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Fox 'News' Host Blows It Big Time in Trying to Support Bush's Flip-Flop on North Korea
Carl Levin Smiles Knowingly...
By Brad Friedman on 2/20/2007 2:31pm PT  


In case you missed it, this one-minute video is our choice for High-larious Wingnut Highlight of the Week from last Sunday's news shows.

Watch as Chris Wallace comes 'this close' to passing out in confusion after screwing up while trying to differentiate between Bush's latest flip-floppery on North Korea and the much-decried deal Bill Clinton made with them years ago. Of course, the Bushies were against it all before they were for it.

As it rolls, Sen. Carl Levin (D-MI) just looks on, smiling with the satisfaction of knowing he just owned Wallace on live Wingnut TV...

(Note: YouTube has been acting up today, so if it says "Video Not Available" when you try to play it, try again in a minute or so.)

(Thanks Alan Breslauer for the vid!)

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The Bush Administration, its Loyal Supporters and Now Even the Washington Post Help Spread the Demonstrably Misleading Canard
But Why?
By Margie Burns on 2/19/2007 11:05am PT  

*** Special to The BRAD BLOG
*** by Libby/CIA Leak Trial Correspondent Margie Burns

One of the pettiest distortions connected with the CIA leak matter is simple: the flat-footed, bogus claim that Ambassador Joseph Wilson said he was ‘sent’ to Africa by Vice President Cheney.

Wilson did not make the assertion, but White House operatives and their media/think-tank allies continue, even today, to forward the fiction that he did.

This claim – that Wilson went around saying Cheney sent him to Niger – has been recycled by the rightwing echo chamber every time the radar screens registered some political fallout from the CIA leak case (many examples shown below). It has also arisen during testimony in the Libby trial.

However, the MSM (except Fox) have not parroted the same claim – with the interesting exception of NBC, mainly Chris Matthews.

Regrettably, this bogus claim is again given space in Sunday's Washington Post, in an article by the hard Bush partisan and former Reagan Justice Department attorney, Victoria Toensing, called “Trial in Error.”

--- Click here for REST OF STORY!... ---

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'1/2 Hour News Hour' Makes Debut...
By Alan Breslauer on 2/19/2007 2:44am PT  

Guest Blogged by Alan Breslauer

1/2 Hour News Hour, which debuted tonight on Fox News, is not funny (see clip at right). But too few laughs is the least of the problems this Daily Show wannabe brings to the table. Of far greater concern is that 1/2 Hour undermines Fox News far better than even the Daily Show or Colbert Report ever could. Viewed another way, what is the Fox audience supposed to think when a show advertised as comedy that clearly seeks to emulate the satirical Comedy Central shows, delivers a program no different than any Fox News show but for a laugh track?

Instead of Sean Hannity zingers about polar bears and global warming you get 1 liners and skits about polar bears and global warming. Instead of Bill O'Reilly shouting down Hollywood liberals you get 1 liners about Hollywood liberals. And while the Fox News audience is not known for being perceptive, the similarities between Fox comedy and Fox news are not subtle. In fact, the contrived targets, both people and issues, are basically the same.

Perhaps the best illustration of the dilemma is seen in the debut episodes opening "jokes" involving Senator Hillary Clinton. Before 1/2 Hour's debut, Fox News had spent almost every day for 10+ years skewering Hillary to the point that much of the country views her as a cartoonish villain. So, when 1/2 Hour jokes that President Hillary would staff the White House with angry lesbians it's hardly funny. Dick Morris has said essentially the same thing on the O'Reilly Factor more times than I care to remember. And you can basically assume the same problem will arise for every politician and celebrity that 1/2 Hour targets.

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A Look Inside A Fox News Fear Special...Keeping America Terrified...
By Alan Breslauer on 2/6/2007 5:05am PT  

Guest Blogged by Alan Breslauer


Edited down Fox News special, "Radical Islam: Terror In Its Own Words", to show only the comments of host, and mother of eight, E.D. Hill.

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Defending The Rich, The Decadent and The Flaunting Of Wealth
While Chastising The Poor For Making 'Bad Choices'
By Alan Breslauer on 2/4/2007 8:55pm PT  

Guest Blogged by Alan Breslauer


A juxtaposition of Bill O'Reilly's talking points on capitalism and the Super Bowl, from his February 2, 2007 Talking Points, with the word of his God as written in the Bible.

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By Alan Breslauer on 2/1/2007 11:35am PT  

Guest Blogged by Alan Breslauer


Watch this 14 second promo clip and try to determine which side is represented in the Battle for America. Does it have the people's best interest in mind? If not, then who might benefit from this news/advertisement? These are not easy questions but the answer is within the grasp of those willing to put in the work, utilize their education and have decent deductive reasoning skills. Finally, what word that begins with the letter "P" am I thinking of? Good luck.

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Corporations And The Super Rich Versus 'We The People'
By Alan Breslauer on 1/28/2007 4:05pm PT  

Guest Blogged by Alan Breslauer


This Heartland clip is the perfect complement to the extended threaded discussion BRAD BLOG commenter Big Dan has been leading on corporatism and the media. In this short segment, host John Kasich uses the new home of Democratic presidential hopeful John Edwards as the pretext for attacking his two Americas campaign. Surprisingly, Kasich doesn't disagree with Edwards that two Americas exist and even calls Edwards an expert on the subject. The problem, as Kasich sees it, is that Edwards speaks of the great wealth divide when he should use his "sunny disposition" and own experience to "celebrate" all the opportunities afforded Americans. With "some elbow grease and a little ingenuity" even the "John Edwards dream" is possible!***

And that is as simple and clear a delineation of the two sides battling for America that one is likely to get in a 1:37 clip. In the red, white and blue, and incessantly patriotic corner, are Fox News, giant corporations and the super rich that own them. The masses, according to this corner and as articulated by Kasich, should just accept their lot in life without complaint yet remain motivated by the unlikely prospect of striking gold. In the other corner is John Edwards and others not controlled by the vast corporate system that has engulfed society. They are fighting incredible odds to try to revive the principle of equal opportunity for all Americans as well as adopt more equitable economic policies necessary to maintain a healthy democracy.

Which side are you on?

***This is not a guarantee and we make no claim as to the veracity of this statement. By law we are required to state that the odds of this occurring, even with "elbow grease" and "ingenuity," are less than the chances of George W. Bush telling the truth on any subject. This does not minimize the point, however, that the John Edwards dream is real and can happen to you. And that is what America is all about.

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With An Assist From Republicans And Fox News and Some Cheap Shot Gay-Baiting at on Rosie O'Donnell's Expense...
By Alan Breslauer on 1/27/2007 3:26am PT  

Guest Blogged by Alan Breslauer


The Soup's Joel McHale zings Republicans at the beginning of this Fox & Friends clip and then smacks Fox News at the end. Sandwiched in between is some really uncomfortable banter between the three hosts about the birds and the bees and how many roosters it takes, before Brian Kilmeade ends the clip with a crude Rosie O'Donnell smear. Poor Rosie. Fox has swift boated her so often and mercilessly lately that you'd think she was the junior Senator from New York. The clip runs 0:55.

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By Alan Breslauer on 1/23/2007 2:12pm PT  

Guest Blogged by Alan Breslauer


Bill Kristol responds to Shepherd Smith's questions about whether the White House has a "Plan B" by stating, "they're serious about it...they're serious about staying in Iraq and winning and they're serious about being serious about judging whether we are winning. No more happy talk". Kristol seems to believe this is praiseworthy. As for Plan B? You'll have to judge Kristol's response for yourself.

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Shame on Huffington Post for Giving Him a Platform to Do So...
By Brad Friedman on 1/22/2007 11:21pm PT  

Treacherous Republican wordsmith/pollster/spinman Frank Luntz sinks to new depths in pretending to offer "advice" for the Democratic Party in a condescending little screed posted at Huff Po on Sunday.

I'll let you make what you will of the bulk of his self-serving nonsense. But setting aside Luntz's apparent inability --- rather transparently, I'll add, for someone whose business is supposedly language --- to keep himself from using the pejoratively intended "Democrat" when he means "Democratic," I'll focus on only one major point.

For a man who damned well understands the importance of words he sure did manage to drop one huge rhetorical and literal LIE smack-dab into the middle of his editorial. He writes:

Senator Barbara Boxer can't really believe that a single woman without children is totally incapable of feeling emotional loss just because she hasn't had any children in combat, can she? Yet that's exactly what she said to Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice.

Of course, that's not "exactly" what Boxer said to Rice at all. Nor is it even close to what she said. What she said was EXACTLY:

BOXER: Who pays the price? I'm not going to pay a personal price. My kids are too old and my grandchild is too young. You're not going to pay a particular price, as I understand it, with an immediate family. So who pays the price? The American military and their families. And I just want to bring us back to that fact.

Further, Luntz twists his disingenuous knife by adding:

Boxer could have been a constructive opponent. Instead, she chose to poke Rice straight in the eye with a stick sharpened by a crude personal attack. It was a cheap shot that made even the most hardened Washington insiders cringe.

Speaking of "cheap shots", if Luntz doesn't know by now that the phony non-incident he describes as having "made even the most hardened Washington insiders cringe" is little more than the Luntzian creation of White House spokeshole Tony Snow as aided and abetted by both the wingnut media and the NYTimes then he shouldn't be allowed in public, much less on Huff Po.

For the record, we covered the disingenuous brouhaha from the get-go as it sprang from a call we made for a Congress member to ask the White House about the casualty estimates for their Iraq "surge plan" (a Luntzian turn of phrase if we've ever seen one). As it turns out, they didn't bother to make any. Or so Condi claimed during the Senate hearings. (More relevant links to the notable points in our coverage are below.)

Shame on Luntz for purposely misleading readers. Shame on Huffington Post for giving a platform to an out-and-out liar. I don't care how much undeserved "celebrity" the man can claim, nor how much "the other side" should be heard from. If "the other side" is going to simply lie, then there is no reason that anyone, much less Huffington Post, should give them a platform to do so.

UPDATES:

  • To HuffPo's credit, they have cross-posted this blog item.
  • BRAD BLOG Guest Blogger Alan Breslauer calls to our attention one of his blog items from last summer highlighting a video clip of Luntz demonstrating yet more disingenuousness, along with Alan's personal observations of Luntz who was both a professor of his and, apparently, a frat house drinking buddy...

PREVIOUS RELATED BRAD BLOG ARTICLES:

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Colbert: 'If you're an act... then what am I?'
By Brad Friedman on 1/19/2007 9:01am PT  

Sure, these will likely be everywhere today. But for good reason. Colbert hit it out of the park twice yesterday. First when he appeared on O'Reilly's show and then again when O'Reilly appeared on his. Both infinitely worth the watch. And to underscore Colbert's genius, the cover that he shows of O'Reilly's book and the last line of his interview with O'Reilly on his own show. Both nothing less than solid gold...

COLBERT ON O'REILLY'S SHOW

O'REILLY ON COLBERT'S SHOW

(Hat-tip to RAW STORY for the videos.)

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The Once-Great Paper Misrepresents the Facts, Quotes Only Rightwingers and Misrepresents Some of them to Suggest They are 'Liberal'
PLUS: An Invitation to Bill O'Reilly...
By Brad Friedman on 1/13/2007 3:21pm PT  

The New York Times today joins the White House, the disingenuous Rightwing media and blogs, and even several unnamed supposed non-Rightwingers in purposely misconstruing Sen. Barbara Boxer's question to Condi Rice at last Thursday's Senate Foreign Relations Committee hearing on Bush's new policy to escalate troop commitment in Iraq.

I reported on the controversy over the phony Boxer/Rice brouhaha yesterday here, after originally calling on a Congress member to ask the very question that Boxer asked (and which the Times ignored) last Sunday and again after Bush's speech on Wednesday night in the face of his supporting, yet callous, comments on the new policy that "we must expect more Iraqi and American casualties."

If the way in which the Times twisted the facts of the event was unintentional, the only alternative then is that the reporters who covered it, Helene Cooper and Thom Shanker, and the editors who allowed the article to go through, are utterly incapable of even the simplest intelligent analysis of a critical and relevant news event and, frankly, shouldn't be working for a paper as still-important to this country as the New York Times.

Picking up on the phony controversy over the prelude to Boxer's question of whether the White House had "an estimate of the number of casualties we expect from this surge?" --- the stunning answer from the Secretary of State, if she's to be believed, is that no, they did not --- the Times joined Fox "News" and NYPost and the other wingnut outlets in both twisting Boxer's comments and forwarding the unsupported notion that there was some sort of personal slur built into them.

The Times quotes Boxer's "offending" phrase --- one that even Rice admits not being offended at, until after the White House Press Secretary, Tony Snow, suggested the comments were "outrageous" later on --- as follows:

During the Thursday hearing, Ms. Boxer told Ms. Rice: "You’re not going to pay any particular price, as I understand it, with an immediate family."

Wow! The height of personal rudeness! Boxer really smacked down Rice for not being married and having no children! A comment which several suddenly-"feminist" Rightwing outlets characterized as "One Great Leap (Backwards) for Womankind!" just after Snow coincidentally called it a "great leap backward for feminism" in his official response.

Problem is, the way the Times characterized the "controversy" in the graf reposted above leaves out the rest of Boxer's comment and thus takes it completely out of context. Here's what she actually said in the lead-up to her important all-but-ignored question and response from Rice:

BOXER: Who pays the price? I'm not going to pay a personal price. My kids are too old and my grandchild is too young. You're not going to pay a particular price, as I understand it, with an immediate family. So who pays the price? The American military and their families. And I just want to bring us back to that fact.

Even Rice admitted in her comments to the Times that "It didn't actually dawn on me that she was saying, 'you don’t have children who can go to war'."

Of course it didn't actually "dawn on" you, Ms. Rice. Because it didn't actually happen that way.

At least until Tony Snow took the opportunity to brilliantly turn the focus away from both Rice's answer revealing that the White House hadn't bothered to measure the cost in increased deaths to U.S. troops before announcing their new policy ("Senator, I don't think that any of us, uh, have a number. That, of expected casualties.") and from the fact that both Republicans and Democrats alike on the Senate committee were highly critical of the White House escalation plan for the Iraq War.

Snow's comments, of course, were the marching orders to the various Rightwing outlets who were all too happy to twist Boxer's comments in the very same way. They all "reported" the exchange in the same phony context the following day (as I previously described here.)

While attacking the messenger to completely distract from the message is a time-honored and well-expected tactic from this White House and their sycophantic supporters, it continues to be distressing to see the once-great "Paper of Record" irresponsibly pick up that ball and run in the same disingenuous direction. Who needs Judith Miller?

To make matters worse, not only did the Times manage to only quote the mangled "analysis" of "Conservative" blogs and commentators in their coverage of the exchange, they even misrepresented a group which, at the first blush of the Times description of them, would seem indicate that they would have been an ally of Boxer's.

Appearing to defect from support of the Democratic Senator is a group called Project 21. The Times characterized the statement of a member of the group this way...

--- Click here for REST OF STORY!... ---

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By Brad Friedman on 1/10/2007 4:00pm PT  

NOTE: Yes, we know the chyron is from a political debate show. But does anybody have any examples of similarly obnoxious/partisan/unsupported chyrons from Fox saying something like "George W. Bush: War Criminal" or under the former Speaker of the House "Dennis Hasbeen"? If so, we'd love to see them. Versus endless examples like the one above or this crap and this nonsense, or Fox calling Ted Kennedy a "hostile enemy" of America on one of their "news" programs (versus debate) as they did this morning (video).

I understand there is someone --- I think his name is Colmes or something --- who is supposed to represent the other side on that "debate" show. Does he actually show up for work? Does he give a damn that the side he's supposed to represent is so regularly shat upon by the producers of the show which has his name in the title? You probably don't need to answer that...

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No Prob. Just Blame Someone Else...
By Brad Friedman on 1/9/2007 3:13pm PT  


DRUDGE made the usual jerk of himself yesterday by slamming the Dems for taking the day off for a football game, when in reality, it was later revealed by RAW STORY to have been done "in the spirit of bi-partisan" after a request to take the day off from Republican Minority Leader John Boehner.

"Democrats ran to expand the work week in the House to 5 days. But guess how long that lasted? Not even one week!," Drudge breathlessly sniffed beneath his FLASH headline.

The Wingnut 'sphere had a field day with the headline, as they always do when instructed by DRUDGE. Including, of course, the sycophantic losers at Fox "News'" FOX and Friends who yucked it up on cue at the Dems expense all morning, according to this report by Newshounds.

When the truth was later revealed, and with what should have been egg on their face, the Fox "News" phonies this morning predictably played down their error with the usual "some had said," taking no accountability for the fact that the "some" had been them.

Hat-tip for the report, and the video, to Newshounds: "Watching FOX so you don't have to."

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By Brad Friedman on 1/5/2007 1:25pm PT  

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