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Todd Gregory

Author ››› Todd Gregory
  • Fox's Napolitano Uses Debunked Claims To Create Suspicion About 9-11 Narrative

    Blog ››› ››› TODD GREGORY

    Fox Business host Andrew Napolitano has publicly endorsed the conspiracy theory that the government is lying about the September 11 attacks. In November, he said, "It couldn't possibly have been done the way the government told us."

    On the Friday edition of his show Freedom Watch, Napolitano offered a variation of this rhetoric to cast doubt on the "government account" of the lead-up to the attacks. He asked, "Will future generations ever know the full truth about the events that led to 9-11, or will they accept the government account of what happened, an account that the CIA's own bin Laden unit chief Michael Scheuer calls, quote, 'a whitewash from top to bottom'?"

    Napolitano supported this conspiracy-mongering with two long-debunked claims about counterterrorism efforts during the Clinton administration.

  • Why Did MSNBC Run An Ad From An Anti-Immigrant Group?

    Blog ››› ››› TODD GREGORY

    During last night's Republican presidential debate, MSNBC aired an ad from a group called Californians for Population Stabilization (CAPS), which the Southern Poverty Law Center has identified as part of an anti-immigration network that includes several organizations it labels "hate groups."

    The CAPS ad shows a man shuffling around the letters of the word "illegal" while saying:

    Now that so many Californians are out of work, attention is turning to the millions of illegal workers in the state. It's about time. But what about these workers? Legal foreign workers -- 1 million legal immigrants and temporary workers our government admits every year that take good jobs in places like California, no matter how many Californians are out of work or how ill the economy gets. We need to slow legal immigration 'till California is working again. Paid for by Californians for Population Stabilization.

    In a press release announcing the TV ad campaign, CAPS stated:

    More legal immigrants reside and settle in California permanently than in any other state. The flow of workers has not stopped since the recession hit. The policy is having a particularly insidious effect in states like California, with millions unable to find a job and unemployment rates topping 18%. As a result, California has been forced to borrow $40 million a day from the federal government to pay unemployment benefits. At the same time, the Federal government continues to flood California with legal immigrants and temporary workers with no calls for an end to foreign workers in sight.

    This is a classic appeal to anti-immigrant sentiment: Immigrants "take good jobs," presumably from native-born Americans. But on the whole, that's not true.

  • Why Is Mary Matalin Randomly Bringing Up Her Business Partner Glenn Beck On CNN?

    Blog ››› ››› TODD GREGORY

    During a Situation Room segment on Thursday, Wolf Blitzer led a discussion between CNN contributors Mary Matalin and Donna Brazile about controversial comments Rep. Andre Carson (D-IN) made regarding the Tea Party. When Blitzer turned to Matalin for her opinion, seemingly apropos of nothing, Matalin brought up Glenn Beck and what she called his "astounding, remarkable series on the civil rights struggle in this country including black founding fathers."

    This set off a heated back-and-forth about Beck between Matalin and Brazile over the course of the 11-minute segment. When confronted about Beck's notorious comment that President Obama has a "deep-seated hatred of white people," Matalin made a series of equivocating statements that mostly excused Beck's comment, saying he made it in the "context" of "a number of things that were in Barack Obama's background which hadn't been condemned, that Barack Obama didn't condemn."

    According to her CNN bio, Matalin is the editor-in-chief of Threshold Editions, an imprint of publisher Simon & Schuster. Threshold has published most, if not all, of Beck's recent books. In fact, it's publishing Beck's The Snow Angel next month.

    That fact didn't come up as Matalin randomly injected Beck into the conversation on CNN.

    Is Matalin concerned about the flagging profile of one of her most productive authors now that his Fox News show has ended and his rally in Israel was met with little fanfare?

  • UPDATED: Breitbart Site, Fox Nation Fall For Misquoted YouTube Hit On Sen. Lautenberg

    Blog ››› ››› TODD GREGORY

    Breitbart.tv is highlighting a YouTube video that shows Sen. Frank Lautenberg (D-NJ) speaking at a seaside event that the video says was held on Wednesday in Belmar, New Jersey. The title of the video on YouTube is "Lautenberg 'we got to eliminate the rich.' " Similarly, the title of the Breitbart.tv post is "Sen Lautenberg: 'We Got to Eliminate the Rich.' "

    Toward the end of the video, Lautenberg references Warren Buffett's recent statement that taxes should be raised on the wealthy. Lautenberg then says, "And it's a tough fight, but" -- and at this point, a graphic appears over the footage that says, "We got to Eliminate the rich."

    If you listen carefully and ignore the text over the video, it's fairly easy to understand that what Lautenberg actually says is, "And it's a tough fight, but we've got to eliminate the waste, we've got to eliminate the fraudulent practice, the expanded things that have no value and the" -- and at this point, the video ends.

    Watch:

  • Rush Limbaugh's "Or-Bam-eo" Slur

    Blog ››› ››› TODD GREGORY

    Today on his radio show, Rush Limbaugh described a new Oreo that will have both chocolate and vanilla cream as a "biracial" cookie and said that "it isn't going to be long before it's going to be called the Or-Bam-eo or something like this." Limbaugh later called it the "Or-Bam-eo" himself.

    Listen:

    LIMBAUGH: Kraft foods is going to launch a new Oreo. You ought to see -- that got Snerdly's attention. It's a Triple Double Oreo. Do you like Oreos, is that?

    Well, it -- what it's going to be here, it's actually a biracial cookie. You've got three of the chocolate wafers, and then you've got the white vanilla cream -- the cream -- and then there's a chocolate cream. So you've got, you've got three -- the stuff, the thing that says Oreo on it, the wafer. And then you've got the white cream, then you've got another chocolate wafer, then you've got the chocolate cream, and then you've got the bottom wafer.

    The Triple Double Oreo. You wait, it isn't going to be long before it's called the Or-Bam-eo, or something like this. Well, it's a biracial cookie, here. And this story is from the Chicago Tribune, and it's all about Kraft's juicing up its investment in the Oreo in recent years. Legitimate businesses.

    Do I know you get Oreos and ice cream? Yeah, I know that. I don't -- I'm not a big ice cream fan, but I know that you can do that. I know that you can -- you know what? What I heard the other day, McDonald's? You know these -- what are they called? Rolos, these caramel things that come in a roll that you get? McDonald's is putting those in their soft ice cream or shakes or whatever. I saw that the other day. Yeah.

    In the midst of all this talk of obesity. And, I mean, every time Michelle Obama goes out there and talks about healthful eating, the food industry responds with, "Oh, yeah? Take this." And Kraft comes up with the Or-Bam-eo, the triple double-dipper.

    OK, to the phones.

    The Chicago Tribune article that Limbaugh was referencing mentions nothing about race, of course, and it certainly doesn't describe it as a "biracial" cookie.

    Limbaugh is clearly aware of the use of the word "Oreo" as a racial slur.

  • Forbes Columnist Suggests Public Servants, Welfare Recipients Should Lose "Voting Privileges"

    Blog ››› ››› TODD GREGORY

    In an August 4 post titled "If On The Dole Why Do You Still Get To Go To The Poll?" Forbes columnist Bill Flax wrote, "Before we devolve into a Third World dictatorship where the mob denies the liberties of losing minorities we ought to ponder several potential solutions." His list of suggestions:

    • A basic literacy assessment;
    • A non-partisan test ensuring competency of basic constitutional principles;
    • A stake in the community reflected by property, employment or other measures;
    • Restrict the franchise to lessen conflicts of interest regarding state employees, lobbyists, contractors, etc.;
    • Surrender one's voting privileges when seeking public assistance.

    The rest of Flax's post touched on familiar right-wing falsehoods: half of Americans don't pay taxes; fighting poverty is a waste of money; the poor in America aren't really poor because they can buy appliances.

    As a reminder, the Voting Rights Act of 1965 banned the institution of "basic literacy assessment[s]" and other "voting qualifications or prerequisites" based on race. Apparently, Flax thinks it's OK to discriminate against people based on their jobs -- public employees -- or economic status -- the recipients of "public assistance" -- by removing their ability to vote.

    Though Flax's suggestion that voting rights should be rolled back came in a blog post, his writing is also published in Forbes magazine.

    Flax's bio says he "live[s] in Cincinnati, Ohio and work[s] in the banking industry." Last year, he had a book published called The Courage to Do Nothing: A Moral Defense of Markets and Freedom. The back cover says, "Read The Courage to do Nothing to learn economic truths ignored by the cultural elites determined to change America into a European-style socialist boondoggle."

  • Fox Juxtaposes Norwegian Terrorist Attack, NYC Islamic Center

    Blog ››› ››› TODD GREGORY

    Friday night on The O'Reilly Factor, guest host Laura Ingraham did a brief report on the terrorist attacks that killed dozens of people in Norway. She began by saying, "In the 'Back of the Book' segment tonight, two deadly terror attacks in Norway, in what appears to be the work, once again, of Muslim extremists." She went on to describe the attacks, which involved a bombing in Oslo and a mass shooting.

    Ingraham then immediately transitioned into a segment on Park51, the planned Islamic community center near the World Trade Center, by saying, "In the meantime, in New York City, the Muslims who want to build the mosque at Ground Zero scored a huge legal victory. A Manhattan judge dismissed a lawsuit by former New York City firefighter Timothy Brown, who was trying to stop construction of the mosque. Bill O'Reilly spoke with a lawyer for the Muslim developers yesterday."

    Watch:

    Friday's edition of The O'Reilly Factor was recorded, so, despite the fact that several outlets were already reporting at the time the show aired that the suspect in the attacks was not linked to any Islamist groups, Fox News viewers were left with that impression anyway.

    Logistical constraints aside, it's totally inappropriate to juxtapose news of a terrorist attack with a discussion of Park51 because they both purportedly have something to do with Muslims. This is an attempt to reanimate Fox's failed strategy from last year of smearing Park51 by baselessly associating it with terrorism.

    The discussion that O'Reilly had with the lawyer representing Park51 was full of anti-Muslim dog whistles as well.

  • Fox Sets The Tone: If U.S. Defaults, Obama's To Blame

    Blog ››› ››› TODD GREGORY

    Bill O'Reilly was very clear tonight on where he stands on the debt-ceiling fight: The crisis is President Obama's fault. Why? Because of "the fact that he spent that much money":

    This follows Sean Hannity's statement on Tuesday night that we're "going to lose our AAA bond rating because [Obama] spent us into oblivion."

    Whatever the outcome of the debt talks, it's clear that Fox News' premier personalities are priming their audience to believe the false narrative that if a default occurs, Obama is the one to blame because of his supposed responsibility for recent budget deficits and the national debt. This is the latest iteration of a story that the conservative media have been telling since almost the beginning of Obama's presidency.

    In reality, a fully informed look at the federal budget would tell you that much of the recently added debt and projected deficits can be attributed to a drop in revenue caused by the economic downturn, and to pre-Obama policies, like the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan and the Bush tax cuts.

    If the worst occurs, and the federal government defaults and has its credit rating downgraded, you can be sure that this is the refrain you'll hear repeated endlessly on Fox News.

  • O'Reilly Finally Plays Defense For News Corp.; Hannity Still Silent

    Blog ››› ››› TODD GREGORY

    After weeks of ignoring News Corp.'s phone hacking scandal, Bill O'Reilly finally covered the issue on his show last night. His coverage consisted of a report from Amy Kellogg, who has been reporting on the topic for Fox News from London, and a discussion with Heritage Foundation senior fellow Nile Gardiner:

    In all, the segment ran for about seven minutes, and O'Reilly used most of the discussion with Gardiner to spin the scandal away. (O'Reilly falsely claimed that there hasn't been any "intrusion of this story thus far on News Corp. properties" in the U.S. In reality, Les Hinton, CEO of News Corp.'s Dow Jones division, resigned as a result of the fallout.)

    Meanwhile, Sean Hannity ignored the scandal on his Fox News show yet again. Since the story escalated over the Fourth of July weekend, Hannity hasn't mentioned it at all.

  • On Fox, Steve Forbes Hears The Truth About Health Care, Goes "Death Panels" Anyway

    Blog ››› ››› TODD GREGORY

    Today on Forbes on Fox, viewers were exposed to a fact that rarely makes an appearance on Fox News: Health care in America is already rationed, mainly by insurance companies. Rationing isn't an insidious creation of the health care reform law enacted last year -- it's something we all deal with when we interact with health care in our country.

    A panelist on Forbes on Fox, DePauw University professor Mark Tatge, made that point during a discussion of the Independent Payment Advisory Board (IPAB). The board was created by the health care law to propose ways to control Medicare costs, should they rise above a certain rate of growth.

    Tatge told host David Asman:

    We already ration care, David. I mean, we have 47 million Americans who can't get health insurance, who don't have health insurance. The unemployed and the underemployed don't have health care, or have very limited access to health care. So, I don't see what the big deal is about a bipartisan panel that's going to try to limit cost increases in Medicare, which have been runaway. So what's the big deal about this?

    After being prompted for a response, Forbes said, in part:

    David, this panel is really almost unconstitutional. It has no judicial review and no administrative review, and in terms of what they do, the way they ration health care -- and let's call them what they are, death panels -- is they'll say certain procedures, you don't get reimbursed for. That effectively cuts those procedures off. And Rich is right. It's going to be right after the -- they're going to go right after the elderly.

    Two facts put to rest the falsehood Forbes is pushing.