Trump Threatens Fox News: ‘I’m Not Happy with Fox and I’m the One Who Calls the Shots’

The evidence that Fox News is just a subdivision of the Republican Party (or vice versa) continues to pile up. And the closeness of that relationship has never been stronger than it has during the administration of Donald Trump. Fox News and Trump share a profound intimacy wherein the State TV network will unceasingly defend the President and malign his critics, while he generally sings the praises of his most devoted Trump-fluffers. Leaked emails recently revealed the existence of a literal Propaganda pact between Fox News and Trump.

Donald Trump, Fox News, Strange

However, on occasion Trump will have a brief falling out with his PR team at Fox. It usually occurs when a Fox News pundit has the audacity to tell the truth about Trump or to challenge his perceived omnipotence. Foxies like Chris Wallace and Shepard Smith have periodically been victims of Trump’s wrath. But his complaints are never based on any identifiable error in content or facts. Trump just lashes out in unhinged tantrums when someone at Fox is not sufficiently worshipful.

That rare moment of independence presented itself recently when Fox News released the results of its latest poll. The numbers were decidedly negative for Trump, including the finding that the top four candidates for the Democratic nomination for president (Biden, Warren, Sanders, and Harris) handily beat Trump in 2020 general election match ups. Trump never even broke forty percent. The poll’s respondents also gave a much higher favorability rating to the Democratic Party (51/45), than the Republican Party (41/54), which they rated as significantly unfavorable. And in a searing rebuke of Trump’s assessment of his own ability to unify the nation, 59 percent of voters said that he is “tearing the country apart.”

Predictably, Trump went bonkers at Fox daring to deflate his messianic self-image. And he frantically unloaded his outrage during another episode of his “Chopper Talk” reality show that has replaced White House press briefings. It was a jaw-dropping spectacle that confirmed that Trump regards Fox News as an affiliate of the White House that must always be obedient to his demands (video below). He began…

“Fox is a lot different than it used to be, I can tell you that. […] Fox has changed. And my worst polls have always been from Fox. There’s something going on with Fox, I’ll tell you right now. And I’m not happy about it. I don’t know what’s happening with when they have a Juan Williams who’s never said a positive thing. And yet when I show up at the Fox building he’s out there, “Oh sir, can I have a picture with you? Can I have a picture? He’s 100 percent nice.”

First of all, Trump has complained before about Fox News polls that he says “have always been terrible to me.” However, this collection of his own tweets proves that Fox’s polling has often been favorable to him, and he knows it. And it’s interesting that he considers that Juan Williams being polite somehow makes him a hypocrite. That actually tells you something about Trump’s boorish and infantile personality. Then he continued…

“Fox is different, there’s no question about it. And I think they’re making a big mistake because Fox was treated very badly by the Democrats. Very, very badly. Having to do with the debates and other things. I think Fox is making a big mistake because, you know, I’m the one who calls the shots on the really big debates. I guess we’re probably planning on three of them. And I’m not happy with Fox. I’m certainly happy, I think, Sean Hannity and Lou Dobbs. I think Tucker Carlson and Laura, Jesse Watters and Jeanine. We have a lot of great people.”

Trump is unambiguously threatening Fox News here. He’s saying that if they don’t start delivering more favorable polling results he might just prohibit them from hosting election debates. He believes that Fox’s polls should not be honest, representative samples of the electorate but, instead, should be aligned with the views of his favorite shills (Hannity, Dobbs, Carlson, etc.) And if they aren’t, then Fox will be punished. Also, his assertion that “WE” have a lot of great people, is a clear indication that in his mind Fox News is part of his regime. TrumpenFox is a monstrous creation that crossbreeds news and politics.

This would be a good time to point out that Trump’s assertion that he “calls the shots” is bullshit. The apolitical, independent Commission on Presidential Debates has sponsored general election presidential debates in every election since 1988. So unless Trump intends to unilaterally rescind that process, he won’t be deciding which networks host the debates.

Of course, given his recklessness and ignorance, Trump just might try to nix the Commission and impose his own terms for debate. That, however, wouldn’t go down well with the Democratic nominee who likely oppose any such move. And if the debates are canceled as a result, it would just make Trump look petty, stubborn, childish, and most of all, scared. Which is unquestionably the true state of his diseased psyche, considering his utter failure to deliver on his campaign promises, and the teetering state of the economy. The American people would see in real time that the Donald Trump who dodged the draft is the same coward dodging the debates.

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

Fox News Co-Host Admits the Network and Trump are ‘Joined at the Hip’

Anyone who has paid the slightest bit of attention to Fox News for the past couple of decades knows that it is a brazenly biased mouthpiece for right-wing propaganda. They are a 24 hour promotion platform for conservative policies and politicians. And for as long as they’ve been on the air they have pretended to be in the dark about their obvious partisanship.

Fox News Trump

Now, in what may be a first for Fox, one of their own has confessed to what everybody else already knows. In an interview with Krystal Ball of Hill TV, Fox’s Juan Williams set the truth free. Responding to Ball’s observation that the “lines between Fox News and this White House blurry at best,” Williams elaborated saying,  “Blurry? I think they’re joined at the hip.”

That’s actually a rather gentle description of what they are joined by. And the clinging embrace has only tightened since Trump took residence in the White House. The Hill correctly noted that:

“Throughout his presidency, Trump has demonstrated that he is a devoted fan of the cable news channel, frequently quoting remarks made by its hosts and often tweeting responses to comments made by Fox News hosts. He is a particular fan of FNC’s morning show, ‘Fox and Friends,’ watching it daily during what White House staffers refer to as ‘executive time.’

“The president has also hired a number of prominent Fox News on-air staff to work high-level jobs in his administration, including National Security Adviser John Bolton and Department of State spokeswoman Heather Nauert. In July, former FNC co-president Bill Shine joined the White House to serve as communications director.”

Williams justified his presence on Fox News by asserting that it’s important to have someone “inside that bubble.” However, he disagreed that Fox is a propaganda channel. And that’s where his limited display of honesty falls short. He doesn’t seem to recognize the all-consuming prejudice of their programming. He is even oblivious to their discrimination against him personally. As one of Fox’s longest serving personalities, he has been passed over as a solo host over and over again. Do you think his moderately liberal views, and/or his race, had anything to do with that?

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

At least he managed to discuss publicly the fact that Fox News and Trump are inextricably intertwined, at least briefly. And that’s something he could never say when he’s on Fox.

Fox News’ Senior Whipping Boy: Juan Williams Has Tolerated Political and Racial Bias for Two Decades

The Huffington Post just published an article by Yashar Ali that explored the reasons behind Kimberly Guilfoyle’s surprise departure from Fox News. Donald Trump Jr’s lover was criticized for trying to hang on to her Fox gig while shacking up with the President’s recently divorced son. How could she, folks wondered, comment on Trump without bias under these circumstance?

Fox News, Juan Williams

However, according to Ali, that wasn’t the reason for Fox terminating her. Like many Fox personalities before her, Guilfoyle has been accused of sexual misconduct and abusive behavior. She denies the charges, but Ali’s reporting includes more than twenty witnesses. However, there was an interesting side note in the article that deserves more attention. To demonstrate the deteriorating environment surrounding Guilfoyle, Ali wrote that:

“Guilfoyle had become increasingly isolated in the past year, sources said. Three of her co-hosts on ‘The Five’ (Dana Perino, Jesse Watters and Greg Gutfeld) have second shows to host themselves. Guilfoyle was not given the opportunity to host her own program while she was a co-host of the panel show.”

So of the five co-hosts of the creatively-named The Five (which airs at 5:00pm ET), three had second shows and one (Guilfoyle) did not. The fifth is Juan Williams. Since 1997 Williams has been the beleagured African-American, Fox-style liberal at Fox News, walking the tight rope of sheepishly representing the Democratic ideology while staying in the good graces of Fox’s conservative hierarchy. For more than twenty years Williams has been a loyal employee who often defended Fox News when they were criticized for their obvious right-wing bias. He would make himself available for appearance on other Fox shows to take abuse from the conservatives who always outnumbered him.

During his time at the network, many commentators who joined after him were rewarded with their own shows. Everyone from Gretchen Carlson and Jesse Watters to Laura Ingraham and Tucker Carlson, and many more. They all have two things in common that Williams lacks: They are rabidly conservative and they are white. So despite having more seniority and more experience, Williams was passed over repeatedly by his right-wing, Caucasian peers.

It might be easy to explain Fox’s unwillingness to promote Williams as due to his politics. Fox has never had solo liberal host in it’s twenty-two year history. And as co-hosts and panelists liberals have always been outnumbered by conservatives. So his politics surely had something to do with his stagnant career. But for a network that is overwhelming dominated by white commentators and hosts it’s hard to dismiss the likelihood that race also played a profound role in the failure of Williams to land his own program.

The question is: Why does Williams stick around when it’s so obvious that Fox is discriminating against him both politically and racially? If he had any self-respect he would quit and issue a sharp rebuke of the network for it’s biases. But he is either addicted to the money, or he is so weak-livered that he can’t stand up for himself or the principles of equality. I think the former is part of the reason for his tolerance of this workplace abuse, but the latter is probably more responsible for it. That weakness is evident in his mushy advocacy of Democratic positions, which he will support only up until the point where he feels like he’s trampling on his wingnut colleagues. He almost always comes short of the sort of powerful argument that a real liberal would present.

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

As a result, Williams will always come short as a commentator who will never advance to a host as he watches other lesser Foxies leap frog him to greater success. Fox News will keep around because he fulfills their need for an African-American leftie. But they are keeping him around only for show and to persist with the lie of fairness and balance. Williams will stay because he’s a wimpy slave to the Fox plantation that allows him to hang out in the big house with his masters.

A Fox News Host Tells the Truth About GOP Healthcare Bill – Gets Slammed By Co-Hosts

The Republican bill to repeal ObamaCare squeaked by Thursday in the House of Representatives. Not surprisingly, it received no votes at all from Democrats determined to protect access to healthcare. The independent analyses of the legislation are virtually unanimous that it will result in higher premiums and fewer services. The projected number of people covered by insurance would decline by twenty-four million or more. Virtually every consumer healthcare advocacy group has come out against the bill. Rep. Jim Cooper compiled a list of fifty such groups that include AARP, AMA, American Cancer Society, and Families USA.

Fox News Juan Williams

Of course Fox News still leans decidedly toward the Republican view. Their reports are unabashedly anti-ObamaCare. Since the House vote, Fox News has been portraying it as a major victory for Donald Trump. Never mind that it still has a long and arduous path to becoming law. The Senate is already predicting that the House bill will not even be brought up. Instead, they will draft their own legislation, which will likely be unacceptable to House conservatives.

In the midst of the debate, one of the co-hosts of The Five on Fox News managed to get worked up about the misinformation surrounding coverage of the bill (video below). Juan Williams broke from the mandatory Fox orthodoxy to unleash a stream of truth-telling not often seen on Fox. He began by declaring that GOP bill was “a fraud.” He continued with criticisms aimed directly at Trump:

“This is a guy who didn’t get anything done. No legislative accomplishments the first 100 days. Desperate for something that he can call a victory.”

At that point Williams was interrupted by co-host Meghan McCain. She wondered “Then why are Democrats so hysterical today if nothing happened?” Williams ignored her question, but the answer was pretty obvious. Democrats, and most Americans, are outraged by the efforts of the GOP to throw millions off of their healthcare plans. Just because Republicans haven’t yet achieved success doesn’t mean that the attempt isn’t reprehensible. But Williams kept his stride saying that:

“Here’s the details you have not heard about, America. Uninsured, more uninsured people. … If you’re a senior in this country, so many older people voted for President Trump. Guess what? Now you can be charged five times more for your medical coverage. … Hospitals are going to pay more for Medicare. … What about the poor? Paying more for premiums and deductions. It’s a fraud!”

And that’s about as far as Williams was allowed to go. He was pounced on by the other four conservative panelists on the program. (That’s why every panel on Fox News is heavily over-weighted with wingnuts). The subsequent shouting and cross-talk made everyone unintelligible, thereby suppressing Williams’ arguments.

The last thing Fox News wants is for reasonable presentations of progressive policies to get on the air. And if they manage to slip through, they must be squashed with all due haste. Even if that means devolving into childish tantrums that prevent any meaningful discussion. That tactic works for Fox because it silences views they oppose while titillating their drama-hungry viewers. It’s the Fox way.

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

Fox News Is At The Cliff’s Edge And Donald Trump May Push Them Over

Gabriel Sherman has been writing about Fox News for many years and has been the source of several major scoops. He is the author of a biography of Fox CEO Roger Ailes (The Loudest Voice in the Room), and his sources are deeply embedded in the organization and are generally reliable. His columns for New York Magazine have exposed the inner workings of the network such as one of the possible reasons that Fox kowtows to Donald Trump (he has dirt on Ailes).

Donald Trump Roger Ailes

In his most recent column, Sherman addresses the discovery that Fox’s Megyn Kelly visited Trump at Trump Tower to try to cool his burning animosity toward her and to perhaps get him to appear on her special for the Fox Entertainment Network next month. It’s an interesting read, but one part of it diverges from the main topic to present an even juicier dilemma for Fox.

In the course of unraveling the melodrama in progress between Fox, Trump and Kelly, Sherman makes an observation about Fox’s primetime programming that deserves further analysis:

“Fox’s lineup is more in flux than it has been in years. According to sources, Sean Hannity is the only prime-time personality who has recently reupped for another term. O’Reilly, who turns 67 this year, has yet to commit. If Ailes were to lose Kelly and O’Reilly, Fox’s evening schedule — the source of most of its advertising revenue — would collapse. ‘There’s not much of a bench,’ one veteran Fox executive says. And CNN is already nipping at Fox’s lead in the key advertising demographic of 25-to 54-year-olds (though Fox still has more total viewers).”

Indeed, Fox would be up a creek if it lost O’Reilly and Kelly. Needless to say, the suits will try everything they can to avoid that doomsday scenario, but with O’Reilly getting way past his expiration date, and Kelly getting money and opportunity thrown at her from all directions, Fox may not have any say in the matter.

So how would Fox fill the void left by its two biggest stars? They have traditionally promoted from within, but as Sherman’s source notes, “there’s not much of a bench.” They surely couldn’t elevate their morning “curvy couch potatoes” (Steve Doocy, Brian Kilmeade, Ainsley Earhardt) to primetime. Their afternoon roster is dominated by Neil Cavuto (who is also anchoring a show on Fox Business Channel and serves as Exec VP of business for both networks), Shepard Smith (whose portfolio is breaking news), and Bret Baier (who is the networks version of a “legitimate” nightly news anchor), so none of them would slide easily into a nightside opinion format.

There are minor players among the contributor class at Fox who simply don’t have the gravitas to pull off the promotion. They include people like the terminally lightweight Eric Bolling, the smug Tucker Carlson, and the perpetually angry Kimberley Guilfoyle. None of them have either the appeal, the depth of knowledge, or the broadcasting skills to carry their own show.

However, there is one person on the roster who, at any other network, would be on the short list for a primetime slot. Juan Williams has been with Fox for nearly twenty years. He has appeared on virtually all of their programs as a guest, as well as a co-host for some including the currently running The Five. He has also filled in as host on The O’Reilly Factor. There’s just one problem: Williams is considered to be the “liberal” on Fox News (although I would dispute that characterization), and despite their claim of fairness and balance, they would never hand over an hour of primetime to someone who wasn’t a committed conservative. Oh, and there’s one other thing that might be an obstacle for Fox: He’s black.

So Fox is either going to have to hand over some valuable TV real estate to one of their pedantic, third rate seat fillers, or go outside the family to bring on a radio nutcase like Mark Levin or Laura Ingraham. Or they could snag a bona fide cable star like Duck Dynasty’s Phil Robertson. And since most of the contracts in question will expire after the 2016 election, they might also consider from among the losers of that race. As I wrote a few months ago, Roger Ailes was asked about this and indicated an interest in Chris Christie and Carly Fiorina.

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

But I thought Ailes was missing the obvious choice, and someone with experience hosting a vapid television show that was comprised mainly of fakery: Donald Trump would be a promising choice to fill the whole primetime schedule all by himself (which he would probably insist upon). He has everything Fox News requires: He will shamelessly lie to advance right-wing propaganda. He will engage in childish fights with his guests. He will completely mutilate the news into an unrecognizable heap of bullshit. It’s pretty much what Fox’s primetime stars do now. And he has plenty of experience having been on Fox more than most of its regular anchors over the last ten months, so viewers won’t notice much of a change. And the last thing Fox wants to do is startle their audience into perhaps waking up.

Irish Lives Matter? Fox News Celebrates Racism On St. Patrick’s Day

Leave it to Fox News to turn the most slammin’, sloshin’, party holiday of the year into an opportunity to demean a civil rights movement devoted to saving lives and improving relations with society’s institutions.

foxnews-stpatricks

Today’s episode of “The Five” opened with an extended segment of the panel’s tribute to St. Patrick’s Day by parading an array of everything they could find that was painted green, including donuts, milkshakes, and tacos. But it didn’t take long for them find a way to devolve into the offensive rhetoric that is the hallmark America’s rightist wingnut network. Somehow a light-hearted discussion about green beer and leprechauns led to the following exchange between Juan Williams and Kimberly Guilfoyle:

Juan Williams: Irish people were stereotyped and denigrated for a long time.
Kimberly Guilfoyle: And the Irish got over it. They don’t run around going Irish Lives Matter

This is one of those times when screaming at the TV just isn’t sufficiently satisfying. Guilfoyle actually believes that there is a coherent equivalence in America today between the current state of prejudice experienced by African-Americans and the Irish. She thinks that her snide mockery of Black Lives Matters makes a cogent point about civil rights.

Guilfoyle would be right if the Irish were being gunned down in the streets while unarmed for trivial alleged crimes. She would be right if the Irish were subject to institutionalized racism during encounters with law enforcement. She would be right if driving while Irish was a thing. But since none of that exists in reality, she’s just another Fox News bigot trying and failing to disparage a movement that is working hard to resolve real problems.

Fox News, of course, has a history of being openly biased, and St. Patrick’s Day has been the springboard for it before. A couple of years ago the Guinness Beer company made a principled decision to skip New York’s St. Patrick’s Day parade because the LGBT community was prohibited from participating. That led Rupert Murdoch to tweet

“Where will this end? Guinness pulls out of religious parade bullied by gay orgs who try to take it over. Hope all Irish boycott the stuff.”

At the time, News Corpse spelled out all the reasons that tweet exposed Murdoch as being either senile or drunk. Not the least of which is his ludicrous suggestion that Irish Americans, or any other celebrant, is going to abstain from drinking the most famous Irish beer in the world on St. Patrick’s Day. And as if to rub it in that Murdoch is a raging fool, last year Ireland voted to legalize same-sex marriage and gays proudly marched in this year’s parade.

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

Rupert Murdoch

Book By Fox News ‘Liberal’ Uses Free Speech To Claim Liberals Are Killing Free Speech

The network that markets itself as “fair and balanced” has spent years proving their commitment to that slogan by balancing their right-wing infused “news” delivered by GOP mouthpieces with right-wing infused “news” delivered by people they falsely claim are liberals. The roster of fake Democrats on Fox News is extensive and includes rabid rightists like Pat Caddell, Doug Schoen, Mara Liasson, Juan Williams, and Kirsten Powers, all of whom freely express their contempt for the Democratic Party.

Kirsten Powers has long been a member of the Fake Democrat Society. She invariably agrees with her Fox News colleagues whenever she engages in a so-called debate on current events. Fox will predictably call on her to discuss issues that they know will reflect poorly on other Democrats. So if there is bad news for President Obama or Hillary Clinton making the rounds, Powers will get extra airtime to pile on. And she can be relied upon to make incendiary comments like the time she accused Obama of sympathizing with terrorists. Plus, she gets the benefit of the Fox marketing machine when she has a liberal bashing book to promote.

Fox News Kirsten Powers

This new book by Powers, The Silencing,” has the not-at-all derogatory subtitle of “How the Left is Killing Free Speech.” What could be more appropriate for the network that daily exercises its free speech to disparage lefties while complaining about being victims of official censorship? And what better message for a supposedly liberal pundit to devote to an entire book? And while we’re at it, how dumb is it for someone exercising her free speech in a book (and daily on Fox News) to complain about free speech being killed?

The truth is that this book is a petty and self-serving response by Powers to the derision she endures for her conservative activism while pretending to be a liberal. For some reason she thinks that she can get away with wearing a Democratic label and bashing Democrats, but never be criticized for it. So she wrote a book to further hammer away at those with whom she professes to be aligned. What better way to demonstrate loyalty than to accuse your so-called friends of “killing” free speech?

In some respects this book is just the sequel to Muzzled: The Assault on Honest Debate,” the book her fellow fake Dem, Juan Williams, wrote a couple of years ago on pretty much the same subject. Both books attack what they regard as political correctness as exercised by a liberal establishment that objects to Fox News passing off right-wingers as Democrats.

As evidence of the rightward ideological slant of Powers, her book was published by the uber-conservative Regnery Publishing, the literary home to Dinesh D’Souza, Ed Klein, Michelle Malkin, Laura Ingraham, Newt Gingrich, Mark Levin, Ann Coulter, Ted Nugent, and Patrick Buchanan. That is not the sort of company kept by real liberals. However, Powers’ book fits right in with the other tomes lambasting liberalism and chronicling the exploits of our allegedly treasonous and foreign-born president.

Additionally, Powers has been lauded by the ultra-rightist Breitbart News on numerous occasions, even as they joined the charade that Powers is not one of them. And the first excerpts of her book were published by the house organ of the Heritage Foundation, now led by former GOP Senator and Tea Party icon Jim DeMint. These are associations that expose the ulterior motives that Powers is pursuing with her partisan diatribe. Those motives are further revealed on the inside flap of her book:

“Free speech and freedom of conscience have long been core American values. Yet a growing intolerance from the left side of the political spectrum is threatening Americans’ ability to freely express beliefs without fear of retaliation.”

First of all, the notion that free speech comes with a shield from retaliation is contrary to the definition of free speech. What conservatives like Powers want is the ability to say all the nasty, dishonest things they like without being subject to rebuttal or criticism. It’s free speech for them, but no one else.

From a broader perspective, however, this book just reveals an effort to take down liberals for perceived intolerance, while completely ignoring the same from conservatives. If Powers were the least bit concerned about representing a progressive worldview, she would have authored a more balanced assessment of the matter. The fact that she limited her inquiry to the alleged crimes of liberals shows exactly where her heart lies.

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

Furthermore, the inside flap also declares that the reader will “learn how the illiberal left is obsessed with delegitimizing Fox News.” And that, in the end, is its whole reason for existing. It is a flagrantly self-serving attempt to promote Fox News, excuse their blatant biases, and restore the credibility she and Fox have lost due to their rampant dissemination of lies, which PolitiFact has found is the majority of their reporting.

Fox News PolitiFact

The First Refuge of Scoundrels: How Fox News Recruits From Reporting’s Worst Rejects

Journalism is a competitive field and the best and the brightest are highly valued assets by reputable news enterprises. And then there’s Fox News.

Tucker Carlson

No other “news” organization so aggressively hires the refuse cast off from other media employers. It must be a great comfort for wayward reporters and pundits to know that if they should violate the standards of ethics and/or decency demanded of them, they will always have somewhere to turn for sympathy and a fat paycheck, not to mention an undiscriminating audience.

For so many fallen television personalities, Fox News has been a support system that promises them a steady career path and a future that, in the past, would have meant well-deserved humiliation and disgrace. For these folks Fox was their white knight who stepped forward to whitewash their professional sins.

Pat Buchanan: The author of notoriously bigoted books like “State of Emergency: The Third World Invasion and Conquest of America,” Buchanan was released from his contract with MSNBC after he wrote that as a result of “the rise to power of an Obama rainbow coalition of peoples of color […] whites may discover what it is like to ride in the back of the bus.” He then complained that he was a victim of blacklisting by a coalition of blacks, gays, and Jews, before being swept up by Fox.

Juan Williams: A veteran correspondent for National Public Radio, Williams went astray when he confessed that “when I get on the plane, I got to tell you, if I see people who are in Muslim garb and I think, you know, they are identifying themselves first and foremost as Muslims, I get worried. I get nervous.” Williams failed to see the inherent racism in his commentary and refused to apologize. Shortly after NPR relieved him of his duties there, Fox signed him to a new multimillion dollar contract.

Judith Miller: In the lead-up to George W. Bush’s invasion of Iraq, New York Times reporter Judith Miller coordinated with the administration to make the case for war. Her articles gave credibility to fabricated allegations that Saddam Hussein was developing weapons of mass destruction. Eventually her distortions were revealed and the Times sent her packing. And where else but Fox would have welcomed her with such open arms?

Erick Erickson: Following the election in November of 2012, many news outlets resolved to reexamine their operations and staff. At CNN they concluded that there was no longer a place for an ultra-conservative blogger who once called Supreme Court Justice David Souter a “goat-fucking child-molester.” Fox was also undergoing a self-examination and decided that Erickson was just what they were looking for.

Rick Sanchez: Not satisfied with calling Jon Stewart a bigot in a radio interview, Sanchez elaborated by falling back on the well-worn anti-Semitic theme of Jews controlling the media. “[E]verybody who runs CNN is a lot like Stewart,” Sanchez said, “and a lot of people who run all the other networks are a lot like Stewart, and to imply that somehow they – the people in this country who are Jewish – are an oppressed minority? Yeah.” Today Sanchez is a correspondent with Fox News Latino and MundoFox. Ironically, Sanchez once castigated Latinos who worked for Fox as “sell-outs,” and Fox responded by saying that “Everyone knows that Rick is an industry joke, he shows that he’s a hack everyday. And he doesn’t have to worry about working at FOX because we only hire talent who have the ability to generate ratings.”

Mark Fuhrman: A regular crime analyst on Fox, Fuhrman may be better known as the disgraced former Los Angeles police officer who upended the O.J. Simpson trial by falsely testifying that he had never used racist epithets. That sort of behavior, however, is not a problem for the editorial bosses at Fox.

Doug McKelway: A familiar face in Washington, D.C., McKelway anchored a local news broadcast until he drew complaints for having told a gay activist he was interviewing that he wanted to take him outside and punch him in the face. That episode capped a rocky tenure during which he often fought with producers over his perception that the station’s broadcasts were too liberal. He doesn’t have that problem anymore now that he is a correspondent at Fox.

Lou Dobbs: This long-time CNN anchor was ostensibly CNN’s financial expert. Somewhere along the way he assumed the role of an immigrant basher and a proponent of the racist notion that all terrorists are Muslim. And to sweeten the pot, Dobbs joined the Birther Brigade by repeatedly demanding that President Obama produce his “real” birth certificate. In retrospect, it seems like Dobbs was positioning himself for future work at Fox News.

Oliver North: Here’s an oldie but a goodie. Col. North was convicted of lying to congress about President Reagan’s arms-for-hostages affair. While the conviction was later overturned by an appellate court that ruled that North’s testimony had been immunized, the underlying facts were not in question. North’s confession to a host of illegal acts was not a hindrance to his becoming a host on Fox News.

Don Imus: What can be said about the guy who was fired for calling a group of women on a college basketball team “nappy-headed hos?” Fox calls him the anchor of the morning block on their financial network.

Tucker Carlson: Perhaps the poster child for Fox’s Disgraced Reporter Rescue Program is Tucker Carlson, who has managed to fail on CNN, PBS, and MSNBC before receiving salvation from Fox. And like Sanchez, Carlson once held Fox in low esteem calling them “a mean, sick group of people,” after they published his home phone number on the Fox web site. But when Carlson was jettisoned from MSNBC he worked his way back into the good graces of Fox as the editor of The Daily Caller blog, then as a Fox contributor, and now the co-host of the weekend edition of Fox & Friends.

This pattern of staff development by Fox relies heavily on applicants (or, in the case of Sanchez and Carlson, supplicants) with proven histories of impropriety. They seem to regard the discards of other networks as their richest vein of new talent. And if the prospect has any lingering felonies on their rap sheet, all the better. The frequency with which Fox acquires ethically-challenged employees belies any suggestion that it is mere coincidence. They are clearly drawn to the reportorial riffraff and regard moral defects as badges of honor.

Consequently, if anyone is interested in handicapping the next batch of Fox contributors, just check to see who has been recently terminated at some other news outlet or paroled from prison. And if their offense involved an injury to a liberal policy or person, double down, you’ve got a sure thing.

Fox News Freak-Outs: How The Big Bully Of Cable News Fizzles Under Fire

In the cable news business there is one network that relentlessly boasts about its prominence and formidable presence above all others. Fox News is clearly taken with itself and is even promoted in their own ads as “The Most Powerful Name In News.” That makes it all the more curious that Fox seems to shudder when confronted with opposing arguments.

Fox News
This article was also published on Alternet.

Fox News is often the subject of well-deserved criticism due to their aversion to facts and a long record of strident bias. However, their first reaction to reasonable rebuttals is to go on the attack against their perceived enemies. It is behavior reminiscent of schoolyard bullies with marshmallow centers who struggle to mask their hurt feelings with forced bluster. What follows are seven examples of just how thin-skinned this allegedly powerful network really is, and how prone they are to whining when they get smacked down.

At a press conference President Obama astutely noted that the penchant Fox News has for punishing Republicans who dare to work cooperatively with Democrats has the effect of discouraging Republicans from such cooperation. That rather modest observation sent Fox News into a tizzy. Jumping immediately to the most absurd stretches of hyperbole, Steve Doocy of Fox & Friends fired up the outrage machine to accuse the President of attacking, not merely Fox News, but the First Amendment. Meanwhile the determinedly dishonest Fox Nation web site declared the President’s remarks to be a threat. How Obama was infringing on freedom of the press or threatening anyone was never explained.

In an interview Al Gore commented on Fox News and right-wing talk radio saying “The fact that we have 24/7 propaganda masquerading as news, it does have an impact.” Rather than try to dispute the obvious truth of Gore’s comment, Fox’s Peter Johnson, Jr launched into a harangue about Gore permitting a news enterprise based in the oil-producing nation of Qatar to buy his network, Current TV. Yes, that had nothing to do with Gore’s remarks, but it did serve Johnson’s purpose of blindly lashing out at Gore for daring to besmirch Fox.

Author and military foreign policy expert Tom Ricks was invited on to discuss his new book, The Generals. Fox host Jon Scott thought he could get Ricks to join Fox’s crusade to blame Obama for the tragedy in Benghazi, but Ricks wasn’t cooperating and told Scott that “I think that the emphasis on Benghazi has been extremely political, partly because Fox was operating as a wing of the Republican Party.” That was apparently too much for Scott who abruptly ended the interview less than 90 seconds after it began. After taking criticism from other media for that self-serving censorship, Fox VP Michael Clemente doubled down and disparaged Ricks for not having “the strength of character to apologize.”

Greta Van Susteren saw an opportunity to whimper about how mistreated Fox is when she complained that the State Department had left them off the mailing list for a couple of news briefings. She called it “a coordinated effort” to punish Fox by “denying Fox access to information.” What she failed to disclose was that the State Department had previously explained that they had only notified news organizations that had reporters assigned to cover the department and that, having none, Fox didn’t get on the list. But that explanation didn’t stop Van Susteren and others at Fox from assailing the administration for an imagined snubbing.

In a debate over whether or not NBC had ever criticized President Obama on the use of drones, Bill O’Reilly falsely claimed that the drone story never appeared on NBC. In fact, it was NBC who broke the story. The following night, after much ridicule for his egregious mistake, rather than apologize and set the record straight, O’Reilly lashed at the “loons” who were engaging in “more deceit from the far left.” As usual, any critical analysis of O’Reilly or Fox News is viewed as liberal Fox-bashing and is met with name-calling and vilification.

Fox’s Juan Williams is one of the network’s alleged lefties. When he made a disturbingly racist comment about his fear of flying with Muslim passengers, he was let go by his other employer NPR. The reaction from Fox News was swift and utterly repulsive. Fox’s CEO Roger Ailes lashed out in defense of his pet liberal saying of NPR that “They are, of course, Nazis. They have a kind of Nazi attitude. They are the left wing of Nazism.” Most people would regard that as something of an overreaction, but for Fox it is consistent with their characteristic vengefulness when they consider themselves under siege.

Perhaps the most frequent target of Fox’s vitriol is the watchdog group, Media Matters for America. By defining its mission as a monitor of conservative bias in the news, Media Matters has earned the undying enmity of Fox News. In the course of their persistent barrage of slander aimed at Media Matters, Fox has called the founder, David Brock, (without substantiation) a dangerous, self-loathing, mentally ill, drug user. Fox was so frightened by Media Matters that, in the week prior to publication of their book The Fox Effect, Fox News broadcast no fewer than a dozen derogatory pieces in a preemptive strike with segments on their most popular programs, including The O’Reilly Factor, Hannity, Fox & Friends, etc. It was the sort of blanket coverage they usually reserved for a natural disaster, a declaration of war, or a lewd TwitPic of a politician. Fox’s anti-Media Matters campaign even included solicitations on the air (more than 30 times) by Fox anchors beseeching their viewers to file complaints with the IRS challenging Media Matters’ tax-exempt, non-profit status.

These are just a few of the more notable instances when Fox has engaged in pronounced public wailing after taking flack from a critic. But it’s an almost daily occurrence for Fox to slap back at a politician, pundit, or even a celebrity, who utters something that Fox regards as unflattering. Just ask Bill Maher or Nas or Sean Penn. For a network that touts its powerfulness, Fox News behaves with the sort of tender sensitivity that is generally associated with sniveling weakness. They wildly lash out at critics and stubbornly refuse to acknowledge mistakes or accept responsibility when errors are pointed out. It is, to say the least, undignified, unprofessional, and immature, but it is the Fox way.

Fox News Anchor Chris Wallace Is “In Touch” With His Ass

Chris Wallace has been described by some of his peers as the face of journalistic integrity on the famously biased Fox News Channel. Even the Daily Show’s Jon Stewart once praised him saying that…

“I think that you are here, in some respects, to bring a credibility and an integrity to an organization that might not otherwise have it without your presence.”

That was an uncharacteristically muddled moment for Stewart. He was right, of course, that Fox News has no credibility, but he was way off in his assessment of Wallace who has repeatedly demonstrated that he is right at home on the network that deliberately falsifies the news.

On today’s Fox News Sunday, Wallace provided another example of his overt prejudice when he rudely cut off his colleague Juan Williams (video below). They were discussing presidential politics when Williams sought to make a point about the Republican’s affinity for the rich One Percenters:

WILLIAMS: The Republicans, in this time of Occupy Wall Street, are the protectors of the super rich.

WALLACE: [Laughing] I’m not sure if we should talk about Occupy Wall Street as a plus anymore…

WILLIAMS: Yeah, I think we should!

WALLACE: Really? With all the violence in the streets? You really think that most of the American people…

Wallace pointedly interrupted Williams to make a snarky remark about OWS, which he followed up with a distortion about the incidence of violence. Most of the violent episodes at OWS sites have been perpetrated by law enforcement against the protestors. Williams made a valiant attempt to counter Wallace and complete his thoughts, but Wallace was unrelenting.

WILLIAMS: You know what? You are getting distracted, and you’re getting distracted by people who are crazy…

WALLACE: I think I’m in touch with what most people are thinking, which is they’re getting fed up with it.

When did Wallace become the arbiter of “what most people are thinking?” He is the host of the lowest rated Sunday news program and a representative of a minority viewpoint with regard to the key issues expressed by the 99% movement. Every poll shows that broad majorities agree with the agenda of OWS, particularly on taxation of the rich, protection of Social Security and Medicare, and reining in the power of corrupt and abusive corporations and getting them out of politics.

Clearly Wallace is wildly out of touch with the American people and pitifully unaware of that fact. Consequently, he persists in trying to censor Williams who plainly tells Wallace that he is not in touch.

WILLIAMS: The fact that is when you ask most people is Wall Street out of control; is there inequality in terms of income in this country? People say ‘Yes.” And those are the basic tenets of Occupy Wall Street.

At this point Wallace cuts Williams off again even as Williams is pleading to be allowed to finish is point.

WALLACE: Juan, there’s a limit. We want to play fair here.

WILLIAMS: You’re not playing fair, but go right ahead.

Wallace was determined to prevent any positive characterization of OWS from being articulated on his program. It was obviously a frustrating moment for Williams who criticized Wallace on the air for his unfairness. That’s nearly unheard of in these news talk circles.

It is particularly interesting in that Williams regards himself as the victim of editorial repression at the hands of his previous employers at NPR. He wrote a book on the matter called “Muzzled.” One has to wonder if that’s how he felt this morning with Chris Wallace.