From the October 8 edition of Fox News' Hannity:
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So far, 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 of white people." Here are his October 8 sponsors, in the order they appeared:
As part of their smear campaign against Obama Education Department official Kevin Jennings, conservative media figures including Sean Hannity, Rush Limbaugh, and Ann Coulter have compared Jennings to film director Roman Polanski, stating -- in the words of Fox News contributor Kirsten Powers -- that "there needs to be zero tolerance for this kind of stuff," specifically citing Jennings and "the Roman Polanski stuff." Thus, media conservatives are smearing Jennings -- who counseled someone who was of age at the time and who has said he did not have a sexual relationship -- with the outrageous suggestion that he is comparable to Polanski, who was charged with rape and pleaded guilty to having sex with a girl who was 13 at the time after allegedly plying her with drugs and alcohol.
From an October 8 Time.com article:
The general in this war is [White House communications director Anita] Dunn, 51, a veteran campaign strategist who arrived at the White House in May. She has been a force in Democratic campaigns since the late 1980s and helmed Obama's rapid-response operation during his run. At the White House, she has become a devoted consumer of conservative-media reports and a fierce critic of Fox News, leading the Administration's effort to block officials, including Obama, from appearing on the network. "It's opinion journalism masquerading as news," Dunn says. "They are boosting their audience. But that doesn't mean we are going to sit back." Fox News's head of news, Michael Clemente, counters that the White House criticism unfairly conflates the network's reporters and its pundits, like Glenn Beck, whom he likens to "the op-ed page of a newspaper."
On his Fox News show, Sean Hannity attacked the public option by stating that "[e]verywhere socialized medicine has been tried it's failed. It ends up in rationing," and pointing to women with breast cancer in Great Britain who are denied drugs by "the government rationing body." But Hannity's attack that "the government option" would introduce rationing for "women with breast cancer" is undermined by the fact that private insurance companies in the United States already ration care; in fact, private insurers routinely deny care to cancer patients, often because they are found to have pre-existing conditions.
In separate interviews, Fox News hosts Bill Hemmer and Greta Van Susteren allowed Rep. Darrell Issa (R-CA) to attack the Association of Community Organizations for Reform Now (ACORN) on the grounds that in 1999 and 2000, one of its leaders embezzled from the group. However, at no point did either Hemmer or Van Susteren note that in 2008, the National Republican Congressional Committee (NRCC) stated that its treasurer had embezzled more than $600,000 from the organization over the course of several years.
After Sean Hannity introduced his Fox News show by asking, "Does Kevin Jennings support the group NAMBLA?" Karl Rove falsely claimed that Jennings, a Department of Education official, had engaged in "high-profile, in-your-face advocacy of things like NAMBLA and gay rights and queering elementary school curricula." Neither Rove nor Hannity provided any evidence that Jennings has ever "support[ed]" -- let alone engaged in "high-profile, in-your-face advocacy" of -- NAMBLA, and Rove's suggestion that support for "gay rights" is somehow related to support for NAMBLA is a smear.
From the October 7 edition of Fox News' The O'Reilly Factor:
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From the October 7 edition of Fox News' Glenn Beck:
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Fox News' Bill Hemmer criticized the Department of Homeland Security for awarding a since-rescinded fire prevention grant to ACORN, ignoring that the Bush administration awarded similar grants to ACORN in 2007. Moreover, other Fox personalities and The Washington Times claimed that Sen. David Vitter (R-LA) "made this public," even though the grant was reported on long before Vitter mentioned them.
Fox & Friends hosts Steve Doocy and Gretchen Carlson charged House Speaker Nancy Pelosi with hypocrisy based on a false comparison of remarks Pelosi made in 2005 criticizing the Bush administration's reaction to Gen. Eric Shinseki's recommendation for a troop increase in Iraq, and recent remarks Pelosi made criticizing Gen. Stanley McChrystal for making strategy recommendations about Afghanistan during a London press conference. In fact, it is not inconsistent for Pelosi to take issue with McChrystal but not Shinseki: Pelosi specifically criticized McChrystal for using a "press conference" to reject calls to narrow the focus of the war in Afghanistan, which is different than Shinseki's decision to reveal his position on troop deployments in response to a direct question explicitly asking for "a range" during sworn testimony in a Senate Armed Services Committee hearing.
After repeatedly making the false allegation that Department of Education official Kevin Jennings failed to report to authorities the "statutory rape" of a former student when -- 21 years ago -- the student told him he was involved with an "older man," Fox News host Sean Hannity admitted that "the kid has since come out, and he said, 'No, no, I was 16 at the time,' " but added, "I'm not convinced of the timeline." In fact, both the "timeline" established by Jennings' books and the available evidence conclusively demonstrate that the student turned 16 -- the legal age of consent in Massachusetts -- before Jennings began teaching at his school and well before the time of his conversation with Jennings.
For some reason, National Review seems to be taken seriously by the media elite, as though they were thoughtful, intellectually honest conservatives. And yet they've been peddling the conspiracy theory that Bill Ayers actually wrote Barack Obama's Dreams From My Father for more than a year.
This latest round of wishful thinking was set off by Ayers' alleged "admission" that he wrote the book -- an admission that came out of the blue while talking to a conservative blogger in line at Starbucks. If it sounds far-fetched to you that Ayers would, after all this time, blurt out a confession while standing in line for an iced latte, that's probably because you're smarter than Jonah Goldberg.
As Dave Weigel notes, there's a perfectly obvious explanation for Ayers' comment (if you assume he actually said what this blogger claims he said):
A reasonable explanation for this, if we take the heretofore-obscure blogger at her word for what Ayers said: Ayers was messing around with a conservative movement that's been after him for a decade, putting them back on the trail of a fruitless conspiracy theory.
Even AllahPundit of the right-wing web site Hot Air sees this for the nonsense that it is:
What's more amusing? The fact that he'd tease a conservative by baiting her about the right's Cashill/Andersen-fueled authorship suspicions, or the fact that the Examiner seems to think he was making an earnest, honest-to-goodness confession?
Note that this wasn't even in response to a question. He simply blurted it out as soon as the interviewer identified herself as conservative.
Still: I bet this latest, lamest conspiracy theory ends up on FOX News. The only question is whether Glenn Beck or Sean Hannity gets to it first. My money's on Hannity; he's feeling the pressure.
Since Fox News and Andrew Breitbart has been positively obsessed with the ACORN videos I'm sure this will be right up their alley. NOT.
This afternoon, Mayor Michael Bloomberg will announce the results of an unprecedented undercover investigation of illegal sales at gun shows by the City of New York. At 2pm, you'll be able to see the investigation's undercover videos at: GunShowUndercover.org.
From a press release issued by the office of Mayor Bloomberg:
Mayor Michael R. Bloomberg today announced the results of a wide-ranging undercover investigation by the City of New York into illegal gun sales. The investigation, which covered seven gun shows in three states, proves on video how easy it is for criminals to buy firearms at gun shows. 35 of 47 gun sellers sold to people who said either they probably could not pass a background check or to apparent "straw purchasers." The videos will be available on www.nyc.gov/gunshow. The accompanying report, Gun Show Undercover, also available online, documents the extent of the gun show problem, the City's investigative techniques, and offers recommendations on how illegal sales can be prevented.
The undercover investigation sent professional investigators to seven gun shows in Nevada, Ohio, and Tennessee to determine whether sellers would engage in two types of illegal transactions. The first involves private sellers selling guns to people who they thought could not pass a federal background check. The second involves licensed dealers conducting illegal straw sales, which are sales made to accomplices posing as buyers in order to help the real buyer avoid a criminal background check.
"The gun show loophole is a deadly serious problem – and this undercover operation exposes just how pervasive and serious it is," said Mayor Bloomberg. "We are sending a copy of our detailed report Gun Show Undercover to every member of the United States Congress. We'll work with Congressional leaders to pass legislation closing the gun show loophole. This is an issue that has nothing to do with the Second Amendment; it's about keeping guns from criminals, plain and simple."
Private Sellers Exploited the Gun Show Loophole
Even though private unlicensed sellers are not required to run background checks using the FBI National Instant Criminal Background Check system, it is a federal felony for them to sell guns to people they have reason to believe are prohibited purchasers (such as felons or the mentally ill). In purchases attempted on 30 private sellers, the undercover investigator showed interest in buying a gun by asking about stopping power or by dry-firing the weapon. After agreeing on a price, the undercover would indicate that he probably couldn't pass a background check. At that point, the seller is required by law to refuse the sale – but only 11 out of 30 sellers did so. Investigators found private dealers who failed these integrity tests at every show, including two sellers who failed at multiple shows. In total, 19 of the 30 private sellers approached failed the integrity test.
The 11 sellers who terminated the sale confirmed that private sellers know the law. As one seller in Columbus, Ohio, explained "I mean even as a private citizen, I'm kind of allowed a certain latitude, but once you say that [you can't pass the background check], I'm kind of obligated not to...I think that's what the rules are."
The investigation also revealed that some private sellers are in fact apparently "engaged in the business" of selling firearms without a federal license, in violation of the law. For example, one seller sold to investigators at three different gun shows and acknowledged selling 348 assault rifles in less than one year.
Licensed Dealers Sell to Straw Purchaser at a Gun Show
Undercover investigators also approached licensed dealers at gun shows and simulated straw purchases. A straw sale, a violation of federal law, occurs when a dealer allows someone who is not the actual buyer of the gun to fill out the paperwork and undergo the background check. Each integrity test of licensed dealers involved two investigators. The first was a male investigator who played the role of a person who wants to purchase a handgun but does not fill out any of the required paperwork. The other investigator, a female, served as the "straw" and appeared to be buying the handgun on behalf of the male. This scenario is typical of the straw purchases identified by ATF in its training program, which is designed to teach licensed dealers how to spot straw purchases.
All but one (16 of 17, or 94%) licensed dealer approached by City investigators failed the integrity test by selling to apparent straw purchasers. Only a dealer at a gun show in Niles, Ohio ended the sale after the straw attempted to fill out the paperwork.
Through the licensed and private seller scenarios, investigators purchased 38 guns in total, 36 semi-automatic handguns and 2 assault rifles.
About the Investigation
A team of 40 private investigators supervised by the firm Kroll, a global leader in business intelligence and investigations, worked for four months to capture video of gun shows. Licensed as private investigators in 17 different states, the investigative team has more than 460 years of combined law enforcement experience, including retired federal agents and police officers. Every investigator who participated in the integrity tests was required to complete an intensive training program designed and administered by Kroll.
CNN's Lou Dobbs and Fox News' Brian Wilson and Sean Hannity ignored their own networks' past reporting and continued to forward the discredited smear that, while working as a teacher in 1988, Department of Education official Kevin Jennings failed to report an underage student's involvement with an older man. Dobbs claimed that "Jennings admit[ed] to failing to report a sexual matter involving a minor," and Wilson claimed that Jennings admitted that "he failed to alert authorities when a 15-year-old boy told him he was involved in a sexual relationship with an older man," even though both FoxNews.com and CNN have acknowledged that the student was of legal age -- 16 years old -- at the time.