Bye Bye Barracuda

I was starting to forget her, then comes the news:

The relationship between former Alaska governor Sarah Palin and Fox News has ended.

Some folks, like conservative Republican Joe Scarborough this morning, have suggested that, by this move, Fox “News” honcho Roger Ailes (who Scarborough claimed is the de facto head of the GOP) is trying to help the Republican Party become less, uh, stupid.

Hmm. Scarborough’s suggestion has the virtue of confirming four important facts about the American right-wing these days:

1) Fox “News” Channel is an arm of the Republican Party.

2) The Republican Party really has been “the stupid party.”

3) Fox “News” has been peddling stupidity for profit.

4) Peddling stupidity for profit doesn’t necessarily help elect Republicans.

Jeopardy

Celebrate! Karl Rove Went Nuts!

Now we know exactly why Republicans tried so hard to keep people from voting.

The easiest thing to do this morning, after Tuesday’s great Democratic victory, would be to rehearse all the pre-election hooey that oozed from Foxed-up folks, whether it be local bloggers or well-known extremists on TV and radio, who were cock-sure that Americans wouldn’t put the black Kenyan socialist back in the White’s House.

Yes, that would be so easy. But because I am such a gracious winner, I’m just not gonna play back all that stuff, all that vitriol-based commentary, all those foolish predictions by the Obama-haters. Nope, I’m not gonna do it.

Couldn’t help it.

But I’ll spare you the rest of the rubbish that came from others, who I am sure had a hard time popping out of bed this morning, at least those who could actually get to sleep after it became clear that they are going to have to live with Barack Obama for another four years.

And they will have to live with more Democrats in the Democrat-controlled Senate and a few more in the House. And, ahhhh, they will have to live with ObamaCare.

Not that some of those folks didn’t put up a fight last night.

I watched with utter delight what happened on Fox after it called the election for the President. Turd Blossom, uh, Karl Rove, was in rare form. He openly challenged Fox’s “decision desk“—nerdish guys and gals who crunch the numbers using decidedly non-ideological arithmetic—and pleaded with the anchors to do something about it. To stop it. To repeal the laws of mathematics.

Here’s how Time’s TV critic, James Poniewozik described it:

What is unusual–really, one of the most spectacular things I have ever seen on cable news–is for one arm of a network to basically turn against itself on-air. “Here’s what we’re going to do!” said anchor Bret Baier. “We’re going to get someone from the decision desk and we’re going to bring them in here and we’re going to have them on air and we’re going to interview them about this decision.”

That’s right: One of you nerds had better get in here and explain yourselves to Karl Rove! You have made an important Republican very upset!

If you didn’t see what happened on Fox, I suggest you read Poniewozik’s entire account of it, including his summation of Karl Rove’s attempt to commandeer a network in service to his political party:

It was a fitting moment for an election that often seemed to be a campaign over the idea of mathematical knowability itself. But it was also a glaring, and embarrassing, example of the extent to which Fox News has become an arm of the Republican Party and is expected by GOP operatives to behave as one. Rove may be a party big shot, but he’s just a guy giving analysis on Fox’s air. He does not run the network, even if his friends do.

And yet apparently no one in Fox’s studio felt empowered to tell him that, just because he’d raised a squillion dollars for Republicans SuperPACs this election, he is not entitled to have the decision desk hauled out to answer to him like a chef who sent out an undercooked steak. It’s the sort of thing that might cause you to examine your mission as a journalistic network. I’m not waiting up for that to happen, though.

No, Fox “News” will not examine its journalistic mission. It won’t ask itself why so many of us put quotation marks around its “News.” It will continue to falsely call itself fair and balanced and wage war on arithmetic and the Democratic Party.

But Democrats can celebrate one simple fact today. Despite all of what the Fox “News” Channel did to sabotage their chances of winning, despite all that Karl Rove and his moneyed minions did to try to buy the election, despite all the attempts to suppress the vote of minorities and young people, a majority of Americans still placed their hope for a better future in the hands of the Democratic Party.

And at least for one day, that is worth celebrating.

F And F Is F’uped

Fox and Friends, the morning show on Republican Party Television, has long been the place where IQs go to die, but what it did on Wednesday set a new low it won’t soon surpass, unless, of course, it one day calls the President a nigger during one of its fair and balanced segments.

As you watch the following, keep in mind that in the lower left corner of all Fox programming is that little, slowly spinning Fox “News” box, which makes a mockery of journalism 24-7:

Fox “News” Is Hazardous To Our Health

Fox News Lies! Fox News Lies!” chanted the Occupy Wall Street protesters at Geraldo Rivera last weekend.  Then this week, the increasingly insightful crowd in Zuccotti Park gave Fox Bidness host John Stossel the business, like chanting “Shame on you!” at him as he paid them a visit.

Now, my first instinct is to recoil at a demonstration in which someone is literally shouted down for being on the other side of a philosophical divide.  Then sometimes I wonder if at least some shouting down is in order when it comes to Fox “News” Channel, particularly when Fox hosts go down to Zuccotti Park just to get cringe-inducing video fragments they can share with their cringe-craving audiences.

In any case, what happens on Fox is seriously disturbing, not just in terms of what the network does to dumb down the public debate—a trait it shares with its older brother, right-wing talk radio—but also what it does to poison the well of factual information, into which we all should be dipping our buckets.

As an example, here is a Psycho Talk segment from The Ed Show on Wednesday night, which perfectly and succinctly demonstrates how hazardous Fox is to the national health:

Chris Wallace Admits Fox Is Biased

I watched Jon Stewart’s appearance on Fox News Sunday with Chris Wallace.  Naturally the discussion focused on Stewart’s frequent criticism of Fox “News” for its obvious bias.  I know that Stewart’s calling Wallace “insane” has grabbed much of the attention, but here is the most important part of the interview:

STEWART: So, you believe that Fox News is exactly the ideological equivalent of NBC News?

WALLACE: I think we’re the counterweight. I think that they have a liberal agenda and I think we tell the other side of the story.

Now, here we have Chris Wallace, Fox’s most prominent journalist—and to the Fox brass, its most journalistically validating employee—admitting that Fox tells “the other side of the story.” 

What side is that?  Fox is supposed to be “fair and balanced,” remember? Wallace, basing his admission on the false premise that NBC News is “liberal,” is telling the world what the world already knows but what Fox journalists are loathe to admit: Fox does not do straight journalism.  It is designed to “tell the other side of the story.”

Conservatives are no longer able to deny that Fox, rather than a “we report, you decide” journalistic enterprise, is nothing more than a “counterweight” to the imaginary bias in the other major news outlets.

We know without a doubt now that the “news” side of Fox is biased, consciously so.  And the network’s most prominent journalist has said so.

And by the way, Wallace, when Stewart pointed out that Fox viewers were the “most consistently misinformed media viewers,” did not deny it. Instead, Wallace attacked Comedy Central.

That, folks, says it all.

A “Crap-Wrapped And Crap-Riddled Piece Of Loathsome And Offensive And Truth-Despising Tea Party Propaganda”

Pardon me, but I want to share with you something that I believe is a new low point not only for the Fox “News” Channel—and there have been plenty of low points—but also for the Tea Party ‘movement,” whose fiery members no doubt consider themselves to be a part of the “loyal” opposition to the Obama administration, but many of whom are in reality disloyal to the principles of democracy, especially our republican form.

Last week on Fox “News” Channel’s, “Huckabee,” while Introducing Jon Voight’s “special message for the people of America,” the host, Mike Huckabee, who pretends to be just an “ah shucks,” country-preacher from Arkansas, said this to Mr. Voight about Mr. Voight:  

I believe you have been gifted with extraordinary wisdom and insight into this nation’s particular predicament right now.* 

With that, off we went into the most outrageous, disgusting, bigoted, racially-tinged attack on Obama I have ever heard on Fox “News” or anywhere else on “mainstream media” for that matter, considering this piece of garbage was not spoken extemporaneously by some publicity-seeking Obama-hater on a fringe right-wing radio station. 

This was spoken by a famous actor on a popular Fox “News” show, reading from a prepared text, in the presence of a Man of God and former governor of one of our United States—without a peep of protest.  

All I can say is that Huckabee and Fox “News” should, but won’t, be ashamed of themselves. 

Although I have included the video of this shameful moment in American broadcasting history, you should first read the words, which I transcribed as follows:    

In one year the American people are witnessing the greatest lie, that is cleverly orchestrated by President Obama and his whole administration. The lie is a potent aggression that feeds the needs of people, who either have not educated themselves enough to understand the assault upon us all, or the very poor needy, who live to be taken care of.   

President Obama feeds these people poison, giving them the idea that they are entitled to take from the wealthier, who have lived and worked in a democracy that understands that capitalism is the only truth that keeps the nation healthy and fed.   

Now, the lie goes very deep, and President Obama has been cleverly trained in the Alinsky method.  And it would be very important that every American knows what that method is: it is a socialistic, Marxist teaching, and with it, little by little, he rapes this nation, taking down our defenses, making new language for the Islamic extremists.    

The world, who looked up to us a symbol for hope and prosperity, now wonders what will become of the entire world, if America is losing its power. 

The American people who understand exactly what is taking place, have come together in the thousands, vowing to try to stay together as a unit of love and freedom for all men and women, from all walks of life, shivering to think that this once-great nation will be a third world company—country.   

This will be the first president to ever weaken the United States of America. President Obama uses his aggression and arrogance for his own agenda against the will of the American people, when he should be using his will and aggression against our enemies.   

Every loving American for peace and truth and the security of our nation, must come out and join the Tea Parties in their states. The opposition will continue their tactics, their lies, and plant their own bullies amongst us. Everyone must pay close attention to who stands next to them.  We can weed out the liars and agitators. 

Let us all stay in God’s light. Let no man put asunder. We can and we will prevail.  God bless us all.   

If you still have the stomach to watch the actual delivery of this crap-wrapped and crap-riddled piece of loathsome and offensive and truth-despising Tea Party propaganda, here it is:   

*In September of last year, Voight appeared on Huckabee’s show and also made outrageous and disreputable comments, so Huckabee’s judgment about Voight here ipso facto includes those comments, which Rod Dreher—a conservative from the Dallas Morning News—reported this way:

Last weekend, I tuned into a Fox program hosted by the avuncular former Arkansas Gov. Mike Huckabee, of whom I am a fan. There sat actor Jon Voight, staring gravely at the host, who praised the thespian’s “courage.”

“We’re witnessing a slow and steady takeover of our true freedoms,” Voight scowled. “We’re becoming a socialist nation, and Obama is causing civil unrest in this country. … I say that they’re taking away God’s first gift to man: our free will.”

Voight then accused the president of trying to depose God and deify himself — as, according to the Book of Revelation, the Antichrist will do. It may sound ridiculous — after all, who looks to celebrities for political wisdom? — but it’s deadly serious to millions of Americans.

To his great discredit, Huckabee, a pastor, let this crazy talk pass unchallenged.

CNN Redefines Middle Class

Apparently, CNN, just another liberal network, pays its morning anchors a lot of money; so much so that they have a somewhat skewed view of America’s middle class.

Fairness & Accuracy In Reporting pointed out something peculiar that happened today on CNN’s American Morning.

Kiran Chetry interviewed Peter Orszag, Obama’s budget director, and had this exchange:

CHETRY: You also talk about letting taxes expire for families that make over $250,000. Some would argue that in some parts of the country that is middle class.

ORSZAG: Well, I guess it’s not the parts of the country where I’ve been. What we’re trying to do is cut back on the tax breaks for the elite, for the very highest earners in part to help get this deficit problem under control over time and also to rebalance the tax code.

While Chetry didn’t say just who the “some” were who would argue that middle class folks haul in a cool 250 thou a year, FAIR linked to this survey from the U.S. Census Bureau that showed a mere 1.5% of Americans make $250,000 or more. 

Chetry, who reportedly made Maxim‘s top ten of TV’s Sexiest News Anchors, must have used some talking points from her old gig at Fox “News,” while interviewing Orszag.  She should have destroyed Fox’s playbook just so she wouldn’t get caught in embarrassing episodes like this.

In a previous embarrassing moment, she also, according to the New York Post, wanted Gretchen Carlson, the insufferable female co-host of Fox and Friends, fired from her show a few years ago so that Chetry could replace her.

So, the little “dark-haired, Nepalese beauty” (as the Post called her) not only missed an entry-level course on economics in school, she also skipped the Fox Etiquette Training, which resulted in a sudden dismissal from the tight-knit Fox family along with these departing words to her agent:

Saint Rachel

George Bush the Elder even had me suckered.  It turns out that he is as sly as a Fox “News” story, masquerading all this time as a nice guy, when he was at heart a Roger Ailes-inspired pit bull. 

Saint RachelLast Friday the ex-CIA director-cum-President of the United States called Keith Olbermann and Rachel Maddow (“Saint Rachel,” as far as I am concerned) “sick puppies.”  But in doing so, he accidentally triggered something that Ms. Maddow explored in an interview with Ron Suskind. 

She noted ( in the video posted below) that as Fox “News” has gone deeper and deeper into extremism, people often accuse her of growing more extreme, so that there can be a nice and comfortable narrative about what’s happening  on cable television.  In other words, it helps people to understand and deem acceptable the quasi-journalism on the Fox “News” Channel, if it can be shown that the same thing is going on across the cable news street.  But this analysis, claiming that there is “extremist symmetry” between Fox “News” and MSNBC, is flawed, even if it makes some folks feel better.

As I have tried to point out, MSNBC does bend  to the left, but it doesn’t “push” the news like Fox unquestionably does—throughout its broadcast day.  And there is no comparison between what Rachel Maddow does and what Glenn Beck, Sean Hannity, Bill O’Reilly, or other ringmasters do under the  Fox “News” circus tent. 

One may not like Rachel’s liberalism, or the issues she chooses to highlight each night, but she is very smart (and educated) and painfully fair (for some of us who want her to skewer the “opposition”).  She isn’t paranoid like Beck; she doesn’t talk over her guests or monopolize their air time like Hannity; and she doesn’t yell at her guests or otherwise act like the ego-bloated and insufferable O’Reilly.

Now, granted, Keith Olbermann’s MSNBC program is a bit different.  His show does comes closer to  typical Fox fare, but to insist that he is as much of an extremist as, say, Glenn Beck, is another example of the false symmetry syndrome.  

Watching Glenn Beck is a lot like watching what one might imagine a talented but disturbed patient at the old Nevada State Hospital might have done with a couple of cameras, a blackboard, and an eager research staff.  Or, if Lyndon LaRouche had daily access to a high-tech TV studio, and a case of VapoRub, one imagines that his show would look a lot like GB’s. 

In any case, Olbermann’s show is well within the bounds of civilized commentary, and the idea that Fox “News” Channel is just a mirror image of MSNBC must be challenged, and hopefully that is what is behind the Obama administration’s attempt to expose Fox’s phony claim that it practices authentic journalism.

Here is the segment from the Rachel Maddow show:

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