Showing posts with label Fox News. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Fox News. Show all posts

Apr 7, 2011

Good news for progressives: Kloppenburg win and Beck demise

In a preview of the 2012 election, JoAnne Kloppenburg was elected to the Wisconsin Supreme Court on Tuesday over the incumbent in a backlash to the union-busting attempt by teabagger Governor Scott Walker.

In a usually slow March election, voter turnout was very high, and Kloppenburg unseated incumbent David Prosser, a Walker pal who made it very clear how he will vote when the hastily passed union busting bill makes its way to the court.

The election was a clear referendum on the union busting efforts by Republicans in the Midwest states, and it was the first election since last November; allowing people to turn protest into action.

Going into the race after the primary election in February, incumbent David Prosser was the hands on favorite, having pulled in 55 percent of the vote over Kloppenburg, his second highest leading opponent, who received just 25 percent of the vote. After Walker’s union-busting legislation that would kill collective bargaining rights for state workers, the race became a focus for the energized Democratic base. However, A recount is expected.

The Wisconsin State Journal is reporting that the high voter turnout, double for a normal March election, has been a boon for the recall attempt of eight Republican Senators. The Journal is reporting that recall leaders got plenty of signatures outside of polling places on Tuesday, so much so that they have enough signatures to put them over the top for a second Republican recall.

The close vote indicates that not all eight will be successful, but it can change the makeup of the body, as well as keep the energy going until next year’s election. A recall of two Michigan Senators for a tax vote in 1983 gave Republicans control of the Senate they have never lost, despite more people voting for Democratic Senators in 2006 than Republicans.

I am not normally a fan of recalls for a single vote, but when that vote required you violate the law, sneak in and out of the Capitol under armed guard to make the vote and lock people out of their Capitol to do it then I would make an exception.

There is also recall attempt against a couple of the heroic Wisconsin 14 Democratic Senators who left the Capitol to deny a quorum, but it does not appear to be much of a threat. In fact, the recall against Sen. Lena Taylor, D-Milwaukee, has only two signatures so far; the organizer and his wife, and the 60-day window to gather signatures runs out April 25.

I can’t wait for next year’s election, and we only need to limit the damage Republicans can do in the next 16 months.

Yesterday saw even more good news. Faux “news” madman Glenn Beck announced he leaving his show; a victim of falling ratings and disgusted advertisers. It’s unclear if it is voluntary.

The ratings for the first quarter of 2011 showed Beck's show had lost close to a third of its audience, especially among advertiser-prized viewers ages 25 to 54, where he was down almost 40 percent. But, it was the advertisers that really did him in, and they were leaving in droves because they did not want to be associated with his crazy end-of-world conspiracy theories and racist rants.

I expect his ratings to make a surge for next couple of days and maybe weeks because people want to see what conspiracy theory he whips up and who he blames for this.

Mar 28, 2011

RNC may sell democracy

It appears the Republican National Committee (RNC) is taking a cue from the Livingston County Republican party and charging a fee for democracy.

CNN is reporting that the RNC is considering selling the broadcast rights for debates between its presidential sacrificial lambs to news outlets. That’s not at all surprising from the party of big money. It was something the local party did but on a much smaller scale in the 2008 primary when it charged admission to a debate for the two open Michigan House seats as a fundraiser.

The RNC is more than $22 million in debt from the 2010 midterm elections, despite millions of dollars coming in from corporations, both foreign and domestic.

Not only that, but the Republican Governors Association spent more than any of the major non-party spenders in federal campaigns through its network of state political action committees in the last election cycle. The RGA spent $113.7 million - just in calendar year 2010. It spent $131.8 million over the two year election cycle. In fact, it spent more than rightwing cash cows the U.S. Chamber of Commerce, American Action Network, American Crossroads and Crossroads GPS spent combined in 2010.

It remains to be seen if the RNC's sale of democracy is even legal under the law, and whether any network, other than the official propaganda arm of the GOP - Faux “news,” will make a bid. However, considering almost all of the current GOP candidates are already on the Faux payroll, it may be a waste of money.

Dec 23, 2010

Palin wins tough fight to be named ‘Misinformer of the Year’

In a year of stiff competition, former half-term Alaska Governor and current Faux “News” contributor Sarah Palin was chosen as “Misinformer of the Year” by the media watchdog group Media Matters.

The rightwing has had a great year misinforming, lying and spinning, and it culminated in the November elections, but Palin stood head and shoulders above the usual crowed. Past “winners” include Faux “news” madman Glenn Beck and Faux “News” hatemonger Sean Hannity.

“This year, Palin stood out for her sheer ability to dominate our national conversation and draw the attention of the entire news media to her factually challenged claims and vicious attacks. She has blurred the line completely between media figure and political activist.”

“From spreading lies about "death panels" to cropping Obama's comments about "American exceptionalism," from her comfortable perch at Fox News to her self-promoting books and reality show, Palin has truly broken new ground in misinformation.”
To show how her misinformation has taken hold, just last night I got into a “debate” with a trio of vicious right-wingers on Facebook where “death panels” and health care rationing was claimed.

Last month the U.S. Food and Drug Administration announced that new evidence suggests the risks outweigh the benefits of Avastin for treating metastatic breast cancer, and the FDA has now begun the process of withdrawal of the popular advanced breast cancer treatment.

One right-winger used that as proof of death panels and rationing. But that’s not surprising, based on a recent study by scholars at the University of Maryland. They conducted a survey on the impact of the news business on good citizenship, and they found that viewers of Faux “news” were the most misinformed. Right-wingers prove that every day.

One reason they are so misinformed may be how Faux spins the news, and in fact they just got caught at it. Earlier this month the Fox News Washington managing editor was caught trying to slant the news in emails to staffers. It just happens it was two subjects right-wingers are the most misinformed on, health care and climate change.

Sep 28, 2010

“Chief Executive Outsourcer” Snyder’s hypocrisy is business as usual

I hope no Michigan voters are buying the BS that Rick “Chief Executive Outsourcer” Snyder is “above the fray” or a different kind of politician who doesn’t believe in attack ads.

The Republican Governors Association (RGA) – the same RGA that News Corp., which owns Faux “News,” gave $1 million - has been running attack ads against Democratic Gubernatorial nominee Virg Bernero on the outsourcer’s behalf to keep his hands clean. The third one is a cheap knockoff of the well known MasterCard "Priceless" ads.

Apparently, the RGA and the outsourcer are trying to paint Bernero as a dreaded “career politician,” and it also tried to slam Bernero for wasting Lansing – where he is the Mayor – tax dollars by – get this - spending money on food, pencils and an office aquarium. The ad, of course, has no information on where it got that info. It should have.

Subscription only MIRS that covers the Capitol had a story yesterday that illustrated how stupid the ad really is.

It turns out that “MIRS has learned the fish tank was put in by former Lansing Mayor David Hollister, and, according to a City Hall source, is one of the most popular stops for school kids on their City Hall field trip.”

“The pencils were part of a joint effort with the Lansing school district to promote recycling and provide a small school supply to Lansing school kids. The pencils were green and encouraged kids to recycle.”

The fact is Bernero cut government 20 percent, cut the mayor's office budget every year, cut his own pay and health care and gave up a city car to cut expenses when things got tough, and he never raised taxes.

When times got tough at Gateway, the outsourcer cut 20,000 jobs and pocketed a cool $14 million for doing it.

Don’t believe the crap about no more “business as usual,” and stop letting Snyder use that lame excuse to duck debates.

Jan 30, 2010

The President excels in rare televised Q & A with GOP House Caucus

In what some people are calling an historic event, President Obama appeared before the House Republican Caucus in Baltimore at their retreat and took questions from some of his harshest critics.

What made the event even more rare, and even more historic, was that it was televised. This is common in Great Brittan, but not in the U.S. The Republicans initially balked at televising it, but they relented. After watching it, they now regret it.

Most Americans got to watch it live, but not Faux “news“ viewers. After it became apparent how well the President was doing, they cut away to bring on critics of the President to talk about the critics of the President.

We had to sit through a filibuster speech by teabagger U.S. Rep. Marsha Blackburn, R-Tenn, where she said the President was ignoring their suggestions and ideas on health care reform. She claims many Democrat leaders - someone needs to tell her we are members of the Democratic Party - were sending GOP ideas to the President. It made me wonder why she’s just trotting them out now.

Blackburn was a member of Congress when Republicans controlled both houses of Congress and the White House, why didn’t she have those ideas then? Can you say hypocrisy, Marsha?

What was really refreshing was to see him speak off the cuff for an hour taking questions from Republican lawmakers. Some of the attacks of the president have been down right silly, and one of those is he uses a teleprompter for everything. If he didn’t give such inspiring speeches, I would say he just take Q & A’s all the time.

Every President since Ronald Reagan has used a teleprompter, but for some reason only Obama has been criticized for it. Just this week I saw a rightwing Michigan blog criticizing him for using it to talk to 6th graders in Virginia. The fact that the claim is just another lie will do little to slow them down, but after the President’s performance in Baltimore, non-teabaggers know better.

Dec 23, 2009

Deranged Beck named 2009 Misinformer of the Year

In perhaps the easier pick in years, Faux “news” madman Glenn Beck was named Media Matters' 2009 Misinformer of the Year.

Media Matters always has a lot to choose from in picking its annual award - just from the Faux line up alone - from cable news to right-wing radio, from online publications to major newspapers. But, the former Morning Zoo shock jock's unique brand of vitriol, stage theatrics, and hyperbolic fright, make him an easy choice for Media Matters’ 2009 Misinformer of the Year.

When he wasn’t crying, going off on demented rants telling people to get off his phone or whipping up the corporate-funded tea-baggers he was calling the President of the United States a racist, saying he was a "racist" with a "deep-seated hatred of white people.”

I would say the guy needs a straightjacket, but the reality is he may just have hit on the rightwing formula for success: say the most outrageous, false smears against any non-extremist tea bagger, and you can rake in the millions and be assured of success. It has worked well for the likes of Hanity, Coulter, O’Reily and Limbaugh.

Media Matters dug deep through the more than 3,500 detailed research items they released this year to select Beck as the annual "Misinformer of the Year.” He joins other past winners Bill O'Reilly, Chris Matthews, ABC, and Sean Hannity

Media Matters for America is a Web-based, not-for-profit, progressive research and information center dedicated to comprehensively monitoring, analyzing, and correcting conservative misinformation in the U.S. media. They have earned the wrath of the likes of O’Reily for daring to smear him by putting the actual unedited, video of him up smearing himself.

Nov 17, 2009

Criticism of President Obama reaches a new height of pettiness

Just when you thought the criticism of President Obama can’t get any more petty and ridiculous, right-wingers go out and surprise you.

The irrational hatred of the President knows no bounds, and something as simple as urging students to stay in school and achieve is suspect.

Now, the teabaggers are upset with the way President Obama greeted Japanese Emperor Akihito on the President’s Asia trip. Former weatherman and current rightwing tool Steve Doocy on “fox and friends” claimed that "dating back to the very founding of this Republic, American leaders do not bow to leaders of other countries,” and he called it “unprecedented.”

Like every other thing on the propaganda arm of the GOP, that is simply false, and the fact is several past Presidents have bowed while greeting foreign leaders.

Former President Richard Nixon bowed while meeting the Japanese Emperor in 1971 in Alaska at the first visit of a Japanese Emperor to America.

Former President Dwight Eisenhower bowed to French President Charles De Gaulle, as shown by a September 2, 1959 Associated Press photo.

The bow was apparently done incorrectly, but it was neither “unprecedented” nor a sign of weakness.

Nov 9, 2009

Fox ‘news’ rolls out another false war

Like the false “war on Christmas” rolled out every single year by Fox “news,” the latest made up war by fox is just as false.

The rightwing media is all aflutter about the false “war on Fox ‘news’” by the Obama Administration. The problem is it’s just made up. The claim is that the White House is attacking Fox for asking tough questions of the President, but that is a typical rightwing lie.

The President chose not to appear on “Fox News Sunday” in favor of real network shows, and Chris Wallace began appearing on every single fox segment whining about it. The simple fact is that Fox is not a news source. It claims its prime time line-up is like the editorial section of the newspaper, but the fact is even the alleged news is nothing but Republican talking points.

The GOP claims MSNBC does the same thing, and that is true for its part-time line-up. However, the news is straight. Plus, we have to endure rightwing Republicans Joe Scarborough, R-Fla., for three hours.

Where is the Democrat or liberal on fox?

The fact is there is a big difference between access and choosing to decline an invitation to appear on the opposition party’s propaganda arm. The White House has not said it will not appear on fox, but they want to make it clear that when they do, they are simply appearing on the opposition network. This crap about “the White House has declared war on Fox” is ridiculous.

However, the White House has not barred any so-called fox “reporters” from asking questions at the White House press briefing, traveling with the President or denied them any of the same access real reporters enjoy. But the fox viewers have drank the Kool-aid that they are being denied access.

Oceola Township resident Betty Cole wrote in a letter to the Livingston County Daily Press & Argus that, “For a sitting president to attempt to block a news station from attending a White House news conference because the White House does not like what the station has to say is unthinkable in our great United States of America.”

I could not agree more, Ms. Cole, but your letter is about eight years too late. The Obama Administration has never barred access to a fox “reporter.” Choosing not to endure their lies and misinformation is not denying access.

You will recall the Bush Administration’s real hatred and war on the press. You will remember during the campaign in 2000 Bush and Dick Cheney were caught on a hot mike calling a New York Times reporter “a major league asshole.” There was no apology, and the war continued.

Former Bush Press Secretary Dana Perino let it slip out - on fox “news,” of course - that they froze out MSNBC. Cheney has called the media un-American, and barred the New York Times from his airplane when he traveled. Bush froze out the New York Times, and in eight years he may have talked one-on-one with a NYT reporter three times, and no one made the claim about the “war on the New York Times.”

Jun 30, 2008

GOP launches racist attack on Katrina victims

The Livingston County Republican Party is taking up the racists remarks of its hero Rush Limbaugh and launching a thinly-veiled racist attack on the Hurricane Katrina victims with a letter writing campaign.

The Livingston County Daily Press & Argus published a letter to the editor from Howell Republican Tom Worley that basically accused the victims of Hurricane Katrina of being looters, thieves and whiners, as compared to the victims of the current flooding in the Midwest, specifically Cedar Rapids, Iowa, who are non-complaining, salt-of-the-earth people. The not-so-subtle point the Livingston County GOP and Limbaugh are trying to make is people in the Midwest are white and the backbone of America versus the people in New Orleans who are black and criminals. The political debate in Livingston County has taken a decidedly ugly turn since Allan Filip took over as chair of the party almost two years ago, and this is just one more example.

While the floods in the Midwest are devastating and the courage of the people affected is inspiring, the damage pales in comparison to Katrina. Hurricane Katrina was one of the five deadliest hurricanes and the costliest natural disaster in U.S. history, displacing more than half a million people, killing over 1,700, and causing $81.2 billion in direct damage. One magazine even named it one of the top 10 worst natural disasters in U.S. history.

The loss of live can be contributed to both the ferocity of the storm and the short time people had to prepare. The people of Louisiana, Mississippi and Alabama did not have nearly the amount of time the people of the Midwest had to react to the category 5 hurricane.

When you talk about New Orleans, many did not have the means to evacuate. Many urban dwellers do not own a car because they simply do not need one. It is estimated up to 100,000 New Orleans families did not own a car.

I would imagine it takes at least a few days of rain to raise flood waters like it did in the Midwest. Even Worley said in his letter that, “When this happened in 1993, I had the privilege of visiting the flooded area.” Flooding for those who live in a flood plain is not something new to them. But the biggest difference in the reaction of FEMA.

Their actions in New Orleans served as a perfect example of what not to do in a disaster, and the lessons leaned from their disgraceful performance in New Orleans will help everyone else. Even the official news source from the Republican Party, Fox News agrees.

“Nearly three years after Hurricane Katrina turned FEMA into a punchline, many homeowners, politicians and community leaders in the flood-stricken Midwest say that so far, the agency is doing a heckuva job — and they mean it.”

Oct 22, 2007

Looking for the big 3 of media bias

Every reporter has heard the unfair charge of liberal media bias, and bristled at what many see as a political strategy hatched by the right. Now, with your help, we plan to take a look every week at the three worst Michigan reporters, columnists, commentators and pundits; the Big 3 so to speak. As we have seen from the attacks on Media Matters from people like radio host Rush Limbaugh and TV host Bill O'Reilly, they do not like having a spotlight focused on them.

Charges of media bias have been around a long time, and are hard to pinpoint and to get rid of.

Benjamin Franklin was accused of being biased in 1728 when he wrote an article advocating the printing of more paper money, but failed to mention his own printing company stood to profit by printing that money. At the turn of the 20th Century major cities had multiple daily newspapers, and many of those dailies were published by political party members and even served as the official publication of the party. That slowly began to change as the separation between the newsrooms and the editorial page widened and newspapers adopted strict codes of ethics.

But the charges of so-called liberal media bias really took off during the Republican administration of Richard Nixon when the media was full of negative press reports on the Vietnam War, reflecting the mood of the country. I November 1969, Nixon’s vice-president, Spiro Agnew, made a landmark speech blasting what he labeled the liberal media's opposition to the war. In that speech he uttered the famous line accusing the media of being "nattering nabobs of negativism." Former Nixon aide and presidential candidate Patrick Buchanan wrote in conservative publications in the 1970s that the "the liberal media establishment” reporting on Watergate brought down a president.

The assault on the media has continued ever since. This is where you come in.

Based on an informal survey of many bloggers who write about politics, this is the list of commentators that was suggested, to be whittled down to the Big 3: Nolan Finley, Frank Beckmann, George Weeks. Dawson Bell, Dave Renkiewicz, Tim Skubick, Murray Feldman and Bill Ballenger.

Finley is Editorial Page editor of The Detroit News, and as such he sets the tone for the page. He has been a constant critic of Gov. Jennifer Granholm. His column runs every Sunday. Beckmann hosts a morning radio show on conservative radio station WJR and also writes a column for the Detroit News. He is also a Granholm antagonist.

Weeks was a political columnist for The Detroit News for 22 years before his recent retirement, but now his weekly column is syndicated by Superior Features, running in the Traverse City Record Eagle. For 14 years, Weeks served on the staff of Republican Gov. William G. Milliken in various positions including press secretary.

Bell is a reporter for the Detroit Free Press covering Lansing and politics. Renkiewicz is the host of the “Live with Renk” show on Sunday on conservative talk station WBCK in Battle Creek. Skubick is the host of the long-running political talk show “Off the Record,” and he covers Lansing for various TV and radio stations.

Feldman is the business reporter for Fox TV 2. Ballenger is a former Republican member of the Michigan Senate and House, a noted political pundit and the editor and publisher of “Inside Michigan Politics.”

We want readers' help in picking the top three, and so we are attaching an online poll to choose the winner. We will announce the winner a week from today. Please go to Michigan Messenger to cast your vote.

Apr 11, 2007

Check out the Conservative Media

If you want to know what’s wrong with the media in the United States take a look at the movie “Outfoxed: Rupert Murdoch's War on Journalism.”

If it’s possibly that there is anyone out there that still believes the almost 40 year Republican political strategy of the “liberal media” myth I suggest you take a look at this movie. With outlets like Faux “news” and Sinclair it really is the Conservative Media.

You can see the movie free at this link:

Nov 14, 2006

Former journalist tracks conservative media bias

This was an excellent Neighbors feature in the Press & Argus today from political reporter Dan Meisler. It amazes me that we have so many connected people living in Livingston County. This woman contributes to one of my favorite web sites, News Hounds. I check that one and Crooks and Liars everyday.

By Dan Meisler
The last straw for Judy Daubenmier, a veteran of more than 20 years as a reporter, came when she was helping to cover Proposal A for The Associated Press.
The complicated plan, completed in a late-night, Christmas Eve meeting in 1993, shifted the burden to pay for schools from property taxes to sales tax. As she worked on the story, another media outlet came out with a story on a dispute between lawmakers over parking spots.
An editor suggested that the reporters do more stories like
that — "cute stories ... light stories" — and that's when Daubenmier made her final decision to find another line of work.
"I didn't feel like that is what I was about," she said.
Since then, the Genoa Township resident has earned a doctorate degree in history from the University of Michigan; taught classes there; and contributed to a movie and a Web log monitoring the Fox News Channel for bias.
Her latest project, a book published in October called "Project Rewire, New Media from the Inside Out," is available for purchase on
One of the main points of the book is that the multitude of blogs devoted to criticizing the media has the potential to improve the performance of the mainstream press and television news.
More specifically, Daubenmier said that for decades, conservatives have pushed the false idea that the media is biased toward the liberal point of view.
Now, through the Internet, liberals are highlighting conservative bias in the media.
Daubenmier's examples of conservative media slant are the treatment of Al Gore when he was running for president in 2000 — when he was characterized as stretching the truth — and the proliferation of conservative talk radio shows.
Plus, when she started monitoring Fox News Channel for the Web site, she discovered what she said is reporting slanted to the conservatives.
She disputes the idea that her involvement in a liberal cause after leaving journalism proves there is a liberal bias in the mainstream media.
"It proves that liberals work in the media. There are conservatives in media. The question is, what is the quality of the output?" Daubenmier said.