In March, conservative publication Human Events hired Jason Mattera as their "new Editor." In the post announcing Mattera's hiring, the vice president of Eagle Publishing, which owns Human Events, had this to say:
"Given his youth, we recognize Jason's appointment may seem a bit surprising, but only if you don't know him," stated Joe Guerriero, VP/Group Publisher of Eagle Publishing's GeoPolitical Division, which includes HUMAN EVENTS. Guerriero went on, "Jason's ability to understand what is truly important, not just repeat D.C.'s echo chamber, plus his unique ability to put facts into understandable, interesting--and even fun--stories and videos is remarkable. His wisdom and talents are far beyond his years."
According to Guerriero, Mattera has an "ability to understand what is truly important." Right. Let's have a look at what Mattera identified as "truly important" in his only contribution to Human Events about the Elena Kagan nomination thus far.*
Mattera purports to list the "Top 10 Dumbest Defenses of Elena Kagan." They are uniformly inane, so I'll pare them down to the "Top 4 Most Embarrassingly Stupid and Sexist Comments From Mattera's Top 10 Dumbest Defenses of Elena Kagan."
Right-wing media figures have responded to Elena Kagan's nomination to be the fourth female Supreme Court justice in history by attacking her physical appearance.
Fox News personalities have trumpeted what they admit is the Republican talking point that Elena Kagan lacks judicial experience. But one-third of Supreme Court justices have had no state or federal judicial experience at the time they were nominated, and Fox had no such concerns following now-Chief Justice John Roberts' nomination, even though he had only served as a judge for two years.
For a man who frequently boasts about how much he reads and lauds his research staff as "some of the biggest minds in America," Glenn Beck apparently has a serious problem doing the most basic research on the subjects he talks about.
Today, in the middle of a long rant about the IMF "bailout" of Greece, Beck returned to his fear mongering about the supposedly very mysterious IMF:
Among the questions Beck asks in this rant are, "can you name any board members?" and "can you tell me how any board member is placed on the board of the IMF?"
Off the top of my head? No. But let me clue you in to a little trick of the trade, Glenn.
That was taxing. If you Google "IMF Board," the first result helpfully leads to a page listing all of the IMF board members as well as an explanation that they are placed on the board by their member country and are "usually the minister of finance or the governor of the central bank." You'd think that in three weeks since he last fear mongered about this, Beck might have found the five seconds of time it took me to find that information and sleuthed it out himself. (However, to be fair to Beck, the result doesn't come up if you search for "Evil Secret IMF Socialist Plot.")
My point is the same as it was the last time Glenn Beck fear mongered about the supposedly secretive IMF: it's impossible to have a reasonable policy discussion with someone who relies so heavily on conspiracy theories, fear mongering, and outrageous falsehoods.
But don't forget, Beck hates the "politics of fear."
Fox News is currently under fire for hosting disgraced former FEMA director Michael Brown to repeatedly suggest that the Obama administration let the BP oil spill "get really bad" so that they could use the spill as an excuse to "shut down offshore drilling."
White House press secretary Robert Gibbs slammed Fox News yesterday for not pushing back against Michael Brown's conspiracy theories, and Bill O'Reilly, appearing on ABC this morning, said that he "would have slapped" Brown if he had made those comments on the Factor instead of on Neil Cavuto's Your World.
In response to Gibbs, Fox's evening "news" program ran a typically dishonest damage control segment. As we documented, Brit Hume and Bret Baier tried to cover up the network's failure to challenge Brown by refusing to air, quote, or accurately describe Brown's actual comments.
Taken as an isolated incident, Neil Cavuto's failure to provide any pushback to Brown would be hugely embarrassing for the network. But Fox's problem with forwarding outlandish conspiracy theories about the oil spill is actually much worse than that.
Where could Brown have gotten the ridiculous idea that the administration let the rig leak on purpose? Well, if he had been watching Fox & Friends the morning he went on Cavuto's show, the answer is: from Fox Business host and Fox News contributor Eric Bolling.
In the wake of the catastrophic oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico, several Fox News hosts and contributors have responded by calling for a continuation -- and in some instances, an expansion -- of offshore drilling.
Media Matters has already done the work of demolishing Frances Martel's train wreck article for Mediaite this weekend, in which she forwarded old, evidence-free rumors about an alleged affair between President Obama and a former staffer that the National Enquirer borrowed from unhinged conservative blogger Bob Owens.
As Eric Boehlert detailed, Martel's bosses Colby Hall and Dan Abrams have defended Martel's piece on the grounds that Drudge linked to the Enquirer story, which supposedly made it newsworthy. Martel originally wrote that the Drudge link gave the story "credibility," but that wording was later changed to "significance and impact." Writing in the comments section of Martel's post, Abrams wrote: "when Drudge links to a story suggesting the President of the United States might be having an affair, that is at least a -media- story for a media website."
But this defense misses the point entirely.
Martel's story for Mediaite was not a "media story." It was merely forwarding -- and embellishing -- baseless gossip from the Enquirer. An actual "media story" might have been along the lines of "Matt Drudge Has No Standards and Traffics in Baseless Smears." But that story has been written before (who can forget the "credibility" he gave to the "backwards B" hoax, for example.)
In fact, based on what Martel wrote and tweeted about the story, there is plenty of evidence to suggest that Martel wasn't as interested in writing a "media story" as she was in promoting a potentially damaging political scandal.
Yet again, Andrew Breitbart and his cohorts prove that they have no business running a website called "Big Journalism." Today, in a post titled "You Want News, Go To The Blogs, Not the In-the-Tank MSM," Pamela Geller discusses how you can find real journalism at websites like her own:
In that sense, bloggers are not journalists. The best bloggers aren't shilling for Obama and Pelosi the way journalists are. Instead, bloggers are doing the heavy lifting. Who breaks the stories today? Bloggers. Take my own blog, AtlasShrugs.com, for example. I broke the explosive story of tens of thousands of dollars of Obama contributions from a Hamas-controlled "refugee" camp in Gaza. Did the "journalists" in the mainstream media pursue this story? Not a chance. Obama's odd relationship with Kenyan pro-Sharia politician Raila Odinga? Atlas! Not to mention the numerous revelations I broke on the Rifqa Bary story (here and here and here and here), the story of the young Ohio girl who fled from her family in fear for her life after converting from Islam to Christianity.
While I agree that there is plenty of great journalism being done by bloggers, Pam Geller is certainly not one of them. Here's some proof from just the past few months:
Earlier this week, numerous conservative blogs and websites were promoting a story about a team of evangelical researchers who supposedly "found" Noah's Ark in Turkey. The story is quite obviously a hoax, and when it made the jump to FoxNews.com, they were ridiculed for promoting it in their "Science" section.
This morning, Fox News decided that this ridiculous "story" merited some on-air coverage, and America's Newsroom devoted several minutes to "Noah's Ark." This wouldn't be so notable if it came on a morning during which nothing else of note was going on, but Fox News ran this segment while President Obama eulogized civil rights legend Dorothy Height. Fox noted that the eulogy would be streaming on FoxNews.com, but they chose to devote their TV airwaves to this:
Like children who heard one of their parents say a naughty word then spent the next week giggling about it, our media have spent the last 24 hours focused on the fact that Sen. Carl Levin, while quoting an email from a Goldman Sachs employee, said the word "shitty" repeatedly during a congressional hearing yesterday.
Neil Cavuto today said he "can't get over this," and it's "all anyone is talking about, still." For a moment, I thought Cavuto might be launching into a stinging critique of the media, whose coverage -- after a day of congressional questioning of Goldman Execs over potentially scandalous practices at their company -- amounted to, "They said a no-no word!" But that moment quickly passed.