Fox Haters Week in Review!

We go bowling with The Big Lebowski, explore fractured ethics, and reveal The Lie of the Week. It’s another eye-opening edition of Fox Haters Week in Review!

North to Korea

This week’s Big Story, echoing through the noise machine, was the outrageous news that Fox News is feeding money to Kim Jong-Il. Or something. It began with a Bloomberg article, and the hate sites quickly put their spin on it. In no time at all you could read that News Corp ‘funds’ the Kim Jong-Il regime. Media Matters characterized it as News Corp ‘funneling money into the pocket’ of Kim. According to Keith Olbermann, Murdoch is assisting NoKo’s nuke program!

Over at Just My Opinion, they got to Media Matters’ mendacity ahead of us, focusing in on MM’s query ‘wondering’ what various Fox News personalities thought of all this:

Media Matters "wonders" what they think about it? Why? News Corp owns Fox News. Fox News does not own News Corp. News Corp does not need Fox News approval for anything they do.... It's refreshing to see people not in lockstop with the parent company. I work for a company, does that mean I have to agree with everything they do? I don't. What does this say about News Corp? News Corp owns Fox News and I don't see Murdoch sending a Memo to Ailes saying what can and can't be said about people that News Corp does dealings with.

Indeed. It’s no surprise that websites where everyone marches in lockstep can’t seem to get their heads around organizations where people are free to hold different opinions and disagree.

But we should dig a little deeper into the facts of this case, facts that tend to get glossed over when the echo chamber revs up. Let’s take one of the games Bloomberg cited: ‘Big Lebowski Bowling’. This is a flash-based game designed for mobile phones, though it’s being spun as some incipient threat to cyber security. We don’t know when the development was commissioned, but we know when it hit the market. We found the press release, and noted this portion:

Ojom GmbH is a leading publisher of mobile entertainment products and belongs to a Joint Venture between News Corporation (NYSE: NWS, NWS.A) and VeriSign (NASDAQ, VRSN).

Ojom was the German firm that contracted for the game, and eventually published it in May 2007. And by the time it was published, Ojom had become a joint venture of News Corp and VeriSign.

But what’s VeriSign? Who are these scoundrels endangering national security and funneling money into a dictator’s pocket? It turns out that they are the #1 security provider for the internet, serving nearly 100,000 websites and a concomitant number of clients. Apparently the world leader in safeguarding the internet didn’t find a mobile phone flash game much of a security issue--because they co-published it! We haven’t heard much about VeriSign’s role in this concocted controversy, perhaps because there’s no way to spin it into a smear of Fox News. Look at a few of the companies VeriSign works with:

  • Oracle
  • The State of Kansas
  • The US Department of Education
  • The USAA

Wait a minute, what’s the USAA? Well, it was founded in 1922 by 25 Army officers and today is the #1-ranked provider of financial services to the military and their families. If you believe that the USAA, the Department of Education, or anyone else is worried that VeriSign (or their partner in this venture, News Corp) was ‘funneling money’ to Kim Jong-Il, then you really ought to invest in some of that lovely oceanfront property in Kansas.

By the way, Bloomberg notes that after News Corp bought out VeriSign in 2008 and converted Ojom to Fox Mobile, they abandoned the focus on content development and made it a marketing/distribution outlet. What, Media Matters didn’t tell you that? Even if there is no ‘funding’ of North Korea going on, it’s still worth nothing that the whole argument was always specious at best. It isn’t often that someone at HuffPo makes points as trenchant as these:

If you or anybody is going to attack RM for "funding" the North Korean regime, then tell the South Koreans to cut off all trade ties with the North Koreans and TAKE A HUGE STEP BACKWARD IN THE PEACE PROCESS. Let all the sheep starve, let them get painted into a corner, and let them go out in a big bang.

A final word on this from Chris Golas:

I'll also predict that the straw man and outright lies will start: Fox News "funds" North Korea. It happended before with News Corp donation to the RGA.

Well, if we aren’t there yet, we’re certainly getting there:

Fox News ties to NK (official Terrorist State!)

Nicely done, Thom Hartmann. By the way, North Korea is not an ‘official terrorist state’. So you lied about that too.

Randy Dog Ethics

When it comes to ethics, the manuals used by the newshounds are hardly dog-eared. Take the case of guest blogger ‘Brian’, who ‘corrects’ a statistic from Neil Cavuto with a link from the New York Times. Of course, Mr Cavuto cited the source for the numbers he gave, but ‘Brian’ thought the ethical thing to do was to omit that part from the quote. That way nobody would know that Neil had properly sourced his info, or that they could see it for themselves.

Meanwhile, head hound Ellen Brodsky took a break from whining about Brian Kilmeade, who golfed with Bush to raise money for children and spouses of military men. (She can’t keep her Petty Meter from going to ‘11’ even for widows and orphans.) Ellen decided it was high time that Sean Hannity condemn Jesse Lee Peterson for remarks made as far back as two years ago. Wait, aren’t these the same biased bassets who charged Fox with a ‘smear’ because they brought up ‘old news’ from...six months earlier? Well, yeah, but consistency isn’t a hallmark of newspoodle ‘ethics’.

Anyhow, Brodsky wants Hannity to ‘condemn’ these ‘old news’ racial statements of Jesse Lee Peterson (talking about ‘black racists’ and the like) because they are ‘bigoted’. And to nail home her brilliant argument, she cites a Hannity guest who refused to condemn Hamas. Yes, in the diseased, self-absorbed mind of Ellen Brodsky, Jesse Lee Peterson saying something she doesn’t agree with...why that’s just like a terrorist organization that kills innocent people with suicide bombers!

This kind of analogizing is sick and insensitive on its face, but what’s even more revealing about Brodsky’s screed is with all her fulminating about ‘bigoted’ remarks, she omits one small fact. Jesse Lee Peterson, the anti-Black bigot, is black! Um, you think that might just be relevant, Brodsky? Amazing how similar this is to the time the mongrels decided to smear two ‘race-baiting’ reporters in Fox’s ‘all-white newsroom’, without ever revealing the truth.

While casual readers of Brodsky’s booshwa might never suspect she left out a key fact, the denizens of the dog pound knew about Mr Peterson from her prior diatribes. And mentioning a black man at the kennel means ugly racial slurs are welcomed:

Here’s a hypothetical. Suppose there’s someone down the street whom you dislike intensely. Given half a chance, you love to bad mouth him to others. One day a letter arrives at your house. It’s for your hated neighbor, but the writer made a mistake in the address. What do you do? You could just return it to the post office, or give it to the intended recipient. Or...maybe it would be more fun to open the letter and read it. Then you could tell other people what was in it. But why stop there? How about publishing it online for everyone to see and have a good laugh? Aside from legal violations, is this an ethical way to proceed? It is if your name is Ellen Brodsky.

Ethical Ellen has published more emails purportedly intended for Fox News that somehow, we’re told, got sent instead to the newsmutts. Brodsky prints them and revels in the cackling ridicule of the kennel dwellers. Ethically troubling to be sure, but Ellen has an out that she uses to wash her hands cleaner than those of Pontius Pilate:

As usual, names and other identifying information are withheld to protect the clueless.

Except when they’re not. Case in point: the latest Brodsky barrage reprints someone’s complaints about how his tax return is being handled by the IRS. And Ethical Ellen includes the man’s full name, his various IRS schedules, and even the name of the local tax service that prepared his account! It takes just minutes to learn the town from the tax service name, correlate the given facts, and then--presto!--this man’s identity, tax information, address, and all sorts of other data are available to all who seek them.

In the realm of newshound ‘ethics’, this is as squalid a case as we’ve seen. We will not link to Brodsky’s post; the last thing it should get is more traffic. This screengrab, with crucial information blurred, stands as a stunning demonstration of Ellen Brodsky’s randy dog ethics.

Koran Flakes

From the spinning glass of the revolving door that ushers newshound ‘guest bloggers’ in (and out) comes a new entrant. She goes by the name ‘Aria’, and we don’t know much about her other than she is engaged in a feud with a blogger about which one of them has been spouting lies. We don’t know enough to call that race, but ‘Aria’ has distinguished herself in another matter:

If Jones goes back on his word and burns the Qur'ans next week- or has someone set to toss the match in his place on Saturday- FOX NEWS will worship the ground he walks on, because he has just given them a years worth of passes on racism and anti-semitism. Hell, they're basically endorsing the burnings now. Like I said on other theads- their coverage of this the last few days (not counting today, I haven't looked at today's yet) is basically supportive of Jones, while preaching fear about the scary black and brown men who are offended. Even they're not stupid enough to endorse him outright, but it's hard to miss their approval.

Wow, this was too deranged even for some of the kennel dwellers, one of whom declared her rant ‘ignorant’. ‘Aria’ wasn’t about to take that, so she fired back--not with documentation, facts, examples, just more rant:

When they actually DO talk about him, they seem to largely approve, despite supposedly condemning him on their blogs.... If Jones goes through with this, the reaction will not only give FNC the biggest pass on Islamophobia they've had since 9/11, but the reaction from the panther protestors will also give their hate-mongering about "scary black men" a huge boost. ... Jones will be their new hero for giving that to them, and you know it.

How is it that Fox News was all ‘approving’ and ‘endorsing’ and being ‘supportive’ of the Koran burning, and nobody noticed it except ‘Aria’? And just when was all this supposedly going on? We know from Mediaite that FNC gave very little air time to the story. In fact, CNN gave it five times as much coverage. Then Fox announced they wouldn’t even cover it:

He's one guy in the middle of the woods with 50 people in his congregation who's decided to try, I gather, to bring some attention to himself by saying he's going to burn a Quran if he gets the permit. Well, you know what, there are many more important things going on in the world than that. I don't know what they will be this weekend, but I am sure they will be more important than that.

That certainly sounds like Fox News was treating ‘Pastor’ Jones as a ‘hero’, doesn’t it? Respected critic David Zurawik of the Baltimore Sun cited FNC’s decision as possibly instrumental in convincing the ‘Pastor’ to cancel. Mediaite, run by (MS)NBC legal analyst Dan Abrams, headlined:

Koran Burning Coverage: Turns Out Fox News Had It Right

CNN’s Howard Kurtz writes that FNC ‘took the journalistic high road’. And there’s more.

But don’t confuse ‘Aria’ with facts, especially when she has none of her own. Who ‘endorsed the burnings’? What ‘basically supportive’ statements were made? Who expressed ‘approval’ for the act? ‘Aria’ has yet to say. And keep in mind she wasn’t indicting just some commentator or random guest. She insisted that the whole of the Fox News Channel favored the burning and wanted to make a hero out of ‘Pastor’ not covering him?!? No it doesn’t make one minute of sense, but that’s because it’s a big, honking, malignant, despicable lie. And ‘Aria’ moves into our pantheon of perfidy: she told The Lie of the Week.

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