More Proof that Fox News is Not News: Zero Emmys for News and Documentaries

The National Academy of Television Arts & Sciences (NATAS) announced this year’s winners of the 39th Annual News and Documentary Emmys on Tuesday morning. The honorees represent a diverse array of journalistic excellence as produced by a variety of news organizations from across the television landscape. However, there is one prominent player that was left out of the party this year, as it has been in previous years.

Fox News Sad

Fox News received a total of zero emmys for their “news” programming. That’s at least partially due to the fact that they received zero nominations. For a national network with the word “news” in their name, and that purports to be “real news,” this is an embarrassing snub. And the announcement by the Academy hinted at what might be part of the problem:

“It is more important than ever that we recognize and defend our peers’ integrity, clarity, and dedication to the First Amendment’s protected mandate,” said Adam Sharp, Interim-President & CEO, NATAS. “This year’s nominees are shining examples of that ethic. Their stories took us to the front lines of war and disaster, cast light into hidden corners of government and the corporate boardroom, and revealed both the outermost reaches of space and the innermost complexities of the human body.”

Indeed. The Academy recognizes its obligation to stand up for the Constitution when the President and his minions denigrate it. And it’s clear that the State TV Network (aka Fox News) that embraces Donald Trump’s aversion to the free press, and repeatedly describes it in Stalinist terms as “the enemy of the people,” might not be in the best position to produce credible journalism. For the most part Fox News is a mouthpiece for Trump, airing all of his cult rallies uninterrupted, in their entirety, despite having no news value whatsoever. And their regular programming is a swamp of rightist propaganda delivered by hate mongering cretins.

The top three winners of news Emmys were PBS, CBS, and HBO. But every national broadcast and cable organization (except Fox) also walked away with statuettes, including ABC, NBC, CNN, and MSNBC. Even the “failing” New York Times won an Emmy for its coverage of the Las Vegas Massacre.

This is further evidence that Fox News is not producing legitimate journalism, and they are not respected by their peers in the profession. They are a brazenly biased outlet for Republican dogma and they contribute nothing to the American people in terms of reliable information or analysis. On the other hand, if you’re looking for high-pitched ranting, partisan talking points, easily refuted lies, reality TV theatrics, and viscous, although infantile, insults aimed at the majority of the American populace, Fox News may be just the right channel for you.

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

Fox News Wants You to Believe That Trump-Bashing Killed the Emmys – It Didn’t

The preliminary Nielsen ratings for the 69th Primetime Emmy Awards broadcast are in and they aren’t particularly good. The program drew about 11.2 million viewers, which is down slightly from last year’s show. But leave it to Fox News to turn this minor slippage into a political catastrophe caused by the relentless liberalism of Hollywood elites.

Emmys Stephen Colbert

An op-ed on the Fox News website trumpeted the ratings results with a speculative headline asking “Emmys ratings crater; Trump-bashing to blame?” The argument presented by Fox’s Brian Flood was that criticism of Donald Trump sunk the broadcast to new lows. He writes that:

“It looks like the 69th annual Emmy Awards are heading into sub-basement territory in terms of ratings after host Stephen Colbert spent much of Sunday’s event attacking President Trump. It turns out American viewers may not have been as into Trump bashing as Hollywood would like them to be.”

For the record, host Stephen Colbert didn’t spend much of the night attacking Trump. In all he spent less than three minutes out of a three hour program. But the real absurdity of this analysis is that it proposes something that’s impossible. Fox News thinks that viewers chose not to watch the program based on their clairvoyant observation of the Trump-bashing before it even began. Obviously, without such ESP skills they would not have known not to tune in.

In fact, the Emmy broadcast has been scoring lower numbers for several years. Trump wasn’t president when the ratings began a falling trend. The reasons knowledgeable people attribute to the decline are that television doesn’t have the popular appeal of the Oscars and the Grammys. What’s more, many of the winning programs are now airing on services like Netflix and Hulu that have fewer viewers than broadcast TV. Consequently, the stars are not as familiar or compelling. And airing against Sunday Night Football didn’t help either.

That didn’t stop Fox News from setting up their biased perspective and interviewing political partisans to support it. Flood first sought the opinion of Dan Gainor of the ultra-conservative Media Research Center. Predictably, Gainor slammed the event as “a Hollywood bubble show.” He further castigated television’s creative community as out-of-touch with America and unqualified to express an opinion. That’s a point of view that disappears from right-wingers when the TV personality is one of theirs. Case in point: Donald Trump (or Ronald Reagan, Ted Nugent, Clint Eastwood, Scott Baio, etc.).

The argument that Americans might have tuned out the Emmys because they objected to jokes about Trump also fails logically. Trump is currently sitting on record low ratings himself. And that’s from the American people, not a select groups of show business professionals. With his approval numbers wallowing in the mid-thirties, it’s unlikely that the program lost many viewers who were loyal to Trump. If anything, the fact that most Americans are repulsed and embarrassed by him might have drawn in a bigger audience. There is substantial appetite in the country for the Trump-bashing that Fox News is lamenting. An example of that is the fact that Colbert has become the top rated late night talk show host largely due to his nightly mockery of the President.

The program did feature some sharp jabs at Trump’s expense. Veep’s Julia Louis Dreyfus noted that her show had considered an impeachment plot line, but abandoned it because they were worried that “someone else” might beat them to it. Alec Baldwin, who’s portrayal of Trump on Saturday Night Live won him an Emmy, consoled Trump by giving him partial credit for an award he never won himself. But the most cutting comedy came from the reunited stars of 9-to-5 who said:

Jane Fonda: Back in 1980 in that movie, we refused to be controlled by a sexist, egotistical, lying, hypocritical bigot.
Lily Tomlin: And in 2017, we still refuse to be controlled by a sexist, egotistical, lying, hypocritical bigot.

Those are the sort of comments that Fox News and their conservative disciples regard as intolerable attacks against their White House Messiah. And for some reason they get away with calling liberals “snowflakes” for being too sensitive. Yet it doesn’t bother them when Trump himself posts tweets that show him assaulting Hillary Clinton. Apparently joking about physically attacking women is perfectly acceptable to these Deplorables. But Fox News finds it necessary to write op-eds that lie about the Emmys just because they can’t handle a few harmless jokes.

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

Stiffed: No Emmy Nominations For Fox News – Again

The National Academy of Television Arts & Sciences just announced their nominees for the 36th Annual News and Documentary Emmy Awards. Among those honored by the Academy are PBS with 47 nominations, CBS with 44, ABC with 17, NBC with 14, CNN with 10, and MSNBC with 2. The only major television news broadcaster that came away empty-handed was Fox News.

Go Fox Yourself

The easy explanation for this rejection is that Fox is not actually in the news business. They are a thinly disguised tabloid entertainment outlet with a mission to advance a right-wing agenda and demean Democrats and liberals. It is a network that is filled with fiction, drama, scandal, soap opera, soft-porn, and a prodigious amount of unintentional comedy. Earlier this year Fox News CEO Roger Ailes admitted that his business model is geared toward entertainment saying that he doesn’t regard CNN or MSNBC as rivals and that “We’re competing with TNT and USA and ESPN.”

However, the embarrassing failure to be recognized for even a single program is rooted in a much deeper problem for Fox. They are not simply failing to offer programming that is deserving of praise from their “peers,” they are purposefully producing stories that are false and serve only to malign their ideological adversaries.

A conveniently timed example of this is the Planned Parenthood story Fox is currently hyping. It involves a video that has already been repudiated by independent analysts as grossly distorted and unrepresentative of the facts. Nevertheless, Fox is repeatedly airing segments that go into some length disparaging Planned Parenthood without offering any time for rebuttal by the organization.

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Fox Nation vs. Reality: The Fox News Cult of Ignorance.
Available now at Amazon.

This is typical of the phony fare that Fox broadcasts. They obsess over fake scandals like Benghazi, or Jade Helm 15, or Obama phones, or death panels (which they recently revived), and on and on. They combine relentless hostility toward liberals with obsequious fawning over Republicans. It is their brazen unprofessional and unethical brand of journalism that best explains why they are passed over for awards from actual news professionals year after year.

Fox News Gets No Emmys For News (Again). Maybe Reporting Some News Would Help

Today much of the electronic journalism world will be talking about the television ratings for the just-concluded third quarter of 2014. As expected, Fox News topped the cable news category, as it has for several years. Also, as expected, Fox will hype the crap out of this non-newsworthy information that is only an affirmation of Fox’s ability to herd all of the conservative viewers/cattle into their cable corral.

To put this news in perspective, earlier this year Fox News posted their worst ratings in thirteen years. So their achievement spotlighted in this report is that they are now slightly higher than their worst showing in thirteen years. They must be so proud.

Go Fox Yourself

However, there was another less noticed announcement today that has far more significance. The National Academy of Television Arts and Sciences released the recipients of the Emmys for news and documentaries. And the winners were: PBS with eleven Emmys; CBS News won ten; ABC News won three; NBC News and the BBC each got two; and CNN and Al Jazeera America both received one Emmy.

Conspicuously missing from that list was Fox “News.” Or perhaps the real surprise would be if they had actually won an Emmy. Fox has been stiffed by the Academy since their launch in 1996. That is largely due to the fact that Fox doesn’t broadcast any news. They are strictly an entertainment network that is filled with fiction, drama, scandal, soap opera, soft-porn, and a prodigious amount of unintentional comedy. What’s more, their entertainment projects are slanted heavily in favor of the Republican right for whom Fox serves as a PR agency. For instance, see if you can find a pattern in these special “Fox News Reporting” investigations:

  • Benghazi: The Truth Behind the Smokescreen.
  • Benghazi: White House Cover-Up Revealed?
  • 13 Hours In Benghazi.
  • Charles Krauthammer: A Life That Matters.
  • The Great Food Stamp Binge.
  • Behind the Obama Breakdown.
  • Surrendering America.
  • Behind Obama’s Green Agenda.
  • Live Free Or Die: Obamacare In New Hampshire.

Those are just a few of the blatant attack pieces produced by Fox to smear the Obama administration. They were laden with rumor, innuendo, unsubstantiated allegations, and outright lies, that never resulted in any noteworthy revelation. Like all of Fox’s scandal mongering, they went nowhere because there were no facts to support their made-up premises. Is it any wonder why Fox can’t snag an Emmy?

A few years ago, in an impudent rant, Fox publicly stated that they were refusing to compete in the Emmy contest, accusing the Academy of being biased against them. However, in order to take that complaint seriously, you would have to believe that all of their peers in the business were biased, because it is they who vote. The Academy merely tabulates the votes. So Fox is admitting that their own colleagues have no respect for them as journalists. Hence, they took their deflated ball and went running home whining “We don’t want your crummy Emmy anyway.” So there.

Shameless self-promotion…
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What The News Emmys Tell Us About The News

The 30th Annual Emmy awards for News and Documentaries were announced last night. While I’m sure the winners are all grateful for the recognition, and many are respectable productions, there is much to learn from who did NOT win.

Emmys awarded to Cable News Networks:

  • Fox News – 0
  • MSNBC – 0
  • CNN – 1

Now, I don’t think anyone would have expected Fox to win an award for news. The Academy probably stipulates that any recipient for a news award has to actually produce news programming. And MSNBC hasn’t really gone out of its way to produce extraordinary programs either, though their cousins at NBC came in third in the trophy stakes, following PBS and CBS. It’s somewhat interesting that the two lowest rated networks took home the most awards.

But there is something disconcerting about the fact that the 24 hour networks devoted exclusively to news performed so dismally. The single Emmy amongst them (CNN) was for election night coverage. It seems to me that if you have a network that specializes in the production of a single genre of programming, you ought to be able to deliver some that deserves the recognition of your peers. All of the other winners were employed by networks for whom news was just a small part of their schedule.

If the cable news networks can’t deliver product that achieves a level of excellence worthy of an award or two, then maybe they are in the wrong business.

Emmy News: Nominations – PBS 41 / Fox News 0

The Emmy nominations for News and Documentaries were released today by the Academy of Television Arts and Sciences. PBS scored the lion’s share with 41 nominations, including two more for Bill Moyers, who has won more than 30 Emmys already. CBS was a distant second with 23. One notable name missing from the list of honorees is the #1 cable news network in the country, Fox News. There are two principle reasons for the absence of Fox News.

First, Fox claims to have declined to participate because they believe that the Emmys are biased against them. That’s a rather piddling complaint that, more than anything, exposes their self-centered pettiness with an attitude that recalls a school child taking the ball and going home.

The more likely reason for their Emmy snub is that Fox is not actually a news network and, knowing this, they are acknowledging that nominations will not be forthcoming. I suspect that they are preparing to submit their programming for Emmys in the drama and, perhaps, comedy categories, where they have a better chance of being recognized. Of course then their other fictional fare, like “24” and “The Simpsons” will have to compete against the far more flagrant fiction produced by Fox News. Whatever will they do?

Well, we can expect Bill O’Reilly to issue a blistering condemnation of the Academy shortly. He did the same thing when the Peabodys snubbed him (again), despite honoring Moyers and Jon Stewart and Stephen Colbert on multiple occasions. What does it say when a comedy network’s fake news programs receive more plaudits from their journalism “peers” than a network that pretends to be a bona fide news enterprise? And furthermore, what does it say about the viewers of a so-called news network that is held in such ill repute by other news professionals?

Amongst the Emmy hopefuls is David Barstow, the New York Times reporter who wrote Message Machine. This article, which has already won a Pulitzer Prize and the New York Press Club’s Golden Keyboard, described how the Pentagon in the Bush administration conspired to train and deploy former military personnel to spread propaganda in support of the war in Iraq. And if that weren’t bad enough, the program also permitted them to use their high profile media platform to enrich themselves and the defense contractors to whom they were attached.

Despite the acclaim the article has received, Barstow has still yet to be invited to tell this important story in any conventional media venue. The only in-depth broadcast interview was conducted by Amy Goodman of Democracy Now. This may be the most egregious example of a heralded, Pulitzer caliber investigation being so brazenly suppressed. The obvious explanation is that the media organizations that have actively blackballed the story are also the subjects of it. They are the news enterprises employing the compromised Pentagon Pundits, and they have a vested interest in preventing the truth from getting out.

Now that the report has been awarded another honor, will Barstow’s phone start to ring? Will the media pay attention to what may be the worst instance of propaganda executed by the U.S. government against its own people? At the very least, MSNBC has a special obligation to pursue this story. They have a contractual relationship with the New York Times, and their own John Harwood is a frequent guest on both MSNBC and CNBC. Why on earth wouldn’t the Times be lobbying to promote a story by their own Pulitzer award winning reporter who has now been nominated for an Emmy?

Contact MSNBC and tell them to book David Barstow:
MSNBC General
Keith Olbermann
Rachel Maddow
Ed Schultz
David Shuster
Chris Matthews

Sally Field’s Emmy Speech Uncensored

In accepting her Emmy award for Outstanding Lead Actress in a Drama Series for her role as the matriarch in “Brothers and Sisters”, Sally Field delivered an impassioned tribute to mothers everywhere in a message that spoke of world peace.

Unfortunately, it was too much for the censors at Fox who cut Field’s comments at a critical point.

The video above is from the Canadian broadcast that aired the speech unedited. The nannies at Fox snipped the remarks for U.S. viewers as Field said, “If mothers ruled the world, there wouldn’t be any…” The expunged ending of the sentence was, “god-damned wars in the first place.” Was it because Fox thinks that Americans are just too fragile to be exposed to such fiery language? Was it because they were seeking to suppress legitimate dissent in a public forum? Tom O’Neil at the Los Angeles Times reports that it may not have been a matter of shielding the network from liability for broadcasting an obscenity:

“Technically, Field’s censored words are not profane. A 2004 FCC ruling specifically stated no objection to the use of “god damn” on TV when making a judgment on the uproar over Bono swearing at the Golden Globes in 2003 where he used more colorful language.”

Backstage, Field spoke with reporters and responded to the controversy that was already swirling:

“I have no comment other than, ‘Oh, well.’ I said what I wanted to say. I wanted to pay homage to the mothers of the world. And I very, very seriously think that if mothers ruled the world we wouldn’t be sending our children off to be slaughtered.” […] “If they bleep it, oh, well. I’ll just say it somewhere else.”

This is the second instance of Emmy censorship this season, following Kathy Griffin’s remarks a night earlier when, mocking award winners who give credit to God for their victory, Griffin said that, “…no one had less to do with this award than Jesus.” Isn’t it interesting that in both occurrences of a clampdown on free speech, a reference to God was a key factor?