Friday Fox Follies – Bubble, Bubble, Trumpian Trouble

Last June, after a dissatisfying family lunch, I published Caught Inside The Fox “News” Bubble . . . Again!, which dismissed anybody that gets their news from only one source, especially when it’s the Fox “News” Channel. That’s why it was instructive when Bill O’Reilly Attacks The Daily Beast For Reporting On How Glenn Beck’s Network Is Failing. It’s the perfect example of the Fox “News” bubble at work and why its audience will remain ignorant of anything outside of it. It comes straight from the top:

BILL O’REILLY: Finally tonight, The Factor tip of the day is a real danger if you’re consuming news on the net. For example, I recently changed my news service from Yahoo to Google because Yahoo uses the hate website Salon in its news pages. That’s unacceptable to me. Now, Google may do the same thing. If it does, I’ll fire them. I mean, this has reached critical mass. Let me give you an example. This week a vicious article about Glenn Beck came out on a website called The Daily Beast. It’s written by guttersnipe Lloyd Grove, a despicable person. Let me just quote you from the article. Colleagues and underlings of Beck interviewed by The Daily Beast, on condition of anonymity. I stopped right there. Just garbage. Can’t identify anyone on the record and you use cowards to trash another human being. And here’s the kicker, the editor of The Daily Beast, John Avlon, has written a book that trashes Beck. And nowhere is that mentioned in the article. Not acceptable. Blatantly dishonest. Factor tip of the day: walk away.

Yahoo and Google News are simply aggregators. They compile headlines which cover all sides of the political spectrum. Loofah Lad must know, or else he’s learned by now, that headlines from Salon, The Daily Beast, PoliticusUSA, and even NewsHounds can be found on Google News. I have found my own articles there.

However, if you only want news from one side of the political spectrum (‘cept for those token Liberals allowed to come on only to be denigrated and interrupted), Fox “News” is your safe place. Nothing will burst your bubble there. Even the NYT’s Kristof [recognizes]: Right-Wing Media “Echo Chamber” Helped Trump’s Rise, a topic we’ll return to later.

However, while still on The Falafel King, without a hint of irony Bill O’Reilly Laments Media Bias: Journalists Are Now “In Another Business” and opines about Fairness and News Coverage of the Presidential Race:

Commentators like me are free to give opinions on just about everything.

Morning hosts, they’re opinion people, too.  Each show has a definition.

So while candidates like Hillary Clinton might feel Fox News is stacked up against them, it’s only true in some precincts.

Please point out those precincts, Bill’O, because I have yet to hear a single positive story about Hillary Clinton anywhere on the Fox “News” Channel. I’ve even offered a special prize to the first person who spots one.

Meanwhile, Bill O’Reilly [claims]: African-Americans Voted For Obama “Because Of His Skin Color”, as Bill O’Reilly Justifies Mass Incarceration Of African-Americans Using Black-On-Black Crime Canard, but that’s okay because commentators like him are “free to give opinions on just about everything.” Even crap he makes up.

He appeared on The Late Show where Bill and Colbert Respectfully Butt Heads, While “the hate website” Salon characterized the meeting with Bill O’Reilly repeatedly booed on Stephen Colbert show: Fox News host shows off his Bernie Sanders impression, bashes CNN and MSNBC, and Raw Story says Colbert slaps down Bill O’Reilly’s pathetic attempt at Bernie Sanders impression. However, the best put down this week was when Bernie Sanders Tells Colbert: ‘Electing Me Is A Twofer’ Because Bill O’Reilly Goes To Ireland.

THE INNER SANCTUM: The best reportage on the inner-workings of Fox “News” comes from Gabriel Sherman. He’s another source Fox officially denounces — repeatedly. That’s why I trust him. This week, in Fox News Settles in for a Long Campaign With Donald Trump, a Candidate Who Proves the Network Has Lost Its Power, he notes:

In fact, Ailes’s bigger problem this week is not Trump. It’s figuring out how to broker peace between Fox’s biggest stars, Bill O’Reilly and Megyn Kelly. According to sources, the prime-time hosts are at war, in part over Kelly’s Trump-fueled stardom. O’Reilly is said to be outraged that Kelly went on Stephen Colbert’s post–Super Bowl show and seemed to criticize his program because it’s taped at 5 p.m. and airs at 8 p.m. “If you’re not live at night — because the show before me and the show after me are taped — you lose a lot,” she told Colbert, the comedian famous for playing a buffoonish version of O’Reilly for years. O’Reilly has also told people he’s furious that Kelly hasn’t shown him respect for helping make her Fox’s brightest light. Things got so bad that back in September Kelly switched talent agents — she’d been represented by longtime O’Reilly agent Carole Cooper but left for CAA. “They’re at each other’s throats big time,” one Fox insider said. “I mean, like big time. Roger doesn’t know what the hell to do.” It’s possibly a sign that Murdoch wants to keep Kelly in the fold that last week his book publisher HarperCollins signed her to a reported $10 million book deal.

Months back Friday Fox Follies noted that the political fractures now visible to media watchers like Gabriel was bottom up, if you will. I saw it months ago on message threads as Donald Trump and Megyn Kelly sycophants lined up behind their favorite liar. However, the promotion of Trump was all top down. Watch How Fox News Paved The Way For Trump’s Presidential Campaign for the quick overview, as summed up by Media Matters:

While O’Reilly Lectures Trump For Missing Fox Debate: ‘I Was Right’ and Donald Trump Suggests Jeb Bush Is Having A Nervous Breakdown, the channel might be backing a new horse when Steve Doocy Sucks Up To Marco Rubio.

It may also mean something when Fox Cuts Away From Kasich’s NH Speech To Cover Rubio’s. Even Jeb Bush [was] befuddled by aggressive questioning on “Fox & Friends” about his mother and brother’s hypocrisy, because he thought they’d overlook all his faults like they did his brother’s.

Some Fox personalities still have their thumbs on the Trump scale. Is it patronizing when Donald Trump Says He Would Seek Sean Hannity’s Advice On VP Choice, or when Fox’s Cavuto Promotes Colleague Scott Brown For Trump’s VP Pick? Then there’s what the Big Boss said this week:

Murdoch praises Trump’s ‘winning strategy’

Rupert Murdoch says Chris Christie a ‘suicide bomber’

I’m hoping that this will replace Groundhog Day:

Fox News Holds A Sled Race To ‘Predict’
Trump As Winner Of NH Primary

WATCH: The hosts of "The Five” used a competitive sled race to predict tonight’s New Hampshire primary winner. You have to see this!

Posted by Fox News on Tuesday, February 9, 2016

REDEFINING WHITE PRIVILEGE: As FFF is fond of saying, Fox “News” never embarrasses itself more than when a topic touches on the issue of race. And, when it’s during Black History Month, it feels even more egregious. This week they outdid themselves. Like when Fox Dismisses Video About Systemic Racism As “Dumb,” Instead Highlighting Complaints From “Outraged” Parents:

Doocy ignored the information in the video, instead hyping the criticism of parents who are “outraged,” and his guest Craig Johnson said that the video was only a “partial history” and that the barriers portrayed were not “real issues”:

STEVE DOOCY (HOST): Parents at a Virginia high school are outraged after their children were shown this, which has been referred to as a white guilt video, as part of Black History Month. The video shows athletes at a track meet, two are white, getting a head start while black runners are shown running into roadblocks like slavery, genocide, and discrimination. So was this really the way to address racial discourse, or was it just a way to create a divide among some students? … . You say it is out and out deception. Why?

CRAIG JOHNSON: Well, it’s partial history. The simple fact of the matter is that slavery and discrimination has happened since the dawn of time in every culture. You’ve had black Barbary pirates enslave the white Europeans, you have white Europeans then enslave blacks. You have black on black capturing of slaves, selling them to Jewish and Muslim middlemen who sold them to Europeans. The entire world, Steve, participated in slavery. But only England and America fought to end slavery, and you still have slavery in certain parts of North Africa to this day. Blacks are enslaved by Muslims to this day, OK? … . Martin Luther King died for America to be a place where you’re judged by the content of your character, not the color of your skin, and the poverty pimps need to beat their swords into plowshares. Roll their sleeves up and get busy with real issues that these children are going to have to face once they leave school and go into a very, very increasingly competitive marketplace.

DOOCY: Craig, this is not historical. It’s not looking back in the rearview mirror. It’s saying that if you are African-American today, the deck is stacked against you for your entire life.

No feces, Falstaff!!!

However, it was Beyoncé at the Superbowl that really got them going nuts because BREAKING: Old White People Find Beyoncé’s Black Pride Distasteful:

Setting up the outrage, Friends host and friend to some Brian Kilmeade proclaimed that he “couldn’t really make out what Beyoncé was saying” during her performance of her new single “Formation.” He then doubled down: “The song, the lyrics, which I couldn’t make out a syllable, were basically telling cops to stop shooting blacks.”

If Kilmeade “couldn’t make out a syllable,” he may not be the authority on what this song is about. Actually, whitey, the lyrics are basically about Beyoncé describing (and correcting misconceptions about) her culture, AND what she loves about it and about being a black woman, which evidently is a different worldview than that of the white people on the show and thus, I guess, potentially intimidating. Don’t ignore Kilmeade’s implication that Beyoncé talks funny and can’t express herself adequately. The ignorance there is not just willful, it’s hypocritical, as Kilmeade exhibits the kind of thoughtlessness he’s accusing Beyoncé of.

Giuliani later joined the panel to smart at the very existence of a halftime show, like it’s something new or not the tremendous revenue and discourse-generator that it is. “I don’t even know why we have this,” he said. “This is football not Hollywood.” Then he turned his ire to Beyoncé and her backup dancers who wore afros, berets, and leather in the style of Black Panthers.

Conservative Media Get Into “Formation” To Attack Beyonce’s Super Bowl Performance, as Fox Nation Erupts Into Racist Attacks On Beyoncé, and Fox News attacks Beyonce’s Super Bowl salute to Black Lives Matter: It’s not ‘wholesome’ or ‘decent.’

Some people should just STFU when it comes to critiquing the Black Experience. Case in point: Avuncular lawyer to Roger Ailes, and a Knight of Malta, Peter Johnson, Jr., a lily White Fox Analyst, Advises Beyonce On Which Civil Rights Leaders She Should “Emulate”:

PETER JOHNSON JR.: Well, at one point during the show, Beyoncé and her dancers, they formed an “X” on the field. And some have interpreted this as a tribute to Malcolm X, the assassinated civil rights leader. Beyoncé and her dancers were all dressed in black. At one point they raised a fist like the black power salutes that we saw during the civil rights movement and even at the Olympics, and then wore black berets. Now why black berets? Some critics have likened those black berets to what the Black Panther Party wore in the ’60s and ’70s. And we see a photo of them. They, for the most part, were a criminal, violent group, dedicated to Marxist change in America, and responsible for a lot of violence, including a lot of black-on-black violence in the African-American community throughout the United States. So that’s what stimulated this.

Believe it or not, there were worse observations:

Fox’s Rod Wheeler: Beyonce’s Superbowl
Performance “Really Gave The
Middle Finger To Police Officers”

Fox News Attacks Beyoncé For
Her Super Bowl Performance

Beyoncé’s Super Bowl Performance
Causes Fox News and Conservative
Media to Lose Their Minds

Rudy Giuliani slams Beyonce’s ‘attack’
on police officers during halftime show

Fox & Friends Slam Beyonce’s Super
Bowl Performance: She Saluted Black
Lives Matter And Attacked Police Officers

The Daily Show Slams Fox’s Criticism
Of Beyonce’s Super Bowl Performance

Meanwhile, as a Fox Business Guest Compares Beyonce’s Super Bowl Performance To KKK, it is instructive to note a Detroit police sergeant investigated for comparing Beyonce’s dancers to KKK:

“I received calls indirect and direct from employees throughout the organization troubled by it,” Chief Craig told Fox. “Certainly this does not and shouldn’t represent our police officers.”

“We work in a city that’s certainly well over 80 percent African-American and to post something that has to do with a hate group like the Ku Klux Klan is problematic,” he said.

But, it’s not problematic at the Fox “News” Channel.

THIS WEEK’S MEGGY: Because FFF delights in revealing the evil behind that mask of hers.

What Megyn Kelly’s Positive
Press Tour Keeps Getting Wrong

Megyn Kelly’s so-called “phenomenal” reputation in the media lacks important context, found in the full spectrum of her time at Fox, including her problematic history on subjects including race and gender.

In the first two weeks of 2016, Kelly spent over 1 hour and 22 minutes promoting Michael Bay’s myth-filled Benghazi movie “13 Hours” as “the gripping new film that may pose a threat to Hillary Clinton’s hopes for the White House.” She’s used her prime-time Fox show to push falsehoods about Planned Parenthood, most recently asking whether a “political hit job” was at play in the grand jury indictment of two members of the group that released deceptively edited smear videos to attack the organization.

She regularlyhosts Tony Perkins, the leader of an anti-LGBT hate group, and has shown a penchant for inflammatory rhetoric on race, ranging from blaming a 14-year-old black teenager who was the victim of a police officer’s use of excessive force to calling Black Lives Matter protesters “beyond the bounds of decency.”

When positive press praises Kelly’s “occasionally, yet highly entertaining, bucking of the conservative party line,” they downplay the fact that her show “is made up largely of the kind of stories you’d find on many other Fox News shows.” Even the writer of Vanity Fair‘s glowing cover story, after making those observations, eventually noted that Kelly’s “talent for fearmongering may be even more insidious than Trump’s own. She, after all, is considered by many to be the reasonable one at Fox.”

In other words: A Fox in sheep’s clothing.

DEFENDING THE DEITY: For an omnipotent God, Fox “News” seems to think She needs their constant help. Not a week goes by without several stories like this:

Fox host: Georgia’s plan for
school-sanctioned prayer ‘drags
us back to the era of sanity’

“What we’ve done in America is we’ve gone too far in the other direction,” Varney complained. “I have no problem whatsoever with a group of kids who want to hold Bible study on school property after school.”

“The law is very, very clear,” Napolitano pointed out. “The use of public assets for an openly, notoriously religious purpose is not permitted by the First Amendment.”

“Suppose the Georgia law, which is probably going to be struck down, but maybe it drags us back to the era of sanity where you can mention Jesus in your classroom,” Varney opined.

“You can mention that in a literary or artistic or historical way,” Napolitano noted.

“A religious sense!” Varney shot back. “Come on!”

Then Kirk Cameron’s sister warns Fox News not to ‘joke about hell’ because the Bible says it’s ‘disgusting.’ No, really.

#OUTBRAINED: I have a special place for the idiocy on this show. Right here, in fact:

Inane is as inane does.

BE OUR GUEST: Some of the most hateful words on Fox “News” come out of the mouths of the guests. While Fox knows in advance what they’re going to say, it gives the channel plausible deniability if they go too far and the feces hits the social media fans:

It makes me wonder how dirty they leave the guest towels.

FOX BYTES: Geraldo Rivera: Sanders surging because ‘everyone’s smoking dope’Fox Legal Analyst Baselessly Claims Hillary Clinton Committed A Felony, Intentionally Sent Classified Information To AidesSean Hannity: “I Still Think” Saddam Hussein Had Weapons Of Mass DestructionFox Host: “Is It Fair For Women To Vote On Issues Other Than Just Women’s Issues?”Fox & Friends Aggregates Gawker

Headly Westerfield reminds readers this is just one week in the life of the Fox “News” Channel. Follow Fox Follies and Fallacies for further fun.