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BUZZFLASH NEWS ALERT
by Jeffrey Joseph

With President Obama working hard to take his message of healthcare reform to the people and health insurers looking to raise rates, it appears rather telling about the larger debate that Sarah Palin, FOX contributor and one of healthcare reform's most public opponents, has been such an overt hypocrite about the topic.

Reminiscing about her childhood, Palin recently told a group in Canada about how she and her family used to cross the border to receive healthcare in Canada. It indeed proved an "ironic" admission, as she called it, though Palin left it unclear if she realized in what way. This same woman has denigrated healthcare reform efforts in the U.S., which aspire to move the nation closer to the rankings of the far more successful Canadian system, as "downright evil." Even now, years after she and her family reaped the benefits of Canada's universal healthcare, Palin had the audacity to criticize that system for needing to allow a "private sector takeover" as if that model has always served her well in the past.

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BUZZFLASH NEWS ALERT
by Jeffrey Joseph

Occasional past attempts by FOX News to deflect the criticism of bias have most famously resulted in their differentiation between opinion programming such as Bill O'Reilly and Sean Hannity with straight news programming from the rest of the network. Roger Ailes certainly hopes that the claim of differentiated programming helps to lend his network credibility, but to disabuse someone of the notion that FOX can handle unbiased coverage, viewers need look no further than the midday centerpiece to FOX's "news" programming, Megyn Kelly.

Of the many things FOX might criticize the president for having, one would expect his faith-based council advisory board to be last on the list. Yet FOX has maintained an opposition to the appointment of Harry Knox to said board, and Kelly played her part in that narrative. She illustrated her willingness to cover the full breadth of the story by introducing the story of GOP opposition to the appointment by quoting John Boehner as calling Knox a "Catholic bashing bigot." Then to further that notion, Kelly brought in Laura Ingraham to discuss the issue, Ingraham a commentator so far right that Bill O'Reilly called her an "ideologue."

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BUZZFLASH NEWS ALERT
by Jeffrey Joseph

In the name of entertaining the outrageously radical, FOX has long trotted out people like the xenophobic Glenn Beck though his vitriol has so scared off advertisers that they have had to run his show without ad support. Given that propensity for airing the extreme, FOX must have felt somewhat obligated to air another extremist radio personality on Fox & Friends -- Eric "Mancow" Muller.

Appearing this morning alongside Gretchen Carlson, whose substantive contributions to political conversation includes analyzing hair, Mancow came in and commented on the ongoing healthcare reform debate. As Carlson put it to Mancow, stressing the obvious wealth of knowledge Mancow could cull from for discussion, "You're from Chicago. President Obama's from Chicago. What do you think he's going to do today?"

Playing into the sense that being from the same city of nearly three million people meant Mancow had some true insight to offer, he replied, "Well, I knew Barry Obama when he was just the, uh, you know, the race-baiting community organizer in Chicago, but, uh, he's doing a good job. You know, it's Chicago mob politics and it doesn't matter what the people want, he's going to shove it through."

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BUZZFLASH NEWS ALERT
by the Human Rights Campaign

WASHINGTON –The Human Rights Campaign, the nation’s largest lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender (LGBT) civil rights organization, issued the following statement after a new law in the District of Columbia permitting same-sex marriages became effective today.  

“This law is an important step towards equal dignity, equal respect and equal rights for all residents of our nation’s capital,” said HRC President Joe Solmonese. “Starting today, same-sex couples in D.C. will be able to enjoy all the rights and responsibilities that come with civil marriage. At the same time, the law also preserves the right of clergy and congregations to adhere to their faith traditions. Today represents a hard-fought victory for D.C. residents and a poignant reminder -- here in the home of our federal government and most cherished national monuments  -- of the historic progress being made towards ensuring equality for all across the nation.”  

“Congratulations to the D.C. Council, Mayor Fenty and the many advocates of equality in our community who worked hard for marriage equality in D.C. and who will continue to work tirelessly to ensure that these basic rights are protected in the future,” Solmonese added.  “As the courts have uniformly recognized in upholding D.C.’s broad anti-discrimination laws, no one should have to have their marriages -- or any of their civil rights -- put to a public vote.”  

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BUZZFLASH NEWS ALERT
by Jeffrey Joseph

As previously reported, the incredibly suspicious funding sources for FOX News has left more than a few people enraged that FOX can get preference for airtime in a place such as an armed forces base that should be free from media controlled by someone like Saudi Prince Al-Waleed bin Talal who may also support terrorism. A network that touts someone who would stand alone in denying benefits to suffering people during a recession as "fearless" certainly deserves ire, but bin Talal evokes a special kind of ire that has rankled concerned people across the political spectrum. Here is a letter that a reader submitted in response to FOX broadcasting at a base:

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BUZZFLASH NEWS ALERT
by Jeffrey Joseph

After the healthcare summit, President Obama hoped to have ascertained all the common ground liberals and conservatives have on the healthcare reform the nation so desperately needs in order to push legislation forward. Unfortunately, one basic assumption bipartisan progress would require, that both sides have compassion for the uninsured, simply does not hold. Now the movement to stop healthcare reform has taken a new low -- denigrating the afflicted.

Bill O'Reilly and Laura Ingraham, who even O'Reilly considers an "ideologue," talked about the summit on O'Reilly's show Thursday evening, but Ingraham made it clear that she had no sympathetic sentiments and preferred to be snide about the whole event. Referring to the stories Democrats presented of real sufferers of the lack of healthcare reform, Ingraham wrote off Louise Slaughter's constituent by saying she had "won the Olympics of sob stories by saying...[she] had to wear her sister's dentures, okay, it got so bad with the healthcare system." To prove she could, in fact, take her dislike for the disenfranchised a step further, Ingraham continued to say, "You had Harry Reid on the cleft palate with his [constituents] . . . I mean, the whole thing was ridiculous."

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BUZZFLASH NEWS ALERT
by Jeffrey Joseph

FOX's hypocrisy continues in touting its own "trusted" coverage of the news and hosts who claim to have the best interests of the nation at heart while FOX has a major shareholder who flaunts manipulating the news and allegedly maintains ties to terrorism like Saudi prince Al-Waleed bin Talal. The network's coverage proves especially dangerous when people end up subjected to the network's biased coverage in places such as military bases, an area that should be devoid of a network that would baselessly accuse the Commander-in-Chief's administration of including "people who have the Jihadis' best interest and not our best interest at heart." Fortunately, as the furor over FOX's hypocrisy and its ubiquity continues, so has the critical action it has inspired. A Turn Off FOX reader let us know about his outrage and what he has done about it.

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BUZZFLASH NEWS ALERT
by Jeffrey Joseph

Many FOX News personalities spend their air time warning about the dangers of big government, whether because of allegations that healthcare reform "effectively is euthanasia" or that the Department of Justice is filled with "terrorist sympathizers," among other unfounded claims. Yet recent developments in the U.K. indicate that governments and people at large have more reason to be wary of the unethical and illegal activities of Rupert Murdoch's media conglomerate than the unsupported allegations his networks send out about government action.

An extensive report from a cross-party committee in the U.K. details allegations of a widespread practice of illegal phone tapping by journalists of News of the World (NoW), a Murdoch-owned newspaper in England. The investigation by the members of Parliament has its roots in the case against Clive Goodman, a NoW reporter jailed for hacking into the voicemails of royal aides.

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BUZZFLASH NEWS ALERT
by Jeffrey Joseph

With FOX's often unfounded cries of terrorism permeating their programs, the network's alliance with Saudi Prince Al-Waleed bin Talal necessarily led to questions about FOX's credibility on terrorism. Now it seems that Rep. Darrell Issa (R-CA), a ranking member of the House Committee on Oversight and Government Reform, might be open to further investigating the issue.

Among the many developments of the Conservative Political Action Conference (CPAC) that seemed to portend disaster for the GOP, a reporter for Think Progress interviewed Rep. Issa and managed to have Issa agree, at least in theory, to looking into possible ethical issues with Al-Waleed's partial ownership of News Corporation, parent company of FOX News. Rep. Issa's other priorities at the moment include confronting Toyota President Akio Toyoda about the company's unintended acceleration problems, proving Issa certainly must investigate issues important to the nation.

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BUZZFLASH NEWS ALERT
by Jeffrey Joseph

Fear can create an immense hold on a viewing audience, so FOX's attempts to use fear mongering about terrorism come as little surprise. The sensationalism with which FOX personalities pursue that evocation of fear can prove occasionally startling, as well. When juxtaposed with the instances when FOX ignores successful conviction of terrorism, the tactic proves saliently political rather than one of any genuine concern.

In an effort to discredit the Obama Administration and the Department of Justice in particular, FOX & Friends tried to connect people within the department with Al Qaeda. The criticism stems from Steve Doocy's reading of a report that nine of the appointees in the Department of Justice "either represented...or advocated for Gitmo detainees." Doocy then quoted a sibling of a 9/11 victim to say, "It's like they're bringing Al Qaeda lawyers inside the Department of Justice."

Alisyn Camerota, an occasional voice of sensibility, offered the obvious counterargument that "these are just defense attorneys doing their job. You know, defense attorneys don't shy away from doing the hardest cases of mafiosos, or suspected terrorists, or mass murderers. In some ways, that's what they went to school for." Unfortunately, she stopped short of specifically denying the charge from Doocy that defending them might have to do with, for example, a respect for the rule of law. As such, Doocy simply responded by essentially ignoring Camerota to say, "And the argument continues: if they represented these guys, are they sympathetic with their cause?"

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