Category Archives: Fox “News” Watch

With “#47Traitors,” the netroots find their groove

CNN Center: Capital of obsolete old media?

CNN Center: Capital of obsolete old media?

Last Wednesday, Susie Madrak posted a thought-provoking piece at Crooks and Liars titled: “Dear Media: You Are Not The Gatekeepers Anymore.” Madrak wrote about how the mainstream corporate media, including newspapers and television news, lost all credibility cheerleading and broadcasting Bush administration lies to lead us into the Iraq War, and have their own elitist agenda which includes pathologically attacking Bill and Hillary Clinton, ignoring “the corrosive influence of the Koch network,” and even, in some cases, working hand in hand with the CIA. According to Madrak:

The media is [sic] doing a slow burn, not even over Hillary Clinton specifically, but over our refusal to accept theirs as the only legitimate opinion.

The good news is, our increasing refusal to accept the mainstream corporate media’s elitist group think coincides with a successful streak for the netroots, i.e., grassroots political activists who primarily use the Internet for their activities. In particular, netroots members are using social media, blogs, podcasts and other alternative means increasingly to circumvent the Beltway Blowhards. For example, just last month, Brian Williams at NBC News was taken down by social media users for his Iraq War coverage lies. Shortly thereafter, Bill O’Reilly at Fox News got the netroots treatment, with social media users circulating disclosure after disclosure about O’Reilly’s lies and exaggerations. Likewise, the recent Federal Communications Commission switch to a vote for real Net Neutrality is the result of pressure from millions of Americans, many from the netroots, who filed comments and petitions to the FCC, even at times when mainstream corporate media coverage of Net Neutrality was scant.

The latest example of the increasing power of the netroots is the “#47Traitors” Twitter hashtag that exploded after 47 Republican U.S. Senators sent that unprecedented letter telling the leaders of Iran that an agreement currently being negotiated between the U.S. and Iran over Iran’s nuclear weapons development could be revoked or modified “at any time” in the future by another U.S. President or the Congress. While the Republican Iran letter seems closer to a violation of the Logan Act than outright treason, the “#47Traitors” label (and its offshoot, “#GOPWantsWar“) nevertheless is a brilliant shorthand message for the damage these Republican Senators have done to the United States and the office of the Presidency. Likewise, many of the same netroots members who have used these hashtags also signed onto a “We the People” petition to the White House asking that the Republicans who signed the Iran letter be prosecuted under the Logan Act.

Republicans on a losing streak

Republican Presidential hopeful Scott Walker in London

Republican Presidential hopeful Scott Walker in London

If someone had told you that, in the months after the Republican Party’s historic 2014 Congressional election wins, Republicans would suffer one self-inflicted defeat and embarrassment after another, you might have told that person that he was nuts. But that is exactly what has happened to the Republican Party since last November’s elections. Here are some of the highlights, or more accurately, lowlights:

Anatomy of Rudolph Giuliani’s racist fail

Caricature of authoritarian Rudolph Giuliani

Caricature of authoritarian Rudolph Giuliani

The age of rapid political blowback, helped along by social media sharing, is upon us, and Rudolph Giuliani‘s racist remarks against President Barack Obama are the latest example. Here is a rough timeline of how Giuliani was hoist with his own petard:

Republicans begin new year in extreme ways

Republican House Majority Whip Steve Scalise

Republican House Majority Whip Steve Scalise

Republicans, who won big in last November’s elections, have already trotted out extreme positions, statements and behavior for the new year. If this trend of GOP extremism continues, it could be one of the biggest issues of 2015.

Why conservatives love killer cops

Rally for Michael Brown, Minneapolis, MN

Rally for Michael Brown, Minneapolis, MN

Two months ago, we heard from Democratic framing and messaging guru George Lakoff, who reminded us about his “Strict Father” model for conservatives. This Strict Father mindset, which idolizes authoritarian figures who criticize poor people and advocate the use of force, is playing out in conservative and Republican reactions to police violence against blacks, and the resulting protests currently taking place in Ferguson, Missouri, New York City, Berkeley, California and elsewhere. In short, the conservative Strict Father mindset, which encompasses a “Scary Brown People” sub-theme, is a key reason why many conservatives side with cops and others who kill unarmed black men.

After Ferguson, we’re done with the GOP

Protesters for Mike Brown in Ferguson, MO

Protesters for Mike Brown in Ferguson, MO

The shooting of Michael Brown in Ferguson, MO by police officer Darren Wilson may well be a tipping point in American political history. The ensuing Right versus Left war over the narrative in Ferguson made it clear that we cannot reason with conservatives and Republicans. They are so invested in their tribalism and Kool-Aid identity politics (in this case, the Scary Brown People narrative) that, presently, there’s no chance of Republicans working with us to solve any big issues. Accordingly, Democrats and progressives might want to focus on the following three things:

Controlling the narrative in Ferguson

Anonymous "Hands Up, Don't Shoot" protester in Ferguson, MO.

Anonymous “Hands Up, Don’t Shoot” protester in Ferguson, MO.

The news coverage of Michael Brown‘s killing in Ferguson, MO is a classic example of conservatives trying to change the story. The facts are that Ferguson Police officer Darren Wilson shot the unarmed teenager Brown multiple times, seemingly execution style, and killed him. But the Ferguson Police, Fox News and other conservatives are trying to distract us from the facts with various narratives.

Boehner lawsuit against President Obama backfires big time

Sad John Boehner

Sad John Boehner

Last week, Republican House Speaker John Boehner confirmed that he plans to file a lawsuit against President Barack Obama for Obama’s use of executive orders. The reaction to Boehner’s lawsuit threat has been a combination of derision and ridicule for Republicans, and more money for the Democrats.

Cliven Bundy’s problem isn’t racism, it’s hypocrisy


The media frenzy over Cliven Bundy kicked into high gear a little over a week ago, when Bundy gave a “news conference” (see video above) in which he talked about “the negro” now being “on government subsidy” and having “nothing to do”:

They abort their young children, they put their young men in jail because they never learned how to pick cotton. And I’ve often wondered, were they better off as slaves picking cotton, having a family life and doing things, or are they better off under government subsidies?

Affordable Care Act extension could be a political winner for Democrats

House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi celebrates 4th anniversary of Affordable Care Act, 3/23/14.

House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi celebrates 4th anniversary of Affordable Care Act, 3/22/14.

Last night, major media outlets reported that the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services is granting a limited extension of the March 31 deadline to enroll for coverage under the Affordable Care Act for 2014. According to these reports, enrollees who certify that they began the enrollment process by March 31 will be given a brief extension to complete the process.

Predictably, Republicans moved swiftly to attack the ACA extension. For example, on Twitter, many users linked to an early FoxNews” report of the extension, and commented negatively, such as @puristflyfisher, who wrote: “If Obamacare doing so well why more time needed to sign up.”

Aside from the valid reason that this limited Affordable Care Act extension is warranted because of previous difficulties with the healthcare.gov website that has been overwhelmed with 1 million visits this past Monday and over 1.2 million yesterday, the extension could be good politics for the Democrats. Here are some reasons why: