Category Archives: Fox

Scary Facts

1. This woman is not only a lawyer – inconceivable enough, you’d think. What’s really scary is that a University pays her to teach her brand of law to other people. (Via TBogg)

When people who have no respect for law are teaching law, you know you’re fucked.

2. A certifiable psychopath with homicidal paranoid delusions has a national tv show. (Via Norwegianity)

And yes, he’s stupid, too.

Siren Song Evidentiary Documentation: Vast RW Conspiracy Confirmed Right Before Your Eyes

Paul Krugman reminds me to remind you that the VRWC is still fully operational. In fact you can see it playing out RIGHT NOW in “The Great (Fake) TeaBag Caper“.

[I]t turns out that the tea parties don’t represent a spontaneous outpouring of public sentiment. They’re AstroTurf (fake grass roots) events, manufactured by the usual suspects. In particular, a key role is being played by FreedomWorks, an organization run by Richard Armey, the former House majority leader, and supported by the usual group of right-wing billionaires. And the parties are, of course, being promoted heavily by Fox News.But that’s nothing new, and AstroTurf has worked well for Republicans in the past. The most notable example was the “spontaneous” riot back in 2000 — actually orchestrated by G.O.P. strategists — that shut down the presidential vote recount in Florida’s Miami-Dade County.

This is, of course, precisely the technique they used to drown the newspapers of 1983 in letters and demonstrations and (canned) phone calls demanding that they stop “picking on” St Ronnie. Paul may only go back as far as 2000 but I go all the way back to the beginning.

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Fox Could Be Sued for Consumer Fraud

MoveOn.org and Common Cause have filed a complaint against FoxNews with the federal Trade Commission claiming that its ‘Fair and Balanced’ slogan is so untrue that it amounts to deceptive advertising and consumer fraud.

Liberal MoveOn.org and historically nonpartisan Common Cause assert that Fox News’ reports are “deliberately and consistently distorted and twisted to promote the Republican Party of the U.S. and an extreme right-wing viewpoint.”Alleging consumer fraud, the complaint calls for the FTC to order Fox News, consistently the highest-rated cable news network, to cease and desist from using the slogan.

Complaining to the Republican-dominated FTC about Fox’s blatant right-wing bias is a little like taking a complaint about corporate thievery to that corporation’s PR flack, and in fact, before he’s even seen the petition, FTC Chair Timothy Muris is dismissing it.

“I am not aware of any instance in which the Federal Trade Commission has investigated the slogan of a news organization. There is no way to evaluate this petition without evaluating the content of the news at issue. That is a task the First Amendment leaves to the American people, not a government agency.”But Chellie Pingree, president of Common Cause, said the legal actions were consistent with the First Amendment. “Fox has no obligation under the law to be fair and balanced, just not to market itself as fair and balanced,” he said.

Pingree has a point. The slogan is advertising and the law, despite conservative attacks, still exists that protects consumers from false advertising. If ‘Fair and Balanced’ isn’t false advertising, then the phrase has no meaning.

But if MO and CC are on the right track, they’re on the wrong horse. Petitioning the FTC is a monumental waste of time. What they might consider doing that would have more teeth–and more chance of success–is suing Fox in the courts for consumer fraud: selling a shoddy and unsafe product under false pretenses. Recent studies which we’ve mentioned here before have made it crystal clear that consistent Fox viewers are frighteningly ill-informed. Sixty percent believe that Saddam planned 9/11 with Al Qaeda; half believe we have found WMDs in Iraq; fully two-thirds believe that the moon is made of green cheese. OK, maybe not that last one–yet. But they would if FoxNews kept telling them it was.

The laws against consumer fraud were written to protect the gullible and the misinformed. Fox’s audience qualifies on both counts, and the evidence is overwhelming that the deception was deliberate, a Murdoch-ordered policy, in fact, which daily memos from his office telling the news division how to slant that day’s news will prove. Fox followed exactly the same pattern as the tobacco companies when they turned their ‘health studies’ into thinly-veiled ads based on false findings deliberately concocted to fool consumers. If they’re guilty, then so is Murdoch.