The highest ratings — and therefore the biggest lies — on the Fox “News” Channel belong to that of Bill O’Reilly, easily lampooned by Stephen Colbert before he went legit as a talk-show host. Soon someone is going to have to lampoon Jesse Watters: Bill O’Reilly’s lamentable cable-news legacy.
However, Taken Out of Context by Jesse Watters, Bill O’Reilly and the Fox News Ministry of Truth — The False Narrative of Out-of-Control Kids is well worth covering in detail. Educator Larry Strauss was contacted by Watters for a piece on school violence because his book Students First and Other Lies came up in a search. I’ll let him tell his own story:
I warned Watters that if he and O’Reilly intended to advance the tired thesis that kids are running amok in our schools I was the wrong person to interview. If they wished to attack those who are promoting restorative justice — an attempt to stop criminalizing student misbehavior — that I would be their adversary.
[…] I warned Watters that I would say these things and he said that was great. He had no preconceived notions. He just wanted viewers to get some insight into what is going on in our schools around the country.
My wife warned me — don’t believe them, she said. She told me I was being used.
[…] Almost nothing I said did make it into the five minute segment that aired a few nights later:
[…] But my wife was right. I was used. My words became part of the false narrative that inner-city kids are out of control and we need the police in the schools to root out the problem. Probably not a coincidence that all the offending students in the videos they showed were African American. One wonders if the real agenda wasn’t some refutation to the assertion that “Black Lives Matter.”
By the time O’Reilly furrowed his brow and offered up his assessment, he seemed perfectly reasonable calling for the police to storm our classrooms.
You really need to read the whole article and then watch the segment that came out of it:
It’s just more proof of Watters smarmy mendacity. This is no more obvious than in his Watters’ World Man on the Street comedy segments. They are all slanted to make fun of the Left, cities O’Reilly has a mad-on for, and/or Democratic candidates. Clearly running out of men or women, watch the Kids Election Edition:
Speaking of Loofahs: I’ve been calling him a racist in print for years and I think it’s finally getting to him because O’Reilly Complains That The Terms “Sexism And Racism … [Are] Being Used To Punish” Bigots as Bill O’Reilly Takes On San Francisco And Our Liberal Attitudes Toward Property Crime, because he’s looking out for us.
This next video needs to be watched on a meta level. It’s O’Reilly On The Late Show With Stephen Colbert, no longer pretending to be a clueless O’Reilly clone, a case of art imitating life. But, it’s never mentioned. It’s like waking up from a dream where that whole thing never happened because Bobby Ewing was in the shower:
Bill O’Reilly Enters The No Chill Zone
HATE CLUB: The first rule of Hate Club is to talk about Hate Club — as often as possible — so these cockroaches have no place to hide. That’s why on occasion FFF writes about comment threads at Fox Nation that turn into the ugliest racist sewers this side of Stormfront. This week the Fox “News” audience truly distinguished itself:
This was going on long before Donald Trump decided to run for POTUS. Where do you think they get the idea that this is welcome?
Meanwhile, as this week’s column is being compiled Fox and Friends piled on the Islamophobia:
Ah, yes, the old “some people say” thing. Fox’s favorite thing.
FOX EXPERT CONVICTED: When the history is finally written Fox News ‘Benghazi Expert’ Wayne Simmons Pleads Guilty to Defrauding Government will forever be a(nother) black mark against the purported news channel. You barely heard about it at Fox after Wayne Simmons, Right Wing Media’s Benghazi Expert, Pleads Guilty To Fraud:
In an April 29 press release the Department of Justice noted that Simmons “falsely claimed he spent 27 years working for the Central Intelligence Agency” and had pleaded guilty “to major fraud against the government, wire fraud, and a firearms offense.”
[…] Dana J. Boente, U.S. attorney for the Eastern District of Virginia, said, “Simmons admitted he attempted to con his way into a position where he would have been called on to give real intelligence advice in a war zone. His fraud cost the government money, could have put American lives at risk, and was an insult to the real men and women of the intelligence community who provide tireless service to this country.”
Simmons was a frequent guest on Fox News, appearing on the network dozens of times purporting to be a former CIA operative. In those appearances, Simmons regularly criticized Democrats on foreign policy and national security issues. In one instance, he said, “If the Democrats come into power in the United States and re-employ their vision of defense for this country, we will have 9-1-1s unabated.”
Because he was saying what Fox wanted its audience to hear, no one ever bothered looking at his credentials.
THE NERD PROM: It was amusing to see how Fox News Wasted No Time Attacking Larry Wilmore And President Obama At WHCA Dinner, maybe because Larry Wilmore Drops A Truth Bomb On Fox News Racism At White House Correspondents Dinner:
Wilmore took the podium and delivered the [sic] a fantastic joke, “Welcome to Negro night here at Washington, or as Fox News would report two thugs disrupt elegant dinner in DC. That’s how they do it.”
Wilmore’s joke was awesome because, like all good humor, it contained an element of truth. In the case of this joke, it was the total truth. Fox News has been fanning the flames of racism since before President Obama became the Democratic nominee in 2008. Fox has been a willing partner in the Republican plot to win elections by dividing the country along racial lines.
The joke was met with some uncomfortable mumbles and squirms in the press audience because most people who won’t work in the mainstream press won’t admit the ugly bias of Fox News.
Oddly enough, that’s not what got the personalities at the White Privilege Station really hyperventilating:
They’re just jealous they can’t use the word whenever they want.
TARGETING THE TRUTH:
I’m sure the NRA will love them for that.
AVUNCULAR A-HOLE: One of my least favorite personalities on Fox is one of the least known. Peter Johnson, Jr., pops up on Fox & Friends to read editorials off the TelePrompTer
from time to time most days. “Some people say” that, as Rogers Ailes lawyer, Junior is channeling Ailes’ thoughts in his OpEds. Whether that’s true, or not, some of them are ugly to the core. F’rinstance:
He gets away with this because he looks harmless. He’s not. He’s evil.
TRUMP STUMPS LUMPS: The most bizarre thing that happened in the GOP race this week, before Donald Trump became the soon-to-be presumptive nominee, happened on the Curvy Couch when — well, just Watch Fox & Friends Hosts React To Donald Trump’s JFK Conspiracy Theory.
In the TOO LITTLE TOO LATE Department:
THE TRUMP DUMP: This is where we quickly dismiss all the ways Fox “News” defended and supported The Donald. This week’s Trump Dump comes in several flavors:
STUDY: Trump Won The Fox Primary, Doubling Any Other Candidate In Interview Airtime • 16 Times The Media Let Trump Falsely Claim He Opposed The Iraq War From The Beginning • Trump Calls Clinton’s ‘Off The Reservation’ Remark ‘Demeaning To Men’ • Fox ‘Liberal’ Has Never Heard Donald Trump Say Anything Bad About Black People • Just Like Trump, Fox Declares Open Season On Hillary Clinton, Too • Kurtz And MacCallum Laughably Pretend Fox Is Not ‘The Donald Trump Network’ • Fox’s Guilfoyle Floats Condi Rice As Potential Trump VP Pick • Fox Host Calls Trump Surrogates ‘The Real Stars’ Of The White House Correspondents’ Dinner • Fox’s Howard Kurtz Calls Three Trump Surrogates The ‘Real Stars’ Of The White House Correspondents’ Dinner • Neil Cavuto Calls Trump’s Taco Bowl Tweet “An Olive Branch” To The Mexican People • Fox’s Cavuto Tells Former Mexican President That Trump’s Taco Bowl Tweet Is An ‘Olive Branch’ To Mexicans • Fox’s Bolling: “Bloody Protests” By Anti-Trump “Animals” Help Trump • Fox’s Charles Payne Denies That Dirty Trickster Roger Stone Is A “Proxy” For Trump
O’Reilly Writes Off Trump’s Accusation Against Cruz’s Father As Him Being “Emotional” • On On-Air Meltdown, Bill O’Reilly All But Admits Network Is In It For Ratings, Calls Trump’s Insults `Newsworthy’ • O’Reilly Slams NBC For Interviewing Trump From Trump Tower • Bill O’Reilly Tries To Sell The Border Wall To Former President Of Mexico • O’Reilly Lectures Former President Of Mexico On The “Humane” Benefits Of A Border Wall • Trump: Michelle Fields “Was Terrible,” “Maybe I Should File A Report, She Was Grabbing Me” • O’Reilly: Hillary Needs to Move Center, Pick Sherrod Brown for VP • Bill O’Reilly: Anti-Trump Protesters Are Too Stupid To Realize They’re Helping Trump • O’Reilly Believes He Knows Why Trump Won • Trump Tells O’Reilly He’s Ready To Take The “Low Road” Against Hillary Clinton In The General Election
O’REILLY: But wait. You’re fine with the low road? Most people don’t want to go on the low road?
TRUMP: No, I can handle the low road if I have to do it. I mean, we’ve had some low roads over the last few months.
TRUMP: I’m fine with it if we have to go that direction. Maybe you haven’t noticed.
O’REILLY: You know what? I hope you don’t have to go it. I would like to see you and Mrs. Clinton in a spirited campaign about issues without the low road. I know the media likes it. I know they like all that stuff but I don’t. I would like to see you, you know, you guys just fight it out over issues.
And, in the Pot Meet Kettle Department:
Hannity: Don’t Blame Me For Donald Trump! • Hannity Says It’s ‘Extremely Shallow’ for People to Blame Him for Rise of Trump • Hannity: ‘When Has Trump Shown Hostility To Non-White Voters?’ • Hannity Asks, “When Has [Trump] Been Hostile To Non-White Voters?” • Sean Hannity Won’t Rebuke National Enquirer Story Accusing Ted Cruz’s Father Of Helping JFK Assassination • Hannity Advocates Replacing House Speaker Paul Ryan After He Fails To Endorse Trump • Sean Hannity Endorses Trump, Lashes Out At Paul Ryan For “Sabotage” • ‘This Has Been Going on a Year!’: Hannity’s Frustration Mounts Over GOP’s Split Support For Trump
MEGYN KELLY FLAVOR:
TED CRUZ FLAVOR:
Ted Cruz: Rupert Murdoch ‘Turned Fox News Into the Donald Trump Network’ • Fox’s Cavuto to Cruz: There’s No Fox News ‘Cabal’ to Help Trump • Fox News Issues Statement on Cruz’s Claim They’re in the Tank for Trump
Now that Trump is the GOP’s presidential pick, Fox “News” has fallen into line. All is forgiven.
CREDIT WHERE CREDIT’S DUE: This rubric is larger than usual this week. There must be something in the water.
Watch as you read along:
Doocy had no facts on his side, so he decided to invent some statistics. “Ninety-nine percent of the violence is from the anti-Trump people,” he said, “not from the Trump supporters. They were just there for the show!”
“I don’t know where you got that stat,” Brown replied, “but I think you need to check your stats.” Brown said this while in split-screen with Doocy, who tried to laugh away the fact that he’d just been righteously nailed for lying on television. “What I’ve seen is a man being punched in the face by a Trump supporter, and [Trump] offering to pay his legal fees.”
“You’re right,” Doocy said, “in that one case.” He then turned Schlapp and asked, “Am I off-base on this stuff?”
I hate that I suddenly agree with this crazy MoFo:
Trump had mentioned on “Fox and Friends” earlier Tuesday a National Enquirer story that claimed Cruz’s father was with Oswald before the assassination of President John F. Kennedy.
Levin said the hosts of the program failed to challenge Trump’s claim.
“Several of the people on ‘The Five’ thought this was hilarious,” Levin continued. “As a matter of fact, they were defending the National Enquirer. … That’s why it’s not the Fox News Channel, it’s the Fox Channel, and the Donald Trump super-PAC.”
“We’re going to get our asses kicked in the general election, ladies and gentlemen. That’s the trajectory. Maybe it’ll change, but likely, it will not,” Levin said, adding that Trump is “limping” across the finish line to the nomination.
“They may be laughing today, but they’re going to be rubbing their own faces in their own feces. I’ll tell you that after the general election, because they have humiliated themselves.”
However, the Poster Boy for CREDIT WHERE CREDIT’S DUE has to be Charles Krauthammer. While he appears on several Fox shows, it’s his appearances on O’Reilly’s Hate Fest where he really shines. Without coming out and saying “You’re wrong” to his face, he subtly tells O’Reilly he’s wrong about something in just about every appearance:
Essential context for that chat is O’Reilly’s status as a longtime, vanilla-milkshake-sharing friend of Donald Trump. No dummy, O’Reilly surely recognizes that Krauthammer schools him on this topic. Back in March, after some other Trump outrage, O’Reilly defended the candidate on similar terms, saying that he gets “emotional” and doesn’t always process his thoughts too well. O’Reilly’s suggestion then that Trump “readjust” his rhetoric triggered a repudiation from Krauthammer, who called it “weaselly.”
These pointed-but-highly-civil disagreements make for good television, as Krauthammer articulates as strong a case against Trump as cable news can provide. Accordingly, O’Reilly deserves plaudits for hazarding these pro-Trump arguments in Krauthammer’s presence. With Trump’s ascent as the presumptive GOP nominee, there should be more of these moments down the road.
That’s good news for those who think O’Reilly is the hardest of blowhards.
CLINTON CONTEST: No winner this week looking for a positive story on Hillary Clinton, as we add another zero to the prize pack.
FOX BYTES: Fox News Meme Of The Day: Bin Laden Not A Big Deal • Michael Moore Jabs at Megyn Kelly’s Departure Rumors: ‘You’re LeBron James: You Won’t Be Here Very Long!’ • Fox’s Gutfeld: “Coal Is A Moral Substance, Where Coal Reaches, People Live Longer, Happier Lives” • Fox’s Bream Cites Debunked GOP Talking Points To Undermine Reality That Strict Voter ID Laws Have A Discriminatory Impact • Fox Contributor Calls To “Unleash Total War” And “Destroy” ISIS Capital, Ignores That Civilians Live There • Fox’s McDowell Mocks Sanders Supporters As Bong-Smoking Losers • The Daily Show Calls Out A Fox Guest’s Opposition To Equal Pay For US Women’s Soccer Team • Fox Darling Scott Brown Accuses Elizabeth Warren Of Being “Drunk” After She Blasted Trump’s “Toxic Stew Of Hatred” • Fox Host on Bathroom Law: ‘What About the Civil Rights of Women Who Don’t Want Men in Their Bathrooms?’ • Fox’s Bartiromo And Rep. Issa Blame Dems For Slow Economic Growth • Fox & Friends Follows Conservative Playbook To Spin GDP Report, Mislead On Obama’s Economic Record
Headly Westerfield spends the entire week collecting Fox “News” headlines to carefully craft each Friday Fox Follies for your reading pleasure.