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Hardeep Dhillon

Author ››› Hardeep Dhillon
  • "The Most Exciting Tax Plan Since Reagan's": Right-Wing Media Tout Perry's Flat Tax


    Following the release of Republican presidential candidate Rick Perry's (TX) tax plan, conservative media have hyped the plan, claiming it is "exciting" and a "radical improvement" over the current system. However, economists from across the spectrum have criticized Perry's plan, noting that it will lead to "substantial" revenue loss and "draconian cuts" while "undermin[ing]" the need to make the tax code simpler.

  • Frequent Fox Guest Geller Deemed Too "Disruptive" For Texas Hotel

    Blog ››› ››› HARDEEP DHILLON

    The Houston Chronicle is reporting that The Sugar Land Hyatt canceled a tea party event featuring Pamela Geller after protests by the Sugar Land Democrats Club drew attention to Geller's rampant Islamophobia. Sugar Land's Hyatt Place manager stated the cancelation was due to the "business disruptions" Geller's appearance was creating. Geller, a right-wing activist, was scheduled to deliver an address and promote her new book Stop the Islamization of America.

    Although the Sugar Land Hyatt decided not to host Geller, she regularly finds a home at Fox News Channel to spew hate. In an April 13, 2010 post on her blog, Geller claimed that President Obama was "a third worlder and a coward" who would "do nothing but beat up on our friends to appease his Islamic overlords." In July 2010, Geller appeared on Fox News' Hannity, and was asked whether she thought Barack Obama was anti-Semitic. Geller said that she did.

    As a guest on Fox's Fox & Friends, Geller once claimed that building an Islamic community center in New York City near Ground Zero was like "stab[bing] Americans in the eye." In a later edition of the show, Geller pushed the falsehood that the cultural center would open on September 11, 2011, in order to promote her belief that the center was a mockery of 9/11.

    Geller has popped up on Fox Business to promote birtherism, and has theorized that Barack Obama is the son of Malcolm X. Her new book continues along a similar path. In a chapter on "cultural jihad," Geller highlights "numerous explosive revelations" about "the little-reported fact that much of the meat in Europe is being processed as halal and yet sold without the halal label."

    When CBS' Scott Pelley asserted that Geller did not "tell the truth" on her blog during a 2010 interview, Geller responded to the 60 Minutes description by appearing on Fox News and saying that it was "part of the Islamic supremacist agenda."

    Geller responded to the cancelation by posting the following response on her website Atlas Shrugs:

    The quisling cowards at the Hyatt Place Sugar Land caved to intimidation, but that didn't stop freedom lovers from coming to hear me speak. The event was held at the Sugar Land Community Center, and the house was packed. Hundreds came out to hear what the sharia forbids -- the truth. It was an amazing evening. I was struck by the number of apostates (former Muslims) in the house. Gd bless Texas!

  • Fox Turns To End Times Author Joel Rosenberg To Discuss Iran

    Blog ››› ››› HARDEEP DHILLON

    On the October 16 edition of Fox News' America's News HQ, host Shannon Bream turned to Joel Rosenberg to discuss the alleged plot by an Iranian-American man, Mansour J. Arbabsiar, to assassinate Saudi Arabia's ambassador to the United States. Bream introduced Rosenberg as "an author that some are calling a 'modern-day Nostradamus'":

    BREAM: The Iranian plot FBI director Mueller has talked about this week also reads like the pages of a soon-to-be-released novel by an author that some are calling a "modern-day Nostradamus." Joel Rosenberg's new book, The Tehran Initiative, bears an eerie, uncanny resemblance to current events. And it isn't the first time he's written fiction that's foreshadowed the future - it's a special gift I think he has.

    Bream then allowed Rosenberg to discuss his thoughts on Arbadsiar's failed attempts and U.S.-Iranian relations.

    So what exactly makes Rosenberg a "modern-day Nostradamus"?

    Rosenberg, who appeared on Glenn Beck's former Fox show, has repeatedly fearmongered about the End Times. During a speech at the 2011 Epicenter Conference in Jerusalem, Rosenberg laid out how he believes we are fast-approaching Rapture and the return of Jesus Christ. Discussing the events of the post-Rapture Tribulation, Rosenberg explained that "only falling upon the name and calling upon the name of the Lord Jesus Christ, that's the only way that we can be saved."

    Rosenberg has also written extensively about the various "signs" indicating the Second Coming of Jesus Christ may be imminent (including the "supersign" that was the "rebirth of Israel in 1948").

    Moreover, on his website, Rosenberg is described as "a follower of Jesus Christ with a passion to make disciples of all nations and teach Bible prophecy." In a section about his "spiritual journey," Rosenberg also celebrates the "record numbers" of Jews "turning to Jesus" and "getting excited about His Second Coming."

    For more on Rosenberg's background, see here.

  • Fox's "Straight News" Division Decides: Gibson Guitars Appears Not To Have Done "Any Illegal Logging"

    Blog ››› ››› HARDEEP DHILLON

    Following up on a series of one-sided reports suggesting that the Department of Justice's investigation of Gibson Guitar over charges of illegal logging was unwarranted, Fox News senior national correspondent John Roberts has now explicitly declared: "[T]here doesn't appear to be any illegal logging here."

    HEMMER: What do they say is behind all this John?

    ROBERTS: It is an amendment to the 1900 Lacey Act that was passed in 2008 to help protect against any illegal logging. But there doesn't appear to be any illegal logging here. The Indian government says that they wood that it exported to Gibson and other luthiers across the country is legal. But the U.S. government says "No it's not legal to import into the United States." This of course has created a massive amount of confusion. So much so that the National Association of Music Merchants wrote a letter to the president and to members of Congress complaining about the "unintended consequences of the Lacey Act that we feel are damaging to our industry and the economy." I asked Senator Lamar Alexander of Tennessee about that. He was a cosponsor of the 2008 amendment. He told me that "some changes may be needed here."

    Fox's coverage on the Gibson Guitar's case has been skewed from the very beginning and Roberts' report is the logical culmination of its coverage so far.

  • WND Column Compares Opponents Of Alabama Immigration Law To Slave Owners

    Blog ››› ››› HARDEEP DHILLON

    The decision of federal judge Sharon Blackburn allowing several sections of Alabama's controversial immigration law to go into effect has two WorldNetDaily contributors celebrating and comparing opponents of the law to Civil War-era slave owners who opposed emancipation.

    The Alabama law, H.B. 56, is a draconian law and Blackburn refused to allow some of the provisions to go into effect, such as the provisions making it a crime for an undocumented immigrant to apply for or perform work, making it a crime to conceal or harbor an undocumented immigrant, and barring employers from failing to hire a U.S. citizen while employing an undocumented worker.

    But it does allow certain provisions to go into effect, including ones that were struck down in Arizona that require immigrants to carry immigration papers and require law enforcement officers to determine the citizenship of any person they stop when they suspect the person is here illegally and one that forbids Alabama courts from enforcing most contracts entered into by undocumented immigrants.

    The decision is being cheered by WorldNetDaily contributors Gina Loudon and Dathan Paterno. In a column headlined "American patriots: Stand with Alabama!" Loudon and Paterno call for a "Buycott" of Arizona products in celebration of the "strictest-in-the country illegal immigration law" which is causing "illegals [to] fle[e] the state in droves."

  • Fox Acknowledges Its "Hard Right Turn"


    In a Newsweek article titled "Roger's Reality Show," Howard Kurtz wrote that Fox executives acknowledge that the news channel "took a hard right turn." This admission confirms what has long been clear: that Fox's news division has been slanted.

  • Bolling Uses Obama's Support Of Israel To Claim He Doesn't Support Israel

    Blog ››› ››› HARDEEP DHILLON

    Although the proper direction for U.S. policy in the Middle East can be complicated, you can always count on the right-wing media to twist the issue to suit their thesis that President Obama is always wrong.

    Fox's Eric Bolling, for one, has been promoting a conspiracy theory on the Palestinian bid for statehood. Bolling pushed the bogus right-wing mantra yesterday that Obama has not supported Israel.

    To reconcile Obama's supposed anti-Israel leanings with reports that Obama will veto a bid for recognition of a Palestinian state by the United Nations, Bolling claimed yesterday on Fox News' The Five that the statehood bid is a "set up" by the Palestinians and Obama to make Obama look as if he is "pro-Israel":

    BOLLING: I'm mad because I think this is all a set up. I think this is the Palestinians say: "Hey, Mr. Obama, we want -- we're thinking about asking for statehood." And they know very well the Obama administration is going to say "No way, not now, this is not the time." And then when we go into the election Obama is going to go, "Oh, look what I did all you Israeli vote -- Israel, Jewish voters. Vote for me. I am pro-Israel." Even though everything he's done is anti-Israel up until this point."

    Bolling is no stranger to conspiracy theories: He remains a birther even after Obama released his long-form birth certificate and he's spun wild conspiracy theories on topics as wide ranging as Moody's assessment of the United States' credit-worthiness, Obama's Rural Council, and gun issues.

    So perhaps it wasn't a surprise that today Bolling doubled down on the Palestinian conspiracy theory. From Fox News' The Five:

    BOLLING: I'm taking a little bit of heat yesterday and I stand by it, that I think this is the Obama administration cutting a deal with the Palestinian Authority to say, "Look, back off," Obama says to the Palestinians, "Back off, we'll do this another time." And then he could go into the 2012 elections looking like he is pro-Israel which he hasn't been up until now.

    Bolling is right about one thing -- the Obama administration has said it will veto any effort by the Palestinians to seek statehood through the United Nations. However, this veto is not the result of some sort of conspiracy relationship between Obama and the Palestinian leadership to bolster votes from constituents who support Israel.

    If it is, it would be quite a convoluted conspiracy.

  • Fox "Straight News" Division Joins Effort To Drum Up Scandal Over Routine Review Of General's Testimony

    Blog ››› ››› HARDEEP DHILLON

    Earlier today, Fox News' opinion programming claimed the Obama administration "pressured" Air Force Gen. William Shelton "to change his testimony" about the effects of a broadband system on military GPS in order to help out a Democratic donor. Fox's opinion programming ignored the fact that coordination of Defense Department testimony is routine.

    And surprise, surprise, Fox's "straight news" division did the exact same thing with this story. On Special Report with Bret Baier, Fox News' Pentagon correspondent Jennifer Griffin claimed that "Republicans on Capitol Hill say that General William Shelton, the top commander at U.S. Space Command told a closed door briefing of lawmakers that the Obama administration had urged him to downplay" concerns over the broadband system.

    Griffin later added: "Sources tell Fox that General Shelton was asked by the White House to say that the Pentagon would try to resolve the problems of GPS with more testing. General Shelton pushed back and Republicans are asking why the White House tried to change a U.S. general's testimony."

    But Griffin's story is laughably one-sided.

    Griffin failed to mention that Defense Department testimony is routinely reviewed and coordinated with administrative agencies as the Department of Defense Office of Legislative Counsel makes clear. Moreover, the White House Office of Management and Budget has the mission of "clearing "agency views on legislative proposals and testimony to ensure consistency in the Administration's policy positions." In other words, clearing and coordinating General Shelton's testimony is standard process.

  • Fox's Straight News Division Disappears Allegation That Boeing Retaliated Against Its Workers

    Blog ››› ››› HARDEEP DHILLON

    Tonight, one of Fox News' supposedly "straight news" correspondents, Doug McKelway, promoted Republican efforts to derail a case brought by the National Labor Relations Board's (NLRB) general counsel against Boeing.

    On Special Report with Bret Baier, McKelway aired lots of footage of Republican members of Congress attacking the NLRB but gave short shrift to the complaint against Boeing. Regarding the specific allegations against Boeing, McKelway reported only that "the National Labor Relations Board filed a complaint against Boeing for moving the production from Washington state, calling the move quote 'discriminatory' against Boeing's unionized workers."

    However, the NLRB has charged Boeing with much more than "discriminatory" behavior towards unionized workers. The complaint filed by the National Labor Relations Board states that Boeing illegally retaliated against unionized workers for engaging in lawful strikes.

    The complaint also alleges that Boeing made "coercive statements to its employees that it would remove or had removed work from the Unit because employees had struck" and that Boeing "threatened or impliedly threatened that the Unit would lose additional work in the event of future strikes."

    Moreover, as Media Matters has documented labor law experts agree that if the allegations filed by the NLRB against Boeing are true, the Boeing case would be "a classic violation" of labor laws.

    This is a paradigmatic example of how Fox's "straight news" operation works: It's hyping the latest GOP effort to tilt the playing field against workers while almost completely ignoring the allegations that a company is violating its workers' rights.

  • Malkin's Ridiculous Conspiracy Theory On Why Olive Garden's Menu Is Getting Healthier

    Blog ››› ››› HARDEEP DHILLON

    With no evidence whatsoever, Michelle Malkin tied the decision by Darden Restaurants Inc., owner of the Olive Garden and Red Lobster chains, to cut calories and improve its children's menus to a waiver it has received from a provision of the Affordable Care Act requiring businesses to phase out bare-bones health insurance plans.

    Malkin's accusation follows a long line of false attacks by conservative media who have previously alleged that health care waivers were "blatant cronyism" and "political corruption."

    In fact, has found that companies from industries that opposed health care reform have been granted waivers from the applicable section of the Affordable Care Act.

    Moreover, Malkin falsely claimed that waivers are only given to a "few and fortunate businesses." In fact, as of May this year, only about 100 waiver requests that had been denied out of over 1300 requested.

    Moreover, as Media Matters has previously noted, the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services has published the requirements for businesses to receive a waiver. Waiver applicants must certify that they are in need of a waiver to prevent reduced access to coverage or large premium increases.

    Additionally, as Mother Jones explains, the waivers are "essentially a stop-gap measure designed to keep employers from dropping health care benefits all together" until the health insurance exchanges begin operation in 2014:

    The White House explains that waivers are granted if conforming to the rules "would disrupt access to existing insurance arrangements or adversely affect premiums, causing people to lose coverage," acknowledging that the low-benefits plans are sometimes the only option that some employers can offer. The Democrats' rationale is that the other changes under federal health reform will eventually allow employers to receive better, more affordable coverage under the health insurance exchange, when it begins operating in 2014.

    To recap: The vast majority of businesses that apply for waivers receive waivers and opponents of health care reform receive waivers. That makes it kind of implausible that Michelle Obama is personally overseeing the waiver process to ensure that restaurants only receive them if they agree to make their menus healthier.