Much as he did with his Restoring Honor rally in Washington, D.C. last year, Glenn Beck is hyping his upcoming Restoring Courage rally in Jerusalem with his usual mix of hyperbole and self-importance. Beck is promising that the rally will be a "life-changing, life-altering event" that could "change the direction of the world" and open up "the very gates of Heaven."
As part of the lead-up to the rally, Beck addressed a Knesset committee last week. The Jerusalem Post reported that Beck suggested at the close of his speech that "Israel advocacy was more important than his usual work back in the states." The Post quotes Beck as saying, "As a man who also worships the one God, in the times that we live in, it is clear that what is going on is God's work. If we are silent, evil will win. But if we stand up and take charge, God will do the rest."
Both Beck and his rotating cast of religious "experts" have repeatedly suggested that "the times that we live in" are, in fact, the End Times.
In light of the location of the Restoring Courage rally, it's noteworthy the extent to which both Beck and his religious "experts" view Israel not just as an ally in the typical sense of the word, but as central to the impending Second Coming of Jesus Christ and the End Times.
My basic takeaway from Fox's coverage of lightbulb efficiency standards is that if they were given the chance, compact fluorescent light bulbs would kill me and everyone I care about.
For the past several months, conservative media figures - led, as usual, by Fox - have spent a great deal of time misrepresenting light bulb efficiency standards and cheerleading GOP attempts to overturn them.
In addition to incorrectly claiming that these standards would amount to a ban on incandescent bulbs, Fox News personalities and guests have repeatedly tried to convince viewers that compact fluorescent light bulbs are a serious health hazard because they contain mercury. (Lab researchers and product safety groups disagree.)
Fox Business host Liz MacDonald told viewers that "some say" the bulbs "blow up," adding, "what a way to save energy: incinerate your home." Andrew Napolitano claimed that the standards will "force us into some technology which is actually harmful." Stuart Varney, explaining that he has a "bee in [his] bonnet" about light bulb standards, announced that he doesn't want to government forcing him "to buy those squiggly little nasty mercury-filled things." In a separate rant, Varney complained that the government is "sticking a mercury light bulb down my throat and saying, 'it's good for you.'"
Greg Gutfeld said that "when that thing breaks, you've gotta move out," and likened using CFLs to "inviting a drug-addicted stripper to live with you." Eric Bolling suggested that when a CFL breaks, "you have to go through hazmat cleanups." Holding up a CFL during an appearance on Fox Business, conservative columnist Deroy Murdock said that "the mercury vapor in here, if we inhaled it, could cause liver damage, lung damage, neurological problems."
Because these bulbs could supposedly "incinerate your home" and force you "to move out" if they break, it seems strange that News Corp would give them to their employees for Christmas. Yet, according to Brit Hume, that's what News Corp. did in 2006.
This afternoon, Jim Hoft announced in a headline on his blog that "Dems Introduce HR 2411 - Automatic Wage Deductions to Pay Off Obama Debt." In the post, he wrote that "Democrats in Congress want to punish American workers with automatic wage deductions to pay down the Obama debt." According to Hoft, Democrats want to pass this bill so that they can "continue to spending [sic] like drunken sailors" and "rack up even more debt."
Following in his time-honored tradition of debunking his own blog posts, Hoft embeds an image of the bill, which reveals 12 co-sponsors.
All of them are Republicans.
Hoft's complete inability to conduct even basic fact-checks of his own work hasn't slowed his rise in conservative media circles. Just this week, Rush Limbaugh was citing him as the source for a story.
Hoft has since completely rewritten his post and updated his headline to change "Dems" to "Congressional Reps." He noted at the bottom of his post that "(This was updated - The Reps are all Republicans, the bill is a very bad joke)."
Last week on his radio show, Sean Hannity observed that "it's funny to me - because every Republican presidential candidate we have interviewed either the day they announce, or the day after they announce."
At the time, Hannity was prodding media outlets who were upset about his being granted the first interview with Jon Huntsman after Huntsman kicked off his campaign in New Jersey last week.
As we noted earlier today, four major candidates for the GOP presidential nomination have granted Hannity an interview shortly after announcing their campaigns. Just this month, Hannity has hosted Bachmann three times, Gingrich twice, and Pawlenty and Romney once each. (He has also hosted perennial sort-of-candidates Sarah Palin and Donald Trump.)
It may be "funny" to Hannity, but it's certainly no coincidence that he keeps landing plum interviews with GOP candidates. His show is a natural extension of the campaign trail.
Once you're part of the Fox News team, it's notoriously difficult to actually get in trouble with the network. In fact, an almost complete lack of public accountability is apparently one of the biggest perks of working there.
When Fox host and senior judicial analyst Andrew Napolitano appeared on conspiracy theorist Alex Jones' radio show last year and announced that 9-11 "couldn't possibly have been done the way the government told us," the network turned a blind eye to his comments, despite the fact that Fox hosts and personalities had spent years harshly criticized anyone dabbling in 9-11 conspiracy theories.
Though Fox News prides itself on the (imaginary) wall separating its news and opinion divisions, the network has never publicly indicated that it has in any way punished Bill Sammon, its Washington managing editor, for his heavy-handed slanting of Fox's news coverage.
Which brings us to rising Fox star Eric Bolling. Last night, Bolling issued an insincere apology for the story he ran on his Fox Business program last week saying President Obama was hosting "hoodlum[s]" in "the hizzouse."
Bolling spent a grand total of 14 seconds addressing the widely-condemned segment. Notably, he neglected to explain exactly what had raised the ire of his critics, instead choosing to vaguely reference how "we got a little fast and loose with the language" which some had "interpreted as being disrespectful."
Only on Fox could this be considered an adequate apology for Friday's show.
Yesterday, Jim Hoft put up a post on his Right Network blog announcing that he would be leaving the site to start a new "Gateway Pundit Blog" at thegatewaypundit.com. In typical Hoft fashion, he managed to botch the announcement:
At his new site, Hoft explains that he will "write more about this latest move in the coming days," but doesn't explain the reason for the split. (Right Network did not respond to Media Matters' request for comment.)
It wouldn't appear to make sense for Right Network to get rid of Hoft, since he seemingly has been a traffic boon for them. Still, Hoft's popularity remains an ongoing source of bewilderment. Despite regularly concocting phony stories and botching facts, Hoft remains a wildly popular and influential conservative blogger.
One thing is for sure, though: if Hoft wasn't fired from Right Network, he certainly should have been.
Similar to his time writing for FirstThings.com, Hoft's tenure at Right Network was marked by an almost remarkable capacity for failure. Here's a brief recap of three of his worst moments.
According to reports, Glenn Beck will broadcast the last edition of his Fox News program four weeks from today, on June 30.
If you've been paying attention to Beck lately, this seems like a particularly bad time for him to lose his Fox megaphone, since, according to him, "we are now approaching the most dangerous 120 days perhaps since the Cuban Missile Crisis."
Discussing the imminent end of his Fox News show on his radio program today, Beck practically begged his followers to stick with him after his show ends, saying: "When I leave Fox, you will see, and we will - please stay in touch with us, please listen to every program - things are going to happen [snaps his fingers] like that."
Sounds ominous ... and a bit like a desperate ploy to keep people interested in Beck.
This morning, Donald Trump appeared on Fox & Friends to discuss his photo op/pizza dinner with fellow reality TV star Sarah Palin.
The Fox & Friends crew spent much of the time prodding Trump over whether he might consider stepping back into the presidential race (Trump will "make a determination some time into the future"); if he'd consider "teaming up" with Palin (they didn't discuss it, but Palin supposedly would "love" for Trump to get back in the race); and what was discussed at their dinner (breaking: "she loves this country").
During the interview, Trump discussed his decision to stick with hosting Celebrity Apprentice instead of formally entering the GOP primary. Trump said that NBC was begging him to continue his show, and it was a difficult decision because he had "great poll numbers."
This is a nice story, but it's not true. Of course, in keeping with their role as Trump's de facto PR team, the crew at Fox & Friends didn't object.
It never ends.
In a new article filed last night at WorldNetDaily, reporter Bob Unruh explains that Donald Trump "reached out to WND senior reporter Jerome Corsi, author of 'Where's the Birth Certificate? The Case That Barack Obama is Not Eligible to be President,' with a long list of questions about where the issue is, and where it seems to be going."
Corsi discussed the supposed phone conversation during an extended interview on Alex Jones' radio show yesterday (audio below). Though Sean Hannity (by canceling a scheduled radio interview), and Fox Business Network (by grilling Corsi and calling his theories "debunked"), have seemingly distanced themselves from Corsi, Jones represents the ideal audience for Corsi's increasingly-deranged conspiracies about the birth certificate.
As we've documented, Jones is perhaps the most prominent conspiracy theorist in the country, and describes himself as the founding father of the 9-11 "inside job" movement.
According to the write-up of the interview at Jones' website, Corsi alleged that Trump was "working with Obama" on the birth certificate issue and that Trump's incessant promotion of the issue was "subterfuge":
Appearing on the Alex Jones Show, Corsi said that he now completely discounted the apparent efforts of Donald Trump to force the release of Obama's birth certificate, stating, "I'm completely convinced at this point Donald Trump was subterfuge, that he.... was working with Obama."
Corsi explained how he was contacted directly by Trump, because Trump wanted to know what was going on behind the scenes, and that he requested several copies of Corsi's book before it was released.
Trump's role according to Corsi was to "beat the drums big" and craft a false resolution to the controversy in order to make the press "go to sleep" and get his $60 million dollar television contract with NBC, owned by General Electric, which is closely allied with the Obama administration.
In their article, WND explains that Corsi afforded Trump the opportunity to shake off allegations that he was working with Obama by recommitting himself to hyping the issue. Corsi also indicates that he was regularly in touch with Trump while the latter was making the media rounds and peddling the conspiracy theory:
"I told him he needs to publicly say that the document in the vault, the original long-form birth certificate, needs to be exposed and examined independently," Corsi said. "The doctor's records, the Kapiolani records of Ann Dunham to corroborate she was in that hospital."
"I told him if you don't press these issues you can't be surprised if there are those who think you're working with Barack Obama [on the dispute]," Corsi added.
During much of April Trump made regular appearances on talk shows and news broadcasts, and almost every time either he or the interviewer raised questions about Obama's eligibility. At the same time, he regularly was in conversation with Corsi and others who helped Corsi investigate the Obama eligibility dispute about the evidence that exists.
Enumerating the various evidence Corsi offered on Jones' show to prove that the long-form was "clearly forged," Jones' website lists "an obvious misspelling on the stamp and a 'smiley face' that appears in the signature of the doctor once the document is blown up to 800 per cent."
Things aren't going so well for the birthers.
Jerome Corsi's latest book, Where's the Birth Certificate? -- published shortly after Obama released the titular long-form document -- has been greeted by a chorus of ridicule. (You know it's a bad sign when Fox Business thinks your theories have been "debunked.")
Unsurprisingly, the birther faithful are undeterred. Corsi and WorldNetDaily -- when they haven't been pushing the nonsense "natural-born citizen" argument -- have been desperately trying to prove that Obama's long-form is a "forgery." They've posted numerous articles on the issue, including blockbuster revelations about smudged stamp ink.
WND has front-paged a video that purports to prove that Obama's long-form is a fake. (This video has also been promoted on the website of conspiracy theory radio host Alex Jones.) In their sub-headline, WND proclaims that a "simple examination of lettering leaves little doubt Barack's long-form fraudulent." At this point, it's useless to respond to these allegations individually (anyone still devoted to birtherism is essentially beyond reason), but you can judge the startling kerning revelations for yourself here.
On the other hand, it's worth looking at the types of outlets that are still committed to the birth certificate "issue," and what birtherism adherents like WND have been reduced to.
In this instance, our kerning detective(s), "PP Simmons," have a somewhat popular YouTube channel, which houses a variety of conspiratorial (often end-times focused) videos.
According to their Twitter page, "PPSIMMONS is an online ministry which began on YOUTUBE Oct 10/2008. Since then the channel has EXPLODED to millions of views and thousands of subscribers."
In one video, titled, "WHO IS PPSIMMONS? (Some Suprises [sic])" the narrator, a pastor named Carl Gallups (the same narrator from the birth certificate video), explains that "PP Simmons" is a pseudonym for the channel. Gallups says that the "brainchild for PP Simmons is a highly successful and respected businessman in Birmingham, Alabama -- and also another man who is a youth minister in the gulf coast area." Gallups says they both wish to remain anonymous.
After explaining that he is not personally "PP Simmons," Gallups endeavors to clear up another source of confusion. Namely, that their YouTube channel has never definitively proclaimed that Obama is the Antichrist, "only that he exhibits certain Antichrist qualities and characteristics. But, other world leaders have, as well." Good to know.