Just As I Predicted, Fox News Hated Obama’s Speech (Surprise)

Just as I predicted this morning, Fox News, and their Republican comrades, marched in lock-step opposition to President’s Obama speech on dealing with the threat of ISIL.


Immediately following the speech, Fox News spent the next couple of hours picking it apart with sometimes ludicrous logic. They began with commentary from their White House correspondent Ed Henry who asserted his opinion that Obama, by calling for decisive action to destroy ISIL, had reversed himself on his prior foreign policy which, of course, was to destroy ISIL.

Megyn Kelly, who anchored the post-speech discussion, led with a series of poll results that cast the President in a negative light. She then approached her guests with blatantly leading questions, such as her wondering whether Obama’s heart was in his stated intention to take out ISIL. She also asked whether Obama’s policy to leave Iraq in 2011 caused the situation now where we have to go back “in a way that is even more dangerous.” That question ignores certain facts, such as the date for the departure of U.S. troops which was set by George W. Bush. Also, it can hardly be characterized as “more dangerous” when Obama’s plan will result in about 1,500 American soldiers in Iraq, as opposed to the 140,000 that were there previously. As for what caused the situation that allowed ISIL to emerge, that was solely due to Bush’s plundering of the government of Saddam Hussein (based on lies) and banishing his generals and other military personal, who went on to form ISIL.

Dana Perino, Bush’s former press secretary, said that she liked Obama’s line “If you threaten the United States you will have no safe haven.” But she said that the reason she liked it was because she had heard the same thing before from her old boss when he said “You are either with us or you are against us.” How is that even remotely the same?

However, the most idiotic commentary came from Brit Hume who said…

“If the threat is sufficiently great to American interests and to America itself, then it seems that one would do whatever it takes to eliminate the threat. [Obama] didn’t quite go that far. He said he was determined to destroy ISIS, but you heard at the end when he was talking about what we do in these situations. He said “We do what it takes.” He didn’t say we do whatever it takes.

Are you FRIGGIN’ kidding me? I would love to know what Hume thinks is different about those two statements. Obviously, these cretins are so consumed with finding fault that their cranial synapses are misfiring.

Every guest during the remainder of Kelly’s program was an Obama opponent, including Hume, Perino, General Jack Keane, Chris Stirewalt, and Sen. Ted Cruz. Cruz launched his tirade by saying that Obama’s speech was “fundamentally unserious,” and was representative of the “failed Obama/Clinton foreign policy.” That was his way of injecting politics into the discussion by invoking the name of the women he hopes to challenge in 2016. Kelly’s show was followed by Sean Hannity who added John McCain and Rand Paul to the bitchfest.

Not a single Democrat or pundit supportive of the President or his policy was allowed on the air during the post-speech analysis. So much for the “fair and balanced” network. This is why the prediction I made earlier was so easy. The same prediction can be made for pretty much any event that involves Obama or any progressive politician or policy. Fox News single-mindedly follows the philosophy of Marx (Groucho, that is):

Whatever it is, I’m against it.

ISSA HYPOCRISY: Lost IRS Emails vs. Lost Bush White House Emails – Part 2

Last week News Corpse published a story detailing the hypocrisy of Fox News for hyperventilating over allegations of lost emails by the IRS when they said nothing about millions of lost emails by the Bush White House during investigations of improper firings of U.S. Attorneys and the outing of covert CIA agent Valerie Plame. Even worse, one of those bashing the the Obama administration was Fox News host Dana Perino who, at the time of the Bush email affair, was Bush’s press secretary and personally defended losing the emails.

Now the web of hypocrisy is growing even wider. Darrell Issa, chairman of the House Fake Scandal Committee, has been leading the attack on President Obama over the missing IRS emails, despite the fact that there is not a shred of evidence that the President was in any way involved with the email or the broader IRS controversy over the scrutiny given to political groups applying for tax-exempt status. Issa recently convened a hearing specifically to investigate the lost emails and declaring that the administration has “some ‘splainin’ to do.”

Darrell Issa Hypocrisy

It’s rather amusing that Issa is taking such a hard-line stance on the matter since it is such a distant position from the one he held in 2008, when he sought to dismiss any notion of scandal by blaming the computer software used to archive the email. Mother Jones reported at the time that Issa…

“…did his best to play down the extent of the Bush administration’s now well-documented email archiving problems. Defending the White House’s decision to switch from the Lotus Notes-based archiving system used by the Clinton administration, Issa compared the the software to “using wooden wagon wheels” and Sony Betamax tapes.”

Issa accused then-committee chair Henry Waxman of leading a “fishing expedition” and telling Waxman that “You have no mandate to go Peeping Tom into every piece of information.” Considering Issa’s multiple investigations into the IRS, ObamaCare, immigration, and, of course, Benghazi, if Waxman was a Peeping Tom, then Issa is an acutely perverted stalker with dangerously sociopathic tendencies.

In other IRS email related news, Ed Henry of Fox News raised the issue at a White House press briefing when he asked outgoing press secretary Jay Carney “What happened to Lois Lerner’s email?” Carney’s answer should be the benchmark for any further inquiries by Issa or any other agent of the Republican inquisition. Carney said

“IT professionals worked to restore Lerner’s hard drive but were unable to do so. Nonetheless, the IRS has or will produce 24,000 Lerner e-mails from this 2009-2011 time period largely from the files of the other 82 individuals. So I think that answers your question that they are engaging in an effort to find e-mails in the absence of being able to restore the hard drive. […]

“Chairman Camp, as you know, requested e-mails to and from the White House. We were asked if we would produce them; we did, in fact, do a search for all communications between Lois Lerner and any person within the Executive Office of the President for this period. We found zero e-mails — sorry to disappoint — between Lois Lerner and anyone within the EOP during this period. We found three e-mails where a third party e-mailed both Lois Lerner and officials within the EOP. One was a spam e-mail and two others were from a person seeking tax assistance. Each of these e-mails has been produced to Congress.”

So the administration has taken extraordinary measures to retrieve the missing emails. They have searched servers and the computers of possible recipients. They have done everything that the harpies on the right have been badgering them to do. And they have had some measure of success in that they recovered and delivered tens of thousands of emails from the time period requested. What more is expected of them?

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Obviously, the critics in congress and the press don’t really care about results. They only care about stirring up controversy and fake outrage. That’s how Dana Perino can defend her boss, George Bush, for losing millions of emails and then hammer the IRS for a similar problem. And that’s how Darrell Issa can dismiss Bush’s email disappearances as a computer glitch, but accuse Obama of engaging in a criminal cover up. And the only reason they get away with it is because the media doesn’t do their homework and inform the public in a fair and thorough manner. And making it worse is that some in the media (e.g. Fox News) deliberately misinform the public to advance their partisan agenda.

FOX NEWS HYPOCRISY: Lost IRS Emails vs. Lost Bush White House Emails

On Friday the IRS reported to the House Ways and Means Committee that some email from the account of Lois Lerner, director of the Exempt Organizations division, were missing due to a computer crash that occurred in 2011. That morsel of news set the conservative media to salivating with hopes of a new controversy to wrap around the neck of the Obama administration. Never mind that after a year of congressional hearings, independent investigations, and media scrutiny, there has not been an iota of evidence tying any of the IRS activities to the White House, right-wing pundits and politicians scurried to spread innuendo and place blame.

Leading the pack, as usual, was Fox News. They pounced on the missing email story with a barely disguised glee, despite the fact that they had little information to report. However, they did succeed at what they do best: spewing outrage over alleged improprieties by President Obama that they cavalierly dismissed during the Bush years.

Fox News

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To be sure, it is reasonable to be concerned, even suspicious, when government agencies announce that data critical to ongoing investigations is unavailable. But when a media enterprise pretends to exhibit such concern for blatantly political purposes, it can hardly be regarded as credible. What’s missing in Fox’s reporting is the context that would put this story into perspective. Their reporting went straight for the jugular with premature conclusions of wrongdoing and dishonesty. The story was presented as an outrageous and unprecedented act of probable criminality.

Flashback to April of 2007. The Bush administration was in the midst of dual scandals regarding: 1) the outing of Valerie Plame, a covert CIA agent whose identity was deliberately compromised as payback for her husband’s criticism of the Bush lies that led to the invasion of Iraq, and 2) the unethical firing of eight federal attorneys for politically ideological reasons. Additionally, there were questions about Karl Rove improperly using a Republican National Committee e-mail account that the White House later said disappeared. While Congress was investigating these activities, the White House announced that two years of emails were lost and unavailable to the committees of jurisdiction.

Hmmm. Sound familiar? In fact, it is identical to the story now being pushed by Fox. However, Fox News never blew a gasket over the lost emails from the Bush administration. Dana Perino, a co-host of the Fox News program The Five, was among those expressing outrage on Friday when the news of the missing IRS emails was released. She and her fellow co-hosts lit into the topic, bemoaning the administration’s “ignorance” and “incompetence.” And without any proof whatsoever, they implied that the administration was lying and covering up.

What makes this even worse is that Perino was Bush’s press secretary when it was revealed that two years of White House emails were lost. This, of course, cannot be waived off as an isolated problem that occurred at another agency. This was the White House itself that lost emails that were presently being requested by investigators. And it was Perino who came to the defense. Here she is downplaying the matter in a report on CNN by Ed Henry (now at Fox News):

Here is Perino & Co. aghast at the revelation that IRS emails went astray:

It is astonishing that Perino could be so rattled by the IRS email report when she herself was so intimately involved in spinning an identical controversy when she worked for Bush (Of course at Fox, she’s still working for the same gang). Either she has the memory of a gnat or she is purposefully deceiving the gullible waifs who watch Fox News. And since deception is an integral part of the Fox News mission, we can safely assume it’s the latter.

See also part II of this story featuring another hypocrite, Darrell Issa.

Fox News: Fair And Balanced? A Great Point If It Were True

Every now and then Fox News blurts out tiny, but perceptible, snippets of truth, often when they don’t even realize it. Such a moment occurred yesterday on The Five as Eric Bolling (of the Bloody Hand) launched into an error-riddled tirade against the Obama administration’s remarks following the terrorist attack in Benghazi.

Fox News Great Point

Shameless self-promotion…
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In the course of Bolling’s frothy outrage, he sought to illustrate his point that Obama, whose administration is responsible for capturing or killing more terrorists than Bush ever imagined, is weak on terror with a reference to the deadly raid on Osama Bin Laden. Here is the delightfully loopy exchange between Bolling and his co-host Dana Perino:

Bolling: There’s one more piece of this. Don’t forget this was prior, PRIOR, to Osama Bin Laden being taken down. And the thought was, is President Obama going into the election soft of terror or not? And a lot of people are saying [to Perino] It was after?
Perino: Much after. Yeah, a year.
Bolling: OK, I take it back.
Perino: A great point if it were true.

Indeed. What a great point that would have been if hadn’t been made up by an imbecile who doesn’t even bother to check the most basic facts. This was not a careless mistake in the course of an unrehearsed discussion. Bolling was reading from a prepared text. And the casual dismissal of his flagrant blunder, that he would simply “take it back,” demonstrates the lack of seriousness he has for factual reporting. It’s that cavalier attitude that Stephen Colbert highlighted last night (video below) when addressing the same segment and Perino’s odd compliment that the point would be great, but for the triviality that it was false:

Colbert: That’s undeniable. A great point and a fantastic new motto: Fox News. Fair and balanced. A Great point if it were true. Still I’ve gotta give a wag of my finger to Dana Perino. Why did you correct him? Bolling was pulling a passionate heartfelt conspiracy theory straight out of his ass. You don’t interrupt a man in mid yank. That’s rude.

Ordinarily, no one on Fox News is corrected that quickly (or at all) when they make ridiculous mistakes or tell obvious lies. That’s because their mission is to spread disinformation, not to inform. Bolling’s commentary was a part of Fox’s standard operating procedure and, if anything, Perino was off script and likely rebuked for her correction after the show. But Fox has recovered their composure and restored their focus on defaming Obama and the Democrats. As evidence of this, note the segment that aired this morning that brought all of the current Fox-hyped pseudo-scandals together in one package:

Fox News GOP Links Dems

And here, for your viewing pleasure, is the segment from the Colbert Report:

STFU: Fox News Shuts Down Comments On Article About Gay Republican

As the PR division of the Republican Party, Fox News has the massive burden of improving the public impression of a party that is widely viewed as being intolerant of minorities, dismissive of women, advocates for the rich, and proselytizers for a distinctly right-wing flavor of Christianity. While the GOP claims to want to broaden the appeal of the party, their policies work to do just the opposite. This makes the job much more difficult for Fox News who are trying to solicit favor from Latinos while opposing immigration; from women while opposing equal pay; from African-Americans while opposing affirmative action; and from workers while opposing unions, unemployment benefits, and raising the minimum wage.

Add to these groups the LGBT community. This is a particularly tough needle to thread for Fox and the GOP. They want to appear to be open-minded, but their positions are fervently anti-gay. They oppose marriage equality, non-discrimination in the workplace, hospital and survivor benefits, etc. And they are not particularly welcoming to gay Republican groups like GOProud and the Log Cabin Republicans.

Fox News

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Somehow, Fox News needs to advance its mission of electing more Republicans without alienating their conservative, Tea Party base. In pursuit of that end, Fox ran a story by Dana Perino, former press Secretary for George W. Bush and a Fox News contributor, that sought to expose what she regards as hypocrisy on the part of Democrats. The article was titled “Straight Talk About Gay Republican Congressional Candidate Carl DeMaio,” and questioned why Democrats were withholding their support from a gay San Diego congressional candidate that she thought Democrats should back automatically.

The notion that Democrats have some inherent responsibility to back any candidate on the basis of their sexual orientation is absurd. Democrats will not support gays (or women or African-Americans or Latinos, etc.) who work against the interests of their constituents. To suggest that they should is a remarkably ignorant and narrow-minded view of civic duty. It is also not the course that ethical gays would take. For example, Stampp Corbin, publisher of the San Diego LGBT Weekly, addressed DeMaio’s candidacy saying that

“The Republican Party platform says Republicans ‘reaffirm our support for a constitutional amendment defining marriage as the union of one man and one woman.’ The Democratic platform says ‘Gay rights are human rights.’ Could there be more of a contrast? […] Why would LGBT people elect someone who is part of a party that wants to deny LGBT people basic rights?”

Exactly. DeMaio is running against Democratic incumbant Scott Peters, who has been an outspoken advocate of LGBT rights, despite being straight. This is a concept that Perino and Fox News obviously don’t grasp.

However, they do know their audience. Which is why Fox News is not permitting any of them to comment on this story. Even though Fox News allows comments on all of their other news articles, they have closed off comments for this one. Why would they treat this article differently than all of the others? Perhaps because they are aware that the Fox News audience is likely to post derogatory and obscene insults directed at the candidate they are trying to promote. Fox doesn’t want to see the torrent of anti-gay sentiment that they know would occur if they allowed people to post comments.

The same censorship has been enacted at the lie-riddled Fox Nation website. They posted the same story and also prohibited those readers from commenting. Which is even more egregious since Fox Nation is supposed to be the community site where discussion is encouraged. Their mission statement says that…

“The Fox Nation is committed to the core principles of tolerance, open debate, civil discourse, and fair and balanced coverage of the news.”

We already knew that, contrary to their claim, Fox has no commitment to tolerance, civil discourse, or fair and balanced coverage of the news. And now we know that they also do not tolerate open debate. Have you ever heard of a community forum website that prohibited the community from engaging in a forum discussion? That’s “straight talk” Fox News style.

Dana Perino And Fox News On Repressive Regimes And Propaganda

Idiot FoxEd Brayton at Science Blogs has caught a classic example of hypocrisy from a member of the class that made an art of it: the Bush administration.

Former Bush press secretary Dana Perino was on Fox News this weekend and commented on a video produced for the White House web site. She was appalled that the administration would post videos in support of its own agenda and implied that it represented some kind of affront to a free press and democracy:

[T]he White House decided through its own media — they have a robust new media shop and they’re creating their own news and they’re posting it, and all the networks said that they’re not going to show it. But creating your own news is something that happens in repressive regimes. And a democracy is — it is critical to have a good, strong free press in a democracy.

Let’s dissect the idiocy of this comment. First of all, you cannot accuse the White House of “creating your own news” in the sentence following your observation that “all the networks said that they’re not going to show it.” If no news network is showing it then it is simply an informational video available only to visitors to the White House web site.

Secondly, if anything, this affirms the strong free press Perino is lamenting. Obviously they are making up their own minds with regard to what they consider news. If they they don’t want to broadcast the President’s video, they don’t have to. And according to Perino, they aren’t.

But most importantly, Perino has deliberately withheld her own complicity with assaults on the free press as a member of Bush’s press team. It was the Bush administration that repeatedly packaged phony news reports that they distributed to television stations with the intent that they be broadcast in whole. These pseudo-news reels were produced with a fake “anchor” and were aired by many stations without disclosing that they came from the Bush propaganda studio.

Under the Bush administration, the federal government has aggressively used a well-established tool of public relations: the prepackaged, ready-to-serve news report that major corporations have long distributed to TV stations to pitch everything from headache remedies to auto insurance. In all, at least 20 federal agencies, including the Defense Department and the Census Bureau, have made and distributed hundreds of television news segments in the past four years, records and interviews show. Many were subsequently broadcast on local stations across the country without any acknowledgement of the government’s role in their production.

This sort of deception was routine in the Bush years. They were also caught paying Armstrong Williams under the table to write glowing reviews about their education policy, “No Child Left Behind.” The Bush Pentagon was entangled in a scandal wherein they paid editors of Iraqi newspapers to publish articles secretly written by American soldiers praising the war effort and the occupation of Iraq. And let’s not forget Jeff Gannon, the right-wing mole who was planted in the White House Press Corps under Bush. Or the irrepressibly corrupt Kenneth Tomlinson, who chaired the Broadcasting Board of Governors which oversees the Corporation for Public Broadcasting.

SpinComThen there was what may be the worst episode of propaganda aimed directly at Americans in our nation’s history: SPINCOM. This was a program run out of Bush’s Pentagon that served up former generals to news networks as military analysts. They were trained by the Pentagon to promote the administration’s agenda and were rewarded with access and contracts for the defense companies they represented. And none of this was disclosed to viewers, or even to the networks.

The abuse of an independent and unfettered press under Perino and her bosses was unparalleled. For her to criticize the current administration for posting some videos online, while ignoring her own participation in a full-blown propaganda operation, specifically targeting the media and the American people, is the pinnacle of hypocrisy and dishonesty. Add to that the fact that she made these assertions as an employee of Fox News and it is at least evidence of the following: She and Fox are bona fide experts on repressive regimes and propaganda.

Republicans Look To Bush Losers For Advice On Winning

Republicans are already struggling to maintain some measure of relevance since the American people have banished them to the minority in both the House and the Senate, and evicted them from the White House. It is certainly understandable that, in their desperation, they would cast about plaintively, with arms outstretched, to grasp onto whomever might offer them aide in these dire days (weeks? years?). But in a move that can only compound their troubles, they are calling upon fellow castaways to lead them off of the island of the politically damned.

Politico is reporting that former Bush media staffers have been drafted to show House Republicans the way back into the hearts of American voters. The team consists of Bush press office alums, Dana Perino, Tony Fratto, and past RNC chief and Bush counselor, Ed Gillespie. Presumably they were deemed up to the task by virtue of how masterfully they molded Bush into the beloved figure he is today.

The Politico column reveals that House Republicans, on the advice of Conference Chair Mike Pence, are beefing up their media staffs. The stated goal of this strategy is to place more emphasis on press relations than on legislation. GOP flack Matt Lloyd is in full agreement with Pence, and hails this new initiative by saying that:

“The press secretary workshop is one more tool in our belt that we are using to ensure press secretaries continue to get their members the most coverage possible, which in turn drives the Republican message across the country.”

I couldn’t agree with him more. From the perspective of someone who is anxious to see the Republican minority shrink even further, nothing could more effectively produce that end than to “drive the Republican message across the country.” If the House PR machine wants to help “get their members the most coverage possible,” I would heartily encourage them. And they should start with getting more coverage for Michele Bachmann. Minority Leader John Boehner could use a little more exposure of his dynamic personality and spray-on tan, as well. And since we’re resurrecting Republicans of yore, throw in Newt Gingrich and Tom DeLay.

You have to hand it to the GOP – they sure know how to cling to the anchors that have hastened their descent to the depths of political triviality.

To Fox News Hurricane Gustav Is A Political Problem

Currently a top story for Fox News is one that is blaring this headline:

Gustav Threatens GOP Convention Plans

That’s right…The category 3 hurricane that is bearing down on the vulnerable population of New Orleans and the rest of the gulf coast, is identified by Fox News as merely a threat to the GOP. Never mind the millions of Americans in harm’s way who must be pretty anxious considering how awful this administration handled a similar threat a few years ago.

Giving Fox the benefit of a doubt, it may be entirely appropriate to report on the impact of a severe storm on what is one of the biggest events for the Republican presidential campaign. If the headline were simply an unfortunate phrasing that tipped the tone of the article toward an insensitivity that they didn’t intend, it could be forgiven. But the article contains some affirmation of the headline’s myopic self-centeredness. The constricted view is first expressed in a quote from Karl Rove, a FOX News analyst:

“The Republicans can’t seem to get a break when it comes to August and when it comes to the weather.”

According to Rove, it is the Republicans who are the victims of these dang storms. Why does God hate the GOP? Especially when they prayed so hard for him to smite the Democrats. White House press secretary Dana Perino also noticed the hardship that her party faces when she left open the possibility that Gustav could “rain on the Republicans’ plans.”

It really is all about the Republicans. At some point I may even summon up some sympathy for them. Not that they need my help. Fox News is always there to provide some positive reinforcement for the beleaguered Party who has to do battle with a political rock star:

“The Bush administration came under fire for appearing slow to react when Katrina struck New Orleans three years ago. Democratic speakers have reprised that criticism during their national convention in Denver, where so far no serious disruptions have occurred.”

Huh? In an article about a hurricane and its impact on GOP convention plans, Fox News finds a way to inject the totally unrelated notion of Democratic convention unrest. This has nothing to do with anything else in the column. It is purely an egregious attempt to sow some negativity, but with the promise of disruption that may yet occur – it just has not “so far.”

Can this get any more ridiculous? Sadly, yes.

It’s Best When Everybody Thinks Alike

In this administration, as in the halls of Fox News, it’s best when everybody thinks alike – No matter how much they pretend otherwise.

The White House held it’s annual “Holiday” (that’s right, holiday) Party for the media last night and the guest list was, to no one’s surprise, heavily weighted to the right-wing regurgitators of whom the President is so fond.

This morning Dana Perino, the President’s press secretary, visited with a regurgitator on Fox News and had the following exchange:

Steve Doocy: [H]ow weird is it to have, Dana, people who appear on other channels, who bash the president all the time, and then, one night a year, they come into the White House, they bring their kids, and they say, Hi, how are you, as if they haven’t been bashing the president all year long?

Dana Perino: It’s a little awkward. And it was amazing to me, being in charge of taking the requests for invitations this year, how audacious some people are to call and ask to be invited to the president’s Christmas party.

It was nice of Doocy to so openly reveal that it is the “other channels” who bash the President, and not Fox, the President’s Cheerleading Squad. That sort of honesty has been more in view since Rupert Murdoch admitted that he tried to shape the agenda on Iraq. And Perino’s discomfort with reporters who are critical of the President says something about her lack of professionalism and her immaturity in the role of press secretary.

And speaking of lack of professionalism, another Fox regurgitator, Neil Cavuto, interviewed his boss Rupert Murdoch yesterday. The conversation covered Murdoch’s acquisition of Dow Jones (and the Wall Street Journal) and the launch of the Fox Business Network, for which Cavuto is the Sr. VP. Have they really sunk this low? A senior Fox News executive interviewing his boss on air. That would be like Dana Perino interviewing the President for broadcast (maybe I shouldn’t give them any ideas). What exactly would we expect to learn from that?

I guess we’ll just have to get used to Fox News employees interviewing other Fox News employees. And we’ll have to accept that the White House is no longer the people’s house, but an office for partisan business and gatherings.