Ex-Fox News Reporter Scorches the Network’s ‘Right-Wing Hosts’ and ‘Partisan Misinformation’

Viewers of Fox News will remember a frequent face on the network during many of the elections for the past couple of decades. He was such a ubiquitous presence he was referred to endearingly as Campaign Carl. However, Carl Cameron retired from Fox News after twenty-two years a couple of years ago. And if anyone is wondering what happened to him since, well, you might be surprised.

Fox News Sad

Cameron just announced his participation in a new Internet news aggregation site called Front Page Live. He formed it with David Romm of ThinkProgress to be “an antidote to the Drudge Report.” The founders plan to provide a platform for progressive news along with opportunities to take action on causes like climate change and liberal politics. And unlike Drudge, their focus will be on accurate news stories, rather than flagrantly slanted propaganda of shills like Breitbart and Infowars and … Fox News.

Cameron released a video (see below) explaining his new venture, and he didn’t mince words about his former employer and colleagues at Fox:

“What’s a former Fox guy doing here on Front Page Live partnering with progressives? Well, it’s about facts, not partisanship. The idea of fair and balanced news appealed to me. But over the years, the right-wing hosts drowned out straight journalism with partisan misinformation.”

Indeed, the State TV hucksters at Fox News (Sean Hannity, Laura Ingraham, Tucker Carlson, Lou Dobbs, Jeanine Pirro, the “Curvy Couch” potatoes of Fox and Friends, and more) have submerged the network with a deluge of falsehoods. Note that Cameron didn’t merely criticize partisan information, but explicitly called it what it is: Misinformation. He could have gone even further to label it disinformation and would still have been correct. He continued with some biting commentary on Donald Trump saying that:

“I have a unique insight and understanding of how the right operates and literally 30 years of covering Donald Trump. Trump’s a conman. He DID collude, and coordinated with Russia to get elected. He encouraged them to intervene in the 2016 election on live television. We all saw it. And recently he said he’d accept their help again because he sees nothing wrong with it. And yes, he is still helping Russia by refusing to take strong actions again a future cyber attack.

This is a remarkable transformation. Cameron says that he kept his political views to himself while at Fox News because he was interested in being a journalist. Had Fox known that they would have fired him. It will be interesting to see if the new website is able to generate the kind of viral news dissemination that Drudge has managed for the conservative media. At least it’s satisfying to see that someone was able to shed the mantle of the wingnut cult and renounce the professional liars at Fox. There may be hope after all.

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

Trump DID Collude With Russia – Says Former Fox News Chief Campaign Correspondent

It’s a day that ends with the letter “Y” so obviously Donald Trump is posting on Twitter about how the special counsel’s investigation of him is just a “Russian Witch Hunt Hoax” designed to frame him for crimes that he is totally allowed to pardon himself for (except that he isn’t).

Donald Trump Vladimir Putin

In today’s tweet Trump takes aim at his own Attorney General, Jeff Sessions (again). Trump believes Sessions should have told him about his intention to recuse himself from the Mueller investigation. Never mind that that would have required Sessions to know the future because there was no investigation at the time. Nor did Sessions have any idea that he would need to recuse himself, because that didn’t become necessary until after he testified at his confirmation hearing about meetings with Russians (which he falsely denied).

Now a new book is providing additional evidence that Trump and his campaign did collude with Russia. What’s makes this book significant is that it contains new revelations by “Campaign Carl” Cameron, formerly of Fox News. Cameron was interviewed by ThinkProgress and elaborated on some the things that are outlined in detail in this book: How To Go Viral and Reach Millions.

Cameron’s account included Trump’s connections to various Russian operatives, Wikileaks, and the corrupt data enterprise, Cambridge Analytica. However, much of the story involves Trump’s close association with the notorious dirty trickster, Roger Stone. According to ThinkProgress:

“‘Trump confidant Roger Stone’s success was having the connections and creating the opportunities for [Russian intelligence officer] Guccifer2.0 and other Russian groups to really start taking advantage of social media and pounding these negative memes that Hillary’s a crook, et cetera,’ Cameron explained to ThinkProgress’ Joe Romm”

It has been well documented that Stone was working with Julian Assange and Wikileaks to disseminate anti-Clinton propaganda and stolen emails. His relationship with the hacker Guccifer only exacerbated his complicity when it became known that Guccifer was a working for the Kremlin. Cameron further revealed that:

“The president, Roger Stone, and other campaign officials have put a lot of effort into lying about their meetings and contact with Russians linked directly to the Kremlin and its cyber attack on the United States. But they put even more effort into coordinating their message with the Russians. It will be up to Mueller to determine just how extensive that coordination was.

“As Cameron explained to ThinkProgress, a key goal of this coordination was to create opportunities for Russian intelligence and Russian trolls. The point was to viralize the anti-Clinton memes and narratives to suppress the vote for her.”

Despite the mantra from right-wing media (especially Fox News) that there hasn’t been any evidence to tie Trump to collusion, the truth is that the evidence is abundant and more than incriminating enough to sink Trump and his whole crime family. And this new contribution from someone who had a place of prominence in the Fox propaganda machine only makes what is already known even more damning and perilous for Trump.

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

Fox News Hosts Candidate Debates After Giving $1 Million To GOP

This is precisely why the News Corp donation of a million dollars to the Republican Governor’s Association was such a violation of ethical standards in media and politics.

Fox News Channel Reporters To Moderate Debates For Governor And U.S. Senator

How can we expect any semblance of objectivity from Carl Cameron as he moderates the debate between the Republican and Democratic candidates for governor of Connecticut? We already know that the company that employs him is bankrolling the Republican candidate. It wouldn’t even matter if Cameron were completely above reproach and capable of being a fair moderator. The perception of bias invalidates his participation and that of his employer.

For the record, Cameron is not above reproach. His bias during the presidential campaign of 2004 was plainly apparent. His wife worked for the Bush campaign, which he never disclosed when covering it.

Similarly, Bret Baier cannot be considered an impartial moderator for the senate debate. He has repeatedly reported on the brush with controversy over statements made regarding service in Vietnam of Richard Blumenthal, the Democratic candidate. But Baier has virtually ignored the controversial financing and the association with drug use of former employees of the Republican candidate, Linda McMahon.

During the 2008 election Democrats refused to participate in any primary debates sponsored by Fox News. That would be a good policy to reinstate with regard to this year’s general election.

The G.O.P. Morphs Into The G.O.Tea

The National Tea Party Convention is over, but the battle for the soul of the so-called “movement” continues. Sarah Palin set the tone at her keynote speech to close the affair:

“The Republican Party would be really smart to start trying to absorb as much of the Tea Party movement as possible because this is the future of our country. The Tea Party movement is the future of politics.”

Sarah Palin's Crib NotesThe “future of politics” is typical Palin hyperbole. Clearly she doesn’t understand what she’s saying. This is a woman who just got through mocking President Obama for using a TelePrompter, while she has crib notes written on her hand for a Q and A to follow her speech; A woman who told her adoring audience not to be afraid of being God-fearing; A woman who told Chris Wallace that Obama could ace his reelection if he were to “play the war card” by attacking Iran. This is the same woman who thinks it would be smart for the GOP to absorb the Tea Baggers.

On that measure she is not alone. Despite protestations from ostensibly neutral players, leading figures in both the Tea Party and the Republican Party believe that they are made for each other. This contradicts those who say that Tea Baggers are non-partisan and are angry with both parties equally. The truth is that the Baggers were always more closely aligned with Republicans and the evidence is their own words:

John Boehner, House Minority Leader: There really is no difference between what Republicans believe in and what the tea party activists believe in.

Michael Steele, Republican Party Chairman: It’s important for our party to appreciate and understand that so we can move toward it, and embrace it.

Mark Skoda, Tea Party Leader: This movement is beginning to mature … not as a third party but a force to be reckoned with in the traditional party structure.

Carl Cameron, Fox News: They plan to establish separate spin off political action committees to fund raise for candidates who back Tea Party goals and the official Republican National Committee platform.

Newt Gingrich, Former GOP House Speaker: If the Republican Party offers a positive alternative in a way that Tea Party activists and independents join them, the tide could turn.

At this point it is inescapable that the Tea Party is a functional subsidiary of the GOP. Much of it’s original organizing muscle was provided by establishment Republican operatives like Dick Armey’s FreedomWorks and GOP PR firm Russo Marsh & Rogers. And now heavy-hitter Republicans like Palin are gripping the Baggers in a polar bear hug. All of this needs to be remembered when lazy or dishonest members of the press try to pretend that partisanship isn’t playing a part in this phony movement.

A Boycott Of Fox News By Conservatives

Bloggers on Free Republic, AKA Freepers, are mad as Hell and they aren’t going to take it any more. The treatment of Sarah Palin by Fox reporter Carl Cameron and others has incensed them to the point where they are vowing never to watch again. I’ve compiled some of the comments from the site for their comedic value:

  • I propose that we punish the FOX Network for its hatchet job on Sarah Palin. For one week beginning at 3:00 PM today no one tunes them in. We will demonstrate the power of conservatives when their ratings plummet dramatically. Will you join me? [FYI: their boycott will have no affect whatsoever on the ratings unless a significant number of them are Nielsen families]
  • I’m done with Teevee. Let them all go to hell.
  • I am with you all the way my friend…i hope FOX goes off the air…hate em now…
  • It would be easy. Nearly every show on FNC is unwatchable these days. ….for quite a while, in fact.
  • fauxNEWS – We Distort, You Comply
  • too late………I wrote them off months ago
  • Tell him he’s no better than the “smear merchants” and “bombthrowers” he holds in such contempt. Allowing Carl Cameron to spew unmitigated hearsay and garbage without one shred of supporting evidence or fact makes O’Reilly just as bad as the supermarket tabloids.
  • Life without FOX is good.
  • It’s not a secret that 81% of Fox News reporters and employees donate money to the Democratic party – that’s a crazy high number for an allegedly conservative TV channel. It’s no secret to the gay community that Shepard Smith is “one” of them.
  • FOX now SUX bigtime! 🙁
  • Screw them too. I have watched very little since their recent maniacal swerve left.
  • If FOX wants me back they will bring on Glenn Beck and Rush. I have had it with weasels like Hannity and O’Reilly.[Beck is on the way]

And finally, there was this insightful thought from a a true afficianado of the arts:

This thread would do really well at Daily Koz. They think this is a great idea. They even have the artwork ready…

Yes, that’s my artwork posted by a Freeper. Thanks veritas2002. And thanks for joining the boycott everybody.

Update: The folks at RedState are weighing in as well with Operation Leper:

We’re tracking down all the people from the McCain campaign now whispering smears against Governor Palin to Carl Cameron and others […] We intend to constantly remind the base about these people, monitor who they are working for, and, when 2012 rolls around, see which candidates hire them. Naturally then, you’ll see us go to war against those candidates.

The Disappointment In Sarah Palin’s Heart

It’s been less than 24 hours and already the wheels are coming off of Sarah Palin’s wagon. Fox News’ Campaign Carl Cameron is reporting what those of us with a functioning cerebral cortex already knew: Sarah Palin is an idiot.

Cameron’s sources with the McCain campaign are leaking tales of infighting between the Palin and McCain camps. She is characterized as a diva who would not take advice from staff, refused to be prepared for interviews and debates, and threw temper tantrums when faced with negative press. Even worse they are revealing the depth of her stupidity, or as Cameron describes it, “a lack of knowledgeability” (right, and Stevie Wonder has “a visionary deficiency”). Palin apparently couldn’t name the countries signatory to NAFTA. She didn’t know that Africa is a continent, and not a country. And Cameron says to expect more of these bimbotic disclosures in the days ahead.

But, as usual, the real gems come from Palin herself. In some off-the-cuff remarks she declares her intention to restore credibility to journalism:

“I want to make sure Americans do understand that there’s a little disappointment in my heart about the world of journalism today and I don’t want any individual journalists to take it personally but I have such great respect for the role of the media in our democracy. It is a cornerstone. It allows for checks and balances but only when there is fairness and objectivity in the reporting.

And I want to make sure that Americans can have great faith in that aspect of our society, the media. So whatever I can do there to help and actually be able to allow credence to be giving to the media, I want to help in that respect. That’s where I start as a journalist, receiving a journalist degree, my foundation is, again, with great respect for what the vocation is all about. I want to help restore some credibility there.”

She really does have the gift of gibberish. However, it stretches credulity for a candidate for the vice presidency, who deigned to hold a single press conference, to profess to have respect for journalism as a cornerstone of society. Her notion that the press provides checks and balances only when there is fairness and objectivity forgets that opinions and editorials are also a part of the profession. What she is really arguing for is an end to criticism, particularly of her.

She wants to make sure that Americans have faith in the media and refers to the degree she received in journalism (from the University of Idaho in Moscow, ID) as her “foundation.” But the only use she ever made of it was a brief stint as a weekend sportscaster in Anchorage. Nevertheless, she believes that she can restore credibility to the “liberal” media despite her inability to name a single newspaper or magazine that she has read.

Is this a foretelling of an interest to return to her journalistic roots? In response to questions about her post-campaign activities she said that she would like to have a public role, but not in a partisan sense. That would rule out politics, but it wouldn’t prevent her from setting up shop on talk radio or, more likely, Fox News. She still has another couple of years to kill as governor of Alaska, but that shouldn’t get in the way of her developing the pilot for the Palin Factor and premiering it in the fall of 2010. The question is…will journalism survive long enough for her to get around to saving it?

Sarah Palin: Back In The Protective Arms Of Fox News

As I predicted, Sarah Palin followed up her debate performance with an interview in the safety of a friendly harbor – Fox News. Carl Cameron managed to get the exclusive post-debate sit-down with Palin, and he doesn’t disappoint.

Cameron started off by eliciting an admission from Palin that John McCain gave her an “atta girl” after the debate. He then sought to uncover whether she felt that she had surprised Joe Biden:

“Did you catch him off guard? Was there eye contact between you and he that he didn’t see?”

That sounds like witchcraft to me. How could there be eye contact between them that he didn’t see? Did she hypnotize him? According to Rich Lowry of the National Review, much of the male TV audience was bewitched:

“I’m sure I’m not the only male in America who, when Palin dropped her first wink, sat up a little straighter on the couch and said, ‘Hey, I think she just winked at me.’ And her smile. By the end, when she clearly knew she was doing well, it was so sparkling it was almost mesmerizing. It sent little starbursts through the screen and ricocheting around the living rooms of America.”

If there were starbursts ricocheting around my living room, I must have been distracted by the burning in my eyes at the thought of Lowry’s perverse infatuation. But getting back to Cameron, his next question addressed Palin’s outright false assertion that troop levels in Iraq are lower now than before the Surge:

CAMERON: There was a lot of criticism that you misstated when you talked about us being at pre-surge levels in Iraq. Walk us through your math and what you were thinking you were talking about.

PALIN: Just — well, as victory’s getting closer and closer, we know that we’re going to be able to draw down those troops. Send them to Afghanistan, not specifically those Striker Brigades or those troops, we’ll have more resources to be able to put into Afghanistan, and start what I believe, and what I believe our commanders have referred to also as, the principles of a surge there also in Afghanistan, in a counter-insurge strategy that should work.

Huh? The only things missing in that response was a bewildered “such as” and a heartfelt “for the children.” Not only did her answer make no sense, it thoroughly ignored the question. Did we hear about how her math brought her to the conclusion that troop levels were below pre-Surge? Nope. Did Cameron bother to follow up? Nope. His next question began by praising her and got sillier after that:

CAMERON: Folks said, wow, that was like Sarah barracuda out there last night. Because it was back and forth and you were taking on Joe Biden. Do you think you surprised him by the way in which you were prepared to sort of go after his record and Obama’s? What was the body language and the psychology between the two of you on that? Because he was sighing a lot. And some folks thought that you kind of exasperated him.

PALIN: Well, again, at least my sort of view was, it was pleasant. And it was a lot of fun.

Cameron appears to be obsessed with whether Palin surprised Biden. But at least he dragged out of her the earthshaking revelation that she had fun. Having failed to get her to psychoanalyze Biden’s sighing, Cameron jumps to her remarks regarding Dick Cheney and the “flexibility” of the office of the Vice President. He asks her what she meant by that:

“That thankfully, our founders were wise enough to say, we have this position and it’s Constitutional. Vice presidents will be able to be not only the position flexible, but it’s going to be sort of this other duty as assigned by the president. It’s a simple thing. I don’t think that was a gaff at all in stating what the truth is. And that is we’ve got flexibility in the position. The president will be directing in a lot of respect with the vice president does. The vice president, of course, is not a member – or a part of the legislative branch, except to oversee the Senate. That alone provides a tremendous amount of flexibility and authority if that vice president so chose to use it.”

Huh? Once again, the bulk of her response was gibberish. The part that wasn’t gibberish was frightening. She actually believes that the vice president oversees the Senate and has authority over it if she chooses to exercise it. Cheney’s machinations notwithstanding, the vice presidency is defined in Article II of the Constitution which outlines the Executive branch of government. The VP has no role in the Senate other than to cast a vote in the event of a tie. But Palin thinks otherwise:

“You know, we might be bleeding our authority over to the Legislative or Judicial branch to do our job in the Executive branch as administers.”

The notion that the Executive branch can simply “bleed” its authority over the other branches of government is both idiotic and dangerous. But, again, Cameron didn’t bother to draw out any further explanation of that stance.

Sadly, this is the best we can expect from the McCain/Palin camp. She will almost certainly decline any press availabilities that expose her to any real inquiry. She did tell Cameron that she wants to do more press saying…

“I look forward to speaking to the media more and more everyday and providing whatever access the media would want. My life is certainly an open book […] I beg to differ with the notion that I was reigned in any way. But, if there was any of that, it’s over. And we got to be out there.”

So as to allegations that she has been kept from the press, it’s over, even though it never happened. And now she promises to provide “whatever access the media would want,” as long as the media is confined to Fox News. Only there will she be given opportunities to spin, lie, babble, and paper over her previous inanities. For example, a few days ago Palin couldn’t provide Katie Couric with either a newspaper she has read or a Supreme Court decision she disagreed with. Cameron allowed Palin a do-over on those questions and Palin rattled off newspapers and case law as if she were a legal historian. You don’t think she used the intervening days to bone up the subjects with notes from her handlers, do you?

Palin still has not held a single press conference and likely will not before election day (See The Palin Watch). So despite her promise to be more accessible, I would advise against holding your breath. You still have so much to live for.