In an article today, Politico reported that Fox News political analyst Dick Morris is now acting as a "Republican campaign surrogate," appearing at rallies for Republican politicians and using his appearances on Fox to campaign for the GOP. Politico also reported: "While Morris stressed that he provides informal assistance to candidates on a pro bono basis, he has nevertheless found ways to pad his bank account off the midterm elections."
According to Politico, one of the groups with which Morris is associated, Americans for Prosperity, has "declined to say whether the group has been paying Morris," but the president of the group added: "We are happy to pay people, in general, if we are happy with their message."
In addition, Politico reports that "Morris's elevated profile also helps with marketing a recently published book he wrote with McGann titled, 'Take Back America: A Battle Plan,' which he bills as a blueprint for a GOP takeover of Congress."
From the Politico article:
[I]n his latest iteration, Morris has become something of a principal himself, headlining rallies, fundraising and advocating for Republican House candidates. He's formally endorsed some of the party's top prospects, raised money for a slate of GOP House candidates including David McKinley in West Virginia, and Bob Gibbs and Tom Ganley in Ohio, and even blasted out a message to his e-mail list subscribers heaping praise on David Harmer, a challenger for a northern California-based seat.
While Morris stressed that he provides informal assistance to candidates on a pro bono basis, he has nevertheless found ways to pad his bank account off the midterm elections.
He's been particularly active with Americans for Prosperity, the anti-tax group that is running TV ads against Democrats. The organization has sent Morris to headline rallies in Colorado, Virginia and Arkansas, where he has implored audiences to elect conservatives to Congress. He also attended the organization's recent "Defending the Dream Summit" in Washington, where he appeared alongside Virginia Gov. Bob McDonnell at the kick-off session.
Tim Phillips, president of Americans for Prosperity, declined to say whether the group was paying Morris to appear at its events but added, "We are happy to pay people, in general, if we are happy with their message."
Morris's elevated profile also helps with marketing a recently published book he wrote with McGann titled, "Take Back America: A Battle Plan," which he bills as a blueprint for a GOP takeover of Congress.
As Media Matters has documented, Dick Morris has quite a history of ethically dubious behavior, shilling for financial schemes as well as for Republican candidates and causes. And Fox News is deeply implicated in Morris' schemes.
With the guest lineup of World Net Daily's Taking America Back 2010 national conference, it was no surprise that birtherism and bigotry were prevalent throughout the convention. After all, WND's Joseph Farah and Jerome Corsi are perhaps most (in)famous for their repeated birther attacks against President Obama.
Displaying shocking ignorance of his own publication, Farah kicked off WND's first national convention by asking if "anyone at WorldNetDaily ever asserted" that President Obama "is foreign-born." We can. It turns out that one of WND's commentators, Craige McMillan, has referred to President Obama as an "illegal alien" in at least three separate posts on WorldNetDaily's website. Despite Farah's suggestion that WorldNetDaily held itself above the tired questions about President Obama's citizenship, Jerome Corsi was quick to jump on the case.
Questioning the president's citizenship, and thus his eligibility as president, was not the only way speakers at WND's convention attacked Obama. Speaker after speaker attacked Obama's faith as a Christian. Jerome Corsi alternatively claimed that Obama "doesn't believe in God" and that he's a Muslim, Floyd Brown claimed that Obama "hates Christianity" and "is a Muslim," while Aaron Klein said that the president "has a certain affinity toward Islam."
Other attacks against Obama included the zombie lie that Obama supported "infanticide" and an absurd demand by Corsi that Obama "come out and renounce Lucifer." Floyd Brown also stated that the "most important step" for the next session of Congress is to impeach President Obama.
Anti-gay bigotry was also out in force at the Taking America Back convention. WorldNetDaily founder, editor, and CEO Joseph Farah suggested gay marriage would lead to "sexual anarchy" and claimed that opposing gay marriage was akin to opposing "sexual offenses" such as "polygamy, incest, statutory rape, child pornography, molestation, [and] prostitution." Noted anti-gay bigot Robert Knight similarly compared a gay marriage ban to bans on polygamy and incest. However, Jerome Corsi refused to be outdone in this vein, going so far as to link same-sex marriage to pedophilia and bestiality.*
Speakers at the convention were also, to put it mildly, displeased with Imam Rauf's proposal to build an Islamic community center in Manhattan to serve an existing Muslim community as a place for worship and community. After nine months of right-wing anti-Muslim bigotry and incidents of violence against mosque sites nationwide, WND's speakers decided to rachet up the rhetoric against the Islamic community center by declaring that its intention is to promote further attacks by Muslims against America. Aaron Klein flatly stated that "the individuals behind" the Islamic community center in Manhattan don't "have peaceful intentions." As well, WND speaker William Murray said that the purpose of the community center is to host "raiders" to "do even more damage" in America.
Just how does WorldNetDaily plan to top all of this with its next national convention?
Media conservatives, led by Glenn Beck and Sarah Palin, are comparing a Florida church's plans to burn Qurans on the anniversary of the 9-11 attacks to plans to build an Islamic community center in Manhattan.
Andrew Napolitano smeared the Obama administration as being "in tight" with the New Black Panther Party, citing the myth that the Obama Justice Department would not prosecute a party member for "[i]ntimidating voters with a weapon." In fact, the decision to not pursue criminal charges was made by the Bush DOJ, and the Obama administration won an injunction against the party member who carried a weapon.
Following Fox News' lead, conservative media outlets celebrated Labor Day by attacking labor unions, often smearing them as "socialist" and violent.
Much of Glenn Beck's "Restoring Honor" weekend -- and the run-up to it -- focused on one thing: Glenn Beck. Beck introduced a Beck-sanctioned clergy group that he claimed represented "180 million people," repeatedly associated himself with Martin Luther King Jr., made outlandish claims about the impact of the events, and was praised as "one of America's most trusted and honored citizens."
Right-wing media are attacking President Obama's statement that he "believe[s] that Muslims have the same right to practice their religion as everyone else in this country" and are entitled to build a mosque in Lower Manhattan.
Dr. Laura Schlessinger's racially charged rant, in which she "articulated the 'n' word all the way out -- more than one time," is only the latest in a year of public displays of racially loaded rhetoric by right-wing media figures.
Glenn Beck falsely claimed that Feisal Abdul Rauf, who is heading efforts to build a community center in New York, currently "employs" an imam who blamed "the Jews" for 9-11; in fact, the imam resigned in 2001 prior to making those comments. Beck also absurdly claimed Rauf was "connected to Hamas" and attacked Rauf for making comments about the 9-11 attacks that are strikingly similar to comments Beck himself made in April.
Liz Cheney spread the myth that the stimulus bill has "not worked" to mitigate job losses. In fact, many independent and private analysts have agreed that stimulus spending significantly raised employment over what would have happened without it.