Sarah Palin Fired From Fox News (Again)

Politico is reporting that Fox News has declined to renew Sarah Palin’s contract which expired June 1. This development might have been predicted based on Palin’s recent history of appearances (or lack thereof) on the network. In fact, News Corpse did predict it back on June 3, in an article titled “Missing From Fox News: The Incredible Disappearing Sarah Palin,” that revealed her mysterious absence from her cable news home.

Sarah Palin Fired by Fox News

“More ominous from the perspective of Palin, and those who need a regular fix of her unique brand of incoherence, she has been absent from her duties as a Fox News contributor. The last appearance on the network seems to have been in January on Sean Hannity’s program. That booking four months ago was clearly arranged as an attempt to recover from a speech she gave at Wingnut Steve King’s Iowa Freedom Summit, where she so embarrassed herself that even fellow conservatives were turning their heads in shame.” […]

“Palin’s demeanor was so unpleasant that it would be understandable if Hannity and other Fox News hosts are now reluctant to invite her back. Or maybe she’s busy with her web video channel. Nah, that can’t be it. She only posted nine videos the whole month of May for a total of 20 minutes of programming. A more likely scenario is that a Fox honcho (i.e. CEO Roger Ailes) has decided that Palin is now a liability as the 2016 campaign season heats up and they don’t want her around screwing up their plans to send a Republican to the White House.”

So the paucity of Palin’s bookings was no accident. She was unceremoniously dumped without a farewell or a tribute or even a press release offering best wishes for what ever she does to make a laughing stock of herself in the future. This should leave her more time to focus on her neglected web video channel. Or maybe not. Since her dismissal from Fox she has spent even less time there, having posted only five videos in June so far, for a total of less than seven minutes. And yet she still makes her glassy-eyed disciples pay the full $9.95 a month for her lame video selfies and stream of unconsciousness meanderings.

Palin’s last appearance on Fox seems to have been on June 8, where she defended the repulsive Duggar family. It was a typically dimwitted tirade of the sort that may have been the inspiration for her now ex-boss Roger Ailes calling her an idiot. Although there is no shortage of reasons to hold that opinion, including Palin’s campaign to impeach President Obama for both solving and not solving the debt crisis, or her infamous and mythical death panels.

No wonder Ailes had fired her once before. It was back in January of 2013, when the story was that Fox offered a low-ball contract renewal that she was certain to reject. Six months later they made up and Palin was back on Fox. The reasons for the reconciliation run from Ailes’ admission that he rehired her to “piss off the people that wanted her dead,” to the reality that her finances took a nosedive after she departed from her Fox News perch.

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Fox Nation vs. Reality: The Fox News Cult of Ignorance.
Available now at Amazon.

So what’s next for the Quitta from Wasilla? She still has her low-rated travelogue on the Sportsman Channel. She still has her Facebook page. And she still has an abundance of fans too stupid to grasp what the rest of America has already realized: That Palin is a grifter who has never had an original thought or an ambition that didn’t involve enriching herself. It is always comedians who are first to suffer when a cartoon character like Palin leaves the stage. But this couldn’t have happened at a better time, since Donald Trump just announced that he is running for the Republican nomination for president of the United States. Hallelujah.

Missing From Fox News: The Incredible Disappearing Sarah Palin

An article from yesterday’s McClatchy Washington Bureau noted that the whereabouts of Sarah Palin are in some doubt. The headline asked “Where’s Sarah,” and the opening line answered vaguely that “Sarah Palin has disappeared from the 2016 presidential campaign.”

Where's Sarah Palin

Indeed, Palin seems to have dropped from sight. A sidebar posted with the article listed ten prominent Republican campaign events held over the past four months that attracted numerous GOP luminaries, including presidential candidates, that were not graced by the presence of Palin.

This disappearance is all the more peculiar when coupled with her assertion last January that she is “absolutely…seriously interested” in running for president herself. Of course, nobody with any functioning brain cells is taking her campaign conjecture seriously. She has no organization or staff and her SarahPAC is drawing paltry contributions. [On a side note, Palin has given just 6.6% of her PAC funds to other candidates over the past two years. Instead, she is spending the money mostly on herself. Yet she still has the gall to criticize Hillary Clinton for helping to run a charitable foundation that has helped millions of deserving people]

More ominous from the perspective of Palin, and those who need a regular fix of her unique brand of incoherence, she has been absent from her duties as a Fox News contributor. The last appearance on the network seems to have been in January on Sean Hannity’s program. That booking four months ago was clearly arranged as an attempt to recover from a speech she gave at Wingnut Steve King’s Iowa Freedom Summit, where she so embarrassed herself that even fellow conservatives were turning their heads in shame. Hannity recognized the ditch that Palin had dug and tried to give her a platform to redeem herself, but it didn’t go well:

Hannity: You also got criticized for the speech by a lot of people, even some of the people in the crowd that tend to be supporters of yours. Did the TelePrompter go down? Did you have trouble with the copy? Was there any moment in the speech where you had any difficulty, because people have been so critical?
Palin: Well, you know I don’t read the praise and I don’t read the criticism cause I know how you guys, or how the media in general works.

Thereupon she went on to defend the speech against the criticism that she said she didn’t read. Her defense consisted mainly of insisting that the Iowa audience that came to see her were satisfied, and besides the media, and um America, and um we the people, and um you betcha.

During the entire segment she seemed to be pissed off. Was it her sensitivity to the humiliating address in Iowa? Was she mad at Hannity? Hard to say. But even when he asked about her presidential ambitions she snapped at him:

Hannity: While you were there, on the ground, you were asked if you’re considering running for president. Your answer?
Palin: I was asked by a pesty reporter while I was promoting my Sportsman Channel show, Amazing America with Sarah Palin, I was asked if I were to be interested at all in running for office, maybe the presidency, and it’s certainly not newsworthy for me to have answered “Oh yeah, I’m interested, yeah. Next question.”

Meeeow! Imagine the nerve of that “pesty” reporter asking a perfectly ordinary question that anyone in Palin’s shoes should expect. In fact, Hannity just asked her the very same question. Next those jackals will wanna know what magazines she reads. It’s especially cute that she refers to her own cable reality show as Amazing America “with Sarah Palin,” as if she has a contractual obligation to formally include her name whenever mentioning the title.

Palin’s demeanor was so unpleasant that it would be understandable if Hannity and other Fox News hosts are now reluctant to invite her back. Or maybe she’s busy with her web video channel. Nah, that can’t be it. She only posted nine videos the whole month of May for a total of 20 minutes of programming. A more likely scenario is that a Fox honcho (i.e. CEO Roger Ailes) has decided that Palin is now a liability as the 2016 campaign season heats up and they don’t want her around screwing up their plans to send a Republican to the White House.

I suppose that we shouldn’t complain about Palin being off the air, whatever the reason. But while her mindless inanities will not be missed, the country’s comedians are going to suffer a severe drought of primo material. Just to tide you over in case Palin remains sequestered in the tundra, here is how Jon Stewart covered her disaster in Iowa last January (the whole clip is worth watching, but if you can’t wait, Palin enters at about five minutes in).

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

Sarah Palin Redux: Hillary Clinton Pallin’ Around With Terrorists? Here We Go Again

Fading reality TV loser and notorious political quitter, Sarah Palin, hasn’t been heard from much lately. Her sightings on Fox News have become rare, with the last appearance sometime back in January. Unfortunately, her unique brand of dementia seems to be enduring as one of her classically idiotic themes made a comeback on the Fox Nation website:

Hillary's Benghazi-Qaeda Brotherhood

A featured article on Fox Nation was topped with a headline that declared that “Hillary’s Terror-Tied Aide Had Full Access to Benghazi E-Mails.” This immediately brings to mind the memory of Palin’s famously loony “pallin’ around with terrorists” allegation that falsely tried to tie then-candidate Barack Obama to former Weather Underground radical (now mild-mannered college professor) Bill Ayers.

The reprise of this stupidity is based on the thoroughly discredited accusations that Clinton aide Huma Abedin is a deep-cover agent of the Muslim Brotherhood who is plotting to destroy America from within. Never mind that Abedin, who was born in Michigan, has been a trusted and respected public servant for many years. The charges against her were originally leveled by congressional “intelligence” experts, Michelle Bachmann, Louie Gohmert, and other Tea Party fruitcakes.

When the terrorist slurs first began circulating they were shot down by everyone that knew Abedin, including prominent Republicans. House Speaker John Boehner defended her saying that she had a “sterling character.” Lindsey Graham called the attacks on her “ridiculous.” John McCain praised her saying that she “represents what is best about America” and that the charges were “an unwarranted and unfounded attack on an honorable woman.” Ed Rollins, who managed Bachmann’s presidential campaign, repudiated the attacks as “downright vicious.”

The Fox Nation article links to the ultra-rightist propagandists at Truth Revolt, a website that was founded by Breitbart Editor-at-Large, Ben Shapiro. Truth Revolt, in turn referenced the conspiracy crackpots at WorldNetDaily, who are still grasping feverishly to the birther nonsense. The WND article was written by Aaron Klein, who believes that Obama might be a Muslim who sides with Al Qaeda. So Truth Revolt re-posts WND and Fox Nation re-posts Truth Revolt, with an opening paragraph that launches into a surreal fantasy:

“It has been revealed that Huma Abedin, senior aide to Hillary Clinton, had access to Clinton’s personal e-mails including highly-sensitive details surrounding Benghazi. Abedin is also accused of having ties to Muslim extremist groups. […] WND reports personal and familial ties between Abedin, the Muslim Brotherhood, as well as al Qaeda.”

There you have it. With absolutely no factual basis, Fox News has bought into scurrilous charges against a respectable woman, associating her with America’s most virulent enemies. And as an additional bonus, Fox worked in a mention of their favorite recurring non-scandal, Benghazi.

If there is anyone left who still thinks that Fox News is a reputable journalism enterprise, or that they might have moderated their extremist views since the last presidential election, this should put an end to those fallacies. As the next presidential cycle gets into gear, it is clear that Fox intends to ramp up the crazy to levels at least as deranged as those in 2008 and 2012. So here come the terrorist charges against the presumptive Democratic nominee. Because if you’re a Tea Party wingnut it isn’t enough to merely have policy disputes with political rivals, you must demonize them as threats to the continued existence of mankind.

As evidence of this trend, note the latest outrage being hyped on Fox News. It’s a brief video clip that shows Clinton politely asking a supporter to take her place in line in order to get a photo with the candidate.

On Fox News this is proof that Clinton is an Ice Queen who cannot relate to regular humans. Of course, the fact that the video is chopped into a fragment that fails to put Clinton’s encounter in context is irrelevant to the spinners at Fox. To them it is more important to create an artificial persona for Clinton that makes her look mean and elitist. And surprisingly, an anchor at Fox actually admitted that it is their intention to promote this video misrepresentation.

Martha MacCallum: Oh my, why don’t you go to the end of the line. When I saw this yesterday, this is just gonna get played over and over here, and elsewhere, and this is not good for Hillary Clinton regardless of what the circumstances exactly were.
Byron York: I should say that some people have looked at the whole video and Mrs. Clinton was actually trying to accommodate the people who had lined up to see her. But it points really to a bigger problem.

So MacCallum admits that Fox will put this video on an endless loop even if the impression it leaves is false. And her guest confesses that in the uncut video Clinton’s behavior was entirely appropriate, but that doesn’t matter when you are trying to slander her.

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

That’s the sort of dishonesty and bias that has been the hallmark of Fox News. Consequently, it’s not particularly surprising that they are continuing to debase journalism just as they have from their inception. What’s a little surprising is that they are openly admitting it even as they are doing it. That shows how certain they are that they can get away with their deceit without any repercussions. They know very well that their audience couldn’t care less about truth or lies, even if they could tell the difference.

Uh Oh: Jeb Bush Proposes Federally Mandated ‘Death Panels’

At a campaign stop in Manchester, New Hampshire, prospective GOP presidential candidate and successor to the Bush dynasty, Brother Jeb came forward to praise his own actions as Florida governor during a controversy that involved a woman in a persistent vegetative state. Terri Schiavo had suffered irreversible brain-damage and was being kept alive by machines against the wishes of her husband and, according to him, herself.

The torturous spectacle that Bush engineered included multiple court challenges and even signing a law giving him, personally, the right to decide Schiavo’s fate. Somehow that didn’t offend his Republican principles against Big Government. That law was later ruled to be unconstitutional, and after months of emotionally brutal wrangling in the courts and the media, Schiavo was mercifully allowed to die.

Today Bush still thinks he did the right thing and says that “I don’t think I would change anything.” However, he went on to express what he said was his one regret:

“In hindsight, the one thing that I would have loved to have seen was an advance directive where the family would have sorted this out […] I think if we’re going to mandate anything from government, it might be that if you’re going to take Medicare, you also sign up for an advance directive where you talk about this before you’re so disabled.”

Jeb Bush Death Panels

Yikes! What Bush is talking about are the dreaded “Death Panels” that Sarah Palin made famous in her blitheringly stupid criticism of the Affordable Care Act (aka ObamaCare). Advance Directives are nothing more than voluntary statements that inform doctors and family members as to the wishes of a patient in the event that they are unable to speak for themselves. Palin turned this into a surreal debate over the wholly imaginary prospect of the government deciding who will live or die. For that she was awarded the PolitiFact “Lie of the Year” honors for 2009.

Having been subjected to devastating ridicule did nothing to temper Palin’s dumbfuckery. She continues to believe in the Death Panel myth that she was so instrumental in creating (although she has shifted her ire toward the Independent Payment Advisory Board, a group of health care professionals who insure best practices in medical care and fair pricing, which she now calls Death Panels). When Palin gets wind of Bush’s endorsement of Advanced Directives there is likely to be an earthquake in the Tea Party precincts that still admire her vacuous ramblings.

As for Bush, there is reason to be positive about his support for such a common sense initiative that gives people more control over their own lives. However, he may have taken it a step too far. The suggestion that Advanced Directives be mandatory seems like the sort of government intrusion that Republicans usually rail against. While a Living Will is advisable for most people, forcing them to prepare one when they may not be ready to make all of the profound decisions involved is way too strict a requirement.

What’s more, Bush is only proposing mandated Advance Directives for Medicare recipients. Why is he discriminating against just that sector of the population? Why not make it mandatory for anyone with a health insurance policy, whether public or private? As usual, the Republican solution to any problem is to put the burden on those who are already on society’s lower financial rungs. It’s why they advocate mandatory drug testing for welfare recipients, but not for doctors or lawyers or politicians, who hold people’s lives in their hands. It’s why states like Kansas are currently trying to dictate how food stamp recipients can spend their benefits, but there are never similar dictates on how wealthy recipients of government subsidies can spend their benefits.

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Fox Nation vs. Reality: The Fox News Cult of Ignorance.
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If you’re poor in America the government can tell you what to do and how to live. If your rich, anything goes, even if you still get benefits from the government, including tax breaks that contribute to your wealth. That’s the Republican philosophy. And then they will condemn anyone who proposes a policy that permits the government to control any part of a citizen’s life. Unless, of course, it has to with a woman’s control over own body, a patient’s desire for medicinal marijuana, or anyone who wishes to be free from mandated exposure to Christianity.

In short, the GOP Doctrine of Acceptable Hypocrisy requires that any regulation of the rich be condemned as an intolerable intrusion by Big Government. But similar regulations of the poor are necessary controls on irresponsible, and probably criminal, moochers.

Sarah Palin Accuses Hillary Clinton Of Stealing Her Mystery Bus Tour Idea

In the days that have transpired since Hillary Clinton made her official announcement that she is running for president, the media has fallen all over itself trying to get some sort of scoop. Since Clinton opted not to invite the press along on a road trip, they have resorted to frantically trying to chase her down like a pack of paparazzi. It has been an embarrassing series of not particularly newsworthy events culminating in a wholly unremarkable appearance at an Ohio Chipotle franchise that even the Daily Show’s Jon Stewart saw fit to ridicule.

Many conservative commentators pounced on Clinton’s decision to focus on conversations with small groups of voters rather than making a splashy, staged speech before hundreds of predictably cheering supporters (as did Ted Cruz, Rand Paul, and Marco Rubio). They derided the strategy of taking a van ride across the country as an attempt to dodge the press. For example, Elisabeth Hasselbeck of Fox News complained that “It’s hard to be transparent in that secret-mobile driving around.” There was a general consensus among the rightist pundit posse that Clinton was either afraid or up to no good.

Funny, that isn’t the way they felt about Sarah Palin’s bus tour in 2011 that deliberately kept a secret itinerary to confound the lamestream media. It isn’t how Palin felt about it either. In fact, she is now bragging that the whole concept was her idea. and that Clinton has ripped it off.

Clinton/Palin Bus Tour

This isn’t the first time that Palin was cited as the creator of the political bus tour. When Obama planned a bus campaign trip in 2011, Fox News published an article on their Fox Nation website claiming that he was copying Palin. However, in a bit of epic absurdity, the photo that Fox included was one that showed Obama on a campaign bus three years before Palin got aboard one. That’s right, their own photo, with a dated poster in the bus window, proved they were lying.

So now Palin has posted on her Facebook page for the first time in two weeks. In that time she has neglected to comment on all of the political activity in her party with three presidential candidates declaring. She hasn’t mentioned the U.S./Iran nuclear agreement. She’s made no comment on the police killings of more unarmed African-Americans. She’s had nothing to say about Indiana’s pro-discrimination law. But now she has come out of seclusion to take credit for Clinton’s road trip. Priorities.

In her Facebook message, Palin included a video (below) that showed how the press was confounded by her little bus-capade. She also made a point of misrepresenting her own travels. She claimed it was a national excursion with “reminders of what makes our nation exceptional and free!”

Palin: From way up North in the natural resource-rich state of Alaska down to the inspirational, loud and patriotic Rolling Thunder Rally in DC to a calm clambake on a cool New Hampshire night.

The truth is that Palin’s trip began in Washington, D.C., not Alaska. It lasted for all of six days and never made off of the East coast. When asked why it ended so prematurely, Palin lied again, saying that she had been called back to Alaska for jury duty. That, of course, was not true. She ended up going to Iowa for the premiere of a documentary film about her, “The Undefeated.” The whole bus trip was a fraud that was designed to make people (especially the press) think that she was a potential candidate for the GOP nomination for president in 2012. The reality is that it was set up to keep her name in the news as she promoted the movie that ultimately bombed at the box office.

To make matters worse, she wasn’t even on the bus. She traveled by jet between stops and met the bus at each destination. And as for the appearance at the Rolling Thunder rally, she was not a welcome guest. See this video for a more accurate representation of her attempt to crash the annual charity event for her own selfish benefit.

This is the life of a grifter. Sarah Palin’s whole career is aimed at splashing herself with glory while filling her bank accounts with the cash of rubes. Lucky for her there is an oversupply of them in the Republican/Tea Party that is anxious to throw their money at dimwitted figureheads.

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

Ben Carson Running For Sarah Palin’s ‘Dumbest Tea-Publican’ Title

Who would ever have thought that a potential candidate for the Republican Party’s nomination for President of the United States would ever seriously challenge Sarah Palin’s epic idiocy? After all, the woman who couldn’t name a magazine that she reads and thinks that Africa is a country ought to have a lock on the contest for dumbfuckery.

Ben Carson

Enter former neurosurgeon Ben Carson. Apparently the medical degree and years of laudatory practice have not proved to be obstacles to asinine blathering. In an interview with GQ Magazine, Carson demonstrated his aptitude for derangement by referring to President Obama as a psychopath because he looks great “like most psychopaths. That’s why they’re successful. That’s the way they look. They all look great.” You have to wonder if that’s his medical diagnosis or if he’s just riffing ala Glenn Beck.

However, as stupid as that was, it was not what earned him the honor of toppling Sarah Palin from her pinhead perch. No, Carson had to exceed his previous efforts that included saying that America is “very much like Nazi Germany” and advocating dumping the Geneva Conventions. So he dug deep and came up with this response to an Israeli tour guide’s impromptu lesson on Israeli politics:

“And what is the role of the Knesset?” he interjected. This prompted a tutorial on Israel’s legislature. Carson is a tall, dignified-looking man with a placid, almost sleepy face. As he tried to concentrate on his Hebrew Schoolhouse Rock primer, he seemed even more fatigued. “It sounds complex,” he finally said. “Why don’t they just adopt the system we have?”

Brilliant! Why indeed? In fact, why hasn’t every nation abandoned their government processes and implemented the only ones that Dr. Carson can at least pretend to understand? After all, Israel’s parliamentary system is very much like other democracies around the world that have existed far longer than ours. So obviously it is too complex to be comprehended by a mere brain surgeon. As opposed to America’s simplistic bicameral republic that even the Supreme Court has wrestled with for a couple of centuries.

Carson’s painfully naive request that Israel scrap their government and replace it with another shows just how pitifully unqualified he is to hold any public office that might require him to make diplomatic decisions. If he thinks that parliamentary democracy is complex, imagine how much communism would confuse him. Would his foreign policy initiatives for Russia and China be that they just adopt the system we have?

While it is disturbing that an adult seeking to be elected to the highest office in the land has such an ignorant grasp of the world, it is downright depressing that there are so many Americans who regard him as qualified to hold that office. What has happened to the Republican Party that was once the home of Abraham Lincoln and Dwight Eisenhower?

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

Sarah Palin And Other Netanyahu Groupies May Soon Find Themselves Leaderless

The much anticipated speech by Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu before a joint session of Congress has come and gone leaving a notable aroma of anti-climax. After being hailed by many in politics and the press as an historic occasion, there was nothing of substance revealed in the address. It turned out to be a tale of a dystopian future that mimicked the doomsday rantings of Glenn Beck, complete with caliphates and the collapsing of civilization.

John Boehner’s invitation to Netanyahu violated decades of protocol and was a blatantly political slap at President Obama. Republicans heralded the speech as a vital moment to embrace an important ally. In fact, they implied that any opposition to the controversial appearance was tantamount to being anti-Israel and even anti-Semitic (as Andrea Tantaros of Fox News opined twice). The American right is shamelessly infatuated with Netanyahu and regard him as a superior model of leadership to our own president who was popularly elected twice.

Netanyahu enjoys the admiration of conservatives who favor posturing for war over diplomacy. They have elevated him to hero status and fantasize about having him replace Obama in the White House. Sarah Palin has gone even further by seeking to profit from her crush by selling t-shirts emblazoned with his picture and the oath “I Stand With Bibi.”

Sarah Palin Netanyahu

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However, these conservative Bibi disciples may come to regret their insistence that loyalty to the current Israeli Prime Minister (a war-mongering conservative) is equivalent to loyalty to Israel. That’s because in a couple of weeks there may very well be a new Prime Minister with a very different worldview. The Guardian reports that…

“Binyamin Netanyahu’s campaign for re-election for a fourth term as Israel’s prime minister appears to be stumbling, with recent polls suggesting he is marginally behind his biggest challenger, Isaac Herzog.”

Herzog is the leader of Israel’s Labor Party and has a more liberal, inclusive political philosophy. He represents a coalition that seeks peace through cooperation. He is a lawyer, a member of the Knesset (Israel’s legislature), a former IDF intelligence officer, and is every bit as determined to insure Israel’s security as Netanyahu. But he believes that a two-state solution negotiated and enforced with neighbors in the region is the way to end the decades-long hostilities.

If Herzog prevails in the March 17 election, it will be interesting to see if the right-wingers in the U.S. continue to regard the Prime Minister as the official proxy for all things Israel. Will they invite him to speak before a joint session of Congress? Will they hang on his every word. Will they repudiate as disloyal anyone who dares to disagree with him? Will they hawk t-shirts with his smiling face and promises to stand with him?

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

It doesn’t take much courage to slide out on a limb and predict that the wingnut contingent would not give Herzog the same measure of respect that they give to Netanyahu. And you might wait a long time to be able to buy a Herzog t-shirt from Sarah Palin’s PAC. So while Israel would benefit enormously from the election of a Labor Party majority, There’s another reason why Americans should root for that outcome. Because it would just be so much fun watching Republican pols and pundits squirming to validate their disdain for an Israeli PM after demanding allegiance to their hero Netanyahu.

To Rachel Maddow: Fox News Doesn’t Give A Fig About Bill O’Reilly’s Lies And Threats

The scandal engulfing Fox News, and its star blowhard Bill O’Reilly, is picking up steam as well as new allegations of dishonesty and flagrant self-glorification. The latest episodes of O’Reilly inventing harrowing journalistic adventures include his false assertion that he was present at the suicide of a figure associated with the assassination of John F. Kennedy, and his claim to have witnessed nuns being executed in El Salvador.

The initial response to the evidence that O’Reilly repeatedly lied about his experiences in Argentina as a “war zone” correspondent “in the Falklands” was to launch an attack on the reporters who exposed him and the so-called “liberal” media overall. He called them “liars, guttersnipes,” and “far-left zealots.” Even worse, when approached by a reporter from the New York Times he warned her that if he was unhappy with the story “I am coming after you with everything I have. You can take it as a threat.”

Bill O'Reilly

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Last night on MSNBC’s Rachel Maddow Show, the issue was raised to inquire as to whether O’Reilly’s turpitude might disturb his employers or colleagues (video below). Maddow did an excellent job of explaining the events that led up to O’Reilly’s threats, but then she entertained the following scenario:

“Fox News has a bunch of folks like Mr. O’Reilly on their shows. It’s part of why I call them Republican TV. But they also have a lot of real reporters on staff who do real reporting all day long on real news. They have White House correspondents, and congressional reporters, and even media reporters. And I’m sure they don’t take kindly when their own reporters get threatened for trying to do their jobs. But it is hard to imagine what this is going to do to the work environment at Fox News Channel for the Fox News Channel’s real reporters, and they do have them.”

Maddow surely has decent intentions in characterizing Fox News as a network that employs real reporters. However, there is scant evidence that it is true. Their main anchor, Bret Baier, presides over a daily roasting of President Obama. Their chief White House correspondent, Ed Henry, is a deeply biased right-winger with open hostility to the President. Their media analyst, Howard Kurtz, went out of his way to defend O’Reilly in an embarrassing display that evoked either fear or fawning or both.

But one thing in particular that Maddow said was way off the mark. It is not hard at all to imagine what this is going to do to the work environment at Fox News. It isn’t going to do a damn thing. As fake news guy Jon Stewart correctly pointed out: “No one’s watching [O’Reilly] for the actual truth.” And referencing O’Reilly’s “No Spin Zone” tag line Stewart noted that “Misrepresenting the zone he is in is kind of his hook.”

Fox News is a network born of deceit and devoted to the dissemination of propaganda. They couldn’t care less if they are discovered to be distorting reality because that is what they were created to do. Their founder and CEO, Roger Ailes, has no scruples when it comes to stuffing his roster with partisan clowns, as evidenced by the existence of Steve Doocy, Sean Hannity, Judge Jeanine Pirro, Donald Trump, Elizabeth Hasselbeck, Keith Ablow, and, of course, Bill O’Reilly.

When some of his mouthpieces began to fray at the edges of sanity, Ailes admitted to keeping them on the air long after he had determined that they were detrimental with justifications that were purely political. The reason Ailes gave for putting off Beck’s departure was that he “didn’t want to give MoveOn and Media Matters the satisfaction.” And with regard to why he re-signed Sarah Palin after first letting her contract expire, he said that he hired her back to “piss off the people that wanted her dead.” How does that comport with the production of “real news.”

As for O’Reilly, he is a known ratings winner who satisfies the lust for wingnut outrage that boils in the withering hearts of the Fox News audience. Ailes isn’t going to risk that without some intense pressure being applied, and maybe not even then. He knows that O’Reilly is a hate monger whose persona is dripping with animus and ego. A study done a few years back by Indiana University revealed the depth of O’Reilly’s bullying attitude:

“The IU researchers found that O’Reilly called a person or a group a derogatory name once every 6.8 seconds, on average, or nearly nine times every minute during the editorials that open his program each night.”

Consequently, Fox News is well aware of how O’Reilly behaves and they approve. The only thing that might impact their decision to stand by him is if advertisers bail out in droves, which is what happened to Glenn Beck. And then they still kept his show on for a period of time to avoid looking like they caved in. In O’Reilly’s case, they would more likely announce his retirement after some twenty years on the network. It would then be announced that he would produce occasional specials and continue to write books about killing people. Which is an especially appropriate legacy for a bully like him to pursue.

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

Media Matter and MoveOn have a petition calling for Fox News to Hold Bill O’Reilly Accountable. Go add your name to it and let the advertiser community know that America’s television viewers aren’t going to stand for this.

The Queen Of Astroturf Doesn’t Know The Meaning Of Astroturf

When Sharyl Attkisson left CBS over her flagrant insertion of conservative political bias into the stories she covered, she might have tried to rehabilitate her decaying reputation by affiliating herself with a credible news organization. Instead, she immediately signed up with Fox News (not exactly the place to prove your aren’t shilling for the right) and took a position with the The Daily Signal, the pseudo-news Internet outlet run by the ultra-rightist Heritage Foundation.

Media Circus

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Her post-CBS work has mainly been limited to three areas of shameless whining: 1) Bashing those in her past that she felt had discriminated against her freedom to propagandize; 2) Promoting her anti-Obama diatribe “Stonewalled: My Fight for Truth Against the Forces of Obstruction, Intimidation, and Harassment in Obama’s Washington;” and 3) Telling paranoid (and ultimately debunked) tales of being spied on by shadowy, unnamed enemies in the government determined to destroy her professionally and personally.

Continuing her transparently prejudiced crusade against a select group of imagined adversaries, Attkisson has published her list of “The Top 10 Astroturfers.” In the process she has demonstrated that she is viscerally determined to persist in slandering her perceived foes. What’s more, she is proving that she doesn’t have any idea what Astroturfing is. For the record, here is the generally recognized definition of this neologism:

Astroturf: An apparently grassroots-based citizen group or coalition that is primarily conceived, created and/or funded by corporations, industry trade associations, political interests or public relations firms. It seeks to disguise a powerful special interest as a popular movement.

On that basis, here is Attkisson’s list:

  1. Moms Demand Action for Gun Sense in America and Everytown
  2. Media Matters for America
  3. University of California Hastings Professor Dorit Rubenstein Reiss and Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia’s Dr. Paul Offit
  4. “Science” Blogs such as: Skeptic.com, Skepchick.org, Scienceblogs.com (Respectful Insolence), Popsci.com and SkepticalRaptors.com
  5. Mother Jones
  6. Salon.com and Vox.com
  7. White House press briefings and press secretary Josh Earnest
  8. Daily Kos and The Huffington Post
  9. CNN, NBC, New York Times, Politico and Talking Points Memo (TPM)
  10. MSNBC, Slate.com, Los Angeles Times and Michael Hiltzik of the Los Angeles Times, MSNBC and Jon Stewart.

There is not a single group on the list that meets the definition of an Astroturf enterprise. The one that comes closest is Moms Demand Action for Gun Sense due to its relationship with another group founded by former New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg. However, MDA was started by an actual mom in Indiana and has a membership of more than 150,000. The rest of the list is patently absurd.

Media Matters is a watchdog group that documents conservative bias in the media. It does not lobby any government entity, organize citizens to demonstrate, or otherwise engage in social activism. However, it is one of Attkisson’s most effective critics and thus won the number two slot on the list.

The U.C. professor and Children’s Hospital have worked on educating the public about the importance of vaccinations. Apparently that has stirred Attkisson’s ire. Also in this category are a few science-related blogs. However, Attkisson doesn’t explain why they should be on the list other than because they have a point of view. She never even bothers to try to connect them to some well-heeled benefactor. In any case, universities, hospitals, and independent blogs are not Astroturfers by any stretch of the imagination.

The most well-represented group on the list are media enterprises. They range from mainstream outlets like CNN, NBC, and the New York Times, to established magazines and Internet sites like Mother Jones, Salon, and Politico, to more alternative sources like Daily Kos, and the Huffington Post. The only conceivable reason for Attkisson citing these media players on her list is that they are all regarded by conservatives like herself as left-leaning, and therefore deserving of her wrath. But they are certainly not Astroturf.

Attkisson really goes off the rails by including the White House Press Secretary Josh Earnest and the Daily Show’s Jon Stewart on the list. How can anyone define either of them as faux grassroots-based citizen groups backed by wealthy special interests? More than any other people or groups on the list, these two show that Attkisson cannot be taken seriously.

Attkisson describes her list as “an informal, non-scientific survey.” Her footnote reveals that “the results represent 169 Twitter respondents who answered a public query either directly or through direct message.” What could possibly be more ludicrous as a sampling of opinion than a tiny group of respondents to her own Tweet? Is Atkisson purposely sabotaging her reputation in a public spectacle of professional suicide? The remainder of her commentary accompanying the list essentially redefines Astroturfing to fit her personal enemies list. It’s like dieters defining cupcakes as vegetables so they can eat more of them.

If she wants some examples of bona fide Astroturfers, she need look no further than her employer the Heritage Foundation, which began as a right-wing think tank, but with new leadership provided by former Republican senator Jim DeMint, it has become a full-fledged factory for fake activism. Under DeMint’s tenure it launched the Daily Signal which publishes highly biased articles including those by its new correspondent, Sharyl Attkisson.

Other Astroturfers include the Tea Party Express, which was founded by a Republican public relations firm and is notorious for funneling nearly all of the donations it receives back into its own pockets. Karl Rove’s American Crossroads. Numerous Koch brothers funded entities like Americans for Prosperity, FreedomWorks, Generation Opportunity, The LIBRE Initiative, Concerned Veterans for America, and many more. Even Sarah Palin has joined the con game with her Super PAC and the subscription Internet site she launched that often has no content for days on end. In all of these cases there is little evidence of public support, but massive bankrolling by wealthy conservative rainmakers.

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A recent study by a conservative news organization highlighted the rampant corruption in many of the right-wing Astroturf enterprises and political action committees. The Washington Post reported that…

“Right Wing News released a report on a group of conservative PACs that took in millions of dollars in contributions in 2014, ostensibly for the purpose of electing Republicans, but spent almost none of it on actual political activity. Instead, the money went into the pockets of the people who run the PACs and their associates.”

This appears to be the rule, and not the exception. And part of why it becomes so easy to rip-off the ignorant wingnut community is that fakers like Attkisson permit the scams to proceed without consequence. By shining her spotlight on an array of organizations that in no way qualify as Astroturf, Attkisson allows the grifters to operate freely while their victims are lost in a maze of false accusations.

Shill Baby Shill: Sarah Palin’s Subscription Website Is Just Another Scam

In recent days there has been a flurry of activity (mostly concentrated within the Republican National Committee and Fox News) asking in faux-worried tones where Hillary Clinton is hiding. Of course, Clinton is neither a public official nor a candidate for office, so her whereabouts are strictly her own business. Nevertheless, the “Hillary Hiding” campaign was created by the RNC and Fox picked it up verbatim to enhance their already festering anti-Clinton programming. And as usual, they have a severely myopic view of the world and are oblivious to the missing persons among their own ranks.

In case you missed it, Sarah Palin has an Internet “channel” where subscribers can pay $9.95 a month to get her stream of unconsciousness meanderings on the issues of the day. The website, which launched just six months ago, tantalizes prospective fans with the promise that you can…

Connect with me every day here in my home in Alaska and on the road in our great country! Ask me anything. Every week I answer your questions. Plus, be the first to see my ideas for America and my take on the big issues of our time.”

Where's Sarah Palin?

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The only problem is that she has not updated the site with any new content for the past ten days. Subscribers might be wondering just what they are paying for right about now. Her last post was on February 5 and addressed the “big issue of our time” of how the ultra-affluent attendees of the World Economic Forum in Davos, Switzerland arrived in private jets. Oh my. For some reason Palin is disparaging the one-percenters (aka business leaders, aka job creators) for enjoying the lifestyle that God intended for them to have by virtue of their ability to create wealth.

Ever since that post her site has been silent. However, we ought not to jump to conclusions because in early January there was a similar ten day absence of Palin’s unique vision of America’s condition. So in the first two months of 2015 Palin has already shorted her subscribers at least 33% each month. Will they get a refund? Or did the Quitta From Wassila just quit again while her fans continue to get charges automatically applied to their credit cards?

Perhaps Palin was just too busy to post because of her other responsibilities making an ass of herself at campaign stops in Iowa, where even conservative allies were shocked by her embarrassing performance. Or maybe the obligation to record more lame video selfies for an audience that had already shelled over their moola was less of a priority than her paid pandering to Big Oil at a conference in Houston, Texas. Palin promoted her appearance at the North American Prospect Expo on her Facebook page saying that…

“There’s reason for great hope that American-made oil and gas supplies can energize our nation, making reliance on foreign energy sold to us by unfriendliness a thing of the past. Bottom line: drill, baby, drill works.”

“Sold to us by unfriendliness?” That’s the sort of brilliance for which organizations fork over thousands of dollars a pop for Palin’s word-salad soliloquies. Her speech focused on bragging that her bumper-sticker theory of economics, “drill baby drill,” was responsible for lowering the price of gas. Of course she ignored all of the real reasons that include declining demand, increased adoption of fuel-efficient vehicles and alternative energy, and the world oil markets that are dominated by OPEC.

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Fox Nation vs. Reality: The Fox News Cult of Ignorance.
Available now at Amazon.

What this proves is that Palin is still the grifter that she has always been. Her primary motivation is to promote and enrich herself at the expense of all the little people (or giant corporations) who are too dumb to recognize a scam when it is bleeding them dry. While Glenn Beck is a notoriously paranoid conspiracy theorist and wannabe evangelist, at least he gives his suckers new material to chew on every day via his radio program and Internet sites. Palin simply takes their cash and jets off to a highly paid speaking engagement with contact riders that demand first-class travel and lodgings. But I’m sure her fans and benefactors are getting their money’s worth, so long as their expectations are as low as her ability to deliver.