Legal Jiu-Jitsu: Grand Jury Probing Planned Parenthood Indicts Video Hucksters Instead

The Texas legal system delivered a sort of poetic justice yesterday when a grand jury handed down an indictment of David Daleiden, the founder of the anti-choice Center for Medical Progress (CMP), and his associate Sandra Merritt. The charges included “tampering with a governmental record” and “illegally offer[ing] to purchase human organs.” At the same time the grand jury cleared Planned Parenthood of any wrongdoing.

Fox News

What’s surprising about this is that the grand jury was impaneled by a Republican District Attorney, who was appointed by a Republican governor, with the express purpose of going after Planned Parenthood for offences that were alleged in the deceptively edited CMP videos. From the very beginning Planned Parenthood and independent media demonstrated that the videos were flagrantly fraudulent in their depiction of the women’s health organization. And the members of the grand jury obviously agreed.

Since this news broke, conservative media has reacted with indignant fury declaring that justice was subverted by some undisclosed evil force. Never mind that the anti-choice activists were the ones who pushed for the probe and got everything they asked for in terms of its implementation. Now they are complaining that the charges against CMP are “a political hit job.” Those are exactly the words of Fox News anchor Megyn Kelly and their resident legal spinner Judge Andrew Napolitano:

Kelly: Now Judge, what does this mean?
Napolitano: This means that a political prosecutor has injected herself in a very serious issue about whether or not Planned Parenthood was profiting from the abortion of babies by selling body parts. […]
Kelly: So does this sound like a political hit job? Or what is this?
Napolitano: Absolutely. This is a political hit job.

They would actually be right if they were talking about why the grand jury was impaneled in the first place. But they have no rational argument for that accusation about the conclusion. It was their case, with their people, but unfortunately for them, the facts weren’t on their side.

What’s more, every federal, congressional, and state investigation into this matter has cleared Planned Parenthood. That includes many agencies in conservative states with Republican governors. Media Matters has been tracking these legal outcomes from the following authorities (so far): U.S. Dept. Of Health And Human Services, Massachusetts Attorney General, Indiana Department of Health, South Dakota Attorney General, Georgia Department of Public Health, Pennsylvania Secretary of Health, Florida’s Agency for Health Care Administration, Missouri Attorney General, Washington State Attorney General, and Kansas State Board of Healing Arts.

The spectacle of having a Republican generated grand jury return indictments against the parties who sought the investigation isn’t really that surprising considering the sordid history of these particular scoundrels. CMP cut their pseudo-journalistic teeth with the notoriously dishonest video hack, James O’Keefe. The legal misadventures of O’Keefe include his having been arrested and convicted for nefarious activities in the office of a U.S. senator. He was also forced to pay a $100,000 judgement to an ACORN employee that he defamed. When a right-wing group tried to get Texas to investigate allegations of voter registration fraud the prosecutors examined O’Keefe’s video “evidence” and concluded that it “was little more than a canard and political disinformation.”

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

This is the predictable result of biased activists masquerading as reporters in order to produce the propaganda necessary to advance their dishonest agenda. They have no respect for journalism or ethical reporting. They are tightly focused on defaming their targets to achieve their purely political goals. And now it is clear that they are so determined to push their campaign of lies that they will violate the law to do so. Fortunately, at least this time, they got caught and are going to suffer the consequences.

ANNOUNCING: The Trump News Channel (Formerly Known As Fox News)

As News Corpse has been reporting for the past seven months, the media has been saturated with Donald Trump in his quest to be crowned King of America. It is a disgraceful display of journalistic malpractice that has provided a racist, neo-fascist demagogue (he doesn’t deny it) an unprecedented platform to compete for residency in what he and his followers wish was a truly “White” House. But as bad as the collective press has been, Fox News is far and away the worst of the lot.

Donald Trump News

Media Matters has been doing monthly analyses of the time distribution on Fox News for the Republican candidates. Every month has produced the same results with Trump far outpacing the rest of the field. At times Trump’s airtime on the network has exceeded ten of his rivals combined. And now, looking at the year-end summation from May to December, the dominance of Trump on Fox News is both astonishing and nauseating. Media Matters notes that…

“Trump’s 22 hours and 46 minutes of airtime was more than twice as much as any other candidate during the period studied. Trump racked up more airtime on the network than Sen. Ted Cruz, former Gov. Jeb Bush, and Sen. Marco Rubio combined.”

Calculating the frequency of Trump’s Fox News appearances reveals that he was on the network for an average of 11.5 minutes every other day for more than seven months. That comes to about 19.5% of the total time given to all sixteen of the GOP candidates. And note that this only represents the amount of time that Trump appeared on Fox. There was much more time spent talking about him, promoting him, and defending him, when he himself was not on the air.

Breaking it down by some of the top Fox programs is equally unfair and imbalanced. Of the amount of time devoted to candidates on Bill O’Reilly’s show, Trump received 37%. Likewise, he received 32% of the total candidate time on Sean Hannity’s show, 30% on Fox & Friends, and 22% on Greta Van Sustern’s show. The only other Fox primetime program is The Kelly File, where Trump appeared only 2% of the time due to his ongoing feud with Megyn Kelly. Is it any wonder that Trump is leading the Republican primary polls? How would the standings be different if Jeb Bush or Marco Rubio had received the amount of airtime that Fox gave to Trump?

Nevertheless, Trump relentlessly bitches about the allegedly unfair treatment he gets from Fox News. What more could he possibly want? And yet, despite the vastly preferential attention he gets, he is never satisfied. In September Trump declared that he had “decided that I won’t be doing any more Fox shows for the foreseeable future.” That was accompanied by retweets of his followers advocating a boycott of Fox. Like most of what Trump says, that obviously wasn’t true.

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

And it’s still going on. In a tweet today Trump whined that “@FoxNews treats me so badly.” That utterly delusional whimpering is typical of Crybaby Trump. I’m sure his opponents would love to be treated so badly. If Trump is so offended by Fox’s treatment of him, why doesn’t he just decline to appear on the network like he threatened to a couple of months ago? Well, because he knows that he’s lying and is feeding off of the constant attention he gets from Fox. Perhaps a better question is why does Fox continue to give Trump so much more attention when all he does is whine about it and insult their anchors and pundits? Certainly the ratings, and corresponding revenue, could have something to do with it. But no reputable news organization would subvert democracy so conspicuously for profit. And that’s the advantage that Fox News has: They don’t have to pretend that they’re reputable.

Killing Media Matters: Bill O’Reilly Throws Tantrum After His ‘BS’ Book Is Exposed

Culture Warrior Bill O’Reilly is on the warpath again. As usual, the battle lines are drawn around an ego so big it can be seen from space. He devoted a segment of his Friday night program to the “Villains” at Media Matters who he described as “an outrageous propaganda website, a hate site.” An inattentive observer could be forgiven if he thought that O’Reilly was talking about Fox News, which better fits that description.

Bill O'Reilly Media Matters

O’Reilly and his guest, Fox Business Network’s Stuart Varney, lit into Media Matters with a vicious, foaming-at-the-mouth glee. They never actually said what they were so riled up about. Generally such a display of animus is prompted by a critical article or a disparaging public statement. But the furious Foxies didn’t offer a single example of a recent atrocity by Media Matters or any other reason for their drooling disgust. They simply hauled off on a manic rant and demanded that the watchdog group’s tax-exempt status be revoked.

O’Reilly: This is not a group that deserves this tax free status. What can someone do to make the IRS revoke it?
Varney: Okay, an individual could file one of these forms with the IRS. It’s form 13909. It’s the tax-exempt organization complaint referral form. Simple form. Fill it out, complain, say what your beef is with Media Matters, and you can complain. That’s how you do it.

See how easy it is? Just say what your beef is. Even though O’Reilly and Stuart weren’t able to, you’ll come up with something. Not that it matters. This is a tactic that Fox News tried four years ago. They made a full court press to enlist their viewers to complain to the IRS about Media Matters. It was promoted for weeks on multiple programs by the network’s biggest names, including Bret Baier, Charles Krauthammer, James Rosen, Ann Coulter, Dick Morris, Bernie Goldberg, Keith Ablow, Jon Scott, and of course, O’Reilly. They posted the IRS complaint forms on Fox Nation with instructions that encouraged filers to lie. They even had one of their own contributors, former Bush lawyer C. Boyden Gray, file his own complaint.

For an in depth examination of just how obsessed Fox News is with Media Matters, see:
Media Matters Has Fox News Scared And Desperate

After months of this charade the result they achieved was a big fat nothing. It’s not unlike the current investigations in Congress, hyped feverishly by Fox News, over Benghazi, Planned Parenthood, and Hillary Clinton’s email. Every inquiry into these subjects has produced complete vindication for the political targets of Fox and the right, but that hasn’t stopped the persecutors from persisting. So it’s no surprise that O’Reilly would dust off this hoary contrivance to hammer away again at his old enemy.

So why is O’Reilly dredging up this old story, and why now? The answer sneaked in at the closing of the segment as he teased the next segment saying “The Factor Tip of the Day: Attacking Killing Reagan. Wow. Wait til you hear this.” If you were bored enough to wait you would have heard O’Reilly whine about some criticism of his new book “Killing Reagan.”

O’Reilly: “A published report says a group of Reagan loyalists are organizing to attack the book. We know these people. They threatened me and Martin Dugard [the co-author] even before we put the book out.”

Indeed, there was a published report. It appeared in the Washington Examiner and was later reported by Media Matters, which O’Reilly failed to mention for some reason. The report identified several people close to Reagan who dismissed O’Reilly’s book as “garbage” and “total BS.” So obviously Media Matters should have its tax-exempt status revoked.

Did the story in Media Matters spur O’Reilly to suddenly relaunch this campaign against them? Who knows? Media Matters has been a thorn in his side for a long time. Earlier this year they published the ebook “Killing Truth” that detailed many of the lies O’Reilly told about his alleged combat duty. And they are a constant source of irritation to Fox News due to their annoying habit of exposing Fox’s journalistic failures. But the fact that O’Reilly went after them just a few hours after the negative report on his new book was posted suggests that it had something to do with his decision.

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

For a taste of the insane obsession that Fox News has with trying to politicize the tax-exempt status of Media Matters, watch this 2011 video. And you may also enjoy this one showing the depth of the hatred Fox has for Media Matters.

Fox News Re-Launches As The Trump News And Wall Building Corp

As noted here last week, all three cable news networks have taken to broadcasting each and every Donald Trump event as if it were actually newsworthy, despite the fact that they all consist of exactly the same bumper sticker idiocy and hate-speech. It is a unique arrangement between the networks and Trump that does not exist for any other candidate of either party.

Never one to miss a broadcasting opportunity, the management of Fox News has decided to abandon all of the pretenses of being “fair and balanced” (which no one believed anyway) and coming right out to declare that it is now cable’s first and only all-Trump TV network.

Donald Trump News

The programming on Fox News has already been leaning heavily toward a Trump-centric schedule for months. Media Matters has been tracking the candidate appearances on Fox and the results illustrate why the network is making its conversion to full Trumpism. In August alone, Fox News featured Trump for a total of nearly five hours over seventeen appearances. That means he averaged about a third of a one-hour program every other day for a month.

Trump’s ubiquitous placement on Fox even exceeded the combined total air time for ten other Republican candidates (Bobby Jindal 11 minutes, Jim Gilmore 16, Lindsey Graham 18, Ted Cruz 22, Jeb Bush 29, Rick Santorum 19, George Pataki 32, Rand Paul 33, John Kasich 45, and Rick Perry 48). The remaining candidates (Ben Carson, Chris Christie, Carly Fiorina, Mike Huckabee, Marco Rubio, and Scott Walker) all registered an hour and a half or less for the month. That’s compared to Trump’s four hours and forty-eight minutes.

To be fair, Fox News hasn’t discarded every other news item in favor of their hero and new master, Donald Trump. There is one other story that gets frequently play on the network. It concerns Hillary Clinton and her email. This story fills just about every moment that isn’t already taken by Trump. Never mind that they haven’t uncovered any evidence of unlawful behavior or any harm due to classified secrets being revealed. Nothing. It is pure speculation and innuendo. Considering all the time they devote to it, the fact that they have come up empty pretty much tells you all you need to know about the alleged scandal.

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

So look for the big premiere of Trump News and Wall Building in the next few weeks. In the meantime you can enjoy the current schedule of near 24/7 Trumpiness. After all, it isn’t like there is any reason to respect the democratic process as the nation elects its next president. Fox News is fully devoted to hyping The Donald and reaping the bonanza in ratings, which is all that really matters in America today.

Clinton Cash: The Untold Story Of How Bill And Hillary Help Make Rupert Murdoch Rich

Tuesday saw the official release of Peter Schweizer’s latest foray into sloppy and dishonest pseudo-journalism, Clinton Cash. Even before the book hit the shelves it was widely debunked by more reputable analysts who found numerous errors, unsupported speculations, and outright inventions. Even Schweizer himself was forced to acknowledge that some of his allegations were untrue and that none of them could be proven.

The clear purpose of the book is to smear likely Democratic presidential nominee Hillary Clinton. Despite Schweizer’s feeble attempts to characterize his book as an impartial examination of Clinton’s finances, he has been a long-time Republican operative including stints as a speechwriter for George W. Bush and advisor to Sarah Palin. In addition, he is closely affiliated with ultra-conservatives like the Koch brothers and Breitbart News. However, there is another highly motivated player in this well-coordinated attack campaign that is getting less attention.

Clinton Cash

Rupert Murdoch, chairman of News Corp and 21st Century Fox, commands a vast empire of media businesses that share a determined leaning toward activist, far-right politics. So it is not surprising that a committed conservative like Schweizer would integrate himself into the Murdoch machine. As a result, the opportunities for propaganda and profit become plentiful.

Schweizer’s book was published by HarperCollins, which is owned by Murdoch’s News Corp. So making the book a bestseller puts cash directly into Murdoch’s wallet. To that end, Murdoch has exploited his own Fox News which has gone into overdrive promoting the book. Schweizer has become an almost daily fixture on the network, and when he isn’t there himself, the network hands those promotional duties to their anchors and guests. All told, Fox News has donated the equivalent of more than $107 million to the marketing of the book, according to an analysis by Media Matters.

And speaking Fox News, the network produced and aired its own hour-long special (The Tangled Clinton Web) that served as an unabashed infomercial for the book. And rather than assigning a political personality like Sean Hannity to the brazenly partisan project, it was hosted by Fox’s chief news anchor, Bret Baier. The program was repeated several times. So while running PR for the book, Fox News is also chasing ratings and advertising dollars from the book’s rollout.

In addition, Murdoch’s print news operations joined in the Clinton Cashing in fest. The Wall Street Journal ran a feature editorial parroting the unsubstantiated claims in the Schweizer book and labeling the work of the Clinton’s foundation as “dishonest graft.” The New York Post devoted its cover to hawking the book and mocking the Clintons as money-hungry opportunists. A charge that reeks of irony coming from the realm of Rupert Murdoch.

Since when did free-enterprise loving right-wingers become so hostile to people achieving success through hard work and entrepreneurial ability? This ideological flip-flop was so pronounced that veteran Clinton-basher, Christopher Ruddy, CEO of the uber-rightist Newsmax, wrote an editorial denouncing Schweizer’s book and Fox’s role in selling it. The article was titled In Defense of the Clinton Foundation,” and went to great lengths to criticize both the shoddy reporting in the book and the blatant exploitation of Murdoch’s own tangled web.

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

There is no doubt that Schweizer’s book is intended to damage Hillary Clinton’s White House aspirations. It was planned and executed by people with long-standing animosity for both the Clintons and Democratic politics. But the evidence that it is also a profit-making vehicle for Rupert Murdoch is unavoidable. And that is the true meaning of the title. Murdoch is orchestrating this whole fraudulent scheme because he wants to be rolling in Clinton Cash.

Will Glenn Beck Keep His Promise To Resign From The NRA? (Yeah, Right)

Last month Glenn Beck flew into one of his patented frenzies over some imagined conspiratorial threat that only he could see. This one involved his belief that Grover Norquist, the ultra-conservative anti-tax crusader, was secretly a Muslim who was plotting to destroy America through his seat on the board of directors of the National Rifle Association (NRA). Beck’s proof that Norquist was an activist Islamic radical was that he had a Muslim wife and a beard. In Beck’s mind, that clinches it.

Glenn Beck - Grover Norquist

On his radio program last month, Beck interviewed renowned Islamophobe and conspiracy kook, Frank Gaffney, who affirmed Beck’s wildest fears about Norquist. Consequently, Beck expressed his intent to resign his lifetime membership in the NRA if Norquist was reelected to the board at their conference last weekend. Well, guess what? Norquist did win another term on the board, along with hate monger Ted Nugent and other wingnut ammosexuals.

So the question now is, will Glenn Beck keep his word? Not that his word has ever meant anything in the past. After all, he once promised that his “Restoring Honor” event in 2010 would be a “turning point for America.” The next year he promised that his event “Restoring Courage” in Israel would be “a global shockwave. It will ripple across the earth.” The following year President Obama was reelected in a landslide. In 2013 Beck promised to reveal what he said would be “the most important story in history” in a Friday tease. However, on Monday he completely forgot about this historic story. And finally, Beck once promised that he was preparing to release a document in his possession that would “take down pretty much the whole power structure.” And once again, he failed to deliver.

We can pretty much write off the promises of Beck just as we have with those of Rush Limbaugh (who promised to move to Costa Rica if ObamaCare became law); or Ted Nugent (who promised to be dead or in jail in a year if Obama was reelected); or Sean Hannity (who promised to be waterboarded for charity to prove it’s not torture); or Donald Trump (who promised to publish a report by the investigators he allegedly sent to Hawaii to prove Obama wasn’t born there). Another promise we can set aside is the one that the NRA made to Beck to “get to the bottom of this once and for all” by conducting a thorough ethics investigation into Norquist. To date there has been no release of the results of that investigation.

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

Former President George H.W. Bush kept his promise to resign his lifetime membership in the NRA after Wayne LaPierre called federal law enforcement agents “jack-booted government thugs.” But don’t hold your breath waiting for Beck to show that sort of commitment to his word. He is an unrepentant liar with no regard for honor or courage or truth. He only cares about how he can manipulate and deceive his glassy-eyed disciples to his advantage financially and as their de facto savior.

The Queen Of Astroturf Doesn’t Know The Meaning Of Astroturf

When Sharyl Attkisson left CBS over her flagrant insertion of conservative political bias into the stories she covered, she might have tried to rehabilitate her decaying reputation by affiliating herself with a credible news organization. Instead, she immediately signed up with Fox News (not exactly the place to prove your aren’t shilling for the right) and took a position with the The Daily Signal, the pseudo-news Internet outlet run by the ultra-rightist Heritage Foundation.

Media Circus

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Her post-CBS work has mainly been limited to three areas of shameless whining: 1) Bashing those in her past that she felt had discriminated against her freedom to propagandize; 2) Promoting her anti-Obama diatribe “Stonewalled: My Fight for Truth Against the Forces of Obstruction, Intimidation, and Harassment in Obama’s Washington;” and 3) Telling paranoid (and ultimately debunked) tales of being spied on by shadowy, unnamed enemies in the government determined to destroy her professionally and personally.

Continuing her transparently prejudiced crusade against a select group of imagined adversaries, Attkisson has published her list of “The Top 10 Astroturfers.” In the process she has demonstrated that she is viscerally determined to persist in slandering her perceived foes. What’s more, she is proving that she doesn’t have any idea what Astroturfing is. For the record, here is the generally recognized definition of this neologism:

Astroturf: An apparently grassroots-based citizen group or coalition that is primarily conceived, created and/or funded by corporations, industry trade associations, political interests or public relations firms. It seeks to disguise a powerful special interest as a popular movement.

On that basis, here is Attkisson’s list:

  1. Moms Demand Action for Gun Sense in America and Everytown
  2. Media Matters for America
  3. University of California Hastings Professor Dorit Rubenstein Reiss and Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia’s Dr. Paul Offit
  4. “Science” Blogs such as: Skeptic.com, Skepchick.org, Scienceblogs.com (Respectful Insolence), Popsci.com and SkepticalRaptors.com
  5. Mother Jones
  6. Salon.com and Vox.com
  7. White House press briefings and press secretary Josh Earnest
  8. Daily Kos and The Huffington Post
  9. CNN, NBC, New York Times, Politico and Talking Points Memo (TPM)
  10. MSNBC, Slate.com, Los Angeles Times and Michael Hiltzik of the Los Angeles Times, MSNBC and Jon Stewart.

There is not a single group on the list that meets the definition of an Astroturf enterprise. The one that comes closest is Moms Demand Action for Gun Sense due to its relationship with another group founded by former New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg. However, MDA was started by an actual mom in Indiana and has a membership of more than 150,000. The rest of the list is patently absurd.

Media Matters is a watchdog group that documents conservative bias in the media. It does not lobby any government entity, organize citizens to demonstrate, or otherwise engage in social activism. However, it is one of Attkisson’s most effective critics and thus won the number two slot on the list.

The U.C. professor and Children’s Hospital have worked on educating the public about the importance of vaccinations. Apparently that has stirred Attkisson’s ire. Also in this category are a few science-related blogs. However, Attkisson doesn’t explain why they should be on the list other than because they have a point of view. She never even bothers to try to connect them to some well-heeled benefactor. In any case, universities, hospitals, and independent blogs are not Astroturfers by any stretch of the imagination.

The most well-represented group on the list are media enterprises. They range from mainstream outlets like CNN, NBC, and the New York Times, to established magazines and Internet sites like Mother Jones, Salon, and Politico, to more alternative sources like Daily Kos, and the Huffington Post. The only conceivable reason for Attkisson citing these media players on her list is that they are all regarded by conservatives like herself as left-leaning, and therefore deserving of her wrath. But they are certainly not Astroturf.

Attkisson really goes off the rails by including the White House Press Secretary Josh Earnest and the Daily Show’s Jon Stewart on the list. How can anyone define either of them as faux grassroots-based citizen groups backed by wealthy special interests? More than any other people or groups on the list, these two show that Attkisson cannot be taken seriously.

Attkisson describes her list as “an informal, non-scientific survey.” Her footnote reveals that “the results represent 169 Twitter respondents who answered a public query either directly or through direct message.” What could possibly be more ludicrous as a sampling of opinion than a tiny group of respondents to her own Tweet? Is Atkisson purposely sabotaging her reputation in a public spectacle of professional suicide? The remainder of her commentary accompanying the list essentially redefines Astroturfing to fit her personal enemies list. It’s like dieters defining cupcakes as vegetables so they can eat more of them.

If she wants some examples of bona fide Astroturfers, she need look no further than her employer the Heritage Foundation, which began as a right-wing think tank, but with new leadership provided by former Republican senator Jim DeMint, it has become a full-fledged factory for fake activism. Under DeMint’s tenure it launched the Daily Signal which publishes highly biased articles including those by its new correspondent, Sharyl Attkisson.

Other Astroturfers include the Tea Party Express, which was founded by a Republican public relations firm and is notorious for funneling nearly all of the donations it receives back into its own pockets. Karl Rove’s American Crossroads. Numerous Koch brothers funded entities like Americans for Prosperity, FreedomWorks, Generation Opportunity, The LIBRE Initiative, Concerned Veterans for America, and many more. Even Sarah Palin has joined the con game with her Super PAC and the subscription Internet site she launched that often has no content for days on end. In all of these cases there is little evidence of public support, but massive bankrolling by wealthy conservative rainmakers.

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

A recent study by a conservative news organization highlighted the rampant corruption in many of the right-wing Astroturf enterprises and political action committees. The Washington Post reported that…

“Right Wing News released a report on a group of conservative PACs that took in millions of dollars in contributions in 2014, ostensibly for the purpose of electing Republicans, but spent almost none of it on actual political activity. Instead, the money went into the pockets of the people who run the PACs and their associates.”

This appears to be the rule, and not the exception. And part of why it becomes so easy to rip-off the ignorant wingnut community is that fakers like Attkisson permit the scams to proceed without consequence. By shining her spotlight on an array of organizations that in no way qualify as Astroturf, Attkisson allows the grifters to operate freely while their victims are lost in a maze of false accusations.

PolitiFact Proves Fox News Bias On ISIL Hearings – Also That Greg Gutfeld Is An Ass

On Tuesday Media Matters published their analysis of Fox News bias during coverage of a Senate hearing on President Obama’s plans for dealing with ISIL. Media Matters showed that during Fox’s broadcast they would air remarks by Republicans on the committee and then cut away when Democrats began to speak. The result was that Republicans were given twice as much airtime as Democrats on the allegedly “fair and balanced” network. This is an old tactic by Fox which News Corpse documented last year in another Senate hearing.

Today PolitiFact weighed in with an article seeking to confirm the data that Media Matters reported. They found that…

“Media Matters said that Fox News gave Republican senators twice as much air time as Democratic ones during a Senate Armed Services Committee hearing. They said Republicans got 16 minutes compared to the Democrats’ eight. That matches our count.

“We also found that other networks provided more time and more evenly divided time to members of both parties.

“We rate the claim True.”

Fox News Greg Gutfeld

This is not exactly breaking news. Media Matters is a reliably consistent source for accurate information about the biases and partisan excesses of right-wing media. What makes this interesting at this time is that it occurred almost simultaneously to a feverish rant by Fox’s Greg Gutfeld, co-host of The Five. Gutfeld was perturbed by reports that cited Media Matters research showing the obsession that Fox News has for the Benghazi hoax. The study revealed that Fox aired nearly 1,100 reports on the subject, most of which were decidedly slanted to the right. For instance, 97% of the congressional interviews on Fox relating to Benghazi were with Republicans.

The accuracy of Media Matters’ reporting, however, was immaterial to Gutfeld’s rightist indignation. He let loose on Media Matters saying that…

“…the left-wing hacks would just work from Media Matters’ press releases […] It’s much easier than doing original research to just read from a press release.”

That’s true. And it’s also hilariously ironic coming from a Fox News flunky. The reporting that Gutfeld was complaining about just happened to be unarguably correct, as noted by PolitiFact. But his griping over journalists using research from Media Matters is just plain stupid. Every media organization uses research from independent sources to augment their reporting. Often they latch onto providers with viewpoints that are aligned to their own. And, of course, Fox News is one of those media enterprises that does this. In fact, Fox’s Brit Hume gave a slobbering endorsement to one of the most blatantly partisan research outfits, the Media Research Center. Hume praised them saying…

“I want to say a word, however, of thanks to Brent and the team at the Media Research Center […] for the tremendous amount of material that the Media Research Center provided me for so many years when I was anchoring Special Report, I don’t know what we would’ve done without them. It was a daily buffet of material to work from, and we certainly made tremendous use of it.”

So according to Gutfeld, Hume is a “lazy hack sitting with his laptop, covered in Cheetos.” And if that weren’t bad enough. Gutfeld must have entirely missed the scandal when Fox News was caught red-handed reporting verbatim from a Republican Senate press release as if it were their own reporting, complete with a typo that appeared on the original. And then there was the time that Fox’s Megyn Kelly did the same thing with a press release issued by the Republican National Committee, pretending it was authored by the Fox news staff.

Clearly Gutfeld doesn’t know what he’s talking about. He’s too focused on being the comic relief for the network, but instead comes off like the boneheaded sitcom neighbor who mistakenly thinks he is either funny or suave. In the end he is little more than a troll working for a network that has once again been proven to be an unrepentant purveyor of lies. And their practice of airing Democrat-free Senate hearing just insures that their audience of misinformed dimwits will remain ignorant.

And speaking of Fox News lies…
Get Fox Nation vs. Reality. Available now at Amazon.

IDIOCRACY: Fox News Is Aghast That Media Watchdog Does What Media Watchdogs Do

On CNN’s Reliable Sources this weekend, host Brian Stelter interviewed David Brock, the founder of Media Matters, to respond to an accusation made by disgraced former CBS reporter Sharyl Attkisson on last week’s program. Attkisson alleged that Media Matters might have been paid to target her for criticism. It was an irresponsible and paranoid allegation for which she offered no evidence or any details on who would have offered the payment or to whom. In effect, Attkisson demonstrated why her reporting is regarded as hackery.

In the segment on Reliable Sources (video below), Brock was asked about the nature of his business and his relationship with other media enterprises. He candidly replied that “We do work with reporters. We’re a media watchdog group.” That seems pretty obvious. It is precisely what media watchdogs are designed to do. They monitor various journalism outlets, analyze their content, and communicate their findings to the public and other members of the press. It’s a valuable service that helps to keep the media honest and accurate. But that’s not the way Fox News sees it.

Fox Nation

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In a desperate attempt to further smear an organization with which Fox is obsessed, Fox News posted an article on their Fox Nation website with the shocking disclosure that Brock “Admits to Working with Media Outlets on Stories.” That’s more of a definition than an admission. It’s perfectly acceptable for Brock to provide his reports to the media, just as it’s acceptable for the media to receive and evaluate them.

Nevertheless, the Fox Nationalists portrayed this activity as if it were criminal, saying that he “did not deny the allegations today.” Again, that’s more of a job description than an allegation. And it’s a job that is done by many organizations including some with conservative views. One of the most notable is the Media Research Center and its NewsBusters website. Run by ultra-rightist Brent Bozell, the MRC is a major source of information for the conservative media circus including Fox News. Former Fox anchor Brit Hume even lauded the MRC saying…

“I want to say a word, however, of thanks to Brent and the team at the Media Research Center […] for the tremendous amount of material that the Media Research Center provided me for so many years when I was anchoring Special Report, I don’t know what we would’ve done without them. It was a daily buffet of material to work from, and we certainly made tremendous use of it.”

Given the close relationship between the MRC and Fox News, it is blatantly hypocritical for them to assert some sort of malfeasance on the part of Media Matters. When Fox’s primary anchor and managing editor confesses to making “tremendous use” of the MRC’s data, and not knowing what he would have done without them, it seems somewhat overblown and self-serving to criticize Media Matters for simply documenting the flagrant bias and inept inaccuracies of the conservative media.

It would not be too much of a stretch to observe the jealousy of the right who have a much harder time fabricating their fake outrages and phony controversies like the one presented here. Whereas Media Matters, sadly, has an abundance of right-wing distortions and lies to catalog. Brock may have said it best on Reliable Sources when he noted that conservative watchdogs…

“…seem to be particularly incensed about Media Matters’ relationship with the media. Maybe we’re just doing a better job than they are.”

Fox News Wants IRS To Strip Media Matters Of Its Tax-Exempt Status

For much of the past year Fox News has devoted huge chunks of airtime to a phony scandal alleging that the IRS improperly targeted Tea Party groups for extra scrutiny with regard to their applications for tax-exempt status. In fact, recent discoveries prove that progressive groups actually received an even greater amount of scrutiny. But for Fox News to then turn around and solicit scrutiny from the IRS in order to strip tax-exempt status from Media Matters, an organization that Fox viscerally hates, is more than a little hypocritical and unethical.

Fox News

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Nearly three years ago, News Corpse documented the obsession Fox News has had with Media Matters and the well orchestrated campaign to destroy them. Fox spent countless hours across multiple programs lambasting Media Matters and its founder David Brock. They alleged that Brock was insane, and a drug addict, and dishonest, and corrupt, and not very nice either. During that offensive, Fox News tried desperately to get the IRS to revoke Media Matters’ tax-exempt status, even enlisting their viewers into a campaign to file false complaints with the agency. Fox anchor Steve Doocy made several announcements on his morning show Fox & Friends like this one:

“Somebody has set up a web site and we have linked it, actually, at FoxNation.com. If you go down about half way down you’ll see that logo. If you want to file a complaint with the IRS against Media Matters because you feel they have gone political, they have abandoned their initial quest, then go to that site and go ahead.”

Now Fox is reviving that campaign with a new thrust at their perceived enemies at Media Matters. Once again Steve Doocy took to the airwaves to ask if it is “Time To Revoke Media Matters’ Tax-Exempt Status?” During the course of this segment Doocy interviewed Fox contributor, and bitter subject of Media Matters ciriticisms, Juan Williams. Both of them blasted Media Matters for having the audacity to actually document what they say. And both were incredulous that Media Matters managed to maintain their tax-exempt status despite the best efforts of sabotage executed by Fox. Doocy summarized his displeasure saying…

“Media Matters, which famously declared war on Fox News, continues to keep their tax exempt status. Media Matters CEO, David Brock, makes no attempt to hide his political views, even calling himself a Democratic political activist on his official Twitter profile. So should Media Matters tax exempt status be revoked just like a conservative group?”

What makes this reprise of their assault particularly disturbing is that just last night Sean Hannity hosted Brent Bozell, the president of the extremist right-wing media smear outfit, NewsBusters. During his segment Bozell angrily demanded that anyone who appears on a television news program must disclose their political leanings or recuse themselves. Apparently caught off guard, Hannity had to interrupt and insert an exception for himself:

“Well, you do and you don’t. As long as you identify – – I would argue I am the only conservative that says he’s a conservative that has a nightly news cable show.”

Pfew. That was close. So Hannity established that it’s OK to engage in commentary and analysis if you reveal your political biases. However, when Media Matters’ Brock did so it was characterized by Doocy as justification for punishment by the IRS. Note that Brock’s admission that he is a Democratic activist applies only to his personal activity on Twitter and not to his work at Media Matters. He says so explicitly on his Twitter profile. So when Brock discloses his Democratic activism he is confessing to a crime, but when Hannity discloses his conservative activism he is exhibiting an honorable honesty.

The main topic of discussion for the Hannity/Bozell segment was the contention that there were numerous people who cycled in and out of media and the Obama administration. That’s actually true, but it is also true of every administration. Hannity and Bozell chose to highlight the person they regarded as the worst of the lot, Obama’s press secretary, Jay Carney, about whom Bozell said…

“When Barack Obama needed a press secretary in 2011 he also chose Jay Carney, who was the Washington bureau chief of ‘TIME’ magazine. What does that tell you about the politics of ‘TIME’ magazine?”

Indeed! What does that tell you? And does it tell you anything similar about the time when George W. Bush needed a press secretary and he chose Tony Snow, an anchor on Fox News? What does that tell you about the politics of Fox News? Does it tell you what Steve Doocy actually told viewers during his segment with Juan Williams when he said that at Fox…

“We’re simply in the business of showing the other side. We balance out mainstream media.”

That’s a pretty straight forward admission that Fox is not a news network at all, but a partisan mouthpiece for Republican politics. Not that that wasn’t already apparent to anyone paying attention. In fact, the whole argument that Media Matters should lose its tax-exempt status due to the positions it takes on Fox News is an admission that Fox is a political enterprise. That’s because the laws governing tax status state that…

“…501(c)(3) organizations are absolutely prohibited from directly or indirectly participating in, or intervening in, any political campaign on behalf of (or in opposition to) any candidate for elective public office.”

Therefore, Fox is admitting that they are a political operation since the IRS rules only apply to political organizations. If Fox were a media company Media Matters would not be in violation of any rules. But none of these facts and associated logic will have any impact on the efforts of Fox News to get the IRS to do something to Media Matters that, for most of the last year, Fox has insisted was not proper for the IRS to do. Like everything else though, it’s outrageous for the IRS to scrutinize conservative groups for political behavior, but it’s perfectly OK to do it to liberals (IOKIYAR).