Anyone with a functioning brain stem is aware of the multitude of problems facing our country and world in these “interesting” times. We are currently struggling to deal with what may be the worst man-made environmental catastrophe ever. We are still in the midst of perilous economic conditions. There are two wars raging and another more amorphous terror threat that has not receded. And in addition to those critical and extraordinary affairs, there are the routine events of life that demand our attention, like jobs, crime, government, even sports and entertainment. In short, there is a flood of information that goes into the news and the editorial decisions shaping it.
However, for Fox News today it was a pretty easy decision. Their prime directive is, as always, is to keep the people as stupid as possible. Therefore, despite all of the crises facing the country, Fox chose to focus on a single issue that has almost no significance to the average American. Fox turned over much their schedule to the trifling and phony pseudo-scandal circulating around a senate race in Pennsylvania.
Joe Sestak had previously asserted that the White House offered him a job if he would decline to challenge Arlen Specter in the Democratic primary for senator in PA. Sestak turned down the offer and eventually defeated Specter. Now Fox News is trying to blow this up into a Watergate-style controversy despite there being no evidence of wrongdoing. Their tactic to escalate this story is to run it incessantly with sly aspersions to criminality that they fail utterly to support.
Perhaps the worst offender is Megyn Kelly. Her two hour program was consumed by over an hour and a half of Sestak. When she did break away from Sestak it was to report on the restoration of a religious monument in Illinois, a scholarship for an illegal immigrant, a comment by Hillary Clinton about whether the rich pay their fair share, and a woman suing an airline for not waking her when the flight landed. She never brought up the gulf oil spill, Afghanistan or the economy once.
That was no accident. That was an exercise of editorial discretion as practiced by Fox News. It wasn’t that there wasn’t any other news occurring, it was that they had already decided to make Sestak the primary story for the day. Never mind that there was very little to report, which resulted in Kelly repeating the same trivialities over and over again as she waited for something of substance to report.
During the course of her Sestak-fest, Kelly interviewed three guests in her pursuit of Fox’s fabled fairness and balance: Dana Perino, George Bush’s press secretary, Michael Mukasey, Bush’s Attorney General, and Republican congressman Darrel Issa, who has been hammering on Sestak and President Obama, and even asserted that an impeachable offense may have been committed.
Despite Kelly’s badgering, Mukasey would not indict Sestak or the White House. He repeatedly said that there doesn’t appear to be any criminal act. He even pointed out that Kelly had misrepresented the law when she supposedly quoted the U.S. code that prohibits promising “any employment, position, compensation, contract, appointment, or other benefit…” Mukasey provided the additional context that the code only applies to positions created by Congress, which was not the case in this matter. And even as he said this, Kelly nodded and agreed, which means that she knew of her deceit from the start.
Perhaps the most disturbing segment of her show came when she was discussing the matter with Fox News correspondent Major Garrett. During this conversation Kelly asked Garrett why this is such a big story, with reporters asking about this instead of the Deep Horizon oil spill? Of course the obvious answer is that it is reporters like her who are doing the asking. How absurd is it for her to wonder why so much attention is being given to the story when she has just given 75% of her own program to it? The funny/pathetic part is that when she was wrapping up the segment with Garrett she praised him for being the only reporter who asked a question about this at the President’s press conference. In effect, she admitted that this isn’t a big story that all the reporters are asking about – it’s just Fox!
The whole Sestak affair is a fabrication invented by Fox News. There are no legal authorities or experts who believe that anything untoward occurred – even Bush’s Attorney General. This is just another attempt by the right and the right’s mouthpiece, Fox News, to smear the President and other Democrats. And they will pursue these smears to the detriment of the news product to which they they pretend to be so committed. Even to the detriment of Americans who end up being inadequately informed about the real crises that face them. And there are plenty of those.
It’s too bad that Fox isn’t in the business of reporting. It’s too bad that they would rather engage in defamation than journalism. But ultimately it will really be too bad for the country when they realize that they were deceived and made some seriously faulty decisions based on the omissions and lies they were fed by Fox News.
10 thoughts on “Fox News: Nothing But Sestak”
And you’ve got to love how Neil freaking Cavuto says that this Sestak “controversy” would affect the DJI. Check out the L3rds (they forgot the Cavuto mark!):
No wonder no one tunes in to FOXbusiness.
And Mark: I can’t wait to hear your take on the latest Glenn Beck stupidity…
Cavuto will take any opportunity to associate Obama and/or Democrats with market declines. Even market increases have inspired Cavuto to claim that they are somehow just pre-clines that liberals are responsible for.
As for Beck, I can’t really cover every Beck stupidity. I would need a staff of 30 to handle the volume.
Emanuel’s Brilliant Life: Stest-check and Mate
Foxnews is beside itself, over the lack of favourable legal analysis for any type of criminal or civil charge from Stestakgate. Led by Dick Morris and Hannity, the endgame is near and the egg is clearly on the face of Foxnews. Once again, foiled by the truth and the actual law, as opposed to foxnews attempts at manufacturing the law.
The main federal U.S. political bribery law requires that the offered position must be created by an Act of Congress or authorized by an Act. Any position on any Presidential Advisory Board is created by Executive Order. Nothing to see here, though Foxnews continues to paraphrase the law and removes reference to the Executive Order stipulation.
All the other possible criminal charges require that the offered position be a thing of ‘high value.’ An unpaid advisory board position is not of high value and it may not even be a ‘job’. Hannity s agrees it is not a job or of high value. Morris said it is of high value. Trouble on the Hannity set?
Yet Foxnews legal analysts are still being trotted out to cling to misleading and inexpert ‘legal’ analysis to push the Morris/Hannity spearheaded smear, but they are falling flat. Too funny. The stable of Foxnews Actors contains a number of “legal analysts” whose legal opinions would be consistently graded D+ by any academic standard. Foxnew’s Peter Johnson’s legal analysis on Hannity was not more than ‘there is a need to investigate’ without any substantial legal reflection. But he sure is slick and had on a real nice suit and tie from the wardrobe department. Seeing the entire propaganda machine of Foxnews spinning like a top is beyond humorous.
Emanuel has outdone himself. What he knew happened was simply an exploratory move or feeler sent out that was immediately rejected. The offer was purposely for a low level position as that would not be violation of anything. Because this low level offer was immediately rejected, President Clinton moved away. Who knows where the conversation would have gone if Stestak appeared receptive, but he was not. End of story.
Emanuel purposely left this whole thing under the surface for months, knowing full well that the Foxnews sharks would be sniffing about. The prepared report released today? Emmanuel probably had it drafted months ago, waiting to spring it, as the TRUTH would be like shark repellent to the Foxnews fish.
As expected, Foxnews continues to waste a lot of time and energy (a special Hannity show on Friday, May 28) chasing a ghost. At a time when the White House and Congress push through one historical legislation after another, and at a time when Foxnews propaganda would be better spent on other issues. Brilliant. Emanuel must be uncorking a cool one tonight.
I’m not sure I’d give Emanuel so much credit, but Fox definitely deserves the blame for inane legal analysis. And I left out that Megyn Kelly is a lawyer herself. Yet she not only doesn’t understand the law in this case, but she willfully misrepresents it.
Another funny side note is that after the White House statement came out, the Foxies criticized it, implying that it was a lie because the offer of a position on an advisory board was not sufficient enticement for Sestak to get out of the race. So what Fox is saying is that the WH didn’t really offer anything of value to Sestak, but that they should have. The Foxies were advocating a crime. I think it’s just because they so desperately want there to have been one.
One of GB43 legal advisors was on MSNBC today saying this whole thing is laughable. The Foxes better realize the whack-a-doddle senate races are stacking up like airliners after a thunderstorm. Maybe they don’t like the fack all the goofballs are gopers 99% of the time. Go Linda McMahon!!!
One of GB43 legal advisors was on MSNBC today saying this whole thing is laughable. The Foxes better realize the whack-a-doddle senate races are stacking up like airliners after a thunderstorm. Maybe they don’t like the fact all the goofballs are gopers 99% of the time. Go Linda McMahon!!!
Forget the hysteria, look at the hypocrisy: Bush’s firing of federal prosecutors vs. Sestak. I don’t recall FOX being overly offended by these firings.
Fox News is using the same subtle approach with the Sestak story as they took in covering ACORN. Expect the various talking heads to gripe on cue that the “liberal mainstream media” is showing its bias by not sharing Fox News’ “fair and balanced” obsession in trying to wipe liberalism from the face of America.
Is there are story here worth reporting? Sure. Did the White House screw the pooch on this one? No doubt. In an election cycle where business as usual politics like the typical horse trading on the universal health care bill raised a massive stink with voters, the White House is particularly tone deaf in this boneheaded attempt at shoving Sestak out of the way.
But leave it to hyper-partisan Fox News to raise it to a level of complete political theater. The best example of this is Sean Hannity giving up a day off on Friday to cover the story wall-to-wall on his show. Dick Morris, a comically bad political analyst, teased Hannity into an orgasm talking of impeaching President Obama.
And, as you point out, Fox News’ pretense of being an objective news organization outside the propaganda spewed by it’s obvious talking heads like Beck, Hannity, and O’Reilly was made a joke as they shared Morris’ wet dream that this story is some sort of Watergate that might bring down the Obama presidency.
Morris should go back to sucking on prostitutes toes and give up political analysis.
I just noticed the comments earlier about Megyn Kelly (do you think she was hired for her looks or legal mind?!?). She reminds me of their legal expert Peter Johnson Jr. He has the naive contenance of Mr. Magoo but the nature of a rabid hyperpartisan. He was on Hannity’s show expressing his abosolute belief that laws were broken. His reward for being such a loyal political hack was Sean tossing him a bone boasting about how much he admired Peter’s great legal mind.
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