Posts Tagged ‘Fox News’

My ten favorite posts of 2011

December 31, 2011

 

There were 112 Ethics Bob  posts in 2011, and 14,000 page views. Here are my ten favorites:

  • Ex-Auburn Prof Jim Gundlach gets a mythical Sam Goldwyn award* for speaking truth to power—to Auburn football http://goo.gl/x3ro4
  • Turks trust strangers, and the trust is repaid http://goo.gl/4UBW6
  • Drew Brees: ethics hero and football hero. He lives by “If not me, who? http://goo.gl/RMzsV
  • Tim Pawlenty announces for President, grabs third rail of Iowa politics, earns mythical Edmund Burke Award. http://goo.gl/yBdXS
  • Gov. Chris Christie (R-NJ) defends Muslim judge Sohail Mohammed, calls opponents “crazies.” Hooray for an ethics hero http://goo.gl/KtCCQ
  • Three cheers for Bret Baier, Chris Wallace, and Byron York of Fox News, and for Rachel Maddow of MSNBC http://goo.gl/gsXAx
  • Ethics: I’m giving it away http://goo.gl/Rl1jB
  • LSU Tigers Coach Les Miles gets a mythical Chip Kelly Award* for suspending three stars for the big game with Auburn http://goo.gl/rjns5
  • Report from Zuccotti Park, and what’s next for Occupy Wall Street http://goo.gl/Sk5sV
  • Rose Bowl, BCS Bowl, Ethics Bowl http://goo.gl/MxGYu
  • The lesson from Penn State http://goo.gl/Tnn03

 

Fox News: “fair and balanced”—balanced between half-truth and no truth at all

September 30, 2011

If you’re unhappy with the liberal bias of the mainstream media, welcome to Fox News and to one of their sources, CNSNews.com, a conservative news service formed to provide more balance than spin: in its words, “an alternative news source that would cover stories that are subject to the bias of omission and report on other news subject to bias by commission.

You would have read about President Obama’s Wednesday back-to-school speech, in which the President spoke about the importance an eighth grade ethics course had in his life, about how the questions raised in that ethics course “are still with me today. Every day, I’m thinking about those same issues as I try to lead this nation.

But that’s not what Fox and CNSNews reported. No, the headline was

Obama: ‘I Don’t Think Ethics’ Was My Favorite Subject

Here’s the lead paragraph, in toto:

President Barack Obama told an audience of high school students in Washington, D.C. on Wednesday that he was “not always the very best student” and that ethics “would not have made it on the list” of his favorite subjects.

Not a word in the entire article about how important the course—or ethics—was in his life. Just that he didn’t like it.

Three cheers for Bret Baier, Chris Wallace, and Byron York of Fox News, and for Rachel Maddow of MSNBC

August 13, 2011

Who would have thought that Fox News and MSNBC could raise us out of our funk over the hyper-partisan media and their destructive influence on political discourse in America?

First, Fox:  As hosts of the Republican Presidential debate Thursday Fox might have been expected to throw fat pitches to the favored candidates. But reporters Bret Baier, Chris Wallace, and Byron York* would have made the legendary Martha Rountree—creator of Meet the Press and no gentle tosser of fat pitches—proud.

Chris Wallace asked Gingrich about his entire campaign staff resigning, then asked Herman Cain about his claim that “communities have the right to ban Muslims from building mosques.” Byron York asked Bachmann to explain her statement that she was following biblical guidance to “Be submissive. Wives, you are to be submissive to your husbands.”

And Baier may have settled the 2012 Presidential contest when he asked the candidates to raise their hands if they would walk away from a deal to balance the budget with a ten-to-one ratio of spending cuts to tax increases. I haven’t seen hands shoot up so fast since I asked in a staff meeting who could use my tickets to Sunday’s Redskins game. Every single candidate claimed absolute dedication to not raise ANY taxes, not even on the super rich, not even on Big Oil, not even on tax-exempt GE. And we know it because of Brett Baier.

And MSNBC’s Rachel Maddow turned away from hyper-partisanship to recognize the courage of four prominent Republicans who defied (more…)

Murdoch apologizes—really!—for News of the World’s phone hacking and police bribery

July 18, 2011

Ethics Bob is always on the lookout for fake apologies, so when CNN reported that News Corp’s Rupert Murdoch had made a non-apology my senses sharpened: who better to nail than Murdoch, the genius behind Fox News’s right-wing propaganda machine. I wanted to disbelieve Murdoch’s acceptance of any responsibility.

Here’s the ad he ran in British papers last weekend:

The News of the World was in the business of holding others to account.

It failed when it came to itself.

We are sorry for the serious wrongdoing that occurred.

We are deeply sorry for the hurt suffered by the individuals affected.

We regret not acting faster to sort things out.

I realise that simply apologising is not enough.

Our business was founded on the idea that a free and open press should be a positive force in society. We need to live up to this.

In the coming days, as we take further concrete steps to resolve these issues and make amends for the damage they have caused, you will hear more from us.

(signed) Rupert Murdoch.

One could quibble  with Murdoch’s use of “wrongdoing that occurred” rather then “wrong that we did,”  or “hurt suffered” rather than “hurt we caused,” but that’s only a small quibble. It looks to me, and I think will look to most people, that Murdoch is accepting responsibility. And by not putting the corporate name under his signature he’s signifying that the responsibility is personal. Hooray (gulp) for him.

Is Obama a militarist, a peacenik, or a political waffler and difference-splitter?

June 25, 2011

Distrust of the President, and of the government in general, divides our society, emboldens our enemies, and diminishes the effectiveness of our Armed Forces. We owe our elected leaders more respect than that.

President Obama’s Afghanistan drawdown announcement has drawn fire from the left and from the right. He was pilloried on Fox News, on MSNBC, and on CNN, and even ridiculed on The Daily Show after he announced that the U.S. would withdraw 10,000 troops by the end of 2011, another 23,000 by “next summer,” with continuing reductions through 2014.

To the right, the President is recklessly ignoring the advice of his military professionals who know what’s needed. To the left, he’s mindlessly sticking to a hopeless and pointless strategy. To both sides he’s sacrificed principle for politics.

But has he? Is there any chance that his decision was based on what he thought best? If we Americans trusted him we’d give him that much. But we don’t, at least not much: the latest Gallup poll says that just 35% of Americans say they have a “great deal” or “quite a lot” of confidence in the Presidency; 36% have very little confidence or none at all.

But we do trust the military: 78% of us say they have a “great deal” or “quite a lot” of confidence. I’d guess the numbers are even higher on the right. But what happens when the military supports the President? Ah, then it’s a different story. (more…)

Republican Party stands by while Glenn Beck and the birthers spread their poisonous lies

February 13, 2011

 

We’re responsible for what we tolerate. If I stand next to a friend who slanders you and say nothing, then I’ve accepted that slander and am responsible for it. John Boehner Told David Gregory on NBC’s Meet the Press that he believes Obama’s a Christian, born in Hawaii, but if a third of Republicans believe different, that’s apparently OK with Boehner: “It’s not my job to tell the American people what to think.”

Why not, Mr. Speaker? You’re complicit in the lies if you don’t challenge them.

And Glenn Beck says that a giant conspiracy comprising Obama, the Egyptian demonstrators, the Muslim Brotherhood, the communists, and the AFL-CIO is dedicated to creating a new caliphate that will govern all of Europe and the Middle East under Sharia law. And Americans, he beseeches, wake up before it’s too late.

We haven’t seen the polls or focus groups yet, but you can bet that a third of Republicans will swallow it, hook, line, and sinker.

The Republican Party has one adult, Bill Kristol, who publicly rejects Beck’s conspiracy rant:

Hysteria is not a sign of health. When Glenn Beck rants about the caliphate taking over the Middle East from Morocco to the Philippines, and lists (invents?) the connections between caliphate-promoters and the American left, he brings to mind no one so much as Robert Welch and the John Birch Society. (more…)

Steve Cohen isn’t the only Nazi-caller; Fox News is full of them

January 25, 2011

 

After Rep. Steve Cohen (D-TN) likened Republicans to Nazis for their opposition to Obamacare, then gave an in-your-face pseudo-apology, Fox News anchor Megyn Kelly sanctimoniously slammed Cohen and tut-tutted that nobody on the right would ever compare their opponents to Nazis.

Jon Stewart skewered Kelly and Fox with this segment, titled “24 Hour Nazi Party People,” showing Bill O’Reilly, Glenn Beck, Karl Rove, and others calling liberals Nazis, including Bernie Goldberg who did it on her own show last March.

If “they did it first” excused such ugliness we’d have to let Cohen off the hook for his spectacular incivility. But it’s no excuse. Spewing “Nazi” is way beyond the limits, whether done once by a Democrat or over and over by the Fair and Balanced folks at Fox News.

 

Who’s responsible for the Tucson shootings?

January 11, 2011

 

At times of national tragedy there is sadness, mourning, and a search for someone to blame. In the case of Saturday’s shootings in Tucson that should be easy: 22-year-old Jared Loughner did it, with some help from whoever sold him a semi-automatic Glock 19 hand gun with extra large magazines.

But that’s not satisfying, to blame a crazy person for something so terrible. We want to pinpoint the cause of the evil, because if we have the cause we can prevent such things from happening in the future. Many on the left want to tag Sarah Palin and Fox News with at least contributory blame.

After all, didn’t Palin post a map showing Congresswoman Gifford as a target, complete with crosshairs? (see accompanying picture from her website and try to imagine whether seeing this might lead someone to murder.) And doesn’t Fox News regularly feature right wing rants by Sean Hannity and Glenn Beck?

Palin and Fox News head Roger Ailes seemed to grant some plausibility to the connection because Palin’s PAC took down the offending map on Saturday, and on Monday Ailes announced that his network would try to cool the heated rhetoric. But their moves toward civility are reasons to honor them, not to take the actions an admission of guilt.

Our greatest political commentator, Jon Stewart, put it best in his eloquent cry from the heart on his January 10 Daily Show: (more…)

Obama shows Presidential leadership in supporting second chance for Michael Vick after Vick’s prison term for felony dogfighting

December 29, 2010

 

Leadership isn’t saying what’s popular, it’s following one’s conviction. Barack Obama believes that our society needs to do a lot more to help felons reenter society productively after serving their prison time. He took this position as a Presidential candidate in 2008, and this week commended Philadelphia Eagles owner Jeffrey Lurie for giving Michael Vick a second chance.

Vick was college football’s player of the year in 2000, and was the first player chosen in the NFL’s 2001 draft. He got out of federal prison fifteen months ago after serving 23 months for felony dogfighting and cruelty, then was hired by the Eagles as a backup quarterback.

His hiring was controversial. His crimes were especially vile, and many dog-lovers will never be able to accept that he should ever have a second chance.

Into this stepped President Obama to openly praise Lurie, who recalled their conversation:

“He said, ‘So many people who serve time never get a fair second chance. It’s never a level playing field for prisoners when they get out of jail.’ And he was happy that we did something on such a national stage that showed our faith in giving someone a second chance after such a major downfall.”

Illustrative of the opposition to Vick’s hiring was this opinion expressed today by Fox News’s Tucker Carlson:

“I’m a Christian, I’ve made mistakes myself, I believe fervently in second chances. But Michael Vick killed dogs, and he did in a cruel, heartless way. Personally, I think he should’ve been executed (more…)

MSNBC’s Rachel Maddow matches Fox News’ distortions about Obama with her distortion about George W. Bush

November 9, 2010

 

Tonight’s Rachel Maddow show ran a clip from Matt Lauer’s interview with George W. Bush, telecast tonight to coincide with the roll-out of Bush’s book. Maddow had an early “teaser” to hook viewers into staying around until the Bush interview ran, near the end of the show. The teaser urged viewers to stay to see Bush’s “whopper.”


Sure enough, here came a whopper. Lauer asked, “Did you ever ask yourself, ‘What more could I have done to prevent this [9/11] from happening?’ “ Bush responded, “We just didn’t have any solid intelligence that gave us some warning on this.”

Maddow followed this clip with video of Condoleezza Rice admitting to the 9/11 Commission that the President’s Daily Briefing for August 6, 2001, was entitled, “Bin Laden Determined to Attack Inside the United States.” Maddow punctuated the segment this way: “George W. Bush is trying to sell the same kind of spin he tried to sell when he was President.” That is, in her words, “a whopper.” For extra emphasis she repeated the clip of Bush saying no intelligence and Rice reading the title of the PDB.


But the whopper was Maddow’s, not Bush’s. For she had carefully truncated Bush’s answer. Here’s his full, undoctored answer to Lauer’s question: (more…)


Follow

Get every new post delivered to your Inbox.

Join 61 other followers