We had Fox News mole Joe Muto on The Young Turks yesterday. Cenk asked the burning question we all wonder: Does Bill O’Reilly know it when he’s reporting fake news? Click through for the answer.
Why was Rep. Keith Ellison wrong for calling Sean Hannity a “journalist”? John Fugelsang weighs in: http://bit.ly/Z13fF7
John Fugelsang tears down Fox News’ ongoing argument about Al Jazeera having ulterior motives for buying Current TV.
When a memo surfaced detailing how Roger Ailes had implored David Petraeus to run for president last year, Ailes came back with a typically tasteless retort: “It was more of a joke.” As our writer says: “It is helpful to know that the democratic process on which our country chooses a leader is little more than a giggle to a gentleman who runs a global television news network.”
Say what, Bill O’Reilly? Have Republicans gotten so overzealous about proving there’s a “War on Christmas” that they’re now shooting themselves in the foot?
Watch “The Young Turks” TONIGHT at 7E/4P to see more!
Fox News says it takes pride in its “We report, you decide” approach, but its mantra is actually “We don’t report, so we can lie.” In story after story, the on-air staff and top producers seem to revel in being “uninformed” so they can repeat with a straight face the GOP’s latest right-wing talking points.
After all, to actually collect facts and then spew a right-wing conspiracy theory would mean having to intentionally lie. Most Fox News anchors/reporters, like most human beings, are not comfortable lying knowingly to your face. So they engage in the practice of plausible deniability.
They can deny “deliberately lying” because they didn’t intend to do so and didn’t know any better than the information placed in front of them. In the case of the alleged war on red and green at a Florida elementary school, “Fox and Friends” apparently got the story from Foxnews.com, which lifted the story from a controversial website in Orlando. That website ran with the story based on the claim from a parent of one “anonymous” child at Heathrow Elementary School.
Neither Fox News nor Fox News.com nor the conservative Florida website ever bothered to check if the parents were who they said they were, if the child actually existed, if any other families were making the claim or if the child in question might have been playing a prank.
If you live in a world where every word spoken on Fox News is taken as gospel, then facts are not only unpopular, they’re literally threatening to their viewers’ grasp on reality.
You’d think there would be consequences for commentators and pundits who’ve been as wrong as the Fox talking heads were this year. Instead, their misstatements are either ignored or rationalized as “liberal” bias.
Every Monday, Mama talks to Eric Boehlert of Media Matters. Mama loves Media Matters, because they consistently point out how Fox News manipulates both facts and viewers. Click through to see some examples of their grandest gaffes.
Tune in to “Talking Liberally with Stephanie Miller” weekday mornings at 9E/6P and again at 12E/9P on Current TV.
As Monty Python used to say, “And now for something completely different.”
Not something about the fiscal cliff or the Benghazi kerfuffle. Let’s talk British press scandals, or more pointedly, the scope of Rupert Murdoch’s media empire’s breach of trust, integrity and the law.
Today, Lord Justice Leveson released his report detailing the scope and character of what he discovered in his examination of the British media, especially focused, of course, on the enterprises owned by Rupert Murdoch that have been implicated in the scandals that have erupted over the past several years. To say it is not a pretty picture is to state the obvious.
Here are some of the figures detailed in the report:
With respect to interception of mobile phone messages, 17 arrests have been made;
With respect to payments to public officials, 52 arrests have been made, including 27 journalists;
With respect to data hacking and improper access to personal computer records,17 arrests have been made;
There were over 800 known victims of phone hacking by British media interests, and until recently none of this had been discovered by the sham internal investigations conducted by officers of Murdoch’s own companies nor those investigations conducted by British law enforcement.
Based on these findings, it is safe to say that dangerous and highly politicized corruption encompassed the media, law enforcement and the top ranks of British politics.
There was a real-life conspiracy that sacrificed the civil rights of citizens, sacrificed the political integrity of the government and sacrificed any semblance of journalistic integrity among the media. If made the basis of a movie, it would be both tawdry and unbelievable.
Beyond the rank illegality and rampant corruption, the report concludes that there was also a reckless disregard for accuracy within the media.
The report says, and I quote, “In an industry that purports to inform, all misinformation should be a matter of concern — and distortion far more so. Where that strays into sustained misrepresentation of groups in society, hidden conflicts of interest and irresponsible science scares, the risk to the public interest is obvious.”
My conclusion: The Murdoch approach to news has been authoritatively unmasked.
We all saw it on Fox throughout the past political season; we’ve all seen it for years in his newspapers. And now Lord Justice Leveson has detailed it in his inquiry for all to see as well.
Beyond the scathing critique of Murdoch’s news organizations’ ethics in Britain, there is now a huge question mark that hangs over his empire here in the United States: When can we expect his interests here in the U.S. to be unmasked in the same fashion?
At this point, it’s beyond the proper thing to do. Simply put: It is necessary.
Eliot Spitzer, “My View”, 11/29/12
Watch the whole thing here, and listen to Eliot Spitzer’s views every weeknight at 8E/5P on Current TV.
“So not only have we never seen a media movement call the shots in a presidential campaign quite like this before, but we’ve certainly never seen such a radical media movement be given this much influence for a White House run.” Media Matters explains how conservative media is essentially dictating Mitt Romney’s 2012 presidential campaign: http://bit.ly/P0VJaB