Where Heart Shift Happens. Teaching the Science of Sustainable Health. What works for 7 future generations? "Do not go where the freeway may lead - Go instead where there is no path and build - A Green Road"
"Do 'Occupy Wall Street' protesters represent your views about the nation's economic problems?
Maybe. I am not even sure what they want. No. They have no idea how jobs are created or how a free-enterprise system works. Yes. These folks are right about corporate greed and what's happening to the little guy. Other (post a comment)."
Press Release News Corp's Hack Shows a Double Standard Palin Hack Had O'Reilly Calling for Criminal Prosecution
The explosive allegations about widespread illegal voicemail hacking by British tabloids owned by Rupert Murdoch are getting very little coverage on Murdoch's Fox News Channel (TVNewser, 7/12/11). But Fox's top host took a very different view when a Republican politician's email account was hacked, calling for the prosecution of the website that published the emails.
When Sarah Palin's email account was hacked during the 2008 presidential campaign,Fox host Bill O'Reilly was outraged that anyone could publish such material. On September 17, 2008, O'Reilly said:
Now, it is a felony, a federal crime, also a state crime in Alaska to hack into people's private correspondence. And what I want to know--and I'm not going to mention the website that posted this, but it's one of those despicable, slimy, scummy websites that in a free society we have to tolerate, but I'd like to see the website prosecuted, arrested, put in cuffs, all the people who run it.
Look, we know, everybody knows, the Feds know, the state authorities in Alaska know, everybody knows where the stuff is, OK? And they know the people who run the website. So why can't they go there tonight, to the guy's house who runs it, put him in cuffs, and take him down and book him?
The following night (9/18/08), O'Reilly interviewed Fox legal pundit Megyn Kelly, and expressed outrage at the idea that a news outlet could evade prosecution.
O'REILLY: Well, that surprises me, because they're trafficking in stolen merchandise.
KELLY: They are.
O'REILLY: This information was stolen. It's just like anything else. You steal somebody's car, and you give it to a fence to sell or a chop shop to chop it up. They've got stolen merchandise. They get charged.
KELLY: You would think that, but it's different here, Bill, because it's the First Amendment, Bill. It is the freedom of the press.
KELLY: Yes, yes, yes, yes.
O'REILLY: Stolen--no, it's like mail. It's like mail. It's email.
KELLY: It's not, it's not.
O'REILLY: But it is.
KELLY: Let me tell you, the Supreme Court has said that when a news organization -- and like it or not, this website qualifies -- obtains information that is newsworthy, even if....
O'REILLY: Not if you steal the letter...
KELLY: Let me finish.
O'REILLY: See, I know what the Supreme Court says. I'm trying to get it across to you that this is wrong.
KELLY: If it's newsworthy and you get it, even if you know it's stolen, you can publish it, as long as you didn't have dirty hands in actually obtaining information. You didn't help hack.
O'REILLY: But that is ridiculous, because if you go to somebody's mailbox, and you take out their mail, and it has something newsworthy, and you give it to somebody, you're charged with tampering with the U.S. mail. It's a crime. There's no difference between taking a person's letter out of their mailbox and taking somebody's e-mail off their Internet sites.
KELLY: I agree.
O'REILLY: So the law doesn't make sense.
What doesn't make sense, actually, is why O'Reilly gets so exercised about a news outlet publishing illegally obtained information when he lets similar activity by the corporation he works for pass without notice.
The internal divisions at Fox News are notorious. There is the Fox News primary, in which no fewer than five potential Republican presidential candidates and their varied supporters and detractors -- all on the Fox News payroll -- duke it out on a near-daily basis.
There are typical ego-driven competitions between on-air personalities, and an increasingly public divide at the network over dangerously unhinged host Glenn Beck.
But there is one divide that -- contrary to the insistence of Fox News executives -- simply does not exist: the one between its "news" and "opinion" shows.
Last year, The New York Timesreported, "Fox argues that its news hours -- 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. and 6 to 8 p.m. on weekdays -- are objective," and quoted Michael Clemente, the channel's senior vice president for news, as saying: "The average consumer certainly knows the difference between the A section of the newspaper and the editorial page."
This is apparently an argument that works only on the very gullible, and on advertisers who want to pretend that by confining their ad buys to the channel's "news hours" they are not financially supporting very damaging conservative lies and smears.
The recently-released emails confirm what sources told Media Matters months ago: Pressure on Fox News journalists to "distort" straight reporting comes right from the top.
In October, one source with knowledge of the situation explained: "[There is] more pressure from Sammon to slant news to the right or to tell people how to report news, doing it in a more brutish way. A lot of the reporters are conservative and are glad to pick up news. But there is a point at which it is no longer reporting, but distorting things. ... [I]f you come in to say, 'ignore points of view and ignore facts,' then you are straying away from being a legitimate news reporter."
The problem, of course, is not just that the reporting on Fox News is wildly dishonest -- after all, a supermarket tabloid can be wildly dishonest, too -- it's that the lies and smears on Fox News have very real policy implications.
For example, following the release of Sammon's email ordering his news staff to cast doubt on climate science, Zoe Tcholak-Antitch, vice-president of the Carbon Disclosure Project,told Media Matters: "It is very disturbing to hear of this e-mail because it just goes further to sow seeds of doubt among the American population then makes it more difficult for the politicians to stand up for any type of legislation on climate change if they want to get elected."
Tcholak-Antitch added: "It obviously does have an impact on the American public. We are facing an issue that needs to be dealt with in a timely fashion. The danger is that this delays action. While it exists, it delays action and it hinders politicians from passing laws and regulations that will help a clean energy economy and create jobs for American people."
New York Congressman John Hall -- a Democratic member of the House global warming committee -- called Sammon's email "regrettable" and warned about the effects this sort of "slanted" coverage has on legislation:
The window of time we have left for action to prevent the worst case scenario may still be closing. ... We can't afford to waste two years if the changes are already happening. It is really important that the public gets educated. I do think Congress responds to public pressure. If the public is being misinformed, we have very little chance of reversing the trend.
Similarly, after Media Matters released Sammon's "government option" email, health care reform advocate Health Care for America Now issued a statement saying: "At a time when right-wing extremists were trying to make the case that the health care reform bill was a government takeover plot, Fox News incorporated politically charged language into its day-to-day reporting to mislead its audience into thinking the public option was something that it wasn't."
Indeed, the Pulitzer Prize-winning PolitiFact announced this week that its "Lie of the Year" is the false claim that the health care reform law is "a government takeover of health care." And yet, Fox News' "objective" reporters were ordered to play directly into that damaging narrative.
In fact, just this week, Omaha Steaks pulled its ads from Beck's show, joining a growing list of over 100 advertisers that have done the same.
But while that may mean that Fox is forced to air "Foundation for a Better Life" commercials -- courtesy of conservative Phillip Anschutz -- five times in a row during Beck's show, it doesn't stop advertisers from subsidizing the lies on dozens of other Fox programs.
When asked several months ago about the Beck advertising boycott, Rupert Murdochclaimed, "We have not lost any business at all; some [advertisers] may have moved to other programs," but "it has not affected the total revenues or the profits."
Last year, Paul Rittenberg, a Fox advertising executive, made the same point to the Times. The Beck boycott "caus[ed] headaches" for Rittenberg's team, the Timesreported, but "he said Fox 'hasn't lost a dime' because the ads were moved to different hours" -- presumably hours filled with so-called "objective" news reports that skittish advertisers thought were safely non-controversial.
A year ago, these advertisers may have been able to take false comfort in the Fox News canard that there exists any sort of division between Fox news and Fox opinion programming, but with the release of the Sammon emails, how long will they keep kidding themselves?"
The Care2 community is working hard to make positive changes throughout the world. Continue reading to learn how your dedication is making a difference.
Dirty Air Act Defeated In a 53-47 vote, the Senate rejected Lisa Murkowski's bill that would have stripped the EPA of its authority to regulate carbon pollution -- letting big polluters off the hook. Thank you to the 17,000 Care2 members for joining efforts with Environmental Defense Fund and signing the petition to keep our air clean. Read more.
Sea Turtles Will No Longer Be Burned Thanks to a lawsuit filed by The Center for Biological Diversity and Turtle Island Institute -- along with petitions and letters from the public -- BP agreed to stop allowing endangered sea turtles to be burned alive during surface-oil cleanup operations. Over 12,000 signatures were added to the Care2 petitions. Read more.
Plan to Legalize Whaling Fails In joining efforts with IFAW, Greenpeace and WSPA in the fight against whaling worldwide, five petitions featured on Care2 gathered more than 110,000 signatures in the last year. At an International Whaling Committee (IWC) meeting in Morocco on Wednesday, June 23, a proposal to legalize whaling was dismissed. Read more.
Pesticide Endosulfan Banned in U.S. In early June, the Environmental Protection Agency made an announcement banning all uses of the pesticide endosulfan in the United States. 3,000 Care2 members signed the petition -- sponsored by Defenders of Wildlife -- to protect the health of animals and people from this deadly pesticide.Read more.
End Fox and Coyote Pens: Care2 Member Success One Care2 member created a petition to ban fox and coyote pens. After gathering over 700 signatures in 14 days, his petition was sent to a meeting, where the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission created a draft rule against fox and coyote enclosures. Read more, to learn how you can help finalize this draft rule.
How Your Butterfly Credits Help Since the start of the Butterfly Rewards program in 2009, Care2 members have helped animals, people and the environment by simply taking action on our site. We've teamed up with ASPCA, Carbon Fund, Kiva, OXFAM, Population Services International and Trees for the Future in order to provide you with 16 gift options. Read more.
We are proud to continue sharing success stories like these with you -- made possible by our Care2 community and non-profit partners. Please continue to take action and share your own success stories with us by firstname.lastname@example.org.
Media Matters: Fox News isn't news -- this is news?
It is perhaps not unsurprising but still disappointing that several in the mainstream media rallied around Fox News this week following the White House's well-warranted castigation of the network as an "arm" of the Republican Party. The most prominent defense of "one of our sister organizations" came from ABC News' Jake Tapper, who was baffled as to why the White House would declare Fox News "not a news organization." On Tuesday, he had the following exchange with White House Press Secretary Robert Gibbs:
Tapper: It's escaped none of our notice that the White House has decided in the last few weeks to declare one of our sister organizations "not a news organization" and to tell the rest of us not to treat them like a news organization. Can you explain why it's appropriate for the White House to decide that a news organization is not one --
Gibbs: Jake, we render, we render an opinion based on some of their coverage and the fairness that, the fairness of that coverage.
Tapper: But that's a pretty sweeping declaration that they are "not a news organization." How are they any different from, say --
Gibbs: ABC --
Tapper:ABC. MSNBC. Univision. I mean how are they any different?
Gibbs: You and I should watch sometime around 9 o'clock tonight. Or 5 o'clock this afternoon.
Tapper: I'm not talking about their opinion programming or issues you have with certain reports. I'm talking about saying thousands of individuals who work for a media organization, do not work for a "news organization" --why is that appropriate for the White House to say?
Gibbs: That's our opinion.
Of course, Tapper was lauded by Fox News and other conservatives. (Which is not the firsttime.) Glenn Beck called Tapper a "watchdog of freedom," while Sean Hannity praisedTapper's ability to "recognize the great quality of Fox News." Bill O'Reilly said Tapper did "pretty good" and "really challenged" Gibbs, and the Fox & Friends gang called him a "great reporter" for his defense of Fox. Lou Dobbs called it an "extraordinary exchange."
But Tapper's real mistake was suggesting that the White House's criticism of Fox News amounted only to criticism of their "opinion programming or issues ... with certain reports." Tapper's remarks echoed Fox News senior vice president Michael Clemente's commentsfrom last week: "It's astounding the White House cannot distinguish between news and opinion programming."
Putting aside the suggestion that the relentless and vicious assaults on Barack Obama and the administration by Beck, Hannity, and O'Reilly alone shouldn't have any bearing on how the White House treats the network, Tapper is ignoring that those shows set the agenda for the rest of the network. And of course, Tapper is ignoring that the attacks of Fox's triumvirate dictate his own network's -- and the rest of the media's -- agenda as well. Is there any doubt that Glenn Beck's war on ACORN -- he's reportedly mentioned ACORN 1,224 times (versus 50 mentions of Al Qaeda) since his Fox News show started -- is the primary reason his network and other media are still talking about the organization? Beck and his fellow Fox News personalities have repeatedly called for Obama administration officials to be fired, asked viewers to dig up information on administration officials, and fearmongered about Obama, his advisers, and his policies. How can that not affect Fox's "news" coverage of those same officials?
Fox's "news" staff regularly conflates commentary and news reporting. The network's"news" reporting is full of smears, falsehoods, deceptive editing, and GOP talking points. Just Thursday morning, the Fox & Friends crew parroted a House Republican press release and repeated its claim that the stimulus impact is "6 million jobs shy of what the administration promised us" since the administration stated "that 3.5 million jobs would be created. And, in fact, the United States has lost 2.7 million since the stimulus plan." However, the administration estimated 3.5 millions jobs created or saved by 2011. It's so much easier to read GOP talking points than actually do journalism!
The problems with Fox News aren't confined to "certain reports." Nor are they confined to Fox's "opinion programming."
Fox has organized and promoted campaigns against the administration. Fox has allowed its personalities to use the network to raise money for conservative PACs -- money that is used for more attacks on the administration.
And Fox News' actual "news" is anything but.
As Media Matters President Eric Burns pointed out this week, "Fox News is the story."
Beck's little red book of smears
On the walls of the Forbidden City, looming over Beijing's Tiananmen Square, there is a giant portrait of Mao Zedong. Mao's specter similarly looms over Glenn Beck's show.
Beck has figured out that Chairman Mao is the best vehicle for him to attack progressives as "communists." After all, communism is still kicking in China -- well, not really, but just enough for Beck to launch McCarthyism 2.0: Great Wall Edition.
And as was the case with Joseph McCarthy's crusade, no connection is too tenuous, no comment too innocuous. Beck's favorite target du jour is White House communications director Anita Dunn -- no doubt because she was the first to call out Fox News for its "war against Barack Obama and the White House."
Beck managed to dig up a speech Dunn gave to graduating students earlier this year in which Dunn called Mao one of her "favorite political philosophers" (she also mentioned Mother Teresa) and related this anecdote:
In 1947, when Mao Zedong was being challenged within his own party on his plan to basically take China over, Chiang Kai-shek and the Nationalist Chinese held the cities, they had the army, they had the air force, they had everything on their side. And people said, "How can you win? How can you do this? How can you do this against all of the odds against you?" And Mao Zedong said, you know, "You fight your war, and I'll fight mine." And think about that for a second.
And to think that she was allowed to encourage students to follow their own paths and not do what they are told! Wait a minute, isn't that pretty much the message Beck preaches every day?
Dunn's reference to Mao even made its way to a straight news story on Monday's Special Report (take note, Jake Tapper).
On Monday, Beck ranted that, because of the overlap in the message of volunteerism from President Obama's "Corporation for National and Community Service and a call for more service and volunteerism" on network television from the Entertainment Industry Foundation, "[i]t's almost like we're living in Mao's China right now" and noted that NBC executive Mitch Metcalf is an "EIF board member," exclaiming, "[M]y God, it can't be." But,predictably, Beck's wild conspiracy theory overlooks that Fox Broadcasting Co. -- which airs Fox News programming and, like Fox News, is owned by News Corp. -- is also participating in EIF's volunteer initiative and has a vice president who sit on EIF's board of directors with Metcalf. Further, News Corp. chairman and CEO Rupert Murdoch sits on EIF's "honorary board of governors."
On Tuesday, Beck moved on to attacking "manufacturing czar" Ron Bloom because he once employed Mao's quote that power stems from the barrel of a gun -- a quote so threatening it can be found on a junior-high boy's Rage Against the Machine T-shirt.
Beck has taken Dunn's and Bloom's employment of these quotes to ridiculous levels, claiming Mao is "the man that [Dunn] turns to most" and that Bloom is the latest in "long line of White House officials who seem to just love Chairman Mao."
(Sean Hannity and Lou Dobbs followedBeck'slead again, attacking both Dunn and Bloom over the quotes.)
And of course, it should be noted that Beck's (Chinese) communist witch hunt goes all the way to the top.
In one of his countless bizarre rants in front of a chalkboard last week, Beck started with the premise, "If the president of the United States, Barack Obama, said to you, 'You know who I really love? Chairman Mao.' " With a premise that absurd, you can only guess where it headed. He then proceeded to explain how people like Van Jones, Valerie Jarrett, and John Podesta were somehow used to "keep separating" Obama from Mao so people wouldn't see the direct connection between the two (the "six degrees of Obama"). You know, because President Obama loves Chairman Mao.
This from a guy who wrote that McCarthy made the "cries" of communism and socialism a "joke."
Other notable quotes this week:
"The Obama administration going to issue a new medical marijuana policy today, which I'm frankly thankful for folks, because we're going to need to be stoned to live for the next three and a half years." -- Rush Limbaugh on Monday. Limbaugh cleverlydubbed the proposal "Don't Ask, Don't Smell."
"[W]hy doesn't President Obama have his children vaccinated in front of us on TV?" -- Deirdre Imus on Wednesday's Hannityexpressing concerns about the safety of the H1N1 vaccine.
"Jerome Corsi, a terrific author, an amazing, amazing book, an important book." -- Lou Dobbs on his radio show Wednesday following an interview with birther and widely discredited smear merchant Corsi.
"What was interesting to me is, just from my perspective having been in a White House, there is a network, MSNBC, that I could have said that about the evening anchors, or some people in the morning or -- I could have taken that tack, but I thought it was not the right thing to do, and I think it's mostly because it's really unproductive, it feels un-American, and it's not inspiring." -- former White House press secretary and Fox News contributor Dana Perino, ignoring her own role in advancing Bush administration attacks on NBC.
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