Happy Birthday News Corpse – And America. Plus: See How Fox News Dishonors This Holiday

Today is the ninth anniversary of the launch of News Corpse. It has brought great satisfaction exposing the deceit and inbred hatred of the right-wing media for these past nine years. On the other hand, it has brought great frustration that such unethical miscreants continue to distort the truth in pursuit of their extremist, uber-conservative agenda. On the other hand (that’s three hands so far if you’re counting), the wingnut press is a bottomless pit of material for satire and mockery.

News Corpse Birthday

For any of you who wish to give News Corpse a birthday present, you can buy our book, Fox Nation vs. Reality: The Fox News Community’s Assault On Truth, on Amazon. Or you could dump your Tea Party, KeystoneXL, GOP funding, mobile phone providers (i.e. AT&T and Verizon) and switch to the progressive cell phone service, CREDOMobile Be sure to use the special offer code “newscorpse”, for which we will receive a modest commission. Both presents will be a gift for you as well.

In other news…

Fox News is engaging in a peculiar manner of celebration this Independence Day. Their Fox Nation website decided to display their patriotism by posting an editorial by impeachment advocate, and Fox senior legal analyst, Andrew Napolitano, that declared that America has “Gone From An Inherited Tyrant To An Elected One.” Hooray for the USA!

Over on the Fox News website they featured an article by Dan Gainor, the VP of the ultra-rightist propaganda factory, the Media Research Center. Gainor’s column was headlined “July Fourth: Be especially proud to be an American in 2014.” It was long discourse that covered many subjects, but left out just one: Any reason to be especially proud. Gainor just ranted about the evils of liberals and President Obama. For example, note these excerpts:

  • [Liberals are] largely in charge of educating our children, running our government and manipulating the media we consume.
  • Government is both pro-left and pro-union.
  • No wonder America is in trouble. The Us in USA have a $17.5 trillion national debt, an unchecked parade of illegal immigration and off-the-charts moral decay (including epic out-of-wedlock births).
  • Look who they learn love of country from – the president.
  • Patriotism and love of country are under attack, just like faith.
  • The flag and those who care for it are under attack across the nation.
  • Don’t let liberals talk down the Founders unopposed. Don’t let local tyrants force you to take down the American flag.
  • The next time someone asks you if you are proud to be an American, you can answer: “Damn right I am.”

Yippie-Ki-Yay, America.

Richard Mellon Scaife died. Scaife was the media baron who spent a lifetime attacking Democrats, and particularly the Clinton family who he accused of everything from drug-running to murder. He was an early and aggressive advocate of Clinton’s impeachment. He was 82.

Disgusting, hate-filled, Tea Party, racist, protesters continue to camp out at the site of a Murrieta, California, facility where immigration officials are hoping to temporarily house women and children while being processed. These pseudo-patriots are actually impeding the authorities from completing deportation proceedings, and at the same time they are subjecting the children to terrifying experiences and forcing them into unsafe, overcrowded facilities. What a wonderful way to spend the Fourth of July and honor these words:

Not like the brazen giant of Greek fame,
With conquering limbs astride from land to land;
Here at our sea-washed, sunset gates shall stand
A mighty woman with a torch, whose flame
Is the imprisoned lightning, and her name
Mother of Exiles. From her beacon-hand
Glows world-wide welcome; her mild eyes command
The air-bridged harbor that twin cities frame.
“Keep, ancient lands, your storied pomp!” cries she
With silent lips. “Give me your tired, your poor,
Your huddled masses yearning to breathe free,
The wretched refuse of your teeming shore.
Send these, the homeless, tempest-tost to me,
I lift my lamp beside the golden door!”

Finally, let’s all wish this beautiful young woman the very happiest Sweet Sixteen ever. That’s right, Malia Obama is a real Yankee Doodle Dandy who was born on the Fourth of July.

Malia Obama

Shameless Right-Wing Hypocrisy On Media Funding

There has lately been an excess of rage expressed over a couple of charitable donations by George Soros. Both NPR and Media Matters were beneficiaries of Soros’ generosity. These are both media-related entities that play no direct role in politics.

But the same rightist critics of donations don’t seem to have any problem with Rupert Murdoch giving millions of dollars to overtly political enterprises: the Republican Governor’s Association and the U.S. Chamber of Commerce. That money is used to buy ads against Democrats on Fox News, so the money Murdoch donated ends up right back in his pocket. And another big difference in these donations is that Soros was open and honest about announcing his largesse, while Murdoch gave in secret and even remarked that he had anticipated that his donations would remain secret.

A fair observer would have to wonder why the munificence of Soros is problematic but the fact that Right-wingers are just as generous to their ideological allies isn’t worthy of discussion. They will never mention, for instance, that uber-rightist Richard Mellon Scaife has given millions to the conservative Media Research Center (which runs several right-wing operations like NewsBusters). And while Soros remains outside of the organizations to which he contributes, Murdoch has moved inside as a board member of the Associated Press.

The hypocrisy demonstrated by the right is world-class. While the left is taking heat for being totally transparent, the right takes pride in enforcing silence about its clandestine activities. Since they have admitted that they aspire to fund their friends in secret, we have no way of knowing what other donations have been made by folks like Murdoch and his billionaire comrades. Murdoch confessed that he gave the RGA money due to his friendship with John Kasich, a candidate for governor in Ohio and a former employee of Fox News. Karl Rove is presently an employee of Fox News. Is he also receiving financing from Murdoch? We don’t know because they are not required to disclose it and they keep it obsessively private.

What we do know is that Fox News has a record of shilling for the right. Their daytime anchor Jon Scott (who, ironically, is also the host of their Fox News Watch) once read an RNC document on the air as if it were his own research. He even displayed a graphic on screen that contained the same typo that was in the original RNC memo.

We also know that Fox News relies heavily on the work of the Media Research Center and NewsBusters. We know this because their top news anchor at the time, Brit Hume, said so in public:

Hume: 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.

The left has nothing to compare with the media domination of the right. Only the right has their own cable news network. They rule talk radio in part because of conservative broadcasters who deliberately shut out liberal programming. Independent studies show that even the supposedly liberal segments of the press actually lean more to the right in their editorial positions, their guests and sources, and their staffing.

So it seems curious that all of sudden we have right-wingers going bonkers over a couple of donations that will certainly help those organizations, but will have little impact on the broader media landscape. It just proves that the right is focused on maintaining their competitive advantage, that they know the value of “working the refs,” and that they have no shame when it comes to acting out their hypocrisy.

Hillary Clinton’s Strange Bedfellows

Last month Hillary Clinton met with the editors of the Pittsburgh Tribune-Review to discuss her campaign in the Pennsylvania primary. The Tribune-Review is owned by ultra right-wing media baron Richard Mellon Scaife. Now the Tribune-Review has published their choice for the Democratic presidential nominee.

“For Pennsylvania Democrats, the smart choice Tuesday is Mrs. Clinton.”

This development caps a weekend of irony for Clinton.

On Saturday a recording was released wherein we hear Clinton bashing MoveOn.org, and accusing them of intimidating her supporters. With the Tribune-Review endorsement we have the unlikely scenario of Clinton slamming a loyal progressive organization that was founded to defend her husband from impeachment, while being endorsed by Scaife’s organization that fought for his impeachment and accused her of murder.

On Sunday Barack Obama was quoted as saying that he, Clinton and McCain would all be better than George Bush. Clinton seized on that statement to say…

“We need a nominee who will take on John McCain, not cheer on John McCain.”

I wholeheartedly agree. Which is why I found it so distasteful when last month both Hillary and Bill Clinton cheered on McCain. Breathe in the hypocrisy:

Hillary: “[McCain] will put forth his lifetime of experience. I will put forth my lifetime of experience. Senator Obama will put forth a speech he made in 2002.”

Bill: “…it would be a great thing if we had an election year where you had two people [Hillary and McCain] who loved this country and were devoted to the interest of this country.”


Clinton Continues Embrace Of Right-Wing Media

Hillary Clinton and her campaign has displayed the most overt fondness for right-wing media of all the presidential contenders, including Republicans. She has agreed to participate in Fox News-sponsored debates when her Democratic colleagues have declined. She accepted donations from Rupert Murdoch. Just last week she sat for an interview with the Pittsburgh Tribune-Review, and its owner Richard Mellon Scaife, who has spent hundreds of millions of dollars to smear her and her family.

This morning Scaife published an editorial that praised Clinton as having “courage and confidence” and proclaimed that his impression of her is now “a very favorable” one. Can Scaife expect this endorsement to be taken seriously when he has previously accused her of everything from financial corruption to murder? A couple of other inconsistencies to ponder: Scaife is in the midst of an ugly divorce with an ex who supports Obama. And Scaife has contributed the maximum allowed donation to John McCain.

Also this morning, Clinton surrogate and Pennsylvania Governor Ed Rendell appeared on Fox & Friends to say that “Fox has done the fairest job, has remained most objective of all the cable networks.”

Perhaps Rendell was referring to the steady stream of Obama bashing as evidence of their fairness.

Clintonstein Meets The Scaife Man

Hillary Clinton was interviewed yesterday by the Pittsburgh Tribune-Review. She took the opportunity to continue a pattern of personal attacks on her opponent, Barack Obama:

“He would not have been my pastor,” Clinton said. “You don’t choose your family, but you choose what church you want to attend.”

What’s interesting about this encounter is not the rough and tumble tenor of modern electioneering. That has sadly become all too familiar in these dog days of democracy. What rattled my antennae was the venue Clinton chose for these remarks.

Clintonstein Meets The Scaife ManThe Pittsburgh Tribune-Review is owned by billionaire right-winger, Richard Mellon Scaife. Scaife has a place all his own in what Clinton herself tagged the “vast right-wing conspiracy.” He is a principal in, or contributor to, rightist political and media organizations like NewsMax, the Media Research Center, the American Enterprise Institute, the David Horowitz Freedom Center, the Landmark Legal Foundation, the Manhattan Institute, and the American Spectator.

During the presidency of Bill Clinton, Scaife funded investigations into the Clinton’s public and private lives that was as expansive as it was incredulous. He promoted allegations of sexual infidelities, real estate scams, drug running, even the murder of Clinton aide Vince Foster. Through his newspapers, books and films, he relentlessly sought to destroy the Clinton administration and reputation via smear and innuendo.

Independent Prosecutor Ken Starr, who came to head the official Clinton inquisition, was unable to prove any allegation or to succeed in producing a conviction in the Clinton impeachment. However he was later named the inaugural dean of the Pepperdine School of Public Policy, which was created with an endowment by Scaife.

It would have been bad enough for Hillary Clinton to sit down with the Tribune-Review staff given the facts set forth above. But this meeting was more than an editorial gathering. Amongst the participants was head honcho himself – Richard Mellon Scaife.

How could Clinton sit across the table from the man who has made the most vile accusations against her and her family? According to her it was for a lark. She said it was…

“…so counterintuitive that I thought it would be fun to do.”

To allow herself to be questioned by Scaife after his smear campaign against her requires a measure of cognitive disconnect that seems superhuman. It certainly isn’t an afternoon of playful recreation. And what makes this even more bizarrely unthinkable is that she cavorted with her abuser in order to cast abuse at her Democratic rival.

Clinton has previously shown poor judgment in this campaign with regard to the media. She accepts donations from Rupert Murdoch and recently agreed to participate in a Fox News-sponsored debate (which did not take place because Obama declined the invitation). But this transcends any mere deficiency of judgment. What justification is there for submitting yourself to questioning from a man who falsely accused you of murder and other atrocities? Is the need to exploit every media availability so overwhelming that nothing is too repulsive?

If there wasn’t a photograph of it, I wouldn’t have believed it.

Clinton & Scaife
Hillary Clinton and Richard Mellon Scaife

Where exactly are the outer limits of her ambition?

Update: The outer limits are apparently not at distributing articles from the American Spectator, the same magazine that Scaife used to accuse her of murder. The Clinton campaign is circulating a Spectator article that accuses Obama adviser, and former Air Force chief of staff, Merrill McPeak of antisemitism. If she expects people to believe the Spectator’s allegations about McPeak, should we also believe their allegations about how she murdered Vince Foster?