Tag Archive: Fox News

Mar 06 2019

About Damn Time

Up Date 19:30 3/6: Via Raw Story: After the recent reports that Fox News has openly become an extension of President Donald Trump‘s White House, the Democratic National Committee announced it would not partner with the network for any primary debates. Trump responded to the news by saying that he might refuse to go to …

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Mar 04 2019

Fox News All-In For Trump. And?

OMG!!! the media and the internet is all agog over The New Yorker‘s investigative reporter Jane Mayer’s article on how Fox News was all in for Donald Trump in 2016. Rupert Murdoch’s Fox News channel knew about Donald Trump’s illegal hush money payment to a pornographic film actor ahead of the 2016 election but killed …

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Aug 09 2018

No More Dog Whistles

The right wing talking heads are coming out of the closet and showing their true racist colors. Fox News host Laura Ingraham let loose with a racist rant on how immigration and demographic change are ruining America. Poor Laura whined, “the America we loved doesn’t exist anymore.” What Ingraham was really saying is that both …

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Mar 03 2016

Republican Debate #11; Now There Are Four

Tonight is the eleventh Republican debate and, as Matt Taibbi noted , we have a sobriety problem. Only four of the original nineteen candidates will take the stage tonight after retired brain surgeon Ben Carson announced Wednesday that he would not participate since after the Tuesday primaries he saw “no path forward.” He hasn’t formally …

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Jul 17 2013

New DOJ Journalist Rules: For Thee But Not For Me

In the recent embarrassing uproar over Attorney General Eric Holder’s labeling a James Rosen, reporter for Fox News, a co-conspirator in a federal leak probe and issued a secret search warrant for his e-mails, Holder said that Department of Justice rules would be reviewed and revised as needed. The “New Rules” on media policy (pdf) were issued last week. The rules, as Marcy Wheeler at empty wheel points out, will only apply to explicitly to “members of the news media,” not journalists per se.

The definition might permit the exclusion of bloggers and book writers, not to mention publishers like WikiLeaks. [..]

That approach would have several advantages over protecting “the news media.” First, by protecting the act of journalism, you include those independent reporters who are unquestioningly engaging in journalism (overcoming the blogger question I laid out, but also those working independently on book projects, and potentially – though this would be a contentious though much needed debate – publishers like WikiLeaks), but also exclude those news personalities who are engaging in entertainment, corporate propaganda, or government disinformation.

The rules also are a move to set up an “official press.” More from Marcy who goes into detail:

The First Amendment was written, in part, to eliminate the kind of official press that parrots only the King’s sanctioned views. But with its revised “News Media Policies,” DOJ gets us closer to having just that, an official press.

That’s because all the changes laid out in the new policy (some of which are good, some of which are obviously flawed) apply only to “members of the news media.” They repeat over and over and over and over, “news media.” I’m not sure they once utter the word “journalist” or “reporter.” And according to DOJ’s Domestic Investigation and Operations Guide, a whole slew of journalists are not included in their definition of “news media.” [..]

The limitation of all these changes to the “news media” is most obvious when it treats the Privacy Protection Act – which should have prevented DOJ from treating James Rosen as a  suspect. [..]

The PPA, however, applies to all persons “reasonably believed to have a purpose to disseminate to the public a newspaper, book, broadcast, or other similar form of public communication.” [..]

I’m clearly covered by the PPA. But the FBI could easily decide to exclude me from this “news media” protection so as to be able to snoop into my work product.

Congratulations to the “members of the news media” who have been deemed the President’s official press. I hope you use your privileges wisely.

Update: I’ve learned that the issue of whom this applied to did come up in background meetings at DOJ; in fact, DOJ raised the issue. The problem is, there is no credentialing system that could define who gets this protection and DOJ didn’t want to lay it out (and most of the people invited have never been anything but a member of the news media, making it hard for them to understand how to differentiate a journalist).

Ultimately, I think DOJ is so anxious for Congress to pass a shield law (which they say elsewhere in their report) because it’ll mean Congress will do the dirty work of defining who is and who is not a journalist.

The full article is a wealth of information and worth the time to read it, along with all the links.

The Obama administration and Congress are coming very close to creating a state sanctioned press, a true “Pravda on the Potomac,” as The Washington Post is unofficially called. This is Cass Sunstein’s dream come true.

May 24 2013

Holder Must Resign

No experiment can be more interesting than that we are now trying, and which we trust will end in establishing the fact, that man may be governed by reason and truth. Our first object should therefore be, to leave open to him all the avenues to truth. The most effectual hitherto found, is the freedom of the press. It is, therefore, the first shut up by those who fear the investigation of their actions.

  ~Thomas Jefferson, Letter to Judge John Tyler (June 28, 1804)~

The perpetrator of a crime cannot investigate himself. Yet that is what Pres. Barack Obama has proposed over  growing concerns about press freedom following the Justice Department’s secret seizure of AP records and its accusation that Fox News reporter James Rosen could be part of a criminal conspiracy for soliciting information from a source. The president said that he would have Attorney General Eric Holder review the Justice Department guidelines for investigations that involve journalists. Although Holder did not sign the subpoena for the phone records of the Associated Press, Holder had to recuse himself from the investigation because he was in possession of the leaked information. Now, it has been revealed that Holder, himself, who signed the off on the warrant that allowed the Justice Department to search Fox News reporter James Rosen’s personal email.

The report places Holder at the center of one of the most controversial clashes between the press and the government in recent memory. The warrant he approved named Rosen as a “co-conspirator” in a leak investigation, causing many to warn that the Justice Department was potentially criminalizing journalism. The warrant also approved the tracking of Rosen’s movements in and out of the State Department, as well as his communications with his source, Stephen Kim. [..]

The Attorney General is usually required to approve requests to search journalists’ materials, but that rule does not extend to email records.

Now Pres. Obama says that it will be Holder who reviews the guidelines. This is the man who also said he doesn’t know how many times he had authorized the search of journalists’ records.

In an interview with Amy Goodman at Democracy Now, Matthew Rothschild, editor and publisher of The Progressive magazine, has called for Eric Holder’s resignation over spying on journalists and Occupy Wall Street protestors.

Full transcript can be read here and Part 2 of the interview is here

As much as many criticize Fox News and the Associated Press for their penchant for a right wing biased reporting, they are the press. The First Amendment applies to them, as well as, to the other news organizations and their reporters. In this we stand together.

May 20 2013

AP-Gate Just Got Worse

Regardless of the left’s opinion of Fox News, the Obama administration has gone way over the constitutional line and this is adds to the serious threat to freedom of the press. The idea that the government. on its unconstrained wild hunt for whistle blowers, can issue secret subpoenas for telephone records just got worse this morning. The case is being made against Fox News reporter James Rosen for his reporting on the possibility that North Korea would respond to additional UN sanctions with more nuclear tests back in 2009. The Department of Justice is prosecuting State Department adviser and arms expert Stephen Jin-Woo Kim for “leaking” the information to James Rosen of Fox News. To makes the case against Rosen this is what the DOJ did:

They used security badge access records to track the reporter’s comings and goings from the State Department, according to a newly obtained court affidavit. They traced the timing of his calls with a State Department security adviser suspected of sharing the classified report. They obtained a search warrant for the reporter’s personal e-mails. [..]

Court documents in the Kim case reveal how deeply investigators explored the private communications of a working journalist – and raise the question of how often journalists have been investigated as closely as Rosen was in 2010. The case also raises new concerns among critics of government secrecy about the possible stifling effect of these investigations on a critical element of press freedom: the exchange of information between reporters and their sources.

First, Kim did not obtain these documents illegally, he had access to them, He did not steal or sell the documents, or pass them to an enemy agent of the US. He gave, what is for all intents and purposes, innocuous information to a news reporter. For that Kim is being prosecuted under the Espionage Act. Now the DOJ is seeking to prosecute Rosen for revealing the information.

Glenn Greenwald reiterated that it is not against US law to to publish classified information and is far worse than the secret subpoena of the phone records of the Associated Press:

The focus of the Post’s report yesterday is that the DOJ’s surveillance of Rosen, the reporter, extended far beyond even what they did to AP reporters. The FBI tracked Rosen’s movements in and out of the State Department, traced the timing of his calls, and – most amazingly – obtained a search warrant to read two days worth of his emails, as well as all of his emails with Kim. In this case, said the Post, “investigators did more than obtain telephone records of a working journalist suspected of receiving the secret material.” It added that “court documents in the Kim case reveal how deeply investigators explored the private communications of a working journalist”.

But what makes this revelation particularly disturbing is that the DOJ, in order to get this search warrant, insisted that not only Kim, but also Rosen – the journalist – committed serious crimes. The DOJ specifically argued that by encouraging his source to disclose classified information – something investigative journalists do every day – Rosen himself broke the law.

In an affidavit (pdf) from the FBI by Agent Reginald B. Reyes in the application for the search warrant, Reyes alleged that because Rosen and Kim used aliases to protect their communications and sought ways to maintain confidentiality, all completely legal for journalists to do, Rosen was acting “much like an intelligence officer would run an [sic] clandestine intelligence source, the Reporter instructed Mr. Kim on a covert communications plan… to facilitate communication with Mr. Kim and perhaps other sources of information.”

In her comparison of this case with the Associated Press, and cases against James Risen of The New York Times and Bradley Manning, Marcy Wheeler notes that Agent Reyes used the strategy of painting Rosen as criminal to circumvent the “Privacy Protection Act protections for media work product” in order to obtain the warrant for Rosen’s e-mails and other records:

In other words, during a period from May 2010 through January 2011, Eric Holder’s DOJ was developing this theory under which journalists were criminals, though it’s just now that we’re all noticing this May 2010 affidavit that lays the groundwork for that theory.

Maybe that development was predictable, given that during precisely that time period, the lawyer who fucked up the Ted Stevens prosecution, William Welch, was in charge of prosecuting leaks (though it’s not clear he had a role in Kim’s prosecution before he left in 2011).

But it’s worth noting the strategy – and the purpose it serves – because it is almost certainly still in effect. FBI Special Agent Reginald Reyes accused Rosen of being a criminal so he could get around the Privacy Protection Act protections for media work product (See pages 4 and following), which specifically exempts “fruits of a crime” or “property … used [] as a means of committing a criminal offense.” Then he further used it to argue against giving notice to Fox or Rosen.

   Because of the Reporter’s own potential criminal liability in this matter, we believe that requesting the voluntary production of the materials from Reporter would be futile and would pose a substantial threat to the integrity of the investigation and of the evidence we seek to obtain by the warrant. (29)

While the AP’s phone records weren’t taken via a warrant, it would be unsurprising if the government is still using this formula – journalists = criminals and therefore cannot have notice – to collect evidence. Indeed, that may be one reason why we haven’t seen the subpoena to the AP.

It is very clear that this is an unprecedented threat to freedom of the press and the Obama administration has escalated this war since Obama took office in 2009.

In an interview last week with Amy Goodman and Nermeen Shaikh, senior fellow at The Nation Institute Chis Hedges, called the monitoring of the AP phone records “one more assault in a long series of assault against freedom of information and freedom of the press.”

“Talk to any investigative journalist who must investigate the government, and they will tell you that there is a deep freeze. People are terrified of speaking, because they’re terrified of going to jail.”

~Chris Hedges~

Here is Mr. Hedges piece from Truthdig documenting The Death of Truth

Other related articles from Glenn Greenwald at The Guardian:

Justice Department’s pursuit of AP’s phone records is both extreme and dangerous

The major sea change in media discussions of Obama and civil liberties

Dec 19 2011

Newt Is Nuts

Who knew? Presidential candidate for the GOP nomination, Newt Gingrich is like the family’s crazy uncle that gets let out for family gatherings and then gets sent back to is room. His recent emergence as the “favorite” for the nomination has met with some harsh criticism and not just from the left. Many of the right wing punditry are not happy with Newt Gingrich’s surge in the polls for the nomination. During Newt’s interview on Face The Nation with Bob Schieffer, he said he would have “activist judges” (translation: judges who disagree with Newt) hauled before Congress to answer for their decisions, if necessary arresting them:

   SCHIEFFER: One of the things you say is that if you don’t like what a court has done, that Congress should subpoena the judge and bring him before Congress and hold a Congressional hearing… how would you enforce that? Would you send the Capitol Police down to arrest him?

   GINGRICH: Sure. If you had to. Or you’d instruct the Justice Department to send a U.S. Marshal.

I have no idea how Schieffer didn’t react with disbelieving “what?” much like Barbara Walters’ response when Herman Cain said he would want to be Secretary of Defense.

Obviously Newt is off the rails and a couple of former Republican Attorney Generals with some questionable constitutional decisions under their belts think so, too. Former attorney generals Alberto Gonzalez and Michael Mukasey, also a former judge, weighed in on Newt’s judicial lunacy to defy the Supreme Court and, if necessary according to Newt, eliminate the courts that disagree with him all together. In appearances on Fox News they called Newt’s ideas “ridiculous,” “irresponsible,” “outrageous,” and “dangerous”:

   KELLY: He wants to see the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals entirely abolished, your thoughts on that?

   MUKASEY: Ridiculous. . . . to say that you’re going to undo and entire court simply because you don’t like some of their decisions, when there are thousands of cases before that court, is totally irresponsible. It’s outrageous because it essentially does away with the notion that when courts decide cases the proper way to have them reviewed is to go to a higher court. It’s dangerous because, even from the standpoint of the people who put it forward, you have no guarantee that you’ll have a permanent majority. . . . It would end with having a Democratic majority that then decides to abolish the Fourth Circuit and the Eleventh Circuit. And you go on and on and on. And I guess they could then reconstitute another court. It would reduce the entire judicial system to a spectacle.

Former Attorney General Alberto Gonzales had a similar reaction:

   GONZALES: The notion or the specter of bringing judges before the Congress, like a schoolchild being brought before the principal is, to me, a little bit troubling . . . . I cannot support and I would not support efforts that appear to be intimidation or retaliation against judges.

Keep in mind that these two men, supported some if the most unconstitutionally egregious of George W. Bush’s policies, including torture.

But poor Newt, he’s even slipping in the polls. According to Public Policy Polling, Rep. Ron Paul has now taken the lead in Iowa:

Newt Gingrich’s campaign is rapidly imploding, and Ron Paul has now taken the lead in Iowa.  He’s at 23% to 20% for Mitt Romney, 14% for Gingrich, 10% each for Rick Santorum, Michele Bachmann, and Rick Perry, 4% for Jon Huntsman, and 2% for Gary Johnson.

Gingrich has now seen a big drop in his Iowa standing two weeks in a row.  His share of the vote has gone from 27% to 22% to 14%.  And there’s been a large drop in his personal favorability numbers as well from +31 (62/31) to +12 (52/40) to now -1 (46/47). Negative ads over the last few weeks have really chipped away at Gingrich’s image as being a strong conservative, now only 36% of voters believe that he has ‘strong principles,’ while 43% think he does not.

Paul’s ascendancy is a sign that perhaps campaigns do matter at least a little, in a year where there has been a lot of discussion about whether they still do in Iowa.  22% of voters think he’s run the best campaign in the state compared to only 8% for Gingrich and 5% for Romney. The only other candidate to hit double digits on that question is Bachmann at 19%. Paul also leads Romney 26-5 (with Gingrich at 13%) with the 22% of voters who say it’s ‘very important’ that a candidate spends a lot of time in Iowa.  Finally Paul leads Romney 29-19 among the 26% of likely voters who have seen one of the candidates in person.

Iowa is no predictor of who will get the nomination and the caucuses are an undemocratic form of voting with no absentee ballots and very low voter turn out but Iowa is a predictor for early primary states. However, the recent harsh criticism from right wing politicians and pundits may keep Newt out of the Oval Office. Poor crazy Newt. Back to your room.

Jun 22 2011

Fox News Got A Lot Of ‘Pologizin’ To Do

Jon Stewart apologized to Fox News about being uninformed about Fox News viewers being “the most consistently misinformed media viewers.” Politifact rated the statement as “false” citing a Pew Research Center for the People and the Press survey, and worldpublicopinion.org,. That, however, was not the end of it as Jon proceeded to expose as litany of lies that have been spewed by Fox News calling them, “Fox news is like a lying dynasty. They’re like the New England Patriots of lying!” Politifact has annotated the lies cited in Jon’s righteous rant so you don’t have to try to pause or keep up with Jon’s rapid fire reparte.

Jun 21 2011

Stewart to Wallace: “You’re Insane” (Up Date)

Jon Stewart of Comedy Central’s The Daily Show appeared on Fox News Sunday to debate with Chris Wallace “media bias”. Guess who lost? No betting, I won’t take your money.

   WALLACE: Even you make fun of the fact that “The New York Times” and the “Washington Post” when this document dump of 24,000 e-mails of Sarah Palin was released, and they got so excited about it, they asked their readers, can you help us go through these 24,00 documents?

   STEWART: Right.

   WALLACE: How do you explain the fact that they would do that? They would ask the readers to help them go through the Palin e-mails — inconsequential as they turned out to be —

   STEWART: Right.

   WALLACE: — but they never said help us go through the 2,000 pages of the Obama health care bill?

   STEWART: Because I think their bias is towards sensationalism and laziness. I wouldn’t say it’s towards a liberal agenda. It’s light fluff. So, it’s absolutely within the wheelhouse.

   I mean, if your suggestion is that they are relentlessly partisan and why haven’t they gone and backed away from Weiner? Now, they’ve dove, they’ve jumped into the Weiner pool — so, with such delight and relish, because the bias —

   WALLACE: Some things are indefensible.

   STEWART: — the bias of the mainstream media — oh, I’m not saying it’s defensible, but the bias of the mainstream media is toward sensationalism, conflict and laziness.

Amazing. Who was interviewing whom? Comparing Fox News to Comedy Central? Wallace is not only insane but really stupid. Lawrence O’Donnell and Rachel Maddow discussed Jon’s “interview” on O’Donnell’s The Last Word:

Up Date: From John Aravosis @AMERICAblog News: Fox Edits Out Jon Stewart’s criticism of Fox exec

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