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  • Remember when boycotting debates was cowardly and Nazi-like?

    Blog ››› ››› SIMON MALOY

    Fox News' Newt Gingrich is in the throes of yet another will-he-won't-he presidential kabuki dance, having recently announced that there is absolutely no way he would participate in a Republican presidential debate moderated by Chris Matthews or Keith Olbermann because the MSNBC hosts "were so relentlessly hostile and they were so left-wing" to Republicans during the last debate they hosted (even though Olbermann has never moderated a Republican debate, and Matthews was anything but "hostile" during the last one he hosted). Gingrich asked: "Well why would we participate in that?"

    As it just so happens, there's an answer to that question: You participate in that debate because if you don't, you're a coward who's just like Stalin and/or the Nazis. At least, that was the answer given by Gingrich's Fox News colleagues three years ago when the Democratic presidential candidates boycotted a Fox News-sponsored debate.

    Here's what Bill O'Reilly had to say on March 12, 2007 [via Nexis]:

    The Soros-Lewis mob despises FOX News because we have their number and report on them accurately. They use the MoveOn website to smear this network and others with whom they disagree.

    These people use propaganda techniques perfected by Dr. Joseph Goebbels, the Nazi minister of information. They lie, distort, defame all the time.

    So it's not surprising that MoveOn objected to a debate sponsored by FOX News and the Nevada Democratic party. MoveOn immediately tried to boycott the August event and persuaded John Edwards to drop out.

    That was simply stupid. FOX News has sponsored a number of debates in the past, all of them fair and balanced. And Edwards has appeared on this network more than 30 times with no complaint.

    And here's Beltway Boys hosts Mort Kondracke and Fred Barnes on March 11, 2007 [via Nexis]:

    KONDRACKE: OK, down: John Edwards. He's once again folding under pressure from the far-left liberal bloggers, this time by refusing to debate fellow Democrats at a FOX News-sponsored forum in Nevada this summer.

    Now this tells you a lot, FOX or no FOX. This tells you a lot about what the MoveOn.org, Daily Kos kind of left-wing liberals are all about. I mean, they are not in favor of free speech and free debate if FOX, you know, was embarrassingly right wing or something like that, it would be plain for all to see. They just want to stop any of their -- any Democrats from participating in this, because -- because it is a FOX thing. And they're willing to - to intimidate them to do it.

    I -- you know, this is junior-grade Stalinism on their part.

    BARNES: Stalin?

    KONDRACKE: Stalin.

    BARNES: All right. I -- I agree.

    But perhaps the best quote of all came from Fox News CEO Roger Ailes in June 2007:

    "I've been quoted as saying, 'This is a great country.' A lot of people are trying to get in, nobody's trying to get out. The press is an essential pillar of that democracy. The press didn't invent democracy. Democracy invented freedom of the press. So we will investigate anything and find the truth, and report it, but we do not get up every morning, assuming that our country is guilty. We just happen to like democracy."

    And he had some choice words for Democratic candidates who have decided not to debate on Fox.

    "The candidates that can't face Fox, can't face Al Qaeda," said Mr. Ailes. "And that's what's coming."

  • EXCLUSIVE: Right-wing commission to vote on flawed New Black Panthers report

    Blog ››› ››› JEREMY HOLDEN

    The conservative-dominated U.S. Commission on Civil Rights will vote Friday on an interim report that omits critical evidence disproving allegations that the Obama administration refuses to enforce voting-rights laws against racial minorities, according to Media Matters' analysis of a copy of the report we obtained.

    Drawing heavily on reports from Fox News, The Washington Times, and The Weekly Standard, the commission's draft report advances the discredited claims of right-wing activists that the Obama Justice Department has a "hostility" toward enforcing voting-right laws in cases where the alleged perpetrators are racial minorities.

    The report is the result of the commission's oft-criticized investigation into the Justice Department's handling of voter-intimidation charges that were filed against members of the New Black Panther Party for their actions on Election Day in 2008. After the Bush administration made the decision to pursue civil charges, rather than criminal charges, the Obama administration obtained an injunction against the New Black Panther videotaped holding a nightstick outside a Philadelphia polling station. The DOJ dropped additional charges against the party.

    The 123-page draft report echoes the right-wing media's manufactured scandal by focusing on politicized allegations, while ignoring testimony and evidence that directly refutes those allegations.

  • REPORT: Fox donates at least $40 million in airtime to potential GOP presidential candidates

    ››› ››› ROB SAVILLO

    Between January 1 and October 31 of this year, five potential Republican presidential candidates -- Newt Gingrich, Mike Huckabee, Sarah Palin, John Bolton, and Rick Santorum -- who also serve as Fox News contributors or hosts have appeared on the network for a combined total of nearly 66 hours. Media Matters for America estimates this time to be worth at least $40 million in advertising costs.

  • GOP mouthpiece Fox brags about access to GOP candidates

    Blog ››› ››› SEAN EASTER

    Today in an ad for Fox News' Saturday special, "Fox News Reporting: The Challengers for 2012," the network bragged about their access to GOP presidential contenders: "With unrivaled access, we look at the private lives and public records of the GOP's top White House contenders." But it's really no surprise that Fox can claim unrivaled access to GOP candidates: at least three of the potential candidates to be profiled in the program are paid Fox News contributors.

    Sarah Palin, Newt Gingrich, and Mike Huckabee are all featured in the ad. Fox employs two other Republicans -- John Bolton and Rick Santorum -- considered to be potential nominees.

    Fox's Palin encouraged tea party candidate Christine O'Donnell to "speak through Fox News." Fox's five candidates did just that, making at least 269 appearances on the network between January 1 and September 18. Fox's "12 in 2012" series, which purports to profile possible Republican candidates and airs during the network's flagship program Special Report, is a series of softball interviews with Republican officials and Fox employees. This all follows Fox parent company News Corp.'s donation of $1 million to the Republican Governors Association.

    It's no surprise that Fox can secure "unrivaled access" to potential GOP candidates when Fox employs them, gives them a platform, and funds their party allies. The surprise is that Fox calls itself a news organization and still thinks this "access" is something to celebrate.

  • Beck's webpage pushes book that smears Soros with anti-Semitic sterotypes

    Blog ››› ››› SHAUNA THEEL

    Today Glenn Beck's The Blaze turned to "Zubi Diamond, author of The Wizards of Wall Street" in order to push the claim that George Soros may be "betting on U.S. financial collapse." According to Diamond, Soros' agenda is "to destroy capitalism."

    That the Blaze would turn to Diamond to further Beck's smear campaign against Soros is telling: Diamond's self-published book is littered smears of George Soros that are rooted in anti-Semitic stereotypes, including calling Soros the "mastermind" behind of a "cabal of slithery rich" who "visited financial violence on the American people to get Barack Obama elected."

    Did someone say "puppet master?"

    Excerpts after the jump.

  • Rasmussen: A pollster made for Fox News

    ››› ››› NED RESNIKOFF

    Poll results from Rasmussen Reports consistently overstated Republican performance in the midterm elections, according to The New York Times' Nate Silver. Rasmussen polls and analysis have been criticized by polling experts who note that they often harmonize with narratives favored by conservatives and Republicans. Indeed, the polling company is a favorite of Fox News, which has cited Rasmussen polls at least 94 times in the past three months.

  • Bush source reportedly claims W thinks Palin "isn't qualified to be President"

    Blog ››› ››› JULIE MILLICAN

    Uh-oh! Sarah Palin's bid for President just received a pretty credible non-endorsement. According to New York's Daily News, former President George W. Bush "has told friends the ex-Alaska governor isn't qualified to be President and criticizes Arizona Sen. John McCain for putting Palin on the 2008 GOP ticket and handing her a national platform." And, if there's anyone who knows being unqualified to be President, it is George W. Bush.

    What's Fox going to do now?

    According to the Daily News, "'Naming Palin makes Bush think less of McCain as a man,' a Republican official familiar with Bush's thinking told the Daily News. 'He thinks McCain ran a lousy campaign with an unqualified running mate and destroyed any chance of winning by picking Palin.'"

    We've detailed the simmering feud between Palin and Fox News contributor and former Bush advisor Karl Rove, which culminated in a half-hearted apology to Palin on last night's Hannity. Rove had reportedly claimed that her Discovery Channel show would harm Palin's potential presidential bid (that and her general lack of "gravitas") and on Hannity, Rove apologized...for his comments about her television show.

    Anyone want to make any bets on who the Daily News' anonymous Republican source is? By the looks of it, it seems entirely possible that the Palin/Rove 2012 feud is not over--it's just been taken underground.