Demonizing OCW Effort Gets Derailed

Fox News butt plug Eric Bolling inveighs against OCW for being crazy, anti-American Communists and/or anti-Semitic Nazis – take your pick.

With his baseless introductory slander out of the way, Bolling then goes on to trot out a certifiable canard that federal employees make twice as much as their private-sector counterparts.

In this argument, he’s joined by Brian Darling, a senior hack from the Heritage Foundation and Texas congressman Louie Gohmert, who is arguably the dumbest man on planet Earth.

When inadvertently challenged with contradictory facts by Prof. Caroline Heldman, Bolling decides to bail out…

Fox News Trashes the Olympics

An excerpt from today’s “Highs and Lows” segment on the Fox News show Political Grapevine that featured absolutely no “highs” whatsoever and an extensive litany of “lows” about the 2010 Vancouver Olympics — how typically “fair and balanced”…

But then the NYT’s take on the event hasn’t been much better. Imagine instead of a bit of unseasonable weather and some technical glitches if we’d had a terrorist bombing.

Fearmongering & Friends

Speaking this morning on Fox News, barking mad “conservative” radio talk-show host Mike Gallagher proposed that “every known Muslim” in the world (approximately 1.8 billion people) be subjected to an intensified level scrutiny prior to boarding an aircraft using a degrading procedure similar to that employed by the Israeli airline El Al when dealing with Palestinian travellers/suspected terrorists.

This immediately followed a snarky interrogation of DHS Secretary Janet Napolitano on the same program in which she was blamed for the failure of the flight risk assessment system established under the Bush administration because she hadn’t completely re-engineered it since taking office, before being sideswiped by Brian Kilmeade with an irrelevant line of questioning about the repatriation of certain Gitmo detainees to Yemen.

Hannity Busted by Jon Stewart

What a sad comment that a fake news show had to be the one to blow the whistle on another fake news program — that being Fox News’ Hannity, exposing its fraudulent manipulation of images in order to massively inflate the number of teabagging protesters attending Michele Bachman’s recent “house call” on Congress.

Hannity… what a complete douchebag. I wonder if he’ll apologize to his viewers for manipulating them? I wouldn’t hold my breath for that.

Update: Well, surprise, surprise… Hannity apologized tonight for his “inadvertent mistake.”

Dear Rupert…

Alas, poor Rupe!

Michael Taube’s Forlorn Fan Letter to Fox

It’s heartening to know that Stephen Harper’s former speechwriter (now a “public affairs analyst and commentator” — whatever that means) is so deeply concerned about the lowly fortunes of Rupert Murdoch’s Fox News Channel in Canada that he felt compelled to weigh in with some free advice in the pages of the National Post on how the struggling cable news channel could potentially expand its market north of the border.

You see, it’s vitally important that we gain more exposure to Fox because the “majority of Canadians are left-of-centre” and are tragically afflicted with a “nanny state mentality” that persists, “no matter how hard [Conservatives] try to eliminate it.” Furthermore, the positions of Canadians “on issues like the war on terror, environment, health care, crime, and the military” often leave “something to be desired.” Why, the situation is so woefully appalling that even “a fair chunk of Canadians who claim to be conservative really aren’t.” According to Taube, they’re just slightly to the right of your average Swede.

Alas, poor Taube then applies his expertise as an “analyst” to the news-watching habits of Canadian viewers:

My guess is that substantially more Canadians watch CNN and BBC than FOX. There are likely a variety of reasons, including: Perceived political bias, presentation of news coverage, comfort and name recognition, additional cable charges to view FOX, and availability in specific areas.

It’s a reasonable assumption, even though Taube admits he has no actual facts to back it up. As for his “likely” reasons, aside from being highly suspect and supported by nothing but Taube’s imagination, one wonders they were deliberately ordered in that fashion because I think it would be fair to say that if they were prioritized in terms of likelihood, he’s got them precisely backwards. The key reason that Fox’s ratings are low is that it’s not currently included as part of the basic cable packages offered — period.

Can this be improved? Sure, but it’s highly unlikely that the CRTC will be offering FOX on basic cable packages anytime soon.

Um, I could be mistaken here, but aside from requiring the cable companies to have 51% Canadian content and the application of some arcane requirements about “genre protection” and such, the CRTC doesn’t determine which news channels the cable companies decide should be included in the packages they offer. But never mind that minor quibble, I digress.

Let’s return to the thrust of Taube’s mission here, which is to boost the ratings of Fox amongst the benighted viewers of Canuckistan. Having earlier lauded the work of Bill O’Reilly by echoing a stellar review cited in the National Post (go figure) that described him as a “gifted questioner, deceptively so because of his unslick, working-class demeanor,” Taube suggests that he and other Fox personalities “should host an episode or two in Canada.”

It would increase their international exposure, and generate some media publicity. And if they avoid making jokes about Quebec – something comedian Conan O’Brien learned first-hand when he taped some shows in Canada in 2004 – they’ll come out smelling like roses.

Wow. What a terrific idea! Can’t you just imagine the fun? I sure can…

I think sending ignorant right-wing clowns like Billo, Hannity and Beck to do their strident, bellicose shtick in Canada would be massively entertaining. Perhaps while Billo is here, we could even ask him how that national trade boycott of his is coming along… Say, does anyone have a copy of the Toronto Business Review handy?

h/t: Thanks to Olaf for bringing this to my attention.

Meanwhile, in Bizzarro World…

The current recession is the president-elect’s fault, at least that is, according to virulent Obama-hater Sean Hannity and the aptly-named Dick Morris.

This is a now-familiar (and thoroughly discredited) meme being touted by right-wing revanchists like Rush Limbaugh and other luminaries of wingnut talk radio. Media Matters debunks the assertion here in response to the same claim being made by Hannity and Hugh Hewitt last week.