Right-wing Media

Laura Ingraham’s Attacks On Sonia Sotomayor Miss Her All-American Heritage

Laura Ingraham | Supreme Court Justice Sonia Sotomayor

Media Matters

Does Ingraham Know Puerto Ricans Are American Citizens?

Fox News contributor Laura Ingraham launched an ignorant smear against Supreme Court Justice Sotomayor, suggesting that she has to choose between her “immigrant family background” or the Constitution.

Ingraham’s smear is both rooted in the premise that immigrants are separate from mainstream American culture and is completely off the mark given the fact that Sotomayor is an American citizen and the daughter of American citizens.

In a February 3 speech before Yale Law students, Sotomayor commented on the fact that she was the first Supreme Court Justice to use the term “undocumented immigrant,” instead of “illegal alien,” saying “[t]o call them illegal aliens seemed and does seem insulting to me.”

Ingraham highlighted Sotomayor’s comment on her radio show the following day. Ingraham suggested that using the term “undocumented immigrant” demonstrated a failure of Sotomayor’s duty “to defend the Constitution and the laws of the United States of America.” According to Ingraham, the word choice shows that Sotomayor’s “allegiance obviously goes to her immigrant family background and not to the Constitution of the United States.”

Sotomayor is a Puerto Rican American who is both an American citizen and the daughter of American citizens. Puerto Ricans have had U.S. citizenship since President Woodrow Wilson signed the Jones-Shafroth Act in 1917. Ingraham’s claim that Sotomayor’s heritage somehow conflicts with her mission to uphold the Constitution is both baseless and nonsensical.

Listen here…

‘Tell Rush Limbaugh: We Support Pope Francis!’ Catholic Petition Demands An Apology

Limbaugh: “Pope Francis words are pure marxism.”

As a follow-up to the earlier post:  The Right is going batsh*t crazy over Pope Francis’ agenda. Case in point…

The Huffington Post

“Tell Rush Limbaugh: We Support Pope Francis!” urges a petition which has already garnered almost 4,000 signatures on the website of Catholics in Alliance for the Common Good.

Catholics and non-Catholics alike were infuriated by Limbaugh’s comments about Pope Francis on his radio show on Nov. 27, as the Pontiff has captured the hearts of many worldwide.

On the show, Limbaugh said that the pope “doesn’t know what he’s talking about when it comes to capitalism and socialism,” and speculated that his latest apostolic exhortation “Evangelii Gaudium,” was overtly influenced by others who have “gotten to him.” He claimed the document was “pure Marxism coming out of the mouth of the pope.”

He’s not the only political conservative to take a dig at the pope and face the ire of his many fans. Sarah Palin publicly apologized a few weeks ago for saying she was taken aback by some of his “liberal” statements, and was unsure that she could trust media reports about him.

Reza Aslan, a religious scholar and author of “Zealot: The Life And Times of Jesus of Nazareth,” succinctly responded to Limbaugh’s comments by saying in the Washington Post, “Somebody did get to Pope Francis. It was Jesus.”

He also cited Palin, writing, “These two paragons of the far right – both of whom regularly invoke the teachings of Jesus to bolster their own political views – have suddenly turned their backs on the man whose actual job description is to speak for Jesus.”

In response to Limbaugh’s comments, Catholics in Alliance for the Common Good started a petition, writing:

We are disturbed by Rush Limbaugh’s incendiary comments last Wednesday, November 27th about Pope Francis and are joining together with Catholics and other allies throughout the nation to support the Holy Father. To call the Francis a proponent of “pure marxism” is both mean spirited and naive. Francis’s critique of unrestrained capitalism is in line with the Church’s social teaching. His particular criticism of “trickle down economics” strengthens what Church authorities have said for decades: any economic system which deprives the poor of their dignity has no place within a just society.Contrary to what Mr. Limbaugh suggests, the Catholic Church isn’t built on money, but on the firm foundation of Jesus Christ.

We call on Mr. Limbaugh to apologize and retract his remarks. We urge other Church organizations and leaders–both ordained and lay–to also condemn Mr. Limbaugh’s comments.

We proudly stand with Pope Francis as he provides prophetic leadership for the Catholic Church and the entire world. 

They have already surpassed their goal of 1,000 signatures fourfold.

Signer Thomas Hofstad wrote, “I am not Catholic, yet this offends me. The Pope is a man of great honor and compassion. I cant say this about Rush L.,” and Vicki Goux said, “I have the MOST respect for your new Pope but I’m not a Catholic. He is amazing and deserves to be treated with respect.”

See the petition here

 

‘It is like night and day’

The Maddow Blog - By Steve Benen

From time to time, it seems as if the left and right don’t just disagree on the issues, but actually live in entirely different realities. Yesterday offered a classic example of the phenomenon.

http://youtu.be/_85gezDugSU

Mediaite’s Andrew Kirell noticed this gem.

[Wednesday] afternoon on Fox, frequent guests Monica Crowley and Kirsten Powers battled over whether there is a media “double standard” in treatment for George W. Bush and Barack Obama in their respective military campaigns.

Conservative radio host Crowley insisted the “double standard” exists, pointing to her belief that in the 2003 run-up to the Iraq War, Bush faced tough criticism from a skeptical press. “When you look at the difference of that coverage and President Obama going to Libya without congressional approval and the run-up to Syria, it is like night and day,” she said.

For most of us, just reading Crowley’s words out of context, the observations may seem quite compelling. Putting aside for now how very different the situations in Iraq, Libya, and Syria are, it’s very easy to believe there really is a “double standard” in the media, with reporters applying far more scrutiny to one administration instead of the other. It really is “like night and day.”

But in Crowley’s version of reality, the observation has been turned on its head. In her world, news organizations were fierce skeptics of the conflict in Iraq, and challenged then-President George W. Bush’s claims every step of the way. What’s more, in her world, reporters are giving President Obama a free pass now.

In the alternative universe Crowley perceives, the media didn’t play a cheerleading role in advance of the war in Iraq, ignoring critics. And now, she believes, news outlets are pushing for military intervention abroad.

As you can see in the clip, she didn’t appear to be kidding.

I don’t recognize Crowley’s version of reality, but I wonder what the weather is like in her alternative universe.

 

Peggy Noonan: Obama Should Endorse Rodeo Clowns, Because Obamacare

The madness continues…

Mediaite

Peggy Noonan’s latest column is a peanut butter cup of concern-trolling. Noonan layers a critique of Obamacare—fair!—within a strange call for President Barack Obama to defend those involved in the Missouri State Fair rodeo clown snafu, to demonstrate his tolerance for taking criticism on things like health care. Unlike a peanut butter cup, this does not work.

Suggesting that Obamacare was “part of why people wind up making fun of the president at state fairs,” Noonan counseled:

“Let me suggest a classy Obama move that might go over well. From his Vineyard vacation spot he should have the press office issue a release saying his reaction to finding out a rodeo clown was rudely spoofing him, was, ‘So what?’ Say he loves free speech, including inevitably derision directed at him, and he does not wish for the Missouri state fair to fire the guy, and hopes those politicians (unctuously, excessively, embarrassingly) damning the clown and the crowd would pipe down and relax. This would be graceful and nice, wouldn’t it?”

“Unctuously, excessively, embarrassingly” doth protest too much. Two politicians have condemned the rodeo clown, Claire McCaskill, and a state GOP official who said “We’re better than this.” Both of them did it in under 140 characters, or less than the length it took Noonan to melodramatically deride them.

“[Obama] would never do it,” Noonan bemoaned. “He gives every sign of being a person who really believes he shouldn’t be made fun of, and if he is it’s probably racially toned, because why else would you make fun of him?”

Yes, why else would you mock him? Noonan was on the Sunday talky shows last weekend, so she may have missed Donald Trump digging up birtherism’s corpse and swinging it at a hapless Jon Karl, suggesting that five years into Obama’s presidency his nationality should still be suspect because…well, Trump doesn’t feel the need to state the reason. Who’s filling in the blanks here?

At least one fellow scribe saw a problem with Noonan’s advice:

Marbles, indeed. We actually got a press conference from the president last week*, and its main takeaway, since nobody really gives a Clapper about surveillance, is that the president is quite confident in Obamacare the Affordable Care Act, to the point of daring the GOP to run against it. Obama has no problem with taking criticism; he’s inviting it. The rodeo’s happening around him.

* More of those, please.

Real the full article HERE.

Conservative Tries To Donate To Obama As Bin Laden, Commits Crime

WND is just one of many right-wing online publications that seem to have spent a huge amount of time trying to shine the most negative and despicable light on President Obama through lies, innuendos and blatant slander….

Addicting Info

WND, one of my personal favorite right-wing propaganda machine sites, has apparently and unwittingly committed a crime while erroneously reporting that Obama is accepting money from foreign nationals.

WND made the claim that, “Using a Pakistani Internet Protocol and proxy server, a disposable credit card and a fake address, “Osama bin Laden” has successfully donated twice to Barack Obama’s presidential re-election campaign.”

First of all, that’s not true. As the Obama campaign has explained (and has, unsurprisingly, been ignored),

“If a billing address is verified via AVS, then the credit card contribution is processed without delay. Some transactions caught by AVS may initially appear to a donor to have been accepted even though this is not the case. Obama for America employs a manual process to review any transaction flagged by AVS, also taking into account other fraud risk factors, and using fraud detection services provided by our credit card processor.

“As an example, the contribution discussed here may have initially appeared to have gone through when the donor completed the transaction at 10:18 a.m. but it was rejected at 4:51 p.m. under our standard fraud detection procedures.

“So any claims that Obama for America has disabled AVS are inaccurate; any question about this would have been answered-if the question had been asked.”

Conveniently, this information is not noted in the WND article, but they don’t seem to care much about what is correct and what isn’t. They also state that, “The acceptance of foreign contributions is strictly illegal under U.S. campaign finance law,” which isn’t true, either. Foreign donations, provided they come from U.S. citizens, are perfectly legal. What isn’t legal are donations from foreign nationals. American citizens outside of the United States must prove citizenship for the donation to be accepted.

Another bit of easily verifiable information that they failed to properly investigate comes from the Daily Caller, a well known source for totally fair and balanced conservative propaganda news:

As the Daily Caller reported, a statement accompanied the GAI’s report from former U.S. Attorney Ken Sukhia noting that 68 percent of traffic to BarackObama.com comes from foreign users, all of whom are redirected to a fundraising page operated by the president’s re-election campaign.

First of all, the domain name that the Daily Caller reported on was not – repeat, not – BarackObama.com. It was, in fact, Obama.com, and those two domain names have different traffic results entirely. However, the 68% foreign traffic number is wrong for both, as easily seen and verified on Alexa (barackobama.com site stats found here and obama.com stats here).

Here are screenshots for the traffic percentages to each:

As you can see, foreign hits are actually only 17.6% of traffic on BarackObama.com — a far cry from 68%.

Here’s the picture for Obama.com:

For Obama.com, 29.3% are from foreign countries. Also, considering Obama’s good standing in the world, it is not surprising in the least that there are foreign visitors to his site.

On another note, somebody should probably let the good folks over at WND know that donations in another person’s name are not permitted before they take the following action: “WND is preparing an affidavit for the Federal Elections Commission and the FBI on the illegal donation accepted by the Obama campaign.”

Yeah, good luck with that. Aaron Klein, the writer that published this piece of easily disproved garbage, should probably get the “worst journalist ever” award for this one. However, the real goal was never accurate journalism anyway, but rather a piece of fiction that will be seized upon and repeated ad nauseam. As reported by Media Matters:

Right-wing media are ignoring anti-fraud protections the Obama campaign has in place to allege that the Obama campaign accepted donations from someone impersonating Osama bin Laden.

Matt Drudge is hyping an article by World Net Daily’s Aaron Klein who claimed that ”Using a Pakistani Internet Protocol and proxy server, a disposable credit card and a fake address, ‘Osama bin Laden’ has successfully donated twice to Barack Obama’s presidential re-election campaign.’ “

Have fun with that, conservatives. We’ll be looking forward to your breathless and credulous reporting on this non-story for the next week in between your hourly floggings of the made up Benghazi scandal.

Fischer: Women are Emotionally Unfit for Combat

Does anyone else see what I see regarding the GOP?  They are increasingly going batcrap insane.  Here’s another example of their extreme sexist (anti-woman) point of view:

Right Wing Watch

Last week, Rick Santorum explained that he was opposed to any plans by the Pentagon to place women in combat positions, asserting that the “types of emotions that are involved” would compromise combat effectiveness.

Santorum quickly “clarified,” saying that he didn’t mean that women were emotionally unsuited for serving in combat but rather that male soldiers would be protective of female soldiers and inclined to compromise the mission in order to defend them.

Not surprisingly, Bryan Fischer agrees with Santorum … and is even willing to defend the view that Santorum himself rejected: that women are inherently emotionally unfit for combat:

But not only are women emotionally unfit for combat but also physically unfit because, as Fischer explained in his column today, “the average female soldier does not even have the arm strength to throw a grenade far enough to keep herself from getting blown up.”

The Right-Wing Talk-Radio Flameout

I suppose one could say that with the passage of time, truth always prevails…

The Daily Beast

Ratings for Rush Limbaugh, Glenn Beck and other hyperpartisans are declining as listeners seek honest talk from hosts like Michael Smerconish over angry rants. A more civil conversation will add value to our political debate, writes John Avlon.

There’s new evidence to suggest a demand for something different than hyper-partisanship in the world of talk radio and political media.

It’s not just the sunset of the Glenn Beck Show on Fox or the dispatch of Keith Olbermann from MSNBC to CurrentTV. It’s the shuttering of a pioneering conservative radio station and data showing the demographic decline of Rush Limbaugh.

In contrast, growing numbers of listeners are tuning in to independent voices who can be honest brokers in debates and don’t just angrily parrot talking points.

In February, I wrote a column asking whether right wing talk radio was dying and ruffled some feathers in that flock. A more accurate means of measuring listeners showed that conservative talkers’ ratings had either declined or flatlined in the heat of the 2010 election, while the world-journalism focus of the John Batchelor Show had seen a decided ratings climb. Now, a look at radical centrist Michael Smerconish’s national ratings growth since the start of the year provides more evidence of this emerging market.

First, here’s a snapshot that puts the shift in perspective: Just days after the 2010 election, the nation’s first all-conservative talk radio station, KVI in Seattle, switched back to a classic-rock format after 17 years. Its innovation had become media saturation—and music became an appealing alternative to the drone of a dozen Rush Limbaugh imitators.

Continue reading here…

Hip-Hop for Conservatives

Define irony…

Ta-Nehisi Coates - The Atlantic

Ari Melber (and a couple commenters) point out that the interesting thing about Common being attacked, is that one of his best known songs is about as pro-Life as it gets. “Retrospect for Life” always struck me as being of that variety of pop art as “Knocked Up.” People end up in situations where abortion is often the outcome, but the art gives us a bundle of joy because it’s a result we find a lot more pleasing. Or, to be less cynical, its art which reflects the world as we wish it was, as opposed to how it is.

Of course social conservatism isn’t particularly original for hip-hop. “Basic Instruction Before Leaving Earth” has the obvious nod toward Pro-Lifers. Goodie Mob “Beautiful Skin” is a rather obnoxious lecture on black female modesty (Though that’s a sick track.) And Lifesava’s “What If It’s True” is chastisement for nonbelievers. But I like “Selector” better, so I think I’ll embed that.

 

Jon Stewart’s Epic Takedown Of Fox News For Pushing Rapper Common’s W.H. ‘Controversy’

Jon Stewart is on top of his game with this one!

Mediaite

On tonight’s Daily Show, Jon Stewart took an artistic approach to dealing with Fox News’ substantial coverage of the controversy (or “controversy,” depending where you’re sitting) surrounding the White House’s inclusion of rapper and actor Common in a poetry event.

Stewart kicked things off by noting that Common is the cuddly, mainstream sort of rapper you might find in a Gap ad or hanging out with Elmo. Even FoxNews.com loves the guy! Stewart went after Fox News hosts like Sean Hannity for going after one particular verse within Common’s body of work which references a couple of cop killings and burning a “Bush.”

Stewart pointed to the hypocrisy of Fox News pundits going after Common, but not artists like Johnny Cash, who was honored by President George W. Bush and who also has penned a violent lyric or two in his day, and Ted Nugent, who has made violent remarks about Obama and Hillary Clinton, yet is considered a “friend” by Hannity. (Our own Tommy Christopher wrote about the whole “Nugent Thing” earlier today, as a matter of fact.)

And then… there’s Stewart’s rap. Nothing we could write here could adequately describe its scope and rhyminess, so watch it for yourself, via Comedy Central:

“Not Bad for a Kenyan Muslim Communist!”

You know, the more I look at the right-wing talking points about President Obama’s role in killing Osama bin Laden, the more I realize that nothing Barack Obama does will make them acknowledge that he is in fact a good president.   They would rather give former President George W. Bush full credit than to even utter President Obama’s name.

On Thursday, the president will go to Ground Zero in New York City to meet with family members of the 9/11 victims.  Obama invited President Bush, but he declined.   I would imagine his refusing to go with Obama is not good publicity for the GOP contenders and clearly a political deceision.

Mother Jones

After nearly two years of relentlessly bashing President Obama, the tea party movement has been strangely quiet in the wake of the killing of Osama bin Laden. It seems that Obama’s powerful show of military force has done what none of his other policy moves have been able to do, which is shut them up, however briefly. And not only are they not taking to the airwaves to bash him, some are even grudgingly admitting respect for his administration’s success.

Robin Stublen, a tea party organizer in Florida who’s no fan of Obama’s, says, “I think it’s wonderful. He did exactly what a president’s supposed to do.”

Stublen says that many of his fellow activists feel the same way, and that most of the chatter he’s hearing from grassroots conservatives is pretty positive. “We realize a bad guy’s been killed,” he says. The nearly overnight change in the tea party’s focus was apparent Sunday night at the White House, where spontaneous celebrations broke out after the news of Bin Laden’s death spread. Among the many Obama campaign signs were enough Gadsden flags to give the celebration the look of a tea party rally.

Kellen Giuda is the founder of the NYC Tea Party and is already working to help defeat Obama in 2012 through a new PAC. Yet he was among the tea partiers at the White House, cheering the death of Bin Laden. He later posted online photos and video of the scene, which included the “Don’t Tread on Me” flags so ubiquitous at tea party rallies. He wrote:

Last night I, my girlfriend and a friend went down to the White House to celebrate the death of Osama Bin Laden. Being a Tea Party organizer I was happy to see some Gadsden flags and didn’t care at all when I saw some Obama campaign posters. 98% of the celebration was non-partisan and it was wonderful.

It was crazy with people climbing light poles, songs (someone brought a drum set), singing our national anthem, people climbing in all the trees right outside the White House, chants of USA, USA, USA, and just a great celebration with Americans for justice and freedom.

Even the cantankerous Judson Phillips, head of Tea Party Nation, was briefly forced to acknowledge that the Obama administration had sent Bin Laden “to Hell.” Even so, like other tea partiers, he was reluctant to give Obama much credit for the kill, writing:

Obama is taking credit for this. He did give the order. Did he really have a choice? If word leaked out that he had solid intelligence on where Bin Laden was and did not act, it would have killed any chance he had at reelection.

For much of Monday morning, there was serious radio silence from one of the most outspoken tea party groups even as the Internet was ablaze with the news about Bin Laden. The website for Tea Party Patriots, one of the largest tea party umbrella groups in the country, was still focused on the debt ceiling and $4 gasoline. Eventually, national coordinator Mark Meckler commented on the big news, telling National Journal that Obama didn’t deserve any recognition for the military operation in Pakistan. “Taking such credit would be an insult to the courageous men and women in our armed forces who voluntarily put themselves in harm’s way,” he said. “Any credit given is due to them.”

But more the more common sentiment was expressed by a commenter on the Tea Party Patriots website who wrote, “Obamma [sic] killed Osama bin Laden – pretty good for a Kenyan Muslim Communist!!!”

Still, as the euphoria over the initial news wears off, the tea partiers will no doubt find more reasons to be critical of the administration. Within hours of the late-night news, some of them were already starting the cries of “show me the body,” after learning that bin Laden’s body had been buried at sea—a sentiment fueled by Andrew Breitbart.

Stublen thinks this bit of conspiracy theorism about Bin Laden is on the margins of the movement. “You’ll have to really look to find some loons to find someone” who really disagrees with what Obama did or doesn’t believe it really happened, he says. Stublen recognizes, though, that “pitching his ass out there in the ocean” is going to create some lingering suspicions about whether Bin Laden is really dead that it could be a problem going forward. “I hope they got a lot of pictures. That’s the only way we’re going to convince people,” Stublen says. “They’re going to have to release the pictures.”