathon eleven hour affair that featured the top names in partisan propaganda as they tried in vain to wear down Clinton and force an error.

Trey Gowdy Hillary Clinton

The details are hardly relevant because even the committee’s chairman, Trey Gowdy, admitted that nothing new was learned from the inquisition. When asked by reporters what the hearing had achieved, he said that “In terms of her testimony? I don’t know that she testified that much differently today than she has the previous times she testified.”

In other words, this committee has been just as incapable of manufacturing a scandal as the seven other committees before it. And even though Gowdy, in his opening statement, vilified his fellow Republicans on prior committees by repeatedly maligning their efforts as not being “serious and thorough,” he was unable to achieve anything more than they did, by his own admission.

Meanwhile, Clinton held up impressively well for the entire hearing, even though she was the only person involved who had to be aware and engaged throughout. The committee members all got to rest between each of their five minute question periods, but Clinton had no such relief. Kinda puts into perspective Donald Trump’s wimpy whining about standing for a three hour debate where he would only be required to speak for about fifteen minutes.

But the real indication that this hearing was a total bust for the Republican scandal machine was that Fox News cut out long before it was over. Both CNN and MSNBC covered the eleven hour hearing wall-to-wall, but Fox News bailed after only seven hours, when they flipped back to their regularly scheduled programming (The Five). So they left out fully one-third of the proceedings. Do you think they would have done that if they thought that Clinton was bombing? Of course not. They were more worried that she looked strong, confident, knowledgeable, and (gasp) presidential. That was something they didn’t want their viewers exposed to, so the decision was made to ditch the live hearings and return to their panel of wingnut pundits on whom they could rely for continued Clinton bashing.

To underscore the significance of this editorial cowardice, we must remember that Fox News has always been the network most obsessed with Benghazi. They even celebrated their own reporting, and particularly their CEO Roger Ailes, for being the “driving force” pushing to “keep Benghazi alive.” After devoting that much effort to turn a tragedy into political theater, Fox wouldn’t even stick with the live broadcast of the headlining act.

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

What viewers who watched the whole session would come away with is that GOP inquisitors were mainly concerned with emails from Clinton friend Sidney Blumenthal (whose transcripts the GOP committee members voted not to release), and the administration’s references to an anti-Muslim video following the attacks in Benghazi. Both of those were purely political subjects and neither could possibly shed any light on how the attacks occurred or what could be done to prevent similar attacks in the future.

So Gowdy and his cohorts can cite at least one thing that this hearing succeeded in achieving: That Republican House Majority Leader Kevin McCarthy was correct when he said that the committee’s purpose was to bring down Hillary Clinton. And they even failed on that score. Congratulations.

Not The Onion: GOP Congressman Already Floating Impeachment For Hillary Clinton

The Huffington Post is reporting that Alabama’s Mo Brooks isn’t taking any chances when it comes to hounding Hillary Clinton out of an office that she hasn’t even won yet:

“Hillary Clinton isn’t president yet. She hasn’t even won the Democratic nomination. But a Republican congressman is already getting ready for the opportunity to impeach her — on the first day of her hypothetical presidency.”

[Brooks said that] “In my judgement, with respect to Hillary Clinton, she will be a unique president if she is elected by the public next November, because the day she’s sworn in is the day that she’s subject to impeachment because she has committed high crimes and misdemeanors.”

Where do Republicans find these weasels? What’s especially funny to me about this is that two years ago I wrote a satirical article that proposed this very same idea – except I was joking. This seems like a good time to re-post it here in full:

May 12, 2013
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.

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

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.”

Like it was yesterday. And once again, reality trumps satire. But don’t get me started on Trump.

Fox Nation Straight Up Lies About Hillary Clinton’s Looming ‘Meltdown’

To begin with, it’s not particularly a revelation that Fox News is a constant and unabashed purveyor of lies and disinformation. However, ordinarily they do at least try to obscure their dishonesty in a stew of distorted details, unsupported assertions, and/or mangled misrepresentations of “facts.” But in today’s headline posting on their Fox Nation website they went further than usual to invent a disparaging allegation against Hillary Clinton.

Fox Nation Hillary Clinton

The Fox Nationalists reposted an article from their sister tabloid, Rupert Murdoch’s vile New York Post, with the headline “Clinton’s Camp Says She ‘Could Have A Serious Meltdown.'” That’s a pretty frightening scenario that would have the political world spinning – if it were true.

Note that the headline is a declarative statement of fact as to what “Clinton’s camp says.” In fact, neither Fox News, nor the NYP, has any evidence of anyone connected to Clinton saying anything remotely similar to that scandalous quotation. What they have is the ravings of a bona fide uber-rightist lunatic with a record of equally deranged utterances. At best the headline could have referred to an allegation by a dubious source.

The dubious source, in this case, is Edward Klein. He is a Fox News regular, and WorldNetDaily columnist, whose reputation for wildly false attacks on Hillary Clinton (and other democrats and liberals) is legendary. Klein is an unrepentant birther who believes that President Obama may have been created to be a Manchurian candidate from Kenya. Klein also believes that Chelsea Clinton was conceived after Bill raped Hillary, who Klein says is a lesbian. This is a “journalist” who Fox News takes seriously?

Among Klein’s prior prognostications for Fox was a piece about how Clinton was teetering on the edge of abandoning her quest for the presidency. The headline blared: “Hillary down in the dumps: Is Clinton about to drop out of 2016 race?” The article provided a surreal transcript of a private conversation between Bill and Hillary that Klein could not possibly have witnessed. That was in June of 2014, so we have the answer to the ridiculous question about whether her withdrawal was imminent. And it must be due to that level of inaccuracy that Fox and the NYP chose to revisit Klein’s reporting for this new article wherein Klein uses anonymous sources to allege that…

“Hillary’s been having screaming, child-like tantrums that have left staff members in tears and unable to work,” says a campaign aide. “She thought the nomination was hers for the asking, but her mounting problems have been getting to her and she’s become shrill and, at times, even violent.”

That’s a great story line if you’re on the writing staff of Days of Our Lives, but anyone who thinks that a Clinton campaign aide is going to divulge spicy rumors to someone like Klein is suffering from acute idiocy. Klein’s M.O. has always been to simply manufacture scurrilous gossip that fits his predetermined soap opera script.

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

For this sort of fantasy fiction to appear on WorldNetDaily, or the New York Post, is bad enough. But Fox wants to pretend that they are a real news enterprise, and despite all of the evidence to the contrary, they continue to try to convince us that they have true aspirations for journalistic achievement. However, it is reporting like this that always rats them out as the disreputable purveyors of schlock news that they are – and always will be.

Alex Jones And Matt Drudge: The Most Bizarre Interview You Will Ever Imagine You Witnessed

You are traveling through another dimension, a dimension not only of sight and sound but of mind. A journey into a wondrous land whose boundaries are that of imagination. Your next stop, the InfoWars Interview.

Alex Jones / Matt Drudge

On Tuesday’s episode of InfoWars (video below), host and the conspiracy theory’s chief theoretical conspirator, Alex Jones, almost invited yellow pseudo-journalist Matt Drudge to join him in a discussion of the current state of the world of the deranged. I say almost because the interview began with Jones announcing that his teen crush Drudge was in the studio, but that he would not appear on camera (for fear of losing his soul?).

Jones: I did not do this as a stunt. Neither did Matt Drudge. He is here. We got a hot mic over there. He wants to stay literally in the shadows behind the curtain.

So in this version of the Wiz, the great and powerful Drudge commands that you do pay attention to the man behind the curtain. In a bizarre bit of Burlesque theater, Jones conducted the whole interview with Drudge allegedly a few feet away, out of camera range. There was never an explanation for why Drudge refused to be seen. He isn’t exactly camera shy as he once hosted his own TV show (on Fox News of course). What could be more perfect for the conspiratorial set than for a reclusive disseminator of rightist propaganda to lurk off-camera and send his disembodied voice across the webosphere in a dialog with a sociopathic skeptic? What self-respecting minion of Alex Jones would believe that Drudge was really there at all? Wake up, sheeple!

As a testimonial to the fabulousness of this chin-flapping, Sarah Palin tweeted that this is “One of the best interviews I’ve heard in a long time!” And why not? The pair spent much of their forty-six minute “bull” session congratulating each other on their bravery for standing up to some unseen oppressor who has shackled them to a dreary existence as mere multimillionaires with legions of glassy-eyed disciples. The horror! Although there were a couple of subjects that were examined in a fair amount of detail that deserve attention.

First of all, Drudge dredged up the obsession that kicked off his career twenty years ago: Hillary Clinton. Apparently he is still enthralled with her terrifying omnipotence and simultaneous impotence. Here is an abridged summary of his rambling and incoherent remarks about his Wicked Witch of the White House:

Drudge: How sick are the American people right now? They could put Hillary Clinton’s brain in a jar in the Oval Office and she’d be elected. People are really sick. […] Before this country is so completely altered and we’re left with Hillary’s brain in the Oval Office in a jar – ‘cuz that’s what we’re getting. She is old and she’s sick. She is not a contender. They’re making her a contender with these propped up Saturday Night Live things. It’s like a head on a stick. […] I’m very pessimistic on this race because I’m just not so sure it’s not gonna end up with the dreaded brain in the jar in the Oval Office, once known as Hillary Clinton – who is hypo-thyroid. Anybody who is seventy years old who’s hypo-thyroid you do not elect president, ladies and gentlemen. You don’t do it. […] Why aren’t we seeing Hillary’s lovers? Excuse me? Why aren’t we seeing Hillary’s lovers? Where’s the cover-up on this?

The only question arising from that schizoid rant is whether Drudge is on too many psychotropic drugs or too few. Either way he needs some serious medical attention. He is particularly disturbed by the thought of a jar of brains, which may be attributable to simple jealousy that Clinton has something that he and his wingnut cohorts can only dream about.

The other subject that received considerable scrutiny was a paranoid diversion into acute crackpottery. Abandoning any pretense of reality, Drudge unveiled a historical account of the legend of ISIS that would make J.K. Rowling blush with embarrassment.

Drudge: We never really heard of ISIS until recently and I remember when that name first started coming up. Do you know that it was designed to be confused with Darrell Issa? Did you know that’s what it was. Because Darrell Issa was the enemy at the time of this administration. […] They came up with the name ISIS to be confused with Darrell Issa. I’m really being hinest with you. I remember the first time Christiane Amanpour sputtered out this word ISIS thinking did she get that one? […] And then the President going it’s not even ISIS, it’s ISIL or IS. This Dr. Seuss. This is madness.

Obviously. How could we have missed it before? Barack “Svengali” Obama invented the acronym ISIS (Islamic State of Syria and Iraq) and somehow got the terrorists to use it to refer to themselves. But in a bit of brilliant strategic jujitsu, Obama himself sidestepped it in favor of ISIL, which doesn’t sound as much like Issa, but still has an “I” and an “S” in it, preserving the theory’s tenuous plausibility.

It is inspired analysis like this that has made Matt Drudge an icon in conservative media. And his reputation among rightists and Teabaggers will only be enhanced by this eccentric display of lunacy. It perfectly reflects Drudge’s own plaintive question: “Where are the flamboyant characters? This is what America needs right now – flamboyant, intellectual characters.” By entering the lair of professional whack-job Alex Jones, and establishing the natural affinity between the two fringe constituencies, Drudge and Jones have not only answered that question, but they have advanced the level of idiocy that will be forthcoming from the right, as well as the level of laughter from the left.

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

Fox News Admitted The Benghazi Probe Was A Political Sham Years Before McCarthy

Last night the Republican Majority Leader in the House of Representatives (and prospective future Speaker), Kevin McCarthy, revealed what many people already knew about the GOP’s investigation into Benghazi. And contrary to some characterizations in the press, it was not a gaffe. McCarthy openly bragged to Sean Hannity of Fox News that he helped to orchestrate an anti-Hillary Clinton campaign by forming a Select Committee To Politicize Benghazi. It was, and still is, a repulsive endeavor that dishonors the dead and exposes the self-serving immorality of the Republican Party.

Fox News

However, McCarthy wasn’t the first to proudly disclose the rank partisanship of the phony Benghazi probe. Two years ago Fox News congratulated themselves on their dishonest Benghazi coverage with particular praise for Fox CEO Roger Ailes. Steve Doocy of Fox & Friends said that…

“Fox News has been doing this story from the get-go. And the mainstream media, the Daily Show, has mocked us for covering Benghazi. And now everybody else is catching up. It’s been a story they’re realizing. One of the reasons we’ve followed it is Roger Ailes, our chairman and CEO. […] Had Roger and Fox News not pushed this story the White House would have just left it in the dust.”

As News Corpse wrote last year:

“Roger Ailes spent decades as a professional Republican consultant before being tapped by Rupert Murdoch to run Fox News. Ordinarily media executives do not interfere with the operations of their editorial departments, but such journalistic ethics have never been a part of the Fox News mission. Thus we see their CEO openly shaping news coverage, even influencing policy, and getting praised for it on the air by his employees.”

And in a separate article on the same subject:

“Neither Boehner nor Gowdy have any interest in getting to the bottom of anything. Their statements and actions for the past year and a half show that they are only interested in politicizing a tragic loss of American lives. Having failed to uncover even a sliver of evidence of any wrongdoing, Boehner is, in effect, insulting his own colleagues in Congress (i.e. Darrell Issa) who have been conducting pseudo-investigations without producing the hoped for “smoking guns” with which they could continue their campaign of political slander. […]

“It is a desperate attempt to dig up some political mud to throw, to tarnish the prospective presidential candidacy of Hillary Clinton in 2016, and to salvage Boehner’s sinking reputation with the far-right fringe of his party whom he needs if he wants to be Speaker in the next session of congress.”

So McCarthy didn’t actually reveal anything new. He was merely corroborating what Fox News had admitted years ago: That they were the driving force keeping Benghazi alive. The arrogance they display with on-air graphics confessing that they “made terror attack a story” in response to a “push” by their CEO, is unprecedented.

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

Furthermore, that arrogance is matched by Republicans in Congress who obediently complied with the demands by Fox News to impanel a select committee. To put it in perspective, Republicans allocated more money to the phony Benghazi Committee (over $3 million) than to either the Intelligence Committee or the Veterans Committee, which deal with matters that have much more far-reaching impact on the nation’s citizens and security.

Three Degrees Of GOP Crazy: From Benghazi To Planned Parenthood To ACORN

The Republican Party is showing signs of desperation after virtually every attempt to manufacture scandals that they can blame on Democrats has failed. Rather than developing some policy initiatives that might find favor with the American people, or conducting outreach to voter groups, the GOP is diving deeper into unfounded allegations and conspiracy theories. Just yesterday three of their top players engaged in some Olympian nuttiness that produced nothing but embarrassment for their floundering team.

GOP Crazy

Let’s begin this three degrees of separation journey with an appearance on Sean Hannity’s Fox News program (video below) by the man projected to be the next GOP Speaker of the House of Representatives. Kevin McCarthy may have thought that he would have a genteel Tea Party with the GOP-friendly host, but he wasn’t prepared for the level of animosity that wingnuts like Hannity have for establishment conservatives. Hannity took McCarthy to task for not having done more to monkey wrench the Obama administration’s agenda. He assailed McCarthy and the House GOP for presiding over budget deficits, funding ObamaCare, amnesty for immigrants, and not shutting down the government over Planned Parenthood. Having been caught off guard, McCarthy carelessly revealed the real, not-so-secret purpose of the House Select Committee to Politicize Benghazi as he tried to defend his record.

“Everybody thought that Hillary Clinton was unbeatable, right? But we put together a Benghazi special committee, a select committee. What are her numbers today? Her numbers are dropping. Why? Because she’s untrustable. But no one would have known any of that happened had we not fought to make that happen.”

So McCarthy admitted on TV that the true aim of the Benghazi hearings was to damage Clinton’s reputation and electability. To which Hannity graciously replied “I agree, that’s something good. I give you credit for that.” McCarthy later let slip that he intends to form another pointless select committee on Planned Parenthood. Under Republican control, this congress has held an unprecedented number of flagrantly partisan hearings that have produced nothing of value to their party, much less the nation. The Benghazi investigation has now officially lasted longer than any previous congressional investigation, including the JFK assassination, the Nixon Watergate affair, and 9/11, yet has not found a single bit of evidence of any wrongdoing.

The Benghazi Committee is chaired by Rep. Trey Gowdy (SC-Tea Party), which brings us to the second degree of separation. Gowdy is also a member of the committee investigating Planned Parenthood for misconduct alleged by an anti-abortion group’s videos that have been proven to be edited in a deliberately deceptive fashion. When it was Gowdy’s turn to question Planned Parenthood president Cecile Richards he asked whether she had an understanding of those who oppose abortion. Richards said that she appreciates that “people have a lot of different views on the issue of abortion,” then dismissed the condescending premise saying that Planned Parenthood “trusts women” to make decisions about their own bodies.

That provoked Gowdy to accuse Richards of wanting to “frame the issue” to say that she is “the reasonable one, and those of us who have a contrary position are not reasonable.” Which, of course, she did not say. Gowdy actually conceded that she didn’t say that, but then, using his supernatural power to read minds, told her that “It’s not always what you say, sometimes it’s just what you mean.” But he still could not explain how anything she said could be interpreted to mean what he asserted. It’s plain that he was intent on mischaracterizing her remarks no matter what she actually said.

The chairman of the Planned Parenthood committee was Rep. Jason Chaffetz, which conveniently moves us to the third and final degree of separation. During the same hearing, Chaffetz made some glaring blunders. For instance, he displayed a highly distorted and prejudicial chart that Richards had to tell him was provided by Americans United for Life, a virulently anti-abortion group. But his worst gaffe may have been uttered after the hearing when he went on Fox News to spin the event for the media. In an effort to drive home his slanderous perception of events, he said that “Planned Parenthood is the new ACORN. That’s who they are. Remember when we talked about ACORN? That is Planned Parenthood as far as I can see it.”

You know, he’s actually right. ACORN was an organization that helped people, but was smeared by liars who produced false videos that eventually led to Congress defunding the them. Sound familiar? There was never any evidence that ACORN did anything wrong. To the contrary, James O’Keefe, the producer of the videos, lost a lawsuit and was ordered to pay a former ACORN staffer $100,000. But, unfortunately, that was after ACORN lost their funding and had to close up shop. Now the same sort of liars are trying to do the same thing to Planned Parenthood despite several state investigations that have already cleared them of any wrongdoing.

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

What all of this adds up to is the brazen dishonesty of a desperate Republican Party trying to invent scandals and exploit their congressional power to bring down their political foes. With McCarthy we have an admission that their efforts are partisan. With Gowdy we see how blinded they are by their own biases. And with Chaffetz a clear connection is made to a previous effort to sabotage an honorable public service organization.

Ironically, the GOP is whining about taxpayers having to pay for Planned Parenthood and women’s health care services, but most Americans support Planned Parenthood. So the real question is why are Americans forced to pay millions of dollars for congressional hearings that are nothing more than partisan witch hunts based on proven lies?

Here is the video of McCarthy on Hannity:

Liberal Media My Ass: Hillary Clinton’s Alleged Polling Woes

The latest round of polling has hit the press with curiously coordinated reactions. Nearly every mainstream news outlet chose to spin the results as negative for Hillary Clinton.

Hillary Clinton

To be sure, Clinton’s favorability has suffered in the past few weeks due to relentless bashing by more than a dozen Republican presidential hopefuls and an unending stream of baseless but damaging stories about her email. However, the uniformity of the media presentation is hardly representative of the reality. Here is how the press is covering the news:

  • Washington Times: Hillary Clinton’s unfavorable rating approaches record territory
  • ABC News: Clinton Goes Under Water
  • Breitbart News: Gallup: Hillary Clinton’s Favorability at All-Time Low
  • Wall Street Journal: Hillary Clinton Hits Lows on Favorability, Trustworthiness
  • Reuters: Clinton’s favorability ratings lowest since 2001
  • The Hill: Poll: Clinton’s favorability tumbles
  • NBC News: Hillary Clinton’s Popularity Drops Sharply in NBC/WSJ Poll
  • Fox News: Fox News Poll: Clinton popularity drops

While there is nothing wrong with reporting the facts in polling, it is misleading if the reporters don’t put the numbers into context. And an examination of the poll results paints a very different picture of the campaign. Just using the most recent Fox News poll as an example, Clinton’s “low” favorability rating is still higher than every Republican in the poll except for one (Ben Carson). It is not a trivial side issue to note that Clinton scores better than the GOP front-runner, Donald Trump, and trounces him in a head-to-head match-up. But that is not considered newsworthy by the so-called “liberal” media.

What’s more, the press didn’t think it was important to report that every Republican’s unfavorables are at their all-time highs. Why is it news that Clinton’s favorabilty is suffering, but it isn’t news that all of her potential rivals are suffering as badly or worse? This is something the media has been doing for years with President Obama. They leap at every opportunity to report any drop in his popularity (which currently stands at about 47%) and how it will hamper the success of his agenda with Congress. What they leave out is that Congress has a favorability in the mid-teens, which should give the President a significant advantage.

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

Every single one of the headlines above could just as easily have read “Clinton And All Republicans Favorability At Or Near All-Time Lows,” but that would have meant engaging in honest journalism rather than deliberately misleading horse-race tabloidism. So the next time you see a spate of negative headlines hammering Clinton, remember that there is almost certainly more to the story than the media is telling you. And what they are usually leaving out is that, no matter how much people dislike Clinton, that hate Republicans even more.