Fox Nation Outrage: Obama Vacations With White People – And Other Lies And Delusions

The Fox News community website, Fox Nation, is a non-stop parade of deliberate misinformation, biased reporting, and promotion of notoriously disreputable purveyors of propaganda and conspiracy theories like Alex Jones and Breitbart News. [For more documented proof of Fox Nation’s lies, read Fox Nation vs. Reality] This morning that penchant for bullpucky was in full display with a trio of stories that perfectly illustrate the Fox Nation mission.

Fox Nation

Let’s begin with a little item that alleges that “Obama Suggests Conservatives Are Greatest Threat To Nation.” This story was filched from the ultra-rightist Daily Caller (which is run by Fox News host Tucker Carlson) and referenced an interview of President Obama in the New York Times. Obama discussed gridlock in Washington and told the Times that “Our politics are dysfunctional.” That is an indisputable fact that is evidenced by this congress being the least productive in history. The article also said that…

“The president mused, the biggest threat to America — the only force that can really weaken us — is us.”

That’s quite a different statement than what was asserted in the headline. To be sure, it is Republicans that have boasted of their obstructionism. GOP House Speaker John Boehener even said that the congress under his “leadership” “should not be judged on how many new laws we create. We ought to be judged on how many laws we repeal.” By that measure they still suck because they have repealed precisely zero laws. But the point is made that they are proud of being an obstacle to progress. Nevertheless, Obama placed the blame more broadly on “us,” not conservatives as the liars at Fox Nation and the Daily Caller said.

Next up is an article that was picked up from right-wing media distorters, NewsBusters. They in turn were citing England’s version of the National Enquirer, the Daily Mail, who reported speculation that the former Director of Communications for George W. Bush, Nicolle Wallace, had been chosen to replace Jenny McCarthy on “The View.” Fox Nation turned that item into “Liberal Nicolle Wallace Is the New ‘Conservative’ Host on The View?”

“Liberal?” Wallace, as noted above, was a long-time political operative for the Bush regime. She was also a deputy campaign manager for his reelection in 2004, and headed up Sarah Palin’s communications staff for the McCain/Palin campaign in 2008. Wallace created a stir when she spoke candidly about Palin’s shortcomings after the election. But that doesn’t make her a liberal. It makes her intelligent and honest. On second thought, maybe it does make her a liberal, because those are qualities that liberals respect and conservatives disdain. However, for Fox Nation and NewsBusters to characterize Wallace as liberal after a career of conservative politicking is just plain delusional. Apparently the only replacement they would find suitable would be someone like Ann Coulter or Michele Bachmann.

Finally, the Fox Nationalists went to their resident screeching hyena, Mark Levin, for a taste of his undisguised racism. The headline on Fox Nation said “Mark Levin Blasts Obama for Vacationing at ‘Whitest Place on Earth’” Indeed, Levin seems to have found something objectionable about our African-American president and his family hobnobbing with his Caucasian superiors, rather than serving them drinks and cleaning their rooms as God intended. Levin continued saying to Obama that “We know how you hate whites,” and that Obama would be better off vacationing in the U.S. Virgin Islands. [Remember what happened to Glenn Beck when he said that Obama hates white people?]

But what makes this truly despicable is that Levin is not only racist, he is stupid – or is that redundant? As noted by Mediaite’s Matt Wilstein, Martha’s Vineyard has a richly diverse history:

“While Martha’s Vineyard is no doubt a ritzy island with more than its fair share of white people, Levin is clearly unaware of its rich history as a summer destination for wealthy black families. This is particularly true of Oak Bluffs, where African-American families began summering as early as the 1890s.”

Levin does make a valid point in one respect. Perhaps Obama should stay away from “the whitest place on Earth.” But it isn’t Martha’s Vineyard. It’s Fox News, where vile bigots roam free to disparage the nation, insult its citizens, and preach a brand of faith that exalts the wealthy, white, ruling class.

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As usual, Fox News is rampant with racism, delusion, and bald-faced lies. The articles above are only a small sample of the repulsiveness that is published there every day. It’s astonishing that they get away with this and even attract devoted fans. Obviously, there is still a lot of work to be done in this country to stamp out bigotry and the ignorance from which it stems.

How The Media Got EVERYTHING Wrong About Cantor’s Primary Defeat

Last week a tsunami of shock washed over the Washington press corps as the second highest Republican in congress was swept overboard in a primary race against an unknown Tea Party opponent. Eric Cantor’s embarrassing loss has sparked debate as to how such a powerful GOP leader could have been caught looking. Unfortunately, the media contribution to the debate is rife with speculation and error.

Koch-Cycle Dave Brat

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First off all, the characterization of Cantor’s opponent, Dave Brat, as an outsider who sprung from the grassroots to slay Goliath is a reflection of the shallowness of the research conducted by the mainstream media. Thom Hartmann went deeper and discovered that Brat was on the radar of the billionaire Koch brothers long before he launched his allegedly underdog campaign. Koch-affiliated financiers endowed Randolph-Macon College with half a million dollars to seat the Ayn Rand disciple as a trickle-down economics professor. Then, when the campaign commenced, radio talk show hosts like Laura Ingraham and Mark Levin took the baton and fervently promoted Brat’s candidacy. Ingraham and Levin are just a couple of the radio talkers who are sponsored by Koch front groups like Americans for Prosperity.

This brings us to the second point. The media repeatedly cast a spotlight on the campaign spending differential between Cantor and Brat. Cantor raised more than $5,000,000 compared to Brat’s $200,000. Many reporters latched onto the amusing anecdote that Cantor spent more on steak dinners than Brat spent in total. However, what they failed to take into consideration was the value of the airtime contributed by the likes of Ingraham, Levin, Beck, Limbaugh, Fox News, et al. It could cost a couple of hundred dollars for a thirty second spot on a high performing radio program. Extrapolate that to twenty or thirty minutes of direct advocacy by the the program’s host every day for a month or two and you could easily have exceeded Cantor’s budget for broadcast advertising.

Adding in the value of the donated airtime rips apart the third fallacy peddled in the press – that Brat’s low cost campaign disproves the contention that money makes the difference in elections. This is a target that has been in the sights of conservatives since the Citizen’s United debacle in the Supreme Court. The rush to exonerate wealthy donors of having any untoward impact on electoral outcomes was head-spinning. Every right-wing pundit with a microphone hailed the demise of the theory that cash-laden campaigns had an unfair advantage. In truth, Brat’s campaign was far richer than acknowledged due to the media support detailed above. But even if there were no other factors, a win by a single candidate in one race surely doesn’t negate the fact that in 99.99% of other races the better financed candidate prevails. If the right is so convinced that Brat’s showing proves that money doesn’t matter, I dare any of them to announce that they are halting their fundraising and capping their spending at $200,000.

Fourth: Tea Party supporters were quick to jump on Brat’s win as evidence of a Tea Party resurgence. In just about every other race this cycle, the Tea Party challenger lost to an establishment incumbent. With Brat’s resounding victory, they claim to have regained their mojo. But the only way they can make that argument is if they forget that they lost just about every other race this cycle.

Finally, the Washington set is dead certain that Brat’s triumph was due to his stance against immigration. After all, he did feature it in his campaign ads and it was a point of departure between him and Cantor. Unfortunately for those who seem to have a desperate yearning for that to be true, polling on the day of the election proved otherwise. Public Policy Polling released the survey showing that “72 percent of registered voters in Cantor’s district polled on Tuesday said they either ‘strongly’ or ‘somewhat’ support immigration reform.” And the anti-immigration forces conveniently ignore the fact that on the same day Sen. Lindsey Graham, an establishment, pro-immigration candidate, from an even more conservative state, handily dispatched a slew of Tea Partiers. More likely, the problem for Cantor was that he mustered only a 43% job performance approval, just a couple points off of his losing election results.

So Dave Brat won a peculiar contest in Virginia where he had hidden support from billionaires and an opponent who was widely disliked. Then he disappears and refuses to speak to the voters he hopes will be his constituents. It’s been three days and he hasn’t held a post election press conference. And yet the press continues to misrepresent the realities that produced the results of this election. It’s a state of affairs that proves that Cantor wasn’t the only loser last week. The voters and others who rely on the media to provide useful information and analysis also lost. But they should be used to that by now.

Tea Party Pundit Proposes Unconstitutional Resolution Against Unconstitutional Resolutions

In case anyone has forgotten that last year Louisiana’s GOP governor Bobby Jindal called Republicans the “Stupid Party,” Tea Party radio screamer Mark Levin has generously volunteered to remind us.

Mark Levin

Read Fox Nation vs. Reality for more documented stupidity.

In his response to President Obama’s State of the Union speech, Levin went berserk over what he perceived as a tyrannical usurpation of power by the President. In Obama’s speech he castigated our do-nothing congress for its relentless obstructionism and gave them this rather diplomatic warning:

“I’m eager to work with all of you. But America does not stand still – and neither will I. So wherever and whenever I can take steps without legislation to expand opportunity for more American families, that’s what I’m going to do.”

That’s all it took for the the right-wing outrage machine to get fired up and begin a frantic crusade against what they believe to be an unprecedented overreach. Of course, the truth is that every president has and uses his executive authority to proceed with initiatives that Congress fails to act upon. It is consistent with the constitutional jurisdiction of the executive branch of government, but that hasn’t stopped Republicans from bellowing about dictatorship.

Mark Levin’s post-speech rant took the form of advice to the Republicans in congress. He concluded that they were toO weak to do what he really wanted – which is to impeach Obama for some reasons he didn’t bother to specify. So he proposed an alternative in the form of a congressional resolution:

“Whereas the President of the United States has exerted executive powers not granted to him under the United States Constitution, the House of Representatives hereby asserts, as an equal governing institution, that all such acts by the President of the United States are null and void. The House of Representatives further asserts that no federal department, federal official, or federal employee is authorized to appropriate any sum of taxpayer dollars in furtherance of any unconstitutional act by the President of the United States.”

The Stupid Party (aka the Tea Party, aka the Republican Party) strikes again. First of all, no act by the President, or the Congress for that matter, is unconstitutional until the Supreme Courts says it is. The House of Representatives has no authority to unilaterally designate something the president does as unconstitutional. Secondly, any acts declared unconstitutional by the court are already null and void and don’t require a congressional resolution to be recognized as such. Nor is a prohibition of funding necessary for an act ruled unconstitutional. Since it cannot be carried out, no funds would be allocated to it.

What is laughably pathetic about Levin’s resolution is that it would probably fail the test of constitutionality itself were it ever enacted and challenged in the court. As noted above, the legislative branch cannot rule on the constitutionality of executive actions. And even more idiotic is the fact that Levin doesn’t seem to comprehend that his proposed law could not be enacted without the President’s signature. Does Levin think that Obama would sign this asinine bill?

So what does Fox News do with this utterly delusional rant by a crackpot who clearly doesn’t understand constitutional law? Well, they feature on their Fox Nation website along with all the other blatant lies and disinformation. And thus, the cycle of stupidity continues to flow from wingnut pundits to dishonest news outlets to an audience of willful dimwits.

Fox Nation Posts Radio Rant Against MSNBC That Also Attacks Fox News

One of the most notoriously hyperactive conservative radio shoutcasters is Mark Levin. Some of his on-air convulsions boil over into such bombastic rage that he seems close to having a cerebral aneurysm. He is filled to the brim with contempt for those with whom he disagrees, and that’s a long list.

Fox Nation

This morning his target was MSNBC (again) and the roster of hosts whom he regards as vile character assassins. But while lashing out in what was pure projection, Levin also snared Fox News in his net of wild invective. The subject of his attack was what he considered to be an affront to his Wingnut Queen, Sarah Palin. So he let loose…

“We’re getting way too comfortable with these character assassination efforts by the media, by the left, by the sycophants and their operatives against certain individuals in this country. Did the Republican National Committee speak up for Sarah Palin? No. Did Karl Rove go on Fox to defend one of his colleague? No. Did all of those folks on Fox, with a few exceptions, stand up for her? No.”

In defending Palin’s alleged honor, Levin orchestrated something short of a surgical strike that left his pals at Fox News bleeding in the rubble. This isn’t the first time either. Levin has frequently attacked Fox News and its so-called personalities. He has blasted Rove as “sleazy” and a “liar.” He has called Dana Perino a “jerk.” He hammered Bill O’Reilly as a “fraud.” And, remember, Levin is a frequent guest on the network he is lambasting.

However, what’s notable in today’s news is that the Fox News community website (and Fib Factory), Fox Nation, posted an audio clip of Levin that included his condemnation of Fox. Apparently Fox is so consumed with disseminating anything negative about their enemies that they were either unaware or indifferent to the negativity aimed at themselves. You could probably go on Fox and call the network a festering boil on the ass of television, so long as you also said something nasty about President Obama in the same sentence.

Just for fun, Levin also took a swing at Jon Stewart saying that “Stewart is quoted all over like he’s some kind of a news guy, some kind of an analyst. He’s a comedian, and he’s vile and repulsive and dimwitted. Nobody writes my stuff.” Like anyone would dare to take credit for the asinine swill that Levin pukes.

RNC Votes To Ban CNN/MSNBC Debates – Which They Have No Power To Do

For the past couple of weeks there has been a flurry of fretful reporting about a threat by Republican National Committee chair Reince Priebus to ban CNN and MSNBC from the GOP primary debate schedule. Priebus is disturbed by currently non-existent projects about Hillary Clinton that he is certain will characterize her favorably.

Today Priebus made good on his threat by shepherding a resolution though the RNC’s annual meeting that declares that they “will neither partner with these networks in the 2016 presidential primary debates nor sanction any primary debates they sponsor.”

Fun Fact: How many GOP primary debates did the RNC sponsor in 2012?
Answer: Zero
There were twenty debates held and not a single one was sponsored by the RNC. However, every debate on Fox News was sponsored by a state Republican Party affiliate. Also notable is that MSNBC held a debate co-sponsored by the Reagan Library, and CNN held debates co-sponsored by Tea Party Express, the Heritage Foundation, and the American Enterprise Institute.

There is, however, a small problem with the Priebus declaration. The RNC has no power whatsoever to prohibit any debate by an network. Sure, they can pass resolutions that make grandiose claims to authority that they don’t have, but reality trumps their hubris. The truth is that any network can announce its intention to produce a debate. They can invite candidates to participate. The candidates are free to accept or reject any offer as they see fit. Chances are, the second and third tier candidates will accept virtually any opportunity to promote themselves on national television. Subsequently, the frontrunners will be reluctant to let their competitors have the stage to themselves. So the debates will go on with a full cast of characters.

Priebus’ threat, therefore, is an impotent cry for attention. He is not empowered to force his will on the people who are vying to be the next leader of the free world. In a best case scenario he may be able to influence the number of debates, which is a goal he has previously articulated. After all, it is fairly obvious that the more Republican candidates are exposed to the American people, the more they will embarrass themselves, and the more votes they will lose. The GOP has a distinct interest in limiting their exposure, and that is what Priebus is aiming for.

The hypocrisy of Priebus’ resolution is apparent in the fact that he is only nixing CNN and MSNBC, even though there have been reports that Fox may be producing the NBC project. Priebus cannot extend his toothless ban to Fox or there would be no cable news networks available to host a GOP debate. But there is no reasonable explanation for why Fox would be given a pass (other than their role as the GOP PR division).

Fun Fact: What do you get when you remove the vowels from Reince Priebus’ name?
Answer: RNC PR BS

The full text of the resolution cites campaign donations by the head of NBC’s entertainment division to Hillary Clinton, but the head of Fox News’ parent corporation has done likewise. Also, the News Corp political PAC, News America Holdings, has given more to Democrats than Republicans in each of the last four election cycles. So if producing Clinton documentaries and donating to her campaign warrant prohibition as debate hosts, then Fox clearly qualifies.

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Rush Limbaugh

Finally, there have been recent calls for the RNC to recruit right-wing loyalists as moderators for their debates. The names mentioned most frequently include Rush Limbaugh, Sean Hannity, and Mark Levin. In response, Levin has said that he is ready and willing, despite the fact that he has previously said that he will do whatever he can to prevent Chris Christie from becoming the GOP nominee. As for Limbaugh, he told his radio dittoheads that he is “too famous” and would “overshadow” the candidates. That’s a telling remark in itself, as it demonstrates just how diminutive is the stature of the GOP field. Perhaps the GOP should nominate Limbaugh.

This tussle could not be better for Hillary Clinton and the Democratic Party. If the RNC is successful in limiting the number of their debates it will have effectively cut off millions of Americans from learning about their candidates (although, as noted above, that might a good thing for the GOP). But even worse is the prospect of debates led by staunchly conservative radio talk show hosts. Priebus and company think that friendly moderators will help avoid the antagonistic questioning that he presumes would occur on other networks. But to the extent that that is true, it will also result in the candidates being woefully unprepared for the full-contact combat they will eventually encounter in the general election. What’s more, the rightist Taliban, as represented by Limbaugh et al, will be more likely to force candidates to stake out extreme positions which they will be unable to “Etch-a-Sketch” away after the primaries. The wingnut media are notoriously committed to the sort of ideological purity that voters find repugnant.

So if the RNC wants to proceed with this self-defeating initiative, they will have the full support and cooperation of their pals at the DNC. Nothing would please Democrats more than Republicans digging themselves ever deeper holes of extremism. The outrageous statements and gaffes that occur at the “official” RNC events would still be broadcast on the other networks afterwards. So Priebus’ efforts to limit the damage would be futile, and even counterproductive. As would his admonition that disobedience “may include severe penalties for candidates that participate in unsanctioned debates.” That’s right – Priebus plans on giving the reprobates a good spanking. Wouldn’t that look great on a candidates permanent record?

The Talk Radio Congress: Mainstreaming The Madness Of Conspiracy Theories

Once upon a time, the most outlandish fantasies of fringe political fabulists were confined to a narrow spectrum on the AM radio dial. They concocted delusional narratives that ranged from murderous first ladies to galactic alliances with Martians. It was an entertaining world of fiction and a guilty pleasure for some, even as the true believers were convinced of the frightening fate that was unfolding.

Today, however, the boundaries between rational political discourse and raving madness have been erased. The extremist peddlers of nightmare scenarios who were once thought to be charmingly eccentric at 1:00am are now advising elected representatives of the people to initiate investigations and draft bills addressing these non-existent threats. Congress today hosts members who are no more reliable (or sane) than the wooly denizens of Alex Jones-land or the lie factory of Fox Nation. Here are just a few of the urban legends that are now circulating in the halls of state and federal legislative bodies courtesy of the whack job broadcasting set.

The UN Arms Treaty That Threatens US Sovereignty
ButtheadsThe United Nations recently passed an initiative to address the proliferation of “illegal” arms trading amongst terrorists and rogue nations. As expected, the right-wing Chicken Little Brigade immediately began protesting that this was another attempt to dilute national sovereignty and bring about a one-world government. Of course, there is nothing in the proposal that would infringe on the rights of any nation to set their own standards for gun ownership. The actual resolution explicitly states that countries will “exclusively” maintain the right within their borders to, “regulate internal transfers of arms and national ownership, including through national constitutional protections on private ownerships.“

This perfectly reasonable attempt to disarm criminals and tyrants was opposed initially by Alex Jones and similar fringe broadcasters. But eventually their outrage bubbled up to singe Republicans in congress who managed to prevent the treaty’s ratification. The GOP opposition was notable for the fact that it concurred with the only three UN nations that also opposed it: Syria, Iran, and North Korea.

Communists Have infiltrated The US Government
This may seem like a throwback to the 1950’s and the Red Scare promulgated by Sen. Joseph McCarthy and others. But make no mistake, this is all too current. Commie hunters in the fringe media are still accusing all liberals of having pinko sympathies. And they have an ally in former representative Allen West, who is now hosting his own web cast. West told a group of supporters that “I believe there’s about 78 to 81 members of the Democrat Party who are members of the Communist Party. It’s called the Congressional Progressive Caucus.” West lost his seat last November, but it is important to note that the leadership in the House never rebuked him or dissociated themselves or the GOP from his remarks.

Muslims Have Infiltrated The US Government
This is a corollary to the commie conspiracy updated to smear a more contemporary foe. Originally this allegation was espoused by the infamous Islamophobe Pamela Geller. She latched unto the fact that then-Secretary of State Hillary Clinton had a close aide with a Muslim-sounding name. Huma Abedin has worked for Clinton for more than a decade and is respected by all who know her. She was even defended by House Speaker John Boehner and Sen. John McCain. That didn’t stop a cabal of House members, led by Tea Party queen Michele Bachmann, to fire off a letter to the State Department demanding an investigation and alleging that Abedin had ties to the Muslim Brotherhood.

There was never any evidence provided to support these allegations. Nor is there any evidence accompanying the new accusations by Texas Rep. Louie Gohmert, who told WorldNetDaily that Obama deliberately “bungled” the investigation of the Boston marathon bombing because “this administration has so many Muslim Brotherhood members that have influence.”

Benghazi Is Obama’s Watergate
Fox Nation - BenghaziThe king of right-wing talk radio, Rush Limbaugh got the ball rolling with this one. He alleged on his program that Obama was deliberately blocking the investigation into the attack on the US facility in Libya. Limbaugh could not come up with an explanation for why Obama would want to stymie the inquiry, so the implication left hanging was that he had some connection to the attack that he wanted to cover up.

Numerous other media outlets jumped on this mini-bandwagon with Fox News assuming a prominent role. Every Fox program began banging the Benghazi drum, and integral to their publicity push was escalating the scandal to include congressional players to add Washington credibility (such as it is). Republicans like Lindsey Graham and John McCain were happy to comply.

The Most Important Story In History
Not one to be ignored, Glenn Beck joined the fray with what he considered to be the “most important story in history.” The plot involved a Saudi man who was briefly questioned following the Boston marathon bombing. It was quickly discovered that he was a victim, not a suspect, and he was released to recover from his injuries. Beck, however, would not let go of the story. He threatened the White House that if they were not forthcoming with the truth about this, he would reveal the evidence he had that would blow the roof off the White House.

Beck’s deadline came and went with no revelations of scandal. He merely repeated what he had previously alleged, which had already been debunked. Which makes it all the more curious that four members of congress are officially demanding answers from the Department of Homeland Security based on what they call “media reports,” but are really just Beck’s psychotic discharges.

The Government Is Stockpiling Ammunition To Kill Us All
Last year there was a flurry of panicky hand-wringing by notorious conspiracy mongers over reports that agencies of the federal government had purchased large caches of ammunition. In the minds of the nutcases on the right, that was evidence that the DHS is plotting a response to some impending disaster scenario wherein they will be forced to kill every person in America five times. That is precisely what Mark Levin, Sean Hannity’s replacement for Sarah Palin, is terrorizing his radio listeners with.

This phony horror story was summarily dismissed by the DHS with documentation and proof that nothing out of the ordinary was occurring. It was merely a purchase contract to lock in lower prices for ammunition used commonly by several law enforcement agencies for regular use and training. Nevertheless, congressional overreaction to the “news” has resulted in a General Accounting Office inquiry into the purchase request. That inquiry was spurred by GOP senator (and Levin listener) James Inhofe who has also drafted a bill to prohibit ammunition purchases in amounts larger than those of previous administrations. Presumably that’s to make sure that the black guy doesn’t get any ideas.

And Then There’s Agenda 21
Amongst the conspiracy theory elite there is only one supreme and all encompassing doctrine of apocalyptic disaster: Agenda 21. The furor over this initiative dates back to the John Birch Society. In reality it just a UN guide to sustainable environments that recommends some completely voluntary measures aimed at advancing smart growth and safer, more livable communities. It was adopted by 178 countries and signed for the U.S. by President George H.W. Bush. It was, however, never ratified by the senate.

Glenn Beck - Agenda 21Somehow this benign project was transformed in the minds of conservative mythmakers into a monstrously evil plot to steal the liberty of all mankind. Glenn Beck even wrote a book about it wherein he describes it as “centralized control over all of human life on planet earth.” But the panic doesn’t stop there. Multiple state resolutions banning its implementation with a foreboding tenor have been enacted. For example, Tennessee’s resolution condemned its “destructive and insidious nature” and began by saying…

“WHEREAS, the United Nations Agenda 21 is a comprehensive plan of extreme environmentalism, social engineering, and global political control that was initiated at the United Nations Conference on Environment and Development…”

That’s fairly typical of the numerous legislative measures aimed at defending America from a tyrannical, global, one-world government, orchestrated by despotic environmentalists and the liberal media. And we might as well throw in George Soros because that’s who freshman senator Ted Cruz of Texas believes is responsible for the whole affair. Cruz has promised that he will “…continue leading the fight, to stop Agenda 21 and any other globalist plan that tries to subvert the U.S. Constitution and the liberties we all cherish as Americans.”

These delusional and thoroughly discredited inventions from the paranoia factories of Glenn Beck, Alex Jones, Rush Limbaugh, etc., were once the province of the radio backwoods and militia ham operators. And as frightening as these grim fairy tales are, what’s truly scary is that this conspiratorial fiction is now being embraced by elected officials in Washington and state houses across the country.

The Fox News Paranoid Conspiracy Follies And The Collapse Of Society

Last year there was a flurry of panicky hand-wringing by notorious conspiracy mongers like Alex Jones and the fruitcakes at WorldNetDaily and Newsmax. Reports that agencies of the federal government had purchased large caches of ammunition set the rumor peddlers tongues to wagging as they imagined brigades of Obama’s stormtroopers marching into the corn fields and trailer parks of rural America gunning down everything in their path.

This sickness infected much of the right-wing crackpot community and spread via chain letters and the blogs of Psycho Chicken Littles who were convinced by Glenn Beck that the End of Days was upon us. At the time, these ludicrous delusions were smacked down by more rational thinkers including those at PolitiFact. But the acutely deranged conservative mind is not an easy thing to assuage. And as a result the tales of doom persisted and are even now being retold by Fox News and its heralds.

Fox Nation

The latest incarnation of this horror story is a rehashing of the news that the Department of Homeland Security had purchased more than a billion bullets. In the minds of the nutcases on the right, that is evidence that the DHS is plotting a response to some impending disaster scenario wherein they will be forced to kill every person in America five times. That is precisely what Mark Levin, Sean Hannity’s replacement for Sarah Palin, is terrorizing his radio listeners with:

“I’m going to tell you what I think is going on. I don’t think insurrection. Law enforcement and national security agencies — they play out multiple scenarios. They simulate multiple scenarios. I’ll tell you what I think they’re simulating: the collapse of our financial system, the collapse of our society and the potential for widespread violence, looting, killing in the streets, because that’s what happens when an economy collapses.”

Repent sinners – the end is near. Never mind that in the past four years, since George W. Bush actually did come within a hair’s breadth of collapsing the economy, America’s financial state has recovered nearly everything it had lost. The stock market is higher today than it was before the crash. Housing markets are heating up. Unemployment, though still uncomfortably high, is three points lower than its recessionary peak. None of that, however, has any impact on the FoxPods who are stubbornly certain that we are on the brink of disaster.

What makes this particularly idiotic is that the DHS has fully explained the ammunition purchases and that explanation was even reported by Fox News in a wire story from the Associated Press:

“Federal solicitations to buy the bullets are known as ‘strategic sourcing contracts,’ which help the government get a low price for a big purchase, says Peggy Dixon, spokeswoman for the Federal Law Enforcement Training Center in Glynco, Ga . The training center and others like it run by the Homeland Security Department use as many as 15 million rounds every year, mostly on shooting ranges and in training exercises.”

The story goes on to note that these munitions were to be used by “more than 90 federal agencies and 70,000 agents.” In addition they are also used by Immigration and Customs Enforcement, the federal government’s second largest criminal investigative agency. But this exceedingly reasonable explanation didn’t deter Fox from advancing an utterly insane conspiracy theory. It’s what they do and, dammit, they do it pretty well.

[And for good measure…] Sarah Palin couldn’t resist the urge to make an ass of herself:

Sarah Palin

Sean Hannity Taps Manic Mark Levin To Fill The Sarah Palin Void

Now that Sarah Palin has received her walking papers from Fox News,
Mark Levinthe programs that relied on her signature vitriolic commentary have been left to struggle with how to fill the air time she previously consumed with her incoherent rants. The programs most concerned are Greta Van Susteren and Sean Hannity who tied for the most Palin appearances during her tenure as a Fox contributor.

This problem appears to have been solved for Hannity. Conservative screecher Mark Levin announced on his radio show that he will soon begin to make regular appearances on Hannity’s Fox-capades. It’s a fairly reasonable programming decision since the delusional hostility exhibited by Levin is remarkably similar to that of Palin. The transition to this new sneering character should go pretty smoothly. Here are a few of Levin’s recent proclamations that might easily be mistaken for Palin’s trademark tirades:

  • The Muslim Brotherhood has infiltrated our government, it’s called Barack Obama.
  • You can see the pockets of tyranny within our own country.
  • We [elect Obama] again, it’s not a mistake. It’s national suicide.
  • “[ObamaCare] sounds Hitler-esque to me.
  • What kind of uniforms will this national security force wearing? Will they be Brown Shirts? Will they be clicking their heels as they walk?
  • I’ve taken a lot of heat for calling Obama a Marxist.
  • Will that presidential library be in Kenya or Chicago?

I think Levin got almost every Obama haters slander in there: Birther, Nazi, tyrant, Muslim, Marxist, and the Apocalypse. He is nothing if not thorough. And the big bonus is that Fox is getting Levin for free. In his announcement he noted that he would not be an official Fox News contributor and would be receiving no pay for his appearances. Considering the fact that Palin was found to have cost Fox $15.85 per word (a million dollars a year) for her dimwitted dissertations, Fox really scored by dumping her for a reasonable facsimile that costs them nothing.

Hannity viewers must be relieved that they won’t miss a thing when Levin joins the show. They will continue to enjoy the ignorant bleating and crackpot references to liberal fascists and encroaching tyranny to which they have become so accustomed thanks to Sarah Palin. Mark Levin may be the most appropriate substitute Fox could have scrounged up.

Does Honesty Still Mean Anything To Fox News?

Fox News executives and defenders have been adamant that whatever bias exists at Fox, it is clearly delineated as opinion and is separate from what they regard as their hard news reporting. Never mind that even Fox admits that the majority or their schedule is opinionated and observers notice that much of that opinion seeps into their straight “news.” Further evidence of this seepage was apparent this morning on the Fox News web site. The image posted here was today’s featured story.

What this demonstrates is that it is getting harder to recognize the difference between Fox News and the Fox Nation (or for that matter, the Republican Party and the tea bagging, birther, secessionist, militias). The editorial pages of Fox are becoming indistinguishable from what they assert is news content. And while this has been obvious for some time on the air, it is expanding precipitously online.

The story referenced here is one that Fox is busily misrepresenting. They are portraying self-executing rules in Congress as illegal, unconstitutional, “Slaughterhouse” rules. But knowledgeable analysts are aware that these rules have been used many times by both parties. Norm Ornstein, of the conservative American Enterprise Institute, had this to say on the subject:

“I can’t recall a level of feigned indignation nearly as great as what we are seeing now from congressional Republicans and their acolytes at the Wall Street Journal, and on blogs, talk radio, and cable news. It reached a ridiculous level of misinformation and disinformation over the use of reconciliation, and now threatens to top that level over the projected use of a self-executing rule by House Speaker Nancy Pelosi. In the last Congress that Republicans controlled, from 2005 to 2006, Rules Committee Chairman David Dreier used the self-executing rule more than 35 times, and was no stranger to the concept of ‘deem and pass.'”

The key falsehood that Fox and their Republican patrons are peddling is that there will not be a vote on health care. The truth is that there have already been votes in both houses of Congress and the bill passed by significant majorities (in the Senate by a super-majority). And there is still a vote to be held to invoke amendments to the bill that includes the self-executing language. So any member of Congress voting “aye” on this is transparently voting in favor of the health care bill. It is not clandestine in any respect, and it is not an absence of a vote.

Nevertheless, Fox, Republicans, and conservative pundits, are castigating this routine procedure as nothing short of treasonous. Rep. Mike Pence (the #3 Republican in the House), called the rule unconstitutional, but when it was pointed out to him that he had previously voted for such a rule at least three times, he said “Yeah, sure.” So either he misspoke and the rule is constitutional, or he previously voted for a rule that he knew was not constitutional.

Conservative talk show host, Mark Levin, has threatened to take the matter to court to reverse any measure passed via this procedure. Would that mean that every bill passed in this way by Republicans would also be repealed?

Fox News legal analyst, Judge Andrew Napolitano, made a nearly incoherent argument that the rule is unconstitutional but that the Supreme Court wouldn’t interfere with congressional discretion. This is a (former) judge who actually believes that the Supreme Court would let stand a law despite considering it to be a violation of the Constitution. That’s just plain nonsense. The court can issue rulings that are debatable, or even wrong, but they do not issue rulings that are contrary to what they believe.

Fox News, on the other hand, has no problem reporting things that they don’t believe. It is entirely implausible that the editors and reporters at Fox don’t know about the use of self-executing rules. Yet they misreport on them anyway. And now they even characterize them as being unconstitutional when they know that that isn’t the truth. And those false characterizations are posted on their news pages and are not differentiated as opinion. Which is why you have to wonder if honesty means anything to Fox News.

Jon Stewart: Scaring Conservatives With Comedy

The conservative thought model is dominated by confrontation. Rightists are obsessed with hostile imagery. Their loins tingle when one of their heroes utters threatening bromides from the safety of their TV studio. That’s why people like Bill O’Reilly are revered for being bullies. It’s why Bill Kristol and Norman Podhoretz get respect for their proposals to bomb Iraq or Iran or whatever imagined enemy is presently being demonized. It’s the reason that Fred Thompson and Mike Huckabee are cheered in debates for alluding to Iranians encountering virgins at the gates of Hell.

Conservatives love their wars and they love to pretend that they would all perform like Rambos were they to meet some vile terrorist in a dark alley. What’s more, they love to bash liberals as weak and insufficiently dedicated to the cause of eradicating the vermin encroaching on our otherwise tranquil paradise.

After 9/11 the cry arose that anything you do that is contrary to the rightist stance on national security means that “the terrorists will win.” Now that catch-phrase has been adapted for the media. Today, anyone who doesn’t kow-tow to propagandists in the press are pansies who would shrink from their duty to defend their country. What we have now is the equivalent of the old schoolyard taunt that my patriotic daddy can beat up your Islamo-fascist daddy. Some recent examples follow:

“The candidates that can’t face Fox, can’t face Al Qaeda.”
Roger Ailes, Chairman, Fox News.

“If The Times can’t take an argument with Kristol, how can it face down Al Qaeda?”
John Gibson, Fox News Host.

Notorious wankmeister Jonah Goldberg was a guest on the Daily Show with Jon Stewart a couple of days ago. The fearsome Stewart has apparently frightened some conservative warriors, because now they are complaining about the encounter and questioning whether any of their ilk should venture into Stewart’s lair considering the enormity of the risk. The National Review’s Mark R. Levin puts it this way:

“You have to make a calculation when you go on shows hosted by liberals like Jon Stewart. They are not going to allow you to actually discuss your book. Their audiences are prepped to laugh at whatever the host says and react negatively to whatever the author says. And when their writers aren’t striking, the host is armed with a bunch of jokes to mock the author. So, you have to weigh that against a couple of mentions of the book, and whether the entire enterprise is worth it.”

Oh my heavens! The audience is “prepped” to “laugh.” What dastardly evil could justify that kind of behavior during a comedy program? Levin’s colleague at the magazine, Kathryn Jean Lopez, is also afraid:

“Stewart generally winds up trying to make a joke out of you or your issues, or is just downright unfair. The best shows involve some sort of smart give and take. The Daily Show isn’t generally conducive to such a thing. You’re either in downright hostile territory, or you’re pretending to be something you aren’t – a comedian. It’s just not worth it.”

The bravado of the right seems to be showing some wear around the edges. What became of their zeal to cast Liberals into the pits of Hades? Where is that gung-ho bearing that inspired such feats of daring as shoving a candidate’s aide so that you can beg him to come on your TV show? It seems to me that the only real question here is:

“If you can’t face Jon Stewart, how could you possibly face Al Qaeda?”
News Corpse, Far-left Internet Smear Merchant