Video Mashup On Fox News Falsely Places Al Sharpton At Scene Of Anti-Cop Protest

The hosts of Fox & Friends went out of their way Sunday to malign civil rights leader and MSNBC host Al Sharpton. In multiple segments throughout their morning broadcast they aired videos of Sharpton at a rally in Washington, D.C. to protest the deaths of Michael Brown in Ferguson, Missouri, and Eric Garner in Staten Island, New York, and other victims of police brutality.

However, in a deliberate act of journalistic deceit, they spliced those videos together with a separate event in New York City where some protesters were heard disparaging the police and chanting for “dead cops.” [Video below]

The implication by Fox was that Sharpton was leading those marchers. But the anti-cop marchers were not a part of any official program connected to the New York protest and certainly not connected to the rally in Washington where Sharpton spoke. They were described by the New York Daily News as a “breakaway group” from a much larger, and largely peaceful demonstration in Manhattan.

By editing together these unrelated videos, Fox leaves the impression that Sharpton himself was calling for the death of police officers. The Fox hosts made things worse by adding their own commentary to the same effect. Here is a sampling of the dialog from the program:

Tucker Carlson (laughing): Huh. So the first clip you heard people are saying, “We want the cops dead.” And the second you heard Al Sharpton say “We’re not against the police.”
Clayton Morris: And a lot of protesters were holding signs that said “Real thugs wear flag pins.” And Sharpton saying “We’re not anti-police?”

Co-host Anna Kooiman did note that there were 25,000 people there who feel very strongly about the cause and that “largely it was peaceful.” She added that she didn’t hear any of the anti-police chanting but acknowledged that “there are always bad apples” in large crowds. At that, Carlson expanded on his diatribe.

Carlson: What they were doing as a group is making this into a racial issue, and that’s what I object to. I don’t have any problem with a conversation about police brutality. I don’t want the police looking like Delta Force. I think that’s a real conversation I’m happy to engage in. I may agree with them. What I don’t think this is about is race. I don’t think these are examples of racism, and I think it’s totally unhelpful to make this a conversation about white vs. black. And it’s ridiculous to have it led by Al Sharpton who has zero credibility at all. He’s a hustler and, I think, a criminal.

Let’s just set aside the fact that Carlson’s characterization of Sharpton is itself racist in tone and he failed to support his reckless accusation of criminality by Sharpton. Carlson’s alleged interest in a conversation about police brutality is completely disingenuous. Prior to this becoming a national news story he never sought to initiate such a conversation. And while he may want to dismiss the racial component of the crisis, the facts show that African-American men are 21 times more likely to be shot dead by the police than white men. Ignoring these statistics makes it impossible to have an honest debate on the subject.

Next the Curvy Couch Potatoes set about to shift the discussion to another topic that better fits their prejudiced viewpoints. Like many other conservative pundits, they drift off to question why civil rights activists never address the breakdown of the family or the incidence of crime in their communities. Of course, that’s a false charge because those topics are a constant part of the dialog, but the elitist TV personalities at Fox are simply too far removed from the real world to have noticed it.

Carlson: It’s so much easier just to claim that white racism is America’s biggest problem. […] You don’t have to do anything about massive unemployment in the black community, about crime in the black community, about the destruction of the black family. Those are the real issues, but you get to ignore them when you blame it all on racism. And so it serves the purposes of a couple of people – President Obama, Al Sharpton – but it kinda shafts everyone else.

Carlson’s analysis is exactly backwards. In truth, by focusing only on unemployment or crime you get to ignore racism, which is the cause of many of the other problems faced by the black community he pretends to be so concerned about. And he makes certain not to miss the opportunity to portray the President as exploiting the race issue, because what else would a black president do?

The arrogance and condescension of these privileged TV divas is emblematic of the Fox News approach to race. They are certain that they know better than the people who are directly affected by society’s bigotry and if only those black folks would listen to them everything would get straightened out in a matter of days. And race wouldn’t have anything to do with it. But that view is unrealistic and based on their own sheltered experiences. They are demonstrating an ethic that was profoundly articulated on a sign that somehow got included in the video that Fox aired for this very segment:

Fox News Sign Blame Poor

That could not be a more perfect image to represent Fox News: “Rich people paying rich people to tell middle class people to blame poor people.” And that message is ironically sitting right above Fox’s text that blatantly lies that “Al Sharpton leads protest against police.” To be clear, the protest was NOT against police. It was against unlawful use of excessive force. It is a distinctly pro-police position to advocate on behalf of the majority of officers who are lawful, decent, protectors of all citizens. Good cops don’t want bad cops sullying their reputation.

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Obama Quoting Scripture Is Repugnant To Fox News

During President Obama’s speech on immigration Thursday, he made the case for delaying the deportation of family members of U.S. citizens with a moral argument against separating families and demonizing those who came to America seeking a better life. Part of the justification he used were references from the Bible. The President said that “Scripture tells us that we shall not oppress a stranger, for we know the heart of a stranger –- we were strangers once, too.” Indeed, the Bible makes numerous references to the treatment of others, including foreigners. Leviticus 19:33-34 says

“33. And if a stranger sojourn with thee in your land, ye shall not do him wrong. 34. The stranger that sojourneth with you shall be unto you as the home-born among you, and thou shalt love him as thyself; for ye were sojourners in the land of Egypt.”

The morning following the President’s speech, the Kurvy Kouch Potatoes of Fox & Friends discussed his remarks and were, not surprisingly, appalled (video below). However, their outrage was not limited to the standard kneejerk Fox objections to anything Obama does and says. Extending the wingnut talking points beyond the crackpot allegations of tyranny and lawlessness, they ventured into decidedly more hostile and racist territory.

Fox News Bigots

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What rankled the tender sensitivities of the co-hosts Steve Doocy, Elizabeth Hasselbeck, and Tucker Carlson was that Obama had the temerity to express himself through his faith. The exchange that took place was a nauseating display of intolerance and undisguised hatred. It began with Carlson condemning Obama for “lecturing” on faith.

Carlson: For this guy specifically, the President, who spent his career defending late-term abortions, among other things, lecturing us on Christian faith? That’s too much. This is the Christian Left at work, and it’s repugnant. […]
Carlson: To quote scripture? That is just totally out of bounds.
Hasselbeck: Do you think it’s out of bounds that I just quoted scripture?
Carlson: No.
Doocy: It’s just different for him.

It’s just different for him? In what way? They never bother to get into it any deeper than that. but just the suggestion that a different standard exists for “specifically” this president reeks of bigotry. Whether it is rooted in race or politics it is disgusting and completely outside of the expertise of these hate mongers to pass judgment.

The statements by the Fox & Unfriendly crew would be bad enough without any other factors to consider. They are not remotely qualified to interpret either the Bible or any person’s intentions in citing it. However, as Media Matters noted, their commentary exhibited a rather astonishing measure of hypocrisy.

“It was only 48 hours prior to their November 21 broadcast that Fox & Friends criticized Obama for not espousing Christian values often enough. […they asked viewers to…] remember the time when American presidents weren’t afraid to talk about traditional values, as Ronald Reagan did back in 1981.”

So Obama is immoral when he doesn’t mention God, and repugnant when he does? And it’s OK for Reagan to wrap himself in biblical justifications for his agenda that included demonizing the poor as “welfare queens,” throwing the mentally ill out of institutions and unto the street, labeling Nelson Mandela a terrorist, selling arms to hostage takers in Iran, and using the proceeds to bankroll murderous rebels in Nicaragua. But for Obama to advocate for the unity of families is “totally out of bounds.”

The flagrantly biased, hateful, and hypocritical hosts of Fox & Friends might want to look to a recognized authority on Christian faith for guidance on how to deal with immigrants.

Pope Francis: Migrants and refugees are not pawns on the chessboard of humanity. They are children, women and men who leave or who are forced to leave their homes for various reasons, who share a legitimate desire for knowing and having, but above all for being more.

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[Update:] Fox News host and prospective candidate for the GOP nomination for president (and sanctimonious jerkwad), Mike Huckabee, has joined the chorus bashing Obama for quoting scripture.

Delusional Fox News Host Says It’s Government Policy To Give Welfare To Terrorists

On the morning when tragic news that another America hostage was executed by radical ISIL terrorists, Fox News exploited the tragedy to fabricate a ludicrous allegation regarding immigration and national security.

On Fox & Friends Sunday (video below), co-host Tucker Carlson, possibly the stupidest man on Fox (and that’s saying something) responded to remarks by a former Navy SEAL who thinks that terrorists are on their way to the United States where we will “take [them] into our warm embrace” and get them lawyers to “get [them] off of these charges.” For Carlson that mouthful of madness was not only reasonable, but he agreed and added “Or give tons of social welfare benefits, which is exactly our policy now.”

Fox News Tucker Carlson

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If the other two blockheads on the couch next to Carlson had any functioning brain matter they might have asked Carlson to point out precisely which policy grants “tons of social welfare benefits” to migrating terrorists. Since it is “exactly” our policy now, that shouldn’t be difficult to do.

Carlson, however, wasn’t through disgorging his nearly hollow cranial cavity. in addition to his deranged notion that ISIL is dining on lobster and champagne courtesy of American food stamps, and lounging by the poolside of a subsidized penthouse apartment, Carlson also has the impression that their fighters are being granted free admittance into America without so much as a sideways glance. He dissembled that…

“We have no policy that I’m aware of that restricts immigration from countries where ISIS is popular into the United States. Why wouldn’t we be doing that? I mean, this is more dangerous to us than Ebola. And yet, I’m not aware of any public debate about restricting movement from those countries where ISIS is, you know, a group of folk heroes into the United States. Why?”

Why? Because just the fact that you are not aware of something doesn’t make it so. The truth is there are laws that restrict immigration into the U.S. from nations that are state sponsors of terrorism, including Syria where ISIL is from. There are also similar laws restricting those associated with Foreign Terrorist Organizations. They specifically declare that “representatives and members of a designated FTO, if they are aliens, are inadmissible to and, in certain circumstances, removable from the United States.”

A quick note on Carlson’s assertion that migrating terrorists are “more dangerous to us than Ebola.” Among other things, being sucked into a black hole is more dangerous to us than Ebola; getting carried off by Bigfoot is more dangerous to us than Ebola; and mostly watching Fox News is more dangerous to us than Ebola. But that didn’t stop Carlson from fretting last month that “In light of the seriousness of this [Ebola] problem, it’s inexplicable that the president dismisses almost with the wave of his hand the notion that you would restrict air travel from the places afflicted.”

So Carlson has demonstrated that he is wholly ignorant of the subject he is blathering about on the air. That in itself should not surprise anyone. It is the standard state of affairs at Fox News. It is in keeping with their mission to spread fear through ignorance and disinformation. What’s surprising is that propagandist mouthpieces like Carlson are not even trying to disguise their idiocy or hide their lies in plausible rhetoric. They have obviously determined that, given the intellectual retardation of their audience, subversive tactics are unnecessary.

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Fox & Friends Lament “The Wussification Of Popeye”

The competition for most epically stupid program on Fox News is always a thrilling spectacle. With contestants like Sean Hannity, Bill O’Reilly, Elizabeth Hasselbeck, Steve Doocy, and so many more, it’s impossible to predict who will hold the top spot at any given moment in time. However, for this week the prize has to be awarded to the weekend cast of Fox & Friends for their in-depth analysis of “The Wussification Of Popeye” (video below).

Fox News Popeye

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This nearly unbearable babbling by three of the most puerile pundits in television kicked off with a segment on some possible modifications to the Popeye character in an upcoming movie. Here is how the exchange began:

Clayton Morris: According to leaked photos, the new Sony Pictures version of Popeye will look like this – without the iconic anchor tattoo and the smoking pipe. Are they wussifying Popeye?

Tucker Carlson: Of course they’re wuss… Nothing is scarier to a modern liberal than tobacco. If Popeye were driving around giving the morning after pill to fourth graders, that would totally fine. But smoking a pipe – a single (sic) of freedom and masculinity in America itself – the reason this country exists – tobacco – that’s like, oh, that’s outrageous.

There is so much idiocy in that brief observation it needs to be broken down into pieces for examination.

First of all, if liberals are scared of tobacco it may have something to do with the fact that it kills 400,000 Americans every year. That’s more than a hundred 9/11’s, not once thirteen years ago, but every single year. And that’s not counting the thousands of victims who survive with debilitating health problems that devastate families emotionally and financially.

Secondly, while Carlson may not fear the epidemic of cancer, he does seem to be afraid of fourth graders who aren’t pumping out babies. His snarky hyperbole about giving out morning after pills is a deliberate trivialization of a serious problem. Nine year old girls should have options to avoid pregnancy in the event that they have engaged in sex, which at that age is often the result of an rape or incest. Apparently Carlson is fine with forcing children to become parents before they enter junior high school.

Thirdly, Carlson’s characterization of pipe smoking as a symbol (?) of freedom is best represented by a man who is a notorious pipe smoker and certainly a hero of Carlson’s – communist dictator Joseph Stalin. The notion that smoking a pipe is uniquely American exists only in his cartoon-fed brain. And by invoking tobacco as “the reason this country exists” Carlson is also reminding us that the tobacco trade was largely successful in our country’s early days because the plantation owners had the benefit of free (i.e. slave) labor. If that’s his idea of an iconic symbol of freedom, there may be several million Americans who disagree. The legacy of tobacco in America is one of bondage and brutality and suffering and death.

The truth is that Carlson and his cranky cohorts are rattling off an old wingnut whine about what they perceive as political correctness. They think it’s the PC police who demand that Popeye quit his filthy habit and stick with spinach. However, it is actually the fact that we have learned a thing or two about the health risks of tobacco and most parents don’t want their children to be exposed to positive images of a product that will kill them. Would Carlson be just as happy if his kids were influenced by an alcoholic superhero guzzling whiskey in between clobbering villains?

The video of this derpitude is proof that the Fox & Friends crew have earned special recognition for ass-holiness this week. And for extra credit, they segued from the Popeye story to one about Wonder Woman wherein they complained that her new costume wasn’t sexy enough. That’s just another example of these pathetic wretches projecting their fetishes on kids by advocating sexualizing cartoon characters.

Fox News Is Worried That American Children Are “Learning Too Much”

In troubled times, with Americans getting beheaded by terrorists, women being abused, teenage African-Americans being gunned down by police, working people struggling to lift themselves out of poverty, and all the while wealthy individuals and corporations assume ever more dominance of our social and political institutions, Fox News has managed to cast a spotlight on little-known but disturbing facet of life in these United States:

Fox News Tucker Carlson

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That’s right, American children are suffering under the burden of becoming too smart. On Sunday’s episode of Fox & Friends, co-host Tucker Carlson presented a segment (video below) wherein he suggested that an alleged reduction in homework assignments was actually a well-coordinated conspiracy by teachers unions to achieve their long-held goal of reducing work for their lazy members. And everyone knows that teachers are among society’s most notorious slackers who yearn only for longer lunches and wasteful leisure. The industrious Carlson began his hyper-rant by saying that…

“A growing number of schools are opting out of giving kids homework. They say that students should use the time to be with family and friends. But is this really about the kids, or could it be a move by teachers unions to get teachers to do less work for, of course, the same pay?”

This is a remarkable turnaround for the Fox set who ordinarily praise initiatives that bring families closer together. It is such an obsession with them that they fiercely advocate homeschooling which, of course, means nothing but homework for the kids, and much less work for teachers. And pay no attention to the fact that Carlson offers no shred of evidence that unions played any role in this alleged trend.

Carlson interviewed Whitney Neal of the Bill of Rights Institute, which was founded by Charles Koch. Undisclosed by Fox News is that Whitney Neal is also the Director of Grassroots at FreedomWorks, another Koch brothers operation. The Kochs are heavily invested in twisting the nation’s academic institutions to conform to their personal, political, social, and business interests. Neal agreed with Carlson’s unsupported insinuations, but went further to say that she believes the whole thing is “more of a ploy to keep parents out of the classroom […] because if kids aren’t bringing home homework, the parents don’t know what’s going on.”

So by providing kids with more time to be with their parents, teachers are somehow inhibiting the interaction between kids and parents. How insidious. What’s more, Neal believes that homework is the only way that parents can have any idea of what is going on with their children in school. They certainly couldn’t go to the school, or ask the kids, or the teachers, or the administrators, or otherwise involve themselves in their child’s education. Neal’s argument is that kids should be getting more homework, not for the benefit of the student, but so that parents can see what kind of homework they get.

If you think that was stupid, just wait until you hear Carlson’s next question:

“Also, do you think the problem with American schools is just that kids are working too hard; they’re just doing too much work; they’re just learning too much? Is that a major problem?”

Well, it is if you’re Fox News. The last thing they need right now is an educated populace. That would decimate their viewer demographic (if you know a Fox News viewer, please tell them what “decimate” means). Not to mention how it would shrink the ranks of the Tea Party and the Republican establishment that feeds off of its innate ignorance.

For the record, teachers are among the hardest working, least appreciated professionals in the country. They are often belittled as nothing more than babysitters and criticized for having a truncated work schedule. See this lovely infographic for the truth. And watch this video from Fox & Friends to observe some real failures in the education system who nevertheless achieved success in television punditry (for which there are no academic requirements and requires no certification).

Feud At Fox News: Sarah Palin Slams Fellow FoxPod Tucker Carlson

Uh oh. The family ties at Fox News are being stretched to dangerously explosive levels. It appears that Sarah Palin’s ire has been aroused by her colleague Tucker Carlson. Ironically, both are losers who have been disparaged by Fox News at various times (Roger Ailes called Palin an “idiot” and, before being hired by Fox, Carlson called them a “mean, sick, group of people” for attacking him), and now they are taking swipes at each other.

Fox News Palin/Carlson

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The spark for this fire came from an interview of Dave Berg, a former producer of the Tonight Show with Jay Leno. Berg, who is promoting a new book, spoke with the Daily Caller’s Jamie Weinstein and told him that…

“After the campaign, she had a book to promote, and wanted to do the show, but it was difficult to work out the logistics because she didn’t like to be away from her family for long periods of time. Finally, the only way we could get her to come to Burbank was to book a charter jet from Anchorage for $35,000. The jet was big enough to accommodate all of her family members.”

The Diva from Wasilla took offense to this characterization despite the fact that there is long-standing evidence of her extravagant demands for public appearances. But for some reason, she went after the Daily Caller, which is run by Carlson, instead of Berg who made the statements to which she objected. On her Facebook page Palin launched into a tirade replete with personal insults and invective.

“Guess the boys at The Daily Caller spent a bit too much time at the frat house and not enough time in their college library. (Or maybe it’s in one of their Jr. High tree forts where their leader gathers the boys to ‘report’ their ‘conservative’ issues.) Their claims about what I supposedly ‘demanded’ of the Tonight Show are, in their frat boy terms, B.S. This is not the first time we’ve had to correct their sloppy ‘journalism.’ Paraphrasing and dramatizing sure doesn’t fit into any fair and balanced image, especially from a little fella loving his title of FOX News Channel host. Maybe those bow ties are a bit too tight, bros.”

Meow! So according to Palin the Daily Caller is not really “conservative,” nor a practitioner of “journalism” (as if the woman who couldn’t name a single newspaper that she read would know). And she just couldn’t help ridiculing Carlson’s fashion sense, albeit for the bow ties he stopped wearing years ago. What Palin did not do in her rant was to offer any proof that the claims by Berg were false. She would certainly have the evidence if she were interested in refuting what she called “B.S.” Why do you suppose she would decline to provide it?

Obviously Berg’s assertions are probably accurate and Palin, who has criticized Hillary Clinton for her contract riders, is only interested in smearing her critics. As usual, Palin is not the least bit concerned about being factual or truthful. And in this case, the Daily Caller was merely publishing what Berg said, but Palin slams the Daily Caller and thanks Berg “for the kind comments.” Huh? Her reading comprehension is even worse than her verbal “skills” that have produced the some of the most mangled (and hilarious) mutilations of the English language.

Carlson is notoriously thin-skinned, so we may have the good fortune of hearing his retort to Palin and a prolonged public quarrel. It’s notable that Palin chose to belittle Carlson with a reference to his “frat house” immaturity. Just yesterday, Carlson made a similarly insulting remark directed at the U.S. Ambassador to the U.N., saying that “This is what happens when you have a foreign policy run by college sophomores like Samantha Power.” For the record, Power is a Pulitzer Prize winner with a distinguished career that puts Carlson, a trust-fund baby, to shame. More to the point, both Carlson and Palin regard college credentials as liabilities, which explains a lot about their mutual affinity for ignorance.

However, what will be truly interesting is to see if Palin is taken to the wood shed for beating up on “little fella” Tucker. After all, Fox News CEO. Roger Ailes, made it clear that he will not tolerate intra-network derision by people in his fiefdom “shooting in the tent.” So they better be careful. They don’t want to make Uncle Roger mad.

So F**king What? The ObamaCare Website Contractor Scandal Delusion

You know that things are getting bad for conservative wingnuts when they resort to complaining about President Obama for doing what they previously called for him to do.

Last October the ObamaCare website launched with an historic thud. It barely functioned and was widely deemed to be an embarrassing failure for Obama and CGI Federal, the firm that developed the site. Right-wingers from across the land were sent into a frothing ecstasy as they extended the website’s problems to all of ObamaCare and everything else the President did. One of their most often heard demands was that “heads must roll.”

So you might think that they would have been happy to learn that Obama had fired CGI for the website fiasco. They could have spun it as capitulation to their demands and a victory for their side. But if you thought that, you are not very familiar with their unique brand of psychosis and inbred hostility.

So instead, an article popped up today on the Daily Caller website, a disreputable operation run by Fox News host Tucker Carlson. The author is Patrick Howley, whose resume includes an attempt to infiltrate Occupy Wall Street groups to incite violence that he would then blame on the Occupy movement (he failed). The article was then picked up by Fox News for posting on their lie-riddled, hate site, Fox Nation.

Fox Nation

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Howley’s article is a monumentally silly effort to invent a scandal where none exists. The shocking revelation he exposed is that the firm hired to replace CGI had once employed someone who had also been employed by the Obama campaign in 2012. Now try to follow this, because it’s even stupider than it sounds. Rayid Ghani had first worked for Accenture where he did research on consumer behavior. Later he was recruited by Obama’s campaign to work on voter tracking. Today he does not work for either Obama or Accenture, but Accenture has been hired to do continued maintenance on the ObamaCare website. Or put another way, the Obama administration has hired a firm that no longer employs someone who is also no longer employed by Obama. Scandalous, isn’t it?

Howley’s logic is painfully idiotic. He is proposing that you take everyone who has ever worked for Obama in any capacity, find out where they worked previously, and scratch them off of any lists for future employment or contracts. That would probably disqualify most of the Forbes 500 and ten or twenty million people.

To make matters even more comically obtuse, last October Howley wrote an article for the Daily Caller complaining about tangential affiliations between Obama and CGI. In that piece he asserted a wholly unsupported allegation that there was some sort of chicanery in the relationship because Michelle Obama had attended Princeton at the same time as a woman who later became a CGI executive. He made no attempt to prove that they ever met. Once again, Howley’s perverse logic suggests that any company that employs any of the thousands of people who attended the same Ivy League universities as the Obamas is exempt from government work.

So to summarize, Howley alleged impropriety when Obama hired a firm where a Princeton classmate of Michelle was employed, despite showing no connection between them. However, he was not mollified when Obama fired that firm and replaced it with another firm that does not employ a man who is also not employed by Obama. Nice work, Sherlock.

In addition, Howley squeezed another angle into his article that claimed that there were ongoing security threats within the ObamaCare website. He did not in any way substantiate his claim, but he did provide pretty good evidence that no such security exploits exist. He referenced the testimony of an ex-con who was paraded before a Republican-controlled committee hearing to say that breaking into Healthcare.gov “would be a hacker’s wet dream.” That’s actually true. And the fact that it hasn’t happened speaks to the reliability of the security on the website given the desirability of hackers to break it.

This is just another example of what happens when right-wing extremists have nothing of substance to say about policy or process. They scrape the bottom of the scandal barrel in a desperate search for controversy, or least distraction. It is their hope that they can either tarnish their foes with mud or keep them from bringing attention to the fact that the conservative platform consists of little more than repealing ObamaCare, cutting taxes for the rich, cutting benefits for the poor, and regulating the behavior of citizens in the privacy of their homes. That platform, along with alienating women and minorities, is not going to serve them particularly well in 2014, 2016, or beyond.

So F**king What? Michelle Obama’s Princeton Classmate Is A Successful Businesswoman

When conservatives get desperate for derogatory material with which to bash President Obama, they generally make bigger asses of themselves than usual. For example, the Daily Caller, a right-wing rag run by Fox News host Tucker Carlson, just published a shocking expose that will surely topple the President and his evil cohorts.

The Daily Caller’s investigative reporter, Patrick Howley, who famously uncovered the Case of the Scandalous Hat, and the plot to Gobble Up Gun Magazines, is on the hunt again for officialdom’s dirty linen. Howley’s credentials are bolstered by his experience as a violent right-wing thug who admitted to infiltrating OccupyDC for the purpose of undermining it. And with that trophy on his mantle, he has now discovered an ominous link between the First Lady and an executive at CGI Federal, the company that built the troubled ObamaCare website.

Daily Caller
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It seems that Michelle Obama attended Princeton at the same time as Toni Townes-Whitley, who went on to become a senior vice president at CGI. While there is nothing in Howley’s article that proves that these two women knew one another, the accusatory tone is unmistakeable. After all, how is it possible that a graduate of a respected Ivy League university would otherwise manage to secure employment as an executive of a prominent, multinational corporation? Howley’s reporting on this, if anything, did not go far enough. He could easily have implicated the entire Princeton class of 1985 in some sort of criminal conspiracy with the Obama White House. But perhaps the most revealing part of his article is this (emphasis added):

“Toni Townes ’85 is a onetime policy analyst with the General Accounting Office and previously served in the Peace Corps in Gabon, West Africa. Her decision to return to work, as an African-American woman, after six years of raising kids was applauded by a Princeton alumni publication in 1998.”

It would have been nice if Howley had elaborated on what other options Townes-Whitley had to return to work as, if not an African-American woman. Perhaps she could also have returned as an Anglo-Prussian Hermaphrodite. Those Princeton grads can be exceedingly versatile.

In addition to ferreting out the fact that two women who may not have known each other in school, and who still may not know each other today, are linked tangentially by a company that does business with the U.S. government, Howley also managed to regurgitate an already debunked myth that the ObamaCare website cost $678 million when it actually is estimated to have run at about $70 million according to the Sunlight Foundation. So Howley was only off by 90 percent.

This is typical of the quality of journalism practiced by conservative ideologues who have no respect for the truth and spend their careers trying to slander their perceived political enemies. [Note: The story was also re-posted at the Fox News community web site and Fib Factory, Fox Nation]. Howley is an obvious hack with unresolved issues of hostility. And he works for Tucker Carlson, the most notorious loser in the right’s media echo chamber. So we can expect more of this sort of hilarity in the future. And lord knows we need the laughs.

Wingnut Media’s Lame Attempt To Prove ObamaCare Is A Failure, Proves It’s A Success

The Daily Caller (TheDC), a website run by Fox News supplicant Tucker Carlson, has published what they laughably refer to as an “investigation” into “the numbers on the hilariously sad failure of Obamacare.” Unfortunately for them, what ends up being hilariously sad is their inept attempt to malign a program that is showing objective signs of success and is gaining in popularity.

Daily Caller
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TheDC based their article on reports of the Obama administration’s estimates that about half a million people would enroll in the ObamaCare exchanges in the first month. However, the launch of the online component of the program was something less than optimal, to put it mildly. As a result, enrollment was severely hampered.

It is was on this basis that TheDC concluded that ObamaCare has failed. But their own numbers tell a different story. TheDC cites an analysis by Millward Brown Digital, a private marketing firm, who estimate that 36,000 people enrolled in a new health care plan on the federal exchange in the first week. And according to an article in The Atlantic, an additional 115,000 enrolled via the the state exchanges. That’s about 150,000 enrollees in the first week, despite the software glitches. Extrapolate that number out for 50 more weeks, or one full year, and you get 7.5 million. The Department of Health and Human Services estimated that they would enroll seven million people the first year. Therefore, these numbers suggest that they will exceed their estimates.

Of course there are stipulations that need to be addressed. For one thing, there is an open enrollment period that only goes through March of 2014, so consumers cannot enroll from April to October of next year. However, it also needs to be considered that, absent the glitches, many more people would have already enrolled. It is highly likely that when the system is more stable enrollments will increase exponentially, not only due to the system’s availability, but to the demand for high quality, low cost insurance. In fact, information published by The Atlantic, but ignored by The DC who used the article as their source, shows that where the exchanges where functional, public response was quite positive:

“[T]he data suggests what must be a welcome proof of concept for the exchanges. The demand is there and people are completing applications through the marketplaces at a solid clip where it’s possible for them to do so.”

Also not reported in TheDC’s investigation is that, while only 36,000 were reported to have enrolled, there were over nine million visitors to Healthcare.gov in the first week, and over a million of them completed registrations. A completed registration is the best indication of an intention to enroll at a later date. A more complete reporting of the Millward Brown Digital study that TheDC excerpted reveals a far more optimistic appraisal of the program. And as confirmation of that, week two enrollments increased 31 percent.

So even using the TheDC’s numbers, which were significantly reduced due to technical problems, ObamaCare appears well on its way to success. The “sad failure” hoped for by TheDC and the rest of the right-wing opponents of Americans having access to health care is clearly not going to materialize. So in order to distract from that fact, TheDC chose to flesh out their phony investigation with ridiculous comparisons to other online subscription services, beginning with a bondage and sadomasochism site. The sexual fetishism of TheDC’s reporting continued with other comparisons to sites about boobs and sugar daddies.

However, all of the comparisons mentioned by theDC were not only childish, they were irrelevant. Subscriptions to online services that have been available for years, particularly those with sexual content, cannot be reasonably compared to a brand new government site offering health insurance coverage that has only been online for two weeks.

In another example of the right-wing media’s dishonesty, last Friday Fox News aired an episode of Sean Hannity’s program that included three couples who, according to Hannity, were “feeling the pain of Obamacare and the healthcare overhaul train wreck.” However, when an aide to the former governor of Montana contacted these alleged victims, what he discovered was that not a single one of them had even bothered to look at the insurance exchange to ascertain whether or not they would be helped or harmed. In every case, as it turns out, they would have paid thousands less annually in premiums. They were simply blindly opposed to ObamaCare without any direct knowledge of it, and that’s certainly why Hannity chose them to appear on his show. This is typical of the dimwitted and deceitful brand of journalism practiced by conservative media in general, and by Fox News and TheDC in particular.

[Note: The Fox News community website and Fib Factory, Fox Nation, featured TheDC’s story as their top headline news item on both Friday and Saturday]

In the end, what’s really hilariously sad is a pseudo-journalist who once said that Fox News is “a mean, sick group of people,” but now is reduced to working for them and regurgitating their flagrant falsehoods and propaganda.

Tucker Carlson

[Update] News reports now reveal that the ObamaCare exchanges have received 476,000 applications in the first two weeks. That’s just shy of the half million that the administration had estimated. And before anyone tries to dismiss this as liberal media trickery, the news outlet reporting this is Fox News.

Zimmerman Verdict Reactions From President Obama vs. Fox News

Over the next few days (weeks?) There will be plenty of opinions expressed on the outcome of the George Zimmerman trial. Some of them will come from knowledgeable legal analysts and, unfortunately, way too many from partisan political hacks.

The latter were among the first to weigh in with ignorant and incendiary blowhards like Rush Limbaugh predicting, and even yearning for, civil unrest. And then there was wingnut Tea-publican Steve King who blamed Obama for Zimmerman being tried in the first place. But Fox News, and their corrupt cousins at Fox Nation (see Fox Nation vs. Reality for a detailed examination of their corruption), were not about to be left out of the media Wretch-a-Thon as they elevated a couple of stray episodes of minor vandalism to the front page, leaving the dishonest impression that America was aflame with rioting.

Fox News Zimmerman Riots
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In addition to falsely fear mongering over non-existent riots, Fox managed to insert into their article an already debunked allegation that the Department of Justice was of staging anti-Zimmerman rallies. They also dredged up phony assertions that Obama had politicized the trial last year when he merely expressed empathy for the grieving parents.

However, the best demonstration of the difference between responsible leadership and reckless provocation can be observed in the responses to the verdict by President Obama and the dour visages of Fox News.

Obama: I now ask every American to respect the call for calm reflection from two parents who lost their young son. And as we do, we should ask ourselves if we’re doing all we can to widen the circle of compassion and understanding in our own communities. We should ask ourselves if we’re doing all we can to stem the tide of gun violence that claims too many lives across this country on a daily basis. We should ask ourselves, as individuals and as a society, how we can prevent future tragedies like this. As citizens, that’s a job for all of us. That’s the way to honor Trayvon Martin.

The President gave us a call for “calm reflection” and a challenge to seek solutions for ourselves and our country. And then there was this:

Tucker Carlson, Fox News: I’m positive that people like Jessie Jackson and Al Sharpton do not deserve to be called civil rights leaders. They are not. They are hustlers and pimps who make a living off inflaming racial tensions. They know nothing about this. They’re not residents of Florida. They don’t represent anybody. They’re not elected to anything. They don’t have constituencies. And the only reason they are allowed to do this is because we in the press enable them by calling them civil rights leaders. Why do we do that?

So Carlson’s morning after aphorism begins with racist epithets hurled at African-American leaders who Carlson, a white scion of wealth and privilege, doesn’t think should be leaders – as if he gets to choose. His tirade then spits out a series of criteria that he thinks ought to disqualify people from having an opinion. But, oddly enough, they all apply to him. He doesn’t know anything about this. He is not a resident of Florida. He doesn’t represent anybody. He wasn’t elected to anything. He has no constituency. And the only reason he is allowed to do this is because the press enables him. Why do they do that?

Sharpton and Jackson have actually earned the respect of the communities they serve. You may have differences with them, but they have been in the trenches for decades and the people who have chosen to stand with them have every right to do so. You do not need to be elected to have a role as an activist. Nor do you need some specific residency. Martin Luther King, Jr. was not elected and he took his campaign for equality across an entire nation.

Carlson, on the other hand, has no right whatsoever to pick and choose leaders for the African-American community or the civil rights movement. He has been more of an impediment to equality throughout his career than an advocate. And with these comments from his new perch on Fox News, he proves that he is only interested in creating hostility and division, which is probably why he got the job at Fox where racial division is a key component of their editorial agenda.

The obvious differences between the messages of Obama and Carlson are proof of which side holds the moral high ground. Carlson’s rant illustrates the ethical vacancy of Fox News and its conservative minions whose preference for prejudice and hate is all too apparent. While Obama’s words offer constructive inspiration aimed at bridging social divides. What this country needs is more of Obama’s bridge building, and much, much less of Fox’s bridge burning. Particularly the sort of burning in their news photos that are obviously meant to provoke fear and aggravate tensions.