Ben Carson Tells The Jesus Praisathon Network (aka Fox News) That ‘Atheism Is A Religion’

Republican presidential guilt suppressant and all-purpose sedative, Ben Carson, appeared today on Fox News MediaBuzz with Howard Kurtz (video below). The conversation covered a gamut of critical issues facing the nation, such as his dust up with Donald Trump, the irrelevancy of race in party politics, and why he is trying to stop saying stupid things on the campaign trail (i.e. ObamaCare is just like slavery and being gay is choice that people make when they go to prison). It’s good to see the media forcing candidates to address the real problems our society has to deal with.

Ben Carson

In addition to those examples of national crises, Kurtz asked Carson about his views on faith in public life. For a few minutes Fox turned into the Jesus Praisathon Network, even posting graphics that asked whether voters would “heed the call” of Carson’s “faith-based run.”. Like every other Republican candidate, Carson believes in a form of Christian Sharia Law wherein everybody has to be subject to the biblical dogma of the majority. To emphasize his point, Carson told Kurtz about how fond he is of the First Amendment and then went on to say that anyone who doesn’t practice a religious faith is an idiot:

Carson: People who say that religion has nothing to do with their life probably don’t know exactly what religion is. Just because you don’t necessarily believe in God or Jesus doesn’t mean that you don’t have a religion. Even atheism is a religion. You have something that you believe in without complete evidence that it exists.

Carson is demonstrating his reverence for the Constitution by demeaning everyone who holds different beliefs than he does. Obviously they can’t possibly understand religion if they don’t follow his. What’s more, the notion that someone who doesn’t accept the existence of a supernatural nanny, is still following a religion, defies reason. Atheism is the absence of a belief in religion. It’s like saying that someone who doesn’t believe in the fairy tale of Santa Claus still believes in the fairy tale of a world without Santa Claus. Come on people, where’s the evidence that Santa doesn’t exist?

This is consistent with Carson’s previous assaults on religious freedom. In the recent case involving Kim Davis, the Kentucky County Clerk who was found in contempt of court for refusing to issue marriage licenses to legal applicants who happened to gay, Carson took the absurd position that requiring her to do her job without discriminating was an infringement of her civil rights.

Carson told Megyn Kelly of Fox News that Davis should be entitled to deny marriage licenses to people who do not adhere to the laws of her faith. When Kelly asked if that might be slippery slope wherein Catholics could refuse licenses to people who had divorced (which Davis had done three times), or Muslims could deny licenses to Christian couples, Carson’s response was that it was OK for Christians to discriminate because America is a Judeo-Christian majority nation.

So take that, Freedom of Religion. I guess it’s also OK for whites to discriminate against blacks because we are a white majority nation. Clearly Carson’s interpretation of the Constitution is a perverse mutilation of reality and the principles for which our country stands. He would take America further along the path of theocracy were he to have any role in governing. And what’s worse is that his is not a fringe opinion in the GOP. Every Republican candidate holds the very same views. It’s the old story about the party that pretends to want government off your back, but still wants it in your bedroom and in your deepest, most personal thoughts.

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

A Tool Of The Obama Administration? Jon Stewart Responds Hilariously

A couple of weeks ago, Fox News invented a scandal surrounding the allegedly “secret” meetings that Jon Stewart had with President Obama. The truth of the matter was far less scandalous than Fox News tried to make it appear. There were only two meetings over seven years and neither of them were secret.

Stewart, of course, mocked the the Fox News segment that appeared on MediaBuzz with Fox’s chief hack, Howard Kurtz. With his characteristic exasperated wit he demonstrated the utter foolishness of Kurtz and his lame attempt to portray Stewart as a White House pawn. But that only stirred Kurtz up even more. He followed up the story with another segment featuring professional Stewart-hater David Zurawik of the Baltimore Sun. Zurawik repeated his mantra that Stewart is hopelessly liberal and that…

“He has become more and more and more a tool of the Obama administration. […] If you serve a politician’s ideological agenda, you are a propagandist.”

Indeed. And Fox News was created to serve politicians’ ideological agendas. It is the prime directive of the network founded by an arch-conservative press magnate (Rupert Murdoch) and a far-right, Republican media operative (Roger Ailes). Fox has essentially branded the Republican Party as a wholly owned subsidiary of the Murdoch empire (in partnership with Koch Industries). Particularly with the upcoming primaries over which Fox is exerting an unprecedented measure of control. So for anyone on Fox to accuse Stewart, or anybody else, of being a “tool” of a political entity is hypocrisy on an Olympian scale.

Jon Stewart

Stewart’s latest rebuttal (video below) to the Fox News hysteria over his alleged political allegiances sought to humorously help Kurtz to prove that he is a leftist toady. The only problem was that each example he provided proved instead that he was fairly even handed with biting criticisms of the President and other Democrats. Even Fox News gleefully reported on those occasions when Stewart hammered Obama. That is something that News Corpse documented years ago. Here are a few (like 45) examples:

  • Jon Stewart Continues Piling on Scandal-Plagued Obama: He’s Either Nixon or Mr. Magoo
  • Stewart Tears Apart Obama: You Can’t Keep Saying You Found Out About News At the Same Time As Us!
  • Jon Stewart Destroys Obama Over IRS Scandal
  • Jon Stewart Goes Hog Wild on CNN
  • Stewart Eviscerates Obama for Withholding Drone Memos
  • Jon Stewart Tears Up Congress for Quietly Scaling Back Insider Trading Law
  • Stewart Destroys Former Obama Spox Robert Gibbs
  • Jon Stewart Tears Apart CNN
  • Jon Stewart Grills Hypocrite Al Gore
  • Jon Stewart’s F-Bomb Tirade Against Obama
  • Stewart Rips Obama SOTU: ‘Who’s Running This Sh*thole?!’
  • Jon Stewart Tears Into Obama’s ‘Attractive’ AG Comment
  • Jon Stewart Grills Susan Rice
  • Jon Stewart Tears Into Obama Hypocrisy
  • Jon Stewart Destroys Media Over Inauguration Coverage
  • Jon Stewart Mocks ‘All-White’ Obama Cabinet Controversy
  • Jon Stewart Mocks Obama’s Hot Mic Moment
  • Jon Stewart Roasts Obama for Failed SOTU Joke
  • Jon Stewart Mocks CNN Iowa Coverage
  • Jon Stewart Makes Mincemeat Out of Jon Corzine
  • Jon Stewart Takes a Weed Whacker to Obama’s Squandered Green Initiatives
  • Jon Stewart Ruthlessly Mocks CNN
  • Jon Stewart’s Anti-Obama Tirade
  • Jon Stewart Turns on Obama: ‘Did the President Just Quit?’
  • Jon Stewart Savages Democrats: Your Big Plan Is to Label the Tea Party Extreme
  • Jon Stewart Mocks Obama’s Fake ‘Puerto Rican’ Accent
  • Jon Stewart Scorches Obama Over Transparency
  • Jon Stewart Knocks Obama Bus Tour
  • Jon Stewart Mocks Ridiculous Union Protest
  • Jon Stewart Rips Obama for Mosque Flip-Flop
  • Jon Stewart Ridicules Obama Press Conference
  • Jon Stewart: Obama Dances Like White Man
  • Jon Stewart: Obama ‘Delusional’
  • Jon Stewart Scolds Maddow, NBC News For Saying ‘Teabagger’
  • Jon Stewart Mocks CNN to Larry King’s Face
  • Jon Stewart Blasts Obama’s Cartoonish Response to Spill
  • Jon Stewart Mocks NPR
  • Jon Stewart Ridicules Rick ‘Twit’ Sanchez
  • Jon Stewart Pokes Fun at MSNBC’s New Ad Campaign
  • Jon Stewart Obliterates CNN’s Rick Sanchez
  • Jon Stewart Takes Obama to Task Over Weatherization
  • Jon Stewart Mocks Obama’s Teleprompter Dependence
  • Jon Stewart Slams Democrat Healthcare “Incoherence”
  • Jon Stewart Tells Obama to Act More Like Bush
  • Jon Stewart Calls Palin a Genius

Clearly Stewart has not shied away from criticizing Obama. And clearly Fox News is aware of that as evidenced by their own giddy reporting. Now Stewart has has addressed this false premise with his own examples of Fox praising his fairness and balance. In each case they qualify their commentary by prefacing it with “Even Jon Stewart…” After a damning reel of Foxies slobbering over Stewart’s Obama-bashing he plaintively asks “How often does a dude have to criticize the President before his name legally changes from “Even Jon Stewart” to “Unsurprisingly Jon Stewart?”

The answer, of course, is that there is no point at which Fox, or the rest of the rightist media, will admit that Stewart has made all sides of the political debate subjects of his satire. No matter what he does or says they will continue to malign him as a one-sided enemy of American values. The same is true for Stephen Colbert. So when he begins hosting The Late Show next month he should ignore the wingnuts who will similarly paint him as a socialist stooge.

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

Fox News EXCLUSIVE: Jon Stewart’s Secret Plot To Rule The World (w/Stewart’s Response)

When Jon Stewart announced a few months ago that he was leaving the The Daily Show it came as a shock to millions of Americans who couldn’t understand why he suddenly decided to give up the program that had brought him so much success and notoriety. After sixteen years of skewering the media and the public parasites who feed off of it, Stewart was inexplicably walking away while still at the height of his game.

Well, now it can be told. Thanks to intrepid reporting by the journalists at Fox News we can reveal that Jon Stewart is only resigning from The Daily Show so that he can take his place as Supreme Leader, a post for which he has been preparing for years. The evidence cited by Fox revolves around the disclosure that Stewart met secretly with President Obama, presumably to grease the wheels for his eventual ascendance to power.

Jon Stewart Roger Ailes

Never mind that the meetings at the White House were not actually secret at all. They were readily available in the public records that identify all White House visitors. And set aside that there were only two meetings in seven years, which hardly seems sufficient to have much impact on either Stewart or Obama. The discovery of these rendezvous can only be interpreted as ominous portents of what is to come. (See Stewart’s response to the “secret meeting” allegations in the video below)

Witness the editorial commentary used on Fox News to describe the affair. Anchor Bret Baier said that Stewart “has a close working relationship with the President. It turns out a lot closer than we thought.” Exactly. What could be closer than two meetings in seven years? They were practically joined at the hip.

Then there was anchor Jenna Lee who surmised that “Maybe that’s the secret of [Stewart’s] success. The White House has been writing his show.” An astute observation. Especially considering the wealth of talent and comedic brilliance for which political functionaries are known. Without that help Stewart would have been left to rely on mere comedy writers. Although it does make one wonder who was writing his material during the Bush administration.

Fox’s media analyst, Howard Kurtz, weighed in to reveal that “Last year the President chatted up Stewart hours before warning Russia about further military intervention in Ukraine. The next Daily Show mocked Vladimir Putin.” Obviously Stewart was carrying out orders from Chairman Obama. Why else would he do a segment on his daily news satire program that referenced something that was in the news that day?

Kurtz is among many Fox News commentators who frequently lambaste Stewart for allegedly being a fierce devotee of a far-left ideology. Bill O’Reilly called Stewart “a key component of left-wing television.” Megyn Kelly said that “he was not a force for good.” Greg Gutfeld called Stewart’s departure “a big loss for the simpering, left-wing media.” Eric Bolling reprimanded Stewart for “protecting the corrupt politicians.” And Sean Hannity took the high road by simply calling Stewart “a sanctimonious jackass..”

Fox News criticizing Stewart for being biased is something like Bill Cosby criticizing you for sexually assaulting drugged women. Fox News is the undisputed champion of bias in journalism. Their entire schedule is rife with right-wing propaganda. They are currently engaged in a blatant promotional campaign for Republican presidential candidates. Hannity’s show has so far given his full hour over to eleven of the GOP primary contenders (Bobby Jindal, Rick Santorum, Marco Rubio, Rick Perry, Jeb Bush, Donald Trump, Carly Fiorina, Chris Christie, John Kasich, Ted Cruz, and Rand Paul). Even the daytime “news” portion of Fox’s schedule hosted five GOP candidates for the full hour of Outnumbered (Jindal, Santorum, Rubio, Mike Huckabee, and Lindsey Graham).

To reiterate, these are not candidate interview segments. They are gifts of the entire hour of the program which the candidates don’t have to declare on their financial disclosure forms. And when Fox isn’t donating free airtime to Republicans they are bashing Hillary Clinton for anything from her email etiquette to rope lines for reporters, and always Benghazi.

The relentless bashing of Stewart is all the more absurd in light of the fact that when it suits Fox they will hail him for attacking liberals and/or Obama. As documented by News Corpse, Fox has published dozens of articles heaping praise on Stewart for either “destroying, tearing apart, eviscerating, or grilling” Obama and other liberals (see this list here). And if that weren’t enough, they also highlighted the many times Stewart “mocked, roasted, savaged, scorched, ridiculed, and obliterated” the President and his lefty allies (see this list here).

Now that the secret meetings have been revealed, all of the anti-liberal material Stewart did can be seen as sly attempts to throw everyone off the trail of his otherwise flagrant socialistic allegiances. Even the actual secret meeting Stewart held with a powerful media czar takes on new meaning. As Stewart notes in the video below, his meetings with Obama were not really secret, but his meeting with Fox News CEO Roger Ailes ended with him being told that “This conversation never happened and if you say it did, I’ll deny it.” It’s nice of Ailes to admit that he is not above lying.

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

Next week will be the last for Jon Stewart on The Daily Show. His departure will leave a noticeable gap in the world of social satire. It remains to be seen if new host Trevor Noah, or Stephen Colbert’s Late Show, will take up the slack. One thing is obvious, however. Conservatives have no intention (or ability) to offer up any quality humor. Fox News is trying – and failing – with their new Greg Gutfeld program. And this morning on Outnumbered, Fox booked a comedian guest host (Ryan Reiss) who fell flat with this opening gag: “Let’s first address the issue of [Hillary Clinton’s poll] numbers falling. She’s an older candidate so I’m sure she’s familiar with falls. At this point I think we’re gonna have to get her a Life-Alert.” Even the regular all-female panelists on the show greeted that joke with silence or groans. But sadly, that’s all they’ve got. The right is so full of hostility and hatred and prejudice and undeserved superiority that they have no sense of humor whatsoever. Their idea of comedy is a noxious blend of insults and childish chest-thumping.

For some of the real thing, here is Jon Stewart’s response to the scandal of the secret meeting. This should tide you over until Stewart’s control of the planet is complete. While Fox News revealed Stewart’s plot prematurely, they cannot stop his progress to impose his left-wing brand of comedyism on the world.

Fox News Scumbag Of The Week: Howard Kurtz, Trump Fluffer

In a week that’s seen various Fox News personnel take inane and/or offensive positions on everything from the Supreme Court’s decision on marriage equality (being the cause of floods in the capital) to the Charleston church massacre (being an attack on Christianity), a late entry to the contest sneaked in Friday just before the deadline to win the Fox News Scumbag Of The Week Award:

Fox News Howard Kurtz

On Friday’s broadcast of Special Report (video below), Howard Kurtz was introduced for a segment on how the press treats poor Donald Trump. Rather than report on the ever-expanding backlash to Trump’s racist assault on immigrants, Kurtz took the opportunity to slam the media for doing their job. He simultaneously attempted to run interference for the Republican Party to cleanse it of any stray excrement emanating from The Donald.

Kurtz: The media are trying to turn the Trump problem into the Republican problem. […] Why should Jeb Bush, Marco Rubio, Ted Cruz and the others, have to answer for the billionaire businessman who is hardly an establishment Republican?

What a bunch of unadulterated hogwash. The Republican Party doesn’t need any help from the media to turn Trump’s boorish vulgarity into their own problem. They invited him into their party with open arms. In 2008 Mitt Romney solicited and received Trump’s endorsement. Fox News, the GOP’s PR division, made him a weekly feature on Fox & Friends, as well a frequent guest on other programs. And every time he lashed out at President Obama with his signature classlessness, Republicans cheered and praised him.

The reason other Republicans are expected to respond to Trump’s assholiness is because Trump represents a broad swath of the establishment Republican ideology. He is anti-immigrant, anti-tax, anti-ObamaCare, anti-gay, anti-environment, and pro-war. Where does Kurtz get the idea that Trump isn’t in line with the GOP regulars? As evidence of his harmony with conservative voters, they have boosted him to the top tier in Republican primary polls after he made his repulsive remarks about immigrants. Only now, since Trump’s misfire has ricocheted back at them, are some trying to put some distance between themselves and his hate mongering.

But what really clinched the Scumbag prize for Kurtz is a wildly off-base comparison between how the media has treated Trump and how they treated a Democrat from the past with regard to whether Trump is hurting Republicans.

Kurtz: Is there a double standard here? The press didn’t say that John Edwards, for instance, hurt the Democratic brand by fathering an out-of-wedlock child.

WTF? It must have taken a Herculean effort for Kurtz to come up with the most reprehensibly inappropriate stab at false equivalency imaginable. First of all, unlike today’s Republicans, Democrats universally repudiated Edwards for his vile infidelity. The reason the Republican brand is hurting is because Trump’s comments are so closely aligned to the party’s platform. That simply wasn’t true with regard to Edwards. In fact, Edwards misbehavior was entirely personal, so it could not have reflected on the reputation of a political party. Trump’s transgressions, on the other hand, are purely political. And even now he is being defended by folks like Ann Coulter and Ted Cruz.

Even from an opportunistic journalistic perspective, the two scenarios are not remotely similar. Trump’s comments came during the heat of a presidential primary battle when candidates are expected to participate in open debate. However, the first reports of Edwards infidelity were published in October of 2007 by the National Enquirer, a tabloid rag with a reputation for sensationalist garbage that usually proved to be untrue. The story was justifiably dismissed considering the source.

It wasn’t until July of 2008 that Edwards was caught visiting his mistress at the Beverly Hilton Hotel. However, by that time Edwards was not a candidate. He had dropped out of the race six months earlier. In fact, there was no race because Hillary Clinton had also conceded in June of 2008 and endorsed Obama. Consequently, there was no reason for the media cover Edwards as anything but but a salacious human interest story. His troubles had absolutely nothing to do with the election or the Democratic Party.

Let’s face it – Kurtz only brought this up because A) He had no other example of a Democrat who is as repugnant as Trump and as adept at harming the interests of his party, and B) He desperately wanted to stigmatize Democrats with an ancient and unrelated memory to counteract the well-deserved bad publicity that Republicans are suffering. And for that purposefully manufactured slander, Kurtz easily walks away with the Scumbag Of The Week Award. Congratulations.

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

p.s. Kurtz is interviewing Trump tomorrow on his Fox News program, MediaBuzz. Tune in if you have the stomach for it. As they say, “The circle jerk will be televised.”

Bill O’Reilly Left Out Of Discussion On Lying Anchors By Fox News Media Liars

On this week’s episode of Fox News MediaBuzz with Howard Kurtz, the host invited TV critic David Zurawik to continue the pummeling of Brian Williams, who NBC just announced would be taking a role on MSNBC rather than returning to the anchor desk on the Nightly News.

Brian Williams has only himself to blame for the predicament he finds himself in. It was wholly uncalled for when he invented an exciting but false narrative of his exploits in Iraq. NBC is justified in reassigning him, as would any network be after discovering that their anchor had embellished his resume with fabrications. The problem here is that Fox News spent an entire segment pontificating on the issue of credibility without paying the least bit of attention to their own disgraced anchor, Bill O’Reilly.

Bill O'Reilly

O’Reilly was discovered to have lied far more seriously and often than Williams. And after being caught with incontrovertible proof, O’Reilly continued to deny the charges and slander his critics. Unlike Williams, he showed absolutely no remorse or contrition. He accepted no responsibility and even hung his former colleagues out to dry, implying that they were lying. For a quick refresher, here is what News Corpse reported when O’Reilly’s lies were first revealed:

ONE: The parade of falsehoods began with O’Reilly’s claim to have been “on the ground in active war zones” during the Falkland Islands war with the United Kingdom. He wasn’t. And now there is video of him reporting from Buenos Aires, Argentina that contradicts the accounts he gave afterward.

TWO: O’Reilly also claimed to have been outside the Florida home of George de Mohrenschildt where he said that he heard the shotgun blast that marked his suicide. De Mohrenschildt was an associate of Lee Harvey Oswald and was scheduled to testify at a congressional hearing on the JFK assassination. However, a recording of a contemporaneous phone call shows that O’Reilly wasn’t even in Florida when de Mohrenschildt died.

THREE: On another occasion, O’Reilly told a story about how he “saw nuns get shot in the back of the head” in El Salvador. That also was not true and O’Reilly himself admitted it in a statement that said he had actually just seen some “images of violence” but did not witness the incidents himself. Oddly, while admitting that his original assertions were false, he neither apologized nor acknowledged any wrongdoing.

FOUR: This was a similar case where O’Reilly spoke of his visit to Northern Ireland. While there he claimed to have witnessed bombings, however, when challenged Fox News issued a statement similar to the one about El Salvador that said he had merely seen pictures.

FIVE: Then there was the time that O’Reilly was covering the riots in Los Angeles sparked by the acquittal of the police officers who beat Rodney King. He claimed to have been the target of attacks by rioters, however, his associates covering the story deny that any of them were assaulted or injured. They do, however, contend that some tensions flared due to O’Reilly being an asshole.

These fabrications by the guy who pretends to be running a “No Spin Zone” are hardly the only times he has lied. There have been numerous other episodes including bragging about winning two Peabody Awards (he didn’t), and claiming to be a registered Independent (he was a Republican for several years at the time).

Some other incidents may not have been lies technically, just horribly wrong statements that he refused to correct. For instance, he once argued that there were no homeless veterans in America; as proof that his boycott of France was working he offered a report by the “Paris Business Review,” which does not exist; and he insisted, after doing extensive research, that no one on Fox ever said that people who didn’t pay ObamaCare penalties would be subject to prison. PolitiFact gave that one a “Pants on Fire.”

All of that was swept under the rug as Kurtz and Zurawik lit into Williams and suggested that he should not have been given a second chance at MSNBC. Zurawik was apoplectic as he insisted that Williams should have been “banished” and sanctimoniously declared that “the moral reasoning here is so tortured that you have to wonder why would NBC not just end its relationship with him.” He went on to preach about journalistic standards saying that “people who lie in the news business, if you give everybody a second chance, we’re going to have no standards.”

Of course, none of this moralizing is meant to refer to Fox’s own primetime dissembler, Bill O’Reilly. And for some reason Zurawik and Kurtz are not concerned about the morality or credibility of a network that not only doesn’t punish their liars, but lets them continue their multi-million dollar careers without so much as a sideways glance. The reason for that, of course, is that O’Reilly’s lies are not regarded as violating Fox’s standards. In fact, he is the perfect representative of the Fox News brand. He’s the biggest liar on the network of lies. If the bulk of your programming is littered with partisan bullcrap, than Bill O’Reilly isn’t a problem at all. He’s your poster boy.

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

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?

News Corpse Presents: The ALL NEW 2nd volume of
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.

Clinton Bash: The Hillary Smear Job Continues On Fox News

The author of “Clinton Cash,” the widely debunked collection of baseless speculation masquerading as an exposé of Hillary Clinton, had yet another opportunity to hawk his snake oil on Fox News’ MediaBuzz with Howard Kurtz. Peter Schweizer was interviewed about the book in the friendliest of settings where he received almost no challenge to the numerous errors he published.

Clinton Bash

Despite the fact that the entire premise of his book is that Hillary Clinton engaged in illegal activities, Schweizer told Kurtz that “I don’t think the standard of any news organization would be that we only report things when we have evidence of illegality.” So, according to Schweizer, the evidence of illegality is not a prerequisite for writing a book accusing someone of illegality. That is a justification for speculation, at best, and slander, at worst. In any case, it is not journalism.

Schweizer was asked about whether, due to his past associations, it would be appropriate to characterize him as partisan. Schweizer’s answer was that he is a conservative, but that does not equate to being a Republican. Really?

For the record, his associations include consorting with the Koch brothers, writing for Breitbart News, heading the ultra-rightist Government Accountability Institute (also affiliated with Breitbart and the Koch brothers), being a research fellow at the conservative Hoover Institution, contributing to Glenn Beck’s book, Broke, and serving as an aide to both George W. Bush and Sarah Palin. Now why would anyone think that he might be a partisan Republican?

Schweizer and Kurtz also discussed his alleged investigation into the finances of Jeb Bush. This is frequently brought up as proof of his political independence. However, it proves nothing of the sort. First, it remains to be seen if he ever publishes anything critical of Bush. This may all be talk. And second, many Republicans are opposing Bush in favor of more radically right-wing Republicans like Ted Cruz, Rand Paul, and Scott Walker. So Schweizer may just be among that contingent of the GOP, and still blatantly partisan.

The entire segment with Kurtz was a useless piece of froth that did nothing but help to promote Schweizer’s book. This could have been predicted from the outset after hearing Kurtz’s first question:

“The coverage of your book has started to turn. Now you’ve acknowledged in interviews that you can’t prove, don’t have a document showing that Hillary Clinton took any specific action intentionally to help donors to the Clinton Foundation. But, are much of the mainstream media giving you a harder time because you’re going after the Clintons?”

Notice that Kurtz started off his question with the valid criticism of Schweizer’s lack of evidence for the crimes his book alleges. But then Kurtz swerves to avoid making Schweizer answer those criticisms by instead bashing the media and throwing Schweizer a softball about what a hard time he has had at the hands of the so-called liberal press that just loves Hillary. A real journalist would have pursued the first part of that question and abandoned the second part as pointless drivel. But Kurtz made his choice which resulted in this response from Schweizer:

“I think there’s a certain element of that, yes. I think part of it is because there have been a lot of scandal books – so-called scandal books – in the past. But I also think that there’s this sense that they’re looking for political motivation in what I’m doing. And I think that you certainly can look behind the motivations of what people are doing, but you also ought to look at the facts themselves.”

Schweizer is actually right on two points. There have been a lot of so-called scandal books about Clinton. And none have proved any wrongdoing whatsoever – just like Schweizer’s. They have, however, defamed her as a lesbian cocaine smuggler who murdered White House counsel Vince Foster, was raped by husband Bill which resulted in Chelsea, hired a terrorist member of the Muslim Brotherhood as a close aide, and is hiding her true identity as a blood-drinking reptilian. And so much more.

The second point Schweizer got right was that it is important to look at the facts. That is something that he, by his own admission, didn’t do in his book, which is all speculation. And it is something that Kurtz also failed to do in his interview. But facts have never been a priority for Fox News and the conservative movement for which they are the propaganda machine. So no one should be surprised that they aren’t starting to care about facts now.

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

Thankfully, Stephen Colbert was one of the first serious journalists to uncover the rapidly expanding epidemic of Hillary Clinton scandals. Here are a couple he reported on last year.

Former Fox News Watch Host: The People Who Watch Fox News Are Cultish

This morning on CNN’s “Reliable Sources” host Brian Stelter interviewed the former host of the Fox News program “News Watch.” That program was canceled in 2008 and its host, Eric Burns, was fired. It’s replacement, “MediaBuzz,” is now led by a more reliable hack, Howard Kurtz, who isn’t troubled by having to peddle the partisan garbage that Fox spews.

Fox News

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On Reliable Sources, Stelter raised the ever-expanding controversy over Bill O’Reilly’s diuretic flow of lies about his past adventures as a news superhero. Stelter opened with with statements from the order of nuns who lost four of their members to death squads in El Salvador. They were disturbed by O’Reilly’s false assertion that he had personally witnessed the executions. O’Reilly later admitted that he had only seen photographs, but failed to apologize or even acknowledge that his prior claims were false.

At the top of the interview segment, Burns told Stelter that he had experienced the extraordinary effect of the audience loyalty at Fox News, saying that “The people who watch Fox News are cultish.” [a condition that News Corpse documented a few months ago] and that “O’Reilly, as the head of the cult, is not held to the same standards as Brian Williams. Burns went on to give credit to MSNBC’s Keith Olbermann who had frequently pointed out O’Reilly’s predilection for lying, with evidence proving it. Then Stelter asked Burns to comment on the shift by Fox News to ever more right-wing slanted programming. Burns said that…

“I thought that as Fox got more and more popular that Roger Ailes, who runs the network, would say ‘Well, the right has nowhere else to go, so if I move a little more to the center I can get a bigger audience and not lose my core audience.’ He did just the opposite. He went more to the right.”

It’s important to note that Burns hosted a program that was already severely slanted to the right. He had four panelists that included a single “liberal,” pretty much setting the model for every other panel on Fox (i.e. MediaBuzz, The Five, Special Report, Cashin In, Fox News Sunday, etc.). So Burns is no progressive mole. However, he was astute enough to recognize the downside of being associated with Fox News and replied to inquiries after his departure by expressing relief that…

“I do not have to face the ethical problem of sharing an employer with Glenn Beck.”

On Fox’s MediaBuzz this morning, host Kurtz completely ignored the O’Reilly affair, choosing instead to focus on negative stories about Hillary Clinton’s email, Obama’s speech in Selma, AL, and Netanyahu’s speech before Congress. Throw in a suck-up profile of Rand Paul and all of the criticisms expressed by Burns begin to be obvious. But don’t tell that to the cult members who watch Fox. They threaten to throw another Tea Party.

And Speaking of Cults: Get the ALL NEW 2nd volume of
Fox Nation vs. Reality: The Fox News Cult of Ignorance.
Available now at Amazon.

Despite Their Own Conceit, Fox News Is About As Scary As Honey Boo Boo

As America’s number one network for extreme, right-wing political bias and propaganda, Fox News relishes every opportunity to disparage their ideological foes and to sanctimoniously exalt themselves as protectors of their twisted versions of the truth. One of the favorite tactics of Fox News is to taunt public figures who make the completely rational decision to avoid the abuse that they would endure were they to submit to being interviewed by the network’s bullies and ignorant partisans. This week there was another example of that attempted intimidation by Fox’s media reporter, Howard Kurtz.

Fox News

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Kurtz appeared on The Kelly File with fill-in host and terrorist profiler Shannon Bream, a former beauty pageant contestant and graduate of Jerry Falwell’s Liberty University with no journalism training. The topic of the segment was departing Attorney General Eric Holder’s scheduled interviews with some news networks that did not, as of yet, include Fox. Bream queued Kurtz up by asking “Does he help himself at all by walking out the door and slamming it in our faces.” That totally unbiased question got this response from Kurtz:

“I think that it’s a sign of confidence when any politician, political figure, cabinet officer, congressman, is willing to sit down and take tougher questions from those you might perceive to be your harshest critics. […] Is the nation’s top law enforcement officer really afraid of [Fox News anchor] Bret Baier?”

Any suggestion that Holder, or anyone else who chooses to keep their distance from Fox News, is afraid of them is utter nonsense. That’s like saying you’re afraid of being interviewed by Honey Boo Boo, when the truth is you’re just smart enough to not waste your time. Notorious liar Bill O’Reilly has used the accusation of fear repeatedly, but frankly I’d be more afraid of Honey Boo boo.

Furthermore, if Kurtz even bothers to take his own analysis seriously, then why doesn’t he apply it to Republicans? He seems so disturbed that a single administration official is waving off Fox News, but he doesn’t seem bothered at all that the entire Republican Party is boycotting MSNBC. Reince Priebus, the chairman of the Republican National Committee has stated publicly that there will be no GOP presidential primary debates on that network. There will be four on Fox. Therefore, according to his own logic, Kurtz is implying that that every single one of the GOP candidates for president are afraid of Rachel Maddow?

What’s even more interesting about this is that the GOP candidates are even afraid of the friendly venues they have chosen for themselves. The RNC has drastically reduced the number of debates and assumed control of who will moderate them and ask questions. That was done to avoid a repeat of the embarrassing displays put on by Republicans during the 2012 election cycle. On one hand that may be a wise decision on their part considering the proclivity for Republicans to say stupid things. On the other hand it shelters them from the real world of political brawling that might toughen them up for the general election. And it exposes them as fearful of letting their candidates express themselves by taking positions for which they would later be held accountable.

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

After being left off of a preliminary list of networks that would be interviewing Holder, Fox News VP Michael Clemente whined that Holder’s reluctance to subject himself to the petty carping of Fox’s confirmed haters does a disservice to “the interests of a free press.” Apparently he doesn’t understand the phrase “free press.” You have to wonder where he gets the notion that a free press requires every public figure to submit to every media outlet, no matter how disreputable and hostile. It would be more correct to applaud Holder for showing respect for a free press by declining to validate Fox’s deceitful brand of pseudo-journalism.

Whether or not Holder grants Fox News an opportunity to malign him in person, it is clear that neither he, nor anyone else, is afraid of Fox. They just show it the measure of respect it deserves. But Republicans are demonstrating that they terrified of MSNBC and every other media outlet, including Fox, by implementing a policy that prohibits them from engaging in any public debates that aren’t sanctioned by the party apparatchiks. That’s a story that Kurtz will never report.

Killing Bill O’Reilly: The Fox News Bloviator Calls Everyone Who Is Against Him Poopyheads

The case of the Bill O’Reilly war mythology is continuing, and even heating up, as O’Reilly embarks on a take-no-prisoners mission to exonerate himself and crush his enemies. [Read this if you need to catch up] Unfortunately for him, he is shooting blanks that make a loud noise but fail to inflict any injury on those he is targeting.

Fox News Bill O'Reilly

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On CNN’s Reliable Sources Sunday morning, host Brian Stelter reported that he has statements from six other reporters who covered the Falklands war for CBS and not a single one corroborated O’Reilly’s self-aggrandizing accounts. To the contrary, they repudiated O’Reilly’s ludicrous embellishments entirely.

Stelter interviewed Eric Engberg who was a CBS News correspondent stationed in Argentina at the same time as O’Reilly. Engberg flatly denied O’Reilly’s claims that there was gunfire and people dying all around him in Buenos Aires, which is 1,200 miles from the actual war zone in the Falklands. Engberg also said that O’Reilly lied when he claimed that he was the only CBS correspondent courageous enough to leave the hotel during the demonstrations that followed the Argentine surrender to the UK. According to Engberg and others, there were as many as five reporters with camera crews in the field.

So O’Reilly phoned home (aka Fox News) to defend himself on Howard Kurtz’s MediaBuzz. He immediately set off on a mouth-foaming rant castigating his critics with childish insults and accusations of political and personal motives to destroy him. In his tantrum he called Engberg a coward and even browbeat his colleagues (Kurtz and media critic David Zurawik) interrupting them frequently to belligerently press his case, for which he provided no factual basis other than that his critics were left-wing meanies and thumbsuckers who just don’t like him. This exchange is typical of the tone O’Reilly set during the interview with his Fox associate and defender as represented in this exchange:

Kurtz: [David] Corn has been a Washington reporter for a long time and some people respect his work.
O’Reilly: Who? Name one. [Kurtz giggles] You can’t. He is a hatchet man. You know he is. He’s an aparatchnik (sic) from the far left and all of this is driven … Stelter from CNN … you don’t get more far left than this guy.

No one will be surprised that O’Reilly resorted to name-calling and politically inspired McCarthyism to attempt to demean and dismiss anyone who says something about him that is less than worshipful. But his allegations about Engberg and Stelter are outright delusional and blatantly self-serving. What’s more, his hostility toward Kurtz, who has taken his side during this sordid affair, shows just how desperate he is. For his part, Kurtz was obviously cowed by O’Reilly’s assault. His furtive giggling and acquiescence to O’Reilly’s assertion that, because he wasn’t prepared with a list of Corn’s admirers there must not be any, was almost painful to watch. As was O’Reilly’s blustery defense of himself and conviction that he would do everything the same if he had it to do over:

Kurtz: Seems to me, in my analysis of this, that the Mother Jones piece ultimately, if you boil it down, comes down to this semantic question. You have said you covered a “combat situation” in Argentina during the Falklands war. You’ve said “war zones of Falkland conflict” in Argentina. Looking back do you wish you had worded it differently?
O’Reilly: No! When you have soldiers, military police, firing into the crowd as the New York Times reported, and you have people injured and hurt and you’re in the middle of that, that’s a definition, alright? This is splitting hairs, trying anything they can to bring down me because of the Brian Williams situation.

Yep, as always, it’s all about him. Never mind the facts. And his “definition” of a war zone makes no sense. Policing a demonstration is completely different from combat, even if the demonstration turns deadly. And there is no corroboration of that from his CBS colleagues. O’Reilly cannot produce a single person to validate his story. He is utterly alone in his pompously boastful memories. That makes judging his veracity pretty easy. The one piece of written evidence he cited was a story in the New York Times that described the protests in Buenos Aires. However, the author of that article points out that O’Reilly deceptively edited the portion of his story that he read on the air.

As an example of O’Reilly’s hilariously twisted recollection, he told Kurtz that Engberg’s dispute was due to the fact that “he wasn’t there.” And O’Reilly knows this because when he left the hotel Engberg was still there. And when he returned in the evening Engberg was also there. Obviously, therefore, Engberg never left the hotel. In O’Reilly’s shrunken brain Engberg could not possibly have left after O’Reilly, spent the day reporting in the field, and returned before him.

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

In the end, this latest episode in O’Reilly’s media campaign to exonerate himself fell flat. He offered no proof of any of the controversial remarks he has made and they have all been refuted by others on the scene. He launched a shock and awe attack on his critics who have no ax to grind. All he did was cement the impression of him as a bully and a blowhard who demands that the world love him as much as he does. This isn’t going to go away any time soon, and O’Reilly can’t pay off his accusers as he did with Andrea Mackris, the O’Reilly Factor producer he sexually harassed. You can read more about that in this 2004 Washington Post article written by – – Howard Kurtz.

UPDATE (2/24/2015): Obviously O’Reilly thinks this a potentially damaging issue. For the second consecutive day O’Reilly spent much of his program defending himself. He played segments of the original video provided by CBS from Buenos Aires in 1982. Nothing he aired corroborated his account of people dying or his reputed acts of heroism. And his latest defense never addressed his false claims to have been in an “active war zone.” But one thing the video did do is prove that O’Reilly lied when he said that he was the only CBS correspondent courageous enough to leave the hotel to report the demonstrations. The video shows three other reporters doing remotes: Eric Engberg, Charles Gomez, and Bob Schieffer.

In other news, O’Reilly had an exchange with a reporter from the New York Times that ended with him threatening her saying that if he was unhappy with the story “I am coming after you with everything I have. You can take it as a threat.” And that’s a perfect illustration of how O’Reilly, and Fox News generally, deal with criticism.