Fox News sinks to an even more despicable low

Following up on last night’s post about the corporate takeover of American politics, I thought that I’d share this piece of video, taken from the FOX News morning program, Fox and Friends, a few days ago. I think it illustrates pretty clearly just how far the monied interests on the right are willing to go in order to ensure that President Obama does not serve a second term.

I know the Obama administration took some heat in 2009, when senior officials announced their belief that Fox News was not a “legitimate” news organization, but I don’t know how an objective observer could possibly look at that four minutes of video and not come away with any other conclusion… Generally speaking, I’m a supporter of the President, and, by the end of it, even I was thinking that he might be the Antichrist. (Four minutes of that soundtrack could make you think that your own father was conceived at a midnight warlock orgy, in a kiddie pool full of goat blood.)

But, somehow, in spite of the fact that a network must, by law, prove itself to be of “good character” and acting in service of “the public interest”, in order to hold a broadcast license, Fox continues to spread this vile nonsense via the public airwaves.

The folks at Fox and Friends, by the way, were very complimentary toward their producer who made this piece. “Hats off to Chris White, one of the producers on our team,” said the show’s host, Steve Doocy, as the piece came to an end. “He’s been in a small editing room for the past few weeks.” The next day, however, the higher-ups at Fox were throwing said producer under the bus. Bill Shine, executive vice president of programming for Fox News, told Mediate that the piece, “was not authorized at the senior executive level of the network.” (Of course, that doesn’t really undo the fact that it had already aired twice.) And, another spokesperson told the New York Times that Fox News President, Roger Ailes, “was not aware of the video.”

Speaking of Ailes, who got his big break in the Nixon White House, I think it might be helpful to give you a little history… The following comes from Gawker:

…Republican media strategist Roger Ailes launched Fox News Channel in 1996, ostensibly as a “fair and balanced” counterpoint to what he regarded as the liberal establishment media. But according to a remarkable document buried deep within the Richard Nixon Presidential Library, the intellectual forerunner for Fox News was a nakedly partisan 1970 plot by Ailes and other Nixon aides to circumvent the “prejudices of network news” and deliver “pro-administration” stories to heartland television viewers.

The memo—called, simply enough, “A Plan For Putting the GOP on TV News”— is included in a 318-page cache of documents detailing Ailes’ work for both the Nixon and George H.W. Bush administrations that we obtained from the Nixon and Bush presidential libraries. Through his firms REA Productions and Ailes Communications, Inc., Ailes served as paid consultant to both presidents in the 1970s and 1990s, offering detailed and shrewd advice ranging from what ties to wear to how to keep the pressure up on Saddam Hussein in the run-up to the first Gulf War.

The documents—drawn mostly from the papers of Nixon chief of staff and felon H.R. Haldeman and Bush chief of staff John Sununu—reveal Ailes to be a tireless television producer and joyful propagandist…

And, the bad news is, it’s going to get a hell of a lot worse as the election draws nearer.

As much as it pains me to say it, I think the time will come when we look back nostalgically on the day that Glenn Beck announced to the world that Obama had “a deep-seated hatred for white people” as the good-old-days, when Fox still had integrity. I really think we’re about to dive into a cesspool of insanity, the depths of which have previously been unknown to humanity… God help us all…

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  1. Edward
    Posted June 3, 2012 at 11:08 pm | Permalink

    Joseph Goebbels wouldn’t last a day with these guys.

  2. Bob Krzewinski
    Posted June 4, 2012 at 7:08 am | Permalink

    The best quote I heard was that getting all your news from Fox was like getting your news from the town drunk.

  3. EOS
    Posted June 4, 2012 at 7:21 am | Permalink

    Did the piece contain ANY factual inaccuracies? Of course it’s going to get a hell of a lot worse as the election draws nearer – Obama has to run on his record. Fox News still leads all other cable news networks. Even reruns of previously aired O’Reilly shows draw larger audiences than anything on the Communist News Network. Sorry Mark – it’s CNN that is at a historic 20 year low in viewership and with good reason!

  4. Eel
    Posted June 4, 2012 at 7:33 am | Permalink

    Are you suggesting, EOS, that ratings equate to accuracy. Are you saying that because more people watch Fox than CNN that Fox’s truth is more legitimate? If so, you’re more fucking crazy than I thought. Just because people like to watch stupid shit, doesn’t make it true.

    And, yes, Fox should lose its broadcast license.

  5. Posted June 4, 2012 at 8:13 am | Permalink

    Hey, I hate to ruin a good fox bashing, but you can’t take away Fox News right to broadcase because they do not have one. Fox News is on cable, which is not the public airwaves- and not subject to the FCC. The articles linked in the blog reference taking away the license of stations owned by fox in local markets- but these are not part of Fox News.

    That being said, Fox News success with ratings has effectively changed all of cable news. Even Current TV has abandoned their NPR like formart to usher in three hours of talking heads. News is hard to find on any network. Fox, MSNBC, CNN, and their ilk seem to provide entertainment for people who have a passing interest in current events. None of them are unbiased and none of them are going to be driven off the air. Much like abortions or gay sex..if you don’t like it don’t have it. Don’t watch Fox and ignore articles about it. Everyone’s blood pressure will go down. I can’t stomach MSNBC any more then fox. It would be nice if there was honest journalism that didn’t demonize the opposition on either side. Frankly, NPR and comedy central seem to be the best sources for that.

  6. Megan
    Posted June 4, 2012 at 8:16 am | Permalink

    Jon Stewart said it best when he said he was unaware that ratings equaled quality.

    Look at train wrecks and Jersey Shore. Frankly, you take anyone, ANYONE, and put together only their failures with that soundtrack and there you go. Everyone else will know about his successes. Fox and the GOP blow.

  7. Dan
    Posted June 4, 2012 at 8:59 am | Permalink

    They report, you decide. lol

  8. EOS
    Posted June 4, 2012 at 9:31 am | Permalink

    No Eel,
    You got it backwards. Fair, balanced, and accurate leads to increased viewership.

  9. EOS
    Posted June 4, 2012 at 9:48 am | Permalink

    You’ve become so accustomed to biased reporting that no-spin appears to have been spun in comparison. Or, as Bill might say, you’re a bunch of ninnyhammers who’ve become accustomed to the codswallop of feckless journalists.

  10. Anonymous Mike
    Posted June 4, 2012 at 9:52 am | Permalink

    What a dope you are, EOS.

  11. Brainless
    Posted June 4, 2012 at 10:48 am | Permalink

    All cable news networks have incredibly low ratings. Even the dumbest, least-watched broadcast shows have much higher ratings. So, while the Fox 25%-er echo chamber is clearly chugging along, they are chugging along with a tiny little crowd – even among Republicants. Fucktards shut-ins like EOS think Fox is the whole world, though. Ignore it.

  12. Knox
    Posted June 4, 2012 at 4:14 pm | Permalink

    I’m suffering from outrage fatigue.

  13. Mr. X
    Posted June 4, 2012 at 5:00 pm | Permalink

    It’s true that the 20-some Fox affiliates around the country are not Fox News. They do, however, share the same owner, and content often finds its way from one network to the other. As that’s the case, I believe the government, should they want to, would have every right to go after Fox’s broadcast licenses. (They won’t, because of the backlash that would surely ensue, but they’d have a case.) Also, as far as I know, there are laws that dictate what can air on cable, even though it’s not broadcast through our community-owned airwaves. If I wanted to, for instance, I doubt that I could start up a “Donald Trump is plotting to destroy the world for the glorification of Satan” network.

  14. EOS
    Posted June 4, 2012 at 6:57 pm | Permalink

    America was established on the principles of freedom of expression. Intelligent thinkers look at all sides of every issue and choose the side that makes the best argument. Those who know that their point of view can’t stand up against another, would prefer to deny the expression of the other. If that fails, call them names.

  15. Brainless
    Posted June 5, 2012 at 9:28 am | Permalink

    I only call you names because I can’t punch you in the Koch.

  16. Marianne
    Posted June 5, 2012 at 10:35 am | Permalink

    I am failing to see why this particular video is so egregious.

    Mark, you say it’s tripe; but you don’t take any time to refute any of the facts presented in the video.

    It’s true that Fox news is basically trash, just like all the other cable news networks. It’s true that their “rock ’em sock ’em, explosions all around” sports-commentary style is really pretty obnoxious and classless. It’s true that they often spin facts to prove a point(just like every other cable news network). But in this case, they didn’t even have to. Obama’s record is truly bad enough that they didn’t have to lie at all to make him look bad. I just watched the video. They just presented a bunch of facts. Refute them.

    You reactionary anger towards all things that insult your favorite Leader, and immediate characterization of such things being necessarily false on their face, makes you look like a child. (and not a cute, imaginative type of child, but the lord of flies kind). This type of attitude is absolutely, positively why dictators come to power. Because people cease to vet such leaders due to their own personal emotional investments in the “ideals” they “represent” (no matter if the record of such public figures has anything at all to do with such ideals). Coupled with your vague call for others’ opinions/writings/speech to be censored–Jesus, dude. Tyrannical.

  17. BrianB
    Posted June 5, 2012 at 11:14 am | Permalink

    So, eos, you’ve looked at all sides of every issue and determined that fox made the best argument, so you chose them as your source of truth? Your logic is circular and spinning in the opposite direction of reality. News is not an argument over issues, it is a statement of occurrences. If your news source is making arguments over issues, you aren’t getting all sides of anything. You’re getting one side that is telling you how to view the other sides, and you’re buying it because you like the way it sounds.

  18. EOS
    Posted June 5, 2012 at 11:19 am | Permalink

    Actually, I get most of my news from Mark’s blog.

  19. EOS
    Posted June 5, 2012 at 11:21 am | Permalink


    I’ll bet you thought your college professors only told you the straightforward, unbiased truth as well. Just by chance more than 95% support very liberal causes.

  20. EOS
    Posted June 5, 2012 at 11:39 am | Permalink

    I really don’t like Fox news all that much. I think their target audience is conservatives and Tea Party types, but their agenda is to pull them back towards the center. Its a more subtle and much more effective tactic than MSNBC tries through ridicule. I guess the point I want to make is that people should get their information from as many different perspectives as reasonable and make informed choices on the issues. The people who don’t want me posting an opinion that is different from the majority on this blog are the same people who think that Fox News has to be pulled from the air. I think it is a good idea to seek out people with different views and have civil discussions.

  21. BrianB
    Posted June 5, 2012 at 11:59 am | Permalink

    My college professors were mostly conservative, I went to a small religious college, but you would be correct in assuming that they didn’t parrot fox news in the classroom. They knew the difference between a fact and an opinion. They taught me to form an opinion when I had considered all the facts, not to listen to every argument and just pick the argument i liked best. I am aware that different sources have different biases, so I try to filter out sources that show a strong bias one way or the other, to get closer to the truth. You don’t overcome bias by trying to balance it out by considering the opposite extreme. You need to develop a better bullshit detector and take it from there.

  22. Dan
    Posted June 5, 2012 at 12:34 pm | Permalink

    The problem is that Fox News is not “News”, it is opinions and editorials.

    I don’t give a crap if they spew their nonsense, and they have every right to do so, but I don’t think they should be able to call themselves a news organization.

    They are to news, as WWE is to competitive sports.

  23. Eel
    Posted June 5, 2012 at 2:29 pm | Permalink

    “They are to news, as WWE is to competitive sports.”

    Great analogy.

  24. Yelda Snort
    Posted June 5, 2012 at 3:47 pm | Permalink

    EOS, Isaac Asimov asked for me to pass this along to you.

  25. EOS
    Posted June 5, 2012 at 7:04 pm | Permalink

    And where do you fit Rachel Maddow in your analogy? Or Nancy Grace? Or Anderson Cooper? What do you have to say about the fact that NBC sells Obama action figures in its gift shop? The video clip shown is from “Fox and Friends”, which is for entertainment value more than an attempt at hard news. They are not news anchors – they sit on a couch and discuss celebrities and recipes. It’s fluff, just like “Good Morning America” and “The Today Show” on the networks.

    Marianne said it far better than I ever could.

  26. Dan
    Posted June 5, 2012 at 8:38 pm | Permalink


    Of course Maddow et al. Fall in the same category of multimedia op-ed journalism. But she and John Stewart etc don’t purport to be “fair and balanced” or a “no spin zone”. Those are blatant lies

  27. Dan
    Posted June 5, 2012 at 8:42 pm | Permalink

    And Marianne

    You don’t have to outright lie to be disingenuous or biased. They ONLY highlighted what they knew would stir up the tea party base. Nothing at all was in the piece about things the left would be supportive of.

  28. Jim Hurley
    Posted November 4, 2014 at 2:25 am | Permalink

    Anyone here frequent the Meri Lou Murray Recreation Center on Platt and Washtenaw? It’s a county exercise facility I belong to, and until recently, have been happy with. In the treadmill room, there are 12 TVs, previously with CNN, HGTV, ESPN and the Weather Channel all in a cycle. Suddenly a few weeks ago, the 3 TVs tuned to CNN mysteriously were changed to Fox News.

    This decision apparently came from the higher-ups, as the poor staffers at the front desk simply put up a sign which read (I’m paraphrasing), “We cannot change the channels in the treadmill room, please do not ask.”

    Classy. Even if you don’t belong to this gym, but would love to give them a review, stop by

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