With Fox News personalities openly speculating on-air that Sarah Palin has produced a "campaign ad" and set up a candidate's schedule for September, how much longer will the network allow her to maintain her status as a Fox News contributor?
Back in March, Fox executives suspended the contracts of contributors Newt Gingrich and Rick Santorum as the two considered entering the GOP primary field. Suspending Gingrich and Santorum, while keeping Huckabee and Palin, gave way to questions of fairness at Fox.
In an interview with Howard Kurtz, Fox's executive vice president of legal affairs, Dianne Brandi, tried to dispense with the controversy, saying the network would allow Palin to stay on because she "hasn't done anything to show us she has any intention of running."
The ethical morass grew in June, as Fox News figures aggressively promoted Palin's brand while she tore through the northeast on a bus tour, hinting along the way that she might be running and granting friendly interviews to Fox shows.
Now, after the former governor ripped through Iowa and cut a sleek ad that again hinted at a presidential campaign, some Fox News personalities are speculating on-air that Palin's recent moves cross the line into campaigning. Fox Business' Tracy Byrnes aired the ad and opined, "If that's not a campaign ad, I don't know what is." Fox contributor Karl Rove said that Palin's September schedule, complete with a Labor Day weekend speech in Iowa, "looks like a candidate's [schedule]."
Byrnes and Rove certainly think Palin has shown some "intention of running." What will be cause enough for Fox's executives?
Monday, Fox News aired a promo linking Your World with Neil Cavuto to the so-called "news division" at Fox, home to "real journalism":
In a flurry of "real journalism" an hour later, Cavuto called President Obama, "the rage" and Harry Reid, "the stooge," explaining:
Why everything they are saying confirms this much: We are screwed.
Rush Limbaugh complained recently that critics constantly accuse him of "lying" and "making [things] up," a charge he steadfastly dismissed. However, Media Matters has rounded up some of the whoppers he's told this week alone.
Rush Limbaugh responded to Standard & Poor's (S&P) decision to "downgrade" the U.S. credit rating by unleashing a litany of economic falsehoods. Limbaugh used these falsehoods to argue that the economy was suffering what he called "Obamageddon."
Though Rush reads on-air the fact that the city's primary bus and rail station is located a mere five lanes from the site of the convention, he goes on to insist that the real reason for the move is because Democrats want to obscure the cameras' view of "their voters," half of whom, he claims, "live at the bus station." Because the city's main bus and rail hub is located directly across the street from the convention center, it's more than plausible that the security perimeter - remember, the President of the United States will be in attendance - will engulf the transit center.
The Charlotte Observer reported:
"One of the DNCC's top priorities is to minimize impact on Charlotteans' daily routines during the week of the convention," [Charlotte Area Transit System chief executive, Carolyn Flowers] said.
The Charlotte Transportation Center is the nerve center for the city's rail and bus service. It's not only a start-and-go point for thousands of uptown workers, it's also a hub for switching buses. It is adjacent to the CTC/Arena light-rail station, which probably would be temporarily closed as well.
As the Observer reported, the transportation center of Charlotte will likely have to be moved because of its immediate proximity to the arena:
Changing traffic patterns and roping off a security perimeter around the location of a nomination convention site is absolutely not a new practice. Take the 2008 Republican National Convention in St. Paul Minnesota, for instance. In 2008, The Star Tribune published a map of the "no-traffic zone" around the Xcel Center:
The "no-traffic zone" designated by the city of St. Paul in 2008 stretches over a number of city blocks surrounding the arena, as the perimeter around the security perimeter around the Time Warner Cable Arena in Charlotte likely will.
Projecting his own ugly stereotypes about the poor onto an otherwise mundane exercise in logistics is just the latest installment in Rush's multi-volume history of attacking the poor. Last summer in response to a report on children facing hunger while classes were out of session, Rush suggested they "dumpster dive" for food. He's also cast doubt on the statistic that one in 50 American children experience homelessness every year, calling the idea "bogus," and positing to his listeners, "Would somebody tell me the last time you saw a kid sleeping under a bridge?"
Glenn Beck's The Blaze is stoking fears of a sinister plot aimed at "indoctrinating children" with the "overtly controversial stance" that global warming is man-made with free books and SpongeBob SquarePants:
On July 20, 2011, kids in the Washington, D.C. area were treated to free books during a special U.S. Department of Education event. Two of the books that were offered featured popular Nickelodeon characters as part of the network's "Big Green Help Series," a campaign encouraging children to help protect the Earth.
But one of these publications takes an overtly controversial stance, as it promotes the idea that global warming is a man-made problem that requires human intervention in order to be stemmed.
Of course, there should be nothing remotely controversial about the idea that humans are contributing to climate change. Countless scientific organizations and groups long ago moved past the notion that the concept is "controversial." The controversy exists only in the fevered imaginations of right-wing commentators, like those at The Blaze, where it has become a point of pride to deny a massive body of scientific research.
After President Obama encouraged voters to "email" or "Tweet" lawmakers in order to "keep the pressure on Washington" to reach a compromise and avoid default, media conservatives announced that Obama had declared "Twitter War on Republicans."
Days before a potential default crisis, right-wing media are engaged in a full-throated lobbying effort against a compromise to avoid default, urging Republicans to "hold the line" and act like "winners."
Fox Nation is decrying the number of paragraphs it took The New York Times to call the foiled Ft. Hood terror suspect, Pfc. Naser Abdo, a Muslim, arguing that in not saying "Muslim" earlier in the story, the Times "downplayed" the entire story:
Abdo was arrested in Killeen, Texas, near Fort Hood. He was found with weapons, explosive [sic], and jihadist materials. Sources said he was attempting to purchase more weapons at the same gun store where Maj. Nidal Hasan purchased weapons allegedly used to gun down 13 people and would 30 others in a 2009 terrorist attack at the military base.
But the New York Times downplayed Abdo and Hasan's Muslim faith - and ultimately the entire story.
The foiled plot appeared on page A-11 of the newspaper's print edition. The word "Muslim" was mentioned once - in paragraph nine of the 13-paragraph story. The newspaper's top national story was a feature piece about a boy who is following his dream to be a circus clown. That story had 28 paragraphs.
This bit of selective outrage is especially hypocritical given that some of Fox's biggest personalities have been lashing out at the media for reporting that Norwegian terrorist Anders Breivik is not a Christian.
Despite Breivik self-identifying as a Christian, right-wing media breathlessly worked to separate him from the rest of Christanity. Apparently in the Fox Nation, a terrorist's faith is only pertinent if that faith is Islam.
Glenn Beck charged on his radio show Wednesday that the mainstream media is trying to destroy him by taking "something" that he said "out of context":
Beck refused to specify just what comments were being misrepresented, but he has been under a barrage of criticism this week after he compared a youth camp in Norway where scores of young people were massacred to the "Hitler youth." In an interview with The Daily Telegraph, Torbjørn Eriksen, former Press Secretary to Norway's prime minister, called the comment "a new low" and said, "Glenn Beck's comments are ignorant, incorrect and extremely hurtful."
It would be disingenuous to say that those comments included some kind of mitigating context:
BECK: So, Saturday, I was following the news of the shooting in Norway and the explosion in Norway, which happened, what, on Friday?
GRAY: Yeah. The explosion was - and then we left the air, and then he went to the camp.
BECK: Yeah. Well, when we heard the explosion everybody was willing to say, it's Muslim extremists; it's Muslim extremists. I don't think we made a comment on it, because we didn't know other than there was a bombing that happened. And as the thing started to unfold, and then there was a shooting at a political camp -- which sounds a little like the Hitler youth, or whatever. I mean, who does a camp for kids that's all about politics? Disturbing.
But anyway, so there's this political camp, and some crazy man goes and starts shooting kids. I get up Saturday morning, and I write to Scott Baker at The Blaze and I said, I haven't seen this yet anywhere, and I can tell you exactly what's going on. Somebody just needs to follow the story. And what is going on is exactly what I said would happen. I warned that this would happen last fall.