Bill O’Reilly’s Two for 2018: 1) The Media Hates Trump 2) Evil Women Who Expose Sexual Predators

Everyone has been compiling “Best Of” lists for 2017. But not Bill O’Reilly, He’s jumping feet first into the new year with his “Two Big Stories Brewing for 2018.” The disgraced former Fox News star and serial sexual deviant is trying desperately to remain relevant in a world that has left him at the side of the road.

Bill o'Reilly Fox News

O’Reilly published a brief message on his deserted website that he hopes will rope people into subscribing to his “premium” service. Presumably that will buy you exclusive access to his ultra-arrogant perspectives on all the crap he hates and knows nothing about. The posting purports to identify a couple of stories that O’Reilly believes will dominate the new year. And both have a conspicuously self-serving slant. As O’Reilly tells it:

“First, the American media will continue to try and negate Donald Trump’s election to the presidency. This is by design. Most press chieftains despise everything about the President and their viewpoints are well known among their employees. Thus, negative stories about Mr. Trump will continue while positive stories will be suppressed.”

Poor Billo. He thinks that the media is conspiring to overthrow Donald Trump by viciously reporting the things he actually does and says. What a devious plot. And it is by design. It’s what journalists do. If Trump doesn’t want his words and actions to be documented, he got into the wrong business. And if O’Reilly thinks that covering the President accurately is an act of treason, he’s on the wrong planet.

It shouldn’t surprise anyone that O’Reilly is upset by journalists doing their job. It’s what got him thrown from his ivory tower at Fox News. Reporters uncovered a bunch of settlements paid out to women who were victims of O’Reilly’s sexual abuse. That included a payment of thirty-two million dollars to one woman. Because the terms of the settlement impose a gag on the victim, we can only imagine what he must have done to justify that kind of compensation. Which brings us to O’Reilly’s second big story for 2018:

The second vital story this upcoming year is the payment and other compensation to women in order to smear the President and others. Vile attorney Lisa Bloom has admitted receiving big money from the likes of fanatical far left smear merchant David Brock in her quest to defame Donald Trump before the election. Bloom was also involved in attacking me.

“The FBI and IRS should be investigating Bloom, Brock and others. Will they? President Trump, for his own sake, should order it. That’s the real attempted subversion of the 2016 election – secret money being offered for defamatory testimony. The allegations are staggering.”

Notice how O’Reilly’s big story is one that involves someone who is attacking him? Surely it’s just a coincidence. Just because he was exposed as a serial sexual predator by multiple women who worked for him or Fox News (not exactly a den of liberals), what he calls a “smear” is next year’s hot topic.

For the record, O’Reilly is referring to a story that alleges that media watchdog David Brock contributed to a fund to help Trump’s victims in the event they required assistance with security. Making accusations against a president who is worshiped like a cult leader can be decidedly dangerous. And the funds were only for security-related purposes. There was no attempt to coerce testimony from anyone in exchange for money. In fact, that was explicitly forbidden by the attorney, Lisa Bloom. What’s more, the fund was later abandoned and the money returned because it ended up not being necessary. That’s what O’Reilly regards as a scandal worthy of Trump siccing the FBI on women who are already suffering, and their lawyers.

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

There is a strange irony, though, in O’Reilly’s whiny complaint. He’s trying to condemn others for donating a couple hundred thousand dollars to help victimized women come forward with the truth. But he’s the one that actually did pay out tens of millions, not to encourage openness and honesty, but to keep women from talking about his disgusting behavior. He would rather shut women up than help them speak out. And these are the stories that he thinks will, or should, fill the headlines this year. He might just get his wish, but not in the way he thinks.

IDIOCRACY: Fox News Is Aghast That Media Watchdog Does What Media Watchdogs Do

On CNN’s Reliable Sources this weekend, host Brian Stelter interviewed David Brock, the founder of Media Matters, to respond to an accusation made by disgraced former CBS reporter Sharyl Attkisson on last week’s program. Attkisson alleged that Media Matters might have been paid to target her for criticism. It was an irresponsible and paranoid allegation for which she offered no evidence or any details on who would have offered the payment or to whom. In effect, Attkisson demonstrated why her reporting is regarded as hackery.

In the segment on Reliable Sources (video below), Brock was asked about the nature of his business and his relationship with other media enterprises. He candidly replied that “We do work with reporters. We’re a media watchdog group.” That seems pretty obvious. It is precisely what media watchdogs are designed to do. They monitor various journalism outlets, analyze their content, and communicate their findings to the public and other members of the press. It’s a valuable service that helps to keep the media honest and accurate. But that’s not the way Fox News sees it.

Fox Nation

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In a desperate attempt to further smear an organization with which Fox is obsessed, Fox News posted an article on their Fox Nation website with the shocking disclosure that Brock “Admits to Working with Media Outlets on Stories.” That’s more of a definition than an admission. It’s perfectly acceptable for Brock to provide his reports to the media, just as it’s acceptable for the media to receive and evaluate them.

Nevertheless, the Fox Nationalists portrayed this activity as if it were criminal, saying that he “did not deny the allegations today.” Again, that’s more of a job description than an allegation. And it’s a job that is done by many organizations including some with conservative views. One of the most notable is the Media Research Center and its NewsBusters website. Run by ultra-rightist Brent Bozell, the MRC is a major source of information for the conservative media circus including Fox News. Former Fox anchor Brit Hume even lauded the MRC saying…

“I want to say a word, however, of thanks to Brent and the team at the Media Research Center […] for the tremendous amount of material that the Media Research Center provided me for so many years when I was anchoring Special Report, I don’t know what we would’ve done without them. It was a daily buffet of material to work from, and we certainly made tremendous use of it.”

Given the close relationship between the MRC and Fox News, it is blatantly hypocritical for them to assert some sort of malfeasance on the part of Media Matters. When Fox’s primary anchor and managing editor confesses to making “tremendous use” of the MRC’s data, and not knowing what he would have done without them, it seems somewhat overblown and self-serving to criticize Media Matters for simply documenting the flagrant bias and inept inaccuracies of the conservative media.

It would not be too much of a stretch to observe the jealousy of the right who have a much harder time fabricating their fake outrages and phony controversies like the one presented here. Whereas Media Matters, sadly, has an abundance of right-wing distortions and lies to catalog. Brock may have said it best on Reliable Sources when he noted that conservative watchdogs…

“…seem to be particularly incensed about Media Matters’ relationship with the media. Maybe we’re just doing a better job than they are.”

Fox News Wants IRS To Strip Media Matters Of Its Tax-Exempt Status

For much of the past year Fox News has devoted huge chunks of airtime to a phony scandal alleging that the IRS improperly targeted Tea Party groups for extra scrutiny with regard to their applications for tax-exempt status. In fact, recent discoveries prove that progressive groups actually received an even greater amount of scrutiny. But for Fox News to then turn around and solicit scrutiny from the IRS in order to strip tax-exempt status from Media Matters, an organization that Fox viscerally hates, is more than a little hypocritical and unethical.

Fox News

For more rank dishonesty from Fox…
Get Fox Nation vs. Reality. Available now at Amazon.

Nearly three years ago, News Corpse documented the obsession Fox News has had with Media Matters and the well orchestrated campaign to destroy them. Fox spent countless hours across multiple programs lambasting Media Matters and its founder David Brock. They alleged that Brock was insane, and a drug addict, and dishonest, and corrupt, and not very nice either. During that offensive, Fox News tried desperately to get the IRS to revoke Media Matters’ tax-exempt status, even enlisting their viewers into a campaign to file false complaints with the agency. Fox anchor Steve Doocy made several announcements on his morning show Fox & Friends like this one:

“Somebody has set up a web site and we have linked it, actually, at If you go down about half way down you’ll see that logo. If you want to file a complaint with the IRS against Media Matters because you feel they have gone political, they have abandoned their initial quest, then go to that site and go ahead.”

Now Fox is reviving that campaign with a new thrust at their perceived enemies at Media Matters. Once again Steve Doocy took to the airwaves to ask if it is “Time To Revoke Media Matters’ Tax-Exempt Status?” During the course of this segment Doocy interviewed Fox contributor, and bitter subject of Media Matters ciriticisms, Juan Williams. Both of them blasted Media Matters for having the audacity to actually document what they say. And both were incredulous that Media Matters managed to maintain their tax-exempt status despite the best efforts of sabotage executed by Fox. Doocy summarized his displeasure saying…

“Media Matters, which famously declared war on Fox News, continues to keep their tax exempt status. Media Matters CEO, David Brock, makes no attempt to hide his political views, even calling himself a Democratic political activist on his official Twitter profile. So should Media Matters tax exempt status be revoked just like a conservative group?”

What makes this reprise of their assault particularly disturbing is that just last night Sean Hannity hosted Brent Bozell, the president of the extremist right-wing media smear outfit, NewsBusters. During his segment Bozell angrily demanded that anyone who appears on a television news program must disclose their political leanings or recuse themselves. Apparently caught off guard, Hannity had to interrupt and insert an exception for himself:

“Well, you do and you don’t. As long as you identify – – I would argue I am the only conservative that says he’s a conservative that has a nightly news cable show.”

Pfew. That was close. So Hannity established that it’s OK to engage in commentary and analysis if you reveal your political biases. However, when Media Matters’ Brock did so it was characterized by Doocy as justification for punishment by the IRS. Note that Brock’s admission that he is a Democratic activist applies only to his personal activity on Twitter and not to his work at Media Matters. He says so explicitly on his Twitter profile. So when Brock discloses his Democratic activism he is confessing to a crime, but when Hannity discloses his conservative activism he is exhibiting an honorable honesty.

The main topic of discussion for the Hannity/Bozell segment was the contention that there were numerous people who cycled in and out of media and the Obama administration. That’s actually true, but it is also true of every administration. Hannity and Bozell chose to highlight the person they regarded as the worst of the lot, Obama’s press secretary, Jay Carney, about whom Bozell said…

“When Barack Obama needed a press secretary in 2011 he also chose Jay Carney, who was the Washington bureau chief of ‘TIME’ magazine. What does that tell you about the politics of ‘TIME’ magazine?”

Indeed! What does that tell you? And does it tell you anything similar about the time when George W. Bush needed a press secretary and he chose Tony Snow, an anchor on Fox News? What does that tell you about the politics of Fox News? Does it tell you what Steve Doocy actually told viewers during his segment with Juan Williams when he said that at Fox…

“We’re simply in the business of showing the other side. We balance out mainstream media.”

That’s a pretty straight forward admission that Fox is not a news network at all, but a partisan mouthpiece for Republican politics. Not that that wasn’t already apparent to anyone paying attention. In fact, the whole argument that Media Matters should lose its tax-exempt status due to the positions it takes on Fox News is an admission that Fox is a political enterprise. That’s because the laws governing tax status state that…

“…501(c)(3) organizations are absolutely prohibited from directly or indirectly participating in, or intervening in, any political campaign on behalf of (or in opposition to) any candidate for elective public office.”

Therefore, Fox is admitting that they are a political operation since the IRS rules only apply to political organizations. If Fox were a media company Media Matters would not be in violation of any rules. But none of these facts and associated logic will have any impact on the efforts of Fox News to get the IRS to do something to Media Matters that, for most of the last year, Fox has insisted was not proper for the IRS to do. Like everything else though, it’s outrageous for the IRS to scrutinize conservative groups for political behavior, but it’s perfectly OK to do it to liberals (IOKIYAR).

FLASHBACK: Before Fox News Attacked The IRS, They Embraced It To Attack Media Matters

In researching the recent controversies over the IRS and its alleged targeting of conservative non-profits, I stumbled across an article I wrote two years ago that unveils yet another blatant hypocrisy from Fox News (as if more were necessary to make the point). The current programming on Fox is dedicated almost non-stop to hammering the Obama administration for the misbehavior of low-level IRS staff. The story has even supplanted their previous pet scandal, Benghazi. And despite making broad accusations of complicity by the President, they have failed to provide even a smidgen of evidence that he had any role in the way that non-profits were selected for review.

That simple fact, however, has not stopped Fox from launching a sustained campaign of outrage aimed at the IRS, which they now regard as a totalitarian agency bent on destroying America and freedom. But it was not always thus. Not too long ago, Fox News was happy to use the IRS as a cudgel against their own perceived enemies. They embarked on mission to wipe the watchdog group Media Matters off the face of the earth. It was a weeks-long effort that included dozens of broadcast segments explicitly recruiting their viewers to file falsified complaints challenging the tax-exempt status of Media Matters. In the process they brought in pundits, and lawyers, and even their in-house “Psycho Analyst” to paint a disparaging portrait of the organization and its founder.

Fox News - Media Matters

The irony of Fox using the IRS to harass a non-profit organization just because they disagree agree with it will surely be lost on everyone at Fox and everyone who watches it. Below is the article re-posted in full because it is still as relevant today as it was then. Actually more so, with the addition of Fox’s newly minted contempt for the IRS.

Media Matters Has Fox News Scared And Desperate

[July 11, 2011] In the untamed jungle that is cable news, there is a ferocious and predatory beast stalking the terrain. Anyone who has encountered Fox News in the wild can attest to the spine-chilling threat imposed by the pseudo-news network. And now Fox News has the scent of new game.

The Fox News pack is on the prowl for the media watchdog group, Media Matters, against whom they have recently initiated a sustained assault. In the past two weeks they have featured over 30 stories with the express purpose of challenging the group’s right to exist. Fox has assigned network stalwarts like Bill O’Reilly, Bret Baier, Charles Krauthammer, James Rosen, Ann Coulter, Dick Morris, and Bernie Goldberg, to the mission. This is an unprecedented, broadly distributed attack by a major media enterprise against a non-profit group they regard as an adversary.

This latest batch of complaints stem from comments made last March by Media Matters founder, David Brock. He was quoted in Politico as saying that the organization was shifting its focus toward Fox News to one of “guerrilla warfare and sabotage.” Giving Fox the benefit of doubt, one might conclude that it’s only fair that Fox defend itself from such an overt declaration of war. The only thing that might refute that perspective is – reality.

If this is war, it is one wherein Fox is the aggressor. Fox News initiated their attacks long ago with aggressive and false assertions that cast Media Matters as hacks, anti-American, violent, and communist. They alleged that George Soros was pulling their strings long before Soros ever made any contributions the group. Fox stalwarts like Bill O’Reilly and Glenn Beck engaged in rhetoric so hostile that it inspired actual physical attacks against Media Matters and their progressive allies. This video (courtesy of Media Matters) was posted two years ago and illustrates the hostility harbored across the Fox platform long before Brock’s recent comments:

The new and highly coordinated offensive by Fox asserts that Media Matters has violated the terms of their tax-exempt status by setting their sights on Fox. They quote from the IRS rules governing non-profits that state that…

“…501(c)(3) organizations are absolutely prohibited from directly or indirectly participating in, or intervening in, any political campaign on behalf of (or in opposition to) any candidate for elective public office.”

On the basis of that criteria, Fox News argues that Media Matters is in violation and should have their tax-exempt status revoked. However, in order for that to be valid, Fox would have to admit that they are a political operation so that attacks on Fox News would qualify as opposition to political campaigns and/or candidates. Without that stipulation there is no violation on the part of Media Matters. So Fox is, in effect, conceding their role as a Republican mouthpiece. Shocking, I know.

Contine reading

Roger Ailes Uses Fox News Personnel As His Personal Attack Dogs

Dylan Byers of Politico posted an article yesterday that dug into the literary battle between two competing biographies of Fox News CEO Roger Ailes. One of the bios is by an independent reporter, Gabriel Sherman, who has demonstrated his ability to break stories from within the Fox bubble. The other is by a hack, Zev Chafets, who previously penned a gushing homage to Rush Limbaugh and who has the blessing of Ailes – including access to the subject, his family, friends, and colleagues.

Roger Ailes

Byers noted that Sherman has already been targeted by Ailes’ defenders on the Fox News payroll. He has been assailed as a “phony journalist,” a “stalker,” a “harasser,” and when all else fails, as “a [George] Soros puppet.” [Sherman is presently a fellow of the New America Foundation to which Soros has donated a miniscule sum. Conservative and Fox News pundit Jim Pinkerton also has a fellowship]. Despite this full-court bad press assault, Byers is not convinced that there is any coordinated effort to malign Sherman. He writes…

“To date, no evidence has emerged that Ailes ordered his employees to stir up the attacks on Sherman — which have gone beyond the usual confines of professional critiques and into the realm of personal insult and innuendo.”

If Byers is looking for evidence, he might examine the track record at Fox when they decide that they are under fire from an ideological enemy. When David Brock of Media Matters was preparing the release of his book “The Fox Effect,” the Ailes team fired up a preemptive blitzkrieg of slander and character assassination. They labeled Brock everything from mentally unstable to a drug user to a self-hating megalomaniac. They also mounted a campaign to get Fox viewers to file complaints with the IRS to get Media Matters’ tax exemption as a charitable organization revoked. All of this because Brock had a book that was about to come out.

This is all consistent with the Ailes business plan. He sits atop an enterprise that engages in scorched earth assaults against perceived enemies, driven by his own well-known paranoia. So it is not particularly surprising that, after hearing about an unauthorized (and perhaps unfriendly) biography in the works, he would solicit his own biographer whom he could be certain would canonize him and then attempt to discredit the opposing author before any truth inadvertently slipped out.

Sherman recently certified his reporting skills, and the reliability of his sources within Fox, by exposing a couple of incidents that revealed some of the inner workings of the network. In one case he found that shortly after the massacre in Newtown, CT, Fox producers had been given instructions “not to talk about gun-control policy on air.” In the other case, just after the election results that Fox had so badly botched, Sherman discovered that Ailes had sent out orders “mandating that producers must get permission before booking [Karl] Rove or [Dick] Morris,” two of the more notoriously flawed Fox analysts.

Sherman’s book is expected to be released in a few months. If his prior reporting is any indication, it should be an interesting read. The same cannot be said for the book by Chafets, unless you happen to be partial to sycophantic hero-worship based on fantastical diversions from reality. But because of the timing, neither book is likely to record how Ailes unethically deploys his “news” staff to smack down independent reporting that he is afraid might be too honest and probing – especially when it is about himself. It is easy to predict that, as the publish date for Sherman’s book approaches, Sherman will become increasingly under attack by the Ailes machine. It may be a withering onslaught of defamation, but it will also be an affirmation that he is doing his job.

[Update] An excerpt of the Ailes-approved Chafets book was published in Vanity Fair. Aside from the expected adulatory tone, Chafets revealed how juvenile Ailes can be when criticizing those he dislikes. He called Newt Gingrich “a prick.” He said VP Joe Biden is “dumb as an ashtray.” He mocked CNN’s Soledad O’Brien as the anchor “named after a prison” (actually, she was named after the Virgin Mary). He went after his own son-in-law saying that he “needed to see a psychiatrist.” And he sunk to racist dog-whistling by calling President Obama “lazy.” Based on these excerpts, this is one book that should hit the bargain bins pretty fast.

The Fox Effect: The Book That Terrifies Roger Ailes And Fox News

A new book from Media Matters was just released that chronicles the history of Fox News and explains how a small group of wealthy, politically connected conservative partisans conspired to build a pseudo-news network with the intent of advancing the right-wing agenda of the Republican Party. And that network, known for its drooling anti-liberalism, is scared spitless.

The Fox Effect: How Roger Ailes Turned a Network into a Propaganda Machine, was written by David Brock and Ari Rabin-Havt (and others) of Media Matters. It begins by looking back at the early career of Fox News CEO Roger Ailes and his role as a media consultant for Republican politicians, including former president Richard Nixon. From the start Ailes was a brash, creative proponent of the power of television to influence a mass audience. He guided the media-challenged Nixon through a treacherous new era of news and political PR, and his experiences formed the basis for what would become his life’s grand achievement: a “news” network devoted to a political party, its candidates, and its platform.

When Ailes partnered with international newspaper mogul Rupert Murdoch to launch a new 24 hour cable news channel, he was given an unprecedented measure of control to shape the network’s business and ideology. The Fox Effect examines the underpinnings of the philosophy that Ailes brought to the venture. His earliest observations exhibit an appreciation for the tabloid-style sensationalism that would become a hallmark of Fox’s reporting. Ailes summed it up in an interview in 1988 as something he called his “orchestra pit theory” of politics:

“If you have two guys on stage and one guy says ‘I have a solution to the Middle East problem,’ and the other guy falls into the orchestra pit, who do you think is going to be on the evening news?”

That’s the sort of thinking that produced Fox’s promotion of hollering town hall protesters during the health care debate and their focus on lurid but phony issues like death panels. It is a flavor of journalism that elevates melodrama over factual discourse.

This article also appears on

The book exposes how Fox was more of a participant in the news than a reporter of it. Through interviews with Fox insiders and leaked internal communications, The Fox Effect documents the depths to which the network collaborated with political partisans to invent stories with the intent of manipulating public opinion. The authors reveal memos from the Washington managing editor of Fox News, Bill Sammon, directing anchors and reporters on how to present certain subjects. For instance, he ordered them never to use the term “public option” when referring to health insurance reform. Focus group testing by Fox pollster Frank Luntz had found that the phrase “government option” left a more negative impression, and they were instructed to use that instead.

There is a chapter on the Tea Party that describes how integral Fox was to its inception and development. The network literally branded the fledgling movement as FNC Tea Parties and dispatched its top anchors to host live broadcasts from rallies. The Fox Effect also details the extensive coverage devoted to the deceitfully edited videos that brought down ACORN. Fox was instrumental in promoting the story and stirring up a public backlash that resulted in congressional investigations and loss of funding. The book followed the story from Andrew Breitbart’s new and little known BigGovernment blog to Glenn Beck’s conspiracy factory to the wall-to-wall coverage it enjoyed on Fox’s primetime. This chapter is where the authors introduce what they call “The Six Steps” that Fox employs to create national controversies:

  • STEP 1: Conservative activists introduce the lie.
  • STEP 2: Fox News devotes massive coverage to the story.
  • STEP 3: Fox attacks other outlets for ignoring the controversy.
  • STEP 4: Mainstream outlets begin reporting on the story.
  • STEP 5: Media critics, pundits praise Fox News’s coverage.
  • STEP 6: The story falls apart once the damage has been done.

This is a pattern that has played out with varying degrees of success. Fox used this blueprint to engineer the career-ending slander of presidential adviser Van Jones and Department of Agriculture official Shirley Sherrod. But the strategy was less effective when used against Attorney General Eric Holder and Planned Parenthood, although not for lack of effort.

These, and other examples of deliberate bias, illustrate why most neutral observers regard Fox News as the PR arm of the Republican Party. The Fox Effect makes a convincing case to affirm that view and even offers admissions to that effect by Fox insiders. It is a damning exposé of how a political operative and a right-wing billionaire built a propaganda machine thinly disguised as a news network. The research and documentation are extensive and compelling.

For that reason, Fox News has mounted an unprecedented attack on Media Matters in advance of the book’s release. [Note: Actually it’s not so unprecedented. Fox set the precedent itself last year with a sustained campaign to do tangible harm by tacking an article to the top of the Fox Nation web site with a headline that read “Want to File an IRS Complaint Against Media Matters? Click Here…”] In the week prior to publication of The Fox Effect, Fox News broadcast no fewer than a dozen derogatory segments across all dayparts and on their most popular programs, including The O’Reilly Factor, Hannity, Fox & Friends, etc. It was the sort of blanket coverage usually reserved for a natural disaster, a declaration of war, or a lewd TwitPic of a politician. The attacks never contained any substantive argument or even example of error on the part of Media Matters. However, they are brimming with the most nasty form of personal invective imaginable.

The basis for the Fox News broadcasts was a series of articles by the Daily Caller (TDC), the conservative web site of Tucker Carlson, who just happens to also be on the Fox News payroll. The gist of the story, as described by TDC, is that Media Matters is manipulating news organizations, coordinating messaging with the White House, and struggling to cope with the “volatile and erratic behavior” of Brock, whom TDC alleges is mentally ill. TDC never reveals from where they got their psychiatric credentials, nor when they had an opportunity to examine and diagnose Brock. Likewise, they never reveal where they got any of the other information for the allegations they make against Media Matters as every source is anonymous.

Media analysts have universally condemned TDC’s reporting. Howard Kurtz interviewed author Vince Coglianese on CNN’s Reliable Sources and assailed the absence of any evidence to corroborate the allegations of his anonymous sources. Coglianese could not even confirm that events alleged in the article ever occurred. He laughably argued that the absence of a denial from Brock was evidence of guilt, rather than a simple disinclination to raise the profile of a poorly written article. Jack Shafer wrote for Reuters that “the Daily Caller is attacking Media Matters with bad journalism and lame propaganda.”

Media Matters was created to document conservative media bias and work to implement reforms that would produce more balanced reporting. Yet, Fox is confused by the fact that Media Matters’ research is cited by progressive organizations and publishers. The grunt work of aggregating video and other reporting is appreciated by those who use Media Matters materials. Much of it is provided without any editorializing. The right has always been fearful of any entity that would simply record their disinformation, nonsense, and hostility, and then hold them accountable for it. But they have yet to criticize NewsBusters or their parent organization, the Media Research Center, despite the cozy relationship they have with Fox News. Brit Hume, the former managing editor of Fox News, however, was abundantly grateful:

Hume: I want to say a word, however, of thanks to Brent [Bozell] and the team at the Media Research Center […] for the tremendous amount of material that the Media Research Center provided me for so many years when I was anchoring Special Report, I don’t know what we would’ve done without them. It was a daily buffet of material to work from, and we certainly made tremendous use of it.

Joining in on the assault is the Fox Nation web site that is engaged in a relentless barrage of critical articles with disturbingly insulting and hyperbolic headlines. For instance:

  • Is Media Matters’ David Brock A ‘Dangerous’ Man?
  • Were Media Matters Donors Duped?
  • Inside Media Matters: Founder Believed to be Regularly Using Illegal Drugs, Including Cocaine.

But even those paled in comparison to what Fox News was posting on the screen graphics that accompanied their broadcasts:

  • MEDIA MATTERS’ MONEY: David Brock is an admitted drug user
  • THE MONEY BEHIND THE MACHINE: David Brock committed to a quiet room
  • A LIBERAL INFLUENCE: Brock spent time in a mental ward

Fox News - Media Matters

Note that the subjects of the broadcasts were financial in nature. Fox was reporting on TDC’s discovery that Media Matters donors were largely progressive individuals and foundations (not exactly what one would call a scoop). However, Fox News appended assertions as to the mental stability of Brock, which had nothing to do with their topic. It was merely an opportunity for them to take swipes at a perceived enemy. And this mud-slinging occurred during what Fox regards as their “news” programming, not the evening hours that they designate as the opinion portion of their schedule.

In order to cement the impression that David Brock is a mental defective, unfit to lead any organization or to be given serious consideration, Fox News brought in their resident psycho analyst, “Dr” Keith Ablow. As a part of the Fox News Medical “A” Team, Ablow appeared on the air in a segment that painted Brock as seriously disturbed and even dangerous:

“If you are filled with self-loathing you will see demons on every street corner because you project that self-hatred. […] He’s a dangerous man because having followers and waging war, as he says, or previously being a right-wing hitman, this isn’t accidental language. It’s about violence, destruction, and he feels destroyed in himself.”

This diagnosis was an invention by Ablow who has never examined Brock, or even met him. That in itself is a violation of the American Psychiatric Association’s Principles of Medical Ethics, something Ablow does not need to concern himself with because last year he was compelled to separate himself from the APA due to ethical “differences.”

This is actually the second time Ablow has appeared on Fox News with his absurd fantasies (or projections) about Brock. And Brock isn’t his only pretend patient. A few weeks ago he published an op-ed on that praised Newt Gingrich’s serial infidelity as evidence of traits that would help him to make America stronger were he president. Seriously! And who could forget his deranged psycho analysis of President Obama?

If Fox News wants to engage in “remote” psychiatry they ought to at least be fair and balanced about it. However they pointedly make no mention of the reported paranoia of Fox News CEO Roger Ailes. No mention that he was cited as the reason that the NYPD provided police protection for the Fox headquarters at a cost of $500,000 a year to the people of New York. No mention of the obsessive fears described by Tim Dickinson in a Rolling Stone profile:

“Ailes is also deeply paranoid. Convinced that he has personally been targeted by Al Qaeda for assassination, he surrounds himself with an aggressive security detail and is licensed to carry a concealed handgun. […] Murdoch installed Ailes in the corner office on Fox’s second floor at 1211 Avenue of the Americas in Manhattan. The location made Ailes queasy: It was close to the street, and he lived in fear that gay activists would try to attack him in retaliation over his hostility to gay rights. (In 1989, Ailes had broken up a protest of a Rudy Giuliani speech by gay activists, grabbing demonstrator by the throat and shoving him out the door.) Barricading himself behind a massive mahogany desk, Ailes insisted on having ‘bombproof glass’ installed in the windows – even going so far as to personally inspect samples of high-tech plexiglass, as though he were picking out new carpet.”

I really have to wonder if even the Fox News audience is so intellectually comatose that they wouldn’t recognize the feverish anxiety gushing from Fox in advance of the Media Matters book. A tree stump would notice that they are laying it on awfully thick. So the obvious question is what are they so afraid of? And the answer is that Fox News can no longer hide from their reputation as a dishonest purveyor of slanted propaganda and tabloid trash on behalf of a right-wing agenda and the political operatives who advance it and benefit from it.

The Fox Effect is a thoroughly documented investigation into the inner workings of both the organization and its principle managers and backers. It peels away the layers of the conservative cabal that has so effectively poisoned the public discourse on many significant issues. And like the fraudulent Wizard in the city of Oz, Fox wants us all to pay no attention to the man behind the curtain (Roger Ailes), or to the curtain (Fox News), or the corporation that controls it all (News Corp). And to that end Fox has embarked on a massive smear campaign to destroy the credibility of the book, its authors, and the organization that produced it. But Media Matters has already succeeded. As noted in the book’s epilogue:

“Fox News will no longer be able to conduct its campaign under the false pretense that the network is a journalistic institution. There is heightened awareness in the progressive community and in the general public of the damage Fox causes.”

And that is exactly what Fox is afraid of.

Andrew Breitbart’s Delusional David Brock PhotoGate Conspiracy

The chronically choleric Andrew Breitbart is well known for his histrionics and hyperactive bluster. One need look no further than his recent psychotic tirade aimed at Occupy protesters in Washington, whom he castigated as rapists and murders, to understand the depths of his dementia.

David BrockOn his BigGovernment blog yesterday, Breitbart uncovered a disturbing conspiracy involving David Brock, the founder of Media Matters. Apparently a photograph of him that was published in a 1997 issue of Esquire Magazine was allegedly scrubbed from the Internet with the help of co-conspirators at Google – and probably George Soros, ACORN, Sesame Street, and, of course, the White House.

Breitbart is convinced that, because he can’t find an online copy of a picture from a fifteen year old magazine, he has stumbled onto a liberal media attempt to rewrite history. What is it that Brock would be trying to hide by suppressing this (rather interesting and artful) photograph? Breitbart is attaching some profound significance to this picture that most other observers would simply regard as photographic melodrama – the sort that commonly appears in culture pimping publications like Esquire.

To hear Breitbart tell it, this photo depicts “an otherwise boring political subject [who] is happy to take off his clothes and tie himself to a tree in the name of fighting the VRWC [vast right-wing conspiracy].” Breitbart exclaims “What narcissism! What delusions of grandeur!” And he asks “Who else takes a homoerotic picture Fabio-style and tied to a tree?” He is proud of himself for rediscovering this photo “with all its narcissism and desire for fame, adulation and martyrdom.” If I didn’t know any better I might have thought that Breitbart was referring to his own adventures in periodic pictorials. Here is Breitbart in the March 2010 issue of Time Magazine:

Andrew Breitbart
Andrew Breitbart: Booze, Bath, And Beyond

What narcissism! What delusions of grandeur! Who else takes a homoerotic picture, naked in a bubble bath, in the name of fighting the VLWC? Breitbart’s hypocrisy is only matched by his conceit. For a raving egotist like Breitbart to accuse others of narcissism takes mega doses of chutzpah. Breitbart is so self-involved that he wrote in his biography (see my review) that “I didn’t want to react to the news at all. I wanted to be the news.” And he has succeeded in that ambition in the most embarrassing sense. Like the dweeb who repeatedly slips on a banana peel, Breitbart has become famous for falling on his ass over and over again. He’s a one-man Three Stooges.

[By the way, If you try to search for that photo of Breitbart on Google you will have great difficulty finding anything other than one or two blog postings. And this photo is only two years old. It must be some sort of conspiracy between Breitbart, Time Warner, and the Koch brothers to suppress such an unflattering and nausea-inducing portrait. Come to think of it, it may be a public service.]

If that isn’t enough, Breitbart says of Brock that “Only in a world without opposition can Brock be safe—so he must destroy it.” Breitbart offers no support for that statement. On the other hand, Breitbart’s destructive tendencies are well documented. He once swore to “bring down the institutional left” in three weeks. That was over two years ago so I’m assuming the institutional left doesn’t have much to worry about at this point. In his biography, Breitbart also maligned the faction of the media that he regards as his opposition as worse than Al Qaeda.

Like all of the other critics of Brock and Media Matters, Breitbart leaves one thing out of his extended diatribe: Any evidence that Brock has done anything untoward, unscrupulous, or unprincipled. Media Matters is a resource for documented conservative bias in the media, often without editorializing. But Breitbart makes a big show of personal attacks without bothering to provide a single example of any wrongdoing on the part of his victim. He is a relentless smear-monger who has no respect for the truth.

Breitbart also has no respect for people who have just eaten. And on that point I would like to apologize for having posted that photo of him bathing. I felt it was my journalistic responsibility, but I now regret the subsequent gastrointestinal distress it may have caused some readers.

The Psycho Analyst: Fox News Quack Analyzes Media Matters Founder

The Abominable “Doctor” Keith Ablow, part of the Fox News medical “A” Team, published an article on with his insights into the mind of Media Matters founder, David Brock. Suffice to say that ducks would be offended by referring to this character as a quack.

Keith Ablow

The article sported the headline: What’s Eating Media Matters’ Founder David Brock? It purported to be a psychological profile of Brock and an attempt to explain what Ablow perceived as Brock’s hostile motivations. Ablow, whose dubious ethics resulted in the severance of ties with the American Psychiatric Association, began his column with a disingenuous disclaimer saying that…

“David Brock is not one of my patients. I have not interviewed him, and I would never hazard a diagnosis of him.”

First of all, it needs to be noted that Ablow frequently “hazards” diagnoses of public figures despite never having examined, or even met, the subject. And hazard is just the right word for it. He has offered an utterly deranged psycho analysis of President Obama, as well as perverse praise of Newt Gingrich, specifically citing his history of serial adultery as a positive character trait that would make him a better president.

However, Ablow’s disclaimer falls flat when just a few paragraphs down he says this:

“A sailboat adrift, in danger of capsizing, looks for the strongest wind to keep it moving. Direction matters little or not at all when drowning is the other option. Brock would seem to be captaining such a ship-of-self. […] his own self-loathing might be unbearably palpable.”

Somehow Ablow doesn’t consider that to be a diagnosis. Neither does he regard his later comments comparing Brock to “despots and dictators and even cult leaders” to be outside the bounds of remote analysis. And to top it off, Ablow concludes his unprofessional and ethically offensive ravings by prescribing advise to Brock that he…

“…take those steps necessary to uncover those demons from the past he has denied, for they are now quite visible to those of us who have the proper lens to see them, and they will not be denied forever.”

So while Ablow began by declaring that he wouldn’t “hazard a diagnosis” of Brock, by the time he finished he had delivered not only a diagnosis, but a prescription as well – a prescription replete with demons who will not be denied. Frightening, isn’t it?

This article is just another episode of Fox News’ week-long campaign to smear Brock and Media Matters. It is their attempt at a preventative first strike in advance of the book Media Matters is releasing next week: The Fox Effect: How Roger Ailes Turned a Network into a Propaganda Machine

Fox News has launched a massive effort to counter what they must fear is an effective, critical examination of the network and its principles. They have already aired more than a dozen stories so far on their most popular programs, including the O’Reilly Factor and Hannity. Friday morning’s broadcast of Fox & Friends featured a Steve Doocy interview of Tucker Carlson. Doocy could not even mention Brock’s name without appending a pejorative. For instance, “David Brock, an admitted drug user…” or “David Brock, an admitted liar…” And take a look at the on-screen graphics they used

Fox News - Media Matters

Note that the subject of this interview was an alleged expose of the donors to Media Matters. So it was a financial story that had nothing to do with Brock’s mental status. But even from a financial perspective, the story was a bust. Apparently Doocy was astonished by the shocking revelation that a liberal media watchdog group was supported by liberal donors. It must have taken a pretty sharp reporter to uncover that scoop. But the really good news was disclosed by Doocy himself when he revealed at the end of the segment that…

“Finally, this has been such an explosive series that you’ve had at the Daily Caller, exposing what these people at Media Matters are doing, and yet, aside from a few blogs and the Fox News Channel, it really hasn’t gotten much traction in the mainstream media, which floors me.”

Poor Steve and Tucker. Nobody likes their hollow and brazenly biased smear campaign enough to help them to disseminate it. They must be awfully depressed. Maybe they could schedule some time with Dr. Ablow to try to get to the root of their depression. Actually, it wouldn’t require much of a commitment in time because of Ablow’s unique ability to diagnose patients without even having to meet with them.

Fox News Steps Up Their Anti-Media Matters Campaign

For much of this week Fox News has been engaged in a scorched earth campaign to smear the reputation of Media Matters timed to the release of a new book from the watchdog group (The Fox Effect: How Roger Ailes Turned a Network into a Propaganda Machine). They have blanketed their news properties with stories sourced from The Daily Caller (TDC), which is run, coincidentally, by Fox News contributor Tucker Carlson. Never mind that TDC’s “investigation” has uncovered nothing of significance and almost everything it has published was either old news published elsewhere, or laughably obvious and not news at all (i.e. the latest installment that jolts its readers with the surprise revelation that Media Matters receives funding from progressive donors. Shocking, I know). To date Fox has featured the story twelve times on its Fox Nation web site and at least as many times on the Fox News Channel. And all of that “news” activity occurred in just three days. You’d think this was the equivalent of the Berlin Wall coming down.

On Thursday the story made the leap online from Fox Nation to the mothership,

This promotion took the form of three articles on the same day – one in the opinion section and two categorized as “Politics.” The subject matter for the articles covered two angles that any enterprising journalist would regard as evocative of nothing but boredom. All of the articles failed to produce anything that could be considered newsworthy, and even fell short of the tabloid appeal that Fox usually exploits so well.

First up was an article reporting that Media Matters had received a $50,000 grant to scrutinize religious media. Fox framed this as some sort of attack on religion, a topic it has been hammering on recently anyway. However, the work done by Media Matters in this area has focused exclusively on religious broadcasters who feature news as a part of their programming. For example, Pat Robertson’s 700 Club. Robertson is a veteran of political activism and even ran for the GOP nomination for president. His program routinely discusses political issues and has its own news segments. The story, as reported by TDC and Fox, contained no examples of any work done by Media Matters that was critical of religious content from Robertson or any other religious broadcaster. Media Matters has remained true to their mission of monitoring bias in the news, regardless of the venue on which it appears and TDC produced nothing to show otherwise.

Secondly, there as article on that sought to manufacture some controversy over an allegation that “Media Matters Took Gun-Control Money While Boss Paid A Bodyguard…Packin’ Heat.” The first point that should be recognized is that TDC has produced no evidence whatsoever that this allegation is true. It was made by a single anonymous source and is uncorroborated by any other documentary proof. But even if we accept the allegation hypothetically, so what? Advocates of gun control, contrary to the frantic hyperbole of right-ringers, are not opposed to the existence of guns. They are, as the label makes clear, advocates of “controlling” access to weapons so that they are not easily available to people who would use them to commit crimes or harm others. A gun in the possession of a bodyguard is entirely appropriate and would not be objected to by gun control advocates or the pro-gun-control Media Matters donor.

So once again, Fox News has succeeded only in pumping up their highly coordinated and self-serving campaign to misinform their audience about Media Matters and to damage their reputation. And this campaign is all taking place the week prior to the release of a book by Media Matters that pulls the curtain aside to reveal the makings of The Fox Effect. I’m sure that the timing of the Fox smear is totally unrelated to the book’s release.

The Fox News Media Matters Obsession Intensifies

As I documented yesterday, Fox News is maniacally desperate to destroy the reputation of Media Matters before their book, The Fox Effect, is released next week. The latest evidence of their desperation: Four more articles on Fox Nation for a total of twelve in just three days.

Fox Nation

There have also been four more segments broadcast on Fox News (two on Fox & Friends, one discussion on Happening Now with Jon Scott, and one featured on America Live with Megyn Kelly) for a total of nine in three days. This may be the most reported story on Fox News. That shows that the priority of crushing Media Matters far outweighs little things like the just-released White House budget, Iran’s nuclear program, the presidential election, or the turmoil in Syria and the Middle East. Fox can’t be bothered with any of that when there is a book coming out that is about to blow the lid off of their pseudo-news, GOP PR scam operation. And speaking of the GOP, according to Steve Doocy they have their priorities twisted as well:

“Some congressional Republicans are now looking at Media Matters tax-exempt status – that’s right, they get it – more specifically, why [Media Matters founder] David Brock’s liberal web site is allowed to use your tax dollars to attack Fox News Channel.”

It’s nice to know that Republicans in congress are working hard on the issues that matter to the American people. And, of course, none of this is coordinated. The congressional activity, the investigation by The Daily Caller (run by Fox News contributor, Tucker Carlson), the massive coverage of the story by Fox, and the imminent release of an anti-Fox book. It’s all just an incredible coincidence. It must be – Fox News said so:

A Fox News spokesperson told Mediaite on Tuesday afternoon that, “there is absolutely no coordination with the Daily Caller,” and they have “no idea what Tucker’s motivation is in on the timing of this.”

Well that settles it. Because Fox News wouldn’t lie. They might construct totally fabricated stories that advance their ideological agenda, but they wouldn’t lie. They would spread rumors that smear their perceived enemies, but lie? Never. They would even host disreputable psychiatrists whose ethical lapses precipitated their separation from the American Psychiatric Association as they did with Keith Ablow, who managed to invent a diagnosis of David Brock without ever having met him:

“If you are filled with self-loathing you will see demons on every street corner because you project that self-hatred. […] He’s a dangerous man because having followers and waging war, as he says, or previously being a right-wing hitman, this isn’t accidental language. It’s about violence, destruction, and he feels destroyed in himself.”

Keith Ablow

This is actually the second time Ablow has appeared on Fox News with his absurd fantasies (or projections) about Brock. It is Ablow whose character is questionable. A few weeks ago he published an op-ed on that praised Newt Gingrich’s infidelity as evidence of traits that would help him to make America stronger. Seriously! And who could forget his deranged psycho analysis of President Obama?

I really have to wonder if even the Fox News audience is so intellectually comatose that they wouldn’t recognize the feverish anxiety gushing from Fox in advance of the Media Matters book. A tree stump would notice that they are laying it on awfully thick. So the obvious question is what are they so afraid of? I guess we’ll find out next week.