Stephen Colbert To Replace David Letterman: Stay Tuned For Right-Wing Freakout

CBS announced this morning that Stephen Colbert, host of Comedy Central’s The Colbert Report, will succeed David Letterman as the host of The Late Show.

Fox Nation vs. Reality - Colbert

Note: Not actually endorsed by Stephen Colbert, but still…
Get Fox Nation vs. Reality. Available now at Amazon.

Although Letterman only announced his pending retirement a few days ago, Colbert was almost instantly regarded as a top contender to fill the vacancy. His unique brand of characterture and satire has won him numerous Emmys and even a couple of Peabody Awards. When he assumes the position at the Late Show desk he will immediately challenge his peers to up their game in both raw comedy and creativity. It is fair to expect Colbert to reshape the concept of late-night television.

For extra added entertainment pleasure, watch the conservative martinets of Puritan culture grasp their throats and gasp for air as their lungs veritably burst with outrage. Colbert, and his Comedy Central mentor Jon Stewart, have long been targets of right-wing animosity. To the extent that they manage to get the jokes, they despise them and whine about more liberal domination of the news (as if Stewart and Colbert were actually journalists). They tried in vain to mimic the Daily Show and to launch (or relaunch) careers for conservative comics like Dennis Miller, Steven Crowder, and Victoria Jackson.

Just yesterday, Bill O’Reilly devoted his nightly Talking Points Memo segment to Colbert, whom he called “a deceiver” for mocking O’Reilly’s ludicrous defense of income inequality. O’Reilly went on to say that…

“Colbert can be dismissed as clueless, but the guy does do damage because he gives cover to the powerful people who are selling Americans a big lie, that this country is bad, that it intentionally oppresses many of its own citizens. That is a lie. That point of view is shameful.”

Well, O’Reilly is the authority when it comes to doing damage by giving cover to powerful people selling lies. But even as Fox News blasts Colbert and Stewart as hopelessly biased, they have recognized the falsehood in that characterization. News Corpse documented 29 occasions where the Fox Nation website praised Stewart for taking the conservative side on his program. That, however, has never stopped them from asserting that Stewart is a socialist who only satirizes conservatives.

In response to the Colbert promotion, Breitbart News editor, John Nolte tweeted “Low-Rated Hyper-Partisan Lefty to Replace David Letterman.” He previously critiqued Colbert saying that…

“There’s a HUGE left-wing agenda behind what Comedy Central’s Stephen Colbert is doing, and it’s a serious agenda that has nothing to do with satire.”

That’s typical of the viewpoint that Nolte has held for years. In a series of ignorant columns attacking Colbert, Nolte pointed out what he considered to be the poor ratings performance of The Colbert Report. But due to his embarrassing ignorance of the television business, Nolte failed to realize that Colbert’s ratings were better than those of Fox News. What’s more, no knowledgeable person would compare the ratings of a niche cable channel with those of a broadcast TV network. When Colbert moves up to CBS he will inherit the audience that goes along with it.

Rush Limbaugh weighed in saying that…

“CBS has just declared war on the heartland of America. No longer is comedy going to be a covert assault on traditional American, conservative values. Now it’s just right out in the open.”

NewsBusters’ Dan Gainor tweeted…

“Colbert: From liberal asshat pretending to be conservative to liberal asshat who gets to be honest about his asshattery.”

Karl Rove was personally offended by Colbert’s “Ham Rove” bit, which he took as a threat of violence:

“One liberal replacing another one. Only this one apparently knows how to wield a knife.”

Rupert Murdoch’s New York Post published a screed titled “Picking Colbert to replace Letterman? CBS really screwed up,” in which author Kyle Smith (who?) says that Colbert is…

“…only funny if you accept the premise (conservatives are morons) while you snort Mountain Dew out your nose.”

There will surely be more to come from these media geniuses who live in fear of Colbert’s brand of truthiness. If they were smart they would withhold their juvenile insults and accept the fact that CBS made a decision that is in the best interests of their bottom line. They could simply declare that their silly #CancelColbert boycott campaign was a huge success and return to something they have a much longer history of – insulting women and minorities.

The prospect for Colbert’s future as a late-night host are promising. He has an appealing personality and an engaging rapport with the guests he interviews. He is likely to have less political content on CBS, where their Standards and Practices department will keep a tighter rein on him. That will be a loss for those of us who cherish his outlook on society and culture, but you can’t blame him for aspiring to advance his career. And while he may tone it down, he likely will not abandon it altogether.

What many of the people commenting on this news are neglecting to mention is that there will now be a vacancy at Comedy Central. Here’s hoping that Jon Stewart, whose production company put Colbert on as his lead-out, will have some say in the matter of what follows him next. Due to his irreplaceable persona, it will not be possible to slip someone else into the same format. But another snarky news send-up is still the obvious choice to fill out the late-night hour. Perhaps Comedy Central could parody Fox News’ The Five, with a panel show featuring Daily Show regulars like Lewis Black, John Hodgeman, Kristen Schaal, Al Madrigal, Jessica Williams, Wyatt Cynac, etc.

They have no shortage of talent available. And, thanks to Fox News and the rest of the right-wing media circus, they have no shortage of material either.

[Update] On his show last night, Bill O’Reilly ignored the news about Colbert’s new job, but Time Magazine caught up with him and elicited this response: “I hope Colbert will consider me for the Ed McMahon spot.” Proving once again that O’Reilly is hopelessly stuck in the past, his attempt at humor reached back to reference a decades old sidekick, rather than a more relevant choice like Paul Shaffer or Alan Coulter. But O’Reilly would be a good choice for an Ed McMahon role, whose comedic persona was that of an old Irish loudmouth and a notorious drunk.

Bill O'Reilly/Stephen Colbert

Bill O’Reilly’s Know-Nothing Talking Points On ObamaCare (And Jon Stewart Too)

For the past week, the Fox News spokesman for the Divine Spirit, Bill O’Reilly, has been proselytizing his own prescription for resolving the government shutdown crisis. The centerpiece of his solution is his call to delay the Affordable Care Act’s “individual mandate” for one year. He says that big business is getting to waive their mandate for a year, so why not all of the American people.

Bill O'Reilly

The only thing wrong O’Reilly’s position is everything. First of all, Americans already have a de facto one year exemption from ObamaCare. The open enrollment period for ObamaCare extends for six months, until the end of March 2014. Anyone who does not get the required insurance by then will have to pay penalty, but it will not be due until 2015. So everyone has plenty of time between now and then to evaluate their options and make a decision that is in their best interest. Therefore, O’Reilly’s suggestion for a one year delay is moot. His notion that everybody must have insurance by January first or they will be billed immediately is simply untrue.

Secondly, O’Reilly uses as a justification for his superfluous delay proposal the previous granting of a one year waiver for the employer mandate. He reasons that if big business is granted this alleged reprieve, why not give the same break to individuals? But what O’Reilly either doesn’t know, or doesn’t say, is that the waiver to which he is referring is only going to a tiny minority of specific businesses that are not providing health insurance to their employees. Since about 96% of the impacted companies already provide such insurance, that leaves only the portion of the remaining 4% who are not prepared to comply that will be subject to the waiver. And that represents about 0.4% of the American people. Citing that miniscule piece of the program as justification for exempting everyone subject to the individual mandate is ludicrous.

When Bill O’Reilly mouths off ignorantly about subjects like these, it really isn’t particularly surprising. He does that pretty much every day. Unfortunately, his pal from the Daily Show, Jon Stewart, also got swept up in the false argument about business waivers during an interview last night with the Secretary of Health and Human Services, Kathleen Sebelius. And as if it weren’t bad enough that he misread the facts, he berated Sebelius in a prolonged rant over that misunderstanding. Hopefully someone on his staff will provide him with more accurate data on this for future reference.

It is plainly absurd to delay a program that is already saving millions of dollars for millions of people on the basis of such flawed reasoning. And it certainly makes no sense to push everything back because a few companies got a waiver. The Tea Party Republicans advocating this course are engaging in deliberate obstruction and obfuscation, and they must not be allowed to get away with it. Their irresponsible behavior is already having an adverse effect on them with some polls showing they are at risk of losing their majority in the House of Representatives. So I guess the old saying about silver linings is true.

Fox News’ Love/Hate Relationship With Jon Stewart

If there is one thing that is undeniable about the the editors at Fox News, it’s that they are devoted to maintaining narratives that unleash persistent and blistering attacks on liberals and Democrats. It is their whole reason for living and their greatest source of joy. However, every now and then there is an event or a person that gums up the works and causes them to stutter furiously as they try to figure out what their opinion is.

Jon Stewart of the Daily Show is such a person. Under ordinary circumstance, Fox resides happily in their characterization of Stewart as an unrepentant, socialist, disciple of Joseph Goebbels. Bill O’Reilly has called him “a key component of left-wing television.” Last Week Eric Bolling introduced a segment saying “Jon Stewart and his team of liberal writers deliver this piece of shi…satire the other night.” Over at Fox Nation’s Lie-Fest they posted a ludicrous report about an Obama donor funding a movie he is set to direct (In fact, the producer also donated to Romney).

Fox Nation

Now Fox is giddily heralding the recent episodes of The Daily Show where Stewart has been criticizing President Obama for the the variety of pseudo-scandals that the right is currently peddling. Fox couldn’t be more tickled by what they now consider to be insightful satire, but which they usually regard as unfunny carping. The thing about this is, Fox is oblivious to the reality that Stewart frequently mocks Obama and other Democrats. And what makes Fox’s ignorance of this fact all the more peculiar is that they themselves report every slap that Stewart takes at the left. For instance, these are just from this year alone, starting with today’s posting:

  • 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

Remember this whenever you hear some jerkwad on Fox railing about what a commie subversive Stewart is. And by jerkwad we can include Roger Ailes the CEO of Fox News who said about Stewart

“He hates conservative views. He hates conservative thoughts. He hates conservative verbiage. He hates conservatives. He’s crazy. [...] He makes a living by attacking conservatives and stirring up a liberal base against it.”

Yeah, that’s why Stewart did all those critical bits aimed at liberals. Does Ailes watch his own network?

Obama’s IRS Probes Tax-Exempt Status Of Abortion Doctor’s Benghazi Tea Party

The media has been in a virtual orgasmic frenzy for the past 24 hours as reports come out about troubling behavior by government agencies. Make no mistake, what appears to have been done by individuals in the IRS and the Justice Department is of enormous concern to Americans who are justifiably suspicious of the potential for abuse of government power. There is good reason to be outraged by recent events and it is clear that there is such outrage from across the political spectrum.

An equal amount of outrage must also be directed at the idiotic people at the IRS who thought that what they were doing was helpful to progressive affairs. Not only does that sort of behavior contradict the most basic principles of liberalism, the high risk of discovery and subsequent scandal ought to have brought anyone whose common sense had lapsed straight back to reality. The damage done by this stupidity could not have been more successfully achieved if it were a deliberate plot by GOP plants in the agencies.

Jon Stewart

That is why the exasperation expressed by Jon Stewart last night (video below) was so appropriate. By committing some obviously nefarious acts of abuse, these miscreants have also made it harder to advance the rational and necessary legislative initiatives aimed at restoring jobs and economic growth, fixing the immigration system, implementing healthcare, battling terrorism, etc. It was bad enough when all we had to deal with was obsessively obstructionist Tea-publicans in congress, but now, as Stewart put it so well…

“This has, in one seismic moment, shifted the burden of proof from the tin-foil behatted to the government.”

Indeed. Now, along with wingnuts like Michelle Bachmann, Louis Gohmert, and Ted Cruz, we have every psychotic from Alex Jones to Glenn Beck to Ted Nugent insisting that they were right all along when they said that Obama was a reptilian space alien sent here to breed. Never mind that their delusions are just as schizoid today as they were yesterday, they are basking in the limelight created by a few low-level dumb-asses who have nothing to do with the bigger agenda our nation needs to pursue.

Not to be left out, Fox News is all over these wannabe scandals. They are interviewing Darrell Issa about the AP phone records without disclosing that Issa voted against the bill that would have made such seizures unlawful. They hosted Dick Cheney on Sean Hannity’s program to say that Benghazi is “one of the worst incidents, frankly, that I can recall in my career.” And remember, his career encompasses Nazi concentration camps and nuclear bombings in Japan, as well as those for which he bears some personal responsibility, like 9/11.

Some news outlets have made the effort to demonstrate that these sort of IRS transgressions were not invented last week. During the Bush administration there were abuses like these on multiple occasions. Alex Seitz-Wald at Salon has enumerated a few: The IRS threatened to revoke the tax-exempt status of the All Saints Episcopal Church in Pasadena following an anti-war sermon; The IRS audited the NAACP after its chairman criticized President Bush; The IRS audited and threatened to revoke Greenpeace’s tax-exempt status.

As for Fox News, they also did a report on the over-reaching of past presidents. And look at who they identified as violators:

Fox News - IRS Presidents

Fox managed to find two Democratic presidents (Kennedy and Clinton), who were never found to have done anything unlawful or even unethical via the IRS, and matched them up with one of histories most flagrant criminals (Nixon) whose abuse of IRS power is well documented and even recorded on tape. And somehow, George W. Bush, despite the cases noted above, was left out of Fox’s report entirely. Fair and What the Fuck?

Later in the day, Fox moved on to the story about Bloomberg News snooping on the users of their financial terminals. What could be more unsettling than the prospect of a powerful media institution secretly monitoring your private Internet and telecommunications activities?

Fox News - Bloomberg

Perhaps it might be a private media institution secretly hacking into the phones of thousands of individuals, including politicians, celebrities, and even a murdered schoolgirl. That, of course, is what Rupert Murdoch’s enterprise has admitted doing, but was never covered with the enthusiasm as Fox is now covering the story about their competitor, Bloomberg.

Murdochalypse

So for the foreseeable future, American news viewers are going to be bombarded with a flurry of sensationalistic stories bursting with speculation and hyperbole. We are already seeing reports that crunch together some of these affairs into conspiracies that assume a role by President Obama that no one has yet proven exists. Fox’s Neil Cavuto devoted a segment of his program to imply that the malfeasance in the IRS’s tax-exempt division will somehow spill over to the group that audits elements of ObamaCare, although they are not even remotely affiliated. The upshot of this conspiracy dementia is that if anyone in any agency does something untoward, then everyone in every agency is guilty.

What’s truly unfortunate is that the investigations into the failings that led to these abuses at the IRS and elsewhere, investigations that are warranted and could be beneficial, will undoubtedly distract both the media and the political class from working to resolve the many serious issues our nation is facing. So instead of creating jobs, protecting and educating children, addressing immigration, or pursuing terrorists, we will be inundated with ever more stories about Benghazi, the IRS, and Jodie Arias-style crime dramas.

If and when we get back to more substantive matters that affect the lives of real people, the scent of scandal will linger and further hamper progress. Consequently, without efficient and effective management of recent events, the nation may have to accept a period of stagnation, which is not what we need right now. And those jerkwads at the IRS are largely responsible for screwing over every citizen who had hoped that the country could move forward just a little bit. I hope they (figuratively) fry.

So F**king What? Movie Producer Funds Jon Stewart’s Movie

Due to the apparent lack of anything else that’s newsworthy, Fox Nation is reporting this bit of breaking news:

Fox Nation

The glorified delinquents that run Fox Nation veritably drool at any opportunity to disparage President Obama and his Hollywood pals. They are also giddy about slamming allegedly liberal comedians whenever possible (note that Jon Stewart is a frequent critic of the President and Democrats, and Fox knows it). But this item sourced to the ultra-conservative Washington Free Beacon is a perfect illustration of just how deranged these hacks are by their Obama hatred. The article begins…

“Gigi Pritzker, an heir to the Hyatt fortune, will finance and produce Stewart’s directorial debut, Rosewater. The film is based on the true story of a former Iranian political prisoner arrested after appearing on ‘The Daily Show.”’”

So F**king What?

Sure, Pritzker is financing and producing Stewart’s film. Perhaps it’s because she runs a production company, Odd Lot Entertainment, and was fortunate enough to snag this project that many producers in the business would covet. And as obsessed right-wingers like to remind everyone, there is an abundance of Obama supporters in Hollywood. It might be difficult to find a film producer that had not donated to Obama.

Do the cretins at Fox think that Stewart would have associated himself with Republican producer for his first directorial effort?

Oops. Wait a minute…..It seems that Stewart has, in fact, associated himself with a Republican producer. In 2012 Pritzker, according to the Center for Responsive Politics, contributed the maximum allowed donation – to Mitt Romney! So Fox could just as well have posted the headline “Romney Donor Funds Jon Stewart Movie.” I wonder why they didn’t.

Jon Stewart Dismantles The GOP/Fox News Messaging Machine

It’s been three months since the Republican Party took a beating at the polls losing the White House as well as two Senate seats and seven in the House. Yet they are still immersed in a vicious debate over whether their policies are driving away majorities of the electorate or if it’s just a messaging problem.

Heavyweight GOP operatives like Karl Rove, Eric Canter, Jim DeMint, Rush Limbaugh and various Tea Party goons are polishing their finest bluster and throwing blame around like cream pies at a clown convention. What they seem to be missing is that their messaging has been the one part of their tactical campaign that has been working. Americans, for the most part, know exactly what Republicans stand for, they just don’t like it and voted against it in droves. So the the response from the GOP is to take another stab at obscuring their true intent by developing another phony facade behind which to campaign. That effort was mercilessly skewered last night by Jon Stewart on the Daily Show:

Stewart’s focus on the self-described “Word Doctor” Frank Luntz could not have been more appropriate. Luntz has positioned himself as the poster boy for political window dressing.

Frank LuntzIn the pre-2012 election warm-up he conducted a seminar for the Republican Governors Association to teach them how to practice more effective deception. He told his pupils that he was “so scared” of Occupy Wall Street and laid out a directive for them to refrain from using damaging phrases like “tax the rich,” “sacrifice,” and “capitalism,” and replace them with his equivalent of verbal comfort food.

While desperately dishonest, Luntz is actually closer to solving the GOP’s problems than most of his comrades in the communications arena who are Apocalypse vendors trying to outdo one another with tales of doom. They want to keep the right-wing sheep in state of constant and debilitating fear by insisting that America’s demise is imminent, freedom is hanging by a thread, and the foreign-born usurper in the White House is amassing his troops for a run at dictatorship. Compared to that, Luntz is as warm and fuzzy as you can get, albeit just as averse to the truth.

The Apocalyptists, however, are winning the internal GOP war. Their gloomy forecast has prevailed as happy-talkers like Luntz fade into the woodwork. Luntz even acknowledged the defeat in a post-election commentary about why “Fox News viewers ought to be outraged.” The doomsayers have a much higher wattage broadcast platform. And although they whine incessantly about what they imagine to be a liberal media, their own role in propagandizing the nation is far more aggressive. As Jon Stewart sarcastically put it…

“If only people knew what the Republicans were about. What the Republicans need is some kind of a 24 hour a day, 7 day a week perpetual messaging refinement and distribution resource. Preferably one cloaked in the trappings of journalistic authority but without any of its ethical constraints.”

Yeah, if only they had that. Then their message wouldn’t be getting suppressed by media titans like Current TV. Wait a minute – that doesn’t exist anymore. Well the leftists certainly have dominated the airwaves on talk radio for the last few decades. Oh wait, that isn’t true either.

I guess the fact remains that the only billionaire sponsored mouthpiece for extremist right-wing thought control is still Fox News. And despite their monopoly on media manipulation they still can’t stop whining about what victims they are.

Fox News Hypocrisy Over Al-Jazeera Hilariously Exposed By Jon Stewart [Video]

As reported here last week, Fox News went on a loopy and hyperbolic panic over the news that Current TV was purchased by Al-Jazeera. They railed against what they called an anti-American network with ties to terrorists when, in reality, Fox News is more closely associated with terrorists than Al-Jazeera.

Last night Jon Stewart weighed in on The Daily Show with another of his hallmark smackdowns that revealed the brazen hypocrisy of Fox News. The segment features ludicrous condemnations from the likes of Sean Hannity, Bill O’Reilly, Stuart Varney, and Steve Doocy, as they sought to demonize Al Gore, while blithely ignoring the fact that their own boss, Rupert Murdoch, was deeply aligned with repulsive rhetoric from a Saudi-based network (Rotana) of which he has a 20% stake. Stewart noted that…

“Rotana is the same network that aired “Valley of the Wolves,” a movie in which American soldiers are the bad guys, massacring Iraqi civilians and stealing Arab organs to sell them to Jews.”

This is further evidence that Fox has no genuine interest in the pseudo-patriotism with which they plaster their airwaves. It is just a sleazy and phony operation aimed at advancing the political agenda of right-wing extremists, and enriching the network’s owners and the celebrities posing as journalists.

It’s too bad that the humor-deprived conservatives who need to see Stewart’s piece most are unlikely to do so. They already regard the program as liberal propaganda and dismiss it out of hand. But if they knew that they were being conned by Fox while the company is embracing some of the very same villains they pretend to oppose, viewers would revolt in a big way. Perhaps some of them already have, because Fox’s ratings have been in a steep dive for the past couple of months.

Romney’s 47% Fiasco Fuels MSNBC Ratings Rout For Maddow, O’Donnell

Just like when the party conventions concluded and the DNC’s superior production boosted the audience for MSNBC’s primetime programming, the release of the crippling video of Mitt Romney dismissing half the nation as moochers is having a positive effect on MSNBC as well.

Rachel Maddow

On Monday, Rachel Maddow crushed Sean Hannity scoring 32% more viewers in the key advertiser demo of adults 25-54. Also, Chris Matthews’ Hardball beat Shepard Smith and Lawrence O’Donnell topped Greta Van Susteren.

Last night (Tuesday), Rachel again rolled over Hannity by an even larger margin (37%). And O’Donnell continued his dominance of Van Susteren. On both nights MSNBC took the total primetime time period from Fox News. These wins are significant in that they don’t occur very often. What’s more, they are routing Fox’s perennial winners without any special programming along the lines of a convention or debate. This is strictly news driven.

However, even more noteworthy is that Maddow’s demo numbers on Tuesday were the highest in all of the cable news primetime schedule. She even bested Bill O’Reilly by 3% despite the fact that O’Reilly’s guest was Jon Stewart who ought to have drawn in the younger viewers that ordinarily shun O’Reilly. With his devoted older-skewing viewers, plus the kids from Stewart’s heavily promoted guest appearance, O’Reilly should have run away with the night.

Maddow’s decisive victory suggests that there is something brewing in the cable news game. Viewers are responding to the editorial content of MSNBC and its most dynamic presenters. It’s still way too soon to make definitive statements or projections, but the gathering trends are promising.

Now all MSNBC has to do is capitalize on the new attention they are receiving and bring in new talent. Ed Schultz, who has not been contributing to this upswing, may be due for a makeover or a co-host. And there’s no need to repeat Hardball in the early evening when a new show could could broaden the audience. My long-shot pick: I’d give former Rep. Anthony Weiner a shot. If Eliot Spitzer can get a show on Current, Weiner should have a second chance too. He’s smart, experienced, and entertaining. And the publicity would help bring in a curious audience.

[Update] O’Donnell beat Van Susteren again on Wednesday.

Jon Stewart Hammers Fox News For Misleading Editing Of Obama Video

Once again, the Daily Show’s Jon Stewart has proved that he’s a better journalist than the dishonest hacks at Fox News and, for that matter, most of the rest of the media. And he’s not even trying to be a journalist.

Ever since last Friday’s announcement by President Obama that his administration would suspend deportation of certain younger immigrants, the right-wing media has been trying to trip up the President’s policy by portraying it as an unconstitutional power grab or searching for some evidence of hypocrisy. On the latter front, Fox News uncovered a video of Obama from last year where he appeared to give Fox just what they were looking for. In the video, as broadcast by Fox, Obama said that…

“I just have to continue to say this notion that somehow I can just change the laws unilaterally is just not true. We are doing everything we can administratively. But the fact of the matter is there are laws on the books that I have to enforce. And I think there’s been a great disservice done to the cause of getting the DREAM Act passed and getting comprehensive immigration passed by perpetrating the notion that somehow, by myself, I can go and do these things. It’s just not true.”

That would seem to close the file on the matter of presidential hypocrisy, were it not for the intrepid investigative reporting of Jon Stewart. On the Daily Show last night Stewart aired the uncut video of Obama (see it below), including the part immediately following the point where Fox News ended their clip:

“…It’s just not true. What we can do is to prioritize enforcement — since there are limited enforcement resources — and say, we’re not going to go chasing after this young man or anybody else who has been acting responsibly, and would otherwise qualify for legal status if the DREAM Act passed.”

In other words, Obama very clearly said, as Stewart put it, “…that he can do the exact thing he just did, but which you said he said he’s not supposed to.” This is a blatant, inexcusable example of deliberately editing video to misconstrue its meaning and deceive their audience.

Sadly, it is not particularly uncommon for Fox News. But their brazen dishonesty doesn’t prevent them from making false claims about others. Yesterday Fox ran a story wherein they charged that MSNBC had edited a video of Romney that they say created a false impression. It wasn’t true, as is documented here, but Fox still featured the allegation prominently on their web site. Perhaps they will now publish a story exposing this new and verified incident of unethical journalism:

Yesterday on Fox News.
Fox News Projection
Tomorrow on Fox news?
Fox News - Not

Yeah, sure. That’ll happen.

Not So Breitbart: The Case Of Jon Stewart’s Crybaby Apologists

John Nolte at Breitbart News has so completely given up the pretense of having anything coherent to say that he has begun prefacing his columns with excuses for why they fail to make any point. Here is how he begins his latest lame assault on his favorite target, Jon Stewart:

“Jon Stewart apologists will crybaby over my analysis of these numbers because crybabying is what Stewart apologists do.”

As a credentialed Stewart apologist, I would like to point out that I am about to “crybaby” over Nolte’s analysis, not because it’s what I do, but because he is such a dumbfuck of an analyst.

Nolte works overtime to be as obnoxious as possible as he seeks to disparage Stewart’s ratings. The absurd angle he tackles is that there is some correlation between Stewart’s late night satirical Daily Show and the puerile Fox News afternoon blabfest “The Five.” For those who haven’t seen it, it features four frothing far-right wingnuts and one impotent, and apparently intoxicated, Fox-style democrat.

After asserting that Stewart is not intellectually honest, and that Stephen Colbert is not funny (and Greg Gutfeld is?), Nolte leaps into his ratings analysis saying that…

“The Five” once again won the viewership battle with the two clowns we are assured are some kind of American phenoms. Gutfeld and company drew a total of 1.478 million viewers, while Stewart and Colbert drew 1.462 and 1.217 respectively.

First of all, anyone who knows anything about television knows that comparing the raw audience totals of two completely different dayparts is meaningless. But Nolte’s faulty reporting extends far beyond that basic fact. He revels victoriously in declaring that The Five won a battle that never took place. But he bases his conclusion on a single, unrepresentative day. So even if you want to make this pointless comparison, it would be more honest to note that the Daily Show regularly posts higher numbers than The Five. In fact, on the days just before, and just after, the day that Breitbrat Nolte cherry-picked, the Daily Show “won the viewership battle” against the five clowns on Fox.

Breitbart on StewartA more honest comparison would be between the Daily Show and the O’Reilly Factor with which it competes head-to-head (although the Factor is a repeat). That’s a contest that Stewart also wins on a regular basis. The Daily Show generally places in the top twenty-five cable programs. But even O’Reilly’s first run broadcast barely squeaks into the top 100.

This is further evidence of Nolte’s proclivity for lying to his readers, a habit he surely picked up from his pseudo-saintly mentor, Andrew Breitbart. Nolte has been viscerally obsessed with bashing Stewart for quite a while, and in every instance he utterly fails to make a coherent argument. But you have to admire his tenacity in persevering despite falling on his face so brutally and frequently.

Not So Breitbart: This Web Site Smells Worse Than Its Decomposing Founder

At Breitbart News they are apparently beginning to feel the heat as they continually come up empty in their faux investigations. The site has become a parody of a right-wing disinformation center that produces more laughter than news. Consequently, they are steeping in the stench of desperation which only results ever more pathetic excuses for journalism. Yesterday they posted three standout hysterical failures that only prove what a bunch of losers Andrew left behind to sour his legacy.

Breitbart-Obama's SAT1) Exclusive: The Vetting – Did Obama Have Lower SAT Scores Than George W. Bush?
This article by Charles C. Johnson may be exclusive because no one else would run a story so thoroughly devoid of substance. The fact that the question in the title is never answered is consistent with the rest of the phony series allegedly “vetting” President Obama. The article opens by bragging that…

“Breitbart News has established that Obama’s grades and Scholastic Aptitude Test (SAT) scores may have been even lower than those of his supposedly less capable predecessor, George W. Bush.

Breitbart News has learned that the transfer class that entered Columbia College in the fall of 1981 with Obama was one of the worst in recent memory, according to Columbia officials at the time.”

Unfortunately, Breitbrat Charlie established nothing with regard to Obama’s grades. He merely engaged in wild speculation based on flimsy data that doesn’t affirm his contention. He provided zero evidence that Obama’s grades were low, or that his class was “the worst in recent memory.”

Based on his own source it is entirely possible that Obama’s grades were far higher than the average for his class. There is no stipulation that he was average or below. That is completely made up by the Breitbrats. And the claim that the class was “the worst” is equally false. The only thing their source said was that “On paper at least, the quality of the students accepted [as transfers] has declined.” It does not say that it declined to the worst and it says nothing about Obama’s placement.

This feverish attack on Obama’s intelligence by the morons at Breitbart News culminates in an absurd comparison between Obama and George W. Bush. At Harvard Obama held the prestigious post of editor of the Harvard Law Review and he graduated Magna Cum Laude. Bush barely graduated with a C- from Yale, and that was probably due to his father being a legacy and U.S. Congressman. There is simply no comparison of intellectual capacity between an accomplished honors student like Obama and a slacker riding his family coattails like Bush.

Breitbart-Ailes/Stewart2) Roger Ailes: Jon Stewart Told Me He’s a Socialist
The headline in this article is a rehashing of scurrilous insults that Fox News CEO Roger Ailes first threw at the Daily Show’s Jon Stewart back in December of 2010. At that time Ailes told interviewer Howard Kurtz that the executives at NPR were Nazis, that there was a cabal of left-wing rabbis, and that Stewart was both an atheist and a socialist. It was an utterly unhinged tirade that exposed Ailes as borderline psychotic. And now, Breitbrat John Nolte posts this screed attacking Stewart as an “elitist millionaire socialist” who…

“…would like to be the ‘benevolent’ overlord who tells us what’s best for us, especially in areas of speech, an area Stewart is desperate to control.”

Is Jon Stewart really a tyrant-in-waiting who, perched on his throne at the all-powerful Comedy Central, is desperate to control free speech? One shudders at the omnipotence of this unholy overlord. But how can this be if, as Breitbrat John says, he is also an “establishment toady” protecting Obama/Goliath? There aren’t very many historical examples of toady dictators.

Nolte goes on to describe Stewart as “talented, but … pathetic.” His hatred of Stewart goes back a long way. He has posted numerous disparaging articles about him, some of which take aim at his ratings, even though Stewart’s late night program beats the highest rated shows on Fox News in prime time.

Like the rest of the delusional right, Breitbrat John suffers from a sort of wingnut tunnel vision that causes him to think that Stewart is a liberal mouthpiece who never employs his satire to take down Obama or other Democrats. Nothing could be further from the truth. As I previously documented, Fox has posted at least 29 articles praising Stewart’s segments that bash the President and liberals. So the schizophrenic right still manages to shovel hate-filled screeds at Stewart, even as they celebrate his satirical bipartisanship.

Breitbart Vetting Journalists3) Their Rules, Not Ours: Time to Vet Private Lives of Journalists?
This may be the most ignorant and disturbing thing I have seen yet on Breitbart News. They are overtly threatening journalists with a campaign of slander and personal attacks on reporters who they don’t happen to like. Their razor-thin justification for such abhorrent behavior is that some reporters have published stories about ultra-wealthy Romney supporters who are trying to buy the election. Breitbrat John Nolte accuses reporters of trying to “intimidate and frighten” poor, defenseless, right-wing millionaires, so in retaliation he threatens to dig into the personal lives of journalists that have no relevancy to their work. He warns…

“What should we know about their personal lives, their finances, their personal mistakes, their traffic violations, and any run-ins with the law?”

The obvious answer is: Nothing! None of that information has any relevance to what reporters publish. If Breitbrat John has a problem with the content of an article he might try rebutting the assertions it presents. However, when you have no case to make against the substance, you attack the messenger. Nolte clearly does not have the mental acuity (or facts) to defend his positions, so he is launching a personal campaign against journalists who have a constitutional right to publish. If anyone is engaging in intimidation, it is Nolte and his fellow Breitbart thugs.

Nolte argues that the wealthy subjects of some news pieces are private citizens and exempt from scrutiny. In fact, they are openly public and taking prominent roles in bankrolling the campaigns of politicians and issues in an attempt to steer government in the direction of their conservative agenda. What could be more public than that? What’s more, the Breitbarts have no problem whatsoever attacking supporters of liberal politicians like George Soros and Bill Maher, so that just highlights their brazen hypocrisy.

To top it all off, the Breitbrats posted an item today at the top of their page (which real news organizations reserve for important stories) that features a photo of President Obama wearing colonial attire. The occasion was a 4th of July Celebration and parade where participating office-holders were requested to dress up. The Breitbrats virtually wet themselves with glee as they spun this “vetting” into some sort of expose of Obama as “The First Tea Partier.”

Breitbart - Obama First Tea Partier

First of all, I think the first Tea Partiers were in Boston about 240 years ago. And they were a decidedly unruly bunch who occupied the property of the one-percenters and destroyed their private assets in a protest over the unfair control of powerful business interests.

The article accompanying the photo went to great lengths to imply that Obama was hypocritical for criticizing the Tea Party for their costumes and symbols. Except for one thing: Obama never criticized the Tea Party for their costumes or symbols. To be sure, many liberals did so, but there is a stark difference between the left’s mockery of Tea Partiers and what the Breitbrats are attempting to do here. Obama made a public appearance in costume one time at a special event that requested it. The Tea Partiers do it every weekend for no particular reason. So the complaint on the part of the Breitbrats is like complaining if someone showed up at an annual Halloween party in costume, as opposed to a pack of nuts that spend every weekend dressing up in the park.

I won’t pretend to guess what Andrew Breitbart might have thought about these matters, but I can’t imagine that anyone would be proud of the sloppy and juvenile ravings that are emanating from the web pages he used to oversee.

The Swiftboating Of Obama Begins

In 2004 the campaign for president was tarnished by a band buttheads who thought that it would be appropriate to smear the military record of a decorated veteran who risked his life in Vietnam (John Kerry), in order to support a frat boy who evaded combat by leaning on the connections of his famous family (George W. Bush).

The Swiftboat Veterans for Truth launched a well-financed campaign of distortions and lies in order to prevent Kerry from gaining any popular support for his service to the country. And now a similar campaign has begun by a shadowy group called “Veterans for a Strong America” to deny President Obama any credit for his role in finding and killing Osama Bin Laden.

This video is brazenly dishonest in its portrayal of Obama as negligent in praising the efforts of all of those who had a role in Bin Laden’s demise. Obama has repeatedly and effusively honored everyone from foot soldiers to intelligence operatives to diplomats to civilians to the Navy SEALs, etc. There is abundant evidence of that praise had the liars responsible for this video cared to review it. Instead they chose slap together some deliberately deceitful soundbites of the President speaking in the first person.

As usual, it took the Daily Show’s Jon Stewart to set the record straight. He not only shames the producers of the video above by demonstrating how easy it is to be honest, he also makes the undeniable point that any politician would seek and expect some credit for having orchestrated this sort of dangerous mission and seeing it through to success.

Part One:

Part Two:

Republicans would like to steal every speck of gratitude that the President deserves for having been in charge of this operation. They seem to think that the SEALS planned, executed, and gave themselves the order to proceed without any intervention from the Commander-in-Chief. They also seem to believe that the order was a foregone conclusion that anyone would have made in similar circumstances. However, we know that that is untrue because Mitt Romney said specifically that he would not have chased Bin Laden into Pakistan and he criticized Obama for proposing it.

In 2004 there were, unfortunately, way too many gullible people who fell for the fallacies of the Swiftboat Liars. Hopefully that will not be the case today. President Obama was not solely responsible for determining Bin Laden’s fate. He knows that and says so frequently. But he did play an important role and is entitled to list it on his resume.

The Faux Conservative Outrage Over Jon Stewart’s Vagina Manger Routine

Once again the selective fury of the right has conservatives aghast over a comedy bit by Jon Stewart, despite their silence, and even defense of, far more revolting remarks by Ted Nugent that were made in all seriousness.

Last night Stewart performed a routine (video below) mocking Fox News for both their neglect of the GOP “War on Women” and their abundance of wars on just about everything else. Fox declares war whenever there is an topical story that they believe they can twist into a harangue aimed at Democrats or President Obama. Here are just a few of the actual “wars” Fox has declared:

  • A war on Hanukkah.
  • A war on Easter.
  • A war on fall holidays.
  • A war on Halloween.
  • A war on fossil fuels.
  • A war on the constitution.
  • A war on ladies’ night.
  • A war on Fisherman.
  • A war on salt.
  • A war on chocolate milk.
  • A war on sugary drinks.
  • A war on food.
  • A nanny state war on spuds.
  • A war on conservative women.

Today Newsbusters has come out swinging with a critique that illustrates how desperately poor their comprehension skills are. They seem to have missed the obvious fact that this was a satire directed at Fox News and jumped straight to a conniption fit over Christians who must now be sorely offended. The more obvious explanation is that the Newsbusters couldn’t really find any fault with Stewart’s hilarious analysis of Fox News so they had to find another avenue for their umbrage. They latched onto the Christian angle for which they got support from the uber-rightist, political operation (disguised as a religious civil rights group), the Catholic League. The League’s leader, Bill Donohue, is taking the war on Jon Stewart to another level:

“We are asking Stewart to apologize. If he does not, we will mobilize Protestants, Jews, Mormons and Muslims to join us in a boycott of his sponsors. Moreover, we will not stop with a boycott; there are other things that can be done to register our outrage. We are prepared to spend the money it takes to make this a nationwide issue, and we are prepared to stay the course..

I must admit that I’m curious as to what other things Donohue has in mind in addition to his boycott threat. Perhaps he is plotting a nationwide prayer vigil to beseech God to smite all comic apostates. And Donohue’s willingness to throw cash at the controversy can only be creating anxiety over at Comedy Central. I’m sure that Jon Stewart is shaking in his clown shoes at the thought of the wrath that is about to come down on him.

Breitbart’s Jon Stewart, Stephen Colbert, And Penis Envy

A few days ago I posted an article in response to a moronic ratings analysis by Breitbart’s editor-in-chief John Nolte. I noted that Nolte’s glee over the Daily Show having lower ratings than some other cable programs was a vacant and desperate stab at relevance, particularly considering that the ratings of his right-wing darlings at Fox News were even lower.

Breitbart - Daily Show

What I hadn’t noticed at the time was that Nolte is virtually fixated on what any coherent observer would agree is the unparalleled success of Jon Stewart and Stephen Colbert. The late night Comedy Central pair have created a Renaissance of political satire and much of their humorous insight has entered the popular culture. In addition to their broad-based popularity, they have both been the recipients of numerous broadcasting awards – and not just Emmys, but journalism honors. The Colbert Report just won its second Peabody this month.

That must be why the Breitbrats are so feverishly hammering away at these stars of satire. Nolte is either consumed with jealousy or merely suffering from a paranoid psychosis triggered by his Olympian lameness. In the past month Nolte has published four articles all making the same insipid and easily rebutted claim that Stewart and Colbert are failures. Four articles restating the same misinformation. But worse, Nolte imagines some Grand Design being orchestrated by Comedy Central and the White House to subvert – oh, I don’t know – motherhood? The NRA? Democracy? God’s will? In his dementia Nolte describes Stewart and Colbert as…

“…elite millionaire, speech-policing leftists,” and…
“…the dynamic duo of left-wing free speech oppressors…” and…
“…left-wing, speech policing, Obama Palace Guards…”

Talk about delusional. And he hasn’t even gotten warmed up. He also declared that…

“It’s all a mainstream media scam used to protect Obama and to get leftist talking points out there using a Trojan horse marked ‘satire.’ and…
“The corrupt entertainment media creates a phony reality around television shows they like.”

Nolte takes particular offense at Colbert about whom he rants…

“There’s a HUGE left-wing agenda behind what Comedy Central’s Stephen Colbert is doing, and it’s a serious agenda that has nothing to do with satire.” And that Colbert is…

“…attacking constitutional free speech by attempting to make a mockery of a new Supreme Court ruling that finally allows private citizens and corporations to have as much say in the political process as Stephen Colbert and corporations like, say, Comedy Central.” [Editor's note: Comedy Central is not a corporation]

Who knew? The Stewart/Colbert cabal to undermine America’s foundations, in concert with a Marxist Manchurian in the White House, is conspiring to silence “private citizens and corporations” like the Koch brothers, and China’s biggest trading partner, Wal-Mart. Indeed, Colbert’s mockery of the Citizen’s United decision is brutal in that it exposes the blatant excess of corporate billions corrupting the democratic process. Thank goodness for the Breitbrats who single-handedly come to the defense of otherwise defenseless waifs like ExxonMobil, Goldman Sachs, and AstroTurf Tea Party sugar-daddies at Americans for Prosperity.

I’m not sure why Nolte is so obsessed that he feels it’s necessary to repeatedly pound on a couple of comedy programs, especially when those programs are often as tough on liberals as they are on conservatives as I documented here. Perhaps he doesn’t like the abundance of dick jokes. Or maybe it’s just a part of his moral character that compels him to speak out when he sees injustice, such as this recent outpouring of outrage over an HBO program that crossed the lines of decency.

Breitbart HBO Penis Cup

Apparently the outrageousness of the program was not enough to keep Nolte from republishing the object of his disgust. And he further demonstrated his moral fiber and family values by advocating the murder of the child-actress’ mother (Nolte later scrubbed that remark and replaced it with one saying that the mother should lose custody of her children). And somewhere in the process Nolte hallucinates that the left is supportive of this sort of televised gross-out.

I can’t say that I was ever a fan of Andrew Breitbart. In fact, I considered him to be a deliberately dishonest purveyor of propaganda who reveled in rancor and divisiveness. But still, I have to wonder if he would be proud of his successors who are driving his media empire into ever more juvenile territory. I would imagine that he would at least be dismayed at what a hopelessly ineffective operation they have turned his web site into by slathering it up with such puerile trash. On the other hand, Breitbart’s biggest claim to fame was posting a TwitPic of a congressman’s wiener. So respectability was never really a part of his mission, but the wiener obsession survives.

Not So Breitbart: Jon Stewart vs. Robot Chicken

The Breibrats over at BigHollywood have once again set out to knock Jon Stewart down a peg by noting that there are other TV programs with higher ratings. I suppose I should give them credit for being able to count and to read a list, but they are still embarrassingly bad at ratings analysis, so I thought I would help them out by amending their big headline:

Breitbart - BigHollywood

If the Breibart crew is intent on criticizing Jon Stewart and Stephen Colbert for being such losers, it might have been a good idea to read a little further down the list (well, actually to the very bottom), where they would have found Fox News stars Sean Hannity and Bill O’Reilly. Then this commentary would not seem so idiotic:

But-but-but the media keeps telling me that two guys regularly humiliated in the ratings by cartoons, reruns, and “Robot Chicken” are American phenoms…?

But-but-but the media keeps telling me that two guys who couldn’t muster three million viewers combined are populist heroes who speak for the people…? [...]

Stick that in your clown nose, you speech-policing, left-wing elitists.

Hey, maybe stop being dicks. That might help.

If Stewart and Colbert are humiliated by placing 27th and 45th, than how would the Breitbrats describe Hannity and O’Reilly showing up dead last at 99 and 100? It would seem that Stewart and Colbert are more representative spokespersons for the people than Fox’s biggest stars. And as for being dicks…I think the Breitbrats have that honor sewn up.

Jon Stewart Is Driving Fox Nation Crazy

It is well known that conservatives have a hard time with comedy. Their attempts at it are invariably embarrassing. Their practitioners (Dennis Miller, Victoria Jackson, etc) are notable only for being lame has-beens. Consequently, they spend the majority of their time on the subject bashing comedians they regard as liberals, but who are actually just comedians who recognize that Sarah Palin and Tea Partiers are funnier than health care reform and homeless veterans.

Today on Fox Nation, the featured item at the top of their page (you know, where the most important news of the day should be) is an article about last night’s Daily Show with Jon Stewart. The program was almost entirely aimed at mocking the left with segments on ludicrous expenditures by the General Services Administration and the abundance of emails from Obama’s reelection campaign.

The Fox Nationalists zeroed in on the GSA segment (video below) due to its conclusion where Stewart painfully conceded that Fox News was right to report on the story. And, as usual, they simply didn’t get the joke. What made Stewart’s tearful concession funny was the fact that acknowledging Fox News for doing something right is so rarely necessary or deserved. Nevertheless, the Fox Nationalists are taking pride in Stewart’s mock praise with a headline that says: Jon Stewart Finally Admits to Fox News: ‘You’re Right’

Fox Nation

This characterization of the issue is consistent with Fox’s view, and that of conservatives generally, that Stewart is an unabashed liberal pushing a far-left agenda. Fox News CEO. Roger Ailes, once described Stewart as an “atheist and a socialist.” So the framing of this as Stewart “finally” coming around shouldn’t surprise anyone. Well, unless they have been reading Fox Nation where numerous stories have been published exalting Stewart for taking the conservative side:

  • 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

One has to wonder how Fox can publish so many stories demonstrating Stewart’s even-handed approach to issues and still criticize him relentlessly for being hopelessly biased. It’s like they have an ingrained need to hate Stewart for being a pinko comic-subversive, even as they are drawn to him for his humorous honesty. It’s a love/hate relationship that is driving them nuts. They simply don’t know which emotions to embrace. As much as they praise him for knocking the left, they are psychotically compelled to detest him, in part for fear of how their audience would react if they did not.

I wouldn’t expect this disorientation on the part of Fox to subside any time soon. Fortunately for them, they have never had a problem with harboring schizophrenic personalities that are diametrically opposed. That’s how they tolerate their own blatant hypocrisies such as with the recent controversy over unelected judges. And we can all be thankful that, if nothing else, this confusion may keep them from attempting any further forays into their own warped and cringe-worthy comedy routines.

Not So Breitbart: Daily Show vs. Cartoon Network vs. Fox News

The geniuses at Breitbart.com have published another of their astounding revelations that illustrate just how mentally deficient right-wingers can be due to their fixation on bashing anything and everything they regard as liberal.

In a posting that takes obvious pleasure in their analysis of television ratings, the Breitbrats report that Jon Stewart’s The Daily Show and The Colbert Report are not the highest rated programs in the universe.

Breitbrat John Nolte: Just a friendly reminder that less than 1% of the population watch Jon Stewart and Stephen Colbert. If it wasn’t for the elite media — the same elite media desperate to convince us these two are some sort of national treasures — hardly anyone would watch them at all.

Via TV By the Numbers:

  • TOTAL VIEWERS
    Comedy Central, 11-11:30 p.m. “The Daily Show,” 1.6 million
    Comedy Central, 11:30 p.m.-midnight ET, “The Colbert Report,” 1.3 million
    TBS, 11 p.m.-midnight, “Conan,” 1.0 million
    Adult Swim, 11:30 p.m.-12:30 a.m. ET, 2.1 million
    Adult Swim, 12:30-1:30 a.m. ET, 1.4 million

Whatever influence Stewart and Colbert have does not come from the people; it comes from the elite. This dynamic duo of left-wing free speech oppressors are about as populist as caviar.

Wow. What a couple of losers. The Comedy Central pair of media satirists can’t even rate higher than Cartoon Network programs. And it serves them right for all that free speech oppressing they are doing [Note to Nolte: Can you provide an example of this?].

What the Breitbrats failed to notice is that their pet network, Fox News, rates even lower than the Comedy Central late night lineup. For the month of February 2012, “In total day FNC placed fifth (vs. news programming) with 1.093 million viewers.”

Ergo: Whatever influence Fox News has does not come from the people; it comes from the slack-jawed yokels. These bombastic right-wing free speech oppressors are about as populist as roadkill.

Do the Breitbrats really think that they are scoring points by attacking Stewart and Colbert, even though those shows have more viewers than Fox News? How stupid do they think their readers are? (Don’t answer that). I reported long ago that Fox had fewer viewers than SpongeBob SquarePants in an effort to demonstrate how the perception of their influence was overly inflated. I also reported that the highest rated program on Fox (O’Reilly) has about half the viewers of the lowest rated broadcast news program (CBS Evening News). But my comparing a news network to a cartoon network actually makes a point due to the contrast. Comparing a comedy network to a cartoon network is really not indicative of anything. Stewart is the first person to say that his program is not a news program and he is not a journalist.

The Breitbrats seem so ecstatic about this that I hate to spoil their fun. But the next time they attempt to characterize a program as irrelevant, they had better check to see if their own TV pals aren’t even less relevant. It is Fox News that is struggling to have an impact on society, and despite their best efforts, they were unable to prevent a socialist Muslim with no birth certificate from getting elected to the presidency in 2008. They aren’t having much better luck in 2012. This is partly due to idiots like the Breitbrats who continue to embarrass what’s left of the reasonable wing of conservatism.

Corporate Godhood: When Corporate Personhood Is Not Enough

The Republican National Committee has just filed an amicus brief with the U.S. District Court in Virginia in support of a ruling that would eliminate the ban on corporations making direct donations to political candidates.

Such a ruling would magnify the catastrophic decision issued by the Supreme Court in the Citizen’s United case that permits corporations to make unlimited donations, anonymously, to political action committees. The RNC’s latest move would broaden that allowance to permit such donations directly to candidates.

This is another attempt by the GOP (Greedy One Percent) to usurp power in America from the people and transfer it to the wealthy and to unaccountable business entities. Even though individuals are not allowed to make unlimited donations to political candidates, Republicans want to give that power to corporations.

The result is much worse than the current situation wherein corporations are legally viewed as persons. If this ruling stands, corporations might as well be elevated to Gods. They will have far more omnipotent control over the affairs of humans than humans do themselves. Plus, like Gods, corporations are immortal. They direct our daily behavior. They control our bodies through drug testing, and our minds through propaganda They decide whether we will be able to pay rent or purchase groceries and medicine – essentially whether we live or die.

But unlike Gods, corporations have no moral code, no soul. They are unconcerned with the welfare of people. They are not held accountable for the pain, suffering, and even death that they cause. If I put e-coli bacteria in your soup and you die, I will go to jail, and perhaps be executed. If a corporation feeds tainted soup to millions they might get a fine and a request to recall the soup.

What’s more, corporations have no national loyalty. They are borderless entities that will ship jobs off to the cheapest, most exploitative locations for labor, then re-import those products made in near slave labor conditions and sell them back to us at inflated prices – including medicines that people require to live.

The only obligation that corporations are held to is to return value to shareholders. Period. It is a legal obligation for which they can lose their charter if they fail to comply. It is also a coldhearted standard of ethical behavior that differentiates corporations from people. People care about their families, their communities, their country, and their world. It is that caring that qualifies people to govern themselves. When we hand over that role to corporations, we put everything we care about in the hands of dead entities that were created for the sole purpose of making money.

Yet the Republican National Committee is pleading with the courts to give corporations more power than they have ever had, and more power than ordinary flesh-and-blood people could ever match. That’s today’s Republican Party to which the Tea Baggers and evangelicals are flocking. And they have to be stopped before we are nothing more than anthropogenic machines forced to serve the interests of the Corporation Almighty.

This is serious business. It is not some nuisance suit by an obscure fringe character. This legal action has been taken by the official body of the national Republican Party. It is not a joke. Nevertheless, Comedy Central’s Jon Stewart has once again distilled a complex and profound issue into a concise declarative statement that makes the point in an understandable and compelling way:

Jon Stewart On Corporate Personhood

Indeed. And the Supreme Court, dominated by a right-wing Republican majority, is now getting help from their party apparatus. And their frontrunner for the GOP nomination for president, Mitt Romney (or R*Money as his Highlife Homies call him), famously came out in support of the ludicrous notion that corporations are people.

This is becoming an ingrained principle of conservative politics and we must not allow it to succeed. So keep up the fight, because Corporations Are Not People. Here are some ways to contribute and participate:

Move To Amend is organizing a national action on January 20, 2012, to oppose and reverse Citizens United: Occupy the Courts!
Public Citizen is organizing a national action on January 21, 2012 to oppose and reverse Corporate Personhood: Occupy the Corporations!

What Got Into Jon Stewart?

The Daily Show is routinely the most intelligent and entertaining program on television. And it achieves that despite being mostly about politics and the press. Stewart is one of nation’s great satirists and commentators.

However, last night’s episode (video below), while having moments of good humor, hit some surprisingly sour notes that were both unfunny and misrepresented the facts. The show’s first segment was focused on President Obama’s White House speech regarding the debt ceiling crisis. The first sign that Stewart was slipping out of bounds was his mockery of the President for delivering a “belt-tightening” speech in the opulent environs of the White House. Did Stewart expect the President to take a camera crew to a local soup kitchen? Would he have been satisfied if the speech was delivered from the White House laundry room? This complaint simply made no sense.

Then Stewart played a portion the speech where the President described the competing plans to resolve the crisis, saying…

“Basically, the debate has centered around two different approaches. The first approach says, let’s live within our means by making serious, historic cuts in government spending. Let’s cut domestic spending to the lowest level it’s been since Dwight Eisenhower was President.”

Stewart cut the video at that point to mock the President for proposing a plan that sounded more like it came from the Republicans. He would have been right except for the part he cut out that included this:

“Finally, let’s ask the wealthiest Americans and biggest corporations to give up some of their tax breaks and special deductions. This balanced approach asks everyone to give a little without requiring anyone to sacrifice too much.”

Had Stewart left that in there would have been no punchline. It was the core component of the President’s plan that seeks to raise revenue from corporations and the wealthy. It is what distinguishes his approach from the Tea Party/GOP. And Stewart left it on the editing room floor on behalf of mediocre joke. But the worst part came after Obama made an appeal for viewers to contact their representatives in congress:

“So I’m asking you all to make your voice heard. If you want a balanced approach to reducing the deficit, let your Member of Congress know. If you believe we can solve this problem through compromise, send that message.”

To this Stewart offered his patented smirk and queried incredulously…

“That’s your idea? Call your Congressman? Did the President just quit? I mean seriously, you’re the President. You’re asking US to call congress? Oh yeah, sure I’ll the congress. Why don’t you come here and mow my _______ lawn because I got ____ to do. It’s like you’ve given up.”

Stewart’s humor generally contains poignant insights cloaked in hilarity. But on this occasion he is badly adrift. What exactly does he think is wrong with asking the American people to take an active role in their government’s processes? How can he characterize Obama as having “given up” just because he believes that the people’s voice matters? What could be more patriotic than encouraging citizens to get involved?

I’m sorry, Jon, if you think that asking people to participate in government, at a time when their welfare is at great risk, is too much to do. I’m sorry if you have to mow your lawn and can’t be bothered with conveying your opinion to your representative on a critical issue. Many Americans will not have lawns to mow if the nation goes into default, interests rates rise, and they can no longer make their mortgage payments.

The upshot of Stewart’s position is that people should tend to their personal affairs and the President, and others in Washington, should fix everything for us, magically discerning our wishes. That is neither democratic, constructive or funny. And for his trouble, Stewart was the featured headline on Fox Nation with a headline that blared: “Jon Stewart Turns on Obama.” Try again Jon. I’ll still watch tonight.

And, by the way, was it really necessary to suck up to Juan Williams and refrain from challenging any of his self-serving PR? I mean, you couldn’t even make fun of his book title, “Muzzled,” despite the fact that he broadcasts daily on a platform where he reaches millions. I wish I was that muzzled.

News Corpse Is Blasting Off

Daily Show News CorpseOver the past couple weeks News Corpse has become a worldwide sensation. Ever since the News of the World story broke, this web site has enjoyed significantly greater popularity.

It first became noticeable on Twitter as numerous clever Twits thought they all had invented the name. It was then retweeted endlessly and became a popular hashtag.

Now it has been launched into the stratosphere as the Daily Show’s Jon Stewart latched onto it in his report on how Fox News is covering (or rather, covering up) the Murdochalypse story. But he wasn’t the first television star to appropriate my identity. Keith Olbermann paid homage to me last year when reporting on Rupert Murdoch’s million dollar donation to the Republican Governor’s Association.

I don’t know whether to feel flattered or call my lawyer. If I could get a $1.00 from everyone who used the #NewsCorpse hashtag I’d have a bunch more dollars than I presently have. Better yet, if those who are enjoying my name were to buy a few stickers from me, then I’d get paid and you’d have some cool stickers. Just take a look at the items at the top of the sidebar to your right (i.e. Freak Show, Choose Your Weapon, Harmful If Swallowed, etc.), or go to Crass Commerce.

I acquired this domain name seven years ago, long before the current trendiness, in order to expose and mock right-wing media (which is most of it). It’s been enormously fun and satisfying to have an impact on reforming a pitifully broken mediasphere. July 18 was News Corpse’s seventh birthday. In that time I’ve written over 4,000 articles and done hundreds of original works of art. So anyone who wants to get me a birthday present can just purchase some stickers too.

Thanks to all my readers. Thanks to those who work to clean up the media environment. Thanks to the Twitterati. Thanks to Keith Olbermann. And now, my sincerest thanks to Jon Stewart. Don’t worry, I won’t sue you.