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Todd Gregory

Author ››› Todd Gregory
  • Who Is Bill O'Reilly Talking About?

    Blog ››› ››› TODD GREGORY

    "If you challenge [him], he's in your face. If you point out his failures, he denies them. If you disagree with him on anything, you're a moron."

    "He loves power. He believes he is good for the nation."

    For frequent viewers of Bill O'Reilly's show, the above descriptions, from the November 29 O'Reilly Factor, call to mind one person: Bill O'Reilly.

    Here's O'Reilly getting in the face of Jeremy Glick, the son of a 9-11 victim who challenged O'Reilly on his pro-war views. O'Reilly called Glick's views "a bunch of crap" and repeatedly told him to "shut up."

    Here's O'Reilly repeatedly denying his lies about the purported success of a "boycott" he led against France (initially, by apparently inventing a publication called the Paris Business Review).

    And here's O'Reilly suggesting that those who disagree with him are "moron[s]."

    "Good for the nation"? O'Reilly wrote a book titled Culture Warrior. He clearly thinks he's on the right side of that war.

    But O'Reilly wasn't having a moment of introspection. He was attacking retiring Rep. Barney Frank (D-MA). A case of projection rather than introspection?:

    O'Reilly also used Frank's announcement to celebrate his confrontation with the congressman over Frank's role in overseeing Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac. O'Reilly joined his "straight news" colleagues on Fox in falsely suggesting that Frank opposed reforming those entities.

    Full transcript below the jump.

  • Limbaugh: Nobody Is Mentioning That Sandusky Is "A Gay Guy"

    Blog ››› ››› TODD GREGORY

    Rush Limbaugh said today that the media are refusing to identify former Penn State assistant football coach Jerry Sandusky, who has been charged with child molestation, as gay, due to the influence of a powerful "gay lobby." Last week, Limbaugh said discussing this "elephant in the room" would "end my career."

    A caller asked Limbaugh today about the "elephant in the room" that he had mentioned. The caller said that "we're always told that homosexuals are not pedophiles, but in this case, he sure was. And the same thing with Michael Jackson." Limbaugh replied, "Nah, not pedophiles, but I do think it's the elephant in the room that is never -- it's not called a homosexual problem or scandal or -- see there -- and the reason, there's a very powerful political gay movement, and it's oriented towards supporting the Democrat Party."

    Limbaugh also said he didn't "want to be misunderstood." He explained:

    LIMBAUGH: Sandusky does not represent all of homosexuality, just like the priests in the Catholic Church don't represent all of homosexuality, just like the aberrant criminals in heterosexual society don't represent all heterosexuals. But because the gay lobby is very powerful, people don't go there. People don't address it, they don't talk about it, and as such, an element of the problem never gets dealt with.

    Limbaugh asserted, apparently without any evidence whatsoever, that "Sandusky has to be -- he's a gay guy. Nobody's mentioning that aspect, because it's just too dangerous."

    Whether Sandusky is gay or not is totally immaterial. Experts say that men who molest young boys aren't necessarily gay, and there is no credible link between homosexuality and pedophilia.

  • Fox's "Straight News" Anchors? A Far Cry From Network News Anchors

    Blog ››› ››› TODD GREGORY

    One of the myths that Fox uses to prop up its credibility as a news-gathering operation is that it has "straight news" shows that possess the same integrity as those on any other channel.

    It's a helpful argument for them, made all the more believable because these shows really look like news. Fox makes use of television conventions to convince its audience that what they are seeing is "news."

    But anyone who closely watches these purportedly straight-news shows knows that, in fact, they're unlike any other news on television.

    Actress Ellen Barkin recently made this point in an interview with the Los Angeles Times Magazine. Discussing "the enormous success that has killed us in terms of Fox News," Barkin said:

    The blatant lying that passes itself off as journalism. I don't even need to get there to go mental. Can you imagine a legitimate newsperson -- Walter Cronkite, Dan Rather, Tom Brokaw -- just lying on the news?

    This earned her a jab in Bill O'Reilly's daily briefing*. (The instinct to defame critics, rather than engage them, is one of the qualities that separates Fox from legitimate news operations -- see here, for instance.)

    The evidence that Fox disregards journalistic ethics, including outright "lying on the news," is extensive.

    Imagine this: A news anchor uses talking points cribbed from a document released by a political party and presents them as his own news outlet's research. So faithfully, in fact, that the outlet reproduces a typo in the original document. When pressured on the issue, the anchor apologizes ... for the typo.

    Sound far-fetched?

    Jon Scott, co-anchor of one of Fox's daytime straight-news shows, Happening Now, did exactly that on Fox News. Plenty of other Fox straight-news shows have presented Republican Party research as their own.

  • Fox's Iraq War Cheerleaders Are Crestfallen Over Withdrawal

    Blog ››› ››› TODD GREGORY

    Many of the commentators in the Fox News stable were outspoken advocates of the war in Iraq. They have reacted to President Obama's announcement that all U.S. troops will leave Iraq by the end of the year by expressing disapproval and a desire to remain in Iraq for decades, despite the fact that the central justification for the war -- Iraq's supposed possession of weapons of mass destruction -- turned out to be completely wrong.

    On the October 21 edition of Special Report, Weekly Standard writer Stephen Hayes and Washington Post columnist Charles Krauthammer trashed the Obama administration over the announcement. Hayes called the withdrawal "a major setback" and "a disservice to our men and women in uniform," and Krauthammer said it was a "big, big failure."

    Krauthammer also endorsed keeping tens of thousands of U.S. troops in Iraq "the same way that we retained forces in Korea, Germany, and Japan 50 years ago, to our advantage":

    Hayes' advocacy for the Iraq war is especially embarrassing, given that he wrote a book titled The Connection: How al Qaeda's Collaboration with Saddam Hussein Has Endangered America. The 2004 book was premised on a discredited Defense Department memo, and the idea of an operational link between Saddam and Al Qaeda has been utterly debunked in the years since its release.

    On the October 22 edition of On the Record with Greta Van Susteren, Fox News contributor John Bolton also called the withdrawal "a mistake." Bolton was an early advocate of invading Iraq, having signed a 1998 letter from the Project for a New American Century, a neoconservative think tank, to President Clinton calling for military action against Iraq.

    During the discussion, Van Susteren asked Bolton, "[A]t what point, though, do you get out, do you say, 'Look, it's time to go home'?"

    Bolton replied, "We're still in Germany. We're still in Japan":

  • ABC Uncovers Scandal: Electric-Car Companies Using Federal Money To Create American Jobs

    Blog ››› ››› TODD GREGORY

    ABC News has published a lengthy article on its website that misleadingly suggests taxpayers are being ripped off because a car company that got a federal loan guarantee is assembling its vehicles in Finland. The story is headlined "Car Company Gets U.S. Loan, Builds Cars In Finland."

    In fact, the article reports that the company, Fisker Automotive, has created 100 auto-plant jobs in Delaware in addition to 500 manufacturing jobs in Finland. Fisker's founder also told ABC that his company has spent the federal money it has received on marketing, engineering, and design work done in the United States, not on the Finnish jobs.

    Here are the first four paragraphs of the article:

    With the approval of the Obama administration, an electric car company that received a $529 million federal government loan guarantee is assembling its first line of cars in Finland, saying it could not find a facility in the United States capable of doing the work.

    Vice President Joseph Biden heralded the Energy Department's $529 million loan to the start-up electric car company called Fisker as a bright new path to thousands of American manufacturing jobs. But two years after the loan was announced, the job of assembling the flashy electric Fisker Karma sports car has been outsourced to Finland.

    "There was no contract manufacturer in the U.S. that could actually produce our vehicle," the car company's founder and namesake told ABC News. "They don't exist here."

    Henrik Fisker said the U.S. money so far has been spent on engineering and design work that stayed in the U.S., not on the 500 manufacturing jobs that went to a rural Finnish firm, Valmet Automotive. [emphasis added]

    Twenty-eight paragraphs later, readers learn that Fisker has indeed created auto-plant jobs in the U.S.:

    The announcement that the plant would re-open followed a heavy lobbying push by Delaware politicians from both parties, who cited the news as a sign of industry's turnaround. In September 2009, Republican Rep. Mike Castle wrote directly to Energy Secretary Steven Chu, saying the Fisker proposal had "great merit," and urging Chu to give the company "careful consideration" for the loan.

    The governor and state politicians took turns, along with Biden, to proclaim the project to cheering blue-collar workers clad in jeans, caps and jackets. They said it would produce thousands of jobs and have cars rolling off the line by next year. Fisker said he remains convinced those jobs will come. While he has hired marketing, design and engineering teams in the U.S., the auto plant jobs in Wilmington right now number about 100. [emphasis added]

    Henrik Fisker explained that the Department of Energy told him that federal loan money could not be spent in Finland:

    In a lengthy interview, Fisker said he apprised the Department of Energy of his decision to assemble the high-priced Karma in Finland after he could not find an American facility that could handle the work. They signed off, he said, so long as he did not spend the federal loan money in Finland -- something he says the company has taken care to avoid. He said the decision, ultimately, was to help prevent his company from following the path of Solyndra, which exhausted nearly all of its loan money on a high-tech solar manufacturing plant in Freemont, California.

    "If you just start doing like what Solyndra did, making a factory in a place where it was too expensive to manufacture ... [you] obviously fail," he said. [emphasis added]

    And the DOE confirmed this in a statement released Thursday night:

    While the vehicles themselves are being assembled in Fisker's existing overseas facility, the Department's funding was only used for the U.S. operations. The money could not be, and was not, spent on overseas operations. The Karma also relies on an extensive network of hundreds of suppliers in more than a dozen U.S. states.

    The article also suggests the Obama administration improperly loaned money to Fisker and Tesla Motors, another electric car company, because Obama donors are involved in the companies' financing:

    An investigation by ABC News and the Center for Public Integrity's iWatch News that will air on "Good Morning America" found that the DOE's bet carries risks for taxpayers, has raised concern among industry observers and government auditors, and adds to questions about the way billions of dollars in loans for smart cars and green energy companies have been awarded. [emphasis added]

    However, the article reported that both the administration and the companies denied impropriety in the awarding of the loans, and the article offered absolutely no evidence to contradict their statements:

    And the DOE confirmed this in a response to ABC's article:

    While the vehicles themselves are being assembled in Fisker's existing overseas facility, the Department's funding was only used for the U.S. operations. The money could not be, and was not, spent on overseas operations. The Karma also relies on an extensive network of hundreds of suppliers in more than a dozen U.S. states.

  • The Latest Desperate Smear Of Occupy Wall Street Protests: The Nazis Like Them

    Blog ››› ››› TODD GREGORY

    The American Nazi Party put out a statement on Thursday that was supportive of the Occupy Wall Street protests. Rocky Suhayda, the party's chairman, said, "My heart is right there with these people."

    The right-wing blogosphere saw an opportunity to associate the protests with Nazis, and the pile-on began. The Blaze quoted the statement, as did Fox Nation and Gateway Pundit blogger Jim Hoft.

    On the Monday edition of Fox News' flagship "straight news" program Special Report, anchor Bret Baier also treated this endorsement as if it were significant:

    Interesting fact about Suhayda: During the 2008 presidential campaign, he declared his preference for Barack Obama over John McCain.

  • Warren Buffett Didn't Repudiate The Buffett Rule

    Blog ››› ››› TODD GREGORY

    It started with a storm of tweets. Investor Warren Buffett was being interviewed by New York Times writer Andrew Ross Sorkin on CNBC, and conservatives on Twitter were misrepresenting what Buffett was saying about the Buffett Rule, which is the Obama administration's principle that "people making more than $1 million a year should not pay a smaller share of their income in taxes than middle-class families pay."

    Around the same time, The Hill published a story claiming Buffett "appeared to distance himself from" the Buffett Rule in an earlier interview on Bloomberg TV.

    Conservative blogs followed through, putting up posts saying that Buffett would not "endorse" the Buffett Rule or even claiming that he "repudiates" it.

    In fact, as Think Progress noted, Buffett said during the CNBC interview that he was happy to have his name associated with the rule:

    SORKIN: Let's talk about the Buffett Rule for a moment.

    BUFFETT: Uh-huh.

    SORKIN: Talk to you about how it came about, in terms of the White House getting in touch with you, and you putting your name to this.

    BUFFETT: Well, Gene Sperling called and said, "Can we use your name?" And I said yes.

    SORKIN: Are you happy you said yes?

    BUFFETT: Sure. I mean, I wrote about it.

    As Washington Post blogger Greg Sargent noted, in a subsequent interview with CNN, Buffett responded to the notion that the Buffett Rule was "class warfare" by saying, "Actually, there's been class warfare going on for the last 20 years, and my class has won. We're the ones that have gotten our tax rates reduced dramatically."

    He also said:

    So, if there's class warfare, the rich class has won. But it's not a tax on all millionaires or ten millionaires or anything like that. It is only a tax -- only be a minimum tax on people who make lots of money and pay very low tax rates at the same time. Anybody who is paying normal tax rates, it wouldn't touch. An aggregate, there's probably 50,000 people in the whole United States out of 310 million that it would affect.

    Full transcript of the CNBC interview is below the jump.

  • Beck Calls Obama Names; As Always, Thinks It Will Be Taken "Out Of Context"

    Blog ››› ››› TODD GREGORY

    Back in June, in the last month of his shows on Fox News, Glenn Beck accused the Obama administration of "embrac[ing]" anti-Israeli, anti-Semitic, and anti-American "bigotry." Beck picked up the same theme today on his radio show.

    He accused President Obama of being a "bigot" and said that he didn't understand how someone could attend Rev. Jeremiah Wright's church and "not hate the Jews." Later in the show, Beck kinda-sorta walked back this name-calling, wondering whether Obama meets the definition of a bigot and speculating that maybe he's an "ideologue" instead.

    And, of course, Beck expressed his concern that the "mainstream media" and the "uber-left" would take his comments "out of context" and ignore all of his deep rumination on whether Obama is merely an anti-colonialist.

  • Megyn Kelly Calls Out Ablow On Chaz Bono: "You Seem To Be Adding To The Hate"

    Blog ››› ››› TODD GREGORY

    Fox News has consistently given its "Medical A-Team" member Dr. Keith Ablow a platform to promote paranoia and fear about transgender people. Back in April, he wrote a column freaking out about a J. Crew ad showing a mother painting her son's toenails pink.

    Then in May, Ablow began his campaign against Chaz Bono's appearance on Dancing With the Stars. His May 17 column, which alleged that Bono suffered from a "psychotic delusion," attracted so much criticism that Fox actually pulled the piece.

    In his August 11 column, Ablow promoted a raft of misinformation about sexuality, including gender identity. As Think Progress noted, Ablow wrongly suggested that gender identity is a choice.

    On September 2, Ablow used his column to return to his attacks on the inclusion of Bono, and then on the September 6 edition Fox Business show America's Nightly Scorecard, he alleged that the gender identity of "tomboys" in the Dancing With the Stars audience could be affected by watching a transgender man in the competition.

    Yesterday, posted a response to Ablow's September 2 column from Dr. Jack Drescher, who is a "Distinguished Fellow of the American Psychiatric Association and a member of the DSM-5 Workgroup on Sexual and Gender Identity Disorders" -- an expert in the field at issue. Drescher asked of Ablow's column, "Wouldn't it be more helpful to offer scientific data rather than sensationalized, detailed descriptions of sex reassignment surgery or metaphors about double amputees to support the views Dr. Ablow 'believes to be true?' "

    Today on Fox News' America Live, host Megyn Kelly confronted Ablow about his history of attacking Bono's Dancing With the Stars appearance. She repeatedly challenged Ablow on the merits of his argument, citing Drescher's post and pointing out Drescher is a specialist in the area, unlike Ablow.

    Kelly told him, "There's so much hate out there. There's so much hate for gays and lesbians and transgendered people." She added, "The thing is, Doc, you seem to be adding to the hate."


  • Shockingly Petty: News Corp. Outlets Attack Obama Over Paper Clip

    Blog ››› ››› TODD GREGORY

    In the annals of mindless partisan sniping, this may place at the top.

    This morning, Fox & Friends joined the New York Post in attacking President Obama for using a paper clip. Read that again: They attacked Obama for using a paper clip.

    The Post's story today on Obama's jobs bill is headlined "O gives jobs 'clip' service; $447B 'tax hike' plan bound by chintzy fastener," and its first two paragraphs attack Obama for his choice of document fasteners:

    President Obama's plan to reverse the nation's staggering jobless rate is held together with a paper clip!

    "Here it is," Obama said, waving a copy of his jobs plan during a ceremony in the White House Rose Garden yesterday, an enormous paper clip binding the pages together.

    Witness the madness:

    The accompanying photo's caption reads, "President Obama, joined by VP Joe Biden, yesterday wields a copy of his jobs plan - with a giant paper clip."

    Fox & Friends co-host Steve Doocy repeated this attack at the top of the show today -- right down to using the word "chintzy" -- while the on-screen graphic read "Obama's 'Clip' Service":