Reidblog [The Reid Report blog]

Think at your own risk.
Monday, July 06, 2009
Blasphemy on Fox! Liz Trotta vs. Caribou Barbie
Watch this completely flummoxed Fox News anchor try to steer commentator Liz Trotta back onto the winger reservation as she calles Sarah Palin "inarticulare," "undereducated" and the stuff of which William F. Buckley grave rolling is made:



Ha! The poor Fox guy was literally wringing his hands by the end!

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posted by JReid @ 7:45 PM  
Friday, April 03, 2009
Beckpocalypse now


Glenn Beck, the weeping Mormon with the nasty, highly public hemorrhoid problem, who hates 9/11 families and Hurricane Katrina survivors (but loves his country! sniiffle!!!) and who spends most of his time predicting that Barack Obama will bring on the Apocalypse, has a hit show on Fox News. Go figure! (Just how many survivalist crazy people ARE there in this country??? ... from the Fox ratings, I'd say about 2.5 million or so...)

The NYTimes profiles Beck, and includes this pretty good summation:

The conservative writer David Frum said Mr. Beck’s success “is a product of the collapse of conservatism as an organized political force, and the rise of conservatism as an alienated cultural sensibility.”

“It’s a show for people who feel they belong to an embattled minority that is disenfranchised and cut off,” he said.

Mr. Beck: we surround you.

Previous:

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posted by JReid @ 10:07 AM  
Friday, January 16, 2009
Yes Virginia, waterboarding IS torture
Eric Holder offers a breath of fresh, non-war crime-filled air during his confirmation hearing:



Meanwhile, the Palinites have given up on reality altogether, clinging to a fictional American hero, Jack Bauer, for comfort in a scary, scary world, especially as their Hollywood crafted mentor takes on a pretend Congress on torture... Perhaps in 2009, someone can tell these poor rubes that "24" is just a television show. On second thought, maybe we shouldn't. The let down might make them crazy...er.

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posted by JReid @ 1:50 AM  
Friday, November 28, 2008
10 Things to be thankful for
Well, the bird has met its demise (even without Sarah Palin looking on,) the tryptophan has kicked in (I overslept and had to do my radio show by phone this morning, but Roland Martin was great! And those two glasses of wine didn't help!) ... and I'm going to make it through Black Friday without having to tramp through a mall (I refuse. Sorry, kids.) So now, since I've been skipping out on my blogging duties of late, here are ten things I think we can all be thankful for:

#1. Sarah Palin. She brought so much joy and laughter during the campaign, with her kooky vocab and inability to articulate her thoughts in anything resembling adult English. And she put the nail in John McCain's campaign coffin (sorry if that sounds like an age joke,) ensuring, even if he really couldn't have done so anyway,) that he wouldn't win. Thus, Sarah helped spare the country from four more years of Bush-like policies, along with the spectacle of herself playing a Bizarro World, Hilbilly Princess Di to McCain's doddering Charles. You betcha!

#2. John McCain. When he wandered in front of that camera during the town hall style debate, he made my year. Serioiusly. And by so debasing himself during the campaign, McCain has all but ensured that his rehabilitation will involve helping Barack Obama get much of his domestic agenda through the Senate. Thanks, Grandpa! (And thank Joe the Plumber for us when you see him next. Oh, that's right, you're not gonna see him again, because he's irrelevant.)

#3. Steve Schmidt. What a maroon. See #s 1 and 2 above.

#4. Right wing talk radio. Those of us who already thought you were irrelevant blowhards just weren't getting through until you called the Senator from Illinois a terrorist, Marxist Socialist and America elected him anyway. Thanks guys! By the way, Glenn, are you serious about seceding? If so, let me know what the rest of us can do to help you along.

#5. American voters. Well, 52 percent of them, anyway.

$6. Barack Obama. Yes we did.

#7. Tina Fey. See #1 above.

#8. David Letterman. See #2 above.

#9. Fox News. See #4 above. And what will you do at those press conferences now?

and last, but not least...

#10. George W. Bush. No, seriously. Had he not been such a rotten president, we might not be here, on the brink of positive change. And he's been damned funny to listen to over the last eight years, even as he was screwing up the world.

Oh, wait! One more thing! I'm also thankful for this video. Enjoy!



Happy Thanksgiving!!!

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posted by JReid @ 12:14 PM  
Monday, November 24, 2008
If a tree that nobody really noticed was there is quietly carried out of the forrest...
Oh, sorry, I meant to say Alan Colmes is leaving "Hannity and Colmes."

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posted by JReid @ 11:04 PM  
Wednesday, November 12, 2008
Moose on the loose
Sarah Palin is talking, and talking, and talking ...

To Matt Lauer:



To the rather clothing obsessed, and facially immobile... Greta:



(part 2)



And of course, to God:



Maybe the witch doctor could run her campaign next time?

She's also talking to Larry King:



Has anybody seen my giant hook?

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posted by JReid @ 10:22 AM  
Tuesday, September 23, 2008
Neil Cavuto: idiot
Will Neil Cavuto be forced to walk back from his "lending to minorities caused the housing crisis" gaffe? Recall that on Sept. 18, Neil interviewed California Congressman Xavier Becerra (D-CA) and gave the now standard Republican talking point that the problem isn't Wall Street speculators and investment banks, it's Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac and their insidious practice of lending money to minorities to make them feel like homeowners... Neil? You're up:
CAVUTO: I just wonder, you know, with Congress holding all these hearings -- and you're right, there are a lot of them planned -- does anyone hold hearings on what you guys knew or didn't know or whether -- or whether you were ignorant or not? I mean, does anyone look at -- I know the buck stops with the president -- but at least it stops by you guys. What were you doing?

BECERRA: Well, we were trying to get answers from the administration. Unfortunately, it didn't seem like they were giving us a complete picture of what was going on. We can only know what the administration tells us about their administration of the government. But you're right.

CAVUTO: All right, but let me ask you -- but, Congressman, when -- when you and many of your colleagues were pushing for more minority lending and more expanded lending to folks who heretofore couldn't get mortgages, when you were pushing homeownership --

BECERRA: Neil, who did that?

And later...

CAVUTO: -- I'm just saying, I don't remember a clarion call that said, "Fannie and Freddie are a disaster. Loaning to minorities and risky folks is a disaster."

It would be nice if Cavuto was some sort of lone wolf, but it's actually a rather standard talking point on the right, that the real problem goes back to the days when do-gooders like Andrew Cuomo were running HUD, creating things like the "Community Reinvestment Act" and forcing poor, helpless banks to stop red lining black neighborhoods and denying home loans to qualified black applicants. Poor fools. Little did they realize they'd be left holding the bag for Phil Gramm and John McCain's deregulation of the securities markets.

The truth of the matter is, Fannie and Freddie are a drop in the bucket compared to the Wall Street "banks" that bundled bad mortgages and sold them as derivatives -- bad mortgages that went, not to "poor people" as Larry Kudlow and others charge, or to "minorities" alone, but to millions of perfectly white middle class Americans, and not a few people trying their hand at "house flipping." And the bad mortgages wouldn't have infected the entire system had they not been immediately sold off, chopped up, and turned into lucrative, air-thin derivative securities that were sold at inflated values to make people like Kudlow richer.

But that's too complicated for people like Neil, who like their politics simple, neat, and racist. Oh, and it's also a clever way to argue that the problem wasn't deregulation, it was overregulation...

So will Neil be disciplined by his bosses at Fox? When Sarah Palin gives a press conference...

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posted by JReid @ 10:36 PM  
Monday, August 25, 2008
Griff Jenkins in the sauce
A Fox News reporter gets the business in Denver:




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posted by JReid @ 12:26 PM  
Thursday, July 31, 2008
From the Office of Unhelpful Rappers
Luda bigs up Obama in his mix tape release, and (surprise!) gets smacked down by the communications department...



Of course, Obama was forced to put a whole lotta distance between himself and Cris over his lyrics, which included calling Hillary a "bitch" and saying that McCain belongs in a wheelchair (and that Bush is retarded...) Pat Buchanan should especially enjoy the part about "painting the White House black... So...
"Ludacris is a talented individual but he should be ashamed of these lyrics," said Mr Obama's spokesman Bill Burton.

Of course, that hasn't stopped right wing radio and Fox News from going all apoplectic over the video, and this should do wonders for the Bill-O/Ludacris feud.

The right particularly enjoys reminding us that Obama has Ludacris' music in his iPod, and met with the rapper to discuss youth issues not long before he announced for president. Oh, here we go...

Honestly, I find the video for the Ludacris song much more offensive than any of the lyrics, which are pretty tame by rap standards. I'd question the artistic merit of booty-shaking hos in a video that's supposed to be about voting, and juxtaposing big asses with presidential candidates just strikes me as, well, kind of high school. Other than that, I thought we would have learned by now that if one wants to support a man who is running for president despite an undercurrent of racial rejectionism in a part of America that is certainly larger than polls suggest, it's probably not a good idea to spout off about "painting the White House black."

Just sayin...

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posted by JReid @ 10:12 AM  
Saturday, July 26, 2008
Eight years younger
How far is Fox News willing to go to help John McCain become president? They're now pulling a stunt that would make the Fidel Castro regime proud: actually de-aging the wizened Republican candidate by using video from his 2000 campaign. Dan Abrams caught it, as Raw Story reports:

Over a "Beat the Press: Fox Anti-Aging Fix" graphic, Abrams urged, "Take a good look at the senator and the video they use." He then showed a clip in which Fox ran http://www.blogger.com/img/gl.link.gifvideo of a strangely youthful and vigorous-looking McCain at a campaign rally to accompany a story about McCain's current campaign schedule. However, the video also prominently features a sign reading "www.mccain2000.com," which at one point is even waved in front of McCain's face.

"Fox is actually using eight year old video to discuss today's activities," Abrams marveled. He concluded cheerfully, "They report -- you decide."



Good work, Fair and Balanced team! Hell, at this point, they're almost as helpful to Republicans as Nancy Pelosi!

Here's the video, from the July 24 edition of "Verdict":




UPDATE: The Wall Street Journal might want to consider using some doctored pics of John McCain to get back in his good graces. Holy dis!
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posted by JReid @ 11:20 AM  
Friday, July 18, 2008
Campaign swings (and misses)
Swift Boat hatchet man Bud Day has another whoopsie on behalf of Camp McCain. He said the following on a campaign conference call:
The Muslims have said either we kneel or they're going to kill us... I don't intend to kneel and I don't advocate to anybody that we kneel, and John doesn't advocate to anybody that we kneel.
Yes ... right ... that'll do, Bud... that'll do...

Meanwhile, can the MSM manipulate poll data to make the presidential race look like a horse race? Yes they can!

Perhaps they're doing it to soothe poor neocon Charles Krauthammer, who, excuse my French, has gone all bitchy and whiny on us in his latest, desperate Obama rant. Take this, Krauthammer!


There, how's that. All better, I bet...

Meanwhile, the GOP once again goes after the Obama who isn't running for president, this time, in Washington State, as the RNC shrugs, calling the attacks on Michell fair game. Team Obama fires back, at John McCain. I wonder: would it be considered fair game to run an ad citing Cindy McCain's contribution to making stolen pill-popping popular among middle aged women? Brit Hume has something to say about that (in perfect, ungarbled English...):
Senator Obama is blaming the news media — and especially FOX News — for Michelle Obama's high negative ratings. Just under 30 percent of those polled had an unfavorable view of Michelle Obama in our last FOX News/Opinion Dynamics poll. A Rasmussen Reports poll last month put her unfavorable rating at 42 percent.

Obama tells Glamour magazine that political spouses should be off-limits. He says the "conservative press — FOX News... went fairly deliberately at her in a pretty systematic way... spouses are civilians. They didn't sign up for this."

Though Obama failed to mention it, his wife has made a number of official campaign stops with him and has even campaigned for him on her own.

Obama then added, "If you start being subjected to rants by Sean Hannity and the like, day in day out, that'll drive up your negatives."

The world's media laughs at John McCain, who will be thoroughly shunned as all the major networks caravan behind Barack Obama on his upcoming overseas tour. Foreign leaders are being careful not to look to cozy with Obama, though since George W. Bush has already begun implementing much of his foreign policy, he's kind of already president... Meanwhile the McCain compaign carries out a preempting oppo research strike. Politico has Obama's meeting list. Brit Hume has something to say about that, too:

On his upcoming overseas trip, Barack Obama will be met along the way by the anchors of the three network evening newscasts. About 200 other journalists have also asked to join Obama during his trip.

But Howard Kurtz of The Washington Post reports that John McCain has taken three foreign trips in the past four months — all unaccompanied by a single network anchor and with little fanfare. The Tyndall Report, which monitors news coverage, says that since June the nightly newscasts on the three networks spent a combined 114 minutes covering Obama while devoting just 48 minutes to McCain.

Hume and Kurtz fail to mention that the McCain camp never made the ask of the networks. Don't hate on Team Obama because they were sharp enough to do so ...

Over at Market Watch, a lone voice sticks up for the New Yorker.
The magazine is sticking its finger in the eye of every bigot who hates the Obamas because they're African-Americans, every racist who seeks to polarize the electorate and every ignoramus who mistrusts the senator from Illinois without examining his record and background.

Something else is going on here as well. This criticism centers on conservatives' strong dislike -- "hatred" is such a nasty word, no? -- of both Obama and the New Yorker, two of the most visible and successful symbols of liberal America. While there was also carping in some liberal quarters, the most vocal anger seemed to come from the other side.

The liberals' opponents are jumping on the bandwagon partly in the hope of making the New Yorker look bad (i.e. unpatriotic). The magazine has written many stories blasting the Bush administration's policies, especially its handling of Iraq.
Last but not least, pollster John Zogby isn't content to sock it to the McCain campaign with shock polls showing Obama winning in pretty much every swing state except Florida. Now, he plays the veepstakes, and contemplates the unthinkable: a double-brotha ticket:
If Obama were to choose Powell, 42% of likely voters nationwide said it would make them more likely to support the Democratic candidate - as did 42% of Democrats and 43% of political independents. The Zogby International telephone poll of 1,039 likely voters nationwide was conducted July 9-13, 2008, and asked respondents how the selection of certain vice presidential candidates would affect their likelihood to vote for the two leading presidential candidates. It carries a margin of error of +/- 3.1 percentage points.
Watch right wing heads exploding everywhere... oh God, there go some Democratic head explosions in West Virginia! Zogby provides the doubters with a helpful table:

Likelihood to vote for Barack Obama if he chooses ... as his Vice President


Likely Voters

Democrats

Independents


More Likely

Less Likely

More Likely

Less Likely

More Likely

Less Likely

Colin Powell

42%

10%

42%

12%

43%

9%

Hillary Clinton

30%

25%

47%

15%

33%

26%

Bill Richardson

15%

10%

9%

13%

12%

9%

Joe Biden

11%

16%

6%

22%

11%

13%

Kathleen Sebelius

7%

11%

10%

11%

7%

9%

Tim Kaine

7%

11%

8%

10%

8%

8%

Evan Bayh

6%

12%

9%

9%

7%

9%










What? Not much help from "Bayh Bayh Bayh"? Meanqhile, the pollster says McCain's best bets are Mitt Romney and Mike Huckabee. Now I think that Romney will ultimately be the running mate (supporting evidence here), no matter how much Mac may still secretly hate his guts, but me thinks the pollster doth miss name recognition too much. Not that name recog doesn't count in a veep selection. Just sayin. I doubt that the respondents to the poll really sat down and thought about the idea of TWO black men running together for president.

Anyway, just to be fair, here's the GOP chart:

Likelihood to vote for John McCain if he chooses ... as his Vice President


Likely Voters

Republicans

Independents


More Likely

Less Likely

More Likely

Less Likely

More Likely

Less Likely

Mike Huckabee

27%

13%

40%

11%

29%

14%

Mitt Romney

26%

11%

41%

8%

30%

13%

Joe Lieberman

20%

17%

26%

16%

20%

22%

Charlie Crist

5%

10%

8%

12%

5%

9%

Bobby Jindal

5%

9%

7%

9%

6%

9%

Tim Pawlenty

3%

8%

3%

5%

1%

7%

Mark Sanford

3%

9%

3%

9%

2%

10%















And would ya look at Miss Charlie, getting 5 percent!
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posted by JReid @ 1:45 PM  
Thursday, July 10, 2008
The Jesse and Al show
Reverends Jesse Jackson and Al Sharpton have been reeeeeal quiet during this presidential campaign, possibly not wanting to throw Barack Obama off of his message of newness. Well, this morning, thanks to Jesse's verbal slip-up, they're back! Both men were on MSNBC this morning attempting to explain, mitigage and distance themselves from, Jesse's "cut of his nuts" gaffe on Fox. (FNC must just be killing themselves with laughs, watching MSNBC, their arch nemesis, forced to play video credited to "The O'Reilly Factor" over, and over, and over again...) Jackson is obviously worried about his legacy, and scrambling to associate himself with a candidate who so far, has had few dealings with him (though Jackson's son is a different story.)

On this morning's First Read, Chuck Todd comments on the Jackson gift that keeps on giving:
Obviously, this fight is helpful for Obama among white voters who have never been comfortable with how Jackson practices identity politics. Also, the news helped bury the FISA story, which was creating some minor headaches for Obama. A few other things we’ve learned from this episode. One, Jesse's nervous about his own standing in the black political community, which is why he worked so hard to get ahead of this story. (After all, if Bill Clinton can become persona non grata with blacks for attacking Obama, so too can Jesse.) Two, there's a generational divide inside the black community on this debate over the government’s role in lifting up blacks vs. personal responsibility. Here's a booking challenge to folks: Go ask Bill Cosby to pick sides in this debate.
Yeah, good luck with that.

Meanwhile, it was only a matter of time before Jackson, who apparently was miffed at Barack for challenging black fathers, got tagged for his 'baby mama drama..."
...Obama's recent comments about Black fathers not abandoning their children and accepting moral responsibility in our lives is a lesson you apparently needed to learn when you were younger. If you had, it may not have caused you to cheat on your wife and father a child out of wedlock with a former staffer.

Maybe that's what really bothered you about Obama's message to the church that Black fathers should be responsible for their children; you certainly haven't been.

Living in Los Angeles I have watched your ten year old daughter Ashley Laverne Jackson grow up. Over the years I have had the pleasure to spend several holidays with your daughter including Christmas, her birthday parties and other milestones in her life. I will never turn my back on Ashley her mom and their family. It's about providing friendship, support and love to them while you have been missing in action.

Your daughter has never traveled or taken a trip with you, you have an annual birthday party in Beverly Hills every year where your entire family is welcome but your youngest child has only attended it once. She has had very little contact with her siblings and has never even met her big brother Congressman Jesse Jackson Jr, who apparently doesn't want anything to do with her. And allegedly (I believe it to be true ), he was the one to leak the scandal to the media concerning your affair. Now don't get me wrong, Obama is not above reproach. He is a politician and is fair game to be fairly criticized by you or anyone else. But to personally attack Obama is crossing the line. Obama is not talking down to Black people; he wants you and other dead beat dads to spend time and care for your children properly. The destruction of the Black family and absentee fathers is a major problem in our community.

It's a problem that King spoke out and fought against. 40 years after King's murder I can see why King didn't trust you.
Yikes! And yes, the writer of that broadside, Najee Ali, hit Jackson on the King's blood smeared on his shirt 40 years ago, too. It's not going to be fun being Jesse for the next little while... Al, meanwhile, seems really starved for stuff to do.

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posted by JReid @ 10:43 AM  
Tuesday, July 08, 2008
What's with all the Clintonites and Fox News?
First it was icky Dick Morris, then Lanny Davis, and now ... Mr. Mean himself, Howard Wolfson will join his counterpart in evildom, Karl Rove, as a Fox News analyst. Well, Hillary did say Fox was the fairest of them all ...
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posted by JReid @ 8:48 PM  
Saturday, May 17, 2008
Fox News scrapes the bottom of the barrel ... again
Yet another reason to dismiss Fox News from the ranks of serious journalism: this afternoon, I was scanning through the cable channels for updates on Sen. Ted Kennedy's hospitalization. I happened to pause on Fox News Channel, and caught a few minutes of their coverage. Only on Fox would the news be about politicial reactions the Senator's hospitalization (they were about to introduce Trent Lott), but the crawl be about ... you guessed it ... Chappaquiddick. The right is so dispicable, so callous, that's all they can think of when they think of Ted Kennedy, and they feel the need to remind their idiot minions about it at every opportunity, lest one of the flock break out of the pen and grow a mind of their own.

Fox News staff: you should be embarrased. Of course, if you were capable of embarassment, you wouldn't be working at Fox News...

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posted by JReid @ 10:07 PM  
Thursday, April 17, 2008
Stephanopoulos comes to his own defense
George says, "why no, I'm not carrying water for Sean Hannity OR Hillary ...that WAS water, wasn't it guys...?"
Amid a storm of criticism that Wednesday’s Democratic presidential debate focused too heavily on “gotcha” questions and not enough on substance, ABC News’ George Stephanopoulos defended his decision to ask Illinois Sen. Barack Obama about his relationship with former political radical William Ayers. Stephanopoulos denied he’d been spoon fed the question by Fox News host Sean Hannity.

“We have been researching this for a while,” Stephanopoulos said in a phone interview from New York. ABC News political correspondent Jake Tapper, he said, had blogged about the issue April 10, after it was first reported by Politico, the political news website. “Part of what we discovered is that Sen. Obama had never been asked directly about it, even though it’s being written about and talked about and Republicans are signaling that this is gonna be an issue in the general election.” ...

... Stephanopoulos dismissed the idea that he was doing Hannity’s bidding.

“The questions we asked were tough and fair and appropriate and relevant and what you would expect to be asked in a presidential debate at this point,” he said. “The questions we asked…are being debated around the political world every day.”

By this morning, more than 14,000 viewer comments had been posted on the ABC News website, the overwhelming majority critical of the debate moderators, who spent most of the first hour on what Stephanopoulous called “electability questions.”

“The way we thought about it was, it made sense to hit the electability questions first, then move on,” he said. “I can see where reasonable people would differ with that.”

Well, so long as it's just reasonable people...

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posted by JReid @ 3:44 PM  
Have a beer with Steve Doocy's son!
ABC News isn't the only network getting secret face time for Fox News spawn. MSNBC apparently got into the act, though perhaps by accident, when Steve Doocy's boy made the clip that Chris Matthews and Company just can't stop playing...

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posted by JReid @ 3:34 PM  
Tuesday, November 13, 2007
Rudy TV
It's been clear for some time to anyone who has been paying attention that the Fox News Channel is carefully migrating its operations from full bore support for any word or policy that emanates from the person of George W. Bush, to equally manic support for Rudy Giuliani, the friend and candidate of Fox chief Roger Ailes (have I mentioned that Ailes golfs with Tim Russert lately...?) Now, apparently, there's proof that the collusion is more than just extra air time with chief fundraiser Sean Hannity. From Bloomberg:

Nov. 13 (Bloomberg) -- Judith Regan, who was fired last year from News Corp.'s HarperCollins unit, sued the companies, claiming to be the victim of a ``deliberate smear campaign'' aimed at protecting presidential candidate Rudolph Giuliani.

Regan, former president of HarperCollins' ReganBooks division, seeks at least $100 million in damages in a complaint filed today in state Supreme Court in New York. Regan claims in her complaint that News Corp. tried to destroy her reputation because she has information about former New York City Police Commissioner Bernard Kerik that would be harmful to ex-New York Mayor Giuliani and his presidential campaign.

``The smear campaign was necessary to advance News Corp.'s political agenda, which has long centered on protecting Rudy Giuliani's presidential ambitions,'' Regan said in the complaint.

Regan, who published Kerik's autobiography ``The Lost Son,'' was fired from HarperCollins in December 2006 after she backed O.J. Simpson's book, ``If I Did It.'' In the book, Simpson described how he could have killed his ex-wife Nicole Brown Simpson and her friend Ronald Goldman. ...
Regan had a sexual affair with Bernie Kerik around the time he was being offered up, at Rudy's behest, as chief of "Homeland Security" (doesn't that name just make you think "Der Fuhrer...?") Anyhoo, it's the NYTimes' scoop, so let's let them pick it up from there:


In the civil complaint filed in State Supreme Court in Manhattan, Ms. Regan says the company has long sought to promote Mr. Giuliani’s ambitions. But the lawsuit does not elaborate on that charge, identify the executive who she says pressured her to mislead investigators, or offer details to support her claim. ...

... Ms. Regan had an affair with Mr. Kerik, who is married, beginning in the spring of 2001, when her imprint, ReganBooks, began work on his memoir, “The Lost Son.” In December 2004, after the relationship had ended and shortly after Mr. Kerik’s homeland security nomination fell apart, newspapers reported that the two had carried on the affair at an apartment near ground zero that had been donated as a haven for rescue and recovery workers.

Mr. Kerik claimed in 2004 that he had withdrawn his nomination because of problems with the hiring of a nanny. He was indicted last week on federal tax fraud and other charges.

“Defendants were well aware that Regan had a personal relationship with Kerik,” the complaint says. “In fact, a senior executive in the News Corporation organization told Regan that he believed she had information about Kerik that, if disclosed, would harm Giuliani’s presidential campaign. This executive advised Regan to lie to, and to withhold information from, investigators concerning Kerik.”

One of Ms. Regan’s lawyers, Brian C. Kerr of the firm of Dreier L.L.P., said she had evidence to support her claim that she had been advised to lie to federal investigators who were vetting Mr. Kerik and who might have sought to question her about their romantic involvement. But Mr. Kerr declined to discuss the nature of the evidence.

The lawsuit does not say whether Ms. Regan was, in fact, interviewed as part of the inquiry into Mr. Kerik’s fitness for the federal post, and if she was what she told investigators. ...
I don't know which is more disturbing -- the idea that a senior executive at a purported news outlet would attempt to suborn perjury, or the idea that a purported news outlet has for years been attempting to engineer the presidency of it's top executive's friend. Makes Joe Kennedy seem like an amateur.

Meanwhile, you've got to wonder why the other GOP presidential candidates aren't kicking up a stink about the clearly preferential treatment Rudy is getting from the Republican Network of Record, not to mention going after Rudy for the numerous, creepy scandal points in his dubious resume. Do these guys want to win, or what? To pull a Chris Matthews for a second, where is the fight for the nomination of the Republican Party?



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posted by JReid @ 10:37 PM  
Thursday, August 09, 2007
Fox News by any other name
No one really expects The Drudge Report, or any of its winger accolytes, to deliver the actual news. But this kind of blatant inaccuracy is bad, even for Matt and friends. Today, Drudge linked to his favorite "news" source, champion headline linker and right wing pundit Andrew Breitbart's self-titled link portal. The headline: US public sees news media as biased, inaccurate, uncaring: poll

The story is from AFP, and it goes like this:
More than half of Americans say US news organizations are politically biased, inaccurate, and don't care about the people they report on, a poll published Thursday showed.

And poll respondents who use the Internet as their main source of news -- roughly one quarter of all Americans -- were even harsher with their criticism, the poll conducted by the Pew Research Center said.

More than two-thirds of the Internet users said they felt that news organizations don't care about the people they report on; 59 percent said their reporting was inaccurate; and 64 percent they were politically biased.

More than half -- 53 percent -- of Internet users also faulted the news organizations for "failing to stand up for America".
Sounds like straight reporting, yeah? Well, maybe not.

Heading over to the actual Pew Poll, we find something slightly different.

It turns out that the public as a whole has an overwhelmingly positive view of the news media, with 78% viewing local TV news favorably, 75% feeling the same way about cable TV news, 71% for network news, 78% for daily newspapers and 60% for national newspapers.

As for perceptions of bias, the percentage of Americans saying that the news media as a whole is moral has dropped from 54% to 46% between 1985 and 2007, the percentage saying the media "protects democracy" has dropped from 54% to 44% in that time, with a minority of 36% saying they "hurt democracy" and 20% saying they don't know ... and 66% now saying the media is "highly professional", down from 72% in 1985 and versus just 22% who now say the media are "not professional." Where the Breitbart headline almost sounds coherent is in the areas of factuality and bias: 30% of respondents to the Pew poll said the media "gets the facts straight" versus 53% who say stories are often inaccuate. Back in '85, the numbers were 55% for factuality and 34% for frequent error. That is a problem for the media, which has been subject to various "gotchas" in recent years, from everything from blogswarms to in-house liars like Jayson Blair.

And on the subject of bias, just 31% of respondentss said the media are "careful to avoid bias," versus 55% who called the media politically biased. In 1985, however, those numbers weren't much different: then, 36% said the media were careful to avoid bias, versus 45% who detected bias. In other words, the percentage of doubters, down from 19% to 14%, has declined, and the percentage of those who are certain that the media is out to trick them, has climbed, though the impact on those who consider the media honest is almost within the margin of error.

And what accounts for the increased certainty of bias? According to the poll, two things: the Internet, and Fox News.

Respondents who get most of their news from the 'net scored the highest in the poll in terms of perceiving bias in the news. Both on the left and the right, people who see the media as hopelessly tilted to one political side or another, have in many cases turned to getting most of their news online, sussing out information for themselves rather than relying on the talking heads. These folks tend to be younger, not nursed on the three major networks' nightly news, and highly skeptical of the official story presented by the often lap-dog press (have I revealed too much...?)

According to the Pew analysts:
People who rely on the internet as their main news source express relatively unfavorable opinions of mainstream news sources and are among the most critical of press performance. As many as 38% of those who rely mostly on the internet for news say they have an unfavorable opinion of cable news networks such as CNN, Fox News Channel and MSNBC, compared with 25% of the public overall, and just 17% of television news viewers.

The internet news audience is particularly likely to criticize news organizations for their lack of empathy, their failure to "stand up for America," and political bias. Roughly two-thirds (68%) of those who get most of their news from the internet say that news organizations do not care about the people they report on, and 53% believe that news organizations are too critical of America. By comparison, smaller percentages of the general public fault the press for not caring about people they report on (53%), and being too critical of America (43%).

Indeed. But the even bigger drag on the poll in terms of perceptions of the media is Fox News. It has fed an almost hysterical revulsion for the "mainstream media," from the New York Times to CNN, and has led many Republicans to conclude that they -- and thus, America -- are under seminal attack by the left wing hordes of the press. Say the Pew researchers:
Across every major news source, Democrats offer more favorable assessments than do independents or Republicans. The partisan divide is smallest when it comes to local TV news, which 83% of Democrats rate favorably along with 76% of Republicans. The differences are greatest for major national newspapers, such as the New York Times and Washington Post. Fully 79% of Democrats rate these newspapers favorably compared with just 41% of Republicans, based on those able to rate them.

While Republicans have long been more skeptical than Democrats about major media sources, the magnitude of the difference is a relatively recent phenomenon. In Pew's first measure of media favorability in 1985, there were modest differences of opinion across party lines.
And as for the "Foxified viewers" as described in the poll:
those who cite the Fox News Channel as their primary source of news stand out among the TV news audience for their negative evaluations of news organizations' practices. Fully 63% of Americans who count Fox as their main news source say news stories are often inaccurate – a view held by fewer than half of those who cite CNN (46%) or network news (41%) as their main source.

Similarly, Fox viewers are far more likely to say the press is too critical of America (52% vs. 36% of CNN viewers and 29% of network news viewers). And the Fox News Channel audience gives starkly lower ratings to network news programs and national newspapers such as the New York Times and Washington Post.
And why do Fox viewers feel so put upon?
Politics plays a large part in these assessments – Republicans outnumber Democrats by two-to-one (43% to 21%) among the core Fox News Channel audience, while there are far more Democrats than Republicans among CNN's viewers (43% Democrat, 22% Republican) and network news viewers (41% Democrat, 24% Republican).
It's no wonder Roger Ailes can double as the network head and Rudy Giuliani's principal advisor. More from the poll:
Not surprisingly, the Fox News Channel audience is far more likely to say that news organizations have been unfair in their coverage of George W. Bush (49%) than those who cite CNN (19%) or network news (22%) as their main news source.

Further analysis of the data shows that being a Republican and a Fox viewer are related to negative opinions of the mainstream media. The overlapping impact of these two factors can most clearly be seen in the favorability ratings of network TV news, major national newspapers, and the daily newspapers that respondents are most familiar with. For all three, Republicans who count Fox as their main news source are considerably more critical than Republicans who rely on other sources. For example, fully 71% of Fox News Republicans hold an unfavorable opinion of major national newspapers, compared with 52% of Republicans who use other sources, and 33% of those who are not Republicans.
Of course, none of that makes it into Breitbart's news churner, let alone Drudge's.

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posted by JReid @ 9:42 PM  
Sunday, July 29, 2007
Even the flacks are in hiding
Fox News can't find anyone in the White House or on Capitol Hill to come on Chris Wallace's White House/GOP hour and defend Alberto Gonzales, and Newt Gingrich treats the A.G. like a spoiled, smelly enchilada. Watch and enjoy. (Sigh.) Pobre Albertcito...

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posted by JReid @ 2:04 PM  
Friday, June 15, 2007
Rudy Giuliani: Fox insider

Will the MSM ever examine "Mr 9/11" Rudy Giuliani's actual record as mayor of New York (and his pimping of 9/11), his ties to the nefarious plan to build a NAFTA superhighway, his ties to Venezuela's Citgo and Mexico's Cintra, or his dirty dealings with Bernie Kerik? Only time will tell. One thing's for sure, it's not likely that one network in particular will bother:

Fox News' Pro-Giuliani Conflict of Interest
By Cliff Kincaid
May 22, 2007

Rudy Giuliani's much-publicized but misleading put-down of Ron Paul during the Republican presidential debate should have been tempered by a report that Saudi Arabia, the country that spawned most of the 9/11 hijackers, has been one of Giuliani's lucrative foreign clients. However, Fox News questioners Chris Wallace and Wendell Goler did not bring it up.

Perhaps this can be explained by the fact that the same Associated Press story that named Saudi Arabia as a Giuliani client listed News Corporation, the parent company of Fox News, as another Giuliani client. This AP story, which was not disputed by Giuliani or News Corporation, was carried on the Fox News website.
The AP article in question includes the following brief, but telling reference:

Giuliani's law and lobbying clients have included Saudi Arabia, Rupert Murdoch's News Corp., and chewing tobacco maker UST Inc.
Hm.... which leaves the Post-Chronicle's Kincaid to conclude:

This writer had raised questions about Fox News' co-sponsorship of the debate, based on the fact that the company had a relationship with Giuliani when he was mayor of New York City. But now we know that the relationship has continued into the period of time that Giuliani has been planning a presidential run. It is an obvious conflict of interest.
The conflicts continued after the S.C. debate:

Giuliani was the first Republican candidate to come on Fox News after the debate and talk about his performance. Co-host Sean Hannity wanted to focus on Giuliani's comments on 9/11 and his attack on Paul. Later, Michael Steele, Maryland's former Lieutenant Governor, was on Fox News, declaring that Giuliani had destroyed Ron Paul. "It's done," Steele said of Paul's campaign. It wasn't mentioned that Giuliani had campaigned for Steele when he ran for a Maryland Senate seat.
So much for "fair and balanced."

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posted by JReid @ 8:53 PM  
Wednesday, May 30, 2007
Three for the road
The CBC debate so far has attracted three comers: Kucinich, Gravel and Biden. Should be a barn burner...

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posted by JReid @ 9:16 AM  
Saturday, May 26, 2007
Faux friends
The CBC has some dubious friends -- a handful of nefarious African dictators ... Michael Jackson ... but their latest association takes the cake. In short, why would the Congressional Black Caucus want to get in bed with Fox News?

You've probably noted the fact that the much touted CBC-Fox Democratic presidential candidate debate has been seriously undermined by the withdrawal of the major candidates, starting with John Edwards, and then followed by Barack Obama and Hillary Clinton. Second tier candidates are also either jumping ship or looking shaky -- with the exception of Joe Biden, who wouldn't turn down an invitation to talk in the center stage of Hell. The effort to separate the candidates from the debate, and the CBC from the right wing mouthpiece network, has been spearheaded by the group Color of Change, and for good reason: not only does Fox News carry water for the Republican Party, which itself is an anathema to anything resembling African-Aemrican interests, Fox itself traffics in some of the worst rhetoric about Black people, including employing so-called analysts who liken Barack Obama to a terrorist, and ridicule his church as a cult, and giving credence to the Karl Rovian fairy tales about rampant voter fraud among Black and Brown voters, which of course can only be remedied by putting Bible thumping Bushies in place as U.S. attorneys in swing states...

And yet, the CBC isn't backing down, distributing "talking points" to members and staffers on how to "cast the debate in a positive light" and even sending a letter to the major candidates urging them to reconsider. As Afro-Netizen reveals, by posting both the letter and the signatures, the CBC is clearly not united on the issue. Among those NOT signing the missive are Florida's three Black Congressmen, as well as Maxine Waters, a key leader of the Out of Iraq Coalition. And as the New York Times points out in an article today (same link as above), some of Fox's moves to court Black members of Congress carry the distinct stench of purchase:

By design or not, News Corporation also gained currency among black and Hispanic leaders by helping orchestrate a campaign to increase the participation of minority viewers in the television ratings system, a task it entrusted to a consulting firm with strong ties to Bill and Hillary Rodham Clinton. Mrs. Clinton, in turn, has established a relationship with Rupert Murdoch, the chairman of News Corporation, who, for example, held a fund-raiser for her last year during her Senate re-election campaign. ...

... Despite a fierce debate within the 43-member caucus over whether to sever ties with Fox News, those representing the caucus in its dealings with Fox have thus far held firm. The network itself has apparently urged the caucus to do just that. There was, for example, a meeting for caucus press secretaries attended by representatives of News Corporation and Fox News, where talk turned to how to publicly present the merits of the debate. (Also working in Fox’s favor is that the debate is to be held in Detroit, the home city of Representative Carolyn Cheeks Kirkpatrick, the caucus chairwoman.) ...

...The partnership between Fox News and the caucus began in earnest in 2003, when the news channel responded to the caucus’s request for a broadcast partner for its debates for the 2004 presidential election. (Technically, the caucus was sponsoring the debate through an affiliate group, the Congressional Black Caucus Political Education and Leadership Institute; the use of the institute gives the caucus itself some distance, even though several prominent caucus members are on the institute board.)

Fox’s proposal included broadcasting the debates in prime time, giving the caucus a say in selecting moderators and covering much of the production cost, said one former caucus staff member close to the negotiations.

Months after joining forces with the caucus, Fox News created internships for students at Morgan State University, a black college in Baltimore, in the Congressional district of Representative Elijah E. Cummings, who was then chairman of the caucus.

In June 2003, its political action committee, known as News America-Fox, made a $1,000 contribution to Mr. Cummings’s political committee.

The Fox group later made contributions of at least $1,000 each to other caucus members, including Representatives Sheila Jackson-Lee of Texas, and Gregory W. Meeks and Edolphus Towns of New York. The political arm of the caucus itself received a $5,000 contribution from the Fox group, in May 2006. And on the Web site of its foundation, the caucus lists News Corporation among several dozen corporate sponsors.

Nice. At least Ms. Clinton demonstrated the independence to pull out of the debate, even if she probably did so mostly out of fear of being attacked from the left by Edwards' and Obama's campaigns. Those CBC members still on board with Fox are starting to appear to be purchased, no returns, no exchanges. And as the liberal Koskids point out, some members, like Bennie Thompson, are even lashing out at critics in a manner that's strangely reminiscent of ... well ... Fox News. As James Rucker, president of Color of Change wrote in an op-ed in The Hill this past week:
In his letter to The Hill on May 17, “No CBC member has urged institute to forgo Fox debate,” Rep. Bennie Thompson (D-Miss.) proclaims that there is a “clear consensus” within the Congressional Black Caucus that the CBC Political Education and Leadership Institute should proceed with its plans to co-host presidential debates with Fox. This claim simply doesn’t match up with reality and it’s hard to imagine how Thompson could believe otherwise.

At least 10 CBC members have stated their opposition to the Fox debate deal, either in The Hill or in conversations with our organization. Most, despite our urging, do not want to comment publicly, saying that they prefer to express their concerns in private.

Thompson’s letter appears to be an attempt to undermine the voices of other CBC members. By belittling dissenting opinions as “misperceptions” and “misleading statements,” Thompson communicates to The Hill readers and CBC members that he has the power to speak on behalf of the entire caucus, without challenge, regardless of what has already been said.

It’s unsurprising that some members are reticent to express their disagreement with Thompson and Rep. Carolyn Kilpatrick (D-Mich.), the two members most eager for a Fox partnership. Thompson dug his heels in long ago, and Kilpatrick’s vehement support for the debate is hard to separate from the fact that it would be held in her home district (Detroit), where her son is mayor. It’s clear that challenging the Fox partnership means challenging two powerful leaders in the CBC. With last week’s letter, Thompson made it clearer. …

Thompson describes resistance as coming from “liberal activist groups” concerned primarily about Fox’s “conservative bias.” What he doesn’t mention is that across the country, black community newspapers, columnists, radio hosts and bloggers have expressed outrage that the CBC appears to be — as one CBC member put it — “getting in bed with a racist network.” …
or worse, getting in bed with a right wing cable network for money.

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posted by JReid @ 1:07 PM  
Saturday, March 10, 2007
Update: Fox out of the henhouse and into the doghouse
The John Edwards campaign has done themselves proud in Nevada, and has finally forced the issue of Fox News Channel's Republican bias back into the mainstream. Kudos to them and to the members of the blogosphere who successfully yanked FNC out of the Democratic debate this August in Nevada. Here's the email sent to supporters from Team Edwards (specifically from deputy campaign manager Jonathan Prince):
You may have heard by now that John Edwards was the first candidate to officially say no to the Fox News debate in Nevada -- and because of the hard work of so many grassroots and netroots Democrats, news is breaking tonight that Fox is out.

Fox has already started striking backat John for saying no. (There's a surprise - Fox attacking a Democrat.) Last night, Roger Ailes - the life-long Republican operative who is now Chairman of Fox News Channel - said that any candidate "who believes he can blacklist any news organization is making a terrible mistake" and "is impeding freedom of speech and free press."

And John's not their only target. Tonight Fox News Vice President David Rhodes is telling news organizations not to get involved in the Nevada Democratic Caucus because of "radical fringe" groups - meaning grassroots Democrats (that would be you) - who objected to Fox's long history of spreading Republican propaganda at the expense of Democratic leaders.

The whole right-wing is getting in on the attack; the Drudge Report is blaring the headline: "War! Dems Pull Out of Fox News Debate."

Enough is enough. It's time to send a clear message to Fox News and their allies that their right-wing talking points and temper tantrums won't go unchallenged anymore - when it comes to what Democrats should do in the Democratic primary, we'll decide - no matter what they report:

Fox News has already proven they have no intention of providing "fair and balanced" coverage of any Democrat in this election. [Emphasis added]

In recent weeks they have run blatant lies about Senator Obama's background. And Fox was only too happy to give Ann Coulter a platform to spew more hate a few days after her bigoted attack on Senator Edwards and the gay community.

Now it's time for Democrats to stand together and send a clear message to Roger Ailes, Fox News and all the rest of them: bias isn't balance, but turning tables is fair.

The truth is, Fox News can "report" whatever they want. And when it works for us, we'll deal with them on our terms. But this campaign is about responsibility and accountability, and we need to send the message to Fox that if they want to be the corporate mouthpiece of the Republican Party more than they want to be an impartial news outlet, they shouldn't expect Democrats to play along.
Good for you, Team Edwards.

Meanwhile, the right wing Las Vegas Review Journal blows the whistle on their own brethren, by labeling Fox News Channel, in relation to Democrats, as "their rivals' messenger." So it's okay if we "socialists" characterize Fox as the GOP's messenger from now on? I'm not sure Roger Ailes would appreciate your candor, Vegas. ... Man, these right wingers are stupid...
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posted by JReid @ 6:14 PM  
Sunday, February 18, 2007
Random acts of journalism
Chris Wallace ... wait a minute ... you mean THAT Chris Wallace ?????? actually pauses for a moment from his normal role as Fox News' most skilled pretend neutral journalist, to actually behave like a neutral journalist... debunking the claims of innocence of one Douglas Feith, who insisted on an earlier program that, but of course he never claimed Iraq's Saddam Hussein had an operational link with al-Qaida! When a Fox News host is calling out the neocons, you KNOW the world is slowly coming to an end.

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posted by JReid @ 2:51 PM  
ReidBlog: The Obama Interview
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"I am for enhanced interrogation. I don't believe waterboarding is torture... I'll do it. I'll do it for charity." -- Sean Hannity
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