From the Fox Nation:
Guest hosting for Glenn Beck, Fox News' Andrew Napolitano revived the conspiracy theory that President Obama is creating a civilian army, citing what Napolitano called a "bizarre" provision in the recently enacted health care reform legislation that would allow Obama to staff this army with "more doctors and have the doctors train to perform some type of indescript [sic] service." Actually, the reserve corps established under the health care reform legislation would support the Commissioned Corps, which traces its roots to the Marine Hospital Service established under President John Adams, and which facilitates health care delivery and disease prevention during national emergencies.
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 31 sponsors, in the order they appeared:
From a March 31 post on the HitFix.com blog The Beat Goes On:
Like LL Cool J, Toby Keith is slated to appear on "Real American Stories," a Fox News show hosted by Sarah Palin. Unlike LL Cool J, Keith is still slated to be on the program, but his inclusion was news to him.
We just talked to Toby Keith's representative. Keith, who says he's a registered Democrat, was not told about the usage of a past interview for Palin's program. "We were never contacted by Fox," his rep tells Hitfix."I have no idea what interview it's taken from.They're promoting this like it's a brand new interview. He never sat down with Sarah Palin." [emphasis in original]
As HitFix already reported here, LL Cool J questioned the usage of an old Fox interview in the Palin show via Twitter. Fox responded by yanking the LL Cool segment from the show, which airs April 1. Keith's segment is still in.
Previously: Fox Attacks: LL Cool J
This is priceless.
It's so funny because I thought it was all just a joke. I thought their rhetoric about reinventing journalism was a shtick. But they actually believe it. And now they're really, really mad they're not winning journalism awards for their intrepid work.
UPDATED: Perhaps I mocked too soon, since there's a chance Breitbart's Great Egg Caper of 2010 may be the breakthrough effort that finally earns his team respect.
Moments like these are why I take such joy and wondrous pleasure in reading NewsBusters.
Today, NewsBuster Dan Gainor unveiled the five "craziest" liberal attacks on the tea parties from the liberal left and the liberal media. Liberal. Here's number five on that list:
5) Protesters are Anti-Government
The media and the left portray tea parties as "anti-government" because it undermines a patriotic grassroots movement. Tea partiers aren't anti-government, they are anti-big government. That's just not the story journalists tell. The "anti-government" theme is strong, cropping up in more than two dozen stories in The Washington Post and New York Times combined. Very few of them mentioned the word "big" in reference to government.
So it's "crazy" to refer to tea partiers as "anti-government" because it "undermines" their patriotism? That's very interesting...
You already know what's coming -- NewsBuster Ken Shepherd, two days ago:
MSNBC's Chris Matthews today jumped on a statistic regarding Census participation in Texas to argue that anti-government sentiment from TEA Parties is hurting the Lone Star State in the decennial head count and hence could shortchange the state in congressional reapportionment and redistricting.
It's worth noting that Matthews never actually used the term "anti-government," that was just how Shepherd characterized the tea party ethos. Matthews, interestingly enough, spoke of "distrust about the federal government," which seems closer to what Gainor considers acceptable when talking about the tea parties.
I'm recalling specifically when ABC News' Jake Tapper pressed WH spokesman Robert Gibbs to explain the difference between Fox News and ABC, because Tapper just wasn't seeing it.
Fast forward to this week. And yes, this was an introduction from a so-called news program on Fox:
The President's massive health care reform law will not only cost taxpayers billions of dollars, it may also cost Americans jobs. But White House advisor Valerie Jarrett doesn't seem to think that's going to be a problem.
During a March 28 online Q&A, Washington Post media critic Howard Kurtz again defended the media's coverage of the health care debate:
Q: ... I have read news articles quoting a politico and know immediately that what they're reporting is untrue. Ex. death panels by govern. beaurocrats to determine who can live or die , then move on to another topic as if that were a fact. ...
A: Politicians get to say what they want, and then the media have a heavy responsibility to hold them accountable by providing the facts. Death panels is a particularly bad example for your argument, since as I noted last summer, lots of mainstream news organizations said flatly that this was pure fiction. Here's what Ceci Connolly wrote in The Post last Aug. 9: "There are no such 'death panels' mentioned in any of the House bills." [Emphasis added]
In fact, "Death panels" is a particularly strong example of the questioner's point. Kurtz keeps saying the media did a good job of debunking the lie that the health care bill contained "death panels" -- and he keeps being wrong.
Kurtz doesn't seem to understand that debunking a lie occasionally isn't good enough; you have to make clear that it is a lie every time you mention it. And the media, including the Washington Post, have not come close to doing that. So it's true that on August 9, 2009, a Washington Post article by Ceci Connolly "said flatly" that death panels were "pure fiction" -- but it's also true that many, many other Post articles (some of them written or co-written by Connolly, by the way) have failed to do so.
A review of Washington Post articles in the Nexis database finds that the Post ran articles on the following dates that mentioned "death panels" without flatly stating that they didn't exist:
August 14, 2009
August 16, 2009
August 18, 2009
August 19, 2009
August 20, 2009
August 26, 2009
September 9, 2009
September 10, 2009
September 16, 2009
September 29, 2009
October 22, 2009
October 24, 2009
November 3, 2009
November 19, 2009
January 7, 2009
February 28, 2009
On some of those dates, multiple articles mentioned death panels without making their falsity clear. Some of the articles in question treated the issue as a he-said/she-said, while others failed to do even that much to suggest the falsity of the allegations. Take, for example, this passage from a February 28, 2010 article: "Death panels became part of the debate last summer, after prominent Republicans, including former Alaska Gov. Sarah Palin, claimed the government would set them up to decide who could live or die." There is no indication in the article that the "death panel" claims were false. None.
And those are the Post's news articles. Over on the Op-Ed pages, the Post ran things like Danielle Allen's absurd defense of death panel fear-mongering.
Oh, and that August 9 Ceci Connolly article Kurtz thinks did such a good job of debunking the lie? It didn't, as I explained the first time Kurtz praised it.
Under a headline declaring, "Waxman Convenes the First Death Panel," The Wall Street Journal's John Fund suggested on March 30 that Rep. Henry Waxman is holding a hearing looking into several corporations' assertions about prescription drug costs related to health care reform because Waxman "is furious that large companies such as AT&T, Caterpillar and Deere are obeying SEC disclosure laws that Congress passed in the wake of the Enron scandal." Fund wrote:
Rep. Henry Waxman, chairman of the powerful House Energy and Commerce Committee, is furious that large companies such as AT&T, Caterpillar and Deere are obeying SEC disclosure laws that Congress passed in the wake of the Enron scandal. The three companies were the first of many to take sizeable write-downs because the heath-care bill effectively poses a new tax on retiree drug-benefit plans. Benefit consultants say the new tax could reduce corporate profits by as much as $14 billion.
But Mr. Waxman will have none of it. He wrote to the heads of the three companies summoning them to testify at an April 21 hearing: "The new law is designed to expand coverage and bring down costs, so your assertions are a matter of concern." The letter reminded one business reporter of Darth Vader's famous line in "Star Wars" that he found an underling's actions "disturbing" -- just before he strangled him. The Waxman letter was accompanied by a lengthy request for documents that he demanded be produced for the star-chamber hearing.
The subhead of Fund's post similarly states that Waxman "is denouncing businesses for complying with the law." But Fund's suggestion that Waxman is conducting a hearing simply because these companies "are complying with the law" is ridiculous.
Fund himself quotes from a letter Waxman wrote to several CEOs requesting their testimony that makes clear the intent of the hearing isn't to probe why these companies released these figures, but, rather, to discuss the figures themselves. As Media Matters has noted, Waxman wrote in his letter to AT&T CEO Randall Stephenson that AT&T's recently announced write-down is "a matter of concern" because "[t]he new law is designed to expand coverage and bring down costs" and that AT&T's numbers "appear to conflict with independent analyses," such as those estimated by the Congressional Budget Office and the Business Roundtable.
As we noted last night, Fox News has been blatantly misrepresenting an old LL Cool J interview as something new for Sarah Palin's debut show Real American Stories. But instead of correcting the record when LL Cool J called Fox out on its dishonest representation of his interview, Fox has since simply cut his interview from the program, further misrepresented his statements, and ended with a cheap shot at his "fledgling acting career."
According to TVNewser:
A Fox News spokesperson tells TVNewser, "Real American Stories features uplifting tales about overcoming adversity and we believe Mr. Smith's interview fit that criteria. However, as it appears that Mr. Smith [LL Cool J] does not want to be associated with a program that could serve as an inspiration to others, we are cutting his interview from the special and wish him the best with his fledgling acting career."
But LL Cool J never said he did not "want to be associated with a program that could serve as an inspiration to others," he simply said that Fox has "lifted an old interview I gave in 2008 to someone else & are misrepresenting to the public in order to promote Sarah Palins Show." In other words, he took issue with Fox building up Palin's debut with a blatant falsehood.