UPDATE (7:05 PM): Color of Change's executive director responds. See his response, and my response to his response, below the fold.
Reading through material from the "Turn Off Fox" campaign, one gets the very clear impression that the folks at the Fox News Channel are bald-faced liars. They have "no regard for the truth," and use "half-truths" to push a "stream of misinformation" and "distortions of the truth."
Turn Off Fox is a project started by Color of Change, the far-left political organization founded by neo-Marxist and black liberation theologist Van Jones.
Despite Turn Off Fox's righteous indignation, the same document making the above accusations pushes blatant misinformation about both Fox and the Tea Party movement. Got that? The Turn Off Fox campaign wants FNC to tell the truth, and uses demonstrable falsehoods to bolster its case.
The document accusing Fox of pushing misinformation claims that Bill O'Reilly got former USDA official Shirley Sherrod fired, and claims that Tea Party protesters shouted racial slurs and spit on black congressmen outside the Capitol. Both claims have been thoroughly debunked.
It is vile bitterness put on display for America every night of the week - even though not as many people tune in as they do to his competitor. But, still Keith Olbermann seems to obsess over the Fox News Channel.
On the Aug. 24 broadcast of his show "Countdown," Olbermann demonstrated just how sensible the so-called "professional left" can be when criticizing things they perceive to be antithetical to their world view. At the top of his "Worst Persons in the World" segment, viewers were treated to a bonus attack on Fox News, who Olbermann mockingly tried to portray as a sponsor of the show's segment.
"Get out your pitchforks and torches -- time for tonight's worst persons in the world brought to you by Fox News Channel: Official propaganda arm of Glenn Beck's ‘I Have a Scheme' speech, book tour rollout and 100 percent guaranteed in advance miracle. Fabricating and promoting events and then covering them as if they were news since 1996," Olbermann said. "I wish there was a joke here. There isn't. Fox News Channel: Making [expletive] up since 1996."
Let it never again be said that no line of attack is too low for Keith Olbermann.
On Tuesday, the MSNBC libtalker distanced himself from comments made the week prior about Fox News host Bill O'Reilly. Olbermann attributed O'Reilly's condemnation of comments about motherhood by actress Jennifer Aniston to the abuse O'Reilly supposedly took as a child.
OIbermann didn't actually say what he was backing away from, but until Tuesday it seemed that almost no line of attack would be too cheap or personal for "Countdown." Some comment must have been really bad for him to actually back away from it, and label it "over the top" on air. The parental abuse line is the only one that seems to fit the mold.
As media members across the fruited plain try to convince skeptical Americans that Feisal Abdul Rauf, the Islamic Imam behind the Ground Zero mosque, is a moderate cleric, most have totally ignored an interview that he gave on CBS's "60 Minutes" less than three weeks after the 9/11 attacks.
To demonstrate just how wrong the press are about this man, Fox News's Bill O'Reilly played the relevant portions of that segment on Wednesday's "Factor."
As you watch this clip, it will be quite obvious why you likely have never seen it before (video follows with partial transcript):
Late in the 7:00AM ET hour of Monday's CBS Early Show, correspondent Michelle Miller reported on the "war of words" between actress Jennifer Aniston and Fox News host Bill O'Reilly over women having children without a man. Miller remarked that Aniston had "made a seemingly simple comment supporting the concept," while the "conservative" O'Reilly "slammed the actress" for doing so.
The report included sound bites of O'Reilly: "That's destructive to our society....She's throwing a message out to 12-year-olds and 13-year-olds, okay, that 'hey, you don't need the guy. You don't need the dad." Miller followed up by noting: "It's not the first time a political conservative has lashed out at an actress for supporting single moms. In a 1992 speech, Dan Quayle questioned the choices of fictional character Murphy Brown."
She concluded the story by touting: "Aniston fired back the latest shot at O'Reilly, telling People magazine, quote, 'Of course the ideal scenario for parenting is obviously two parents of a mature age, but for those who've not yet found their Bill O'Reilly, I'm just glad science has provided a few other options.'"
After Miller's report, fill-in co-host Chris Wragge jokingly declared: "Jennifer Aniston, how dare you?" He then argued: "I mean, it's just a movie, right, at this point? I understand, I guess, both sides, but I think it's a little much about-" Fill-in co-host Erica Hill interjected: "Much ado about nothing."
Rachel Maddow on Friday highly-edited a video from the previous evening's "O'Reilly Factor" in order to make the Fox News host look racist.
For some background, Bill O'Reilly wrote a syndicated column Friday in which he chastized Maddow and David Letterman for "without a shred of evidence" claiming on CBS's "Late Show" Tuesday that FNC intentionally runs stories about "scary black people" in order to frighten white folks into voting for conservatives.
Maddow responded by calling this "bullpucky," and presented video "evidence" from "Factor" programs to prove that this indeed is what Fox does.
Unfortunately, in the most damning clip, Maddow's minions conveniently edited out that O'Reilly was referring to a recent Gallup poll about how blacks and whites have differing views of President Obama.
Ironically, this came moments after Maddow scolded O'Reilly for airing the edited version of former USDA official Shirley Sherrod on his July 19 program (videos follow with transcripts and commentary):
Bill O'Reilly was certainly pleased with the announcement that Fox News has won a coveted seat position in the White House briefing room.
On Monday's "O'Reilly Factor," the host told guests James Rosen of FNC and Lynn Sweet of the Chicago Sun-Times that he "might be able to sneak down in there" and "sit in the front row."
O'Reilly continued with a devilish grin on his face, "Believe me when I tell you that I will be there sometime down the line, and Glenn Beck might be there, Hannity might be there" (video follows with partial transcript and commentary):
Rick "I play it down the middle" Sanchez didn't disappoint during the first prime-time edition of CNN's Rick's List on Thursday, as he brought his liberal bias against Fox News to the program. When guest Dan Abrams of Mediate accused the anchor of "doing an opinion-based program" on Fox News's coverage of the Shirley Sherrod story, Sanchez denied this and added that he wasn't being ideological [audio clips available here].
The CNN anchor began his criticism of his network's competitor eight minutes into the 8 pm Eastern hour, focusing on Fox News's coverage of the Shirley Sherrod story. Sanchez's focused on Fox News's separation between their news operation and their opinion programming, such as Bill O'Reilly and Sean Hannity's shows, as he gave his version of the timeline of how the network apparently covered the story:
UPDATE (3:20 PM): A couple of quotes below the fold demonstrate just how ideologically diverse critics are who note that Fox played no direct role in Sherrod's resignation. Pundits from the Washington Post and National Review weigh in.
Shirley Sherrod placed the blame for her ouster at Fox News's feet. Hardly surprising. She's a liberal (former) member of a liberal administration. More surprising, given the clear preponderance of facts contradicting this meme, is that much of the media has followed her lead.
Ironically, while a number of mainstream media outlets claim that Fox News is responsible for getting Sherrod to resign, Fox's first call for a resignation, made by Bill O'Reilly just before 9:00 pm on Monday, came roughly an hour after Sherrod had actually resigned.
In other words, Fox News exerted no meaningful pressure on the administration to take any specific actions with regard to Sherrod before the administration took those actions on its own accord. FoxNews.com had run a story earlier (no longer available on its site) displaying Breitbart's video and reporting what were then assumed (erroneously, it turns out) to be the facts of the situation - Sherrod had acted in a condemnable, racist manner.
On Tuesday’s Rachel Maddow Show on MSNBC, as host Maddow complained that a video clip of former USDA official Shirley Sherrod had been edited to make it appear that she currently has a tendency to discriminate against white farmers at USDA – a clip that led to her firing by the Obama administration – the MSNBC host not only incorrectly claimed that FNC coverage of the clip had helped incite her firing, but she also suggested that FNC would never show her side of the story even though, by that time Tuesday night, several FNC shows had already informed viewers of some of the details in Sherrod’s favor. And, in fact, Sherrod had already been forced to resign before the O’Reilly Factor became the first FNC show to report the story of her comments on Monday night, although host Bill O’Reilly at the time did not realize she had already been fired.
Maddow’s show even chose to only present to her viewers clips from FNC that ran Monday and Tuesday morning which portrayed Sherrod’s comments as racist, without airing any of the clips from shows later Tuesday which showed FNC personalities conveying more of her side of the story. As Maddow filled in her viewers on some of the details in Sherrod’s favor, the MSNBC host used such phrases as "you would never know this if you got all your information from Fox News," and, after explaining that Sherrod, in fact, helped the white farmers in question, she added: "That`s what happened – unless, of course, you watch Fox News." FNC had already reported most of those same details hours earlier, and O’Reilly even informed his viewers Tuesday that Sherrod had declined an invitation to appear as a guest on his show, so liberal FNC analyst Alan Colmes appeared in her place.
On Sunday, CBS' Bob Schieffer admitted that he was on vacation the week before he interviewed Attorney General Eric Holder on "Face the Nation," and thus he had not heard the story of the Justice Department dropping the Black Panther voter intimidation case.
Bernie Goldberg believes him – and noted that Schieffer is simply living in the world of the New York Times, like other media elites. "I believe every word he said," Goldberg told Bill O'Reilly on Monday night's "The O'Reilly Factor."
"And the reason he doesn't know anything about the story...is because the story wasn't in the New York Times. That is the only world Bob Schieffer and all the other Bob Schieffers live in."
In recent weeks, Fox News Channel has repeatedly updated viewers on the controversy behind the Obama administration Justice Department’s decision to drop civil action initiated during the Bush administration against New Black Panthers (NBP) members who were caught on video engaging in voter intimidation outside a polling place in Philadelphia on Election Day 2008. Even though DOJ won cases against three defendants by default when the NBP members refused to appear in court, punishment for two members was not pursued at all while the injunction against the third member was reduced to two years during which he can still visit polling stations in nearly all of country as long as it is outside Philadelphia.
But on Monday’s Countdown show, as he erroneously assumed that the FNC stories were based on the issue of criminal prosecution, MSNBC host Keith Olbermann absurdly claimed that FNC’s entire premise for its coverage had been debunked as he picked up on reports by the left-wing American Prospect magazine which recounted the Bush-era Justice Department decision not to pursue criminal charges.
Olbermann referred to FNC’s pursuit of the New Black Panther voter intimidation story as a "continuous fake ‘newsgasm’ over there at Fox, drumming up paranoia among their more racist viewers." The Countdown host proclaimed: "There is, as it proves, one huge flaw in this latest Fox-driven conspiracy. The decision not to prosecute was not made by Obama, nor the Obama administration, nor the Attorney General, Mr. Holder. It was made during the administration of President George W. Bush."
Geraldo Rivera on Friday excoriated Rolling Stone writer Michael Hastings actually comparing him to al Qaeda terrorists.
Discussing the article that effectively destroyed General Stanley McChrystal's career, Rivera told Fox News's Bill O'Reilly, "These guys, particularly the staffers who gave the most damning statements about the civilians in office, including the vice president of the United States, these guys had no idea that they were being interviewed by this guy."
Rivera then made a staggering analogy (video after the break with full transcript and commentary):
Two days before 9/11, two al Qaeda terrorists posing as journalists got up to Sheik Massoud, our most valuable ally in Afghanistan. They blew themselves and Sheik Massoud up, a tremendous setback. I maintain historically that the removal of General McCrystal at the hands of this freelance reporter for "Rolling Stone" has almost comparable strategic significance.
At the top of Thursday's O'Reilly Factor on FNC, host Bill O'Reilly cited a NewsBusters video montage of various media figures touting President Obama's "brilliant" handling of the General McChrystal controversy: "[Obama] has a very powerful ally, the American media. After the President fired General McChrystal yesterday, NewsBusters.org put together this montage of press reaction." [Audio available here]
O'Reilly played the video as part of his Talking Points Memo opening the show. After it finished, he joked: "So I guess the firing of McChrystal was a brilliant move." He then noted how "...we could have played that montage with another 30 seconds with different reporters echoing the same theme."
Minutes later, O'Reilly asked radio host Laura Ingraham about the media all singing from the same hymnal: "When you hear the mainstream media, brilliant, it was brilliant, it was brilliant, it was brilliant." Ingraham interjected: "It was hilarious." O'Reilly replied: "Isn't it? I mean, how far down in the tank does the American people – the American media have to go, before the people just say enough." Ingraham concluded: "Well, it shows you Bill, how totally out of touch all these media figures – and that montage, I was screaming in the studio here, it was so funny to hear – but it's so out of touch with the way regular people think."
Huffington Post blogger, Frank Schaeffer, has been trying to eradicate elements of the right for quite some time. Katie Bell had a great post on Monday covering his recent call to ‘eradicate' fundamental Christianity.
It's no secret that Schaeffer is very critical of religious elements in society. But on a side note, were you aware that he is a former member of the religious right? Apparently making mention of such information gives him street cred with the non-religious left. He mentions it nearly every time he opens his mouth. Take a drink every time Schaeffer mentions his past participation in the religious right, and you're sure to be hammered in no time.
Not content with attacking the religious right, Schaeffer has also made a career of attacking the conservative voice in general. Last year, he penned a column so bereft of facts that even the Huffington Post should have been embarrassed by the content. More troublesome is that this particular post included the pronouncement of a new Web site campaign that is wrong on two fronts: It incorrectly predicts the rise of violence perpetrated by the ‘far right' (anyone who dares to oppose Barack Obama), and it specifically labels conservative talk show hosts Bill O'Reilly, Rush Limbaugh, and Glenn Beck as ‘domestic terrorists'.
Schaeffer states in his October 5, 2009 column that, "The extremism and paranoid delusions of the far, far loony right -- in other words The Republican Party today as led and deformed by Beck/Limbaugh/Fox and the fundamentalist "Christians" --- is now on full display."
Appearing as a guest on Tuesday’s The View on ABC to promote her My Life on the D List show on Bravo! -- left-wing comedian Kathy Griffin took a shot at Sarah Palin by recalling her visit to Wasilla, Alaska – where Palin was once mayor – and by mocking the town by linking it to crystal meth: "I wanted to, you know, see what it's really like because when Sarah Palin was telling us that she should run the whole country the way she runs Wasilla, I just had to go for myself. And if you like crystal meth, you're gonna like Wasilla."
Griffin went on to admit that her mother – who sometimes takes part in her show on Bravo!, is a fan of Palin, Bill O’Reilly and Fox News. Griffin: "My mother, of course, loves her, and my mother loves Fox News and she loves Bill O'Reilly, and we get into big fights about it. She calls Bill O'Reilly her boyfriend because she's crazy."
On last night's "O'Reilly Factor," host Bill O'Reilly and guest analyst Arthel Neville discussed the possibly impending Comedy Central show "JC" - as in Jesus Christ.
Given the network's past treatment of Christianity, the portend for this show is hardly positive.
Which is why the Media Research Center has put together a coalition to ask advertisers to publicly pledge to not underwrite/support the show.
Citizens Against Religious Bigotry (CARB) (which Ms. Neville graciously mentioned by name) is made up of many organizations - made up of Christians, Jews and Muslims - who would like to see religion not be the butt of raunchy/tasteless jokes, and who don't think America's advertisers should help fund said alleged humor.
A petition to advertisers (to be found on the CARB website) has garnered more than 115,000 signatures thus far.
And if you aren't familiar with how Comedy Central does Christianity, watch this video and you'll get an idea of what can be expected should JC ever make it to the airwaves.
On the Friday, May 21, The O’Reilly Factor, host Bill O’Reilly highlighted the latest right-leaning musical parody produced by singer Ray Stevens, this time taking aim at illegal immigration and noting the tougher treatment of illegal immigrants in other countries. The song, titled "Come to the USA," begins:
If you thinkin’ about illegal immigration,
Be careful when you’re choosin’ the nation
‘Cause breakin’ the law in some countries is frowned upon.
On Tuesday’s The O’Reilly Factor, host Bill O’Reilly held a discussion with FNC Strategic Analyst and retired Lieutenant Colonel Ralph Peters about the New York Times leaking information on U.S. military activity, as Peters charged that the Times was endangering covert agents: "They tipped our secret operations, our black operations approach to the Iranians, to the Syrians, to the terrorists. It made it much harder and much more dangerous for our agents, for our special operators to collect intelligence, to take direct action, to protect our country, to advance our interests." He and O’Reilly soon added:
RETIRED LIEUTENANT COLONEL RALPH PETERS: And it's also hurt us with countries that are pseudo-friends, such as Saudi Arabia and Pakistan because, and Yemen, because it's said that we're going to run operations against them.
BILL O'REILLY: Yeah, they don't want their people to know they're cooperating with the United States in any kind of a mission or operation, Yemen in particular.
The FNC analyst also recounted some of the Times’s past transgressions against American national security:
On Monday’s The O’Reilly Factor, during the show’s regular "Reality Check" segment, FNC host O’Reilly seemed to pick up on a NewsBusters item which highlighted ABC’s Sam Donaldson and Cokie Roberts defending Mexican President Felipe Calderon using his speech in Congress as a forum to criticize Arizona’s effort to enforce laws against illegal immigration. In their defense of Calderon on Sunday's This Week show's Roundtable segment, the the two ABC News veterans brought up past American Presidents criticizing communist dictators in China and the Soviet Union.
Below is a transcript of the relevant portion of the "Reality Check" from the Monday, May 24, The O’Reilly Factor on FNC:
Bill O'Reilly on Monday offered an obviously satirical solution to the Gulf oil spill that has generated some ire from the usual suspects on the left: "stuff every member of NBC News in that hole."
As readers are well aware, the Fox News personality has had an ongoing war with General Electric and its television subsidiary over its dramatic left-leaning approach to covering the news.
With that in mind, while chatting with the folks from Fox & Friends by phone Monday about a variety of issues, O'Reilly made the following tongue-in-cheek remark when the subject of the crisis in the Gulf of Mexico surfaced (video follows with partial transcript):
It's turned into something of a week for TV hosts, if not to bite, then at least to nibble hard on the hands that feed them . . .
First, as noted here, on Friday Joe Scarborough passed along the comment of an unnamed conservative biggie who wondered "what the hell [Rand Paul] was doing on MSNBC?", where during an interview with Rachel Maddow he caused controversy with his comments on the Civil Rights Act.
Today, it was Howard Kurtz's turn. In the wake of Campbell Brown's withdrawal from CNN, in which she cited her show's poor ratings, Kurtz, host of Reliable Sources also on CNN wondered whether the network's business strategy of offering news in contrast to the opinion-oriented programming on Fox News and MSNBC is "viable." For good measure, Kurtz also managed to suggest that Brown, Connie Chung and Paula Zahn—all of whose CNN shows failed—weren't strong enough personalities to attract an audience during the 8 PM hour, up against the likes of O'Reilly and Olbermann. Ouch!
On Thursday’s The O’Reilly Factor, FNC’s Megyn Kelly appeared to give her take on the Arizona immigration law that the has so upset the left in America, relaying her conclusion that the law actually holds the police to higher standards against racial discrimination and the conditions under which police can enforce the law than current federal laws. Kelly: "And my legal opinion is, it is a little bit like the federal law, but if anything, it's less problematic. Did you know that the Supreme Court already ruled a few years ago that under federal law, cops can pull you over for no reason and demand to see your immigration papers? For no reason. They don't have to have reasonable suspicion."
She went on to recount a relevant Supreme Court case:
And the court, this was written by then-Chief Justice Rehnquist who said in that case, hold on, let me get it because it's here in front of me some place. He said the officers did not need reasonable suspicion to ask Menia for her name, date, and place of birth, or immigration status. The cops do not need reasonable suspicion to ask you about immigration status. Under Arizona law, they do. They do.
Referring to restrictions against police application of the law, Kelly concluded: "It's tougher. Arizona's tougher."
On Friday’s The O’Reilly Factor on FNC, Good Morning America co-anchor George Stephanopoulos of ABC appeared as a guest and discussed President Obama’s reaction to the oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico. When host Bill O’Reilly asked if some of Obama’s recent attacks on oil companies amounted to "grandstanding," Stephanopoulos seemed to agree and pointed out that, since President Obama took office, his administration has approved "dozens of these projects without getting the proper environmental clearances," and characterized Obama as being "Reaganesque" in distancing himself from the problem: "He was kind of trying to do a little bit of a Reaganesque move there by blaming the federal government and separating himself a bit from the federal government."
But when O’Reilly wondered if a comparison could be made between the "lateness" of President Obama’s reaction to the oil spill and of President Bush’s reaction to Hurricane Katrina, Stephanopoulos saw such a comparison as a "stretch," but left open the possibility that, over the long term, if Obama does not deal with the problem adequately, he could be blamed by the public and the outcome would be seen as "the President’s responsibility":
Last night on his program, Bill O'Reilly talked with Fox News contributor and friend of the Media Research Center Bernard Goldberg about the findings of an MRC study on the media's coverage of the new Arizona anti-illegal immigration law.
Goldberg noted that he had a minor quibble with our study, arguing that stories focused on rallies against the law were bound to be skewed in their soundbites against the law, by virtue of the crowd at the venue being overwhelmingly opposed. Of course, Goldberg conceded, it should be incumbent on the media to balance coverage of those rallies with interviews with people who support the law.
For the record, our MRC Reality Check study noted about that soundbite count that it: