Since the last time Glenn Beck attacked net neutrality as Marxist plot to take over the Internet, he's had ample time to research and discover that the issue is in fact about keeping the internet as an open platform for individuals and businesses (an initiative supported by major corporations like Google, Amazon.com and Facebook). Beck would even have learned that conservative groups like the Christian Coaltion as well as Gun Owners of America and the Parents Television Council support net neutrality.
True to the pattern we've seen from Beck over the years, he has not learned.
On his Monday Fox News show Beck explained to his audience that net neutrality was all about silencing Glenn Beck and others opposed to the Obama administration. To call this missing the point would be generous and a disservice to anyone who has ever legitmately missed a point.
Glenn Beck says that net neutrality is about squelching freedom of speech, the exact opposite of what net neutrality is about. From The Free Press' statement on net neutrality (Free Press is a major organizer of the Save The Internet campaign for net neutrality):
We need to keep the Internet free, open and neutral. Network Neutrality is vital to ensuring that everyone can connect and share content freely, that we can access the information, visit the Web sites and say what we want online, free from discrimination or interference.
The phone and cable companies that control access to the Internet for most Americans want to get rid of Net Neutrality, the rule that prevents them from discriminating against online content. They want to become the Internet's gatekeepers, deciding which sites go fast or slow and which won't load at all -- based on who pays them the most.
We can't allow the information superhighway to become the phone and cable companies' private toll road. If they get their way, the Internet as we know it -- as a democratic platform for free speech and innovation -- will disappear.
Somehow, Beck turned Free Press' net neutrality advocacy into a Marxist plot "to limit America's free press and freedom of speech."
After decrying a campaign by Free Press to have individuals comment to the FCC supporting net neutrality rules as a power grab by "special interests," Beck directed his audience to go to nointernettakeover.com to oppose net neutrality. Somehow, he neglected to point out that nointernettakeover.com is run by the right-wing organization Americans for Prosperity, which receives tons of corporate "special interest" money.
Do you know who would benefit from net neutrality? Glenn Beck. People like Beck would continue to have open access to a platform to share their conspiracy theories no matter how ill-informed they might be. So far, there are few signs that Beck will ever get this.
Sean Hannity, purporting to explain what a "Reagan conservative" is, claimed that President Reagan created 21 million new jobs and doubled federal revenues. Neither of those claims are true.
On the March 24 edition of Hannity, Sean Hannity proved that even when corrected on an issue by a fellow conservative, he'll plow ahead no matter what the facts are. Hannity was discussing the new health care law with Sen. Jim DeMint (R-SC) and repeated the false claim that congress was exempt from the health exchanges in the bill. Sen. DeMint quickly corrected him:
That did not deter the intrepid Mr. Hannity, as minutes later he expressed his shock about the (nonexistent) exemptions in the law. Amazingly, Hannity referenced the very conversation in which Sen. DeMint had corrected his misinformation!
Once more, into the breach Hannity went a few minutes later, this time arguing with Juan Williams about the mythical exemptions in the bill. Echoing Sen. DeMint, Williams debunked Hannity, but these facts were mere playthings for Hannity to swat aside.
Hannity demonstrated once again that he wasn't going to let anything like the actual facts or multiple debunkings get in the way of putting some misinformation out there. But then, that's what Fox News has been doing all along.
With all the companies that have pulled their advertising from Glenn Beck, it's understandable that many of those still advertising with him aren't exactly blue-chip enterprises. Regardless, you've got to give it to the folks at Survival Seed Bank - who advertised on Glenn Beck's March 8 broadcast - for meshing quite nicely with the host's apocalyptic visions of the future.
There's nothing wrong with a business that serves some kind of demand in the marketplace, but it goes without saying that fearmongering about economic collapse followed by food shortages and citing World Net Daily for "strong evidence" is big time black helicopter stuff.
No wonder they're advertising on Glenn Beck.
On his February 23 show, Sean Hannity devoted the entire hour of his show to airing and discussing Generation Zero, a film produced by conservative activists about the financial crisis. In the segment below Hannity and the filmmakers lay blame for the crisis on baby boomers (or "'60's hippies," in the words of producer David Bossie) moving away from conservative ideas by taking advantage of corporate personhood in order to avoid personal responsibility for the risks they took with the funds their banks controlled:
This denies reality. It is in fact the conservative movement that has regularly supported the power of personhood for corporations, and the resulting dissolution of personal responsibility for corporate decisions. In fact, one of the producers of this very film is David Bossie. Bossie is behind Citizens United, the conservative activist group who recently won a Supreme Court case that affirmed the power of political speech for coporations like Citizens United (the case was decided 5-4 with the justices regularly categorized as conservative voting in the affirmative).
It might be possible, maybe, that Bossie is secretly one of those corporate loving hippies in disguise. But I'm doubtful.
I don't think Congress could or would censure King for something he said at a political rally, but I agree with you that his comments and others like them probably deserve more attention from the media. They are striking remarks.
Yet, over 28 hours after Talking Points Memo reported King's remarks, the Post hasn't written any stories on the comments. But don't worry. The Post did spend seven paragraphs on singer Shakira's visit to Washington.
The Wall Street Journal's John Fund is back at work attacking one of his favorite targets, ACORN, at this week's CPAC with an amusing bit of pretzel logic. Fund was discussing supposed congressional efforts to enact universal voter registration (Fund was previously forced to retract his claim that Rep. Barney Frank was pushing such legislation after Frank called Fund's report a "lie"), and explained that since nobody has heard of this proposal, that was great evidence of its existence.
That's right, since nobody is talking about it, this must mean it's true. This completely explains why the congressional plan to give Texas to the Martians is undoubtedly true. How do I know? Because nobody is talking about it!
Appearing on Fox News' Studio B with Shepard Smith to discuss Iran's nuclear capabilities, K.T. McFarland, former Republican senatorial candidate, Reagan administration spokesperson, and host of FoxNews.com's "Defcon 3" insisted that President Obama has "said nothing" on pro-democracy protesters in Iran. In fact President Obama specifically spoke about Iranian dissidents and condemned the violence on December 28, 2009.
From Obama's Dec. 28, 2009 comments:
Before I leave, let me also briefly address the events that have taken place over the last few days in the Islamic Republic of Iran. The United States joins with the international community in strongly condemning the violent and unjust suppression of innocent Iranian citizens, which has apparently resulted in detentions, injuries, and even death.
For months, the Iranian people have sought nothing more than to exercise their universal rights. Each time they have done so, they have been met with the iron fist of brutality, even on solemn occasions and holy days. And each time that has happened, the world has watched with deep admiration for the courage and the conviction of the Iranian people who are part of Iran's great and enduring civilization.
What's taking place within Iran is not about the United States or any other country. It's about the Iranian people and their aspirations for justice and a better life for themselves. And the decision of Iran's leaders to govern through fear and tyranny will not succeed in making those aspirations go away.
As I said in Oslo, it's telling when governments fear the aspirations of their own people more than the power of any other nation.
Along with all free nations, the United States stands with those who seek their universal rights. We call upon the Iranian government to abide by the international obligations that it has to respect the rights of its own people.
We call for the immediate release of all who have been unjustly detained within Iran. We will continue to bear witness to the extraordinary events that are taking place there. And I'm confident that history will be on the side of those who seek justice.
McFarland could have even found these comments on... FoxNews.com.
In the entire history of American journalism, there is probably not a single writer with a more horrible record of reporting on weapons of mass destruction than Judith Miller. So of course FoxNews.com's story about a report by the Commission on the Prevention of Weapons of Mass Destruction which graded the government on its handling of WMD proliferation features the byline of... Judith Miller.
Why might a news outlet think twice about letting Miller write any kind of story, let alone one involving WMD? During her time at the NY Times Miller repeatedly "reported" misinformation about Saddam Hussein's WMD capabilities; those stories became evidence that could be cited by Bush administration officials to push their case for the invasion of Iraq. In other words, Miller's work was a vital part of the pro-war echo chamber. The NY Times later had to go to the unusual step of writing an editor's note about the shoddy quality of Miller's WMD work, as Slate's Eric Umansky noted (emphasis mine):
After taking its very sweet time, a NYT editor's note acknowledges that some of its WMD reporting was overly credulous and is no longer, em, operative. While archly noting that most of the coverage was an "accurate reflection of the state of our knowledge at the time," the Times acknowledges, "We have found a number of instances of coverage that was not as rigorous as it should have been. Looking back, we wish we had been more aggressive in re-examining the claims as new evidence emerged--or failed to emerge."
Not that anyone in particular is at fault: "Some critics of our coverage during that time have focused blame on individual reporters. Our examination, however, indicates that the problem was more complicated." Which is true; editors at the Times weren't skeptical enough and didn't give sufficient play to countervailing evidence. But just because many were at fault doesn't mean one wasn't particularly so. Of the 12 flawed stories the Times cites, Judith Miller wrote or co-wrote of 10 of them.
This is perhaps not the person you want to put on the WMD beat, to say the least. Or any beat, for that matter.