4/5/10 9:47 AM

Fox Haters Week in Review

Read all about it: vintage television, FNC's homophobic "tranny", and more fact-check follies. Prepare for yet another action-packed edition of Fox Haters Week in Review!

Lying with Larry:
With Keith Olbermann on an extended "grief leave", his spot has been filled by Democratic strategist Lawrence O'Donnell. And Larry has had no problem taking over Olby's role as chief basher of all things Fox. He was in rare form on the day after the health care bill was signed, as he chatted with his impartial guest expert (from Media Matters!). Quoth Larry:

And on the day it was signed into law, Megyn Kelly spent about 23 seconds on it.  That was typically of the day‘s coverage over at FOX.
Larry is being more than a tad disingenuous here. While it's true that in her first half-hour Ms Kelly's only mention of the health care law was a brief headline, O'Donnell leaves out the fact that in the 11:00 am-1:00 pm block just prior to Megyn's, health care coverage dominated, with more than an hour and a half of those two hours devoted to the bill, the signing, and the ramifications. So Kelly began her shift by bringing people up to date on other news, and had more health care coverage in her second hour (which Larry ignores).

As for O'Donnell's preposterous allegation that 12 seconds per hour was "typical" of Fox's coverage that day, how gullible does he think we are? That would mean Fox covered it for less than four minutes over 18 hours of broadcasting! Besides the 90 solid minutes noted above, the day was filled with reports, interviews, and analysis on every aspect of the story. Anyone who watched FNC knows all this, but that didn't stop Larry. It's almost as if he were nothing more than a "creepy liar".

Around the Interwebs:
It's funny how reporting becomes "advancing a right-wing smear" when Fox does it. Case in point: an allegation against Bart Stupak involving his health care vote and airport funding. You can read about in the Detroit Free Press, the News, The Hill, and elsewhere. Media Matters is fine with all of that, but when FNC spends all of 45 seconds on the story, relating the allegation and Stupak's response, it suddenly becomes Bret Baier promoting "a right-wing smear". Not surprisingly, MM recycles the same trick again:
Fox advances misleading GOP attack on NLRB nominee Becker... Fox News advanced the attack that Obama nominee Craig Becker would be an "anti-democratic and anti-free speech" member of the National Labor Relations Board (NLRB) because he believed "employers should have no role in union-organizing elections at all." But during a congressional hearing on his nomination, Becker stated that as a board member, he would be bound by law, which includes the "indisputable" right of employers to express views on unionization.
Actually Becker's statement used the phrase "current law", but the first thing to note here is that the "GOP attack" wasn't "misleading" at all. Nobody claimed he wouldn't be bound by the current law, only that these were his expressed opinions--which is true.

And then there's a trickier question: how exactly did "Fox" advance this "misleading GOP attack"? Unlike the previous example which fingered Bret Baier, this time MM uses the vague, generic "Fox" as its villain. Did the Articles of Incorporation advance this "GOP attack"? We assume MM is talking about a person, but if so why so vague? Who actually "advanced" the claim?

The interview segment in question was conducted by Megyn Kelly, so it's obvious that she "advanced" the GOP attack--except that she didn't. She never brought it up or mentioned it. Then maybe it was one of those nasty FNC contributors: Mary Anne Marsh was part of the debate. But no, she didn't bring it up either. The guy who did was Justin Sayfie, not an FNC employee, contributor, or even janitor. Just a guest. Unless MM has proof that one of the FNC stagehands whispered the "GOP attack" to Sayfie before he mentioned it, it would seem that nobody from FNC "advanced" the "GOP attack". It was advanced by--surprise!--a GOP guest as part of a fair and balanced debate.

Speaking of Megyn Kelly, did you know she is a raging homophobe? Just ask Abstraction Reaction, who claim that "Megyn’s homophobia is rearing its ugly head" (when they aren't calling her a "tranny"). Or News Blaze: "Megyn Kelly clearly is homophobic". You might wonder why the homophobic Ms Kelly was part of the NLGJA's 15th annual benefit--as a specially invited guest no less. Neither site addresses that conundrum, neatly avoiding the issue by just not reporting it.

Oh, there's someone else who also has called Kelly "homophobic": none other than Ellen Brodsky, leader of the newshounds pack (ETA: or else then guest-blogger Julie). By an odd coincidence, nothing at her site either about the NLGJA benefit. Shocker.

The Other JD:
There is an old maxim that we have all heard: practice what you preach. Newshound Julie Driscoll excoriated Laura Ingraham for being "narrow-minded": emphasizing points that support her arguments while ignoring facts that go against them. But then Julie goes and says this:
Ingraham must not have been Googling much lately, either, because she ignored polls which indicate public support for healthcare reform has increased since the bill was signed, and made the claim, "Most people don't like it, they don't want it, and they want it repealed." In fact, a recent USA Today/Gallup poll showed just the opposite -- since the signing of the healthcare reform bill, 48% approve and 40% disapprove. Just because something's on Ingraham's wish list doesn't make it true.
The one poll cited by Julie (which carried a disclaimer from Gallup about its "additional bias or error") does indeed exist. But guess what? In order to get to that poll, Julie had to skip over four more recent polls and ignore seven others--all of which went the other way! Doesn't it sound like Julie's been "ignoring polls" that don't agree with her "wishlist"?

At least Ms Driscoll didn't call Laura Ingraham a liar. She reserved that for Ann Coulter, so she could blast Bill O'Reilly for "giving a pass" to all her "lies":
Coulter adopted victim status and opined, ". . . I have a very strong case with the Human Rights Commission here in Canada for the letter that was sent to me by that Provost at University of Ottawa informing me that I might be committing a hate speech crime before I'd ever set foot in the country. That was publicized to at last half a dozen people . . . ." Yes, as Huffington Post reported, ". . . a private letter to her that was mysteriously leaked to Coulter-friendly venues like the National Post, Canada's most conservative national newspaper and to newsmax.com, the website that bills itself somewhat wordily as 'the leading independent online news site with a conservative perspective.'" How many lies can Coulter tell -- and how many times will O'Reilly give her a pass while she tells them?
Not to be technical, but what's the lie that O'Reilly let slide? That she got a letter? That it came before she set foot in the country? That it was made public? We may be a trifle old-fashioned on this point, but we still believe the first requirement of a lie is that it be not true.

Comedy of Errors:
One of the things the newspooches take pride in is their unfailing devotion to accuracy and truth. Because their leader, Ellen Brodsky, instills in each of them the same rigorous dedication to factual backup that has marked her writing over the years. And the results of this admirable discipline are again on display at the dog pound. Priscilla tells us about Jason Mattera, "who writes for Michelle Malkin’s blog, Hot Air". Only Hot Air is owned not by Malkin but by Salem Communications. Another tail-wagger blasts a headline:
Fox Only Cable News Network Not Carrying Obama's Speech At Interior Department
But the linked source does not make that claim, mainly because it ain't true. If only these mongrels had followed the example of rigorous fact-checker Ellen Brodsky, who devotes an entire post to the scandalous trickery of Fox changing the wording of someone else's article:
Fox Nation linked to an article from the Daily Caller called "IRS looking to hire thousands of tax agents to enforce health care laws" and changed the title to make it more inflammatory: "IRS Hiring Thousands of Armed Tax Agents to Enforce Obamacare?" (my empahsis) [sic] The original Daily Caller article said nothing about agents being armed to enforce the law.... Fox Nation took the first three paragraphs of The Daily Caller's article verbatim, except for one addition: Fox changed the sentence, "Republican lawmakers estimate the legislation will require the hiring of many thousands of new tax enforcement agents" to "Republican lawmakers estimate the legislation will require the hiring of many thousands of new (and armed) (my emphasis) tax enforcement agents".... Shame on them! You can contact Fox Nation about these tactics here.
There's no question that the articles are different, but a thought occurred to us: how does Ellen know that Fox changed the wording? Isn't it possible that it wasn't Fox who changed the wording but rather the Daily Caller? Oh details, details. Brodsky says it was Fox and that's that. Shame on them!

It didn't take much research to get to the truth. The first clue might be the URL to the Caller's piece, which reads: dailycaller.com/2010/03/22/irs-looking-to-hiring-thousands-of-armed-tax-agents-to-enforce-health-care-laws. Now why would "armed" be in the URL? Could it be that was part of the original article title? Ya think? If reading an URL is too much trouble for Brodsky, then you know doing the Google is going to be out of the question. Because that will turn up all the other sites who quote and link to The Daily Caller writing about "many thousands of new (and armed)" agents.

Without even the most rudimentary sort of verification, Ellen Brodsky writes an erroneous screed, then wants her gullible readers to complain to Fox Nation over something they plainly didn't do. Given her insistence on accuracy, we can be sure Brodsky will post a prominent apology to Fox Nation for her false story. Any day now.

TV or Not TV?
That is the question. What follows is not a "lie of the week", and probably not a lie at all. But it is amusingly demonstrative of the punctilious fact-checking of Ellen Brodsky and her brood. Ellen writes:
Beck, in his serious, hushed voice, beside his fake TV, acknowledged how chipper he was in the face of the passage of the bill.
Of course, Brodsky wouldn't claim Beck's tv was "fake" without proof, right? Well, she does cite evidence: the word of a newsmutt guest blogger! Nothing like going straight to an authoritative source! See for yourself:
It’s Glenda’s newest prop. One really has to compliment the prop department for its creation because it’s almost perfect. It’s an old-timey tee vee, just like the one I used to watch when I was a kid.... Beck’s old-timey tee vee is the perfect lens through which to view and understand everything you need to know about The Beckinator. That’s because the old-timey tee vee is a fake!!! It’s as phony as 3-dollar bill or, if you will, a Glenn Beck frog demonstration. The clue? Beck’s old-timey tee vee is only 6 to 8 inches deep, an impossibility for a tee vee from the ‘50s, which used vacuum picture tubes and were almost two feet deep. Just another phony prop to make another phony point about…what exactly?
Yikes, where to begin? How about the image that appears on Beck's "fake" TV?
If you watch the set closely, you'll notice that the vertical is stretched, and the vertical linearity is a little off, the top of the picture seems a bit squashed. As we all know this can be a common problem with tube b&w sets. Unlike many "color conversions" you see being used as props on TV shows, the CRT appears to fit the curvature of the bezel perfectly. Usually prop TV's that have been color converted have a cheap, squared off modern CRT and chassis jerry-rigged into an old cabinet, and they never look quite right due to the differences between the size and shape of the modern CRT and the bezel. Also, the set appears to be tuned to Channel 3. They're probably using an RF modulator to send video to the set from a computer, probably via the s-video out on a PC's video card.
But the cabinet has to be two feet deep! Um, sorry, but no:
Actually, I've seen one of these sets in person and they really are that shallow. GE marketed the designer series as being thin and compact.
How can that be? A guest blogger says it's a phony, cooked up by "the prop department", and that's that! Right? Ask the person who owns one:
The TV is a GE Coaxial. It is an unusually thin set for it's time The chassis is the original chassis.We have rented it out many many times.... Here is a link to a photo of the actual set....Yes it absolutely is a real set...It uses a regular 21" 110 deg tube, the cabinet is thin but the metal back has a bump to accommodate the tube.
Do you know what happened at the beginning of the very program Ellen claims to have seen? Beck banged the top of the set to demonstrate how the image fluttered--proving it's a vacuum tube set and not a prop. Despite that, Brodsky insists it's a "fake" on the say so of a guest blogger--two people who don't know what they're talking about, and neither lifts a finger to determine the truth. As someone once wrote:
Mistakes can add up over time to present a picture of the care and detail (or lack thereof) with which an organization "runs its ship." I believe a lack of attention to detail portends a lack of attention in other areas.
Indeed. It's precisely what made the newsmutts what they are today: a joke.

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Fox Haters Week in Review

The question all America wants answered: who told The Lie of the Week? Find out in today's riveting edition of Fox Haters Week in Review!

Let's Play Screwball:
First on the docket is MSNBC motor-mouth Chris Matthews, a man who ironically owes his cable news prominence (such as it is) to Roger Ailes. Matthews, a former Democratic pol, might be described as a person who never has an unspoken thought. So it is that he decided to provide his own instant content analysis of what airs on a rival channel:

But there is a network out there, Fox News, that has offered absolutely no debate, its just trashed every single thing…has there ever been a bill before in congress where an entire network on television has blasted it every day for more than a year?”
It sounds a little like Matthews is echoing the disgraced New York Times editor Howell Raines, who wrote just days earlier that FNC's health care coverage is nothing more or less than "a propaganda campaign against the Obama administration -- a campaign without precedent in our modern political history".

We thought it might be interesting to put these claims to the test. So we fired up the trusty DVR and set the controls for all the way back to Friday morning. Here's a run-down of some of the anti-Obama propagandists who "trashed every single thing" about the health care proposals:All these appearances were on a morning filled with a lot of breaking news, which included over a half-hour of uninterrupted coverage of statements from Nancy Pelosi and President Obama. If that's a morning of anti-Obama "propaganda", it's a strange way of going about it.

By the way, FNC's most-watched primetime hour brought more pro-health care advocates: Mary Anne Marsh, Nancy Skinner, Rep Luis Gutierrez, and Dr Mark Morocco. The latter had a lively exchange with Dr Manny Alvarez--but how can that be? Fox has "absolutely no debate"! Perhaps Chris Matthews uses a different definition:
There is a lot of debate on MSNBC about this health care bill – left versus center-left, whatever.

Around the Interwebs:
For some reason, the solons at Crooks and Liars decided to haul out the wayback machine to do a post about a 1995 FCC decision regarding foreign ownership of broadcast stations. The ruling noted that Rupert Murdoch was "an American citizen", but Gordonskene finds a sinister aspect:
Ironically, Murdoch applied for and got citizenship while the hearings were underway, so it made everything seem legit.
But the link provided says the issue in question arose in 1993; Murdoch received his citizenship in 1985.

RedState doesn't have the Fox Hater reputation of Crooks and Liars, but that doesn't mean they can't slip up too. Dan Perrin is up in arms over FNC's running tally of House health care votes:
FOX News ought to be ashamed of itself. Pushing their only two away, only one away, the Dems have the votes, they are at plus one in the Yes vote tally. They were wrong when they reported it and they are still wrong.... GOP House Whip Cantor says the Dems do not have the votes, so does FireDogLake.... You should fire the idiot doing your vote counting. He or she cannot do simple math, and are injecting guesses and certainty where there is little.
Simple math is exactly what FNC is doing. As they have stated repeatedly, their "whip count" is a straightforward mathematical formula. They take the earlier House vote on health care as the base, and when any member says he is changing their vote from then to now, they adjust the count accordingly. No guessing, no tricks, nothing subjective at all. Pure numbers.

And one thumb down to the Huffington Post, who like Think Progress, used our Geraldo/Bret Baier video without bothering to credit J$P with a link. Thanks to Mediaite for doing it up right.

Some Dare Call It Treason:
What would a FHWiR be without a visit to the newshounds? Ellen Brodsky is in high dudgeon about FNC's "all out effort" to "take down health care reform", even though she probably couldn't name five people on Fox who don't support some flavor of health care reform. In this case she's all atwitter because on Friday Megyn Kelly did an interview with Gene Simmons that spent a few minutes on his opposition to Obamacare. See? Proof!

Now far be it from us to accuse Brodsky of cherry-picking to misrepresent. But it's passing strange that Ellen didn't say anything about people on that same program who spoke in favor of health care. As detailed above, Fox hosted Anthony Weiner, Debbie Wasserman Shultz, and two others that same day, in the hours before Megyn met KISS. And yet, there is not one word from any of the hounds about these segments. How easy to claim an "all out effort" when you hide contrary data from the sensitive eyes of credulous readers.

We saw above how well-represented the pro-Obamacare contingent was on Friday's Factor, but the only segment that got hound coverage was the one in a debate format, with Drs Alvarez and Morocco. Julie Driscoll started in on substitute host Laura Ingraham:
[She] cited the "fact" that 46% of primary care physicians would "consider leaving their practices if this healthcare reform goes through."
Laura didn't call it a "fact"; she said it was a survey result.
Ingraham cited this "46%" statistic -- no doubt channeling Bill O'Reilly, who cited the same statistic -- which allegedly comes from a poll by the New England Journal of Medicine.... But the New England Journal of Medicine didn't conduct the survey.
Straw dog! Ingraham didn't claim they did.
Dr. Peter Lipsom, writing for Forbes.com, pointed out, due to the polling questions, the poll "is not a reliable measure of doctors' responses to health care reform."
Dr Lipsom's piece doesn't criticize the wording of the questions at all. His opinion as a layman (because he is not a polling expert) is that the sample wasn't scientific enough, and that the result was "widely picked up by partisan media".
[Dr Alvarez said] that he knows thousands of doctors, but can count on one hand the number of doctors that agree with this healthcare bill. Can we say "right-wing agenda?"
Yes, we can! Especially if you assume that anyone who disagrees with a piece of legislation is automatically a tool of the "right-wing". Oddly, while decrying imagined partisanship, Ms Driscoll twice cites as an authority Physicians for a National Health Care Program, a client of "Democracy in Action: Wiring the Progressive Movement". Ironic, huh?

One more item from Ellen Brodsky who again zeroed in on Fox Nation, calling out Jesse Watters for posting "an inflammatory article":
Its first sentence is, "Rep. Steve King (R-IA) is calling for a new procedural solution to stop the health care bill: Have an angry mob of citizens storm Washington and prevent Congress from acting, in imitation of the Velvet Revolution that overthrew communist rule in Czechoslovakia!"
Ellen doesn't make it clear, but Jesse Watters didn't write the article, and Fox Nation didn't post it. They quoted two sentences and then linked to the full piece. By the way, that link takes you to the site that published the "inflammatory article": Talking Points Memo. Brodsky forgot to mention that, but instead focused on several comments talking about a "coming revolution" and "lock and load". Ellen pontificates:
I know as well as anyone that readers' comments do not necessarily - and usually do not - reflect the views of a website. But comments certainly reflect the management decisions of a website run by professionals, with moderators and with the kind of resources that Fox News has. Furthermore, this is far from the first time Fox Nation has allowed comments advocating violence. Is this treason? It certainly looks like it to this layperson.
That's odd. We were sure that treason was defined differently:
Treason against the United States, shall consist only in levying War against them, or in adhering to their Enemies, giving them Aid and Comfort.
Oh wait, that was last-year's newshound definition. Be that as it may, we join in agreement with Ellen about casual discussions of revolution and violence. We're thankful that during the previous administration she didn't allow any of that sort of talk.

The Lie of the Week:
There's a dirty little secret about the internet. Most people who read an article or a post take it at face value. More often than not they don't bother to click the links provided by a good writer to substantiate the claims being made. With that in mind we turn to the Huffington Post, where Democratic activist Burns Strider begins with an attention-getting headline:
FOX News Funds Research and Smear Campaign Against American Pastor
Note the inflammatory use of the term "smear", which as we have shown before is defined as a slanderous, false accusation. How can this alleged campaign possibly be described in that fashion given that it hasn't even begun yet? Nonetheless Mr Strider soldiers on, stating that Beck's staff has a new goal:
...funding opposition research and internet attack campaigns with the stated purpose of destroying the personal credibility of pastors who dare to question statements made by FOX commentators.... Glenn Beck isn't just planning to throw insults; he said that he has been using his FOX staff to research everything that Rev. Wallis has ever said or done and to dig up dirt on the people who work with the pastor....Why is FOX funding research to discredit an American minister?... FOX needs to be called to account for this. They need to explain how a news organization can possibly justify funding an opposition research effort that has the stated purpose of destroying the credibility of an American pastor?
Naturally, it didn't take long for these incendiary charges to propagate through the echo chamber. For example, Crooks and Liars:
Burns Strider, of the American Values Network, makes a good point. Why is Fox funding research to discredit a minister for believing in social justice?
Progressive Revival piles on:
Glenn Beck is using Fox News staff and resources to run his smear campaign against Rev. Jim Wallis.... Burns is right.  FOX does need to be called to account.
And of course, our pals at the newshounds:
Why is Fox “News” Channel Funding Research to Smear an American Pastor?
To back up his claim that "Fox News" is funding Glenn Beck's research into Jim Wallis, Burns offers two links, but they both go to the same source: a Glenn Beck clip posted on Media Matters. When you actually listen to the clip it becomes apparent that, contrary to what Burns stated, Beck does not say he's been "using his Fox staff" to research Rev Wallis. In fact, Beck says nothing about Fox News, or its staff, or its researchers. Zip. Nada. Not surprising, since the clip in question is not from his FNC program, but from the Glenn Beck radio show! What about his "stated purpose" of attacking anyone who disagrees with "Fox commentators"? Also false. Where did Mr Burns get the idea that FNC was funding any of this? He made it up!

Most of the comments attached to his post are what you would expect.
  • It is time for Fox News to be pulled off the air for their hate speech
  • The powers that be at FOX scare me more than foreign terrorist, nuclear war or the end of time.
  • When can Fox News be shut down for treading the legal boundaries of informing the people?
But the corollary to the rule that most people don't check the links is the logical imperative: some people do. One of the HuffPo commenters asked the right question:
  • Where is the evidence that Fox has anything to do with this? Looks to me like a Beck-only thing.
Similarly, amid the flood of comments at Crooks and Liars, there was one swimming against the tide:
This post, in its headline, one of its two original sentences, and its link assert FOX is doing this. Are they doing anything?... Beck owns his own company, Mercury Radio Arts, and his own magazine. He does not work out of FOX HQ. The attacks that are the subject of this post came on his radio show, which is not broadcast by FOX.
Even at the newshounds, one of the commenters pointed out that there was no evidence that Fox was funding any sort of "research". But newspooch "Alex" had a retort to that:
Even if you can show that Fox aren't paying for any of the research, which you haven't... I would also be happy to acknowledge any reliable information that Beck doesn't have researchers on his tv show, paid by Fox News, working on his attack on Wallis.
Never mind that there is no information that Fox News is paying for this research, "Alex" reverses the usual standard and demands proof that it's not true! This encapsulates the newspoodles: make a charge, and if someone expresses doubts, challenge them to prove a negative: that it didn't happen! Ed Wood Jr would have been proud:

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Fox Haters Week in Review!

Princes, patriots, propagandists, poseurs, poppycock, and private parts? They're all part of the mix in the latest action-packed edition of Fox Haters Week in Review!

Saudi About That:
We begin our whirlwind tour of the echo chamber with a visit to the newshounds, where Priscilla claimed that Bill O'Reilly "defined Jehmu Greene as 'Baby Killer'" (to see how dishonest that is, just compare that headline to what O'Reilly said). Most recently Prissy turned her talents to another subject:

Is Fox News now an arm of the Vatican? The reason why I’m asking is that while they employ a Roman Catholic priest, Jonathan Morris, as a “Religion Correspondent”
Um, that's false. FNC's "religion correspondent" is Lauren Green. Fr Morris is simply a contributor. You know, like Joe Trippi or Ellis Henican.
they employ no other clergy from any other religious denominations...
Apparently Prissy forgot about this guy. Still that's not as bad as last week, when we caught her calling him part of an all-white newsroom!

Ellen Brodsky again uncritically parrots what some other site said:
Rupert Murdoch has enthusiastically welcomed as his 4th largest FOX shareholder a Saudi Prince who blamed the U.S. for the 9/11 attacks, funds families of suicide bombers, and reportedly has other shady ties to the extremist Wahhabi jihadist movement.
What are these "shady ties"? Unclear, but does Brodsky thinks the Prince's investments (Apple, Euro Disney, Motorola) and donations to Harvard, Cornell, and The Louvre are all part of a diabolical plan to establish a Wahhabi Caliphate? Ellen cites a column by Joseph Trento, which begins with Trento complaining that his appearance on Fox & Friends wasn't made into a foxnews.com video:
Normally such appearances end up as clips on the Fox News Web site.... Curiously, I was quoted in a written piece on the site that got a fair amount of pick-up, but no video.
Trento's premise is, of course, false. Only a fraction of the segments on F&F are posted online. Only six videos from Friday's three-hour show, for example. But never mind, Trento says it's because he mentioned Saudi funding of terrorism that he didn't get to see his face on foxnews.com. Taking a cue from AIM, a hard-right advocacy group, Trento blames Saudi Prince Alwaleed, a minority investor in News Corp:
The prince has repeatedly defended his homeland as a problem-free place. What he has failed to mention is that he has personally donated huge amounts of money to the families of Palestinian suicide bombers.
Well, not exactly. The reference is to a government-run telethon organized to aid Palestinians who were casualties of Israeli attacks during the battle of Jenin. They deny that any money went to families of suicide bombers, and there is no evidence that it did. Ellen's source continues to complain that FNC is just not anti-Arab enough, citing an outdated piece by Frank Gaffney to kick it up a notch: DirecTV is going to have Arab programming. Oh Noes!
Prince Al-Waleed’s Rotana Audio Visual Company, which operates TV channels in the Middle East, has signed a deal with DirecTV, the TV-satellite firm controlled by News Corp.... As a result, it would seem Rotana will be able to beam its programs into U.S. cable boxes without interference from federal regulators, or anybody else…
Um, how would that be different from any other cable or satellite channel? Federal regulators have no control over the content of cable/satellite channels. That's why MSNBC can "beam its programs into US cable boxes without interference from federal regulators" too. It's called freedom of speech. And by the way, why all this high dudgeon over DirecTV adding Arabic channels? Try comparing them to Dish Network and then ask yourself: why all the fuss over DirecTV but not Dish? Maybe because Rupert Murdoch runs DirecTV? Well no, that's another inaccuracy. Murdoch and News Corp gave up their interest in DirecTV years ago.

Around the Interwebs:
We stopped by the loony bin (aka oreillysucks.com) to see how hard it would be to catch them this week. The answer: not very:
Not once is a Republican ever mentioned in the dumbest thing of the week segment. It's always Democrats....
Yeah, right:Undeterred, they try a variation on the same theme:
O'Reilly sure has a strange idea of what a patriot is, a patriot to me is someone in the military, a policeman, a fireman, an EMT worker, a emergency room doctor who saves lives every day, etc. Those are real patriots, yet you never see O'Reilly name them patriots
Chalk up another one for the sucksters:
  • Wednesday's Patriot: South Carolina police officer Marcus O'Shields, who pulled a woman from her car...
  • Friday's Patriot: Sgt. Derick Beatty, an Army combat infantryman from Abingdon, MD....
  • Tuesday's Patriot: Emergency medical workers such as those who showed up promptly when a guest fainted...
  • Monday's Patriot: 19-year old PFC Ross McGinnis, who posthumously received the Medal of Honor...
  • Thursday's Patriot: Army Sergeant Michelle Saunders, who earned a Bronze Star...
No less silly than the sucksters, but way more widely read, are the sites that are plugging a concocted controversy--and not even a recent one. It's all about this screengrab, suddenly bouncing all over the Fox Haters echo chamber. That bastion of sophisticated journalism, Wonkette:
Fox News Needs To Mind Its Own Business
Buzzfeed labels it the "Fox News Question Of The Day", while another site characterized it thusly:
Fox News ran this strange poll....
Guyism picked up on the same theme:
But then you see a poll question like this asking “How often do you think about picked up other people’s private parts?” on the channel and, well, suddenly it becomes hard to be open minded.
Someone went through a whole lot of trouble to drag out this graphic again. What's it all about? The question quoted is from a survey given to elementary students in Palmdale. FNC reported (years ago) on a court ruling in that case. Wouldn't it have been nice if these sites, instead of claiming that Fox was "running a poll", just told the truth?

Media Matters Matters:
This week we find David Brock's Media Matters hyping a story about a DNC web ad built around Fox News footage. FNC filed a copyright claim and the ad was pulled from youtube. So MM proclaimed it to be "another example of Fox News' favoritism for the GOP" because the RNC put up a 43-second clip from Fox and it "remains on YouTube".

First off, both MM and their source, Huffington Post, are pretending that they know nothing about the Fox News crackdown on youtube videos, one that has actually targeted right-leaning websites. Not to mention when Fox demanded that the McCain campaign stop using its video clips? Needless to say that sort of perspective is not appreciated at Media Matters, who made a stink about this DNC clip but didn't even bother to report the McCain flap. There is a postscript to this little tale. Politico reported that the RNC clip cited by MM and HuffPo had also been taken down:
"Just as we took the DNC clip down for copyright claims, we asked the same of the RNC," Fox spokeswoman Irena Briganti emailed a Politico editor after I inquired about the videos.
Note that HuffPo updated their story with this information. Media Matters didn't. Just as Chris Golas predicted.

Meanwhile, MM continues its practice of turning just about anything on Fox into an instant scandal du jour. The first victim: Bret Baier. In a grapevine segment he reported on charges that a Senate candidate in Nevada could be there to siphon votes from a stronger candidate. Baier's brief mention of this development gave both sides of the story, but MM was still shocked, shocked that Fox would even report the story:
Baier brings conspiracy theory that Reid is "in cahoots with" NV Tea Party candidate to Special Report
Of course FNC was hardly alone in covering this charge (see The Washington Post and CNN). But it was Fox that got singled out.

Then there's Brian Wilson, who reported on the Texas textbook controversy. MM "exposed" this outrageous claim:
Special Report says "social conservatives" were "successful at reshaping textbook standards" in Texas
What's so appalling about that? MM doesn't say, and certainly doesn't explain why Fox deserves their scorn while these guys don't: MM launched a similar salvo at Steve Doocy:
Fox & Friends' Steve Doocy baselessly claimed that Rep. Louise Slaughter (D-NY) is offering a way to pass health care reform legislation "without actually voting on it."
Compare that to what Doocy actually said:
DOOCY: Louise Slaughter, who is the chair of the House Rules Committee -- she has apparently got this idea on how the House can vote on this bill without actually voting on it.
Doocy was talking about passing the Senate bill, but MM dishonestly changed his statement to the vague, generic term "health care reform legislation". Why? So they could claim he was wrong when he wasn't:
Contrary to Doocy's claim that the House "can pass the health care bill without actually voting on it," the House already passed health care reform legislation on November 7, 2009.
It's not contrary to Doocy's claim at all. MM lied about which bill Doocy was talking about. By the way, he is hardly the only person to make this point (see The Detroit News and Politico). Again, we mention those other news outlets because this attack, like the other examples noted above, are part of a special category of MM stories. These are the ones that Media Matters preposterously labels as "Only on Fox"!

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

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!