UPDATE (7:05 PM): Color of Change's executive director responds. See his response, and my response to his response, below the fold.
Reading through material from the "Turn Off Fox" campaign, one gets the very clear impression that the folks at the Fox News Channel are bald-faced liars. They have "no regard for the truth," and use "half-truths" to push a "stream of misinformation" and "distortions of the truth."
Turn Off Fox is a project started by Color of Change, the far-left political organization founded by neo-Marxist and black liberation theologist Van Jones.
Despite Turn Off Fox's righteous indignation, the same document making the above accusations pushes blatant misinformation about both Fox and the Tea Party movement. Got that? The Turn Off Fox campaign wants FNC to tell the truth, and uses demonstrable falsehoods to bolster its case.
The document accusing Fox of pushing misinformation claims that Bill O'Reilly got former USDA official Shirley Sherrod fired, and claims that Tea Party protesters shouted racial slurs and spit on black congressmen outside the Capitol. Both claims have been thoroughly debunked.
The Ohio Dems cited a complaint by the technically non-partisan, but ideologically liberal group Citizens for Responsibility and Ethics in Washington. CREW claimed that the charity, Freedom Alliance, had "awarded $2,147,750 in scholarships," only half of what they spent on salaries, and a quarter of what they spent on shipping expenses, according to their complaint to the Federal Trade Commission.
But this line of attack on Freedom Alliance is bogus. CREW fails to note that since most servicemen are relatively young, most of money Freedom Alliance raises is put in a trust fund until soldiers' children are old enough to take advantage of it. Hence, while the charity raised roughly $2.1 million for scholarships in 2008 alone, according to its 990 form (pdf), it only spent about $800,000 that year, putting the rest into the trust.
Bozell appeared on the August 5 edition of Sean Hannity's program for the latest installment of "Media Mash," a look at the media's most egregious bias of the past week. The second topic in last night's segment was this doozy from CBS's Harry Smith:
HARRY SMITH to President Obama: Do you feel sometimes that your administration is not given the credit it deserves?
President OBAMA: Yes.
"You know, this wah-wah whining has got to stop. What they're saying is that the media aren't pro-Obama enough," Bozell observed, adding:
The NewsBusters publisher was commenting on an MRC study that found in a 3-month survey [April 23 - July 25] of the three broacast networks, that of 120 stories Arizona immigration law stories aired, 77 were negative compared to just 8 positive and 35 neutral. Additionally, there was a roughly 2-to-1 disparity [ 216 to 107] when it come to anti- vs. pro-SB1070 comments on those news stories.
"Here's the reality of the situation: the American people by 10-to-1 want border security. So the media are doing the exact opposite of what the American people want," Bozell concluded.
The Baltimore Sun's David Zurawik on Sunday made fools out of CBS White House Correspondent Chip Reid and former CNNer Frank Sesno.
Ironically, this happened during a "Reliable Sources" segment on CNN dealing with today's "Poisonous Press."
With host Howard Kurtz leading a discussion about how news outlets today are spending a great deal of time bashing each other, the conversation predictably led to Fox News.
Both Reid and Sesno tried to make the case that FNC is irrelevant because nobody watches the network.
Zurawik marvelously clued them both in (videos and transcripts follow with commentary):
Earlier in the discussion, fill-in co-host Erica Hill described how "things happen on both sides," like the inaccurate claims made against Sherrod. Coulter agreed and cited some examples:
How about the photo, as MSNBC is describing white men bringing guns to Obama rallies, where they only show the gun, you don't see it's a black man with a gun. Center for American Progress this week, run by John Podesta, on Obama's transition team, shows an alleged Nazi at a tea party announcing 'I'm a racist, I'm a proud racist'Hill reiterated her initial point: "But Ann, Ann, things like this happen on both sides." She then went after Fox: "On Fox News we saw footage that was ran months ago, purportedly showing certain crowds at rallies, and they were from a different event. This happens across the board." At that point, Coulter noted the poor reporting done by CBS News.
On Tuesday’s Rachel Maddow Show on MSNBC, as host Maddow complained that a video clip of former USDA official Shirley Sherrod had been edited to make it appear that she currently has a tendency to discriminate against white farmers at USDA – a clip that led to her firing by the Obama administration – the MSNBC host not only incorrectly claimed that FNC coverage of the clip had helped incite her firing, but she also suggested that FNC would never show her side of the story even though, by that time Tuesday night, several FNC shows had already informed viewers of some of the details in Sherrod’s favor. And, in fact, Sherrod had already been forced to resign before the O’Reilly Factor became the first FNC show to report the story of her comments on Monday night, although host Bill O’Reilly at the time did not realize she had already been fired.
Maddow’s show even chose to only present to her viewers clips from FNC that ran Monday and Tuesday morning which portrayed Sherrod’s comments as racist, without airing any of the clips from shows later Tuesday which showed FNC personalities conveying more of her side of the story. As Maddow filled in her viewers on some of the details in Sherrod’s favor, the MSNBC host used such phrases as "you would never know this if you got all your information from Fox News," and, after explaining that Sherrod, in fact, helped the white farmers in question, she added: "That`s what happened – unless, of course, you watch Fox News." FNC had already reported most of those same details hours earlier, and O’Reilly even informed his viewers Tuesday that Sherrod had declined an invitation to appear as a guest on his show, so liberal FNC analyst Alan Colmes appeared in her place.
In recent weeks, Fox News Channel has repeatedly updated viewers on the controversy behind the Obama administration Justice Department’s decision to drop civil action initiated during the Bush administration against New Black Panthers (NBP) members who were caught on video engaging in voter intimidation outside a polling place in Philadelphia on Election Day 2008. Even though DOJ won cases against three defendants by default when the NBP members refused to appear in court, punishment for two members was not pursued at all while the injunction against the third member was reduced to two years during which he can still visit polling stations in nearly all of country as long as it is outside Philadelphia.
But on Monday’s Countdown show, as he erroneously assumed that the FNC stories were based on the issue of criminal prosecution, MSNBC host Keith Olbermann absurdly claimed that FNC’s entire premise for its coverage had been debunked as he picked up on reports by the left-wing American Prospect magazine which recounted the Bush-era Justice Department decision not to pursue criminal charges.
Olbermann referred to FNC’s pursuit of the New Black Panther voter intimidation story as a "continuous fake ‘newsgasm’ over there at Fox, drumming up paranoia among their more racist viewers." The Countdown host proclaimed: "There is, as it proves, one huge flaw in this latest Fox-driven conspiracy. The decision not to prosecute was not made by Obama, nor the Obama administration, nor the Attorney General, Mr. Holder. It was made during the administration of President George W. Bush."
Noted NewsBusters publisher Brent Bozell:
Here you had a whistleblower from the Department of Justice saying how Eric Holder, the Attorney General, and his office stepped in and stopped the prosecution of these Black Panther people. He claimed it was the easiest prosecution in his career. He said everything was on video, everything was on tape.... It was a slam dunk.... Look, the media are refusing to cover just how radical this attorney general is...
"You have people in paramilitary uniforms, you know, spewing racial epithets at voters as they go into the polling place... obviously a case of voter intimidation. Still no coverage on ABC, CBS, NBC, several major newspapers in this country," host Sean Hannity observed.
In reality, the seven-member panel, recommended by the National Academy of Engineering, said Salazar's proposed moratorium would be "punishing the innocent." The policy "will not measurably reduce risk further," the panel explained, "and it will have a lasting impact on the nation's economy which may be greater than that of the oil spill."
Despite the panel's clear opposition to the policy, Salazar implied that they supported the moratorium. Salazar was forced to apologize after the panel publicly rebuked the Secretary's implications. "The Secretary should be free to recommend whatever he thinks is correct," said one member of the panel, "but he should not be free to use our names to justify his political decisions."