What's with the foofy hair?
Day in and day out, I watch, read, listen, and write about news. And because I do so much watching, reading, and listening. I tend to notice recurring themes. A major recurring theme is how much time the so-called "news" [sic] media spends on speculation.
Most of that speculation centers on the 2016 presidential election, focusing specifically on Hillary Clinton vs (currently) Chris Christie. Newsflash, "journalists": It's only 2013, and you started this endless loop of What Ifs the day after Election 2012. This is ludicrous. This is not news, this is meaningless filler and a shameless ploy used to pull in viewers.
And hey viewers, how about you stop enabling?
Then again, there is very little "real" news reporting any more, not since news departments became commercialized all those years ago. Not since it became all about profit, which news stories sell, which headlines attract ratings, and as a result, attract sponsors and their buckets of money.
And don't get me started on media bias. The CBS "60 Minutes" Benghazi story scandal is only the latest, and if you're a regular reader, you know that the Sunday morning talk shows have an obvious rightward slant.
But back to that nasty speculation habit. When you watch the "news" shows, you see them produce hours upon hours of What If about future elections, about the *gasp!* doomed fate of the Affordable Care Act, about which freedoms we might lose if we don't do something about some catastrophe that might or might not happen, about which new scandal *could* result from Darrell Issa's umpteenth witch hunt about absolutely everything/nothing.
You can actually see concrete examples of all this speculation in their TV chyrons, like, Low Obamacare enrollment numbers: Sign of problems to come?"; "A third 'Bush' in office?"; "Will the world end in 2012? Many people believe so." We get a ton of cowardly headlines in the form of a question, Alex, so that nobody has to commit to actual, you know, reporting.
Well now it's our turn. News outlets want to speculate? Fine. Let's turn the tables and speculate about them for a change:
Anthony Weiner, if you didn't want to be on Fox, then you shouldn't have accepted their eleventy-third offer. And if you've been even semi-conscious for the past decade and had some idea of the lunacy you'd be up against, then maybe you'd have realized what a colossal waste of time this was.
Seriously, when Sean Hannity spends a good part of the first four minutes of an eight minute segment asking if the rumors are true that Weiner "hates me," what's the point?
And when Weiner asks, "What am I, a potted plant?" then it doesn't take a mental giant to see that the interview is going straight downhill from there...
...including the part where Hannity deluded himself into thinking he had the upper hand by taunting:
"You're auditioning for MSNBC. You want Chris Matthews job! I can tell! You want to ask the questions! You wanna be Chris Matthews! You never shut up like Chris Matthews, either!"
To which Weiner retorted as any self-respecting toddler would:
"YOU always have patsies on!... Fox apparently has much lower standards!"
That little back and forth took up most of the final four minutes.
Moral of the story: Don't go on Fox unless you're prepared to be insulted, baited, and dismissed as nothing more than a novelty act. And if you still insist on crossing onto Hannity's turf, then don't stoop to his infantile behavior.
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I so called this one. In my post of a few days ago, "Fox News [sic] boots Executive VP, top strategist, Roger Ailes BFF Brian Lewis," I wrote:
Do we smell a future tell-all book deal?
No, no please... hold your applause. Well, if you insist.
As you may recall, Lewis was the communications chief and a top strategist for Fox who was kicked to the curb after an internal investigation. Apparently, his “conduct” was in question. That conduct related "to financial irregularities, as well as for multiple, material and significant breaches of his employment contract” per the Los Angeles Times.
He was also Roger Ailes’ trusted BFF for decades.
And now he's threatening to leak some gory details about his now-former BFF and, of course, Fox.
There may not be a book in the works-- yet -- but the fun is about to begin. Buckle up!
In a new statement, Lewis's lawyer says that Ailes and Fox News should be fearful of what secrets Lewis may reveal now that he is no longer bound by a confidentiality agreement.
"First, Brian Lewis no longer has any confidentiality obligation to Newscorp or Roger Ailes because of the false and malicious statements made by Fox to date," Judd Burstein writes in a statement provided to Gawker, a website that has long been a thorn in Ailes's side. "Second, Roger Ailes and Newscorp have a lot more to fear from Brian Lewis telling the truth about them than Brian Lewis has to fear from Roger Ailes and his toadies telling lies about Brian Lewis."
This is going to be sooo good. Get out the popcorn. My treat!
Talk about a ClusterFox.
Executive Vice President Brian Lewis, the communications chief and a top strategist for Fox, was booted after an internal investigation. Apparently, his "conduct" was in question.
If that's the criterion, then Fox News [sic] itself should be booted.
But back to Lewis; if Fox can't trust their own Big Kahuna-- again, a top Fox TV communications strategist and Roger Ailes' trusted BFF for decades-- then who can they trust?
Let's ruminate on this new lack of faith among the powers-that-be at Fox for a second. ... ... ... Uh huh. Now they know how we feel.
Irony is yummy sometimes, isn't it?
“After an extensive internal investigation of Brian Lewis' conduct by Fox News, it was determined that he should be terminated for cause, specifically for issues relating to financial irregularities, as well as for multiple, material and significant breaches of his employment contract," a spokesman for Fox News parent company 21st Century Fox said. [...]
A member of Fox News Chairman and Chief Executive Roger Ailes' inner circle for almost two decades, Lewis was one of the most powerful executives at the network. Not only did Lewis oversee the take-no-prisoners approach Fox News brought to dealing with the press and rival news outlets, he was also something of a consigliere to Ailes. [...]
While Fox News is part of a global media conglomerate, it is seen more as Ailes' fiefdom, and the exit of one of his top lieutenants caught other executives within 21st Century Fox off guard. Even 21st Century Fox Chief Executive Rupert Murdoch and Chief Operating Officer Chase Carey tend to take a hands-off approach when it comes to managing Ailes and Fox News.
Ex-BFF Brian was part of Ailes' original team when Fox News [sic] was launched in the mid-'90s. Do we smell a future tell-all book deal?
No further details were given about what this guy did, but it must have been a doozy to cause such an earthquake. Couldn't happen to a more deserving bunch.
So everyone who works for minimum wage is mediocre? Yeah, just like all the CEO's are above and beyond superior. Via Heather.
Fox's Megyn Kelly:
To take it another step and to say the journalists who published the information, the guys who published what he leaked, that they should face prosecution, that is news. Do you believe that? Do you stand by that, both Greenwald and the Washington Post reporter?
Rep. Peter King (R-NY):
I’m talking about Greenwald. Greenwald, not only did he disclose this information he has said that he has the names of CIA agents and assets around the world and they’re threatening to disclose that. The last time that was done in this country, we saw a CIA station chief murdered in Greece. No right is absolute. And even the press has certain restrictions. I think it should be very targeted and very selective and certainly a very rare exception. But in this case, when you have someone who has disclosed secrets like this and threatened to release more, then to me yes, there has to be legal action should be taken against him. This is a very unusual case with life and death implications for Americans.
What is the difference between Glenn Greenwald, who broke this story in the Guardian who is an American citizen but he’s living abroad, and James Rosen, and the Associated Press?
James Rosen never said he was going to release information that was going to kill Americans. He was never going to disclose the names of CIA agents and operatives around the world the way Greenwald is saying he is threatening to do...
Do you think that Glenn Greenwald should be prosecuted for what’s been released so far? ...
It certainly should be considered and the reason I say that is because he’s putting American lives at risk. This was clearly done I believe to hurt Americans...
King also said "Too many Republicans and conservatives are becoming Michael Moores" because they refer to "spying and snooping."
I'm sure he didn't mean that as a compliment, which is how I took it.
Ahem. Note to Pete, via Think Progress:
While Greenwald has said that he will report on more newsworthy secret information that was allegedly provided to him by a former NSA contractor, he has never said he plans to expose or out any CIA agents. And as this blog has previously noted, there is no known example of a U.S. official prosecuting a journalist for their own reporting or publication of material. Doing so would be an unprecedented expansion of government invasion into the free press, and would prompt an immediate deluge of constitutional challenges as a violation of the First Amendment.
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