On Fair And Balanced Fox News It’s Trump Dependence Day

It’s the Fourth of July and Americans are enjoying a day honoring the independence of the nation from a tyrannical monarchy. There are parades, and barbecues, and tributes to heroes going on all over the country. But on Fox News they have their own peculiar way of celebrating this holiday.

Donald Trump

As Independence Day approached, Fox News devoted much of the weekend to multiple re-airings of “13 Hours At Benghazi,” a two year old crockumentary that shamelessly distorted the tragic events that cost the lives of four Americans. The entire purpose of the program was to falsely malign Hillary Clinton and the Obama administration in the minds of Fox’s gullible viewers, despite the fact that every investigation into the matter cleared them of any wrongdoing.

And now, on the Fourth of July itself, Fox News has programmed a couple of “patriotic” hours that feature their choice for America’s icon of nationalistic fervor, Donald Trump. Because what could possibly better represent the spirit of America than a one-sided telethon of veneration for a bigoted, egomaniacal, wannabe dictator?

First of all, Fox News will be re-airing a very special episode of Greta Van Susteren’s On The Record entitled “Meet the Trumps.” In this heart-throttling waste of time Van Susteren devoted the whole hour to interviews with Trump’s adoring family, She spent the most time with his wife Melania whose relentless praise was reminiscent of victims of Stockholm Syndrome. She even said that she and The Donald never argue. Does that sound like a normal marriage or a paid campaign infomercial?

Later, Fox News will present an all new special from Sean Hannity dubbed “The Year of Trump.” This will undoubtedly be the sort of worshipful tripe that has characterized Hannity’s treatment of Trump since he launched his campaign. The only surprise is that he didn’t call it “The Passion of the Trump” in honor of his political savior. Hannity has the distinction of having provided Trump with more airtime than any other program on Television.

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

Suffice to say that no other news network has committed to airing several hours of dedicated Trump-humping programs this holiday weekend. And apparently Hillary Clinton hates the Fourth because Fox has virtually ignored her today. The fact that Fox News chose this particular holiday to slather their viewers in paeans to The Donald tells you something about Fox’s interpretation of patriotism. It is not accidental that Fox scheduled this parade of Trump propaganda on the same weekend that they revived their anti-Clinton Benghazi fest. This sort of flagrant bias is their reason for being. Happy Fourth Everybody!

Fox News Just Gift-Wrapped Their Primetime Schedule And Gave It To Donald Trump

It won’t surprise anyone to learn that Fox News has jumped aboard the Donald Trump bandwagon in a big way. His most ardent supporters are featured regularly to exalt the presumptuous Republican presidential nominee. Those supporters include the anchors of Fox’s most watched programs in primetime.

Trump News Channel

This past week Fox News handed over its primetime schedule to hour-long specials dedicated to Trump. Every single program set aside all other news stories for an episode of fluffing their favorite candidate. This is unprecedented even for Fox. It comes just a week after the chairman of the Fox News empire, Rupert Murdoch, was reported to have embraced Trump’s candidacy. New York Magazine’s veteran Fox-watcher, Gabriel Sherman, revealed that…

“According to a half dozen sources familiar with Murdoch’s thinking, the media mogul has signaled he plans to fully back Trump in the general election against Hillary Clinton.”

So it’s no coincidence that the following week Fox’s schedule is littered with packaged profiles of Trump that add nothing to the viewer’s store of knowledge or ability to make an informed decision. Here is what Fox’s primetime offered up last week as a gift to Donald Trump:

Greta Van Susteren’s “Meet The Trump’s”

Van Susteren devoted the whole hour of her show to interviews with Trump’s family, She spent the most time with his wife Melania whose relentless praise was reminiscent of victims of Stockholm Syndrome. She even said that she and Donald never argue. Does that sound like a normal marriage or a paid campaign infomercial?

Megyn Kelly’s Donald Trump File

This episode of the Kelly File was partly a rebroadcast of “Megyn Kelly Presents,” the widely panned special that aired on the Fox Entertainment Network. There was some additional footage included that was left out of the original broadcast and, having seen it, Kelly was right to have cut it in the first place. It contained nothing new or interesting.

Bill O’Reilly’s “The Trump Phenomenon”

Not wanting to be left out, O’Reilly cobbled together a bunch of old interviews and presented them as a package for any of his viewers who haven’t seen enough of Donald Trump on television lately. O’Reilly and Trump are old pals and the interviews are a tribute to the sort of softball journalism that you would expect between friends.

And Then There’s Sean Hannity

To his credit, Hannity is the only one of the four primetime hosts who actually bothered to deliver a significant amount of new material featuring Trump. Of course it was substantially the same as everything that Hannity has delivered in the past. He has the distinction of having provided Trump with more airtime than any other program on Television (over 17 hours). To illustrate how much time that is, Fox & Friends came in second with less than half that amount.

Since Trump just surpassed the number of delegates necessary to clinch the GOP nomination, we can expect much more of this hero worship from the folks at Fox News as the general election unfolds. The network that has been pretending to be “fair and balanced” for the past twenty years is wholly engaged in their mission to smear Hillary Clinton and elect Donald Trump.

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

While Clinton has not made herself available to Fox with much frequency (she did appear on Fox News Sunday recently), there is nothing stopping them assembling a packaged piece like these ones that they did for Trump. And maybe that’s for the best because, if they did, they would likely accuse her of blowing up the Hindenburg or assassinating Lincoln.

Donald Trump Channels Sarah Palin In Incoherent Anti-Amazon.com Rant

In the past year Sean Hannity has hosted Donald Trump more than any other candidate for president. In fact, Trump’s visits account for about a third of the time of all candidate appearances on the program. So no one will be surprised that Trump was Hannity’s guest again last night (video below) giving him an opportunity to lash out at a media critic with his trademark hollow bluster.

Donald Trump Sarah Palin

It’s fair to say that Trump is never particularly rational in his tirades against critics. He generally avoids factual arguments and sticks with childish insults and irrelevancies that distract from the main issue. But in last night’s performance Trump ventured further off into confused hysteria that sounded more like one of Sarah Palin’s disjointed word salad babbling. The only way to properly convey the deranged oration is to let Trump do it himself. Here is what he told Hannity about his theory that Jeff Bezos, owner of both Amazon.com and the Washington Post, is engaged in a conspiracy against him in order to avoid paying taxes and preserve his alleged monopoly.

Trump: It’s interesting that you say that, because every hour we’re getting calls from reporters from The Washington Post, asking ridiculous questions, and I will tell you this is owned as a toy by Jeff Bezos, who controls Amazon. Amazon is getting away with murder, tax-wise. He’s using The Washington Post for power, so the politicians in Washington don’t tax Amazon like they should be taxed. He’s getting absolutely away — he’s worried about me, and I think he said that to somebody, it was in some article, where he thinks I would go after him for anti-trust, because he’s got a huge anti-trust problem because he’s controlling so much. Amazon is controlling so much of what they’re doing, and what they’ve done is he bought this paper for practically nothing, and he’s using that as a tool for political power, against me and against other people and I’ll tell you what, we can’t let him get away with it. So he’s got about 20, 25, I just heard they’re taking these really bad stories — I mean they’re, you know, wrong – I don’t even say bad, they’re wrong and in many cases, they have no proper information and they’re putting them together, they’re slopping them together, and they’re going to do a book and the book is going to be all false stuff, because the stories are so wrong and the reporters, I mean, one after another — so what they’re doing is he’s using that as a political instrument to try and stop anti-trust, which he thinks I believe he’s anti-trust, in other words what he’s got is a monopoly and he wants to make sure I don’t get in. So, it’s one of those things, but I’ll tell you what, I’ll tell you what, what he’s doing’s wrong and the people are being — the whole system is rigged. You see a case like that, the whole system is rigged, whether it’s Hillary or whether it’s Bezos.

Sheesh, take a breath. Trump speaks like a paranoid schizophrenic in run-on sentences that weave around poorly expressed and incomplete thoughts. His fear that Bezos is coming after him is rooted in sheer delusion. Trump doesn’t say how Amazon is a monopoly, an assertion that ignores the reality of the online consumer goods market that includes behemoths like Wal-Mart, Best Buy, Target, Macy’s and many more. Nor does he explain the tax issue, although it is likely related to the collection of sales taxes from which all online enterprises are exempt under certain circumstances. Is Trump proposing to eliminate that popular exemption? He does go on at length, though, about the sloppiness of the Post’s proposed book that he hasn’t seen and hasn’t even been written.

Of course, the attacks on Amazon are just Trump’s way of retaliating against the Washington Post, whose Associate Editor Bob Woodward recently disclosed that “We have 20 people working on Trump, we’re going to do a book, we’re doing articles about every phase of his life” This is nothing unusual in the ordinary course of vetting candidates for high office and the Post is doing the same for Hillary Clinton. But from Trump’s perspective it’s an unholy invasion of privacy and a flagrant political attack. Consequently, an hysterical Trump aims both intellectually empty barrels at, not just the Post, but Amazon and its CEO Bezos. And fanboy Hannity’s response: “Wow!”

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

Donald Trump Defenders Freak Out, Blame MoveOn.org And George Soros For Protests

The increasing incidences of violence at rallies for Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump are unambiguously incited by Trump’s own rancid rhetoric and open encouragement of hostility. No one can reasonably deny that Trump’s vocal approval of punching protesters in the face or carrying them out on stretchers doesn’t have an effect on his already enraged minions.

foxnation-trump-moveon

Nevertheless, the Trump Defense League is in full denial mode as they seek to absolve their Dear Leader of any responsibility for the ruckus that occurs only where Trump treads. They argue that the protesters are a conspiratorial lot that have been assembled by leftist overlords for the purpose of destroying The Donald’s crusade to make America hate again.

At the top of the list of puppet masters is the nefarious MoveOn.org. The Trump Defenders are convinced that MoveOn is orchestrating every one of the individuals who separately engage in acts of dissent at Trump’s rallies across the country. Sean Hannity is among the MoveOn accusers saying that their “liberal fascism” is behind a campaign to “silence any voice that liberals disagree with.” Hannity’s Fox News comrade Bill O’Reilly is also on the anti-MoveOn bandwagon saying that they are “far-left agitators who do not believe in freedom of speech.”

On Fox & Friends they hosted rightist crackpot Wayne Allen Root who tarred Trump’s hecklers as “leftist radicals, most of them paid protesters by MoveOn.org.” Also on the program was Peter Johnson, Jr, Roger’s Ailes’ personal attorney, who described MoveOn as sowing “the seeds of terror.” Trump’s own spokesperson, Katrina Pierson, charged MoveOn with initiating the violence saying that “They go into these Trump rallies and they start swinging and kicking.” And Trump surrogate Sarah Palin colorfully insulted the protesting as “punk ass little thuggery stuff.”

What almost all of these critics added to their harangues was that MoveOn is not just some obscure band of subversives. No, it is a cog in an evil plot managed by a notorious super-villain. And fortunately they have one with an unsettling Hungarian accent and a few billion dollars to finance his dastardly schemes. That’s right, it’s George Soros and he’s back. Whenever the right needs to manufacture a nebulous and all-consuming dread, it trots out the specter of Soros.

In the ensuing frenzy of indictments of MoveOn as the right’s imaginary architect of acrimony, virtually every conservative media reference to them is prepended with the Soros label. If you didn’t know better you might come away thinking that the full, official name of the activist organization is “the Soros-funded MoveOn.org.” However, that’s an indicator of just how obsessed the right is with dangling Soros’ name to frighten their dimwitted throngs. Because if any of them were interested in reality they could easily look up the facts and discover that, while Soros did make sizable donations to MoveOn in the past (about $2.5 million), he has not done so since 2004. Apparently twelve years is not enough time for conservatives at Fox News and elsewhere to retire the “Soros-funded” branding.

As another example of the right’s fetish, the wingnut rag, Daily Caller (which is run by Fox’s Tucker Carlson) posted a bombshell exclusive that heralded their discovery that a Soros “associate” had contributed $200,000 to Gov. John Kasich’s presidential super PAC. That article was intended by the uber-rightist Daily Caller to stigmatize the comparatively moderate Kasich as the left’s favorite Republican. However, the Soros associate identified in the piece was Scott Bessent, a longtime Republican donor who has given hundreds of thousands of dollars to GOP candidates, PACs, and party committees. His donation to Kasich’s campaign was from personal funds and had nothing to do with George Soros. But that didn’t stop much of the wingnut mediasphere from blasting out headlines about Soros bankrolling Kasich.

This is emblematic of the mindset of the right that needs cartoonish demons to invoke the horror of an amorphous liberal threat. They need to be frightened into mobilizing against a monstrous enemy that will thrust the world into chaos and oblivion. How many times have you heard the right swear that Obama’s election, or reelection, or ObamaCare, or Climate Change mitigation, or immigration, or [fill in the scary blank], would doom America and the world to extinction? So rather than recognize the glaring evidence of Trump’s incitation to riot, right-wingers point their bony fingers to George Soros, or Saul Alinsky, or ACORN, or Barack Obama, or the armies of gay-married, Muslims on food stamps who are coming for your guns and fossil fuels. Be AFRAID!

Not to be left out, the Fox News community website, Fox Nation, joined in with a post linked to the “Moonie” Washington Times that feverishly proclaimed “Moveon.Org Raising Funds from Trump Protests, Warns More Disruptions to Come.” The article alleges a frightful conspiracy that is really nothing more than the standard fundraising of a non-profit group that is asking for three bucks to continue their public service activities. There is nothing in it that even remotely implies advocating any form of physical harm to persons or property. To the contrary, MoveOn is, and always has been, committed to peaceful dissent. And their current anti-Trump campaign is no different. Contrast that with the Fox Nation audience that has once again demonstrated their vile racism and embrace of volence (see The Collected Hate Speech Of The Fox News Community).

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

Fox Nation

The Year In Hate And Lies On Fox News: An Embarrassing 2015

Annual reviews are often routine exercises that involve collecting a few thematically aligned events and presenting them in an ordered list to remind people of what went down in the previous twelve months. However, for Fox News it just isn’t that simple. There are so many examples of blatant dishonesty, cringe-worthy ignorance, and shameless biases that any list would be too long for anyone to wade through.

Consequently, this year News Corpse is limiting the 2015 retrospective to a few instances that were notable for how embarrassing they are – or would be to a network that had the capacity for shame. And even this list is not meant to be comprehensive, but it will give a taste of the journalistic malpractice and general noxious mismanagement of the news as practiced by Fox – a network that has the unique distinction of having started the year with a huuuge majority of its ratings on PolitiFact (61%) deemed “Mostly False, False,” or “Pants On Fire.”

Fox News PolitiFact

1) French TV: Laughing At The Credibility Of The Fox News Clowns And #FoxNewsFacts

Fox News hosted Steven Emerson, an alleged terrorism expert, who claimed that the entire city of Birmingham, England was occupied by radical Muslims and was inaccessible to anyone else. His remarks were widely ridiculed, including by David Cameron, the British Prime Minister, who called Emerson an “idiot.” Emerson later recanted and apologized for his “terrible error.” But Fox wasn’t done embarrassing itself with false tales of horror. Click the link above to see the hilarious video.

Fox News

2) High Schoolers Scorch Bill O’Reilly/Fox News For Lack Of Journalistic Ethics

Fox News has been proven repeatedly to be a purveyor of disinformation and outright lies presented as facts. Knowledgeable observers long ago ceased to take their reporting seriously. However, it’s one thing to be called out for shoddy journalism by experienced media analysts and news professionals. But when a high school class can demolish the highest rated cable “news” network with ease, the folks responsible should reconsider their career choices.

Fox News

3) Bill O’Reilly’s Cavalcade Of Lies: A Handy Collection Of The Damage – So Far

After NBC suspended Brian Williams for six months for a single incident of embellishing his experiences in Iraq, it seems like a fair and balanced review of O’Reilly’s behavior would net him a suspension of two or three years. Of course, Fox News does not generally hold itself to the standards of journalistic ethics to which real news enterprises adhere. Nevertheless, O’Reilly and Fox News should not be allowed to sweep these fibs under the floorboards.

Bill O'Reilly

4) Watch John Oliver Bust Fox News For Falsifying Refugee Video

Fox News mounted a relentless campaign to slander Syrian and Iraqi refugees as terrorists seeking to infiltrate Europe and the U.S. This propaganda blitz is based on nothing but invented tales of horror and racist speculation. But apparently those attempts to deceive their pre-rattled viewers were not sufficiently frightening. Consequently, Fox News had to manufacture “evidence” of the doom that awaits any nation that shows empathy for the suffering refugees. So they enhanced their fictional narrative with video that was completely unrelated to the story. And John Oliver caught them red-handed.

Fox News John Oliver

5) Fox News Propagandist Caught And Arrested, Charged With Fraud

Wayne Simmons has been a frequent guest on Fox News for many years, providing what they said was expert analysis of intelligence and military issues from an experienced professional. Fox often relied on his commentary to inform their audience about serious national security issues as they arose in the news. But as it turns out, Simmons had lied on his resume to the federal government when seeking employment and contracts, and now he is under indictment for “major fraud against the United States, wire fraud, and making false statements to the government.”

Fox News

6) After Falling For Hoax News Site, Sean Hannity Takes On PolitiFact’s ‘Stupidity’

You really have to give the wingnut media credit for standing firm in the face of flagrant ridicule. On Sean Hannity’s Fox News program last week he cited a statistic that was not only wildly implausible, it was sourced to an Internet website that was obviously satirical. The hoax website, Real News Right Now, also prominently displayed plainly absurd (and humorous) articles like “Starbucks Opens Five Stores in Jordan’s 2nd Largest Refugee Camp,” and “Trump: I Would Have Prevented the Asteroid From Killing the Dinosaurs.” The author of these articles is R. Hobbus J.D, who the website says is the recipient of the Oscar Mayer Award for Journalistic Excellence. And it was from this source that Hannity based his reporting.

Sean Hannity Dumbass

7) Foul-Mouthed Fox News Obama-Hater Is Given Time-Out By Puppet/Anchor

The seething hatred of President Obama by Fox News came gushing out this morning by one of the network’s most notorious hatchet men. Lt. Col Ralph Peters (whose name translates to “vomiting penises” in Slanglish) appeared on Stuart Varney’s Fox Business program to discuss/bash Obama’s Oval Office speech on terrorism. Peters was virtually spitting teeth as he was unable to control his most primitive tendencies.

Fox News Ralph Peters

8) Fox Nation Commenter Arrested For Making Terrorist Threats

Anyone who has watched Fox News long enough is aware that the alleged “news” network engages in a relentless stream of hate speech and incendiary rhetoric that has the potential to incite actual violence. Indeed, there have been violent incidents already that are directly attributable to Fox News. Now there has been an arrest in Washington state of a man, Scott Anthony Orton, who has been posting terrorist threats aimed at an organization formerly associated with Planned Parenthood.

Fox Nation Is Murder


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

And there you have it. A nauseating, albeit incomplete, list of some of the most embarrassing moments on Fox News in 2015. This collection will serve as a reminder of the past year as well as a warning for the year to come. 2016 is an election year with what may be the most embarrassing candidate either party has produced in modern times. Donald Trump has already spewed a fountain of lies which News Corpse is compiling in the Donald Trump Bullshitopedia. So next year’s retrospective will have plenty of material from which to choose.

HAPPY NEW YEAR EVERYBODY

ANNOUNCING: The Trump News Channel (Formerly Known As Fox News)

As News Corpse has been reporting for the past seven months, the media has been saturated with Donald Trump in his quest to be crowned King of America. It is a disgraceful display of journalistic malpractice that has provided a racist, neo-fascist demagogue (he doesn’t deny it) an unprecedented platform to compete for residency in what he and his followers wish was a truly “White” House. But as bad as the collective press has been, Fox News is far and away the worst of the lot.

Donald Trump News

Media Matters has been doing monthly analyses of the time distribution on Fox News for the Republican candidates. Every month has produced the same results with Trump far outpacing the rest of the field. At times Trump’s airtime on the network has exceeded ten of his rivals combined. And now, looking at the year-end summation from May to December, the dominance of Trump on Fox News is both astonishing and nauseating. Media Matters notes that…

“Trump’s 22 hours and 46 minutes of airtime was more than twice as much as any other candidate during the period studied. Trump racked up more airtime on the network than Sen. Ted Cruz, former Gov. Jeb Bush, and Sen. Marco Rubio combined.”

Calculating the frequency of Trump’s Fox News appearances reveals that he was on the network for an average of 11.5 minutes every other day for more than seven months. That comes to about 19.5% of the total time given to all sixteen of the GOP candidates. And note that this only represents the amount of time that Trump appeared on Fox. There was much more time spent talking about him, promoting him, and defending him, when he himself was not on the air.

Breaking it down by some of the top Fox programs is equally unfair and imbalanced. Of the amount of time devoted to candidates on Bill O’Reilly’s show, Trump received 37%. Likewise, he received 32% of the total candidate time on Sean Hannity’s show, 30% on Fox & Friends, and 22% on Greta Van Sustern’s show. The only other Fox primetime program is The Kelly File, where Trump appeared only 2% of the time due to his ongoing feud with Megyn Kelly. Is it any wonder that Trump is leading the Republican primary polls? How would the standings be different if Jeb Bush or Marco Rubio had received the amount of airtime that Fox gave to Trump?

Nevertheless, Trump relentlessly bitches about the allegedly unfair treatment he gets from Fox News. What more could he possibly want? And yet, despite the vastly preferential attention he gets, he is never satisfied. In September Trump declared that he had “decided that I won’t be doing any more Fox shows for the foreseeable future.” That was accompanied by retweets of his followers advocating a boycott of Fox. Like most of what Trump says, that obviously wasn’t true.

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

And it’s still going on. In a tweet today Trump whined that “@FoxNews treats me so badly.” That utterly delusional whimpering is typical of Crybaby Trump. I’m sure his opponents would love to be treated so badly. If Trump is so offended by Fox’s treatment of him, why doesn’t he just decline to appear on the network like he threatened to a couple of months ago? Well, because he knows that he’s lying and is feeding off of the constant attention he gets from Fox. Perhaps a better question is why does Fox continue to give Trump so much more attention when all he does is whine about it and insult their anchors and pundits? Certainly the ratings, and corresponding revenue, could have something to do with it. But no reputable news organization would subvert democracy so conspicuously for profit. And that’s the advantage that Fox News has: They don’t have to pretend that they’re reputable.

The Clowns Of Cable News: Laughing At Fox News, Not With Them

There has been a meme circulating around the InterTubes for some time saying that “I get my news from Comedy Central and my comedy from Fox News.” It’s a concise way of articulating the reality that programs like The Daily Show are far more reliable sources for information than Fox & Friends or Bill O’Reilly.

Fox News Bozo

But something that seems to have been developing without much notice is that Fox News is actively reshaping their programming to be more like an actual comedy network. Alone among cable news broadcasters, Fox News is airing actual comedy shows. Already on the schedule is their late night entry Red Eye. Earlier this year they premiered The Greg Gutfeld Show, spinning off the former Red Eye host. And they just announced a new show starring Bill O’Reilly stalker/producer and Fox Nation editor, Jesse Watters, that will expand on his Watters’ World segments from The O’Reilly Factor. [See this epic smackdown of Watters by Steven Colbert]

Setting aside the fact that there is scarce evidence of actual humor in any of these programs, what is interesting is that Fox News is investing so much of their airtime in a form of entertainment that literally makes a mockery of their pretense to being journalists. And considering their epic failure in this genre, the execrable “Half-Hour News Hour,” they have some measure of courage to attempt it again. For a network that whines so often about not being taken seriously as reporters, this trend will do little to enhance their already tattered reputation.

Making matters worse is the fact that Fox News has been so fiercely derisive of comedy programs that deign to direct their barbs at news subjects. Over many years there has been a constant drumbeat of outrage from Fox aimed at comedians whom they regard as unqualified to have worthwhile opinions on the news or the talent to find humor in it.

And no one has taken more abuse from Fox than Jon Stewart. Sean Hannity called him “a sanctimonious jackass.” Megyn Kelly said that “He was not a force for good.” Bill O’Reilly labeled him “a key component of left-wing television.” O’Reilly also went after Stewart’s audience saying that he has “stoned slackers watching your dopey show every night.” And this anti-Stewart doctrine comes straight from the top. Fox News CEO Roger Ailes publicly scolded Stewart saying that “He hates conservatives. He’s crazy.”

Fox News generally demeans anyone in the entertainment field who speaks out about politics, unless it’s Ted Nugent or Dennis Miller, but then it’s a stretch describing them as entertaining. If George Clooney or Sarah Silverman exercise their rights as citizens, Fox News considers it an abomination and unleashes a rancid stream of unreserved hostility. Fox contributor Laura Ingraham even wrote a book titled Shut Up and Sing,” to advocate for silencing show biz folk who want to participate in American democracy.

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

So after disparaging entertainers, and especially comedians, for engaging in the centuries old art of satire, it is rather odd to find Fox News devoting a significant amount of time and money to doing what they hate so many others for doing. But while it is common for comedians to take on political topics, it is unheard of for news networks to commit whole programs to comedy. Certainly a news network can interview a comic or report on a humorous news story, but Fox is getting ready to launch their third comedy show. And they still want people to take them seriously as journalists? Well, that ship has sailed. If anything, Fox could continue to debut new comedy programs until they fill the schedule. Then, at least, people will be laughing at Fox for the right reasons.

After Falling For Hoax News Site, Sean Hannity Takes On PolitiFact’s ‘Stupidity’

You really have to give the wingnut media credit for standing firm in the face of flagrant ridicule. On Sean Hannity’s Fox News program last week he cited a statistic that was not only wildly implausible, it was sourced to an Internet website that was obviously satirical.

Sean Hannity Dumbass

The hoax website, Real News Right Now, also prominently displayed plainly absurd (and humorous) articles like “Starbucks Opens Five Stores in Jordan’s 2nd Largest Refugee Camp,” and “Trump: I Would Have Prevented the Asteroid From Killing the Dinosaurs.” The author of these articles is R. Hobbus J.D, who the website says is the recipient of the Stephen Glass Distinction in Journalistic Integrity (Glass was caught making up stories for the New Republic), and the Oscar Mayer Award for Journalistic Excellence. And from this source Hannity reported that…

“You see the backlash emerging now in Europe over the refugee problem from Syria and Iraq. The president said he’s going to bring in 250,000 refugees into this country.”

Of course, President Obama never said any such thing. The fallacy of this statement was reviewed by PolitiFact who gave it their lowest rating of “Pants On Fire.” They noted that neither the President, nor anyone in his administration, had ever articulated a policy to allow anything close to 250,000 refugees from Syria and Iraq. In fact, they note that that number is three times bigger than the total number of refugees Obama has asked to bring in during 2016 from all around the world.”

Following the exposé of Hannity’s gullibility, he went on the air to denounce PolitiFact as a “liberal website” that was “attacking” him. And after saying that he doesn’t normally waste his time “responding to stupidity” (because he’s normally creating it), he proclaims that “this one time, I’m going to break my rule.” Whereupon he delivers his rebuttal to PolitiFact:

Hannity: Let me teach you simple addition. I was quoting an AP article, entitled ‘Kerry: US to accept 85,000 refugees in 2016, 100,000 in 2017.’ Well, that equals 185,000 right? But that’s not all; according to the same report, the State Department is accepting 70,000 refugees in 2015. In other words, they said the 85 on top of the 70 they took in this year, that equals 255,000. That’s how I came to the number. And by the way, for the record, if you watch my TV show, I never said all of the refugees were Syrian.

As it turns out, addition must not be as simple for Hannity as he suggests. The AP article he referenced did cite John Kerry’s statement that there would be 85,000 refugees in 2016 and 100,000 more in 2017. However, he was referring to “the number of worldwide migrants,” not just those from Iraq and Syria. What’s more, the other 70,000 refugees Hannity mentioned were also worldwide and not exclusively from the troubled region.

So Hannity found a month old article from the Associated Press and distorted the numbers to try to come up with a justification for his prior disinformation. He failed miserably. He also blatantly lied when he said that he “never said all of the refugees were Syrian.” If you read the verbatim quote above, it’s clear that he was explicitly talking about “the refugee problem from Syria and Iraq.” Consequently, it’s Hannity who is stupid and partisan, not PolitiFact. And to top it off, he’s also a liar. It seems like he might have been better off had he just apologized for the incorrect data and moved on to a new bit of dishonest propaganda. But then he’s Hannity and he’s on Fox News. He’s fulfilling his “Special Purpose.”

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

Three Degrees Of GOP Crazy: From Benghazi To Planned Parenthood To ACORN

The Republican Party is showing signs of desperation after virtually every attempt to manufacture scandals that they can blame on Democrats has failed. Rather than developing some policy initiatives that might find favor with the American people, or conducting outreach to voter groups, the GOP is diving deeper into unfounded allegations and conspiracy theories. Just yesterday three of their top players engaged in some Olympian nuttiness that produced nothing but embarrassment for their floundering team.

GOP Crazy

Let’s begin this three degrees of separation journey with an appearance on Sean Hannity’s Fox News program (video below) by the man projected to be the next GOP Speaker of the House of Representatives. Kevin McCarthy may have thought that he would have a genteel Tea Party with the GOP-friendly host, but he wasn’t prepared for the level of animosity that wingnuts like Hannity have for establishment conservatives. Hannity took McCarthy to task for not having done more to monkey wrench the Obama administration’s agenda. He assailed McCarthy and the House GOP for presiding over budget deficits, funding ObamaCare, amnesty for immigrants, and not shutting down the government over Planned Parenthood. Having been caught off guard, McCarthy carelessly revealed the real, not-so-secret purpose of the House Select Committee to Politicize Benghazi as he tried to defend his record.

“Everybody thought that Hillary Clinton was unbeatable, right? But we put together a Benghazi special committee, a select committee. What are her numbers today? Her numbers are dropping. Why? Because she’s untrustable. But no one would have known any of that happened had we not fought to make that happen.”

So McCarthy admitted on TV that the true aim of the Benghazi hearings was to damage Clinton’s reputation and electability. To which Hannity graciously replied “I agree, that’s something good. I give you credit for that.” McCarthy later let slip that he intends to form another pointless select committee on Planned Parenthood. Under Republican control, this congress has held an unprecedented number of flagrantly partisan hearings that have produced nothing of value to their party, much less the nation. The Benghazi investigation has now officially lasted longer than any previous congressional investigation, including the JFK assassination, the Nixon Watergate affair, and 9/11, yet has not found a single bit of evidence of any wrongdoing.

The Benghazi Committee is chaired by Rep. Trey Gowdy (SC-Tea Party), which brings us to the second degree of separation. Gowdy is also a member of the committee investigating Planned Parenthood for misconduct alleged by an anti-abortion group’s videos that have been proven to be edited in a deliberately deceptive fashion. When it was Gowdy’s turn to question Planned Parenthood president Cecile Richards he asked whether she had an understanding of those who oppose abortion. Richards said that she appreciates that “people have a lot of different views on the issue of abortion,” then dismissed the condescending premise saying that Planned Parenthood “trusts women” to make decisions about their own bodies.

That provoked Gowdy to accuse Richards of wanting to “frame the issue” to say that she is “the reasonable one, and those of us who have a contrary position are not reasonable.” Which, of course, she did not say. Gowdy actually conceded that she didn’t say that, but then, using his supernatural power to read minds, told her that “It’s not always what you say, sometimes it’s just what you mean.” But he still could not explain how anything she said could be interpreted to mean what he asserted. It’s plain that he was intent on mischaracterizing her remarks no matter what she actually said.

The chairman of the Planned Parenthood committee was Rep. Jason Chaffetz, which conveniently moves us to the third and final degree of separation. During the same hearing, Chaffetz made some glaring blunders. For instance, he displayed a highly distorted and prejudicial chart that Richards had to tell him was provided by Americans United for Life, a virulently anti-abortion group. But his worst gaffe may have been uttered after the hearing when he went on Fox News to spin the event for the media. In an effort to drive home his slanderous perception of events, he said that “Planned Parenthood is the new ACORN. That’s who they are. Remember when we talked about ACORN? That is Planned Parenthood as far as I can see it.”

You know, he’s actually right. ACORN was an organization that helped people, but was smeared by liars who produced false videos that eventually led to Congress defunding them. Sound familiar? There was never any evidence that ACORN did anything wrong. To the contrary, James O’Keefe, the producer of the videos, lost a lawsuit and was ordered to pay a former ACORN staffer $100,000. But, unfortunately, that was after ACORN lost their funding and had to close up shop. Now the same sort of liars are trying to do the same thing to Planned Parenthood despite several state investigations that have already cleared them of any wrongdoing.

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What all of this adds up to is the brazen dishonesty of a desperate Republican Party trying to invent scandals and exploit their congressional power to bring down their political foes. With McCarthy we have an admission that their efforts are partisan. With Gowdy we see how blinded they are by their own biases. And with Chaffetz a clear connection is made to a previous effort to sabotage an honorable public service organization.

Ironically, the GOP is whining about taxpayers having to pay for Planned Parenthood and women’s health care services, but most Americans support Planned Parenthood. So the real question is why are Americans forced to pay millions of dollars for congressional hearings that are nothing more than partisan witch hunts based on proven lies?

Here is the video of McCarthy on Hannity:

Sarah Palin Stars In Night Of The Living Death Panels Sequel: The Re-Dumbification

Now that Sarah Palin has been unceremoniously jettisoned from her Fox News post, she has deemed it necessary to whip up as much controversy as possible in order to keep from becoming nothing more than a creepy memory and the reason for John McCain’s eternal damnation to Hell. That’s why she ditched her unsuccessful Internet video subscription service hoping more people would watch if they didn’t have to pay.

Sarah Palin Death Panels

To that end, Palin has posted a screed on her Facebook page declaring in all caps that “DEATH PANELS STILL NOT DEAD.” As the title suggests, Palin continues to suffer from an acute ignorance of law, facts, and common sense. Her blitheringly dumb resurrection of the Death Panel nonsense begins with the hilariously oblivious assertion that it’s the politicians who don’t get it.

“Their ‘Death Panels’ still won’t die. Last night Obamacare masterminds decided they’ll pay healthcare providers for vulnerable patients’ ‘end-of-life’ plans. Remember that’s the strange, intrusive, unaffordable, and unnecessary scheme that was actually stripped from Obamacare five years ago, once we ‘found out what’s in it.’ So now that part of this socialistic healthcare takeover is back.”

Palin then launches into a self-defense of her faulty grasp of what “end-of-life” plans (aka Advanced Directives) are. And she predictably slams the media for correctly noting that she has been “universally discredited” on this subject. She rants about the non-existent government rationing of healthcare and criticizes the imaginary “faceless bureaucrats” who she says “will measure a person’s worth.” She preaches about the “sanctity of life” in her trademark politi-vangelical style bemoaning that “a bloated bureaucracy and weak-kneed politicians sent millions of Americans into financial distress, unseen in history, with this leftist scheme called Obamacare.” Of course the documented truth is that, since the Affordable Care Act was implemented, more Americans are covered by insurance than ever before, and fewer are facing financial difficulties and bankruptcies due to medical bills.

What launched Palin into this confused orbit was news that Medicare is considering reimbursing doctors for consulting with patients about Advanced Directives. And while Palin calls it an “unnecessary scheme,” it is something virtually every medical professional and patient advocate recommends. The Medicare proposal does not require consultations, nor steers patients toward any specific preference of care. So in effect, what Palin is objecting to is giving people more control over their medical care. And when she fails to make a coherent case against Advanced Directives, she diverts her argument to a completely different and equally benign part of the Affordable Care Act, the Independent Payment Advisory Board, which is a doctor-run advisory group tasked with identifying the best practices in health care to insure the best medical outcomes and to avoid unnecessary or exploitative procedures.

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None of this is new. Palin has been on a rampage against these useful services for as long as they have been public. And for all of that time she has intensely misunderstood them. A year ago Fox News railed against Medicare’s exploration of this policy, making the same irrational arguments that Palin makes. In short, conservative wingnuts believe that it is a God-given right to be denied healthcare by the faceless bureaucrats at greedy insurance companies. But it is submission to tyranny if the government steps in and makes such care available and affordable. Palin et al prefer the old ways when Americans went bankrupt (or died) because they didn’t have insurance or their coverage was insufficient. And it is obvious that this zombie lie about Death Panels is going to be a cornerstone of conservative politics for the foreseeable future, despite how thoroughly it has been debunked by knowledgeable sources.

Update 7/14/2015: Sean Hannity weighed in on this with his predictably inane commentary saying…

“Remember all the talk about Gov. Palin talking about Death Panels? For those of you who were wondering what ever happened to the Death Panels, you don’t have to wonder much longer. You probably won’t. They’re currently being implemented under “Dying for Dollars,” a strategy where the administration pays doctors to persuade elderly patients to end their lives by discontinuing treatment.”

What a boob. He apparently has forgotten that end-of-life counseling may also result in patients choosing to prolong their lives with every expensive medical procedure that exists. It’s the patient’s choice. That’s the whole point. Hannity and Palin are arguing to prohibit patients from being able to make their choices known. What’s really sad is that they have so many people who blindly believe what they spew.