Fox News Asks Whether Jesus Was A Refugee – And Gets The Bible HORRIBLY Wrong

The debate over Donald Trump’s offensive Muslim ban has taken some peculiar turns. It’s already resulted in successful lawsuits rejecting his executive order as unconstitutional. And there are heartbreaking cases of heroes being refused entry after fighting alongside American soldiers in Iraq. Even a nominee for an Academy Award will be unable to attend the ceremony due to the restrictions.

Pray for Fox News

Tuesday morning the cast of Fox & Friends took up the volatile issue of refugees (video below). While intending to rebut arguments connecting current events to the life of Jesus, the Fox crew veered wildly off course. The segment led off with the “Curvy Couch” potatoes mocking a tweet by Rev. Al Sharpton:

On the surface, there isn’t anything especially controversial about that. However, to Fox News it was an abomination of the gospel and a personal attack on Trump. Co-host Steve Doocy introduced the segment and engaged in the following exchange with guest Carley Shimkus:

DOOCY: This morning a social media firestorm set off by the Rev. Al Sharpton after he slammed President Trump’s border order by calling Jesus a refugee. […] Well that’s not exactly accurate is it?

SHIMKUS: Well, according to the bible it’s really not. And a lot of people on social media had something to say about that.

Whereupon, Shimkus read two tweets replying to Sharpton. Oddly enough, they are the same two tweets posted in an article on this subject by The Daily Caller. That’s the website founded by Fox News host Tucker Carlson:

It’s notable that Fox News turned to anonymous Twitter users for their biblical analysis. And they appeared to be quite proud of themselves for having debunked Sharpton’s sacrilege. Except for one thing: They couldn’t possibly have been more wrong. A quick glance at the bible’s book of Matthew (2:13-15) reveals that Joseph and Mary fled to Egypt with their infant son Jesus to avoid King Herod’s “massacre of the innocents.” That sounds like they were refugees to me. They only returned after Herod’s death:

(13) And when they were departed, behold, the angel of the Lord appeareth to Joseph in a dream, saying, Arise, and take the young child and his mother, and flee into Egypt, and be thou there until I bring thee word: for Herod will seek the young child to destroy him. (14) When he arose, he took the young child and his mother by night, and departed into Egypt: (15) And was there until the death of Herod: that it might be fulfilled which was spoken of the Lord by the prophet, saying, Out of Egypt have I called my son.

This is a perfect example of the approach to journalism as practiced by Fox News. Why bother consulting religious scholars, the clergy, or even the bible, when you have Twitter for divine guidance? It obviously doesn’t matter to Fox whether the information is correct, something that’s apparent in most of their reporting. And the cherry on top was co-host Brian Kilmeade’s closing shot at Sharpton saying “Who gave him his gift certificate to be a reverend?”

No doubt Kilmeade actually believes there are such certificates. Maybe someone should ask him where he got his gift certificate to host a “news” program. And why is Fox News always making African-Americans provide certificates of authenticity, birth, etc.?

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

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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Bill O’Reilly Wants To Know: Will Black America Speak Out Against Looting?

Fox News resident curmudgeon, Bill O’Reilly, has demonstrated his racial insensitivity too often to catalog here. Suffice to say that the man who was surprised that African-American patrons of a Harlem restaurant aren’t constantly screaming, “M-Fer, I want more iced tea,” is not the best example of racial tolerance.

So this week O’Reilly was promoting a segment on his program that would deal with the aftermath of the police shooting of an unarmed African-American. The promo asked a ludicrous question that sought to heap the responsibility of isolated crowd behavior unto the entire black population of America: “Will Black America Speak Out Against Looting?”

Fox News Bill O'Reilly

Is he serious? So whenever there is an incident that O’Reilly finds objectionable, he believes that everyone who bears any resemblance to the people involved are obligated to condemn it. Does that apply to the white police officer in Ferguson, MO who shot Mike Brown? Will white America speak out against officers killing unarmed citizens? Does it apply to George Zimmerman? Will white America speak out against murdering innocent black teenagers? Does it apply to governors who pass laws that subvert democracy? Will white America speak out against minority voter suppression? Does it apply to bankers who thrust the nation into near economic collapse? Will white America speak out against predator lenders and fraudulent mortgage schemes? Does it apply to judicial activists on the Supreme Court? Will white America speak out against the gutting of the Civil Rights Act?

O’Reilly and his right-wing comrades are constantly lumping their ideological foes into categories where they have collective responsibility, but he absolves white people of having any part in the actions of their ethnic fellows. Muslims, for instance, are required to condemn the terrorists acts of Al Qaeda (which they have done), but whites are not asked to do the same when innocent Muslims are killed by drones.

For the benefit of O’Reilly and his racist cohorts, black Americans have been prominently speaking out against any law-breaking in response to the Brown killing. His parents have called for people to “come together and do this right, the right way. No violence.” Al Sharpton told a rally of supporters that “To become violent in Michael Brown’s name is to betray the gentle giant that he was.” President Obama released a statement saying…

“I know the events of the past few days have prompted strong passions, but as details unfold, I urge everyone in Ferguson, Missouri, and across the country, to remember this young man through reflection and understanding. We should comfort each other and talk with one another in a way that heals, not in a way that wounds. Along with our prayers, that’s what Michael and his family, and our broader American community, deserve.”

These comments expose O’Reilly for the ignorant and deliberately race-baiting provocateur that he is. Does every black person in America have to make a public statement before he will be satisfied? O’Reilly isn’t actually interested in people taking responsibility. He is only interested in laying blame and disparaging African-Americans as thugs or supportive of thuggery.

America’s black population has no more responsibility to account for every other black American, than white Americans have to account for racists like O’Reilly. If they did, then I want to know if white America will speak out against the racist Fox News promo that asks if black America will speak out against looting?

Stupid Tea Party Tricks: FreedomWorks Launches Pointless Boycott Against Comcast

The Tea Party has been involved in too many idiotic escapades to count. One of their more memorable proposals was to fly a plane over the Superbowl with a banner reading “Impeach Obama.” Apparently they were not aware that the game would be played in a domed stadium and that it’s illegal to fly over it anyway. Or recall their assertion that ultra-conservative anti-tax crusader Grover Norquist is a Muslim infiltrator. Their proof? He has a beard. And who could forget the call for Americans to rise up and burn their ObamaCare cards. No matter that ObamaCare cards do not exist, FreedomWorks will be printing them up and providing them to Tea Party pyromaniacs.

Tea Party Comcast Boycott
Be Sure To “LIKE” News Corpse On Facebook

The very same FreedomWorks is now embarking on a massive campaign to punish Comcast because their MSNBC subsidiary employees Al Sharpton. They have produced a comically amateurish video (below) declaring it “a disgrace that Sharpton has his own TV show.” They sent an email to their 2.3 million suckers…er…members urging them to cancel their cable service if Comcast is their provider. The email states that…

“By paying your Comcast cable bill, your money is helping to pay for Al Sharpton’s salary…Comcast cable subscribers can take action against Roberts and his biased media empire by changing their cable TV service provider. By exercising marketplace choice, consumers can prevent their money from supporting media propaganda.”

If you get the idea that FreedomWorks didn’t think this through very well, you’re quite right. After all, Sharpton works for MSNBC, not Comcast. Any cable customers who cancel their subscriptions will have zero effect on Sharpton’s employment status. Those customers were encouraged by FreedomWorks to switch from Comcast to DirecTV, AT&T, or some other provider. However, all of those providers also offer MSNBC, so the revenue generated to the cable network will be exactly the same. Should they opt to do without cable programming, their boycott will do just as much harm to Fox News, and every other channel, as to MSNBC.

So this threat is as impotent as Rush Limbaugh sans Viagra. When liberals mounted a successful boycott against Fox News’ Glenn Beck, they targeted Beck’s advertisers. The same tactic has drained the bank account of Limbaugh and his radio affiliates. But going after Comcast won’t have any more impact on Sharpton’s MSNBC program than it will on Donald Trump’s unreality show on NBC.

There are plenty of good reasons to boycott Comcast: It is an anti-competitive conglomerate that exploits its market power; it unfairly discriminates against progressive advertisers; it improperly uses data it collects on its customers, invading their privacy. If Tea Partiers want to shun Comcast for any of those reasons, I’m with them. But this attack on Sharpton (of whom I am not a fan), is utterly absurd. However, it is another clear indicator of just how dumb the Tea Party community can be.

So F**king What? Fox News Thinks TV Promos Are Sermons

Almost since its inception Fox News has confused the role of television journalist with that of televangelist. Their anchors and guests routinely veer away from reporting to the advocacy of what they regard as Christian values and dogma. If they aren’t waging battle in the War on Christmas, they are admonishing President Obama and others for not being sufficiently pious. Any perceived slight of religion by not saying “God” enough times in a speech or committing the sin of showing respect for the diversity of faith in America, is evidence of covert Satanism.

Today Fox News published an op-ed by Dan Gainor, the Vice President for Business and Culture of the ultra-rightist Media Research Center, with the title, “Reverend Al Sharpton expels God in MSNBC promo sermon.”

Fox News

Umm…What is a “promo sermon?” The video clip to which Gainor is referring is actually an advertisement for Al Sharpton’s program on MSNBC. It is no more a sermon than the familiar program interruptions that compel you purchase hamburgers or Viagra (although some of them can seem kinda preachy). Gainor’s characterization of the ad as a sermon exposes his own twisted analysis of media.

The specific complaint Gainor has is that Sharpton left out the words “under God” in a part of the promo that quoted from the Pledge of Allegiance. Sharpton said…

“We must have a renewed fight for many of the things we fought for. Because voting rights, and women’s rights, and the rights of people against discrimination, whether they’re African-American, Latino, lesbian and gay, must be protected, until we have a nation that is really living up to the creed of one nation, indivisible, with liberty and justice for all. Not all of one kind. But all.”

So F**king What?

Gainor objected feverishly that Sharpton had not accurately quoted the Pledge. However, Sharpton left out almost all of the Pledge, including the part that said “I pledge allegiance to the flag of the United States of America, and to the republic for which it stands…” Gainor didn’t seem to be the least bit upset about those omissions.

In fact, Sharpton only included the parts of the Pledge that directly related to the point he was making about the diversity of the American people and how they all need to be treated equally under the law. And no matter how obsessed Gainor is with proselytizing his faith, this was still just a TV commercial and not a sermon. It is typical for the far-right martinets of virtue to impose their perception of God on the rest of the country, but to turn a marketing promotion into a religious screed borders on the surreal. In America we do not worship via the solicitations that come in between programs on television. Unless, of course it’s for Goldline or Exxon or some false prophet being promoted by Fox News.

Fox Nation vs. Reality: On Al Sharpton

Fox Nation - Al SharptonIn the latest episode of Fox Nation’s departure from reality, the Fox Nationalists have jumped on remarks by Al Sharpton that suggest he intends to refrain from ever criticizing President Obama. The headline: NBC News Hires Anchor Who Pledged to Not Criticize Obama About Anything.

First of all, That is not exactly what Sharpton said. The reference is to a 60 Minutes interview (via Cenk Uygur) where Sharpton said that criticizing Obama with regard to a black agenda would diminish his role as President. What he said was…

“What I don’t want to see is because he is black we act like he’s not the real president – he ought to be leading the black cause or the labor cause. He’s the President. To minimize who he is, I think, is an insult to the achievement of having him there.”

So this was not about never criticizing Obama, just not obsessing over a single issue. For the record, I’m no fan of Sharpton, but I do think that accuracy and honesty are important. And in that regard Fox should acknowledge that their whole business model rests on not criticizing Republicans and conservatives. In a specific example you have Dick Morris, who has been on the Fox payroll for years, and recently pledged never to criticize GOP front-runner Mitt Romney:

“I decided a couple of – a month or two ago to stop dumping on Mitt Romney, for example … Not because I approve of Romneycare, not because I approve of his flip-flops, flip on abortion, but because I may have to be one of those who carries this guy for a couple of months when he’s running against Obama and I don’t want to make my own task harder.”

It’s safe to say that he has the same policy toward any other prospective Obama opponent. And the same goes for his Fox colleagues. Remember that when you hear any of them talking about any of the GOP candidates.

Fox Nation - Obama PathologicalAnd just for fun, take a look at the featured story on Fox Nation this morning: Opinion: Is Obama a Pathological Liar?

Hmmm. That’s something to ponder. Along with: Is John Boehner a Child Molester? Is Michele Bachmann in League with Al Qaeda? Is Rupert Murdoch a Reptilian Alien? Does the Republican Party and Fox News shill for billionaires and anti-American multinational corporations to advance their own personal interests and greed? (Oh, wait a minute. That last one has already been verified).

Is MSNBC Serious About Competing With Fox News?

When Keith Olbermann abruptly departed from MSNBC the network’s schedule was thrust into chaos. Lawrence O’Donnell was moved up two hours. Ed Schultz went from early evening to 10:00pm. Schultz’s old slot was a menagerie that eventually settled on Cenk Uygur for nearly six months.

All of this turmoil occurred at the same time that Glenn Beck was slated for an early termination of his contract at Fox News. That made much of the Fox schedule vulnerable as Beck’s audience formed the foundation for the evening news hour and primetime. So what did MSNBC do to take advantage of this opening?

Nothing – nothing at all. Their schedule barely budged. There were no new face outside of the 6:00pm slot that Schultz vacated, and even those were often familiar faces on the network. This was the best opportunity for MSNBC to challenge Fox during a period of weakness and MSNBC slept through it.

Now MSNBC is compounding their mistakes by (reportedly) replacing Uygur with Rev. Al Sharpton. The circumstances of Uygur’s departure are disturbing, but that’s a subject for another article. While Sharpton can be an aggressive advocate for lefty issues, he is hardly the banner carrier for progressive journalism. With a background predominantly in civil rights and social activism, his lack of experience in broadcasting does not portend well for MSNBC. His areas of expertise are rather narrow and he can come off as bombastic and rigid.

The purpose of a news and public affairs network is the same as any other network – attracting and appealing to viewers. Additionally, a news network must seek to inform and stimulate dialogue. Thus, having a journalist with broadcast experience in the anchor chair gives the program a significantly better shot at success.

MSNBC already has people on the payroll who fit the bill, and also expand the diversity of the roster, which is sorely needed. However, even some members of the National Association of Black Journalists are reticent about Sharpton. Instead, MSNBC should consider someone like Joe Madison, a long-time radio host based in Washington, D.C. with a record of success on the air and in the streets. Another attractive candidate would be Melissa Harris-Perry, a professor of political science at Tulane University and a frequent guest on Rachel Maddow’s program.

Maddow presently has the highest ratings on MSNBC. That makes someone like Harris-Parry particularly compelling. A black woman with intelligence, insight, and personality could reproduce at 6:00pm the success Maddow has in primetime.

Ideally MSNBC could significantly strengthen their lineup by pitting Joe Madison against Fox’s lame Glenn Beck replacement “The Five.” Then give Hardball a single airing at 6:00pm, followed by Harris-Parry at 7:00. Leave primetime in tact with O’Donnell, Maddow, and Schultz (although I wouldn’t mind seeing Schultz replaced by someone like Chris Hayes or – don’t laugh – Anthony Weiner, an articulate, passionate progressive who didn’t really do anything that should forever disqualify him from public service).

If MSNBC is serious about competing with Fox News, they need to consider more dynamic solutions. Al Sharpton is never going to beat Bret Baier. And without a stronger leadin, the primetime schedule is unnecessarily hampered. The network has come close to Fox in important demographic ratings and they could put Fox away if they act now while Fox is wobbly and their management is being investigated internationally. The travails of Rupert Murdoch and company will make it difficult for them to concentrate on issues other than staying out of jail. MSNBC should capitalize on that distraction. The question is: Is MSNBC really serious about competing with Fox News?

Finally! Black Leaders Unite To Challenge Glenn Beck

For several months Glenn Beck has been promoting an event in Washington, D.C., that he pretends has something to do with Restoring Honor for American soldiers. In fact, the event was originally announced as a launch party for his next book, “The Plan,” a 100 year blueprint for taking the country back a hundred years, to a time when civil rights were only meant for wealthy, white, male citizens. Beck later transformed the affair into a phony military charity that won’t pass on any benefits until the costs of the rally are covered. This way he gets to have his book launch paid for by dupes who think they are supporting the troops.

Glenn beck Restoring HonorBeck scheduled his Tea Bag rally for the same date (August 28), and location (the Lincoln Memorial) as Martin Luther King’s historic “I Have A Dream” speech. By exploiting this profound anniversary, Beck is desecrating a cherished memory of an inspiring American leader. Last March I wrote about this project and wondered, where is the opposition?

“This is the man [Beck] who recently called King a ‘radical socialist’ and questioned whether there should be a holiday in his name. This is the man who called President Obama a ‘racist with a deep-seated hatred for white people.’ This is the man who calls progressives (like King) “the cancer in America.’ The thought of Beck usurping this cherished occasion to further the goals of his Tea Bagging 9/12ers is insulting and unacceptable.

So where is the outrage? Where are the guardians of Dr. King’s legacy? Who will organize an event in our nation’s capital on that day to honor the real meaning that it represents? Will Beck be permitted to tarnish this anniversary with his exclusionary fear mongering and conspiracy brigades?”

Apparently not. At a meeting of the National Newspaper Publishers Association, several prominent African America leaders have taken up the cause to preserve the memory of Dr. King and the meaning of this anniversary. Here are some of the comments from the meeting:

Marc Morial, President, National Urban League: “We’re going to get together because we are not going to let Glenn Beck own the symbolism of Aug. 28th, 2010. Someone said to me, ‘Maybe we shouldn’t challenge him. Maybe we should just let him have it.’ I was like, ‘Brother, where have you been? Where is your courage? Where is your sense of outrage?’ We need to collaborate and bring together all people of good will, not just Black people, on Aug. 28 to send a message that Glenn Beck’s vision of America is not our vision of America.”

Ben Jealous, President, NAACP: “A group of White males wealthier than their peers called the Tea Party has risen up in the land. They say that they want to take the country back. And take it back they surely will. They will take it back to 1963 if we let them.” […] “We will be fighting Glenn Beck on Aug. 28th and we will be using that to leverage the second march [on October 2nd, for jobs and justice].”

Rev. Al Sharpton, President, National Action Network: “…there is no way in the world that I am going to allow [Beck] to have more people there than us. I hope every Black person in the country will help us to challenge this. Everybody’s got to be in Washington. We can’t let them hijack Dr. King’s dream.”

This is precisely the kind of push-back that is needed. It’s great to hear that these leaders are committed to challenging Beck. I haven’t yet seen any manifestation of their efforts outside of these remarks at the newspaper publisher’s event, but if they follow through with this level of intensity, they could turn this August 28th from a farce populated by Beck, Sarah Palin, and a throng of paranoid conspiratorialists, into a remarkable and inspirational day.

Feel free to contact these organizations and let them know that you support their efforts to challenge Beck. Then work to help produce a large turnout in Washington of people who want a true restoration of honor and justice, and the principles advocated by Dr. King.

National Urban League
NAACP
National Action Network