As reporters focus on Donald Trump, they miss new details on Hillary Clinton’s rotten record.
Kimberly A. Strassel writes: If average voters turned on the TV for five minutes this week, chances are they know that Donald Trump made lewd remarks a decade ago and now stands accused of groping women.
“But even if average voters had the TV on 24/7, they still probably haven’t heard the news about Hillary Clinton: That the nation now has proof of pretty much everything she has been accused of.”
But even if average voters had the TV on 24/7, they still probably haven’t heard the news about Hillary Clinton: That the nation now has proof of pretty much everything she has been accused of.
“The Obama administration—the federal government, supported by tax dollars—was working as an extension of the Clinton campaign. The State Department coordinated with her staff in responding to the email scandal, and the Justice Department kept her team informed about developments in the court case.”
It comes from hacked emails dumped by WikiLeaks, documents released under the Freedom of Information Act, and accounts from FBI insiders. The media has almost uniformly ignored the flurry of bombshells, preferring to devote its front pages to the Trump story. So let’s review what amounts to a devastating case against a Clinton presidency.
Start with a June 2015 email to Clinton staffers from Erika Rottenberg, the former general counsel of LinkedIn. Ms. Rottenberg wrote that none of the attorneys in her circle of friends “can understand how it was viewed as ok/secure/appropriate to use a private server for secure documents AND why further Hillary took it upon herself to review them and delete documents.”
She added: “It smacks of acting above the law and it smacks of the type of thing I’ve either gotten discovery sanctions for, fired people for, etc.”
A few months later, in a September 2015 email, a Clinton confidante fretted that Mrs. Clinton was too bullheaded to acknowledge she’d done wrong. “Everyone wants her to apologize,” wrote Neera Tanden, president of the liberal Center for American Progress. “And she should. Apologies are like her Achilles’ heel.”
“In a series of 2010 emails, a senior aide to Mrs. Clinton asked a foundation official to let her know which groups offering assistance with the Haitian earthquake relief were “FOB” (Friends of Bill)…Those who made the cut appear to have been teed up for contracts. Those who weren’t? Routed to a standard government website.”
Clinton staffers debated how to evade a congressional subpoena of Mrs. Clinton’s emails—three weeks before a technician deleted them. The campaign later employed a focus group to see if it could fool Americans into thinking the email scandal was part of the Benghazi investigation (they are separate) and lay it all off as a Republican plot.
“Clinton staffers debated how to evade a congressional subpoena of Mrs. Clinton’s emails—three weeks before a technician deleted them. The campaign later employed a focus group to see if it could fool Americans into thinking the email scandal was part of the Benghazi investigation…”
A senior FBI official involved with the Clinton investigation told Fox News this week that the “vast majority” of career agents and prosecutors working the case “felt she should be prosecuted” and that giving her a pass was “a top-down decision.” Read the rest of this entry »
Jon Stewart has been a major cultural and political commentator for the past 16 years. He liked to take down the powerful—at least, when his head wasn’t shoved up Uncle Sam’s ass.
As “The Daily Show” host ends his run, reminisce with Reason TV the top five ways Jon Stewart was full of shit.
Approximately 5 minutes. Read the rest of this entry »
Compare and Contrast: Fox Moderators Praised for Being ‘Tough’ on GOP Contenders vs Liberal Media’s Worship of Dem LeaderPosted: August 7, 2015
There were mixed reviews of the candidates on Thursday night, but almost unanimously positive reviews of the Fox News moderators.
“Tough.” “Brilliant.” “Pitbulls.”
The raves for Fox‘s questioning started right away and continued well into the evening, even from rivals and critics who rarely praise the cable news channel.
Austan Goolsbee, a former member of President Obama’s cabinet, gave Fox credit this way:
“If they were treating the Dems like this, I would have said they were gratuitously busting their chops.”
Yochi Dreazen, managing editor of Foreign Policy magazine, said some of the candidates looked “shell-shocked” by tough questions from Fox, a channel defined by its conservative political and cultural tilt.
That’s what public radio host Kai Ryssdal meant when he wrote,
“Have to hand it to Fox News moderators for going after their guys.”
Fox News chairman Roger Ailes and his lieutenants have been at the center of the presidential race for weeks thanks to Thursday’s debate and the controversial entry criteria for it. Only the “top ten” candidates, as determined by the polls, were invited to the prime time event…
“Obama is, of course, greater than Jesus.”
“No one saw him coming, and Christians believe God comes at us from strange angles and places we don’t expect, like Jesus being born in a manger.”
“Many even see in Obama a messiah-like figure, a great soul, and some affectionately call him Mahatma Obama.”
“We just like to say his name. We are considering taking it as a mantra.”
“A Lightworker – An Attuned Being with Powerful Luminosity and High-Vibration Integrity who will actually help usher in a New Way of Being”
“What Barack Obama has accomplished is the single most extraordinary event that has occurred in the 232 years of the nation’s political history.”
“Does it not feel as if some special hand is guiding Obama on his journey, I mean, as he has said, the utter improbability of it all?”
“He communicates God-like energy…”
– Steve Davis (Charleston, SC)
“This was the moment when the rise of the oceans began to slow and our planet began to heal.”
“Not just an ordinary human being but indeed an Advanced Soul.”
“I’ll do whatever he says to do. I’ll collect paper cups off the ground to make his pathway clear.”
“A quantum leap in American consciousness.”
“He is not operating on the same plane as ordinary politicians… . the agent of transformation in an age of revolution, as a figure uniquely qualified to open the door to the 21st century.”
“Barack Obama is our collective representation of our purest hopes, our highest visions and our deepest knowings … He’s our product out of the all-knowing quantum field of intelligence.”
“This is bigger than Kennedy… . This is the New Testament…I felt this thrill going up my leg. I mean, I don’t have that too often. No, seriously. It’s a dramatic event.”
“…creative imagination which coupled with brilliance equals wisdom … the man for this time.”
“Obama’s finest speeches do not excite. They do not inform. They don’t even really inspire. They elevate… . He is not the Word made flesh, but the triumph of word over flesh … Obama is, at his best, able to call us back to our highest selves.”
“Obama has the capacity to summon heroic forces from the spiritual depths of ordinary citizens and to unleash therefrom a symphonic chorus of unique creative acts whose common purpose is to tame the soul and alleviate the great challenges facing mankind.”
“We’re here to evolve to a higher plane … he is an evolved leader … [he] has an ear for eloquence and a Tongue dipped in the Unvarnished Truth.”
“I would characterize the Senate race as being a race where Obama was, let’s say, blessed and highly favored. That’s not routine. There’s something else going on. I think that Obama, his election to the Senate, was divinely ordered… . I know that that was God’s plan.“
Fox’s Roger Ailes: Jon Stewart’s Sugar Daddy Comedy Supplier Sends the Departing Host Home with a Taste of His Own MedicinePosted: August 6, 2015
Roger Ailes: a smile and a knife in the ribs
“He’s been after us for years. Occasionally we pay attention. We think he’s funny. We never took it seriously and he never made a dent in us.”
Paul Bond writes: As Jon Stewart‘s final Daily Show approaches, the comedian has mercilessly mocked Fox News Channel, even comparing Roger Ailes to Death. It’s almost like he’s daring the network’s chairman and CEO to respond. Now, he has.
“He’s a brilliant comedian. He’s actually a very nice guy, and I saw him with his kids on the street. He’s a good father. He has a bitter view of the world and you see it embodied in how he’s reacting to Fox News, equating it with death.”
“He’s been after us for years. Occasionally we pay attention. We think he’s funny. We never took it seriously and he never made a dent in us,” Ailes told The Hollywood Reporter after being contacted on Wednesday.
“He’s feeling unrewarded because Fox News beats him on the amount of money we make, on ratings and on popularity. I’m sure it’s very depressing when he sits home at night and worries about it. We never did.”
The Fox News chief added: “As he faces the end of his career, he’s beginning to wonder: ‘Is this as popular as I’m ever going to get? Is this as much power as I’ll ever have? The one person I could never get rid of was Roger Ailes. I tried. I did everything I could.’ This was all a plea to his lefty friends. I think he’s disappointed that he didn’t accomplish that goal, and we, of course, supplied him with half of his comedy. It’s just a matter of disappointment.”
“As he faces the end of his career, he’s beginning to wonder: ‘Is this as popular as I’m ever going to get? Is this as much power as I’ll ever have? The one person I could never get rid of was Roger Ailes. I tried. I did everything I could.’ This was all a plea to his lefty friends. I think he’s disappointed that he didn’t accomplish that goal, and we, of course, supplied him with half of his comedy. It’s just a matter of disappointment.”
During his show last week, Jon Stewart showed a clip of the Ingmar Bergman movie, The Seventh Seal, only he substituted Ailes for the Death character. Ailes told THR he hadn’t seen the segment, but he isn’t surprised at the vitriol aimed at him.
“You can’t say that many negative things about people unless you’re really unhappy about something. actually think he doesn’t dislike me. We met once or twice. I talked to him for an hour once in my office. I think he’s really smart and he’s got a great future.”
“He’s feeling unrewarded because Fox News beats him on the amount of money we make, on ratings and on popularity. I’m sure it’s very depressing when he sits home at night and worries about it. We never did,” Ailes said. Read the rest of this entry »
For more than eight years, Fox News has been broadcasting a 3 A.M. program called ‘Red Eye,’ an odd and often funny late-night show that is not exactly satire, and not exactly anything else, either. Its sensibility is snarky and surreal, thanks to its host, Greg Gutfeld, a former magazine editor who adopts a tone of half-sarcastic alarm, as if he can’t decide which is more annoying: the politician he is talking about, or the fact that he has to talk about politicians.
Last month, Jon Stewart declared that he would be leaving “The Daily Show,” after sixteen years. One of many writers who paid him tribute was Oliver Morrison, in The Atlantic, who used the opportunity to consider the relationship between comedy and ideology.
“From the beginning, ‘Red Eye’ was cheerfully repetitive, finding humor in a series of running gags. Gutfeld liked to introduce guests with absurd, sexually suggestive hypotheticals that were meant to be flattering. On Greg Proops, the comedian: ‘If hilarity were a telethon, I’d do him in front of a bunch of sick kids’.”
Stewart’s former colleague, Stephen Colbert, once joked that “reality has a well-known liberal bias.” Morrison wondered whether political satire, too, might have a liberal bias. He noted that liberal humor would live on, thanks to programs such as “Last Week Tonight With John Oliver,” on HBO. But he couldn’t identify an equivalent tradition on the other side of the political spectrum. “Why,” he asked, “hasn’t a conservative Daily Show found its own place on Fox?”
“Gutfeld probably regretted offending Canadian troops and their family members, but he was probably also pleased that his biggest scandal involved the phrase ‘gorgeous white Capri pants’.”
It wasn’t clear whether Morrison meant to refer to the Fox Broadcasting Company, which isn’t known for politics, or to Fox News, which isn’t known for comedy. (Why couldn’t a conservative comedy show air on Comedy Central, the ostensibly nonpartisan network that broadcasts “The Daily Show”?) But for more than eight years, Fox News has been broadcasting a 3 A.M. program called “Red Eye,” an odd and often funny late-night show that is not exactly satire, and not exactly anything else, either. Its sensibility is snarky and surreal, thanks to its host, Greg Gutfeld, a former magazine editor who adopts a tone of half-sarcastic alarm, as if he can’t decide which is more annoying: the politician he is talking about, or the fact that he has to talk about politicians. It sounds like faint praise to call “Red Eye” the funniest and most unpredictable program on cable news, but that’s what it is—or, rather, that’s what it was.
Last week, Gutfeld announced that he, like Stewart, would be leaving late night—in his case, to develop a new weekend program for Fox News. (“Red Eye” will continue, with a different host.) In his article, Morrison discussed Gutfeld in a dismissive paragraph, judging that his humor was often “hackneyed,” and “far . . . from working in prime time.” In fact, Gutfeld is a familiar presence on the network’s two highest-rated programs: he is a regular member of the panel on “The Five,” an afternoon talk show, and a guest and occasional guest host for Bill O’Reilly, at eight. Somehow, Gutfeld—the proprietor of a program whose continued existence once seemed like both a secret and a mystery—has become one of the most prominent faces on Fox News.
From the beginning, “Red Eye” was cheerfully repetitive, finding humor in a series of running gags. Gutfeld liked to introduce guests with absurd, sexually suggestive hypotheticals that were meant to be flattering. (On Greg Proops, the comedian: “If hilarity were a telethon, I’d do him in front of a bunch of sick kids.”) For a time, Andy Levy served as the show’s pesky “ombudsman,” delivering persnickety or off-topic corrections during a “halftime report” in the middle of the show. “You said we need to weaponize space,” Levy told Gutfeld, one night, deadpan. “Actually, the Outer Space Treaty of 1967 prohibits the U.S. or any other signatory nation from installing any kind of nukes or weapons of mass destruction in space, and limits the use of the moon and other celestial bodies to purely peaceful reasons.”
“…Red Eye” was often “nauseating”—not to mention inane, ramshackle, mindlessly sarcastic, sneakily smart, patently absurd, and generally refreshing. But he would be quick to point out that the show never had anything like twenty million viewers…”
Sometimes, Gutfeld tweaked cable-news conventions, as when he purported to address banking reform by convening a sixteen-person panel of experts, including familiar Fox News personalities such as John Bolton, and markedly unfamiliar ones, such as Rosie O’Donnell. As he introduced them, they appeared (or seemed to appear) live, forming a four-by-four matrix of pundit redundancy—by which point it was time, of course, for Gutfeld to thank them all, by name, and then end the segment. Other times, the show came joyfully unmoored from those conventions, as when Levy, throwing the broadcast back to Gutfeld, suddenly began quoting “A Midsummer Night’s Dream”:
GUTFELD: Thank you, Andy.
LEVY: Get you gone, you dwarf; you minimus, of hindering knot-grass made; you bead, you acorn. Greg.
GUTFELD: Why rebuke you him that loves you so?
LEVY: I apologize for nothing.
This last line was Levy’s catchphrase, and it also served as a constant reminder of the time, in 2009, when Gutfeld was obliged to apologize to the Canadian military, after a particularly irreverent discussion. The head of the Canadian land forces had said that the Army might need “a short operational break” lasting “at least one year” following its engagement in Afghanistan. Gutfeld had wondered whether this might not be “the perfect time to invade this ridiculous country,” adding, “The Canadian military wants to take a breather, to do some yoga, paint landscapes, run on the beach in gorgeous white Capri pants.” Gutfeld probably regretted offending Canadian troops and their family members, but he was probably also pleased that his biggest scandal involved the phrase “gorgeous white Capri pants.”
For all his seeming clumsiness, Gutfeld had a remarkable knack for saying ridiculous things without getting himself fired. (When one guest, a musician, set his electric guitar ablaze, Gutfeld was afraid that he might face punishment; he concluded, when no punishment came, that none of the executives stayed up late enough to watch his show.) On Friday night, during his final broadcast, he revisited some favorite old segments, including an excellent clip of Mick Foley, the former professional wrestler, mistaking Chris Barron, a co-founder of the gay conservative group GOProud, for Chris Barron, the lead singer of the Spin Doctors. (“I looked you up, man,” said Foley, sounding embarrassed but also disappointed—he had prepared a zinger about “Little Miss Can’t Be Wrong.”) “I dare you to find one boring moment,” Gutfeld said, sounding uncharacteristically earnest. “Excluding this one.” Read the rest of this entry »
Admitting that the way we were getting news was desperately flawed—at least until a few years ago—is really admitting to a larger failure in ourselves. So, of course, we will never do it.
“What gets lost is a proverbial sense of communal experience. We’re not all getting it through Walter Cronkite. We’re not all going to experience him choke back a tear. The danger is that we become isolated in our own echo chambers—that we don’t get different points of view that open us up to thinking about other people. That’s the dystopian view. That’s the fear—that everyone’s essentially in their own bubble.”
— Jordan Levin
The reality is the opposite: The protections that we now know need to be provided to TV journalists—the expectation that they could be human, that they could quickly admit to mistakes without being permanently reviled, that they could unveil their process while reporting on what they know and don’t know—are really only provided to comedians.
Comedy and news collided not because comedy needed the news, but because news needed the protections of comedy.
Here’s how we know it: The most prominent cases of clear government corruption that were brought to light—and eventually killed—by a TV show in the last year did not come from the Nightly News, a tepid-by-design, rote reconstruction of the day’s events told slowly and dispassionately, as not to ruffle the feathers of the powerful.
Those scoops—acts of journalism in the truest sense—happened, instead, on places like Last Week Tonight, hosted by Daily Show alumnus John Oliver.
His show, for example, highlighted an FCC Commissioner—one whose last job was the head of the telecom lobby—proposing rules that would have allowed that same cable lobby to rake consumers over the coals by artificially slowing down the speed of some websites while simultaneously raising prices. His show launched a protest that was so swift and immediate it crashed the FCC’s servers. That commissioner, Tom Wheeler, did a 180—and last week proposed different rules that would protect the Internet against that kind of throttling.
[Note: If Ben Collins actually thinks the Obama administration-pressured FCC’s 300+ page stack of regulations aimed at transforming the internet into a highly-regulated government-controlled public utility is as simple as consumer-advocacy “rules that would protect the Internet against that kind of throttling” one might conclude that guys like Ben are also among those Kool-Aid drinking journalists who shamelessly promoted the Affordable Care Act as a popular, successful “reform” package that made health care “more affordable”. If this sloppy comment about Tom Wheeler raises serious doubts about the credibility of everything else Ben’s article, so be it.]
— Barracuda Brigade (@BarracudaMama) February 10, 2015
Then it happened again with payday loans, which prey only on the poor. (The Consumer Protection Agency, as of three days ago, is trying to put an end to them.)
And then again with civil forfeiture—a process that allowed police to seize assets from citizens who were never arrested or charged with a crime. (Attorney General Eric Holder laid out an edict effectively putting an end to it.)
These issues were on the fringe of public consciousness. Fifteen minutes, a lot of reporting and a little bit of comedy later, three pieces of legislation that would’ve negatively affected less fortunate Americans—or, in the first case, all Americans—were about to be killed.
The Nightly News couldn’t dream of doing this that efficiently. Read the rest of this entry »
— Bloomberg Politics (@bpolitics) February 12, 2015
[VIDEO] Predictably, Jon Stewart Adorably Trashes Obama for Paris Rally Absence, for Easy, Harmless Laughs, Wears BeretPosted: January 12, 2015
Jon Stewart went after President Obama for his absence at the Paris unity rally yesterday, asking bewilderedly, “Couldn’t Obama have at least sent a friend?”
Trust: Fox News even beats the broadcast networks
For Breitbart News, John Nolte reports: A new poll should have the minions at the left-wing, Soros-funded, tax-exempt, union-busting Media Matters scrambling for a rewrite at the drawing board for it shows that Fox News is the most trusted name in all of news and the left-wing MSNBC is the least trusted.
In a poll about a whole lot of things (religion, immigration, Obama) the Brookings Institution also surveyed 1538 adults about the news networks. When asked “which of the following news sources do you trust the most to provide accurate information about politics and current events?,” Fox News beat everyone with 25%. MSNBC landed dead last with a humiliating 5%. CNN came in well behind Fox with 17%. “The Daily Show with Jon Stewart” came in second to last with 8%…(read more)