John Kerry Rips Donald Trump’s ‘Unbelievable Contemptuous Ignorance’ On Climate Change

The Republican Party long ago committed itself to a position on climate change that is at odds with reality. The question is settled with 97 percent of the scientists who study the subject agreeing that climate change is occurring and that it is caused by human activities. But that hasn’t stopped faith-based GOP politicians, with help from the Fox News propaganda machine, from rejecting the voluminous data validating the unprecedented scientific consensus.

John Kerry

Leading the brigade of science deniers is the Republican nominee for president, Donald Trump. In a widely ridiculed comment he called climate change a hoax that “was created by and for the Chinese in order to make U.S. manufacturing non-competitive.” He advocates anti-environment policies such as eliminating regulations on energy exploration and production, opening up federal lands to oil drilling, and building the KeystoneXL pipeline. He promises to shut down the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), which he thought was called the Department of Environmental (DEP?). And most recently he said that he would rip up the United Nations’ historic Paris climate agreement that currently has 177 signatories.

Responding to Trump’s attack on the Paris accords, Secretary of State John Kerry was interviewed on MSNBC’s All In with Chris Hayes (video below). He did not mince words when asked about Trump’s hostility toward the international effort to mitigate the catastrophic effects of climate change:

“Ripping up the climate agreement that was reached in Paris would be reckless, counterproductive, self-destructive. It would be an act of extraordinary danger to our country because of the path it would put us on both in terms of our global leadership on the issue as well as the actual policies we need to implement and it would in the end be an act of ignorance, of utter unbelievable contemptuous ignorance to get rid of something that the world has worked for since 1992 in Rio.”

Kerry didn’t stop there. He addressed the fact that each of the past years and decades marked record highs in global warming and were each hotter than those that preceded them, poignantly noting that “Somewhere people ought to be catching on to what is happening.” Along with the obvious and harmful impact of rising temperatures and sea levels, there is an alarming threat to national security. Kerry summarized this threat saying:

“Refugees that are being created in various parts of the world as a result of lack of water, or fights over food, or the fact that they have to move from where they live today. To talk about casually, without even understanding the work that has gone into it or the rationale for it, ripping it up would be one of the most reckless irresponsible, historically wrong acts I can think of.”

Conservative opponents of environmental reforms frequently try to belittle proponents as prioritizing climate change over terrorism. Of course, there is no reason why both issues cannot be tackled simultaneously. More to the point though, climate change actually is a more ominous threat that has the potential to instigate bloody wars and wipe out billions of people. Terrorism is unquestionably a tragic reality that requires a determined effort to defeat, but it does not approach the scale of climate change for global disaster. This was realized by no less a figure of right-wing stature than former George W. Bush defense secretary, Donald Rumsfeld. The Rolling Stone published a comprehensive examination of “The Pentagon & Climate Change: How Deniers Put National Security at Risk,” that cited Rumsfeld:

“In 2003, under Donald Rumsfeld, former President George W. Bush’s defense secretary, the Pentagon published a report titled ‘An Abrupt Climate Change Scenario and Its Implications for United States National Security.’ Commissioned by Andrew Marshall, who is sometimes jokingly referred to within the Pentagon as Yoda — and who was a favorite of Rumsfeld’s — the report warned that threats to global stability posed by rapid warming vastly eclipse that of terrorism.”

OK? So now the climate-hoaxers cannot simply blame Obama and his socialist cabal of Sharia lawyers for inventing the crisis. Sources as deeply ingrained in the rightist dregs of warhawk free-marketism as Rumsfeld and Bush warned of the very same threat. In fact, four of the past Secretaries of Defense (Chuck Hagel, Leon Panetta, Robert Gates, and Rumsfeld) all subscribed to the policy that Climate Change is one of America’s top strategic risks. And three of the four are Republicans.

That leaves Donald Trump and his ilk to be the standard bearers of an utterly delusional rejection of the dangers that face a planet that is rapidly heating up, both in terms of temperature and hostility. Kerry characterized Trump’s denialism perfectly by labeling it reckless and ignorant. Unfortunately the Republican Party is now Trump’s plaything and they can be expected to wholly embrace his ignorance with enthusiasm and obedient blindness.

How Fox News Deceives and Controls Their Flock:
Fox Nation vs. Reality: The Fox News Cult of Ignorance.
Available now at Amazon.

Morning Joe, Fox News, And The Curse Of Dumb Glenn Beck Comparisons

There is nothing more embarrassing than a public figure so desperate for attention that he uncorks painfully shallow op-eds that only demonstrate why he gets so little attention. That’s the situation that MSNBC’s Morning Joe Scarborough finds himself in now after he penned a column for the Washington Post with unsolicited advice for Megyn Kelly of Fox News. The column is headlined “Megyn Kelly, Fox News, and the Curse of Glenn Beck.”

Morning Joe Scarborough

Scarborough’s column purported to be a stab at career guidance for Kelly, Fox’s trending primetime star anchor. He made note of her recent comments regarding her future with Fox News. Kelly said that, while she is happy at Fox, it also causes “brain damage,” and that she has not decided what she will do when her current contract expires.

Scarborough thinks that Kelly would be making a terrible mistake were she to leave Fox News, the network that built her into a household name for news junkies. He may be right, but not for the ludicrous reason he floated:

“If Kelly wants to leave Fox News for family reasons, good for her. But if Kelly is thinking of escaping Roger Ailes and Fox News because she thinks she has outgrown the man and his star-making machinery, I humbly offer a friendly suggestion: Call Glenn Beck.”

First of all, calling Glenn Beck for advice on anything is never a good idea. Beck would sell you worthless gold coins and replace your health insurance with prayer. Beck is the man who thinks that God speaks to him about political matters and has told him the world is ending so many times that either God is a pathological liar or he is hilariously fucking with Beck.

More to the point, Scarborough’s suggestion is based on the catastrophe that Beck’s career has become since leaving Fox and, therefore, Kelly should avoid a similar disastrous fate. But Scarborough has completely misread the disparate media landscapes facing Beck and Kelly.

Glenn Beck was fired from Fox News with no place else to go in cable or broadcast media. His dismissal was the result of his outlandish and offensive behavior on his show that resulted in an advertiser boycott that stripped the program of any significant revenue. He was cast aside as damaged goods and had few prospects other than the Internet’s wingnut underground and his remaining radio fans.

Megyn Kelly, by contrast, is the jewel in Fox’s primetime lineup. She frequently beats Bill O’Reilly’s ratings and is featured regularly in magazine profiles that are pure puffery. More importantly, she is in demand by every network who would leap at the opportunity to steal the popular and rising star from Fox to bolster their own networks and to deprive Fox of a proven ratings draw. None of this is a reflection on the quality of Kelly’s work, which is sorely lacking in credibility and ethics. It is just a real world observation of her success on a conservative network that rewards blind loyalty to rightist partisanship.

In short, Kelly is contemplating a departure from Fox at a time when her stock is valuable and rising. Beck left Fox as a loser who was dumped for being too insanely right-wing for the avowed centerpiece of right-wing media. But Scarborough thinks that these two situations are comparable and that Kelly should be nervous about becoming the next Beck. That’s nonsense.

How Fox News Deceives and Controls Their Flock:
Fox Nation vs. Reality: The Fox News Cult of Ignorance.
Available now at Amazon.

Scarborough is once again illustrating why he is such an inferior analyst. He can’t see past his own biases. In this case his leanings are to genuflect before the divine Roger Ailes, whom Scarborough repeatedly praises in this article. It’s hard to see this column as anything other than Scarborough posting his resume in a public plea for Fox to hire him. And it comes complete with a pledge of loyalty that he wouldn’t abandon them the way that traitor Kelly is threatening to do, and that he gladly take her time slot. That would probably help MSNBC more than it would help Fox.

Really? Fox News Thinks Rachel Maddow Is Too Biased To Moderate A Debate

Howard Kurtz, host of MediaBuzz on Fox News, wrote a column today that might have consumed the world’s supply of chutzpah. In the column Kurtz took MSNBC to task for having the audacity to let their biggest star, Rachel Maddow, co-moderate a Democratic debate. Of course, that’s something that Fox has done itself with their hot property, Megyn Kelly, but never mind that. Kurtz is very upset.

Megyn Kelly

The headline of the article asked this pressing question: “Why did MSNBC put Rachel Maddow on the debate stage?” The question was apparently so easy to answer that Kurtz managed to handle it all by himself.

Kurtz: Rachel Maddow did a pretty good job in questioning Hillary Clinton and Bernie Sanders at MSNBC’s Democratic debate last night. (…) She is smart and passionate, a Rhodes scholar with a deep knowledge of the issues. She did not roll over for Clinton during a recent interview on her prime-time show.

Well, with a track record like that she should never be allowed anywhere near a candidate debate. The last thing Fox would want is a smart, knowledgeable, fair person to facilitate a political discussion. That certainly isn’t the way they do it. Fox has taken great pains to make sure that all of their presenters are cut from the same moldy conservative cloth. And yet, Kurtz can still pose this scenario as if it weren’t utterly oblivious to reality:

“Imagine the reaction on the left if the Fox News moderators at a debate were Bret Baier and Sean Hannity, an unabashed conservative. The criticism of Fox for fielding such a team would have been intense.”

Of course, the truth is that Fox’s moderators are unabashed conservatives, which I’ll get to in a moment. But first it is important to note that Kurtz couldn’t simply praise for Maddow without qualifying it by insisting that, despite her evident skills “she shouldn’t have been on that stage as a moderator,” and that “she should not have been put in that position,” because “she is an unabashedly liberal commentator who rips the Republicans every night on her program.”

If that is their criteria for choosing debate moderators then Fox has some explaining to do. Their own debate moderators have included relentless liberal bashers like Megyn Kelly, one of the most stridently partisan purveyors of propaganda on the Republican PR channel (aka Fox News). She spreads more lies about Benghazi than any of her Fox colleagues (and that’s saying something). She was caught leading a discussion that was based on a series of “Fox Facts” that were cribbed directly from a Republican National Committee press release. She made a point of informing her viewers that it was a fact that both Jesus and Santa Claus were white.

Media Matters did a survey a couple of years back that showed that Kelly “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.” That’s the same Hannity that Kurtz used in his imaginary scenario about unabashed conservatives. And in March she will host her third debate on Fox News.

Also moderating for Fox was Neil Cavuto, the Glenn Beck of business news. His first question in the debate he moderated asked the candidates which of their economic plans God would endorse. He has made it his mission to castigate low-income Americans as sponges and leeches who are actually living the good life at the expense of the one-percent. He is a committed climate-change denier. And he frequently has segments about alleged government waste that usually turns out to be completely bogus (like this on about the famous shrimp on a treadmill).

How Fox News Deceives and Controls Their Flock:
Fox Nation vs. Reality: The Fox News Cult of Ignorance.
Available now at Amazon.

With blatantly biased moderators like this on Fox, Kurtz has the gall to complain about Maddow, even as he admits that she has all the qualifications for a moderator and that she acquitted herself well. What more does he want? His complaint obviously doesn’t have anything to do with Maddow’s ability to perform with proficiency and fairness, so the only thing left to explain why he would devote a column to this whining is his own bias and partisanship. Or perhaps he was ordered to do it by his boss, Roger Ailes, as a slap at Megyn Kelly’s time period competition. Expect to see more of this Maddow bashing on his Sunday morning program.

The Creeping Fox News Contagion: MSNBC’s New Executive In Charge Of Morning Joe

Taking another leap toward the dark side, MSNBC announced today that they have hired Kevin Magee to serve as executive in charge of Morning Joe, the three hour block of programming hosted by former Republican representative Joe Scarborough. Magee is a former executive vice-president at Fox News.

Morning Joe Scarborough

The immediate ramifications of this staff change will not be particularly earth shattering. The program is already a bastion of right-wing propaganda with predominantly conservative punditry. However it does represent a congealing of the Fox Effect on the mainstream media. It is an advance of the virus emanating from Fox to infect other networks with their deliberately deceitful approach to journalism.

Morning Joe already has a weakened immune system. Last year they added Amy Holmes to their roster of contributors. Holmes is also the anchor of Glenn Beck’s TheBlaze Internet Video program. Scarborough himself is hopelessly biased and nearly oblivious to the right-wing dominance of the press. In November he went on an extended rant demanding his guests to name a single Republican on a nightly news program (they couldn’t, but I could). And Morning Joe is the MSNBC home of Donald Trump, who has become a regular fixture on the show – and nowhere else on the network.

One thing that this should put an end to is the talk that MSNBC is the liberal answer to Fox News. That has never been true, mainly because, while MSNBC was generally more progressive, it remained fact-based as opposed to the blatant lying that is the hallmark of Fox. More to the point, Fox News would never give a three hour block of airtime (soon to be expanding to four hours) to a liberal ex-congressman, but Scarborough not only has that, but is also featured on NBC’s Meet the Press. Just imagine if Fox & Friends was hosted by Anthony Weiner or if Sean Hannity were replaced by Rachel Maddow.

How Fox News Deceives and Controls Their Flock:
Fox Nation vs. Reality: The Fox News Cult of Ignorance.
Available now at Amazon.

Since NBC/Universal was bought by Comcast, MSNBC has undergone some troubling changes. Comcast’s owners, the conservative Roberts family, insisted that there would be no substantive changes, but Ed Schultz, Joy Reid, and Alex Wagner lost their shows shortly after the acquisition. And now they are beginning to stuff the deck with right-wing pundits and producers. This cannot possibly lead to anything positive for the network. If they were smart they would recall that when Keith Olbermann was on in primetime, his show regularly challenged, and occasionally beat, Fox’s O’Reilly Factor. And Olbermann just happens to be available now.

MSNBC’s Scarborough Has On-Air Mental Breakdown Over Liberal Media Myth

The resident Republican blowhard on MSNBC, Joe Scarborough, has staked out his post as the network’s voice of rightist disinformation. He commands his three hour block of airtime like a junta leader, ordering the topics of discussion and interrupting his guests incessantly.

MSNBC Joe Scarborough

This morning Scarborough appeared to have a severe cognitive collapse during a segment about the Republican Party’s debate-o-phobia (video below). Like most of his ideological allies, he is suffering from the delusion that the American media, owned by a handful of megalithic, multinational corporations, is dominated by liberals. Scarborough set off on a rant about the absence of conservatives on nightly news programs, Sunday shows, and in the executive suites. He badgered his guests to come up with examples of Republicans in those roles, and insisted that they could not do it.

Scarborough: Outside of Brit Hume, who has been a conservative in the mainstream media in the past 30 years who you’ve worked for? Outside of Brit Hume, who has held a powerful position at ABC, NBC or CBS News on the air? […] Name the single Republican that has hosted a Sunday show, that has been an anchor of a news network for the big three networks over the past 50 years. You cannot do it.

Setting aside the fact that Scarborough conveniently leaves out Fox News, the most watched, and therefore mainstream by default, cable news network, he repeatedly spits out this challenge to his colleagues, who are not particularly well informed on the subject. For instance, Mark Halperin, the senior political analyst for MSNBC, responded sheepishly saying “Joe, I agree with you 100%.” No one else on the panel was able to take up Scarborough’s challenge either.

For their future reference, they may want to note that Chris Wallace, now the anchor of Fox News Sunday, hosted NBC’s Meet the Press for a year. Tony Snow, who went on to serve as press secretary for George W. Bush was the first host of FOX News Sunday. Diane Sawyer anchored ABC’s World News Tonight for five years after serving as a press aide to Richard Nixon. So Scarborough’s sweaty insistence that no one can name such people is demonstrably false.

Scarborough kept switching from asking for on-air-personalities to executives in charge of the news operations. On that front there are right-wingers like David Rhodes, the current President of CBS News who had a similar position at Fox for fifteen years. Ken Jautz, the head of CNN, is the man who gave Glenn Beck his first job on television. NBC is now owned by Comcast, whose Roberts family owners are notorious righties.

There are certainly more conservatives in television newsrooms, but it’s hard to pin them down with proof. That’s because most career journalists are careful to avoid any open expression of partisanship. So people like CBS’s Scott Pelley, or NBC’s Chuck Todd, and many more, may have distinctly conservative views, but they have never worked for a GOP senator or made a donation to any political campaign, or even registered with a party, so there is no hard evidence. And the same is true for journalists who are accused of being liberals. That doesn’t mean they aren’t there. And it doesn’t warrant the loony outburst that Scarborough let loose today. If anything, the fact that no one at the table could cite any of the people mentioned above is proof that the media is conservative, and blind to their bias.

How Fox News Deceives and Controls Their Flock:
Fox Nation vs. Reality: The Fox News Cult of Ignorance.
Available now at Amazon.

WTF? Trump’s Rambling Policy-Free Speech Covered Live By MSNBC – Only

Donald Trump’s campaign promised that his speech today would provide details of his foreign policy agenda. The location he chose for the address was the deck of the USS Iowa battleship currently docked in San Pedro, California. But as usual, Trump arrived, greeted the crowd, and gave his standard stump speech that consisted mainly of glorifying himself and tossing out nearly incoherent, monosyllabic cliches and insults. No doubt his brain-dead fans ate it up.

What was unusual about this speech was that ordinarily all of the cable “news” networks would obediently fall in line to broadcast Trump’s irrelevance and inanity live. That didn’t happen today. Perhaps they are wising up and realizing that Trump has nothing to say and that he has been exploiting them to get free advertising.

So this day marks a milestone for media independence and journalistic discretion. Except for one thing. While CNN aired about a minute of Trump’s speech before cutting away to a panel of pundits, and Fox News ignored the speech entirely, sticking with their regularly scheduled broadcast of Bill O’Reilly, MSNBC cut away from the Rachel Maddow Show and aired Trump’s speech in full and uninterrupted. Yes, MSNBC.

MSNBC Donald Trump

Something is terribly wrong when Fox News employs a more appropriate editorial policy with regard to a Republican candidate than MSNBC. And ironically, throughout most of the segment MSNBC’s graphic read “Trump Gives Major Policy-Free Speech.” Which begs the question: Then why are you airing it? Even Trump recognized the absurdity of the constant live coverage he drew when he said in Alabama last month “Why don’t they just cover me like anybody else where they go the next day and they show little clips? Every time I speak it has to be live? It’s ridiculous.”

Indeed, why don’t they cover him like anybody else? A few weeks ago I wrote a column lambasting all three cable “news” nets for their flagrant whoring to one candidate for the ratings they expect to garnish. But now I fear I must remind the one network that ought to have known better in the first place. So MSNBC, pay attention:

“Even after Trump taunts them about how tightly they are wound around his fat finger, they still bow down to him. Even after he correctly notes that it’s ridiculous, they persist in following him around like lovesick puppies. Even though there is nothing in Trump’s stump speeches that makes them newsworthy, other than some fresh bit of noxious racism or ignorance, his arrogant mugging is carried live. His circus sideshow offers no justification for preempting regular programming to broadcast his ego-ranting as if the fate of the nation depended on it, but they do it anyway. […]

“The media should cover Trump like any other candidate. No more, no less. By arbitrarily providing live broadcasts of only his campaign speeches they are violating their professional duties by serving as the PR team for one candidate. Trump’s public appearances are pep rallies for his own aggrandizement, not news events. […]

“The live coverage needs to stop, or at least be reserved for only events that warrant it for their news value. Absent that, the networks should register as lobbyists for the candidate and be required to report their airtime as in-kind donations […] to benefit a raging demagogue whose primary appeal is that he could spontaneously combust at any moment.”

It’s impossible to say whether CNN and Fox declined to air Trump’s speech out of principle or if they just weren’t in the mood today. We will see what happens when Trump gives his next speech. But MSNBC has got to stop embarrassing themselves by demonstrating lower standards than Fox when it comes to campaign coverage.

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

Donald Trump Is Right! The Media Is ‘Ridiculous’ For Covering Him Live

The Doctrine of the Broken Clock has come into play with some recent remarks by Republican front-runner Donald Trump. That is, despite distinguishing himself as being wrong about pretty much everything, he said something that happens to be worth consideration without even knowing it.

Donald Trump

It was at a rally in Alabama (video below) where Trump assumed a mock state of despair and complained that…

“Every time I go on television it’s gotta be live. It’s live. I said ‘Oh, can I have a rest please?’ Tonight it is live on Fox. Who likes Fox? I like Fox. It’s live on CNN. Who likes CNN? And it’s live on MSNBC, right? How come it always has to be live? Why don’t they just cover me like anybody else where they go the next day and they show little clips? Every time I speak it has to be live. It’s ridiculous, but it’s OK. Right? We have to suffer with it.”

Exactly! What is wrong with the media? Even after Trump taunts them about how tightly they are wound around his fat finger, they still bow down to him. Even after he correctly notes that it’s ridiculous, they persist in following him around like lovesick puppies. Even though there is nothing in Trump’s stump speeches that makes them newsworthy, other than some fresh bit of noxious racism or ignorance, his arrogant mugging is carried live. His circus sideshow offers no justification for preempting regular programming to broadcast his ego-ranting as if the fate of the nation depended on it, but they do it anyway. Why?

There is no precedent for how the media is covering this carnival barker. No other candidate gets this much attention. Could it have something to with Trump’s reality show persona, his penchant for dumbfounding soundbites, and the media hunger for ratings? Obviously it does. But none of that falls within even the broadest definition of news, and the media is whoring itself in a quest for ratings and the advertising dollars they bring.

Even Bernie Sanders, who is outperforming Trump by every metric, isn’t treated this way. That’s right, Sanders is beating Trump in head-to-head polling. He is drawing bigger crowds. He has better (i.e. positive) favorability ratings. And while Trump’s popularity is a media-hyped myth created by the quantity of GOP candidates, Sanders is popular with a broad cross-section of the American electorate. What’s more, when Sanders speaks he actually addresses real problems and offers real solutions, as opposed to Trump’s vapid cliches and narcissism. True, Sanders doesn’t have a hat with an asinine slogan on it that bitches about America not being great, but his hair is at least as notorious. Still, no live coverage for him because the press knows that he isn’t likely to start screaming the “N” word or slap an immigrant orphan across the face.

The media should cover Trump like any other candidate. No more, no less. By arbitrarily providing live broadcasts of only his campaign speeches they are violating their professional duties by serving as the PR team for one candidate. Trump’s public appearances are pep rallies for his own aggrandizement, not news events. Even his press conferences have no business getting live coverage. When has the media done that for any other candidate?

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

The live coverage needs to stop, or at least be reserved for only events that warrant it for their news value. Absent that, the networks should register as lobbyists for the candidate and be required to report their airtime as in-kind donations to the campaign. This used to be true mainly for Fox News, but now all the cable news networks are exhibiting the same lack of journalistic ethics to benefit a raging demagogue whose primary appeal is that he could spontaneously combust at any moment.

[Update] As evidence of the faulty priorities of the press, President Obama gave a speech today in New Orleans on the ten year anniversary of Hurricane Katrina that was properly carried live by all three cable news nets. Well, except for Fox News who cut away after less than two minutes. So for a presidential commemoration of an historic event that devastated a major U.S. city, cost the lives of more than 1,800 Americans, and displaced tens of thousands more, Fox News could only spare a little over a minute. But for Trump’s stump speech they stay live for an hour or more.

Glenn Beck Returns To Cable News – On MSNBC? (Sort Of)

The ratings troubles on MSNBC have been the subject of much hand-wringing by executives at the cable network and their corporate bosses at Comcast/NBCUniversal. In an attempt to reverse the downtrend MSNBC canceled Ronan Farrow and Joy Reid, moving anchor Thomas Roberts into those time slots. That left an opening in Roberts’ old program, “Way Too Early,” that precedes “Morning Joe.” It appears that Joe Scarborough has now assumed control of his lead-in which is leaning more toward his conservative brand of politics. And that is evident by the person currently anchoring the early show.

MSNBC Amy Holmes Glenn Beck

That’s right – Amy Holmes has been at the helm of Way Too early all this week. For those unfamiliar with her, she is host of a program called “The Hot List” that is part of Glenn Beck’s Internet media venture TheBlaze. Prior to that she was a speechwriter for Bill Frist, a former senator from Tennessee and Republican majority leader.

Giving Holmes this high profile spot as a “news” program anchor is a disturbing step toward the sort of wingnut media that even Fox News couldn’t handle when they fired Beck. Now Beck’s fringe media has a foothold on what has been regarded as the “liberal” cable news network. It’s a foreboding development and one that creates suspicion as to where the new management team at NBC plans on taking the cable net.

One thing that this should put an end to is the talk that MSNBC is the liberal answer to Fox News. That has never been true, mainly because, while MSNBC was generally more progressive, it remained fact-based as opposed to the blatant lying that is the hallmark of Fox. More to the point, Fox News would never give a three hour block of airtime to a liberal ex-congressman, but Scarborough not only has that, but is also featured on NBC’s Meet the Press. Just imagine if Fox & Friends was hosted by Anthony Weiner. [Note: Scarborough also left office amid controversy over the death of intern Lori Klausutis]

Putting Holmes in the anchor chair on MSNBC is the equivalent to replacing Sean Hannity with Rachel Maddow. Fox would never consider such a thing. Even though Fox pretends to be fair and balanced, their schedule is rife with right-wingers and former GOP operatives. There are even four candidates for the Republican primary for president who are former Fox News employees (Mike Huckabee, John Kasich, Rick Santorum, and Ben Carson). And now Glenn Beck’s voice is being heard daily on MSNBC to balance that right-wing cable news bias with some crackpot, conservative, evangelist bias. If MSNBC thinks that this is going to help their ratings, they are sorely mistaken.

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

Rachel Maddow: Fox News Has A Bill O’Reilly Problem (Or Do They?)

Last night Rachel Maddow reported on the downward spiral of Bill O’Reilly’s already shaky credibility. Since reports last month about his false statements placing him “in a war zone…in the Falklands,” the cascade of additional lies has accelerated exponentially. Just keeping up with the new revelations is difficult, so News Corpse provided this handy summary:

Bill O'Reilly

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On her program Maddow ran through a partial list of the lies exposed so far, including the Falklands affair, the misrepresentations of his experiences in Northern Ireland and El Salvador, and his blatantly dishonest account of being present when a figure associated with the Kennedy assassination committed suicide. She spent a fair amount of time on the latter, with audio tapes of O’Reilly debunking himself. But a highlight of her report was the response she got after requesting a statement from Fox News:

“We asked them for comment of the substance of the allegations. What they sent us was a lot of information about how great Bill O’Reilly’s ratings are.”

That’s a fairly typical response from the Fox News PR department that seems to think that having a large number of easily duped viewers is evidence of truthful reporting. To the contrary, it’s the fact that there are so many gullible Fox watchers that makes lying to them so easy. What Fox defenders fail to understand is that volume does not equal quality. McDonald’s is the number restaurant in America, but few people would say that it has the best food.

Maddow’s commentary on O’Reilly was couched in a dialogue that addressed what happens “when cable news goes wobbly.” She related the O’Reilly situation to other incidents of the sort of error-prone reporting that occurs when being first is more important than being right. However, O’Reilly has had years to shape his storytelling and, if necessary, correct the record, but instead has repeated the falsehoods with every new opportunity. This makes it clear that his intent all along has been to deceive. And that’s a problem for both him and the network he represents. As Maddow said…

“The Fox News channel has a problem now. They have a problem with the face of their network, their flagship anchor, having all of this stuff trailing him around with no plausible explanation for what exactly he said and did and why they haven’t tried at least to fix it. The network has also not apologized or retracted any of Mr. O’Reilly’s overt threats to other reporters who have just covered this story about the real credibility they have got with him right now.”

Indeed, O’Reilly has the highest rated program on Fox News. He is the first person most people would think of if asked to name a Fox News personality. And he is a pathological liar. However, the rational observation that that would be problematic for Fox may not be entirely accurate. After all, Fox News has made its reputation by lying incessantly in support of their right-wing political agenda. They slander liberals and exalt conservatives. They ridicule progressive policies and push those that advance the interests of the conservative elite. So the question of whether or not O’Reilly hurts Fox needs further analysis.

There is no shortage of examples of Fox’s brazen dishonesty and disregard for journalistic ethics. Their mangling of the truth was baked into their pseudo-news recipe from the day they debuted. So why would it trouble them if their featured anchor is a proven prevaricator? In fact, O’Reilly is the perfect representative of the Fox brand. He’s the biggest liar on the network of lies. If the bulk of your programming is littered with partisan bullcrap, than Bill O’Reilly isn’t a problem at all. He’s your poster boy.

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

Uh-Oh: Bill O’Reilly Equates Cliven Bundy With Chris Christie

The pathetic conservative media stampede in support of the deadbeat welfare rancher, Cliven Bundy, has produced a tsunami of crocodile tears and back-peddling by anxious right-wingers who prematurely hitched themselves to Bundy’s racist wagon. Despite the fact that many Republicans expressed almost identical views way before Bundy came on the scene, they now are rushing to distance themselves from the would-be hero that they created.

Bill O'Reilly

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Not surprisingly, Bill O’Reilly is leading the retreat with another of his hackneyed “Talking Points Memo” segments. On Friday he began his program by attempting to downplay the extent to which Fox News lavished praise and valuable airtime on Bundy. He characterized the participation of Fox News as merely “a handful” of commentators who “rallied to Bundy’s side,” while declining to mention any names. However, some of the most prominent voices on the network, including Sean Hannity, Megyn Kelly, Steve Doocy, Bret Baier, Eric Bolling, etc., played significant roles in pumping up the controversial story.

After providing absolution for the sins of Fox News, O’Reilly proceeded to condemn the rest of the media, presumably for not balancing their coverage of a tax-evading racist with more positive impressions. He focused on CNN’s Brian Stelter, whom O’Reilly called a “committed left-wing zealot.” Stelter’s offense was to correctly point out that Fox News had been caught in a unique dilemma wherein their pundits championed an unknown crackpot who wound up embarrassing them. Here is the soundbite that O’Reilly cherry-picked from Stelter’s remarks:

“I can’t think of any parallel to this case. I can’t think of MSNBC taking an equivalent story on the left and spending weeks covering it the way Fox News has.”

Well, that was all it took to fire up O’Reilly’s ire. He let loose with a biting, personal attack on Stelter:

“Unbelieveable. So Mr. Stelter, did you miss the months of coverage about New Jersey governor Chris Christie on MSNBC? Did you miss that? Are you that dense? That uninformed that you make an outrageous assertion that MSNBC would not overdo a story for ideological reasons?”

Where to begin? First of all, if O’Reilly is looking for a story that is equivalent to the Bundy saga, it’s interesting that he would choose Christie’s BridgeGate scandal. Is O’Reilly equating the New Jersey Governor to a lawless bigot who doesn’t recognize the United States as existing?

Secondly, O’Reilly seems to think that covering an old cattle rancher in Bunkerville, Nevada, who thinks he’s entitled to free grazing rights on property that he doesn’t own, is a national story on the same level as a state governor who may have unlawfully abused his office and who, at the time, was a leading candidate for the Republican nomination for president. Furthermore, none of MSNBC’s reporting on Christie has turned out to be wrong and/or embarrassing.

Finally, O’Reilly’s assertion that MSNBC’s coverage of Christie was overdone for ideological reasons is an admission of the same about Fox’s coverage of Bundy, since he is making the argument that they are equivalent. Even though he just spent three minutes denying that Fox overdid anything. Apparently, O’Reilly’s outrage is warping his capacity for logic. And since there is abundant evidence that Christie engaged in the behavior attributed to him, if any news organization is to be faulted, it is Fox for soft-peddling the story.

O’Reilly went on to criticize MSNBC for seeking to boost their ratings (which O’Reilly would never do), and to further disparage Stelter as being “far worse than some Fox News commentators sympathizing” with Bundy. To O’Reilly, not being able to recall a story similar to Bundy’s is far worse than turning a despicable desert hick into a hero. Then O’Reilly closed by saying that “You throw away any legitimacy when you jump to conclusions.” That would seem to be a direct assault on his colleague Sean Hannity and the rest of the right-wing media who did just that.

So in one commentary, O’Reilly insulted his fellow Fox News anchor(s) While equating Gov. Christie with a racist, anti-American freeloader. That’s a pretty productive accomplishment for a night’s work. I can’t wait to hear what Hannity and Christie have to say about it. However, it was thoughtful of O’Reilly to candidly admit that “there are many charlatans peddling garbage that hurts people.” Thanks for the warning, Billo, but we’ve known about you for some time.