Up in Smoke

A doctored quote, a lie, and a couple of straw men. The Outfoxed gals stop at nothing to smear Fox--and again, they're busted. Updated!

A nice grab-bag of straw men, distortions, a phony quote, and a dose of good old-fashioned ignorance--the latest example of "reporting" by the newshounds (another fine product of the Outfoxed syndicate). Probie Donna starts us off with a Studio B segment with John Loftus:
It seemed that [Shepard] Smith was putting Loftus out there as some bizarre character. I don't know the validity of Loftus' lawsuit, this is the first I've heard about it.

There are a lot of things the probie doesn't know, rather shocking for someone who claims to watch Fox "so you don't have to". Like the fact that John Loftus, far from being regarded as "bizarre", appears often on Fox. In addition to appearances on programs like Dayside, he has a regular Sunday morning spot on Fox News Live. Undeterred, Donna reaches into the curs' bag of tricks and pulls out a straw man:

SMITH: Let's face it, O'Reilly was one of the early media shows on this and had one of the first interviews with Sami Al-Arian.
As for O'Reilly being one of the first media shows out there on Sami Al-Arian, his story was covered quite completely from 1991 forward in Florida. An investigation began in 1991 and wiretaps on his phones and faxes were started in 1994 and continued until 2000. In fact, one of O'Reilly's favorite publications, the St. Petersburg Times, covered the Sami Al-Arian story for many years before O'Reilly interviewed him in the fall of 2001.

Sorry, Donna. "In fact", O'Reilly was out front on this story when the rest of the broadcast media didn't care. Just ask Dr Brian Lewis. It's nice to know when the investigation began, or when wiretaps were instituted. But how does that contradict Mr Smith's statement that The Factor was "one of the early media shows" to focus on the alleged terror facilitator, and one of the first to interview him? And last time we checked, the local St Petersburg newspaper is not a "media show". Such straw men are so easily knocked down.

Then we get newspoodle chrish chiming in, with a quote designed to make it look like someone was trying to keep Shep from reporting on the story:
I was struck by something else Shep said, along the lines of "we'll cover it as much as they'll let us."

Yes, it's another phony, doctored quote, wrenched out its original context, which was the fact that there are no cameras in federal courtrooms:

SMITH: It's going to be a fascinating trial to watch, what little of us they'll let us see in the end.

But chrish isn't through dissembling--she has her own straw man to erect:
rick [sic] Leventhal, said "Al Arian and his co-defendants face up to life in prison if convicted in a trial that should last, Shep, six to nine months, and, no, I won't be here for the whole thing." Now, Fox will send teams of reporters to Laci's and Jacko's and Lori's and give us breathless daily non-stop coverage but they won't have a reporter assigned to a suspected terrorist's case? Why does Fox hate America?

Why does chrish hate her readers, considering them so gullible and credulous that they will swallow such bilge? Because Mr Leventhal isn't going to be in Tampa for nine months, that means Fox "won't have a reporter assigned"? Of course nobody said any such thing (Mr Leventhal, fine reporter that he is, is hardly the only guy available to cover the trial), but those straw men are so irresistible when the purpose is to deceive.

And when a man of straw just isn't enough to bamboozle the credulous, why not just tell an outright lie? So chrish happily obliges with another hound whopper:
Megyn Kendall had the last word with "...users of medical marijuana can count criminal prosecution among the risks of using the drug." Comment: Beautiful healthy Megyn parrots the lie that marijuana use is risky. The only known risk of marijuana use in this country is manmade, and has only been so since 1937.

Yes, on chrish's Bizarro Planet, inhaling smoke is not risky at all. In fact, it's good for your lungs. Why pamper them, after all? Make them stronger by inhaling tars and chemicals. That's not a risk--that's a benefit! According to Dr Chrish, you can ignore all those findings from Harvard, the National Institute of Health, and Columbia University. And so what if the American Medical Association warns about "lung damage, increased symptoms of chronic bronchitis, and possibly increased risk of lung cancer"? Who cares if studies at Yale show marijuana use leads to "the same respiratory problems as smokers"? Just like Megyn Kendall, they're all lying. Those aren't "risks" at all. Breathing smoke is good for you.

OK, sarcasm mode disengaged. But, man, we couldn't make this stuff up if we tried.

Update: Probie Donna struck again just this afternoon:
Michael O'Hanlon went on to say that while giving Bush credit, the 700 million was far short of what Tony Blair wanted....Only CNN gave the amount that Blair had hoped for - 50 billion. Hmmm....50 billion as opposed to 700 million? Yes, I'd say it was far short of what Blair wanted. Comment: Fox only gives you part of the story - telling you that Bush should get credit for giving 700 million in aid to Africa. You have to go to other news outlets to get the whole story, that 50 billion was Tony Blair's goal, that this amount is what's needed.

Unfortunately, Donna is misinforming her gullible readers yet again. Blair never expected, asked, or hoped for $50 billion from the US:

Blair, the host of this year's summit of the major eight industrialised democracies, hopes to use the meeting in early July in Gleneagles, Scotland, to raise an extra $50 billion (euro41 billion) a year by selling bonds on the world's capital markets.

So, the probie takes a figure for an upcoming eight-nation summit, involving the sale of bonds, and falsely claims it was Blair's request to the US for direct financial aid. And she's upset because Fox was not as ignorant as she is. Fox at least can tell the difference between a summit of eight nations and the US of A.

The newspooches only give you part of the story (and that's only on a good day, given their systematic distortions, mistakes, and lies). You have to go to J$P to get the whole truth.

posted: Tue - June 7, 2005 at 02:03 PM       j$p  send 

Just found your Web site and YOU ROCK!!!! I'm SOOOO glad to see someone has actually written down the list of those newspoodles! I only wish I wasn't so late to the party!! Keep up the great work!
June 7, 2005, 6:55:16 PM EDT – Like – Reply

Ummm make that "lies" not "list"
*slinks away embarrassed...*
June 7, 2005, 6:55:51 PM EDT – Like – Reply

johnny dollar
Don't be embarrassed! Glad to have you around.
June 7, 2005, 7:29:45 PM EDT – Like – Reply

When someone commented that the $50 billion "involves an upcoming summit of 8-nations where he hopes to raise $50[B] by selling bonds" and that "Either CNN got it wrong, or Donna is fibbing," Donna replied:
"No, Donna is not fibbing. I reported the above and it happened just like reported." "[CNN] said it just as I stated."
(Scarlet later suggested that J$ should then start a CNN-bashing site.)
June 7, 2005, 8:40:00 PM EDT – Like – Reply