Fox Haters Week in Review!

Stolen charity funds, a double Obamacare standard, people hiding in plain a controversy from nearly a decade ago unwisely revived to smear Bill O’Reilly. It’s another spine-tingling edition of Fox Haters Week in Review!

Around the Interwebs

The lunatics at are always good for an easy laugh, but it’s not often that they prove their dishonesty within the space of just two paragraphs. Yet that is what we got this week:

The last segment was Dumbest Things of The Week, with the moron Greg Gutfeld and Courtney Friel. The three of them talk about what they think are the dumbest things of the week. And they are all Republicans, so they only find dumb things by Democrats.

The very next paragraph:

Gutfeld said his dumb thing was a campaign ad against J.D. Hayworth by John McCain. O'Reilly also thought it was dumb, Friel liked it.

The deep thinkers at News Corpse have brought us another exemplar of intellectual analysis. In an article about “Sarah Palin and the Tea Bag Sag”, they go on at some length about Gov Palin, cleverly referring to her as “the Tea Bag Hag”. No doubt the corpsicles have already forwarded this gem to the Pulitzer committee, but our focus is on one specific claim:

[Fox] will saturate the air with coverage of tomorrow’s tax day Tea Bagging and pretend that this fringe (and often vulgar and violent) group deserves recognition. And Fox News will, once again lead the parade with its top anchors dispatched around the country to herald the phony movement that they helped to invent.

Fox’s top anchors are Shepard Smith and Bret Baier. But they weren’t dispatched anywhere. What’s the Corpse talking about? Maybe they’re referring to opinion show hosts. That must be it. There the top hosts are Bill O’Reilly and Glenn Beck. But wait, they weren’t dispatched anywhere either. Of 16 hosts and/or anchors of FNC weekday programs, a grand total of two were sent on location, and only one of those was sent to report from a tea party event.

Speaking of Sarah, a Huffington Post scribe ripping Palin’s facebook post on defense policy managed to create an anti-FNC hook to please the rabble. Palin cited a “defense expert” in her piece, and HuffPo pounced:

Want to bet this "expert" is also a Fox News analyst?

Unfortunately it’s too late to take that bet. Taylor Marsh, who didn’t bother to take 30 seconds to track down the quote cited by Palin, would have to pay up, since Thomas Donnelly is not and never has been a Fox News analyst. But hey, it was still a good line, except for the being wrong part.

It’s good to see student journalists getting their Fox haters feet wet. Case in point, Mike Greear, News editor of The Voyager, takes on a article:

Lying Fox attacks watchdog... [Wikileaks] released a video of a U.S. Army Apache helicopter gunning down unarmed Iraqis in 2007, including two journalists that worked for Reuters.... Four days later, Fox News, ever the avatars of dissent, released a report saying that Wikileaks might have distorted the video or taken it out of context.... I’m appalled that Fox is attempting to shame an organization for being a watchdog. Of course, that raises the whole debate of “who watches the watchmen,” but the answer to that question in every conceivable scenario is a very emphatic “NOT FOX.” They’ve proven themselves to only be liars and frauds.

Needless to say no Fox “lies” are identified, but we can help clear up some of the confusion for Mr Greear. The first article did not appear four days later but rather shortly after the tape was made public. The second article, which has Mr Greear so incensed, cites military officials and includes extensive rebuttal from a WikiLeaks spokesman. So if Fox quotes military officials and gives the other side’s position as well, that becomes “lying”? By the way, the Obama administration is on the record criticizing the WikiLeaks video. Greear has not addressed that, perhaps because the headline might have to read: “Lying Obama Administration Attacks Watchdog”.

Keith Olbermann is having a grand old time on Twitter. After all, he could claim on Countdown that Sean Hannity robs charities of their money by pocketing the proceeds, but the network’s legal department might have a problem with that. So Keith puts it in an OlbyTweet. And when asked about minority hosts on MSNBC, Olby can shoot back by claiming “Fox has none.” You know, because Geraldo Rivera, Kelly Wright, and Julie Banderas (who has more live airtime per week than Olbermann) don’t exist.

In other news, thanks go to the people at Mediaite for debunking a dishonest Beck ratings meme cooked up by Daily Kos and Media Matters. Also regarding MM, kudos to Chris Golas for noticing their pretend outrage at Chris Wallace for using the term “Obamacare”. Mr Golas calls it a “strange attack”, which it is, given all the other people who have used the phrase recently:

Strangely none of these people was attacked by Media Matters. It’s almost as if MM were singling out Fox and giving the others a pass. But that couldn’t possibly be, could it?

Projection Detection

When it comes to playing the race card, nobody is better than the doyenne of the newshounds, Ellen Brodsky. Her latest dispatch from the bottom of the deck again finds her counting the number of minorities in Hannity’s audiences (apparently just by sight; it seems Ellen can spot a Hispanic just by how “they” look). So that sets the stage for this:

I did see one person of color in the crowd. He just happened to have been sitting directly behind Hannity, so that he received maximum camera attention. But I could not find a single other person of color in the crowd, even though the camera repeatedly panned the audience.

It always seems to be the case with Brodsky that she just doesn’t see what’s there. This time is no exception. When you have people sitting in one spot for the entire length of the hour program and Ellen insists she can’t see them, how hard could she have been looking? Just don’t ask Brodsky how many black persons write for newshounds. She’s just a tad sensitive about that, perhaps because the answer is: zero? In other Ellen news, how about an entire article predicated on a falsehood?

The Tea Party Express has been outed by Politico as a GOP PAC. But Karl Rove appeared on Happening Now today to further the fiction that it’s a grass roots organization and to obscure its Republican Party affiliation. Host Jane Skinner aided and abetted in the falsehood.... [Rove said] “These are people who heretofore have largely been spectators, not participants. These are not activists.” Maybe so, if you don't count the professional Republican operatives. Skinner did not dispute Rove's assertion.

As our very own ramjet asked: why should she? Despite Brodsky desperately wanting you to believe they were talking about the Tea Party Express, they weren’t. That organization never came up in the conversation! The people Rove was talking to were people he had a meeting with the previous Saturday-- in Kansas City, while the Express was in an entirely different state!

That’s not the only lie from Brodsky this week. How about her claim that Fox News was “selling seats” to benefit tea parties? Utter fiction. And then there’s Ellen recommending an “excellent breakdown” of “dishonest editing” by Fox News (via a hat-tip from a beaming “Haggis” no less). What made it excellent? Well it’s one of a series of youtube videos by “Liberal Viewer”, who likes to dramatize tendentious criticisms plucked from Media Matters. This particular example seeks to defend judicial nominee Goodwin Liu from the claim that he supported reparations.

However you should know that one of the first “excellent” points made is that hey, Liu “never even said the word ‘reparations’”. Well that’s because the word “reparations” was said by the moderator when he asked the question Liu was responding to. And surprise, “Liberal Viewer” doesn’t include that in his “exposé” (no wonder Brodsky called it “excellent”)! Hmm, might that just be “dishonest editing”? Ya think? There’s a lot more to this and you can read about it here and here.

When the newspooches aren’t parroting other people’s smears, they come up with scoops of their own, so unique they seem to have escaped the notice of everyone else. For that kind of cutting-edge journalism we turn of course to Priscilla, who writes as if Bill O’Reilly were actually reading her drivel:

You said “You may remember that I was a driving force in bringing down the villainous Cardinal Bernard Law in Boston, a man who allowed child-molesting priests to run wild.” No, Bill, I don’t remember that.... But do tell us, Bill, how it was that you were a “driving force.” Please, provide us with some transcripts of your show and, if relevant, your columns for that period.... Otherwise, you’re just another pompous bloviator, full of his own overinflated sense of self importance – full of the sound and fury signifying nothing.

This is classic Prissy. The whole Cardinal Law controversy happened eight years ago, long before the interwebs were soiled with Priscilla’s droppings--in fact, before the newshounds even existed. And yet, in her adorably oblivious fashion, Prissy seeks to challenge something that anyone who actually watched Fox back then knows all about. It’s hard to know where to begin. It’s even harder to know where to stop, given that this exposition could go on at some length. So we’ll settle for some bullet points:

  • O’Reilly, 4/22/02: The reason Cardinal Bernard Law of Boston will not resign in the face of overwhelming evidence that he aided and abetted gross crimes against children is that the man wants to keep his red hat. He likes the power and justifies his refusal to do penance by saying the best way to serve his church is to keep his power.
  • O’Reilly, 12/13/02: Cardinal Law, Trent Lott, and the Americans who still support them. That's the subject of this evening's "Talking Points" memo. Two hundred priests in the Boston archdiocese were asked to sign a petition demanding that Cardinal Law resign. Only 30 of the priests would sign. That's truly astounding. Seventy percent of the clerical leadership in Boston wanted the cardinal to hang around....
  • O’Reilly, 3/28/02: There is little support for the Cardinals Law of Boston and Egan of New York. Most Catholics, I believe, would like to see those men reassigned. Perhaps they could be transferred to Rome to study proactive moral leadership. But that will not happen anytime soon. The powerful protect each other and I don't believe the pope will admit any mistakes on the part of the cardinals. The result will be a continuing erosion of confidence in the Church by its members, and continuing attacks on it by its detractors.
  • O’Reilly, 3/14/02: Cardinal Law refuses to resign even though his handling of the now-defrocked priest John Geoghan resulted in the molestation of dozens of children. Law would not fire Geoghan despite knowing the man was a pedophile. Law transferred the guy to different parishes and kept his proclivities quiet. Most other people in authority would have been fired immediately for doing something like this. But Law has not been terminated by Rome and his stubborn refusal to step down is precisely the indicator that explains how the Church's sexual molestation problem could get so far out of control. Cardinal Bernard Law loves his red hat. He loves the power that comes with his position. He is ambitious and he is determined to hold on to his job despite the embarrassment and pain he has caused his church and his Catholic brethren.... Surely, the Cardinal cannot think he should be allowed to go unpunished in this case. He made terrible decisions that hurt children. Where is his penance?
  • O’Reilly, 4/8/02: As we now know, the leaders of the Catholic Church in America covered up the sexual abuse, at least some of them did. It's my opinion that Cardinal Law in Boston could be arrested and charged with criminal negligence in the matter. Remember, Law admits transferring pedophile priests to places where they had continuing contact with children. But no law enforcement person in New England was going to go up against the power of Cardinal Law. Thus hundreds of children were hurt.
  • O’Reilly, 3/10/02: If Cardinal Law does not resign his office, I hope some prosecutor steps up and charges him with conspiracy. The charge might not stick, but it would send a message that this kind of conduct is intolerable. One final point. What kind of man stays in a position of power knowing that he is hurting the institution which trusted him? What kind of man does that? Cardinal Law is supposed to be a man of God, but his continued presence in office is damaging his church, perhaps beyond repair. Any sincere cleric would take personal responsibility for his gross mistakes, ask forgiveness, and resign for the good of the church. Not Cardinal Law. So now, responsible Americans have to weigh in. This man has to go, and if he doesn't leave, he should be indicted.

It’s not like O’Reilly’s campaign against Cardinal Law was some sort of big secret. A few minutes of Googling will tell you that the campaign against the Cardinal featured many “Catholics calling for his resignation—William Buckley, William Bennett, Patrick Buchanan, and Bill O'Reilly among them.” O’Reilly was referenced by bloggers like Matthew Yglesias, while others commented that “I was pretty shocked to see the venom Bill O'Reilly was spitting at Cardinal Law.” O’Reilly’s role was noted in news reports:

Bill O'Reilly, who hosts the number one news show on cable television called "The O'Reilly Factor," has repeatedly demanded Cardinal Law's head and severely criticised the Pope for failing to step in to resolve the crisis.

and in internet postings:

He's a strong catholic, but wants (vociferously wants) Cardinal Law to resign, and hardly lets a program go by without mentioning that.

When Cardinal Law was finally forced to resign, one wag wrote:

Wow. What will that @sshole Bill O'Reilly have to bitch about now?

Are you starting to understand how baseless Priscilla’s smear really is? It would be like suggesting we really didn’t land on the moon, calling Neil Armstrong a liar and demanding he produce proof. Even after Law was forced out O’Reilly kept on the case, over and over again. And yet here’s Priscilla, self-styled Cardinal Law “truther”, trying to pretend none of this ever happened. But why? She says to O’Reilly:

Your audience obviously thinks that you’re infallible but you’re not, in my book, urbi and orbi.

Hold the phone! This is Priscilla--Priscilla of the newshounds--calling out someone else’s honesty and accuracy? This is like a lecture on nuclear safety from Homer Simpson. Prissy has a long and storied history; for the uninitiated, here are a few of her career highlights:

The entries marked with an asterisk are the ones where no retraction or correction was ever made. Oh wait, that’s all of them! So her lies still stand, as Prissy mounts her high horse to demand others produce “proof” of something that was and is common knowledge. Isn’t there a word for this sort of thing?

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