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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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.

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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 ever 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.

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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.

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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]

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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.

Surprise: Hillary Clinton Speech Panned By Fox News As “Class Warfare”

Democratic presidential candidate Hillary Clinton delivered a speech today in New York at a rally of thousands of excited supporters. It was the first major event since the declaration of her candidacy. The speech covered many of the issues that are uppermost on the minds of American voters including the economy, national security, immigration, climate change, and civil rights. But that didn’t stop Fox News from narrowing the scope of their perception of the speech to a single divisive concept: Class Warfare.

Hillary Clinton

It is notable that Fox did not air a segment analyzing the speech for about twenty minutes after it was over. That contrasts with the other news networks who immediately brought in analysts to discuss the substance and impact of the speech. It appears that Fox needed some time to decide how they would frame the speech and the speaker in the most unflattering way before committing to covering it.

When Fox did come back to the subject of Clinton’s address, they first interviewed their own media reporter, Howard Kurtz, whose response was lukewarm and devoid of any insight. Then Fox let a couple of pundits spar over Clinton’s event in Crossfire fashion. Finally, after stalling for more than an hour, anchor Uma Pemmaraju introduced conservative pollster and GOP “word doctor” Frank Luntz to lead a segment with the pejorative premise that “Hillary Clinton [is] really playing up the class warfare theme” and that “She’s taking this hard-left turn.” It’s the sort of typical wild swing that Fox News uses to fan the embers of anti-liberal cliches when they haven’t got any coherent argument to make.

Clinton’s full 45 minute speech was actually much more diverse as she offered some personal stories about herself and her family, along with a platform of “four fights” that she intends to lead as a candidate and a president:

  • The first is to make the economy work for everyday Americans, not just those at the top.
  • Now, the second fight is to strengthen America’s families, because when our families are strong, America is strong.
  • So we have a third fight: to harness all of America’s power, smarts, and values to maintain our leadership for peace, security, and prosperity.
  • The fourth fight – reforming our government and revitalizing our democracy so that it works for everyday Americans.

It was likely the “first fight” that triggered the criticism that Clinton was engaging in class warfare. It’s funny, though, that economic policies that favor the wealthy are never called a class war until the people start fighting back. As Bernie Sanders recently said, redistribution of wealth has been going on for decades, from the poor and middle-class to the rich. Policies aimed at reversing that trend are merely to bring back some fairness.

It was that “fourth fight,” however, that produced some of the most striking rhetoric in the speech. Clinton insisted that “Prosperity can’t be just for CEOs and hedge fund managers. Democracy can’t be just for billionaires and corporations.” She made a good case for reform that would restore the the ideals of democracy that have withered at the hands of corporations, billionaires, and the politicians they’ve bought:

We have to stop the endless flow of secret, unaccountable money that is distorting our elections, corrupting our political process, and drowning out the voices of our people. We need Justices on the Supreme Court who will protect every citizen’s right to vote, rather than every corporation’s right to buy elections. If necessary, I will support a constitutional amendment to undo the Supreme Court’s decision in Citizens United. I want to make it easier for every citizen to vote. That’s why I’ve proposed universal, automatic registration and expanded early voting. I’ll fight back against Republican efforts to disempower and disenfranchise young people, poor people, people with disabilities, and people of color. What part of democracy are they afraid of?

As the campaign season heats up Fox News will predictably try to frame Clinton, and all Democrats, as evil, socialist, godless, incompetents. But it will useful to remember what they were saying about Clinton before they decided she was the next anti-Christ. Here’s a sampling that was compiled by Media Matters:

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Sarah Palin Redux: Hillary Clinton Pallin’ Around With Terrorists? Here We Go Again

Fading reality TV loser and notorious political quitter, Sarah Palin, hasn’t been heard from much lately. Her sightings on Fox News have become rare, with the last appearance sometime back in January. Unfortunately, her unique brand of dementia seems to be enduring as one of her classically idiotic themes made a comeback on the Fox Nation website:

Hillary's Benghazi-Qaeda Brotherhood

A featured article on Fox Nation was topped with a headline that declared that “Hillary’s Terror-Tied Aide Had Full Access to Benghazi E-Mails.” This immediately brings to mind the memory of Palin’s famously loony “pallin’ around with terrorists” allegation that falsely tried to tie then-candidate Barack Obama to former Weather Underground radical (now mild-mannered college professor) Bill Ayers.

The reprise of this stupidity is based on the thoroughly discredited accusations that Clinton aide Huma Abedin is a deep-cover agent of the Muslim Brotherhood who is plotting to destroy America from within. Never mind that Abedin, who was born in Michigan, has been a trusted and respected public servant for many years. The charges against her were originally leveled by congressional “intelligence” experts, Michelle Bachmann, Louie Gohmert, and other Tea Party fruitcakes.

When the terrorist slurs first began circulating they were shot down by everyone that knew Abedin, including prominent Republicans. House Speaker John Boehner defended her saying that she had a “sterling character.” Lindsey Graham called the attacks on her “ridiculous.” John McCain praised her saying that she “represents what is best about America” and that the charges were “an unwarranted and unfounded attack on an honorable woman.” Ed Rollins, who managed Bachmann’s presidential campaign, repudiated the attacks as “downright vicious.”

The Fox Nation article links to the ultra-rightist propagandists at Truth Revolt, a website that was founded by Breitbart Editor-at-Large, Ben Shapiro. Truth Revolt, in turn referenced the conspiracy crackpots at WorldNetDaily, who are still grasping feverishly to the birther nonsense. The WND article was written by Aaron Klein, who believes that Obama might be a Muslim who sides with Al Qaeda. So Truth Revolt re-posts WND and Fox Nation re-posts Truth Revolt, with an opening paragraph that launches into a surreal fantasy:

“It has been revealed that Huma Abedin, senior aide to Hillary Clinton, had access to Clinton’s personal e-mails including highly-sensitive details surrounding Benghazi. Abedin is also accused of having ties to Muslim extremist groups. […] WND reports personal and familial ties between Abedin, the Muslim Brotherhood, as well as al Qaeda.”

There you have it. With absolutely no factual basis, Fox News has bought into scurrilous charges against a respectable woman, associating her with America’s most virulent enemies. And as an additional bonus, Fox worked in a mention of their favorite recurring non-scandal, Benghazi.

If there is anyone left who still thinks that Fox News is a reputable journalism enterprise, or that they might have moderated their extremist views since the last presidential election, this should put an end to those fallacies. As the next presidential cycle gets into gear, it is clear that Fox intends to ramp up the crazy to levels at least as deranged as those in 2008 and 2012. So here come the terrorist charges against the presumptive Democratic nominee. Because if you’re a Tea Party wingnut it isn’t enough to merely have policy disputes with political rivals, you must demonize them as threats to the continued existence of mankind.

As evidence of this trend, note the latest outrage being hyped on Fox News. It’s a brief video clip that shows Clinton politely asking a supporter to take her place in line in order to get a photo with the candidate.

On Fox News this is proof that Clinton is an Ice Queen who cannot relate to regular humans. Of course, the fact that the video is chopped into a fragment that fails to put Clinton’s encounter in context is irrelevant to the spinners at Fox. To them it is more important to create an artificial persona for Clinton that makes her look mean and elitist. And surprisingly, an anchor at Fox actually admitted that it is their intention to promote this video misrepresentation.

Martha MacCallum: Oh my, why don’t you go to the end of the line. When I saw this yesterday, this is just gonna get played over and over here, and elsewhere, and this is not good for Hillary Clinton regardless of what the circumstances exactly were.
Byron York: I should say that some people have looked at the whole video and Mrs. Clinton was actually trying to accommodate the people who had lined up to see her. But it points really to a bigger problem.

So MacCallum admits that Fox will put this video on an endless loop even if the impression it leaves is false. And her guest confesses that in the uncut video Clinton’s behavior was entirely appropriate, but that doesn’t matter when you are trying to slander her.

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That’s the sort of dishonesty and bias that has been the hallmark of Fox News. Consequently, it’s not particularly surprising that they are continuing to debase journalism just as they have from their inception. What’s a little surprising is that they are openly admitting it even as they are doing it. That shows how certain they are that they can get away with their deceit without any repercussions. They know very well that their audience couldn’t care less about truth or lies, even if they could tell the difference.

Media Fails To Report That Hillary Clinton Is Crushing Every GOP Candidate In New Poll

The 2016 election season continues to heat up with most of the action on the Republican side of the field. The GOP Clown Car is filling up with with two new entries, Rick Santorum and George Pataki, bringing the official count to eight. It will be closer to fifteen before they are done.

On the Democratic side, Hillary Clinton is the only candidate that the press takes seriously. Never mind that Bernie Sanders is stirring up the passion of the party base and that Joe Biden, Martin O’Malley, Lincoln Chafee, and Jim Webb all have more experience that most of the GOP aspirants.

It is, therefore, interesting to see how the media is handling their coverage of Clinton. For the past several weeks they have said very little other than to hype false allegations about the Clinton Foundation raised in a book that is notable primarily for its abundance of errors. They also filled time with wild speculation about her emails, despite having no evidence of any wrongdoing. And when they weren’t mining those dry holes they were complaining about her preference for talking to voters over reporters. Can anyone blame her?

Today the media again displayed an uncontrollable compulsion to avoid any discourse of substance. A new poll was released by Quinnipiac that showed Clinton beating every Republican she was matched against. The margin of victory spread from four points (vs. Rand Paul) to eighteen points (vs. Donald Trump). All of these Clinton leads exceeded the poll’s margin of error.

Clinton Beats GOP

Clinton’s domination of the entire GOP field, however, was not particularly newsworthy to most of the media. Instead, they reported on the horse race between the Republicans that had five of them bunched up at the top with no clear leader. Somehow, that bit of vaguery was deemed a more important news item than Clinton’s clear cut clean sweep.

The Washington Post’s answer to this poll came in an editorial by conservative columnist Jennifer Rubin. Her article on Clinton’s polling success carried the headline “Hillary’s strategy isn’t working.” Of course, because besting every one of your challengers is a sure sign of a failing strategy to wingnuts like Rubin.

Instead of the candidate match-ups, Rubin focused on two other questions in the poll. First was Clinton’s favorability which registered only 45%. What Rubin left out is that Hillary’s 45% was higher than any of the Republicans. Secondly, Rubin brought up the question of trustworthiness, wherein the poll’s respondents gave Hillary a low 39%. Once again, Rubin neglected to mention that all but two Republicans (Huckabee and Paul) registered even lower. And for the record, Clinton also rated higher than any of the Republican on leadership and caring about people.

With the election over eighteen months away, there will be plenty of time for the press to hurl questions at Clinton. The problem is whether they will come up with any inquiries that have relevance to the country or will they keep embarrassing themselves with trivialities and spin? For example, yesterday Clinton made public statements in South Carolina that addressed serious issues like pay equality and helping the middle class. But all the media saw fit to report was their impression that she spoke with a southern accent [Note: She lived in Arkansas for more than fifteen years. Y’all think that doesn’t make a dent in yer speakin’ voice?]

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In the meantime, we can expect the press to continue to fish up sparkly nonsense in an attempt to turn the election into a tabloid melodrama that dispenses with any of those serious matters that only make people depressed and force them to think. And Clinton’s campaign strategy will fail her straight up into the White House while the media is still trying to parse an old sentence fragment into something scandalous.

Stephanopoulos Isn’t The Only Media Donor To The Clinton Foundation (Is He, Fox News?)

The conservative media circus is furiously banging their drums to chastise George Stephanopoulos, host of ABC’s Good Morning America and This Week, for his failure to disclose a donation to the Clinton Foundation. This oversight is being portrayed as an unforgivable offense of partisan bias. As with any matter that can be hyper-dramatized by zealous punditry, Fox News took the lead in running Stephanopoulos through the metaphorical grinder.

Fox News Stephanopoulos

A couple of notes need to be raised in order to fairly assess this situation. First of all, Stephanopoulos donated to a charitable organization, not a political campaign. Thus, it cannot really be regarded as partisan in that the Clinton Foundation does not engage in any political activities. Its mission is purely philanthropic and no fair observer has ever alleged any ideological leanings. Furthermore, unlike a corporate donor or a foreign entity, there isn’t any conceivable benefit that Stephanopoulos might have been seeking in exchange for a donation. Even his critics do not allege that his motives were anything but altruistic.

That said, there are problems with his failure to disclose that impact his reporting when the subject is the Foundation itself. For instance, Stephanopoulos recently interviewed the author of “Clinton Cash,” a book that alleges improprieties on the part of Hillary Clinton in connection to donations to the Foundation. The fact that the book was filled with factual errors and failed to prove its premise does not excuse Stephanopoulos from an ethical duty to reveal that he was also a donor.

Taken in its entirety, this scandalette hardly seems to approach the degree of significance that is being assigned to it by Fox News and other conservative media. There was no effort to extract any personal gain and the ethical lapse did not result in any reportorial distortion. But that hasn’t stopped right-wing muckrakers from attempting to whip it up into a full-blown catastrophe for Stephanopoulos. He has been maligned as hopelessly biased and there have been calls for him to resign or be fired. Fox’s Howard Kurtz described the affair as…

“…such a bombshell that George Stephanopoulos has now had to withdraw as ABC’s moderator in the Republican presidential debate next year.”

What makes the debate moderation move somewhat comical is that last November the chairman of the Republican Party, Reince Priebus, ruled out anyone that he regarded as being unfriendly to the Party’s interests.

Priebus: [the] thing that is ridiculous is allowing moderators, who are not serving the best interests of the candidate and the party, to actually be the people to be deposing our people. And I think that’s totally wrong.

Priebus reinforced that edict yesterday saying that “I’ve been very public about this. George Stephanopoulos was never going to moderate a Republican debate anyway.” Somewhere Priebus got the impression that debate moderators are supposed to serve the interests of the candidates. Certainly the interest of the voters never entered into it. And the last thing that the GOP wants is a debate that is truly spirited and informative. They are looking for something more on the order of an infomercial.

Amidst this tumultuous uproar over the fate of Stephanopoulos and his relatively modest $75,000 gift, what has gone unmentioned is that he is not alone in making donations to the Clinton Foundation. In fact, Fox News has been even more generous than Stephanopoulos. Rupert Murdoch’s son James, the COO of 21st Century Fox (parent company of Fox News), made a donation in the range of $1,000,000-$5,000,000. The News Corporation Foundation contributed between $500,000-$1,000,000. Fox regular Donald Trump forked over between $100,000-$250,000.

There might be more of these types of ethical problems involving media personalities on the right donating to Republican charities like the Bush Foundation. However, we can’t uncover them because the Bush Foundation doesn’t disclose their donors like the Clintons do. Curious, isn’t it?

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

So the question is: How can Fox News criticize George Stephanopoulos for his undisclosed donations to the Clinton Foundation, when they have made far bigger donations without disclosing them? What’s more, the donations from the Fox media empire can be regarded as possible bribes since, unlike Stephanopoulos, they have pending business before the government and its regulatory agencies. If Fox News wants to pretend to be “fair and balanced” they need to immediately come clean. And if Stephanopoulos is denied the opportunity to moderate any GOP debates, then Fox News should be prohibited from airing them.

Don’t hold your breath waiting for Fox to act ethically in this matter. They will neither remove themselves from the debate schedule, nor cease their attacks on Stephanopoulos. That’s just the way Fox does business and it will continue despite the obvious hypocrisy and lack of journalistic principle.