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Latest Featured Reports | Thursday, July 24, 2014
'Green News Report' 7/24/14
  w/ Brad & Desi
Breaking: Storm ravages VA campground; New rules for explosive oil trains; Big win against Big Oil in small Maine town; PLUS: U.S. and Rush Limbaugh lead world in denial...
Previous GNRs: 7/22/14 - 7/17/14 - Archives...
Israeli Attack on UN Shelter Kills At Least 15 in Gaza
The strategy of bombing children, but warning them first, will almost certainly result in years of peace and prosperity for the region...
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Brad speaks with John Wellington Ennis, documentarian and activist, on his newest film and his decade-long fight for election integrity...
What We Do Now
"It took one hour and 57 minutes for the execution to be completed, and Wood was gasping for more than an hour and a half of that time"..."Wood, 55, gasped more than 600 times before he died"...
'Green News Report' 7/22/14
  w/ Brad & Desi
Record wildfires burn the Pacific Northwest; June 2014 was hottest globally on record; EPA blocks Pebble Mine; CA blocks water pollution; PLUS: To cut emmissions, cut the beef...
Previous GNRs: 7/17/14 - 7/15/14 - Archives...
Aborted Statewide 'Recount' Reveals It's a Great Time to Steal an Election in California
In the closest election in state history, even a well-funded candidate couldn't afford to find out if he actually lost...
'I Never Realized Voter ID Fraud Had Not Been Proven'
A Rightwing caller's admission in response to Brad on a radio show in NC underscores unparalleled propaganda power of Fox 'News'...
John Oliver On America's Prison Problems...With Singing Muppets!
HBO's fake news show Last Week Tonight offered smarter (and certainly funnier) coverage than you're likely to see anywhere else...
No, JFK Didn't Steal the 1960 Election From Nixon
Another Zombie Myth that just won't die gets knocked down again...for now...even as its persistence continues to fuel false Republican claims of 'voter fraud' even today...
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Measure calls for Amendment 'to make clear that rights protected by the U.S. Constitution are the rights of natural persons only'...
UK Deputy PM Condemns Israel's 'Deliberate Use of Disproportionate Response'
Nick Clegg calls attacks on Gaza 'collective punishment' that 'incubates next generation of extremists' and 'needs to come to an end'...
'Green News Report' 7/17/14
  w/ Brad & Desi
Australia's RW govt repeals landmark carbon tax; Obama takes action on global warming impacts; Record wildfire season in West; PLUS: California gets tough on water wasters...
Previous GNRs: 7/15/14 - 7/10/14 - Archives...
Koch Brothers' Radical Libertarianism Broke Kansas
More than 100 top GOPers endorse Republican Gov. Sam Brownback's Democratic opponent after tax cuts for the wealthy have busted the extremist Koch Brothers' home state...
Killing Zombie Myths Dead: KPFK 'BradCast'
Brad takes on a bunch of lies this week that just won't die this week -- from e-cigs to Ann Coulter's voter fraud to 'global cooling' to the death penalty to marriage equality in Mississippi and more...
FEDERAL JUDGE FINDS CA DEATH PENALTY VIOLATES U.S. CONSTITUTION
George W. Bush appointee rules state system violates Constitution's ban of 'cruel and unusual punishments'...
'Green News Report' 7/15/14
Divesting from fossil fuels; Germany gives $1b to climate fund; Australia carbon tax repeal; All-electric Formula E racing revs up; PLUS: Climate denier Murdoch...
MO's Democratic Governor Discourages Quitting Smoking
Jay Nixon vetoes bill that would have exempted non-lethal e-cigs from being taxed like dangerous tobacco...
CNBC's Santelli Gets Schooled on CNBC
Fellow CNBCer slams the 'Tea Party' progenitor during on-air shout-fest in the perfect example of why people watch cable 'news' channels -- and why they don't...
GOP Voter Fraud Queen Ann Coulter Urges MS Senate Candidate McDaniel to NOT Pursue Fraud Concerns
Given her well-documented personal history, perhaps she shoulda stayed out of this one?...
'Green News Report' 7/10/14
Debunking the 70's 'global cooling' myth; Anti-science coal nuts in KY; BP oil in Gulf fish; Canada tar sands linked to cancer; PLUS: Pesticide killing birds & bees...
Challenging 'The Nation's Most Restrictive Voter Suppression Law': KPFK 'BradCast'
Journalist Ari Berman, just out of the federal courtroom in North Carolina, joins Brad to discuss the federal case; Plus MUCH MORE...
NATIONWIDE STUDY FINDS ALMOST NO VOTER FRAUD
Just 10 cases of in-person impersonation in all 50 states since 2000...
VIDEO: 'Rise of the Tea Bags'
Brad interviews American patriots...
'Democracy's Gold Standard'
Hand-marked, hand-counted ballots...
Brad's Upcoming Appearances
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GOP Voter Registration Fraud Scandal 2012...
VA GOP VOTER REG FRAUDSTER OFF HOOK
Felony charges dropped against VA Republican caught trashing voter registrations before last year's election. Did GOP AG, Prosecutor conflicts of interest play role?...

Criminal GOP Voter Registration Fraud Probe Expanding in VA
State investigators widening criminal probe of man arrested destroying registration forms, said now looking at violations of law by Nathan Sproul's RNC-hired firm...

DOJ PROBE SOUGHT AFTER VA ARREST
Arrest of RNC/Sproul man caught destroying registration forms brings official calls for wider criminal probe from compromised VA AG Cuccinelli and U.S. AG Holder...

Arrest in VA: GOP Voter Reg Scandal Widens
'RNC official' charged on 13 counts, for allegely trashing voter registration forms in a dumpster, worked for Romney consultant, 'fired' GOP operative Nathan Sproul...

ALL TOGETHER: ROVE, SPROUL, KOCHS, RNC
His Super-PAC, his voter registration (fraud) firm & their 'Americans for Prosperity' are all based out of same top RNC legal office in Virginia...

LATimes: RNC's 'Fired' Sproul Working for Repubs in 'as Many as 30 States'
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'Fired' Sproul Group 'Cloned', Still Working for Republicans in At Least 10 States
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FINALLY: FOX ON GOP REG FRAUD SCANDAL
The belated and begrudging coverage by Fox' Eric Shawn includes two different video reports featuring an interview with The BRAD BLOG's Brad Friedman...

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CRIMINAL PROBE LAUNCHED INTO GOP VOTER REGISTRATION FRAUD SCANDAL IN FL
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RICK SCOTT GETS ROLLED IN GOP REGISTRATION FRAUD SCANDAL
Rep. Ted Deutch (D-FL) sends blistering letter to Gov. Rick Scott (R) demanding bi-partisan reg fraud probe in FL; Slams 'shocking and hypocritical' silence, lack of action...

VIDEO: Brad Breaks GOP Reg Fraud Scandal on Hartmann TV
Breaking coverage as the RNC fires their Romney-tied voter registration firm, Strategic Allied Consulting...

RNC FIRES NATIONAL VOTER REGISTRATION FIRM FOR FRAUD
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The Secret Koch Brothers Tapes...


It Takes all Kinds...
By Brad Friedman on 3/6/2005 8:19pm PT  

To be clear, most of the email we receive is extraordinarily kind. (And, while we're at it, apologies to those to whom we are, too frequently these days, unable to reply!) And then on occasion, we get something like this...

FROM: Fred [fmbuschhoff@removed for privacy]
SUBJECT: Closet Rushie?

Call me a wimpy liberal, but you sure sound like you're on Bill O'Reilly's payroll. There's nothing the right would like more than for people to think that people like you respresent the ideas of liberal Democrats. Your articles make Ann Coulter sound like she is both female and intelligent. Of course she does make a lot of money in her role of foul-mouthed cross dresser. Maybe it's just all about money for you too?

Ah, yes...the money...The big bucks we bloggers rake in more than makes up for all the long hours, Fred! We suppose the secret must now be out! That donations button is a big fat cash cow, baby!!! And thanks for giving us another excuse to link to it since O'Reilly was late sending his check again this month! That bastard... (Just kiddin', Bill! Who loves ya, baby?! See ya at the big Loofah Convention next month in Akron!)

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It may set a good example...
By Brad Friedman on 11/3/2004 2:07am PT  

It's incredible to be saying it again four years later, but here we go again.

Fox "News" pulled the rope-a-dope. After laying back all night and calling most of the close states about an hour later than everyone else, they threw one good sucker punch at 12:41am ET. While folks were still, apparently, in line voting in Ohio --- where some some precincts were reported having to stay open to accomodate voters until 1am ET --- Fox called Ohio for Bush. Drudge quickly followed, announcing "BUSH WINS" with siren, and the storyline of the night and the morning papers was set. Before the votes were counted. Just as in 2000.

Though clearly I'm disappointed that my predictions of a decisive Kerry victory and a Democrat Senate majority have not come to pass, I am pleased to see that the Dems have promised this time to make all attempts to ensure that every vote gets counted. I think that's a fine idea for the world's oldest and most important Democracy.

Of note, in 2000, the GOP proved rather unimpressed with the fact that Gore received the majority of the Popular vote, arguing instead that only the Electoral vote mattered.

They were correct in that at the time. Like it or not, the Electoral College is our system. Though I wonder however, with the apparent if majority Popular vote this time, if they may come to regret that ardent 2000 position. Or if, as is their pattern, they'll soon begin claiming the "voice of the people has spoken" and develop their usual case of amnesia to "all that went before".

In 2000, Gore had the popular vote as the moral wind beneath his wings to press forward and request the counting of the ballots in Florida. Today, it seems, Kerry may not have the Popular vote in his favor. But he does have Bush's own disregard for that Popular vote in 2000 beneath his wings which he would be correct to remind folks about as he makes his case to continue until an acccurate Electoral vote can be determined.

Additionally, it seems a reminder is in order that it was the Bush campaign who brought a lawsuit to the Supreme Court to challenge the counting of ballots in Florida. It was not those "litigious Democrats" as they seem to enjoy inferring. Again, with disregard to facts, history, and all of the pesky truths from the Reality-Based World.

I'll need more time, of course, to make full sense of exactly what happened in America today, as it seems to me there's much more of this story still to come. Clearly, no matter what the final results, they are a good deal short of what I had hoped for and expected.

In short, however, if the numbers hold up, and if indeed Kerry loses, it will have been a sad, yet stark victory of Hate and Fear over Hope and Courage.

And at the shameful and dirty heart of it all...a case of good old fashioned American homophobia that will have won the day.

More details on that...and everything else, no doubt...in the days to come...after a few hours sleep.

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'Hannity & Colmes' Much Closer to Fair and Balanced Tonight!
By Brad Friedman on 11/1/2004 7:47pm PT  

Well, your email paid off! As much, perhaps, as we could hope given that we're dealing with the Republican behemoth that is the Fox "News" Channel. So all in all, a job well done, guys! It pays to make noise and fight for your Democracy.

As originally reported here, the Hannity & Colmes show had announced on Friday that tonight's guests would be:

ON THE RIGHT: Karl Rove, Dick Morris, William Weld
ON THE LEFT: Bill Richardson

By the time tonight's show aired, Morris and Weld on the Right were dumped, and Terry McAuliffe added on the Left. Unfortunately, Jeb Bush (obviously on the Right) was added as well. Yet, on it's face, it appeared to be more "Fair and Balanced" as such:

ON THE RIGHT: Karl Rove, Jeb Bush
ON THE LEFT: Bill Richardson, Terry McAuliffe

Well, that looks more "Fair & Balanced", doesn't it? But here was the actual show breakdown (Right leaning segments bold)

SEGMENT 1: Jeb Bush
SEGMENT 2: Jeb Bush
SEGMENT 3: Bill Richardson
SEGMENT 4: Karl Rove
(Seg 4 Rove interview by Hannity only! Colmes not allowed!)

SEGMENT 5: Terry McAuliffe

Final tally was 3 segments with the Right (one that Hannity had all to himself) and only 2 segments with the Left.

As I've mentioned in the past, my source inside H&C tells me that they have a very difficult time getting the DNC and Kerry campaign to cooperate and give them guests for the show. The theory --- a mostly plausible one --- is that Fox is so far to the Right, the Dems feel they won't get a fair shake when they go on.

I share my sources belief, however, that it's foolish for the Dems to simply write off Fox "News" in the bargain.

Yes, of course they won't get a fair shake on Fox, but it's better to show up and represent as best they can than to allow Fox to overweight with Republicans, or worse, stick someone like Pat Cadell on there and call him a "Democratic Consultant" when he hasn't worked or supported any Democrats since, I believe, Jimmy Carter! Or have Susan Estrich on there --- who worked for Arnold Schwarzenegger! --- and call her a "Democratic Consultant".

Like it or not, more Americans watch Fox these days for political news than anybody else --- and it's not all hard right wingnuts. There are a lot of reasonable, normal, Left-leaning Americans that watch FNC as well! I'm certainly one of them! Frankly because it's not quite as dull as it's competition (who are only slightly less slanted to the Right these days). So it's imperative that Dems show up and at least fight on that turf to try anyway to partially balance Fox's constant imbalance.

If I hear from my source any plausible explanation as to why H&C still managed to skew things to the Right tonight, on Election Eve of all nights --- even though they had a seemingly even number of Democrats to interview --- I'll update this item.

Other than that, I'm without ammunition to defend it. So instead, I'll just leave you with this exchange from the end of the segment tonight with McAuliffe:

MCAULIFFE: Fair and balanced, baby!
HANNITY: Well, we let you on...that's about as fair and balanced as we can get.

I guess it is.

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Show is tonight! Election Eve!
Send Email NOW!!!
By Brad Friedman on 11/1/2004 11:31am PT  

Hannity & Colmes now announcing that Jeb Bush is added to tonight's show!!!

See this article if you haven't already on the stacked deck they're getting ready to present tonight! (So far, 4 from the Right --- now including Rove, Morris and Jeb Bush --- and 1 from the Left!)

colmes@foxnews.com, Comments@foxnews.com, mm-tips@mediamatters.org, mm-actions@mediamatters.org, Write">TheBradBlog@cville.com\">Write those letters!!! Just a few hours left before airtime! Get the word out!

GOOD NEWS UPDATE: Just heard from my source: Terry McAullife now added to show for balance! Your letters are working! Keep it up! You are making a difference!!!

FINAL UPDATE: Victory (mostly)! Final lineup: 2 guests from the Right, 2 from the Left. But H&C managed incredibly to skew it to the right anyway. Click here to read how.

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MEDIA EMERGENCY!!!
Please Read and Take Action!
By Brad Friedman on 10/30/2004 2:12pm PT  

SUNDAY UPDATE: My highly placed source inside H&C tells me your Emails are making a difference! Keep speaking up! Your voice matters! If you Democrat/Liberal/Progressives think it makes sense to simply write Fox off entirely, please see this.

It was announced at the end of Friday's Hannity & Colmes on Fox that their Monday (Election Eve) guests would be:

ON THE RIGHT: Karl Rove, Dick Morris, William Weld (UPDATE!) Jeb Bush just added!!!
ON THE LEFT: Bill Richardson

Obviously, this is anything but "Fair and Balanced" and on the eve of a national Election it's simply outrageous!

I have a highly placed source inside the Hannity & Colmes show who I've sent Email to complain about this, and I received back a similar response to the ones I usually receive from them on the lack of balance on H&C. Namely; the Kerry campaign is simply not as willing to help them by supplying guests as the Bush campaign is. (I wonder why!)

I have tried to explain to my source that it's Fox's and H&C's responsibility to ensure that their show is fair and balanced! Not the responsibility of the Kerry campaign or the DNC to ensure that!

No matter how much the Democrats wish (or do not wish) to supply top-level guests to H&C it is the responsibility of the news organization, and debate show --- which claims to offer "Fair and Balanced" debate from both sides --- to do everything they can to ensure that the American people whom they serve receive an equal representation from both sides!

Last week, for example, Hannity had half-hour one-on-one interviews first with George W. Bush and then again with Dick Cheney. After which, both Hannity and Colmes pointed out that they had invited Kerry and/or Edwards to enjoy the same, to which apparently they declined.

In lieu of Kerry or Edwards then, H&C should have given an equal amount of time to a Democratic representative --- any Democratic representative, if necessary! --- to do at least their best to try and offer balance, even if they were not able to get Kerry or Edwards themselves!

And now, on their Election Eve show, such sorry excuses are simply intolerable! Having three Republican guests --- two of them, Rove and Morris, who will likely be offered segments where no balancing Democrat representative is there to supply balance --- is beyond the pale on the final show before Americans go to the polls!

I've contacted MediaMatters.org about this issue in hopes that they can help make some noise about it. I hope you will do the same, as well as helping to spread this word, and contacting the people at Fox News and the Hannity & Colmes show with your opinions about this outrageous example of attempting to effect the Presidential Election on the nation's most-watched channel for Election news coverage on the night before the Election!

CONTACT...
Sean Hannity: hannity@foxnews.com
Alan Colmes: colmes@foxnews.com

FOX News Channel FOX News Channel:
1-888-369-4762
Comments@foxnews.com

Media Matters:
www.MediaMatters.org
Email

Click here to Email all of the above at once!

UPDATE: If you have any question where Hannity & Colmes --- the show that claims to offer "Fair and Balanced Debate" stands, see the front page of their website right now. Here's a screenshot. Note all three featured stories offered to readers: Interviews with Peggy Noonan (Conservative, Ronald Reagan's speech writer), George W. Bush and Dick Cheney.

We've come to expect this from H&C by now, of course, but their Election Eve coverage is even more outrageous than on most days! And, certainly more important than just any old day of the week!

UPDATE 11/1/04: Hannity & Colmes now announcing that Jeb Bush is added to tonight's show!!!

GOOD NEWS UPDATE 11/1/04: Just heard from my source: Terry McAullife now added to show for balance! Your letters are working! Keep it up! You are making a difference!!!

FINAL UPDATE: Victory (mostly)! Final lineup: 2 guests from the Right, 2 from the Left! But H&C managed, incredibly, to skew it to the Right anyway. Click here to read how.

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Admitting Guilt
By Brad Friedman on 10/19/2004 8:36pm PT  

If you've been following O'Reilly since his recent fall from pretend grace, you've probably noticed the side-effect as his troubles have smacked him back a few yards closer to reality. His once barely veiled dilligent Pro-Bush spin is now entirely out in the open. I guess he figures since everyone in America now knows what he sticks up his ass, why bother hiding who he supports in this election?

The only thing left for him to do is come out and say "I am going to vote for George Bush and will do anything I can to help him win". Other than that, a few minutes listening to his "Radio Factor" or suffering through the TV show make it clear that he's not even trying to hide his bias anymore.

Now that he realizes he will never get the John Kerry interview that only O'Reilly could make himself believe that he was entitled to, he's given up all pretense. Announcing on both radio show and TV today that George W. Bush is now going to win this election. If you listen to O'Reilly, it's now all over but the recounts.

Sure, he still gives lip service to some mythical "fairness" that he'd love us to believe that he and Fox offer, but you can tell that even he knows he's spinning. Next week, he promises, he's going to make up an interview with Kerry in lieu of getting a real one. That's "the most trusted name in news" for ya.

Tonight, he went out of his way to remind Juan Williams (who actually did get an interview with John Kerry) that it was "Fox News" who broke the Bush DUI story in the days prior to the 2000 election. That, he claimed, showed all those Liberal Fox Haters how "faaaaair" FNC really is.

Too bad he's wrong about that too. It was not FNC, but a local Fox Affiliate (who does not work for FNC in NY) who broke the story. He and Brit Hume, however, have been going out of their way to pass off that particular fiction for quite some time.

In non-fiction related O'Reilly news, his evil nemesis, the much funnier-on-purpose Al Franken, once again beat the "Radio Factor" in the latest NY Arbitron radio ratings, as reported by Drudge. That despite No Spin Boy's repeated assertions on the air over the past year about "Stuart Smalley's failed little radio show". Please stop! I'm dizzy from all that No Spinning!

But apparently there's some things even O'Reilly can't spin his way out of. That seems to be his, as of yet, uncontested guilt in the Andrea Mackris Sexual Harrasment case. His silly cries of "extortion" in his pre-emptive suit against her didn't bother to deny any of her charges. And yesterday's "Radio Factor" featured this moment that should haunt him for a while, as caught by the always vigilant Media Matters (audio here):

CALLER: One quick thing. My money's on your side in this unfortunate lawsuit you're going through.

O'REILLY: Well, thank you. I appreciate that.

CALLER: You gotta take Sister Mary Peters with you when you're with single women.

O'REILLY: Listen, I have to say this --- I had to protect my family, this is my fault. I was stupid, and I'm not a victim, but I can't allow certain things to happen. And I appreciate your support, we get thousands of letters, but I'm not --- I am stupid. I am a stupid guy, and every guy listening knows how it is. That we are very stupid at times.

But there comes a time in life where you gotta stand and fight. And I knew these people were gonna do this, I knew they were gonna do everything they could to try to destroy me and the channel. And I just made the decision that I'm just gonna ride it out. And I'm gonna fight 'em, because what's right is right.

Trademark false machismo and bloviation aside...Since he's now all but come out and admitted guilt in the matter, what exactly are the "certain things" he "can't allow" to happen? "What's right is right?" - What the hell is he talking about? He's a married man, with "kids", admitting to making obscene phone calls, while servicing himself with a vibrator, to an underling employee of his. Is he implying that if she'd asked for a few million less, that would have made it all "right"? But since she didn't, he's "gonna fight 'em, because what's right is right?" Apparently so. Just as he forced Fox to file their embarrasing law suit against Franken which was quickly laughed out of court, again he has allowed his over-inflated ego to back him into a No Spin Corner from hell.

But hey, sex scandals with prostitutes didn't seem to hurt tonight's O'Reilly's Fair and Balanced guest Dick Morris, much! Neither did millions in secret gambling losses cause too terribly much shame for Hannity & Colmes' featured weekly guest, William Bennet, just a few minutes later. So perhaps O'Reilly will survive this as well. After all, in the fairy tale Land of Fake Conservatism, "Values" is just a word cynically pulled out every few years to help win elections. Don't make the Red State mistake of thinking these people actually have any.

Perhaps you can fool about 48.9% of the people (MoE 3-4%) all of the time.

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A Fair and Balanced Look at Sexual Harassment charges against Bill O'Reilly
By Brad Friedman on 10/13/2004 2:17pm PT  

Hubris is a funny, yet often predictable, thing. Last February on this blog, I asked:

Any idea what the coming Fall of O'Reilly will be? Live boy? Dead girl? Married to his own mother?

Well, it looks like I was wrong. His downfall is a Live Girl. Looks like there may be several of them at that. I was close anyway.

Though I know that these charges have not yet had their day in court, that never stopped Fox News from covering similarly unsubstantiated charges against their political enemies like Bill Clinton or CBS or others (Kobe Bryant, Michael Jackson etc.) so I see no reason why turnabout isn't fairplay.

To that end, I've been reviewing O'Reilly's pre-emptive complaint filed this morning, and his accusers complaint also filed today. I will be updating you shortly after I've finished reviewing the materials, but for the moment, I'd say things don't look too good for Mr. No Spin. I'll explain why in an follow-up shortly after I've finished my review.

For the moment though, O'Reilly has the upper hand with three hours of national TV and Radio per day on which to make he's case, and he already began to do so at the beginning of his radio show this morning. As well, he has the enormous resources of the Fox News and Newscorp legal team and their friends in the powerful body politic that will undoubtedly use every resource to defend him as long as possible.

To that end, consider this passage from the Plaintiff's complaint which quotes O'Reilly at a dinner meeting:

"If you cross FOX NEWS CHANNEL, it's not just me, it's [FOX President] Roger Ailes who will go after you. I'm the street guy out front making loud noises about the issues, but Ailes operates behind the scenes, strategizes and makes things happen so that one day BAM! The person gets what's coming to them but never sees it coming. Look at Al Franken, one day he's going to get a knock on his door and life as he's known it will change forever. That day will happen, trust me."

During the course of this conversation, Defendant BILL O'REILLY bizarrely rambled further about Al Franken: "Ailes knows very powerful people and this goes all the way to the top." Plaintiff queried: "To the top of what?" Defendant responded: "Top of the country. Just look at who's on the cover of his book [Bush and Cheney], they're watching him and will be for years. [Al Franken's] finished, and he's going to be sorry he ever took FOX NEWS CHANNEL on."

For those just jumping in, further info on Roger Ailes is here. There is reason to believe the quotes above may have been tape recorded, and thus, available soon. More on that later.

In the meantime, as you see above, O'Reilly, Fox and Friends will have a huge PR and Power advantage in this case. I, however, will be looking out for you. Stay tuned as we help you decipher from the facts from the spin.

DEVELOPING...

Related BRAD BLOG Updates on this story:
10/13/04: "Bad Vibrations for Bill O'Reilly"
10/14/04: "O'Reilly - In Our Unresolved Problem Segment..."
10/19/04: "O'Reilly - In the Personal Story Segment Tonight..."
10/20/04: "O'Reilly's Case Gets Weaker: Mackris files additional charges."

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By Brad Friedman on 9/27/2004 2:57pm PT  

While I look forward to his interview with Bush tonight (and for the next three!), I've had a few "No Spin" items spinning on my brain for a few days that I'd like to toss out.

ITEM #1: Last week, on The Factor, O'Reilly attempted to marginalize Air America Radio two days in a row by claiming that they were meaningless and failed because they are currently only carried on "20 affiliates". Never mind that when O'Reilly launched his radio show, he had enough money to actually pay stations to carry his show! But more notably, O'Reilly has a long term grudge with Al Franken, one of the AAR hosts, and can't even manage to say his name on his "no-spin" program, spinning him as "Stuart Smalley" instead of using his real name. So O'Reilly continues to spin his own opinions about Franken and AAR by simply lying about them.

A quick check of the Air America Radio website, would have told O'Reilly that they are on "32 Stations Nationwide" according to the banner headline on the front page of their site. After his statement the first day we could have been generous and called it a mistake. Repeating it verbatim the next day, however, was no mistake. It was just spin.

ITEM #2: For the last several weeks O'Reilly has been going on about James Carville and Paul Begala working with the Kerry Campaign in an unpaid advisory capacity while continuing their role as co-hosts on CNN's Crossfire. While, unlike O'Reilly, neither Carville nor Begala refer to themselves as journalists, but rather as admitted partisans who host the liberal side of a political debate show. At the end of last week O'Reilly huffed at one of his guests who challenged "the bloviator's" claim as disingenous because Fox does virtually nothing but support the Bush campaign. O'Reilly then launched into a challenge asking him to "Name names!" about who does that at Fox, promising he would call them out if they did!

The answer (that the guest didn't have at hand) is Sean Hannity who lent his imprimatur to the Republican National Party by narrating videos for the GOP Convention website. I wrote O'Reilly to name the name, but so far, I haven't noticed any on-air corrections or condemnations for it. You can still hear Hannity at the GOPConvention website right here.

ITEM #3: As you may know, O'Reilly still has his silly on-going "Boycott" of France. Here's a quick snippet on that from O'Reilly's interview with Jon Stewart last week:

STEWART: Do you really believe France is, in any way, worthy of a boycott?

O'REILLY: I do. I think France has really hurt the USA, to be...

STEWART: Really?

O'REILLY: Yes, I do.

STEWART: More than like Saudi Arabia? You would advocate a boycott...

O'REILLY: No, I'm not going to say more than Saudi Arabia. But I'm saying we do a lot...

STEWART: So why not boycott them?

O'REILLY: France is supposed to be our friend.

...And he didn't have anymore to say on the matter as the subject was then changed. But Stewart makes an excellent point there. Why aren't all those ridiculous French Bashers out there calling for a boycott of products from Saudi Arabia --- who is also "supposed to be our friend" --- instead? $1.97 a gallon says you know the answer. Hypocrites.

The spin goes on...

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RNC Day 3
By Brad Friedman on 9/1/2004 8:32pm PT  

FOX News Primetime Convention Speech Coverage

Courtesy of Media Matters

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RNC Day 2
By Brad Friedman on 9/1/2004 12:58pm PT  

FOX News Primetime Convention Speech Coverage

Courtesy of Media Matters

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Ridiculed, Petitioned and Trounced
(Reaping what he's sown?)
By Brad Friedman on 7/20/2004 5:45pm PT  

First he's made to look like a boob in the new documentary, OutFoxed, which outs the Republican Fox News channel and it's Number #1 Republican for what they really are.

Then MoveOn.org collects signatures to send to the FTC to complain about the false and misleading labelling of the Fox news product as "fair and balanced". They use an hysterical clip from OutFoxed to help make their case. (Feel free to join that petition, by the way)

And then comes the news, as reported by Drudge, that O'Reilly's greatest nemesis (one of 'em, anyway) Al Franken trounced po' po' O'Reilly on the radio in New York City. Yes, Al's little-bitty show that "nobody wants to listen to", as so many frightened and silly Right-wingers will tell you, and indeed have posted here, cleaned O'Reilly's clock in the largest market where they actually go head to head.

I guess nobody's looking out for Bill O'Reilly.

ReddIt this story!



A vial of anthrax doesn't look all that bad compared to a nuclear bomb.
By Brad Friedman on 6/13/2004 4:25pm PT  

Ann Coulter makes Bill O'Reilly appear - if only briefly - to not be a hideous person with an evil insidious agenda! Not all that easy to do. But if anyone can, it would be the insipid Ann Coulter.

This sample exchange, and it's "Editor's notes" come courtesy of "Left I..." as taken from the full O'Reilly Factor transcript from May 27, 2004:

O'REILLY: Why has Bush fallen in the polls?

COULTER: Well, I suppose the question is, why isn't he soaring in the polls? He's running against a nitwit, the war is going magnificently well, the economy is picking back up, why isn't he at like 80 percent?

O'REILLY: I've talked to all of our Fox News political analysts. These are not raving liberals, all right, Ann? None of them come close to telling me the war is going magnificently well. What do you know that all of the Fox News military analysts don't know?
...
COULTER: It's pretty darn safe over there.

O'REILLY: Our Fox correspondents in Baghdad won't go out of the hotel. That's not a good sign, Ann.
...
O'REILLY: The weapons of mass destruction fiasco when they couldn't find them.

COULTER: Wait. We have found weapons of mass destruction...

O'REILLY: No we didn't, not to any great extent. [Editor's note - no, not to any extent]

COULTER: That is an important point. We have found weapons of mass destruction. That is something the media is repeatedly lying about. We have not found stockpiles. We found the plants for manufacturing, we found the experiments, we found the room for human experimentation labs. We found lots of weapons of mass destruction. [Editor's note - aside from "plants" and "experiments" not being "weapons of mass destruction," no such "plants" or "experiments" have been found]

ReddIt this story!



By Brad Friedman on 3/10/2004 12:01pm PT  

"I believe privacy is a fundamental right, and that every American should have absolute control over his or her personal information." - George W. Bush, October 2000

Okay. That's nice...But, as Arch Conservative Bill Saffire points out in today's NY Times, last month, John Ashcroft's Justice Department said - as they were subpoenaing the medical records of about 500 women who had had abortions - that medical patients can "no longer possess a reasonable expectation that their histories will remain completely confidential."

Okay. That's not so nice. Not a surprise - from the Ashcroft clan - but not so nice.

Now, I don't have anything in particular that I feel I need to hide, so I've never been one of those folks to get their panties overly bunched about perceived threats of invasions of privacy by the government. But even I can spot hypocrisy a mile away, and I hate it. Even more than foolish government policy.

The hypocrisy I'm talking about here is not Dubya saying one thing before getting elected, and then doing another. We're all well used to that old trick by now (aren't we? See his statements against "Nation Building", standing up to OPEC to keep spiggots open and gas prices down, not using 9/11 for political purposes etc. etc. etc.) - but it's once again, the Right Wing Echo Chamber of "conservative" talk radio and "news" that's really irritating.

How often do we have to listen to Rush and friends and read Drudge and listen to Fox about how poor poor Oxycontin Junkie Rush Limbaugh is being abused by Prosecutors who are seeking his medical records in a criminal investigation?

Oh, the Right is beside themselves with outrage about the treatment of poor Rush. But - to paraphrase our good friend - not hypocritical at all - William "Lucky 7's" Bennet - where's the outrage when it comes to the 500 anonymous women who are not even suspected of breaking any law at all having their medical records seized?

Has anybody heard Hannity going on about that one?

And today then, we learn that Dubya has had some 270 overnight guests in the Whitehouse and at least that many at Camp David. The bulk of them - you guessed it - Fundraisers.

Now, once again, I don't give much of a damn about it. But I do suspect you won't hear a lot about it in the Media. After all, how many years later were they still on about Clinton's fundraising pals despoiling the Lincoln Bedroom with their very presence?

Apparently it was Dubya himself that said, again, during the 2000 Election Campaign: "I believe they've moved that sign, `The buck stops here,' from the Oval Office desk to `The buck stops here' on the Lincoln Bedroom. And that's not good for the country."

I'm sure Fair & Balanced will be all over it first thing in the morning.

In happier news though, am I the only one who had a flashback while watching Mary Matalin on last Sunday's Meet the Press, trying desperately to describe how good Bush has been for our country and how bad this Liberal Democrat will be if he's elected?

It was like 1992 all over again, and we all know how well it turned out the last time Mary Matalin was forced to desperately defend her Bush.

ReddIt this story!



By Brad Friedman on 3/4/2004 9:42pm PT  

Fox News Channel's General Manager Roger Ailes announced at a press conference today that, as of this Friday, the all-news cable outlet's primetime news debate program, "Hannity & Colmes", would be officially retitled "Hannity & Christ".

The name change comes after eight full weeks of leading each evening's show with a discussion of the important and breaking news concerning the fact that there is a movie called "The Passion of the Christ" currently playing in movie houses, virtually, across the nation!

"It took a while for us to get our footing there." Ailes said. "For several years we were dallying about with topics of lesser news value at the top of the show, like Americans being killed in foreign lands, or various discussion about the economy, or who might be the next leader of the Free World. Finally though - thanks in no small part to the persistent vision and nose for news of the great Sean Hannity - we've officially gotten our priorities straight."

"Fox News Channel is the most trusted name in news," Hannity told reporters. "If we are to continue to own that title, we must continue to help the average American Family cut through the daily clutter of news and information to understand what is really important to them in their every day life."

When asked for comment on the program's retooling today, Hannity's far Left Socialist Liberal Bleeding-heart Pitbull Adversary, Alan Colmes, came out from under the table where Mr. Hannity was seated, pulled up his pants and informed reporters that "whatever Sean thinks, sounds great to me."

The name change goes into effect officially tomorrow evening, "which will make it a good Friday, indeed!" announced Hannity.

In other completely wholly totally unrelated news, George W. Bush's job approval ratings continue to fall, 2 more servicemen were killed in Iraq, an International Court has ordered a retrial for the only 9/11 figure ever to stand trial due to the U.S. having withheld evidence, anarchy continues in Haiti and the Bush/Cheney Re-election campaign trampled on 3000 dead people in their latest media buy.

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Defeating Fascism, Monotheism, and Insularism.
By Brad Friedman on 2/25/2004 3:17pm PT  

So what's really wrong with America? Take a step into the insular world that is the Conservative Echo Chamber of Talk Radio, Cable News and the Internet and the answer is easy to find?but only if you're actually looking for it.

It is to the shame of America, that most of the millions of folks who listen to Rush and Sean and all the rest of the Talk Radio cabal and who tune in religiously (pun intended) to the FOX News Channel, are NOT looking for what is really wrong with America. They are looking for validation that what they wish to believe is the only right thing for America.

They are looking to affirm their prejudices and cling to their long held intolerance by surrounding themselves in a world of others like them. A world which shuts out all opposing view points, but one which most insidiously of all, creates the fiction that they are actually ?fair and balanced?.

The lengths to which they will go to convince themselves that they have examined all reasonable points of view and have come to the only correct one is astounding. And yet, unless you are actually interested in taking a real look at the many sides of the various issues of societal debate today, you will quickly find the affirmation you are seeking to feel that you are right and everyone else is not only wrong, but ?crazy?, ?whacko? and dead set on the ?destruction of America and all it stands for?.

This is what passes for ?debate? in the Media today.

For example, ?the Left is against keeping our country safe from terrorism? (presumably then, they are actually hoping that Americans will be slaughtered by the thousands), ?they want to destroy the institution of marriage? (presumably then the left is made of entirely Homosexuals who despise Heterosexuality?), and are otherwise ?against the Rule of Law? (presumably then, they want to create an Anarchist state in America.)

For anyone without the desperate need to validate their own hatred and/or shore up their own insupportably weak political positions by finding someone or something to demonize (Saddam, the French, the Gay Community, Trial Lawyers), the statements above are obviously absurd.

But to the desperate Right Wing, clinging to the fading fate of Institutional Bias and Racism, it's not only important to demonize from the get-go, it's important to take the fight to the Left by creating their own set of false assumptions and arguments which are then easily defeated by common sense.

In other words, the argument is framed that ?the Media is nothing more than a mouthpiece for the Liberal Left?. This argument immediately discounts the FACT that more folks listen and watch Rush, Sean, Drudge, Fox and the rest of the clan combined each day than the sum total of those who glance at the ?Liberal? media combined in a full week. (An argument that cannot be debated even if you are foolish enough to buy the straw man assumption in the first place that the rest of the media are ?Liberal? and that the Right Wing Media is just fair and balanced ?opposition view?).

But absurd assumptions are beside the point when you're looking for people to agree with you and join your cause.

Absurd assumptions are where the Conservative Echo chamber starts the day, after receiving Marching Orders about what matters on the Drudge Report, and then they play the rest of it out by arguing one side of a debate that doesn't even exist.

This morning Sean Hannity is at the Richard Nixon Library in Yorba Linda, CA, on his ?Hannitization of America? tour plugging his latest manifesto ?Deliver Us from Evil : Defeating Terrorism, Despotism, and Liberalism?. He's playing to a pack of live foaming-at-the-mouth Right Wingers who break into a frenzied standing ovation after Sean's every sentence. It doesn't matter what he says, they're in favor it!

?Andy Rooney has employed hate speech because he described Pat Robertson as a ?whacko' after Robertson reported that God spoke to him to inform him that Bush would be re-elected in a ?blowout'?. {STANDING OVATION}.

?The Liberal Left wants to destroy the ?Institution of Marriage' in this country!? {STANDING OVATION}

?Democrats don't believe that Business should be able to profit from their hard work in this country!? {STANDING OVATION}

You know the story. It goes on and on. Take a look at Chaplin's classic The Great Dictator (1940) to see how easy it is to rally a crowd seeking a leader who will tell them what they want to believe. Simply create a false premise, argue the one side of it that represents any form of reason, and then add someone like the hapless Alan Colmes to the mix for a few minutes to give the impression that the issue has been debated fairly. Never mind the fact that the real debate has never been put on the table in the first place.

And if all else fails, despite all attempts to the contrary, should the real debate actually show it's face ? as in the issue of the Constitutionality of Gay Marriage ? we can always try and change said Constitution to reflect what we wish to be true. No matter how much it may violate the heretofore Death Worthy Cause of defending that same Constitution.

That's their game, and ? as far as they know ? they are winning. If the debate can be framed as Good versus Evil, who could possibly defend Evil? Who would want to? So as far as they are concerned, they are winning simply because there is nobody in their room, on their air, or on their bookshelves to tell them otherwise.

So the question remains: Are they winning?

They certainly have a lock on the Free Mass Media, dominating Talk Radio, Cable News and the Internet. They will forgo and/or twist their own values without blinking an eye at a moments notice if it keeps one of their own ?in power? (never mind the stuff they used to care about, like Fiscal Responsibility, States Rights, Right to Privacy and Conservative Interpretations of the Constitution that were once held so dear). They will buy enough books to re-affirm what they already believe in order to get the Super Stars of their Fallacious Strawman Debates (Hannity, O'Reilly, Coulter, Ingraham etc.) to the top of the Best Seller Lists.

Winning a non-debate is easy. Who is there to defend the other side of the non-issue? They are counting on this. Appearance is everything.

So will they succeed in foisting their insular little world on the rest of the majority of Americans who actually do believe in Peace, Tolerance, Freedom, Property, Liberty and the Love of Constitution?

I don't know. I suppose we'll find out on November 2nd. They pulled it off once briefly (in 2000) and I suppose the question is whether America will fall for the same trick again.

If the Media is the Message, then the Message, no matter how falsely created and debated, wins the day. The Media is everything and the Right Wing owns it. No matter what you may hear when you tune into FOX NEWS or Rush.

If the people are smarter than to fall for that old trick ? and I have no real reason to believe that they are, even though they were smart enough to fend off the absurd attempted coup during the Clinton Era ? perhaps America can get back on course to become Ronald Reagan's ?Shining city on the hill? again. Though that won't happen if Sean Hannity and his insular, rabid, and determined band of Choir Preachers have anything to say about it.

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