The Mind-Blowing Detachment From Reality Of Fox News Over Media Bias

During a segment of Happening Now on Fox News, anchor Jon Scott hosted conservative Jim Pinkerton and liberal Alan Colmes to debate the latest pet scandal at Fox. Having abandoned Benghazi after it failed to tarnish President Obama’s standing with the American people, Fox is now harping on the events at the Internal Revenue Service.

One thing that can be said for this pseudo-scandal is that it has united the ire of both sides of the controversy. Democrats and Republicans alike have repudiated those at the IRS who employed politically partisan criteria to determine which organizations applying for tax-exempt status would be subject to stricter scrutiny. But like all of the past scandals, no one has been able to tie this affair to the White House either. And that fact is driving the right batty (or battier than usual).

Right out of the gate, Scott primed the discussion by quoting ultra-right Wall Street Journal columnist James Taranto saying…

“Never has the prevailing bias of the media been so closely aligned with the ideological aims and the political interests of the party in power.”

Fox News

Is that so? Apparently Taranto was in a vegetative state during the Bush administration when the media, and particularly Fox News, was sucking Bush’s Dick Cheney-led propaganda straight from the bottle. Fox was an unabashed cheerleader for the war in Iraq. And they were not alone. Even MSNBC fired Phil Donahue when he was their top rated host due to his skepticism about the rush to war mongering. And does anyone remember the press criticizing Bush for cutting the taxes of millionaires and transitioning the Clinton budget surplus into a deficit?

The truth is that Fox is the first and only major media enterprise that was built from scratch to proselytize on behalf of a political Party. Fox’s devotion to the people and policies of the right extend far beyond merely parroting their agenda (which they do non-stop), but Fox actually employs Republican operatives and candidates in an effort to advance their prospects. And of course, Fox’s CEO, Roger Ailes, was himself a Republican operative before he took the reins of international corporatist Rupert Murdoch’s cable news network.

Adding to the epic irony of this cognition failure is that the anchor, Jon Scott, is hardly one to raise the issue of media alignment with party politics. Scott was caught red-handed reading GOP talking points on the air as if they were his own news reporting. He even included a graphic that contained the same typos that were in the original Republican memo. And now he has the gall to cast aspersions of bias on what he describes as the liberal media, but without offering a single example.

The remainder of the debate was a mashup of inane accusations that liberals were not condemning the IRS misbehavior. Colmes had to repeatedly prove that they were, eventually offering to write it in blood after Scott and Pinkerton seemed oblivious to the facts Colmes presented numerous times. And when all else failed they raised the specter of George Soros who had nothing to do with any of this. Wingnuts just go through withdrawal if they don’t say his name every two minutes.

Here’s the video for your amusement:

And for a little added fun, check out these screen grabs from the segment where Fox featured Tea Party protesters with signs saying “America is a Christian nation,” and “911 was an inside job.” Way to push the doctrine, Fox.

Fox News Tea Party

Bill O’Reilly And John Boehner: Brotherhood Of The Traveling Pants On Fire

In recent days, the resounding cry from the right-wing pundits and politicians regarding sequestration has been a demonstrably false yammering that President Obama has neglected to put forth a plan to cut spending. And it’s a pretty good talking point except for the fact that there isn’t a bit of truth to it.


This plaintive squeal was heard last Sunday when John Boehner appeared on Meet the Press to peddle his party line fiction. He told host David Gregory that “even today, there’s no plan from Senate Democrats or the White House to replace the sequester.” For that mangling of the truth, Boehner earned a “Pants On Fire” designation from PolitiFact who posted a detailed debunking of Boehner’s…well, bunk. Boehner went on to blame senate Democrats for not passing a bill that only failed due to senate Republicans filibustering it.

The howling further escalated last night when Bill O’Reilly nearly had an aneurism while debating the same subject with Alan Colmes (video below). O’Reilly almost immediately began shouting red-faced at Colmes for his having correctly stated that the President does have a plan. O’Reilly viciously called his fellow Fox News employee a liar seven times in rapid succession as Colmes calmly objected and tried to settle him down. But O’Reilly could not be assuaged. Here is a partial transcript of the exchange:

O’Reilly: The President’s willing to have Americans suffer for the greater good of trying to have Nancy Pelosi be the new Speaker of the House. […] Give me one program he said he would cut.
Colmes: He would cut Medicare and Medicaid.
O’Reilly: That’s not a specific program.
Colmes: You asked me for a program – those are programs.
O’Reilly: You’re not telling me anything. It’s jack____ what you’re saying.
Colmes: There would be less money going to the states. There would be less money being reimbursed to doctors.
O’Reilly: You don’t know where. You don’t know how much. You don’t know to whom. And the reason you don’t know it is because the guy you revere refuses to say anything specific about anything.

O’Reilly’s high-pitched histrionics did nothing to make the substance of his ranting more truthful. Just as Boehner’s demurring failed to refute the factual evidence that the President’s plan does exist. It is available on the White House web site for anyone who is interested and honest – which obviously exempts Boehner and O’Reilly.

Watching trained circus clowns like O’Reilly and Boehner distort reality is bad enough, but what’s really troubling is the tendency of so much of the media to fail to set the record straight when there is no credible case to support the lies of these charlatans. And they will certainly not set the record straight themselves. O’Reilly in particular is notorious for digging in his heels even after he has been proven to be wrong. It’s a character trait common among egomaniacal sociopaths who regard themselves as infallible defenders of humanity’s virtue.

Alan Colmes Leaving The Sean Hannity Show

After twelve years, Fox News “liberal” Alan Colmes has announced that he is leaving his TV perch, the “Hannity And Not Hannity Show.” Many viewers are now asking themselves, “Alan who?”

Colmes was never a particularly effective foil for Hannity. He was more like Ed McMahon, taking the show into and out of commercial breaks. Hannity controlled the air time and the tone of the program. Colmes himself offered a pretty accurate description of his role when he was interviewed by the New York Times in 1996:

In the interim the production crew called the show ”Hannity and LTBD.’‘ LTBD stood for ”Liberal to Be Determined.’”It was fill in the blank,” said Mr. Colmes … ”I was the blank.”

He certainly was. And despite press release niceties, don’t look for Colmes to get his own show. The Hannity hour was the only program on Fox that ever had a “liberal” name on the marquee. Now it is being speculated that Hannity will continue the show solo – not much different from the past twelve years. At least he would have an opportunity to parade his ego without pesky interruptions.

In the past few weeks Fox News has renewed contracts with Hannity and Bill O’Reilly. They have launched a new program with Mike Huckabee. And the Glenn Beck Show is premiering in January. All of this activity is occurring as the Obama administration is getting ready to move in to Washington. So contrary to some of the naive conjecture that Rupert Murdoch was softening his political views, Fox is actually calling up reinforcements for what will likely be an even nastier battle. It cannot be regarded as coincidental that Fox is hardening its lineup at this moment in time.

Fasten your seat belts.