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John Bolton getting a taste of his own medicine.

From the 06.16.2014 edition of FBN’s The Independents:

Financial analyst and Fox Business contributor Charles Payne, who has been fined by the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC), been paid to promote now virtually worthless penny stocks, and smeared the poor as “indebted servants” to the government who are too “comfortable” living in poverty, is being rewarded with his own show, the network announced today.

Fox Business said the show, Making Money with Charles Payne, will debut on June 2 in the evening. FBN executive vice president Kevin Mageepraised Payne as having “an incredible talent for identifying growth sectors in the markets and we’re excited to launch a new show dedicated to helping viewers spot these emerging investment prospects.”

That Payne has a talent for identifying growth may be a surprise to someone who followed some of Payne’s previous stock advice. After joining Fox in 2007, Payne was compensated to push the prospects of three stocks, as Media Matters documented in July 2013. Payne used his Fox credentials in promotional materials to assure skeptical investors that his advice was trustworthy. The stock of those companies are now virtually worthless:

  • Payne was paid $40,000 to promote The Brainy Brands Company. Payne claimed on that Brainy Brands could “help you profit 233%, turning $10,000 into $33,300.” The stock is now worthless.
  • Payne was paid ”$25,000 by a third party” to promote NXT Nutritionals Holdings. Payne claimed NXT could “turn $10,000 into $25,000.” The stock is now worthless.
  • Payne was paid an undisclosed amount for a “consulting arrangement” to promote Generex Biotechnology Corporate. Payne issued a report through his Fox-promoted website recommending Generex as a "long idea" for investors at $1.58. The stock now trades at less than 3 cents.

The practice of compensated stock endorsements is currently prohibited by Fox rules, and resulted in the contract termination of contributor Tobin Smith. Payne responded to inquiries from Media Matters by ducking questions and scrubbing his corporate website of information.

Payne and his company, Wall Street Strategies, have a problematic history related to the proper disclosure of stock recommendations. In 1999, the SEC announced that while not “admitting or denying” wrongdoings, Payne “agreed to pay a civil penalty of $25,000.” The SEC alleged of Payne:

Charles V. Payne is a resident of New York, New York and is the President of Wall Street Strategies, Inc. The Complaint alleges that on at least eight occasions, Wall Street Strategies recommended that its clients purchase Members stock through recorded messages on its telephonic stock recommendation service. The Complaint also alleges that Payne failed to disclose that he received payments from Members to promote Members stock. Without admitting or denying the alleged violations, Payne consented to the entry of a permanent injunction against violations of Section 17(b) of the Securities Act of 1933. In addition, Payne agreed to pay a civil penalty of $25,000.

Wall Street Strategies, Inc. is based in New York City. Without admitting or denying the alleged violations, Wall Street Strategies, Inc. consented to the entry of a permanent injunction against violations of Section 17(b) of the Securities Act of 1933. In addition, the company agreed to pay a civil penalty of $10,000.

In addition to regularly botching economic facts, Payne has also launched vitriolic attacks against the poor. For example, Payne:

  • attacked poor Americans as “indebted servants” who believe society “owes” them.
  • said men who receive Social Security disability benefits are “modern-day eunuchs.”
  • criticized anti-poverty programs because “it gets a little comfortable to be in poverty.”
  • defended billionaire venture capitalist Tom Perkins after he compared the treatment of wealthy Americans to what happened in “fascist Nazi Germany.”
  • claimed progressivism “fuels high drug addiction, crime rates.”
  • lamented that there isn’t enough “stigma” surrounding food stamps.
  • opined that wealth disparity “really doesn’t” bother him — “in fact, it inspires me.”
  • explained that after Thanksgiving people “take their welfare checks and bum rush” Wal-Mart.

Payne joins a Fox Business lineup that includes a shock jock who called women’s basketball players “nappy-headed hos,” a host who enjoys "being mean to poor people," and John Stossel. In other words, Making Money with Charles Payne will probably fit in well with the network and its mission to be a “more business friendly” channel.  

h/t: Eric Hanaoki at MMFA


[Cross-posted at Hatewatch.]

Richard Mack, the former sheriff of Graham County, Ariz., and an antigovernment “Patriot” movement figure who leads the Constitutional Sheriffs and Peace Officers Association, has a long history of promoting the theory that county sheriffs, not federal law enforcement, represent the supreme law of the land. This radically decentralized vision of government was first promoted by the old far-right Posse Comitatus movement.

Mack shot from obscurity to right-wing stardom in the mid-1990s when he challenged the Brady Handgun Violence Prevention Act and won a victory in the U.S. Supreme Court that weakened the law. For the past two years, he has zigzagged across the country spreading conspiracy theories about the federal government and promoting his organization as a “line in the sand” against government agents.

Fox Business channel’s Lou Dobbs Tonight gave Mack a platform to promote his views Tuesday night. Lou Dobbs, of course, is no stranger to controversy.

read more

Gabriel Sherman’s forthcoming biography of Roger Ailes reveals a pattern of misogyny and sexism from the Fox News CEO. The Loudest Voice in the Room documents numerous examples from Ailes during his years working in television, both on Fox and elsewhere. 

Media Matters and others have noted that Fox News’ on-air programming has a long history of sexism which mirrors a culture at Fox News and its parent company (previously News Corporation, now 21st Century Fox). 

Sherman’s reporting confirms Ailes’ obsession with displaying his female anchors’ legs on Fox programs. The topic of the dress code and makeup of Fox News’ female personalities has long been the subject of scrutiny among writers. Fox News host Gretchen Carlson recently admitted that “pants were not allowed on Fox & Friends.

In addition to the allegation that Ailes once offered to increase a female producer’s salary in exchange for sex, Sherman’s book features several examples of Ailes’ sexism. 

Ailes: “Move That Damn Laptop, I Can’t See Her Legs!”

Sherman relayed an anecdote of Ailes regarding former Fox News reporter Kiran Chetry: “Anchor Bob Sellers remembered Ailes once calling the control booth. ‘I was doing the weekend show with Kiran Chetry. He called up and said, ‘Move that damn laptop, I can’t see her legs!’” 

Ailes: “I Did Not Spend X-Number Of Dollars On A Glass Desk For Her To Wear Pant Suits”

Sherman reports that Ailes “had admiration for [former Fox host Catherine Crier’s] legs” and was livid when she appeared on-air wearing pants:

"Be more opinionated," he told Crier in one meeting. "The guests are there as a foil for you." He also disagreed with her dress. "He had admiration for her legs," a senior executive said. In one meeting, Ailes barked, "Tell Catherine I did not spend x-number of dollars on a glass desk for her to wear pant suits." [The Loudest Voice in the Room, pg 238]

Elsewhere in the book, discussing Megyn Kelly’s famous walk through the newsroom on election night in 2012, Sherman quotes a Fox employee saying, “This is Fox News, so anytime there’s a chance to show off Megyn Kelly’s legs they’ll go for it.” 

Ailes: “I Need The Leg. That’s Andrea Tantaros”

Sherman wrote of Ailes’ inspiration for the afternoon Fox News program The Five:

Years later at Fox News, Ailes would talk fondly about his theatrical experience. “Whenever he can, he gets into the conversation that he produced Hot l Baltimore,” a senior Fox executive said. Creating the Fox News afternoon show The Five, Ailes found his inspiration on the stage. “He said, ‘I’ve always wanted to do an ensemble concept,’” a close friend said. “He said, ‘I wanted a Falstaff, and that’s Bob Beckel. I need a leading man, and it’s Eric Bolling. I need a serious lead and that’s Dana Perino. I need a court jester and it’s Greg [Gutfeld], and I need the leg. That’s Andrea Tantaros.” [The Loudest Voice in the Room, pg 95-96]

Ailes Made Job Interviewee “Uncomfortable” With “Suggestive Questions” And Flirting

Sherman reports that while interviewing a prospective employee for NBC’s Tomorrow, a show he was producing, Ailes “posed romantically suggestive questions and made flirtatious comments” to a woman, who told him it made her feel “uncomfortable”:

Unbeknownst to Harrison, Shelley Ross, a former newspaper reporter turned television producer, experienced an interview in which Ailes posed romantically suggestive questions and made flirtatious comments about her appearance. “This is making me uncomfortable,” Ross recalled telling Ailes. She had worked with [John] Huddy at The Miami Herald and he had recommended her for the Tomorrow job. In a follow-up telephone interview, she told Ailes that she would never date a boss. Ailes’s reaction was, according to Ross, “Don’t you know I’m single?” When Ross said she was no longer interested in the position, Ailes began apologizing profusely. “This must be middle-aged crazy. I’m so sorry,” he said. “If you come to work for me, you know, we’re not going to have any problems.” Ross eventually accepted the offer and had a positive experience working for Ailes. When asked by a reporter in the mid-1990s about the comments he made to Ross in the interview, Ailes called her “crazy” and a “militant feminist.” [The Loudest Voice in the Room, pg 115]

Ailes Made “Completely Sexist” And “Disgusting” Remark About His Female Employees

In 1994, Ailes appeared on the radio show of shock jock and current Fox Business host Don Imus and made sexual and sexist remarks about two of his female hosts.  

Before it was over, Ailes skewered his own employees. He joked that Mary Matalin and Jane Wallace, hosts of CNBC’s Equal Time, were like “girls who if you went into a bar around seven, you wouldn’t pay a lot of attention, but [they] get to be tens around closing time.”


Jane Wallace didn’t appear in any news stories defending Ailes. “He had no right to say something like that,” she later said. “He was our boss. It was completely sexist. It was disgusting. It was outrageous. I thought it was a hideously awful thing to say.” But she, too, didn’t make it an issue with Ailes. “I didn’t say so out loud, I was working for the guy.” A few weeks later, however, Wallace quit to host her own show on FX, the start-up cable network owned by Rupert Murdoch’s News Corporation. [The Loudest Voice in the Room, pg 153]

Ailes Was Upset Future Employee Maria Bartiromo Had “Gained So Much Weight” In 2009

Sherman reports that in 2009 — around the time Ailes hired Don Imus to try to inject life into the flagging Fox Business Network — he also considered hiring CNBC anchor Maria Bartiromo. Sherman quotes an executive involved in the negotiations saying that Ailes was disappointed Bartiromo had “gained so much weight”:

Around this time, he also considered poaching CNBC star Maria Bartiromo. “Roger passed on her,” one executive involved in the talks said. “He wished she hadn’t gained so much weight. He said she went from looking like Sophia Loren to Mamma Leone. He felt he was being used to get more money from CNBC. He told us her agent should give him part of the commission, because the talks were worth another million dollars.” (In November 2013, Bartiromo jumped from CNBC to Fox Business.) [The Loudest Voice in the Room, pg 388]

Ailes On Fox Host Gretchen Carlson’s 1989 Miss America Win: “It Must Not Have Been A Good Year”

Ailes’ temper features prominently in the book, with Sherman explaining that Ailes “vented constantly about his talent”:

No one was spared from Ailes’s eruptions. He vented constantly about his talent. He complained about The Five co-host Andrea Tantaros, who was a former political consultant. “She’s pretty, but did she ever get anyone elected, even a dog catcher?” When Gretchen Carlson’s name came up, Ailes pointed out she was once Miss America, then added, “It must not have been a good year.”Her co-host, Brian Kilmeade, was a “soccer coach from Long Island.” Bill O’Reilly was a “book salesman with a TV show.” [The Loudest Voice in the Room, pg 389]

h/t: MMFA

From the 01.02.2014 edition of FBN’s Lou Dobbs Tonight:


Last week, this man endorsed the assassination of the President. 

This week, he was on Fox Business as an “expert”—and accused Hillary Clinton of effectively murdering the Americans who died during the 2012 attacks on Benghazi.  

Fox Business host Stuart Varney: Ice in Antarctica proves ‘global cooling’ (via Raw Story )

Fox Business host Stuart Varney said on Tuesday that his theory of “global cooling” had been proven when a research ship recently got stuck in ice near Antarctica. The habitual climate-change denier reported that all 52 passengers of the Russian…


As the headline describes, this week Todd Starnes finally went on a Fox show that didn’t let him get away with spewing his histrionics on the “gay agenda” and a supposedly multi-front war on Christians in America. That show was FBN’s new libertarian talk show, The Independents.

If you’re unfamiliar with Starnes, he’s a Fox News radio commentator, one of our nominees for “Worst Media Twitter Account” of 2013, and the notorious type of social conservative who pals around with AFA’s Bryan Fischer and deflects all criticism of his obvious intolerance for homosexuality by labeling his opponents “brownshirts” and “anti-straight bigots.”

He also tends to go on Fox shows that welcome his views or coddle them with minimal pushback. In the past, he’s had a very adoring audience in Fox & Friends (complete with sirens blazing as his introduction to talking about the MUSLIMS coming for your children in public schools) and a comfortable space on Hannity’s primetime show.

But when he went on FBN’s libertarian talk show Tuesday evening, he was in much less friendly territory during a discussion on Russia’s anti-gay laws.

While he didn’t openly defend the Russian government’s criminalization of public homosexuality, Starnes instead attempted to drastically reframe the conversation around America’s own attempt to “crack down on the rights of Christian individuals.” The looks on the faces of panelist Jehmu Greene and hosts KennedyMatt Welch, and Kmele Foster were… priceless.

“I haven’t heard anything about that,” Foster said. “I’m not quite making the connection myself,” Kennedy agreed.

And when Starnes claimed the New Mexican baker being forced to make a wedding cake for a gay couple constituted the anti-Christian “crackdown,” Kennedy, et al, responded that libertarians have already condemned that. She then went on an awesome rant about how, in that situation, she is regrettably forced to defend a “bigot” and that she would just never buy from such a “lame” baker. You can sense Starnes getting ready to defend the baker’s anti-gay beliefs as not “bigoted,” but, sadly, the time ran out.

This wasn’t exactly a slam/blast/shout-fest/evisceration of Starnes, but that’s precisely why this segment was so noteworthy.

Think about it in the context of the thesis behind my Wednesday evening column on the Duck Dynasty patriarch’s suspension: Starnes looked absolutely goofy when put up against rational, thoughtful people who don’t want to simply silence him for his bigoted beliefs; instead they push back on him with a hefty dose of skepticism. We need more of that, and less of the hoping to silence every single anti-gay thinker in the public square.

From the 12.17.2013 edition of FBN’s The Independents:

h/t: Andrew Kirell at Mediaite 

Fox Business host: Social Security Disability turns men into ‘modern-day eunuchs’ (via Raw Story )

Fox Business host Charles Payne recently told a group of conservatives that Social Security Disability Insurance was turning American men into “modern-day eunuchs.” Speaking to David Horowitz’s Restoration Weekend 2013 last week, Payne opined…


Maria Bartiromo, one of the first women to become a star on television by reporting on business news, is leaving her longtime home at CNBC for its rival, the Fox Business Network.


The signing is a coup of sorts for Fox Business, which has struggled to establish a profile. Last week, Fox Business averaged fewer than 10,000 viewers in the group that attracts advertisers, those between the ages of 25 and 54. CNBC had more than three times as many with 31,000.

Ms. Bartiromo, who was the first correspondent to report live every day from the floor of the New York Stock Exchange, was among the best-known faces on CNBC. She also has a connection to Roger Ailes, the Fox News chairman, who also leads Fox Business. He was in charge of CNBC in 1993 when Ms. Bartiromo joined that network.

FBN, even with Bartiromo’s hiring, is still a joke of a “business” network, and is still to the right of CNBC (a network that is nothing close to being liberal despite certain conservatrolls declaring it otherwise b/c of NBCUniversal’s ownership). 



Libertarian Fox Business host John Stossel argued on Thursday women should be forced to pay more for health insurance because “maybe they’re hypochondriacs” and use more services.

During an appearance on Fox & Friends, Stossel asserted to host Steve Doocy that President Barack Obama’s health care reform law “just kills the market” by mandating that women can no longer be charged more than men for insurance.

(via Fox’s Varney On Furloughed Federal Employees: “I Want To Punish These People” | Blog | Media Matters for America)

Fox Business host Stuart Varney believes that the ongoing government shutdown, while presenting no real threat to the economy, offers an opportunity to “punish” federal workers for “living on our backs.”

On the October 2 edition of AM 560’s The Big John & Amy Show, co-hosts John Howell and Amy Jacobsoninterviewed Fox Business’ Stuart Varney and asked him about the government shutdown and its effect on workers and the economy. Varney stated, incorrectly, that the shutdown was not having an impact on financial markets or the greater economy before launching into a tirade against federal employees.

Varney had this to say:

HOWELL: Do you think that federal workers, when this ends, are deserving of their back pay or not?

VARNEY: That is a loaded question isn’t it? You want my opinion? This is President Obama’s shutdown. He is responsible for shutting this thing down; he’s taken an entirely political decision here. No, I don’t think they should get their back pay, frankly, I really don’t. I’m sick and tired of a massive, bloated federal bureaucracy living on our backs, and taking money out of us, a lot more money than most of us earn in the private sector, then getting a furlough, and then getting their money back at the end of it. Sorry, I’m not for that. I want to punish these people. Sorry to say that, but that’s what I want to do.

Fuck you, Stuart Varney!

Charles Payne, a contributor and frequent guest host for Fox News and Fox Business, was compensated to promote the stocks of at least three companies since joining Fox. The practice of compensated stock endorsements is currently prohibited by Fox rules, and resulted in the recent contract termination of contributor Tobin Smith. 

According to a Media Matters review, Payne was paid $40,000 to promote The Brainy Brands Company, “$25,000 by a third party” to promote NXT Nutritionals Holdings, and an undisclosed amount for a “consulting arrangement” to promote Generex Biotechnology Corporate.

The share prices of the companies Payne was paid to tout are now essentially worthless.  

Payne forecasted lofty gains for investors who bought those stocks. He projected in 2011 that Brainy Brands could hit $4.50 a share in three years. At the time of the pitch, Brainy Brands was trading at around $1.35 — it’s now below 1 cent. Payne claimed in 2009 that NXT could “turn $10,000 into $25,000.” At the time, NXT was trading for $2.00 — it’s now below 1/10th of a cent. And Payne claimed in November 2007 that Generex, then at $1.58, was a long term “screaming buy” which could hit $7.00. It’s now trading at roughly 4 cents.

Aside from rosy projections, Payne’s sponsored stock pitches shared a common theme: using his cable news and Fox credentials to assure skeptical investors that his advice was trustworthy. A direct marketing company which worked with Payne stated it brandished Payne’s Fox News connections “to build credibility” with his potential customers. The stock pitches were also used as a vehicle to entice readers to join Payne’s subscription newsletter.

Fox policy prohibits contributors from receiving compensation to promote a stock. MarketWatch — which, like Fox, is owned by News Corp. — reported on June 18 that a spokesman said “no Contributor to FBN, nor his/her firm, and/or family members are allowed to accept financial consideration of any kind whatsoever to issue research, advertisements, or to otherwise promote individual stocks or securities.” As a result of the rule, Fox News fired contributor Tobin Smith, who regularly releases sponsored research reports (Smith claimed his contract “did NOT include any exclusion from me or my company sponsored research”).

While Fox currently prohibits financial arrangements like Payne’s, it’s not clear whether his actions specifically violated Fox rules. MarketWatch quoted Smith claiming that the rule was instituted in “late” 2012, or after the three Payne stock promotions studied in this report first occurred. It’s also not clear if Payne has been compensated for stock promotions after 2011. Regardless, even if Payne’s actions occurred before an official Fox policy, he still used Fox’s brand to engage in practices that the network now thinks is problematic enough to prohibit and fire an employee.

Fox and Payne did not respond to requests for comment.  

Payne and his company, Wall Street Strategies, have a problematic history related to the disclosure of paid stock endorsements. In 1999, the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) announced that while not “admitting or denying” wrongdoings, Payne “agreed to pay a civil penalty of $25,000.” The SEC alleged of Payne:

The Complaint alleges that on at least eight occasions, Wall Street Strategies recommended that its clients purchase Members stock through recorded messages on its telephonic stock recommendation service. The Complaint also alleges that Payne failed to disclose that he received payments from Members to promote Members stock. 

More about Payne’s alleged actions are contained in this May 1997 SEC release.

Charles Payne is frequently seen on Fox News and Fox Business as a contributor and guest host. He has a regular segment called “Making Money with Charles Payne” which airs throughout the day on Fox Business. His Fox biography states he joined Fox “in October 2007.” He founded Wall Street Strategies, “an independent stock market research firm where he serves as chief executive officer and principal analyst,” in 1991.

Payne’s Fox News and Fox Business appearances are routinely filled with misinformation on topics like the unemployment rateunemployment insuranceclimate changecorporate tax breaksdisability benefits, and federal worker compensation. He has attacked antipoverty programs by claiming “it gets a little comfortable to be in poverty”; said that “the good part about the stigma [of food stamps] is it actually does serve as an impetus to get people off” them; claimed poor people are “indebted servants” who believe society “owes” them; and said wealth disparity “really doesn’t” bother me — “in fact, it inspires me.” He’s also spoken at Tea Party rallies in recent years.

h/t: MMFA

Fox News has fired paid contributor and market analyst Tobin Smith for receiving compensation to promote the stock of Petrosonic Energy, a violation of network policy. According to a Media Matters review, Smith’s company, NBT Equities Research, also received compensation for promoting numerous other companies through his website and conservative newsletters, and used his Fox News credentials to hawk volatile stocks to conservatives.

MarketWatch’s Chuck Jaffe reported that Smith issued “sponsored investment research” to tout Petrosonic’s stock in a 20-page mailer, for which NBT received $50,000. The paid endorsement is against Fox’s policy that “no contributor to FBN [Fox Business Network], nor his/her firm, and/or family members are allowed to accept financial consideration of any kind whatsoever to issue research, advertisements, or to otherwise promote individual stocks or securities.” In a post today on his website, Smith acknowledged that he is “no longer a Fox contributor” but defended his “business of sponsored research for uncovered emerging growth companies.” He also wrote: “For the record, my last contributor agreement with Fox News did NOT include any exclusion from me or my company sponsored research. But that is water under the bridge.”

MarketWatch noted that companies hire people like Smith for sponsored research “to help small stocks find a market using fluff-and-shine hyperbolic chatter” at novice investors.  

Smith’s company produces voluminous quantities of sponsored content. In June alone, NBT’s website has featured posts by Smith with compensation disclaimers for GlyEco (“200,000 options of GlyEco”), Petrosonic (“$50,000”), Brazil Minerals ($40,000), Barfresh Food Group ("$35,000 and 75,000 restricted shares"), and Pulse Beverage ("$50,000").

Smith also regularly pitches paid stock promotions to conservatives through right-wing email newsletters. Media Matters identified at least six recent instances in which Smith’s NBT Group was compensated to promote a company’s stock via newsletters. The companies include Medient Studios in 2013 ("225,000 shares"); BOLDFACE Group in 2013 ($50,000); IceWeb in 2012 ($50,000 via a third-party firm); Plandai Biotechnology in 2012 ("$30,000 monthly and 1.4 million shares for a one year"); Replicel Life Sciences in 2012 ("a fee of over $1000.00 in cash"); and Petrosonic in 2012 and 2013 ($50,000). 

h/t: MMFA