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Have you ever heard of Neal Boortz?

Avoid This Creep

Waiting for C-Span to start broadcasting the House debate on raising the Debt Ceiling, I found the political station showing something called The Media Research Center “Dishonors Awards” (if you aren’t aware of the MRC, it was started by the far right-wing creepiness pushing “celebrity”, Brent Bozell). At the point I tuned it in, this program, which is aimed at insulting and ridiculing anyone on the left (or even the center, it seems), someone named Neal Boortz, who, it seems is some kind of radio talk show person who has been working, by his statement, for 40 years. He very easily mocked every talk show host, radio or television, who didn’t agree with extreme right politics.

As he claimed that people like Keith Olbermann, Bob Schiefer (see what I mean about “center”) and Tavis Smiley lied about Tea Party members who have been documented as insulting, spitting at and yelling accusations at Democratic Congressmen and Senators, he managed to use more words that I don’t even want to reproduce here… but which could be seen as a boomerang coming back to criticize himself.

As I said, I have never heard of this Neal Boortz before and, since I don’t listen to extreme right wing radio, I hope I never have to again. If he is one of your heroes, then put his statue up on your shelf with Rush Limbaugh‘s and Glenn Beck‘s and have a joyous worship service. I’m going to go wash my hands and get rid of the poop the TV clicker transferred by bringing in this program. C-Span should be ashamed.

I just joined The Other 98%… you should, too

Here are their stats:

We are…

Hard-working Americans who are tired of seeing CEOs and lobbyists hijack our democracy to serve themselves at the expense of everyone else.

Middle class Americans who for decades have dutifully paid our taxes while watching the biggest corporations and very wealthiest Americans pay a smaller and smaller share (50% less since 1950).

Citizens tired of borrowing trillions from China, mortgaging our children’s futures in order to give handouts to the wealthiest 2%.

Citizens tired of being ignored amidst the media fascination with the antics and misinformation of the Tea Party, a fringe 2% which distracts us from solving the very real problems facing America.

Disenfranchised Tea Partiers outraged about Wall Street bailouts and the unfairness of a system that gives massive tax breaks to global corporations and the very rich while leaving the rest of us to pick up the tab.

We are all of us…

No matter what creed, color, religion or trade, we’re all in this together. Everyone — from the single mom just scraping by to the richest man on the hill — share a common interest in keeping America the best country on Earth.

We are often too busy to be heard, but we are everywhere. And we are hopeful.

Join us.

I found them when I saw this comparison of George Soros with the Koch Brothers at The Political Carnival:

Does Palin Know What “Blood Libel” Means?

Sarah Palin at a campaign rally in Raleigh, NC.

Sarah Palin

It is even more offensive a term in a public message when we consider that Gabrielle Giffords is Jewish. I certainly wonder what the Half Gov. of Alaska was thinking here… did someone write this speech for her (say Glenn Beck?) or are these her own words?

Clipped from Taegan Goddard‘s Political Wire:

clipped from politicalwire.com
One particular line in Sarah Palin‘s statement on the Arizona shootings has created an uproar:
 

“But, especially within hours of a tragedy unfolding, journalists and pundits should not manufacture a blood libel that serves only to incite the very hatred and violence they purport to condemn. That is reprehensible.”

 

The term “blood libel” usually refers to the false accusation that Jews use the blood of Christian children in some of their religious rituals.
While it’s not entirely clear what Palin intended, it’s possible she was trying to use dog whistle politics to speak to her religious base who often feel they’re an oppressed minority.

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.

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So the final score has Stewart’s Rally outdrawing Glenn Beck’s…

Now, if only each of these attendees convince ten non-attendees to vote progressive….
clipped from www.huffingtonpost.com
The Rally to Restore Sanity has come to a close, and crowd estimates are beginning to trickle in. It is clear that a huge number of people attended the event (see photos from the rally here), but the calculations vary among sources.
According to CBS News, 215,000 people showed up for the rally on Saturday. By comparison, CBS estimated that 87,000 — just 40% of the Sanity Rally estimation — attended Glenn Beck’s “Restoring Honor” rally in August.
 

Canada’s CTV, meanwhile, wrote that 250,000 people were estimated to have partaken in the Rally to Restore Sanity.

Earlier on Saturday, Brian Stelter tweeted that the Parks Service approximated that “well over 200,000” attended Saturday’s rally.

For full coverage of the rally, check out HuffPost’s comprehensive live blog of the event, including videos, photos and more.
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Tomorrow is the Rally… are you going to D.C.?

Tomorrow will be the Rally to Restore Sanity and/or Fear that Jon Stewart and Stephen Colbert are pulling off on the National Mall. What seems to have stated as a satirical copy of the Glenn Beck Rally to Restore Honor, all of a sudden the Stewart/Colbert gathering is starting to be taken seriously… at least 8 commenters in this morning’s NY Times, various television coverage pieces both Nationally and on the DC local stations, Time Magazine… and on it goes.

Speaking of Time Magazine, this from their article on the Rally is why the two comedians are holding it:

Based on what Stewart and Colbert have said, though, the focus of the rally is the ugliness of political debate: the Hitler comparisons, the head-stomping, the conspiracy theories, the assumption that your opponent is also your enemy and must always be assumed to be acting in bad faith. In announcing the rally, Stewart said that the maybe 15% or 20% of Americans who act this way dominate the conversation and the media, crowding out the other 80% or so, who could probably agree on reasonable compromises but don’t have time to obsess on partisan warfare. To paraphrase Yeats, the worst are full of passionate intensity; the best “have shit to do.”

Read more at: http://tunedin.blogs.time.com/2010/10/29/how-political-is-the-rally-for-sanity/#ixzz13l8xjdhJ

So, this is a way to get ready for Halloween, let’s say. But is it going to have any effect on the election next week? Perhaps a little in the local area. I’m not sure about it’s National Effect (although it is interesting that people like Oprah Winfrey are providing tickets to get groups of people there and Arianna Huffington is providing buses from New York. These are politically “with it” celebrities and they give a distinct mark of reality to the whole thing.

I’m going to watch it from the confines of my living room and television, but I’ll be there in spirit. I’m curious to see what the actual body count is, however.

Guest Article: Obama Will Triumph — So Will America, By Frank Schaeffer

This appeared in OpEdNews today:

September 30, 2010

Obama Will Triumph — So Will America

By Frank Schaeffer

Before he’d served even one year President Obama lost the support of the easily distracted left and engendered the white hot rage of the hate-filled right. But some of us, from all walks of life and ideological backgrounds — including this white, straight, 57-year-old, former religious right wing agitator, now progressive writer and (given my background as the son of a famous evangelical leader) this unlikely Obama supporter — are sticking with our President. Why?– because he is succeeding.
We faithful Obama supporters still trust our initial impression of him as a great, good and uniquely qualified man to lead us.
Obama’s steady supporters will be proved right. Obama’s critics will be remembered as easily panicked and prematurely discouraged at best and shriveled hate mongers at worst.

The Context of the Obama Presidency

Not since the days of the rise of fascism in Europe, the Second World War and the Depression has any president faced more adversity. Not since the Civil War has any president led a more bitterly divided country. Not since the introduction of racial integration has any president faced a more consistently short-sighted and willfully ignorant opposition from both the right and left.

As the President’s poll numbers have fallen so has his support from some on the left that were hailing him as a Messiah not long ago; all those lefty websites and commentators that were falling all over themselves on behalf of our first black president during the 2008 election.

The left’s lack of faith has become a self-fulfilling “prophecy”– snipe at the President and then watch the poll numbers fall and then pretend you didn’t have anything to do with it!

Here is what Obama faced when he took office– none of which was his fault:

# An ideologically divided country to the point that America was really two countries
# Two wars; one that was mishandled from the start, the other that was unnecessary and immoral
# The worst economic crisis since the depression
# America’s standing in the world at the lowest point in history
# A country that had been misled into accepting the use of torture of prisoners of war
# A health care system in free fall
# An educational system in free fall
# A global environmental crisis of history-altering proportions (about which the Bush administration and the Republicans had done nothing)
# An impasse between culture warriors from the right and left
# A huge financial deficit inherited from the terminally irresponsible Bush administration”
And those were only some of the problems sitting on the President’s desk!

“Help” from the Right?

What did the Republicans and the religious right, libertarians and half-baked conspiracy theorists — that is what the Republicans were reduced to by the time Obama took office — do to “help” our new president (and our country) succeed? They claimed that he wasn’t a real American, didn’t have an American birth certificate, wasn’t born here, was secretly a Muslim, was white-hating “racist”, was secretly a communist, was actually the Anti-Christ, (!) and was a reincarnation of Hitler and wanted “death panels” to kill the elderly!

They not-so-subtly called for his assassination through the not-so-subtle use of vile signs held at their rallies and even a bumper sticker quoting Psalm 109:8. They organized “tea parties” to sound off against imagined insults and all government in general and gathered to howl at the moon. They were led by insurance industry lobbyists and deranged (but well financed) “commentators” from Glenn Beck to Rush Limbaugh.

The utterly discredited Roman Catholic bishops teamed up with the utterly discredited evangelical leaders to denounce a president who was trying to actually do something about the poor, the environment, to diminish the number of abortions through compassionate programs to help women and to care for the sick! And in Congress the Republican leadership only knew one word: “No!”

In other words the reactionary white, rube, uneducated, crazy American far right,combined with the educated but obtuse neoconservative war mongers, religious right shills for big business, libertarian Fed Reserve-hating gold bug, gun-loving crazies, child-molesting acquiescent “bishops”, frontier loons and evangelical gay-hating flakes found one thing to briefly unite them: their desire to stop an uppity black man from succeeding at all costs!

“Help” from the Left?

What did the left do to help their newly elected president? Some of them excoriated the President because they disagreed with the bad choices he was being forced to make regarding a war in Afghanistan that he’d inherited from the worst president in modern history!

Others stood up and bravely proclaimed that the President’s economic policies had “failed” before the President even instituted them! Others said that since all gay rights battles had not been fully won within virtually minuets of the President taking office, they’d been “betrayed”! (Never mind that Obama’s vocal support to the gay community is stronger than any other president’s has been. Never that mind he signed a new hate crimes law!)

Those that had stood in transfixed legions weeping with beatific emotion on election night turned into an angry mob saying how “disappointed” they were that they’d not all immediately been translated to heaven the moment Obama stepped into the White House! Where was the “change”? Contrary to their expectations they were still mere mortals!

And the legion of young new supporters was too busy texting to pay attention for longer than a nanosecond” “Governing”?! What the hell does that world, uh, like mean?”

The President’s critics left and right all had one thing in common: impatience laced with little-to-no sense of history (let alone reality) thrown in for good measure. Then of course there were the white, snide know-it-all commentators/talking heads who just couldn’t imagine that maybe, just maybe they weren’t as smart as they thought they were and certainly not as smart as their president. He hadn’t consulted them, had he? So he must be wrong!

The Obama critics’ ideological ideas defined their idea of reality rather than reality defining their ideas–say, about what is possible in one year in office after the hand that the President had been dealt by fate, or to be exact by the American idiot nation that voted Bush into office” twice!

Meanwhile back in the reality-based community in just 12 short months — President Obama:

#Continued the draw down the misbegotten war in Iraq

(But that wasn’t good enough for his critics)

#Thoughtfully and decisively picked the best of several bad choices regarding the war in Afghanistan

(But that wasn’t good enough for his critics)

#Gave a major precedent-setting speech supporting gay rights

(But that wasn’t good enough for his critics)

#Restored America’s image around the globe

(But that wasn’t good enough for his critics)

#Banned torture of American prisoners

(But that wasn’t good enough for his critics)

#Stopped the free fall of the American economy

(But that wasn’t good enough for his critics)

#Put the USA squarely back in the bilateral international community

(But that wasn’t good enough for his critics)

#Put the USA squarely into the middle of the international effort to halt global warming

(But that wasn’t good enough for his critics)

#Stood up for educational reform

(But that wasn’t good enough for his critics)

#Won a Nobel peace prize

(But that wasn’t good enough for his critics)

#Moved the trial of terrorists back into the American judicial system of checks and balances

(But that wasn’t good enough for his critics)

#Did what had to be done to start the slow, torturous and almost impossible process of health care reform that 7 presidents had failed to even begin

(But that wasn’t good enough for his critics)

#Responded to hatred from the right and left with measured good humor and patience

(But that wasn’t good enough for his critics)

#Stopped the free fall of job losses

(But that wasn’t good enough for his critics)

#Showed immense personal courage in the face of an armed and dangerous far right opposition that included the sort of disgusting people that show up at public meetings carrying loaded weapons and carrying Timothy McVeigh-inspired signs about the “blood of tyrants” needing to “water the tree of liberty””

(But that wasn’t good enough for his critics)

#Showed that he could not only make the tough military choices but explain and defend them brilliantly

(But that wasn’t good enough for his critics)

Other than those “disappointing” accomplishments — IN ONE YEAR — President Obama “failed”! Other than that he didn’t “live up to expectations”!

Who actually has failed…

…are the Americans that can’t see the beginning of a miracle of national rebirth right under their jaded noses. Who failed are the smart ass ideologues of the left and right who began rooting for this President to fail so that they could be proved right in their dire and morbid predictions. Who failed are the movers and shakers behind our obscenely dumb news cycles that have turned “news” into just more stupid entertainment for an entertainment-besotted infantile country.

Here’s the good news: President Obama is succeeding without the help of his lefty “supporters” or hate-filled Republican detractors!

The Future Looks Good

After Obama has served two full terms, (and he will), after his wisdom in moving deliberately and cautiously with great subtlety on all fronts — with a canny and calculating eye to the possible succeeds, (it will), after the economy is booming and new industries are burgeoning, (they will be), after the doomsayers are all proved not just wrong but silly: let the record show that not all Americans were panicked into thinking the sky was falling.

Just because we didn’t get everything we wanted in the first short and fraught year Obama was in office not all of us gave up. Some of us stayed the course. And we will be proved right.

Merry Christmas (or Happy Holidays, depending on your point of view) to everyone!

PS. if you agree that Obama is shaping up to be a great president please pass this on and hang in there!

And I am happy to pass it on! – Bill T

Author’s Bio: Frank Schaeffer is a New York Times best selling author. He is a survivor of both polio and an evangelical/fundamentalist childhood, an acclaimed writer who overcame severe dyslexia, a home-schooled and self-taught documentary movie director, a feature film director and producer of four low budget Hollywood features Frank has described as “pretty terrible.” Frank’s nonfiction includes “Keeping Faith-A Father-Son Story About Love and the United States Marine Corps” and AWOL-The Unexcused Absence of America’s Upper Classes From Military Service and How It Hurts Our Country.” Frank’s latest book is, “Crazy for God: How I Grew Up As One of the Elect, Helped Found the Religious Right and Lived to Take All (or Almost All) of It Back.”

Looks like Oct. 30 will be a great Saturday to go to DC…

If you watched The Daily Show or the Colbert Report last night, you know why.

If you didn’t. check out the HuffPo article below:

clipped from www.huffingtonpost.com
Jon Stewart and Steven Colbert will march together on Washington.

Or against each other in Washington.

Either way, expect plenty of Comedy Central fans to show up on October 30 when Stewart’s “Rally To Restore Sanity” will meet Colbert’s “March To Keep Fear Alive” in the nation’s capital.

The duo have been hinting at a major announcement for several episodes in a mock response to Glenn Beck’s own “Restoring Honor” rally that was held this year on the anniversary of a famous Martin Luther King speech at the same monument. There’s no indication that the announced get-together is a joke, though. Both comedians are telling their audiences to book hotel rooms now (though for different reasons, as you’ll see).

“It’ll be like being in a chat room,” Stewart explained. “But real.”

Stewart punctuated his announcement on the earlier program with a homemade-looking banner reading, “Take It Down A Notch For America.”
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Stephen Colbert Announces a TRUTHINESS RALLY

BE THERE!

I WILL!

Hard to believe… interviews of Beck Rally attendees and why they were there.

An appropriate quote on You Tube where I found this revealing video of interviews on the Mall:

“When facism comes to America it will be wrapped in the flag and carrying a cross.”

– Sinclair Lewis

American Idiocy Gathers at Lincoln’s Memorial

In about 90 minutes from the time I’m entering this, Glenn Beck will be starting his rally on the anniversary of Martin Luther King‘s “I Have a Dream” speech and the Teabag/conservative types will work for a return to the white America of the Reagan days.

This is a good day to keep the television off and read a good book.

Turn Off FOX…

Many of us already know that Fox News is biased — but it’s actually much worse than that. For years they have used lies, distortions, and race-baiting to divide this country. Recently, it’s gotten downright dangerous. Earlier this summer, a heavily armed man got into a gun fight with police after he was pulled over on his way to kill people at the Tides Foundation[1] — an obscure non-profit that Glenn Beck regularly demonizes on his Fox News TV show.[2]

Fox News is bad news for America — and it spreads, and is legitimized, partly through TVs in public places.

That’s why I’ve joined the TurnOffFox campaign — the first part of a larger campaign to diminish the influence of Fox. It’s about educating people about Fox and getting it turned off in stores, restaurants, and other public places.

Will you join me? It takes just a moment to declare your own household “Fox free”, and at the same time appeal to public establishments in your community to stop playing Fox. And you’ll get a FREE Turn Off Fox sticker when you do. Click here:

http://colorofchange.org/turnofffox/?id=2734-1148631

No other news organization that’s considered legitimate consistently wages smear campaigns based on lies and race-baiting. But for years Fox News has done exactly that, and the pattern has only gotten worse since Barack Obama entered national politics.

Here are just a few examples:

— A frequent Fox guest, Jesse Lee Peterson, said that the majority of Black people have poor moral character, and cited “what they did to the dome” after Hurricane Katrina as evidence.[3] Peterson has also used his platform on Fox to claim that 90% of Black people are racists — against Whites.[4]

— In a case of naked race-baiting, Fox host Glenn Beck called President Obama a “racist” who had a “deep-seated hatred for White people or the White culture.”[5] Earlier that week, Beck claimed that the President’s health insurance reform proposals were a form of “reparations” designed to “settle old racial scores.”[6]

— Fox host John Stossel argued that the public accommodations section of the Civil Rights Act — which prevents businesses from discriminating based on race, sex, and other factors — should be repealed.[7]

— Fox News hosts Bill O’Reilly and Sean Hannity were the first to air deceptively edited and incomplete video of Shirley Sherrod’s remarks to the NAACP.[8] The video made it seem like Sherrod was confessing to using her position at the USDA to discriminate against White farmers, when she was really talking about the importance of overcoming prejudice. Sherrod lost her job over this misrepresentation, which Fox enthusiastically repeated without seeking the facts. Fox has since tried to pretend it had nothing to do with this smear — but Fox is the number one reason these kinds of distortions and smears have any part in our national dialogue.

The examples above aren’t even a tenth of Fox’s vicious lies and smears, and over the years they’ve just gotten more brazen.

The goal of Turn Off Fox is to reduce the number of public TVs showing Fox News, while spreading the word about Fox’s poison (and how it works) to those who don’t know.

Signing up for the campaign is just the first step. We make it easy for you to tell us about businesses playing Fox. If you’re willing to talk with them, we’ll provide you with straightforward materials that explain why they shouldn’t be a party to what Fox is doing. And if there are businesses you know that want to tell the world they would never play Fox, you can help them declare themselves a “Fox-free zone.”

As businesses Turn off Fox and stand up as Fox Free, and as we encourage our friends and family to do the same, we’ll help make clear, to people across the country, what Fox is about. And we’ll reduce their ability to do harm.

Please join me in signing up for the TurnOffFox campaign:

http://colorofchange.org/turnofffox/?id=2734-1148631

Thanks.

References

1. http://bit.ly/a5F7kW
2. http://mediamatters.org/research/201007290032
3. http://mediamatters.org/research/200510030005
4. http://bit.ly/c060C0
5. http://mediamatters.org/research/200907300019
6. http://mediamatters.org/mmtv/200907230040
7. http://mediamatters.org/mmtv/201005200033
8. http://mediamatters.org/blog/201007200060

OK… A Quote I Couldn’t Resist

(picked up at All Hat, No Cattle)

“James Cameron, who directed ‘Avatar,’ is in a feud with Glenn Beck, because Cameron called him a mad man. The two are very different. One makes millions creating fictional stories, and the other is James Cameron.”

–Craig Ferguson

If you didn’t see Jon Stewart imitate Glenn Beck last night…

… you missed a comic masterpiece.

Go HERE to see it. Thank me later.

Media maters has a lot on the Fox News vs. White House controversy.

Let’s take a look, first, at months of Fox News’ comments on “opinion shows” and “reporting” on “news shows” as it pertains to the Obama Administration:

That done, here is what Eric Burns, CEO of Media Matters, presented this morning on HuffPo (I’m reproducing the whole thing):

Fox News Channel is twisting American politics in an unprecedented way, and too many members of the press still aren’t getting it.

The White House has exposed Fox News for what it is: not a news organization, but a partisan political entity that is waging a war aimed at destroying the Obama administration and its progressive agenda. Fox’s Glenn Beck said so himself last Friday, predicting that he would soon “take the administration down.”

Despite such unambiguous proclamations and the truths about Fox that they reveal, many mainstream reporters and commentators, and even some progressive ones, have spent their time effectively circling the wagons around Fox by focusing their attention not on the network, but on the Administration’s comments about it. The entire matter has largely been treated as a political game — should the White House have so bluntly criticized the press, or will the tactic backfire?

“The Obama administration’s war on Fox News is dumb on multiple levels,” wrote Ruth Marcus of The Washington Post. “The Obama administration really needs to get over itself,” added John Nichols of The Nation. “[T]he motivations of the White House are clear,” wrote Politico’s Josh Gerstein and Mike Allen. “Fire up a liberal base disillusioned with Obama by attacking the hated Fox. Try to keep a critical news outlet off-balance.” That same article quoted Project for Excellence in Journalism director Tom Rosenstiel: “You should beware of politicians playing press critic.”

All of this completely misses the point. The issue is not whether it was a good idea politically for the White House to say that the emperor has no clothes. The issue is that the emperor actually has no clothes. In other words, the administration’s comments about Fox News aren’t the story. Fox News is the story.

And yet, during a recent press conference, ABC’s Jake Tapper asked Robert Gibbs how Fox News — “one of our sister organizations,” as he put it — is different from any other network. His question indicates the pervasive unwillingness among members of the media to officially kick Fox News to the curb of the press club. By legitimizing Fox News as a news organization, reporters and commentators are enabling the network to continue conducting a massive conservative political campaign under the guise of journalism. In the process, they are permitting Fox News to dominate the national discussion by spreading smears and lies — smears and lies that become conventional wisdom. They are also defending an organization that has nothing but contempt for journalistic standards — hence undermining their own profession and the public interest at the same time.

Criticizing Fox News has nothing to do with criticizing the press. Fox News is not a news organization. It is the de facto leader of the GOP, and it is long past time that it was treated as such by our nation’s media.

The evidence supporting such a reality is overwhelming. To begin with, Fox News CEO Roger Ailes has described his station’s confrontation with the Obama administration as “the Alamo.” Fox News senior vice president Bill Shine said Fox was “the voice of opposition.” In other words, the entire operation has an explicit political agenda, not just a few hosts. There is no separation between Fox News’ “opinion” programming and its “news” programs. Bret Baier’s Special Report, the closest show Fox News has to a straight newscast, portrays Obama in a negative light 77 percent of the time, according to a recent study by the Center for Media and Public Affairs.

But the story goes well beyond the conservative bias Fox News has historically reflected. Like all major political entities, Fox News is now coordinating grassroots (or, more accurately, astroturf) political activities, lobbying for or against legislation, and fundraising for conservative causes. The network called April’s protests “Fox News Tea Parties.” It encouraged people to attend town halls last summer and then broadcast only the statements of those who opposed Democratic health care proposals. The 9/12 rally in Washington was the work of Beck, who claimed that 1.7 million people showed up (it was actually closer to 70,000). A video soon emerged of one of the station’s producers coaching marchers before a live “report” from the scene.

Fox news routinely implores its audience to call Congress and oppose progressive legislation. Fox’s Dick Morris and Mike Huckabee have both used Fox News airtime to encourage donations to conservative political action committees.

Again, these are unambiguous campaign activities, not the work of a news organization. It is no wonder that Fox’s new website, FoxNation.com, has repeatedly cheered legislative developments it favors as a “Fox Nation Victory!”

Fox News relishes its newfound activism. “The conservative media is winning now,” Bill O’Reilly said on September 17. “They’re damaging the president of the United States.” But the damage Fox News causes isn’t just political. Every day, it undermines serious journalism, misleads millions of Americans, and distorts our national discussion on crucial issues. Fox News represents an attack on democracy itself.

Much of the channel’s “reporting” takes the form of obsessive and factually inaccurate efforts to smear progressive organizations and discredit Obama administration officials. To give you a sense of priorities: over a three-year period, shows hosted by Sean Hannity and Beck mentioned ACORN 1,502 times, saying it was a corruption scandal. By contrast, their programs mentioned Halliburton, KBR, Blackwater, Jack Abramoff, and Bob Ney 109 times combined.

Fox is currently conducting a witch hunt against administration members. After Van Jones resigned, Hannity told a crowd, “We got rid of one, and my job starting tomorrow night is to get rid of every other one.”

Exposing improper conduct is one thing. Inventing it is another. Fox News breathlessly reported claims that an ACORN employee had murdered her husband without confirming the story. It wasn’t true. Similarly, Hannity reported that Department of Education official Kevin Jennings had concealed the “statutory rape” of a high school student. It was soon revealed that the student was 16 at the time (the age of consent), and by his own account had not engaged in sexual activity with his fictitious assailant. Hannity never apologized.

Fake stories like these are what Fox News is built on. Health care reform will create death panels? False. Cass Sunstein believes in mandating that people become organ donors? False. John Holdren advocates for “compulsory abortion and sterilization,” as Hannity put it? False. Fox reported them all as fact — and the list goes on.

Never in American history has a media organization this powerful been so willing to misrepresent reality in order to achieve a political goal. The right-wing press ran a similar campaign targeting Bill Clinton in the 1990s, but for most of that time period, it lacked the national, real-time reach and impact Fox now possessed.

The impact of Fox News’ long campaign of misinformation should concern any citizen. Fox has repeatedly misinformed its viewers on everything from the non-existent connection between Saddam Hussein and Al Qaeda to the contents of health care reform legislation. Such misinformation can have serious consequences, and Fox News should be called out for propagating it.

There is nothing wrong with the White House standing up to its most powerful, unprincipled, and self-declared political opponent, one that clearly started this fight. And beyond politics, there certainly isn’t anything wrong with exposing an organization that unapologetically harms our democracy by poisoning our national discourse with falsehoods on an hourly basis.

The channel knows what it’s up against. “If they repeat this long enough,” said Fox News’ Bernie Goldberg on Monday, “and often enough — that Fox News is not a real news organization, it’s an arm of the national Republican Party, it’s not to be taken seriously — if they say that long enough, it might become part of bloodstream of the American culture.”

Fox News’ own media analyst got the story right, while so many others in the media are still getting it wrong. For once, the channel was actually breaking news, even if it is merely the simple truth.

Now that you have looked at Burns’ commentary, and seen the montage of Fox News’ slants on the Obama Administration, you can form your own opinion. I tend to agree with Media Matters, but I think the folks in the Obama Administration have to modify their approach a little. Just trying to cut Fox out of the game will actually encourage Fox News to treat itself… and the other networks to treat them… as the main news story when there are so many other things to cover.

Quote of the Day

In aiding Fox News in their outrageous attempt to smear President Obama for advocating (and going to Copenhagen to support) Chicago as the site for the 2018 Olympics, we got the following the other night:

“Vancouver lost, how much was it? they lost a billion dollars when they had the Olympics.”

– Glenn Beck, special Conservative asshole

The reality, of course, is that the Vancouver Olympics doesn’t happen until 2010.

Quote of the Day

“The danger of today’s version of the mythical homespun aw-shucks-TV-totalitarian-Lonesome-Rhodes Glenn Beck is summed up by remarks today in which he claims that a revolution has begun in this country — a ‘stealing of America in the guise of an election’ — and his repeated insistence that the President is a Marxist… The comfort of today’s mythical homespun aw-shucks-TV-totalitarian-Lonesome-Rhodes Glenn Beck is that everyday he gives away the essential truth that he is an idiot.”

– Keith Olbermann

You can watch the video of Keith’s whole piece on Glenn Beck HERE.

A Second Quote of the Day

Couldn’t resist.

“I’ve got facts on my side, you’ve got Glenn Beck on your side.”

– Congressman Rick Larsen (D-WA) to a Town hall wingnut