Tag Archives: Fox News

POTUS ‘speaks for himself’

Those who like to parse the words that come from public officials have been handed a serious bit of homework to ponder.

It comes from Secretary of State Rex Tillerson, who offered up a potentially provocative assertion on a Sunday news/talk show.

Tillerson was interviewed by “Fox News Sunday” moderator Chris Wallace and the discussion turned to the Charlottesville, Va., riot and Donald J. Trump’s various responses to the tragic event.

According to Politico: “Tillerson said Sunday that the nation’s commitment to combating discrimination should be without question.

“’We express America’s values from the State Department. We represent the American people, we represent America’s values, our commitment to freedom, our commitment to equal treatment of people the world over and that message has never changed,’ Tillerson said. ‘I don’t believe anyone doubts the American people’s values or the commitment of the American government or the government’s agencies to advancing those values and defending those values.’”

Wallace then asked: “And the president’s values?” To which Tillerson answered: “The president speaks for himself, Chris.”

“Are you separating yourself from that, sir?” Wallace asked.

“I’ve spoken — I’ve made my own comments as to our values as well in a speech I gave to the State Department this past week,” Tillerson said.

Well …

If I were a betting man — and if I were in the business of reading someone’s mind — I might suggest that the secretary of state has just put some distance between himself and the tirade that poured forth from the president of the United States with regard to Charlottesville.

I also might wonder if the clock has just started ticking on Tillerson’s tenure at the State Department.

Fox host makes ridiculous assertion … surprise!

Good grief. Just after I offered a word of praise about Fox News anchor Shepard Smith — extolling the virtue of his speaking the truth on the “unfair and unbalanced” network — one of his colleagues spews some idiotic tripe.

This guy speaks the truth … at Fox!

Lisa Boothe is a co-host on the Fox show “The Five.” What did this person say? She called Hillary Rodham Clinton the “most soulless woman on the planet” and asserted she would “sell” her only child to become president.

Classy, yes? Actually, no!

Boothe’s idiocy drew a sharp rebuke from Hillary Clinton’s daughter, Chelsea, who stood foursquare behind her mother. Chelsea responded via Twitter: “No, she wouldn’t. I’ve never doubted & always known I was the most important part of her life,” Chelsea Clinton said. “Now as a mom I’m even more grateful to my mom.”

Why won’t these talking heads ever learn to keep family out of political debates?

Hell freezes over: Fox News anchor defends Obama

When a TV anchor for Fox News Channel — the outfit formerly known for its “fair and balanced” mantra — comes to President Barack Obama’s defense, well, then you’ve got my attention.

So it was this week with Julie Banderas, who scolded Republican National Committee Chairwoman Ronna Romney McDaniel’s feeble attempt at defending Donald J. Trump’s vulgar tweet about another news talk show host, MSNBC’s Mika Brzezinski.

Banderas noted that Obama’s critics called him all sorts of names, heaped all sorts of unfair and inaccurate criticism on him. She told McDaniel that the former president responded with dignity and decorum. He chose not to fire off angry tweets in the wee hours of some morning to answer his critics.

Banderas said: “People used to call him a Muslim. People used to call him under-qualified, a sellout to America, a hater of Israel. I mean they called him every name in the book, but you didn’t see him lash out.”

Here is the Fox interview

“Today, the president acted like a human, and he pushed back,” McDaniel told Banderas.

Sorry, Mme. Chairwoman. A “human” doesn’t have to resort to such degrading personal attacks to make whatever point he sought to make. Someone will have to inform me on precisely what the president’s point actually was.

He tweeted something about Brzezinski “bleeding badly from a facelift.” He called her “Crazy Mika.” He attacked yet another female in public life, using language not fit for a junior high school playground, let alone from the commander in chief and head of state of the world’s greatest nation.

Chairwoman McDaniel’s use of the word “human” also should include the word “decency.” If the president had a hint of human decency buried somewhere in his DNA he would have refrained from attacking another human in such a personal and undignified manner.

Julie Banderas was absolutely correct to call the president out for his latest moronic Twitter tirade.

No more ‘Fair and Balanced’

Fox News Channel is dropping its long-standing mantra of being the “fair and balanced” news network.

I don’t quite know whether to cheer loudly or to sigh out of exasperation.

Fox is going to adopt a new slogan eventually, according to reports. For now it’s dropping the “fair and balanced” label, which was the creation of ousted Fox president Roger Ailes, who lost his job in 2016 after being accused of sexual harassment.

I’ve long believed the network is neither “fair” or “balanced” in its presentation of the news. I also have long acknowledged the impressive audience it has created out here in TV Viewer Land with its decidedly conservative slant.

Go to any public location in the Texas Panhandle where you’ll see TV sets — doctor’s office, dentist’s office, restaurants, banks or other financial institutions — and you see Fox News anchors giving you their version of the news. That is the power of the network that Ailes founded as an antidote to what he believed was a liberal tilt to the presentation of news.

Fox has done a number of things well. For instance, it spiced up its news programming with a bit of pizzazz, bringing other cable news outlets along to do the same for their presentation.

Fair and balanced? It never was any of that. At least not to my eyes and ears.

How about those anonymous sources, Mr. POTUS?

This item almost doesn’t deserve comment. Aww, but what the heck.

Donald J. Trump fired of a tweet that cited anonymous sources after, um, blasting anonymous sources.

It’s become normal, I guess, for the president to do this kind of thing. Do as I say, not as I do.

* He blasts Michelle Obama for not covering her head while touring a Muslim country, only to have his wife do the same thing during his recent journey to Saudi Arabia.

* He rips into Barack Obama for all that golf he played as president, then hits the links with reckless abandon when he takes office.

* Trump leads rally crowd chants of “lock her up!” for her use of private e-mail account while serving as secretary of state, then he blabs to Russians about classified security information.

http://thehill.com/homenews/administration/335598-trump-retweets-story-based-on-anonymous-source-after-blasting

The president retweeted a Fox News report that cites an anonymous source relating to his son-in-law’s current difficulty with “the Russia thing.” He did so just days after tweeting a rant equating anonymous sources to “fake news.”

Here’s a suggestion for the president: Take a breath and be sure about what you’ve put into the public domain before firing off another of those nonsensical tweets.

See ya later, Bob Beckel

Bob Beckel’s dismissal from the Fox News Channel isn’t as big a deal as, say, Bill O’Reilly’s firing or that of the late Roger Ailes.

It’s still a big deal, however.

Fox canned Beckel today in connection with racially insensitive remarks he made to a fellow network employee. Beckel was one of the co-hosts of “The Five,” a network news talk show that airs weekday afternoons. He leans to the left politically and usually found himself on the short end of a gang fight with his co-hosts, most of whom lean to the right.

I always found it fascinating that Beckel was seen as a political “expert.” Why the fascination? Well, he shepherded Democratic nominee Walter Mondale’s 1984 presidential campaign to a 49-state landslide loss to President Ronald Reagan.

Fox’s quick dismissal of Beckel does suggest to many observers that the network has been sensitized to misbehavior by its on-air personalities. O’Reilly was canned after revelations came out about the sexual harassment settlements to which he agreed; several women accused O’Reilly of harassing them. And then there is Ailes, the network founder who was let go also for sexual harassment claims leveled against him; Ailes died this week at the age of 77.

I won’t miss Beckel. For starters, I don’t generally watch Fox News. When I have tuned in, I have found Beckel’s analysis to be seriously underwhelming.

Kudos go to Fox for its quick action. Heaven knows the network has taken a beating over the way it (mis)handled the sexual harassment matters.

May this firing signal a change in the corporate culture at the “fair and balanced” network.

Sean Spicer: dead man walking

I guess Sean Spicer won’t be the White House press secretary much longer.

Fox News host Kimberly Guilfoyle is talking out loud about negotiations she has entered to become the next press flack at the White House.

I find it fascinating to the max that Spicer would be hung out to dry in public by the White House and, presumably, by the president of the United States.

To borrow a phrase from a long time ago — I refer to the Watergate scandal of the 1970s — it suggests that Donald John Trump is making Spicer “twist slowly in the wind.”

In an odd sort of way, Guilfoyle’s public acknowledgement that she’s in the running to replace the press secretary makes me feel a bit of sympathy for Sean Spicer.

He deserves better treatment than what he appears to be getting.

Is a ‘culture change’ in store at cable network?

21st-Century Fox made it official today: Bill O’Reilly, the company’s No. 1 blowhard and ratings juggernaut is gone.

He won’t be returning from his “long-planned vacation,” which commenced suddenly in the middle of this past week.

The reason for O’Reilly’s departure? A steady stream of negative publicity relating to sexual harassment complaints leveled against the veteran TV talk-show host.

O’Reilly paid out millions of bucks to women who had filed the complaints, all the while maintaining his innocence. Interesting, yes? Well, I think so. Fox News Channel coughed up a lot of cash, too, to women who had griped about O’Reilly’s treatment of them.

These media stories usually become the stuff of inter-network gossip. Competing networks — chiefly CNN and MSNBC — have had a field day covering this story for their audiences; Fox, meanwhile, hasn’t done much reporting at all on the difficulties that O’Reilly has brought to the network.

He’s gone now.

For me, it’s no great loss. I quit listening to O’Reilly a couple of Christmas seasons ago when he would allege that some phony “war on Christmas” was being waged by the “mainstream media” and assorted “left-wing pinheads.”

O’Reilly will get a big chunk of cash for, essentially, being fired for cause by Fox. That’s another part of these celebrity stories that baffles me. A big-ticket media talking head screws up, makes a big mistake — in this case, allegedly, several big mistakes — and he’s still able to walk away with a hefty severance package.

Whatever …

See ya in the funny papers, Bill.

As for the network, it lost its news boss — Roger Ailes — over similar accusations. Women have suggested there exists a “culture” of sexual harassment at Fox.

Perhaps we are witnessing a fundamental change in that culture and that female journalists and other “contributors” will feel more welcome and accepted for the talent they bring.

Eat chocolate cake; bomb Syria?

I’ll give a prize to anyone who can figure out what Donald John “Smart Person” Trump meant to suggest while talking about his decision to unleash the Tomahawk missiles on Syrian targets.

He told Fox News business correspondent Maria Bartiromo that he made the decision while visiting with the president of China at his Mar-a-Lago resort in Florida.

He said he decided to reveal his decision to the Chinese president to bomb the Syrians while eating a delicious piece of chocolate cake.

OK. Now, what in the name of culinary pleasure does one have to do with the other?

The president calls himself the king of the deal, the king of debt. For all I know perhaps he considers himself to be king of the world.

I believe he is, without a doubt, the king of the non sequitur.

CNN vs. Fox over this O’Reilly matter

There’s little doubt I will tire of this story quickly, but for now I’m kind of chuckling at a media war that’s flaring up over the controversy surrounding a cable news star.

You’ve heard of Bill O’Reilly, the Fox News Channel’s main man who’s been accused by several women of behaving a boorishly, of committing acts of sexual harassment.

Meanwhile, CNN talking heads and commentators have been blazing away rhetorically over the troubles at Fox.

Fox is firing back, accusing CNN of ignoring a story regarding whether former national security adviser Susan Rice outed some Trump campaign officials who might have been monitored by, oh, someone. CNN denies ignoring the story. Fox, meanwhile, is sticking with O’Reilly.

The two main-event combatants appear to be O’Reilly and CNN’s Don Lemon.

I plan to watch this tempest play itself out from the peanut gallery.

Fox is ignoring the O’Reilly matter

CNN has been covering the Rice story. It’s pretty clear, though, that Fox is giving short shrift to the O’Reilly story. I get that the stories aren’t parallel; Rice is a former government official while O’Reilly is employed by one of the feuding cable news networks.

Fight on, cable news guys.