Posted on 28-04-2011
Filed Under (Politics) by Rashtrakut

As expected, the birthers will not go away quietly into the night.  At least not until Roger Ailes cracks his whip to force his in-house nitwits to move on to new alternate realities about the Democrats.  The latest comes from Eric Bolling on Fox Business who gave a platform to Islamophobe Pamela Geller and regular Fox paranoid conservative Monica Crowley (she has a PhD from Columbia University?!?!?!) to question the authenticity of the President’s birth certificate.  Video below:

As MediaMatters notes, the end of the video highlights the sheer stupidity of birthers.   According to Bolling and Geller the fact that the family of the doctor (who died in 2003 before Barack Obama entered the national spotlight after his speech at the 2004 Democratic National Convention) was unaware he delivered a future President more than 40 years before his death casts doubt on the authenticity of the certificate.  Nice to know that Fox Business lives down to the low standards of its parent “news” network.

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Posted on 02-11-2010
Filed Under (Politics) by Rashtrakut

This is stupid even with the low standards of Fox.  President Obama makes an innocuous comment that Republicans drove the car into the ditch and and must now take aback seat while the Democrats fix their mess.  Fox anchors then somehow morph themselves into Rosa Parks.  It is low hanging fruit for Jon Stewart.  Video below with bonus digs at Republican obstructionism, Democratic party denial and nice take down of Bill Clinton:

The Daily Show With Jon Stewart Mon – Thurs 11p / 10c
Indecision 2010 – Republicans Can Go to the Back of the Car
www.thedailyshow.com
Daily Show Full Episodes Political Humor Rally to Restore Sanity

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Posted on 27-10-2010
Filed Under (Politics) by Rashtrakut

Rachel Maddow visited Alaska on Tuesday and interviewed all three Senate candidates.  She also got some time to talk to some impassioned yet frighteningly clueless Joe Miller supporters.  Given the general ignorance about public affairs in this country you could probably make similar clips with leftist protesters.  However, since the tea party is taking to the streets to “take our country back” in this election cycle, I am picking on their inchoate rage:

The Black Panther case alluded to at the end of the clip involved a few losers who showed up at a largely black Philadelphia voting precinct on election day.  The Bush justice department concluded that it could not pursue a criminal case and pursued a civil case instead, which was later dismissed by the Obama DOJ.  Fox made it a story about an organized and serious attempt to intimidate white voters, even though no voters seem to have lodged a complaint.

As a bonus Maddow also snagged a brief interview with Joe Miller.  It is a rare opportunity to find a tea party candidate talking to someone outside of Fox “News.”  After Rand Paul’s stumble over the Civil Rights Act, it even rarer to see a tea partier brave Maddow.  While a soon to come post will slam Miller and other tea partiers on First Amendment issues, I will give him kudos for actually talking to a journalist not employed by the Republican Pravda.  Interview below:

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Posted on 21-04-2010
Filed Under (Current Affairs) by Rashtrakut

Jon Stewart must love having Fox “News” and its laughably inappropriate slogan “Fair and Balanced” as a reliable foil.

He touched a nerve with this clip about the tea party movement acknowledging the points of various Fox contributors about the evils of sweeping generalization.  Of course this being Fox, he was able to show the same hosts making sweeping generalizations about the evil liberal elites.  That portion of the clip starts at the 5:11 mark.  It ends with Stewart telling the Fox blowhards to “Go F–k Yourselves.”

The Daily Show With Jon Stewart Mon – Thurs 11p / 10c
Tea America
www.thedailyshow.com
Daily Show Full Episodes Political Humor Tea Party

So Bill O’Reilly brings back Bernie Goldberg to ask him if this was true, even though the clips of O’Reilly’s and Hannity’s shows speak for themselves.  Goldberg surprisingly fessed up but then tried to rationalize his broad generalization and took pot shots at Stewart.  This of course is grand material for the comedian to respond with some lines breaking down Goldberg’s attacks by questioning why Stewart on Comedy Central is being held to Fox New’s misleading “fair and balanced” logo, further pointing out:

“Comedians do social commentary through comedy. That’s how it’s worked for thousands of years. I have not moved out of the comedian’s box into the news box. The news box is moving towards me.”
explaining why he constantly critiques Fox:
“I know that I criticize you and Fox News a lot, but only because you’re truly a terrible, cynical, disingenuous news organization.”
before terming them the network as the  ”Lupus of News” and closing out with a gospel choir rendition of  his “go f*ck yourselves” message.

The Daily Show With Jon Stewart Mon – Thurs 11p / 10c
Bernie Goldberg Fires Back
www.thedailyshow.com
Daily Show Full Episodes Political Humor Tea Party

Fox should probably take to heart the old quote “I learned long ago, never to wrestle with a pig. You get dirty, and besides, the pig likes it” before taking on Stewart again.  It does not help that Goldberg essentially admitted the validity of Stewart’s critique before launching petulant attacks (note he never said that Frank Rich made the broad generalizations on Stewart’s show with no challenge, but merely that Rich made generalizations).  This is a few months after he caught Sean Hannity’s show splicing footage from a previous rally to build up the number of the later rally in Washington.  As the gospel choir number shows, Stewart’s role as a comedian gives him far more latitude to respond than O’Reilly’s usual bluster when Fox “News” is called out for making stuff up.

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This emerging battle should be fun to watch.  Rupert Murdoch’s son in law Matthew Freud launched an on the record  broadside against Roger Ailes and Fox News for the “horrendous and sustained disregard of the journalistic standards that News Corporation, its founder and every other global media business aspires to.”  See link.  As the article notes, this follows reports (which were denied) over the summer that Murdoch Sr. was himself sometimes embarrassed by the content of Fox News.

Similar questions regarding the journalistic standards of Fox News have been raised by many commentators, the Obama administration and this blog.  See here, here and here.  But the ugly reality is that Mammon is king.  The market wants the tabloid-like opinion driven “news” peddled by Fox which financially is comfortably beating all its other rivals.  Mr. Alies is safe on his perch as the propaganda arm for anti-Democratic Party and anti-Obama political forces for the foreseeable future.  See another opinion on the matter here.

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Posted on 09-01-2010
Filed Under (Politics) by Rashtrakut

John McCain’s campaign manager comes out swinging on Sarah Palin’s issues with the truth.  This Sunday’s 60 Minutes could be entertaining.  Also read about previously disclosed emails regarding the Alaska Independence Party.  Alaska blog Mudflats has a great read of just how Palin could make stuff up with a straight face.  See link.

For the last 15 years or so the mainstream media has generally been awful in calling out politicians on their bullshit, acting as stenographers reporting stuff verbatim.  Fox News (when they are not making stuff up) is an extreme example of this when it comes to the Republican Party.

With the media not doing their job emboldened politicians up the ante. This was evident the last couple of weeks when Republicans (including Mr. 9/11 himself) started peddling the fiction that no domestic terror attacks occurred George Bush.  At least this time the media did step up.  See link.

Andrew Sullivan has compiled a fairly thorough list of Palin’s odd and often easily disprovable lies since she hit the national stage.  It is hard not to lose respect for John McCain for trying to position a truth averse clueless neophyte a 71 year old cancer survivor’s heartbeat away from the presidency.

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Posted on 08-01-2010
Filed Under (Current Affairs) by Rashtrakut

Britt Hume reacted to criticism for his pompous proselytizing on Fox News (see previous blog post here) by playing the victim card and making the tiresome accusation that this is part of the war against Christianity.  Most of this stems from a grouse that the law and the Constitution require equal treatment of Christianity with other faiths (Oh the horror!!!) with little grounding in fact.  Ask Congressman Keith Ellson who was savaged by parts of the right for having the temerity to take his oath of office on the book of his faith – the Quran.

I will outsource the  further exposure of Britt Hume’s ridiculousness to the satirist most often linked on this blog:

From January 4, 2010:

The Daily Show With Jon Stewart Mon – Thurs 11p / 10c
The Best F**king News Team Ever – Tiger Woods’ Faith
www.thedailyshow.com
Daily Show
Full Episodes
Political Humor Health Care Crisis

Follow up from From January 5, 2010:

The Daily Show With Jon Stewart Mon – Thurs 11p / 10c
The Temple of Hume
www.thedailyshow.com
Daily Show
Full Episodes
Political Humor Health Care Crisis

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Jon Stewart catches Sean Hannity using footage of another rally to make the Bachmann intimidation rally seem bigger.

The Daily Show With Jon Stewart Mon – Thurs 11p / 10c
Sean Hannity Uses Glenn Beck’s Protest Footage
www.thedailyshow.com
Daily Show
Full Episodes
Political Humor Health Care Crisis

Of course this is not the first time Stewart has had fun at the expense of Fox News. See here.  This is also not the first time Fox has spliced video feeds, though they did apologize in that instance.

To be fair to the employees of Fox News, not everybody parrots the company line.  From earlier this summer watch as the Fox News anchor (who does not appear to be one of their opinion talking heads), desperately tries to bring Liz Trotta back on the liberal media bashing meme he was trying to create.  Instead she eviscerates Sarah Palin’s credentials and gets rapidly cut off as she mentions this Vanity Fair article.

Then an honorable mention to Shepard Smith who does try to live up to the Fox news motto.

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Posted on 10-11-2009
Filed Under (Current Affairs) by Rashtrakut

Rupert Murdoch is continuing to fire away at Google.  So far it is all talk and no action.  The media baron is stymied by the change brought about by the internet that had upended journalism’s traditional revenue model.  It is hard to see him actually take Fox News off search engine sites that drive traffic to his websites.  Others like Mark Cuban think he may be on to something.  The problem is that many newspapers like the New York times have tried and failed to get subscribers to pay for content.  The Wall Street Journal with its unique business following is one of the only “old media” outlets to succeed with this model.  I tend to agree with Matt Ingram, a link to a site that requires subscription or worse payment is likely to send me scurrying in search of alternative news sources.

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Posted on 30-10-2009
Filed Under (Current Affairs) by Rashtrakut

Previously posted on the administration calling out Fox.  Its been amazing to see the mainstream media rally to Fox’s defense and pretend that what the Obama administration is doing something new…except that the Bush administration did the same thing to MSNBC this last year.  But the reason for this post is the absolutely brilliant, must see video from Jon Stewart skewering Fox.  Enjoy!

The Daily Show With Jon Stewart Mon – Thurs 11p / 10c
For Fox Sake!
www.thedailyshow.com
Daily Show
Full Episodes
Political Humor Health Care Crisis
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The “Main Stream Media” has disapprovingly noted the Obama administration calling out Fox News as the media arm of the Republican party.  See here, here, here, here and here.  Not unexpectedly Fox News howled in outrage and liberal blogs cheerfully detailed the hypocrisy of Fox’s complaints when it cheered on the Bush administration calling out NBC News and MSNBC.  Very few media members noted that the underlying charge that Fox News is “opinion journalism masquerading as news” is essentially true.

A couple of good reads from the Economist’s Democracy in America blog today comparing Fox News to what is happening in Russia, Italy and Thailand, and Slate’s Jonathan Weisberg noting that the Fox response to the administration shows the inherent bias in its coverage.

I agree with the final point in both articles.  Cable “news” is now unwatchable.  Opinion shows dominate the peak hours and off-peak hours are filled with a bunch of documentary shows.  Even CNN Headline News which a decade ago provided 24 News coverage is now filled with shows that masquerade as news.  The Internet would be a refuge for finding news, but alas even the AP has decided to muddy its role as a wire service by falling for the opinion journalism lure.

More than ever, developing a filter to separate the wheat of news from the chaff of opinion is essential.  Paraphrasing the legal principle of caveat emptor, let the  unwary news reader beware.

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