Fox Haters Week in Review!

It’s a lively stew of Nazis, lies of omission, evil banners, poison apples, and two little words. Read all about it in another pulse-pounding edition of Fox Haters Week in Review!

Mendacity Matters

It would be a full-time job tracking and documenting all the sleazy little propaganda tricks used by Media Matters. We’ll have to settle for a couple of examples that typify the sort of dishonesty that goes on there. There is a common element between them: omission. First we have the MMers ridiculing Megyn Kelly over an interview with Richard Socarides [full video]:

Fox’s Kelly Absurdly Claims Fox Personalities Do Not Invoke Nazis. Fox News anchor Megyn Kelly responded to her guest's statement that Fox News figures regularly invoke Nazi imagery by claiming "I watch our programming every night and you're wrong.”

Media Matters continues:

Kelly "Watch[es]" Fox News "Every Night" But Hasn't Noticed Nazi Imagery...Socarides stated that "on the very network that we're on right now, the leading commenters on this network use this kind of language." Kelly responded by absurdly claiming "I don't know if you sit and watch our programming every night, but I watch it every day and you're wrong.”

MM goes on to prove how ‘absurd’ Megyn is by citing instances of Nazi analogies on FNC from the past. But the key here is the quote from Socarides, which Media Matters starts in the middle of a sentence. Two words are missing. Why, you might ask, would Media Matters crop a quote to remove two little words? That depends on what the two words are:

SOCARIDES: EVERY NIGHT on the very network that we're on right now, the leading commenters on this network use this kind of language.

So Kelly’s response was not to a claim that it happens sometimes, or often, or even regularly--but a claim that it happens every night. But then her reply is righteous and accurate, not ‘absurd’, and the handful of MM ‘examples’ irrelevant, as they don’t even come close to proving Socarides correct. The Media Matters solution: crop the quote to remove ‘every night’. Presto! Another MM smear, dressed up with the additional lie that Kelly ‘hasn’t noticed Nazi imagery’--something Kelly never said!

In no time at all the noise machine parroted this smear, along with the carefully doctored quote: Washington Monthly, Fox News Watchdog, SodaHead, Crooks & Liars, etc. Some sites rewrote the conversation further, claiming that Kelly said Fox News personalities ‘never invoke the Nazis’--a claim they fabricated out of thin air. Business Insider, one of the few to accurately quote the Socarides/Kelly exchange, nonetheless ignores Socarides’s ‘every night’ and pretends that Megyn was wrong to challenge him--even though his ‘every night’ assertion is on its face a risible falsehood. When you get to this point they just don’t care about what’s true.

Meanwhile, Media Matters jumps to the defense of their pal Jeffery Immelt:

Fox & Friends Wastes No Time In Attacking Obama's Selection Of Immelt To Lead Jobs Board

How exactly did ‘Fox & Friends’ attack Immelt? We’re given two examples. The first is a quote from Stuart Varney, the second is this:

Later on Fox & Friends, Carlson adopted Varney's claim and used it to invite Nikpour, a Fox News contributor, to attack Obama. Echoing Varney, Carlson asked, "Is putting Jeffrey Immelt, the CEO of GE, payback -- because GE used to control NBC and NBC rooted very loudly for President Obama when he was campaigning. Is it payback?" Nikpour responded by saying, in part: "It's all about paying back someone who's helped you along the campaign. I mean, he's shown this with the unions and for everything else. It's payback. It's pay-to-play system; it's a Chicago-style of politics.”

Once again, the key is omission. Does it sound to you like Carlson was conducting an interview with Nikpour? She wasn’t. Nikpour was part of a panel, and indeed was the only one on the panel to make this criticism. So who else was on the panel? Well, there was Jehmu Greene:

JEHMU GREENE: It’s a smart move, and I think we’re going to start to see him make better allies within the business community.

What?! How did Media Matters miss that? They didn’t. Her presence and everything she said was purposefully erased by Media Matters so they could write this:

So, in Fox & Friends' world, it's not at all possible that Obama's selection of Immelt, as The Associated Press reported, "underscor[es] the administration's efforts to build stronger ties to the business community.”

Lie. Not only is it possible, it’s precisely what Ms Green said during that very segment. So why couldn’t the headline have been:

Fox & Friends Wastes No Time in Praising Obama’s Selection of Immelt

In truth, that headline might be more accurate than the Media Matters original. Jehmu Greene is a Fox News contributor; she is an employee of FNC and speaks from that position. Noelle Nikpour is not (she appears freely on other cable channels). Looks like Media Matters didn’t tell the truth about that either. Wonder why.

Around the Interwebs

A new attack on Glenn Beck recently surfaced, and a lot of sites happily recycled it, even after it was debunked. Raw Story:

Discussing Democratic leaders during a June broadcast for the Republican Fox News Channel, conspiracy host Glenn Beck told his followers they would have to "shoot them in the head" in order to bring an end to an alleged "communist" agenda. "They believe in communism," he said. "They believe and have called for a revolution. You're going to have to shoot them in the head. But warning, they may shoot you.”

Spitfire List:

When he said to his listeners that they will have to shoot Democrats in the head, it is a reach to interpret his comments as any thing other than inviting bloodshed.

News Corpse:

Glenn Beck, a hostile, lying, egomaniacal, rodeo clown remains employed even after telling his viewers that to stop progressives “You’re going to have to shoot them in the head.”

Only it’s not true. Beck didn’t tell his followers, or listeners, or viewers that they would have to shoot anyone, in the head or elsewhere. Here’s more malarkey:

Fox News began criticizing Tucson memorial even before it ended... “You do have to question the timing of it," conservative blogger Michelle Malkin told Fox News only minutes after the service ended.

You’ll find this claim all over the interwebs: Crooks & Liars, USA Hitman, Info WarHorse, Patrick Henry Press, etc. Most of them seem to have regurgitated it from Raw Story. But there’s a problem: how could Michelle Malkin have said all this on Fox ‘only minutes after the service ended’--when in fact she said it the next day, on Fox & Friends? Wasn’t it obvious from the video that she was speaking the next morning?

Actually no, it wasn’t. Because Raw Story only had a 5-second blip of Malkin and didn’t bother to check or verify the ‘facts’ they put forward. Ah but that was for a good reason; their source is such an ultra-reliable pillar of journalistic excellence that they obviously felt no need to check the accuracy of anything he said. Their source: Jon Stewart. You see, Jon told his viewers that just two to three minutes after Obama spoke at the memorial, ‘politics, point-scoring, and pettiness’ took over. And he illustrated this with a video montage. A series of soundbites from pundits praising the speech led directly into Michelle Malkin’s blip--only that blip wasn’t from ‘two or three minutes’ later as Stewart said. It was from the next day!

All these websites mindlessly parroted the notion that Malkin spoke ‘two or three minutes later’--proof they didn’t watch the coverage as they would have known that Malkin wasn’t on it. They didn’t bother to verify the facts before publishing--not very hard to do. No, Stewart’s shtick is what passes as ‘research’ to this crowd. It was tailored to their taste, carefully edited to exclude anything that didn’t make FNC look bad. Stewart’s montage of soundbites praising the speech included none of the praise voiced on FNC. He later cherry-picks comments from the Fox & Friends hosts to show only (mild) criticisms and none of the positive comments. (Just like Media Matters!) At one point Stewart rants that the memorial was not ‘a show’ but a time for ‘mourning’; moments later he’s attacking people for opining that the raucous audience was inappropriate. Consistency, honesty, facts--all of these are unimportant to Jon Stewart, who will remind you that he’s just a comedian. And yet he’s Raw Story’s Big Source. No wonder their articles are a joke.

Meanwhile the newshounds, in their time-honored tradition of attacking Fox without watching it, declared that FNC coverage of the memorial was ‘unfair and unbalanced’. Their source? You guessed it--Jon Stewart! And Priscilla is back with her vitriolic anti-Catholic bigotry, taking care to work in a seemingly pointless comment about Father Jonathan Morris (‘boyish’, a call back to the sleazy use of ‘baby-faced’ to reinforce a favorite hound insinuation).

Ellen Brodsky demands that FNC order Glenn Beck to stop excoriating (i.e. quoting the words of) Francis Fox Piven, effectively placing Piven above criticism. The reason: she’s gotten death threats. (So has Glenn Beck. Is Ellen going to tell her bowsers to stop criticizing him?) Brodsky also whines about a ‘non-challenging’ Greta van Susteren interview of Michelle Bachman. How was the interview any different from the one Greta did with Chris van Hollen? Don’t ask Brodsky--she must have been out picking cherries that night. And then Ellen exposes another newly discovered Fox trick: they actually put quotes from the interviewee in the banners! According to Brodsky, this sneaky technique is done in order to give Bachmann’s statements ‘credibility’:

Starting at about 6:30 in the first video below, the banners began repeatedly reading:

Horrors! Outrage! It’s all part of Fox’s sneaky Republican agenda. Here are more examples:

Oh wait, those aren’t Republicans. Fox News is ‘giving credibility’ to Democrats by putting their statements in the banners. Funny, Brodsky didn’t complain about any of this until they interviewed Michelle Bachmann. How odd. But perhaps she was too busy monitoring the kennel komments, to make sure they are free of murder fantasies or slimy, intolerant slurs. You know, like this:

Good thing Brodsky is concerned about death threats.

The End of an Error?

A few words about Keith Olbermann, possibly the biggest, loudest Fox hater on any news channel. We first dealt with Olby back in 2004, and still recall how his behavior then served as a template for so many smears that were yet to come. It was one of Olby’s trademark O’Reilly attacks, and this one was about ratings:

OLBERMANN: He told his audience that, on election night, at this hour, nine times as many Americans were watching Fox News Channel as were watching MSNBC. Actually, they had 7-1/2 million viewers at 8:00 Eastern last Tuesday. We have we had 2.6. That wouldn‘t be nine time as many. That would be less than three time as many. It‘s too bad Billy isn‘t as good with a calculator or a brain as he is with a loofah.

Olbermann’s source (which he didn’t credit, in order to make people think he saw the comments himself) was a blog posting that read:

On election night, "nine times as many Americans watched us than MSNBC," O'Reilly said late last week. "That plurality has never been seen before in the history in network news...With respect to our colleages at that other place, they're as arrogant as they get.”

Only that blog posting from TV Newser was incorrect. Here’s the truth:

O'REILLY: Fox News Channel is up against CNN and MSNBC, all right? Last night, on the Fox News Channel, at 8 o'clock, the Factor time, nine times as many Americans watched us as MSNBC. Nine times. That plurality has never been seen before in the history of network news.

That statement was made on Nov 4 2004--a Thursday. The ‘last night’ mentioned would’ve been Nov 3--a Wednesday, the day after election night. And the ratings that night:

THE O'REILLY FACTOR: 5,400,000 viewers

Nine to one, just as O’Reilly said. Olbermann was informed that his O’Reilly attack was based on a falsehood and was asked if he was going to do a correction. The blogger who asked him that (now better known as Brian Stelter of the New York Times) told us that Olby had no plans whatsoever to address it. And of course he didn’t.

That set the pattern for years of slanders. Lift a story from a blue blog or Fox hater website. Don’t check the accuracy. Broadcast it without attribution (aka ‘rip ’n’ read’). When it proves to be false, stonewall--do not correct. Move on to the next smear. Now all that’s over...for a while. Keith will be back in some venue or other, and if you think he will be chastened by any of this, think again. The standards and practices at NBC News were shredded during eight years of Olbermann’s influence. When Olby returns it could be in a venue with even flimsier standards, or none at all. What sort of atrocities will that bring?

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

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