As I do every week while preparing Friday Fox Follies, I am currently watching the Fox “News” Channel. Today, after the latest terrorist attack in France, the meat puppets are breathlessly fomenting anger and resentment at Islam and President Obama. Yesterday the so-called news channel was breathlessly fomenting anger and resentment at Black folks and President Obama. Since going on the air in 1996 Fox “News” has been breathlessly fomenting anger and resentment at one segment of society or another and President Obama (after 2007 only).
There’s not a thing they won’t use to attack President Obama. F’rinstance: This morning they are gleefully quoting the daughter of Eric Garner, when they denigrated her father back then, because she attacked both ABC News and President Obama. Another two-fer. How do they do it?
I have been watching Fox “News” obsessively for the last 11 years (and writing about those Chicolinis for 7), ever since I moved from Canada to Florida to take care of Pops following the death of my mother. Pops has been in the hospital for the last 5 weeks –which is why I’ve not written this column lately — and that has given me ample time to reflect upon my journey from Newsroom Writer to News Critic.
When I first got to Florida, Pops was an avid Fox “News” viewer. I was, at the time, only a few years removed from a decade as a News Writer at Citytv, in Toronto. Pops always had Fox “News” on at dinner and I would be yelling at the tee vee, “You can’t say that!” “That’s not true!” “How can they get away with that?”
Pops would say, in his dry way, “Why don’t you call them up?”
I told him it was deliberate propaganda. They knew exactly what they were saying . . . and I couldn’t believe it.
I’ve long said that a tee vee station in Canada would never get away with broadcasting such obvious lies. There are Broadcast Standards and any aggrieved citizen can make a complaint to the Canadian Radio-television and Telecommunications Commission (CRTC) and, if there’s merit, it will be heard. Where does one go to complain about the stinking piles of manure Fox “News” drops throughout the broadcast day?
Then one day, while perusing the documentaries at the local library, I discovered Outfoxed. This movie exposed everything I had been screaming about. This confirmed every trick in the book, that I was seeing with my own two eyes, of how Fox “News” slanted stories. Before Fox “News” criticism became a cottage industry, Brave New Films was exposing its dark underbelly. Because absolutely nothing has changed since it was made in 2004, and because it’s such an important movie, watch the whole thing when you get a spare 77 minutes:
It wasn’t long after that I discovered NewsHounds, the motto of which is “We watch Fox News so you don’t have to!” I became a regular reader there and then started to contribute to threads under the nom de troll Aunty Em Ericann. When the editor discovered I watched Glenn Beck because I considered it high comedy, Aunty Em was hired to write a weekly column on the Comedy Cavalcade of Crazy. From there I branched out to make fun of the rest of the Fox “News” personalities, some with more venom than others because some are more dangerous than others.
IRONY ALERT: It was a while before I learned that some of the people who had started NewsHounds had been some of the researchers for Outfoxed.
I kept up my Fox “News” criticism at the Not Now Silly Newsroom, the facebookery, and now here at PoliticusUSA. Meanwhile, many years ago, I broke Pops of the habit of watching the Fox “News” Channel. Now he watches CNN, which TO BE FAIR is becoming more like Fox “News” every day.
However, I’m still obsessed. Thanks, Pops!!!
Fox “News” has clearly jumped on board the Trump Train — just as it has done for the GOP every election cycle since Bill Clinton was soiling dresses. That’s why it’s more important than ever to be a Fox “News” critic and to expose the purported news channel’s mendacity. Roger Ailes is hoping he can help elect a ‘Merkin Demagogue to the Oval Office. Donald Trump, who knows more than a little about quid pro quo, might be inclined to help pay Fox “News” back for all the free publicity it has given him over the years.
WRETCHED GRETCHED: Speaking of Roger Ailes, one story I’m sorry I missed while away was Gretchen Carlson’s accusations of sexual harassment against Roger Ailes. It almost makes me sorry I made fun of her at Not Now Silly. Once I called her the e.e. cummings of the Twitterverse for her bizarre lack of capitalization in her tweets where it mattered, but sprinkled where it shouldn’t. Then there was that time I coined Wretched Gretched as an epithet. However, no one deserves to be sexually harassed on the job. Without reservation I believe Carlson, just as I believed the victims of Bill Cosby and Jian Ghomeshi.
Another reason I have no reason to doubt Carlson is that I exposed Roger Ailes’ lies about Richard Nixon’s treason to John Mitchell’s biographer, Fox “News” reporter James Rosen. If Ailes will cover up treason, what won’t he do? Treating women as sexual objects doesn’t seem like much of a stretch.
Here are just some of the hundreds of headlines that Roger Ailes helped generate:
Bombshell! Gretchen Carlson Claims She Was Fired From Fox News Because Of Roger Ailes’ Sexual Harassment • How Strong Is Gretchen Carlson’s Case Against Roger Ailes At Fox? A Legal Expert Breaks It Down • Fox News Unhinged As Gretchen Carlson Files Sexual Harassment Lawsuit Against Roger Ailes • Roger Ailes Is Desperate To Silence Gretchen Carlson • Fox News’ Roger Ailes Faces Uncertain Future Amid Sexual Harassment Suit • Why one harassment allegation against powerful men like Roger Ailes often leads to many more • Fox News Women: Roger Ailes Asked to See My Underwear, If I Was Single, and More • The he-said-she-said of Carlson vs Fox News honcho Ailes • Is Fox’s Roger Ailes This Year’s Bill Cosby? • Gretchen Carlson’s Fox News Contract Could Shroud Her Case in Secrecy • Gretchen Carlson to NYT: Harassing Language by Roger Ailes Was ‘Continuous’ • Fox Personalities Respond To Gretchen Carlson’s Sexual Harassment Lawsuit With Familiar Victim-Blaming • Gretchen Carlson on her lawsuit • Shocker! Gretchen Carlson Not The Only Fox Female To Allege Sexual Harassment From Roger Ailes • Gretchen Carlson speaks out on Twitter after filing lawsuit against Roger Ailes • Report: 10 More Women Have Contacted Gretchen Carlson’s Lawyers Alleging Ailes Harassment • After Gretchen Carlson more women accuse Roger Ailes of sexual harassment • 6 More Women Allege That Roger Ailes Sexually Harassed Them • Three Former Fox Anchors Reportedly Sexually Harassed By Roger Ailes • Commentary: Sexual harassment is invisible to half the population • Former Fox News Producer: I Witnessed Roger Ailes Sexually Harassing An Anchor
Watch the Gretchen Carlson Sexist Supercut from Bloomberg:
However, Roger Ailes has some defenders including Roger Ailes:
Loofah Lad, who got his unique nickname during his own sexual harassment lawsuit that he settled for an undisclosed amount [cough millions cough], weighed in on the man who allowed him to make millions of dollars off the back of the unsuspecting Fox “News” audience:
Watch one sexual harasser defend another:
I believe The Falafel King. Don’t you? And then there’s Donald Trump’s Reason for His Defense of Roger Ailes is Totally Insane by our own Sarah Jones:
The first issue is that it is ridiculous to speculate on the merit of the accusations if you weren’t there, aren’t a woman, have never experienced sexual harassment, and have political incentive to pretend you don’t see them.
Presidential it is not, when you make a decision about something when you have no facts upon which to make a decision.
And worse yet, Donald Trump is a harasser of women. He sees women as a piece of meat, eye candy at best and trash to be threatened and hit when he isn’t happy.
The allegations against Donald Trump are too numerous to list here, but from his ex-wife’s account of his assaulting her to his relentless harassment of a female journalist who rebuffed him until she had to threaten him legally, he sounds a lot like the Roger Ailes described by so many women.
That’s right. One serial harasser defending another. Who else is there? Lookie here! It’s Viagra-popping Rush Limbaugh Defends Fox’s Roger Ailes From Sexual Harassment Allegations and goofy Geraldo Rivera Defends Roger Ailes by Comparing Him to Bear That Jumped Leonardo DiCaprio. No. Really.
While nothing mitigates such sexist behaviour — NOTHING! — Gretchen Carlson did buy into a so-called news network on which The Leg Chair is an actual thing. A channel on which one subtle subtext is that women should be servile, kinda like in the Bible, yannow? A channel that finds almost any excuse to show scantily clad women, while tut-tutting the behaviour of the women on the screen and blaming it on President Obama somehow. Another rare two-fer. How do they do it?
IRONY ALERT: Fox “News” claims that Gretchen Carlson and her lawyers are trying this case in the media. If so, they’re winning. That stench never comes off. Just ask Roscoe Arbuckle.
Headly Westerfield promises a longer column next week once he’s back up to speed. Meanwhile, he invites you to read Say Goodbye to the E.W.F. Stirrup House While You Still Can.