As America’s middle class battles for its survival on the Wisconsin barricades — against various Koch Oil surrogates and the corporate toadies at Fox News — fans of enlightenment, democracy and justice can take comfort from a significant victory north of Wisconsin border. Fox News will not be moving into Canada after all! The reason: Canada regulatorsannounced last week they would reject efforts by Canada’s right wing Prime Minister, Stephen Harper, to repeal a law that forbids lying on broadcast news.
Canada’s Radio Act requires that “a licenser may not broadcast….any false or misleading news.” The provision has kept Fox News and right wing talk radio out of Canada and helped make Canada a model for liberal democracy and freedom. As a result of that law, Canadians enjoy high quality news coverage including the kind of foreign affairs and investigative journalism that flourished in this country before Ronald Reagan abolished the “Fairness Doctrine” in 1987. Political dialogue in Canada is marked by civility, modesty, honesty, collegiality, and idealism that have pretty much disappeared on the U.S. airwaves. When Stephen Harper moved to abolish anti-lying provision of the Radio Act, Canadians rose up to oppose him fearing that their tradition of honest non partisan news would be replaced by the toxic, overtly partisan, biased and dishonest news coverage familiar to American citizens who listen to Fox News and talk radio. Harper’s proposal was timed to facilitate the launch of a new right wing network, “Sun TV News” which Canadians call “Fox News North.”
Harper, often referred to as “George W. Bush’s Mini Me,” is known for having mounted a Bush like war on government scientists, data collectors, transparency, and enlightenment in general. He is a wizard of all the familiar tools of demagoguery; false patriotism, bigotry, fear, selfishness and belligerent religiosity.
Harper’s attempts to make lying legal on Canadian television is a stark admission that right wing political ideology can only dominate national debate through dishonest propaganda. Since corporate profit-taking is not an attractive vessel for populism, a political party or broadcast network that makes itself the tool of corporate and financial elites must lie to make its agenda popular with the public. In the Unites States, Fox News and talk radio, the sock puppets of billionaires and corporate robber barons have become the masters of propaganda and distortion on the public airwaves. Fox News’s notoriously biased and dishonest coverage of the Wisconsin’s protests is a prime example of the brand of news coverage Canada has smartly avoided.
Schooled by Ben Stein
AUGUST 10, 2011, autostraddle.com
The 2011 Ames Straw Poll — the most important pre-Iowa Caucus straw poll in the state, and one of the first real indicators of how the GOP nomination might turn out — will take place on August 13. On August 11, the GOP candidates will debate major issues publicly on national television. Not all of the candidates will be there, though — for instance, Fred Karger, the openly gay candidate, who wasn’t included in either the straw poll or the FOX Network debate.
The debate has specific requirements that each candidate must meet in order to participate — after all, virtually anyone can run for President, and a debate would be unproductive and meaningless with dozens of participants, most of whom have no chance of being elected. To make the cut, Fox News provides a set of criteria based on poll numbers, and if a candidate doesn’t have high enough numbers, he or she is out. But Fred Karger is arguing that that’s not the case here. Here’s his letter to Iowa GOP Chair Matt Strawn:
I am a declared Republican candidate for President of the United States who meets all of the requirements to participate in the Fox News Debate on August 11, 2011 in Ames Iowa.
Your criteria states:
Candidates must satisfy the following by 4 p.m. CDT on Tuesday, August 9, 2011
1. Registered with the Federal Elections Commission as a presidential exploratory committee or presidential campaign.
2. Meet all U.S. Constitutional requirements.
3. Garnered at least an average of one percent in five national polls based on most recent polling leading up to the registration day.
Attached is a new national poll that came out yesterday. It was conducted by Harris Interactive, sample size 1,168 that was in the field between August 2 – 4, 2011. The Harris Poll tested all 12 major declared Republican candidates for President. I am at 2%, tied with former Governors Tim Pawlenty and Jon Huntsman. With this latest national poll, I now meet your objective criteria of averaging at least 1% in five national polls.
I look forward to participating in the August 11, 2011 debate in Ames, Iowa and await all details.
Thank you for hosting the Republican debates.
Fox’s reply claims that since the polls Karger references here are online, the results don’t count, and he still isn’t qualified to participate in the Ames debate. However, if one reads the fine print (or lack thereof), you’ll find that Fox doesn’t actually specify anywhere what kind of polls candidates can use to qualify.
“Karger, in an interview, said Fox News did not specify in its criteria what polls it would accept. He said he did not file complaints about his exclusion from the New Hampshire or South Carolina debates because the criteria either required a higher percentage or listed specific polls… We could spend a lot of space on whether online polls are credible. But since Fox’s written criteria don’t define a poll, Karger and McCotter have room to complain.”
Karger has said that he will file a complaint with the Federal Elections Commission if he’s not offered a place in the debate tomorrow. Karger’s platform breaks with the Republican party line on several issues, like a path to citizenship, making American foreign policy more conciliatory, and ending the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan. Is that why he’s seemingly being stonewalled? Is this truly about an unfortunate and unintended miscommunication about a set of criteria? Or is this about Fred Karger’s being the only gay candidate? Thaddeus McCotter, referred to above, was also excluded from the debate — in his case, he was able to participate according to the criteria of a central planning committee co-sponsoring the debates, but Fox didn’t accept those criteria. Events like these are always complicated, and it can be difficult to place blame. But as Karger points out, “(Clemente) said I had to be in five recent polls, but he said the ones I were named in didn’t count ecause they were online or out of date. But when (former New Mexico governor) Gary Johnson was let in to the South Carolina debates, they went back five months to allow him in.”
Fox News hates women.
The Fox and Friends crew spent yesterday morning working tirelessly to reveal the anti-American cultural agenda of the Obama administration. After re-hashing President Obama’s mythical war on Easter, hosts Gretchen Carlson, Steve Doocy, and David Briggs set their sights on one of Obama’s most devious allies: Nickelodeon’s Spongebob Squarepants.
In July, the Department of Education invited children from Washington, DC to its “Let’s Read! Let’s Move!” series in which they were “treated to free books” including one from Nickelodeon’s “The Big Green Help” series entitled “Spongebob Goes Green! An Earth-Friendly Adventure.” Carlson saw fit to point out that the books “blamed man for global warming, but they did not tell kids that that is actually a disputed fact. Oops!” Doocy determined, “Clearly, Nickelodeon is pushing a global warming agenda”:
DOOCY: The Department of Education invited a bunch of DC kids in and they had this festivity and they handed out these particular Nickelodeon books where clearly Nickelodeon is pushing a global warming agenda. While there’s no disputing the fact that the Earth is getting a little warmer, the big question is is it man-made or is it just one of those gigantic, climactic phases we’re going – for a while we’re cold then we get warmer and then we get colder, warmer, which one is it? There’s science on both sides, there a lot of scientists who say it’s this, others who say its that.
BRIGGS: Right. It’s unproven science and again, this is public education system that we all pay our tax dollars for. And the Spongebob book says that its a man-made problem that requires human intervention.
DOOCY: Right, they’re presenting it as fact.
Briggs went on to lament that the United States is “17th in the world in science” but “we’re forcing an issue that is not yet proven.”
The only sides in the climate science “debate” are the side offering the facts and the side intent on ignoring them. As scientists have repeatedly found, human activity is directly linked to climate change and it will certainly require a change in energy policy to address it. Still, while it is somewhat disconcerting to know a cartoon children’s book — or a kid show host — is more familiar with fact than Fox News hosts, it is not entirely surprising.
Fox host Bill O’Reilly has worked himself into a lather over the Obama administration’s recent decision to require new health insurance plans to cover birth control without co-pays. Last week he declared that women don’t deserve government subsidized birth control because they’re too “blasted out of their minds” during sex to use it. Yesterday during an interview with Rep. Dennis Kucinich (D-OH), O’Reilly went a step further in his tirade against women’s health care and said it was the reason businesses aren’t hiring:
O’REILLY: Now the federal government is ordering the health insurance companies to pay for all breast feeding stuff, all female birth control stuff, all preventative measures for doctors for ladies that go in. What do you think that’s gonna do? That’s going to inhibit hiring even more!
KUCINICH: Frankly, we ought to be very concerned about women’s health care.
O’REILLY: I am concerned, but they’re not going to expand and hire if they have to pay higher health care premiums for workers! Businesses aren’t going to do it…You can’t have both. You can’t have a welfare state and a robust capitalist system.
By “breast feeding stuff,” O’Reilly was railing about the fact that under the administration’s ruling, health insurers will be required to pay for a range of preventative care services, including HPV, DNA, and HIV screening, and the costs for renting breastfeeding equipment. Women’s premiums will actually pay for the services. But apparently conservatives like O’Reilly only support “family values” as long as the government never has to spend a dime to help poor women care for their children.
It’s also surprising that a professed fiscal conservative would be opposed to preventative health care for women, which not only improves the health of women and their families, but saves the government money when illness is caught and treated early on.
O’Reilly is wrong to suggest that women’s health care is the reason businesses aren’t hiring. Corporations are reaping enormous profits and sitting on a record pile of cash, but are still sending jobs overseas or hiring less than they were before the recession. Additionally, according to a recent Wall Street Journal survey, “the main reason U.S. companies are reluctant to step up hiring is scant demand, rather than uncertainty over government policies.”
Oh yeah, just like peaceful Muslims would not call the likes of Osama Bin Laden Muslim? You all don’t seem to have a problem hyping that up. As a matter of fact, before they identified Breivik, your news network reported that this tragedy was the doings of Muslims. Talk about intolerance.
“America was certainly safe between 2000 and 2008. I don’t remember any attacks on American soil during that period of time.” – Eric Bolling, Fox News.