Fox News Doubles Down On Stupid: Tucker Carlson Gets Primetime Show

It was three months ago that Roger Ailes stepped down from his post as CEO of Fox News amid allegations of sexual harassment. Subsequently there has been much speculation as to the future direction of the network without its longstanding guiding force. Well, for anyone who thought there would be a tempering of Fox’s stridently conservative bias, you’re optimism was unfounded.

Tucker Carlson Fox News

Thursday Fox News announced that the vacancy left by Greta Van Susteren’s sudden departure would be filled by Tucker Carlson. Currently Carlson is a co-host of the weekend version of the Fox & Friends morning show. In that role he has ably fulfilled the Fox mandate to spew right-wing propaganda and smear Democrats. In the process he has cultivated an attitude of smug superiority while advancing a racist, misogynistic agenda.

For the record, Carlson is also the owner of the ultra-conservative web rag, The Daily Caller. As a publisher Carlson demonstrated his aversion to ethical journalism. In one instance he spiked an article that contained a criticism of Fox News for not being sufficiently anti-immigrant. Despite the fact that the piece castigated President Obama as a lawless tyrant, Carlson could not abide any Fox bashing. The article’s author said that Carlson told him “We can’t trash Fox on the site. I work there.” In other words, the Daily Caller is Fox’s puppet where free speech, and thought, is prohibited.

Additionally, the Daily Caller embraces the white supremacist alt-right movement that has adopted Donald Trump as its leader. In a wide-ranging essay about the budding “ethno-nationalism” crusades, Luke O’Brien writes for the Huffington Post about the relationships between America’s hate groups and the media. He singles out Carlson’s Daily Caller saying that:

“Other conservative sites, even ones that prefer bowties, appear to have accepted that angry right-wing populism translates into clicks. Take The Daily Caller, which now runs its fair share of immigrant knife-attack stories and Jew-baiting George Soros exposes. The reader comments on the site are at times indistinguishable in tone and racist content from those on Breitbart.”

That’s the same Breitbart News whose chairman, Stephen Bannon, is currently the CEO of Trump’s campaign for president. Bannon is also chairman of the Government Accountability Institute whose president, Peter Schweizer, authored the book “Clinton Cash.” Despite being filled with errors and lies, that book has been cited as the source for the FBI’s fatally biased review of the Clinton Foundation. It was also the subject of an hour-long special on Fox News. Oh, what a tangled web.

Prior to joining Fox News, Carlson’s career was a pitiful collection of failures. He had been canceled by PBS, CNN, and MSNBC. And if that wasn’t embarrassing enough, he was the first contestant voted off of Dancing with the Stars. He seemed to be a recidivist loser with no reasonable hope for redemption. He had even burned bridges with regard to Fox News when, after a childish prank (by both of them), he called Fox “a mean, sick group of people.”

Fortunately, For Carlson, Fox News has a policy of dredging the sewers of pseudo-journalism and rescuing the most offensive and desperate rejects, giving them a second chance at salvation. Of course that forgiveness comes at the cost of their soul. It rests on their willingness to supplicate themselves to their new savior. So when Fox called, Carlson went crawling back with his tail between his legs and fully prepared to obey.

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

Carlson knows his place and did what was expected of an indentured servant to the Wingnut Overlord. His reward is a spanking new program in primetime access where he can deliver his radically rightist, poorly reasoned rants. And he’ll fit right in with Bill O’Reilly, Megyn Kelly, and Sean Hannity. Proving that Fox News intends to continue being a fount of conservative propaganda, and a mouthpiece for Republican dogma, for many years to come.

And for your entertainment pleasure, here is the classic episode of CNN’s Crossfire where Jon Stewart called Carlson a “dick” and humiliated him so badly the show was cancelled soon after.

Fox Nation Hypes ‘Scoop’ On Clinton Charity Scandal That Turns Out To Be Totally Bogus

On Friday Hillary Clinton released her tax returns for 2015, making this the thirty-eighth year she has done so. While Republicans try to tarnish her reputation for honesty, her four decade long record of transparency proves that she has nothing to hide. In addition, it proves that nothing untoward has ever been discovered from making her personal finances abundantly public.

Fox Nation

Contrast that with Donald Trump’s refusal to make even a single year of tax returns available for voters to assess his fitness for office. What is he hiding? Could it be that he has paid little or no income tax for many years? Or has he had unsavory relationships with Russians or other foreign entities? Maybe he isn’t as rich or generous as he pretends to be. Clearly he has determined that he has less to lose from the bad publicity of concealing his records than he does from revealing them.

The absence of any legitimate problems with Clinton’s taxes has driven Fox News to invent problems that don’t exist. On their community website, Fox Nation, they posted an article sourced to the ultra-conservative Daily Caller, a pseudo-news site run by Fox News host Tucker Carlson. The Daily Caller’s story alleged that “92 Percent Of Hillary’s Charitable Donations In 2015 Went To Clinton Foundation.” The article alleged that the Clinton’s engaged in a corrupt scheme to claim charitable tax write-offs for funds that they funneled back to themselves, saying that:

“Hillary Clinton and her husband Bill deducted $1,042,000 in charitable contributions last year – $1 million of which went to their own Clinton Foundation.” […]

The documents show that the power couple earned $10,745,378 last year, mostly on income earned from giving public speeches. Of that they gave just over a million to charity. But the contributions can hardly be seen as altruistic, since the money flowed back to an entity they control.”

What’s more, the Daily Caller associated the donations with unfounded charges directed at the Clinton Foundation by right-wing media and activist groups such as Judicial Watch. The problem with that reporting is that the donations itemized in the Clinton’s tax returns did not go to the well known Bill, Hillary, and Chelsea Clinton Foundation that has been the target of the right’s smear campaign. The donations actually went to the private vehicle used by the Clinton’s to disburse their philanthropic gifts, the Clinton Family Foundation. This is a common method of aggregating funds for charitable gift giving used by many high-income families.

After being shamed by Media Matters for their journalistic sloppiness, the Daily Caller added a correction to their story to indicate that the two foundations were separate entities. They did not, however, alter their tawdry conclusions, even though they no longer make sense. And Tucker Carlson still went on Fox & Friends this morning to say that “If I give money to my own foundation is it really charity?” Apparently he doesn’t care that his own website now says didn’t happen. Making matters worse, Fox Nation didn’t even bother to make note of the correction. The headline, which is now known to be false, remains unchanged and utterly untrue.

This is nothing new for Fox Nation, which has a history of brazenly misrepresenting the truth with poorly sourced articles (as documented in the book Fox Nation vs. Reality). Fox Nation is also known for re-posting stories from disreputable conspiracy mongers and conservative propagandists. Their editor, Jesse Watters, makes certain that every day the site is filled with fresh attacks on Democrats, especially Hillary Clinton, who is routinely assaulted with lies that are vicious and defamatory. Very much like the one exposed here.

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

Pro-Censorship Fox News Says Government Should Seize Profits From Snowden Biopic

Taking their propaganda business model one step closer to police state fascism, Fox News is now advocating government censorship of film producers for projects that challenge their right-wing world view. This became all too apparent on today’s episode of Fox & Friends during an interview with Tom Fitton, the president of the ultra-conservative Judicial Watch group.

Fox News Snowden

The “Curvy Couch” potatoes of Fox & Friends aired a transparently hostile segment (video below) on director/producer Oliver Stone’s upcoming biographical film about Edward Snowden, the systems administrator turned whistle-blower, who leaked documents that revealed the NSA’s mass surveillance programs. The segment began with the trio of co-hosts suggesting that Stone’s film “could violate federal law” and that “the DOJ may be able to seize [its] profits.” The first question Fitton was asked was specifically about that possibility. He responded:

“Well, if they were interested in pursuing where these profits were going and who is funding this movie, because Oliver Stone was working with Mr. Snowden who had no right to the information he had. As a fugitive he’s under indictment. And typically you can’t benefit from moneys that you may earn from stealing government property and betraying your country.”

Notice that Fitton did not offer any evidence that Snowden was benefiting from the film. He merely planted the suggestion and inferred that Stone’s working with him was in itself suspicious. Although any competent film maker would seek to get first hand accounts from the subject of a biopic if that subject were available.

Notice also that the outrage expressed by Fitton, and shared by the Foxies, for someone who “stole” information was never shown toward the thieves who hacked the Democratic National Committee. And those thieves actually were working for a foreign government (Russians) who had hostile intentions toward the U.S. Undeterred by reason or patriotism, Fitton went even further with his baseless inferences against Stone:

“Mr. Stone knew something was up with respect to Mr. Snowden because he made a point of saying that ‘I stuck to making this movie in Munich,’ because he was, quote, ‘afraid of the NSA.’ If he was doing a regular movie what would he have been afraid of?”

First of all, there is nothing unsavory about making a film in Munich, especially when it places you 3,000 miles closer from your home base in New York to your primary source in Moscow. Secondly, the very topic of the film validates any concern Stone might have had about interference from the NSA.

Most importantly, Fitton’s assertion that Stone should have nothing to fear if he were making a “regular” movie (whatever that is), is reminiscent of the assurance from authoritarians that, so long as you’re not doing anything wrong, it shouldn’t bother you if the government reads your email, listens to your phone calls, or searches your bedroom closet. What are you afraid of, comrade? The absurdity of Fitton’s comment even seemed to make Fox’s co-host Tucker Carlson nervous. He gingerly asked:

“So I’m not defending Oliver Stone, or of course Snowden, but the NSA did spy on Americans who had nothing to do with terrorism, so maybe Stone’s not a total paranoid. But more to the point, every news organization in America reprinted information that Snowden stole. So by the standard you just held, should every news organization also be liable for abetting a criminal?”

Fitton’s defensively knee-jerk response to this was “Not necessarily.” He reiterated that Stone’s meetings with Snowden somehow made the whole relationship an unholy conspiracy. According to Fitton “Snowden is no whistle-blower,” and his actions were tantamount to “treachery.”

At this point Fox’s co-host Pete Hegseth chimed in that “There’s no doubt that Snowden’s disclosure helped groups like Al Qaeda and others.” And once again, he provided no evidence for such a serious charge. But he did gave Fitton the opportunity to present his own wingnut theory that “The Obama administration is no fan of our nation’s security.” Fitton is obviously in the camp that regards Obama as a foreign-born Muslim terrorist sympathizer.

The notion that the federal government is empowered to confiscate profits from a filmmaker, based on the content of the film, is a blatant violation of the principles of free speech. It is a breach of constitutional liberties and merely threatening to do so would have a chilling effect on the rights of free people. It is by definition censorship.

The fact that Fox News would provide a platform for someone advocating this, and then fail to repudiate it, is indicative of Fox’s affinity for rightist tyranny. And it’s further proof that the mission of Fox News has nothing to do with the pseudo-patriotic image they attempt to manufacture for themselves and sell to their dimwitted audience.

Please do visit the Snowden film website and watch the trailer for the movie that is coming out September 16.

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

The Heinous Political Opportunism Of Fox News On The Orlando Massacre

The sad reality of having to cover yet another incident of mass gun violence in America is made all the worse by the revolting political opportunism of the knee-jerk hate mongers at Fox News. In the early hours of Sunday morning in Orlando, Florida, a gunman entered a nightclub with an AR-15 and other weapons and murdered fifty innocent people, wounding more than fifty others. It’s a tragedy that calls for the uniting of all Americans against the insanity that produces these maniacs.

Fox News

However, instead of seeking the unity and solace that the nation so desperately needs at times like this, Fox News ventured off into a flagrantly biased political diatribe against President Obama (video below). Fox and Friends co-host Tucker Carlson was interviewing an author and alleged expert on terrorism when he asked the following question:

“Doesn’t the politicization of all of this, the relentless lying by the administration about the Islamic terror threat we face make it harder for people to want to step forward and say what they see?”

Carlson’s question is so rife with hypocrisy and hatred it is difficult to know where to begin. First of all, it is Carlson who is responsible for “the politicization of all of this.” Most of the people in positions of authority are withholding comments until more facts are known. The only statement from the administration was an acknowledgement of the horror of terrorism, committment to its defeat, and expressions of condolences. Carlson’s question is itself political in nature and aimed at maligning the president he hates.

Secondly, there is absolutely no evidence of “lying by the administration about the Islamic terror threat we face.” That’s a scurrilous fabrication straight from the warped mind of an anti-Obama bigot. The Obama administration has forthrightly addressed the terrorist threat and has done more to combat it than any other president in history. Under his direction the American military has killed or captured hundreds of terrorist leaders and operatives, including Osama Bin Laden, a task that President Bush was unable to achieve for seven years.

For the host of an alleged “news” network to make such reprehensible comments, only hours after the slaughter, while the victims and their families are still grief-stricken, is not unusual for Fox News. They have engaged in similar politicization of tragedies as disperse as Benghazi, Paris, Aurora, Newtown, and San Bernardino. It didn’t make any difference if the crimes were related to terrorism or not. They were always somehow the fault of President Obama.

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

Fox News is brazenly catering to the hatred of their audience. This is all to common for Fox as documented in The Collected Hate Speech of the Fox News Community. All it takes is brief glance at the comments on Fox’s website to see that the political obsessions and biases expressed by Fox anchors is mirrored by their viewers. These are just a few of the vile outbursts on their Orlando article:

foxnews-comments-orlando-terror

Watch Tucker Carlson and his nauseating friends on Fox News:

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

Fox News Throws Tantrum Because Twitter Won’t Let Them Be Abusive Jerks

The new year has brought about some new rules and regulations both online and off. Among them are new rules on Twitter governing abusive language. The terms of service now state that…

“Twitter will not tolerate behavior intended to harass, intimidate, or use fear to silence another user’s voice […] You may not promote violence against or directly attack or threaten other people on the basis of race, ethnicity, national origin, sexual orientation, gender, gender identity, religious affiliation, age, disability, or disease.”

These rules are intended to prevent abusive behaviors that constitute “threats of violence or promote violence, including threatening or promoting terrorism. So of course the hate mongers at Fox News are going to be upset. This severely suppresses their “freedom” to spew their rancid bigotry and castigate Muslims or gays or immigrants or liberals as sub-humans that true patriots should eradicate from the Earth. And without the ability to attack people based on the criteria above, how will they fill their airtime?

Fox News

It says a lot about the Fox mindset that they would bother to lash out at these reasonable limits to online threats and abuse. They are inadvertently admitting that their rhetoric crosses the line from being merely ignorantly boorish to approaching terroristic bullying. You have to wonder why they would be so resistant to complying with rules that compel civility.

During the segment (video below), the hosts of the Saturday edition of Fox & Friends were in agreement these new rules were aimed at shutting down conservatives. And maybe they have a point because who else would be harmed by banning threats based on race, ethnicity, national origin, sexual orientation, gender, etc.? Only conservatives engage in that sort of openly malevolent dialog that Twitter is seeking to abate. It’s the same sort of dialog that is expressed by world-class hate monger Donald Trump.

Introducing the segment, Tucker Carlson noted that the new policies say that “You may not promote violence against or directly attack or threaten other people.” To which his co-host, Clayton Morris said…

“Critics argue there is no mention of the terrorist organization and the wording is so vague that it could really be applied to anyone. So could the new rules be used to kick conservatives off that platform if they are reported by the left?”

That question was taken up by their guest, from the right-wing National Review, Katherine Timpf, who joined the chorus complaining that the language was too vague and saying that…

“Someone can say ‘Oh, this looks like intimidation’ and they can flag it and then it ends up getting taken down and in the meantime you don’t have an account. So, really, what could it be? They don’t mention ISIS at all.”

For some reason it seems important to these pundits that the rules explicitly mention ISIS. Were that the case, wouldn’t they have to also mention every other terrorist organization? And what about threats by radical Christianists against Planned Parenthood, or against an African-American church, or a gay establishment, or any other random threat, even if it were directed to only one person? It is patently absurd to craft a policy that is only valid if the perpetrator is identified by name.

At this point, co-host Tucker Carlson chimed in to say that “People have been silenced on Twitter, and it seems to me that a lot of them are conservatives.” Whereupon he displayed a graphic of four conservatives that he alleged were silenced by Twitter. Unfortunately, he never revealed what they said that might have resulted in their being temporarily suspended. He just implied that it was nefarious and represented a trend toward silencing conservatives. To this Timpf responded saying sarcastically that…

“We know the government would never target conservative groups. Like the I.R.S. would never do anything like that. But of course it can be used that way.”

This would be a good time to note that Twitter is a private company and can set their own criteria for civility. They are not the government and thus are not violating anyone’s constitutional rights if they suspend a user who violates their rules. But Timpf went on to say that she thinks Twitter executives are applying tougher standards to conservatives. And her proof of this is that…

“I don’t hear any liberals complain about getting banned on Twitter for something they’ve said and I hear every day about this happening to conservatives.”

Well, that settles it. This right-wing writer hasn’t heard any liberals complaining, but she hears it everyday from conservatives. What a coincidence. If this were happening every day, Carlson’s graphic might have had more than four names on it.

What is really being revealed here is that conservatives simply complain a lot more than liberals. They bitterly complained when they accused Twitter of permitting terrorists to have accounts where they could communicate with one another and recruit new members. Now they are complaining when Twitter takes steps to prevent that very thing. And they especially complain if their penchant for hate speech is impeded in any way.

The problem is that if Fox News wants to prohibit ISIS from tweeting their threats and attacks, they are gonna have to stop doing it themselves. And for some examples of the sort of violent rhetoric that is inspired by Fox News, see The Collected Hate Speech Of The Fox News Community – a collection of comments posted on Fox’s websites by their audience.

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

Fear Of A Black Captain America: Fox News Is Outraged That Hero Opposes Racist Vigilantes

Exercising their renowned obsession for inventing trite pseudo-controversies, Fox News has managed to imagine a travesty in the latest issue of Marvel Comic’s Captain America. And not surprisingly, it revolves around an overtly racist theme stemming from the superhero’s new alter ego, African-American Sam Wilson, and a confrontation with undocumented immigrants.

Fox News Captain America

The Curvy Couch Potatoes of Fox & Friends were terribly upset by the news that the new black Captain America was going after an armed band of vigilantes who called themselves the “Sons of the Serpent.” The vigilante crew’s mission was to seek out and apprehend immigrants crossing the border illegally. Such vigilantism is blatantly unlawful and, in the real world, often ends up with people being severely harmed or even killed. Nevertheless, the folks at Fox & Friends regarded the Serpents as the heroes and Captain America as a villain stomping on the rights of free, nativist citizens. Here is an exchange from the segment (video below):

Clayton Morris: Comics books have been struggling to get readership, and so here you have Marvel doing a little bit of a PR stunt. In fact, they’ve made Sam Wilson, who was formerly The Falcon, he’s an African-American, he’s taking over as Captain America now. But he’s got a new odd enemy. Instead of going against Hydra and the typical Captain America villains, he’s going up against conservatives. That’s his new enemy.
Tucker Carlson: So who is this Serpent? Is this Serpent an Islamic extremism, an ISIS member bent on destroying western civilization? Nooo. The Serpent is an American who has misgivings about unlimitted illegal immigration and the costs associated with it. That, according to the comic book, is evil. […] The whole theme is the same, which is out there in the middle of the country, between Malibu and Georgetown, everyone is an ignorant snake-handling bigot and they need to be held in place or else they’ll turn this into Nazi Germany. […] Now the threat comes from ordinary Americans. Probably some of you watching at home. They think you’re dangerous.

The first hint that this segment was going to be dripping with racism was Morris’ assertion that making Captain America an African-American is just a PR stunt, and that an armed militia of xenophobes were simply ordinary conservative citizens. Carlson took over from there to trivialize the noxious bigotry of the vigilantes as merely em>”misgivings.” They certainly didn’t intend to use their abundant weaponry or follow through with their violent threats. Carlson was clearly disturbed that such decent thugs were characterized so poorly in the comic book, and how it reflected on the viewers of his program. While the Fox Friends highlighted some of the dialog from the comic, one part they conspicuously left out said…

“While others are content to peacefully protest or vote in rigged elections, the Sons of the Serpent believe that aggression must answer aggression. I declare you all enemy combatants.”

So the characters that Fox regards as garden variety conservatives are overtly threatening to abandon peaceful behavior. And they regard the immigrants, who they earlier said were disease-ridden criminals, to be combatants as if at war. Considering that fact that most immigrants who enter the country illegally are seeking work in agriculture or other menial labor jobs, they probably don’t qualify as fearsome warriors. But that didn’t stop Fox from casting a black Captain America, who takes the side of brown invaders, as an abomination.

Oddly enough, this isn’t the first time that Captain American has stirred up the ire of Fox News. A few years back the comic got Fox all huffy with a single frame that accurately portrayed the Tea Party. However, the source from which Fox got this new story appears to be a video produced by the MacIver Institute. Fox’s video even includes segments clipped directly from MacIvers’s video. For the record, the MacIver Institute is a right-wing think tank funded by the Koch brothers and the neo-fascist John Birch Society. Which explains a lot. And it certainly explains where Fox News goes when they need a new racist scandal to fire up their dimwitted viewers.

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

Fox News Celebrates American Pride By Lying About America Pride Day

Anyone who watches Fox News for more than a few minutes quickly becomes aware that the network has a severe case of schizophrenia. They spend about half their airtime fawning over patriotic symbolism and pretending to embrace a near perverse love of country that borders on obsession. America probably wouldn’t have any trouble getting a judge to issue a restraining order to keep Fox stalkers away.

The other half of their airtime is consumed by the sheer hatred of everything about America today. They hate the President and the Congress. They hate school lunch programs and Social Security. They hate any effort to provide its citizens with healthcare or education. They even have a love/hate relationship with the military: They love invasions of foreign countries, but they hate training exercises in the southwest.

So when it comes to expressing pride in America, Fox News has to resort to making up stories that reflect their patriopathic fetishism. Case in point is a segment that aired this morning on Fox & Friends.

Fox News

The “Curvy Couch Potatoes” got wind of an appalling insult to America’s ego by some academic apparatchiks at Jackson Hole High School in Wyoming. The story first appeared on the Fox Nation website and was attributed to the Daily Caller (which is run by weekend Fox & Friends host Tucker Carlson). Here is what Fox reported (video below):

Heather Nauert: Proud to be an American. The teenagers refusing to stay silent after their principal canceled America Pride Day. They canceled it over fears it would make other students feel sad or left out. Instead of going with the principal’s plan, the students decked themselves out in red, white and blue in protest.

Imagine that! What kind of high school principal would cancel America Pride Day? The outrage on Fox continued as co-hosts Steve Doocy and Ainsley Earhardt read emails to Fox that castigated the school officials “who want to impose their personal agendas on students,” so that in the future “we will not recognize America.” To which Earhardt added “That’s scary. […] It’s ridiculous. If you don’t want to be here…”

Yeah! Just get out of here you un-American children. The only problem with this tale of America shaming is that none of it is true. The school officials did not cancel America Pride Day, the students did. There was a survey taken to ascertain what themes the students preferred for their upcoming homecoming week. As reported by the Jackson Hole High School News…

“A piece of the homecoming planning included JHHS student council representatives creating a Spirit Day school wide student survey, which was approved by the JHHS administration. This provided all students an opportunity to weigh in and engage in the democratic process of determining how to celebrate each day. This process included the voices of many of our students as opposed to just the opinions of JHHS student council leaders or JHHS administrators only, as had been past practice.

“The results of the survey are as follows: 1 Toga/Pajama Day 2 Lumberjack Day 3 America Day 4 School Spirit day (orange and black) 5 College Day 6 Decades Day 7 Cowboy Day 8 Sports Day.”

With regard to the naming of America Day, the JHHS report noted that…

“America Day had many personal student comments about why that day was uncomfortable for some students. In an effort to compromise on the title of a day, and to meet district goals, a conversation with JHHS student council leaders and JHHS administration discussed alternative ways to name the day ‘Patriot Day’ or ‘Heritage Day’ to be inclusive. Both of these days were declined by JHHS Student Council leaders.”

So contrary to Fox News, there was no imposition of personal agendas by school officials on hapless students. The entire series of events was driven by the students themselves. And to the students’ credit, they were striving to be inclusive and sensitive to their fellow students. It seems that they should be commended for that rather than becoming the subjects of falsified reporting that frames the story derogatorily.

The JHHS report also made specific mention of the fact that “on any given day, students are welcome to celebrate their national pride and heritage,” and that “we support the pride of our country and those that have faithfully served so these democratic principles can be expressed.” And that’s exactly the way it should be. Too bad Fox News has to come along and smear their school and their community with lies aimed at dividing people and manufacturing hostility. The good people of Jackson Hole don’t deserve that and, fortunately, they are strong enough to transcend it.

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

Cartoon Coward/Cowboy: Donald Trump Thinks He’s A Macho Gunslinger

American’s comedians are in the midst of a hilarity Renaissance thanks mainly to the dementia that caused Donald Trump to think he could be President of the United States. No one has provided more raw material for political humor since the thawing of Sarah Palin. And now that Caribou Barbie has returned to hibernation in the frozen wilds of Alaska, the Trump train could not have chugged along at a better time.

The latest treasure trove of Trumpian farce gushed from The Donald this weekend during a speech in Franklin, Tennessee. He was responding to the tragic shootings at the Umpqua Community College in Roseburg, Oregon, that left nine dead and nine others wounded. In the course of his remarks he thought that it would be appropriate, and in keeping with the solemness of the occasion, to impersonate the vigilante character played by Charles Bronson in Death Wish. Unfortunately for Trump, he came off looking more like cartoon tough guy, Yosemite Sam.

Donald Trump

Setting the scene for this theater of the Absurd is Tucker Carlson, host of Fox & Friends, who along with his co-hosts drooled lovingly over Trump’s pathetic rendering of machismo. Carlson prefaced a video (posted below) of Trump with this introduction:

“So every politician in America is talking about gun control this week after those horrifying shootings in Oregon. But no one has really talked about it the way Donald Trump talked about it the other day. Watch this.”

Whereupon they played Trump reciting his policy on guns (reading from a printout of his website) that focused solely on his perverse interpretation and idolatry of the Second Amendment. However, Trump had to interject some personal and dubious boasting to say that…

“I have a license to carry in New York. Can you believe that? Somebody attacks me, oh they’re gonna be shocked. Can you imagine? Somebody says ‘Oh, there’s Trump. He’s gonna be easy pickens.’ [Holding his finger like a gun] Whad’ya say? […] Can you imagine with Trump, somebody says ‘Oh, all these big monsters running around. He’s easy pickins.’ [pulls the finger again] And then p’ching.”

First of all, Trump’s swaggering BS is just plain delusional. Does he really believe that if approached on the street he could outdraw a would-be assassin who already has his weapon drawn? Does he think he’s better prepared than the highly trained police officers who have been ambushed and murdered while on duty? What a maroon. This pitiful attempt at bravado is not only stupid, it’s dangerous. He is practically daring some psycho to make a name for himself by offing the Dingbat Don.

More importantly, what he offered as substance for his gun policy was rooted in falsehoods and nonsense that make you wonder whether he already took a slug to the cranium. He made ludicrous claims that his opponents want “a gun that fires one bullet.” Like much of what he says, he simply made that up.

Trump also said the Oregon college was a gun-free zone and that if more people had guns they “would be a hell of a lot better off.” However, not only was he wrong about the campus being a gun free zone, there was an armed veteran there who decided not to intervene because of the risk that police officers would arrive shortly and, seeing him with a gun, might mistake him for the shooter. So the “good guy” with a gun made a rational decision not to use it. As for society being safer if more people have guns, a carjacking victim in Houston might not agree. A witness to the carjacking took out his weapon and fired at the suspects, but hit the victim in the head. Then he picked up his shell casings and took off.

Following the video of Trump, the Fox News “Curvy Couch Potatoes” returned and Carlson continued his fact-free reporting and Trump-fluffing.

“He makes an important point. Why is disarming normal people good for the country. I mean maybe it’s good for politicians who want a compliant population, but it doesn’t make us safer.”

Of course, no one is talking about “disarming normal people” except for Carlson, Fox News, and the rest of the NRA-theists. What’s more, his contention that politicians want to disarm everybody in order to have a “compliant population” implies that he wants an armed populace so that they can shoot politicians. And these people call themselves patriots.

It is the proliferation of guns, and the ease with which they can be acquired by people who ought not to have them, that makes our nation less safe. And that state of affairs is being reinforced by the gun lobbyists at the NRA, right-wing Dirty Harry wannabes, cowardly representatives, and buffoons like Donald Trump.

These people all comprise a special interest group that regards the loss of nearly 30,000 people – men, women, and children – every year to be an acceptable price to pay for unfettered access to firearms. And while people like Trump spew ridiculous comments and half-baked proposals that make great fodder for mockery, when you consider all the pain and suffering for which they are responsible, it isn’t really all that funny.

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

The Next Jade Helm Hoax Per Fox News: Obama Orders Behavioral Experiments On American Public

This summer there was a flashing wingnut red alert warning that President Obama was plotting to invade Texas with federal troops to enslave the residents, confiscate their guns, and generally wreak havoc on the Lone Staters. In Realityland, Jade Helm 15 was a military training exercise to prepare soldiers for battle in desert environments and it has been conducted many times before. But that didn’t stop the conspiracy freaks (including Texas governor Greg Abbott) from waxing idiotic about the looming tyrannical threat from the Kenyan Muslim occupying the formerly White House.

This week the Pentagon announced that the Jade Helm operation was complete, and despite the deranged ranting of the right-wing Psycho-chicken Littles, not a single “patriot” was hauled off to a FEMA camp and every armed Texan continues to strut around with their surrogate phalluses, except those who offed themselves while defending their pseudo-freedom. However, the absence of this delusional diversion has left the paranoia hoarders one panicky horror story short. Lucky for them that Fox News is here to fill the void.

Fox Nation

The Fox News community website, Fox Nation, reached out to the Daily Caller and Fox’s bitch, Tucker Carlson, for a story that contains all of the vital elements for a crackpot conspiracy theory. It begins, of course, with Chairman Obama abusing his power by issuing an executive order (which he has issued fewer of than any of his modern predecessors). But this particular order includes a hint of the sort of mind control that makes conspiracy theorists’ toes tingle. The headline blared “President Obama Orders Behavioral Experiments On American Public,” and warned that…

“President Obama announced a new executive order on Tuesday which authorizes federal agencies to conduct behavioral experiments on U.S. citizens in order to advance government initiatives.”

Oh my. Obama is planning to turn America into a nation of guinea pigs. Now that’s the sort of brain-fried idiocy that hatched Jade Helm (and Obamaphones, and death panels, and Benghazi, etc.). There was nothing in the article to corroborate the wild claim made by these fruitcakes. They just left the charge hanging out there to strike fear into the withering hearts of their dimwitted readers. But if any of them were curious enough to seek out the actual executive order and peruse the contents themselves, they would have found this: Executive Order — Using Behavioral Science Insights to Better Serve the American People.

“Where Federal policies have been designed to reflect behavioral science insights, they have substantially improved outcomes for the individuals, families, communities, and businesses those policies serve. For example, automatic enrollment and automatic escalation in retirement savings plans have made it easier to save for the future, and have helped Americans accumulate billions of dollars in additional retirement savings. Similarly, streamlining the application process for Federal financial aid has made college more financially accessible for millions of students.

To more fully realize the benefits of behavioral insights and deliver better results at a lower cost for the American people, the Federal Government should design its policies and programs to reflect our best understanding of how people engage with, participate in, use, and respond to those policies and programs. By improving the effectiveness and efficiency of Government, behavioral science insights can support a range of national priorities, including helping workers to find better jobs; enabling Americans to lead longer, healthier lives; improving access to educational opportunities and support for success in school; and accelerating the transition to a low-carbon economy.

So it turns out that the order is simply an initiative to better design forms, applications, and processes so that they are easier to understand and navigate. The goals are spelled out in more detail and include “streamlining processes” and “removing administrative hurdles, shortening wait times, and simplifying forms,” as well as to “reduce regulatory burdens.”

What a friggin’ nightmare! Someone has to stop these fiends before they make government so efficient that people come to appreciate it and welcome interactions with its agencies. That, of course, would be a real nightmare for conservatives whose mission is to make everything associated with government fail so that they can argue that it is unnecessary and then propose to cut its budget and fire everybody in Washington. Never mind whether or not it actually helps people and saves money.

Republicans are the party of deliberate failure. They know that if federal services were managed competently, Americans would get used to the benefits and the cost savings and reject the right’s agenda of shrinking government so that only the privileged would benefit. That’s why electing Republicans to run government is like hiring bank robbers as security guards. They both have an incentive to screw everything up.

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

It is no coincidence that these screwball conspiracies almost always originate with right-wingers. They thrive on fear and the falsehoods that produce them. Without their alternate realities they wouldn’t be able to sustain their innate anger and animus toward anyone that looks different. And media like the Daily Caller and Fox News are the fuel that ignites their hate and hallucinations, and obviously they intend to continue to do so for the foreseeable future, unfortunately.