From the September 23 edition of Fox News' The O'Reilly Factor:
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When a government audit claimed that the Justice Department once spent $16 each for muffins at a conference, Fox News made a huge deal out of it, with Bill O'Reilly and Stuart Varney in particular using it as an excuse to bash the federal government as excessively wasteful and to criticize President Obama as wanting "more tax money to buy more muffins."
On the September 21 edition of Fox & Friends, Varney asked, "This is the way government works, isn't it?":
On that evening's O'Reilly Factor, O'Reilly declared that this story is "about a federal government that doesn't give a hoot about how much money it spends" and that "President Obama wants more tax money to buy more muffins":
Fox "straight news" anchor Bret Baier and Fox News correspondent William La Jeunesse attacked the Department of Justice's inspector general for releasing audio tapes related to the ATF's failed Fast and Furious program. At no point did Baier or La Jeunesse note that the inspector general's office says the tapes were released in order to comply with the constitutional rights of the targets of a criminal investigation.
National Rifle Association board member and Washington Times columnist Ted Nugent returned to the subject of last month's raid on Gibson Guitar Corporation factories in an appearance on last night's edition of Fox Business' Lou Dobbs Tonight. In that raid, federal agents confiscated wood, hard drives, and guitars on the suspicion that Gibson had illegally imported Indian hardwood
After declaring Dobbs the "quintessential American" and stating that he has both owned and "blown up hundreds" of Gibson guitars, Nugent offered a unique take on law enforcement procedures:
NUGENT: What they did to Gibson Guitars is so illogical, so anti-American, so contrary to the claims of creating jobs, they shut down a globally-revered American craftsman, Gibson Guitars. And you know, Lou, I'm just a guitar player, but let me know how I would have done it if I heard that maybe Gibson had some illegal wood. I wouldn't get an armed raid like I was going after some child rapist or murderers or drug runners, of course, then we'd have to arrest the ATF. What I would do is I would call Gibson and say, "Hey, can I come down and look at your receipts? I hear you got some bad wood." Can you believe the depth of abuse and the outrageous assault on freedom and positive forces in this country?
So if law enforcement believes a company is violating the law, Nugent thinks they should call the company up, tell them they are under investigation, and ask them nicely to provide evidence. Such a policy would, of course, invite those companies to destroy evidence, which is why the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service agents instead did what law enforcement typically does in the real world -- gather evidence, present it to a judge, and get search warrants for the premises in question. That, in Nugent's mind, makes them "jack-booted thugs."
Of course, Nugent isn't so lenient with everyone. He's also said that "If it was up to me, if you uttered the word 'gun control,' we'd put you in jail," and asserted that "a kid going to a Grateful Dead concert who's caught with sugar-cube-encrusted LSD" should "get caned" and be raped in prison daily by "a huge, unclean black man."
At 12:01 a.m., the military's Don't Ask, Don't Tell (DADT) policy will expire under the bill President Obama signed in December, allowing gay and lesbian servicemembers to serve openly in the armed forces.
As required under that legislation, President Obama, Defense Secretary Leon Panetta, and Chairman of the Joint Chiefs Adm. Mike Mullen all certified in July that the repeal would not adversely effect military readiness or unit cohesion.
During the extensive debate over whether DADT would be repealed, Media Matters identified and debunked several falsehoods about the policy:
Credible media outlets should see to that as the discriminatory Don't Ask, Don't Tell policy expires, so do these myths.
On yesterday's broadcast of the NRA-sponsored Cam & Company, NRA board member and Washington Times columnist Ted Nugent referred to federal law enforcement agents as "jack-booted thugs," and described President Obama as "communist-raised, communist-educated, communist-trained" and a "church-goer to the hate-America church."
Nugent's "jack-booted thugs" comment came in response to last month's raid on a Gibson Guitar Corporation factory, in which federal agents confiscated wood, hard drives, an guitars on the suspicion that Gibson had illegally imported Indian hardwood. A federal agent's affidavit states that the Customs form for the shipment misrepresented its contents to falsely claim that the goods in question were legal to export under Indian law. According to an expert contacted by Media Matters, Gibson has a prior record of purchasing questionable wood, which likely led to the company being targeted. Right-wing media have claimed that the raid was in fact politically motivated.
After criticizing the raid by "jack-booted thugs," Nugent went on to blame "the American people" for having "bent over so far as a citizenry" as to allow the "communist-trained" Obama to become president.
NUGENT: You know who I blame, Cam?
CAM EDWARDS (HOST): Who's that?
NUGENT: The American people. We talk about this every year before we do the NRA annuals, and I've always condemned the curse of apathy. And of course, the curse of apathy has a name, and it's we the people. We have bent over so far as a citizenry in this country that we've allowed a communist-raised, communist-educated, communist-trained, a church-goer to the hate-America church, we've allowed him to become the president of the United States of America, because we bent over that far. We've allowed our federal agents to get away with this kind of jack-booted thuggery.
The phrase "jack-booted thugs" has special resonance in NRA history. In 1995, the organization sent a fundraising letter to its membership signed by NRA executive vice president Wayne LaPierre that used that descriptor for law enforcement. This triggered a firestorm in which former President George H. W. Bush publicly resigned his lifetime NRA membership in protest. Under pressure, LaPierre eventually responded that "If anyone thought the intention was to paint all federal law-enforcement officials with the same broad brush, I'm sorry, and I apologize."
Right-wing media have continued to claim that Social Security is a "Ponzi scheme." However, experts say that people who make this claim "are very wrong."
Fox is launching a weeklong attack on government regulations, promising to "expose how excessive laws are drowning American businesses" - a message that coincides with a Republican push to focus on deregulation. But economists say that regulations are not harming businesses and that there is little evidence that regulations kill jobs.
From the September 7 edition of Fox News' The Five:
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National Review Online blogger Ed Whelan attacked the Justice Department's Civil Rights Division for assigning two gay attorneys to the team of attorneys working on Hosanna-Tabor Evangelical Lutheran Church and School v. EEOC, a case in which the Supreme Court will address the extent to which religious organizations can engage in discrimination without running afoul of sex discrimination law.
In a blog post, Whelan quoted discredited research from Pajamas Media to attack one of the attorneys, Aaron Schuham, for his previous position with Americans United for Separation of Church and State, an organization dedicated to preserving the Establishment Clause of the First Amendment.
But Whelan then went a step further, stating that Schuham has a "same-sex partner [who] is ... Chris Anders, federal policy director for the ACLU's LGBT Rights project." Whelan further reported that another Justice Department attorney working on the case, Sharon McGowan, "was also a staffer on the ACLU's LGBT Rights project" and that she is married to a woman who is "the Family Equality Council's 'federal lobbyist on gay, lesbian, bisexual and transgender family issues.' "
Whelan then used this information to spin a conspiracy theory about the Justice Department possibly using the discrimination case as a step in their agenda to "have gay causes trump religious liberty":
Thus, insofar as personnel is policy,* it may well be that the Obama DOJ's hostility to the ministerial exemption in the Hosanna-Tabor case is part and parcel of a broader ideological agenda that would have gay causes trump religious liberty.
So, in Whelan's opinion, should all gay lawyers have been barred from working on a case that deals with the application of anti-discrimination laws to religious freedom, or just the ones who were previously gay-rights activists or have same-sex partners who are gay-rights activists? Or is it OK to assign gay lawyers to the case, but only if the Justice Department takes a position more to Whelan's liking? Whatever Whelan meant, it's a ridiculous argument.
The Daily Caller is the latest in a long line of conservative media outlets waging a campaign of misinformation about the National Labor Relations Board (NLRB). Today, in typical Daily Caller fashion, Matthew Boyle simply transcribes the distortions about NLRB made by Rep. Trey Gowdy (R-SC), a member of the House Oversight Committee. The committee has been attacking the agency for opening a standard investigation into allegedly illegal retaliation against organized labor by Boeing, Inc.
In an interview with Boyle, Gowdy calls for the elimination of the NLRB, an 80 year-old independent government agency tasked with investigating unfair labor practices and protecting the organizing rights of employees covered by the National Labor Relations Act. Gowdy would prefer the legislation be enforced by the U.S. Department of Justice (DOJ) and suggests that the NLRB is a politically partisan agency by deceptively implying that the NLRB is not covered by the Hatch Act, a law preventing most federal employees from engaging in partisan political activity. Boyle writes:
"The United States Department of Justice has criminal prosecutors and it also has a civil division," Gowdy said. "It's the DOJ that gets involved in anti-trust issues, it's the DOJ who handles issues looking into behemoth telecommunications companies. Surely to goodness, they've got bright lawyers at DOJ. Surely to goodness, they can enforce the provisions of the NLRA." [...]
"[Federal prosecutors'] allegiance is solely to the truth and they're not sycophants for labor unions," Gowdy said. "I have confidence in career prosecutors; I worked with them. They're necessarily and by law apolitical because of the Hatch Act and we trust them with the other major decisions that we have in our civil and criminal justice system."
The NLRB has typically swung with political tides, being a bit more pro-business under Republican administrations and a bit more pro-union under Democratic administrations.
Had Boyle done a minimal amount of research for his article, he would have discovered that Gowdy's insinuation -- that NLRB attorneys don't fall under the Hatch Act -- is completely false. The U.S. Office of Special Counsel quickly confirmed to Media Matters that "the Hatch Act (5 U.S.C. §§ 7321-7326) governs the political activity of federal civilian executive branch employees, including NLRB employees." In other words, if DOJ attorneys are "necessarily apolitical" because of the Hatch Act, then NLRB attorneys are no different.
Boyle and TheDC are no strangers to lazily parroting conservative distortions, and in this instance Boyle clearly has no desire to present an objective, or even truthful, depiction of the NLRB. He quotes three sources for his 800-plus word article: Gowdy, Republican Governor of South Carolina Nikki Haley and Fred Wszolek of the Workforce Fairness Institute. Haley recently called the NLRB "un-American" and has supported dismantling it. Wszolek represents the Workforce Fairness Institute, an organization that has been loudly critical of the NLRB and organized labor and is funded by anti-union business owners.
From the September 3 edition of Fox News' Forbes on Fox:
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From the September 2 edition of Fox News' Your World with Neil Cavuto:
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For months, the right-wing media has been desperately trying to tie the ATF's failed Fast and Furious operation to the upper reaches of the Justice Department and the White House, claiming that President Obama and Attorney General Eric Holder must have known the flawed techniques used by the ATF despite their denials.
The right-wing media claimed that the stimulus funded the operation; that wasn't true. They claimed that Attorney General Holder "took credit" for Fast and Furious in a speech; that wasn't true either. They've even claimed, absent any evidence whatsoever, that the Obama administration deliberately set up the operation to arm Mexican drug cartels in order to justify increased gun control.
But in an appearance today on Fox News, Michael Sullivan, acting director of the ATF under President Bush, pushed back against such claims, saying that Operation Fast and Furious was "well within the rights of the director [of ATF] to approve or reject," and that he would be "surprised" to learn that "authorities outside the ATF" would have known the details of a specific firearms trafficking operation.
KELLY WRIGHT (ANCHOR): The President says he knew nothing about the operation, but the Justice Department has been slow in responding. Do you think this will lead all the way to the White House being involved?
SULLIVAN: I would be surprised. From our experience at ATF, firearms trafficking cases were fairly routine in terms of the nature and scope of the investigations. They didn't require authorities outside of ATF, and for the purpose of initiating it. Could folks have been briefed up, considering the violence in Mexico and the violence on the border, about the strategy, that's clearly possible. But the project itself was well within the rights of the director to essentially approve or to reject.
Thus far, the Freedom Of Information Act lawsuit that PajamasMedia.com filed against the U.S. Department of Justice has resulted in the disclosure of dozens of DOJ employee resumes and nine largely ignored columns by Hans von Spakovsky, J. Christian Adams and Richard Pollock.
"Every Single One" is their ongoing series of posts that tediously tick off the prior work experiences of DOJ lawyers followed by commentary declaring them unabashed left-wing radicals. Ostensibly, the point of the exercise is to establish a case that the administration of President Obama is engaging in the same kind of politicized hiring at DOJ that President Bush was found to have done. Their work has been an utter failure.
Von Spakovsky et al have provided no evidence of politicized hiring practices and have been content to make the lazy claim that, given "every single one" of the latest DOJ hires is liberal, improper procedures must have been used. Unfortunately, they've failed even at this. In order to make their case that every DOJ hire is liberal, they've concocted a definition of liberal so broad that even Pollack himself likely would have to be labeled as a radical leftist.