Fox Nation Hypes ‘Scoop’ On Clinton Charity Scandal That Turns Out To Be Totally Bogus

On Friday Hillary Clinton released her tax returns for 2015, making this the thirty-eighth year she has done so. While Republicans try to tarnish her reputation for honesty, her four decade long record of transparency proves that she has nothing to hide. In addition, it proves that nothing untoward has ever been discovered from making her personal finances abundantly public.

Fox Nation

Contrast that with Donald Trump’s refusal to make even a single year of tax returns available for voters to assess his fitness for office. What is he hiding? Could it be that he has paid little or no income tax for many years? Or has he had unsavory relationships with Russians or other foreign entities? Maybe he isn’t as rich or generous as he pretends to be. Clearly he has determined that he has less to lose from the bad publicity of concealing his records than he does from revealing them.

The absence of any legitimate problems with Clinton’s taxes has driven Fox News to invent problems that don’t exist. On their community website, Fox Nation, they posted an article sourced to the ultra-conservative Daily Caller, a pseudo-news site run by Fox News host Tucker Carlson. The Daily Caller’s story alleged that “92 Percent Of Hillary’s Charitable Donations In 2015 Went To Clinton Foundation.” The article alleged that the Clinton’s engaged in a corrupt scheme to claim charitable tax write-offs for funds that they funneled back to themselves, saying that:

“Hillary Clinton and her husband Bill deducted $1,042,000 in charitable contributions last year – $1 million of which went to their own Clinton Foundation.” […]

The documents show that the power couple earned $10,745,378 last year, mostly on income earned from giving public speeches. Of that they gave just over a million to charity. But the contributions can hardly be seen as altruistic, since the money flowed back to an entity they control.”

What’s more, the Daily Caller associated the donations with unfounded charges directed at the Clinton Foundation by right-wing media and activist groups such as Judicial Watch. The problem with that reporting is that the donations itemized in the Clinton’s tax returns did not go to the well known Bill, Hillary, and Chelsea Clinton Foundation that has been the target of the right’s smear campaign. The donations actually went to the private vehicle used by the Clinton’s to disburse their philanthropic gifts, the Clinton Family Foundation. This is a common method of aggregating funds for charitable gift giving used by many high-income families.

After being shamed by Media Matters for their journalistic sloppiness, the Daily Caller added a correction to their story to indicate that the two foundations were separate entities. They did not, however, alter their tawdry conclusions, even though they no longer make sense. And Tucker Carlson still went on Fox & Friends this morning to say that “If I give money to my own foundation is it really charity?” Apparently he doesn’t care that his own website now says didn’t happen. Making matters worse, Fox Nation didn’t even bother to make note of the correction. The headline, which is now known to be false, remains unchanged and utterly untrue.

This is nothing new for Fox Nation, which has a history of brazenly misrepresenting the truth with poorly sourced articles (as documented in the book Fox Nation vs. Reality). Fox Nation is also known for re-posting stories from disreputable conspiracy mongers and conservative propagandists. Their editor, Jesse Watters, makes certain that every day the site is filled with fresh attacks on Democrats, especially Hillary Clinton, who is routinely assaulted with lies that are vicious and defamatory. Very much like the one exposed here.

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

Bill O’Reilly Says A “Good Protest” Should Be Non-Violent – Like The Boston Tea Party

Bill O’Reilly is very upset about what he asserts is escalating violence at political events. And as usual, he blames it all on out-of-control liberals who are terrorizing the nation. Yes, liberals – you know, the people who are always advocating for peace, oppose the proliferation of guns, and look down on the use of physical hostility as a means of conflict resolution. Those liberals.

However, nowhere in his tirade does O’Reilly acknowledge that most of the violence at political events this year has been perpetrated by supporters of Donald Trump inside his own rallies. Nor does he mention that Trump himself has encouraged the violence and even offered to pay for the legal defense of those who engage in it. Furthermore, Trump has also virtually solicited his supporters to riot if he is not given the Republican nomination at the GOP convention in July.

Bill O'Reilly

But O’Reilly isn’t against protest in principle, and to drive home that message he brings up an historical example of what he regards as the proper way to engage in peaceful protest: The Boston Tea Party. That’s right, O’Reilly leads off his commentary by saying “Protesting can be a good thing, think of the Boston Tea Party. But it’s how you do it.” So apparently O’Reilly thinks that the way to be a good protester is to dress up in disguises that will implicate other innocent people for your crimes, trespass on the property of your opponents in the dead of night, and destroy a million dollars worth of their products. Can you imagine O’Reilly’s reaction if somebody actually did that today?

That was the introduction to O’Reilly’s rant about how “far left violence is out of control in America,” and how liberals are responsible for it, but as for supporters of his BFF “Certainly some voting for Donald Trump are protesting, but they are using the ballot.” To make matters worse, O’Reilly talked about the point at which “a political movement becomes destructive,” and used as an example an incident at an after-party following the White House Correspondents Dinner. O’Reilly’s characterization of the affair cast the Huffington Post’s Ryan Grim as “a far left zealot who hectored” O’Reilly’s stalker/producer, Jesse Watters, and “provoked a physical confrontation.”

After spending the next few minutes defending himself against charges that he blamed a rape and murder victim for the attack that she suffered, which he did (see the Amanda Terkel link below), O’Reilly returned to the WHCD after-party skirmish and whined that “this Grim character had no business bothering Jesse Watters about anything, but that is what the far left does.”

Seriously? Bill O’Reilly is complaining that it’s the left that bothers people by citing what happened to his own henchman who is best known for bothering people with his disgraceful ambush attacks. He further alleges that it was Grim who provoked the confrontation by simply doing what Watters does for a living. And if O’Reilly’s desperate obliviousness to the historical record of his own program isn’t bad enough, Watters himself joined in saying…

“I was just at this party trying to enjoy myself. This guy comes up to me with a camera phone. I don’t even know who this guy is. He starts putting it my face. I was friendly at first. And he started getting a little obnoxious and, you know, things happened.”

Watters is literally outlining his own tactics that he uses to ambush others. He approaches them with a camera, fails to identify himself, gets in their face, and acts obnoxious. And he doesn’t even realize what he’s saying or how well he’s describing himself. O’Reilly then asked Watters to confirm that he never hit Grim and Watters said that he hadn’t, but he failed to say that he grabbed Grim’s cell phone and threw it across the room and when Grim retrieved it and continued with the video, Watters grabbed the phone again, put it in his pocket, and refused to return it. That assault and theft is what provoked the confrontation.

Notice that none of the nonsense that O’Reilly and Watters spewed had anything to do with an actual protest. It was a personal encounter at a party for elites that went wrong. In reality, O’Reilly’s protest diatribe was just an excuse for him to bring up the incident with Watters, defend his boorish behavior, and bash Grim for the crime of giving Watters a taste of his own toxic medicine, which Watters clearly couldn’t handle. In other words, it was a lame attempt at self-promotion and rationalization of flagrant assholishness. Well, to be fair, that’s pretty much the content of every O’Reilly program.

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

Here is an account of the WHCD after-party by the victim of Watters’ stalking, Huffington Post writer Amanda Terkel. And here also is the video that Ryan Grim took of Watters assaulting him:

Are The Obama Haters At Fox News TRYING To Look Stupid?

Yesterday President Obama and French President Francois Hollande held a joint news conference at the White House to address the aftermath of the terrorist attacks in Paris. They presented a united front against terrorism and each delivered opening statements that virtually mirrored one another. The gist was that, as Obama said…

“This barbaric terrorist group — ISIL, or Daesh — and its murderous ideology pose a serious threat to all of us. It cannot be tolerated. It must be destroyed.”

It was a forthright statement of unequivocal determination to prevail over evil and nothing Hollande said surpassed it in tone or substance. Nevertheless, Obama’s critics in the American media snarled predictably about what they viewed as the weakness of his remarks, as compared to Hollande, without citing a single instance of how they differed. For example, Rupert Murdoch’s New York Post (and Fox Nation website) disparaged Obama in a headline article as being “dangerously nonchalant about ISIS threats.”

However, where they went cascading overboard was with their wildly absurd misinterpretation of comments both leaders made about the upcoming United Nations Climate Conference in Paris. For the record, here are the excerpts from each opening statement that addresses the conference:

Obama: Next week, I will be joining President Hollande and world leaders in Paris for the global climate conference. What a powerful rebuke to the terrorists it will be when the world stands as one and shows that we will not be deterred from building a better future for our children.

Hollande: There is no greater symbol than holding this conference on climate in Paris with some 150 heads of state and government. Never before did France host so many leaders of the international community. They’re coming to sort out the climate challenge, and again, to work and to find the right agreement so that we can limit greenhouse gases emissions and make sure that our children and our grandchildren live better, or simply can live.

What is plainly obvious is that both men were declaring their resolve to forge ahead with the conference despite the attempt by terrorists to stir panic and to disrupt the lives of free people in Paris and everywhere else. It was a proclamation of their commitment to proceed with life’s affairs without being hobbled by fear. But the Fox News crowd is either to stupid to recognize that, or they are deliberately twisting it to arrive at a ludicrous conclusion that fits their anti-Obama narrative. Here is a sampling of their mindless exercises in disinformation:

Fox News

  • Rudy Guiliani: You know, you know, I really feel very stupid. I consider myself somewhat of an expert on law enforcement, terrorism, cybersecurity, security, and I never thought of the fact that if we just waged war on global warming we could defeat ISIS, and that’s really going to shake them up. I don’t think I’ve ever heard anything more absurd from a president.
  • K.T. McFarland: President Obama thinks that climate change is the greatest strategic and geological and existential threat to our future. You know, here we are — and the irony, if it were not so tragic it would be funny — here we have ISIS, which is attacking with suicide vests and Kalashnikovs and potentially chemical weapons in the French water supply. What are we doing? We’re going to fight ISIS. We’re going to have windmills. We’re going to have solar panels. We’re going to show them. It’s just really — all it does is it gives encouragement to the terrorists who feel that they have been selected and chosen by Allah to establish the caliphate and kill everybody who disagrees with them.
  • Eric Bolling: At the White House news conference alongside the leader of France today, President Obama really stuck it to the terrorists by reminding them he’ll be attending a weather summit soon.
  • Kimberly Guilfoyle: Wow, we’re going to stick it to the terrorists when we start talking about climate change.
  • Jesse Watters: He’s saying we need to fight terror by using a poem on the Statue of Liberty. OK, I don’t even know what that means. And then he’s going on and saying the biggest rebuke to terrorism is to talk about the weather. […] I don’t think Americans care if we rebuke the terrorists. I think we should be nuking the terrorists.
  • Andrea Tantaros: Obama: wait til they get a load of us at the Climate Summit in a few wks….”a rebuke.” Because nothing scares jihadists like the weather.
  • Peter Johnson: I think the people join me at home today on this in being confounded and astounded … by that statement that the President of the United States, Barack Obama, the most potent weapon in his arsenal against ISIS, against al-Qaeda, against all of these terrorists, is somehow convening a conference on global warming, on climate change.

These maroons actually believe that Obama was arguing that Climate Change reform was his response to terrorism. They are so intellectually feeble that they could not grasp that he was talking about proceeding with the conference, rather than canceling or rescheduling it, as the “rebuke” in that it demonstrated that the terrorists could not upset our lives with their barbarous tactics. We will persevere no matter what they do, they cannot force us to retreat into bunkers. It is a message of strength. And even though the Fox dimwits directed their insults at our president, while praising Hollande, they completely ignored the fact that Hollande said exactly the same thing.

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

This is what happens when people allow themselves to become so consumed with hate that they can’t hold a coherent thought in their diseased brains. It exposes them as frauds who have only their own narrow interests at what remains of their heart. But most of all it signals an innate idiocy and inability to engage in critical thinking. Which may be a good thing for Fox News pundits. Because their audience is even less able to understand simple concepts or process information in any logical manner. Fox knows who they’re playing to, and their audience appreciates being talked down to – and even lied to.

The Republican Crisis Recycling Center: Syrian Refugee Edition

In what is being described as the worst refugee crisis since World War II, the plight of displaced Syrians continues to be a daunting humanitarian problem that is putting pressure on nations around the world to find a compassionate solution.

The United States is among those nations, but it is battling opposition from within. Not surprisingly, it is the Republicans and other conservative politicians and pundits who are adamantly against allowing Syrian refugees safe harbor in America. So far, more than half of the state governors are on record as opposing resettlement of Syrians in their states, and all but one of them are Republicans. [Legal note: These constitutional fetishists are unaware that they do not have the authority to dictate immigration policy, which rests with the federal government]

The GOP’s arguments against welcoming these refugees are consistently based on the fear that terrorists will clandestinely slip in among the legitimate migrants. While there is very little evidence of that occurring, it remains the favored excuse of the refugee opponents. The typical refrain goes something like this:

  • We must immediately prohibit those people from entering the United States.
  • Those being let in will include terrorists.
  • If our leaders won’t protect us they should resign.
  • It’s not our problem. Let others in their own region deal with it.
  • We can’t be humanitarians. We have to protect ourselves first.

Oh, sorry. Those were actually the reasons that Republican politicians and pundits opposed letting people from West Africa into the country last year during the Ebola outbreak. The degree of hysteria expressed by the wingnut contingency at that time was deafening. For their trouble they earned PolitiFact’s “Lie of the Year” award for 2014. It was a well-deserved tribute to their deranged insistence that Americans were going to be infected by the millions, and those who were fortunate enough to avoid the disease would be slaughtered by terrorists. Some of these fear mongers, like Glenn Beck and Fox News’ Keith Ablow, accused Obama of deliberately orchestrating this mass extinction of the U.S. population.

And while we’re on the subject, those were also the very same excuses the rightists gave for opposing the resettlement of Latino children. When thousands of kids were stranded in the Southwest they were treated like a plague and accused of being disease carriers, or having associations with drug traffickers or terrorists.

Let’s just call it the “Republican Crisis Recycling Center” where they repurpose their standard complaints to fit whatever outrage they are currently trying to push.

Republican Crisis Recycling

This might be a good time to point out there were never any outbreaks of Ebola in the U.S., nor did any of the kids who were eventually placed in foster homes blow up any pizza parlors. The irrational hysteria of the rightist fear merchants never materialized as they predicted (hoped?). And all of the available evidence points to the same results if we welcome the Syrian refugees in to America. There are, in fact, already some 2,000 Syrian refugees who have resettled here since 2011, and in four years they have done nothing but try to put their tattered lives back together.

Donald Trump was among those who exploited the Ebola crisis and charged that infected persons would be pouring across our southern border. Now he is doing the same to Syrians who he is convinced are serving as a “Trojan Horse” for terrorists. His plan is to acquire a parcel of land in Syria and make it a “safe zone” for the refugees. All 4,000,000 of them? It would have to be a city the size of Los Angeles. And no matter how good a builder he fancies himself, he isn’t going to construct such a metropolis overnight. These people need housing and food and medicine and all the other necessities of life, not a tents in the desert.

Sadly, that’s the sort of dumbfounded thinking (with an emphasis on the dumb) that dominates the Republican mindset. Another example is Mike Huckabee’s suggestion to only allow Christian refugees in. President Obama called that religious test “shameful.” How he would differentiate the Christians from the Muslims and others, he did not say. I suppose he could tattoo a number on all the Muslims to identify them for rejection. Then he can help Trump load 11,000,000 Latinos into train cars to deport them to “safe zones” in Central America for his reprise of Operation Wetback.

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

What the right seems to forget is that these refugees are fleeing the same violence and terrorism that we are fighting in Iraq, Syria, and elsewhere. They also seem to forget the values embodied in their faith that calls for compassion, service, and brotherhood. And finally, they quite easily forget the example of America’s principles expressed by the gift from France that beckons to the world…

Give me your tired, your poor, your huddled masses yearning to breathe free; the wretched refuse of your teeming shore; send these, the homeless, tempest-tossed, to me. I lift my lamp beside the golden door.

[Addendum:] Jesse Watters of Fox News managed to connect the refugee crisis with the Ebola outbreak. On The Five he said “Obama has imported dangerous things into this country since he got there. He’s imported socialism here, He’s imported Ebola into America. He’s imported illegal aliens. Remember he brought all of the Ebola victims into this country?” All of them? This is the sort of idiocy that permeates the racist right-wing ideology on issues that go far beyond the current problem with refugees.

The Clowns Of Cable News: Laughing At Fox News, Not With Them

There has been a meme circulating around the InterTubes for some time saying that “I get my news from Comedy Central and my comedy from Fox News.” It’s a concise way of articulating the reality that programs like The Daily Show are far more reliable sources for information than Fox & Friends or Bill O’Reilly.

Fox News Bozo

But something that seems to have been developing without much notice is that Fox News is actively reshaping their programming to be more like an actual comedy network. Alone among cable news broadcasters, Fox News is airing actual comedy shows. Already on the schedule is their late night entry Red Eye. Earlier this year they premiered The Greg Gutfeld Show, spinning off the former Red Eye host. And they just announced a new show starring Bill O’Reilly stalker/producer and Fox Nation editor, Jesse Watters, that will expand on his Watters’ World segments from The O’Reilly Factor. [See this epic smackdown of Watters by Steven Colbert]

Setting aside the fact that there is scarce evidence of actual humor in any of these programs, what is interesting is that Fox News is investing so much of their airtime in a form of entertainment that literally makes a mockery of their pretense to being journalists. And considering their epic failure in this genre, the execrable “Half-Hour News Hour,” they have some measure of courage to attempt it again. For a network that whines so often about not being taken seriously as reporters, this trend will do little to enhance their already tattered reputation.

Making matters worse is the fact that Fox News has been so fiercely derisive of comedy programs that deign to direct their barbs at news subjects. Over many years there has been a constant drumbeat of outrage from Fox aimed at comedians whom they regard as unqualified to have worthwhile opinions on the news or the talent to find humor in it.

And no one has taken more abuse from Fox than Jon Stewart. Sean Hannity called him “a sanctimonious jackass.” Megyn Kelly said that “He was not a force for good.” Bill O’Reilly labeled him “a key component of left-wing television.” O’Reilly also went after Stewart’s audience saying that he has “stoned slackers watching your dopey show every night.” And this anti-Stewart doctrine comes straight from the top. Fox News CEO Roger Ailes publicly scolded Stewart saying that “He hates conservatives. He’s crazy.”

Fox News generally demeans anyone in the entertainment field who speaks out about politics, unless it’s Ted Nugent or Dennis Miller, but then it’s a stretch describing them as entertaining. If George Clooney or Sarah Silverman exercise their rights as citizens, Fox News considers it an abomination and unleashes a rancid stream of unreserved hostility. Fox contributor Laura Ingraham even wrote a book titled Shut Up and Sing,” to advocate for silencing show biz folk who want to participate in American democracy.

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

So after disparaging entertainers, and especially comedians, for engaging in the centuries old art of satire, it is rather odd to find Fox News devoting a significant amount of time and money to doing what they hate so many others for doing. But while it is common for comedians to take on political topics, it is unheard of for news networks to commit whole programs to comedy. Certainly a news network can interview a comic or report on a humorous news story, but Fox is getting ready to launch their third comedy show. And they still want people to take them seriously as journalists? Well, that ship has sailed. If anything, Fox could continue to debut new comedy programs until they fill the schedule. Then, at least, people will be laughing at Fox for the right reasons.

Super Sleuths At Fox News Finally Find Hillary Clinton’s ‘Smoking Gun’ Email

On Friday the latest batch of nearly 7,000 of Hillary Clinton’s emails were made public. As with with prior data dumps, conservative media feverishly combed through the documents desperately seeking some damaging material with which to put Clinton out of their misery.

Most of what they found was precisely the boring material that Clinton has been telling everyone would be there for months. There was nothing incriminating, or even controversial. The best they could come up with were emails that exposed her as inquiring about the use of smileys on her phone and having communicated with Ben Affleck. It’s not the stuff on which impeachments are based. That is, until Fox News stepped up to uncover the biggest bombshell to date that may upend her campaign for the presidency: “Hillary’s Email Subject Read ‘GUNMEN Try To ASSASSINATE Head Of Libyan Army’ But That’s NOT What She Wrote About…”

Fox Nation Hillary Clinton

That’s right! The former Secretary of State exchanged emails with a top aide that were not related to what was written in the subject line. Assemble the firing squad!

What we have here is a situation wherein Clinton aide, Huma Abedin (whom most wingnuts are certain is a mole for the Muslim Brotherhood), sent Clinton an email with an attached article from the Associated Press about an event in Libya nearly a year before the famous Benghazi attack. So Clinton took advantage of the email to reply with something else that was on her mind without bothering changing the subject line.

Millions of Americans do this every day without being accused of treason. But to the brainiacs at Fox News this was so significant that they posted it to the very top of their Fox Nation website, where it remained most of Sunday morning. [When they eventually updated the site it was with another article about Clinton that implied she was headed for jail] After all, this is big news. And notice their use of caps that were not used on the actual email.

The absurdity of this article was evident in the graphic that the Fox Nationalists were kind enough to include. It shows the exchange between Clinton and Abedin, with the ominous parts highlighted in red.

Fox Nation

If this is the sort of “journalism” that Fox News thinks will bring down Clinton, they are pitifully delusional. Although it is typical of their lame efforts in the past to attempt to turn completely trivial events into full-fledged scandals. Jesse Watters has proven himself to be an immature, logic-challenged, amateur in his role as editor of Fox Nation, as well as his duties as staff doofus on Bill O’Reilly’s show.

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

The only thing this type of story can accomplish is to set the saliva glands of the dimwitted Fox audience to flowing uncontrollably. But that isn’t a particularly difficult task. All you really have to do is show them a picture of Clinton or President Obama with a swastika and stink lines and these miscreants will guffaw and wave their Gadsden flags.

Bill O’Reilly Responds To Vermont High School Students By Calling Them Pinheads

A couple of weeks ago a class at Mount Anthony Union High School in Bennington, Vermont, took on the awesome power of America’s top rated cable “news” network, Fox News. Using a segment from the Bill O’Reilly show that featured his stalker Jesse Watters, they expertly demonstrated how Fox systematically breaches the code of ethics as stipulated by the Society for Professional Journalism. [See this article for the back story and the students’ video]

Anyone who follows Fox News knows that they do not take kindly to criticism. In fact, they react aggressively and with a viciousness that is generally associated with aberrant behavior like road rage. That appears to be the case even when their victims are high school kids. So it is not particularly surprising that last Friday Bill O’Reilly teased his response to the kids by calling them “pinheads” and Watters promised a “vigourous defense of my journalistic integrity point by point” would be delivered on Monday.

Fox News Jesse Watters

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So today O’Reilly brought Watters back for his defense (video below), which did more to prove the original case made by the students than to exonerate Watters or O’Reilly. The segment was an embarrassing mash of childish attempts at humor, but worse, it was filled with lies and misrepresentations.

Beginning with a claim by the students that Watters made generalized assertions about the state of Vermont after visiting just one small town, Watters rebuttal was a joke (?) that didn’t address the point at all:

“Hold it! Bennington is my town now. I just bought a little hemp farm there this past weekend. Hey neighbors.” […and later added…] Did your nutty professor write this script for you?

Apparently Watters has decided to employ the most juvenile tactics in his defense. Perhaps he thinks these high schoolers are seven or eight years old, because that’s the level to which he is stooping. His “nutty professor” remark insulted both the teacher and the students by implying that they were not responsible for their own work. Then, following a clip wherein the students criticized Watters for predetermining the outcome of his story, Watters tried to shift responsibility elsewhere saying…

“Actually Gallup predetermined the outcome. Now I’ll be waiting to watch that anti-Gallup video.”

Watters then displayed a graphic of a Gallup poll showing that Vermont was the most liberal state in the country. However, that is not what the students were referencing with regard to predetermined outcomes. The actual topic at that point was how Watters’ inserted his opinion in a question about whether Vermonters should apologize for voting for President Obama, as if there were something for which to apologize (i.e. a booming economy? Ending two wars? Access to health insurance? Cutting unemployment in half? Cutting the deficit by two-thirds?).

So Watters deliberately lied in that response by pretending that the students were referring to something else that better suited his agenda. Even worse, he doctored the graphic for the Gallup poll to put Vermont at the top. If you look at the Gallup website the original graphic shows that Vermont’s liberal ranking was actually second behind the District of Columbia.

Next, Watters played a clip from the student video where they called him out for referring to all Vermonters disparagingly, including one who Watters described as a “drifter.” The students noted that Watters never authenticated his assertion about whether or not he was a drifter, or even if he was from Vermont. To that Watters’ replied incredulously…

“So before I do an interview you want me to ask a guest to show me their papers?”

Um, yes. A responsible journalist will at least make an effort to identify their subjects, especially if the journalist intends to draw conclusions about them. Watters seems to think he can put anyone on the air without any vetting and then make slanderous comments at will. Does Watters actually believe that a real journalist wouldn’t verify who they were talking to before putting them on the air? Is that how Fox News selects their “experts” on economics, foreign policy, etc.?

Watters and O’Reilly spent the closing minutes of the segment ridiculing the students for taking Watters seriously. They attempted to justify their rank dishonesty by saying it was all just satirical. That’s an ironic defense since O’Reilly, and most other right-wingers in the media, are constantly bashing people like Jon Stewart, Steven Colbert, and Bill Maher, and whining about the impact they have on the nation and on the news. O’Reilly once called Stewart “a key component of left-wing television.” Conservatives regard political humorists as part of the so-called liberal media conspiracy, and they take them very seriously. But here they are attempting to excuse their own faulty reporting by dismissing it as humor. Why is it a heinous act of propaganda when others do it, but when they do it’s benignly entertaining?

The truth is that Watters, besides being remarkably unfunny, is just as much a part of the propaganda crusade that makes up the Fox News mission. He uses his allegedly entertaining bits to advance a right-wing message, just the same as O’Reilly or Megyn Kelly or Bret Baier use their allegedly newsy bits. He is deliberately derogatory against liberals exclusively. And if you don’t think that he’s part of the messaging on Fox, you are terminally naive. Even Fox News has observed that Jon Stewart is more fair and balanced with his satire.

The embarrassing rebuttal to the student project just emphasizes the lengths that Fox will go to promulgate their disinformation. It also shows their utter disregard for the truth or journalistic ethics. But most notoriously (and hilariously) it shows that they can’t even defend themselves against valid criticisms made by intelligent amateurs who are still in high school.

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

High Schoolers Scorch Bill O’Reilly/Fox News For Lack Of Journalistic Ethics

[Update 2/2/2015: Fox News has responded to the students’ video]

Fox News has been proven repeatedly to be a purveyor of disinformation and outright lies presented as facts. Knowledgeable observers long ago ceased to take their reporting seriously. However, it’s one thing to be called out for shoddy journalism by experienced media analysts and news professionals. But when a high school class can demolish the highest rated cable “news” network with ease, the folks responsible should reconsider their career choices.

Fox News

Last July O’Reilly sent his stalker/producer Jesse Watters to Bennington, Vermont in order to malign the residents of the city and the state as liberal, pot smoking, ski bums. It was a purely vicious exercise in childish insults that had no news value of any kind. But it is the sort of mean-spirited filler that Watters has made his specialty. Watters is also the founder and editor of Fox’s community website, Fox Nation, mangling the truth is the primary objective. [Note: don’t miss this epic and hilarious take down of Watters by Stephen Colbert]

The students at Mount Anthony Union High School in Bennington happened to be studying journalism when they came upon this piece. So they used it as a case study to conduct a “professional integrity audit” based on the ethics codes of the Society of Professional Journalists. What they discovered was that O’Reilly’s program violated the ethics codes so many times they lost count.

The video produced by the students systematically took apart the Watters segment revealing O’Reilly, Watters, and Fox News to be blatant propagandists with no regard for journalistic integrity. In one short segment they found examples of stereotyping, distortions, manipulation, questionable sourcing, and predetermining outcome.

The students presentation was not what you would call polished. But, hey, they are high school students. They have plenty of time to sharpen their camera skills. The main thing is that the construction of their reporting and their adherence to high standards still makes them more watchable than the arrogant, blow-dried, FoxBots who stare down their noses at decent folks in small Vermont towns.

The video closes with the students articulating their conclusions based on a thorough analysis of the O’Reilly segment as it holds up to ethical scrutiny. The verdict was not something that a reputable journalist would relish:

“Based on our studies about the field of journalism, we have determined that you’re not practicing journalism. You’re practicing rank propaganda.” […]

“By watching Fox News, we have learned buckets about journalism – what to do and, more importantly, what never to do. It is our hope that Fox News can learn the very same from watching us.”

You have to admire their youthful optimism. It is unlikely that Fox will ever acknowledge the complete lack of ethics in their reporting. That’s mainly because they don’t regard it as a flaw. It is deliberate and in keeping with their mission to advance a partisan political agenda, even when it is merely ridiculing innocent victims of their juvenile pranks.

News Corpse Presents: The ALL NEW 2nd volume of
Fox Nation vs. Reality: The Fox News Cult of Ignorance.
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Addendum: After reading some of the comments below, it is clear that right-wing trolls have descended on this article to attack young people for speaking their mind. What’s sad is that the conservative critics can’t even form coherent arguments to rebut the students on substance. They rely on insults and rhetorical misdirection.

Bill O’Reilly Flunky Gets Booted From Mayor De Blasio’s Press Conference

The media hoax that is Fox News continues to embarrass itself with pathetic stunts aimed at glorifying their egomaniacal propaganda peddlers while debasing the practice of journalism. The latest example of this adventure in tabloid trivialities occurred today during a press conference held by New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio.

Fox News Jesse Watters

In the middle of the event Jesse Watters pops up and pretends that he has an actual question to ask. For those who don’t know him, Watters is a producer on The O’Reilly Factor and a practitioner of ambush journalism. He is also the “brains” behind the lie-riddled Fox Nation website. After being recognized by de Blasio, Watters demonstrated why is regarded as such an imbecile as he turned the press conference into a bitchfest with his whining about de Blasio’s refusal to grant O’Reilly an interview.

Watters: Mr. Mayor, Bill O’Reilly has a question for you.
de Blasio: OK. Are you his emissary?
Watters: You don’t know Watters’ World?
de Blasio: Again please.
Watters: I’m Watters, this is my world right here, OK?”
de Blasio: OK. Continue.
Watters: We’ve been trying to book you on the show for weeks, and your staff hasn’t been very respectful towards us we’re just trying to…
de Blasio: I’m sure they’re very respectful.
Watters: Actually not.
de Blasio: I’m sure they are.
Watters: We’re just trying to get to know you better, what’s the problem?
de Blasio: I appreciate the invitation, and my staff will follow up with you.
Watters: But they haven’t been following up, and that’s why I’m here.
de Blasio: I’m glad you’re here. Let’s take some serious questions. Go ahead, Henry.
Watters: We’re fascinated by this de Blasio mystique. Can you help us out mayor? […] You haven’t responded.
de Blasio: Henry.
Watters: Will you do the show?
de Blasio: Henry. Just start talking Henry.

Shortly thereafter, Watters was escorted out of the press conference by security. And as it turns out, de Blasio’s office had previously responded to O’Reilly’s request with a rather gracious denial. His staff later tweeted evidence of it. But that isn’t even what makes this so stupid. A press conference is not the place to badger a public official about appearing on a cable news program. It is exceedingly rude and unprofessional to take the time of a busy mayor, and all of the legitimate reporters, just to try and book a guest on a program hosted by an angry and adversarial loudmouth who the mayor has no interest in accommodating.

But Watters isn’t concerned with professional behavior. He has never bothered to exhibit it in the past. His childish pranks have earned him the ridicule of his peers, and of Stephen Colbert who featured him in a hilarious segment earlier this year. And for more documented examples of Watters’ sleazy escapades in pseudo-journalism…

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

Fox Nation vs. Reality: Was Benghazi A Koch Brothers Plot?

Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid has taken a courageous stand of late against the democracy-defiling Koch brothers. He has correctly assailed them for bankrolling dishonest campaigns and offensive Tea Party front groups. However, he has never said what Fox Nation is now reporting that he said:

Fox Nation

For more shameless lying by Fox & Co….
Get Fox Nation vs. Reality. Available now at Amazon.

No, Harry Reid didn’t say that “Benghazi Is A Koch Brothers Plot.” He didn’t imply it or suggest it or even vaguely allude to it. The quote that Fox Nation cited from an article in the Washington Examiner addressed the announcement by GOP House Speaker John Boehner that he intends to form a special committee to conduct even more fruitless investigations of the trumped up Benghazi scandal. Apparently the four committees that have been beating this dead horse for nearly two years were not sufficient (or competent) to complete the job. However, Reid’s response to this waste of time and taxpayer money was crystal clear and unambiguous. He said that…

“Republicans are showing yet again that they have nothing to offer the middle class. Republicans care more about defending billionaires like the Koch brothers and trying to rekindle debunked right-wing conspiracy theories than raising the minimum wage or ensuring women receive equal pay for equal work.”

Anyone with elementary level comprehension skills understands that Reid was listing – not connecting – the Koch brothers and debunked right-wing conspiracy theories. That’s why he used the word “and” to differentiate between the two. If he were connecting them he would have said “like the Koch brothers who are trying to rekindle…”

It’s clear that Jesse Watters, the editor of the Fox Nation website (whom Stephen Colbert just royally skewered), has way too much time on his hands. If he is reduced to deliberately mischaracterizing simple English in order to smear his enemies, he obviously doesn’t have anything of importance to work on. That’s the tale of all of the Fox News-invented scandals. Since they haven’t got anything of substance with which to tar the President, they just make stuff up and hope their dimwitted audience swallows it. And that’s something they can rest assured will occur.