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Maddow: Fox Uses 'Flagrantly Bogus Stories' to Provoke White Racism

MSNBC's Rachel Maddow called out Fox News for its role in promoting reports about Shirley Sherrod and ACORN that proved to be distorted.

David Edwards and Muriel Kane  Raw Story/AlterNet

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MSNBC's Rachel Maddow called out Fox News on Thursday (July 22) for its role in promoting reports about Shirley Sherrod and ACORN that proved to be distorted. She charged that the network "continually campaigns on flagrantly bogus stories designed to make white Americans fear black Americans."

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"I showed up in the weirdest place last night," Maddow began. "I was on The O'Reilly Factor. It was very spooky."

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When Maddow accused Fox during her appearance on Bill O'Reilly's program of playing an active role in "the fake ACORN controversy," the show's host responded by sneering that Fox "kick[s] your network's butt every single night."

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Special Comment: Koppel, False Equivalence, and his part in the real “death of news”

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The kind of television journalism he (Koppel) eulogizes failed this country because when truth was needed, all we got were facts - most of which were lies anyway. The journalism failed, and those who practiced it failed, and Mr. Koppel failed.

Heather, Crooks and Liars

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Submitted by Evergreene Digest Contributing Editor Thomas Sklarski

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\r\nKeith Olbermann's Special Comment last night (Nov 15) was a response to Ted Koppel's "Death of Real News" op-ed, wherein Koppel writes:

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We live now in a cable news universe that celebrates the opinions of [Keith] Olbermann, Rachel Maddow, Chris Matthews, Glenn Beck, Sean Hannity and Bill O’Reilly – individuals who hold up the twin pillars of political partisanship and who are encouraged to do so by their parent organizations because their brand of analysis and commentary is highly profitable.

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Keith responds by asking Ted Koppel after reporting night after night on the Iranian hostage crisis, why he remained silent in the run-up to the invasion of Iraq.

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Here's transcript from Keith's post at Daily KOS.

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When Walter Cronkite died sixteen months ago, he was rightly lionized for the quality of his work, and the impact he effected on television news. He was praised for his utter objectivity and impartiality, and implicitly – and in some cases explicitly – there was wailing that this objectivity had died with him.

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Opponents of Comcast-NBC Merger Speak Out in Congress

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  • Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-Vt.) submitted a letter to the Federal Communications Commission Tuesday calling on the agency to deny approval for the proposed merger between Comcast and NBC Universal based on a failure to meet public interest requirements, the likely harm to competition, and the anticipated rise in cable rates.
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  • Comcast Can't Be Trusted to Self-Regulate
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Jenn Ettinger, Free Press

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Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-Vt.) submitted a letter to the Federal Communications Commission Tuesday (Nov 16) calling on the agency to deny approval for the proposed merger between Comcast and NBC Universal based on a failure to meet public interest requirements, the likely harm to competition, and the anticipated rise in cable rates. The letter also criticized Comcast for moving to restructure NBC while the deal is still pending before the FCC and Justice Department.

Joel Kelsey, political adviser to the Free Press Action Fund, made the following statement:

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"Comcast is already rearranging the deck chairs at NBC with little regard for the antitrust review in progress at the Department of Justice and the FCC, and we are glad to see leaders in the Senate like Bernie Sanders speaking out. Comcast would like to pretend this is already a done deal and hope no one else notices what a disaster this merger would be for the public -- but that won't work."

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Comcast Can't Be Trusted to Self-Regulate, Jenn Ettinger, Free Press
As the Federal Communications Commission crafts rules to safeguard the open Internet and considers whether to approve a $30 billion mega-merger between Comcast and NBC, the nation’s largest cable and Internet company claims it doesn’t need any oversight.

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Media Misreading Midterms

As usual, press urge a move to the right

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Fairness & Accuracy in Reporting (FAIR)

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Credit: CBS/AP

With the Democrats suffering substantial losses in Tuesday's midterms, many journalists and pundits were offering a familiar diagnosis (Extra!, 7-8/06; FAIR Media Advisory, 2/3/09): The Democrats had misread their mandate and governed too far to the left. The solution, as always, is for Democrats to move to the right and reclaim "the center." But this conventional wisdom falls apart under scrutiny.

For months, the problem for Democrats was correctly identified as the "enthusiasm gap"--the idea that the progressive base of the party was not excited about voting. The exit polls from Tuesday's vote confirm that many Democratic-tending voters failed to show up. How, then, does one square this fact with the idea that Obama and Democrats were pushing policies that were considered too left-wing? If that were the case, then presumably more of those base voters would have voted to support that agenda. It is difficult to fathom how both things could be true.

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The voter fraud & intimidation stories you won't hear about on Fox

Fox largely ignores the DoJ is looking into allegations that Texas Tea Party group members engaged in voter intimidation

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Media Matters for America

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For the past several months, Fox News has hyped GOP accusations of voter fraud, no matter how little evidence exists to support them, and Bret Baier has promised that Fox will cover voter fraud allegations "in every show." But Fox has failed to report on, or has dismissed and distorted, numerous accusations of voter fraud or intimidation carried out by individuals linked to right-wing groups and politicians.

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King Street Patriots' "True the Vote" initiative accused of intimidating voters. Talking Points Memo published an article on October 19 about allegations of voter intimidation by poll watchers trained by the Tea Party group King Street Patriots. According to the article, the Department of Justice is looking into claims that poll watchers in Harris County were "'hovering over' voters, 'getting into election workers' faces' and blocking or disrupting lines of voters" at early voting stations. From the article:

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PBS Responds to FAIR Studies

Ombud echoes concerns, but producers question need to broaden sources

Fairness & Accuracy in Reporting (FAIR)

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The PBS ombud and representatives of the public television programs studied in FAIR's new report, "Taking the Public Out of Public TV," have responded (10/21/10) to the research that shows an elite, inside-the-Beltway slant to the programs' guestlists.

As he has in the past (10/6/06), PBS ombud Michael Getler largely agreed with FAIR's analysis. "If you keep calling the same known and comfortable suspects, you pretty much know what you will get," Getler wrote in his October 21 column.

After noting that some of the programs feature women and people of color as reporters and hosts, he wrote:

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If Williams deserved firing, we all do.


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  • Oh, sorry, did that offend somebody?
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  • Poor Juan. It was a dumb remark. He should recognize that his fears are unfounded, apologize, and move on.
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  • Glenn Greenwald: The real danger from NPR's firing of Juan Williams
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Syl Jones, Minneapolis Star Tribune | MN

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Juan Williams, left, and a man wearing "Muslim garb," which Williams said scares him (AP/iStockphoto)

NPR, the public radio service that incessantly begs for our listener support, fired commentator Juan Williams this week (Oct 17-23) for saying, on Bill O'Reilly's "Fear Factor" television program, that he is nervous when he flies with people who dress in Muslim garb.

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Poor Juan. It was a dumb remark. He should recognize that his fears are unfounded, apologize, and move on.

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But NPR sanctimoniously canned Williams. Which raises this question: Who among us is so devoid of irrational fears and contradictions that we should not be fired? Let's just dismiss the media at large -- well, that's not a bad idea, actually, but you know what I mean -- for transmitting stupid things each and every day.

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The real danger from NPR's firing of Juan Williams, Glenn Greenwald, Salon
Submitted by Evergreene Digest Contributing Editor Lydia Howell
I'm still not quite over the most disgusting part of the Juan Williams spectacle yesterday:  watching the very same people (on the Right and in the media) who remained silent about or vocally cheered on the viewpoint-based firings of Octavia Nasr, Helen Thomas, Rick Sanchez, Eason Jordan, Peter Arnett, Phil Donahue, Ashleigh Banfield, Bill Maher, Ward Churchill, Chas Freeman, Van Jones and so many others, spend all day yesterday (Oct 21) wrapping themselves in the flag of "free expression!!!" and screeching about the perils and evils of firing journalists for expressing certain viewpoints.  Even for someone who expects huge doses of principle-free hypocrisy -- as I do -- that behavior is really something to behold. And anyone doubting that there is a double standard when it comes to anti-Muslim speech should just compare the wailing backlash from most quarters over Williams' firing to the muted acquiescence or widespread approval of those other firings.

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Helen Thomas Cries, Denies Anti-Semitism, Calls President Obama 'Reprehensible' Associated Press/Huffington Post
Asked whether she's anti-Semitic, she responded "Baloney!" She said she wants to be remembered for "integrity and my honesty and my belief in good journalism" and would like to work again.

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