Fox News: Obama Plans To Flood U.S. With Foreign Ebola Patients

With just one week left before the consequential midterm election, the crackpot right-wing conspiracy theories are starting to erupt faster than they can be recorded. And the common theme among them is a frightening tale of some dastardly scheme devised by President Obama to rain misery on the American people who elected him twice.

Fox News Ebola to America

The latest plot uncovered by the intrepid reporters on Fox News is that Obama has a secret plan to import Ebola patients from West Africa into the United States where they will consume our scarce resources and infect our children. The plot was discovered by the Republican chairman of the House Judiciary Committee, Bob Goodlatte, who claims to have confidential information that came to him via an “inside source” within the administration. Naturally he takes this skimpy, unverifiable gossip to Megyn Kelly of Fox News. He tells her that…

“There’s increasing evidence they’re making those plans. Members of the media, my office, have received confidential communications saying that those plans are being developed. […] If you are concerned about this problem spreading – and this is a deadly disease that we’re even concerned about the great health care workers when they come back not spreading it – we certainly shouldn’t be bringing in the patients.”

The alarmist anxiety of Rep. Goodlatte is typical of the fear mongering that Republican politicians and pundits engage in so frequently. And as usual he has no on-record evidence of his allegations. This is just another unattributed assertion from a source whose credibility can’t be ascertained.

Not surprisingly, when the State Department was approached for a response they unambiguously shot down the conspiracy theory saying…

“There are absolutely no plans to MEDEVAC non-Americans who become ill from West Africa to the United States. We have discussed allowing other countries to use our MEDEVAC capabilities to evacuate their own citizens to their home countries or third-countries, subject to reimbursement and availability. But we are not contemplating bringing them back to the U.S. for treatment. Allegations to the contrary are completely false.”

Once again Fox News jumped way ahead of a story that had no foundation to begin with, that turns out to be untrue. In the process they terrified several million of their gullible viewers who will have heard the initial false reports on Fox, but not the State Department’s refutation. Plus, the original story got picked up by numerous right-wing media outlets (i.e. Washington Times, Breitbart News, Glenn Beck’s The Blaze, etc.) that further spread the phony report.

Compounding his fake controversy, Goodlatte demonstrated his ignorance of the issue by telling Kelly that…

“The risk, of course, is that we still don’t even know exactly how this disease is spread.”

But we do know exactly how this disease is spread. Goodlatte is just trying to make the problem even scarier by characterizing it as a mysterious malady that threatens us all. This is a deliberate strategy on the part of Fox News and the Republican Party to keep the public afraid as they contemplate the coming election. The GOP stands to gain by casting the administration as evildoers plotting to harm the nation. And the more frightened they can make voters, the more voters will vote against the President’s party. It is a tactic that squarely fits the definition of terrorism: (ter-uh-riz-uh m) – noun: The use of violence and threats to intimidate or coerce, especially for political purposes.

Rachel Maddow Deliciously Unravels The Fox News “Voter Fraud Frankenstein” Fallacy

Last Tuesday Megyn Kelly of Fox News hosted a segment on what she characterized as a frightening assault on democracy in Colorado as Democrats plotted to surreptitiously turn the “red meat state” blue. Setting aside the fact that Colorado has been a solid purple state for years, Kelly’s alarm was grossly misplaced and indicative of her extreme right-wing bias. She led off with a dire message for her easily spooked audience.

“Breaking tonight. With two weeks to the midterms we are getting warnings that a new law has opened the door to possible voter fraud in a critical senate race that could decide the balance of power in Congress.”

Fox News Voter Fraud

Saints preserve us. What malevolent disaster is looming over us now? Kelly “reported” that Colorado’s Democratic governor and legislature passed a new “first of its kind” law that “literally allows residents to print ballots from their home computers.” And with a chastening glare she facetiously asks “What could go wrong?”

What indeed? Well, the first thing that could go wrong is that Kelly’s reporting is entirely false. When local reporters with KUSA TV contacted Colorado’s Republican Secretary of State he told them that there was no truth to the story. Rachel Maddow covered the misleading reporting by Kelly in a brilliant segment that broke down the shameless dishonesty that is the hallmark of Fox News:

Kelly has still failed to acknowledge or correct her false reporting, proving that the only fraud here is that committed by Fox News on their pathetically gullible viewers. But the story doesn’t end there.

Following Kelly’s thoroughly fictional “breaking” news opening, she introduced her guests Michelle Malkin and David Bossie who were there to promote their new crocumentary “Rocky Mountain Heist,” about alleged voter fraud in Colorado. But before the interview began, Kelly played the entire two minute trailer for the film uninterrupted, giving the deceitful project free advertising worth tens of thousands of dollars.

Malkin said the film unveils a “voter fraud Frankenstein,” but like every other right-wing allegation of voter fraud, she never provides any evidence. And in this case she doesn’t even offer an example of any the fraudulent activity she alleges.

Most appalling is Malkin’s apoplectic complaint that “hundreds of thousands of dollars from unknown donors were poured into these races to target them and turn the legislature blue.” And she has the gall to whine about this supposed assault on democracy while sharing the interview with the man that made unscrupulous political donations possible on an unprecedented scale. David Bossie is the President and Chairman of Citizens United, the organization whose Supreme Court ruling permitted donations from corporations and individuals in unlimited amounts that can be kept hidden from the public.

Bossie also told Kelly that he has no problem with the spending on the part of the Democrats, but complained of a lack of transparency. Talk about hypocrisy. It was his lawsuit that made it all possible and he argued in favor of it when it was to his benefit.

For more examples of shameless dishonesty from Fox…
Get Fox Nation vs. Reality. Available now at Amazon.

So in this one segment of Kelly’s program she proliferated lies about the Colorado elections procedures, contributed valuable airtime to advertise a brazenly partisan documentary, and gave a platform to hypocritical right-wing propagandists to smear their Democratic foes just days before a consequential election. She provided no opportunity for the maligned Democrats to respond or for a representative of the other side to rebut the scurrilous charges. But that is typical of the absurdly tagged “fair and balanced” network that is neither. And it is the reason that Kelly is no better than Sean Hannity, or Glenn Beck, or any of the other ideologically prejudiced Fox mouthpieces past and present.

Just As I Predicted, Fox News Hated Obama’s Speech (Surprise)

Just as I predicted this morning, Fox News, and their Republican comrades, marched in lock-step opposition to President’s Obama speech on dealing with the threat of ISIL.

Republicans

Immediately following the speech, Fox News spent the next couple of hours picking it apart with sometimes ludicrous logic. They began with commentary from their White House correspondent Ed Henry who asserted his opinion that Obama, by calling for decisive action to destroy ISIL, had reversed himself on his prior foreign policy which, of course, was to destroy ISIL.

Megyn Kelly, who anchored the post-speech discussion, led with a series of poll results that cast the President in a negative light. She then approached her guests with blatantly leading questions, such as her wondering whether Obama’s heart was in his stated intention to take out ISIL. She also asked whether Obama’s policy to leave Iraq in 2011 caused the situation now where we have to go back “in a way that is even more dangerous.” That question ignores certain facts, such as the date for the departure of U.S. troops which was set by George W. Bush. Also, it can hardly be characterized as “more dangerous” when Obama’s plan will result in about 1,500 American soldiers in Iraq, as opposed to the 140,000 that were there previously. As for what caused the situation that allowed ISIL to emerge, that was solely due to Bush’s plundering of the government of Saddam Hussein (based on lies) and banishing his generals and other military personal, who went on to form ISIL.

Dana Perino, Bush’s former press secretary, said that she liked Obama’s line “If you threaten the United States you will have no safe haven.” But she said that the reason she liked it was because she had heard the same thing before from her old boss when he said “You are either with us or you are against us.” How is that even remotely the same?

However, the most idiotic commentary came from Brit Hume who said…

“If the threat is sufficiently great to American interests and to America itself, then it seems that one would do whatever it takes to eliminate the threat. [Obama] didn’t quite go that far. He said he was determined to destroy ISIS, but you heard at the end when he was talking about what we do in these situations. He said “We do what it takes.” He didn’t say we do whatever it takes.

Are you FRIGGIN’ kidding me? I would love to know what Hume thinks is different about those two statements. Obviously, these cretins are so consumed with finding fault that their cranial synapses are misfiring.

Every guest during the remainder of Kelly’s program was an Obama opponent, including Hume, Perino, General Jack Keane, Chris Stirewalt, and Sen. Ted Cruz. Cruz launched his tirade by saying that Obama’s speech was “fundamentally unserious,” and was representative of the “failed Obama/Clinton foreign policy.” That was his way of injecting politics into the discussion by invoking the name of the women he hopes to challenge in 2016. Kelly’s show was followed by Sean Hannity who added John McCain and Rand Paul to the bitchfest.

Not a single Democrat or pundit supportive of the President or his policy was allowed on the air during the post-speech analysis. So much for the “fair and balanced” network. This is why the prediction I made earlier was so easy. The same prediction can be made for pretty much any event that involves Obama or any progressive politician or policy. Fox News single-mindedly follows the philosophy of Marx (Groucho, that is):

Whatever it is, I’m against it.

Convert Or Die: Tea-Publicans Embrace The ISIS Doctrine

The American conservative movement has been crystal clear about their devotion to religious intolerance, racial bigotry, and political obstinance. They have honed an ideology of hatred and obstructionism that is unprecedented in our nation’s history. And in the wake of an escalation of brutality by our terrorist enemies, the right-wing only affirms their hard-line views and, even worse, adopts the rhetoric of our foes.

Convert or Die

The latest whack job to jump on the hayride is Duck Dynasty’s patriarch, Phil Robertson. Sean Hannity brought the Duck Dick onto his program to contribute his expertise in national security matters. However, the segment devolved into a sermon with Robertson spending most of his airtime reading from the bible. In one of the few off-the-cuff analyses of current affairs, Robertson offered this bit of wisdom about how to deal with ISIS:

“I’m just saying either convert them or kill them. One or the other.”

Well then, that certainly justified giving him twenty minutes to pontificate on a cable news program. Although it does coincide with previous Fox News pundits like Ann Coulter who said about Muslims generally:

“We should invade their countries, kill their leaders, and convert them to Christianity.”

If this rhetoric sounds familiar it’s because we’ve heard from none other than ISIS operatives themselves. As Fox’s Megyn Kelly noted, they invaded towns in Iraq telling the residents that they had to “convert, die, or leave.” So Coulter, Rpbertson, et al, are now cribbing their speeches from the terrorist set. If you’re going to engage in plagiarism, it might be better to follow the Herman Cain model and stick to ripping off Pokemon movie theme lyrics.

Not one to be shut out of the circus, Dr. Ben Carson raised the issue of the “convert-or-die” doctrine in an op-ed for the uber-rightist National Review. But he took a somewhat unique approach in that he wasn’t explicitly advocating it. No, the doctor was citing it to demonstrate the similarities between other Americans and marauding armies of terror.

“Their convert-or-die doctrine parallels some of the social philosophies enforced by the political-correctness police in this country. Either you accept their interpretation of what is moral and correct, or the name-calling starts. We despise the Islamic State but do not see the same ugliness in our own tactics.”

See there? The PC police in America are just like extremists who behead people. And decapitation is no worse than name-calling. How could we not see these same ugly characteristics of our own tactics without Carson’s visionary guidance? No wonder he is such a darling of the Tea-jadist community. And don’t forget, he’s the same guy who said that “ObamaCare is really, I think, the worst thing that has happened in this nation since slavery,” and that “America is very much like Nazi Germany.”

If you need documented proof of Fox News lies…
Get Fox Nation vs. Reality. Available now at Amazon.

So what we have to learn from these folks is that America is already in the same moral cesspool as our terrorist enemies, or that we ought to be. And it is this philosophy that has enraptured so much of the Republican base. If that doesn’t motivate you to vote this November, well, then the terrorists have already won. So there.

Faux Pas: Fox News Video Gaffe During ISIS Segment Was Ironically Appropriate

During last night’s episode of The Kelly File, Megyn Kelly was having a discussion about the ISIS murder of Jim Foley with Pete Hegseth, CEO of the Koch brothers financed Concerned Veterans for America. Just as Hegseth was getting to the core of his comments, the control room queued up a video to accompany the dialog. But it may not have been the video that Kelly was expecting. Hegseth told Kelly that…

“At this point this is a terrorist army that believes that it controls a state.”

Fox News

However, instead of showing militants in Iraq, the video was of the unrest in Ferguson, Mo. Specifically it showed police officers racing through the protest-clogged streets of the St. Louis community. For those images to be juxtaposed with the words spoken simultaneously by Hegseth was jarring, but it inadvertently transmitted a message that the protesters, and many Americans, would have found apropos to the situation.

Apparently the video was live, breaking news from Ferguson that the producers thought took priority over the Foley issue, but Kelly disagreed and interrupted the discussion to tell them so. Then she and Hegseth continued the segment. They did not appear to have grasped the irony of the video gaffe.

CONSPIRACY: President Obama Is Trying To Impeach Himself

You can’t make this stuff up, folks. Well, unless you are an acutely delusional Tea Party Republican or work for the wingnutty press. In that case you can’t help but make up crap like this. It’s in your DNA.

Impeach Obama

Ever since the first inauguration of President Obama, right-wingers have been trying to undo the people’s decision to make him America’s chief executive. They declared that their top legislative objective was to make Obama a one-term president. In pursuit of that goal they have blocked most of his policy initiatives, judges, and government reforms. At the same time they have been hyper investigatory on everything from Fast and Furious, to the IRS, to ObamaCare, to his birthplace. All of this was squarely aimed at crippling or revoking his presidency.

This year Obama’s critics came out of the impeachment closet and began openly advocating for that legal nuclear option despite not having any legal basis for it. While many Tea-Publican whack jobs were earlier to the gate, Sarah Palin burst onto the scene a couple weeks ago with her own demand that Congress do their duty and trump up some phony articles of impeachment. It got so absurdly intense that Obama addressed it himself with fitting mockery.

So of course the next shoe to drop in this melodrama is that, along with everything else in the world, Obama is to blame for this too. In fact, according to some in the rightist crackpot community, it was all part of his nefarious plot to embarrass the GOP. Here is what Texas Republican Steve Stockman had to say about it when interviewed by the ultra-fringe rightists at WorldNetDaily:

“President Obama is begging to be impeached. […] He wants us to impeach him now, before the midterm election because his senior advisers believe that is the only chance the Democratic Party has to avoid a major electoral defeat. Evidently Obama believes impeachment could motivate the Democratic Party base to come out and vote.”

There you have it. The evil genius in the White House orchestrated the whole Obama-hate campaign from its earliest days in 2008 just so that he would be able to use impeachment, which is every president’s dream, as an election strategy six years into his presidency. He had the foresight to anticipate that his anti-America agenda, developed in concert with the Muslims and Marxists in his inner circle, would make the 2014 midterms so difficult that he would need something positive, like having himself prosecuted before Congress for high crimes and misdemeanors, in order to stem the tide of opposition that would rise up.

And Rep. Stockman is not alone in seeing through Obama’s scheme to impeach himself. Rush Limbaugh caught on and told his dittoheads that…

“[Obama] is really trying to goad the House Republicans into impeaching him. Really trying, I mean, very hard. It’s become obvious. It’s so obvious, he’s not fooling anybody.”

Indeed. He certainly isn’t fooling Steve Scalise, the new GOP Whip in the House of Representatives. Scalise was interviewed on Fox News Sunday by Chris Wallace who repeatedly sought to make Scalise commit to whether or not Republicans would advance impeachment. The best that Wallace could extract from Scalise was that…

“[This] might be the first White House in history trying to start the narrative of impeaching their own president.”

What’s fascinating about Scalise’s criticism is that, despite trying to blame the impeachment talk on Obama, he flatly refused to take it off the table. This is, in fact, consistent with all the other impeach-truthers. They accuse Obama of being the source of the attacks, while simultaneously keeping the controversy alive. It’s like accusing a firefighter of being an arsonist while you’re hiding in the bushes with a lighter and a pile of dry twigs. And speaking of fire-starters, Glenn Beck weighed in on this too.

“The president is going to change the subject and he’s going to make it about impeachment. […] So who wants it? The president does, because then he’ll be able to say ‘I demand justice.'”

[Update] This evening Megyn Kelly joined the Obama Self-Impeachment Loons with a segment devoted solely to her theory that the President and Democrats really want impeachment hearings to proceed. She introduced the segment by saying that there has been “a drumbeat of impeachment talk from the Democrats.” Like her fellow screw-loosers, she appears to be oblivious to the long record of conservatives who have been fanning these flames, including Allen West, Mark Levin, and even her Fox colleagues Jeanine Pirro and Andrew Napolitano. Kelly’s guest was Fox regular Chris Stirewalt who absurdly claimed Obama was “trolling the other party in hopes that they will impeach you.” And Kelly herself recently interviewed Andrew McCarthy, author of the new book “Faithless Execution: Building The Political Case For Obama’s Impeachment.” Has she forgotten already?

At one point in the segment Kelly sought to prove that Republicans had no incentive to push impeachment because a Fox News poll showed that 61% of all respondents were opposed to it. What Kelly conspicuously left out, even though she had prepared on-screen graphics, was that the same poll showed that 56% of Republicans say they support impeaching the President. And a whopping 68% of the Tea Party favor impeachment. That could be a significant partisan incentive. Now why do you suppose Kelly failed to divulge that data from her own poll?

It seems that whenever conservative blowhards get tired of defending their irresponsible overreaching into fruitcake-ville, they downshift to try to pretend that they never held those psycho positions in the first place. Then they attempt to blame the victim (Obama) for the whole messy affair. They did this recently when the birther foolishness was making them look even more dimwitted than usual. So they alleged that it was Obama who was the only one talking about his birth certificate. Yeah, that’s the ticket.

This is behavior that is familiar from the lunatics in the Republican Party. They can’t seem to make any arguments that don’t contradict reality. They accuse Obama of being a socialist, even though capitalism has thrived during his term (record corporate profits, stock market soaring, unemployment down). They fret over his fiscal irresponsibility without noticing that he cut the deficit in half. They complain about the vacation time attributed to him, which is far less than his predecessors. They’re suing him for executive overreach, apparently unaware that he has issued fewer executive orders than any president in nearly a hundred years.

This a president who is seen by his foes as both a lazy, incompetent, bungler, and a brilliant, determined, tyrant. They bitterly complain that he is disengaged and not doing enough – of the things that they hate him for doing so relentlessly. And now they are trying to peddle the notion that all along impeachment was a part of his grand plan to steal the 2014 elections. At what point can we have these nut cases put on a psychiatric hold for observation? Seriously, they need help.

On Fox News: Religious Intolerance Is An Atrocity Unless It’s Practiced By Christians

Last week Megyn Kelly of Fox News featured a segment that was crammed full of outrage over the bigotry demonstrated by the extremist ISIS brigade that is terrorizing much of Iraq. As ISIS marches through the nation that was fatally destabilized by George W. Bush and his confederacy of liars, any religious faction that is not aligned with the ISIS brand of Sunni Islam is dealt with brutally and mercilessly. This, of course, includes the Christians in the region. And it is the Christians for whom Fox News is solely concerned.

In a delivery dripping with fear, Kelly gravely reported on an alleged directive from ISIS that Christians in the city of Mosul “could leave, they could convert to Islam, or they could die.” This is certainly further evidence of the extremist intentions of the group and Fox News is correct to repudiate the threat as an assault on religious freedom.

However, there are a couple of problems with their newly acquired aversion to intolerance (a subject they generally dismiss as political correctness). For one thing, it never bothered them when conservative firebrand, and Fox News fave, Ann Coulter said pretty much the same thing, but with a somewhat different emphasis.

Fox News

Shameless self-promotion…
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Coulter’s doctrine on Islam that “We should invade their countries, kill their leaders and convert them to Christianity,” is just as repugnant, bigoted, and hostile as that of the ISIS ultimatum. So why does Fox News tolerate hate-speech from Coulter that is identical to that of terrorist extremists?

It may help to understand the Fox editorial philosophy by noting that the “expert” Kelly solicited to analyze the events in Iraq was Tony Perkins of the Family Research Council, who immediately blamed President Obama for this rancid display of religious intolerance. In fact, Perkins and Kelly spent more time castigating the President than they did ISIS. This tells you who they really regard as their enemy.

Perkins, and the FRC, are notable for their place on the list of hate groups published by the Southern Poverty Law Center (SPLC). The FRC has been one of the most vicious opponents of the LGBT community. Their opposition is based wholly on their view that anyone who strays from the Christian dogma advocated by the FRC is deviant, sinful, harmful to society, and an affront to God. In other words, it is an entirely religious prejudice that condemns those with different beliefs. The SPLC’s report on the FRC begins…

“The Family Research Council (FRC) bills itself as ‘the leading voice for the family in our nation’s halls of power,’ but its real specialty is defaming gays and lesbians. The FRC often makes false claims about the LGBT community based on discredited research and junk science. The intention is to denigrate LGBT people in its battles against same-sex marriage, hate crimes laws, anti-bullying programs and the repeal of the military’s “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell” policy.”

Despite their “Vision Statement” which calls for a culture in which “religious liberty thrives,” the FRC is unarguably a practitioner of religious intolerance. It’s sole purpose for existing is to rebuke those who fail to adopt their religious views. If a culture wherein religious liberty were thriving was truly their mission, there would be a place in it for those with whom they disagree. However, in that regard they are no different than ISIS.

It is telling that Kelly chose to invite the religiously intolerant Perkins to her Fox News program to discuss the religious intolerance of others. She might have considered people who are actually involved in anti-discrimination organizations, whose opinions would be more credible. That, however, would require her to violate the gospel of Fox News which demands strict adherence to right-wing, conservative, Christian principles. As I have noted previously

Fox News is the closest thing in media to a Vatican PR office, with a roster that is heavily weighted with Roman-Catholics. They include: Bill O’Reilly, Sean Hannity, Megyn Kelly, Bret Baier, Bill Hemmer, Brian Kilmeade, Andrew Napolitano, Jeanine Pirro, Laura Ingraham, Dennis Kucinich, Elisabeth Hasselbeck, and Father Morris. Rupert Murdoch, the CEO of Fox News parent News Corp was himself inducted into the ‘Knights of the Order of Saint Gregory the Great’ by Pope John Paul II. And if that isn’t enough, the current Senior Communications Adviser in the Vatican’s Secretariat of State, Greg Burke, was previously the Fox News correspondent covering the Vatican, a position he held for ten years.

So remember this the next time you hear Fox News pretending to be the champions of religious freedom. Remember that their experts are actually bigoted hate mongers. Remember that their political commentators advocate genocide and ethnic cleansing. The only freedom that Fox News supports is the freedom to plaster the airwaves with lies and propaganda in the furtherance of the right-wing theocracy they hope to foist on America.

The Republican’s Dr. Strangelove Promotes Book By Nazi Sympathizer On Fox News

In the most recent polling of Republican voters, their top choices for president almost always include Dr. Ben Carson, the neurosurgeon-turned-Fox News pundit who viscerally hates President Obama and advocates Christian supremacy in America.

Carson appeared on Megyn Kelly’s Fox News program last night to warn that the United States is “going down the tubes” like the great empires of the past because we have “become enamored of sports and entertainment,” and have “lost our moral compass.” This downward spiral, Carson says, is an extremely dangerous situation that threatens to subject America to the same dreadful fate as previous historical dynasties like Greece, Rome, and Britain.

Ben Carson

The segment was mostly a paper thin discourse on vague apocalyptic generalities that provided scant insight into anything other than Carson’s embarrassingly poor grasp of history and government. His main points were cliched right-wing admonitions against progressivism and straying from Christian faith. And in the midst of this harangue, Carson made a note of the risks of divisiveness:

Kelly: To what extent do you feel divisiveness is playing a role in what we’re seeing right now?
Carson: It’s playing an extremely large role in what we are doing.

In what “WE” are doing? That was certainly a clumsy phrasing that Carson would probably like to retract. However, it is also ironically truthful. For the better part of the eight minute segment Carson was fiercely divisive, referring to his ideological foes as neo-Marxists, specifically aligning them with Marx, Lenin, and one of the right’s favorite bogeymen, Saul Alinsky. Which is why his unintended admission that divisiveness plays a large role in what “WE” are doing rings true.

Even Kelly observed that calling people neo-Marxists could cause others to view him as unpresidential and too extreme to ever be elected president. Carson’s response to that was to encourage viewers to do their own research. He then offered this as an example of the sort of troubling things they would find:

Carson: Number one rule of Saul Alinsky: You make the majority think that what they believe is no longer in vogue; that nobody with any intelligence thinks that way; and that the way you believe is the only way that intelligent people believe.

The only problem with that example is that it does not happen to be the number one rule of Saul Alinsky. Nor is it any other rule. It appears that Carson just made it up as it doesn’t even resemble any of the actual rules that Alinsky laid out in his book “Rules For Radicals”. Or, more likely, he adopted it from some disreputable source that he naively believed. [For reference I have included all of Alinsky’s Rules for Radicals at the bottom of this post] But it wasn’t until Carson sought to buttress his criticism with additional girders of fringy philosophy that he went spinning off the rails entirely. And in the process he demonstrated how vulnerable he is to disreputable sources.

Carson: There was a guy who was a former CIA agent by the name of Cleon Skousen who wrote a book in 1958 called “The Naked Communist,” that laid out the whole agenda. You would think by reading it that it was written last year. Showing what they’re trying to do to American families, what they’re trying to do to our Judeo-Christian faith, what they’re doing to morality.

W. Cleon Skousen was a disgraced Mormon whackjob whom even the Mormon church repudiated. He was a rabid anti-communist who veered off into conspiracy theories and fabricated prophecy. His extreme views led him to support other contemporary opponents of communism, better known as Nazis. And for good measure, Carson shares his admiration of Skousen with another popular whackjob, Glenn Beck, who insisted that his followers read Skousen’s “The 5,000 Year Leap,” which Beck said was divinely inspired.

And so it has come to pass that Ben Carson is the darling of the Tea Party and other far-right dimwits. It is a strange love, so to speak, because despite having absolutely zero expertise in government, law, social sciences, public service, or any other study relevant to statecraft, the Republican base has embraced him and are striving mightily to persuade him to throw his hat in the ring for the presidency, a job for which he is profoundly unqualified.

Shameless self-promotion…
Get Fox Nation vs. Reality. Available now at Amazon.

But what is truly dumbfounding is that he isn’t much less qualified than many of the other prospective GOP candidates (Ted Cruz, Rand Paul, Marco Rubio) or candidates past (Michele Bachmann, Donald Trump, Herman Cain, Sarah Palin). Scary, isn’t it?

From Saul Alinsky’s Rules For Radicals:

  • Power is not only what you have, but what the enemy thinks you have.
  • Never go outside the expertise of your people.
  • Whenever possible, go outside the expertise of the enemy.
  • Make the enemy live up to its own book of rules.
  • Ridicule is man’s most potent weapon.
  • A good tactic is one your people enjoy.
  • A tactic that drags on too long becomes a drag.
  • Keep the pressure on. Never let up.
  • The threat is usually more terrifying than the thing itself.
  • The major premise for tactics is the development of operations that will maintain a constant pressure upon the opposition.
  • If you push a negative hard enough, it will push through and become a positive.
  • The price of a successful attack is a constructive alternative.
  • Pick the target, freeze it, personalize it, and polarize it.

FACT CHECK: ISIS Leader, Baghdadi, Was Released By Bush, Not Obama

In yet another example of journalistic malpractice, the folks at Fox News broadcast a number of reports that got the most significant facts completely wrong. In order to do so, they relied on the assertions of a single, uncorroborated account, and failed to do the most basic follow-up with the people in a position to know.

Fox News

Shameless self-promotion…
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The latest lie-riddled reporting on Fox concerned the circumstances of the capture and release of Abu Bakr al Baghdadi, the leader of the terrorist group, Islamic State of Iraq and Syria (ISIS). Fox and other conservative media outlets are endeavoring to place the responsibility for Baghdadi’s brutal march through Iraq on President Obama. Representative commentaries include these by Fox hosts Jeanine Pirro and Megyn Kelly:

Pirro: The head of this band of savages is a man by the name of Abu al-Baghdadi. The new Osama Bin Laden. A man released by Obama in 2009, who started ISIS a year later.

Kelly: We are also learning more about the leader of the terror group, a man described as the new Bin Laden, the heir to Bin Laden. It turns out he had been in U.S. custody until 2009, over in Iraq, when he was then turned over to the Iraqi government as part of our troop drawdown. And then he was released.

On Pirro’s Saturday program she led into the subject with a mouth-foaming harangue about Obama’s “feckless” leadership and socialist designs on America. On Kelly’s primetime program she interviewed Col. Kenneth King who claimed to have been present when Baghdadi was transferred from the custody of U.S. forces to the Iraqis, who later allegedly released him to go on to form ISIS. However, an investigation by PolitiFact uncovered a very different story, confirmed by the Defense Department, and branding the Fox report as “false.”

“Ibrahim Awad Ibrahim Al Badry, also known as ‘Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi’ was held as a ‘civilian internee’ by U.S. Forces-Iraq from early February 2004 until early December 2004, when he was released,” the Pentagon said in a statement. “He was held at Camp Bucca. A Combined Review and Release Board recommended ‘unconditional release’ of this detainee and he was released from U.S. custody shortly thereafter. We have no record of him being held at any other time.”

Since the right-wing is so intent on assigning blame for Baghdadi’s campaign of terror on the president who was in office when he was set free, then according to their logic it is all Bush’s fault. But don’t expect Fox News to report the facts as laid out by actual journalists. They won’t even report the comments of their own witness, Col. King, who appeared on another network (ABC) and admitted that he “could be mistaken.” It turns out that he never knew the name of the man he presumed to be Baghdadi, he just thought there was a resemblance to the man he encountered. Nor will they report Col. King’s remarks to the Daily Beast where he downplayed the threat posed by Baghdadi, saying that “He was a bad dude, but he wasn’t the worst of the worst.”

PolitiFact went on to note that, even if Col. King’s account were correct, and Baghdadi was still in custody in 2009, Obama still could not be held to blame for Baghdadi’s release. The terms of the Status of Forces Agreement with Iraq required the U.S. to turn over all prisoners to the custody of Iraq’s criminal system. That agreement was negotiated and agreed to by the Bush administration in 2008.

Baghdadi and Bush

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So virtually everything reported by Fox News was wrong. And, not surprisingly, all of the misinformation leaned toward blaming President Obama for the mistakes of President Bush. It’a pattern that is all too familiar. Now that the truth has been revealed and confirmed, we can expect Fox to issue a correction at the earliest opportunity. And if you believe that you are probably already a dimwitted, gullible disciple of the Fox Disinformation Society.

Foxettes On Parade: Is Fox News Breaking The Massachusetts Upskirting Law?

This week a Massachusetts judge dismissed the conviction of a man who was caught surreptitiously taking photographs underneath the skirt of a female undercover transit officer. The dismissal was based on the judge’s contorted interpretation of the law that found that the woman was not “partially nude” and therefore not a victim.

The Massachusetts legislature quickly drafted and passed an amendment to the law that clarified what constituted a violation. Gov. Deval Patrick signed the bill Friday, making this statement:

“The legislation makes the secret photographing, videotaping, or electronically surveiling of another person’s sexual or other intimate parts, whether under or around a person’s clothing or when a reasonable person would believe that the person’s intimate parts would not be visible to the public, a crime.”

The media was all over this disturbing story with a nearly lascivious glee. It’s the sort of sex crime controversy that starts tabloid editors salivating. So it is not surprising that Fox News, the tabloidiest channel of them all, covered the story excitedly in their broadcast. However, Fox may be exposing themselves to legal liability due to their penchant for featuring the physical assets of their female hosts and guests.

Fox News Upskirting

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The evidence that is abundantly available of Fox News videotaping “under or around a person’s clothing” could be used against them in a court of law. If one of their employees were to press charges it wouldn’t be difficult to make a case given the thousands of hours of video proof. What’s more, executives at Fox have privately admitted that exploiting the sexuality of their nearly all-blonde roster of women presenters is a key part of their corporate culture. Gabriel Sherman wrote in his biography of Fox News CEO Roger Ailes, “The Loudest Voice In The Room,” that Ailes has repeatedly given direction to his staff regarding the display of female body parts. For instance:

  • When the view of reporter Kiran Chetry was obstructed, Ailes called the control booth to demand that they “Move that damn laptop, I can’t see her legs!”
  • Ailes complained about host Catherine Crier’s attire saying that “I did not spend x-number of dollars on a glass desk for her to wear pant suits.”
  • The casting of The Five included one particular co-host because “I Need The Leg. That’s Andrea Tantaros.”

megyn-kelly-gq2
Furthermore, NPR’s media reporter David Folkenflik was told by knowledgeable sources about the Fox News “Leg Cam” that “goes directly for the legs.” And when host Megyn Kelly was interviewed by GQ (with an accompanying, and revealing, pictorial), she was asked about her own “glass table that shows off your legs.” She responded that “Well, It’s a visual business. People want to see the anchor.” That must be why Bill O’Reilly wears those low-cut blouses. Also, when Gretchen Carlson was tapped to replace Megyn Kelly in daytime, she revealed that “pants were not allowed on Fox & Friends,” and teased viewers with the prospect that on her new show “I might forget my clothes the first day.”

It would fun to see Fox News get hit with an indictment for breaking the Massachusetts Peeping Tom law. But don’t hold your breath. The Foxettes are firmly committed to the mission of their employer despite the fact that they are being exploited as sexual objects. They know that their livelihood depends on the 60+ male demographic that makes up the bulk of their audience. So if they have to suffer the indignity of catering to those perverts, they suck it up, cash their hefty paychecks, and try to remember to keep their legs tightly crossed.

Rachel Maddow Beats Fox News – Again

For the second time this year, Rachel Maddow pulled off a weekly ratings win against Fox News in the critical 25-54 demographic that advertisers prefer.

maddow-3x

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MSNBC has been enjoying a bit of boost with daily breaking coverage of Chris Christie’s BridgeGate scandal. And thanks to Christie’s determination to impede the investigation the story just keeps getting prolonged which, of course, provides more opportunities for MSNBC to rake in the ratings.

Rachel Maddow is one of the prime beneficiaries of this situation. She was the first cable newsie to report on Christie’s bullying tactics and she has consistently broken new developments. As result she is seeing her ratings spike significantly.

Megyn KellyMaking this even more significant is the fact that Maddow is beating Megyn Kelly, who was promoted to her prime time slot specifically to try to capture more of the younger audience that Maddow is drawing. For her to have another weekly win so soon may be a warning flag that Kelly isn’t appealing to the audience that Fox intended. In fact, Kelly may just be exacerbating Fox’s older skewing, predominantly male audience who tune in for the titillation that Fox deliberately exploits.

In addition to Maddow’s numbers, Chris Matthews has also been bumped up. He beat his Fox competition, Greta Van Susteren, for the week as well. It is clear that having substantive reporting that viewers find valuable is the most effective way of building an audience. And MSNBC should strive to more of that. Or they could try the Fox model of just making shit up that feeds the prejudices of low-information viewers. That seems to work too.

Republicans, Racists, And Boycotts, Oh My: And Why MSNBC Should Be Celebrating

When you preside over a political party that is the subject of frequent criticism for the racist rhetoric of its members and supporters, it might be a good idea to avoid bringing attention to that gaping wound of oozing hatred. But never let it be said that the leaders of the GOP are capable of recognizing a good idea.

The chairman of the Republican National Committee, Reince Priebus, went berserk today over a tweet by some anonymous social media intern at MSNBC. The comment that so furiously enraged him was a reference to a commercial for Cheerios that features a biracial family (video below). It is a sequel of sorts to a similar ad that played last year. Here is the offending tweet:

Maybe the rightwing will hate it, but everyone else will go aww: the adorable new #Cheerios ad w/ bi-racial family. http://t.co/SpB4rQDoAR

That was all it took to send Priebus into a frenzy over what he perceived as a deplorable insult directed at innocent right-wingers. His response was to announce that he would order a boycott of MSNBC unless its president, Phil Griffin, made a personal and public apology. He sent letters to Griffin as well as an open letter to “all Republican elected officials, strategists, surrogates, and pundits,” that said that he was “banning all RNC staff from appearing on, associating with, or booking any RNC surrogates on MSNBC,” and asking anyone affiliated with the GOP to join the embargo.

Fox Nation - Reince Priebus

And of course Fox Nation made this their top story.
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First of all, how would anyone know that a boycott had been initiated by the GOP against MSNBC? Most Republicans already refuse to go on the network simply because they know they will be challenged when they lie, unlike the friendly reception they get at Fox. But for the RNC chair to feign outrage over such a trivial tweet defies reason. The message conveyed by the tweet was simply that this heart-warming advertisement was likely to irk many conservatives whose intolerance for diversity is well documented. And where would the tweeter get an idea like that? Perhaps from the response that followed the release of the first Cheerios ad with the same biracial family. As reported at the time…

“A new Cheerios commercial that included an interracial family drew so many racially motivated hate comments on YouTube that the video-sharing website shut down the commercial’s comment section. […] some of the comments made reference to Nazis, ‘troglodytes’ and ‘racial genocide.'”

With that historical perspective, why would anyone doubt that the same right-wingers who spewed such vile hatred at the ad’s charming family last year, would react any differently today? Conservatives who are offended by the tweet ought to look at their own confederates to understand why everyone else regards them as hardened bigots who would hate the Cheerios ad. It isn’t MSNBC’s fault that conservatives openly express themselves in such a thoroughly reprehensible manner. However, the behavior of the rightists when this ad’s first installment was aired justifies the sentiment in the tweet. For some additional evidence of the unbridled bigotry on the right, have a look at…

The notion that MSNBC would be a target of a boycott simply because they recognized the bigotry that is inbred into much of the American conservative movement is especially ironic when you consider that Fox News, the mouthpiece of the rightist agenda in the media, is so brazenly racist. It’s a network that regularly demonizes minorities as criminals or moochers. What’s more, Fox feverishly advocates public policies that are detrimental to minorities, such as voter suppression laws and slashing benefits for low income workers. If any news outlet should be boycotted for insulting broad swaths of the American public it should be Fox

Which brings us to the subject of hypocrisy by the infuriated right. There actually have been efforts to embargo Fox News and persuade Democrats to avoid appearing on the network. During the Democratic primaries in 2008, the Congressional Black Caucus successfully shut down a Nevada debate that was to be broadcast on Fox. The response by Republicans was that the Democrats were either misguided or cowards, and would be afraid to face our enemies if they couldn’t face Fox. Fox anchor Chris Wallace said that “the Democrats are damn fools [for] not coming on Fox News.” Do these criticisms now apply to the boycotters of MSNBC?

This isn’t even the first time that Priebus has floated the boycott balloon. Just last year he sent similar threatening letters to NBC and CNN because they had plans to produce films about Hillary Clinton. However, he didn’t make the same threat to Fox, who also had Hillary projects in the pipeline. It seems that Priebus is just itching for a boycott, unless the offender is his PR department (aka Fox News).

The pitiful part of this story is that MSNBC has already caved in to the demand for an apology. Phil Griffin issued a statement calling the tweet “outrageous and unacceptable,” which it certainly was not. Even worse, he said that he had “dismissed the person responsible.” That is a monumental injustice and overreaction. This merely proves that the network that conservatives like to demean as unfailingly liberal is just a facade that will collapse at the slightest whiff of controversy. It’s why MSNBC issues apologies every other week and fires people for little reason.

Fox News, on the other hand, is far worse when it comes to offending liberals and Democrats, but they will never apologize, nor do they correct their many “errors” of fact. But if MSNBC keeps bowing down to competitors who seek its destruction, they will remain a perennial loser and shed any credibility they hope to maintain. This silly boycott threat should be cause for celebration by MSNBC. It serves as an opportunity to remind people of why Republicans are correctly perceived to be racist. It relieves them of the burden of making excuses for why the GOP is not represented on the channel. And it allows them to focus on expanding their audience among the key demographics that are most likely to tune in.

What this all comes down to is that Priebus is throwing a tantrum to attract attention and donations. The tweet that started the whole thing was provocative, but perfectly justified. But that doesn’t stop the disingenuous onslaught of phony rage that turns into a ludicrous threat that no one will notice should it be carried out. We are witnessing a drama that is more painfully shallow than the typical reality TV tripe that consumes way too many hours of broadcast time. And, sadly, “Keeping Up With The Republicans” has even less reality in it than you’ll find over at the Kardashians place.

[Update: 1/31/2014] Fox News is cashing in on this controversy. So far they have featured it on The Five, Fox & Friends, and the Kelly File. Greg Gutfeld of The Five injected the mandatory Nazi reference by calling MSNBC a “one-stop shop for master-race-baiting.” And Megyn Kelly asserted that liberals have a “kneejerk instinct to accuse conservatives of racism.” In her segment that featured uber-rightist flame-thrower Brent Bozell, she went on to say…

“They [liberals] saw this ad and said, ‘Oh the conservatives will hate it because it’s a black man and a white woman together in a family.’

Wrong Megyn. They said “Oh the conservatives will hate it because that’s exactly the response they had to it when the first version of it came out last year.” What better evidence can you have of how someone will respond to something than their own prior response?

And this morning Fox’s media analyst, Howard Kurtz, called the MSNBC tweet “an outrageous and really disgusting message,” before excreting this BS:

“You do have to wonder about the culture there, and whether there is such a loathing for conservatives that things that are so clearly way, way, way over the line are somehow deemed acceptable.”

Once again I have to say ARE YOU FRIGGIN’ KIDDING ME? The outpouring of loathing by Fox of liberals (and African-Americans, and Latinos, and gays, and women, and the poor) is a daily – even hourly – occurrence. For Kurtz to say that with a straight face is proof of his total devotion to the dishonest promulgation of Fox’s propaganda, hate, and commitment to the corporatocracy they were invented to defend.

Megyn Kelly Lies To Jay Leno: “I’m Not One Of The Opinion Hosts At Fox News”

Last night the newest primetime attraction on the Fox News Channel ventured off the reservation to hype her program on the Tonight Show with Jay Leno. In the process Megyn Kelly delivered some of the most unintentionally funny perversions of reality you can imagine.

Megyn Kelly

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From the outset, the interview was a fluff piece designed to promote Kelly and her new role as a primetime anchor at Fox News. But the conversation devolved into the absurd when Leno started to ask a modestly interesting question, but swerved midway through and turned it into an open-ended (and false) compliment.

Leno: People assume that if you’re on Fox News, just as they do if you’re on MSNBC, you have a certain bias. How do you deal with…you seem pretty straight down the line.

Kelly: I am, thank you. I’m a straight news anchor. I’m not one of the opinion hosts at Fox. But I always laugh because I’ll have a conservative pull me aside and say “I love your conservative principles,” and I’ll say “You assume too much.” And then the liberals will pull me aside and say, “I know you’re one of us,” and I’ll say, “You assume too much.” But I always say that if you assume that I’m this conservative operative, ask Karl Rove if that’s true.

It’s a pretty safe bet that, if challenged, Kelly could not produce a single liberal that ever claimed that she is one of them. It was just a line that Kelly used to feign balance. The same is true of her reference to Karl Rove. Kelly was likely harking back to the incident on election night November 2012, when Rove refused to concede defeat. But Kelly’s performance did nothing to refute Rove’s conservatism, just his obstinance in light of the polling results. Rove certainly regards Kelly as a reliable conservative and an ideological ally. She has made him a frequent guest despite his role as one of the most prolific fundraisers for the GOP, which she never bothers to disclose to her audience.

Megyn Kelly GQHowever, the real whopper of the evening was Kelly’s assertion that she’s a “straight news anchor” and “not one of the opinion hosts on Fox” Kelly has been a rabid right-winger for as long as she has had a perch at the painfully conservative network. She rudely lambastes Democratic guests and has pushed numerous fallacious stories aimed at discrediting liberals and progressive policy. In fact, her editorial bias generally produces little more than partisan tripe and manufactured outrages that have little basis in fact. For example, her near-obsession with the irrelevant New Black Panther Party was a months long excursion into fantasy. She was also one Fox’s most virulent proponents of the phoney IRS/Tea Party affair. And her stubborn attachment to a trumped up Benghazi scandal wasted hundreds of hours of valuable airtime. And then there were these crackpot diversions:

  • Kelly defended a criminal anti-Islam filmmaker as a “patsy” of the Obama administration.
  • Kelly asserted that Americans have “gotta get a little squeamish” about the prospect of being killed by drones.
  • Kelly told her colleague Bill O’Reilly that pepper spray used against student protesters was just “a food product, essentially.”
  • Kelly moderated a discussion that was based on a series of “Fox Facts” that were cribbed directly from a Republican National Committee press release.
  • Kelly featured a disreputable reporter with a history of violence (who was later arrested for sexually assaulting a four year old girl) in her frequent attacks on the funders of the Islamic Center that Fox derisively referred to as the “Ground Zero Mosque.”
  • Kelly misrepresented the results of a Fox News Opinion Dynamics poll to argue that Democrats are defying the will of the people.
  • Kelly helped to cover up the extra-marital affair of GOP senator John Ensign and failed to disclose her personal involvement in the story.

These are not the sort of stories attributed to a straight shooting, non-opinionated journalist. It is this record of partisan propagandizing that led to my article three years ago asking “Is Megyn Kelly Worse Than Glenn Beck?” More recently Media Matters conducted a survey of Kelly’s new primetime program and found that she “has hosted conservatives (56%) significantly more often than progressives (18%) and has surpassed even Fox’s Hannity in its divide between guests on the left and right.”

For Kelly to go on the Tonight Show and tell Jay Leno that she’s a straight news anchor is a blatant and deliberate lie. There is no question about her political leanings. She would not have been hired by Roger Ailes if she were anything but a rightist tool and a willing mouthpiece for the conservative agenda that Ailes, and his boss Rupert Murdoch, are peddling. And anyone who falls for her dishonest self-appraisal is terminally naive (I’m lookin at you Leno).

[Addendum:] The day after Kelly appeared the Tonight Show, this “straight news anchor” returned to her own program and, speaking to her kiddie viewers, said that “Santa Claus just IS white.” She later included Jesus as well saying that it is “a historical fact.” It’s pretty safe to say that this is how Fox sees it:

Fox News - Black Santa Claus

Rachel Maddow Whomps Megyn Kelly’s Premiere On Fox News

Last night Fox News debuted a new primetime lineup. It was the first time they had altered their schedule in more than a decade. They heavily promoted the changes and the new hosts for weeks. And on the the big night, when most new programs enjoy a ratings bump due to viewers sampling the new fare, Fox News did not get what they must have been expecting.

The top billing for the night went to Megyn Kelly, whose “Kelly File” has been eagerly anticipated by Foxophiles and received massive PR in advance of the debut. Unfortunately for her, she came in second to MSNBC’s Rachel Maddow in the key 25-54 year old demographic.

Rachel Maddow
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It would be bad enough for a Fox host to lose to an MSNBC show under ordinary circumstances, but to trail on the one night that ought to have been a runaway victory is a major embarrassment for Kelly and Fox. There were no extenuating circumstances that might have contributed to an unexpected win for Maddow. For instance, she did not have an exclusive interview with President Obama wherein he announced that he really was born in Kenya after all. And Kelly’s show had booked the GOP flavor of the week, Sen. Ted Cruz (TX-Tea Party), as her first guest, so she ought to have been well positioned to draw in the Fox fanatics in bulk. But it was not to be.

What’s more, Greta Van Susteren, who had moved from 10:00pm to 7:00pm, lost to MSNBC’s Chris Matthews. And Sean Hannity, who lost his 9:00pm slot to Kelly and took over the 10:00pm time that Van Susteren vacated, could only manage a tie with MSNBC’s Lawrence O’Donnell. The only win for Fox the whole night was by their perennial top dog, Bill O’Reilly, who bested Chris Hayes, the newest MSNBC host who has yet to find an audience.

These dismal performances by Fox programs are all the worse because the network had poured so much money and promotional muscle into the evening. It was their intent to inject new blood into the schedule in order to attract the younger, advertiser-favored demos that have avoided Fox like the plague. That goal was clearly not met – at least on the debut. And just to rub it in, MSNBC achieved their ratings victories with the same old shows they’ve had on for years and no extra promotion.

Rest assured that Fox programming executives are already huddling to figure out what went wrong and how to correct it. Kelly and the others may yet return to their perches atop the ratings tree. But they will still have little influence over the broader television audience who recognize Fox for what it is: the PR division of the Republican Party and the Tea Party cheerleading squad. Remember, Fox’s top rated programs only reach 1% of the American people, and the garbage that they ingest (see Fox Nation vs. Reality) just makes them ignorant, ineffectual, and filled with ghastly surprise when they lose elections.

[Follow Up: 10/27/2013] It is now three weeks since this article was published and I still get commenters giddily noting that Kelly’s ratings improved on subsequent nights. SO F**KING WHAT? This article is about the premiere episode and it even notes that her ratings may improve later. These FoxPods just can’t seem to focus on single topic.

REVEALED: Fox News Bumped Sean Hannity For Pro-Homosexual Megyn Kelly

Megyn KellyThe recent stories circulating about “news” anchor Megyn Kelly and her promotion to a primetime slot on Fox News have stirred much speculation as to which current primetime host would be displaced. Matt Drudge reported that insiders pegged Sean Hannity as the odd man out. Well now the truth has now been revealed by the folks at Cliff Kincaid’s “America’s Survival,” an ultra-rightist hate-group and conspiracy theory factory. (Not to be confused with the Lie Factory of Fox Nation)

“America’s Survival, Inc. (ASI) is officially releasing a new report on radical changes at Fox News that should cause great concern to pro-family conservatives. The new report is titled,’Unfair, Unbalanced and Afraid: Fox News’ Growing Pro-Homosexual Bias and the National Lesbian & Gay Journalists Association. ASI President Cliff Kincaid, a veteran journalist and media critic, said, in releasing the report, ‘Pushing Sean Hannity out of the 9:00 p.m. slot, to make way for pro-homosexual advocate Megyn Kelly, is another sign of the channel’s left-ward drift and decline.’

Indeed. The left-ward drift of Fox News has been all too apparent in their recent coverage of Benghazi, the IRS, Trayvon Martin, ObamaCare, etc. Fox has become a veritable cacophony of commie sympathizers. So it was only a matter of time before Fox would jettison their old-school conservative Sean Hannity, and replace him with a doctrinaire liberal like Megyn Kelly.

Kincaid’s new report (pdf) was authored by the rabidly anti-gay Peter LaBarbera of Americans For Truth About Homosexuality, an organization identified by the Southern Poverty Law Center as a hate group. LaBarbera delved into the pressing calamity of the media promoting homosexuality with an introduction that warned…

“It is difficult to overstate the impact of wide-scale liberal media bias in the advancement of the pro-homosexual and pro-‘transgender’ revolution in American society. In the last two decades, media imbalance (and de facto censorship) on the issue has morphed into frequent media celebration of homosexuality — thus leaving citizens starved for impartial and accurate information on this critical topic.”

And it just gets worse from there. The 92 page harbinger of doom begins by disclosing the existence of a “crusade” that has enveloped the media, including those stalwart protectors of America’s virtue.

“By effectively joining the ‘gay’ activists’ crusade, major media outlets – and even ‘conservative’ Fox News — have contributed greatly to the growing pro-homosexual political correctness in U.S. culture.”

And no one is immune to the infection of gay pridefulness.

“Some leading Fox News’ hosts, such as Bill O’Reilly, Shepard Smith and Megyn Kelly, have emerged as on-air, pro-LGBT advocates – seemingly defying Fox’s core audience demographic of staunch Republican conservatives.”

LaBarbera has astutely defined the Fox demographic as the hate-filled bigots they are. And he follows that observation with a pertinent query.

“One wonders how much of Fox’s liberal ‘message drift’ stems from it’s staff simply losing touch with churchgoing Americans and that old-fashioned, Bible-believing morality that once was the backbone of conservatism.”

Of course. Because it’s imperative that our news networks are also televangelists. But now we get into the meat of the matter as Hannity’s role is unveiled.

“Veteran pro-family activists who fight the LGBT agenda are frustrated that Hannity generally avoids discussing homosexual-related issues outside of ‘gay marriage’ — despite labeling himself as a social, ‘Reagan conservative.'”

If only Hannity had been more staunchly committed to serving the God of America like his network colleague from Fox & Friends.

“Gretchen Carlson is an assertive moral conservative of the type that Fox needs more of.”

Although, if Fox is leaning so far left, then why would they promote a good Christian broadcaster like Carlson into the daytime slot that Kelly is vacating?

It’s fair to say that not much of this makes any sense. The report touches on some other fantastical schemes such as LaBarbera’s belief that there may be “an internal edict from Fox News higher-ups to downplay or ignore focusing on the homosexual agenda.” And then there these fanciful speculations: “Shepard Smith: the next Anderson Cooper?” and “Will Glenn Beck join the ‘gay’ crusade?” America wants to know.

Now that we know the truth about Megyn Kelly’s promotion, and Hannity’s demotion, it will be interesting to see how she advances the gay agenda when her new program debuts in the fall. Likewise, we will be watching Hannity to see if his transformation into a LGBT advocate becomes complete. And we can thank LaBarbera and his sponsors at America’s Survival for keeping such a close eye on the progressivization of Fox News for us.

Megyn Kelly Nabs Sean Hannity’s Timeslot On Fox News – Per Drudge

Megyn KellyAs reported here last month, Fox News daytime anchor Megyn Kelly is set to move to primetime when she returns from maternity leave in September. At the time of the announcement there was no indication of which current primetime host would be ousted.

Today, Matt drudge is reporting that Kelly will be taking over at 9:00pm, the timeslot currently held by Sean Hannity. Drudge may not be the best source for news, but later this afternoon Fox News CEO Roger Ailes was asked about the rumor and, while declining to confirm or deny, pretty much confirmed it. When asked specifically about Hannity, Ailes only offered a vague non-reply saying, “Hannity is a brand that many of our viewers love and want to see, and, as you know, is one of the nicest guys in the building.”

Setting aside the fact that Hannity is perhaps the most despised person in the building (Bill O’Reilly won’t even talk to him), Ailes’ obvious dodge is revealing. There is still room for speculation, however. Hannity could be moved to 10:00, and Greta Van Susteren bumped out of primetime – perhaps to 7:00 where Shepard Smith is currently hosting his second hour of the day. Ailes was quoted at an investors meeting saying that “Shep and I have been working quietly on something we will roll out in September on how news is presented, a new way to deliver news.” So there is some fluidity in Smith’s future. Rolling out a “new way to deliver news” sounds suspiciously like throwing something up on the Internet.

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In a demonstration of how inept the Fox News team is, they reported the news of Kelly’s scheduling by citing the Drudge Report and noting that “A Fox News spokesperson said no official announcement would be made at this time.” So apparently Drudge has better sources about Fox News than Fox News does. And don’t expect much to change at the network. As I wrote last month

“[Fox News] will continue to be rabidly right-wing, with a clearly denoted bias for Republican Party dogma. Kelly’s entry into the club will not change that. In fact, it will congeal the conservative hackery into a younger, more alluring package. But the brain-dead zombies who watch Fox won’t have to worry a bit about whether they will continue to get a daily dose of propaganda devoid of those pesky and annoying facts that make understanding current events so difficult. For them, Kelly will be a comforting and reassuring breath of fresh lies.”

Megyn Kelly is nothing more than a younger, prettier, Glenn Beck. Her devotion to right-wing propaganda and conspiracy theories is just as strong, however her background in law and her personable presentation makes the disinformation that much more palatable to Fox’s geriatric, white, male audience. Stay tuned for more details.

[Update] Sean Hannity has commented on the programming rumors saying “Let’s just say in the end I’m very happy. That’s all I can say at this point.” That sounds like a confirmation that Kelly is pushing him aside and he is spinning it as positive for him. But unless he’s getting O’Reilly’s spot, I can’t see how getting booted out of the timeslot you’ve had since the network launched is a good thing.

Fox News Rewards Megyn Kelly’s Bootlicking Conservative Bias With A Promotion To Primetime

This just in: “Megyn Kelly will move to FOX News Channel’s (FNC) primetime lineup upon her return from maternity leave, announced Roger Ailes, Chairman and CEO, FOX News.”

Megyn Kelly GQThis was just a matter of time as Fox News has pretty obviously been grooming Kelly for a prominent role at the network from the day she was hired. Both Rupert Murdoch and Roger Ailes had taken a profound (and somewhat creepy) interest in her due to her pinup girl good looks, her background as a lawyer, and her eagerness to fulfill the Fox mission of slandering anyone and everything liberal without regard to honesty or ethics. (See Fox Nation vs. Reality)

Kelly fits the Fox mold to a tee, as a busty blonde presenter who would appeal to the Cialis-chomping, scooter-riding, gold-hoarding, geezers who make up such a large part of Fox’s audience and advertiser base. And Kelly is not shy about marketing her sex appeal as demonstrated by her pictorial in GQ Magazine.

As an anchor, Kelly has fashioned a more palatable version of Glenn Beck’s conspiracy-riddled wingnuttery. The stories she features are a collection of partisan tripe and manufactured outrages that have little basis in fact. From her near-obsession with the irrelevant New Black Panther Party, to her false accusations against then-Pennsylvania senate candidate Joe Sestak, Kelly has been a non-stop, gushing flow of disinformation and gossip. For more examples:

  • Kelly defended an anti-Islam filmmaker as a “patsy” of the Obama administration.
  • Kelly asserted that Americans have “gotta get a little squeamish” about the prospect of being killed by drones.
  • Kelly told her colleague Bill O’Reilly that pepper spray used against student protesters was just “a food product, essentially.”
  • Kelly moderated a discussion that was based on a series of “Fox Facts” that were cribbed directly from a Republican National Committee press release.
  • Kelly featured a disreputable reporter with a history of violence (who was later arrested for sexually assaulting a four year old girl) in her frequent attacks on the funders of the Islamic Center that Fox derisively referred to as the “Ground Zero Mosque.”
  • Kelly misrepresented the results of a Fox News Opinion Dynamics poll to argue that Democrats are defying the will of the people.
  • Kelly helped to cover up the extra-marital affair of GOP senator John Ensign and failed to disclose her personal involvement in the story.

It’s easy to see why Fox would want to advance Kelly to their primetime lineup. The musty presences of Bill O’Reilly, Sean Hannity, and Greta Van Susteren could surely use an injection of new blood. The problem is that one of them will have to be booted from their perch. The most obvious loser would be Van Susteren, whose show is the weakest performer of the lot. However, Hannity’s position is hardly safe considering that he is despised by most of his colleagues. Even O’Reilly cannot be dismissed since he has floated suggestions that he might be ready to retire.

So we will have to wait until Fox announces their new schedule to see who comes up short. But in the end it will make no difference in the content that Fox offers. It will continue to be rabidly right-wing, with a clearly denoted bias for Republican Party dogma. Kelly’s entry into the club will not change that. In fact, it will congeal the conservative hackery into a younger, more alluring package. But the brain-dead zombies who watch Fox won’t have to worry a bit about whether they will continue to get a daily dose of propaganda devoid of those pesky and annoying facts that make understanding current events so difficult. For them, Kelly will be a comforting and reassuring breath of fresh lies.

[Update: 7/10/2003] There is still no word on where Kelly will land in primetime, but one of the replacements for her daytime gig will be Fox & Friends co-host Gretchen Carlson, whose experience as a former Miss America certainly prepared her for a role as a Fox News anchor. Media Matters has prepared an exhaustive look back at Carlson’s credentials.

On Fox News GOP Rep Lies, Accuses Glen Greenwald Of Threatening To Out CIA Agents

Remember when Fox News was OUTRAGED at the possibility of the United States government prosecuting a reporter for doing his job? It was only a couple of weeks ago. At that time their own James Rosen was revealed to have been conspiring with an employee of the State Department to acquire and publish classified documents concerning sensitive operations in North Korea.

The news of Rosen’s involvement in the matter, and the government’s investigation of him, sent Fox News squawking heads into a tizzy. They complained loudly and repeatedly that it was unconscionable that a reporter would be subject to such an unthinkable burden merely for doing what any respectable reporter would do under the same circumstances. Never mind the fact that Rosen was not conducting routine investigative reporting. He was caught persuading a source to break the law in order to advance his own political agenda. He literally told his source that he wanted to “force the administration’s hand.”

Fox News

Well, that commitment to the First Amendment was decidedly short-lived. Today on Fox News, Megyn Kelly hosted GOP Rep. Peter King to discuss King’s remarks regarding Glen Greenwald, the reporter who broke the NSA story. King had previously said that he believes that Greenwald should be arrested and prosecuted for his reporting. When Kelly gave King an opportunity to clarify his position, King said…

“In this case, when you have someone who has disclosed secrets like this and threatens to disclose more, then to me yes, there has to be…legal action should be taken against him. […] No right is absolute. Obviously, freedom of the press has to be cherished in this country, but in this case where some people are glorifying Snowden and making him a hero, and now acting as if Greenwald was a legitimate journalist.”

Kelly sought to make the connection between Greenwald and Rosen, asking King if there was a difference. King thinks there is:

“James Rosen never said he was going to release information that was going to kill Americans. He was never going to release the names of CIA agents and operatives around the world.”

Well, as Greenwald noted today on “All In with Chris Hayes,” he never made any such threat. He further insisted that he doesn’t even know the names of any covert CIA agents or operatives. King’s accusation was entirely made up. But that didn’t even matter, because when Kelly asked him if Greenwald should be prosecuted for anything he has already done, rather than something King is afraid he will do in the future, King responded in the affirmative.

Throughout this interview there was no sense of outrage, no horror that a government official – the chairman of the House Homeland Security Committee no less – was advocating the prosecution of a reporter for doing his job. There was none of the indignation that Fox showed for Rosen expressed for Greenwald. There wasn’t even any push back at King’s allegation that Greenwald was threatening to take actions that would kill Americans, an allegation that if proven could result in Greenwald being executed for treason.

This is about as clear a demonstration that Fox’s concern for freedom of the press is a charade. They couldn’t care less about the First Amendment except in situations where they can exploit it for political advantage. Greenwald is a legitimate journalist (unlike Rosen who is a political operative), but when his rights are threatened by a lying congressman, Fox News thanks the congressman and moves on to their next story. Remember that the next time somebody on Fox pretends to be shocked by some scandalous event in the news.

Enough Already! Eric Holder Did Not Lie Under Oath About Leak Investigations

The media is once again demonstrating their bottomless capacity for ignorance and their utter inability to grasp simple concepts.

Fox News

Fox News and other lazy pseudo-reporters are all aflutter over an answer given by Attorney General Eric Holder at a House committee hearing. Holder was asked a question about press freedom raised by a Justice Department investigation into the leaking of classified data. Holder responded saying…

“With regard to the potential prosecution of the press for the disclosure of material, that is not something that I’ve ever been involved in, heard of or would think would be a wise policy. In fact, my view is quite the opposite.”

That’s a pretty straight forward answer with little ambiguity. Nevertheless, the media can’t seem to grasp the meaning. They are journeying far afield to surmise that Holder may have committed perjury because it was later found the he had approved the search warrant for phone records and emails pertaining to alleged State Department leaker, Stephen Jin-Woo Kim. Megyn Kelly on Fox devoted two segments of her program to this overtly slanderous charge, complete with her hallmark smugness and affected outrage. And of course, the prize-winning prevaricators at Fox Nation featured multiple renditions of this non-story.

The search warrant in question included records for Fox reporter James Rosen who, evidence suggests, was Kim’s accomplice. And now the witch hunters in the GOP-mismanaged House of Representatives are setting fires under Holder in an attempt to further smear the administration.

Let’s make this simple. Holder said that he was uninvolved and unaware of any effort to prosecute any member of the press for “disclosure” of classified materials. That is unarguably true according to all of the available facts. No one was being prosecuted, or even investigated, for disclosing information in the press (i.e. publishing or broadcasting). Rosen was not being investigated for any type of disclosure. He was being investigated for soliciting Kim to transmit secret documents to him.

Holder’s involvement was limited to Kim’s conspiring to give Rosen access to classified data that he did not have security clearance to receive. The search warrant specifically addressed that activity and nothing relating to the publication of such material or any other press function.

If Holder had sought to prosecute Rosen for distributing the material to others, or for the story he later published on Fox News containing the classified data, that might be a different matter. But that never occurred and there is no evidence that it was even considered. The crime here is that Kim and Rosen conspired to exchange government secrets, not that any of those secrets were part of Rosen’s reporting.

Consequently, there is nothing in Holder’s actions and testimony that are inconsistent. It would nice if the media were smart enough to figure this out. Perhaps that is expecting too much.

Fallen Hero Worship: The Double Barrel Hypocrisy Of Fox News

As the dedicated and accomplished propagandists that they are, Fox News can be relied upon to twist facts and manufacture falsehoods to advance their extreme right-wing agenda. But sometimes they jump so far over the line of decency that it’s hard to imagine how anyone can take them seriously.

Today on America Live, anchor Megyn Kelly interviewed the parents of a Navy SEAL who was killed in a helicopter crash two years ago in Afghanistan. Other than another request to launch an inquiry into the circumstances of the crash, there was no new information related to that event that might have made this interview newsworthy. It seems that the only reason that Kelly brought these grieving parents back on (they were interviewed on Fox eight months ago) was to give them, and Fox, an additional opportunity to bash President Obama. And that’s precisely what they did. The father, Billy Vaughn, began his discussion with Kelly by saying…

“Our military’s slogan – it’s called ‘relentless pursuit of the enemy.’ And I’ll tell ya, I don’t know where it came from, but it makes just about as much sense in what it’s referring to as ‘the Affordable Health Care Act.’[Insert rimshot here]

It seems inappropriate, to say the least, to inject an unrelated ObamaCare zinger during a discussion about one’s son who was killed in the line of duty in a war zone, and about whom you are supposedly grief-stricken. That sort of blatantly political jab diminishes the sobriety of the moment and reeks of disrespect. But Vaughn didn’t stop there. During the interview he repeatedly and deliberately displayed the tattoo on his left forearm reading MOAON AABE (translation: Come and Take Them), which amongst other things is the motto of the United States Special Operations Command Central, but is also a phrase that has been adopted by the radical right in America and the gun lovers of the 2nd Amendment movement.

Fox News

Lest there be any confusion as to Vaughn’s leanings, he also told Kelly that, in regard to his view of the inquiry into his son’s death, “Government is doing nothing. They sympathize with the enemy.” That’s a fanatical sentiment that was also expressed by his fellow grieving father at a press conference yesterday who said that “The U.S. government and many high-ranking military people own more credit for the shoot down than the Taliban.” This is Trutherism on a smaller scale.

The first barrel of hypocrisy from Fox is loaded with raw bullshot. While the grief of these parents is beyond question, the motives of Fox are not. For several months Fox anchors, and Republican guests, have been belittling the testimony by the families of the slain children of Sandy Hook. They have accused them of exploiting the massacre for political purposes. They have disparaged them as props of the White House. They have even sought to outright dismiss anything they might say with the outrageous claim that they are psychologically impaired by their grief and, therefore, unfit to render an opinion. Yet somehow those same mental deficiencies have not prevented a steady stream of victims from parading through the Fox News studios to deliver tirades against the President.

The second barrel of Fox-pocrisy was the blast of faux outrage over the assertion that the Obama administration’s recognition of SEAL Team 6 for their heroic mission to dispense with Osama Bin Laden was a betrayal of the unit’s anonymity. That came as Kelly prompted Mrs. Vaughn to describe how she believed the administration put a target on her son’s back. However, the White House never revealed the names of the team members, only the unit, which was not a particularly well-guarded secret to begin with. On the other hand, it was Fox News who outted an actual SEAL Team 6 member who participated in the Bin Laden raid. Afterward, his life, the lives of his family, and the lives of his SEAL comrades were threatened by Islamic jihadists.

Hypocrisy is a common byproduct of the Fox news grinder. But this feat of squeezing two hyper-hypocrisies into a single story is an accomplishment that only extraordinarily adept prevaricators should ever attempt. And that pretty much leaves the field to Fox News.