Tag Archives: Fox News Channel

Media are ‘all Democrats, all liberals’? Eh?

Joseph DiGenova is sounding like a crackpot.

The former U.S. attorney for the District of Columbia is a frequent contributor to the Fox News Channel, the conservative-leaning cable network that gives Donald Trump all the support it can muster.

DiGenova is right at home with the network.

Yet he goes on the air and declares there’s a “civil war” commencing in the United States. Then, in a fit of hilarious irony, he declares that the media are “all Democrat” and “all liberal.” He claims the media are hell bent on destroying Donald Trump and his presidency.

Do you see the irony?

DiGenova is a contributor to a key player in what conservatives like to call “the mainstream media.” Yep, I consider Fox to be part of the media “mainstream,” given the network’s popularity among a large segment of Americans.

So, why is DiGenova blathering about the media being “all Democrat”?

No, sir. They are not!

‘Fair and balanced’? Sure thing

They call themselves the “Fox ‘News’ Channel.” It’s a conservative-leaning cable network that has purported to present the “news” in a “fair and balanced” manner.

Well, check out the caption under the TV image that flashed on the Fox “News” Channel. It parrots the epithet that Donald J. Trump has used to disparage U.S. Sen. Elizabeth Warren, the Massachusetts Democrat who has just announced the formation of an exploratory committee to help her decide to run for president in 2020.

The “Pocahontas” label, of course, is Trump’s way of ridiculing Warren’s contention that she has some Native American blood in her background. The president has decided Warren’s claim is without merit, so he has hung that label on her.

Fox has glommed onto it as well.

Is that how one might define a mainstream “news” network’s “fair and balanced” coverage of a still-developing presidential campaign?

Imagine what political conservatives might think — and say — if CNN or MSNBC broadcast an image of Donald Trump with the caption that read “Cadet Bone Spur,” or “Liar in Chief,” or, well . . . you get the idea.

The Fox “News” Channel simply demonstrates yet again that it is neither “fair” or “balanced.” It serves instead as a de facto presidential mouthpiece.

Disgraceful.

‘Poorer’ and ‘dirtier,’ eh, Tucker Carlson?

Tucker Carlson fancies himself as a provocative commentator for the Fox News cable network.

His provocativeness is now costing his employers some serious dough. Sixteen advertisers have pulled out of supporting his nightly talk show on the Fox News Channel because of some remarkably intolerant remarks he made about immigrants.

He made some anti-immigrant remarks this past week without apparently qualifying them. He wasn’t talking about illegal immigrants. I guess he meant all of them.

Hmm. Strange, don’t you think? I wonder where Carlson’s forebears came from? Were they here when the Pilgrims landed? Or when Columbus landed ashore? Or when the Vikings were terrorizing the upper east coast in the 12th century? Um, probably not.

The advertisers are hitting Fox where it hurts, in its corporate pocket book.

I am not a fan of boycotts. As a rule, I don’t believe they work.

I wonder, though, whether these advertisers are going to teach Carlson — a youngish conservative firebrand — a lesson that sticks.

Finally, as the grandson of immigrants to this country, I take huge personal offense at any suggestion that my grandparents made this country dirtier and poorer when they came here in pursuit of a better life.

Is this one of ‘the best people’?

Remember this name: Heather Nauert.

She is Donald J. Trump’s latest incarnation of the “best people” he has vowed to hire to help him “make America great again.”

Oh, but who is she? She is the president’s nominee to be our nation’s ambassador to the United Nations. Nauert will succeed Nikki Haley, who is leaving government at the end of the year, possibly to pursue other political ambitions.

OK, what about her credentials to speak for the United States of America in the body aimed at keeping the worldwide peace and working around the globe?

She has zero foreign policy experience. Nauert has limited government experience of any kind; she joined the Trump administration in April 2017, becoming a spokeswoman for Secretary of State Rex Tillerson, who then slammed the door shut on Nauert. Tillerson managed to get fired and his successor, Mike Pompeo, has welcomed Nauert into State’s inner circle.

But . . . this must be what put Nauert into the hunt for the UN job: She was a top news correspondent for Fox News and served for a time as a co-host on the president’s favorite “news” and gab show, “Fox & Friends.” These are the folks who never ask him tough questions, fearing, I suppose, that they would be lumped in with those other “fake news” outlets. We can’t have it, right, ladies and gents?

So, there you have it. The president of the United States has handed the UN envoy job to someone who has not a single thing to show her fellow diplomats that she knows anything about the world around us. Indeed, she has only a little less government experience than the man who nominated her, Donald Trump.

Hey, she appears to be the perfect pick for the president, who defines “best people” in ways I cannot possibly fathom.

The cat’s out of the bag, Sean Hannity

Sean Hannity isn’t a journalist. He’s a talking head with lots of opinions. He works for the Fox News Channel and has a radio show on which he gets to bloviate and bellow his right-wing screeds.

I don’t begrudge him that privilege. He’s even won some awards for his on-air work. He also has earned some condemnation for his promoting of false conspiracies, aka “fake news.”

Oh, but now we know that his defense of Donald J. Trump and his relentless attack on the FBI raid on Trump’s lawyer’s office has a qualifier that, um, should have been disclosed when Hannity began unloading on the FBI. Hannity and Michael Cohen, the lawyer in question, have a professional relationship.

Cohen also represents Trump. He paid out $130,000 to Stormy Daniels to keep the porn queen quiet about a tryst she had with Trump in 2006. The FBI is looking for more information relating to that payoff. So, it obtained a search warrant from a federal judge and seized some documents.

Hannity has gone ballistic over it.

But don’t you think viewers and listeners deserve to know about Hannity’s particular interest in this matter? The tenets of full disclosure require it. Journalists know it.

According to The Hill: Hannity downplayed his interactions with Cohen, asserting that he’d never formally represented him in legal proceedings.

“I have occasionally had brief discussions with him about legal questions about which I wanted his input and perspective,” Hannity tweeted, adding that those conversations “dealt almost exclusively about real estate.”

Fine, young man. Any dealings with a lawyer in the news — let alone one who is involved in a sleazy, tawdry controversy involving the president of the United States — need to be disclosed to ensure that viewers and listeners can put what they’re hearing in a more complete context.

Not that it likely would matter to Sean Hannity’s fans in TV and Radio Land.

But, still …

Hypocrisy infects the media, too

Media critics, pundits and commentators love to blast politicians for their hypocrisy. Goodness, there’s so much of it out there.

But a stunning compilation of criticism and commentary began making the rounds on social media not long after Donald J. Trump announced his intention to meet with Kim Jong Un, the brutal dictator of North Korea.

It comes from the Fox News Channel.

Fox paraded a number of commentators and “contributors” who were simply aghast — aghast, I tell ya — that Barack Obama said he would be willing to meet with the enemies of the United States.

How could a U.S. president say such a thing? How could he want to meet with Kim Jong Un? Doesn’t he know what kind of monster Kim Jong Un is, how he treats his people, how he denies them the rights that should be afforded to all human beings?

That was the sum of the Fox News commentary at the beginning of the Obama presidency.

Take a look at it here.

Ah, but then Donald Trump announces that he has accepted Kim’s invitation to meet. He wants to elevate “Little Rocket Man” to the same level as the Leader of the Free World.

How did that go down in the Fox News Channel newsroom? Hey, it’s a show of statesmanship. It’s an act of boldness. Trump is exhibiting international leadership.

That’s how the Fox team assesses a U.S.-North Korea summit now.

Hypocrisy? Certainly!

I believe the Fox News Channel needs to be, um, more circumspect when it considers whether to unload on politicians for their own hypocritical displays.

Hoping that Sarah remains MIA

Not quite five years ago, I posted a blog item that discussed the departure of former half-term Alaska Gov. Sarah Palin from the Fox News Channel.

That was in 2013. She is still missing in action.

Don’t misunderstand me. I don’t wish her to be found. I prefer the national discussion to be void of Sarah Palin’s voice.

Fox says, “So long, Sarah”

The government is shut down. Donald J. Trump — whom Palin endorsed early in his presidential run — is making a mess of the presidency.

The 2008 Republican vice-presidential nominee has been silent. It’s not that I miss hearing her. It’s just that after Fox cut her loose I feared she wouldn’t go away quietly.

Silly me. I believe she has.

Yeah, some of her adult children continue to get mixed up in entanglements with the law on occasion. Her son, Track, recently got into a big-time beef with his father — Sarah’s husband — that allegedly involved a firearm.

Palin does hold a kind of special place in our recent political history. She made huge headlines when she joined Sen. John McCain on the GOP ticket in 2008. She became an immediate star. Her stardom lasted for just a little while and began to fade when it became apparent to millions of Americans that Sen. McCain’s desire to shake up his race for the presidency turned out to be, um, a big mistake.

The past is past. The present day has produced a different type of political climate dominated by another highly unconventional politician. I refer to the president of the United States.

My hunch is that Donald Trump wouldn’t dare tolerate another politician hogging the limelight. Just maybe, Sarah Palin has gotten the message.

Trump vows to bring Christmas back into vogue

Donald Trump must be channeling Bill O’Reilly.

You see, O’Reilly is fond of declaring annually that the “liberal mainstream media” are declaring war on Christmas. The former Fox News Channel host would rail constantly about the alleged war, chiding merchants across the nation for their habit of wishing “happy holidays” to their customers.

Now comes the president of the United States. He spoke to the Values Voter Summit and said that, by golly, we’re going to forgo “political correctness” and start saying “Merry Christmas.”

Where does one begin with this one? I’ll start a discussion.

War on Christmas?

I am a practicing Christian who understands the meaning of the Christmas holiday. Do I take offense when someone wishes me a happy holiday? Not in the least! The merchant who wishes me a happy holiday has no idea of my faith. He or she doesn’t know me.

I am more likely than not to wish the individual who offers me the generic holiday greeting a Merry Christmas in return.

Then I go on my way. No harm no foul.

Why, though, does the president choose to make such a big deal of it? I guess it’s because he can and because he seeks to appeal to the more narrow-minded among us who take offense at those who wish them happy holiday rather than Merry Christmas.

I do respect the fact that this nation comprises many millions of citizens who don’t celebrate Christmas. Jews, Muslims, Buddhists, Wiccans, agnostics, atheists — you name them — don’t relish the holiday’s religious significance the way many millions of others Americans do.

While campaigning for the presidency, Trump once promised he would ensure that merchants would display “Merry Christmas” signs in their places of business … as if the president has any real authority to mandate such a thing. He doesn’t.

The president, though, is now declaring war against some non-existent culture conflict.

As if Donald Trump or Bill O’Reilly don’t have enough conflict already on their respective plates.

One more time on 'War on Christmas'

Sexual harassment: the ‘norm’ at Fox News?

Eric Bolling has joined a growing list of Fox News talking heads to take a fall because of sexual harassment allegations.

I believe it’s a fair point to ask here what others in other forums have asked already: Is there some kind of corporate culture at Fox that promotes  — or perhaps condones — this kind of thing?

I’m going to go easy on Bolling, whose son has just died suddenly. The man is hurting.

But we’ve had the late Roger Ailes resign as the head man at Fox News in the wake of sexual harassment charges brought against him by the likes of former anchor Gretchan Carlson.

Then the big fish got caught on the sexual harassment hook: Bill O’Reilly was shown the door, again after sexual harassment charges were leveled against the prime-time star. Bill O denied any wrongdoing, even though he — and Fox — shelled out tens of millions of dollars in out-of-court settlements.

I don’t watch Fox as a rule, not because of the sexual harassment allegations, but because of its right-wing political slant, which I find objectionable.

However, I am a fan of at least a couple of the network’s shining stars: Chris Wallace and Shepard Smith both manage to seek and tell the truth reasonably and without outward bias.

I also used to be a huge fan of the late Tony Snow, with whom I was acquainted. I loved a story that Snow once told me about his “mission every Sunday” while he hosted “Fox News Sunday” was to get commentators Brit Hume and Juan Williams — who Snow described as his best friend at the network — to “get into a fight” on the air.

Well, that was then.

The here and now has the network reeling from yet another high-profile talking head tumbling out the door.

Sad, man. Sad.

This guy speaks the truth … at Fox!

It’s become a cliché of sorts that “only Nixon could go to China.”

The communist-hating U.S. president was the man in 1972 to open the door to the People’s Republic of China and that remains one of President Nixon’s everlasting legacies.

So, then, it might be said that “only Shepard Smith at Fox can speak the truth” about Donald J. Trump’s “mind-boggling deception.”

I single out Smith because of the network he works for. Fox News Channel is known far and wide — and beyond — as being quite friendly to the president of the United States. Trump is a frequent guest on “Fox and Friends,” and Fox commentator Sean Hannity is quite fond of extolling the president’s virtues while overlooking some of the other, um, non-virtuous qualities of the man and the team with which he has surrounded himself.

Smith isn’t part of that cadre of Trump acolytes.

He took aim at the controversy swirling around Donald Trump Jr.’s meeting with that Russian lawyer and the ever-changing reasons/excuses/dodges he keeps offering for why he accepted a meeting he thought would produce some dirt on Hillary Rodham Clinton during the 2016 campaign.

“If there’s nothing there, and that’s what they tell us, why all these lies?” Smith told fellow Fox anchor Chris Wallace. “The deception is mind-boggling and there are still people out there who think we’re making it up. And one day they are going to realize we are not.”

You all know that I don’t watch Fox News regularly. My own bias forces me to wrestle with the notion that the network that once called itself “fair and balanced” has been neither “fair” or “balanced” in its coverage of U.S. politics.

Read The Hill’s report here.

Every now and then, one of the on-air folks at Fox shows us that journalistic integrity presents itself in a media organization well-known for the policies that come from the top of its chain of command.

Shepard Smith, I suppose, has become an “enemy of the American people” because he dares offer us a view that doesn’t comport with the president’s way events should be reported.

Welcome to the club, Shep.