Fox Haters Week in Review!
Around the InterwebsOld smears never die; they just get mindlessly recycled by internet parrots. For the latest example of that, we turn to the Huffington Post, where Will Bunch wants to make a connection between Glenn Beck and a mad killer. And so he weaves his web tying Pittsburgh shooter Richard Poplawski to the evil Glenn Beck:
We’re not sure how one can ‘download to the web’. We assume Bunch means upload to the web, but wait, that’s not true either. Poplawski posted a link to a video someone else uploaded. And the ‘glib discussion’ between Beck and Rep Paul? About 30 seconds into the video Beck states ‘I don’t believe in the FEMA prisons’! That’s glib, but not very conspiratorial. Beck goes on to call it ‘crazy stuff’, while Paul states that he’s found ‘no evidence’ that they exist. By the way, in his zeal to implicate Beck, Bunch somehow forgets to mention that Beck did another segment, a lengthy debunking of FEMA camps, on March 27--a week before the Poplawski shooting!
Poplawski downloaded to the Web a video of Beck glibly discussing the possibility of the Federal Emergency Management Agency, or FEMA, abusing its powers with a U.S. Congressman, Ron Paul of Texas.
Another HuffPoster, Joan E Dowlin, revives the FEMA smear and tosses in another wrinkle:
It must have been an alternate universe where Beck was a hit with Jay Leno, chatted it up with the hosts of Good Morning America, and sat for interviews with Barbara Walters and Katie Couric. Meanwhile, at eyesonfox, they’re saying FNC is trying to cover up Ben Quayle’s connection with a raunchy website. Oddly their ‘montage’ of coverage shows Fox asking him about it! And yet, for some unknown reason, it just happens to skip Quayle’s most-watched cable news interview, where Juan Williams goes after him on that very subject. Curious.
Outside of The O'Reilly Factor, I have not seen Glenn Beck on any show besides his own, except for The View last year....he doesn't venture out of his safe world of Fox News anymore.
No FHWiR would be complete without a visit to the newshounds. You will recall that last week we nailed them for extremism in the pursuit of cherry-picking. Just days later, Priscilla actually broke with past practices and reported on an interview with the attorney for Rifqa Bary’s parents. Since this is the sort of thing that rarely happens in the dog pound, we’re chalking it up to our exposé. But don’t get the idea that all is well at the kennel. They’re still recycling the discredited, decades-old Hal Turner/Sean Hannity slander, even though they insist that a story from just six months previous should be ignored because that makes it ‘old news’ and therefore a ‘smear’! But if you think that’s confusing, try to wrap your head around Ellen Brodsky, who’s upset that Neil Cavuto dared to interview Marco Rubio. She notes:
Now follow closely. Just two sentences later, in the same paragraph:
It just so happens that Rubio is locked in a tight election battle, which Cavuto did not mention.
Let’s get this straight. Cavuto didn’t mention the election campaign, except when he did, only he didn’t? Or something? Don’t try to make sense out of it. It’s hound logic.
At the beginning, after noting that Rubio’s opponents had not responded to requests to appear on the show, Cavuto added approvingly, “Marco… takes on all comers, all networks.”
Mark Green: LiarMark Green, progressive Air America has-been, just penned another screed about the evils of Fox News. No wait, he actually refers to it as “Faux News”, thereby demonstrating his originality while leaving no cliche unrecycled. Green begins his diatribe (posted all over the place, including the New York Observer and The Huffington Post) with a statement apparently intended to establish his bona fides on the subject:
Green tells us his tale of woe--it seems he appeared on Bill O’Reilly’s program and was just so misunderstood. He says it happened ‘in 2000 when I was on O'Reilly’. (Actually it was 2003.) According to Green:
For professional reasons, I watch a lot of Fox News.
The host asked why nativity scenes were barred from public places but menorahs weren't. I agreed that both should be barred since they were comparable religious symbols.
Green isn’t saying that’s his position; he’s using a debating technique to try to pin down O’Reilly. At no point does Green say that’s his own position. In fact, he aligns himself with the menorah-yes/creche-no stance of New York City and its mayor by stating:
GREEN: Well, one second. Would you agree that no -- nothing touching religious symbols should be -- so it should be equal. So...no Menorah, no nativity scene, no Christmas tree?
And when O’Reilly describes that position as insane, Green replies: ‘The opposite of insane’. Back to the present, as Mr Green continues:
Glad to speak for Mayor Bloomberg in this one.
This is also a bit of a stretch:
On his next show, he called me "anti-Christian" because I would allow a menorah but not a crèche.
Green’s unconvincing claim of having been mistreated by Bill O’Reilly is offered as proof that Fox airs ‘conclusory lies delivered with certainty’. Ironic, given that in the entire exchange, Green never once claimed the facts stated by O’Reilly were ‘lies’. Green also hones in on another ‘Fox trick’, asking ‘rhetorical questions’:
O’REILLY: Wednesday night, I debated former New York City mayoral candidate Mark Green over the fact that in the city's public schools, you can display a Menorah for Hanukkah, a Muslim flag for Ramadan, but you are forbidden to display the nativity scene in honor of the federal holiday Christmas.
Now Mr. Green's a smart, stand up guy, but he couldn't explain the policy except to say that the Christian majority was not entitled to see its symbols in a public place. Yet the Jewish and Muslim minorities are? Does that make any sense? No, it does not.
Christmas honors the birth of Jesus Christ, whom you can see either as a God or as a philosopher whose concepts of loving your neighbor have shaped civilization. In 1870, when Congress voted Christmas a federal holiday, the intent was to honor the birth of Jesus because of his contributions to the American spirit.
These anti-Christian zealots taking Judeo-Christian philosophy today reject that honor. But in reality, they are cowards.
Megyn’s actual words were part of a tease for an upcoming segment:
"Will the [New Start treaty] leave the U.S. defenseless until it's too late?" wondered anchor Megyn Kelly.
You can find this clip on thousands of websites, but try to find the actual coverage that aired in the next hour. Wouldn’t that be a tad more relevant than a tease before going to commercial? This reminds us of the Slate writer who declared a program on swine flu a ‘misinformation campaign’ and a Fox attempt ‘to kill its viewers’--all based on commercials about the program and not one syllable from the program itself.
KELLY: President Obama heading for the Czech Republic as we speak, set to sign a new nuclear pact with Russia. Now critics are asking, will the new deal leave the U.S. defenseless until it's too late? Coming up, next hour.
But never mind, Mark has a second example of a ‘rhetorical question’:
As is typical of Green’s assiduously researched examples, no link or source is given. So we set out to find this O’Reilly quote. A search of the transcripts on foxnews.com turned up nothing. Scouring through last month’s videos proved equally fruitless. Where did this O’Reilly ‘rhetorical question’ come from anyhow? There was a discussion last month that O’Reilly kicked off with a Talking Points Memo: ‘Racism and the NAACP’. But this commentary on double standards had no such question in it. What followed the TPM was a discussion with Marc Lamont Hill. But again, Mr Bill never asked ‘Is the NAACP racist?’.
"Is the N.A.A.C.P. racist?" asked Bill O'Reilly last month, leading some viewers to an obvious-though false-answer.
Where did Mark Green, who claims to ‘watch a lot of Fox News’, come up with a rhetorical question that doesn’t exist? A Google search of the phrase turns up a few dozen examples--mostly from Mark Green himself! But there is one citation that pre-existed Green, citing the Marc Lamont Hill interview, and stating:
Yahtzee! Apparently Mark Green didn’t bother to actually watch the interview, he just seized on the false claim that O’Reilly asked the question, and parroted it without bothering to check it out. So who was it that originated this fiction, created a ‘question’ that was never asked out of thin air, cited it as another example of ‘these kinds of questions’ that are left ‘hanging in the air’, and gave Mark Green another false talking point? Surprise! Ellen Brodsky!
Hill did a fine job challenging O’Reilly on the facts and the details of the “controversy” but in not reframing the “Is the NAACP racist?” meme (which had the obvious subtext of suggesting that mainstream African Americans are racist), Hill allowed the question to hang in the air. As a frequent guest on Fox, Hill must surely know that Fox’s frequent use of “just asking” these kinds of questions, is a pretense for suggesting the “answer.”
You’d think if Mark Green were so worked up about FNC ‘rhetorical questions’ he wouldn’t have to cite nonexistent ones. And worked up he is, insisting that this sort of thing just doesn’t happen at MSNBC. No tendentious rhetorical questions or topic teases there, not even from Bill O’Reilly’s competitor:
- How long before somebody tries to outlaw Muslims?
- The GOP’s class war of the day?
- Are you with Tea Party extremism or are you against it?
- The Petraeus report, less Petraeus, more betray-us!
By the way, that last example was long before the infamous MoveOn.org ad. But back to Mr Green, who says that ‘last week’ (no date given) ‘Fox hosts’ (no names) said the public ‘opposes Wall Street re-regulation’ (no links, no source). We tried to track this one down too, even pouring through every Media Matters entry for that week, without success. Maybe it happened, but after nearly an hour of chasing another phantom, we gave up trying to find the documentation Mr Green should have included in the first place.
And on it goes: Green makes a roundabout suggestion that FNC has never discussed black voter suppression, despite examples like this, this, this, this, this, and this. More Green:
There are over 600 references to ‘wise Latina’ at cnn.com, nearly 40 of them from show transcripts, compared to 68 at foxnews.com, about 25 from transcripts.
Fox relishes going after minority leaders and groups -- from Sotomayor's "wise Latina" off-hand comment becoming her life story...
Is this the kind of slippery argument Mark Green wants to hang his hat on? No it wasn’t a petition. It was a statement from 911truth.org alleging 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! And all that before we even get into another not-a-petition that Jones was part of the organizing committee for. Here are some of the things Van Jones wanted to know:
...[to] Van Jones who never signed a 9/11 conspiracy petition
- 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?
If you get the idea that Mark Green’s argumentation is duplicitious, then you get the idea. So let’s cut to the chase and go straight to Green’s crowning achievement in slander. It begins:
We are also tired of Hannity’s pet phrases, but citing them as proof of ‘racism’ is pretty sleazy. Green’s insistence that such insults never happen at MSNBC evinces a highly selective memory, considering how one of their hosts referred to a President who got 51% of the popular vote as ‘idiot-in-chief’, ‘Fascist’, bellowed at him to ‘shut the hell up’, and compared his administration to ‘The Third Reich’. But we disgress. Here’s the rest of Green’s statement:
And can we suspect that race may have something to do with the way every night Sean Hannity disparages a President, who got 53% of the popular vote, as "the anointed one"...
Say what? Did we read that wrong? Let’s look at it again:
...and the way the network was a cheerleader for insane birthers?
Nope, there it is, in black and white. Mark Green asserts that the Fox News Channel was a cheerleader for the birther movement! Naturally no links, no sources, no names, no quotes, no proof...Mark Green don’t need no stinkin’ proof. He’s Mark Green! But what in the wide world of sports is he talking about? O’Reilly? Beck? The birthers themselves say Fox News is against them.
And can we suspect that race may have something to do with...the way the network was a cheerleader for insane birthers?
In truth, anyone who ‘watched a lot of Fox News’ would know they rarely even reference the issue, let alone ‘cheerlead’ for birthers. Let’s remember one of those evil Fox News tactics that Mr Green spoke of:
You know, like saying the entire Fox News Channel ‘chearleads for birthers’. By the standard of his own words, Mark Green is a liar.
Conclusory lies delivered with certainty.
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