If you were still uncertain as to whether the NRA is an organization steeped in partisan rancor and vile, hate-filled hysterics, the remarks by its chief spokesperson, Dana Loesch, at the Conservative Political Action Conference (CPAC), will put an end to your doubts.
On Wednesday night Loesch appeared on the CNN Town Hall featuring student survivors from Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School along with some parents, teachers and politicians. Loesch attempted to present herself as a rational, open-minded participant in a discussion seeking to find solutions to a serious problem. But the very next day she let her true feelings come out in her speech at CPAC (video below):
“Many in legacy media love mass shootings. You guys love it. Now, I’m not saying that you love the tragedy. But I am saying that you love the ratings. Crying white mothers are ratings gold to you and many in the legacy media.”
It’s not surprising that she didn’t say this to the faces of the “crying white mothers” in CNN’s forum. She is a deceitful, manipulative hack who who will happily lie in order to achieve her ends and those of her benefactors in the firearms industry. To make the broad accusation that the media “loves mass shootings” in a public address demonstrates her utter lack of decency and humanity. And her ability to turn around in a few hours to display both ugly sides of her face is something that only comes with an innately grotesque personality.
But Loesch went even further to insult the parents of murdered children as if they were disingenuous contestants on a reality TV show. And the interjection of a racial component only makes the insult many times worse. Her CPAC performance was like watching a cartoon villain giving away all her secret, evil plans, secure in the belief that her opponents would soon be dead and unable to stop her. That may be why she also unleashed this bit of BS:
“The government has proven that they cannot keep you safe, and yet some people want all of us to disarm. And then they also call Trump a tyrant, but then say they want the president to also confiscate our firearms. Try to figure that one out.”
Of course, no one is proposing to disarm the entire nation. Likewise, no one has suggested confiscating all firearms. These are just the NRA’s standard lies to whip up fear among their followers that a tyrannical overlord is plotting to enslave America and only the NRA can prevent it. They screeched for eight years that President Obama was coming for their guns, never mind that it never happened, nor was there any threat of it. The NRA is fear machine and it has to have an enemy to survive. Preferably a dark-skinned one.
Loesch’s remarks were not a one-off or gaffe. It’s an NRA mantra as seen in this video from NRA-TV. The commentator uses the identical language that Loesch used about loving mass shootings, repeating it for emphasis. And he spent the rest of the time spewing the NRA line in a monologue of deceit.
That’s what the NRA does. It is their whole purpose for existing. They do not represent gun owners. They shill for gun manufacturers. Which is why they push for more guns as the solution to every problem. No matter what it is, the only NRA approved response is to buy more guns. They are about marketing and nothing else. And if innocent people die, that’s just the price of capitalism.
The controversy over Indiana’s so-called “Religious Freedom” law, that effectively gives permission for businesses to discriminate against LGBT persons, continues to divide the state and the nation in much the same way as civil rights battles in the 1950’s and 60’s did. And despite attempts on the part of Gov. Mike Pence to deny that the bill allows legal discrimination, the truth keeps leaking out.
Over at Fox News the anchors and their guests are arguing non-stop that Christians must have the ability to turn away any customer who they decide conflicts with their faith (although they haven’t ever mentioned any objections to divorcees or fornicators or murderers). Even Fox host Tucker Carlson admitted that the law doesn’t “make any sense” if amended to prohibit discrimination. If the bill does not legalize discrimination, then how can an amendment prohibiting it mean that “the law has been completely gutted,” as Carlson said this morning on Fox & Friends?
What began as a side note to this story, however, has ballooned into a remarkably prominent and emblematic theme. Memories Pizza, a small restaurant in Walkerton, Indiana, told a local news reporter that they would refuse to provide service to a gay wedding. That expression of open bigotry resulted in an outcry of criticism from people who value civil rights. As a result, the proprietors of the pizzeria claimed that they had to close their doors for a couple of days.
That minor hardship inspired Dana Loeesh and others at Glenn Beck’s Internet site, TheBlaze, to come to the aid of the pizza vendors by posting a plea for help on the personal charity site, GoFundMe.com. Astonishingly, donors pour in $842,387 in less than two days. In other words, the folks at Memories Pizza have turned a weekend off work into a windfall that exceeds what they would have made in more than a decade.
It is absurd to think that these confessed bigots deserve that kind of reward for their open expression of hate. And to put this further into context, the GoFundMe site links to other postings in the same region. The first five following Memories Pizza were all worthy causes for people suffering real hardships. But they have not received anywhere near the amount of support that the pizza vendors got for being hateful cretins. For example (see also graphic below)…
Scheidler Family House Fire Fund
At 1 am Sunday morning on March 29th, our friend, Nicole, had a house fire that caused extremely heavy damage. She is a mother of 5 young children, including a 2 month old baby, all while going to nursing school. Thankfully, they all made it out unharmed but the damage is significant. Their financial need for this is unknown as of right now but anything that we could do to help would be incredible.
Miguel’s Last Wish
Miguel is 26 years old and has two lovely kids. Out of nowhere, he complained of stomach pains and decided to go to the doctor. It was then when Miguel was diagnosed with terminal gastric cancer and was given 6 months to live. Doctors told Miguel that there was nothing to do but just wait for his time to come. Miguel is on his 6th month of having cancer and even though his condition has become very critical, he is still fighting for his life.
Justin Ehlers-Danlos Vascular Fund
My son Justin Burks is currently in critical condition on life support at the hospital due to a rare connective tissue disorder that he has. The name of this disorder is Ehlers-Danlos and he has the vascular one which is the worse one of them all. This disorder is attacking his organs; his intestines, colon, spleen, liver and lungs have all ruptured. He has made it out of three surgeries which is a blessing. If he lives through this we will need help with his medical cost and if he doesn’t we will use the funds towards his funeral.
Denny Needs A Liver Transplant
Denny has been diagnosed with cholangiocarcinoma, a form of bile duct cancer. On June 28, I noticed that Denny was very jaundice. He had no other symptoms; he was just extremely yellow. After trips to the ER and local doctors, we found ourselves at a liver specialist at IU Hospital, Indianapolis. He ordered a CT scan which found a blockage in the bile duct, between the liver and the gall bladder.
Chad’s Eye Cancer Bill Fund
The doctors said I have a Choroidal Melanoma (a cancerous tumor) in my right eye. A 16x16x7.1 mm mass that is attached to my optic nerve. Dr. Demirci informed me that there was a treatment for this cancer. A radiation plaque would be placed on the tumor for five days, giving out a small dose of radiation that should kill the tumor… but it would also damage my optic nerve.
It’s sad to see that people with serious problems are struggling to keep their lives in order while bigots are getting rich off of their prejudice. It makes you wonder if the “memories” in their business name are of segregated lunch counters in Alabama. On the other hand, the stories on these other postings are inspiring due to their heartfelt gratitude for whatever generosity they receive. Feel free to show them some love.
With the Supreme Court’s deliberations on a pair of marriage equality cases last week, more and more right-wing “Christo-crats” are affirming their faith-based opposition to the Constitution’s guarantee of equal protection under the law. And increasingly, those affirmations are taking the form of inadvertent admissions that marriage is not within the purview of the state to decide. It is constitutionally impermissible for courts to rule for or against specific religious dogma.
Nevertheless, That is exactly what the martinets of virtue on the right are advocating. For example, former CNN contributor Dana Loesch wrote an editorial that appeared on both RedState and the lie-riddled Fox Nation that sought to refute the notion that marriage equality is a conservative position. She insists that it is not, and that…
“Marriage is a covenant between a man, woman, and God before God on His terms. It is a religious civil liberty, not a right granted by government. […] In suing over “marriage” itself one is demanding that God change His definition of the union between a man and a woman.”
Loesch does not bother to reveal where in God’s Dictionary the definition of marriage occurs, nor does she reveal where one can pick up a copy of God’s Dictionary. If she is referencing passages in the Bible, then she is conveniently excluding from God’s definition those pious Biblical figures who maintained multiple (sometimes hundreds of) wives. Likewise she leaves out God’s mandate that rapists be forced to marry their victims. But more to the point, she is admitting that marriage is a construct of religion and, therefore, it is unconstitutional for the state to have a hand in it – except, in her view, so far as Christian-approved nuptials are concerned.
That same doctrine was addressed by Breitbart’s John Nolte in a column accusing the media of trying to destroy religion. That’s the same media that just completed endless hours of blanket coverage of the selection of a new Pope; the same media whose Christmas specials preempt everything else on the air. Nolte argues that recognition of the right for same-sex couples to marry would improperly impose on the right to religious freedom for Christians who regard such behavior as sinful. But if the religious freedom of Christians is violated every time something they regard as a sin is allowed under the law, that would make premarital sex unconstitutional [not to mention lust, gluttony, greed, sloth, wrath, envy, and pride. By that measure, the Constitution would require the dissolution of Congress] Nolte says that he is in favor of civil unions, but…
“I oppose same-sex marriage because marriage is a sacrament, and there is a big difference between asking one to be tolerant, and demanding one condone.”
Once again we have an evangelical conservative admitting that his opposition is based on spiritual grounds. And once again, that would make it an invalid argument so far as the Constitution is concerned. They simply cannot assert that something is subject to legal prohibition because it conflicts with their religious beliefs. Were that the case, Jews could seek a Supreme Court judgment mandating that all food in America be produced in accordance with the laws of Kosher. What’s more, no one is demanding that any particular behavior be condoned, merely that it not be discriminated against. That’s a distinction that conservatives have trouble comprehending, or perhaps they just enjoy being bigots.
RedState’s Erick Erickson chimed in with an article asserting that “‘Gay Marriage’ and Religious Freedom Are Not Compatible.” He hinges his argument on the Bible passage, Matthew 19:4-6, wherein Christ says…
“…He which made them at the beginning made them male and female, And said, For this cause shall a man leave father and mother, and shall cleave to his wife: and they twain shall be one flesh? Wherefore they are no more twain, but one flesh. What therefore God hath joined together, let not man put asunder.”
Erickson acknowledges that in this passage Christ is answering a question about whether it is permissible to divorce one’s wife. It was not a question about who is allowed to marry. But he dismisses that fact and focuses only on what he interprets as a definition of marriage, rather than as a direct response to a specific question. Likewise, he dismisses the part about divorce being against God’s law. This is an example of the convenient piety of so many sanctimonious religious zealots that permits them to pick and chose which principles they will honor. If Erickson wants to make a federal case of the definition of marriage as expressed by Matthew 19:4-6, then he should be consistent and call for a constitutional prohibition of divorce. Instead he impugns the sincerity of his ideological foes by calling them “a bunch of progressive Christians who have no use for the Bible,” even though he’s the one twisting it to fit his political prejudices.
Like Loesch and Nolte, Erickson is admitting that he sees gay marriage as “a legal encroachment of God’s intent.” Therefore, without realizing it, he is admitting that it is not a valid argument in a nation whose Constitution says that it “shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion.” Even Bill O’Reilly has noticed that the anti-marriage equality crowd is obsessed with religious justifications, rather than sound legal arguments. He praises gay advocates for saying that…
“‘We’re Americans. We just want to be treated like everybody else.’ That’s a compelling argument, and to deny that, you have got to have a very strong argument on the other side. The argument on the other side hasn’t been able to do anything but thump the Bible.”
Indeed, Bible thumping is not generally viewed in legal circles as a basis for constitutional findings. Yet, as the issue winds through the maze of judicial debate, the Tea-vangelical’s arguments continue to devolve into nothing but sanctimonious sermonizing. It is evermore apparent that their bigotry has no justification under America’s law, so they fall back on God’s law and attempt to ram their beliefs down the nation’s throat. They clearly have no respect for the Constitution or the freedom it guarantees for religious liberty nor, of course, for the equal protection of the law that forbids the state from discriminating against same-sex couples who seek to marry.
It has been well documented that Fox News is a disreputable enterprise that shuns any semblance of journalistic ethics. The most recent example, producing and airing an anti-Obama campaign-style video, perfectly demonstrates how far afield they are from a being legitimate news organization. Amongst the traits of Fox News that separate them from the pack is their tendency to attack their peers in the news business. That is almost unheard of from other cable networks, newspapers, or other outlets.
Today Fox News continued in that vein by leaping on the Nielsen ratings reports for May 2012. To be sure, CNN’s ratings were dismal. But so were the ratings for Fox which declined double digits and notched a primetime low that they haven’t seen since 2008. Nevertheless, Fox reported only on CNN’s numbers and ignored their own sickly showing. And nowhere in their story did they note that the decline was primarily due to the inflated ratings in May 2011, when the killing of Osama Bin Laden, hurricanes in the Midwest, and Casey Anthony were dominating the airwaves.
That said, Fox is inadvertently correct about a debacle at CNN, but not the way they mean. CNN is suffering a decline in viewership that is historic mainly because they pioneered the concept of the 24 hour cable news network but are now languishing in last place. But if they are perplexed by the sorry turn of fate they have experienced in recent years it is only because of their own willful blindness to the circumstances that led to it.
When Fox News began to approach and overtake CNN in the ratings, CNN management made the foolish mistake of concluding that Fox’s success was related to their blatant conservative bias and abandonment of journalistic principles. While that was (and is) the model for Fox’s programming, that played only a small part in their success story. The real reason that Fox excelled was that they had switched the deck. They were not in any practical sense a news network. Their programming was (and is) closer to an entertainment channel than anything else. They feature shallow, sensationalistic stories that rely heavily on melodrama, controversy, emotion and sex – the main characteristics of soap operas and reality shows. And they decorate their broadcasts with flashy graphics and sound effects that would be more appropriate for game shows. That’s what draws their viewers in, and that is always more compelling than actual news content.
However, CNN panicked and decided that the way to compete with Fox was to emulate their right-wing partisanship and theatrics. Ironically, even Fox’s business network recognized that emulating Fox News was a losing strategy. Fox Business Network VP Kevin Magee sent a memo to his staff saying that…
“…the more we make FBN look like FNC the more of a disservice we do to ourselves. I understand the temptation to imitate our sibling network in hopes of imitating its success, but we cannot. If we give the audience a choice between FNC and the almost-FNC, they will choose FNC every time.”
Unfortunately, no one at CNN could grasp that simple truth. Instead they installed Ken Jautz, a rabidly right-wing promoter, as it’s chief. Jautz was the man who gave Glenn Beck his first job in television. Then CNN went on a hiring binge that consisted of the most unsavory figures from Wingnutlandia including: Amy Holmes (of Glenn Beck’s GBTV), Will Cain (of Beck’s The Blaze), Erick Erickson (of the uber-conservative blog RedState), Dana Loesch (of Breitbart News and the Tea Party), and E.D. Hill, a former Fox anchor and Bill O’Reilly guest host, who is most famous for saying that a friendly fist bump between the President and the First Lady was really a “terrorist fist jab.”
CNN demonstrated its new found rightist perspective by producing programming that was straight out of the conservative PR playbook. They were the only cable news network to broadcast live Michele Bachmann’s Tea Party response to Obama’s State of the Union address. They co-sponsored a GOP primary debate with the corrupt Tea Party Express. They also co-sponsored a debate with the ultra-right-wing Heritage Foundation and the American Enterprise Institute.
For a network that claims to be the only truly neutral source for news, CNN has conspicuously failed to permit a representative from MoveOn.org to respond to a presidential address, nor to co-host a debate with the Center for American Progress. They have navigated toward a full-on Foxification of the network without any pretense to objectivity or balance.
And what have they got for it? A steep collapse to last place in the ratings, an embarrassing forfeiture of credibility, a severe loss of viewer loyalty and respect, and the pleasure of becoming a target of Fox’s ridicule.
As a division of TimeWarner, CNN has the resources to brand itself as a powerhouse news provider. They have more domestic and international news bureaus than any television news enterprise. They have access to the talent and technology that could set them apart from their competitors. Yet they fail to take advantage of these assets. And worse, they squander them in the vain hope of being FoxLite.
That’s what I call an historic debacle. And it’s why CNN just posted their worst ratings in twenty years. It’s also why they are now seen as an object of sympathy as Fox News batters them in the ratings and in the press. The first step in rehabilitating themselves would be to recognize their problem and clean house. Then they would need to fight back. If they would aggressively hammer at Fox as a lightweight purveyor of lies in a flashy, soap opera package, they might just begin to recover some measure of pride and start their long trek back to legitimacy.
The secretive and influential American Legislative Exchange Council (ALEC) has been toiling in the political shadows to advance a far-right agenda aimed at enhancing the power of corporations and suppressing the voice of the people. Their so-called “voter integrity” initiatives are thinly disguised efforts to obstruct the voting rights of minorities, students, seniors, and low income citizens. The Center for American Progress authored a study that details ALEC’s operations, it’s ties to the powerful in politics and business, and its pride in concealing its activities from the public:
“Under ALEC’s auspices, legislators, corporate representatives, and ALEC officials work together to draft model legislation. As ALEC spokesperson Michael Bowman told NPR, this system is especially effective because ‘you have legislators who will ask questions much more freely at our meetings because they are not under the eyes of the press, the eyes of the voters.’“
Recently, a campaign was launched by Color of Change and other activists to hold some of the enterprises bankrolling ALEC accountable for their support of the extremist organization. They include Altria, AT&T, ExxonMobil, Phizer, Wal-Mart, and, of course, the Koch brothers. The campaign has enjoyed some success in compelling Coca-Cola to terminate their relationship with ALEC. Pepsi, Intuit, and Kraft Foods are also severing ties with ALEC.
This citizen-driven movement is effective because free people in democratic societies are entitled to express themselves and redress their grievances with public and private institutions that have an impact on their lives. However, some rightist defenders of the ruling elite are appalled that ordinary citizens have found a way to join together and make their concerns heard. One of those is Breitbart editor Dana Loesch, who had this to say on her radio show in response to Coke’s announcement:
“Coca-Cola decided to side with an admitted Marxist, 9/11 truther, cop-killer supporter […] This is the guy whose company Coca-Cola is siding with. This is what happens. Progressives will target businesses and try to shut them down if they support those who are telling the truth. It’s a fascistic movement. Fascism is alive and well in the United States on the left.”
The alleged Marxist to whom Loesch is referring is Van Jones and her allegations are verifiably untrue. Jones is a firm believer in the ability of free markets to empower people and advance the goals of the American dream. In fact, he wrote the book on it. He never supported the 9/11 truth movement and even proved the allegation to be false. And his efforts on behalf of Mumia Abu-Jamal cannot be portrayed as supporting a cop-killer if the evidence shows that Abu-Jamal is innocent. Abu-Jamal’s death sentence was rescinded last year in a case that went all the way to the Supreme Court. Also, Jones left Color of Change over two years, so Loesch’s attempt to associate him with this campaign is merely her way of trying to demonize the organization by associating it with a public figure who is hated by right-wingers because of their prior and continuing efforts to demonize him.
With everything that Loesch has gotten wrong in this affair, it is unsurprising that she also doesn’t understand political theory. Her accusations of fascism directed at a citizen effort to persuade Coke and other corporations to refrain from funding an extremist right-wing organization demonstrates her ignorance of the subject. She may want to consult the words of a man who is known to be something of an expert on fascism:
“Fascism should more appropriately be called Corporatism because it is a merger of state and corporate power.” ~ Benito Mussolini
So Loesch is aligning herself with giant multinational corporations who are seeking with ALEC to integrate their power with that of government, while simultaneously calling those who oppose such activity fascists. If anyone can plausibly be regarded as having fascist leanings it is the American right. Their obsession with advancing the interests of corporations and wealthy oligarchs, to the detriment of the people, is closer to the fascist model than anything else in the American political spectrum. Why do you suppose that Republicans and the Tea Party are funded so heavily by corporatists like Rupert Murdoch, the Koch brothers, and the rest of the Wall Street One Percenters? And is it just a coincidence that Mitt Romney, the GOP’s likely candidate for president, is from the same fraternity of elitists who want to decimate the government programs that benefit the poor and middle classes? Mussolini also said that fascism is revolutionary against liberalism “since it wants to reduce the size of the state to its necessary functions.” Sound familiar, Grover?
Ordinarily the twisted observations of Dana Loesch would be insignificant and harmless, but for their dimwitted asininity. Her radio show, and her work for Breitbart, are confined to the narrow world of uber-rightists who have already bought into the lies and slander of propagandists like Loesch. The problem is that Loesch is also a paid political analyst for CNN. It is wholly inappropriate for an allegedly credible news enterprise to employ someone who accuses millions of Americans of being fascists simply because they exercise their constitutional rights and participate in civic affairs.
Loesch has also accused the president of “siding with terrorists” and defended soldiers who urinated on the corpses of Afghan combatants. Now she maligns civic-minded Americans as akin to tyrants and perpetrators of torture and mass murder. Is that really the caliber of character that CNN wants to project? Unfortunately, based on the direction the network has taken the past couple of years, with the addition of people like Will Cain and Amy Holmes (of Glenn Beck’s Internet operation), and Erick Erickson (of RedState), it appears to be inescapably so.
This week a disturbing story emerged from Afghanistan in the form of a video of U.S. Marines urinating on the corpses of Afghans presumed to be members of the Taliban. Such behavior is repulsive and contrary to the standards of the Marine Corps. The acts portrayed in the video have been condemned by the highest representatives of the military.
Defense Secretary Leon Panetta: I have seen the footage, and I find the behavior depicted in it utterly deplorable. I condemn it in the strongest possible terms.
Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, Army Gen. Martin Dempsey: Actions like those are not only illegal but are contrary to the values of a professional military and serve to erode the reputation of our joint force.
Marine Corps Commandant Gen. James Amos:[The behavior is] wholly inconsistent with the high standards of conduct and warrior ethos that we have demonstrated throughout our history.
Nevertheless, CNN contributor Dana Loesch (who is also a Tea Party leader and the editor-in-chief of Andrew Breitbart’s BigJournalism) took to the air to exacerbate the offense and defend the soldiers saying…
“Now we have a bunch of progressives that are talking smack about our military because there were marines caught urinating on corpses, Taliban corpses. Can someone explain to me if there’s supposed to be a scandal that someone pees on the corpse of a Taliban fighter? Someone who, as part of an organization, murdered over 3,000 Americans? I’d drop trou and do it too. That’s me though. I want a million cool points for these guys.”
The subsequent controversy erupting from Loesch’s offensive remarks has generated a secondary controversy centered on the appropriate role of news analysts and the lines drawn for decency and civil discourse. Loesch, in a tacit acknowledgement that her comments crossed the line, sought to defend herself by claiming that she was not condoning the Marines, but ridiculing the media response. But the dishonesty of that excuse is apparent just by re-reading her statement. She explicitly says that she would do the same thing the Marines did and praises them for being “cool.” If that isn’t condoning the behavior, what is?
Loesch’s web site, BigJournalism has gone to work to absolve her sins, not by demonstrating that her comments were appropriate, but by attacking anyone who criticized her. They started with Politico, a news operation started by unabashed conservative journalists, and tagged them as leftists because of their article that merely reported that the controversy exists. John Nolte, editor-in-chief of Breitbart’s BigHollywood, desperately stretched to imply a bias by Politico because the article included this:
“I’ve reached out to CNN to ask for their response to Loesch’s comments, and whether or not it will have any impact on her role at CNN.” Nolte’s emphasis.
Most people would regard that as a standard inquiry in a situation where a news analyst’s big mouth got them in hot water. From there Nolte descended into an hysterical rant that accused Politico of “pushing to have Dana taken off the air or punished.” And he escalated that nonsense to claim that Politico had an even bigger agenda to “marginalize” and “silence” Loesch. The conspiracy in Nolte’s mind extended all the way to George Soros, as all conservative conspiracies do. And the entirety of this clandestine plot was drawn from Politico’s perfectly reasonable and responsible desire to get a response from CNN.
Another Breitbart hack, Dan Riehl, weighed in on the subject to accuse Media Matters of being…
“…fixated on a mission to try and silence the free speech of Big Journalism editor Dana Loesch, while also engaging upon a campaign to somehow damage her with CNN.”
Riehl’s evidence is an article by Media Matters that correctly observes that Loesch’s comments were Too Extreme For Rush Limbaugh. Riehl disputes that assessment mainly by changing the subject. He utterly ignores the fact that Limbaugh, with reference to the Marines, said explicitly that “There’s no defense of this.” But Riehl peels away from that fact to post a rambling quote from Tea Party Republican Allen West that also advocates punishing the Marines and says outright that “The Marines were wrong.” It appears that the fixation is on Riehl’s part to avoid the reality that the behavior of these particular soldiers was indefensible to almost everyone but Loesch.
As for Loesch, her own defense that she published on BigJournalism was an incoherent jumble of phony patriotism and self-aggrandizement. Her primary argument was that…
“There is a difference in advocating for the Marines to break the law, which I didn’t do, and defending them from overly-dramatic hysteria.”
Of course, defending them is precisely what she did. Even to the point of declaring that she would have “dropped trou” and joined them (which I’m sure they would have loved). Nevertheless, she contradicts herself a few paragraphs down by stating that “I won’t condemn American soldiers on the battlefield.” Not even, apparently, when they engage in condemnable acts that their commanders have no problem condemning.
The triumvirate of Loesch, Riehl, and Nolte, all touched on what they regard as an underlying evil aimed at Loesch and conservatives in general. They are convinced that any criticism they incur is an attempt to silence them. Ironically, they call for such criticism to be silenced. Conservatives believe that free speech is sacrosanct exempt when exercised by liberals. Consequently, any critique of Loesch is viewed by rightists as akin to censorship.
It is, however, perfectly appropriate to question news analysts who engage in a dialogue that advocates unlawful acts in the conduct of a war. CNN should take the responsible steps to review incidents wherein contributors bring disrepute to their network. But I don’t anticipate that they will. The current head of CNN, Ken Jautz, is the hack who gave Glenn Beck his first job on television. He also recently hired Beck associate Will Cain. These two uber-rightists share the air with CNN contributor Erick Erickson, who called former Supreme Court Justice David Souter a “goat-fucking child molester.” And it was under Jautz that CNN partnered with the corrupt AstroTurf PR firm, Tea Party Express, to host a GOP debate.
The hard-right turn that CNN has taken has landed them squarely in third place. And that decline is due in large part to people like Loesch. The American people are not looking for this kind of substanceless, bombastic, hate-speech from their news sources. They can get that from Fox News. And if anyone’s job should be in jeoprady, it is the person at the helm, Ken Jautz.
Dana Loesch, CNN’s senior Tea Party correspondent and editor of Andrew Breitbart’s BigJournalism, is engaged in a dust-up with Eric Boehlert of Media Matters over her delusional campaign to disparage the Occupy Wall Street (OWS) movement as anti-Semitic. Her claim is wholly unfounded, although typical of her deceitful brand of yellow journalism.
The squabble began when Loesch appeared on CNN attempting to smear OWS due to a report that the American Nazi Party had endorsed the movement. That is the sort of dishonest associative logic that propagandists like Loesch love to employ to bash their opponents. Commentators who are not pathological liars know that fringe groups frequently try to align themselves with popular movements to draw attention to themselves. Perhaps she should be made to explain why the Tea Party is not racist in light of the fact that they were endorsed by white supremacist and KKK leader David Duke.
Boehlert responded to Loesch’s ravings with a series of Tweets that made the point that these endorsements exist on both sides and that they aren’t necessarily indicative of anything. Loesch fired back that Boehlert had not proven his argument – even though he had. Then she set forth a list of demands that she expected Boehlert to comply with. I don’t know if Boehlert has any intention of wasting his valuable time answering Loesch. After all, he is running a busy media monitoring and analysis organization. On the other hand, I’m an unemployed, Cheetos-munching, blogger in my mother’s basement with nothing but free time due to all the government handouts I scam. So I thought I’d take a stab at Loesch’s list where she asks: “I need Eric Boehlert to do the following:”
Back up his analogy that Fox (and other network coverage) of the tea party is the same as NBC’s Ratigan writing messaging while pretending to report on OWS by showing examples of Fox writing tea party messaging.
First of all, Ratigan never wrote messaging for OWS. He merely made comments on an email list that expressed his opinions. He was not serving as an adviser and the list was not even an official OWS group. The emails were stolen by a hacker and published by Breitbart.
What Fox did, however, was much worse than what Ratigan was accused of. They openly promoted Tea Party events, even branding them as “FNC Tax Day Tea Parties.” They sent their producers out to ride Tea Party buses, attend rallies, and try to whip up the crowd when they did not seem sufficiently excited. Sal Russo, founder of the Tea Party Express, gushed that“There would not have been a tea party without Fox.” That’s a good deal more damning than an assertion of message writing.
Explain why Obama was present at a rally with hate leader Malik Shabazz.
Obama was not present at a rally with Shabazz. He was present at the 42nd anniversary of a famous 1965 civil rights march in Selma, Alabama. As the event was open to the public and thousands of people attended, there is no way that then-Senator Obama could have known who else had shown up.
Explain why Obama’s DOJ refused to prosecute the NBPP for voter intimidation.
It was the Bush administration’s Justice Department that made the decision not to pursue criminal charges against members of the New Black Panther Party for alleged voter intimidation. And it was Obama’s DOJ that successfully obtained a default judgment against Samir Shabazz for carrying a nightstick outside the Philadelphia polling center on Election Day 2008.
A subsequent investigation concluded that the department acted appropriately and that there was “no evidence of improper political interference or influence from within or outside the Department in connection with the decision in the case.”
Explain why the ADL had to issue a condemnation to Occupy Wall Street for antisemitism.
The ADL did not issue a condemnation to Occupy Wall Street for antisemitism. That is an outright lie. They issued a statement that condemned remarks by individuals attending OWS events, but also stated that “antisemitism has not gained traction more broadly with the protestors, nor is it representative of the larger movement at this time.”
Perhaps Loesch can explain why the ADL had to issue a condemnation to Fox News and Glenn Beck over comments about Jews that “demonstrate his bigoted ignorance.” And again with regard to Beck’s vilification of George Soros saying that Beck was “completely inappropriate, offensive and over the top.” Not to mention the apology they graciously accepted from Roger Ailes after he called NPR executives Nazis.
Explain the antisemitism at occupy protests and give video equivalence of equal or greater antisemitism at tea parties since no one has seen such.
There is no justification for antisemitism anywhere, but as noted in the answer above, the anti-Semitic remarks of a few repugnant individuals is not representative of OWS. But maybe Loesch would like to answer for these remarks:
David Duke: The Tea Party movement is a great sign that the people are finally waking up. Tea Party, Republican Activists Circulate Anti-Semitic E-Mails Against Presumptive Texas Speaker. Weisel blasts the tea party ‘antisemitism’: ‘Indecent and disgusting.’ White Supremacists and Anti-Semites Plan to Recruit at July 4 Tea Parties. California GOP Decries Anti-Semitic Tea Party Activism. GOP must condemn “Tea Party” signs.
For Loesch to assert that no one has seen any antisemitism, racism, or other bigotry at Tea Party events illustrates the selective recall of a bigot.
Explain why there have been over 1,o00 (sic) OWS arrests and zero tea party arrests if the tea party are “violent racists.”
There are two reasons there have been so many OWS arrests. One is that the participants believe passionately in their cause and the honorable practice of civil disobedience as demonstrated by leaders like King and Gandhi. The other is that the police are often utilized by the corporate classes to protect what they regard as their assets rather than protecting the rights of the people.
It also needs to be noted that Loesch makes an absurd correlation between the arrests of peaceful OWS protesters and the violent tendencies of some in the Tea Party. OWS protesters never carried signs saying “We came unarmed – this time.” And then there’s this:
Explain why communists are endorsing OWS.
Already answered above. However, I’ll humor you: To exploit a popular movement to draw attention to themselves.
Explain why felons need to carry guns at OWS.
Just because someone may have found a single person doing that does not mean that there are wild gangs of felons running around Zucotti Park with guns. It’s a rather idiotic insinuation that you should be embarrassed for having brought up. And again, it has nothing to do with any official representation of OWS. However, It is good to hear that you are in agreement with the majority of progressives who support stricter gun control laws that would prevent such behavior.
Explain what a man who has exposed himself repeatedly to children was doing at the occupy protests.
Same answer as above. Do you really think that in any group of thousands that there aren’t some despicable low lifes with questionable character? Hell, you can’t even say that about a few hundred people in Congress. Have you not heard about the GOP senators who solicit sex in airport restrooms (Larry Craig) or patronize prostitutes (David Vitter). Perhaps you could explain Charles Leaf, the Fox News reporter who was arrested on charges of aggravated sexual assault on a four year old girl.
Loesch’s tirade failed utterly to prove any point. The only thing she succeeded in doing was to open the door to the dark side of Tea Party and force her to answer for it. That’s what she is asking Boehlert to do. So either she steps up to take responsibility for all the nutjobs in the Tea Party, or she admits that she is an unscrupulous hypocrite. Technically, the latter is a given so don’t hold your breath waiting for her to respond.
In the fiercely competitive world of cable news, the players have been jockeying for position as they battle for viewers and advertisers. Fox News, MSNBC, and CNN, each with their own models of programming, seek to gain scale and influence.
Fox News, we know, has established its place as the leader in right-wing advocacy and Republican PR. MSNBC, while not a full-fledged counter to Fox, has allotted a fair portion of its programming to more liberally leaning fare. But CNN, the innovator and one-time leader in cable news, has wavered between those poles emerging as somewhat of a journalistic mutant – neither left nor right nor neutral.
The past year, however, CNN has been attempting to fashion a more recognizable persona. The shift coincides with the promotion of Ken Jautz, formerly the president of CNN’s sister network, HLN. At HLN Jautz succeeded in raising both ratings and revenue by turning the channel into a trashy TV tabloid reliant on celebrity gossip and characters like Nancy Grace and Glenn Beck (yes, Jautz gave Beck his first job on television).
Now presiding over CNN, Jautz has brought his brash and distinctively commercial style to the network that once aspired to be a model of journalistic integrity. He is employing the same sensationalist philosophy at CNN that brought him success at HLN, along with a decidedly conservative bent. In an interview he gave after his promotion was announced Jautz delivered a tribute to Fox News and a preview of what to expect from his tenure saying that he does not believe that “facts-only” programming will work. True to his word he has endeavored to give CNN a shiny Fox-like hue and assembled a team that shares his aversion to facts.
Here are some examples of the lowlights of the Jautz era at CNN:
1) First and foremost, Jautz brought Glenn Beck into the CNN family saying that “Glenn’s style is self-deprecating, cordial…not confrontational.” That sort of delusional analysis ought to have been a red flag that disqualified Jautz from running a news network.
2) Erick Erickson, the RedState blogger who once called Supreme Court Justice David Souter a Goat-f**king child molester, became a CNN political commentator. Since his hiring he has cheered the S&P’s downgrading of the U.S. credit rating and agreed with Rick Perry that Social Security is a Ponzi scheme.
3) CNN signed Dana Loesch, the editor of Andrew Breitbart’s BigJournalism, to be a contributor. Loesch has alleged that President Obama “sided with terrorists,” and she embraced the overt bigotry of notorious Islamaphobe Pamela Geller. Breitbart, of course is famous for promoting deceptively edited videos that smeared ACORN, NPR, Shirley Sherrod and even CNN reporter Abbie Boudreau. Loesch was hired by CNN after these events were widely known.
4) Jautz brought Erin Burnett over from CNBC. In her debut she broadcast a story that portrayed the protesters on Wall Street as unfocused neo-hippies that didn’t understand the issues they were protesting. Burnett would have fit in well on the curvy couch of Fox & Friends where they routinely disparage the movement without ever addressing the substance of it.
5) CNN had the distinction of being the only network to air Michele Bachmann’s Tea Party response to the State of the Union Address. Even Fox didn’t think it was worthy of live coverage. The result is that CNN had two opposing viewpoints to the President’s address, one from the GOP and one from the Tea Party which, of course, is just an affiliate of the GOP. We’re still waiting for CNN to air a response from the Progressive Caucus or MoveOn.org.
6) Another new CNN political analyst is Will Cain, who CNN acquired from the ultra-conservative National Review. And if that credential isn’t far enough out in right field, Cain just announced that he is joining Glenn Beck’s web site, The Blaze.
7) CNN locked arms with the Tea Party to co-host a Republican presidential primary debate. By choosing Tea Party Express as their partner they embraced a dubious organization that was booted out of the Tea Party Federation due to the racist commentaries of a spokesman. It was also revealed that most of the funds raised from donations wound up in the coffers of Russo, Marsh, the Republican PR firm that founded Tea Party Express.
8) Former Fox News anchor and Bill O’Reilly fill-in, E.D. Hill, is now a CNN contributor. Hill was dumped by Fox after a segment that showed President Obama giving the First Lady a friendly fist bump and Hill called it a “terrorist fist jab.”
So CNN is now employing Fox News rejects, Andrew Breitbart lieutenants, and Glenn Beck associates. They’ve entered into covenants with unscrupulous Tea Partyers. On the flip side, former CNN reporters Ed Henry and John Roberts are now comfortably ensconced at Fox News. The lines between CNN and Fox News are blurring to the point where the networks are becoming indistinguishable. And most of this occurred since Ken Jautz assumed the helm of CNN.
If there is one thing that American media doesn’t need, it’s another Fox News. The first one is already doing a stellar job of misinforming the public and advancing the agenda of the Republican Party. What’s more, emulating Fox has done nothing for CNN’s ratings. Why should it? Viewers who are in the market for dumbed-down histrionics, Democrat bashing, and a steady diet of right-wing falsehoods, already have a proven provider. Fox’s audience has shown that they are not the least bit interested in looking for the remote that slipped under the sofa years ago. They don’t even change the channel when their heroes are just a click down the dial.
Consequently, if CNN is gaining nothing from reshaping their editorial slant to mirror Fox, the only conclusion is that they are deliberately making a hard right turn because that is the direction they want to go. But this path has only resulted in their dropping to third place behind Fox and MSNBC. If CNN ever hopes to regain some of the luster of their glory days, they will need to differentiate themselves from Fox. They might want to take a stab at journalism. That would be novel in these days of advocacy tabloidism.
It’s bad enough that America has one Fox News. One network that has mainstreamed lying and abandoned all journalistic ethics in favor of spreading propaganda and nurturing ignorance. Now it appears that CNN has aspirations to out-Fox Fox. They put out a press release announcing some new hires:
“CNN is gearing up for the election season with the addition of political contributors from across the ideological spectrum. Democratic strategist Cornell Belcher, conservative commentator Will Cain, and local Tea Party leader and radio talk show host Dana Loesch will appear across the network’s prime time programs, as well as other dayparts and platforms.”
The first thing that is glaringly askew in this announcement is that CNN is recruiting a single Democratic analyst and two right-wing opponents. Under what tangled, Gordian logic is that a balanced representation of views? Do the Democrats have to invent a phony AstroTurf party in order to get an equal number of seats at the table? Would CNN hire a Progressive Party spokesman to join their panel? Of course not. But because some Republicans are parading around with a different name, CNN gives them parity as if they were a wholly new party deserving their own voice.
Let’s be perfectly clear: There is no Tea Party! They have no platform and no candidates. People who profess to be aligned with this imaginary party are in fact Republicans. They run as Republicans, they vote for Republicans, and their agenda is decidedly Republican. And the stub of the GOP that calls itself the Tea Party is wildly out of touch with mainstream Americans. So CNN is a network that hires two Republicans for every Democrat.
Compounding that problem is the specific selection of Dana Loesch to represent the phony Tea Party faction. Loesch is presently the editor-in-chief of Andrew Breitbart’s BigJournalism.com. That’s the same Breitbart that promoted James O’Keefe’s “pimp and hooker” ACORN smear; the same Breitbart that peddled the dishonest videos that defamed Shirley Sherrod. These and other scams have all been thoroughly debunked. But Loesch, the editor-in-chief of the lying tabloid that produces more junk journalism than any other site on the Internet, was chosen by CNN to be the voice of the Tea Party.
Loesch is just the latest despicable decision by CNN’s new president, Ken Jautz. Jautz was recently promoted from HLN where he will forever be remembered as the man who brought Glenn Beck to television. He is a hack who is more interested in ratings than journalism, and with each new day is proving that he is unfit to run a news network.
Since moving up to CNN, Jautz has formed a partnership with Tea Party Express (TPE), a corrupt political action committee that is reviled by other Tea Party groups. This arrangement called for a them to co-host a Republican presidential primary debate. It also produced Michelle Bachmann’s (R-MN) embarrassing response to the State of the Union address. Those are two more examples proving that the Tea Party is a wholly owned subsidiary of the GOP. But TPE has some dirty laundry that needs to be aired.
TPE’s chief was shamed into resigning for repeatedly making racist comments. That was followed by TPE being banished from the Tea Party Federation. TPE’s finances are racked with fraud. The Republican PR firm that created TPE, Russo Marsh, directs nearly half of the money they raise from citizen supporters to the firm. TPE recently reported receiving thousands of dollars from a donor who has been dead for four years. This is the racist, dishonest, reprehensible gang of con artists with which Jautz has associated CNN.
CNN already employs RedState’s Erick Erickson, who called Supreme Court Justice David Souter a “goat fucking child molester.” Now Jautz brings aboard Dana Loesch who said that a demonstrator who got her head stomped on by a Rand Paul supporter should apologize for the incident. These developments put CNN’s credibility at stake. Are they really so desperate for attention that they would sully themselves with known liars and agitators for the most extremist faction of the right? Are they really so stupid that they think that trying to emulate Fox will reverse their ratings debacle?
Sadly, the answer to those question is “Yes.” CNN is both desperate and stupid. They never learn. Fox viewers are not going to flip over to a Fox look-alike when they have the real thing just down the dial. Glenn Beck’s audience would not watch him on HLN, where his program was the lowest rated on the channel. But the minute he moved to Fox he was an instant hit. This proves that Fox viewers are hypnotically dialed in to their media master, and they will not wander off. Not for Beck, and certainly not for Loesch. So the only thing that CNN achieves by stumbling down this path is that they become an accessory to the disinformation that these rightist goons disseminate, while simultaneously destroying what’s left of their reputation.
Good work, CNN. You must be so proud. Ken Jautz is turning the network into an embarrassment that is destined to continue its ratings collapse. Everyone who who cares about ethical media should let CNN know that this direction is inappropriate and unprofessional. You can use this form on CNN’s web site to tell them that they are hurting themselves and the practice of journalism by associating with Dana Loesch and the Tea Party Express. Tell them that Ken Jautz isn’t fit to run the Home Shopping Network. And tell them that the last thing this country needs is another right-wing pseudo-news outlet that manufactures partisan controversies and contributes to mass ignorance.