Ben Smith of Politico reports that Fox News has refused an ad from the progressive group VoteVets urging action on climate change legislation, on the grounds that the ad is "too confusing" according to spokesman for VoteVets.
It's interesting that Fox News is refusing the ads, and apparently using confusion as some sort of justification. For instance, Fox regularly buys print advertising for themselves in newspapers and trade publications, yet I've never heard of a Fox ad being rejected because readers might confuse the network with actual news (they act more like a PAC nowadays). Or perhaps Fox felt VoteVets ads might create some sort of cognitive dissonance for viewers who have become used to the network's shoddy coverage of environmental issues?
Furthermore, what kind of standards does advertising on Fox adhere to when it rejects VoteVets' work, yet has no problem at all running ads for Survival Seeds (your defense against "emerging totalitarianism")?
Operators are standing by.
Fox & Friends hosted Michael Scheuer for two segments to comment on the attempted bombing in Times Square, during which he repeatedly attacked President Obama. Scheuer has a history of inflammatory comments, including his statement that "[t]he only chance we have as a country" is for Osama bin Laden to "detonate a major weapon."
How did you spend your weekend? The folks at Mediaite spent theirs promoting an old, discredited non-scandal about the President. They did it based on a weak story from a tabloid news source, then spent the next few days updating and massaging the story, justifying its release and making it clear that their editorial judgement is essentially whatever Matt Drudge says it is.
For these transgressions, Mediaite is asking the tough questions: "Why Is The National Enquirer Wasting Its Shred Of Credibility On This Obama Story?"
They've got to be kidding. They have to be. Mediaite should be following the adage, "physician, heal thyself," rather than acting as if they've got the moral high ground on the Enquirer here. Mediaite is trying to lecture the Enquirer on how to do journalism, but their recent work is ample evidence they're quickly running out of credibility of their own to shred.
Even after Mediaite retracted its claim that a link to a news story from The Drudge Report gives a story "credibility," it continued to claim that such a link conveys "significance" and makes the linked story worthy of further discussion. But many of the stories promoted by Drudge are entirely fabricated.
Apparently the Washington Examiner didn't want to be left behind in the right-wing race to the bottom in distorting President Obama's appeal to supporters for the 2010 election, so this morning the paper sent out this lovely bit of work:
That's right, the Examiner morphed Obama's comments about turning out "young people, African-Americans, Latinos, and women who powered our victory in 2008" into a "diss" of "white guys." As Simon Maloy and Matt Gertz have pointed out, Obama was simply discussing turning out his base voters - something any politician who has ever won a race knows to do. The mental gymnastics involved in making this leap would easily qualify for the next Olympics, but sadly the Examiner is just following in the footsteps of its conservative comrades-in-arms.
Then again, this is a paper that published a column a year ago explaining that Obama's approval ratings "appear a bit more popular overall than they actually are" because of high support among black voters.
So maybe it's a theme.
Monica Crowley falsely suggested that a motion filed by former Illinois Gov. Rod Blagojevich contradicted what she claimed were Obama's statements that "none of his representatives" were involved with efforts to fill the Senate seat Obama vacated. But Obama never made such a statement; he acknowledged contacts between his staff and Blagojevich's office while stating that his staff "had no involvement" in Blagojevich's alleged efforts to sell the Senate seat.
Mediaite's Frances Martel falsely claimed that a motion filed by former Illinois governor Rod Blagojevich "directly implicate[s]" White House Chief of Staff Rahm Emanuel in Blagojevich's alleged attempt to sell the open Senate seat vacated by President Obama in 2008. In fact, the document confirms Emanuel's previous account of contacts with Blagojevich's chief of staff and in no way suggests Emanuel was involved with Blagojevich's alleged scheme.
Rush Limbaugh joined other right-wing media in promoting Fox News analyst Dick Morris' dubious claim that in 1997, President Clinton told Morris that Clinton had reappointed then-Attorney General Janet Reno because she threatened to "tell the truth about Waco." However, Morris' story contradicts his previous account of a conversation he had with Clinton about reappointing Reno. In that account, Morris gave no indication that Clinton had confided to him about any alleged threats from Reno.
In recent days, President Bill Clinton has warned that incendiary rhetoric and "demonizing the government" incited domestic terrorism during his presidency and threatened to do so again. On his April 19 broadcast, Rush Limbaugh responded by unleashing a torrent of incendiary rhetoric, claiming that the Obama administration is "ripp[ing] apart" and "overthrow[ing]" the country and blaming Clinton for the Oklahoma City bombing and the September 11, 2001, terror attacks.
In today's Washington Post you'll spy an op-ed by longtime Washington insiders Doug Schoen and Pat Caddell arguing that Democrats, in order to minimize electoral damage this November, "need to start embracing an agenda that speaks to the broad concerns of the American electorate ... the agenda that is driving the Tea Party movement and one that has the capacity to motivate a broadly based segment of the electorate."
Schoen and Caddell identify themselves in the op-ed as "Democratic pollsters who argued against the health-care legislation," but that is a gross understatement -- Schoen and Caddell have opposed almost every Democratic and progressive position in recent years. They might consider themselves "Democrats," but in practice they are conservative mouthpieces who concern-troll their way through Fox News' evening line-up telling anyone who will listen how Democrats need to be more like conservative Republicans.
Pick almost any issue facing the country today, and you'll find that that Schoen's and Caddell's rhetoric matches exactly the rhetoric you hear coming from right-wing pundits and politicians.