Fox News Scumbag Of The Week: Howard Kurtz, Trump Fluffer

In a week that’s seen various Fox News personnel take inane and/or offensive positions on everything from the Supreme Court’s decision on marriage equality (being the cause of floods in the capital) to the Charleston church massacre (being an attack on Christianity), a late entry to the contest sneaked in Friday just before the deadline to win the Fox News Scumbag Of The Week Award:

Fox News Howard Kurtz

On Friday’s broadcast of Special Report (video below), Howard Kurtz was introduced for a segment on how the press treats poor Donald Trump. Rather than report on the ever-expanding backlash to Trump’s racist assault on immigrants, Kurtz took the opportunity to slam the media for doing their job. He simultaneously attempted to run interference for the Republican Party to cleanse it of any stray excrement emanating from The Donald.

Kurtz: The media are trying to turn the Trump problem into the Republican problem. […] Why should Jeb Bush, Marco Rubio, Ted Cruz and the others, have to answer for the billionaire businessman who is hardly an establishment Republican?

What a bunch of unadulterated hogwash. The Republican Party doesn’t need any help from the media to turn Trump’s boorish vulgarity into their own problem. They invited him into their party with open arms. In 2008 Mitt Romney solicited and received Trump’s endorsement. Fox News, the GOP’s PR division, made him a weekly feature on Fox & Friends, as well a frequent guest on other programs. And every time he lashed out at President Obama with his signature classlessness, Republicans cheered and praised him.

The reason other Republicans are expected to respond to Trump’s assholiness is because Trump represents a broad swath of the establishment Republican ideology. He is anti-immigrant, anti-tax, anti-ObamaCare, anti-gay, anti-environment, and pro-war. Where does Kurtz get the idea that Trump isn’t in line with the GOP regulars? As evidence of his harmony with conservative voters, they have boosted him to the top tier in Republican primary polls after he made his repulsive remarks about immigrants. Only now, since Trump’s misfire has ricocheted back at them, are some trying to put some distance between themselves and his hate mongering.

But what really clinched the Scumbag prize for Kurtz is a wildly off-base comparison between how the media has treated Trump and how they treated a Democrat from the past with regard to whether Trump is hurting Republicans.

Kurtz: Is there a double standard here? The press didn’t say that John Edwards, for instance, hurt the Democratic brand by fathering an out-of-wedlock child.

WTF? It must have taken a Herculean effort for Kurtz to come up with the most reprehensibly inappropriate stab at false equivalency imaginable. First of all, unlike today’s Republicans, Democrats universally repudiated Edwards for his vile infidelity. The reason the Republican brand is hurting is because Trump’s comments are so closely aligned to the party’s platform. That simply wasn’t true with regard to Edwards. In fact, Edwards misbehavior was entirely personal, so it could not have reflected on the reputation of a political party. Trump’s transgressions, on the other hand, are purely political. And even now he is being defended by folks like Ann Coulter and Ted Cruz.

Even from an opportunistic journalistic perspective, the two scenarios are not remotely similar. Trump’s comments came during the heat of a presidential primary battle when candidates are expected to participate in open debate. However, the first reports of Edwards infidelity were published in October of 2007 by the National Enquirer, a tabloid rag with a reputation for sensationalist garbage that usually proved to be untrue. The story was justifiably dismissed considering the source.

It wasn’t until July of 2008 that Edwards was caught visiting his mistress at the Beverly Hilton Hotel. However, by that time Edwards was not a candidate. He had dropped out of the race six months earlier. In fact, there was no race because Hillary Clinton had also conceded in June of 2008 and endorsed Obama. Consequently, there was no reason for the media cover Edwards as anything but a salacious human interest story. His troubles had absolutely nothing to do with the election or the Democratic Party.

Let’s face it – Kurtz only brought this up because A) He had no other example of a Democrat who is as repugnant as Trump and as adept at harming the interests of his party, and B) He desperately wanted to stigmatize Democrats with an ancient and unrelated memory to counteract the well-deserved bad publicity that Republicans are suffering. And for that purposefully manufactured slander, Kurtz easily walks away with the Scumbag Of The Week Award. Congratulations.

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

p.s. Kurtz is interviewing Trump tomorrow on his Fox News program, MediaBuzz. Tune in if you have the stomach for it. As they say, “The circle jerk will be televised.”

DISGUSTING! Fox News Web Site Thinks John Edwards’ Illness Is Funny

It’s bad enough that Fox News disseminates lies and propaganda while pretending to be a “news” enterprise. It’s just as bad that they routinely slander good people and projects with hyperbolic howls of treason and hate. But this is so far beyond the bounds of decency it is difficult to comprehend:

Fox Nation John Edwards

The Fox Nation republished an article from Politico that announced that former Senator John Edwards has been diagnosed with a heart condition that is life-threatening and requires immediate surgery. Upon reading this article the Fox Nationalists rated it as “Funny.” That is about as repulsive as it gets.

These are the same people who complain when they are criticized for being uncaring toward their less fortunate fellow citizens. They whine about being portrayed as insensitive when they advocate for eliminating Social Security and cutting everything from food stamps to salaries for teachers and firefighters.

Yet this is the best representation of what the Fox/Tea Party cult in America truly believes. They are expressing themselves in an open forum and letting their true feelings show. The depths of their nauseating hostility seems to have no bottom. In some respects this should not surprise anyone who has seen the Fox Nationalists relentlessly bashing President Obama, even calling for his assassination. And it isn’t just the puerile morons on their web site, it is also their on-air commentators like Liz Trotta who joked about “knocking off” the President.

It’s all very funny to these misanthropes. So long as the tragedy befalls someone with whom they disagree politically, anything goes. But just imagine their brain-melting hysteria if the situation was reversed and it was Sarah Palin who was ill. I would never wish this sort of hardship on anyone. But they not only wish it, they revel in their wishful depravity.

This really illustrates the dictionary definition of “Sick Fucks.” And if I wish anything, it is that they learn how hurtful and inhumane their despicable behavior is. And I also wish Sen. Edwards a speedy recovery.

Diamonds On The Soles Of John McCain’s Shoes

John McCain has made Barack Obama’s alleged elitism a centerpiece of his campaign. In virtually every stop of the Doubletalk Express, McCain finds an opportunity to impugn Obama as out of touch with ordinary Americans. The press uncritically regurgitates this nonsense without even a hint of irony. They portray the wealthy McCain as an authentic man of the people despite the fact that the opposite is true.

Haven’t they noticed that it is McCain who is the son of privilege? His father and his grandfather were both Admirals. He left his first wife to marry a beer heiress worth more than $100 million. And he has lived off of the American people his whole life – first as a Naval officer, then as a Senator. Obama, on the other hand, is the son of a single mother. He worked his way through college and law school, and then eschewed the lucrative legal firms to dedicate himself to community service in South Chicago.

So how will the media handle the news that McCain has been caught gallivanting around the country in $520.00 imported Italian Ferragamo loafers?

Well, let’s see how they handled John Edwards:

  • Jonah Goldberg:[Edwards] gives new meaning to the term ‘poverty pimp.’
  • USA Today: “Edwards, most prominently, has undermined his passionate advocacy for ordinary Americans by seeming to be anything but ordinary himself. Expensive haircuts reinforce the elitist image of a wealthy trial lawyer…”
  • Bill O’Reilly: “Edwards is running a preposterous campaign. He lives like a sultan in a 30,000 foot North Carolina house […] I have no respect for him. He’s a phony and is in the tank for special interest to damage this country.”

McCain has upped the ante on Edwards’ haircut by $120.00. Plus, he has eight homes and a private jet. Does O’Reilly disrespect him or consider him a phony? Edwards and Obama share the experience of having had to work hard for their good fortune. McCain was born into privilege, and then marriage enriched him further.

The press really needs to be made to answer for their hypocrisy. What excuse could they have for the disparity in the coverage of these candidates? The reality is so obvious that the media cannot feign ignorance. It is past the time for excuses and neglect. It is time to force the media to be honest.

Bill O’Reilly: Dodge Us At Your Peril

One of the last acts of the utterly desperate is lashing out with impotent threats. Well, many at Fox News have reached that stage of desperation. They have entered an apoplectic orbit as a result of the embargo that some Democrats have engaged in toward Fox.

Yesterday, Bill O’Reilly called in to Fox & Friends for a brief and ego-laden discussion about who will pay their “respects” to him and to Fox News. He topped off the call with this warning: “If you dodge us, it is at your peril.”

This isn’t the first time O’Reilly has issued threats. Most recently he lashed out at an aide to Barack Obama and defended his hostility by saying:

“No one on this earth is going to block a shot from The O’Reilly Factor. It is not going to happen.”

In October of last year, O’Reilly went ballistic attacking his perceived enemies in the press:

“[T]here is a huge problem in this country and I’m going to attack that problem. I’m going to attack it. These people aren’t getting away with this. I’m going to go right where they live. Every corrupt media person in this country is on notice, right now. I’m coming after you…I’m going to hunt you down […] if I could strangle these people and not go to hell and get executed…I would.”

He is clearly obsessed by his rabid, paranoid, self-absorption. But he is not alone. Fox News chairman Roger Ailes also bashed Democrats for slighting the network:

“The candidates that can’t face Fox, can’t face Al Qaeda. And that’s what’s coming.”

And Chris Wallace sunk to juvenile insults of Democrats because they wouldn’t play with him:

“I think the Democrats are damn fools [for] not coming on Fox News.”

There is a clear pattern developing here and, if anything, it affirms the decision to stay as far away from Fox as possible (read Starve The Beast for a detailed dissertation on the shunning of Fox). Hillary Clinton’s recent capitulation to Fox with her agreement to participate in a Fox-sponsored debate is not the sort of retreat that we need when we are plainly winning this war. Obama has yet to release a decision as to whether he will join Clinton’s surrender, but by declining he could leave both Clinton and Fox in the lurch. The decision to deny Fox would be both tactically and principally correct.

We still have to wait to see what Obama’s decision will be, but we know now that Clinton’s move is already working against the interests of Democrats. Chris Wallace appeared on A Daily Show this week and bragged to Jon Stewart about Clinton succumbing to Fox. He also used the occasion to hail it as a victory over the most vociferous of the Fox critics:

“The dam is broken now that John Edwards is no longer in the contest […] We like to say that he was the panderer and the demagogue”

Well, the dam may have sprung leak, but it is far from broken. If Obama holds steady, all Fox will have is an outdated press release. They will certainly persist in their attacks and will likely escalate them, as all wounded animals do. But as they lose more and more credibility, their punches will be like swats from butterfly wings – and only the right wings at that.

Who Will Fight The Media Now?

With this morning’s announcement that John Edwards would be suspending his quest for the Democratic nomination for president, the media reform movement has also dropped out of the campaign.

Edwards was the only candidate to have directly addressed the problem of the media in this country. He recognized the danger of unregulated corporations controlling access to the media megaphone that all candidates and initiatives rely on if they harbor any hope of success. His own candidacy was a victim of the exclusionary predilections of Big Media.

Here are some memorable moments from Edwards’ campaign:

“I am not particularly interested in seeing Rupert Murdoch own every newspaper in America.”

“High levels of media consolidation threaten free speech, they tilt the public dialogue towards corporate priorities and away from local concerns, and they make it increasingly difficult for women and people of color to own meaningful stakes in our nation’s media.”

“It’s time for all Democrats, including those running for president, to stand up and speak out against this [News Corp./Dow Jones] merger and other forms of media consolidation.”

“The basis of a strong democracy begins and ends with a strong, unbiased and fair media – all qualities which are pretty hard to [ascribe] to Fox News and News Corp.”

Contrast that with this watered-down criticism by Hillary Clinton. It started off as a rejection of media consolidation, but ended up letting her contributer Rupert Murdoch off the hook:

“I’m not saying anything against any company in particular. I just want to see more competition, especially in the same markets.”

On a positive note, both Clinton and Barack Obama are co-sponsors of the Media Ownership Act of 2007. And they have made statements in support of reform. Last year Clinton told supporters at a campaign rally that…

“There have been a lot of media consolidations in the last several years, and it is quite troubling. The fact is, most people still get their news from television, from radio, even from newspapers. If they’re all owned by a very small group of people – and particularly if they all have a very similar point of view – it really stifles free speech.”

That was right before she handed Murdoch the reprieve above. Obama co-authored an editorial with John Kerry that said in part…

“…to engage in the debates that have always made America stronger, it takes a stage and a platform for discussion – and never before have these platforms been more endangered.”

“In recent years, we have witnessed unprecedented consolidation in our traditional media outlets. Large mergers and corporate deals have reduced the number of voices and viewpoints in the media marketplace.”

But neither Clinton nor Obama have been nearly as aggressive as Edwards in this battle. Both have appeared on Fox News despite the dreadful treatment to which they are subjected. [Note to Dems: NEVER appear on Fox News! Starve The Beast!] And neither has made a point of making the media, the FCC, Rupert Murdoch, etc., a significant part of their campaign. Clinton has an arguably greater moral obligation to address these issues given that it was her husband who saddled us with the abhorrent Communications Act of 1996 that opened the floodgates of consolidation.

The remaining candidates in the race had better wise up. The media that has purposefully marginalized and/or disparaged candidacies that are now defunct, is now free to shift its aim to you. Don’t fool yourselves into thinking that you can weather their assault or bat your eyes demurely and hope that they will leave you alone. They will turn on you and, when they do, you will have little recourse but to whither and disappear or submit to their will. Both of those options will likely lead to a loss of the election, not to mention your soul.

As for the rest of us, we must take affirmative steps to see to it that our candidates understand how important this is – to them and to us. Be sure to write them and demand that they make media reform a plank in their platforms. Ask them about it at rallies and debates. It is up to us to remind them that the fate of EVERY issue we hold dear is dependent on the ability to educate and inform the public. For this we need a fair, diverse, and independent media. No matter what issue motivates you, if you don’t spend at least some of your time reforming the media you are allowing an obstacle to remain in your path that will lead to unnecessary hardship and, perhaps, failure.

Colonel To O’Reilly: Stop Saying You Care For Soldiers

Col. David Hunt is a Fox News analyst and the author of the Colonel’s Corner on His most recent column addresses the debate over homeless veterans that has erupted between John Edwards and Bill O’Reily.

From the outset he is clearly upset with the plight of former soldiers who are now suffering from both physical and psychological hardships. He passionately denounces the circumstances that have led to this sorry state of affairs, as well as those who are not sufficiently outraged:

“…if this does not piss you off, finally get you off your butts, run outside naked while screaming mad, make you paint your face and do a protest dance in front of the White House, then my friends, you are dead from the neck up – and you need to forever stop saying you care for soldiers…”

Are you listening Bill O’Reilly?

The bulk of the article summarizes the gravity of the challenges that homeless vets face and the insufficiency of society’s resolve to respond. On the whole, it is a heartfelt plea from an old war horse to end the smarmy and disingenuous demagoguery and hammer out some practical solutions. Unfortunately, Col. Hunt can’t bring himself to direct his aim at the most abundant source of misinformation on the subject. In his column he doesn’t even distinguish between who is the advocate for homeless vets and who is the denier.

“On his radio and TV shows, Bill O’Reilly commented on Sen. John Edwards’ remarks on the plight of homeless veterans […] The commentary of Bill O’Reilly about John Edwards at least had the issue on the front pages and on TV.”

The problem is that what O’Reilly was putting on TV was entirely contrary to the facts. O’Reilly began his malicious mutterings on the issue by flatly asserting that there were no homeless veterans. From there he was forced to concede that the problem was real but he still insisted that it was trivial because it only affected those who were mentally ill or substance abusers, as if that disqualified them from gratitude or compassion. And never mind that those conditions were probably a direct result of their military service in the first place.

I don’t know if Col. Hunt’s timidity is based on O’Reilly being a friend, or if he is just reticent to squabble with a colleague at Fox News, or if he just wants to keep the focus on the issue, but he is making a mistake by letting O’Reilly off the hook. Two and half million people watch the Factor every day and O’Reilly’s lies are likely to impact the resolve of his audience to seek solutions. If Hunt really cares, he should call his pal and insist on appearing on the program to set the record, and O’Reilly, straight.

Email Col. Hunt and tell him not to let O’Reilly’s lies go answered.

Dishonesty In Politics And In Media by Bill O’Reilly

No one can compound stupidity like The Fester, Bill O’Reilly. Last week he assailed John Edwards for his remarks about homeless veterans. O’Reilly, without making any attempt to ascertain the facts, claimed that Edwards “had no clue” and that, if there were any homeless vets, there weren’t very many.

The proof of the veteran’s plight was so easily attainable that O’Reilly had to concede that the problem did indeed exist. But being O’Reilly, that didn’t mean conceding that he was wrong or apologizing. To the contrary, after embarrassing himself with comments that he admits are immature, he demanded an apology from Edwards, the guy whos was right in the first place. His reasoning was based on an element of the debate that he had to invent.

O’Reilly: “Certainly there are homeless veterans, but it’s not because of the economy. It’s mostly because of addiction and mental illness, something politicians can do little about.”

However, Edwards never claimed that the economy was to blame. He only raised the issue of homeless vets to bring attention to the situation and to assert that America can do better. He was looking for solutions, not blame. But even O’Reilly’s made-up excuse exposes his dishonesty and/or stupidity. First of all, if government can do so little about addiction and mental illness, why do they invest so much in programs for precisely that? Secondly, according to experts, mental illness is only one of the contributors to homelessness:

“Mental illness, financial troubles and difficulty in finding affordable housing are generally accepted as the three primary causes of homelessness among veterans, and in the case of Iraq and Afghanistan, the first has raised particular concern.

Iraq veterans are less likely to have substance abuse problems but more likely to suffer mental illness, particularly post-traumatic stress, according to the Veterans Administration. And that stress by itself can trigger substance abuse. “

So O’Reilly was wrong about the problem’s severity, he was wrong about Edwards’ positions, and he was wrong about the causes. And sadly, O’Reilly seems only to be concerned about veterans if they are having financial difficulties. If the problem is psychological or drug related, then to Hell with them. But even on the financial front O’Reilly can’t help but deceive and distort. He claims that amongst those living below the poverty line…

“Ninety-seven percent have a color TV, 78 percent a DVD player, 80 percent an air conditioner, 73 percent a car or truck, 63 percent cable or satellite TV, and 43 percent of poor households in the USA own the home they are living in.”

That nonsense was lifted from the Heritage Foundation’s Robert Rector who for years has been peddling the notion that America’s poor are living large on the taxpayer’s dime. O’Reilly and Rector are using faulty analysis and outright falsehoods to attempt to reincarnate Ronald Reagan’s fictional welfare queens. On August 27, 2007 Rector wrote an article that included the statistics above and arrived at this conclusion:

“Overall, the typical American defined as poor by the government has a car, air conditioning, a refrigerator, a stove, a clothes washer and dryer, and a microwave. He has two color televisions, cable or satellite TV reception, a VCR or DVD player, and a stereo. He is able to obtain medical care. His home is in good repair and is not overcrowded. By his own report, his family is not hungry and he had sufficient funds in the past year to meet his family’s essential needs. While this individual’s life is not opulent, it is equally far from the popular images of dire poverty conveyed by the press, liberal activists, and politicians.”

Rector has been shoveling this garbage for some time and he even plagiarizes himself because the exact same paragraph appears in a nearly identical article he wrote for the Heritage Foundation three years earlier on September 15, 2004. But Rector has bigger problems than self-plagiarism or propagandistic redundancy. His analysis must be purposely deceitful, as it is so far off from even the sources he cites. The tip off was the 97% of the poor who supposedly have a color TV. In fact, that is the percentage of ALL Americans with a TV (does anyone have a black and white TV?).

The statement that “the typical American defined as poor by the government has…” all of the items Rector lists is profoundly ignorant. The survey says only that these items are owned in these percentages, not that all of the poor own all of the items. So some may have a car, and others may have an air conditioner, etc.

The actual stats, according to the Department of Energy study Rector himself footnoted, are 40% have a color TV, 32% a VCR/DVD player, 27% an air conditioner, 27% a car or truck, 26 percent cable or satellite TV, and 13% own their home. That’s a long ways from the lies O’Reilly and Rector are spewing.

On some level though, you have to admire O’Reilly for having the audacity to be so monumentally wrong and still maintain his air of pompous superiority. His ability to acknowledge that Edwards was right but that he, O’Reilly, wasn’t wrong is classically egomaniacal. And using this occasion to expand on his lies about homeless vets and the poor overall perfectly embodies the meaning of the title of his screed: Dishonesty In Politics And In Media by Bill O’Reilly.

Today’s The Day John Edwards Grabs The Gold

A little less than a week ago, it occurred to me that something was wrong. Something was wrong with the veneration of pundits best known for their failure to deduce anything correctly. Something was wrong with the media deciding who is a viable candidate and when an election is over. Something was wrong with voters being treated like afterthoughts whose participation was merely incidental. And consequent to these observations, it also occurred to me that there was something wrong with the fact that Ron Paul held the record for the most money raised in one day.

I concluded that one way to stuff the spin of the know-nothing punditocracy back down their arrogant throats was to demonstrate the narrowness of their vision. They needed to be knocked down a peg or two by circumstances over which they had no control. I knew that if the people stepped up to thumb their noses at the press, the press would have to pay attention. And since their noses were already so firmly planted in the back end of the horse race schema, a competition for cash was just the ticket. I thought that if Ron Paul could raise six million dollars in one day, John Edwards ought to be able to raise seven.

Despite his relative success and obvious contributions, John Edwards was being edited out of the electoral picture by a pack of myopic politicos. He had beaten Hillary Clinton in Iowa and finished in double digits in New Hampshire. The popularity of his platform was forcing his opponents to adjust their own positions to be more in line with his. With a base of support from progressive Democrats that went back to his campaign in 2004, Edwards had a realistic opportunity to compete in the upper tier of candidates. But the media wouldn’t let him. Edwards himself has taken note this orchestrated media blackout. They marginalized him; they disparaged him; they mocked him. And through it all, he continued to garner support and respect. So they had to resort to ignoring him.

nullThe Project for Excellence in Journalism recently completed a study of the amount of time the media allotted to the presidential candidates. Edwards came in last amongst the Democrats, and next to last amongst all major candidates. The survey was conducted in the days following the Iowa primary in which he finished a surprise second. But that apparently wasn’t enough to persuade editors that Edwards deserved to be covered.

So I wrote a little diary that I posted at DailyKos proposing a grassroots effort to help Edwards set a new fundraising record. In all truth, it was more of an academic suggestion to ponder the possibilities of such an endeavor. Possibilities, being what they are, exceeded my wildest expectations.

The proposal picked up steam at DailyKos getting elevated to its “Recommended List.” This was followed by a steady stream of follow-up diaries by other authors acting on their own initiative. Then it began to spread to other blogs. At the Democratic Underground I found multiple instances of the proposal. Some added creative touches to expand on the theme. One member pledged to donate an amount equal to the number of recommendations the posting received (it was over 300 last I checked). I saw postings on the Edwards Blog site. I saw comments at various news sites, including one at Fox News.

I have no idea what will happen today. I have no clue how much the campaign will raise. If they break the record the media will have to take notice. But no matter the final tally, this has been an exhilarating experience. I have had so many well wishers and expressions of support. Literally hundreds of blog commenters pledged to contribute. And that is only those in the small bloggerhood in which I reside.

People are also becoming more aware of the toxic influence of a media that seeks to shape the news rather than report it. When Edwards talks about the harm being done to our country by greedy corporations he knows that chief amongst the members of that club are the giant media conglomerates. So regardless of how this unfolds, we must continue to fight for reform. Because if we don’t succeed in reining in the power of these monopolies they will forever dictate to us how we should feel, what we should buy, who we should hate, and what our choices are in our formerly free democracy.

Bill O’Reilly’s Homeless Helpline

In his speech thanking supporters for a second place finish in Iowa, John Edwards raised a sensitive subject that is rarely discussed in contemporary politics.

“…tonight, 200,000 men and women who wore our uniform proudly and served this country courageously as veterans will go to sleep under bridges and on grates. We’re better than this.”

The next day, Bill O’Reilly mocked Edwards saying:

“As for John Edwards…good grief… this guy as no clue […] The only thing sleeping under a bridge is that guy’s brain.”

What a callous dismissal of the plight of citizens who deserve something more for their sacrifices. Homelessness amongst veterans is not an emerging crisis that might have caught O’Reilly by surprise. It is an enduring and heartbreaking reality that is well documented. The National Coalition for Homeless Veterans was founded 18 years ago to seek solutions and promote awareness of the problem. The National Alliance to End Homelessness released a study last year on Ending Homelessness Among Veterans. Among their findings:

  • In 2006, approximately 195,827 veterans were homeless on a given night-an increase of 0.8 percent from 194,254 in 2005. More veterans experience homeless over the course of the year. We estimate that 336,627 were homeless in 2006.
  • Veterans make up a disproportionate share of homeless people. They represent roughly 26 percent of homeless people, but only 11 percent of the civilian population 18 years and older. This is true despite the fact that veterans are better educated, more likely to be employed, and have a lower poverty rate than the general population.

But O’Reilly, not content to be merely an ignorant and insensitive jerk, he expands on his dearth of compassion a week later by sarcastically designating himself as a lifeline for troubled vets, saying:

“They may be out there, but there are not many of them out there, OK. So if you know where there is a veteran sleeping under a bridge, you call me immediately, and we will make sure that man does not do it.”

I imagine that O’Reilly would respond to the situation exactly as he says. He would send Stuttering Jesse Watters, or some other Fox Security goons, to forcefully remove any recalcitrant bridge squatters from the area, making sure that nobody blocked the shot of his ambush camera crew.

I say we call him on his offer and direct as many homeless vets as we can to The Fester and to Fox News and see what they do. I expect they will find the problem a bit more complex than presumed by their small-minded preconceptions. While O’Reilly doesn’t believe the problem exists, to the extent that it might, he believes he can resolve it by himself. I would like nothing better than to see this problem show up on his doorstep and watch him squirm.

This is the same guy who fashions himself an advocate for children and writes books on the subject, but claims that kidnap victims prefer life with their captors rather than with their parents. This the same guy who complains that not enough celebrities visit the troops in war zones, even though many have gone multiple times to entertain them. O’Reilly only seems to go when he has a new book to promote.

This is a man who says that John Edwards is a phony and who disputes the all too sad reality that many veterans and their families are struggling through. Yet he also seeks to fortify his dimwitted position by saying that…

“My determination is based upon what is real and what is hype. I believe John Edwards is hype.”

This is a man who raises hypocrisy to a new level. Let’s show him what is real and what is hype. There are thousands of pictures of homeless vets online – Flickr, Google Images, etc. Find one and send it to O’Reilly with a request that he make good on his pledge.

O’Reilly’s email:

[Update] Edwards responds to O’Reilly:

“And the fact that this talk show host, Bill O’Reilly, is willing to speak out that blatantly, when he has no idea what he’s talking about, is an example of how America doesn’t understand the problem, doesn’t understand how serious this issue is.”

$7 Million Dollars In One Day For John Edwards

Last night I posted a diary on DailyKos that proposed a campaign to raise $7 million dollars in one day for John Edwards: John Edwards: $7 Million Dollars In One Day – Make It Happen

The point of the diary was not just to fill Edwards’ campaign coffers, but to jerk the media into paying some attention to a candidate that is still viable but is being shut out of the process. Some pollsters and news organizations have stopped including Edwards in their surveys. This is way too early for the press to be making irresponsible proclamations about the race. They have plenty of time to be irresponsible in March or April.

Ron Paul has managed to stir up respectable levels of exposure despite his low standings in most polls. After being excluded from a Fox News-sponsored debate in New Hampshire, he has now been invited to participate in a Fox debate in South Carolina. That reversal on the part of Fox didn’t occur due to some crisis of conscience on the part of Fox editors. It occurred partly because Paul’s supporters were pissed and they let it be known, and partly because Paul had validated himself in terms the media can understand – fund raising. Having drawn in a record $6 million dollars in one day went a long ways toward forcing the press to pay attention.

Edwards has far more support than Paul in the electorate and within his party, but the press won’t cover him based on rational criteria like that. So if Edwards wants to receive the coverage to which he ought to be entitled, he could either engage in a high speed police chase with Britney’s kids on his lap and a missing white girl in the trunk, or he could set a new record by raising $7 million dollars in one day.

When I posted the diary at DailyKos it received some modest support and good wishes, then scrolled off the page into oblivion. Or so I thought. This morning I awoke to find it featured on the DailyKos “Recommended List” with almost 200 comments attached. So maybe this idea has legs after all.

I believe this is an ambitious but achievable goal and hope that everyone who reads this will participate in the effort. Feel free to use the the graphic above to get the word out. Post it on your blog, MySpace, Facebook, etc. Send it emails to all your friends and family. To embed it on another site, copy and paste this code:

$7 million dollars is a lot of money to raise online, and 5 days is not a lot of time to organize. But if Ron Paul can do it, fer gawds sake, we ought to be able to.