Blog Archives

The Jon Stewart / Bill O’Reilly Debate

 

If you missed it last night, here it is:

Enjoy yourself.

 

Jon Stewart takes on Fox News

Chris Wallace tried to trap Jon Stewart in a liberal trap, but Stewart’s views of Fox as a conservative ideological network stand up. Stewart wins! here’s the video:

Don’t forget… there’s a Bill O’Reilly vs. Jon Stewart Debate on October 6. It costs $4.95 to hear the 90 minute show live. Hey…cheaper than the movies and probably more entertaining!

Jon Stewart (detail of original picture)

Why I think very little of Fox News.

On Fox News’ “The O’Reilly Factor” last night, onetime Bill Clinton ally (now foe) Dick Morris suggested the former president secretly wants Barack Obama to lose the election but won’t say so publicly because the Obama administration is holding Hillary Clinton hostage and it will kill her if he loses.

The look on Bill O’Reilly’s face and the tone of his voice during the interview demonstrates that even he thought Morris’ suggestion was ludicrous, though it is rather appalling that the two men appeared to laugh at the supposed “joke.”

Morris made the suggestion before Clinton’s endorsement of Obama’s re-election campaign during his well-received Democratic National Convention speech.

A congregation of assholes, no?

Quote of the Day – Fox news Poll: Do Republicans have a jobs plan?

 

Even Fox News in a recent poll doesn’t think Romney can create jobs. The totals? 27 percent of Americans think Romney has a plan to revive the American economy… 41 percent of registered voters think Obama the better plan. That is a 14-point gap.

A revealing question in this poll was “Who do you think will do a better job looking out for you and your family during tough economic times?” 47 percent said Obama and 36 percent Mitt Romney.

As a Fox News commentator said:

“What is true in poker is true in politics. You can’t beat something with nothing. 

And right now, voters are coming to the conclusion that when it comes to credible plans to fix the economy, Republicans have nothing.”

Juan Williams, Fox News analyst

Are you surprised?

 

Favorite Quote of the Day…

Jon Stewart responding to Bill O’Reilly after the Fox News host said he was going to hell:

Here’s what you and your minions don’t understand, O’Reilly. Your hell doesn’t scare me. I make my living watching Fox News eight hours a day. I’m already in hell.”

🙂

(thanks to All Hat, No Cattle)

 

Steve Doocy Calls This An Apology:

“Last week, President Obama talked about not being born with a silver spoon in his mouth. That was interpreted as a big dig at Mitt Romney. When I was interviewing Governor Romney on this show, I asked him about it. However, I did some paraphrasing that seemed to misquote the president. So to be clear, the President’s exact quote was ‘I wasn’t born with a silver spoon in my mouth.’ And I hope that clears up any confusion.”

See…it’s not really an apology. “That was interpreted as a big dig at Mitt Romney” is Doocy’s point of view and the reason he added “Unlike some people” to his quote. Just putting in the correct sentence does not an apology make.

I hope that confuses any clarity. Doocy sure did.

Fox News “adjusts” Obama quote… who would have thought?

Obama speaking last Wednesday:

“Somebody gave me an education. I wasn’t born with a silver spoon in my mouth. Michelle wasn’t. But somebody gave us a chance — just like these folks up here are looking for a chance.”

Essentially, this was the same statement he made in 2009… well before he had any rich Republicans running against him (like Romney.)

The quote didn’t mean quite the right thing for Steve Doocy of Fox News, so he added three little words to it… words not found in the video of the speech or in the transcript:

Unlike some people, I wasn’t born with a silver spoon in my mouth.”

See… doesn’t that couch it a little better in the context of an election? Isn’t Fox News great for doing us a favor of focusing on the true meaning of something the President says? Not!

Unfortunately, Doocy’s little addition turned up in a Washington Post article, a New York Post editorial and a number of conservative blogs. This leads me to propose that Obama no longer make speeches at all… just let Steve Doocy and his Foxy friends create his words for him.

(Thanks to TPM for pointing this one out).

Pathetic Quote for the Afternoon

So whose fault is it that Newt isn’t on top of the Republican pack? Fox News?

“I assume it’s because Murdoch at some point said, ‘I want Romney,’ and so ‘fair and balanced’ became ‘Romney.’ And there’s no question that Fox had a lot to do with stopping my campaign because such a high percentage of our base watches Fox.”

Newt Gingrich

Newt’s assumption, of course, is that Fox controls the Republican campaign.

A Fox News representative said Newt was just saying this because he is angling for a post-primary broadcast position at CNN. (Gingrich has already stated that he’ll be attending the White House Correspondent‘s Dinner at the CNN table… how about that?)

Andrew Breitbart had a tape, EE Eye EE Eye Oh…

Andrew Breitbart

…and on that tape he had some crap,  EE Eye EE Eye Oh…

With  Obama here, and students there

Here a speech, there a speech

everywhere a speech speech…

Andrew Breitbart had a tape,  EE Eye EE Eye Oh…

According to the Telegraph in the UK:

(A) video, pitted as Mr Obama’s coup de grace and the end of his 2012 re-election bid, promised to expose the president as a “racist radical” who had plotted to seize control of the White House with other “totalitarian freaks” for more than 20 years.

In reality the tape showed a college student campaigning for racial diversity at Harvard law School – not quite the fiery revelations right wing blogger Andrew Breitbart had pledged prior to his death.

Sean Hannity, though, tried to push the tape on Fox News as some kind of real revelation that would end Obama’s campaign. But his efforts were more or less silly with a lot of respondents outside of the Fox/Tea Party crowd having greater respect for the President and his support of a dedicated professor while he was Editor of the Harvard Law Review (I don’t think Hannity ever had that kind of status).

As to Breitbart, he died before he could create another phony attack on good people. Perhaps he is watching all this from Hell. 🙂

Palin has announced she’s not running…

Want to buy a National Touring Bus? I guess one will be available now that Sarah Palin has announced that she won’t be entering the Presidential race (what a surprise!)

So what will she do now to maintain her personal publicity program?

I guess it’s time for me to announce that I’m not running, either.

There have been enough crazies loose in the USA that this bunch makes me very nervous…

Let me start with a statement on my own religious beliefs: I am an atheist in the Stephen Hawking vein…there has been nothing in centuries of scientific discovery to prove the existence of God, nor are the mythological concepts of Heaven, Hell or any “afterlife” at all a reality. OK?

The proposal to make a cross shaped piece of twisted beams from the World Trade Center into a monument in a public space supporting Christianity triggered a response by some atheists that they should have an equivalent monument caused a controversy that Fox News covered. Let me also state my view here: neither of these concepts are supported by me. People’s beliefs should be private things in a free society and not be inflicted on others.

So, when I read this post on the American Atheist‘s blog (and, btw, this is an organization I’m not a member of… organized atheism is just another religion) about their Communications Director appearing on Fox News and the responses that were posted by listeners, I felt unsafe:

FOX News Facebook Page on 9/11 Cross Generates Death Threats Against Atheists

FOX News readers on Facebook started going off after Blair Scott, Communications Director for American Atheists, appeared on America Live with Megyn Kelly. Blair reports that when he returned home from his local FOX station for the interview that his voice mail was full of messages and his inbox had almost 200 hateful messages. “I can always tell when someone from American Atheists is on FOX news, because my Inbox explodes with hate email,” said Blair.

We can talk about the issues about this, but our friend William Hamby has put it well over at the Examiner. In addition, Practical Doubt was able to capture some more as well. Unfortunately, they blacked out the names of the guilty.

Moderators on FOX News’ Facebook page had been trying diligently to delete the violent threats, but not before they were screen-captured by a diligent American Atheists member named Robert Posey.

So how direct are these statements posted as comments on the Fox News Facebook Page? These were some of Posey’s captures before Fox had them deleted (and these do NOT have the poster’s names blacked out… as AA says, people should have responsibility for what they say):

What’s scary as well is the amount of support agreements they get from other readers. It is a good move that Fox is eliminating these as they catch them (why they don’t just set the keywords on their spam list, or set all comments to be reviewed before posting as I do on this blog, is confusing.) However, thousands, and perhaps millions of people see them’ and as William Hamby says in the Atlanta Atheist Examiner:

In a week or two, that Facebook page will be clean swept of any threats or incitements to violence.  If anyone goes back to read it, they’ll see Christians and atheists arguing — not always politely, but without threats.  The words on the page will be gone.  But for me and my fellow atheists, they will live on as long as we live.

When I think of lunatics who have been able to kill groups of people based on the lunacy of extreme beliefs, I realize how the promotion of such concepts can trigger dangerous responses. I also realize that by printing some of these here, I may be doing the same thing… however this will happen here once and it will give you an idea of what is happening. If you think back to the Holocaust and what Jews (and the rest of the world) learned from it, this is a serious situation.

If those who believe in Christianity (or any other religion) need this kind of response to justify their unfortunate view of life, then more people than atheists should take notice and be ready to defend themselves.

Murdoch gives more to Democrats than Republicans?

RT4_Keynote_Harry Shearer

Harry Shearer

Why is this man smiling?

Harry Shearer dropped an interesting stat on Le Show this weekend: last month Rupert Murdoch’s organization gave significantly more in campaign donations to Democrats than it did to Republicans. Of approximately $50,000 in contributions, $32,000 went to Democrats… and primarily those associated with committees relating to the judiciary… as if Rupert had predicted in June the problems he’d be in in July.

However, it also appears that in the last couple of years Murdoch’s empire has given somewhat more to Democrats than to Republicans across the board. As Shearer pointed out, if the Fox News fans realized this, wouldn’t they protest?

Hmmmm.

Did you see Jon Ronson on the Daily Show last night?

As Jon Stewart interviewed him on his book, The Psychopath Test, I realized this is one I have to get.

Here’s a video of Ronson:

Afternoon Quotes of Republican Duplicity…

Now that Osama bin Laden is dead, who was responsible for the act? Obama? Hardly likely.

As revealed in Talking Points Memo:

Karl Rove Assistant to the President, Deputy C...

Karl Rove, American Citizen

“I think the tools that President Bush put into place — GITMO, rendition, enhanced interrogation, the vast effort to collect and collate this information — obviously served his successor quite well,” former Bush adviser Karl Rove said on Fox News.

Also on Fox News, Bush’s one-time Chief of Staff Andrew Card claimed his former boss “made sure that everything was in place so that President Obama could have an opportunity to — to get Osama bin Laden, and it finally happened.”

Perhaps we shouldn’t forget who Accomplished the Mission those many years ago… Oh, wait, that was in Iraq looking for weapons of Mass Destruction. Nothing to do with bin Laden. Sorry.


Quote of the Day

From Barry Ritholtz:

Someone I spoke with claimed that Ailes was scheduled to speak at their event in March, but canceled. It appears that Roger’s people, ostensibly using a clause in his contract, said he “cannot appear for legal reasons.”

I asked “What, precisely, does that mean?”

The response: “Roger Ailes will be indicted — probably this week, maybe even Monday.”

If this is true, it will be a huge story. Only last week was it revealed that Judith Regan has a tape of Ailes instructing her to lie about Bernie Kerick in 2004 when Giuliani‘s buddy was being investigated for a Federal position.

Of course “indicted” doesn’t mean “convicted”… Ailes, through Rupert Murdock and News Corp has a lot of money and press power to play with. Wait and see, wait and see.

Quote of the Day – So, after Olbermann are we next?

“The loss of Keith Olbermann is a bad omen for America. We should be aware of this loss, and do what we can to let others know its impact — how much of democracy we have lost. I’m sure if George Orwell were alive today, he would weep at this atrocity. Just as we should, but we must also stand strong against these oligarchs. We must realize that they are in control; we must support our alternative media sites so long as we can — because soon they will be taking our websites down by raising prices and by other underhanded means to silence all dissent — even on the Internet.”

– Sam Hamod, Ph.D., at http://www.todaysalternativenews.com

Wrong thing to say on TV – This Week’s Award Winner

” I say why isn’t Iraq paying us back with oil, and paying every American family and their soldiers that lost loved ones or have injured soldiers — and why didn’t they pay for their own liberation? For the Kuwait oil minister — how short his memory is. You know, we have every right to go in there and frankly take all their oil and make them pay for the liberation.”

– Sean Hannity, Fox News

… and let’s get into another war. Why not use the 5% of House salaries and expenses that Boehner got in?

How Glenn Beck And Fox News Successfully Painted AZ Shooter As Hitler, Marx Devotee

clipped from tpmdc.talkingpointsmemo.com
Within hours of the shooting spree in Arizona, conservative blogs lit up with the news that the suspect, Jared Loughner, was an aficionado of Mein Kampf and the Communist Manifesto. A Hitler/Marx devotee, the logic went, is someone too idiosyncratic or crazy to be part of any mainstream political movement. Some went further, and cited the information as proof that Loughner was the sort of big-government liberal they had nightmares about.
As with so many of these fast-propagating conservative memes, this one got its start on Fox News.
Simultaneously, reporters across the country discovered his YouTube page, which listed both Mein Kampf and the Communist Manifesto among his favorite books. It also listed Ayn Rand‘s first novel We the Living, though there’s no viral online meme depicting Loughner as an Objectivist.
That’s in large part because Glenn Beck framed it in his own inimitable way on his Fox News show Saturday evening.

The next morning, Sen. Lamar Alexander (R-TN) took the same tack in defense of the Tea Party.

“What we know about this individual, for example, is that he was reading Karl Marx, and reading Hitler, and burning the American flag,” Alexander said. “That’s not the profile of a typical Tea Party member if that’s the inference that’s being made,” he said.

And thus a talking point was born.

blog it

Quote of the Day – Some truth from one who knows.

“We have become a very angry country, part of it very ugly. And that even though we have free speech in this country, constantly 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, making the people angry at government … may benefit some party, but I think those people have to consider that they may have some responsibility when incidents like this occur and may occur in the future.”

Pima County (Arizona) Sheriff Clarence W. Dupnik

There are some who think Dupnik has overstepped his bounds (Fox News thinks so, as well as others on the Right), but I don’t.  Someone has got to tell it like it is. This coming from a law officer in the State with the laxest gun laws in America, and with a history of problems with immigrants and racial discrimination (Arizona was the only state to originally oppose the Martin Luther King Holiday and, as a result, the NFL pulled the Super Bowl from being held in Phoenix where it was scheduled.)

Is Fox News blocking support for 9/11 First Responders?

clipped from www.huffingtonpost.com

Fox News Runs Interference For GOP Obstructionism On 9-11 First Responders Bill

For his sake, I hope Fox News anchor Dave Briggs still has a job in 2011.

The reason I’m not sure Briggs is long for the Fox News world is because during his report this weekend about the fate of the 9-11 first responders bill, which Republicans recently blocked in a naked bout of obstructionism, Briggs committed an unspeakable sin: He told the truth.

Specifically, Briggs actually pointed out that filibustering Republicans purposefully stood in the way of the James Zadroga 9/11 Health and Compensation Act of 2010, designed to aid and compensate first responders who have suffered from respiratory disease following their heroic efforts on the morning of the Sept. 11.
Here was Briggs on Sunday morning:

How maddening has it been watching this — watching the, in particular, the Senate Republicans recently holding up a vote that would give health coverage to thousands of your peers?

blog it

Now it looks like the 2 New York Senators are going to try to put this bill through again, somewhat cut down. Will the Republicans hold it up again with a filibuster? Remember that the House already approved this with a 100 vote plurality. Blocking it has been merely a political gambit.

We’ll have to see if it gets through before Christmas. It SHOULD if there are any morals left in Congress.

From Yahoo News: Keith Richards disses Mike Huckabee’s guitar skills

clipped from news.yahoo.com
Mike Huckabee has made no secret of his status as a Keith Richards superfan. As one of his final acts as governor of Arkansas, Huckabee pardoned the Rolling Stones guitarist for a 1975 reckless driving conviction in the state.
That’s why this might sting a little, Governor.
In his new autobiography, “Life,” Richards kicks off Chapter 1 with a retelling of his infamous run-in with Arkansas police officers, who’d pulled him over for driving while under the influence. The band’s attorney, an Arkansas native, got Richards off with a slap on the wrist: a misdemeanor reckless driving charge, even though the car Richards was driving was also full of drugs. The charge, Richards writes, ended up being “nothing more than a parking ticket.”
That leads him to conclude that Huckabee’s 2006 pardon was unnecessary. “There was nothing to pardon,” Richards writes.
Governor Huckabee also thinks of himself as a guitar player,” Richards writes. “I think he even has a band.”
blog it

Huckabee, who still plays bass in a band called Capital Offense, told the Arkansas Democrat-Gazette in ’06 that he pardoned Richards after meeting him backstage at a Stones concert. Richards, he said, brought up the arrest, joking that he hoped the cops weren’t still looking for him. Huckabee said he offered to take care of it, which he ultimately did in hopes of giving Richards something “positive” to remember about Arkansas. 

It doesn’t seem as though Huckabee’s ploy worked, however. There’s nothing worse than an aspiring rocker learning that his idol has kissed him off with the words, “I think he even has a band.”

Now is the time to get Glenn Beck into an Institution…and off the air.

Glenn Beck

Beck came out with outrageous attacks against Liberal millionaire George Soros this week… and Fox News continues to support him. Is this because a pile of conservative viewers actually BELIEVE HIM? Jeez, I hope not.This from Alex Pareene in Salon (there’s more in the article… go in and read it.):

clipped from www.salon.com

DAVOS/SWITZERLAND, 27JAN10 - George Soros, Cha...
George Soros

Beck aired a series of shameless attacks on George Soros that seemed ripped from the pages of the Protocols of the Elders of Zion.

The message? Financier and philanthropist George Soros is a “puppet master” secretly at the center of a vast conspiracy that aims to destroy our economy and take over the nation through deceit.

The proof? A lot of selectively edited quotes, wild innuendo and the fact that Soros “collapsed regimes” in “four other countries.”
Beck blatantly flirted with classic anti-Semitic tropes, knowing he’d be called on it but confident his friends would have his back. His taunting response to criticism: If he’s a lying anti-Semite, why would Rupert Murdoch allow him on the air?

But the craziest bit of the entire thing came when Glenn Beck accused Soros — a 14-year-old Jew in Budapest attempting, during the war, to survive the Holocaust — of collaborating with the Nazis and “helping send the Jews to the death camps.” Yes, that happened. Repeatedly.

blog it

Even Bill Kristol opposes MSNBC’s Olbermann Action…

This from William Kristol… and who is more Conservative?:

MSNBC’s suspension of Keith Olbermann is ludicrous.

First, he donated money to candidates he liked. He didn’t take money, or favors, in a way that influenced his reporting.

Second, he’s not a reporter. It’s an opinion show. If Olbermann wants to put his money where his mouth is, more power to him.

Third, GE, the corporate parent of MSNBC, gives money to political organizations. GE executives and, I’m sure, NBC executives give money. Why can’t Olbermann?

Perhaps Olbermann violated NBC News “policy and standards.” But NBC doesn’t have real news standards for MSNBC—otherwise the channel wouldn’t exist. It’s a little strange to get all high and mighty now.

But there’s now a Republican House, and perhaps GE is trying to curry favor by dumping Olbermann?

Republicans of the world, show you believe in the free expression of opinion! Tell the crony corporatists at NBC—keep Keith!

Rachel Maddow: Bring Back Olbermann…

Here’s Rachel’s comment in full from her show last night (which, I’ll admit, I didn’t watch since I won’t watch MSNBC until Keith is reinstated… I picked this up on Mediaite.com):

You may have heard today that my friend and colleague Keith Olbermann was temporarily suspended from his job hosting Countdown on this network, because he made three personal political donations to candidates in this last election cycle. The reason that resulted in Keith’s suspension is that, here at MSNBC, there is an explicit employee rule against hosts making contributions like that. You can do it if you ask in advance, and if management tells you ‘okay.’ That’s what I understand happened with our morning show host’s political donations in 2006 under previous management. But if you don’t ask in advance for an exemption from the rule, you are more bound by the rule. For the record, the rule applies to us hosts here at MSNBC and NBC News staff. CNBC is not under NBC News, so CNBC staffers are not bound by the same thing.

I understand this rule. I understand what it means to break this rule. I believe that everyone should face the same treatment under this rule. I also personally believe that the point has been made and that we should have Keith back hosting Countdown. Here’s the larger point though. That’s going mysteriously missing, from all the right-wing cackling and the beltway, old-media cluck cluck clucking about this. This is what I think is missing.

Let this incident lay to rest forever the facile, never true, bullpucky, lazy conflation of Fox News and what the rest of us do for a living. I know everyone likes to say ‘Oh, that’s cable news, that’s all the same, Fox and MSNBC, mirror images of each other. Let this lay that to rest forever. Hosts on Fox raise money on the air for Republican candidates. They endorse them explicitly, they use their Fox News profile to headline fundraisers; heck, there are multiple people being paid by Fox News to essentially run for office as Republican candidates, If you count not just their hosts but their contributors, you are looking at a significant portion of the whole line up of Republican presidential contenders for 2012, they can do that because there is no rule against that as Fox, they run as a political operation, we’re not.

Yes, Keith’’s a liberal and so am I, and there are other people on this network and their political views are shared with you, our beloved viewers. But we are not a political operation, Fox is. We are a news operation. And the rules around here are how you know that. Before it was politically safe to do it, Keith Olbermann attracted the ire of the right wing and a lot of others besides when he brought to light and raged against what he saw as the errors and sins of the previous presidential administration. Keith was also the one who brought to light Fox News’ water carrying role for the Bush administration, he was one who point-of-view journalism posed and put exclamation points on the problems in the political operation disguised as a news network model embraced by the guys across the street at Fox.

Now weirdly, it is Keith who is illustrating the difference between what he does on TV, what we do here at MSNBC and what goes on across the street. Good night.

Polls in the East will be closing in a couple of hours…

…and then the television chatter will begin, especially on CNN, MSNBC and FOXnews. All of these stations started blabbering early today, pushing the polls and debating possible upsets and surprises. I’m not sure there will be any surprises, but that’s me. It would sure be nice if there WAS a surprise… like the Dems kept control of both the House and Senate, the Tea Party Crazies get voted down, or voter turnout meets no one’s expectations.

I’ll tell you one thing, this election season has made me much more of a Liberal (and I didn’t say “Progressive”.) But that’s me… I usually side with people who seem to be meeting a real challenge. Tomorrow I’ll be posting to this blog results and comments and guesses as to the future… then we can start working on 2012.

As of now, I’m taking the night off. See you all tomorrow.