Fox Nation vs. Reality: Obama’s Imaginary Bulldozer Rolls Over Saint Reagan

The Fox Nationalists are working overtime to scare up horror stories about FrankenObama and his dastardly schemes. The latest episode features President Obama plotting to erase the memory of Ronald Reagan from the history of all mankind. As might be expected, they are lying.

Fox Nation

In order to facilitate this nonsense. Fox scoured the InterTubes to find a posting at the “Moonie” Washington Times by a reader. He was not a part of the newspaper’s editorial staff whose credibility is already in tatters. He was merely a member of the community who posted an entirely speculative comment.

The allegation that Obama was planning to bulldoze Reagan’s childhood home to make way for his presidential library is false on many levels. First of all, the apartment building in question was not a significant place in Reagan’s early life. He lived there for less than a year when he was four years old. The city’s Landmark Commission had ruled it not to be of any historical value. Secondly, the building is being razed by the University of Chicago’s medical school to expand their facilities, not anyone associated with Obama. Thirdly, Obama could not possibly have ordered the demolition on behalf of his library because he has not even decided where to build it. Certainly Chicago is on the short list, but so is Hawaii.

None of this matters, however, to Fox Nation because the phony perception of Obama trampling the memory of Reagan was just too good to pass up – or to fact check.

Fox News Ravaged By Free Market As Viewers Flee, Primetime Ratings Dive To Pre-9/11 Lows

Continuing a downward spiral that began last September during the Democratic National Convention, Fox News primetime ratings, in the key 25-54 year old demographic, have declined to numbers they haven’t seen since August of 2001. These are numbers that revert Fox back to the George Bush, pre-9/11 era when Fox was struggling for attention.

Cable News Ratings

9/11 was an integral part of the rise of Fox News. It was the catalyst that formed their America-first persona and thrust them into a role as cheerleaders rather than journalists.

These twelve year lows for their best known programs portend trouble for Fox as their audience tires of a schedule that hasn’t changed in more than a decade. Creaky old timers O’Reilly and Hannity have been in their time slots since the network launched in 1996. Worse yet for Fox, their slump is occurring at a time when MSNBC is soaring. For most of the time since last November’s election, MSNBC’s Rachel Maddow and Lawrence O’Donnell have been beating Bill O’Reilly and Sean Hannity in the demo. In addition to those victories, most of MSNBC’s programs are the top performers among 18-34 year olds, which means that they have a significant advantage with the next generation of television news consumers. MSNBC is also number one with African-American viewers, a status they have enjoyed for 36 consecutive months.

The graying Fox News is a phenomenon that is occurring with both their programs and their audience. While many of Fox’s shows held steady in total audience, they plunged in the younger demos. This was true across the board with primetime and all other dayparts, including their three hour morning block, Fox & Friends. Conversely, MSNBC’s audience was up in both the demo and total audience. The ratings story for MSNBC is no longer merely one of faster growth and higher percentage gains. They are now beating their Fox competition head-on in primetime and challenging them respectably in daytime.

For the most part it appears that MSNBC’s gains are coming from new, younger viewers. They certainly are not luring dissatisfied Fox viewers over to their channel. However, Fox now has to worry about a rebuilding CNN. Their new president Jeff Zucker is shaking up the roster with announcements of hirings and firings both in front of and behind the camera. Considering that the previous management at CNN was so inept and oblivious to the news marketplace, it is hard to believe that Zucker won’t produce some improvement. And with Fox viewers abandoning the network that has been lying to them so brazenly, CNN may start to look like a plausible alternative.

Of course, as the ratings race heats up, Fox may decide to stop standing around watching their lead disappear. They will need to take bold steps to keep up with the competition. While O’Reilly is still pulling in decent numbers, Hannity is ratings loser and an embarrassment in terms of credibility. He has to be the first to go. Greta Van Susteren’s claim to fame was as an O.J. Simpson groupie who has never risen out of the tabloid mold in which she was formed. Now that her best pal and frequent guest (55 times), Sarah Palin, has been dumped by Fox, Van Susteren would be wise to update her resume. The most likely candidate to fill one of those vacancies would be Megyn Kelly, who has emerged as Fox’s most stridently biased anchor in the daytime.

There are those at Fox who know that a big part of the explanation for their decline is that the audience at large is no longer interested in the vitriolic smear jobs that Fox has specialized in for most of the past decade. They just watched President Obama get reelected, along with Democratic gains in both houses of Congress, despite their fierce determination to kneecap the Democrats and prop up the flailing GOP. They did the best they could to install a Republican regime with a coordinated campaign of propaganda and hate speech, but they failed miserably even in races they were expected to win. So they are aware that the public has rejected their best arguments and lies.

The trick will be to moderate their political biases in order to appeal to a broader audience without causing their loyalist legions to pull up stakes and camp out on Alex Jones’ web site plotting a restoration of the Confederacy from their bunkers. Spurned conservative extremists of the sort that form the foundation of the Fox audience are a vengeful lot. They primary long-serving GOP incumbents and replace them with crackpots who have no chance of winning. And that’s the sort of reaction they would have to any attempt by Fox to become less wingnutty. The Fox regulars would not only stop watching a more moderate Fox, they would turn against it with the force of a swarm of rabid squirrels deranged by disease and paranoia.

That leaves Fox in the impossible position of having to cater to their faithful fringe while reaching out to more rational viewers. It simply can’t be done and they would displease both. The only sensible course for Fox would be to accept a few seasons in the cellar as they regroup with a focus on responsible journalism. But that isn’t the style of the hardcore rightists in the Fox executive suites. Neither Rupert Murdoch nor Roger Ailes would be inclined to surrender the platform they built for wealthy elitists, captains of industry, Christian evangelists, and other power mad egomaniacs who are convinced that God has selected them to rule.

The good news is that their self-centered intransigence will insure that Fox continues to slide into obscurity and the people will have a better opportunity shape a more equitable society. Of course, the people would still have to overcome the rest of the media-corporate-government complex that has long been the biggest obstacle to a truly democratic nation. But it’s a start.

Fox News: The Whiniest ‘News’ Network Ever

Earlier this week President Obama correctly noted that the penchant Fox News has for punishing Republicans who dare to work cooperatively with Democrats has the effect of discouraging Republicans from such cooperation. That rather modest observation has sent Fox News into a tizzy that all but validates the President’s point. They are simply incapable of processing anything this president says in a rational manner. In this case, all he said was this:

“One of the biggest factors is going to be how the media shapes debates. If a Republican member of Congress is not punished on Fox News or by Rush Limbaugh for working with a Democrat on a bill of common interest, then you’ll see more of them doing it.”

Fox News/Nation

That fired up the outrage machine at Fox. Fox Nation declared it to be a threat. Steve Doocy cast it as an attack on the First Amendment. Of course, any reasonable reading of it would find nothing approaching either of those wild overreactions. A threats implies consequences which were never articulated by the President. Nor was the First Amendment infringed upon because the free speech rights of Fox were never in any danger.

Doocy also lamented that Obama has some “scared Republicans in his camp.” By characterizing Republicans who have found some common ground with the President as “scared,” Doocy has also validated the President’s point that Fox punishes such agreement. In Fox’s world compromising with Democrats to move the country forward is evidence of cowardice. That sort of derision is exactly what Obama was referring to.

And it gets worse. Fox’s Peter Johnson, Jr. visited his kiddie pals at Fox & Friends to say that the First Amendment is now “seriously in doubt.” He interpreted Obama’s remarks to mean that the President regards anyone who disagrees with him as “an enemy of the state.” Where does he get this stuff? Johnson was so apoplectic about Obama expressing his opinion (which is also permitted by the First Amendment) that he wedded Fox News to the very concept of freedom saying “Without a free Fox, there is not a free America” Apparently, therefore, there was not a free America prior to 1996; there was not a free America during the entire Reagan Administration.

On the Fox News web site, fake Democrat Kirsten Powers wrote a scathing editorial bashing Obama as waging a war of terror on Fox News. She complained that “President Obama was back to his grousing about the one television news outlet in America that won’t fall in line and treat him as emperor.” Powers has gulped down massive quantities of the Fox Kool-Aid. But she is representative of the so-called Democrats that appear on Fox only to criticize other Democrats. The Fox version of fairness and balance is when Republicans and Democrats hate Democrats equally.

Ironically, the claim that the President makes about Republicans being vulnerable to Fox’s criticisms is one that Fox makes about itself. They consider themselves the last stand against the socialism they imagine is emanating from the White House. As Johnson said, they regard themselves as “the bulwark of our democracy.” Fox’s CEO Roger Ailes once assured Glenn Beck that he would have a free hand because “I see this as the Alamo. If I just had somebody who was willing to sit on the other side of the camera until the last shot is fired, we’d be fine.”

Fox freely admits that their intent is have an impact on government. They actually boast about the influence they have over representatives in Washington. Then, when the President notes that that is occurring, they explode with indignation over his alleged assault on freedom. It’s a cognitive disconnect that could span the Grand Canyon.

Most of all, it is whining of the highest order. No network bitches more about how they are perceived than Fox News. They spend innumerable hours complaining about their treatment by politicians, other pundits, and the whole of what they call the “mainstream media.” Sean Hannity has devoted whole programs to it. Fox & Friends denounces every media analyst as corrupt or even crazy. Bill O’Reilly has made the destruction of these scoundrels his life’s ambition, saying…

“[T]here is a huge problem in this country and I’m going to attack that problem. I’m going to attack it. These people aren’t getting away with this. I’m going to go right where they live. Every corrupt media person in this country is on notice, right now. I’m coming after you…I’m going to hunt you down […] if I could strangle these people and not go to hell and get executed…I would.”

Setting aside O’Reilly’s insane vigilantism, the thing that Fox fails to understand is that the First Amendment applies to everyone, including the President. Fox seems to think that free speech is a one-way street and that if they express their brazenly biased views, anyone who who disagrees with them is trampling on their Constitutional rights. It’s a perspective that reeks of the censorship they pretend to be disturbed by.

So F**king What? ObamaCare Makes Smokers Pay More?

And the problem here is what?

Fox Nation

The Fox Nationalists are very concerned about the allegation that “ObamaCare Makes Smokers Pay $5,100 More A Year.” It’s a display of empty outrage because insurance companies have required smokers to pay higher premiums for years. And why shouldn’t they? Smokers are willfully engaging in behavior that will result in severe and expensive health problems that may cause their premiums to rise.

So F**king What?

If smokers don’t pay more for coverage, their hospital bills will be dispersed to everybody in the plan. That would raise premiums for people who have healthier lifestyles and keep health care costs down. Is that fair? Whatever happened to the conservative principle of personal responsibility? Now that ObamaCare is being rolled out, conservatives think that smokers should not be charged for the expenses they ring up. All of sudden Fox is for socialist medicine?

If America is going to continue to be the only industrialized nation to lack national health care, then the free market insurance programs (which is what ObamaCare is) have a right to establish conditional premiums based on health models and actuarials. If smokers are able to pay, then they must do so. They always have the option to quit smoking which would remove them from the high risk group as well as improve their health and make them less annoying to others.

Too Funny: Sarah Palin Cost Fox News $15.85 Per Word For Three Years Of Rambling Incoherence

A study just released by the University of Minnesota’s Humphrey School of Public Affairs reveals that Fox News paid a pretty penny for former beauty contestant runner-up and Tea Party queen, Sarah Palin. Here are the highlights of the study’s findings:

Sarah Palin

  • Appearances on Fox News: 151 (Average 50 per year).
  • Cost per appearance: $19,868.
  • Cost per word: $15.85 (189,221 words total).
  • Appearances on Hannity: 55 (Total cost: $1,092,740).
  • Appearances on Greta Van Susteren: 55 (Total cost: $1,092,740).
  • Appearances on O’Reilly and Fox News Sunday (combined): < 20 (Total cost: < $397,360).
  • Number of mentions of Obama: 786.
  • Number of mentions of Reagan: 41.

For the term of her contract Palin worked an average of about one day a week. Often she was literally phoning it in from home, where Fox had built her a million dollar studio. She obviously preferred the lame opinion shows with friendly hosts who would not challenge her shallow diatribes. Or perhaps the other shows withheld invitations because they knew she couldn’t grasp anything of substance.

Of course, we need to take into consideration Palin’s unique style of communication. Her “Word Salad” run-on sentences significantly increased the word count and lowered the average cost-per-word. The anchors on Fox, who work every day, get paid significantly less and were probably not thrilled with the compensation their part-time colleague received. It’s clear why Fox did not want to renew her contract. Six months from now they could probably pick her up for $15.85 per hour (if they were foolish enough to want her).

Fox News Deliberately Low-Balled Sarah Palin According To Reliable Sources (CNN)

Sarah PalinMuch has been made of the news that Tea Party queen Sarah Palin and Fox News, the cable network that served as the PR agency for the Tea Party, have parted ways. The reporting generally implied that Palin had turned down Fox’s offer to renew her contract. That is, in all likelihood, exactly what happened.

However, contract negotiations are more complex than that. And now we have reporting from CNN’s Howard Kurtz that fleshes out some of the ambiguities of the original stories. On his program Reliable Sources, Kurtz expanded on the matter by saying…

“My reporting shows that Fox News did offer Sarah Palin a new contract, but it is what I would call a low-ball offer, significantly less, a fraction of the million dollars a year she had been paid.”

In other words, Fox deliberately made an offer that they knew Palin would reject because they had no interest in retaining her beyond her current contract. As speculated previously here at News Corpse, Fox probably “offered her a moose burger and parking validation to re-up – and even that would have been more than she’s worth.” After all, why would Fox continue to overpay someone about whom Fox CEO Roger Ailes reportedly said he thinks is an idiot?

Palin’s star has been fading fast. Fox News only posted a modified AP story about the separation on their web site. Fox Nation, known for its rabid partisanship and rank dishonesty, didn’t report on it all. As evidence of Palin’s rapidly declining value, her first post-Fox stop was at the Internet’s home of doctored videos and right-wing propaganda, Breitbart News. There she answered a couple of vacant questions from BreitBrat Stephen Bannon, the sycophantic producer of the fawning Palin crockumentary, “The Undefeated” (the most ironically named box office bomb ever, considering it chronicles one of modern history’s most frequently defeated political failures).

In response to Bannon’s query about what she planned to do next, Palin had no answer other than vagaries about her desire to quit “preaching to the choir.” She spoke of “sharing more broadly the message of the beauty of freedom” to a larger audience. She didn’t give any indication of where she would find an audience receptive to her wingnuttery that she thinks is larger than Fox News from which she was just ousted. The narrow appeal of her conservative extremism is unlikely to find much acceptance beyond the tiny choir that is currently singing from her warped hymnal.

Then Bannon asked her where she thinks the country stands today and she launched into a dirty laundry list of every worn out criticism the right has lobbed at Obama for four years. She spoke of deficits and unemployment – problems that resulted from George Bush’s mismanagement of the economy and have improved under Obama. Of course, she also included fabricated controversies about ObamaCare, Benghazi, and gun control, that are a staple of the right’s outrage machine.

Palin told BreitBrat Bannon that “Conservatism didn’t lose.” She blames the 2012 GOP debacle entirely on Mitt Romney, despite the fact that he ran as a “severely conservative” candidate embracing every position held dear to the Republican far-right fringe. And she declares that “we haven’t begun to fight! But we delight in those who underestimate us.” In that regard she must be filled to the brim with delight, because it would hard to have a lower estimation of the woman who thinks a “gotcha” question is “What magazines do you read.”

On the basis of that level of insightful commentary, it’s no wonder that Fox chose to insult Palin with a pittance of her prior pay, and free her to tarnish the reputation of some other news enterprise (i.e. Breitbart). Apparently somebody at Fox has concluded that their reputation has already been tarnished enough.

Obama Calls Out Fox News For Punishing Republicans When They Work With Democrats

President Obama just sat down for a wide-ranging interview with The New Republic. In the course of the discussion he articulated what is a long-standing problem for Republican politicians that prevents them from engaging in reasonable legislative compromises. The President said…

Fox News

“One of the biggest factors is going to be how the media shapes debates. If a Republican member of Congress is not punished on Fox News or by Rush Limbaugh for working with a Democrat on a bill of common interest, then you’ll see more of them doing it.”

That is an astute observation. Many Republicans live in fear of being criticized in the conservative media. They regard people like Roger Ailes and Rush Limbaugh as Godfathers whose rings must be kissed. And divergence from the doctrine prescribed by the most extreme elements of the far-right can land them in primary trouble with Tea Partiers. The President also recognized that dilemma:

“The House Republican majority is made up mostly of members who are in sharply gerrymandered districts that are very safely Republican and may not feel compelled to pay attention to broad-based public opinion, because what they’re really concerned about is the opinions of their specific Republican constituencies.”

The result of having to cater to perpetually outraged absolutists on the right is that GOP attention whores will do or say anything that gets them more airtime. And the media is all too happy to accommodate them. Obama addressed that journalistic failing as well.

“Nobody gets on TV saying, ‘I agree with my colleague from the other party.’ People get on TV for calling each other names and saying the most outlandish things.”

That’s a theory that has been proven many times over by folks like Glenn Beck, Allen West, Donald Trump, and a menagerie of other bombastic loudmouths.

The interview is well worth reading in its entirety, however, the observations about the press and anxiety-driven Republicans are a refreshing blast of realistic insight. It is important for these truths to be articulated by the President. Now it remains to be seen if Obama will apply that insight to his actions when dealing with those in the media and the Republican Party who engage in kneejerk opposition to anything proposed by the White House or Democrats in congress. Because, as the President noted in the interview…

“Until Republicans feel that there’s a real price to pay for them just saying no and being obstructionist, you’ll probably see at least a number of them arguing that we should keep on doing it.”

Exactly! Make them pay the price. And the price is the respect and support of the American people who are sick and tired of the games played by Washington’s opportunists.

Sarah Palin Refudiates Fox News – Or You Can’t Fire Me, I Quit

A source close to Sarah Palin says she has declined to accept the offer from Fox News to renew her contract which expired at the end of 2012. This brings an end to the three year relationship wherein Fox sucked in hordes of dimwitted Palin fans and Palin peddled her almost literate books. A classic case study in parasitic synergy.

Sarah PalinThis news should not come as a surprise to media watchers who will remember that Roger Ailes was reported to have told confidants that “he thinks Palin is an idiot.” That probably set the stage for contract negotiations that resulted in unsatisfactory terms for the Tea Party queen. Perhaps Ailes offered her a moose burger and parking validation to re-up – and even that would have been more than she’s worth.

Palin’s star has been fading for quite some time. Her books have brought in sequentially less with each new release. Her cable reality show was canceled after losing viewers every week. Her movie was a colossal box office bomb. Her popularity has been in a steep dive for the past couple years with a 55% unfavorable rating and two-thirds of the country saying she was not qualified to be president.

What more could be expected from a woman who was plucked from obscurity by a desperate John McCain, lost the election, quit halfway through her one term as governor, and proceeded to rack up embarrassments like her “Lie of the Year” from PolitiFact for the famous “Death Panel” nonsense.

With her departure from Fox comedians across the country will be mourning. However, she is now free to join fellow losers like Glenn Beck and Allen West in their basement InterTubes studios (although Palin’s is a million dollar facility at her home in Wasilla that she scammed out of Fox while still in their good graces), webcasting to glassy-eyed disciples in their jammies.

Fox has released a statement thanking Palin for her service and ominously saying “We wish her the best in her future endeavors.” That particular phrase has some baggage attached to it. When Fox wishes you well it is often a back-handed slap at anyone they regard as undesirable. For example, Fox hammered George Clooney with it saying “We wish him well in his struggle to regain relevancy.” So should we infer something from that?

Palin still has her Facebook page and an army of Mama Grizzlies who will prop her up for a while. But given her already cratering career, the loss of her platform on Fox signals the closing act in her public farce, just as Glenn Beck’s exodus lowered his profile to near invisibility. While it may be bad for comedy, it will be good for America. And for those who need one last fix, here is the Palin retrospective for 2012 published on News Corpse at the end of last year. My personal favorite was her saying that you “diminished [yourself] by even mentioning my name.” I may be compelled to agree.

So F**king What? Fox News Panics Over Spanish Speaking Muslims

Can anyone explain what the Fox Nationalists find so newsworthy about this?

Fox Nation

A billboard that gives information about where people can go to learn more about Islam doesn’t seem like something that would stir up much controversy. It isn’t espousing a point of view. It isn’t disparaging any other faith. It would only be of interest to people who have a desire for the information.

Nevertheless, Fox manages to fire up the panicky bigots who populate their web site by focusing on a small disclosure at the bottom of the billboard that simply says “Se Habla Espanol.”

So F**king What?

It’s not enough that Fox News routinely maligns Muslims by associating them all with terrorism. Now they seem to be matching up their viewers fear of Muslims with their anxiety over Latinos, whom they regard universally as illegal aliens. It’s a Fox twofer. With a single news item they can whip up hysteria about Islamic terrorists sneaking into the country, taking our jobs, and blowing them up, all while refusing to learn our language. Ethnic and religious bigotry all rolled up into one posting about a conventional advertisement that has the audacity to address Spanish speakers in (of all places) south Florida.

Women In Combat: A Social Experiment?

Colonel Eugene Householder on opposing reforms to combat protocol:

“The army is not a sociological laboratory; to be effective it must be organized and trained according to the principles which will ensure success … Experiments are a danger to efficiency, discipline and morale and would result in ultimate defeat.”

That was the argument in 1941 against integrating army units and permitting black soldiers to fight alongside white soldiers. It is the same argument that is used against gays in the military. Bigots have a tendency to declare that morale and unit cohesion will suffer if soldiers are asked to serve with like-minded patriots who they regard as “different.” And now this insipid and disproven viewpoint is being aimed at women in the wake of the recent order by Defense Secretary Leon Panetta to integrate women into combat units under certain conditions.

Allen West: “Now is not the time to play a social experiment with our ground combat forces…This is the misconceived liberal progressive vision of fairness and equality which could potentially lead to the demise of our military.”

Nothing hyperbolic about that, is there? It’s the typical alarmist overreaction that one would expect from West, who has so little faith in the integrity and loyalty of America’s soldiers that he actually believes that serving with women (which already occurs) would “lead to the demise of our military.” And there is retired Army Lt. Gen. William G. Boykin, whose military career ended after making disparaging remarks about Muslims. Boykin is currently an executive at the right-wing Family Research Council. He had this to say about Panetta’s decision:

Boykin: “The people making this decision are doing so as part of another social experiment, and they have never lived nor fought with an infantry or Special Forces unit.”

It is not a coincidence that the arguments in favor of discrimination sound so similar. They are always efforts on the part of intolerant, exclusionary elitists to dismiss the humanity of those they cannot abide. They aspire to keep the military (and America) a straight, white, male club that designates everyone else as second-class citizens. And, not surprisingly, Fox News concurs with those aspirations by promoting the views of the bigots.

Fox Nation