From the April 11 edition of Comedy Central's The Colbert Report:
On the January 7 edition of Comedy Central's The Colbert Report, Stephen Colbert called out Fox News for using an unsourced photo of Al Gore's 2006 book An Inconvenient Truth selling for $1 as a means of mocking climate change:
Fox's coverage of the September 11 attack on the American consulate in Benghazi has increasingly been prone to extreme paranoia, excluding key evidence, and plain misinformation. Last night on his show, Stephen Colbert examined how Fox has been covering the Benghazi attack and why the network may be covering it that way.
From the October 24 edition of Comedy Central's The Colbert Report:
Niall Ferguson's Newsweek cover story on President Obama exemplifies a deficiency in today's media. As criticism of Ferguson's shoddy work mounted -- both from outside and inside of Newsweek/The Daily Beast -- Newsweek explained to Politico's Dylan Byers that Newsweek "rel[ies] on our writers to submit factually accurate material." Indeed, Byers also noted that Newsweek does not even have a fact-checking department.
This admission is disturbing on face. Newsweek wants to sell you stories and news about the world but can't even be bothered to check the claims it publishes. Even worse, they didn't seem all that uncomfortable with the admission. Newsweek's defense is that others are this lackadaisical at journalism, which is to say Newsweek has no defense. In a media environment without fact-checkers, it's no wonder we have fabulists and problems with facts and the media. But there's a more pernicious ramification of Newsweek's abdication of journalistic practices: This is what the predatory conservative echo-chamber and Fox News count on.
Fox and the right-wing echo chamber exploit these vulnerabilities in the media. When the media process seems shoddy (regardless of whether it actually is) and the result produces news that is inconsistent with conservative ideology, right-wing media pounce and attack the outlet as part of some left-wing media cabal. We've seen Fox do this from Dan Rather to Politico to ABC News to MSNBC and more. On the other hand, when they find the argument useful, the right-wing echo chamber can herald the piece and ignore inaccuracies within.
It's no surprise that while discussing Ferguson's article across multiple programs, Fox never discussed the myriad factual problems in Ferguson's piece that one could find with a rudimentary Google search. This is even as Ferguson's self-professed friend who writes for the same outlet called the piece "absurd propaganda."
On the November 14 edition of Comedy Central's The Colbert Report, host Stephen Colbert mocked Fox News' inflated estimates of the number of jobs the Keystone XL pipeline might provide, playing video of anchors and guests estimating it would create "20,000 immediate jobs," "118,000 in direct jobs" and finally "a million new high-paying jobs." In fact, even TransCanada, the company that would head the project, has said the total jobs created would be far fewer, and an independent report has found that the project could actually destroy more jobs than it creates through higher fuel costs and environmental damage.
From The Colbert Report:
On the September 14 edition of Comedy Central's The Colbert Report, host Stephen Colbert mocked Fox News and the NY Post's story attacking President Obama over the paper clip used to hold together his jobs bill. After playing clips of co-hosts from Fox News' Fox & Friends and The Five attacking the paper clip, Colbert joked, "I'll tell you folks, the story of Clipgate is spreading like wildfire -- all the way from Fox News studio E to Fox News studio J." Later, he added, "If [Obama] really believed in this bill, he should have presented it in a leather-bound volume with gold filigree and illuminated initials, so the Republicans had something presentable to dismiss before they ever look at it."
From the April 14 edition of Comedy Central's The Colbert Report:
|The Colbert Report||Mon - Thurs 11:30pm / 10:30c|
|Obama Needs Charts and Graphs|
During the January 20 edition of Comedy Central's The Colbert Report , host Stephen Colbert highlighted Rush Limbaugh's mocking imitation of Chinese speech following Chinese president Hu Jintao's visit. He also reviewed other times Limbaugh has mocked minorities, as well as the chronically ill.
|The Colbert Report||Mon - Thurs 11:30pm / 10:30c|
|Rush Limbaugh Speaks Chinese|
From the December 20 edition of Fox News' The O'Reilly Factor:
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This Saturday, Comedy Central's Jon Stewart and Stephen Colbert will hold simultaneous rallies on the National Mall in Washington, D.C. While Stewart is striving to "restore sanity" to our national dialogue, Colbert seeks to "keep fear alive," playing his faux conservative television character to a tee.
The dueling themes remind me of a certain right-wing cable network.
Each day, Fox News "keeps fear alive" with a steady stream of false and misleading attacks on President Obama, progressive members of Congress, and policy initiatives like reforming health care, fixing the economy, and fighting climate change.
Fox hosts like Glenn Beck, Sean Hannity, and Bill O'Reilly play on the fears and prejudices of their audiences and help create a climate of uncertainty, paranoia, and hate. Network contributors like Sarah Palin, Karl Rove, and Newt Gingrich appear as political experts while trafficking in lies and misinformation.
Join the fight. Visit FoxKeepsFearAlive.com today!
Fox News is not a news organization. Fox News is a right-wing political operation.
Enough is enough. It is time to Drop Fox.
As thousands of Americans arrive this weekend in our nation's capital for the Stewart and Colbert's rally, Media Matters is embarking on a major ground operation to bring our DropFox.com message to the assembled masses.
After the jump you'll find photos of Washington, DC Metro station advertisements that began greeting commuters and tourists last night during the evening rush hour. These same ads -- carrying the message that "Fox Keeps Fear Alive" and "Restore Sanity, Fight Fox" -- will be seen by thousands of rally goers as they stream onto the National Mall on Saturday morning.
Media Matters will also have several dozen street canvassers and volunteers on hand circulating Drop Fox petitions and passing out specially themed "Fox Keeps Fear Alive" and "Restore Sanity, Fight Fox" stickers, rally signs, and t-shirts.
Join the fight. Visit FoxKeepsFearAlive.com today!
If you happen to be attending Jon Stewart's "Rally to Restore Sanity" or Stephen Colbert's "March to Keep Fear Alive" on Saturday (they are simultaneous at the same location), please keep an eye out for Media Matters street canvassers and volunteers in blue t-shirts with logos similar to the photos after the jump. They'd be happy to let you sign the Drop Fox petition and furnish you with a rally sign, lapel sticker and/or t-shirt.
Fans of Comedy Central's resident faux-servative Stephen Colbert have taken to the internets in a drive to organize a "Restoring Truthiness" rally on October 10, 2010 -- that's 101010:
What: It's time to Restore Truthiness to America!
When: TBA (Ask Stephen Colbert)
Why: America, we are at a crossroad. Truthiness in this nation is at an all-time low since the inception of the concept was founded by the great American, Stephen Colbert. In its rich history over the past five years, Truthiness has become synonymous with American values such as freedom, honor, and Taco Bell. Recently our nation has suffered a truthiness drain. In fact, untruthiness is as common as measles vaccinations that cause cancer. We as a nation have stopped relying on our emotions and gut. We need to get back to what makes this nation great. Act on impulse not fact. Stop wasting time analyzing and just take what people say on face value. Why think when someone else can think for you. It's superficial. It's quick. It's American. Restore Truthiness now!
How can you help? Spread the word. Tweet, Facebook Like, Join the Facebook Group, Share, Upvote, Do whatever you have to do. Make this be tomorrow's news!
Those not familiar with the tenants of "truthiness" should watch this video for a refresher:
Early crowd estimates for the "Restoring Truthiness" rally, which hasn't even taken place yet, peg attendance at more than one billion people, a figure confirmed by Fox News and conservative blogs.
Last week, we noted that ABC's This Week would begin working with PolitiFact.com to provide a weekly fact-check of the Sunday show. Said PolitiFact.com's Bill Adair in making the announcement:
Jake Tapper, the interim host of This Week, liked the suggestion and asked us to fact-check the show on a trial basis. So starting this Sunday, we'll be fact-checking the newsmakers who appear on the program. We'll post the items on our home page and on the show's Web site. The items will also be archived on PolitiFact's This Week page, so you'll be able to check back periodically and see how the newsmakers are doing.
Stephen Colbert, host of Comedy Central's Colbert Report, isn't pleased. As he puts it:
I don't care about facts. I gut-check my show. I say, "gut, does that feel true to you," and gut says, "yes it does Stephen, let's get a grilled cheese sandwich."
Colbert also ribbed David Gregory, host of NBC's Meet the Press, for this disappointing statement:
People can fact-check Meet the Press every Sunday on their own terms.
I hope Gregory will come to his senses. It would do all Sunday show viewers a great deal of good if Meet the Press, CBS' Face the Nation, Fox Broadcasting Co.'s Fox News Sunday (and the cable/syndicated ones too) followed This Week's lead rather than Colbert's, which is how they seem to do it now.
In his new falsehood-laden book, Obama Zombies, Jason Mattera titles one of his chapters "The Dynamic Duo: Jon Stewart and Stephen Colbert" with the subtitle "Why Mediated Morons Matter." Mattera writes of Stewart:
And there you have the left's secret weapon, folks: a forty-something self-loathing New Yorker is liberalism's greatest spokesman today. Young people are drawn to Jon Stewart's nightly dose of zany facial expressions, liberal drivel, and F-bomb-laced commentary. Believe it or not, his program is where many young people get their daily news of what's going on in the real world. Sad? Yes. Surprising? Hardly. As we have seen throughout this book, Zombies don't think, they feel.
But it's all just comedy right? We shouldn't take Jon "little man" Stewart seriously. I mean, he doesn't even take himself seriously. That's certainly the skirt he hides behind when his partisanship is called into question. This is hardly surprising giving that Stewart's television program takes cues from the partisan, leftist smear group Media Matters. But Stewart is often mean and downright nasty. Sarah Palin is not just politically flawed, in his estimation. Nope. According to Stewart, former governor Palin is comparable to the devastation in Germany that led to Hitler's rise to power. "Have you noticed how [Palin's] rallies have begun to take on the characteristics of the last days of the Weimar Republic?" he said to a crowd at the stuff Waldorf-Astoria. " 'Who is Barack Obama?' Hey, lady, we just met you five fucking weeks ago." [p.171]
Yet, Mattera has no problem going on Fox News, where Nazi and socialist smears abound.