In a National Review article, convicted fraudster Conrad Black falsely claims that Fox News is honest about how its political views sway its news coverage. In order to prove his point, Black attacks other mainstream news outlets for their unfair coverage of former President Richard Nixon and his unconstitutional policy of wiretapping his political opponents without warrants.
Black, a businessman who has been convicted of a $600,000 fraud as well as obstruction of justice (other convictions against Black were thrown out by the U.S. Supreme Court) and is awaiting sentencing, argues that the mainstream media pretend that they are unbiased when in fact they favor progressives. By contrast, Fox News "makes no bones about its conservative penchant."
In fact, while Fox News admits that its opinion shows have a point of view, it strongly maintains that its supposedly "straight news" programs are objective, all evidence to the contrary aside. Furthermore, Bill O'Reilly, the only Fox personality that Black mentions in his piece, has repeatedly claimed that most of Fox News is "fair" and is not "out to hurt" President Obama (again, all evidence to the contrary).
But that's not all that's wrong with Black's piece.
J. Christian Adams sure packed a lot of falsehoods and poisonous comments into one op-ed attacking the Obama Justice Department. As we've already pointed out, Adams falsely claimed that DOJ "stopped the debut of the Amazon Kindle." He also employed falsehoods and smears to attack Justice Department attorney Varda Hussain because of her prior work representing detainees at Guantanamo Bay.
But that's not all. Adams also has the audacity to attack the Justice Department for employing an attorney who used to work for D.C. Legal Aid Society, an organization that provides attorneys for residents of Washington, DC, who are involved in civil court cases but are too poor to afford attorneys.
In a piece for the Washington Examiner, Adams writes:
Who did Holder pick to head the unit inside civil rights to bring civil rights lawsuits against police departments and prisons? Why none other than Jonathan Smith, formerly of the Prisoners Legal Services Project and the D.C. Legal Aid Society, two anti-police and anti-prison guard antagonist groups. Hopefully America's police unions will take note of Smith's hiring when deciding presidential endorsements next year.
What's so bad about the D.C. Legal Aid Society and the Prisoners Legal Services Project?
The D.C. Legal Aid Society states that it provides "civil legal aid to individuals, families and communities in the District who could not otherwise afford to hire a lawyer." You would think the civil rights division would be a good place for someone whose career includes providing legal representation to those who can't afford it.
Indeed, the ethical rules for District of Columbia attorneys state: "A lawyer should participate in serving those persons, or groups of persons, who are unable to pay all or a portion of reasonable attorney's fees or who are otherwise unable to obtain counsel."
So, rather than paint Smith as "anti-police" for his work at the D.C. Legal Aid Society, one might say that Smith was fulfilling his ethical duties as an attorney to provide representation to those who can't afford it.
The Knob Creek Gun Range in West Point, Kentucky advertises its World Famous, twice-a-year Machine Gun Shoot as "Family Friendly" entertainment. The slogan: "Nothing brings families together like blowing stuff apart...safely."
I won't deny the red-blooded-American joy of firing automatic weapons at exploding targets.
Still I have to ask: What's up with the little kids in Nazi shirts?
I was on site at the Knob Creek Machine Gun Shoot fewer than 20 minutes last Saturday before I passed a shaved-head lad with with a Totenkopf death head on his chest. (The Totenkopf was the symbol of the Nazi SS division that ran death camps like Auschwitz during the Holocaust.)
The shirt looked brand new. I took that to mean the kid or whoever gave it to him bought it from one of the dozen or so permitted vendors who openly sold white supremacist merchandise. This included a wide selection of t-shirts and flags bearing symbols popular with racist skinheads and neo-Nazis. (And no, I'm not counting Confederate battle flags.) Also for sale were the race war fantasy novels Hunter and The Turner Diaries by William Pierce, founder of the National Alliance, a notorious hate group. A Friends of the NRA fundraising booth was located within sight of a stall of swastika flags.
Video- Guns and neo-Nazi merchandise
From the April 13 edition of Fox News' Fox & Friends:
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Since Mexican President Felipe Calderon assumed office in 2006, the death toll in the war between the government and cartel forces has skyrocketed to more then 34,000, with 15,000 of those deaths coming in 2010.
Federal authorities have reported that more then 60,000 firearms from the United States have been recovered by the Mexican authorities since Calderon took office. Recently tactics used by the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives (ATF) to investigate the flow of guns south of the border have come under Congressional scrutiny.
A recent report by the Center for Public Integrity on efforts to prevent gun trafficking reveals that beyond recent investigations on tactics employed by the ATF, there are several important questions about law enforcement having the resources and statutes necessary to prevent trafficking. The report identifies several limitations undermining efforts to prevent gun trafficking to Mexico.
The absence of federal gun trafficking laws inhibit law enforcement officials:
Without a targeted federal gun trafficking law, prosecutors are forced to rely on other statutes that agents and prosecutors say are difficult to enforce and riddled with loopholes.
Chief among them: a frequently used law against lying on the ATF's Form 4473 at a gun shop - especially in claiming the buyer is purchasing for himself, rather than someone else. But court decisions have made this "straw buyer" charge difficult to prove and judges often don't take it seriously. [....]
A straw buyer must sign a form at the gun shop declaring that they are buying the guns for themselves. Lying on the form is a crime. But in order to prove the lie, a prosecutor often must prove what the straw buyer was thinking when he or she bought the gun. Unless that straw buyer immediately delivers the weapon to someone prohibited from purchasing a firearm - like a convicted felon--all the buyer has to claim is that the gun was bought for personal use.
A decision by the federal 9th Circuit Court of Appeals, however, sets the standard even higher. Under that court's ruling, a buyer may actually lie on the form, as long as he or she is not aware the purchase is for someone who could not buy the gun on their own. As a result, even prosecuting the lowliest worker bee in a gun-running scheme is a challenge, agents say. All the straw buyers have to say is they didn't know the guns were for the cartel.
From the April 8 edition of Fox News' Fox & Friends:
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From the April 7 edition of Premiere Radio Networks' The Rush Limbaugh Show:
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From the April 6 edition of Fox News' Fox & Friends:
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The saga of John Lott continues. After falsely accusing Media Matters of misquoting him, John Lott is now falsely accusing us of doctoring screen shots of his blog posts.
Lott also criticized Obama for a request made by the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives (ATF) citing an out-of-date article, saying that the Obama administration has "also imposed much more extensive reporting requirements on sales of long guns." [Emphasis added]
In fact, the Obama administration has not imposed the regulation in question. The proposed regulation by the ATF has been repeatedly delayed by the Obama administration, which most recently rejected the ATF's request to enact the proposal as an emergency regulation.
In fact, my quote is "They have also tried imposing much more extensive reporting requirements on sales of long guns." Besides, even if the point had been honestly misread, if someone has tried to check the link, the point would have been clear. Nice try Media Matters. [Emphasis added]
Last week, we reported that John Lott, a former University of Chicago visiting assistant professor and conservative media pundit, wrongly accused Media Matters of misquoting him. In fact, after we accurately quoted a post Lott had written, Lott's post mysteriously changed, making it appear we had misquoted him, when we had not.
The switch was picked up by Paul Krugman at The New York Times, who wrote:
So, it appears that Lott retroactively tried to put his original statement down the memory hole, then accused a critic of wronging him by quoting what he originally said. Now, that's scholarship!
Brad DeLong, a professor of economics at the University of California at Berkeley, also impugned Lott's apparent dishonesty.
But Lott's shoddy scholarship last week wasn't just limited to this incident. He also pushed a new version of his factually challenged claim that the National Instant Background Check System (NICS) -- which is used to determine if someone is legally allowed to purchase a gun -- is highly inaccurate, writing:
Over 99.9 percent of purchases initially flagged as being illegal under the law were "false positives" - law-abiding citizens incorrectly identified as banned individuals.
Take the numbers for 2008, the latest year with data available. The 78,906 initial denials resulted in only 147 cases involving banned individuals trying to purchase guns being referred to prosecutors. Of those 147 cases, prosecutors thought the evidence was strong enough to prosecute only 105, and they won convictions in just 43. But few of these 43 cases involved career criminals or those who posed real threats. The typical case was someone who had a misdemeanor conviction for an offense he didn't realize prevented him from buying a gun.
On Fox Business' Freedom Watch, host Andrew Napolitano hosted Fox regular and former CIA official Michael Scheuer to discuss President Obama's actions in Libya. Out of nowhere, Scheuer began ranting about taxes and spending and said: "It really points to the wisdom of the Founders in putting the Second Amendment into place as a guard against arbitrary, ridiculous government."
That's a dangerous mix of right-wing talking points. Scheuer managed (again, with no prompting whatsoever) to go off on a "tax-and-spend" rant against a Democratic administration and then immediately bring up the Second Amendment right to bear arms. It's hard to interpret Scheuer's comments as anything other than an argument that people may need to arm themselves to overthrow the Obama administration if things continue down this road.
NAPOLITANO: Can you look at this and say, "There they go again. The government of the United States thinks that it can instill a western Jeffersonian democracy in a part of the planet that has never come anywhere close to ideas like that and they think they can instill it with force and they think they can instill with it American bloodshed"?
SCHEUER: Yeah, that's exactly what's going on, Judge. The president's running out of time here. The resistance is going to get beat without boots on the ground. You know, they involved us in unnecessary wars. They tax us to death. They spend us into oblivion. It really points to the wisdom of the Founders in putting the Second Amendment into place as a guard against arbitrary, ridiculous government.
And keep in mind that Scheuer once stated that "[t]he only chance we have as a country right now is for Osama bin Laden to deploy and detonate a major weapon in the United States." Scheuer has also said that "we're not killing enough people" in Afghanistan and that Democratic administrations are "pro-terrorist." He has also launched numerous personal attacks on President Obama, stating that Obama "obviously does not care" about "protecting Americans" and calling him a "coward." And Scheuer has said that Obama's "arrogance and racism" will get "more of our kids killed in wars."
Bill O'Reilly, Jeanine Pirro, Gretchen Carlson are ridiculing and attacking the Justice Department for suing a school district for discrimination on behalf of a Muslim teacher who resigned after her request for time off to make hajj, a religious pilgrimage observant Muslims must take, was denied. But the Justice Department is acting on the recommendation of the U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission, which previously engaged in a similar lawsuit during the Bush administration, and even Fox's Megyn Kelly has acknowledged that the DOJ may have a case.
John Lott, a gun policy researcher that freqeuntly appears on conservative media outlets, has taken to his website to respond to a recent post of mine pointing out two misleading claims he made about the Obama Administration. Lott now accuses me of misquoting what he wrote in a March 18 Big Government post. In fact, I quoted Lott accurately, but someone subsequently altered his Big Government post, making it appear that I was wrong.
On March 22, I wrote [emphasis added]:
Lott also criticized Obama for a request made by the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives (ATF) citing an out-of-date article, saying that the Obama administration has "also imposed much more extensive reporting requirements on sales of long guns."
In fact, the Obama administration has not imposed the regulation in question. The proposed regulation by the ATF has been repeatedly delayed by the Obama administration, which most recently rejected the ATF's request to enact the proposal as an emergency regulation. The administration will decide on approval in April, if no further delays occur. If enacted the proposal would require gun shops along the Mexican border to report multiple sales of certain classes of rifles, such as AK-47s or AR-15s, made within a five-day period.
Lott responds [emphasis in original]:
In fact, my quote is "They have also tried imposing much more extensive reporting requirements on sales of long guns." Besides, even if the point had been honestly misread, if someone has tried to check the link, the point would have been clear. Nice try Media Matters.
Sure enough, Lott's March 18 Big Government piece now reads, "They have also tried imposing much more extensive reporting requirements on sales of long guns." That's what it says today, anyway. But that's not what it said when the article was published. Here's a screen shot showing how the article appeared on March 22 when I wrote the criticism:
|Francis "Schaeffer" Cox, according to transcripts |
of FBI recordings, told militia members, "I know
you're ready to die, but you have to be ready to kill,"
The annual Bear Paw Festival held every summer in Eagle River, Alaska, is better known for its pie-eating contests, carnival rides and dog-owner lookalike fashion shows than for controversial displays of right-wing militancy.
But last summer, as Tea Party Republican candidate for U.S. Senate Joe Miller shook hands on the sidelines of the Bear Paw parade rout, he was trailed by his campaign Humvee and roughly a dozen supporters wearing Miller campaign t-shirts and openly armed with semi-automatic pistols and AR-15 assault rifles.
The gun-toting Miller supporters included participants in the Southcentral Alaska division of the Second Amendment Task Force, a combative anti-gun control group founded in Fairbanks in April 2009 by Francis "Schaeffer" Cox, the militia leader arrested earlier this month along with four militia compatriots for conspiring to murder State Troopers, a federal judge and an IRS agent, among other serious crimes including the illegal possession of heavy machine guns, silencers and explosives.
At the time of last summer's Bear Paw festival, Cox was in the midst of a two-year radicalization process during which he transformed himself from a Ron Paul campaign worker, Tea Party activist and libertarian philosopher operating on the fringes of mainstream politics into a hard-core militia extremist, steeped in paranoia, who disavowed entirely the political process in favor of armed conflict and revolution, including allegedly the targeted killings of law enforcement officers and public officials.
Cox, a fundamentalist Christian who grew up in Fairbanks and was home-schooled from an early age, first appeared in the public sphere in 2008 when he ran for Alaska State House. He lost. Also that year, according to an online bio, he "Led the Ron Paul campaign for Alaska" and became a founding board member of the Interior Alaska Conservative Coalition, "a grass roots movement of citizens regardless of party affiliation who promote conservative values and a return to Constitutional Rule of Law."
Early in 2009, Cox founded the Second Amendment Task Force (2ATF) in Fairbanks. On March 28 of that year, according to internal 2ATF emails obtained by Media Matters, the group hosted a "Constitution Crash Course," at University Baptist Church in Fairbanks." The emails indicate that 2ATF was aligning itself with the national Tea Party movement. Cox exhorted 2ATF members to mail "tea bags or pictures of tea bags," to 1600 Pennsylvania Ave, Washington, D.C. (the White House).
According to Eddie Burke an Anchorage conservative talk radio host and prominent Tea Party organizer, Cox had trouble making inroads or friends with Tea Party leaders in Anchorage that spring. He demonstrated a habit of refusing to relinquish the microphone at meetings and frequently strayed from the topic at hand into rambling diatribes about gun control, state sovereignty, abolishing the Federal Reserve and other topics that had little to do with the stated purpose of the meetings, such as reining in earmark spending. He dominated the discourse and veered wildly off-topic even if it was a panel discussion and Cox wasn't on the panel.
"The more I got to know him [Cox] the more I began to realize he was too far out there for me," said Burke.
Townhall columnist and talk radio host Andrew Tallman finds a rather inflammatory way to emphasize his dislike of the government:
[T]he government itself is made up of people: real, morally flawed people. Since bad people with power are capable of far greater evil than bad people without it, our country is predicated on the belief that we have more to fear from sinners in government than we do from sinners with personal freedom.
Remember, the government has guns, too. And their misuse of them in history has been exponentially worse than anything private individuals have done. But because Gail Collins has unshakeable faith in the inherent goodness of Government, she doesn't mind trusting its guns. As for me, I'd rather take my chances with the Jared Loughners of the world.
Anti-government right-wingers usually stick to denouncing Department of Education bureaucrats; Tallman goes further and suggests he sees the U.S. military and law enforcement personnel as a greater threat than Jared Loughner. Good to know.