OH REALLY? Trump Holds Putin Responsible for Election Meddling, And Himself for What Happens in U.S.

Donald Trump was interviewed by Jeff Glor of CBS News on Wednesday afternoon. It’s gotten to the point where it is almost irrelevant when Trump says things in any public forum due to the increasing frequency of his lies and deliberate attempts to disseminate disinformation. But when he ventures out from the safety of his Fox News cocoon or his Twitter feed, we may want to pay a little attention.

Donald Trump

There wasn’t much news made during this interview. But Trump is frantically trying to do some damage control following his disastrous flop in Helsinki with Vladimir Putin. His first efforts to walk back the overtly treasonous statements he made failed miserably. So he’s spreading it even thicker now. When Glor asked Trump directly, “Do you hold [Putin] personally responsible” for the 2016 election hacking, Trump replied (video below):

“Yeah, I would because he’s in charge of the country. Just like I consider myself to be responsible for things that happen in this country. So certainly, as the leader of a country, you would have to hold him responsible. “

Oh really? Does that mean that Trump holds himself responsible for the 2,000+ children who were ripped from their parents arms, frightened and crying? Does he hold himself responsible for not being able to reunite those families now, and not even knowing where some of the children are? How about the opioid epidemic? Is he responsible for its growth and the lack of suitable care? And speaking of care, does Trump take responsibility for having sabotaged ObamaCare, putting millions of American lives at risk?

Is Trump going to take responsibility for the jobs lost because companies like Harley Davidson and BMW are moving their operations out of the U.S. because of Trump’s trade wars? Will he fess up to being responsible for the trillion deficits that are coming due to his tax “reform?” And while he’s at it, he might take some of the blame for stocking the Washington swamp with low life cretins like Scott Pruitt, Tom Price, Ryan Zinke, Betsy DeVos, etc.

Don’t hold your breath waiting for Trump to actually live up to his claims of being a responsible head of state. He has distinguished himself as the biggest whiner to ever occupy the Oval Office. He actually bragged about it. He blames shamelessly everyone else for his screw-ups while exalting himself as the Second Coming of the Messiah. Glor also asked Trump if he thought Putin lied to him, since Putin denies interfering with our election. Trump said that he “didn’t want to get into” whether or not Putin lied. Isn’t that sweet? He doesn’t want to hurt Vlad’s feelings. How’s that for taking responsibility?

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

The Sunday Morning Trump (Not So) Funnies: Donald Trump’s Senile Dementia Kicked in Bigly

This weekend Donald Trump massively accelerated the level of nonsense that has been the hallmark of his presidency. Among the cognitive lapses he displayed while embarrassing America in Europe were his defensive response to the indictment of twelve Russians for interfering with the 2016 presidential election, and his anti-First Amendment rebuke of the the “fake news” network CNN in favor of the “real” network, Fox News. But he was just getting started.

Donald Trump

There were several instances of acute mental confusion that Trump exhibited this weekend. But let’s begin with the most disturbing one, even though it may not be the most substantive. In an interview with British Trump-fluffer Piers Morgan, the President was asked “What is the incentive for America to do a great deal with the United Kingdom?” And this was Trump’s – – – answer?

“We would make a great deal with the United Kingdom because they have product that we like. I mean they have a lot of great product. They make phenomenal things, you know, and you have different names — you can say ‘England’, you can say ‘UK’, you can say ‘United Kingdom’ so many different — you know you have, you have so many different names – Great Britain. I always say: ‘Which one do you prefer? Great Britain?’ You understand what I’m saying?”

No. Nobody understands a single thing that you’re saying. But that’s only because you aren’t saying anything that is remotely intelligible. But other than that, it’s perfectly clear.

From there we go on to an interview Trump gave to CBS anchor Jeff Glor. Trump made several bits of “news” in this brief dialog. Like when he said that his father was born in the EU (Germany). Except that his father was born in New York. Trump will literally lie about anything. There are no limits to the outright absurdity of his frightening foolishness. For example:

GLOR: “What’s your goal from the Putin meeting?”
TRUMP: “I’ll let you know after the meeting.”

Well, that’s comforting. It shows how seriously Trump is taking this summit with the dictator of the nation that is occupying Crimea, helping Iran in Syria, and that attacked America’s democracy. And then there’s this:

GLOR: “The Russians who were indicted. Would you ask Putin to send them here?”
TRUMP: “Well I might. I hadn’t thought of that. But again — this was during the Obama administration.”

He hadn’t thought of the most obvious response to a historic indictment of a foreign nation’s criminal cyberwar against the United States? What the hell is he thinking of? Pee-pee tapes? And even after being given the idea, Trump still only says that he “might” bring it up. Then he goes on to blame President Obama for the whole mess. It may have happened DURING the Obama administration, but it was being done FOR (and with?) the Trump campaign. And then there’s this:

TRUMP: “I think the DNC should be ashamed of themselves for allowing themselves to be hacked. They had bad defenses and they were able to be hacked. But I heard they were trying to hack the Republicans too, but — and this may be wrong — but they had much stronger defenses.”

So now the DNC is responsible for Putin’s hacking of Democrats on behalf of Donald Trump. Classic “blaming the victim.” And Trump has the audacity to make this allegation even while admitting that “this may be wrong.” What sober-minded world leader would say things publicly that he doesn’t know are true? BTW, according to the Justice Department, the GOP was hacked, so their defenses were no better than the DNC. But Russia was only using hacked info against the Democrats. Whatever they hacked from Republicans is probably being used to blackmail Trump. And then there’s this:

GLOR: “Who is your biggest competitor? Your biggest foe globally right now?”
TRUMP: “Well I think we have a lot of foes. I think the European Union is a foe, what they do to us in trade. Now you wouldn’t think of the European Union but they’re a foe.”

Indeed, we do have a lot of foes. Especially many of our former allies since Trump took office. But the first one he thinks of to mention is the European Union? Certainly not China, or North Korea, or Iran. And as for Russia, last week Trump referred to Putin only as a competitor, saying explicitly that he was “not my enemy.” Trump even went out of his way to congratulate Russia on Twitter Sunday morning. But the EU is a foe? And then there’s this:

TRUMP (On UK protests): “There are many, many protests in my favor.”

Um OK.

Following the Putin/Trump performance review on Monday, Trump is now scheduled for a lavish tongue bathing by Fox News shills Sean Hannity and Tucker Carlson. Because who else would he turn to? And Vladimir Putin will also be visiting Fox News for an interview with Chris Wallace. So it’s an all-Fox, All Russia, all Trump festival of flagrant propaganda. I can hardly wait.

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

The Trump Effect: Bad For America, But ‘Damn Good’ For The Media

Les Moonves, the chief executive of CBS, was speaking at the Morgan Stanley Technology, Media, and Telecom Conference, when he decided to reveal one of the sad truths of modern media that is well known to insiders. It’s something that is representative of the core principles (or lack thereof) of a once noble profession that has been co-opted by greed and the corporate craving for power. With reference to the campaign of Donald Trump, Moonves was caught bragging about the cash cash cow he was unashamedly milking.

Moonves: Who would have thought that this circus would come to town. It may not be good for America, but it’s damn good for CBS. That’s all I got to say. So what can I say? The money’s rolling in, this is fun.

Donald Trump

Make no mistake, this is an admission by Moonves that his lust for profit is a higher priority than his love of country. Worse still, this pursuit of wealth, in Moonves’ view, is actually fun, even as it’s harmful to the rest of the nation and his fellow citizens. That is a form treason. Yet Moonves admits that despite Trump’s campaign being divisive, hostile, racist, ignorant, and detrimental to the well being of the United States, he gladly welcomes the damage it will do so long as CBS rakes in more cash.

And CBS isn’t alone in harboring these traitorous ambitions. The whole of the corporate media industry is guilty of the same self-interest. It’s why even MSNBC airs Trump’s stump speeches live in their entirety when they don’t do it for any other candidate. And it’s the result of the consolidation within the business that has thrust the profit motive over patriotism. These new multinational conglomerates have no incentive to be loyal to any nation, or to any anything other than their next quarterly earnings report. The one exception to this may be Fox News, whose owners and management are just as committed to pushing right-wing propaganda as they are to enriching their themselves.

The profit incentive for the media has a toxic effect on democracy. It produces reporting that is driven by motives other than honestly informing the public. What Moonves is putting on display for all to see is the damage that can be done when a news enterprise can be justifiably suspected of distorting their stories in order to fatten their wallets. Moonves was literally rooting for Trump specifically because his brand of melodramatic demagoguery draws more eyeballs to the advertising the network is now selling for inflated rates.

Moonves: I’ve never seen anything like this and this is going to be a very good year for us. Sorry, it’s a terrible thing to say, but bring it on, Donald, go ahead, keep going. […] “I’m not taking any sides, I’m just saying for us, economically, Donald Trump’s place in this election is a good thing.

With cheerleading like that, how can anyone watch this campaign coverage and be confidant that they are being told the truth. Clearly, the media has a profit motive to keep Trump in the race, and even boost his chances of securing the Republican nomination in order to keep the register ringing straight through to November and beyond. The other candidates are being deep-sixed because they can’t pull in the big bucks the way The Donald does.

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

This isn’t democracy. There may not be a word for what this is. We could call it a capitalocracy to illustrate the fact that the worst elements of capitalism are what determines who our leaders will be. We may as well stop having elections and just give prospective candidates their own TV shows and the one with the highest Nielsen ratings becomes president. Oh wait a minute. That’s pretty much how Donald Trump got to where he is today.

CBS Edits Out Gun Discussion On Obama’s 60 Minutes Interview

The myth of the “liberal” media has been thoroughly debunked by volumes of evidence, and yet many people continue to believe that news operations owned and operated by giant multinational corporations still harbor a liberal bias for some unexplained, and unexplainable, reason.

The latest proof that Big Media slants their coverage away from true progressive issues comes from last Sunday’s broadcast of 60 Minutes on CBS. The twenty-four minute interview of President Obama was sufficient time to cover a variety of subjects that have a real impact on the lives of real Americans. However, one subject was left on the cutting room floor: The crisis of gun violence (video below).

60 Minutes

The fact that CBS found time in an interview of Obama for an extended discussion of Hillary Clinton’s email server, but was unable include a brief segment of the gun dialog, says something about the editorial decision making at the network. If you wanted to know what Obama thought about how guns affect our society, and what can be done about it, you would have had to search for it online. What you would have found was a three minute segment that could easily have been slipped into the CBS broadcast. And it’s fair to say that this issue holds more value for the American people than adding to the tabloid sensationalism that Fox News has been feverishly stirring up about emails that have uncovered no wrongdoing whatsoever.

This sort of bias is not new to CBS or 60 Minutes. In 2013 they ran a story about Benghazi that was so full of holes that they had to retract it and apologize for airing such an embarrassing and obvious hoax. At that time News Corpse published an explanation for how CBS could have been taken in by such a conspicuous fraud. That explanation revolves around the personalities in the network’s executive suites who are still running the newsroom. This is what I wrote in November of 2013:

The President of CBS News is David Rhodes, who assumed the post in February of 2011. His bio on the CBS website tells us something of his professional past:

“Rhodes began his career as a Production Assistant at the newly-launched Fox News Channel in 1996, where he later became Vice President of News. At the network he managed coverage of three presidential elections, wars in Afghanistan and Iraq, hurricanes including Katrina, and was the channel’s Assignment Manager on the news desk the morning of September 11, 2001.”

What this tells us is that Rhodes was a top executive at Fox News during the hotly contested 2000 presidential election where Fox mistakenly called the state of Florida (and thus the nation) for George W. Bush. He was there when Fox News was cheerleading for the U.S. to invade Iraq, a country that had nothing to do with 9/11, and did not pose any threat to America. He was there when Fox was defending Bush’s disastrous response to Hurricane Katrina. He was there during the economic meltdown of 2008 to make sure that it was blamed on poor people buying homes and the Democrats in Congress. He was there when Fox was hyping electoral attacks against candidate Obama that included maligning ACORN, advancing associations with Rev. Jeremiah Wright and Bill Ayers, and of course, the everlasting nonsense of birtherism.

In short, Rhodes was one of the principal architects of the Fox News slant toward far-right extremism and brazen conservative partisanship. CBS News must have known what they were getting when they hired him.

So is it any wonder that CBS would focus so sharply on dramatic, but insubstantial controversies? They clearly have an editorial mission to push a conservative agenda and suppress any progressive initiatives for reform. The same sort of problems exist at other networks and news outlets. The current executive vice president of CNN, Ken Jautz, is the man who gave Glenn Beck his first job on television. Even MSNBC is heading toward the right as they remove progressive hosts and plan to expand Morning Joe another hour. Which is why I say “Liberal media my ass.”

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

Disgraced CBS Reporter Demonstrates Why She Is Disgraced

Last month Sharyl Attkisson resigned from her job as an investigative reporter for CBS News. She blamed the departure on what she perceived as a liberal bias by the network’s brass that kept her stories off the air. But that excuse has little support behind it considering the fact that the current president of CBS News is David Rhodes, a former executive at Fox News who presided over the most brazenly biased right-wing propaganda that ever masqueraded as news.

CBS News David Rhodes

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This weekend Attkisson appeared on CNN’s Reliable Sources and was subjected, for the first time, to some pushback regarding her version of the events that led to her separation from CBS. In the course of the interview Attkisson made an irresponsible accusation for which she failed to offer any evidence. She alleged that Media Matters may have been paid (by some mysterious entity she declined to name) to attack her and her reporting:

“I clearly at some point became a target. I don’t know if someone paid them to do it or they just took it on their own. […] I think that’s what some of these groups do, absolutely.”

Media Matters responded with a prompt denial saying that their coverage of her was “based only on her shoddy reporting.” And Attkisson’s wild claim about Media Matters is an excellent example of such shoddiness. Without a scintilla of proof, Attkisson went on a national news program and made an accusation of the worst sort of journalistic malfeasance. If that’s the kind of reporting she brought to CBS it’s no wonder they spiked her stories. And it is strikingly lazy, unethical, and self-serving to invent and disseminate an unsupported charge against Media Matters.

For the record, this is not the first time that Atkisson has been caught in an embarrassing breach of ethics. She has produced reports on issues like Benghazi and green energy that were riddled with flaws and omissions. But she seems most prone to crossing the line when the story is about her.

Last year she revealed that her computer was hacked by an unknown intruder. She appeared on Fox News with Bill O’Reilly and implied that the only plausible purpose for the hacking was to intimidate her due to her investigations on Fast and Furious and Benghazi. That put the suspicion squarely on somebody in the administration that didn’t like her snooping into those matters.

However, just as with her smearing of Media Matters, she offered zero evidence of her charges. She dismissed out of hand any possibility that she may just have been one of millions of victims of criminal hacking that goes on every day. At one point O’Reilly asked if she knew who the hacker might be and she said “Well, I think I know. But I am just not prepared to go into that.” This all happened nearly a year ago and Attkisson has still not told us what she allegedly “knows” about the identity of the hacker. What she did say was that she would proceed with her investigations and that she had the full support of CBS:

“We’re continuing to move forward aggressively, CBS News takes this very seriously, as do I.”

What’s interesting about that is that she is admitting that CBS was supportive of her efforts, contrary to her new story that they are hopelessly liberal and were holding her back. She described her relationship with Rhodes, the right-wing former Fox News exec, as being one where they had a “meeting of the minds.” That was her opinion at the time she was actually doing the work. Now that she has left CBS, and is preparing to publish a book that is critical of the Obama administration, her view has flipped 180 degrees, just in time to generate some controversy that might raise interest in her book (which is being published by Rupert Murdoch’s HarperCollins). But I’m sure all of that is just a coincidence.

Shameless self-promotion: Pick up MY ebook…
Get Fox Nation vs. Reality. Available now at Amazon.

There is, however, a clear pattern of sloppy journalism and wild claims when Attkisson spouts off about computer hackers, liberal bias at CBS, and paid attacks from Media Matters, none of which is backed up by any proof. Her tendency to fling unsupported allegations at her perceived enemies shows that the disgrace with which she is now viewed by responsible journalists is well deserved. Lucky for her, Fox News regards that sort of bias and unprofessionalism as an asset, so her future employment prospects look good.

Disgraced CBS Reporter Resigns Causing Fox News To Weep (And Lie About Benghazi)

Earlier this week investigative reporter Sharyl Attkisson announced that she had resigned from CBS News. According to Politico, sources say that her departure was due to her frustration with what she considered the network’s liberal bias. However, the truth is more likely that the network was disappointment with Attkisson’s sloppy and partisan reporting.

The notion that CBS News is some kind of bastion of liberalism is impossible to take seriously. Just last November CBS ran an embarrassing 60 Minutes segment on Benghazi that was based wholly on the account of a disreputable figure whose story they never verified. They later had to apologize and retract the story, but the problem was not due to an unfortunate mistake. The right-wing bias at CBS gets its direction from the very top. The President of CBS News is David Rhodes, who came to the network from Fox News. Politico also reported that…

“Attkisson’s coverage of the Obama administration, which some CBS staffers characterized as agenda-driven, had led network executives to doubt the impartiality of her reporting. […and that…] Pat Shevlin, the executive producer of CBS Evening News, was especially wary of Attkisson’s motives and had even dismissed her, in private, as a partisan carrying water for Republicans.”

Generally Fox News is openly hostile to what they regard as the establishment media and they mercilessly pound their competitors as neither fair nor balanced. But in the wake of Attkisson’s resignation, Fox has become her biggest cheerleader. Yesterday Neil Cavuto brought in rightist media hack Brent Bozell of NewsBusters to lament Attkisson’s fate and complain that CBS had cut her off because of her politics. However that opinion ignores the fact that Attkisson’s reporting had recently been shown to be inaccurate and unfairly critical of the Obama administration. That is the reason that her stories have not been getting on the air.

In the course of this full-throated defense of Attkisson’s journalistic failures, Bozell went on an extended rant aimed at all of the “mainstream” media and CBS in particular. He complained about what he believed to be insufficient coverage of the attack on the U.S. consulate in Benghazi, Libya. Only on Fox is there still a raging controversy over what the administration did and said following the attack. Everywhere else the phony allegations promoted by conservatives have been thoroughly debunked. But Bozell went completely off the rails when he said…

“It stands to reason that she [Attkisson] is out because they stopped letting her report the news when she started reporting on Benghazi. […] If George Bush – if it had been on his watch that we had Benghazi, do you think they’d be quiet?”

To this Cavuto replied “He’d be impeached.” And once again, the rank hypocrisy of Fox News is displayed in all its partisan glory. If Fox were the least bit interested in factual representations of events they would have to have acknowledged that during the Bush administration there were at least thirteen Benghazis (i.e. terrorist attacks on U.S. embassies and consulates that resulted in dozens of casualties including the death of David Foy, an American diplomat). Not only was Bush never threatened with impeachment over those atrocities, no one at Fox ever suggested that Bush was the least bit responsible for them. Nor did they criticize Bush as weak for not retaliating afterwards.

Fox News

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Attkisson says that she is going to focus on completing the book she is writing with the totally non-biased title “Stonewalled: One Reporter’s Fight for Truth in Obama’s Washington.” It is being published by HarperCollins, a subsidiary of Rupert Murdoch’s News Corp. From there it is a fairly safe bet that she will find a perch at Fox News where she can continue to peddle her dishonest stories and her rightist views with the full support of her bosses. After all, Fox has long history of scooping up the worst rejects after they have been discarded by other networks.

The CBS ’60 Minutes’ Benghazi Hoax Was Overseen By A Former Fox News Executive

The biggest media story of the week was clearly the confession by CBS that their big Benghazi Hoax on 60 Minutes had relied on a disreputable figure who had lied to pretty much everyone involved. CBS has now apologized for the broadcast and will issue a correction on the air tonight.

But the question of how the network could have fallen for what in retrospect appears to be a transparent fraud still lingers. The evidence of the falsehoods in their source’s account were easily discovered by reporters who bothered to look. The explanation for CBS’s failure to do so may lie in the identity of the executives in charge of the network’s news operations.

CBS News David Rhodes
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The President of CBS News is David Rhodes, who assumed the post in February of 2011. His bio on the CBS website tells us something of his professional past:

“Rhodes began his career as a Production Assistant at the newly-launched Fox News Channel in 1996, where he later became Vice President of News. At the network he managed coverage of three presidential elections, wars in Afghanistan and Iraq, hurricanes including Katrina, and was the channel’s Assignment Manager on the news desk the morning of September 11, 2001.”

What this tells us is that Rhodes was a top executive at Fox News during the hotly contested 2000 presidential election where Fox mistakenly called the state of Florida (and thus the nation) for George W. Bush. He was there when Fox News was cheerleading for the U.S. to invade Iraq, a country that had nothing to do with 9/11, and did not pose any threat to America. He was there when Fox was defending Bush’s disastrous response to Hurricane Katrina. He was there during the economic meltdown of 2008 to make sure that it was blamed on poor people buying homes and the Democrats in Congress. He was there when Fox was hyping electoral attacks against candidate Obama that included maligning ACORN, advancing associations with Rev. Jeremiah Wright and Bill Ayers, and of course, the everlasting nonsense of birtherism.

In short, Rhodes was one of the principal architects of the Fox News slant toward far-right extremism and brazen conservative partisanship. CBS News must have known what they were getting when they hired him. Additionally, 60 Minutes correspondent, Lara Logan, has been known to swing rightward, particularly with regard to a militaristic foreign policy.

Following the 60 Minutes episode, much of the conservative media rushed to regurgitate the false accounts presented. Chief among them was Fox News where, the day after the broadcast, Fox devoted 47 minutes to heralding the story as validation of their prior reporting on the issue. That’s three times as long as the original story on CBS. Since then they have spent only 26 seconds (yes, seconds) informing their viewers that the story was utterly false. And the Fox News community website and notorious peddler of lies, Fox Nation, didn’t bother to report the CBS retraction at all.

Given the benefit of this perspective, it is not surprising that CBS would allow itself to be cajoled into believing the fabrications of an obvious grifter. There was such an inbred attraction to his distortion of reality that they were willing to disseminate it to their audience without subjecting it to routine scrutiny. The fact that their source was also the author of a book that was being published by a company that CBS owns and is run by a prominent conservative operative, Mary Matalin, should also have been a red flag. Matalin’s company, Threshold Editions (a division of Simon and Schuster) also publishes books by Glenn Beck, Sean Hannity, Karl Rove, and Dick Cheney. [The Benghazi book has now been pulled from release].

What About Fox News? CBS Apologizes For ’60 Minutes’ Benghazi Hoax

On October 27, CBS’s 60 Minutes aired a dramatic report that purported to tell the story of an eye witness in Benghazi who corroborated much of what the conservative critics of the administration had been calling a scandal of Watergate proportions.

Almost from the outset there were problems with the report that included sharply divergent accounts offered by the source himself. For instance, while he told CBS that he had gone to the compound in Benghazi, he had previously filed an incident report with his employer that said he never went anywhere near it. More recently it is been discovered that he also told FBI investigators that he was never there.

After first defending their story, CBS has now pulled it from their website and their correspondent, Lara Logan, appeared on CBS This Morning to apologize (video below):

“We were wrong. We made a mistake. […] We no longer have confidence in our source and we were wrong to put him on air. […] We apologize to our viewers and we will correct the record on our broadcast on Sunday night.”

Fox News CBS Benghazi

Immediately following the 60 Minutes broadcast, conservative media assembled a victory parade to congratulate themselves for having leaped to the front of the Benghazi Hoax and to celebrate their vindication by the establishment news authority at CBS. As might be expected, Fox News lead the parade with more than 47 minutes of reporting (that’s three times the length of the original CBS report) on eleven different programs on just the day after 60 Minutes aired. Some of the applause the Benghazi Hoax-sters handed out to themselves included…

  • Bret Baier (Fox News): Last night, one of journalism’s heavy hitters reaffirmed what we knew and had reported on.
  • Steve Doocy (Fox News): It’s great that mainstream media finally catching up. […] 60 Minutes doesn’t cover phony scandals.
  • Martha MacCallum (Fox News): Now 60 Minutes, the venerable Sunday night news program, is putting a lot of focus on this story. Here at Fox News we’ve been covering this story for a very long time.
  • John Hayward (Human Events): ’60 Minutes’ ran a report on the Benghazi scandal Sunday night that confirmed its status as an enduring scandal with many questions still remaining to be answered.
  • Pamela Geller (Atlas Shrugs): Over a year after the murderous attack, finally, media is talking straight about Benghazi.
  • Jim Hoft (Gateway Pundit): ’60 Minutes’ Finally Reveals Benghazi Was a Real Scandal & You Were Lied To.
  • Monica Crowley (Fox News): Solid 60Minutes piece on Benghazi. CBSNews & FoxNews among the very, very few reporting on this grave & outrageous scandal.
  • Dan Gainor (Media Research Center/NewsBusters): 60 Minutes piece on Benghazi shows how much admin has lied and hidden facts on deadly disaster. Blame Obama AND Hillary.
  • Jonah Goldberg (National Review): This 60 Minutes Benghazi piece corroborates pretty much everything FoxNews has reported so far.

As it turns out, the only thing the 60 Minutes report confirmed is the deceit at the heart of right-wing media. Everyone who jumped at the chance to laud CBS for its alleged truth-telling is now egg-faced since the esteemed source of their validation has crumbled in an embarrassing journalistic flop.

While CBS still has some questions to answer and some accountability to dispense, they deserve some credit for coming clean and retracting the story. They also need to address the book by their source which is being published by Threshold Editions, a subsidiary of Simon and Schuster, which is owned by CBS (another undisclosed ethical violation by 60 Minutes). And for the record, Threshold’s rogue’s gallery of authors include Glenn Beck, Jerome Corsi, Sean Hannity, Mark Levin, Karl Rove, and Dick Cheney. [Update: Simon and Schuster has suspended publication of the book and called for stores to return it.]

So far Fox News has not had a thing to say about the story they had previously claimed was an affirmation their scandal mongering. Like everything else connected to the tragedy in Libya, Fox has failed in their relentless obsession to manufacture political outrage. Their desperation to bring down President Obama has been raging impotently for years.

Fox News Benghazi Tantrum
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Now that the story has fallen apart and CBS has apologized and retracted it, will Fox News, and the other right-wing purveyors of dishonesty who hailed the erroneous story, show the same measure of integrity? Don’t hold your breath.

Lara Logan on CBS This Morning:

Dan Rather’s Suit Against CBS Will Be Fun

Dan Rather is suing CBS for breach of contract related to his firing in 2004. The suit revolves around the reporting of George Bush’s evasion of service in the Texas Air National Guard. As the case gets closer to a trial date, new stirrings are emerging from Rather’s camp that offer a tantalizing preview of what may be revealed in court. The Guardian reports that Rather contends that his reporting was true and that…

“…CBS succumbed to political pressure from conservatives to get the report discredited and to have him fired. He also claims that a panel set up by CBS to investigate the story was packed with conservatives in an effort to placate the White House.

The claim as to the panel was in fact documented and showed that CBS actually considered the likes of Robert Novak, Tucker Carlson, Pat Buchanan, Matt Drudge, William Kristol, Rush Limbaugh and Ann Coulter, to sit in judgment of Rather. Talk about a hangin’ jury…..

Rather goes on to be fairly specific about CBS’ motivations and he asserts that they were attempting to mollify the Bush administration in order to get more favorable regulatory treatment. In addition to his claims about Bush’s military non-service, Rather reveals that CBS also tried to bury a story on the human rights abuses at Abu Ghraib. He contends that the network refused permission to air the story for weeks and, when it did air, they crippled it by denying it any promotion and took other measures to suppress viewership. This was also at the request of government overseers.

Rather is a little late to this party. Many industry observers have known for years that the big media conglomerates were shaping their reporting in order to please their benefactors in government agencies as well as in Congress. But it’s still better to have Rather arrive late than not at all. When this case makes its way to court there may be even more revelations. I can’t wait. It’s just too bad that it took a lawsuit by an embittered former anchor for these allegations to surface. You have to wonder how many similar acts of journalistic malpractice and government collusion with media have occurred but remain the secrets of people who are still protecting their jobs and their associates in Washington.

TVNewser Completes Its Descent Into Tabloid Drudgery

Last night on the CBS Evening News, Katie Couric presented another in her series of Primary Questions to the candidates for president of both parties. The question for this installment dealt with marital fidelity and whether it should be a determinative factor when deciding for whom to vote.

This question, while not as elevating to the debate as questions about Iraq, global warming, the economy, or health care might have been, could still have produced some observable squirming from a number of the candidates. But in reporting on Couric’s broadcast, the rapidly deteriorating TVNewser was more interested in propagating rumors than in objective journalism. In an item by Steve Krakauer, who joined TVNewser last month and previously worked for Fox News, two candidates were singled out as having answers that would “be of interest.”

The first was Hillary Clinton, for whom a case could be made for a potentially interesting exchange. Although it should be noted that it was not Hillary, but her husband, who was guilty of infidelity. Since the context of the question was whether someone who was not true to their spouse could be trusted to be true to the country, it really did not apply directly to any behavior on her part. And despite their troubles, a decade has past since the affair and they have managed to keep their marriage and family together.

The second candidate Krakauer cited was John Edwards. And this is where Krakauer demonstrates either a woeful inability to mask his prejudice, or a professional immaturity that borders on incompetence. This is how he presents his next point:

“Also, with reports of a Sen. John Edwards extra-marital affair and subsequent pregnancy, his answer will be looked at more carefully as well.”

By referring to “reports” of Edwards’ “affair” Krakauer implies that there are credible allegations from responsible journalists and sources. The truth is that there is only a single allegation by an anonymous source as reported to the “National Enquirer” (to which I refuse to link) which is nobody’s idea of a responsible journal. And not a single reputable news organization has yet to follow the Enquirer’s smarmy lead, although Matt Drudge headlined it (good company).

The Enquirer’s story is fraught with ambiguity and error. Both Edwards and Rielle Hunter (the alleged other woman) describe the charges as untrue and ridiculous. Hunter, who is pregnant, has identified the father as Andrew Young, with whom she worked on Edwards’ campaign. Young confirmed his paternity, but that didn’t stop the Enquirer from asserting, with no evidence whatsoever, that everybody was just trying to cover up for Edwards. The Enquirer even faulted Edwards for not nipping the scandal in the bud early on by revealing the relationship between Hunter and Young. Of course Edwards could not have done that because he didn’t know anything about the relationship, as Young told the Enquirer.

This is the level of unsubstantiated innuendo that Krakauer pretends is newsworthy. In fact he is engaging in the most vile sort of rumor-mongering. He doesn’t even bother to explicitly inform his readers that his source is the Enquirer (he hides it in a link). And if all of this isn’t bad enough, in an article about the relevance of the breaking of marriage vows, Krakauer smears two candidates for whom there is no evidence of such behavior, but fails to mention others with known multiple marriages (McCain and Thompson) and notorious philandering (Giuliani).

So Krakauer thinks rumors spread by tabloid rags are interesting, but Mayors who keep their mistresses in the Mayor’s residence and use city funds to pay for trysts in the Hamptons are not even worth mentioning. What’s truly interesting and sad is how low TVNewser has sunk and how useless it has become. It is no better now than its new partner the Enquirer or, as I lamented in an earlier article, the Drudge Report. What an embarrassment for everyone involved.

Feel free to let TVNewser know what a pack of ethically-deprived journalistic lowlifes they are:

TVNewser
Chris Ariens, Editor, Exec. Producer
Laurel Touby, Founder, CEO