WTF? Fox Nation Ties Cleveland Kidnapper To Anti-Islam Video Maker, Benghazi, And Obama

These freakin’ slimeballs at Fox Nation continue to demonstrate that they have no morals whatsoever. Not to mention no integrity, honesty, or decency. They will take any grotesque episode, no matter how far removed from President Obama, and attach it to him by some depraved, alien logic. Take this for instance:

Fox Nation

The original article referenced by Fox Nation was from their own Fox News via the Associated Press. It reported on the arrest of Areil Castro, the charges against him, his bail, and went into some detail about the alleged crimes.

For some reason, Fox Nation focused on the one sentence in the 700+ word article that mentioned Castro’s bail. But even more baffling was their insertion of this paragraph:

“The creator of the controversial anti-Islam You Tube video, that the Obama administration used in its talking points as the motivation behind the September 11th attacks in Benghazi, was held without bail. It was later revealed that the attack in Benghazi was not a reaction to the video.”

That text was not anywhere in the original article. It was composed entirely by the Fox Nationalists and inserted into the story without any disclosure that they had fabricated it themselves. It obviously has nothing to do with the story and sticks out for its surreal irrelevance.

For the record, the filmmaker, Nakoula Basseley Nakoula, was arrested for allegedly violating terms of his probation. The judge, citing probation violations including lying to probation officials, ordered him held without bail, a common occurrence under these circumstances. He pleaded guilty to four of the charges against him and was sentenced to one year in prison and four years of supervised release.

[Update: Fox News is now actively defending this filmmaker who they portray as a "patsy" of the Obama administration]

Fox News
…..

So what was the point that Fox Nation was making by embedding this extraneous content into the article? Clearly they were drawing some sort of deranged parallel between Obama, Nakoula, and Castro. Perhaps their purpose was to imply that Obama personally interceded to insure that Nakoula was held incommunicado to keep him from exposing Obama’s covert plot to promote the video and inspire a global Islamic uprising. Or maybe Fox was attempting to suggest that Obama had some sympathy for Castro and secretly engineered his bail (at only $8 million). Or maybe Fox just hadn’t written the word “Benghazi” in the past five seconds and thought this would be a good time to slip it in again.

What on earth are these imbeciles thinking? They just lost a historic election that they were convinced would be a cake-walk for the GOP. They underwent what they themselves called a “postmortem” analysis of their epic failures. They were named the “stupid party” by one of their most prominent governors. And yet they are still resorting to the sort of idiocy and extremism that has earned them the lowest favorable ratings in history.

And this wasn’t even the only incident of Castro-izing Democrats today. On Fox’s America Live with Megyn Kelly, their conservative contributor Chris Plante inexplicably said that “Ariel Castro might get the ‘hospitality of the year award’ from the Democrats in Congress.” What unholy orifice did he pull that from?

This is evidence that Fox News and their GOP pals have learned nothing from the 2012 elections. It also proves that they are a gaggle of repulsive and childish mental deficients with no discernible honor or even the common civility that would permit them to go out in public among decent people. Where the fuck does it stop with these cretins?

And not to be left out. the “Moonie” Washington Times joined in with this asinine crap:

Washington Times

Fox News Confirms Arrest/No Arrest Of Boston Marathon Bomber

It is well known that Fox News is an unreliable network for anyone interested in factual representations of current events. They will unabashedly lie in order to advance the ideological agenda of their political and corporate allies. And yet, it is still unsettling when something like this happens:

Fox News

Within the space of about half an hour, Fox News vividly demonstrated that their issuance of a “confirmation” is of no value whatsoever. After announcing that an arrest had been made in the Boston Marathon bombing, Megyn Kelly repeatedly assured her viewers that the information she was reporting had been verified by multiple sources. But it didn’t take long before the bottom fell out of her assurances.

To be fair, CNN also misreported the story and had to make an embarrassing retraction. The only cable news network that applied the rigorous standards of journalism and refrained from jumping on the erroneous story was MSNBC. Pete Williams, NBC’s justice correspondent, and NBC anchor Brian Williams, both made appearances to refute the reports that were coming out of other news outlets.

Will these people never learn? A few months ago both CNN and Fox (also Megyn Kelly’s show) misreported the Supreme Court decision on ObamaCare. And again, only MSNBC got the ruling right. On that occasion CNN acknowledged their mistake and apologized to viewers. Fox refused to do either, claiming that their analysis was justifiable at the time because they believed it was correct and, therefore, there was nothing for which to apologize. I know…it’s crazy.

Nevertheless, a prolonged discussion took place in the media about the pressure to be first butting up against the responsibility to be right. And despite the universal agreement that accuracy is the measure by which news enterprises will be judged, they continue to fall short of the professional standards they profess to hold.

News organizations can be forgiven for making mistakes from time to time because they are staffed by people and people are not perfect. But they ought ot learn from their mistakes and they ought to demonstrate that they care about the product they produce. At least CNN respects their audience enough to show some remorse. Fox News doesn’t have that kind of class. In fact, their routine abuse of their audience via fabrications and distortions suggest that Fox couldn’t care less what their viewers think they know. From Fox’s perspective, the more confused their viewers are, the easier it is for Fox to continue to deceive them.

Hilarious MoveOn.org Video Rankles Right-Wing Prudes

A new video produced by MoveOn.org with help from Michael Moore is causing some right-wingers to reach for the smelling salts. The rest are falling off their chairs with outrage and frothing criticisms. What has them so unraveled?

OMG! Old people cussing. The world has finally succumbed to Satan’s call. What better evidence is there that Armageddon is imminent?

This little video is generating thousands of views, and millions of guffaws, across the InterTubes, but in the realm of the right it is stirring nothing but anxiety and outrage. It has been featured on Fox News on at least three programs: America Live with Megyn Kelly, Hannity, and the O’Reilly Factor. All of these “news” alerts castigated the video with vitriol usually reserved for terrorist bombings or Obama sightings.

Sean Hannity and Megyn Kelly both brought Fox News “Democrat” Kirsten Powers on to fulfill her mission of pretending to be a liberal while bashing her alleged allies. As the representative of the left she responded to Kelly’s leading questions saying “I don’t know why Michael Moore would do it, but even worse, I don’t know why MoveOn.org would be associated with it.”

Far worse, however, was Bill O’Reilly’s Talking Points Memo segment that he titled “Threats From The Far Left.” In his feverish denouncement of the video he said “So now the far left is threatening violence if President Obama loses the election.” Then he charged that President Obama is “culpable” for the video because he hasn’t condemned it. Really?

Someone needs to inform O’Reilly that this video is what we humans like to call “comedy.” It is not threatening any actual violence. For a demonstration of actual threats, just visit the Fox News community web site, Fox Nation. There you will find Fox fans literally yearning for Harry Reid to die; for Nancy Pelosi to have her skull crushed; cheering Arlen Specter’s death; advocating the assassination of President Obama. Since O’Reilly has never condemned these remarks he must be regarded as culpable for them.

The zealous acrimony expressed by these puritanical louts is almost as funny as the video. They clearly have a hard time discerning the difference between comedy and reality. And that may explain why they are unable to see the humor in this video but they can take Mitt Romney seriously.

ADDENDUM: For an idea of what the Fox News crowd thinks is funny, note this item posted on Fox Nation:

Fox Nation

The rating given to this article by the Fox Nationalists is “Funny.” Apparently they regard bad news for American businesses and workers as a joke. These cretins actually celebrate the hardships of fellow citizens. For the record, Fox failed to note that GM’s earnings statement was actually better than analysts expected and the stock rose almost 10% after the release. It was an indication of an improving economy. But that didn’t stop Fox from latching on to what they could spin as bad news and lifting the hearts of their America-hating audience.

Anatomy Of A Fox News Lie

If you’ve ever wondered about the course of the obvious prevarications that eventually wind up on Fox News, a fascinating example of this process was revealed recently in an affair that involved a Montana congressman and a collection of disreputable players.

In early June, Rep. Denny Rehberg (R-MT), currently the GOP candidate for the senate, accused the Environmental Protection Agency of conducting spy operations with unmanned drones over Montana farmland. He sent the EPA a letter demanding that the practice be stopped, saying…

“The Obama Administration has, once again, stepped way over the line. First they wanted to expand their authority to regulate water, and now they want to use air drones to spy on American citizens. Enough is enough.”

The only problem with Rehberg’s complaint was that there was no truth to it whatsoever. He later admitted that he was wrong, but somehow managed to blame the Obama administration for his mistake. His spokesman issued this statement:

“The Obama Administration rarely reveals its secretive plans to anyone but its closest allies. Since Denny doesn’t vote with the President 95 percent of the time, he must often rely on news reports and constituent input.”

See? If the Obama administration had revealed its secret plan to not do something they would later be accused of doing, there wouldn’t have been any problem. Here is a timeline of the news reports Rehberg cited. Feel free to follow along at home…

  • One of the first references to the non-existent drones came from radio conspiracy theorist and 9/11 Truther, Alex Jones.
  • The next day the New American, a publication of the uber-rightist John Birch Society, posted their own version of the hoax.
  • On June 6, the story was picked up by The Daily Caller, which is run by Fox News contributer Tucker Carlson.
  • That was followed by a piece in Investors Business Daily.
  • And finally, the story bubbles up on Fox News, where it is subjected to even more hyperbole courtesy of host Megyn Kelly.

Megyn Kelly

Kelly: “Even an American terrorist, an American al-Qaida, was killed by a drone. So now you’re in the Midwest, and you know you’re not a terrorist, but nonetheless, you gotta get a little squeamish when you see a drone going overhead.”

The progression of lies through the conservative media is a peculiar and dangerous phenomenon. And the way it is exploited by Fox News demonstrates their overt aversion to factual journalism and objective reporting. They exist for only one purpose: To advance the interests of the Republican Party, conservative extremists, and their wealthy benefactors. They will employ any information and tactics to achieve their ends, no matter how contemptible and illegitimate.

Fox News Escalates The War On Women Out Of All Proportion

Leave it to Fox News to leap on a political molehill and start shoveling feverishly in the hopes of building a mountain.

Yesterday Hilary Rosen, who works for a democratic public relations firm, appeared on CNN and made the mistake of not parsing every single word she said before opening her mouth. The result was a firestorm of criticism aimed a short immaterial phrase that is hardly representative of her full statement. Here is what Rosen said with the part conservatives have latched onto in bold:

“With respect to economic issues, I think actually that Mitt Romney is right that ultimately women care more about the economic well-being of their family and the like. But he doesn’t connect on that issue, either. What you have is Mitt Romney running around the country saying well, you know, my wife tells me that what women really care about are economic issues, and when I listen to my wife, that’s what I’m hearing. Guess what? His wife has actually never worked a day in her life. She’s never really dealt with the kinds of economic issues that a majority of the women in this country are facing in terms of how do we feed our kids, how do we send them to school, and why we worry about their future.”

Clearly Rosen was addressing the absurdity of a wealthy housewife assuming the role of Home Economics expert and pretending that she relates to people who have to struggle to make ends meet. Nothing in her comments suggests that she was talking about the difficulty or the satisfaction of raising children. But that’s how the right is spinning this matter, and they are spinning it as hard as their little gerbil feet can spin.

Take a look at the coverage on Fox News where it was the headline story. And their wingnut affiliate, Fox Nation, has posted at least seven articles on the subject – more than any other topic including the presidential election, the Trayvon Martin shooting (and Zimmerman’s arrest), the economy, etc.

Fox News - War on Women

Fox News, the Republican PR Agency, has launched a full-blown campaign to help dig Mitt Romney out the hole he has dug for himself with his anti-woman rhetoric and policies. The 19 point deficit Romney suffers in polling for women’s votes was seen properly as an electoral red flag and the flacks at Fox jumped in to rescue the floundering candidate.

Much of the criticism has expanded from jabs at Rosen to swings at President Obama. Never mind that Rosen is not attached to the President or the campaign in any capacity, and those who are have repudiated her remarks.

Jim Messina, Obama campaign manager: I could not disagree with Hilary Rosen any more strongly. Her comments were wrong and family should be off limits. She should apologize.

David Axelrod, Obama campaign strategist: Also Disappointed in Hilary Rosen’s comments about Ann Romney. They were inappropriate and offensive.

What’s more, Rosen herself has apologized:

“I know my words on CNN last night were poorly chosen. In response to Mitt Romney on the campaign trail referring to his wife as a better person to answer questions about women than he is, I was discussing his poor record on the plight of women’s financial struggles. [...] I apologize to Ann Romney and anyone else who was offended. Let’s declare peace in this phony war and go back to focus on the substance.”

None of that has prevented Fox News from slathering their unique brand of propaganda and hyperbole over this affair in an effort to keep it bubbling up in the news cycle. Megyn Kelly spent a good portion of her program on this issue alone, interviewing several guests including former First Lady Barbara Bush (In a moment of ironic overflow, Kelly raised the issue of women who were fortunate not to have had to struggle financially, to which Mrs. Bush said “It wasn’t always that way for us.” Remember, this is the wife of the wealthy son of an oil baron and former president. Nah, they aren’t out of touch at all, are they?).

Also on Fox, they brought in their resident “Psycho” Analyst, Keith Ablow, who opined that “Hilary Rosen provided a clear psychological window on women who despise other women.” That’s the patented Ablow remote diagnosis of people he’s never met. He then projected this flaw onto Obama, who had nothing to do with any of this.

The whole point of this manufactured controversy is to lay into Obama for having the temerity to be popular with America’s women voters. And if they have to lie and distort reality to pull him down, well, that’s why Fox News exists in the first place.

Fox News Heralds Anti-Obama Marine

Let’s face it, Fox News is unabashedly opposed to Barack Obama and everything his administration represents. The network has virtually conceded that it is nothing more than a promotional vehicle for conservative Republican politics and politicians.

Now Fox News has stepped even further across the line of objectivity by taking up the case of a Marine sergeant whose adventures in social media are blatantly disrespectful to his superiors and teeter toward insubordination or worse.

Sergeant Gary Stein is the founder of a Facebook page called “Armed Forces Tea Party.” According to reports from the Associated Press, Stein had been informed that he was in violation of Pentagon policy prohibiting political activities. The policy specifically forbids military personnel from using contemptuous words against senior officials, including the defense secretary or the president. At first Stein cooperated with his commanders by taking down the Facebook page, but he later restored it based on his own conclusion that he was not in violation of any code. As a result, he is now the subject of an administrative action that could result in a discharge.

Stein is adamant that he is innocent of any infraction. he contends that he was exercising his free speech rights by posting messages in which he declared that he would refuse to follow any order issued by the President, his commander-in-chief, that he deemed unlawful.

“I’m completely shocked that this is happening,” Stein said. “I’ve done nothing wrong. I’ve only stated what our oath states that I will defend the constitution and that I will not follow unlawful orders. If that’s a crime, what is America coming to?”

Technically, I agree with Stein on the matter of a soldier’s obligation to refuse to follow an unlawful order. That is a standard set after World War II that resulted in the inadmissibility of the defense that “I was just following orders.” But Stein had better have a damn good basis (and an opinion from a legal expert) before he engages in what might constitute mutiny. Stein had no such basis when he chose to ignore the orders of his commanders or to declare that he would refuse to follow orders from the President if those orders included detaining or disarming U.S. citizens. That overly broad standard would mean that Stein would not act against Adam Gadahn, the American who is presently the media adviser for Al Qaeda.

Stein’s story was broadcast on Fox News’ America Live with Megyn Kelly. Fox News also featured the story on both the Fox News web site and Fox Nation, where Stein has been treated as a hero for standing up to President Obama. However, he has a pretty thin case to make for his patriotism when he posts comments like this: “I say screw Obama. I will not follow orders given by him to me.” That comment has since been deleted and Stein says that he later qualified his comment to reflect that he would only disobey unlawful orders. But you can still find this comment on his Facebook page without qualification: “Obama is the “Domestic Enemy” our oath speaks about.”

Armed Forces Tea Party

That goes far beyond Stein’s assertion that he was merely stating what the military code says about following unlawful orders. It is an exhibition of overt disloyalty that the military ought not to abide. In fact, it designates the President as an enemy of the state, which would make him a suitable target, in Stein’s warped view, for hostile action or assassination. And that is exactly the view that Fox News, and their audience of pseudo-patriots, are applauding. Disgusting, isn’t it?

[Update] On April 6, a military board recommended that Stein be dismissed from service with “other than an honorable discharge” (i.e. dishonorable).

“The three-member Marine Corps administrative board at Camp Pendleton found that Sgt. Gary Stein had committed misconduct by posting anti-Obama comments on a Facebook page, calling the comments ‘contemptuous.’ [...] The final decision on Stein’s status will be made by the commanding general of the Marine Corp Recruit Depot San Diego.”

[Update II] On April 25, 2012, the Marines formally discharged Stein as the commanding general of the base accepted the administrative board’s recommendation for discharge.

When Fox News Anchor Megyn Kelly Is Right, She’s Right

You have to give Megyn Kelly some credit. Today she conducted a scintillating debate about the cover of Newsweek magazine that featured President Obama and the headline, “Why Are Obama’s Critics So Dumb?”

Kelly’s razor sharp intellect immediately focused in on the most relevant question that arose from that controversial title. It didn’t have anything to do with the substance of the article. Why would that be of interest to anyone watching Fox News? Kelly quickly dismissed the fact that the author, Andrew Sullivan, was criticizing Obama’s critics from both the left and the right, although only the right seemed to take any offense They apparently know themselves so well that if somebody yells “Hey stupid.” in a crowded Walmart, only the right-wingers will turn and say “What?”

The core point of interest that Kelly recognized had to do with the credentials of Sullivan and his place on the cover of a news magazine. Without hesitation she directed this probing inquiry to her guest news analysts:

“Don’t you think that most people when they go to the store and they see Newsweek there they assume it’s like a real journalist who’s actually going to report the news in an objective way?”

Exactly! And don’t you also think that when most people turn on a television network with the word “news” in its name that they assume a real journalist is actually going to be anchoring the program? If you do then you’ve obviously never watched Fox News.

In addition to Kelly’s rank hypocrisy, the very fact that she was discussing this issue with a couple of pundits that had no inside knowledge of either the Newsweek article or the process by which the cover or headline was selected, illustrated the shallowness of Fox’s reporting standards. Sullivan happened to see the segment and issued a challenge to Fox News: If you want to trash my work, have me on to defend it. Any time, Megyn. Any time. What are you afraid of?

As a final dagger in the heart of ethical journalism, during the segment Fox displayed the Newsweek cover in a graphic. But for some reason they chose to blur out Andrew Sullivan’s name.

Fox News Newsweek Cover

Why they would do this when they were using his name in the discussion is puzzling. But I wouldn’t spend too much time trying to unravel that mystery when we still haven’t figured out why Fox thinks that Megyn Kelly is a journalist who can question the credentials of other journalists.

[Update] Megyn Kelly’s Fox sister, Gretchen Carlson, joined the parade on Fox whining about the Newsweek story. Carlson, in a fit of self-delusion, challenged her guest, Jerry Springer, on the subject of bias in the media. Springer responded that it was disingenuous for Fox to be decrying bias on Newsweek’s part:

“We’re here on Fox News. Every single day, in fairness, you guys, every single day bash President Obama. [...] Every single morning you are slamming Obama. You know you are.”

Carlson wasn’t going to take that lying down. She quickly retorted that…

“Jerry, you obviously don’t watch our show because you do not understand that there’s a reason – I’ll speak for myself. I sit in the middle as the independent on the panel – and quite frankly we present both sides of the story and we leave it up to our viewers to decide where they fall.”

If Carlson is sitting in the middle because she is the independent, then who on the Fox & Friends panel is she implying is the liberal? Steve Doocy? Her claim is so absurd it approaches surreal performance art.

Fox News Promotes Violent Oil Industry Threats Against Obama

The Keystone XL oil pipeline was one of the most controversial issues of 2011. The project has raised concerns amongst environmentalists, labor unions, and the oil industry. President Obama kicked the matter down the road by delaying a decision until after the 2012 election in order to have more time to study the environmental impact and alternative routes.

Throughout the year, Fox News has openly sided with oil industry interests in favor of expediting the pipeline. They have repeatedly aired segments with proponents falsely claiming that the project would create anywhere from 20,000 to a million jobs. (Opponents note independent studies that place the figure closer to 6,000 jobs that are mostly temporary).

This morning Fox News escalated the public relations campaign on behalf of big oil. Megyn Kelly (the female Glenn Beck) conducted an interview with Jack Gerard, the president of the American Petroleum Institute, a lobbying association. Just to be clear, this was not a Republican congressman who supports the project. It was not a director of a citizens group. It was not a labor spokesman representing the interests of workers. It was a paid lobbyist for the oil industry. Can you guess what position he took?

This is just another example of Fox serving the interests of wealthy corporations (and advertisers) at the expense of actual people who will have to live with the consequences of these projects. There was no spokesperson for the other side of the debate. It was a segment devoted solely to giving free air time to an industry public relations executive.

And, by the way, here is how the matter was handled by Fox Nation:

Fox Nation Horse's Head

For those who don’t recall, the symbolism of a horse head in bed comes from a gory scene in the film “The Godfather.” It was done as a warning to the victim that he and anything, or anyone, that he cared about could end up the same way. Therefore, the Fox Nationalists are suggesting that Obama or his family could be slaughtered by oil barons if they do not submit to their demands to approve the pipeline.

In the most generous interpretation, it could be assumed that all Fox meant was that there would be “political consequences” for his refusal to kneel before Big Oil. However, the “horse head” imagery was entirely the work of Fox News. It was never mentioned in the article from The Hill that Fox used as its source.

So you cannot blame the oil industry lobbyist for this offensive and hostile rhetoric. It is the sole responsibility of Fox News. Remember that when anyone suggests that Fox has had a course correction and is attempting to moderate their radical and dangerous extremism.

Republicans Reveal Their Top Priority For America In Iowa Debate

At a time when the nation faces some formidable challenges on critical matters of economics, employment, national defense, health care, etc., the Republican candidates for president met in Iowa to debate the issues that they regard as most important to voters and the country.

Leading off the Fox News sponsored debate, Fox anchor Bret Baier summarized just what issues the GOP held as their highest priority, and it wasn’t any of those enumerated in the paragraph above.

Bret Baier: We have received thousands of tweets, Facebook messages and emails with suggested questions. And the overall majority of them had one theme: Electability. People want to know which one of you on this stage is able to be in the best position to beat President Obama in the general election. And that’s the number one goal for Republican voters, obviously.

So there you have it. The number one goal is not restoring the nation’s economic health. It is not creating jobs or strengthening the middle-class. It is not Iraq, Afghanistan, Iran, Al Qaeda, or any other source of international hostility. It isn’t even Republican pet causes of guns, gays, God, or repealing ObamaCare. The number on issue is electability. Republicans are focused squarely on the singular issue of evicting the Kenyan socialist from the White House, to the exclusion of all other principles or positions. Just like Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell said shortly after Obama was inaugurated.

Taking this theme to heart, the debate continued with a series of question that addressed nothing substantive other than the candidate’s prospects for beating President Obama next November. Here are the first seven questions asked at Thursday’s debate:

Bret Baier: Speaker Gingrich, since our last debate your position in this race has changed dramatically. You are now physically in the center of the stage, which means that you are at the top of the polls, yet many Republicans seem conflicted about you, They say that you’re smart, that you’re a big thinker. At the same time many of those same Republicans worry deeply about your electability in a general election saying perhaps Gov. Romney is a safer bet. Can you put to rest, once and for all, the persistent doubts that you are indeed the right candidate on this stage to go up and beat President Obama?

Megyn Kelly: Cong. Paul, you have some bold ideas, some very fervent supporters, and probably the most organized ground campaign here in Iowa, but there are many Republicans, inside and outside of this state, who openly doubt whether you can be elected president. How can you convince them otherwise, and if you don’t wind up winning this nomination, will you pledge here tonight that you will support the ultimate nominee?

Megyn Kelly: Sen. Santorum, no one has spent more time in Iowa than you. You have visited every county in the state. And yet, while we have seen no fewer than four Republican candidates surge in the polls, sometimes in extraordinary ways, so far you and your campaign have failed to catch fire with the voters. Why?

Chris Wallace: Gov. Romney, I want to follow up on Bret’s line of questioning to the Speaker because many of our viewers tell us that they are supporting Newt Gingrich because they think that he will be tougher than you in taking the fight to Barack Obama in next fall’s debates. Why would you be able to make the Republican’s case against the President more effectively than the Speaker?

Chris Wallace: Cong. Bachmann, no one questions your conservative credentials, but what about your appeal to Independents who are so crucial in a general election? If you are fortunate enough to become the Republican nominee, how would you counter the efforts by the Barack Obama campaign to paint you as too conservative to moderate voters?

Neil Cavuto: Gov. Perry, by your own admission you are not a great debater. You have said as much and downplayed debating skills in general. But if you were to become your party’s nominee you would be going up against an accomplished debater in Barack Obama. There are many in this audience tonight, sir, who fear that possibility and don’t think you’re up for the fight. Allay them of their concerns.

Neil Cavuto: Gov. Huntsman, your campaign has been praised by moderates, but many question your ability to galvanize the Republicans, energize the conservative base of the party. They’re especially leery of your refusal to sign on to a “no tax hike” pledge. How can you reassure them tonight.

Nothing is more revealing of a party’s intentions than what they themselves place at the forefront of their campaigns. And nothing could be more clear than the fact that Republicans simply do not care about issues or the welfare of the American people as much as they do about their own selfish quest for power.

What’s more, the debate sponsor, Fox News, and other right-wing spokesmodels concur with the GOP’s directive on beating Obama above all else. That’s why the questions were littered with words like “worry,” “doubt,” “fear,” and “leery,” to describe the electorate’s mood toward the GOP frontrunners. And the debate amongst Republican elites is raging at an unprecedented pace. Rush Limbaugh thinks Romney is a milquetoast candidate. Glenn Beck called Gingrich a progressive (a pejorative for Beck) and the one candidate he would not vote for. Even Fox’s Chris Wallace slammed Ron Paul saying that a win by Paul in Iowa would discredit the state’s caucuses.

So what we have here is both the candidates and the media fixated on electability. All they talk about is the horse race and not the underlying issues. And of course, the reason for that is that they don’t care about the issues, only the power that comes from political control. And now they have confessed this obsession unabashedly.

Unfortunately for these polito-Narcissists, they aren’t quite smart enough to craft accurate predictions of who is or isn’t electable. They will undoubtedly make the wrong choice and their anointed candidate will suffer an embarrassing defeat. But to be honest, that’s an easy call for me to make because any of the current GOP candidates would be the wrong choice. They are all presently losing to Obama in national polls, and that’s quite a feat considering Obama’s low favorability ratings. The best thing that’s happened for Obama’s reelection prospects is that he’s running against this batch of pathetic Republicans.

Would Fox News Defend Tim Tebow If He Faced Mecca And Thanked Allah

Pray For Fox NewsFox News is once again dredging up a controversy where none exists. They have been in a hysterical frenzy over the supposed outrage of critics of Denver Broncos quarterback Tim Tebow and his gridiron genuflections.

Personally, I find it absurd, and even insulting, when a sports figure thanks God for their victory. It implies that the players on the opposite team are somehow allied with Satan or otherwise out of God’s favor. It further implies that God cares about the outcome of a ballgame as much as he does about the welfare of the world and the eternal souls of his children. But how people express their own spiritual beliefs is up to them and doesn’t rank very high on my outrage meter.

Fox News, on the other hand, is very disturbed by what appears to be an imaginary outcry in opposition to Tebow’s expression of faith. They have broadcast numerous stories vilifying Tebow’s critics, but have yet to identify a single one. They call Tebow “God’s Quarterback,” and lament his treatment by the secular press. Both Fox & Friends co-host Gretchen Carlson and America Live host Megyn Kelly have anchored recent segments speculating on what would occur if Tebow were Muslim instead of Christian. And both concluded that the reaction would be far more tolerant of Islamic expressions of faith.

Where on God’s green Earth did they get that idea? Coming from a network that has invented a War on Christmas and brazenly incited hateful opposition to a Muslim community center in Lower Manhattan, calling it the “ground zero mosque,” this approach to their non-story is decidedly delusional. An even worse example is the recent controversy over the Learning Channel’s program about ordinary Muslim-American families in Dearborn, Michigan.

TLC’s All American Muslim has been the victim of rabid acrimony from anti-Islam organizations and individuals. These bigots have succeeded in getting some advertisers (notably Lowe’s Home Improvement Center) to remove their ads from the show. Their complaint is that the program is deceptive in that it shows only peaceful, patriotic, families that are just like every other American household, rather than sneering terrorists bent on slaughtering their infidel neighbors.

The evidence is clear that if Tebow were a practicing Muslim who praised Allah after every touchdown pass, the same bigots who protested TLC and Lowe’s would show up to blitz Tebow with racist slurs and insults. And Fox News would lead the parade with story after story about how disrespectful it is to shove in the face of American sports fans what Fox would characterize as the religious perversions of a people who want to destroy the country.

Fox was adamant about what they portrayed as the immorality of allowing an Islamic community center to be built two blocks from the former site of the World Trade Center. Why would they behave any differently if a celebrity sports figure openly displayed his reverence for Islam? And why would the Fox audience suddenly acquire a tolerance of religious diversity that they have never demonstrated before?

As I noted above, it doesn’t matter to me how Tebow celebrates his victories on the field. And to his credit, he has said that he doesn’t believe that God cares who wins or loses these games. But it is disturbing that a major, mainstream news enterprise overtly professes to spiritualize a game by anointing a player as “God’s Quarterback” and then fabricates a campaign against him in order to whip up an evangelical firestorm, all in the pursuit of controversy and, ultimately, ratings.

Fox News Cooks Up A Toxic Menu Of Pepper Sprayed Lies

The latest travesty of justice celebrated by Fox News is the horrific use of excessive force on a group of peaceful protesters at UC Davis. Lt. John Pike of the Campus Police casually and callously sprayed students with an abrasive substance that has been known to cause permanent harm and even death.

Fox News typically sided with the perpetrators of torture. Just as they cheer the use of waterboarding and drool over the prospect of nuking everything from Iran to Tijuana (and even San Francisco), Fox News embraces the police state oppression of citizens who oppose the economic rape of our nation by wealthy corporations and their benefactors in Washington.

Recently Fox News anchor Megyn Kelly told her colleague Bill O’Reilly that pepper spray was just “a food product, essentially.” O’Reilly agreed with Kelly that the police did nothing wrong and he went further to make the absurd claim that “I don’t think we have the right to Monday morning quarterback the police.”

We don’t? Does Bill O’Reilly believe that we live in a society where law enforcement authorities are indisputable? Isn’t that the sort of tyranny that he constantly (and falsely) accuses President Obama of attempting to enact?

The notion that pepper spray is merely a food product, or that waterboarding is just a bath, or that mustard gas is simply a condiment, is evidence of the brutal ignorance that has infected so much of modern conservatism. But it is also evidence of their obsession with diets that are harmful to your health. In the past few months Fox has published numerous articles castigating any effort to educate the American people about the benefits of good eating habits. Fox is similarly dismissive of any effort to protect children from harmful foods. Here is a brief compilation of some of the headlines from their gastronomic propaganda:

  • This Thanksgiving, Media Still Stuffed with Food Police Message
  • NYC Food Police Reach New Low
  • Even Obama’s School Potato Bill Fails
  • Liberals Going After Hot Dogs
  • SF Food Police Urge Meat-Free Mondays
  • Minneapolis Schools Ban Chocolate Milk
  • Food Police Try to Retire Ronald McDonald
  • Obama Identifies the Enemy: Tony the Tiger
  • Food Police Kill Cap’n Crunch
  • Obama Administration Getting Ready to Ditch Food Pyramid
  • Nanny Staters Crack Down on School Chocolate Milk
  • The Food Police Are Back! Coke and Pepsi Banned in S.F.!
  • Obama Food Police Messes With Your Chips
  • Food Police Attack Chocolate Milk
  • SF Hold First Public Hearing to Ban Happy Meals
  • Tater Nots: Gov’t Eyes School Lunch Potato Ban
  • Ronald McDonald Under Attack

With their abundant expertise in the culinary arts, it was only a matter of time until Fox launched their own show dedicated to diet and cooking. And now, with Lt. John Pike of the UC Davis Campus Police, they even have a star talent to helm the program. So stayed tuned to Fox News for the spring premiere of Pike’s Palate.

Pike's Palate

Fox Nation vs. Reality: On Obama And History

See Fox News Update Below

The latest mutation of reality by the folks at Fox Nation presents another fun house ride through Fantasyland. Check out the headline posting on Sunday night:

Fox Nation

The posting links to an article at the Moonie Washington Times that purports to have analyzed presidential elections and arrived at the following conclusion:

“Of all the presidents since World War II whose job-approval scores were lower than 50 percent one year before Election Day, only one went on to win a second term.”

On the surface, that’s an accurate conclusion. However, taking a closer look at the analysis reveals that the brilliant minds at the Washington Times calculated the electoral fates of all of the low-scoring incumbents – all three of them (Nixon, Ford, and Carter). Consequently, the conclusion is meaningless from a statistical point of view. It would be just as accurate to say that:

Of all the presidents since World War II whose job-approval scores were lower than 50 percent one year before Election Day, all were reelected except for two.

Sounds pretty good, doesn’t it? It certainly doesn’t sound nearly as desperate as Fox’s version that predicts Obama as a loser. Fox’s version also leaves out this commentary by Larry Sabato that was included in the Washington Times article:

“Presidential approval one full year out is not helpful in determining what will occur in November 2012.” Mr. Sabato said.

The only opinion in the article that affirms the conclusion in the Fox Nation headline is from the article’s author, Dave Boyer. And he offers no support whatsoever for that opinion. In fact, Boyer’s opinion is contradicted by his own reporting. He quotes Sabato as saying that the predictive value of approval ratings is only significant in the summer and fall months just prior to the election, not so much a year away. So not only is there not enough statistical data to draw a conclusion, the data they are using is irrelevant.

Nevertheless, Fox Nation composed their own headline that exacerbated the flaws in the Washington Times’ reporting. And the Fox Nationalists proved once again that they can’t tell reality from fiction. Or more accurately, they choose to present fiction as fact.

[Update: 11/7/11] Not surprisingly, Fox News has adopted the false premises described above. Megyn Kelly led off a segment this morning on the electoral history of low approval rated incumbents saying that in fifty years only one was reelected. Of course she neglected to note that in fifty years only two failed to win reelection. She might also have said that in the entire 235 year history of America an African-American presidential incumbent has NEVER lost reelection. So there you have it. Numbers don’t lie (but Fox does).

This is an excellent example of how bogus stories bubble up from disreputable sources like the Washington Times to mass media outlets like Fox News.

GOP Talking Points Pass For Reporting On Fox News

Fox NewsThe next time you hear some FoxPod complain about Fox News being called the PR division of the Republican Party, show them this example of Fox using GOP talking points and passing them off as news developed by their “brain room.”

Today on Megyn Kelly’s program she moderated a discussion that was based on a series of “Fox Facts” that appear to have been cribbed directly from a Republican National Committee press release. The similarities are unmistakable. [h/t Media Matters]

RNC says: “$4.2 Trillion: Added To The National Debt Since Obama Took Office.”
Fox says: “DEBT: Total Public Debt Outstanding has increased by $4.2 trillion.”

RNC says: “40.5: Number Of Weeks That It Takes To Find A Job.”
Fox says: “AVERAGE WEEKS UNEMPLOYED: Unemployed out of work for an average of 40.5 weeks – that’s more than double since Jan 2009.”

RNC says: “2.2 Million: Jobs Lost Since Obama Took Office.”
Fox says: “JOBS: 2.22 million jobs lost.”

RNC says: “15.1%: Americans Living In Poverty.”
Fox says: “POVERTY: Nearly 3 million more Americans in poverty–poverty rate has gone from 13.2% to 15.1%.”

RNC says: “$1.17 Trillion: American Debt Held By China.”
Fox says: “CHINA: Owns $1.17 trillion of our debt (as of July) – a 58% increase from January 2009.”

RNC says: “45,696: Pages Of New Rules Added To The Federal Register During Obama’s First Two Years In Office.”
Fox says: “REGULATIONS – FEDERAL REGISTER: 45,696 pages of new regulatory rules were added to the Federal Register.”

RNC says: “818,000: Manufacturing Jobs Lost Since Obama Took Office.”
Fox says: “MANUFACTURING: 818,000 manufacturing jobs lost — a -6.5% drop since.”

This is not the first time that Fox News tried to pass off Republican dogma as their own original reporting. Fox anchor Jon Scott was caught reading an RNC memo that he reproduced as a graphic complete with the same typos as on the original RNC document.

In another example of Fox News carrying water for the Republican Party, their White House correspondent, Ed Henry, asked President Obama a question today at a press conference. The question was ostensibly about the President’s response to the arrests of Iran-affiliated suspects in a plot to assassinate the Saudi Arabian ambassador. But Henry embellished his question in a peculiar way. Obama handled it nicely:

Henry: What specific steps will you take to hold Iran accountable, especially when Mitt Romney charged last week, “If you do not want America to be the strongest nation on Earth, I am not your President — you have that President today?”

OBAMA: Well, I didn’t know that you were the spokesperson for Mitt Romney.

Henry’s shout to Romney was entirely out of place. Romney was not commenting on the Iranian plot that was the subject of Henry’s question. In fact, Romney made the comment before the arrests. Henry just included it as a gratuitous slap at the President that was unrelated to the topic at hand. That’s what made the President’s retort so appropriate.

However, when Henry appeared on Megyn Kelly’s program and the press conference was brought up, the interview was limited to the crack about Romney and completely ignored Obama’s substantive answer to Henry’s question about Iran. That’s pretty clear evidence that Henry wasn’t the least bit interested in his own question. The whole thing was a setup to inject Romney’s criticism of Obama into the news cycle.

Like I said above, Fox News is the PR division of the Republican Party, and they don’t even seem to be hiding it anymore.

Megyn Kelly and Fox News Helped Sen. Ensign Cover-Up His Crimes

Nevada Senator John Ensign resigned from the Senate last week, but his troubles may not end there. The New York Times is reporting that the results of a Senate Ethics Committee investigation may leave Ensign liable for charges of obstructing an FEC investigation, violating federal lobbying bans, and making unlawful payments to the husband of his congressional aide with whom he was having an affair – among other things.

However, any investigation of this matter needs to include possible interference on the part of Fox News and Glenn Beck-wannabe, Megyn Kelly. There is evidence that Kelly, who received a letter from Doug Hampton revealing Ensign’s infidelity, warned Ensign that the news was about to come out rather than reporting on it. As I wrote on June 19, 2009:

“Fox News knew of Ensign’s infidelity five days before Ensign came forward. They got the information from the husband of Ensign’s mistress. That’s a pretty good source, especially when he asserts that he had corroborating evidence.”

First Fox denied having received any letter. Then they admitted that they had received the letter a day before the news broke. Then a FedEx receipt revealed that they had received the letter three days earlier. And Fox broadcast no stories about the Ensign affair during any of that time, or even for several days after.

When Ensign came forward to confess his sins, he told the press that he was doing so because the story was about to come out in the media. So the question is: did he learn that from Megyn Kelly?

The evidence strongly suggests that Kelly tipped Ensign off and set the stage for his announcement. Then she and Fox kept the story quiet in the days that followed. That is not the behavior of a “news” network. It is the behavior of an accomplice.

[Update 5/16/11] The Senate Ethics Committee report suggests former senator (and current GOP presidential candidate) Rick Santorum may have played a role in tipping off Ensign. If true, that does not mean that Kelly didn’t also give a head’s up to Ensign. And it certainly doesn’t explain the changing stories about when she received Hampton’s letter.

There is also the matter of Ensign’s reason for going public (that he was told that the media was going to break the news of the affair). That’s an alert that is more likely to come from Kelly (a Fox anchor) than from Santorum (a former senate colleague). However, it should be noted that Santorum was also a Fox News contributor at the time he is alleged to have tipped off Ensign. So Fox is entangled in this business no matter what.

10 Reasons Why Fox News After Glenn Beck Will Still Suck

“If I were lying I’d be off the air.”
  ~ Glenn Beck, Jan 4, 2010.
“I’m going to be leaving this program later this year.”
  ~ Glenn Beck, Apr 6, 2011.

There has already been a barrage of media analysis and discussion of Glenn Beck’s not-so-surprising separation from Fox News. For the most part that discussion has been focused on speculation as to the cause of the break up and on what will become of Beck. But any suggestion that Beck’s departure polishes Fox’s reputation is pure folly. The worst of Beck’s haunted imagination is securely woven into the Fox News dis-comforter. The trademark Fox invective, sophistry, and bias predate Beck and will outlive him.


Many in the press, however, are more interested in prattling on about the alleged animosity for Beck amongst “serious” conservatives and his colleagues at Fox who think that his doomsday rhetoric and conspiracy theories give the “news” network a bad name. The purveyors of conventional wisdom are very concerned about Fox’s teetering credibility and are scrambling to defend it:

Howard Kurtz, CNN, The Daily Beast: …many senior Fox executives are relieved to be rid of Beck. [and] …some journalists and executives at the network privately expressed concern that Beck was becoming the face of the network.

George Will, ABC News Washington Post: I think that Glenn Beck and his drift into more bizarre and extreme positions was threatening the Fox brand. So I wish Glenn Beck health and happiness but I think the health and happiness of Fox is served by his departure.

Michael Harrison, editor of Talkers Magazine: You can’t be a rodeo clown and maintain credibility,

Matt Lewis, The Daily Caller: My take is that while Beck’s show was individually a ratings hit, he also risked tarnishing the overall Fox News “brand”.

Jeffrey McCall, professor of media studies, DePauw University: Beck was no longer just a personality with a show on FNC. He became an easy target for Fox News critics to characterize him as representative of the entire channel.

These august observers have frightfully short memories. The truth is that Fox earned its nefarious reputation long before Beck arrived and there is every indication that they will preserve it after he’s gone. In fact, it’s that reputation that made Beck such a good fit to begin with and lured him to the network despite his admitted reluctance when first approached. The pundits who are advancing the premise that by losing Beck, Fox can be redeemed are, to put it kindly, mistaken. Here is why Fox News without Glenn Beck will be just as bad as Fox News with Glenn Beck:

1) Bill O’Reilly: Before Beck called President Obama a racist, Bill O’Reilly ventured to Sylvia’s in Harlem and expressed his surprise that the mostly African-American patrons weren’t acting like primitives. And when the First Lady was criticized for expressing her pride that America had evolved to the point where they would elect an African-American president O’Reilly considerately declared that “I don’t want to go on a lynching party against Michelle Obama unless there’s evidence.” Nice choice of words.

2) Sean Hannity: While Beck may suffer from an acute case of Nazi-Tourettes Syndrome (Louis Black™), Sean Hannity is a personal friend of the notorious neo-Nazi schlock-jock, Hal Turner, and graciously hosted him on his program. Turner won’t be be revisiting Hannity for a while because he is presently in prison serving 33 months for threatening judges.

3) Megyn Kelly: No one can spin a conspiracy theory quite like Beck, but Megyn Kelly comes pretty close. For months she’s been peddling a pseudo-scandal that alleges that the Department of Justice deliberately dismisses all charges of civil rights violations when the plaintiff is white. This has been debunked by the House Judiciary Committee’s Office of Professional Responsibility. Kelly also fronted phony investigations into the alleged terrorist ties of funders of the Park51 mosque in Manhattan. Somehow she left out the fact that one of those funders was Prince Alwaleed Bin Talal, the second largest shareholder of News Corp outside of the Murdoch family. Kelly has a permanently affixed expression of indignation and a vocal delivery that makes every story appear to be shocking. She is the human manifestation of Fox’s ever-present “FOX ALERT!”

4) Judge Andrew Napolitano: There are conspiratorial paths where even Beck fears to tread. Judge Andrew Napolitano has no such fears. He is a frequent guest of proto-conspiratorialist and Beck inspiration, Alex Jones. He is an avowed 9/11 Truther who says that the World Trade Center attack was an inside job. He believes that the health care bill contains provisions for a civilian military force to suppress domestic insurrection. And he also happens to be Beck’s most frequent fill-in host and a leading candidate to replace him.

5) Bill Sammon: Fox News’ Washington managing editor, Bill Sammon, has espoused a hard-core conservatism that predates Beck and emanates from the executive suites far above him. He came to Fox from the “Moonie” Washington Times and authored several books lionizing George W. Bush and lambasting Democrats. He was also caught authoring memos that directed his reporters to dispense a brazenly partisan point of view. For instance, he told them to refrain from using the term “public option” during the health care debate because focus group testing proved that the term “government-run” produced a more negative response. Even more disturbing, he was recorded admitting to a friendly audience on a conservative cruise that he “mischievously” cast Obama as a socialist even though he didn’t believe it himself. In other words, he lied to defame the President and rile up his gullible viewers. Beck must be so proud to have worked for him.

6) Neil Cavuto: The glorification of ignorance is a staple of Beck’s brand, but Neil Cavuto has been contributing to the collapse of America’s collective IQ far longer than Beck. He proudly hosts such respected policy analysts as Ted Nugent, Joe the Plumber, and any random Tea Bagger to help him unravel our nation’s dilemmas. One of his favorite idiocies is his insistence that Climate Change is a hoax because it gets cold in the winter. But Cavuto really shines when he brings in guests whose only connection to the segment is a juvenile pun. For instance, in a discussion about whether Tea Party support was grassroots or AstroTurf, Cavuto interviewed the CEO of AstroTurf Technologies, whose expertise with synthetic fiber products contributed nothing to the debate on campaign organization. Cavuto is the prop comic of pundits who delights in interrupting and shouting down Democrats who are naive enough to accept his invitations to appear.

7) Fox & Friends: While there will always be only one rodeo clown in the vast right-wing conspira-circus, there is no shortage of stooges, and three of them are featured on Fox & Friends. First we have Steve Doocy, who wondered “Why didn’t anybody ever mention that [Obama] spent the first decade of his life, raised by his Muslim father.” Perhaps because Obama actually never knew his father who left the family when he was two years old. Then there’s Brian Kilmeade who fans the racist flames by saying things like “all terrorists are Muslims.” And don’t forget Gretchen Carlson, who called the late Sen. Ted Kennedy a “hostile enemy” of the United States. All of these vile inanities were delivered without any help from Beck. However, it should be noted that when Beck made his infamous remarks about Obama being a racist he did it on Fox & Friends.

8) Fox Nation: Any good 21st century propaganda outfit has to have an Internet component, and for Fox News it is the Fox Nation. This web site’s sole purpose is to disseminate the most despicably dishonest disinformation it can invent. There are way too many examples to itemize, but here are a couple that represent the ridiculous and the repulsive. Last July Fox Nation featured a story that claimed that the Taliban was recruiting monkey mercenaries. This absurdity was sourced to the People’s Daily in China. Fox Nation also ran an item that speculated about Obama’s death. This article brought out the hate in the site’s readers who posted numerous comments indicating how welcome that would be. Many of the stories on Fox Nation percolate up to Fox News for broadcast and they they are no less deranged than the nonsense Beck comes up with.

9) Roger Ailes: The president and CEO of Fox News sets the tone for the network as a whole. Roger Ailes was a long-time media advisor to Republican candidates prior to launching Fox News. He is the network’s spiritual leader. If you ever wondered how Beck could get away with aligning President Obama (and anyone else with whom he disagrees) with Hitler, your curiosity was satisfied when Ailes lashed out at NPR saying that “They are, of course, Nazis. They have a kind of Nazi attitude. They are the left wing of Nazism.” Ailes’ remarks prove that the hate speech at Fox goes from the top down. It’s not now, and never has been, unique to Beck.

10) Rupert Murdoch: Speaking of the top – Rupert Murdoch, the Chairman and CEO of News Corp, is as high as you can get. He is the company’s captain and conscience. Every material decision requires his concurrence, including his employment of Glenn Beck. While Beck may be leaving, Murdoch is not (yet). It is, therefore, important to note that when Beck called the President a racist, Murdoch responded by saying that “it was something that, perhaps, shouldn’t have been said about the President, but if you actually assess what he [Beck] was talking about, he was right.”

Murdoch has consistently stood behind Beck for more than two years, defending him at every turn for every scandalous affair and affront. Even as advertisers fled in disgust, Murdoch never conceded an inch. In the television marketplace it is advertisers, not viewers, who are the broadcaster’s clients. Murdoch snubbed his clients in order to allow Beck’s Acute Paranoia Revue and Disinfotainment Revival Hour to continue poisoning minds and influencing elections.

More importantly, Murdoch and Ailes together have fashioned a network whose persona is infested with the same conservative extremist ideology popularized by Beck. The examples above illustrate how ingrained that ideology is into the Fox News schedule in all dayparts. And those programs are augmented by an army of propagandists that include Sarah Palin, Stuart Varney, Eric Bolling, Monica Crowley, Dick Morris, Frank Luntz, and many more.

With this dedicated team of activist anchors and contributors in place, Beck’s departure, though gossip-worthy, will change nothing at Fox News. Beck was not cast off because his message was objectionable, but because he was an ineffective messenger who was alienating the audience. His replacement will surely continue the sordid tradition of which Beck was just a small, irritating part. The Fox mission remains intact and any talk of redemption due merely to having thrown off this defective cog is naive and oblivious to the dark reality that is Fox News.

Fox News Pimps Megyn Kelly To GQ

Megyn Kelly
Much has been made about the curious “coincidence” that almost every female Fox News anchor is a young, attractive blond. I’m sure there is an innocent explanation for it. But anyone at Fox who complains about them being characterized as eye candy hired to exploit their sexuality had better first take a look at Megyn Kelly’s new spread for GQ Magazine. It’s not exactly a play for journalistic integrity.

Setting aside the cheesecake, Kelly is hardly a journalist. She makes headlines out of trivialities and seeks to sensationalize items that would be cut from the National Enquirer. Her stories about the New Black Panther Party never put into context that they were a tiny band of gadflies that no one took seriously. Her reports on the financing of the non-mosque that was not at ground zero were embarrassingly devoid of any evidence of the allegations she made. If you’re wondering why she hasn’t reported on that lately, it may be because her correspondent for the story, Charles Leaf, is in jail awaiting trial for sexually assaulting a four year old girl.

The feature in GQ includes an interview wherein Kelly reveals how seriously she takes her job as a journalist:

GQ: You sit behind a glass table that shows off your legs.
Kelly: Well, It’s a visual business. People want to see the anchor.

That must be why Bill O’Reilly wears those low-cut blouses. In another example of her commitment to news, she was asked…

GQ: Do you think the act of deciding what to cover and what not to is in itself a political act?
Kelly: It’s not political. Television is a service but it’s also a business. And in choosing what you’re going to put on your program, you have to figure out what’s going to appeal to your audience and what’s going to rate.


That explains the incessant bashing of liberals as well as the glass table. But how pathetic that she anchors a so-called news show and thinks that ratings should be the measure of what constitutes news. She goes on to boast about Fox being the number one cable news channel. But somehow she is not familiar with her colleagues on the network. She asserts that “I really don’t know much about the Glenn Beck empire.” However, she supports his right to free speech. To this GQ asked…

GQ: There’s the First Amendment and then there’s spreading obvious misinformation.
Kelly: That happens at a lot of channels. I think some of those allegations against Beck may have foundation and that some are blown up by detractors.
GQ: Which allegations have foundation?
Kelly: I’m not going to get into specifics.

That’s swell. Kelly just declared that at least some of the allegations about Beck spreading misinformation are true. Let that sink in for a minute. One news network anchor is accusing her colleague of saying things on the air that are obviously false. Can you imagine the uproar if Anderson Cooper were to have said that about Wolf Blitzer? But my guess is that no one will even notice this. After all, everybody expects to be misinformed if they’re watching Fox News. It hardly matters if it’s Beck or Kelly or Hannity or Cavuto or O’Reilly. In fact, Kelly can hardly complain because she is just as guilty as Beck of misinforming her audience.

I suppose that if you believe that misinforming viewers is no big deal, and that ratings should decide news content, and that partisan, sensationalism is a reasonable substitute for honest reporting, then it shouldn’t surprise anyone when you pose for risque centerfolds for men’s magazines. Just please don’t ask to be taken seriously as a journalist.

FOX News Plots Ultra-Partisan Election Night Coverage

FOX/GOP Tea PartyThe FOX News Channel has announced their plans for coverage of the midterm election results next Tuesday. And it should surprise no one that they are plotting to skew their reporting by putting overtly partisan, activist personalities in the anchor chair and over-weighting their analysts with avowed conservatives and Republican operatives.

When election results start to roll in, Fox will have Bret Baier co-hosting a special edition of America’s Election HQ with Megyn Kelly. Kelly is one of the most reliably biased and aggressive advocates of GOP doctrine on Fox News. She is arguably worse than Glenn Beck in many respects. Her trademark is sensationalizing otherwise obscure “controversies” to smear Democrats or progressive issues. Her coverage of the New Black Panther Party and the non-mosque that is not at ground zero are two examples of her hyperactive approach to trivialities in the news.

At the analyst’s table Fox will feature weak pseudo-Democrats like Juan Williams, Joe Trippi, Geraldine Ferraro, and Kirsten Powers. Those are names that are unlikely to make any Republican nervous. They will also have neo-neanderthal Pat Caddell, whom they continue to identify as a Democrat despite his open hostility to the party. He is the poster child for Fox News Democrats who fail to represent the party’s views and are more often critical than supportive.

On the other hand, Fox News is bringing out their big guns to represent the GOP: Karl Rove, Sarah Palin, Mike Huckabee, Newt Gingrich, and Charles Krauthammer. And if that’s not enough uber-conservative firepower, they can turn to their primetime attack-dogs Bill O’Reilly, Sean Hannity and Greta Van Susteren. The notoriety of FOX’s hard right flank on election night, as compared to their tepid roster of “lefties,” puts the lie to their ludicrous claim of being “fair and balanced.” It also contradicts their prior assertion that ideologues like O’Reilly would ever have a role in election night coverage:

Irena Briganti, FOX News VP of Media Relations: The notion that O’Reilly would anchor election coverage of any kind is beyond absurd and wildly inaccurate.

Beyond absurd is just the tip of the iceberg. The FOX press release for their election coverage plans notes that they will also include stories from Eric Shawn and Mike Tobin. Shawn’s beat will be “reporting on voter irregularities in New York.” For a preview of his reporting, refer to his previous coverage of the issue that was aimed exclusively at alleged Democratic irregularities. Tobin’s duties are described as “reporting on the Tea Party influence.” So FOX is dedicating a reporter to cover the phony Tea Baggers, but they have no similar assignment for anyone to report on the influence of progressive activists like labor (or civil rights, or seniors, or gays, or environmentalists, etc).

I don’t think any fair observer expected FOX to cover the election in a manner that was remotely impartial. After all, this is the network whose parent company actually donated a $1 million to the Republican Governor’s Association, and another million to the conservative/GOP affiliated U.S. Chamber of Commerce. But they have really outdone themselves with this lineup. If it tells us anything, it is that they have stopped sporting any pretense of neutrality.

So look for FOX’s coverage to be sharply skewed to the right (as usual). And look for them to gleefully cheer Republican victories and maliciously charge that any Democratic gains were the result of fraud.

Megyn Kelly’s Kangaroo Court: Anita Hill Edition

On today’s episode of Megyn Kelly’s Court the subject was a bizarre phone call to Anita Hill from the wife of Supreme Court Justice Clarence Thomas, Virginia.

Hill received a voice mail on her office phone purporting to be from Ginny Thomas and asking that Hill apologize for “what you did with my husband.” That’s an odd phrasing that implies they did “something” together. Thomas also asked that Hill give a “full explanation,” as if several days of senate confirmation hearings about pubic hairs and Long Dong Silver weren’t sufficiently detailed.

Kelly and her panel took on this raging twenty year old scandal from a uniquely Fox News perspective. They didn’t address the possible motivation of Thomas reigniting this controversy after two decades. They didn’t discuss the propriety of the wife of sitting Supreme Court justice (and herself a Tea Bagging AstroTurf activist) making such a phone call in the first place. No, the issue that got Kelly fired up was that Hill had “called the police” on Thomas.

Well, as usual, Kelly is either lying or ignorant of the facts. Had she read the report that originated with ABC News she would have known that Hill “initially thought it was a prank.” And if it was “thought the authorities should know about it.” Hill clearly did not call the police on Thomas, she was concerned that it was somebody else. Yet Kelly’s Court was all over the phony notion that Hill had overreacted and turned Thomas in to the FBI.

Kelly then concluded the segment with her “ruling” on the case. Not surprisingly, Kelly exonerated Thomas and closed by stating, with typical Kelly indignation, that Thomas had done nothing wrong but that Hill had. This was an obvious allusion to Hill’s testimony regarding Justice Thomas’ alleged sexual harassment. So Kelly has now taken it upon herself to rule that Hill’s testimony was false despite having nothing to affirm that position.

In this one segment Kelly has impugned the integrity of Hill and asserted that she committed perjury. Kelly also misstated the course of events surrounding the phone call and how the authorities were notified. Consequently, my ruling is that Kelly is disreputable and dishonest purveyor of propaganda and should not be regarded as credible in any respect. Case closed.

Fox News Reporter Charles Leaf Arrested For Sexual Assault


Alleged Child Molester Identified as Charles Leaf, Alleged Reporter for Fox News

Charles Leaf of Fox News is being held in New Jersey on charges of aggravated sexual assault on a four year old girl. He has been an investigative reporter with WNYW/Fox5 in New York and has also been featured on the Fox News Channel.

This is not the first time Leaf has been accused of assault. He was previously alleged to have assaulted a councilwoman in Mobile, Alabama, where he was working at the time for a local news outlet. There were no criminal charges filed in that case, but there was reportedly a substantial settlement paid by the station.

I profiled Leaf in September in an article titled, “Charles Leaf: The New Most Repulsive Fox News Reporter.” The article details his aggressive, dishonest, and unprofessional behavior in covering real estate developers associated with the Park51 project in Manhattan (the non-mosque that is not at ground zero). The coverage, featured prominently on Megyn Kelly’s Fox News program (as well as The O’Reilly Factor, The Fox Report, Fox & Friends, On the Record, and Geraldo at Large) was based entirely on innuendo and unsupported, sensationalist, allegations. I described his reports at the time as not even providing enough evidence to start a rumor:

First Leaf conducted an ambush interview on real estate developer, Sharif El-Gamal, that yielded nothing to support his contention that El-Gamal was corrupt. Leaf merely insinuated that something must be wrong because El-Gamal was a waiter eight years prior to investing in the Park51 project. The implication being that anyone who starts a small business, works hard for nearly a decade, and achieves success, is deserving of suspicion.

Then Leaf turned his focus to investor Hisham Elzanaty. Again, Leaf ambushed Elzanaty without acquiring any usable information. The only purpose for Leaf’s ambushes is to suggest something sinister when the target declines to talk to him. To that end Leaf made wild accusations about Elzanaty’s contribution to a Muslim charity. As it turns out, the charity, the Holy Land Foundation, was later investigated for ties to Hamas. But that wasn’t until two years after Elzanaty’s donation, and the feds acknowledged that contributors would not have known about the organization’s relationship with Hamas as it was deliberately concealed.

Both of these reports failed completely to produce evidence of any wrongdoing. They were exercises in insipidness and their only purpose was to insinuate and intimidate. They were utterly unprofessional and potentially libelous. Yet Leaf exalted himself as if he had exposed Watergate. And Fox News (particularly Megyn Kelly) went along by broadcasting Leaf’s empty innuendos and affirming the unsupported conclusions.

Megyn Kelly hosted Leaf on several occasions despite never having a verifiable story to report. This is further evidence of my contention that Kelly is at least as bad as Glenn Beck. It will be interesting to see if Kelly, or anyone at Fox, follows up on their new star reporter by covering his arrest. So far, the only comment from Fox is from a spokesman at the local Fox5 station who said that they are aware of the situation and are reviewing it.

Other Fox News perverts include Bill O’Reilly who paid a multimillion dollar settlement to a former producer whom he sexually harassed, and Dick Morris who was caught sucking the toes of a prostitute whom he let listen in on phone calls to President Clinton.

Is anyone taking odds on when Glenn Beck’s mug shot will rocket through the blogosphere?

Fox News Donates Free Air Time To The GOP

In a bit of creative synergy, Fox News has figured out a way to give Republican candidates a platform without appearing overtly political. This tactic permits the candidate to get national media exposure without having to spend any money or to engage in any kind of informative debate that impacts their campaign.

Here’s how it works: This morning Megyn Kelly aired a segment on a parent who was arrested after he blew a verbal gasket on a school bus. He was upset because his daughter was being bullied by other students and the school allegedly failed to do anything about it.

That’s an issue that tugs at the heart but really has little significance to anyone but the people involved and the tabloid set who watch Fox News for gossip and melodrama. What makes this segment unique is that Kelly brought in two lawyers to debate the matter. One of the lawyers just happened to be Pam Biondi, the Republican candidate for Attorney General in Florida. While Kelly did mention that Biondi is a candidate in her introduction, throughout the segment the on-screen graphic identified her only as a “former Florida prosecutor.”

There is no good reason for Biondi to make an appearance like this on national TV to discuss a situation that has nothing to do with her campaign. What’s more, there is no good reason for Kelly to select Biondi for this debate. Well, except for the fact that Biondi is the GOP candidate for Attorney General. She is a far-right ideologue who wants to repeal the health care bill, opposes gay adoption, and supports Arizona’s immigration law. And in a touching aside, she was sued by a New Orleans family when she refused to return their dog who was lost during Hurricane Katrina (the family did get their dog back, eventually).

Oh yeah…Biondi also has the endorsement of Fox News contributor Sarah Palin, which I guess makes her a mama grizzly.

To put this in perspective, try to imagine Fox News inviting Kamala Harris, the Democratic candidate for Attorney General in California, into the studio for six minutes of expensive airtime to discuss a local school matter. At the very least Kelly could give equal time to Dan Gelber, Biondi’s Democratic opponent. She could have him on to weigh in on the school’s cafeteria menu.

This sort of booking policy is a not-so-thinly disguised method of making an in-kind contribution to Republican office-seekers. Television is the most expensive form of political advertising, and having a network that doles out campaign welfare in the form of free airtime is a distinct advantage. Fox should have to report these bookings as campaign donations.