4/5/10 9:47 AM

Fox Haters Week in Review

Truthers, plagiarists, bunnies, bikinis, and a challenge to the reader. All this and more in an exceptionally fun-filled edition of Fox Haters Week in Review!

We begin with a bit of a brain-teaser. This relates to something we missed at the time but is too good to ignore. So we'll set the Wayback Machine to the far distant past: September, 2009. As the mist clears we find the newshounds objecting to coverage of Van Jones comments like "You’ve never seen a Columbine done by a black child":

The allegation of "the race card" has been made and I think that it's important to note that Fox had started playing it.... But Jones is a bad, bad man and to add insult to injury, he disparaged white boys when he said that no black boys have committed mass murders at school – or so Fox News would have you believe.... And being the newsroom of white (or is it right) America feeling wronged, [X] and [Y] did three segments in which they featured Jones saying what appeared to be bad things about white people.... More black folks being uppity and saying nasty things about good Republicans and white boys. This is an outrage and Fox News is doing its best to put a stop to it and is do doing [sic] while stop [sic] at nothing to promote the smear.
You have the context, the topic, and the clues. But who were [X] and [Y], the anchor team playing the race card? Match wits with Priscilla and see if you can guess: whodunit?

Around the Interwebs:
There was a shooting outside the Pentagon, and no sooner had the blood dried when the fingers started pointing. Case in point: one Michael Bourgeois. No weasle-word speculation for him. Apparently taking his cue from Mike Malloy, Bourgeois stated as fact:
Beck-Limbaugh fan lashes out at the Pentagon; we told you so
Undeterred by the lack of evidence that the shooter ever heard of Glenn Beck, let alone was a fan, Bourgeois lays out his proof:
I’m certain that I am not the only one waiting with baited breath for the announcement that investigators have found Glen [sic] Beck books in John Patrick Bedell’s apartment or the radio station in his car was left tuned in to Rush Limbaugh.... Bedell was angry at and mistrustful of the government. Educated and intelligent, he directed his intellectual efforts as a 9/11 “truther” and touted other conspiracies as evidenced in comments on his own and other websites.
This searing indictment might have been more convincing if Bourgeois had done at least a modicum of fact-checking before making the preposterous leap from "9/11 truther" to "Glenn Beck fan". In fact, "truthers" are anything but Beck admirers. They are his bitter enemies:Meanwhile, "Elephant Journal" proudly boasted of its own exclusive scoop:
We’re Breaking this One: Fox censors Tiger Woods’ Buddhist remarks.
Citing a video posted on youtube by a user named "foxnewsalert", they decided that it was Fox news itself that uploaded the video and accused FNC of editing Tiger's statement:
Fox’s official version, however, saw all Tiger’s mentions of Buddhism deleted. This might be a coincidence—were Fox not the home of Brit Hume, who only weeks ago infamously remarked that Tiger ought to leave his Buddhist tradition for Christianity if he wanted to see himself forgiven, and in America’s good graces once more.... Fox News has succeeded in completely misrepresenting Tiger’s own words by selectively editing the parts where Tiger talks about Buddhism completely out of the video they posted on YouTube. This is news reporting?
That's just a fraction of a highly sanctimonious screed, which was actually cited as factual by a gullible USA Today blogger. But there's just one thing wrong with it: it's not true. A lot of the leg-work exposing this smear was done by Jon Katz. To make a long story short: the actual Fox "official" video is not on youtube, and is unedited. The video Elephant Journal cites is not from Fox's youtube channel. And Mr Katz concludes that the user "foxnewsalert" has no connection with FNC.

Here are the remaining pieces of the puzzle. The videos uploaded by youtuber "foxnewsalert" show the scrolling ticker across the bottom, meaning they were captured from a broadcast. The videos uploaded by FNC on their official youtube account, like the ones at foxnews.com, have no ticker at the bottom, because they come from the internal feed before the ticker is superimposed.

And there's more: several videos posted by "foxnewsalert" direct people to watchglennbeck.com, a fan site "not endorsed by or affiliated with Glenn Beck or the Fox News Channel". We emailed the proprietor of this site and asked if the "foxnewsalert" youtube account was his. In less than two hours we got the answer: yes it is.

"Elephant Journal" said if it turned out this video wasn't posted by Fox "we'd gratefully retract". The ball's in their court.

Sympathy for the Devil:
In the Fox Haters echo chamber there is an uncritical readiness to side with any charlatan, rascal, or hate-monger if it will advance the goal of attacking Fox News. Newshound "Alex" (whom you may remember from last week's FHWiR) is carrying water for a reckless smear site, and wants you to pitch in as well:
Steve, who runs OReilly-sucks.com, is low on funds to keep the site going so if anyone has $5 to spare maybe you'd consider giving him a donation (he has made a $5 minumum because some idiots were making one cent donations). He's been very helpful to me in the past so I thought I'd pass this on.
For those who may be new readers, oreillysucks is the website where we recently found ten falsehoods on a single page. It says something about Fox hater solidarity that "Alex" is going to bat for a website that so badly embarrassed the newshounds when they were foolish enough to believe that oreillysucks told the truth.

Ellen Brodsky spoke up this week to defend Van Jones against the slings and arrows of Glenn Beck:
Jones was, however, connected to ColorOfChange, the organization that has mounted a very successful boycott effort against Beck’s advertisers. It’s a little fact that Beck always forgets to tell the “we report, you decide” network’s viewers despite ranting about Jones almost every day.
Since Beck was "ranting" about Jones before the boycott was announced, what's the point? That the boycott was retaliation for Beck's criticisms?
The truth, as Beck almost surely knows – or he damned well ought to – is that Jones is not a 9/11 Truther and not a communist. Jones renounced communism several years ago...
Brodsky's link (which characterizes Beck's claim as true, but barely) concludes Jones is no longer a communist, but hardly documents Ellen's claim that he "renounced communism":
We weren't able to find any recent interviews where Jones directly addresses the question of where he stands on communism... we could not find a comment in which Jones explicitly said why he is no longer one...
Back to Brodsky:
Jones is not a 9/11 Truther and not a communist. Jones renounced communism several years ago and has never been a 9/11 Truther (he signed a lengthy letter asking for investigations into many aspects of 9/11).
The letter Jones signed alleged that Flight 77 "which reportedly hit the Pentagon" was somehow invisible to radar. And it asks "How were the FBI and CIA able to release the names and photos of the alleged hijackers within hours". How indeed, unless they were in on it! Ellen conveniently fails to mention the San Francisco March to Demand Congressional Inquiry of 9/11 (January 8 2002) where the organizers raise even more questions:
  • What is the relationship between Bin Laden, his family and the Bush family and the Carlyle Group?
  • Who actually was in control of the "hijacked planes"?
  • What are Bush's, Cheney's and Rice's connections to the oil industry?
  • Why is the evidence being destroyed when an investigation of the World Trade Center collapse is needed?
Does that sound 9/11 truthy enough, Brodsky? The key portion of this document:
Organizing Committee (organizations listed for identification purposes only):...Van Jones, national executive director, Ella Baker Center for Human Rights.
Julie Driscoll waded into the Farrakhan/Pfleger/Wright controversy stirred up by Bill O'Reilly to offer some corrections to Mr Bill:
It was a benefit concert, and no awards were given.
True, but the stated purpose of the event was to "honor" the three men.
The event was a benefit concert presented by Grace of God.
Whose President and CEO is Rev Wright's daughter, Jeri.
Dr. Wright had nothing to do with the event, or its planning.
And yet the place to purchase tickets was: jeremiahwright.com!
They never hit the stage. They never gave a speech.
Granted that's how it turned out. But perhaps there was a last-minute change in plan, since up to and including the night of the event it was listed on Jeremiah Wright's published speaking schedule. Alas, Julie also falls into the trap of defending Wright and even Farrakhan, dismissing as "rhetoric" their history of hateful, inflammatory statements.

Julie, Julie Are You Thinking Of Me?
While Julie D made some fair points about the Chicago benefit concert, she doesn't do as well in a broadside against your humble correspondent. Apparently miffed that we have been zinging her as a suspected plagiarist, she writes:
I'd also like to point out that the post has since been corrected, and I posted a public comment on this site thanking Mr. Dollar for pointing out my error – something Mr. Dollar repeatedly fails to mention. But that's okay – I expect dishonor from Mr. Dollar, and he rarely disappoints.
We didn't know what to make of Julie's comment thanking us because, even after it was made, the original error was still uncorrected (it appears to have been fixed some time between then and now). In the spirit of the ever-popular tu quoque fallacy, Julie decides to trot out examples of Fox News "plagiarism". She certainly seems to have impressed her three commenters, two of them fellow newsmutts, plus someone (Michael Sweeney) who does a Chicago radio show and helpfully added:
  • Ha! Mr. Dollar ain't worth a plugged nickel. He clearly has no idea of journalistic practice and customs (much less integrity), where there is a HUGE difference between an error (or an omitted citation or unattributed quote) and plagiarism. And, of course, the ironic thing that your article makes clear, Julie...is that it is the FOXers who he slobbers over who have committed the journalistic Unforgivable Sin.
So it seems we shall have to look more closely at Julie's examples of "plagiarism" at Fox News:
Let me direct your attention, Mr. Dollar, to Fox News contributor Monica Crowley, who has been twice accused of plagiarism, once in 1999 over an article she wrote for the Wall Street Journal. and, more recently, concerning 23/6.
Wait, the first example is from 1999?!? Doesn't that fall under the newshounds rule that bringing up anything from more than six months ago is "old news" and therefore a "smear"? We don't know anything about the 23/6 controversy which is something she said on her radio show! Neither it nor the decade-old citation have anything to do with Fox News.
And then there's Fox contributor Ann Coulter -- as reported by News Hounds, the New York Post in 2006 noted at least three "textbook" incidents of plagiarism in one of her books.
Speaking of failing to mention things, how about the fact that the plagiarism charges were found to be weak or meritless, not just by the publishers who investigated them but also by the highly-respected Ethics Scoreboard:
All of the examples cited by the blogs and Barrie are like that, bland factual statements that might…might…have justified a footnote in a term paper but that fall far short of the kind of plagiarism that most readers associate with the word.... When a borrowed sentence is so basic that even its author would be hard-pressed to recognize it, the "plagiarism" is so technical that it approaches the vanishing point.
More to the point, Ann Coulter is not a "Fox contributor"! Irrelevant much? FYI Julie, the news channel the employed Ann Coulter was MSNBC. So perhaps we can deal with people who have some connection to FNC?
Even Fox' newest contributor and right-wing darling, Sarah Palin, was hit with a charge of plagiarism for allegedly lifting parts of a Newt Gingrich article and using it in a speech. 
Again with the "charge". Anyone can make a charge. But is it valid? According to the impartial Plagiariam Today, no:
Of all of the political plagiarism scandals I’ve talked about, this one is either the least concerning or close to it.... I make it a rule to grind no political axes on this site but this case definitely seems to be unusual in that it is a plagiarism accusation where the accused actually cited the source, as best as was possible in this setting, twice.
Not only is this "charge" weak tea, but it's again something that didn't happen on FNC. Doesn't Julie have anything that can actually be traced to Fox News? Indeed she does:
In 2006, O'Reilly was sued for plagiarizing the idea for the "Great Factor Debate Contest" from a marketing executive, Jay Schorr, who had allegedly approached Fox with the idea, and who claimed O'Reilly was involved in the discussions.
Julie is smart enough to know that anyone with a piece of paper and a check can file a suit. Why doesn't she tell us what happened to that lawsuit? Oddly, she's mum on that point. Perhaps the first clue is that the press release she links to as her proof is full of bluster but nowhere says that a lawsuit was filed! A quick search with the Google reveals another striking fact: this high-profile lawsuit against the #1 cable news program seems to have been ignored by the entire world press! There are a total of seven mentions, and they all refer back to Jay Schorr's publicity release. Not one word about any court hearing or the filing that Ms Driscoll insists took place. We even contacted Schorr's TMR Multimedia to find out what happened to the lawsuit. We received no response. Shocker.

Since Julie regards a PR release by Mr Schorr as a reliable source, let's check his public record:
  • He claimed to be an advisor on how to fool your boss and look busy.
  • He announced the world's only future news program with a reporting staff of pyschics, including the National Enquirer's favorite seer.
  • He promoted a tv show called "Ho Sweet Ho", where contestants "try to lick their way into the date of their dreams".
  • He garnered a stunning 8.5% of the vote in a campaign for mayor of Hallandale Beach.
  • He came up with "Bare Essentials News", the country's "first bona fide newscast with all bikini- and Speedo-clad anchors and reporters".
  • He offers the Home Alien Abduction Verification Kit so abductees would have "proof" of their adventure.
  • And of course "Bowling for Bunnies", where "buxom beauties" meet "minds in the gutter". The slogan: "Someone's going to score tonight!"
There's one more item of significance in assessing Jay Schorr's invisible lawsuit:
Hallandale Beach-based Total Market Resource Multimedia (TMR) is known for its outrageous, headline-grabbing marketing schemes.... Now, the company plans to launch a marketing strategy that may put its ethics into question again....Based on the premise that court cases garner cheap publicity, the company will file lawsuits that Kessler contends "are of moral and ethical value" to ultimately increase the visibility of its clients.
Gee, ya think?!

Since Julie has corrected her post that started this plagiarism kerfuffle, we will retire our references to it. Oh we know the tail-waggers will continue to obsessively bring up the p-word with Coulter, Palin, and anyone else they can associate (rightly or wrongly) with Fox. We'll try to be better than that.

Whodunit Revealed:
Back to first item, those racist Fox News anchors. Have you figured out who they are yet? Here is another quote from Priscilla's write-up:
[X], whose right wing credentials are burnished by his being a minister and graduate of Oral Roberts University, and [Y] who was wearing the mother of all blingy crosses.
Another clue: Prissy offers no video or visual of the anchor team. Think you've got it? OK, it's time for the Big Reveal. Who are the anchors Priscilla called "race-baiting" reporters from "the news room of white America"? See for yourself.

Spot something you'd like to see in the next Fox Haters Week in Review? Send us an email!

Another excellent FHWIR, Johnny.
March 7, 2010, 9:22:43 PM EST – Like – Reply

Fox Fan
What could Julie have to say about plagiarism? Hear it Monday at 3...
March 7, 2010, 10:17:45 PM EST – Like – Reply

Great FHWIR Johnny
I wonder if there ever was a pilot made for 'Bowling For Bunnies'?
March 7, 2010, 10:58:51 PM EST – Like – Reply

Bowling for Bunnies?? I'm not touching that one
March 8, 2010, 8:42:49 AM EST – Like – Reply

Johnny, one more "gotcha" on the dastardly FNC edited Tiger video.
I listened to the whole thing at the link to ElephantJournal found in your link.  Sure nuff, no mention of Budhism by Tger BUT there is a chyron on the screen re Tiger returning to Budhist upbringing.
Wow, not only is Fox devious but too stupid to erase all the evidence.
Exactly what do these people think that Fox has against Budhism that would make them believe such a stupid charge?
March 8, 2010, 11:21:28 AM EST – Like – Reply

I.M. Right
A great FHWiR Johnny.  Best line:  
Dr. Wright had nothing to do with the event, or its planning.  
And yet the place to purchase tickets was: jeremiahwright.com!  

March 8, 2010, 1:56:50 PM EST – Like – Reply

 johnny dollar
Anyone who wants to hear the Julie Driscoll radio appearance, you can download an mp3 file of the entire show (minus music and breaks) here:
March 8, 2010, 6:14:00 PM EST – Like – Reply

Michael Bourgeois
Speaking of fact-checking, "taking his cue from Mike Malloy"...Honestly, I was not aware he was still on the air after he disappeared from the Air America payroll. But I was a fan of him back in 2004. Thank you for reuniting me with an old friend!
March 18, 2010, 12:50:29 PM EDT – Like – Reply