Civil Whites March: Fox News Whines That Liberal Media Cut Bush Out Of Selma Ceremony

This past weekend marked the 50th anniversary of one of the most iconic events in America’s history. In 1965 hundreds of protesters organized a march from Selma to Montgomery, Alabama to demand an end to the institutional racism that kept African Americans from exercising their right to vote. The marchers were met on the Edmund Pettus Bridge by state troopers who beat them with nightsticks, trampled them horses, assaulted them with water cannons, and left many of the peaceful marchers severely injured.

John Lewis, now a U.S. congressman, was among those who suffered at the hands of the segregationist southern establishment. The televised images of the brutality directed at the marchers played a significant role in elevating the civil rights crisis to a national priority.

So how did Fox News choose to cover this historic commemorative occasion? This morning on Fox & Friends the Kurvy Kouch Potatoes devoted the whole of their Selma segment to complaining about a photo that appeared in the New York Times. Later, the ladies of “Outnumbered” did the same thing. The photo in question was of President Obama walking arm-in-arm with some of the figures who participated in the original march fifty years ago, including Rep. Lewis. But the Fox crew completely ignored the cultural importance of the event in order to play out their obsession with being victims of the “liberal” media.

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Dispensing with any discussion of the state of civil rights in the intervening years, Fox focused on their allegation that former president George W. Bush had been deliberately cropped out of the photo that appeared in the New York Times. To them this was further evidence of how the liberal media distorts the news and robs conservatives of their rightful place as champions of civil rights.

There are two small problems with that characterization. First, the Times did not crop the photo at all. They printed the entire photo that had been supplied to them. The photographer had quite reasonably framed the photo to put President Obama in the center, thus missing Bush who was far off to the side. Other photos were taken of the event that show Bush, however, in order to reveal the whole front line of the march, the picture would have either consumed the entire width of the paper or been reduced so that no one could have been recognized.

The second problem is that the notion that Bush is an indispensable component of any photo of a civil rights march is ludicrous. In his eight years as president, Bush attended only one of the annual meetings of the NAACP. His Justice Department investigated the organization with an aim to remove its tax-exempt status. He opposed affirmative action and other legislative remedies to racism. And he appointed Supreme Court Chief Justice John Roberts who wrote the majority opinion striking down provisions of the Voting Rights Act of 1965 that was a direct result of the original march in Selma.

Why the Fox regulars regard Bush as being entitled to a place of honor at this march is a mystery. But even worse is the fact that they would feature this phony assertion of liberal media bias to the exclusion of any substantive reporting on the issues that led to the march in 1965 and the importance of its 50th anniversary this weekend.

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This is typical of Fox’s perverse editorial stance on civil rights issues. On their Fox News Sunday program they hosted Kimberly Strassel of the Wall Street Journal (another brick in Rupert Murdoch’s media empire) who complained that Obama called for renewal of the Voting Rights Act. Just to be clear, she was against talking about voting rights in a speech commemorating an historic march for voting rights. Also notable is that Fox News failed to mention that not a single member of the current leadership in Congress attended the anniversary event in Selma.

And yet, Fox found time on multiple programs to gripe about a non-story concerning the cropping of a photo that never happened. That’s what Fox regards as newsworthy. And everybody knows that civil rights begin with exalting white Republicans who never did a damn thing to advance them.

Untrue Grit: Fox News Thinks America Needs Fake Cowboys To Defeat The Terrorists

An editorial on the Fox Nation website takes on the profound question of what sort of hats our presidents should wear. But this isn’t an allegory for the duties assumed while governing the world’s greatest superpower (i.e. economist’s hat, general’s hat, etc.). No, it is far more shallow and childish than that. The headline alludes to the “Musings Of An Average Joe: We Need A Cowboy, Not A Community Organizer.” Accompanying this simplistic nonsense is a collage of some American presidents including Ronald Reagan and George Bush wearing cowboy hats, while Obama sports a safety helmet for bicycling.

There is so much wrong with this before even getting to the substance of the article. First of all, Ronald Reagan was born in Illinois and spent the whole of his adult life in big cities, primarily Hollywood. His association with cowboys is mostly due to having played them in movies. What could be more artificial? Well, perhaps the notion of Bush, a Connecticut native, Yale/Harvard grad (barely), as a western hero. And finally, it isn’t difficult to find photos of these same presidents in different hats, if all Fox is interested in is playing dress-up.

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The article is an homage to uncontrolled rage. The premise revolves around the opinion of Fox’s alleged “average” Joe Billelo that Obama did not go sufficiently bonkers upon learning about the death of Kayla Mueller at the hands of ISIL terrorists. He wondered…

“Why didn’t Obama address the nation and the world that very day with genuine anger and rage? A rage that can’t be expressed with a teleprompter. Why didn’t he assure the American people that this brutality will not stand on his watch?”

In other words. why didn’t Obama rip out his hair and run around the room screaming banshee-style while throwing lamps at his aides and ordering the Pentagon bomb something – anything. Essentially, Joe wants to know why the President didn’t react in precisely the manner that the terrorists hope when they commit their murderous acts. It’s called “terror” -ism because it’s the intention of the perpetrators to instill the fear that terror produces into the hearts of their enemies. And every time anyone capitulates to that tactic they are advancing the goals of the terrorist.

President Obama is absolutely right to respond in a calm but assertive manner by issuing strong condemnations and promising justice. The notion that Obama has not given assurances that he will not tolerate such brutality is only plausible to the most vacant, tea-soaked brains. While professional Obama-haters like this Average Joe call for pointless, physical manifestations of drooling fury, Obama has efficiently disposed of more than 6,000 actual terrorist fighters, including more than half of their top commanders. While rightist pundits and politicians whine impotently about symbolic trivialities like the President not appending the word “Islamic” to every mention of terror, Obama forges alliances with the true representatives of the Muslim world who are offended by those who would allow terrorists to falsely appropriate the mantle of their faith.

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In light of the ludicrous arguments made in this editorial, it isn’t surprising that it would use the image of a cowboy to make a point about international diplomacy. Calling someone a cowboy generally means that they are dangerously impulsive and untrustworthy. They are the sort that shoots first and asks questions later. They are, therefore, exactly what the images of Reagan and Bush project. They are phonies who mistake movie bravado for real-world courage and wisdom. And they believe that slapping a cowboy hat on an urban faker makes him a gunslinging champion of freedom. That’s how superficial and dimwitted these cretins are. And what’s even worse, they appear to be proud of it.

Stupid On Purpose: Fox News Demonstrates Willful Ignorance Of Economics

There is a very good reason why Fox News viewers have been shown in numerous studies to be less informed than consumers of other media, or even those who consume no media at all. The reason is that Fox News deliberately misreports and distorts facts in order to advance their right-wing ideology. A perfect example of this was demonstrated in an article that Fox posted today on their community website, the lie-riddled Fox Nation. The article was titled “OBAMANOMICS IN ACTION: Typical US household Worth One-Third Less Than Under Bush.”

Fox Nation

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The source for the highly inaccurate assertion in the headline was a study performed by the Russel Sage Foundation (RSF) and published by the Stanford Center on Poverty and Inequality: Wealth Levels, Wealth Inequality, and the Great Recession (pdf). The RSF describes itself as “the principal American foundation devoted exclusively to research in the social sciences.” The study itself is a well-researched and scholarly examination of the effects of the Great Recession on wealth inequality in the U.S. It took a fair degree of determination and willful ignorance for Fox to twist the report’s well-founded and non-partisan conclusions into a criticism of President Obama’s economic policies. And yet, Fox managed to do so, and they began by proving that they don’t know the difference between “median” households and “typical” households.

For the record, median, in this context, is referring to the dollar value of the subject’s net worth. It has nothing to do with the number of subjects in that value range. In fact, there are many more people on the lower end of the wealth spectrum than the upper end. Therefore, median does not translate to typical. As an example, if Bill Gates (net worth approx. $50 billion) were in a room with ten people whose net worth were $1 million each, the average net worth of the people in that room would be about $4.5 billion. Obviously, that is not the typical net worth of those people.

What the study shows is that wealth increased among the richest Americans throughout most of the Bush years, beginning with the GOP tax cut for the rich in 2001. That cut, along with two off-budget wars, also produced the massive deficits that sprung from the budget surplus Clinton left for Bush. During the same time period the rest of the country languished. Those in the 25th percentile actually began to decline in 2005, before the Great Recession hit. Following the Bush Debacle at the end of 2008 everyone lost money, but those at the bottom lost a far greater percentage of their net worth than those at the top.

Also, the characterization by Fox that things were so much better while Bush was president is based on measuring the difference from the beginning of the Bush term in 2001. But by using that as the starting point it diminishes his responsibility for the economic collapse over which he presided in 2008, and places more of the consequences of it on Obama. A more significant measure would start with the Great Recession in late 2008. From that point on there has been steady progress. The RSF report stated that…

“The housing, stock and job markets have all improved since 2009, but at very different rates. The stock market rebounded relatively quickly and returned to prerecession levels by the middle of 2013. The July 2013 unemployment rate of 7.4 percent was below the recession peak of 10.0 percent, but was still substantially higher than the 4.7 percent rate of mid-2007. However, the most important source of wealth for most Americans is their home, and by mid-2013 home prices were still 20 percent below their mid-2007 values.”

Indeed, it was home ownership that had the biggest impact on the wealth of the middle class because it is such a large portion of their net worth. For the wealthy their homes represent only a portion of their total worth, and it may not even be the largest portion. They may also have millions in investments, retirement funds, and other financial assets. And since the Great Recession resulted in millions of foreclosures on the middle and lower classes, many of which were unwarranted, or even fraudulent, those on the bottom of the scale were hurt the most. This had the effect of making an already historically prominent level of wealth inequality even worse. This was also noted in the conclusions of the RSF report:

“While large absolute amounts of wealth were destroyed at the top of the wealth distribution, households at the bottom of the wealth distribution lost the largest share of their total wealth. As a result, wealth inequality increased significantly from 2007 through 2013; by some metrics inequality roughly doubled.”

Anyone giving this report a fair reading would come away with the impression that wealth inequality has risen to dangerous levels, and that much of the reason is the Bush recession. But the folks at the falsely named “fair and balanced” network brought their own biases to the table and delivered a preposterous mutation of the study’s findings. Their intention is clearly to deceive the public by persuading them of the fiction that Obama’s economic policies have failed, and that Bush’s were superior. However, you would have to be pretty stupid to buy that argument. Therefore, there are at least a couple of million Fox News viewers who will eat up with relish.

So F**king What? Fox News Freaks Out Over American Muslims Support For Obama

A new Gallup poll surveyed the job approval rating for President Obama broken down by various religious groups. It’s a mildly interesting batch of data candy for polling nerds to suck on when they’re bored. The overall results average out to about the same level of approval (43%) registered in most other recent surveys. But leave it to the panic-peddlers at Fox to find something worthy of acute hyperventilation.

Fox Nation Poll

The numbers that sent Fox into a tizzy were those that put Muslim approval of Obama’s job performance at 72%. In their defective minds that surely means that Al Qaeda is pleased with the President’s performance in office and they are not ashamed to admit it. To make sure that their block-headed audience didn’t miss the point, Fox illustrated the article with a photo of Obama “bowing” down to his Arab master.

Everything about this posting is designed to stimulate the already excited racism follicles that cover the Fox viewer like an invisible furry hate-detector. But a cursory analysis reveals that there is nothing worrisome or surprising about the results in this poll.

First of all, the respondents in this survey are all Americans. They are not Islamic extremists in unfriendly Middle Eastern nations looking to the U.S. president for inspiration. They are not members of the Muslim Brotherhood seeking to form an Islamic Caliphate with Obama as their Supreme Leader. They are certainly not terrorists, unless the Gallup organization has partnered with Al Qaeda sleeper cells to find participants for their survey operations.

Secondly, who do you think American Muslims would be most inclined to support? Would it be Republicans who regard all of them as potential suicide bombers; who oppose the construction of new mosques and advocate surreptitious surveillance of existing ones; who push for racially profiling people with dark-skin and full beards? Muslims, like every other minority in America, recognize that Democrats are the tolerant party that believes in equality and values diversity. Obviously Obama is going to benefit from that in polling.

Furthermore, the not-so-subtle inference that broad support among Muslims indicates an affinity for Islamic extremists is ludicrous. After all, Obama is the man that executed Osama Bin Laden. There is no one on the planet who is responsible for the demise of more high-ranking terrorists than our current president. If the Muslim respondents in this survey were aligned with terrorism they surely would not be expressing support for Obama. And for a little contrast, Jews also gave Obama a resounding vote of confidence with a 55% majority approval rating.

Returning to the photo that Fox deliberately chose in order to fan the flames of bigotry, it should be noted that they had to reach back to June of 2009 to find a scary Muslim pictured with Obama. The other figure in the photo is the Saudi Arabian King Abdullah, a key American ally. He is awarding Obama the King Abdul Aziz Order of Merit, the highest honor that the Saudis can give to a foreign dignitary. And, yes, Obama is lowering his head so that the King can put the award around his neck.

bush-king-abdullahThis is precisely the way the ceremony was conducted in January of 2008, when George W. Bush received the same award (IOKIYAR). Of course, none of this is revealed by the myth-makers at Fox News who, by the way, are partially owned by the Muslim Saudi Prince Alwaleed Bin Talal, the second largest shareholder in the corporation after the Murdoch family.

The comments by readers of this article at Fox Nation provide clear evidence that Fox is achieving their goal of stirring the racist pot. So we’ll leave you with a few of those thoughts that so perfectly sum up the Fox mind set. If you want a collection of more than 50 documented examples of Fox Nation blatantly lying, be sure to check out our ebook, Fox Nation vs. Reality: The Fox News Community’s Assault On Truth. It’s educational, entertaining, frustrating, humorous, and downright scary. You’ll love it.

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UH-OH: Bush Released The Real Terrorist Mastermind Of The Benghazi Attack

Last week Fox News and their Republican cohorts went berserk over reports that Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi, the leader of ISIS in Iraq, was a former prisoner at Guantanamo Bay but was released by Obama. That happens to be another Fox manufactured lie, but that didn’t stop them from promulgating it repeatedly.

Fox News bin Qumu

This week Fox News broadcast a report that has a similar revelation buried deep in a story notable for an unrelated, but equally disturbing. bit of disinformation. The article was about the captured Benghazi suspect Ahmed Abu Khattala, who has generally been regarded as a leader of the terrorist militias in Libya. At least until he was was apprehended by U.S. military forces under Commander-in-Chief Barack Hussein Abu Obama Bin Kenya (as he is known to Fox News and their viewers). Suddenly, Khattala has been transformed from a ringleader to a bit player and, according to Fox’s anonymous sources, “low hanging fruit.” The exchange on Fox between anchor Martha MacCallum and reporter Adam Housley went like this:

MacCallum: Is he really believed to be the mastermind behind this night?

Housley: Well, it depends on who you talk to, Martha. When you talk to the administration they’ve touted this as being a big get for them, a big win for them as well. When we talk to those having direct knowledge of this from the very early days, they’ll tell you that Khattala really wasn’t that big of a deal at all.

There you have it. A “big get” according to the administration, but according to “those having direct knowledge,” as opposed to the administration, it’s no big whoop. Despite repeatedly referring to “them,” Housley never identifies a single one of his numerous alleged sources.

What’s more, the contention that Khattala was a mere pawn is one that has only emerged after his capture, presumably as an effort by Fox to avoid ever giving credit to Obama for anything that might be perceived as positive. However, before Khattala was nabbed he was considered to be a dangerous honcho in the top ranks of the terrorist infrastructure. Back on January 8, 2013, none other than Fox News super-pundit Charles Krauthammer had this to say about Khattala (@5:20 in the video):

“We know the leader of the attack was a certain, Ahmed Abu Khattala, who was seen a few days later in a coffee shop outside Benghazi.”

That was the Fox view a year and a half ago when they were still bashing Obama for not having arrested anyone. So if Khattala is not the Benghazi leader as Krauthammer said, then who was? Well, buried in Housley’s report is the answer. it was one Abu Sufian Ibrahim Ahmed Hamuda bin Qumu:

“He was a prisoner at Guantánamo Bay for more than five years and at the time was classified by analysts at the prison as ‘a probable member of Al Qaeda.’ Despite this significant threat to American security and allies, bin Qumu was released as part of an amnesty for militants in 2008.”

Actually, Housley’s facts are a bit muddled. Bin Qumu was released from Gitmo in September of 2007, and handed over to Libyan leader Muammar Gaddafi. It was Gaddafi who, in 2008, declared an amnesty and released bin Qumu and other Libyan prisoners. Either way, it was the Bush administration who sent bin Qumu home where he eventually took command of the militia that Fox News now says orchestrated the Benghazi attack and the murder of four Americans, including Ambassador Chris Stevens.

If bin Qumu had been released from Gitmo while Obama was president, you can be sure that Fox News, and a horde of wild-eyed Republicans, would be aghast at such a treasonous breach of judgment and law, and would be calling for his impeachment (again). That is, after all, precisely the way they reacted to the false accounts of Baghdadi’s release. But since bin Qumu gained his freedom thanks to President Bush, Fox will never mention it outside of incidental references like Housley’s, which was probably an oversight.

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Reporting like this is a revealing window into the dishonesty that infects virtually everything that Fox News does. In this one story they contradict their previous analyses of Khattala as the ringleader of Benghazi and demote him to foot soldier. At the same time they expose the Bush administration as being responsible for the release of the real Benghazi mastermind, but mention it only in passing and leave it utterly unexamined in any credible manner. And that’s how propaganda is done.

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

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

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

Darrell Issa Hypocrisy

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

NBC News Exclusive: Putin Dissed George W. Bush’s Dog

As evidence of how far American journalism has fallen into the abyss of infotainment, minus the info, on Friday NBC’s Today show assigned their crack correspondent, Jenna Bush Hagar, to interview her father George at the opening of an exhibition of his paintings at his presidential library.

NBC Interview Jenna/George Bush

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The interview violated a slew of journalistic ethics, most notably avoiding a conflict of interest, real or perceived. The relationship between the former president and his daughter obviously precluded any potential for an enlightening news report. An example of the depth attained in this segment is this brief exchange about Bush’s encounters with Vladimir Putin:

Jenna Bush Hagar: You could tell from the very beginning that he was interested in power. And there is an anecdote that you’ve written about that is symbolic of that.
George W. Bush: Well, as you know, our dear dog Barney, who had a special spot in my heart, I introduced him to Putin. Putin kind of dissed him.

Indeed. Putin’s uncomplimentary remarks about the First Dog are symbolic of his aspirations to embark on a territorial clampdown that destabilizes the region and sours his relationship with the community of nations. Thanks to Jenna’s dogged reporting we now know more about the Barney Doctrine than was ever previously disclosed.

Unfortunately, Jenna never asked her dad about the war in Iraq, enhanced interrogation (aka torture), the economic meltdown, or any other area of controversy that enveloped the Bush presidency. And since Bush has rarely subjected himself to the media since he left the White House, any unfulfilled chance to fill in some of the blanks is a bitterly missed opportunity from a journalistic perspective.

For NBC to broadcast this charade represents a sad milestone in the collapse of television news. Whoever thought it would be a good idea to let Bush be questioned by his daughter should suffer eternal shame in the eyes of his or her colleagues. What’s more, any media critic that doesn’t condemn this sort of fluffery isn’t doing their job. Imagine the outrage that would have ensued if NBC News permitted Chelsea Clinton (whom they did briefly employ) to interview Bill Clinton. Fox News would have had a collective conniption.

And speaking of Fox News, their ability to fairly recognize media malfeasance is lacking, to say this least. On today’s episode of MediaBuzz, host Howard Kurtz made the following observation:

“Look, I know this constant coverage has been very, very good for [the] ratings, but I just don’t get the obsessive focus.”

Kurtz was talking about CNN’s coverage of the missing Malaysian plane. The first part of that statement that rubs reality the wrong way is that he doesn’t “get the obsessive focus.” Of course he does. He knows very well that it’s about ratings and he even says so in the beginning of the sentence. But more importantly, he is oblivious to the fact that the same commentary could be applied to Fox’s coverage of Benghazi. Although Fox’s motives are far more nefarious than merely goosing their ratings. Their obsession is focused squarely on attacking President Obama, and Hillary Clinton.

In other Bush news, Fox aired an hour long commercial for Jeb Bush’s prospective presidential campaign. It came in the form of an interview at the George H.W. Bush library during an event that was closed to the press. Lucky for Fox, they are not regarded as press and their own Shannon Bream was the interviewer. Her segments with Jeb were broadcast on the Fox News Channel along with cutesy bits from Mama Bush and other close associates.

However, the program may do Jeb more harm than good. He articulated a couple of positions that are not going to endear him to the fanatical Tea Party wing of his party that of late holds the keys to any nomination. For instance, he offered a rather sane opinion on immigration that will surely boil the blood of folks like Rush Limbaugh and Sarah Palin:

“They crossed the border because they had no other means to work to be able to provide for their family. Yes, they broke the law, but it’s not a felony. It’s an act of love. It’s an act of commitment to your family. I honestly think that that is a different kind of crime that there should be a price paid, but it shouldn’t rile people up that people are actually coming to this country to provide for their families.”

In addition, Jeb defended the Common Core educational initiative. Saying that “I’m totally committed” to Common Core is not going to win him any friends in the Tea Party. But what will surely bring the knives out in force is his criticism of fellow Republicans who caved to the irrational opponents of Common Core:

“I just don’t seem compelled to run for cover when I think this is the right thing to do for our country. And others have, others that supported the standards all of a sudden now are opposed to it. I don’t get it.’

Between George Bush’s inquisition by his daughter Jenna, and Jeb Bush’s friendly sit-down with a Fox anchor at a supposedly press-free event, the media has demonstrated this week that ethics are the last thing on its mind. And the fact that both of these affairs involved members of the Bush dynasty suggests that they, and the media, are not yet through screwing up our country.

Fox News Bloodlust: Crusading For A Pro-War President

Fox News radio host, John Gibson, embarked on a disturbingly hawkish fit of war mongering that was re-published today on the Fox News community web site, and Festival of Lies, Fox Nation. Gibson displayed his unabashed affinity for mortal combat with a screed that questioned whether an anti-war president should be trusted with war.

Fox Nation

The utter stupidity of that question was the basis for a rant that would only make sense to a confirmed sociopath. Gibson’s self-righteous indignation stemmed from a few sentence fragments that he extracted from President Obama’s press conference on the mess in Syria. Gibson was terribly upset that Obama said that “I was elected to end wars not start them,” and that “I’m not itching for military action,” and that “I’ve spent the last four years trying to reduce our reliance on military action.”

Hellfire and Damnation! It’s an abominable outrage, is what it is. Imagine that, a Commander-in-Chief who expresses a reluctance to unreservedly bomb the crap out of some uppity foreigners. Gibson wonders whether the President’s reluctance will result in a use of force that is hesitant, weak, and confused – which is an outright insult to America’s soldiers. He goes on to say that…

“The President’s resolve to stop the world’s worst actors from using the world’s worst weapons requires that he is willing, even ‘itching’, to act. His stated reluctance to act, his core mission to end wars not start them, stands in the way of taking his resolve seriously.”

Gibson is hankering for a president who is “itching” to start a war. And if that isn’t ludicrous enough, he offers as an example the cowboy antics of a former president, asking whether Obama “has enough George W. Bush in him to decisively use military force.” Apparently Gibson defines decisive as a determination to thrust the country into a decade-long quagmire that produced no benefit and didn’t even bring to justice the terrorist who was supposedly the instigation of it all. Obama, on the other hand, led the nation when Osama Bin Laden was killed, along with dozens of other top Al-Qaeda operatives. It’s pretty safe to say that the ghosts of those terrorist leaders do not doubt Obama’s resolve.

But even setting aside the failures and lies of the Bush administration’s conduct of war, Gibson has presented an utterly falsified version of recent history. Bush’s press secretary, Ari Fleischer, spoke about Bush’s pre-Iraq hesitancy saying “Nobody, but nobody, is more reluctant to go to war than President Bush….He does not want to lead the nation to war.” Bush himself said that “I don’t like war. War is the last choice a president should make, not the first.”

Do these admissions that Bush was not “itching” to go to war mean that his management of the military would be weak and confused, and that he should not be trusted? We will never know Gibson’s opinion of that because he will never address it. Nor will anyone else at Fox News.

However, an accurate historical account would note that, despite Bush’s pronouncements, he was, in fact, quite anxious to attack Iraq, even before 9/11. So the argument could be made that it was his craving for war that was a foretelling of the eventual disaster to which he subjected America and the world. Sincere reluctance would more likely result in a conscientious and well thought out plan.

So Gibson not only gets the history wrong, but his misrepresentation reflects a brutal, gung-ho attitude toward launching a deadly and dangerous conflagration in the notoriously unstable Middle East. Gibson advocates for expanding the mission of any Syrian strike to include eliminating Assad, but he fails to address what would be left after the fall.

This is the sort of hungering for war that characterizes right-wing, neo-cons. Interestingly, many on the right have abandoned their traditional hawkishness because they still hate Obama more than they love killing Muslims. But Fox News has generously provided Gibson this platform to lead a cheering squad for another conflict in the region. It’s a wholly ineffective and illogical effort, but that won’t make any difference to Fox’s audience who aren’t capable of, or interested in, doing the sort of research that proves Gibson is an idiot.

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Fox News Dementia: Media Is Not As Hard On Obama/Syria As They Were On Bush/Iraq

On Fox News this morning there was a segment debating the media coverage of the “Crisis in Syria” (video below). On any other network this would have been a legitimate subject for debate and a fascinating topic. But leave it to Fox News to broadcast a version of history that makes Snow White’s adventures with seven diminutive forest dwellers look like a PBS documentary.

Fox’s Martha MacCallum opened the segment with a declarative motion for which she provided no factual basis: “Critics are suggesting that the media is not nearly as hard on President Obama about the potential of going into Syria, as they were on President Bush and his war that he fought in Iraq.” The reliance on a ghostly assemblage of unnamed critics is a variant of the “some say” tactic of inventing a premise with which a lazy commentator can project a dishonest argument. But it was just the lead-in that conservative guest Monica Crowley required to say this:

“Most of the media were very skeptical about any kind of military intervention in Iraq. They raised a lot of very legitimate questions. They also pounded President Bush and his team relentlessly in the run-up, during the war and of course even still to this day over that war. […] It was just the fact that it was President Bush prosecuting this war. When you look at the difference between that coverage and the coverage of President Obama…in this run-up to a possible action in Syria, it’s like night and day.”

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Indeed, it is like night and day. But not in any way meant by Crowley. Prior to the Iraq war, the media was in virtual unanimity with respect to supporting Bush and his fraudulent escapade. Even the factions of the media that are most often regard as liberal enclaves were banging the drums of war.

Recall that it was the New York Times that employed Judith Miller (now with Fox News) who was instrumental in providing cover for the Bush administration’s pro-war agenda. She was a trusty vessel for the dissemination of propaganda from Bush’s war hawks. She was the reporter most responsible for validating false intelligence on Saddam Hussein’s weapons capabilities and ambitions.

If you watched MSNBC at the time, you might recall that the top rated program was hosted by talk show legend Phil Donahue. He was a prominent skeptic of the looming U.S. invasion of Iraq. Consequently, the management of MSNBC viewed him as a “difficult public face for NBC in a time of war.” His show was canceled in February of 2003, shortly before the invasion.

The media presentation of dissent was nearly non-existent. Despite the fact that millions of Americans took to the streets to protest the war, the media declined to cover the demonstrations. Contrast that with the way they slobbered over a few malcontents in a tiny and unpopular political sect known as the Tea Party, and a handful of their hollering rubes at town hall meetings ranting about their opposition to health care.

The characterization of the media as going soft on Obama with regard to Syria is also delusional in the extreme. As expected, Fox News has been harshly critical of Obama no matter what he does. Last week they hammered him for taking a unilateral stance and failing to consult Congress on a possible reprisal for Syria’s chemical weapons deployment. This week they are bashing him for wasting time with congressional consultations and weakening the presidency by seeking them. What’s more, Obama has come in for criticism by pundits on the left like Rachel Maddow and Thom Hartmann and even Jon Stewart.

The right-wing directive to refrain from criticizing a president during international hostilities is apparently only in effect when a Republican is in the White House. Critics of Bush were often called traitors when they expressed their opposition to his policies. But outraged Tea-publicans are now encouraged to disparage the Commander-in-Chief in the most vile terms. Today it is the President who is called a traitor by right-wing protesters who fancy themselves as patriots.

In light of these facts, it is incomprehensible how Crowley can take to the Fox News channel and offer a twisted version of history wherein Obama is getting a pass and Bush suffered outrageous slings and arrows. And what is even more disturbing is that so many Fox News viewers are too dimwitted to separate the Fox fallacy from reality.

Fox Nation vs. Reality: The Dead GOP Scandal Society

Fox News has been engaged in a protracted campaign of manufactured scandal mongering for most of President Obama’s term in office. They have attempted to connect Obama to numerous imagined controversies via innuendo and relentless repetition. But despite their best efforts, Fox, and their accomplices in the Republican Party, have utterly failed to produce evidence of any malfeasance on the part of the White House.

However, that fact has done nothing to impede their obsessive quest to tarnish the Obama presidency. And now Fox Nation has posted a hysterical article that is so brazen in its prejudice that it’s hard to comprehend the level of stupidity required to have produced it.

Fox Nation
See Fox Nation vs. Reality for dozens of examples of Fox’s disregard for truth.

It seems impossible to believe that even the Fox News audience could buy into the graphic messaging in this item. But after learning that more Louisiana Republicans blame Obama, rather than George Bush, for the dreadful response to Hurricane Katrina, anything is possible, including the Fox Nationalist’s attempt to draw a line from the criminally corrupt administration of Richard Nixon directly to Bill Clinton and Obama.

The cognitive failure necessary to produce the item above requires some obvious historical omissions. Ronald Reagan’s presidency was marred by scandals that included improper negotiations with the Iranian captors who were holding Americans hostage. Later, his program of selling arms to Iran in order to raise money to assist fascist rebels in Nicaragua resulted in prosecutions and convictions of top aides like Oliver North, now a Fox News host and contributor. Other scandals swept through Reagan’s Environmental Protection Agency and his Department of Housing and Urban Development.

The administration of George W. Bush was also awash in scandal. The most horrific, of course, was his deliberate deception regarding weapons of mass destruction as an excuse to invade Iraq. That totally unnecessary war cost the lives of more than 4,000 American soldiers, and perhaps hundreds of thousands of innocent Iraqis. It also cost billions of dollars that Bush purposefully kept off the budget.

Then there was his unlawful firing of U.S. Attorneys for political reasons; and the outing of Valerie Plame, a covert CIA operative, as revenge against her husband, Amb. Joe Wilson, for not going along with Administration lies; and the aforementioned Hurricane Katrina, wherein Bush’s negligence resulted in horrendous suffering and nearly 2,000 deaths in the Gulf Coast; and warrantless wiretapping; and the near meltdown of the U.S., and world, economy.

The scandals of those administrations that Fox Nation conveniently skipped over were far more serious than anything alleged in the Obama years. They involved numerous fatalities and criminal convictions, none of which have been associated with Obama. Yet somehow the Fox Nationalists managed to post a graphic tarring Clinton and Obama with the stain of Nixon, rather than Nixon’s Republican comrades. I would ask “How stupid do they think their audience is?” But clearly the the answer is pretty goddam stupid. And sadly, they’re probably right.