Fox Haters Week in Review!

Panthers, prevaricators, prosecutions, and prejudice. It’s a pretty packed program: today’s edition of Fox Haters Week in Review!

Around the Interwebs

To kick things off, we’ll deal with Mr Dave Weigel. He used to write for the Washington Post until some of his emails were made public. The Post wasn’t thrilled to find Mr Weigel wishing for people to commit suicide, or conspiring to slant the news so as to minimize damage to his favored political party. The paper fired him. But he ended up on his feet: he was quickly hired by MSNBC, and has been blogging for Andrew Sullivan. It is in the latter capacity that he ends up in this week’s panaroma.

In his zeal to attack Megyn Kelly Weigel promoted a blue blog claim that the Panther case couldn’t have been dropped by Julie Fernandes because she wasn’t even working there at the time. Oops, that was quickly “clarified” by American Prospect (Weigel’s source, a self-described outlet for “progressive ideas”) and Weigel himself had to back-pedal away, though without correcting his earlier post, and without explaining why he took the word of a partisan website without bothering to check the facts himself. Then Weigel decided to dig a little deeper:

The problem I have with the new obsession with this is, really, that there's no evidence the NBPP's clownish Philadelphia stunt suppressed any votes...

As we know, the law doesn’t require that votes be suppressed, since it forbids attempts, whether they succeed or not. But again, Weigel is simply wrong. You want evidence of suppressed votes? How about sworn testimony?

MR BULL: Several people began to walk up the driveways, saw these guys, and then went back and didn't go on to vote.
MR. BLACKWOOD: All right. Did the individuals that you saw turn around, those were people that you believed were coming to vote?
MR. BULL: Oh, yes, yes. That's the only reason you walk along that long block on the pavement, and then go in the long driveway. And several walked in, saw this at the door, and walked back out the drive.

Even if American Prospect didn’t mention this, couldn’t Mr Weigel have looked beyond the blue blogs and taken a few minutes to read the testimony before making erroneous statements about what’s in it?

And he’s not the only one. Tommy Christopher at Mediaite came up with a Grand Unified Theory about Fox trying to “conflate” the Panther Party with Obama or something. Yeah, whatever. But then he pulled a Weigel:

The Department of Justice provided detailed legal explanations for dropping the judgments against the New Black Panther Party, its Chairman, and the unarmed poll-watcher, but it’s really common sense. There is no evidence to support those charges.

But here’s what that pesky sworn testimony has to say about the “unarmed poll watcher”:

MR. BULL: There were two Black Panthers, one of them was armed, standing very close to each other, directly blocking the door to the polling places....
MR. HILL: They were a team. They were acting in concert. They moved together.
MR. BULL: They were uniformed.
MR. HILL: Mr. Jackson took direction from Mr. Shabazz constantly. When he moved, Mr. Jackson moved, and it was a definite pattern. I don't know if they worked it out ahead of time, but they were definitely moving in concert.

To Mr Christopher this is “no evidence”. But to people who know the law, its called aiding and abetting.

Finally, it’s been so long since our last visit to the asylum that we thought it might be fun to try an experiment. How far down the page on do we have to go before spotting the first lie? Surprise: we struck paydirt at the top of the page!

Goldman Sachs has agreed to pay $550 million to settle federal claims that it misled investors in a subprime mortgage product as the housing market began to collapse.... Funny how Cavuto never reports any of this news, I guess he just forgot. Yeah and if you believe that I have some land to sell you.

Cavuto never reported this? Yeah, right.

Here Comes the Judge

Why did a flurry of blue blogs all of a sudden jump on a story that was old news? It seems Judge Andrew Napolitano, FNC’s Senior Judicial Analyst, opined that Bush and Cheney should have been indicted. This immediately spread all over the interwebs. Why? Because Think Progress mentioned it, and the echo chamber sticks together. Here are some of the gems we spotted:

  • Crooks & Liars: I'm surprised the judge is going to be allowed on Fox after making the statements he did about Bush and Cheney during the interview.
  • Brad Blog: Wow. Guess his contract on Fox must be up. If it wasn't, we suspect it is now.
  • The Immoral Minority: Did somebody forget to drink the Kool-aid this morning?
  • Newshounds: Has Napolitano been taken over by an evil librul spirit or is this Napolitano really an evil librul shapeshifter? What would prompt an otherwise “reliable right wing source” to speak this heretical blasphemy?

Of course, the ignorance is amplified when you pour through the comments on these and other posts, where you’ll find insights such as:

  • I'm a little surprised that that person would be on Fox news (I've never seen him on Fox, because I virtually never watch Fox)...
  • Andrew Napolitano's contract with FoxNoise cancelled in..3....2....1...
  • He will apologize very soon when fix news threatens to yank him from its network for telling the truth.
  • Who is this imposter and what did he do with the real Judge Napolitano?
  • What's the over/under on Napolitano getting a taste of extraordinary rendition?
  • This guy will not be at Fox News for long.
  • Someone just got fired from the Fox Propaganda Network.
  • Well, I suppose that’s the last time we’ll see him on Fox. Telling the truth is not their thing.
  • Say it on Fox News and it might mean something.
  • I bet he wouldn’t say the same thing on Fox.

Where to begin? His contract is over? He’s going to be fired? On the contrary, Judge Nap’s role at Fox is growing. He is their Senior Judicial Analyst. In addition to providing analysis on programming throughout the broadcast day, he has just finished a multi-year run co-hosting three hours of radio a day. The Judge just began his new program on Fox Business Network, which immediately zoomed to #1 on the FBN ratings chart. Plus he continues to serve as substitute host on Glenn Beck and other programs.

And then there’s the claim that he’s a “reliable right wing source”, which newshound Priscilla parroted from Think Progress. This is either rampant ignorance on her part, or deliberate dishonesty (and since this is Prissy it could go either way). Here are a few examples of the “reliable right wing” positions of Judge Andrew Napolitano:

Those are some “reliable right wing” positions, aren’t they? Now we said from the get-go that Napolitano’s position on George Bush was old news, and it is. Here is The Judge in 2005 arguing that George Bush broke the law. Here he is last year making the case to indict George Bush. And what happened to the Judge after speaking out? He didn’t apologize. He wasn’t yanked off the air. He didn’t get fired. They gave him his own show! So much for the dunderheads who insisted he’d never say this stuff on Fox.

Black Flag

We’re not finished with Priscilla Hound just yet. We chuckled at her post comparing Glenn Beck to “Father Morrison”--perhaps Prissy was thinking of this guy, but really, it’s kind of hard to confuse him with a priest. Still, we strive to be fair and balanced, so we’re going to give Priscilla props...or one prop, at any rate. Like the storied stopped clock, she can get something right:

Bill O’Reilly Spreads Homophobic Lies Regarding Proposed Montana Curriculum.... In describing the “controversy,” he claimed that the school department "wants to teach little public school kids about homosexuality in Kindergarten." Fact Check – the Kindergarten curriculum says nothing about same sex relationships.

True dat. The curriculum says nothing about homosexuality in kindergarten. It talks about homosexuality in first grade. There’s a homophobic lie if we ever saw one! In case you’re wondering, saying kindergarten instead of first grade is the extent of Mr Bill’s “homophobic lies”.

Just to keep her hand in the bigotry game, Priscilla does manage a passing swipe at Gretchen Carlson:

Gretchen Carlson, uber Christian culture warrior who obviously has a problem with teh gay...

What would that problem be? Prissy doesn’t say; she just makes a personal attack and expects everyone to accept it based on her record of truthfulness. It would be nice to know why Priscilla would smear someone as homophobic who has stated on the air that she considers homosexual relationships to be moral. But it’s not Prissy’s style to let facts get in the way of a good slur.

What is Prissy’s style is the ad hominem attack, and this week brought us another example of slander mixed with dishonesty. Priscilla was up in paws over a Fox & Friends segment about a cop killer being let out on parole. And no sooner can you say “race card”, but Prissy was calling it the “scary black man” syndrome! The interviewee was Todd Starnes of Fox radio:

Starnes has a Fox radio show.

Um, no he doesn’t.

Given Starnes' Christian right wing orientation (he’s upset that a high school in CT no longer has “year of our lord” on their diplomas) he is a member, in good standing, of Fox’s culture club.

Here is the Starnes article that Prissy cites as proof that Starnes is “upset” about the diploma. Read it and look hard for where Starnes says he’s upset or suggests he’s upset. You won’t find it. Priscilla lied.

[Starnes] is now part of the chorus line of those doing “the scary black man thing.”

You see, it’s wrong to object to a cop killer’s release if the cop killer is black because...well,, Prissy doesn’t exactly explain that. There isn’t one speck of evidence that race is any kind of factor, but that doesn’t stop Priscilla from waving the black flag. If anyone were actually to take her prattle seriously, then the Patrolmen’s Benevolent Association, along with the President of the policeman’s union and the widow of Officer Stephen Gilroy, would all be racists, just for opposing a cop killer’s release!

Smears, personal attacks, and slanders are Priscilla’s stock in trade. We’re not the only ones who have called her out on it either. But these obsessive charges of racism, invented whole cloth from the diseased minds of the newspoodles, are revealing. A mean-spirited group of all-white malcontents could easily develop insecurities about their own unwillingness to tolerate racial diversity. Accusing others of racism on the flimsiest of evidence--or none at all--could be overcompensating for what they fear is in their own hearts.

Or not.

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