The Washington Post reported this week that WJLA, ABC’s Washington, D.C., affiliate, has taken a “subtle but noticeable turn to the right” since being taken over by the Sinclair Broadcasting Group. This conservative tilt was on full display this week when the channel ran a news package promoting a baseless conspiracy theory about Benghazi from reporter Sharyl Attkisson.
The Washington Post piece highlighted the concerns of some staff members of local ABC affiliate WJLA, that following the finalization of the sale to Sinclair in August 2014, “some of the stories ordered by Sinclair on a ‘must-run’ basis don’t meet the station’s long tradition of non-partisan reporting.” One factor in this shift to conservative partisan reporting was announced in July prior to the sale, when Sinclair hired discredited journalist Sharyl Attkisson as an “independent freelance reporter” to “focus on stories that follow the money and waste watch type of investigations.”
However, prior to the September 17 opening hearing of the House Benghazi Special Committee, Attkisson ran a dubious report for Sinclair that appeared on WJLA highlighting the unverifiable claims of former State Department employee Raymond Maxwell alleging that some documents were intentionally withheld from the Accountability Review Board investigating the terrorist attacks in Benghazi:
The same day Attkisson’s report ran on WJLA, Attkisson appeared on Fox News Channel’s Fox & Friends where she reiterated the report’s unsubstantiated accusations. Host Steve Doocy lamented that only a handful of outlets such as Fox and the Daily Signal — the Heritage Foundation website to which Attkisson occasionally contributes — were covering this latest so-called “Benghazi bombshell.” Attkisson concluded the segment by mentioning that her report was also broadcast to “maybe 30 million local news viewers” through Sinclair’s affiliate stations
Although Sinclair’s support of right-wing misinformation has been widely documented and criticized for many years, its increasing influence in local media bodes ill for objective journalism at stations like WJLA.
"Scrubbed" Benghazi Docs "Bombshell" Is Based On Evidence-Free Report By Discredited Benghazi Hoax Architect
A new report from discredited investigative journalist Sharyl Attkisson baselessly suggested State Department staff removed damaging documents on Benghazi instead of turning them over to the Accountability Review Board (ARB) for investigation. But Attkisson’s claims have been denied by the State Department and are based solely on speculations from a disgruntled employee after he was disciplined for his “lack of leadership” and engagement by the ARB.
In a September 15 report for The Daily Signal, a publication of the conservative Heritage Foundation, Attkisson reported that a former State Department diplomat alleges that “Hillary Clinton confidants were part of an operation to ’separate’ damaging documents before they were turned over to the Accountability Review Board investigating security lapses surrounding the Sept. 11, 2012, terrorist attacks on the U.S. mission in Benghazi, Libya.” The Daily Signal described this as a “Benghazi Bombshell.”
Attkisson reported that the diplomat, Raymond Maxwell, a former deputy assistant secretary responsible for North Africa, says that in late 2012 he observed an “after-hours session” at which a State Department office director “close to Clinton’s top advisers” directed staff to separate out Benghazi documents “that might put anybody in the Near Eastern Affairs front office or the seventh floor in a bad light” from “boxes and stacks of documents.” Attkisson notes that “‘seventh floor’ was State Department shorthand for then-Secretary of State Clinton and her principal advisors.” Maxwell told Attkisson that while he was present, Clinton Chief of Staff Cheryl Mills and Deputy Chief of Staff Jake Sullivan “appeared to check in on the operation and soon left.”
Speculating that potentially missing, possibly damaging documents made it impossible for the ARB’s investigation to be thorough, Attkisson reported that Maxwell said ”he couldn’t help but wonder if the ARB—perhaps unknowingly—had received from his bureau a scrubbed set of documents with the most damaging material missing.”
Fox News’ America’s Newsroom quickly reported Attkisson’s claims, calling them a “bombshell development” and a “smoking gun of a potential cover-up”:
Fox subsequently reported that the interview indicated that Maxwell “claims Clinton allies scrubbed Benghazi documents.”
But Attkisson’s report has several flaws. It is based solely on conjecture from Maxwell, who does not claim and cannot prove that any documents were withheld from the ARB in its investigation, but rather only speculates about the fate of the documents that were reviewed.
The State Department has already denied Maxwell’s speculation in a statement to Attkisson — State Department spokesman Alec Gerlach called “the implication that documents were withheld ‘totally without merit,’” emphasizing that the “range of sources that the ARB’s investigation drew on would have made it impossible for anyone outside of the ARB to control its access to information.” Other allegations that the ARB investigation was biased have been repeatedly disproven.
Maxwell himself is a dubious source. He was placed on administrative leave after the Accountability Review Board’s investigation found a “lack of proactive leadership” and pointed specifically to Maxwell’s department, saying some officials in the Bureau of Near Eastern Affairs “showed a lack of ownership of Benghazi’s security issues.” A House Oversight Committee report released findings from the classified version of the ARB report, which revealed that the ARB’s board members “were troubled by the NEA DAS for Maghreb Affairs’ lack of leadership and engagement on staffing and security issues in Benghazi.”
Disgruntled over being “the only official in the Bureau of Near Eastern Affairs (NEA), which had responsibility for Libya, to lose his job,” Maxwell spoke to The Daily Beast in May 2013 in an attempt to “restore” his “honor.” Maxwell, who had filed official grievances regarding his treatment, expressed anger that Mills — the same staff member Maxwell speculated was involved in hiding potentially damaging documents — “reneged” on a deal to eventually bring Maxwell back to the NEA after his leave.
While Maxwell has previously been interviewed by the ARB, the House Foreign Affairs Committee, the House Oversight Committee, the Daily Beast, and Examiner.com, this is curiously the first time this allegation has been made public. FoxNews.com reported that Rep. Jason Chaffetz (R-UT) had confirmed “that Maxwell told him and other lawmakers the same story when they privately interviewed him last year.” The claim is absent from the House Oversight Committee’s Benghazi Attacks: Investigative Update Report on the Accountability Review Board, which was based in part on Maxwell’s 2013 testimony.
Attkisson, too, has been roundly discredited and is well known for her shoddy reporting, both during her time at CBS News and after leaving the network. Attkisson supported CBS’ disastrous Benghazi reporting, for which the network ultimately had to apologize and retract. And CBS executives reportedly saw her as “wading dangerously close to advocacy on the issue.”
Fox’s adoption of this story as a major new development is not surprising given the network’s history of relying on discredited Benghazi hoaxsters and using “bombshell" to describe everything but new developments in the story.
"How can you be so poor and have all this stuff?" -Bill O’Reilly
Each of these screenshots is from a different Fox show attacking poor Americans for having amenities, trying to make the point (pretty much) that “when I was a kid, poor people had a lot less than this.”
Of course, this is all based on one thoroughly-debunked Heritage Foundation report that conservative media have been parroting for years.
Breaking news for Fox: We’re not in the 1950’s anymore. As technology advances, each year older technology gets less and less expensive, and therefore more working class Americans are able to access it.
Matt Yglesias elaborates:
A serious person would follow this up with a discussion of relative prices. Over the past 50 years, televisions have gotten a lot cheaper and college has gotten a lot more expensive. Consequently, even a low income person can reliably obtain a level of television-based entertainment that would blow the mind of a millionaire from 1961. At the same time, if you’re looking to live in a safe neighborhood with good public schools in a metropolitan area with decent job opportunities you’re going to find that this is quite expensive. Health care has become incredibly expensive. The federal poverty line for a family of three is $18,530 a year. I wonder how many Heritage Foundation policy analysts are deciding they want to cut back and work part time because it’d be super easy to raise two kids in DC on less than $20k in salary? Perhaps just an outfit full of workaholics.
While Fox is so busy pointing out how many people have access to microwaves and refrigerators, they conveniently forget to mention how many people have poor access to quality education, health care, and affordable housing. Because really, what good is an A/C if you can’t even afford to keep living in your house?
Fox News host Elisabeth Hasselbeck connected an ongoing National Football League controversy surrounding domestic violence to the September 2012 terrorist attacks in Benghazi, Libya.
The Fox & Friends host tweeted September 16, “Imagine if everyone that asked for transparency in the #nfl @nfl Demanded that same #transparency in our #government,” adding the hashtags “#Benghazi” and “#IRS,” references to the terrorist attack and the alleged targeting by the IRS of tax exempt organizations.
Baltimore Ravens player Ray Rice was indefinitely suspended by the NFL after a video of him punching his now-wife and knocking her unconscious leaked, and the organization came under fire for not previously suspending Rice when he initially admitted to the assault. Fifteen female senators have asked NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell to “institute a zero-tolerance policy for domestic violence,” and questioned whether the commissioner or other league officials may have attempted to “cover-up" evidence of the abuse.
Fox News has repeatedly attempted to claim the Obama administration engaged in a “cover up” of the Benghazi attacks, with the evening lineup alleging a "cover up" in 281 segmentsin the first 20 months following the attacks. Network personalities have previous invoked Benghazi in relation to meteorologists meeting with President Obama, the missing Malaysian Airlines Flight MH370, Gov. Chris Christie’s bridge scandal, Yom Kippur, and Monday Night Football.
With the House Select Committee on Benghazi scheduled to convene for its first public hearing tomorrow, Media Matters is unveiling All Questions Answered, the definitive user’s guide to the committee that demonstrates how conservative inquiries into the 2012 attacks have been litigated over and over again.
You can read All Questions Answered at BenghaziHoax.com, a new Media Matters website featuring our latest research and curating nearly 1,000 pieces we have produced over the past two years chronicling and debunking the lies right-wing media have pushed about Benghazi.
Fox News and the conservative media have been politicizing Benghazi for more than two years, seeking to turn the tragic events of that night into a phony scandal in order to damage President Obama and former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton. The network took credit for House Speaker John Boehner’s decision to create the select committee, a development Fox News contributors had sought for months. In the two weeks after the announcement the network devoted over 16 hours and 27 minutes — at least 227 segments — to Benghazi, a value of more than $124 million.
An excerpt from All Questions Answered details how the right-wing press turned an innocuous email from Deputy National Security Advisor Ben Rhodes into a sham “smoking gun,” leading to the creation of the committee:
Conservative media outlets were up in arms, and they were soon followed by mainstream reporters. According to this new right-wing narrative, the White House had been withholding these emails from the public and congressional committees. But what did these emails actually demonstrate?
Rhodes’ job on the National Security Council was to provide communications guidance to administration officials speaking on foreign policy issues. In the wake of upheaval across the entire region, with violent protests taking place in Cairo and the attack on the United States’ diplomatic compound in Benghazi, Libya, Rhodes was tasked with preparing messaging guidance for then-national security adviser Susan Rice. In the emails unveiled by Judicial Watch, Rhodes took CIA-authored talking points — whose creation had been made public in detail a year earlier — and turned them into a messaging document.
That no new information was revealed mattered little. Simply the perception that the Obama administration was hiding something from the public created a media firestorm.
All Questions Answered goes down the list of conservative questions about Benghazi one by one, debunking the lies and myths about the attacks and the Obama administration’s response.
All Questions Answered is a supplement to Media Matters' best-selling 2013 ebook The Benghazi Hoax, which “tells in intimate detail the story of the deception created by those who fill airtime with savage punditry and pseudo-journalism and how the Republicans in charge of the investigative committees were empowered but ultimately failed to find a scandal - any kind of scandal - to tar a Democratic White House.”
h/t: Matt Gertz at MMFA
St. Louis Post-Dispatch editor Gilbert Bailon criticized some conservative media outlets and national press for their coverage of the shooting death of Michael Brown in Ferguson, Missouri.
Bailon singled out Fox News for focusing on looting and “chaos” while ignoring the “deeper story” in Ferguson, and also cited The Washington Post and the New York Post for running thinly sourced negative stories about Brown.
Bailon, editor of the largest local paper covering the aftermath of the August 9 police shooting that left Brown dead and sparked a national debate on police tactics, spoke to Media Matters at the American Society of News Editors conference in Chicago this week.
While the editor and former ASNE president praised much of the national press coverage, he cited Fox News for criticism.
"I think the national media has done a good job of capturing the story," Bailon said. But he later said of Fox News: "I do think sometimes … it looks like the whole community was in flames, and it was really a few block area. Significant, but it wasn’t like St. Louis was on fire or out of control and there was mass chaos everywhere … it wasn’t like an all-consuming entire metropolitan area was hit by that, yet it commanded a huge presence of what was there."
He added, "I think Fox took a different angle, their view was more of the view of the chaos, was really focusing on the looting and less of what was going on in the community pre-dating the looting. The looting was very dramatic…but there was the deeper story there. Some stayed on in town longer, I think there was a different viewpoint on them and less on the undercurrent. [Fox] didn’t look at it as deeply and as long as others, CNN did make an investment, MSNBC was there a lot."
He also cited a Washington Post report that Brown had marijuana in his system and another from the New York Post that the officer who shot Brown suffered a fractured eye socket as facts his paper has yet to report because they cannot be verified.
"There’s been a couple of stories that I think the sourcing wasn’t quite as good on," he said. "I don’t know whether these are wrong but we haven’t been able to verify it. There’s been talk that Michael Brown had marijuana in his system. Well that hasn’t been officially reviewed, we don’t know that yet. We haven’t reported that. The New York Post picked up some information about [police officer Darren Wilson] having an orbital fracture of his face … inflicted by Michael Brown. We have not found that to be true. In fact, it has been debunked by many.”
H/T: Joe Strupp at MMFA
Conservative commentators think we’re more interested in pretty shoes than voting. I wonder why they’re having trouble getting women’s support.
Hello? Oh, I’m sorry, I think you’ve stumbled into the wrong place. This is a piece about politics, and you’re on Cosmopolitan.com. Surely you were looking for something about shoes, or maybe information on how to find a boyfriend? If you’re a young woman, scoot along now, little lady, because all this talk about “issues” and “elections” is probably beyond the purview of what you’re looking for from Cosmopolitan.com. (Do you know what “purview” means? Don’t worry your pretty head about it).
Insulted yet? Well, that’s what folks at Fox News and a series of conservative commentators and websites seem to think about you. On Fox’s Outnumbered — a show so dedicated to serious and not-at-all-sexist political analysis that it bills itself as “Featuring an ensemble of four female panelists &#OneLuckyGuy" — panelists took turns complaining about Cosmopolitan.com's decision to endorse pro-choice candidates, claiming (falsely) that Cosmopolitan.com will “probably leave out jobs and a whole bunch of other stuff that we ladies care about.” Putting aside the fact that Fox commentators have not always shown such a commitment to the interests of working women, our endorsement criteria are actually a little more detailed and include issues such as equal pay for equal work, raising the minimum wage, and leadership on ending violence against women. In the past month, our political stories have included coverage of a Supreme Court justice’s reflections on Roe v. Wade, multiple threatened executions by ISIS, sexual assault in the armed forces, and the militarization of the police in places like Ferguson, Missouri, just to name a few.
"Is this beyond the purview of what the readership of this magazine actually wants to see?" Fox panelist Guy Benson asked about our #CosmoVotes initiative aimed at getting women to the polls. “Do they want to be preached at about politics when they really just want to check out the latest fashions and these wonderful shoes you guys are all wearing?” With that last line, he gestured to the footwear of his four female co-hosts.
One of the reasons we started #CosmoVotes was because we saw how regularly young female voters are derided, condescended to, and insulted. Women hear so often that we’re dumb and uninformed that even the most politically savvy among us start to believe it: Women are less likely than men to think they’re qualified to run for office; they’re less likely to hear they should run for office; and once they do run, they are less confident and less likely to take risks. With the inescapable "Beyonce voter" heckles from the media peanut gallery, who can blame them?
Women who are assertive and confident are punished for that too, because they’re seen as abrasive, while men are just leaders. And so even though more women vote than men and more women are graduating from college than men, women are still sorely underrepresented in every major political body. Men go through life with a pervasive overconfidence, which benefits them in the workplace and in leadership positions; for women, simply having a female name means you’re perceived as less competent. Women, then, opine less and are less likely to see themselves as experts or adequately informed; as a result of that, and the fact that female voices and opinions are routinely derided, womenplay less of a role in public political debate.
It means we realize that pro-life women use birth control and have abortions too, and we think they should have that right.
We think that’s a damn shame. And we want to give our readers the tools to push back on it by encouraging them to vote (no matter which candidate they vote for) and by throwing our weight behind candidates who stand up for women instead of condescending to us.
Yes, that means we are endorsing candidates who are pro-choice. That doesn’t mean we don’t care about our pro-life readers. It means we realize that pro-life women use birth control and have abortions too, and we think they should have that right. It means we realize that outside of the “pro-choice” and “pro-life” monikers, 7 in 10 Americans say they want abortion to be legal. It means we recognize that nearly every American woman will use contraception at some point in her life, and 1 in 3 will have an abortion before her 45th birthday. We recognize that contraception and abortion are normal parts of women’s reproductive lives, and choosing to determine the number and spacing of your children is an act of love, of responsibility, and, sometimes, of basic self-preservation. It means we know women don’t see contraception as a frivolous allowance, but as a cornerstone of their personal and financial well-being — a tool that allows them to complete an education, pursue a career, pick a partner they love and not one they’re tied to out of shame and obligation, and build a family when they are emotionally, financially, and physically ready. And it means we understand that reproductive health care is basic health care and limiting that care is a public health issue: where contraception and abortion are unavailable, women are killed and injured.
No one has to agree with us or with the candidates we’ve endorsed. We welcome vigorous debate, and as we’ve said before, we hope you do your own research, form your own opinions, and vote for the politicians you believe represent your best interests. But we do object to the suggestion that Cosmopolitan.com shouldn’t be issuing endorsements at all because, apparently, we’re bubbleheads who should “stick with fashion and orgasms.” Newspapers that cover, say, sports — not exactly the height of intellectual acuity — aren’t subjected to the same condescension that comes with writing about sex, fashion, and beauty. They don’t hear the accusation that they’re “dictating" what their apparently mindless readers should do or face the assumption that because light content appears on one page, there’s no place for something more serious.
It’s almost as if the problem isn’t that we, like so many other publications, are writing about politics and endorsing candidates, but that we’re writing about politics and endorsing candidates and we’re a publication focused on women.
We think you’re perfectly capable of reading an article about shoes and still walking yourself to your polling place to cast an informed, thoughtful vote.
This is all especially rich coming from conservative media mouthpieces, in an election year when conservative candidates are having a tough time appealing to female voters (the only women who reliably support Republicans are those who are both married and don’t have a college degree). Many conservative policies — like opposition to abortion access, insurance coverage for contraception, equal pay for equal work, a higher minimum wage, and gun control — do women real harm. Of the 10 worst American states for women, measured by women’s economic security, leadership roles, and health, all 10 are Republican-dominated red states. This isn’t just about a horse race; it’s about women’s day-to-day ability to live up to their full potential and to exist in a healthy, cared-for body.
Conservative rhetoric hurts too. It’s not just the cluelessness about how women’s uteruses supposedly “shut down” “legitimate rape.” It’s also the idea that women are more interested in driving their kids to the dentist than in equal pay, that the pay gap isn’t real, that abortion is never necessary, and now that young women just want to see shoe pictures and are too dumb to realize Cosmopolitan.com's endorsements are our analysis and suggestion, not marching orders.
We think you’re perfectly capable of reading an article about shoes and still walking yourself to your polling place to cast an informed, thoughtful vote. We hope you do vote, no matter who it’s for, because the more women cast their ballots, the more all our political parties will have to respond to our needs and interests. But we also hope you’re paying attention to the subtle and not-so-subtle messages that politicians and political commentators send about women, and that you’re making connections between rhetoric, worldview, and policy.
And we hope that doing that analysis is a reminder that political thought and leadership isn’t just for the TV talking heads and the white-haired men in Congress. Listen to what these guys are saying about you — and then don’t believe it.
We’ll see you at the polls on November 4. And we’ll see you right here on Cosmopolitan.com every day before then, writing about, discussing, and sometimes opining on the abundance of issues that shape your health, your financial future, and the many dimensions of your life.
On Tuesday, a New York federal judge issued a significant “fair use” ruling, and in the process, handed Fox News a major legal loss in its attempts to protect its news shows from exploitation.The lawsuit concerns TVEyes, which might not be widely known, but is used by MSNBC, ABC, CBS, Reuters and Bloomberg to monitor what is being said on Fox News and more than 1,400 other television and radio stations. Besides use by media organization, TVEyes’ clients also include the White House, 100 members of Congress, the Department of Defense, the American Red Cross, AARP, Goldman Sachs, the Association of Trial Lawyers and many others.These customers create customized search terms and are able to get access to transcripts and video clips. Fox News has warned that such a service — because it also allows those who pay a flat fee of $500 a month to watch live streams — will erode its ratings and “decimate” its business.There was even more at stake.As anyone who watches MSNBC knows, Fox News clips are often shown widely in the media. In this lawsuit, Fox News expressed concern that TVEyes competes with its own authorized clip service, which has deals with Yahoo, Hulu and YouTube. What’s revealed in today’s ruling is that Fox News licensees must agree they will not show clips in a way that is derogatory or critical of Fox News.With that backdrop, U.S. District Judge Alvin Hellerstein had to examine TVEyes and figure out whether it was a copyright-infringing machine (somewhat but not exactly analogous to what the Supreme Court had to say about Aereo) or whether it served some form of purpose that put it outside the realm of a copyright holder’s exclusive rights. Hellerstein takes the latter view, determining that it’s closer to Google’s efforts to digitize books than Meltwater’s efforts to scrape online news stories.The judge uses police departments as an example of how TVEyes is used."Police departments use TVEyes to track television coverage of public safety messages across different stations and locations, and to adjust outreach efforts accordingly," he writes. "Without a service like TVEyes, the only way for the police department to know how every station is constantly reporting the situation would be to have an individual watch every station that broadcast news for twenty-four hours a day taking notes on each station’s simultaneous coverage. … Without TVEyes, the police department could not monitor the coverage of the event in order to ensure that the news coverage is factually correct and that the public is correctly informed."And so, when it comes time for the judge to analyze the first factor of fair use — the purpose and character of the use — the judge credits TVEyes with adding something new rather than merely repackaging the original copyrighted works."Unlike the indexing and excerpting of news articles, where the printed word conveys the same meaning no matter the forum or medium in which it is viewed, the service provided by TVEyes is transformative," says the summary judgment ruling. "By indexing and excerpting all content appearing in television, every hour of the day and every day of the week, month, and year, TVEyes provides a service that no content provider provides. Subscribers to TVEyes gain access, not only to the news that is presented, but to the presentations themselves, as colored, processed, and criticized by commentators, and as abridged, modified, and enlarged by news broadcasts."The judge credits TVEyes as being the only service to do this. Not even the Internet as a whole qualifies as a substitute because Fox News doesn’t provide all of its content online."That, in and of itself, makes TVEyes’ purpose transformative and different in kind from Meltwater’s, which simply amalgamated extant content that a dedicated researcher could piece together with enough time, effort, and Internet searches," writes the judge.On one of the other factors in the fair use analysis — the effect of the use upon the potential market for the copyrighted work — Judge Hellerstein says that Fox News has failed to show that TVEyes is threatening its revenues from advertisers or cable and satellite providers. He adds there’s “no basis” for concluding that people are using the media monitoring service as a substitute for watching Fox News and even ridicules the cable news network for alleging harm from lost clip licensing revenue. According to the ruling, Fox makes $212,145 from syndication partners and $246,875 from the licensing of clips — “a very small fraction of its overall revenue,” the judge notes."I find that the small possible market harm to Fox News is substantially outweighed by the important public benefit provided by TVEyes," concludes the judge.TVEyes wasn’t completely victorious. The judge wants more evidence to be presented on the service’s feature of letting subscribers download, archive, email and share clips via social media. He’s also not ready to rule on the service’s allowance of searches by date and time instead of keywords.But overall, this is a landmark court ruling in favor of TVEyes, which has also prevailed on Tuesday in its arguments that Fox News’ hot news misappropriation claim are preempted by federal copyright law. We’ll continue to monitor this dispute to see if Fox News appeals today’s ruling.A status conference has been set for Oct. 3 to discuss the remaining claims. In a statement in the wake of the ruling, a Fox News spokesperson is emphasizing that at least a portion of the lawsuit remains live:"The Court only rules that a specific portion of TVEyes’ service — its keyword search function — was fair use. The Court expressly said that it required more information to decide whether TVEyes’ other features — including allowing video clips to be archived, downloaded, emailed, and shared via social media — were fair use. To find those features to be fair use would be unprecedented as TVEyes copies and distributes content, as opposed to helping its users find it. Such a ruling would be inconsistent with the Second Circuit’s decision in HathiTrust and Judge Chin’s district court decision in Google Books, as well as the long line of media clipping service cases in the Second Circuit and other circuits that found similar features not to constitute fair use."
Billo The Clown’s persistent campaign to deny #WhitePrivilege [TW: White Privilege, Ethnocentrism, Racism]
Earth to Billo The Clown: White Privilege exists.
Fox News’ Bill O’Reilly has led a sustained campaign to deny the existence of white privilege in America, drawing on his belief that he did not benefit from it growing up and using statistics to claim the existence of “Asian privilege.”
Fox’s O’Reilly On White Privilege: “That’s A Myth.” During the September 8 edition of The O’Reilly Factor, O’Reilly was joined by Fusion’s Jorge Ramos for an interview to be shown in full on America With Jorge Ramos. After Ramos confronted the host about his views on white privilege and whether it played a role in the deaths of Trayvon Martin and Michael Brown, O’Reilly asserted that attributing the teens’ deaths to “the color of their skin” was “not based on facts.” After Ramos claimed that “whites are doing much better than African-Americans,” O’Reilly pointed to successes of Asian-Americans, using his claim to assert that white privilege is a “myth.” [ Fox News, The O’Reilly Factor, 9/8/14]
From the 08.26.2014 edition of FNC’s The O’Reilly Factor:
Right-Wing Media Blames Ray Rice's Victim [TW: Victim Shaming, Victim Blaming, Sexism, Misogyny, Trivialization of Abuse]
Following the release of a new video showing NFL player Ray Rice knocking his then-fiancee Janay Palmer unconscious, many in the right-wing media responded by blaming the victim, focusing on the fact that the two wed after the incident.
Video Emerges Of Baltimore Ravens Player Ray Rice Knocking Then-Fiancee Unconscious
Ray Rice Cut From Ravens After Violent Video Emerges. Baltimore Ravens running back Ray Rice was released from the team after a video was released by TMZ showing him knocking his then-fiancee Janay Palmer unconscious in an elevator:
Running back Ray Rice was released by the Baltimore Ravens and suspended indefinitely by the NFL on Monday, the same day a shocking video surfaced showing the NFL star knocking out his future wife with a punch in February.
The new video shows Rice punching Janay Palmer, who was his fiancee at the time, inside an elevator at a hotel in Atlantic City, New Jersey, seven months ago.
TMZ Sports posted the video Monday showing Rice and Palmer entering an elevator. Inside the elevator, Rice punches Palmer. Palmer lunges after Rice, and then Rice hits her again and she falls to the floor. [CNN, 9/8/14]
Right-Wing Media Immediately Blames The Victim
Fox Contributor Ben Carson: Rice And Wife Both Need Help Because “She Subsequently Married Him.”On NewsMax TV, Ben Carson, a Fox News contributor, implied Rice’s wife was partly to blame for her abuse, saying she also “need[s] some help” for marrying Rice after the attack:
"I’m hopeful they will get some help for him," Carson said, after being asked whether he agreed with the moves today by the team and the league. "I mean, obviously anyone who would do something like that needs some help."
"And let’s not all jump on the bandwagon of demonizing this guy," Carson continued. "He obviously has some real problems, and his wife obviously knows that, because she subsequently married him. So they both need some help. So rather than just jumping on a punitive bandwagon, let’s just see if we can get some help for these people." [Mediaite, 9/8/14]
Fox & Friends: Rice’s Wife Marrying Him Is Like Rihanna Staying With Chris Brown, “Terrible Message.”On the September 8 edition of Fox News’ Fox & Friends, hosts Steve Doocy, Anna Kooiman, and Brian Kilmeade condemned Rice but pointed out that Palmer married the athlete after the incident and compared it to Chris Brown’s beating of Rihanna, saying that was a “terrible message”:
DOOCY: We should also point out after that video — and now you know what happened in there — she still married him. They’re currently married.
KILMEADE: I mean, look at Rihanna went back to —
KOOIMAN: Chris Brown.
KILMEADE: — Yeah, Chris Brown right after and a lot of people thought that was a terrible message. [Fox News, Fox & Friends, 9/8/14]
Rush Limbaugh: Janay Palmer “Did Follow Through, And She Did Marry The Guy Who Knocked Her Out.” On his September 8 radio show, Limbaugh continuously brought up the fact that Janay Palmer married Ray Rice after the incident.
LIMBAUGH: Now the obvious question behind the question. Why did she marry the guy, right? If she got decked like that.
So you ask why did she marry him? You know she went out, they had this joint appearance. She apologized too at his apology presser. What did she apologize for? For getting beat up? Nobody can figure that out. So chomp on that. She did follow through and she did marry the guy who knocked her out in the elevator at Atlantic City. [Premiere Radio Networks, The Rush Limbaugh Show, 9/8/14]
CNN Contributor Ana Navarro: Women Like Rice’s Wife “Need To Love And Respect” Themselves. Ana Navarro, a conservativepolitical contributor to CNN and ABC, expressed shock that Rice’s wife married him after he beat her, saying that while Rice is “disgusting,” women need to “love & respect” themselves:
Woman in video married Ray Rice AFTER he punched & dragged her? RICE IS DISGUSTING. But as women, we need to love & respect ourselves 1st.— Ana Navarro (@ananavarro) September 8, 2014
Fox hosts giggle that NFL player’s abused girlfriend should learn to ‘take the stairs’ [TW: Sexism, Misogyny, Domestic Abuse, Domestic Violence, Trivialization of Abuse]
The hosts of Fox & Friends on Monday turned video of NFL player Ray Rice punching his then-girlfriend unconscious in an elevator into a joke, saying that in the future she should “take the stairs.”
After TMZ released a leaked surveillance video that showed what happened when Rice knocked out the woman inside the elevator, the Fox News hosts asked viewers if a two-game suspension had been appropriate.
“We should also point out, after that video — and now you know what happened in there — she still married him,” host Steve Doocy explained. “They are currently married.”
“Rihanna went back to Chris Brown right after [he assaulted her],” co-host Brian Kilmeade noted. “A lot of people thought that was a terrible message.”
“I think the message is take the stairs,” he added, as co-host Anna Kooiman giggled.
“The message is, when you’re in an elevator, there’s a camera,” Doocy concluded.
Watch the video below from Fox News’s Fox & Friends, broadcast Sept. 8, 2014.
(h/t: Sports Grid)
Is Fox News about to be decimated by a media-monitoring service? Or is the cable news channel attempting to establish exclusive control over its news content and silence its critics? Both questions are being examined in an extremely important copyright lawsuit that could soon be decided on summary judgment.
Is Fox News about to be decimated by a media-monitoring service? Or is the cable news channel attempting to establish exclusive control over its news content and silence its critics? Both questions are being examined in an extremely important copyright lawsuit that could soon be decided on summary judgment.
Last September, we spotlighted how Fox News v. TVEyes had the potential of impacting the future of the news business. At the time, we focused on Fox News’ attempt to use a nearly century-old legal doctrine called “hot news misappropriation” on top of copyright claims to protect itself from a company that records, indexes and then distributes television clips to customers that include the United States Department of Defense, the United Nations, The New York Times, Time Warner Cable and professional sports leagues.
On Tuesday, summary judgment motions from both sides became public (minus redactions), telling the tale of litigation stakes even larger than previously imagined. Just what is this lawsuit about?
According to Fox News, it’s about a digital service that is destroying its considerable investment in news reporting. It’s about a defendant that charges customers a flat fee of $500 a month to watch live streams, view past television programs, download unlimited high-definition video clips and then edit them and share them with others. The availability of unlimited clips in real time happens without copyright notices and in unfair competition with an authorized clip-licensing service, says Fox.
"TVEyes’ subscribers who watch FNC and FBN on TVEyes (not on television) are not included in Fox News’ ratings," says the plaintiff’s memorandum. "Therefore, TVEyes’ service devalues Fox News’ content to Fox News’ affiliates, who will seek lower carriage fees as a result. If this use becomes widespread, the effect would decimate Fox News. Thus, TVEyes’ service substantially diminishes the value of Fox News’ copyrighted programming."
Now, let’s turn to TVEyes, which is mounting a fair use defense in large part by focusing onwho is using its service.
"TVEyes’ clients use the service in various ways to facilitate their research objectives," says the defendant’s memorandum. "For example, journalists use TVEyes to comment on and criticize broadcast news channels (including Fox), often by comparing and contrasting how the major news networks cover particular news events. Government officials and corporations use TVEyes to monitor the accuracy of facts reported by the media so they can make timely corrections when necessary. Political campaigns use TVEyes to monitor political advertising and appearances of candidates in election years. Financial firms use TVEyes to track and archive public statements made about securities by their employees for regulatory compliance. The White House uses TVEyes to evaluate news stories and give feedback to the press corps, including Fox News. Without TVEyes or a service akin to it, there would be no way to effectively accomplish these objectives."
About those journalists…
TVEyes mentions that one of its clients is Media Matters — the George Soros-funded organization that often picks apart inflammatory Fox News segments to feed to other media organizations. Indeed, practically every day, CNN and MSNBC use Fox News clips on evening telecasts. And in Fox News’ own summary judgment motion, it’s noted that TVEyes has entered into license agreements with other content owners (with specific names blacked out).
The defendant believes there’s something rotten happening.
"Cable news shows about the news media’s coverage of the news, and media watchdogs that criticize and expose what they deem bias and misinformation, demonstrate the extent to which news reporting is the subject of legitimate and widespread political debate," continues the defendant’s memorandum. "Denying TVEyes the ability to make excerpts of Fox broadcasts available to subscribers for research — especially for research that results in criticism of Fox — elevates Fox’s rights to exclusive ownership and control over the public’s right to continue to access information and effectively engage in political discourse. There is a public benefit to — and a First Amendment interest in — giving the public the means to carry on this conversation on its own terms."
Fox News counters that the fair use scale tips its own way.
Besides taking shots at CNN and MSNBC for allegedly moving away from covering breaking news and describing the potential irreparable harm to its own news-gathering operation, the plaintiff focuses squarely on what TVEyes — and not its customers — is doing. As a clipping service, TVEyes isn’t transforming the copyrighted content with new purpose, Fox argues, but merely providing a “direct substitute” for Fox News’ use.
The parties argue how Google’s digital scanning of library books fits in. TVEyes says it “adds something new” by transforming broadcasts into data for purposes of substantive research, akin to how scholars might use Google Books. But Fox says that TVEyes is a commercial service with no security measures and is taking more than just snippets.
Under this backdrop, the forthcoming decision in Fox News v. TVEyes will present the latest balance between intellectual property and the First Amendment in the digital age. Here’s Fox News’ full memorandum as well as TVEyes’ memorandum.
"Either Convert Them Or Kill Them": Hannity Turns To Duck Dynasty 's Phil Robertson On Islamic State's Beheadings
Something you’ll see only on GOPTV (aka Fox “News” Channel): Phil Robertson from Duck Dynasty on Hannity to bash Islam while discussing ISIS’S beheadings of journalists.
From the 09.02.2014 edition of FNC’s Hannity:
From the September 2 edition of Fox News’ The Real Story with Gretchen Carlson:
GRETCHEN CARLSON: A sad day for America, right?
K.T. McFARLAND: You bet. And I’m not sure it’s a day that had to happen. You know, the president has stuck his head in the sand. We now have evidence that he’s known about the threat that was mounting, coming, the ability of ISIS to take large areas, be well-funded, be well-armed, and have this jihadist agenda of killing, murdering, raping, crucifying, beheading anybody who gets in their way. Americans, Christians, religious minorities, even other Muslims. And the president stuck his head in the sand, and now we’ve seen two Americans have lost their heads. And this is not where it’s going to be over, Gretchen. That’s what’s so upsetting. There are some 20 other unaccounted-for journalists who have been missing for the last year in Syria and in Iraq. There’s one American — 26-year-old girl who’s an aid worker. We have hundreds, if not thousands, of Americans now in Iraq and doing — in the oil industry, in the energy industry — and doing aid workers and working at hospitals teaching at schools; they’re all vulnerable.
A group of conservative women told Fox News on Tuesday that feminism was dangerous because it had “sexualized” women and made them “afraid to be stay-at-home moms.”
In an appearance on Fox & Friends to promote their new book, “What Women Really Want,” hosts of the Internet video show Politichicks explained to host Anna Kooiman that liberal women were “intolerant.”
“They claim they’re feminists, but what they actually are, they are sexualists,” Politichicks Editor in Chief Ann-Marie Murrell opined. “It has nothing to do with empowering women anymore.”
“We earned the right to vote, we have equality in the workplace,” she continued. “If we don’t, we can fight that on a one-on-one basis. But everything they’re about now is kind of about from the head down. It has nothing to do with women’s brains or their hearts.”
Kooiman suggested that “the left was tolerant as long as you agreed with them 100 percent.”
“Women don’t want to be objectified, and what the feminist movement has successfully done, is really, sexualized women instead of feminizing women,” Politichicks host Dr. Gina Loudon asserted. “So, we’re here with a new brand of feminism, saying drop the shackles of the old feminism. It’s time for women who really want to be women, who want to be feminine, who want to be what God designed them to be.”
“They claim that we put women back into the 50s where women stayed home and took care of their children,” Murrell added. “I say that what they’re doing, they are like cave women waiting for a caveman to bonk them on the head and drag them into the cave by the hair. That’s who they are. They’re the ones putting us back into the stone ages.”
Politichicks host Morgan Brittany argued that feminists had created a stigma that made women ashamed to stay at home with their children.
“And they want less government in their lives,” she remarked. “They want to make their own decisions, they want freedom to choose for their children, their families. That’s what women really want.”
“And they also want real men,” Brittany insisted. “We love real men. We absolutely love them.”
“Stop shaving, men!” Murrell exclaimed.
“We want no more of this feminists politicizing our bodies, and what happens in our bedrooms,” Loudon concluded. “That’s all that the feminist movement has successfully done. And we’re here to battle back, and say we know what women really want.”
Watch the video below from Fox News’ Fox & Friends, broadcast Sept. 2, 2014.