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BUZZFLASH NEWS ALERT
by Jeffrey Joseph

Rupert Murdoch tends to avoid putting himself in the spotlight, generally preferring to allow his media conglomerate do the talking for him. His recent appearance on The Kalb Report yielded some explanation for keeping away from direct questioning -- Murdoch's statements about ethics in journalism and the actions of FOX appear totally incongruous. Though Murdoch complained other networks's contributors "tend to be Democrats" and that people at FOX "are not Republicans," he need look no further than to Dick Morris's many appearances on the network to find otherwise.

Morris has no qualms about pushing his Republican agenda throughout FOX's programming. Appearing on a show with Sean Hannity, who faces his own set of ethical quandaries, Morris introduced his "adopt-a-Democrat" campaign. Morris intended to create a program so that people could target specific Democrats they despised and fund their Republican opponents, candidates Morris would redirect them toward. As Morris put it, with "every penny you give, we'll go right on the air attacking the Democrat who you adopt." He also leaves no ambiguity to his target audience. Hardly a champion of the middle class, Morris hoped to "get wealthy people" across the nation to fund his Republican attack ads regardless of whether the people live within the district of the Democrat Morris seeks to depose.

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BUZZFLASH NEWS ALERT
by Jeffrey Joseph

After years of misinformation and vitriol, FOX never appears ready to take responsibility for the violence provoked by the reckless "news" it tends to broadcast. Now that the political climate has turned especially heated and people have threatened violence inspired by FOX broadcasts, the mother of a man who threatened House Speaker Nancy Pelosi finally made the connection between FOX and violence that responsible media analysts have long feared.

Authorities recently picked up Gregory Lee Giusti for threats that he made against the speaker. He already had an existing record of harassment and theft, but his mother had a specific theory about the origins of his inspiration for his threats against the speaker. Speaking to a San Francisco ABC affiliate about her son's actions, Eleanor Gusti says, "I would say this must be another one that somehow he's gotten onto either by -- I'd say FOX News or all of those that are really radical, and he -- that's where he comes from."

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Thursday, 08 April 2010 04:02

FOX and Their Convenient Moral Relativism

BUZZFLASH NEWS ALERT
by Jeffrey Joseph

A major problem with FOX's general coverage of the news stems from its preconceived narrative filled so saliently far to the political right that its personalities will willfully ignore and manipulate facts to fit the narrative. Part of that philosophy lends itself to couching debates in binaries and ignoring the shades of gray in between, but the substantial criticism of Tea Party protesters has recently forced hosts to reconsider fair reporting -- but only when it proves convenient.

One recent example of a FOX host's inability to look at an issue in a nuanced way came from Sean Hannity. Hannity proved incredulous when discussing President Obama's push to limit any future use of nuclear weapons by the U.S. as if the idea of moving away from nuclear armaments would suddenly welcome attack. As Bob Beckel pointed out, Hannity's hero President Reagan worked toward nuclear disarmament, as well, but Hannity still implied President Obama was naive in his move toward that goal "because evil does exist," a sentiment he kept repeating as his argument. Put another way, Hannity essentially argued that he disliked President Obama's move away from using nuclear weapons because the president refused to look at the issue with the "good versus evil" binary Hannity and FOX would prefer.

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The Tea Party movement and the GOP has been making the outrageous charge that healthcare reform is socialism. At the same time, many seniors who are members of the Tea Party and are Republicans have defiantly warned the government not to "mess" with their Medicare. Who do they think is paying for Medicare, Wal-Mart?

If the Tea Party activists and senior members of the GOP who call healthcare reform socialism are as principled as they claim, they should tear up their Medicare cards and pay for their own healthcare after the age of 65.

I demand that any American over 65 who denounces government administered healthcare as socialized medicine must publicly tear up their Medicare card and pay for their own healthcare.

Sign your name here to this declaration and submit below

Enough is enough of this hypocrisy. If a senior-citizen thinks that healthcare reform is socialism and a threat to the nation, they are bound by their principles to not benefit from Medicare, which is a nationalized healthcare plan, administered and insured by the U.S. Government.

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BUZZFLASH NEWS ALERT
by Jeffrey Joseph

Many have remarked on FOX's tendency to promote a set narrative in lieu of actually reporting on the news. Nonetheless, few might have suspected that the network's zeal for their own narrative would have so plainly led to false implications as when FOX reported a joke as straight news and made efforts to falsely bolster Sarah Palin's new special in ways that have already backfired.

Ever willing to take a jab at global warming activists, FOX presented as news an article about Professor James Schneider, a "famed global warming activist," freezing to death in the Antarctic while trying to do research on the melting of ice sheets as a consequence of global warming. Without specifically commenting on the irony, the FOX presentation included an excerpt from Linda Schneider, James' wife, saying, "He kept talking about when they 'get down to chili,' and I thought they were talking about the order in which they would consume their food supplies." Strangely, the activist's wife, according to the piece, thought he was heading to Greenland rather than the Antarctica on the other side of the globe and misinterpreted Chile, the nation, for chili.

Of course, the whole article was a hoax. The post originally appeared in 2006 on ecoEnquirer.com, to which FOX Nation linked in the article it presented. However, the posters on FOX failed to recognize the website's history of satire. Posted too early to even promote as an April Fool's Day joke, FOX has since taken the article down, but not without already putting into serious question the validity of the "news" site.

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BUZZFLASH NEWS ALERT

This news release was distributed by the Center for Media and Democracy in Madison, Wisconsin.

CMD RELEASES NEW WALL STREET BAILOUT TOTAL $4.6 TRILLION IN FEDERAL FUNDS DISBURSED New Tally Focuses on Expansive Role of Federal Reserve

Today, the Real Economy Project of the Center for Media and Democracy (CMD) released an assessment of the total cost to taxpayers of the Wall Street bailout. CMD concludes that multiple federal agencies have disbursed $4.6 trillion dollars in supporting the financial sector since the meltdown in 2007-2008. Of that, $2 trillion is still outstanding.

CMD's assessment demonstrates that the Federal Reserve has provided by far the bulk of the funding for the bailout in the form of loans amounting to $3.8 trillion. Little information has been disclosed about what collateral taxpayers have received in return for these loans. CMD also concludes that the bailout is far from over as the government has active programs authorized to cost up to $2.9 trillion and still has $2 trillion in outstanding investments and loans.

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BUZZFLASH NEWS ALERT
by Jeffrey Joseph

Just over a week ago, accusations against Sean Hannity, Oliver North, and the Freedom Alliance charity "scam" began to raise the ire of people from the full breadth of the political spectrum. Now the outrage from concerned citizens -- like Turn Off FOX readers -- over Hannity's use of the organization to burnish his patriot credibility with questionable allotment of funds for actual veterans and their families has apparently led to Citizens for Responsibility and Ethics in Washington (CREW) formally filing a complaint with the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) and the IRS.

CREW took the investigation further than most and decided to file a complaint with the FTC for what it described as Hannity's and Freedom Concert's "illegal and deceptive marketing practices by suggesting that all money generated by ticket sales for the Freedom Concerts he sponsors each summer goes to scholarships for children of killed and wounded service members."

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BUZZFLASH NEWS ALERT
by Jeffrey Joseph

FOX personalities have apparently coordinated an effort to continue the illogical defense of violence against lawmakers involved in healthcare reform. Unsurprisingly, FOX exposes its GOP underpinnings with its annoyance focused squarely on the Democrats for requesting civility for ensuing political debates. Still, FOX probably should have hoped for better candidates than Laura Ingraham and Bill O'Reilly to criticize the Democrats for getting attacked and voicing concerns if FOX hoped to maintain some semblance of credibility.

Laura Ingraham aired most of her complaints against the attacked Democrats while filling in for Bill O'Reilly on FOX. She spent quite a while mocking "the left" for asking that future discussions remain civil since progressive protesters have referred to President George W. Bush as a war criminal. Equating protesters of the previous administration calling the president a "war criminal" hardly equates to something as dangerous as trying to cut the gas line to a lawmaker's house, but Ingraham fails to acknowledge that nuance.

Though Ingraham denounces violence, she proceeds to also denigrate the DNC for doing the same. Then she comes just short of rationalizing the violence, construing it as an exaggeration created by the left to avoid her particular perception of the public's opposition to healthcare reform. Granted, such a rationalization would make sense coming from a woman who had previously opposed healthcare reform by choosing to mock the ill. No wonder even O'Reilly thinks of Laura Ingraham as a crass "ideologue."

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BUZZFLASH NEWS ALERT
by Jeffrey Joseph

Now that the healthcare reform debate appears mostly over and FOX's campaign against it mostly lost, some might have expected the nation to move on to the next great issue. Unfortunately, so much of the vitriolic rhetoric that surrounded the reform bill appears to have incited violence after the bill's passage. In response, many FOX personalities have made deplorable attempts to excuse the actions much of their own coverage helped produce.

The threats against Democratic lawmakers have increased in number and ferocity to the point where the FBI has had to investigate threats and attacks against them. Now even GOP Rep. Eric Cantor claimed in a relatively terse press conference that he, too, has received similar threats including a bullet through one of his campaign offices. As often noted by media analysts, much of the blame for the hyperbolic rhetoric goes right to FOX news. When FOX boasts of a personality such as Glenn Beck who is willing to write off political opponents as "Marxists," analysts have a hard time laying much of the blame on people outside the FOX network.

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BUZZFLASH NEWS ALERT
by Jeffrey Joseph

Facing the ongoing backlash for his attempts to malign most of Christianity, Glenn Beck has decided to begin an offensive against Rev. Jim Wallis, one of Beck's more outspoken critics for disparaging social justice. In so doing, Beck smears Rev. Wallis while doing his best to avoid arguing with him on the grounds of theology, which Beck has hardly mastered, instead preferring to willfully distort Rev. Wallis' statements and attempting to smear Dorothy Day, another famous Christian proponent of the working class, along the way.

Beck begins his attack on Rev. Wallis by associating him with President Barack Obama, saying, "You need to be a person who becomes familiar with this, and one person you need to be familiar with is Rev. Jim Wallis. He is the new spiritual adviser to the president. Policy adviser, too. It's kind of a spooky little pact, I think, going on there." Already, his baseless fear mongering has begun. Beck tries to attach his forthcoming attack on Rev. Wallis to the president, whom Beck has so famously called a "racist," among other things, rather than directly addressing the fact that Rev. Wallis called Beck out for his comments about social justice.

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