Psychiatrists may have to come up with a name for the acute psychosis displayed by the lunatics at Fox News who compulsively struggle to turn every news item into an attack on liberals. It doesn’t matter how completely unrelated it is, Fox will spin it into a juvenile insult aimed at whatever lefty (or perceived lefty) they have handy.
Today’s example of this mental illness comes to us from Greg Gutfeld, who devoted his segment on The Five (video below) to an entirely imaginary scenario springing from an incident involving actor Robert Downey, Jr. During a round of promotional interviews for his upcoming movie “Avengers: Age of Ultron,” Downey abruptly walked out after the interviewer repeatedly diverted from the topic of the film promotion to delve into the ancient history of Downey’s troubled past.
This episode of Pathological Liberalmania Disorder (PLD) produced a torrent of seizures in Gutfeld that resulted in an uncontrollable period of incoherent articulation. It lasted for several minutes on the air as Gutfeld blamed liberals for Downey’s perfectly rational behavior.
Gutfeld: The questioning veered toward an embarrassing scandal that could threaten Downey’s career. It turns out a few years ago Downey said he wasn’t a liberal. I know. Deep breaths everyone. See, in the world of entertainment saying that you’re not a liberal is like admitting that you molest goats or don’t own a Prius. The host saw what he thought was controversy and went to pick the scab.
The classic symptoms of PLD are present here with Gutfeld imagining that Downey’s career was at risk for something that never actually harmed him or any other actor. The conservative politics of Charlton Heston, Bruce Willis, Clint Eastwood, and many others (see the Friends of Abe), never interfered with their work. But the severity of Gutfeld’s disease was even more apparent as he characterized the reasons for Downey’s reaction. First, here is what took place in the interview:
Interviewer: It was after your incarceration. You said that you can’t go from a $2,000 a night hotel suite to a penitentiary, and understand it, and come out a liberal. I just wonder what you meant by that.
Downey answered that question a bit hesitantly as he wondered what it had to do with the Avengers. But he gave a complete answer saying that he couldn’t really define “liberal” and that his views are always evolving. Then…
Interviewer: You’ve talked in other interviews again about your relationship with your father and the role of all of that. You know, the dark period you went through, taking drugs and drinking, all of that. And I just wondered whether you think you’re free of all of that?
That was when Downey calmly got up and made his way to the door. He was smiling the whole time and even made a little joke as he left the room. However, Gutfeld’s radically distorted perception of this event manifested in this hysterical rant:
Gutfeld: Now most of the reports make it sound like this was about a guy asking about drugs. But it wasn’t. Not at all. The reporter was nailing Downey for not being a total lib.
Gutfeld goes on much longer than that with what he seems to think are witty broadsides at hapless liberals. Clearly he has ventured far from reality. The small portion of the interviewer’s questions that involved Downey’s past comments about liberalism were hardly “nailing” him for anything. The question literally asked “what you meant by that?” That’s a pretty noodley nail. And, in any event, Downey responded to that question. But how Gutfeld can say that the interviewer wasn’t asking about drugs, “not at all,” is mind-boggling. That is specifically what he asked about, and it wasn’t until he did that Downey chose to leave.
This illustrates the disorder that many conservatives suffer from when trying to comprehend liberals, a difficult task for the limited right-wing brain. They have a desperate need to either blame them for things that are plainly unrelated, or to allege that they are attempting to distract from some other imaginary failure. It happened elsewhere this week when Rush Limbaugh suggested that President Obama revealed that a drone attack earlier this year killed an American and an Italian hostage in Pakistan. Limbaugh claimed that it was a ruse to divert the press from the recent book about Hillary Clinton (which was debunked before it was even released).
So what we have here is Gutfeld frantically trying to turn the affair into an attack on liberals, an interpretation that can only exist in a severely diseased mind. These symptoms were also seen in Glenn Beck, who made the very same delusional observations that Gutfeld made about the Downey interview. This suggests that the disease may be contagious, or at least subject to a form of mass hypnosis. The latter theory would be consistent with the Fox News pathology that uses hypnosis via cable TV to manipulate their notoriously dimwitted viewers. And unfortunately, there isn’t a cure for either one of these maladies yet, other than doses of factual information and injections of logic. Sadly, the supply of these treatments is dangerously low in the media world.
Credit: News Corpse
A guest told Sean Hannity he should be ashamed of himself for asking every Muslim who appears on his show to denounce terrorism.
Hassan Shibly, executive director of CAIR Florida, appeared Wednesday night on the Fox News program to discuss Hoda Muthana – an Alabama college student who left the U.S. to join Islamic State extremists – as an onscreen graphic warned of “the threat from within.”
Shibly said Muthana’s family faced unimaginable “pain and anguish” after losing their daughter to “brainwashing and recruitment by this terrible, extremist, violent gang of monsters.”
Hannity asked why CAIR, which he labeled as a “controversial” group, was involved in the case at all and referred to the Muslim civil rights organization as an “unindicted co-conspirator” in a terrorism financing case.
Shibly asked Hannity not to change the subject, and the host bristled.
“I’ll ask any question I want – this is my show,” Hannity said.
Shibly said his group had been active in Muthana’s community, and her father had even attended one of his lectures on countering extremism and de-legitimizing ISIS.
“He reached out to me when Hoda first left, and the first thing I told him was, ‘We have to contact authorities, and we have to do the best we can to make sure no other child is lost in the way your daughter was lost,’” Shibly said.
Hannity abruptly asked Shibly what he thought of Hamas, pointing out that the group’s “charter calls for the destruction of Israel.”
“Why are you changing – Sean, Sean, that’s so silly,” Shibly said. “Every Muslim you bring (onto the show), you change the topic.”
Hannity repeatedly asked Shibly if he believes Hamas is a terrorist organization.
“Invite an expert on terrorism to speak (on) that,” Shibly said. “I’m here as a representative of Huda’s family to speak up for her dad.”
Shibly said he was confused why Hannity would ask him about Hamas, and the host offered to ask the question more slowly so he might understand it.
“Hamas’ charter calls for the destruction of Israel and the killing of Jews,” Hannity said, enunciating each word clearly. “Are they a terrorist organization?”
Shibly agreed the group is designated a terrorist organization by the United States, but he said he was confused why Hannity would ask him about it.
“Shame on you for just asking every Muslim what he thinks of terrorist organizations,” Shibly said, as Hannity smiled smugly and spoke over his guest.
“No shame on me, I’m allowed to ask any question I want,” Hannity said.
Shibly reminded him that he was invited onto the program to talk about Muthada and her family, but a producer cut off his microphone and dropped him from the split screen.
“Thank you for being with us,” Hannity said. “Joining us now is Fox News terrorism analyst Dr. Walid Phares.”
Watch the entire segment posted online here:
Credit: Raw Story
In the lead up to next week’s landmark Supreme Court hearings on the constitutionality of marriage equality, Fox News’ Bill O’Reilly is amplifying a fringe — and absurd — right-wing campaign calling on Justices Ruth Bader Ginsburg and Elana Kagan to recuse themselves because they have officiated same-sex marriages. But these actions, along with Ginsburg’s comments noting the American public is rapidly turning against anti-LGBT discrimination, are not grounds for legitimate recusal.
In January, the American Family Association (AFA) — a notorious anti-gay hate group — announced a campaign titled, “Kagan and Ginsburg: Recuse Yourselves!” In a statement, the AFA, best known for itsinfamous anti-gay spokesman Bryan Fischer, called on the justices to recuse themselves ahead of next week’s oral arguments before the Supreme Court on same-sex marriage. The group argued that Kagan and Ginsburg “should recuse themselves from making any same-sex marriage decisions because they have both conducted same-sex marriage ceremonies.”
On April 20, Fox legal correspondent Shannon Bream twice reported on “public calls, petition drives, and appeals directly to Justices Ginsburg and Kagan to recuse themselves from hearing next week’s case on same-sex marriage.” During Fox News’ Special Report, Bream pointed to the justices’ past history officiating same-sex weddings and a February 2015 interview during which Ginsburg said that it “would not take a large adjustment” for Americans to get used to nationwide marriage equality. On April 21, Fox News’ Bill O’Reillypicked up the argument in his “Is It Legal” segment on The O’Reilly Factor, declaring “these ladies have to recuse themselves,” because “[t]he Supreme Court is supposed to be an incorruptible institution, but reports say Judge Ruth Bader Ginsburg has herself performed three gay marriages, and Justice Elena Kagan, one”:
O’Reilly’s wildly generalized recusal standard, if taken seriously, would lead to absurd results.
Even conservatives have noted, when defending Justice Antonin Scalia’s frequent diatribes and associations on contentious social and policy issues, that the principles of recusal should not extend beyond the details and merits of the specific case at hand. Otherwise, judges would be prohibited from involving themselves with all sorts of topics in American society. Although O’Reilly and his guest, Fox News legal analyst Kimberley Guilfoyle, had no problem questioning the “impartiality” of Ginsburg and Kagan because they were “going out of [their] way to perform same-sex marriages,” they did not do the same for the conservative justices who decline to do so, or who have officiated opposite-sex marriages.
Nor did O’Reilly or Guilfoyle mention Scalia’s partiality on marriage equality, even though he has frequently reaffirmed his antipathy toward civil rights protections for LGBT people. In a 2013 interview with New Yorkmagazine, Scalia commented, “[m]aybe the world is spinning toward a wider acceptance of homosexual rights, and here’s Scalia, standing athwart it. At least standing athwart it as a constitutional entitlement.” When asked about his dissent in Lawrence v. Texas, where he wrote that Americans had the right to “protect themselves and their families from a lifestyle that they believe to be immoral and destructive,” Scalia said:
I would write that again. But that’s not saying that I personally think it’s destructive. Americans have a right to feel that way. They have a democratic right to do that, and if it is to change, it should change democratically, and not at the ukase of a Supreme Court.
Bream’s earlier report on the “growing calls” for Ginsburg and Kagan to recuse themselves is also a stretch, at best.
Bream turned to National Review Online contributor Ed Whelan, an anti-gay marriage crusader, to hype the campaign to remove Kagan and Ginsburg ahead of next week’s hearings. But Bream failed to report that the campaign is led by the AFA and the National Organization for Marriage (NOM), two fringe anti-gay hate groups whose baseless campaign has gone largely ignored by mainstream media outlets. In fact, a Nexissearch found no mainstream media mentions of the campaign since February 2015. Nevertheless, Fox amplified the right-wing campaign against Ginsburg and Kagan, claiming that Ginsburg’s comments on same-sex marriage were “drawing the most heat.”
Credit: Media Matters
Fox News attacked the Obama administration by reviving the false claim that in 2012 the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives (ATF) began asking gun purchasers about their race and ethnicity on background check forms. In fact, ethnicity questions have been on the background check form for more than a decade.
On the April 21 edition of Fox News’ The Real Story, guest host Martha MacCallum and Fox News senior judicial analyst Judge Andrew Napolitano trumpeted the efforts of GOP lawmakers to stop the ATF from asking gun buyers about race. Napolitano argued, “I can only think that insisting upon knowing the race of the person, is perhaps so this Obama administration, so decidedly anti-gun, could say, oh by the way, such and such a percentage of whites buy — and the amount of non-whites that buy is a smaller percentage, and we don’t like that.”
During the segment, an on-screen “Fox Facts” graphic wrongly claimed that ATF began “requiring gun buyers to answer questions about race & ethnicity on firearm applications” in 2012.
Contrary to the “Fox Facts” assertion, a question about race and ethnicity has been on the firearm background check form since at least 2001.
People who buy firearms from licensed dealers are required to fill out the ATF’s Form 4473, which is processed by the FBI-administered National Instant Criminal Background Check System. The form asks buyers for information such as name, height, weight, date of birth, and race and ethnicity that helps the gun dealer determine if the buyer is being truthful about his or her identity.
The origin of Fox’s claim originates from a debunked September 2014 Washington Times report. The Timesreported that a 2012 revision of Form 4473 meant that “[t]he Obama administration quietly has been forcing new gun buyers to declare their race and ethnicity, a policy change that critics say provides little law enforcement value while creating the risk of privacy intrusions and racial profiling.”
In fact the change to the form that occurred in 2012 was merely the separation of a question about race and ethnicity from a single question box into a new format where race and ethnicity information is collected in two question boxes. The minor change made by ATF was consistent with similar changes made on Census forms. Still, the flawed Times report, which was amplified by Fox News at the time, spurred two Republican House members to introduce legislation to remove questions about race and ethnicity from Form 4473.
In addition to misleading about changes to the background check form on The Real Story, Napolitano also falsely told viewers that they could “bypass” the race question on the background check form and still take home a firearm.
In fact, in order for the gun background check form to be processed, the buyer must certify that Section A, including the question about race, is “complete,” meaning that a dealer would not proceed with a sale with the question unanswered unless he or she wanted to risk committing a records keeping violation.
Credit: Media Matters