It's like clockwork. If there's a high-profile election that results in a narrow Republican defeat, Wall Street Journal columnist John Fund will make vague allegations of "voter fraud" against ACORN or unions or whoever the right-wing boogeyman of the moment is.
Fund was at it again this afternoon on Fox News' America Live, claiming that the stench of "voter fraud" hangs over the April 5 Wisconsin Supreme Court election, in which incumbent conservative Justice David Prosser trails challenger Joanne Kloppenburg by about 200 votes with a recount pending. Fund suspects there might be fraud because of "scattered examples of people being asked to fill out their ballots in pencil, which is not supposed to happen because you can erase a pencil."
Watch the video:
That's an interesting allegation, given that the Election Administration Manual, put out by the Elections Division of the Wisconsin Government Accountability Board, directs municipal clerks that "Pencils or appropriate marking pens must be provided" at polling places.
That would help explain why this sample ballot for the April 5 election from Sheboygan County, and this sample ballot from Winnebago County, instruct voters in large capital letters: "IMPORTANT: USE A #2 PENCIL OR THE MARKING PEN PROVIDED."
It's almost like John Fund just makes accusations of voter fraud without knowing what he's talking about or doing basic research.
h/t Abram Sauer
America Live featured a segment focused on "pro-union groups pour[ing]" money into Wisconsin's Supreme Court race in order to criticize "pro-union" attacks on the incumbent, conservative Justice David Prosser Jr. In fact, more outside money has been spent on Prosser's behalf -- a fact ignored by America Live, and Fox News has recently hyped Prosser's campaign, which many see as a referendum on Republican Gov. Scott Walker's anti-union policies.
An hour and a half into today's broadcast of Fox News' America Live, after two days of completely ignoring the story, Megyn Kelly finally got to reporting on the Office of Professional Responsibility's statement that they had completed their review of the Justice Department's handling of the New Black Panther Party case and determined that DOJ's attorneys engaged in no "professional wrongdoing." For 20 seconds.
The brief reference to the OPR statement came in the middle of a one-minute-four-second news brief which largely focused on Rep. Frank Wolf's (R-VA) demand to the DOJ for documents related to the case:
KELLY: Well, new developments today in the New Black Panther voter intimidation case. Congressman Frank Wolf now giving the Department of Justice a 30-day deadline to produce documents on why it essentially dropped major portions of that voter intimidation case. You may remember on Election Day in 2008 members of the New Black Panther Party were caught on videotape holding a nightstick and hurling racial taunts at white and black voters as they entered a polling station in Philadelphia. The Department of Justice decided internally, in connection with an internal probe, that no wrongdoing occurred, and that neither race nor politics played any role - no politics, I should say -- in the dismissal of those charges. Now, that's from the DOJ's Office of Professional Conduct, clearing essentially the lawyers in the case. Now that the DOJ 's investigation is over, Congressman Wolf is pushing Congress to get their hands on the documents. He's the chair of the subcommittee on Commerce and Justice that's been looking into this case.
So if you're following:
Fox News' purportedly objective daytime news programs have a couple of business "experts" that they regularly host to comment on economic issues. One is Stuart Varney, who, by his own admission, is "very partisan" and who has repeatedly advocated for Republican Congressional victories on Fox. Another is oil man Eric Bolling, who, both on and off the air, has proven to be a far-right ideologue as well.
On the Fox Business Network, Bolling hosts a 10PM opinion show, a goal of which is to "beat liberalism/socialism/'progressivism' back to where it came from," according to Bolling. As evidenced by frequent rants on his Facebook page (posted below), Bolling sees himself as a die-hard warrior against liberals in the fight to save America -- which is all well and good so long as it stays on his opinion program.
But Bolling has appeared on Fox News Channel's "straight news" shows (America's Newsroom, Happening Now and America Live) 10 times in just the past two weeks, where he is presented as an authoritative analyst brought on to explain economic developments or data, "break it down," and "put it in perspective for us," in the words of two Fox anchors. Today, Bolling appeared on America's Newsroom to discuss President Obama's latest remarks on energy, and co-host Martha MacCallum told viewers that Bolling "has followed all this, you know, traded oil commodities for 20 years so he knows whereof he speaks."
Fox's "straight news" programs couldn't get away with hosting Sean Hannity or Glenn Beck to break down the latest jobs numbers, so why is Bolling any different? Perhaps if his economic expertise or insight was such that we could have confidence that he wouldn't let his stark political views interfere with his analysis, then maybe I could be convinced that his Fox News appearances are appropriate. But that's simply not the case (despite Bolling's declaration that his knowledge is superior to that of Energy Secretary Steven Chu.)
If Megyn Kelly wants people to pretend that she is a journalist, can't she at least try to play one on TV?
Kelly, of course, is a touchstone of the so-called "news division" that puts the "news" in Fox News.
It was in that role last year that Kelly eagerly promoted "explosive new allegations" that the Obama Justice Department was racist, as evidenced by their supposed refusal to protect white voters from intimidation at the hands of minorities. Kelly bragged how she helped Fox News drag the rest of the media "kicking and screaming" to cover the preposterous claims being pushed by right-wing activists with an axe to grind. Kelly alone hyped the story during 45 segments in 2 weeks, covering 3 hours and 39 minutes of airtime.
I imagine Megyn Kelly, for one, will not return to this particular scandal -- a scandal that she has been hyping with obvious relish for some time now -- very often in the future.
Indeed. In four hours of on-air coverage since the new developments broke, Kelly has reported on kids who got stuck in the mud, a YouTube video of two girls in a fistfight, a missing cobra, AARP's support two years ago for health care reform, and - I'm not making this up - explosive new charges that the Obama administration is insufficiently transparent. The closest Kelly has come to the New Black Panthers was a report on controversy surrounding Oscar-winning film The Black Swan.
Kelly seems content to cover everything except an investigation that essentially discredited the non-scandal she flogged over, and over, and over again last summer.
On his radio show today, Glenn Beck discussed what he falsely claimed was "an ad done now by the federal government," which depicts a woman feeding a baby out of jars labeled "arsenic" and "mercury." The ad was produced by an independent group called American Family Voices to combat Congressional efforts to halt various Environmental Protection Agency regulations.
Beck and his side-kick Pat Gray repeatedly mocked the notion that the EPA is under attack and that people need to be warned about the threat of toxic substances. Beck said, "Darn it. I didn't know that we weren't supposed to feed our kids arsenic ... who knew that arsenic was bad?" This thoughtful response continues for more than six minutes. Here's the audio (warning: listening to this will make you dumber):
Fox News also covered the ad today and correspondent Steve Centanni responded by saying, "[A]t issue, of course, are not poisonous heavy metals like arsenic but a common bi-product of human respiration, carbon dioxide."
But that's not accurate. Proposals to block EPA from addressing carbon dioxide emissions are just one part of the Republican campaign to bind the agency tasked with keeping our air and water clean and safe. In fact, two EPA administrators who served under Reagan and Bush recently wrote in a Washington Post op-ed that "the agency President Richard Nixon created in response to the public outcry over visible air pollution and flammable rivers is under siege." They went on to criticize a House bill that will "impede [EPAs] ability to protect our air and water."
Beck's been busy ranting about how revolutions in the Middle East will lead to the fall of America, so it makes sense that he didn't notice when the House passed a spending bill that, as NPR reported, "would slash the EPA budget by nearly a third -- more than any other agency" and would gut "programs that prevent air and water pollution and enforce environmental laws."
Mother Jones further noted that the House bill included measures to "block the agency from issuing regulations on particulate pollution, emissions from cement plants, and emissions of mercury, arsenic, and other toxic pollutants from coal-fired power plants. The riders would also restrict oversight of mountaintop-removal coal mining, block pending regulations on coal-ash disposal, and bar the EPA from moving forward with its plan to clean up the Chesapeake Bay and other national waterways":
Here's Megyn Kelly's report on the last night's news that the Justice Department's Office of Professional Responsibility has concluded an extensive investigation and determined that Obama administration DOJ attorneys engaged in no "professional wrongdoing" in their handling of the New Black Panther Party voter intimidation case:
Oh, I'm sorry, that's actually her report on the allegation of a "studio cover-up" about how much dancing Natalie Portman did in the making of the movie Black Swan (In what I am sure is a coincidence, Black Swan was produced by fellow Newscorp affiliate Fox Searchlight Pictures, and the film's DVD was released yesterday). Kelly offered absolutely no coverage today of OPR's complete dismissal of the story that last year she essentially tried to make into the Watergate to her Woodward.
From the March 30 edition of Fox News' America Live:
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The Urban Institute recently published a report contradicting the claim often pushed by Fox News that the health care reform law will "kill jobs." But Fox's Bill Hemmer nevertheless used the institute's report to attack health care reform and its "effect on jobs."
Today, Fox News reported that during a debate on controversial immigration legislation in Arizona, Republican state Sen. Lori Klein read a letter alleging that Hispanic students "do not want to be educated but rather be gang members and gangsters." As Fox News reported, after Klein read the letter, the legislation went down to defeat. Fox News responded to the controversy by giving airtime to Klein to spew outrageous comments, including the claim that the National Council of La Raza "is a far-leftist, racist organization that is inciting young Hispanics to ... spit on America."
Klein also claimed that the letter-writer is "not a racist" because he is "married to a Hispanic."
Here's the backstory:
Fox News' Megyn Kelly deceptively called the anti-collective bargaining law recently passed in Wisconsin a "budget law." In reality, GOP lawmakers stripped out spending provisions to force a vote on the measure without Democrats present, and state lawmakers have yet to pass those spending provisions that were removed from original proposal.
Right-wing media figures are demagoguing an Obama Administration initiative to combat bullying and harassment, likening it to "big brother" and "Facebook stalking" of students. In fact, the initiative is an effort to assist schools and parents in preventing and dealing with bullying and harassment, which is estimated to affect as many as 13 million students each year.
Fox figures and guests have continued their aggressive promotion of Rep. Peter King's (R-NY) upcoming hearings on the radicalization of American Muslims.
The media have repeatedly targeted public employees by suggesting that the public dislikes their supposed generous pay and benefits. However, polls reveal that many in the public believe that public employees do not receive too much compensation and, in any event, believe state employees should not have their collective bargaining rights taken away.
From the March 8 edition of Fox News' America Live:
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