Fox News contributor Allen West is endorsing and holding events for GOP candidates and organizations across the country. Republicans are accepting West's help despite his history of toxic remarks, including calling President Obama an "Islamist" and "disgusting racist," attacking feminists for "neutering American men," and smearing Democrats as communists, Nazis, and anti-Semites.
Fox News contributor Bill Cowan told a tea party gathering that "we may not know for another 100 years" if President Barack Obama is a "legitimate" American and suggested he lacks "a real, legitimate birth certificate."
Cowan was speaking before the Myrtle Beach Tea Party (SC) on August 11. A flyer for the event claimed attendees would "learn the facts about what is really going on in the world today and the direct impact it will have on our lives!"
FoxNews.com states that "Cowan is a FOX News Channel contributor and internationally acknowledged expert in the areas of terrorism, homeland security, intelligence and military special operations." Cowan said he's been working for Fox News since 2002. He has appeared on Fox News and Fox Business at least a thirteen times in the past month, according to a Nexis and FoxNews.com video search.
Cowan's August 11 tea party speech veered into the long-debunked territory of Obama's birth certificate during the question and answer portion when an audience member referenced things on "the Internet" and whether Obama is a "legitimate American." Cowan replied by going birther:
Fox News' effort to help elect former network contributor Scott Brown as U.S. Senator from New Hampshire is drawing criticism not only from Democrats but from one of Brown's Republican primary opponents.
In an interview with Media Matters, former Sen. Bob Smith (R-NH) accused Fox News of failing to live up to its "fair and balanced" slogan by giving "flattering" coverage to Brown while having "totally shut down" his campaign's requests for airtime.
Smith pointed to two recent softball interviews Fox News conducted with Brown, noting that anchor Bret Baier "interviewed Brown for a very flattering piece" and a recent Obamacare special. Smith said Fox didn't reach out to his campaign.
"They've totally ignored us," Smith said. "They've shut us down. We've made every effort to get on any of the shows, or at least have a comment. We've tried with [Fox host Sean] Hannity, we've tried with Baier, we've tried with, you name it ... we've just been totally shut down. And I mean shut down. I mean we don't even get call backs."
He added: "I think that's not good reporting. It's very shoddy reporting. They're not doing any background, they haven't talked to me, or anybody from my team. They haven't talked to my campaign manager."
Mike Huckabee told a gathering of anti-gay activists that the United States is becoming like communist China and defended his recent claim that President Obama deserves to be impeached.
Huckabee was speaking at the third annual Family Leadership Summit, hosted by The Family Leader and sponsored by anti-gay groups like the National Organization for Marriage and FRC Action. The event was held in Ames, Iowa, and was attended by potential 2016 Republican candidates including Huckabee, Sen. Ted Cruz, Gov. Rick Perry, and Gov. Bobby Jindal.
Speaking on August 9 about his recent China trip, Huckabee noted the country's policies regarding trade, human rights, one child and forced abortions, and observed: "After we came back, I assessed that what was most disturbing was that China was becoming a lot more like the United States used to be, and America was becoming a whole lot more like China used to be." Huckabee added that America, like China whitewashing the Tiananmen Square massacre, has "completely rewritten our history" to remove God from textbooks. The Fox News host has made similar pronouncements on his show and elsewhere in the right-wing media.
During a media availability, Huckabee defended his recent declaration that President Obama has committed impeachable offenses. Huckabee began by claiming "I don't think we're going to have an impeachment, don't think we even should because there's no point and it's not gonna go through." However, Huckabee still argued President Obama is worthy of impeachment because of his alleged abuse of "the basic constitutional powers," citing Obamacare and the DREAM Act.
Three former aides to Richard Nixon are defending the disgraced president surrounding the 40th anniversary of his resignation over the Watergate scandal. The aides-turned-pundits are using their media platforms to claim Nixon shouldn't have been impeached, Watergate was the product of "the malice and collusion of liberal elites," and that the former president was "a patriot" who "we desperately miss on the scene today."
The Watergate scandal involved vast criminality that eventually reached the top echelon of government. The New York Times noted: "Entangled in that skein were dozens of men implicated in the scandal, many of whom were top aides to the President. As it steadily unwound, the American people watched a parade of witnesses expose the details of a political crime whose proportions were nearly unfathomable: wiretapping, money laundering, destruction of documents, payment of hush money, character assassination, disinformation and deception -- all perpetrated by people at the highest levels of Government. More than 30 people pleaded guilty or were convicted of crimes like perjury, burglary, wiretapping and obstruction of justice."
In recent years, conservatives have been claiming that numerous supposed Obama administration scandals are equal to or worse than Watergate.
Three former Nixon aides, Pat Buchanan, Roger Stone, and Monica Crowley, have been attempting to rehabilitate Nixon through the media. The aides are discredited, though perhaps appropriate, messengers on behalf of the former president given their post-Nixon histories.
Today marks the 40th anniversary of President Richard Nixon's resignation announcement in the wake of the Watergate scandal. As MSNBC's Steve Benen has pointed out, for more than five years, conservatives have invoked Watergate in an attempt to amplify the importance of numerous scandals of the day involving President Obama.
No Obama "scandals" have matched the vast criminality involved with Watergate. The New York Times noted of Watergate's reach: "Entangled in that skein were dozens of men implicated in the scandal, many of whom were top aides to the President. As it steadily unwound, the American people watched a parade of witnesses expose the details of a political crime whose proportions were nearly unfathomable: wiretapping, money laundering, destruction of documents, payment of hush money, character assassination, disinformation and deception -- all perpetrated by people at the highest levels of Government. More than 30 people pleaded guilty or were convicted of crimes like perjury, burglary, wiretapping and obstruction of justice."
Below is a list of the various supposed scandals conservative media figures have compared to Watergate. The list, originally published in 2012, has been updated with several more recent Watergates.
Conservative pundit Erick Erickson, who once called a Supreme Court justice a "goat fucking child molester" and has been criticized by coworkers for sexist and incendiary remarks, is trying to become a Republican kingmaker. Many Republicans are happily promoting his endorsements, paying his site for advertising, and attending his events.
On August 7-9, Republicans such as Gov. Rick Perry, Gov. Nikki Haley, Sen. Ted Cruz, Rep. Jim Bridenstine, Texas gubernatorial candidate Greg Abbott, and RNC chair Reince Priebus will attend Erickson's 2014 RedState Gathering in Fort Worth, Texas. Previous speakers at the annual event have included Sen. Tim Scott, Gov. Bobby Jindal, and Sen. Marco Rubio.
Erickson is a Fox News contributor and the editor-in-chief of RedState.com, where he, according to his biography, writes "candidly about and challenge the Republican establishment as well as rally conservatives to push their agenda at both the federal and state level." He believes that "conservatives must unite to clean up the Republican Party. If they don't, voters will keep rejecting Republican pseudo-socialists in favor of authentic socialists." His philosophy has led to fights with establishment Republican pundits like Karl Rove and GOP apparatuses like the National Republican Senatorial Committee.
That Erickson would want the Republican Party to tack even further to the right isn't surprising. This is the same pundit that cites Jesus to deny the threat of climate change, endorses homophobia, and believes Social Security is a "Ponzi scheme" and death panels are real.
But his commentary goes beyond extreme conservative positions and into the realm of remarks that even his own colleagues find "boorish and obnoxious."
Radio host Anthony Cumia, who was fired from SiriusXM after a series of racially charged tweets, appeared on the "pro-white" Political Cesspool radio show hosted by white nationalist James Edwards. During the appearance, Cumia defended white males against diversity concerns, agreed that the black community has become like a "petulant" child, and praised Edwards for his views on race.
Cumia was part of SiriusXM's The Opie and Anthony Show until he was fired in early July after he went on a Twitter tirade against the black community following a street altercation. The shock jock claimed he was "taking pix in NYC & a black girl who was in frame punched me in the face." He added the "automatic jump to violence in that community is astounding. No discussion. It's start punching at the least little thing. Uncivilized!!" SiriusXM fired Cumia "after careful consideration of his racially charged and hate-filled remarks."
Cumia was then a guest on the August 2 broadcast of the Memphis-based The Political Cesspool, which describes itself as representing "a philosophy that is pro-White ... We wish to revive the White birthrate above replacement level fertility and beyond to grow the percentage of Whites in the world relative to other races." The show also states it has rallied to support "pro-Confederate" causes against "black malcontents."
Edwards wrote that he had Cumia on The Political Cesspool to discuss "the next phase of his career and his plan to talk openly and honestly about racial issues. This is what a REAL conversation about race sounds like." During the hour-long interview, Cumia complained about how white males are treated as "the abomination of the United States" despite their "astounding" historical achievements. He continued, citing the NASA Apollo program:
CUMIA: When you watch any of the footage of any of the Apollo programs over the years and you look at the control room of mission control, what do you see? Do you see diversity there? Honestly, let's be honest. You're seeing white males smoking cigarettes, drinking coffee at the console and putting people on the moon. How is this a horrible thing? How is this something to look at and say, "We need to change this by injecting people that do not pay attention to the laws of this country, do not assimilate to the cultures, do not work and contribute to this nation"? Why is this a good thing to then add these people into the formula to make this a great country? Diversity for the sense of just diversity is not a good thing. And when I talk about race and try to be open and honest about it in this day and age, you're chastised, you're looked at as the racist.
Republican Senate candidate Scott Brown credited his employment with Fox News for motivating him to run for office again.
During a July 31 appearance on Fox News Radio's Kilmeade & Friends, Brown said of working as a Fox News contributor: "Certainly I loved doing what I was doing, and I think as a result of me being on Fox and being up on the issues, and listening to the false rhetoric out of the administration, really charged me up to get involved again."
The affection appears to be mutual between Fox News and Brown, as host Brian Kilmeade told Brown, "We miss having you on, having you as a contributor."
Brown took advantage of Kilmeade's softball interview to repeatedly plug his website and call for campaign volunteers and donations.
"What's the answer?" Brown asked about problems facing the country. "The answer is to take over the Senate, is to have people get on ScottBrown.com and help donate and help volunteer and let's send a message to the president because he's not up for reelection. But his number one foot soldiers are, folks, so let's get involved. "
He added later: "If people want to help, I'm telling you, it's time, folks. ScottBrown.com, and let's go take back our country."
Conservative pundit Dick Morris, who wrote 2005's Condi vs. Hillary: The Next Great Presidential Race and predicted Mitt Romney would win the 2012 election in a "landslide," now wants you to trust him with your retirement savings.
According to a July 30 press release, Morris is working with Retirement Media Inc. "to educate seasoned investors on how to protect their savings with safe alternatives outside of the stock market." Morris is headlining several events in the next few months where attendees will "hear market predictions from him." The event's website includes a video featuring "A Special Message from Dick Morris" in which Morris warns of people preying on "suckers."
Why anyone would voluntarily listen to "predictions" from Morris is unclear. Morris has a history of comically wrong political forecasting, incorrectly gave credence to warnings of a 2013 stock market crash, and has sent numerous pitches through his email newsletter promoting penny stocks which subsequently tanked and are now virtually worthless.
The former Fox News pundit -- whose tenure was marked by a pattern of ethical misdeeds -- became a national laughingstock after the 2012 election for his enthusiastic prediction that Mitt Romney would win in a "landslide." Other failed Morris predictions included his statements that "it's very possible" Obama would drop out of the race, that Donald Trump was "going to run" for president and "he could beat Obama," that Herman Cain would "overcome" sexual misconduct allegations, and Republicans would "win 10 seats in the Senate" in 2012.
Fox News finally let Morris go in February 2013. He was eventually hired by Philadelphia radio station WPHT for an afternoon program despite having "no ties to Philadelphia save for a few long-ago political consultancy gigs." Morris still makes regular appearances on Fox News -- he has appeared on Hannity eight times this year, according to a Nexis search.
Morris' previous warning of a stock market crash proved wildly wrong. On August 7, 2013, he posted a piece headlined, "Prediction Of A Crash In Next Two Weeks." Morris wrote that Jim Fitzgibbon "predicts a massive drop in the stock market and the economy this month that will continue, with brief spurts upward, until the end of the year and beyond. His track record in predictions is extraordinary." Morris concluded: "This is not a paid ad. It is my heartfelt wish that you hear what he has to say and take it seriously." The stock market did not crash -- in 2013, the Dow Jones and S&P 500 posted their biggest percentage gains since 1995 and 1997, respectively.
An easy way to lose money is to listen to stock advice sent through Morris' email list. Morris has regularly sent sponsored emails for penny stocks -- risky micro-cap stocks that often lack transparency and a long track record -- from dubious compensated stock pitchers who promise to "potentially double or triple your money" and turn "$2,000" into "$132,000." Many of the stocks promoted through DickMorris.com have become virtually worthless. Here are just five examples since 2013 (current stock prices as of posting):