WH Dep Press Secretary on Fox News Refuses to Deny Buzzfeed Story that Trump Told Cohen to Lie

Thursday night saw the release of one of the most devastating stories about Donald Trump to date. Buzzfeed reported that Trump’s former personal attorney, Michael Cohen, was directed by the President to lie to Congress about plans to build a Trump Tower in Moscow. If confirmed, that would be an airtight case against Trump for suborning perjury and obstructing justice – both impeachable offenses.

Donald Trump

So on Friday morning Trump dispatched his Deputy Press Secretary, Hogan Gidley, to what he surely assumed was the friendly territory of Fox News. However, his interview went skidding of the rails when the Fox co-hosts uncharacteristically asked him some probing questions. In the process, Gidley conspicuously avoided answering those questions and refused to even deny the allegations in the Buzzfeed report. This exchange is going to leave some visible bruises on Trump – and perhaps on Gidley as well after Trump sees it (video below):

Sandra Smith: The story coming from Buzzfeed on the President ordering Michael Cohen to lie…sources two law enforcement officials. This is the headline. Breaking: President Trump personally orders his longtime attorney, Michael Cohen, to lie to Congress about negotiations to build a Trump Tower in Moscow in order to obscure his involvement. How is the President responding to that report this morning?
Gidley: This is absolutely ludicrous that we are giving any type of credence or credibility to a news outlet like BuzzFeed. They are responsible, totally and completely, for the release of a discredited, disproven, false dossier. And now the author of the piece that you’re talking about went on air this morning and said he couldn’t corroborate any of his own evidence. He ran it anyway. This is quite frankly the problem with the press and why the President continues to call them ‘fake news’ repeatedly. There is nothing in that piece that can be corroborated.

First of all, notice that this reply was not a denial. Also, Gidley is incorrect that Buzzfeed was responsible for the infamous Steele Dossier. They simply published it after it had already circulated through the White House and the Department of Justice. And he’s lying as to the dossier being disproved. Nothing in the Dossier has been proven false, while much of it has been confirmed.

Furthermore, the Buzzfeed author didn’t say that he couldn’t corroborate his story. He only said that he didn’t see the corroborating documents, a point that Fox’s Bill Hemmer made saying that “I think the way it was characterized – the reporter did not see specifically see the evidence, but relied on one or two sources that they had trusted to this.” Gidley fumbled in an attempt to form a coherent reply and settled for just saying that “That’s not news,” and resorting to Trump’s catch phrase about “the fake Witch Hunt Russia investigation.” So Hemmer pressed him to give a more direct response to the original question about whether Trump ordered Cohen to lie:

Hemmer: You’re saying the President did not tell Michael Cohen to do that?
Gidley: I’m telling you right now this is exactly why the President refuses to give any credence or credibility to news outlets. Because they have no ability to corroborate anything they’re putting out there. Instead they’re just using innuendo and shady sources.
Hemmer: That was not a denial of my question.
Gidley: No. But the premise is ridiculous.

Once again, Gidley evaded the question. And even after Hemmer called him out on it explicitly, Gidley outright admitted that he was not offering a denial. Then he segued to a strategy of smearing his accuser, saying that Cohen is a liar and a felon. That’s true, but what Gidley isn’t saying (or denying) is that Cohen lied under orders from Trump. And then he is given one more opportunity to defend the President and deny the allegations against him:

Smith: But the headline in that report is the President personally directed his longtime attorney Michael Cohen to lie to Congress about negotiations involving that Trump Tower. Is that true or false?
Gidley: Right. But the President’s attorney has also addressed this. I’m not gonna give any credence or credibility to Michael Cohen who’s a convicted felon and an admitted liar.

So Gidley’s response to whether the Buzzfeed story is true or false is “Right.” Really? When the President’s own spokesperson resorts to dodges like “I’m not gonna give any credence,” to charges that the President suborned perjury and obstructed justice, there’s a good reason. And it’s usually because the story is true. But let’s not be too hard on Gidley. After all, his boss couldn’t even deny the allegations in his response on Twitter:

For as long as Trump has been under investigation for what he calls “this Russia thing,” he has behaved exactly the way you would expect a guilty person to act. The same is true for his defenders in the White House and the media. So there’s no reason to expect them to act any differently now. And judging by this pathetic performance by Gidley, they aren’t. With each passing day, and with each new revelation, it becomes increasingly clear that Trump is headed for prosecution and impeachment. And it can’t come too soon.

UPDATE: The Special Counsel’s office has issued a statement saying that “BuzzFeed’s description of specific statements to the Special Counsel’s Office, and characterization of documents and testimony obtained by this office regarding Michael Cohen’s Congressional testimony, are not accurate.” This statement doesn’t identify what precisely they are disputing, but it does say that it is specific, rather than applying broadly to the article’s main points. And Buzzfeed’s authors and editor-in-chief stand by their reporting.

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

Fair and Huh? Fox News Anchor Tells Trump Shill that She “Needs to Go on the Offensive’

The evidence that Fox News is just Donald Trump’s in-house propaganda ministry keeps growing with each new day. The network seems to have no bottom with regard to blatantly biased support for, and adulation of, Dear Leader. And the argument that they have two separate types of programs – one that is opinion based, and one that is “news,” is repudiated on a regular basis by their own reporting.

Fox News Fair and Balanced

America’s Newsroom on Fox News is supposed to be one of their allegedly “straight” news shows. However, on Friday’s edition of the program Mercedes Schlapp, Trump’s White House director of strategic communications (whatever that is), was interviewed. The discussion included a question about the “contentious moment between Sarah Sanders and Jim Acosta of CNN.” That was when Acosta asked Sanders to acknowledge that the media is not the enemy of the people. Sanders pointedly refused to to do sotwice. And now Schlapp was being given another opportunity to set the record straight. But instead, she said this (video below):

“Fake news is dangerous. We know for a fact that many of these so-called news reporters go out there have a complete disdain for President Trump. It’s no wonder that we’ve seen that 90% of the media coverage for President Trump has been negative.”

Schlapp went on to whine about how Trump and company are helpless victims who have been mercilessly attacked by the all-powerful media. Poor babies. She cited blistering assaults with examples that they have been “called names” by journalists. Gee, Trump would never do anything so unspeakably hideous, would he? And to this pitiful rant, Fox’s host, Bill Hemmer (who is rumored to be a candidate to succeed Sanders as press secretary) said:

“I don’t think you should be defensive about this. You need to go on offense. And I know that’s a big part of why you came on today.”

Then they all had a good laugh when Hemmer asked Schlapp if she was “tired of winning.” What we have here is the Fox News anchor advising the Trump shill to be more offensive, as if that were possible. Just Thursday night at his cult assembly in Pennsylvania, Trump himself escalated his war on the press by calling them the “disgusting fake news,” and “horrendous people.”

Hemmer’s not-so-subtle coaching of Schlapp may have been an attempt to add a new clip to his audition reel for the job at the White House. After all, he’s facing stiff competition from three other Fox Newsers: Heather Nauert (currently stationed at Trump’s State Department), Kimberly Guilfoyle (Don Jr’s new girlfriend who was recently terminated by Fox for sexual misconduct), and Tony Sayegh (now on duty at Trump’s Treasury Department).

This abundance of candidates all from the same network shouldn’t surprise anyone. Trump spends much his day watching Fox News and is advised regularly by people like Sean Hannity, Jeanine Pirro, Lou Dobbs, and the “Curvy Couch” potatoes of Fox and Friends. Plus his brand, spanking new Deputy Chief of Staff for Communications is former Fox News president, Bill Shine. He was also recently jettisoned by the network for enabling and covering up the sexual misconduct of big shots like Roger Ailes and Bill O’Reilly. So Hemmer would fit in nicely with this wholesome group of cretins, don’t you think?

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

On Fox News RNC Chair Cites Laughably Phony Evidence that Facebook Censors Conservatives

It is a miraculous twist of fate that Fox News and Donald Trump found each other. They both have so much in common. Their shared commitment to telling flagrant lies in pursuit of an ultra right-wing agenda is the tie that binds them in an embrace of harmony and mutual devotion. And if you’re feeling a little nauseous right now, just wait.

Fox News, Diamond & Silk

One of the defining characteristics of modern conservatism is the determination to blame anything and everything, other than themselves, for their problems. Trump is a master at this pretense of victimhood. He is certain that there are clandestine “Deep State” conspirators embedded in the government who are out to get him. Or at least he pretends to believe that. And the media is in on the conspiracy with their constant negative (i.e. truthful) assessments of his disastrous presidency. Every utterance from Trump is either a declaration of unprecedented success for which he is solely responsible, or a historic failure that his enemies blame him for. And Fox News reports all of these things exactly as Trump imagines them.

On Friday, Fox News anchor Bill Hemmer interviewed the chair of the Republican National Committee, Ronna Romney McDaniels, in a segment that perfectly demonstrates the rightist paranoia. McDaniels falsely claimed that Republicans are being censored on social media. She is parroting the whining by many on the right who think that their own failures must be the work of secret foes undermining them from hidden bunkers.

In fact, many people and organizations (including News Corpse) have suffered audience declines recently due to new policies implemented by Facebook and other social media platforms ostensibly to curb fake news. These changes can be legitimately criticized as they are often most harmful to small publishers. But they are not being applied differently based on any political bias. However, that hasn’t stopped Fox News and the GOP from crying foul and feigning outrage. And this segment with the RNC Chair is a perfect example (video below):

McDanniels: “In the history of Facebook there have been instances where they have changed the trending topics. They’ve suppressed conservative viewpoints as we’ve recently seen with Diamond and Silk – that they suspended their account. And we just wanted to preemptively go to Facebook and say that we want assurances that you are not going to suppress conservative voices. That the Silicon Valley thought police is not going to determine what voices filter through on social media platforms.” […]

Hemmer: “Just for the audience, state the evidence as to why you think there is bias on these platforms. I saw one number that suggests a forty percent decline in traffic for conservative viewpoints. Where is the evidence for that, Ronna?”

McDanniels: “Well, Diamond and Silk this morning said that their viewership has gone way down since they were suspended. They have since been reinstated. […] We know that it’s a liberal place in Silicon Valley, that we don’t usually have the same mindset. And we want to make sure that we’re fair and neutral.”

Holy Shitake Mushroom. McDaniels is citing the loopiest Trump-fluffers on Fox News as her evidence of anti-conservative bias. And the only proof of the alleged bias is that Diamond & Silk say so. ThinkProgress did the research and discovered that the fruitcake duo’s Facebook interactions actually increased during the period they claim to have been censored. But they have been telling these lies for quite a while, and even got a surreal hearing before Congress to spin this bullshit.

So without putting a single fact on the table, McDaniels slanders the “Silicon Valley thought police” she imagines are suppressing her Constitutional rights. And Fox’s Hemmer helps her along with a completely unsupported claim that he “saw one number” that he said showed a significant decline for conservatives. And that is the totality of their argument that conservatives are being held down by the all-powerful liberals who control everything on the planet. To reiterate: it’s a number that Hemmer says he saw and wildly false claims by two yokels who can’t string together a coherent sentence. So I guess that settles it.

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

Trump Press Secretary’s Response to His Gross Tweets About Mika Makes Things Even Worse

It’s mid-morning on Thursday and by now most of the country has heard about Donald Trump’s latest expression of his abhorrent character (or lack thereof). For those who haven’t, he tweeted a grotesque insult aimed at MSNBC’s Mika Brzezinski. It was fairly typical of his misogynistic tendencies. For some reason, his most vile comments are usually saved for women.

Huckabee Sanders Trump

Trump’s tweets, as usual, were as riddled with lies as with loathing. For the record, this what he wrote:

Let’s set aside the horrific remarks about Mika Brzezinski. They have been appropriately covered and condemned elsewhere. And not just by Democrats and liberals. Below are some of the responses from prominent Republicans.

However, it also needs to be noted that the parts of Trump’s tweets that weren’t nauseating and childish were untrue. Morning Joe has been enjoying record ratings and nine straight quarters of growth. Trump couldn’t possibly know what Mika’s IQ is, and given his raging ignorance, he’s certainly in no position to talk. At the New Year’s Eve party at Mar-a-Lago he did not say “no” to Mika and Joe. They were photographed socializing. And, of course, there was no sign of bleeding or recent surgery. Finally, how does he always know what’s on Morning Joe if he never watches it?

Trump’s tweets were received with both disgust and disbelief. Except, that is, from within his own camp. Deputy press secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders rushed over to Fox News to try to address the erupting crisis. Her efforts were pathetic and even viewed skeptically by host Bill Hemmer. Her position was that Trump is the victim and he was merely defending himself:

“I don’t think that the president’s ever been someone who gets attacked and doesn’t push back. There have been an outrageous number of personal attacks, not just to him, but to frankly everyone around him.

“People on that show have personally attacked me many times. This is a president who fights fire with fire. And certainly will not be allowed to be bullied by a liberal media and the liberal elites within the media or Hollywood or anywhere else.”

This prompted Hemmer to ask “Look, I get it. But is that necessary?’ Sanders just robotically repeated her prearranged talking points. What she apparently doesn’t understand is that, even if the program was critical of Trump, there’s a big difference. They are television pundits. He’s the President of the United States. And for him to lash out in such an infantile manner is disgraceful and embarrassing to the nation. Whenever he launches these odious tweetstorms he is avoiding his duty as president. The fact that he took the time to compose and post these tweets means that he wasn’t working on healthcare, North Korea, the economy, or terrorism. Well, that may actually be good news considering the harm he would likely cause.

Here is a collection of responses from Republicans who were rightfully disturbed by Trump’s hateful messaging:

And for good measure, here is the response from First Lady Melania Trump. Recall that she was going to make a campaign against cyberbullying her White House project.

No one should really be all that surprised by any of this. This is who a minority of the country elected. And he let us all know the rancidness of his character throughout his campaign. He’s a misogynist, racist, ignorant, bullying, narcissistic, pussy-grabbing, wannabe dictator. He’s also a corrupt, anti-constitution, Russian collaborating traitor. And for all of these substantive criticisms that warrant his immediate impeachment, he would likely only reply that I’m a goofy nobody with bad hair.

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

Fox News Takes Donald Trump’s Stupid Immigration Policy And Makes It Even Worse

This year’s Sarah Palin is really stirring up the LIV (Low Information Voter) constituency. With an astonishing flair for melodrama, Donald Trump’s candidacy has assumed Palin’s role as both village idiot and court jester. And his rhetoric is certainly living up to his campaign slogan.

Donald Trump Hell Hole

This weekend Trump solidified his position by releasing an utterly absurd immigration policy that not only fails to solve any problems, but actually exacerbates them in most cases. Among the more ludicrous proposals are:

Mass deportation of an estimated eleven million undocumented residents.
This would cost billions of dollars, take decades, ruin businesses, and rip apart families. Trump was asked by Chuck Todd about the family matter and he responded that he would keep them together by deporting all of them, including the ones who are U.S. citizens.

Ending birthright citizenship.
To accomplish this Trump would have to get a constitutional amendment passed to repeal the 14th Amendment, which takes years and the cooperation of a huge majority of Congress and state legislatures. Clearly Trump knows nothing about the subject because he later told Bill O’Reilly that the 150 year old constitutional law had not been tested and would not hold up in court.

Triple the number of Immigration, Customs, and Enforcement officers.
Small government conservatives will probably be thrilled with the thought of hiring 10,000 more federal employees, plus the staff to support them and affiliated hiring at other agencies to handle the legal and administrative duties that would be required. And all to reduce illegal immigration which is already on the decline.

Defund sanctuary cities.
By this Trump means cutting off federal grants to any city which refuses to cooperate with federal law enforcement. So he thinks that giving the feds more power over the states will excite his right-wing base.

Requirement to hire American workers first (before granting visas for foreign workers).
Somebody should tell Trump that this is already required by current law. Although he probably knows because he is a notorious abuser of these regulations. Reuters has reported that Trump’s businesses “have sought to import at least 1,100 foreign workers on temporary visas since 2000, according to U.S. Department of Labor data.”

With all of the ridiculousness in this alleged immigration policy, it is interesting to note that it wasn’t yet ridiculous enough for Fox News. In an interview today (video below), Fox anchor Bill Hemmer asked his Fox Business Network colleague Lou Dobbs about Trump’s immigration plan. Dobb’s was wholly supportive and praised Trump for being “the only candidate who’s had the guts to say we’re going to deport them all.” However, Dobbs, like Trump, could not explain how it would be possible to do that. He was then asked about Trump’s ludicrous assertion that birthright citizenship, and not jobs, “remains the biggest magnet for illegal immigration.” Dobb’s agreed and elaborated saying…

“I think he’s partly right. I would argue that also our welfare system that is sitting here being handed out without hesitation. ObamaCare is being provided without even a question about legal status. People are being allowed to vote by the millions in this country who are illegal because we’re not checking citizenship and we’ve got a government actively fighting voter identification which assures the integrity of our electoral system.”

Dobbs’ attempt to enhance Trump’s already faulty set of proposals only makes it much worse. Either Dobbs is frightfully ignorant or he is deliberately lying. First of all, undocumented immigrants are not eligible for most types of welfare, including food stamps and housing assistance. What’s more, they actually pay far more into the federal treasury than they will ever see come back from any source. They pay about ten billion dollars annually in state and local taxes. And over a decade they have contributed over 100 billion dollars to Social Security, which they are not eligible to receive.

Secondly, Dobbs assertion that undocumented residents are getting ObamaCare is simply false. The Affordable Care Act explicitly prohibits undocumented immigrants from purchasing health insurance from the marketplace or from receiving any premium credits or other benefits.

Finally, Dobbs’ completely unsupported allegation that “millions” of undocumented immigrants are being allowed to vote is just plain nuts. Not only are there not millions, the evidence of more than a handful is hard to come by. The American Immigration Council compiled research that shows that “repeated investigations over the years have found no indication that systematic vote fraud by non-citizens is anything other than the product of overactive imaginations.”

Lou Dobbs offered up three theories that he felt compelled to add to Trump’s already bogus claim that birthright citizenship was the “biggest magnet for illegal immigration.” And on all three counts he was wrong. Nevertheless, his disinformation was broadcast to Fox’s gullible audience without comment or correction or rebuttal. Anchor Hemmer simply smiled and nodded in agreement and plugged Dobbs’ show on FBN. And that’s another reason why Fox News viewers have been found to be more ignorant than viewers of any other news network.

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

OMG! Fox News Says “Illegals” Will Devour Social Security And Medicare

It has been well established that the primary mission of Fox News is to stir up irrational fear in the hearts of their unbalanced and paranoid viewers. In pursuit of that goal Fox is now manufacturing another horror story about the dangers of the “huddled masses yearning to breathe free” that our Statue of Liberty warned us about.

Fox News

For more examples of Fox’s brazen dishonesty…
Get Fox Nation vs. Reality. Available now at Amazon.

On this weekend’s episode of America’s Newsroom, anchor Bill Hemmer anxiously reported that a new development stemming from President Obama’s executive action on immigration was taking shape that spelled doom for America. He opened the segment saying that…

“Now we’re learning some five million may not only get amnesty, but also receive some of the valuable benefits of citizenship, including Social Security and Medicare.”

The first half of that sentence refers to the long-standing lie that immigration reform will grant amnesty to undocumented residents. That is utterly false. The bill that passed the Senate (which the GOP-run House has refused to take up) contains numerous fines, penalties, and conditions for eligibility that disprove the amnesty allegation by the very definition of the word. And the executive action is a temporary measure that merely serves as a guideline for the Justice Department in exercising prosecutorial discretion.

But it’s the second half of the sentence that wildly diverges from sanity by asserting that the “benefits of citizenship” will be conferred upon immigrants. There is no truth to the claim that undocumented residents will be collecting Social Security or Medicare anytime in the near future, if at all.

The truth was reported more accurately by the Associated Press who said that those covered by the recent executive action will be allowed to get temporary work permits that will require them to also have a Social Security number. Therefore, they will begin to pay into the system via payroll taxes. However, they will not be eligible to collect any benefits until certain other conditions have been met. Those conditions include working for a minimum of ten years and reaching retirement age. Consequently, the temporary fix implemented by the President would have to be extended by passage of legislation in Congress that codifies a permanent solution.

What’s more, as Hemmer himself noted, none of these immigrants would be eligible for welfare, education funding, food stamps, ObamaCare subsidies, etc. So the entire premise of the segment was false. But that didn’t stop Fox from composing an on-screen title that definitively stated that “Undocumented immigrants will be eligible for Social Security and Medicare.” The AP’s article went on to disclose that…

“A report by the White House Council of Economic Advisers this week concluded that Obama’s executive actions would expand the U.S. tax base because about two-thirds of immigrants illegally working in the United States don’t pay taxes. […and that…] The Social Security Administration estimates that out of about 11 immigrants who either entered the U.S. illegally or have overstayed their visas slightly more than 3 million paid payroll taxes of about $6.5 billion in 2010, with their employers contributing another $6.5 billion. Those payments would not qualify toward the 10 year requirement needed to be eligible for benefits.”

So, many of the immigrants currently in the U.S. are already contributing billions of dollars to the system without any return. And that number could triple as the remainder of the immigrants are brought out of the shadows and into temporary legal status. You would think that the Tea Party and deficit hawks on the right would approve of this positive impact on the budget. Unfortunately, their racism supersedes their commitment to fiscal responsibility.

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John Bolton’s ‘Jaw-Dropping’ Hypocritical Attack On Obama

This Memorial Day weekend President Obama made a surprise trip to Afghanistan to thank soldiers there, and everywhere, for their service. As a matter of routine, a list of those meeting with the President was released to the press. Unfortunately, that list mistakenly included the name of the CIA station chief in Kabul.

While this was a serious oversight, its impact is mitigated by the fact that this person’s identity is not strictly secret. It is expressly released to Afghan officials and others in the region. What’s more, the list was prepared by the military, not the White House, so the knee-jerk reaction by conservatives in the media to blame Obama is misplaced and overtly political.

Among those crassly political knee-jerkers is former Bush era ambassador to the United Nation, John Bolton. Bolton appeared on Fox News in an interview with anchor Bill Hemmer. The tone of the exchange was set at the very beginning when Hemmer asked Bolton the fair and balanced question, “What do you think of this bonehead move?” Well, I guess we know what Hemmer thinks of it. Not surprisingly, Bolton unleashed a spittle-inflected harangue that accused the President of “jaw-dropping incompetence.” Hemmer later asks whether it is fair to compare this event to the outing of covert CIA operative Valerie Plame. Bolton, of course says “I don’t think so,” and dismisses the Plame incident as “just a malicious piece of gossip.”

Fox News Bolton

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For the record, Valerie Plame was a deep-cover agent whose outing had the potential to result in the death of herself and those with whom she associated in some dangerous parts of the world. Her outing was not an accident, as was the Kabul station chief. Her identity was deliberately disclosed in retaliation for her husband’s criticism of the Bush administration’s lies justifying the invasion of Iraq. In other words, it was a petty and personal retribution for which Dick Cheney’s chief of staff, Scooter Libby, was convicted and jailed.

Any objective analysis of the facts show that there is no reasonable comparison between the two intelligence leaks. For Bolton and Fox News to try to turn this into another manufactured outrage without acknowledging their staunch defense of those involved in outing Plame is jaw-dropping hypocrisy. But what truly makes this rise to epic levels of hypocrisy is that Bolton himself has been implicated in the outing of Plame. Others involved include Cheney, Colin Powell deputy Richard Armitage, New York Times writer Judy Miller, the late Robert Novak, and (surprise) Karl Rove. Note: Miller, Novak, Rove, and Cheney’s daughter Liz, have all been Fox News contributors.

Nevertheless, watch for Fox News to churn up the heat on this editing error and cast all the blame on Obama as if he had personally approved the list for distribution. It is evidence of how little of substance conservatives have to criticize the President for, so they have to resort to fanning the embers of pseudo-scandals for which they have no proof, or even a basis for speculation.

More Proof That Fox News Is Not News

As if any further evidence was needed…..

Howard Kurtz of the Washington Post wrote a profile of Fox News anchor Bill Hemmer. The piece began by making a completely unsupported assertion that Hemmer was “a middle-of-the-road guy.” However, Kurtz quickly redeemed himself by pointing out that Hemmer’s record of fairness and/or balance was something less than pure.

“The first solo guest on every show but one, from June 1 through July 2, was a Republican or conservative — including Karl Rove (twice), Steve Forbes (twice), House GOP leaders John Boehner and Eric Cantor, Minnesota Rep. Michele Bachmann, economist Art Laffer and officials from the Heritage Foundation and the American Enterprise Institute. Conservative commentators, such as John Fund and Steve Moore of the Wall Street Journal and Byron York and Chris Stirewalt of the Washington Examiner, appeared by themselves. Arizona state Sen. Russell Pearce, a Republican who is a leading opponent of illegal immigration, was on three times. By contrast, a relative handful of Democratic lawmakers were given solo spots, while Democratic strategists were generally paired in debates with Republican counterparts.”

The rest of the article pretty much receded back into the sort of mushy puff piece for which Kurtz is well known. Kurtz didn’t even challenge the anchor, whom he described as having an “infectious grin and golly-gee demeanor,” when Hemmer noted that…

“A viewer needs to understand a story in a short period of time, otherwise they will zone out or they will change the station. Complexities are difficult to sell.”

It’s a good thing Hemmer doesn’t have to report on anything complex like a war in Afghanistan, a Supreme Court nomination, a teetering economy, or an environmental catastrophe in the Gulf of Mexico.

You might also recall that Michael Clemente, senior vice president of Fox News, defines the hours of 9am to 4pm, and 6pm to 8pm, as the dayparts that air straight news. So Hemmer’s 9:00am program is the springboard to Fox’s news day. And like the rest of the Fox News schedule, it is infested with right-wing bias. In this case the bias is delivered with “boyish enthusiasm” and a comforting simplicity.

Update: Hemmer ventured off to Brian Kilmeade’s radio show to respond to charges of partisanship on his program. He blamed it on Democrats who, he says, refuse his invitations to appear.

I hope he’s right. Democrats should refuse to appear on Fox News. And for the same reason they wouldn’t appear on the Lyndon Larouche Network. Fox is not a legitimate news enterprise and should not be treated as one.

Tucker Carlson Goes Crawling Back To Fox News

There aren’t too many more pitfalls for a guy like Tucker Carlson. He has already failed on PBS, CNN, and MSNBC. He embarrassed himself by appearing on Dancing With the Stars, and compounded the pain by being voted off first (although that may actually have been a blessing). His game show pilot, shot last year, has apparently been shelved. He will forever be remembered as the “dick” from Crossfire, thanks to Jon Stewart. But now he has taken another fall down the rabbit hole of shame.

Tucker Carlson

Carlson is the latest in a long line of Fox News sideshow freaks that includes everyone from Karl Rove and Judith Miller to Joe the Plumber and Ted Nugent. His emergence on Fox’s America’s Newsroom with Bill Hemmer must be particularly humiliating for him considering his history with Fox.

In 2003, Tucker was asked on air for his home phone number. He thought it would be funny (in an infantile sort of way) to give out the number for Fox News instead. Not surprisingly, Fox was besieged by anxious Tucker “fans.” So Fox did what only Fox would do. They posted Tucker’s home number on their website asserting that they were merely correcting Tucker’s poor journalism. In a snit that ignored every trace of irony, Tucker called Fox News:

“…a mean, sick group of people.”

Despite that colorful characterization, Carlson has now been welcomed warmly into the fold. Hemmer greeted him on air with a sly nod to the inevitability of his fate:

Tucker Carlson senior fellow for the Cato institute and a former member of a couple of other news networks that we don’t want to mention here. What’s happening my old friend? […] It’s nice to see you – it’s about time you showed up, frankly.

I guess there was no alternative outcome. Carlson could not withstand the very laws of gravity. Like Glenn Beck before him, he had to succumb to his master – no matter how mean or sick. He is now fully acclimated, and he will serenely conform to Fox’s faux reality. As Hemmer said, “It’s about time.”