Jonesin’ For Benghazi: Fox News Takes Another Hit From Their Stash Of ‘Smoking Guns’

With all of the media attention tightly focused on San Bernardino’s conjugal killers, you may have forgotten about a little pseudo-scandal that was previously the foremost fetish of Fox News and other right-wing media. Driven from the front pages was the Benghazi affair that had been the cudgel with which Fox News was beating up on Hillary Clinton for the past couple of years. Well, it’s back.

Benghazi

Thanks to the release of an email obtained by the rightist muckrakers at Judicial Watch, Fox News is once again satisfying its lust for the Libyan outpost that was attacked in 2012. And even though every investigation, including those conducted by Republicans in Congress, has found no wrongdoing by Clinton, President Obama, or any other government official, the obsession to cultivate a narrative that indicts Clinton for imaginary crimes remains in effect.

The email that is stirring the Benghazi stew is reported to be from the Defense Department to Clinton’s deputy chief of staff. Fox is claiming that it contradicts testimony made to Congress by former Secretary of Defense Leon Panetta. The email said in part…

“We have identified the forces that could move to Benghazi. They are spinning up as we speak.”

From that snippet, and absent any of the sort of research that real journalists do, Fox News immediately designated the email a “Smoking Gun” It was covered on Fox & Friends by former Survivor contestant Elisabeth Hasselbeck and retired judge Andrew Napolitano:

Hasselbeck: A newly released email from the Pentagon may be the smoking gun in the Benghazi investigation. The email addressed to top aides of Hillary Clinton shows the United States military was gearing up to respond to the Benghazi terror attacks. A message from then-Secretary of Defense Leon Panetta’s chief of staff reads this, quote, “We have identified the forces that could move into Benghazi. They are spinning up as we speak,” end quote. The email contradicts statements made by Panetta, who told the Senate after the attack that there was no time to get forces to Libya to try to save the people there. It now looks like the only thing standing between the terrorists who overran the compound and the four Americans who lost their lives was a green light from the State Department. Fox News senior judicial analyst Judge Andrew Napolitano is here with reaction. This is big.

Napolitano: This is huge. And it’s extremely troublesome for the Obama administration today and for Mrs. Clinton.

Actually, this is just another in a long string of symptoms that can only be attributed to Smoking Gun Delirium Disorder. And every instance of Fox’s alleged smoking guns has turned out to be shooting soap bubbles. In this case it doesn’t take much work to determine that this email has no real significance. It does nothing to contradict Panetta’s testimony, in fact, it affirms it. Panetta explicitly cited the same military resources identified in the email when he appeared before Congress. And while Fox says that there was no response, the facts show that there were military deployments. However, neither his testimony nor the email indicates that the military response could come in time to intervene in the attack.

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

There is no doubt that this new smoking gun will suffer the same fate as all the others. Despite their desperate yearning for some nuclear fallout to land on Obama and/or Clinton, Fox News will come away disappointed. But that will not dissuade them from continuing to throw mud at the objects of their hate. They know that their audience will only retain the misinformation that was broadcast. And that’s because they drop the subject after it fails to advance their narrative. That’s why you haven’t heard about Benghazi since the last false email story. And it’s why you hear about it from Fox now that this story has been debunked.

Fox News

Fox News On Bloomingdale’s: What Could Be Funnier Than Date Rape?

Earlier this week Bloomingdale’s came under an onslaught of well-deserved criticism for an ad that seemed to advocate sexual assault by surreptitiously drugging your female friends. It is inconceivable that this ad went through their marketing department processes and emerged as acceptable to publish. Eventually Bloomingdale’s acknowledge their abysmally poor judgment and apologized.

Fox News Bloomingdale's

That, however, is not the end of the story. Because Fox News still had something to say on the subject. And it was left to the kids on the curvy couch of Fox & Friends to articulate the network’s response (video below). Thereupon, co-host Elisabeth Hasselbeck, the lone woman on the program, called it a reckless ad. Unfortunately her fellow-co-hosts were somewhat less disturbed. Clayton Morris jumped in to praise Bloomingdale’s for apologizing like a remorseful wife-beater. And Steve Doocy actually tried to make excuses for the ad saying “Remember back in the old days when people used to make jokes?” Morris then joined in to add “When people had a sense of humor.” Yeah, you remember humor? Those uniquely human moments when we are amused by violence against women. [Ironically, I just published an article about how Fox News aspires to be a comedy network]

Indeed, those were the good old days. Men could spike the drinks of women and have their way with them without repercussions. And alluding fondly to those carefree times (for men) is nothing more than a bit of good humor. Bill Cosby must be thinking back on those days with some longing. It’s reminiscent of the time when the Fox & Friends gang happily joked about NFL running back Ray Rice knocking out his fiance in an elevator. Co-host Brian Kilmeade helpfully observed that “I think the message is – take the stairs,” presumably to avoid being videotaped in the commission of an assault.

Fox News has a history of downplaying the seriousness of sexual assault. On one particularly repulsive occasion, commentator Liz Trotta complained about women in the military who whined about being assaulted by their comrades. Trotta argued against “this whole bureaucracy upon bureaucracy being built up with all kinds of levels of people to support women in the military who are now being raped too much.” Although she never actually defined how much rape was acceptable before it would be considered “too much.”

The takeaway from this is that whenever you hear Republicans talk about returning the country to a past that they imagine as serene and untroubled, what they really want is to roll back the clock on women’s rights and civil rights and any progress made on advancing individual freedom and reducing bigotry. They revere nothing more than a past when white, male, Christians dominated the nation’s social and governmental institutions. And that deranged expression of nostalgia just isn’t funny anymore.

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

WTF? The Childish Fox News Reaction To Obama Saying Nig…. Um, The N Word

President Obama spent an hour in Marc Maron’s garage to record a podcast with the popular comedian (full audio below). They discussed numerous subjects including politics, climate change, family, and media. And given that the tragic massacre in South Carolina was just a few days earlier, it would have been surprising if they had not also talked about race and racism in America. But leave it to Fox News to inflate a trivial segment of an hour-long interview in order to insult the President and distract from the other important issues that were being discussed.

During the portion of the interview that dealt with race (@46:25), Obama spoke movingly about his personal experiences and the broader context of race relations in America. At one point he said…

“The legacy of slavery, Jim Crow, discrimination in almost every institution of our lives, you know, that casts a long shadow, and that’s still part of our DNA that’s passed on. We’re not cured of it. And it’s not just a matter of it not being polite to say ‘nigger’ in public. That’s not the measure of whether racism still exists or not. It’s not just a matter of overt discrimination. Societies don’t overnight completely erase everything that happened 2-300 years prior.”

Oh lordy me. Pass the smellin’ salts Martha. The President uttered the unmentionable, and the inevitable demise of Western civilization will surely follow. Everyone knows that in adult conversations you have to spell naughty words rather than communicate with other grown-ups in a manner that reflects intellectual maturity. Because if you say the “F” word, or the “N” word, or the “X” word (don’t ask), no one will know that you really mean a word with more letters that will cause your ears to seal up. Responsible adults know to always speak as if you’re addressing children or others with stunted emotional development (or, as it turns out, Fox News viewers).

It’s notable that conservatives suddenly find this word so objectionable as an expression of hatred and division, yet they don’t have any problem with the official banner of hateful dividers, the Confederate flag.

Obama Confederate Flag

The reaction by conservative media to POTUS dropping the “N” Bomb was swift and stupid. Taking the lead, of course, was Fox News, where their early morning gabfest, Fox & Friends, accused Obama’s language of being beneath the dignity of the office of the presidency. Saying “‘N’ word” is so much more dignified. And besides, Fox News has declared that racism is over so there is no need to even bring the subject up anymore, much less use controversial language.

The Curvy Couch Potatoes, Steve Doocy and Elisabeth Hasselbeck, both speculated that Obama might also use the word in a State of the Union address because, in their cartoon brains, whenever someone uses a word in one venue, it will then be used everywhere else: State of the Union, United Nations, The Tonight Show, PTA meetings, etc.

Throughout the morning (and afternoon and evening) the editorial mandate on Fox News was to keep repeating this non-story that involved a five-second blip from an hour long interview. Perhaps the most strikingly obtuse opinion was rendered by Fox contributor Deneen Borelli, who called Obama the “Rapper-in-Chief,” and said that “He has really dragged in the gutter speak of rap music. So now he is the first president of rap, of street?”

Really? Borelli’s attempt to equate a substantive discussion of race, wherein the President made thoughtful remarks about lingering problems, with the provocative creative license exercised by rappers, is beyond ludicrous. Apparently she would also blanch and\or giggle at the words breast or penis if a doctor used them in a medical context, because in her mind it’s the same as if they were used in a dirty limerick.

On Fox News and elsewhere, Obama was accused of using the word as a “grand distraction.” The absurd hilarity of that charge rests in the fact that it is only the right-wing media that is using this to distract. They plucked the sentence fragment out of a long, in-depth interview and ignored everything else that was discussed. As an indication of just how fixated they were on Obama’s use of this word, they completely missed what he said about Fox News:

Obama: There’s this big gap between who we are as a people and how our politics expresses itself. And part of that has to do with gerrymandering and SuperPACs and lobbyists, and a media that is so splintered now that we’re not in a common conversation. And the fact that if you watch Fox News you inhabit a completely different world with different facts than if you read the New York Times. And that becomes self-reinforcing. And there’s a profit both for politicians and for news outlets simplifying and polarizing.

Fox News Obama Maron

Ordinarily, when Obama invokes Fox News, the network takes immediate and prolonged offense, even if it isn’t due, as is the case here where Obama also cited the New York Times. Regardless, Fox generally strikes back viciously and condemns Obama for trying to belittle or intimidate the alleged “news” channel that spends most of its time demonizing him. So for Fox to give this allusion a pass shows how seriously they were overwhelmed by the power of the “N” word’s utterance. Or at least it shows how seriously they are committed to using this to bash the President.

News Corpse Presents: The ALL NEW 2nd volume of
Fox Nation vs. Reality: The Fox News Cult of Ignorance.
Available now at Amazon.

[Update:] This afternoon the governor of South Carolina announced that she would back a plan to remove the flag from the grounds of the state capitol. She said that it was time to show that state property belongs to all South Carolinians. That’s funny, because all the South Carolinians who have been offended by the Confederate flag for decades never bothered these southerners until a white, racist brandishing the flag murdered nine African-Americans in a church. Let’s see how the other states that feature or allow the Confederate flag respond to this.

Respecting Police Fox News Style: Pool Party Kids vs. Tea Party Militia

The relentless punditry being applied to the McKinney pool party by less than credible media commentators has produced a flood of useless blathering that contributes nothing toward understanding the situation. And leading the pack as, as usual, is “doctor” Keith Ablow, the disgraced Fox News “psycho” analyst best known for diagnosing President Obama as an anti-American sociopath.

On yesterday’s episode of Fox & Friends (video below), Ablow chimed in on the McKinney affair with his familiar fetish for finding the President at fault for everything from the Kennedy assassination to diaper rash. He also exhibited his famous hate-focused tunnel-blindness that stretches the boundaries of hypocrisy to new extremes. This exchange with fellow defamer Elisabeth Hasselbeck covered well-worn territory for the Fox irregulars.

Hasselbeck: What is the mentalitiy a cop needs in a situation like this and why are so many people quick to reject authority right now?
Ablow: I think that some leaders in America have fractured the trust that Americans placed, properly, in police officers […] I don’t think our president or our former attorney general did anything to help people out when they seemed to side with folks other than the police or, for that matter, the mayor of New York. So, these messages are very powerful. And they’re heard by young people who may think of it as a cause celebre to sort of resist police officers when the right thing to do is…do as you’re told.

So it’s “some leaders in America,” specifically President Obama, who are responsible for fracturing the trust placed in police officers. It wouldn’t be the police officers who have murdered unarmed kids or brutalized peaceful citizens who made trusting law enforcement so difficult, would it? And if an enraged cop drags you by your hair and orders you to put your face in the grass, just do as you’re told. If only our leaders excused and supported such violent tactics by militarized police departments, there wouldn’t be any problem at all.

Ablow’s assertion that the President, or any other national figure, is advocating disrespect for the police is a figment of his perverted imagination. Most rational observers would hold that siding with folks other than police who act criminally IS siding with the police. It’s siding with the majority of officers whose reputation is shredded by the bad apples. But Ablow’s opinion that there is a breakdown in the social compact between citizens and the police is shared by his colleagues at Fox. For instance…

Charles Krauthammer: The only consequence of this is to undermine the police, it’s to undermine their respect for the police, and it’s essentially to undermine law and order.

O’Reilly: It’s clear that there is a growing disrespect for police officers in some American neighborhoods and that attitude is going to lead to violence. If citizens don’t obey the police then law and order completely breaks down.

Fox News

What makes these remarks all the more absurd is the inference that victims of excessive force by the police are themselves responsible for their injuries (or deaths). All they had to do was obediently comply with the abusive cops and they would have been fine. After all, it’s just a matter of respect for authority. The kind of respect that Cliven Bundy and his Tea Party terrorists showed when the authorities arrived to enforce the law and prevent him from continuing to unlawfully graze his cattle on land that did not belong to him.

For some reason, conservatives, and pundits at Fox News, considered Bundy a hero for defying law enforcement. Bundy’s Tea Party Militia came armed to the teeth and threatened to blow away any dirty copper that tried to make Bundy obey the same laws to which every other American is subject. Maybe if the teenagers at the pool party waved American flags, pointed automatic weapons at the police, and threatened to kill them, their respect would have been more appreciated by the “patriots” on Fox News.

News Corpse Presents: The ALL NEW 2nd volume of
Fox Nation vs. Reality: The Fox News Cult of Ignorance.
Available now at Amazon.

White Supremacists And Fox News Join To Suppress Academic Freedom

The cable “news” network that is number one with racists has become a partner with some of the most vile white supremacist organizations in a campaign to intimidate and malign a college professor in Arizona. Fox News was the first national media outlet to condemn a course at Arizona State University called “U.S. Race Theory & the Problem of Whiteness,” and their hostility has inspired a crusade of bigotry.

Fox News

The course itself is a non-controversial exploration of race and the privileges of the majority. It is not, as Fox News characterizes it, an attack on white Americans. Part of the purpose of college is to get an expanded perspective of the world and to challenge preconceptions. However, Fox attacked this class based on nothing more than its name. They did no investigation into the actual curriculum. Having been alerted to the issue by an extremist right-wing organization, Fox’s Elisabeth Hasselbeck led the outcry by stating on Fox & Friends that the class was “unfair and wrong.” She provided no support for her criticisms.

Subsequent to the “reporting” on Fox, the professor involved became the target of an organized campaign of hate. USA Today reports that…

“According to university records recently obtained by The Arizona Republic, assistant professor Lee Bebout has received dozens of hostile and hate-filled e-mails about the class, and Tempe police say the instructor suffered harassment when fliers were distributed on campus and in Bebout’s neighborhood with ‘Anti-White’ printed over a photo of Bebout, who is white.”

Beginning on the day the segment aired on Fox, Bebout began receiving hate mail and threats that contained overtly violent rhetoric. For instance, one letter said “I look forward to your suicide,” and another wrote “I’d enjoy seeing you swing from a light pole.” The fliers were labeled “National Youth Front,” which describes itself as a “youth organization dedicated to the preservation of all White people.” Further escalating the imminent risk of harm, Bebout’s photo was posted on white supremacist websites along with those of his family, his contact information and other personal details.

Hasselbeck’s segment on Fox & Friends featured an interview with Lauren Clark, an ASU student who did not enroll in the class. Clark is also a representative of a group called Campus Reform, whose mission is to expose liberal “bias and abuse on the nation’s college campuses.” It is a project of the ultra-rightist Leadership Institute (LI). Other alumni of LI include Karl Rove and James O’Keefe. Their funding comes from a narrow cabal of conservatives including the Heritage Foundation and the Koch brothers.

Clark alleged that the course was inappropriate because it “suggests an entire race is the problem.” How she came to that conclusion without taking the class, or ever talking to the professor, can be easily explained by her obvious ideological prejudices. In truth, the class is described by the university in a statement that says that it…

“…uses literature and rhetoric to look at how stories shape people’s understandings and experiences of race. It encourages students to examine how people talk about — or avoid talking about — race in the contemporary United States.”

This is precisely the sort of discourse that enriches the academic experience and benefits students. But Fox News distorted it to turn it into a racial controversy. They did this without the slightest bit of research or factual basis. They supported their false assertions with the help of a representative from an openly biased organization who was equally uninformed as to the facts. And the result was a campaign of threats and intimidation aimed at the Arizona school and the teacher by national white supremacists.

News Corpse Presents: The ALL NEW 2nd volume of
Fox Nation vs. Reality: The Fox News Cult of Ignorance.
Available now at Amazon.

This was a foreseeable series of events thanks to Fox News and their openly bigoted agenda. It was something that could easily have been avoided with a little research. But Fox never conducted an investigation, never sought to get a response from the school or Prof. Bebout, and never disclosed the biases of their Koch brothers-funded guest. In short, they did none of things that an actual journalistic enterprise would do. Is anyone surprised?

Obama Did It: Fox News Blames Cop Shooting In #Ferguson On President And Attorney General

Affirming the predictability of the Fox News brand of hack journalism, the network moved quickly to make sure that their viewers were misinformed about a tragic incident in Ferguson, Missouri last night.

Fox News Ferguson

Please click here to SHARE this On Facebook

As a gathering of protesters was winding down in Ferguson, shots rang out that resulted in injuries to two police officers. By morning the officers were released from the hospital and are expected to make full recoveries. Also by morning, Fox News aired multiple reports of the incident placing responsibility for the assaults squarely on the perpetrators whom Fox identified as President Obama and Attorney General Eric Holder.

Setting aside all of the known facts, Fox News sought to disparage the usual objects of their animus. It didn’t matter to them that the authorities in Ferguson had not tied the shootings to the protesters at all. Fox News made the leap from the protesters to the administration in record time. Their slanders were in direct contradiction to public statements by the chief of the St. Louis County Police, Jon Belmar, who the Washington Post reported as saying that…

“[T]hree or four shots were fired from across the street from where about 75 protesters and 40 police officers were gathered. He said that the shots did not come from the group of protesters who were gathered near the police station.”

Nevertheless, Fox twisted their coverage to point the blame toward government officials hundreds of miles away. The defamation began with the all-white Kurvy Kouch Potatoes at Fox & Friends as the story was still unfolding.

Elisabeth Hasselbeck: He [Holder] chose to grandstand. And now – fuel on the fire – less than a week later, we are seeing the dots connecting here.
Fox News legal analyst Bob Massi: When you say that you’re going to dismantle a police department if they don’t fix it, it incites race relations — it incites riots.

Hasselbeck’s delusional dot-connecting exercise aims to associate the shootings with the Department of Justice report finding that the Ferguson police department had engaged in a pattern and practice of discrimination against African-Americans. She, along with the rest of the right-wing media choir, would prefer that this racist and unconstitutional behavior was merely ignored and swept under the rug. But the notion that avoiding honest appraisals of police conduct would serve any positive purpose is one that only racist enablers and sympathizers could accept. In the real world, such avoidance would be recognized as a prelude to civil unrest.

Likewise, Massi utterly mangles logic by asserting that promises to take corrective action would incite riots. It is the complete opposite of reality. When officials undertake initiatives that address the complaints of the people, the people are generally satisfied and far less likely to erupt in violence. Massi’s conclusion is so absurd it defies comprehension.

Which takes us to Fox’s Outnumbered, where guest Lou Dobbs joined the program’s regulars to continue the condemnation of leaders in Washington:

Dobbs: I think that, plainly, there are so many forces at work here. So many people who deserve considerable blame for fomenting an environment like this in which this could occur. Chief among those, in my opinion, are the President of the United States and the Attorney General.
Tantaros: They intervened and they flamed the racial tensions. And Eric Holder has proven time again he is an Attorney General for the criminal, by the criminal, and of the criminals in the United States of America. […] You think it’s a coinicidence that two cops got shot last night? This was inflamed because of what this administration did. This specific incident.

Republicans used to define themselves as the party of responsibility. However, when they have the opportunity to hold wrongdoers accountable, they decline and instead shift blame to their ideological enemies, letting the real perpetrators off the hook. In the process they viciously malign people who had no role in the incident in question. It is a pathological compulsion to vilify those they perceive as their foes. That’s the only way they can justify accusing Obama and Holder of being chiefly responsible for assaults on police in Ferguson. It’s the only way that they can defend alleging that the Attorney General is collaborating with criminals and is a criminal himself.

News Corpse Presents: The ALL NEW 2nd volume of
Fox Nation vs. Reality: The Fox News Cult of Ignorance.
Available now at Amazon.

The conservative media effort to persuade America that racism doesn’t exist requires that they deny any evidence of it, particularly by institutional agencies such as police departments. It is a sort of self-inflicted blindness that turns the world into an Eden where there is only harmony and brotherhood in their deranged vision.

However, they make an exception for those who try to point out that prejudice is still very much with us, and who sincerely work to eliminate it. Those are the real racists, according to Fox News and the right, for having the gall to call out bigots. If only they would keep their mouths shut no one would have any problem with racism. Certainly the white, male, Christians wouldn’t have any problems. And that’s the American way, isn’t it?

Fox News Airs Fake Story While Slobbering Over Another Foreign Dictator

It doesn’t take much to bring out the veneration for tyrants among the wingnut characters on Fox News. The conservative DNA is predisposed to favor authoritarianism. Last year it was Vladimir Putin who got them all hot and bothered, even to the point of wishing that the Russian dictator was the leader of the United States.

Fox News

Please click here to SHARE this On Facebook

Now it is King Abdullah of Jordan who warms their cockles. During a segment of Fox & Friends (video below), the Kurvy Kouch Potatoes let their emotions spew forth about the Jordanian he-man who they were fooled into believing had personally stormed into battle against ISIL. The news that King Abdullah piloted air strikes in Syria was never authenticated, but that didn’t stop Fox from trumpeting the bravery and conviction of the monarch. Steve Doocy led off with the undeserved praise, followed quickly by an overheated Elisabeth Hasselbeck:

Doocy: Now this morning there is news that the King, who is also a trained pilot, the Jordanian media is reporting that there is a possibility that the King could have taken part in some of the air strikes.
Hasselbeck: He is stepping up with strong leadership and clarity. So what is our president doing?

First of all, a Jordanian spokesman made it clear that the King did not participate in the air strikes. What’s more, they said that it was incorrect to suggest that he is or ever was a fighter pilot. So virtually everything that Doocy said was wrong. That’s a state of affairs with which he should be quite familiar by now.

Secondly, the slap that Hasselbeck took at the American president was evidence of both her ignorance and her utter disrespect for America and its leadership, as well as her adulation of foreign dictators. The argument that Jordan has done more to fight ISIL is rooted in open disdain for President Obama.

The truth is that Jordan executed a couple of prisoners who were already sentenced to death, and then flew some missions to bomb terrorist fighters in the field. Obama has been doing that for months. His campaign against ISIL has already resulted in over 6,000 terrorist casualties, including more than half of their top commanders.

And yet, the Fox News crew thinks that Obama should be more like King Abdullah. For Obama to do that he would need to scale back his current efforts considerably and only step forward when some tragedy occurs. For the record, the U.S. score vs. ISIL is about 6,000 to 3.

Let’s face it – Nobody at Fox is going to give this President credit for anything, even when the facts show that he is by far outperforming the international community’s response to global terror. Their only goal is to belittle the President, and by extension, America, in order to advance their bitterly partisan and purely political agenda. How exactly do they think that it helps our nation when they insult our Commander-in-Chief and accuse him of being weak? It’s a veritable invitation to the enemy to escalate their attacks. And that is how patriotism is practiced by the right-wing zealots who run and watch Fox News.

News Corpse Presents: The ALL NEW 2nd volume of
Fox Nation vs. Reality: The Fox News Cult of Ignorance.
Available now at Amazon.

French TV: Laughing At The Credibility Of The Fox News Clowns And #FoxNewsFacts

Earlier this week Fox News hosted Steven Emerson, an alleged terrorism expert, who claimed that the entire city of Birmingham, England was occupied by radical Muslims and was inaccessible to anyone else. His remarks were widely ridiculed, including by David Cameron, the British Prime Minister, who called Emerson an “idiot.” Emerson later recanted and apologized for his “terrible error.” But Fox wasn’t done embarrassing itself with false tales of horror.

Fox News

Over at Fox & Friends, Elisabeth Hasselbeck interviewed a former Air Force pilot who claimed to have personal knowledge of the deterioration of French society. Nolan Peterson said that there were “741 no-go zones throughout France.” Peterson described his adventures in the wilds of Paris saying that…

“It was pretty scary. I’ve been to Afghanistan and Iraq and Kashmir, India, and at times it felt like that – those places in these no-go zones. […and that…] You see young men wearing Osama Bin Laden t-shirts in a hookah shop.”

Really? This veteran of Afghanistan and Iraq was scared of Paris? The segment was seen by Yann Barthès, the host of the French television program “Le Petit Journal.” His response was to mercilessly flog Fox and Peterson while exposing the glaring errors in their analysis. For instance, Fox made reference to a poll that said that 16% of the French people had a favorable view of ISIS. However, that poll was debunked by the Washington Post, a point that Barthès noted.

Fox also displayed a map of the so-called no-go zones in Paris which brought spontaneous laughter from the residents of Paris in the audience who knew better. In fact, the map was a document that indicated urban renewal areas where the government would direct resources for improvement. It had nothing to do with Muslims or terror. But Fox’s “mistake” inspired Barthès to courageously send his crew into the falsely slandered no-go zones for some person-on-the-street interviews. And just to be on the safe side, they were suited up in safety gear and helmets, which turned out not to be necessary.

Get the ALL NEW 2nd volume of
Fox Nation vs. Reality: The Fox News Cult of Ignorance.
Available now at Amazon.

Here is the video of Le Petit Journal with English subtitles (h/t Raw Story):

Fun Fact: Bill O’Reilly declared a boycott of France in 2007 because they refused to support George W. Bush’s invasion of Iraq. In fact, you can still buy a Boycott France Bumper Sticker from his website.

[Update 1/18/2015:] So, after Fox News characteristically resorted to fear mongering and spreading disinformation, their lies on this occasion were so egregious that they were forced to apologize – FOUR TIMES!

For the record, the apologists were Anna Kooiman, Eric Shawn, Julie Banderas, and Jeanine Pirro. Don’t hold your breath waiting for Fox to do this the next time they lie (which happens multiple times every day).

Je Suis Charlie? Not On Fox News Where It’s Je Suis Connerie

This morning there was a gruesome terrorist attack in Paris that took the lives of twelve people at the French satirical newspaper Charlie Hebdo. It was the sort of assault that generally stirs both outrage and an international commitment to unity in bringing the assailants to justice and preventing anything like it from occurring again.

For the most part that has been true. The governments of the world have expressed sympathy and solidarity for the victims and their families, the people of France, and journalists worldwide who are too often the targets of such violence.

Fox News Bullshit

President Obama issued a statement saying in part…

“I strongly condemn the horrific shooting at the offices of Charlie Hebdo magazine in Paris that has reportedly killed 12 people. Our thoughts and prayers are with the victims of this terrorist attack and the people of France at this difficult time.”

But leave it to Fox News to take this tragedy and politicize it in the most nauseating way possible. Before the blood stains on the floor have even dried, Fox News set out to grab political advantage by laying blame on the usual targets of their wrath. And, of course, it begins with attacks on Obama. Fox contributor Jonah Goldberg of National Review Online spent several minutes castigating Obama for his depiction of the attack, saying that it was not enough to call it terrorism, but it must also be labeled Islamic – even before there is any investigation that establishes whether that’s true.

And Goldberg was not alone in shifting the dialog from the attack and its victims to rank politics. Fox’s K.T. McFarland took the same path saying that “This is radical Muslim extremists […] Let’s take the political correctness away and call it what it is.” The abhorrent Ralph Peters (who has advocated for the rampant slaughter of civilians as a tactic in the war on terror) also demanded that the President specifically use the term “Islamist terror.” That was after he took a swipe at Sen. Diane Feinstein and the Senate’s report condemning the use of torture. Peters said that “These terrorists who did this monstrous attack in Paris are the people Sen. Feinstein doesn’t even want to waterboard.” Peters not only condones torture, but he has specifically called for military attacks against the media, which makes him an especially vulgar choice to interview after a tragedy like this.

Monica Crowley took up the political correctness theme in a segment with Fox’s Gretchen Carlson. Afterward, Carlson devoted the whole of her “My Take” commentary to criticizing Obama for not calling the Paris attack terrorism – which of course, is precisely what he called it. She ended by asking whether the United States will be the next victim of a terrorist attack. She must have forgotten that the U.S. was already a victim back in 2001, and that we have been on alert ever since. But there’s nothing like a little fear mongering to brighten up the Fox News morning.

Then there were the Kurvy Kouch Potatoes of Fox & Friends, who turned their bony fingers toward New York City Mayor Bill De Blasio. Elisabeth Hasselbeck said that “As soon as police act they’re painted with a racist brush, even by, in fact, our own mayor here.” What that had to do with anything is a complete mystery. But perhaps the worst offender was Fox’s military analyst Lt. Gen. Tom McInerney. He was prompted by co-host Brian Kilmeade to address some unattributed Tweets that alleged that in France “most cops choose not even to carry a gun.” Kilmeade added “That, thankfully, is not the case in New York.” to which McInerney responded…

“This is a classical radical Islamist attack. […] With the current leadership in New York — and I’m referring to the mayor, the communist mayor you have up there — that may change. […] The political correctness is killing us.”

For Chrissake! This imbecile is absolving the terrorists of responsibility for these attacks and assigning it to Mayor De Blasio and political correctness. What’s more, he holds the utterly delusional belief that De Blasio is planning to let NYPD officers choose whether or not to carry guns. Where does he get that idiot notion from? And finally, his incongruous and despicable insult that the mayor is a communist is the sort of stuff that is generally left to wingnut, conspiracy theorists like Alex Jones, Glenn Beck, and Sean Hannity.

The political correctness argument that Fox is so fond of is a thinly veiled desire for racist policies that accuse all Muslims of being terrorists. The insistence that acts of violent extremism be called, not just terrorism, but Islamic terrorism, is a demand that is rarely heard for any other act of violence. Why for instance, didn’t Fox News refer to the murder of Dr. George Tiller as Christian terrorism? And what about Eric Rudolph’s bombing of the Centennial Olympic Park? Or the bombings of Planned Parenthood offices? Or the murder of 77 children in Norway by radical Christian Anders Breivik? Or the Tea Party terrorists who murdered two police officers in Las Vegas? Or the entire history of the Ku Klux Klan and Christian Identity movements? [The SPLC has a more complete list here]

Get the ALL NEW 2nd volume of
Fox Nation vs. Reality: The Fox News Cult of Ignorance.
Available now at Amazon.

These are all examples of what could be called Christian terrorism if the Fox News model of journalism were applied fairly. But don’t hold your breath waiting for that to happen. For the radical partisans at Fox the only priority is how can this or any event be exploited to inflict political pain on their ideological enemies. They don’t care about the victims of terrorism or the safety of society or even justice. They only care about slandering the President and other Democrats in pursuit of their ultra right-wing agenda. And if that means twisting a tragedy into a partisan political screed, then that’s what they will do. It’s shameful and contrary to every code of ethics for journalism or common decency.

* Connerie = Bullshit

Comic Relief: Fox News Runs Laughably Biased Report On Media Bias

Reminiscing about the year gone by is a favorite pastime of media outlets as the calendar turns the page to a new year. At the top of everyone’s list are lists – generally assembling the best or worst of some category of events. And Fox News is no different as they try to capture those things that resonated for the nation, or at least for their viewers.

However, being so devoted to misinforming their audience as they are, Fox couldn’t help themselves as they demonstrated an Olympian mastery of self-delusion and unintentional comedy. They chose for their topic a collection of what they called “The Worst of the Worst: Ranking the Most Bias (sic) Reporting of 2014”

Fox News

First of all, we can’t let it go by that Fox inadvertently provided the perfect description of themselves in the on-screen graphic for this segment. Either somebody wasn’t paying attention, or there is mole in the studio with a great sense of humor. Moving on…

For the cable network best known for manipulating news stories to fit their editorial obsession, Fox should have recognized the danger of looking foolish by feebly attempting to turn the spotlight around to others. But no, not Fox. They dispatched their crack Fox & Friends crew to tackle this precarious subject ignoring the risks. The segment (video below) was anchored by the recently re-hired Scott Brown, a Republican politician-turned-talking-head who is the only candidate in history to lose two races for the Senate in two years, running in two different states. And shortly after each loss, signing up with Fox News. His co-host was evanga-pundit Elisabeth Hasselbeck, a loser in her own right having been voted off of Survivor only to wash up on the island of Fox & Friends.

Hasselbeck opened the episode by declaring, without a hint of irony or self-awareness, that “It’s been a banner year for bias in the mainstream media.” Then she and Brown welcomed their guest, Genevieve Wood. She was introduced as a senior contributor to the Daily Signal blog. What they left out was that the Daily Signal is the propaganda arm of the ultra-rightist Heritage Foundation, where she has been a member of the senior management. Wood’s appearance was solicited because she was one of the judges for “The Worst of the Worst” awards presented by another fringy right-wing enterprise, the Media Research Center (home to NewsBusters, the lie-riddled, wingnut version of Media Matters).

It was in this atmosphere that the three orthodox conservatives set off to impugn the journalistic skills of their avowed enemies in the press. They began with a swat at the head of NBC News, Jeffrey Zucker, for his refusal to be bullied by Fox into covering the Benghazi hoax. Then came a swipe at CBS’s Scott Pelley, who earned his tribute for correctly reporting that ObamaCare did not result in job losses. Then they defended the family of their Fox colleague Sarah Palin who, with her daughter Bristol, had incited a drunken brawl at an Alaskan beer bash. And finally, they slammed Politico’s Roger Simon for a rather harmless and snarky Tweet.

In what they called a “banner year for bias” they managed to miss every serious incident of it. That may be due to that fact that most of it was occurring right under their noses in the Fox News studios. With a concerted effort to portray everything that President Obama did as a step toward Armageddon, and a devotion to overtly opposing any progressive policy, the Fox news-manglers demonstrated just how media bias is done: With a year-end ceremony hosted by staunchly activist right-wingers, bashing journalists they have long castigated as ideological foes. Is it possible that in 2015 there is still anyone who actually believes that Fox News is “fair and balanced?”

Get the ALL NEW 2nd volume of
Fox Nation vs. Reality: The Fox News Cult of Ignorance.
Available now at Amazon.