At least 80 advertisers have reportedly dropped their ads from Glenn Beck's Fox News program since he called President Obama a "racist" who has a "deep-seated hatred for white people." Here are his March 30 sponsors, in the order they appeared:
Here are just a few of the things we've learned from Fox Nation in the last year:
It's reportedly never turned a profit with the Rev. Sun Myung Moon (who claims to be the returned son of god) instead bankrolling the right-wing daily newspaper's bottom line for years at a cost estimated at well over $1 billion, but president and publisher Jonathan Slevin wants you to know that The Washington Times is not for sale.
TPM's Justin Elliott reports:
In response to a claim on the Drudge Report that the Washington Times is "up for sale," the company said in a statement that it is "not currently negotiating" a sale of the company.
"The Washington Times has been approached throughout its history with expressions of interest by parties interested in purchase all or part of the company," said president and publisher Jonathan Slevin. "Contrary to online reports, however, the Washington Times is not currently negotiating with any party for sale of all or part of the company."
Drudge is currently running an unlinked line of text that reads "SOURCES: WASHINGTON TIMES UP FOR SALE... DEVELOPING... "
We followed up with Times spokesman Don Meyer to ask if he could comment directly on Drudge's claim that the paper is "up for sale." Meyer responded: "The statement on Drudge is untrue."
Be sure to check out more reporting on the Washington Times woes at Talking Points Memo.
In his new falsehood-laden book, Obama Zombies, Jason Mattera titles one of his chapters "The Dynamic Duo: Jon Stewart and Stephen Colbert" with the subtitle "Why Mediated Morons Matter." Mattera writes of Stewart:
And there you have the left's secret weapon, folks: a forty-something self-loathing New Yorker is liberalism's greatest spokesman today. Young people are drawn to Jon Stewart's nightly dose of zany facial expressions, liberal drivel, and F-bomb-laced commentary. Believe it or not, his program is where many young people get their daily news of what's going on in the real world. Sad? Yes. Surprising? Hardly. As we have seen throughout this book, Zombies don't think, they feel.
But it's all just comedy right? We shouldn't take Jon "little man" Stewart seriously. I mean, he doesn't even take himself seriously. That's certainly the skirt he hides behind when his partisanship is called into question. This is hardly surprising giving that Stewart's television program takes cues from the partisan, leftist smear group Media Matters. But Stewart is often mean and downright nasty. Sarah Palin is not just politically flawed, in his estimation. Nope. According to Stewart, former governor Palin is comparable to the devastation in Germany that led to Hitler's rise to power. "Have you noticed how [Palin's] rallies have begun to take on the characteristics of the last days of the Weimar Republic?" he said to a crowd at the stuff Waldorf-Astoria. " 'Who is Barack Obama?' Hey, lady, we just met you five fucking weeks ago." [p.171]
Yet, Mattera has no problem going on Fox News, where Nazi and socialist smears abound.
Via blogger Richard Bartholomew, we've discovered a tale that plays like a weird wingnut version of the telephone game.
Back in January, there was speculation in the wake of Umar Farouk Abdulmutallab's alleged attempt to blow up a plane approaching Detroit on Christmas that Al Qaeda might attempt to implant an explosive called PETN into the breasts or buttocks of would-be suicide bombers. After the UK's Daily Mail did an article on this at the end of January, claiming that an "operation by MI5" had determined that Al Qaeda was working on ways to implement such a plan, WorldNetDaily followed in a Feb. 1 article, credited to WND's $99-a-year G2 Bulletin newsletter, which reported that MI5 had discovered the Muslim doctors trained in U.K. hospitals had begun rigging the implants.
Several weeks later, the British tabloid The Sun rehashed the story, not crediting WND yet purporting to quote WND editor Joseph Farah and describing him as a "terrorist expert." The Sun story came back across the pond and was posted on the Fox News website (both are owned by Rupert Murdoch's News Corp.).
Unfortunately for all news organizations involved, the breast-bomb story was apparently just too good to check, so it's no surprise to learn that when the claim is examined, it's more than a tad implausible. As Neal Ungerleider at True/Slant writes:
The premise for today's article, which Drudge is now hyping? Obama is taunting and confronting Republicans. Who says so? Republicans.
But wait, it's true because the Journal has proof of Obama's new partisan, in-your-face approach [emphasis added]:
On Thursday, the president challenged Republicans who planned to campaign on repealing his health-care bill with, "Go for it." Two days later, he made 15 senior appointments without Senate consent, including a union lawyer whose nomination had been blocked by a filibuster.
At a bill-signing event Tuesday, he is set to laud passage of higher-education legislation that was approved despite Republican objections through a parliamentary maneuver that neutralized the party's filibuster threat.
On Thursday, Mr. Obama will be in Maine, home state of two moderate Republican senators who opposed his health-care plan, to promote the health law.
Even his surprise trip to Afghanistan on Sunday mobilized the perks of the presidency to marshal public opinion, as pictures were beamed home of Mr. Obama mobbed by U.S. troops.
To recap, Obama is confronting Republicans by urging them to try to repeal health care reform, signing a bill into law that they opposed, traveling to Maine, and traveling to Afghanistan.
What a trash talker!
UPDATED: BTW, the Journal article may include the single dumbest sentence I've read this month:
Mr. Obama campaigned on calling for an end to partisan bickering in Washington, but once in office he launched an ambitious agenda that pursued several long-held Democratic goals.
On her blog, Fox News' Greta Van Susteren reports that Sarah Palin is "hosting a Special!!!" this Thursday night during Van Susteren's regular time slot.
It's worth pointing out that last Tuesday, Palin rolled out her list of Democratic congressional candidates she is targeting for defeat - using gun sight imagery that even longtime Palin booster Elizabeth Hasselbeck called "despicable" and "insane." Palin spent Friday campaigning for Sen. John McCain. On Saturday, she rallied with thousands of tea party activists against Sen. Harry Reid. Yesterday, she endorsed three Republican congressional candidates.
As we've noted, Fox News has been targeting the Congressional Budget Office in an apparent attempt to undermine its conclusion that the health care reform law, if enacted as written, will not increase the federal debt. The campaign to discredit CBO continued this morning, with Fox & Friends featuring CBO director Douglas Elmendorf as the subject of its "Who's Ruining the Economy?" segment:
Why does Fox & Friends think Elmendorf, the head of Congress' nonpartisan office of economists and budget analysts, is ruining the economy? After all, CBO simply provides cost estimates and economic analyses and doesn't make policy. Well evidently, it's because CBO used economic models to estimate the job impact of the stimulus package and didn't "actually go out in the field and count the number of jobs created," in the words of Fox business analyst Stuart Varney.
Here is a little Tuesday afternoon fun.
No one likes a good car chase quite like Fox News' Shepard Smith. In the video below as Smith excitedly sets up for a commercial break and encourages his audience to stick around for more on his car chase du jour the anchor appears to be taking a swipe at the now infamous "we'll do it live" Bill O'Reilly video that long ago went viral with millions of views. What do you think?
For old times' sake, here's that O'Reilly video:
Lack of diversity on the all important Sunday morning political talk shows is nothing new. As Media Matters noted back in a 2007 report on the subject, "Not only are the Sunday morning talk shows on the broadcast networks dominated by conservative opinion and commentary, the four programs -- NBC's Meet the Press, ABC's This Week, CBS' Face the Nation, and Fox Broadcasting Co.'s Fox News Sunday -- feature guest lists that are overwhelmingly white and overwhelmingly male."
At the time of the report's release, not one of the Sunday shows was helmed by a woman or ethnic minority. How did the guests stack up? Not well at all.
Keep in mind, these programs help shape beltway conventional wisdom for the week to come and wield a disproportionate amount of influence over the political chattering class. The lack of a seat at the table for women and ethnic minorities spoke directly to the old boys club that has long dominated Washington politics and media.
The 2007 report didn't take into account the less influential Sunday morning political talk shows on cable networks like CNN, Fox News Channel and MSNBC but the results -- at least when it comes to hosts -- would have been much the same. All white. All men.
This year things have changed a bit.
In February when it was announced that long-time senior political correspondent Candy Crowley would be taking over as host for John King on CNN's State of the Union it was hard to find a story that didn't make prominent mention of her recent post-campaign weight loss.
It is one thing to be critical of Crowley's past work, just as we have been from time to time. It is quite another to fixate on her physical appearance. Asked about the subject, Crowley was quoted as saying, "Would I have gotten the job without having lost the weight? I don't know. That's an X factor... Does the refrigerator light stay on when you close the door? We'll never know." She went on to say, "I readily admit I'm not the most obvious pick, from a purely cosmetic point of view... I'm not going to argue that when you turn on the TV, you basically get young, blonde, thin women. This is changing."
I certainly hope it is changing but only time will tell.
Similarly, earlier this month word came down that CNN's Christiane Amanpour would be leaving the cable network to helm ABC's This Week - the first woman ever with full-time hosting duties on a broadcast network Sunday show.
Cue the back-biting and second guessing, much of it anonymous.
As Mediaite's Steve Krakauer noted:
Then there's CNN's John King who felt the need to throw out some questions about Amanpour's selection during a recent interview stating, "There are a lot of questions. Christiane does not have a lot of experience covering American politics and so how does she fit in on ABC on Sunday morning? I'll leave that to them to figure out. It is an interesting pick, it is an unorthodox choice, I think that's just self-evident...I'll watch how it plays out with everyone else."
Get that? There are lots of questions. She's not experienced covering American politics. But I'll leave ABC News to answer these questions...questions I've just thrown out to you like red meat to the media circus lions in my best impersonation of a Fox News chyron.
Regardless of what you think of these recent hirings, they are a long overdue step in the right-direction. Women and ethnic minorities bring a different world of experience to the table. They need not be booked solely for the purpose of discussing issues important to women and ethnic minorities as is far too often the case.
The Washington press corps is change averse. It's a stodgy, self-perpetuating, conventional wisdom driven world. It could use a little more, dare I say a great deal more, change.