Former CIA officer Michael Scheuer has uncorked some whoppers on Fox News. In various appearances on the news channel, he has suggested that President Obama is guilty of treason, stated that White House Chief of Staff Rahm Emanuel wants terrorists to attack the United States, and asserted that the Obama administration is "pro-terrorist." But his most outrageous remark came during an appearance last year on Glenn Beck when he said, "The only chance we have as a country right now is for Osama bin Laden to deploy and detonate a major weapon in the United States."
Despite such rhetoric, Fox News invited him again to appear -- this time on the January 7 edition of Special Report with Bret Baier:
Given his previous remarks, I'm left to wonder what he'd have to say not to be invited back onto Fox news.
From the GlennBeck.com store, accessed January 7:
After Fox News contributors spent several days criticizing the Obama administration's response to Umar Farouk Abdulmutallab's failed attempt to bring down a Northwest Airlines flight on Christmas Day, Fox News responded to the administration's January 7 press conference about its handling of the incident and by ... cutting away to Glenn Beck's attack on the progressive movement and its "hundred-year time bomb."
Fox showed only a third of the press conference. By contrast, MSNBC and CNN broadcast the entire press conference, which continued an additional 28 minutes after Fox cut away.
In the past two weeks, Fox News personalities have criticized the administration for being "off the stage" for several days after Christmas, claimed the administration was reluctant to acknowledge the war on terror, and speculated that the administration was diverting intelligence resources away from counterterrorism in order to spy on global warming. Moreover, Fox News has been on a mission to see Homeland Security Secretary Janet Napolitano fired for her response to the incident, which made it puzzling to see the network cut away from Napolitano's remarks about the administration's response:
Eighty 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 of white people." Here are his January 7 sponsors, in the order they appeared:
Is Molotov Mitchell doing a little damage control? Two weeks after endorsing a proposed Uganda law that would permit the death penalty for homosexuality, the WorldNetDaily videographer has uploaded a new video in which he takes the some-of-my-best-friends-are-gay approach.
Mitchell begins by insisting that since he knows "the data" and "some of the scientists," as well as because "I have personally worked with ex-gays for years," he has concluded that "there's absolutely no evidence to support the gay activists' claim that same-sex attraction is genetic, and it's definitely not immutable." He adds: "When I say I'm against homosexuality, I mean I'm against a self-destructive lifestyle that is both unnecessary and dangerous."
The problem is that Mitchell isn't just "against homosexuality"; he favors the "abolition of homosexuality." He has not directly explained in his videos how he wants such abolition to occur, but his support for the Uganda law may be one possible clue.
But Mitchell then declares he has "gay friends." This leads to a story from his days of working in "actor circles," when he was confronted at a party by a "flaming homosexual" who asked him -- as Mitchell lapses into stereotypically fey, limp-wristed mannerisms and a lisping voice -- if he's going to hell for being gay. "I smiled, I looked him in the eye, and I said, 'Yeah, it looks like you are headed for hell.' "
He claimed this confrontational behavior went on for several weeks until a going-away party for the "flaming homosexual," during which, according to Mitchell, he was told by the "flaming homosexual" that "you're my only friend because you told me what I always knew." Mitchell then gets dramatic: "And then he started sobbing, and I grabbed him and I hugged him, and he just cried into my shoulder." Mitchell's lesson: "Faithful are the wounds of a friend."
Mitchell concluded: "Over the years, I've had lots of homosexual friends, and I've been straight with all of them about my aversion to their sexual lifestyle. A few have walked away, sure, but for the most part, they all stayed close, because they knew I really loved them."
If Michell wasn't mocking the kind of people who he claims he loves by busting out stereotypical imitations of them, we might think he was being genuinely sincere.
In one of the first posts on Andrew Breitbart's new website BigJournalism.com, radio host Ron Futrell purported to list "The Top Twelve Faux Media Scares of the Past Decade." A couple of the entries caught our eye. In one, Futrell spreads the tired myth that the world is cooling -- something scientists and statisticians could tell him is wrong. In another entry, Futrell goes after "asbestos insulation" as a "faux media scare." That one caused us to do a double take. How could concern over asbestos insulation be a "faux media scare"? Is BigJournalism actually advocating for people to forget the media hype and install asbestos in their homes and offices? Well, not quite. Futrell does acknowledge that you may not want to sprinkle asbestos "on your cereal in the morning," but he does present the link between asbestos and cancer as a matter for debate, labeling asbestos a "supposed carcinogen."
Outside of BigJournalism's world, the link between asbestos and cancer is well-known. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, "The Department of Health and Human Services (DHHS), the World Health Organization (WHO), and the EPA have determined that asbestos is a human carcinogen." In case you don't trust the liberal federal government and the WHO (who knows what kind of black helicopter plots those folks are involved in), the Utah Department of Environmental Quality also lists asbestos as a carcinogen. Even Fox News isn't on BigJournalism's side: Fox News senior medical editor Dr. Michael W. Smith has listed asbestos as a carcinogen.
Is it too early to say that relying on BigJournalism for your information may be hazardous to your health?
New year, same Fox News ethics.
On December 21, the Washington Post's Howard Kurtz reported that Fox executives told host Mike Huckabee to stop plugging his website "on the air after learning that it linked to his political action committee, which the network deemed a conflict of interest":
His HuckPAC has been involved in local races, raising $305,000 in this campaign cycle. His Web site urges followers to "Vote No Against Senate Health Care Bill" and invites fans to join him and his wife, Janet (for just $3,999!), on a tour of Israel next month. Fox executives told Huckabee to stop plugging the Web site on the air after learning that it linked to his political action committee, which the network deemed a conflict of interest.
As we've noted, Huckabee has used his Fox News program to promote the website "balancecutsave.com," which redirects visitors to a web page soliciting donations for Huckabee's political action committee.
Huckabee's personal website, MikeHuckabee.com, actively promotes and links to his political action committee. The large and small HuckPAC graphics and "Vote No ..." graphic direct readers to HuckPAC.com.
But despite his bosses' reported order to stop promoting a website that "link[s] to his political action committee," Huckabee promoted MikeHuckabee.com on his program last Saturday:
Huckabee's FoxNews.com website also promotes MikeHuckabee.com:
One of the reasons right-wing media criticism is often so pointless is that it's so obviously an exercise is partisan propaganda and has so little to do with actual journalism or legitimate criticism. An evergreen tell-tale sign of that is the habitual year-end moaning about beloved right-wing news stories that the press "ignored." The problem is that in so many cases, right-wingers point to stories that were, in truth, covered incessantly. GOP critics just like to pretend the stories were ignored, which then allows them to mouth more empty allegations about the so-called liberal media.
We already mocked Big Government for claiming last year's ACORN story was "ignored" by the press. (In truth, I found nearly 3,000 "ACORN" news accounts on Nexis.) More recently joining in on the pity party was FoxNews.com, which chronicled the top nine news stories that were "ignored" by the mainstream media. And yes, the massively over-covered ACORN story was among the top finishers.
Also making the list was the Tea Party movement and the rallies that were staged. Yep, according to FoxNews.com, the mainstream media "ignored" the Tea Party story last year. Funny, because if you search Nexis for 2009 you'll find nearly 2,500 Tea Party-related news articles and mentions.
So just between ACORN and the Tea Parties, the mainstream media "ignored" the stories to the tune of 5,500 reports last year.
Good to know.
UPDATED: Also humorous was the the FoxNews.com claim that the liberal mainstream media "ignored" a December study out of George Mason Univ. that indicated more federal stimulus money was being spent in Democratic Congressional districts vs. GOP ones. And yes, in truth the story received just minor pick up. The funny part though, was that among the news outlets that "ignored" the study was the right-wing Washington Times, which apparently is in on the massive media conspiracy to underplay GOP news.
I'm sure glad FoxNews.com outed the Washington Times for its failed coverage.
This morning Media Matters president Eric Burns appeared on The Joe Scarborough Show to discuss Glenn Beck's selection as Media Matters' 2009 Misinformer of the Year award and his meltdown over the news he'd "won".