After watching Dick Morris' most recent interview on Fox News with Sean Hannity, you might wonder why there wasn't a flashing 1-800 number and a reminder that operators were "standing by," because the infamously ethically challenged Fox News political analyst had a lot of causes to crassly promote in a small window of time. All of them had one thing in common: Dick Morris.
In case your head is spinning from all the pitches, here is a recap of Morris' product lineup:
How much would you expect to pay for all these fabulous items? Well, considering the pitchman and his ethical track record, you should probably think twice.
Fox News devoted at least 2 hours 33 minutes on September 22 and 23 to promoting, discussing, and reporting on House Republicans' "Pledge to America," their legislative agenda for the next Congress.
Right wing blogs were forced to issue humiliating updates after their most recent fake story -- that the Israeli delegation had rejected President Obama by "skip[ping]" his speech to the United Nations -- completely dissolved. In fact, the Israeli delegation was absent because they were observing the Jewish holiday Sukkot.
On Fox News, Glenn Beck promoted Eustace Mullins' book Secrets of the Federal Reserve. Mullins was a 9/11 truther who has been described as an "anti-Semitic conspiracy theorist" and a "nationally known white supremacist"; the Anti-Defamation League called the book Beck promoted "a re-hash of Mullins' anti-Semitic theories about the origins of the Federal Reserve."
Bill O'Reilly attacked comments from former President Jimmy Carter about Fox News' race baiting and its role in promoting falsehoods about President Obama's citizenship and religion. But Carter was right: birtherism, race baiting attacks on Obama, and lies about his religion have all found a home on Fox News.
It isn't often that someone's hypocrisy is exposed by their own words in a matter of seconds, but Sean Hannity was up to the task on tonight's edition of Hannity:
Hannity attacked the media for reporting on Republican Senate candidate Christine O'Donnell's 1999 admission that she had "dabbled in witchcraft" since it was something that occurred in the past, when she was "in high school." Less than a minute after making this defense of O'Donnell, Hannity referred to her opponent, Democrat Chris Coons as "the bearded Marxist," which is a reference to an opinion piece Coons wrote 20 years ago in his college newspaper.
Apparently things in the past don't matter to Hannity, unless he opposes you, which then means they matter a lot.
This new-found distaste for reporting on past statements and associations flies in the face of Hannity's long-time tactic of attacking Democrats for their past associations or behavior, no matter how tenuous or untethered from reality.
In an absurd monologue attacking President Obama and those affiliated with him as radicals, Glenn Beck again singled out Saul Alinsky's Rules for Radicals, which he described as being recommended for "our teachers and our students" by the National Educational Association (NEA):
In the run-up to Delaware's Republican Senate primary, conservative media figures noticed that their colleagues are "lazy and unfair" "idiot[s]" and "mouthpieces for the Republican establishment" who engage in "ranting, not serious arguments" and whose commentary consists of "smear tactics," "mischaracterizations," "exaggerated claims," "slander," and "attributing sinister or corrupt motives to those who disagree with them."
This summer Tucker Carlson's Daily Caller spent a lot of energy attempting to concoct a conspiracy theory surrounding the leaked e-mails from the Journolist listserv, which counted as members a variety of liberal journalists, think-tankers, and academics.
The emails lacked any newsworthy information, the list had first been reported over a year before, and the Caller misrepresented their content as something far more sinister. Nonetheless, the Caller insisted that they showed evidence of a liberal plot to manipulate the news (how, for instance, a suggestion to sign an open letter about media coverage is any sort of plot is still unclear).
Now along comes "Freedom Mail," a listserv described by Politico's Ben Smith as "a secret (which strikes me as misguided, but harmless) list of center-right foreign policy writers and thinkers." The list includes conservative journalists; it was reportedly organized by conservative journalist Jamie Kirchick and at one point reportedly included an American Spectator reporter. And as Smith notes, one of the list members is Caller editor Jamie Weinstein. Based on the very loose (and silly) standards the Caller applied to Journolist, this is more than enough evidence to ensnare the publication in some wider conspiracy about how media coverage is shaped by a cabal of right-wing journalists.
All we need now is more breathless coverage from outlets like the Daily Caller (and Fox News, who picked up the story along with others) about this cruel secret betrayal of the public trust. Because even though its just a private discussion list, we learned from the Caller that such things are almost always sinister in the worst way possible.
Fox News contributor Newt Gingrich recently made news by suggesting that President Obama is engaged in "Kenyan, anti-colonial behavior," but he isn't alone in using the African heritage of Obama's father and grandfather as fuel for ridiculous smears.