Media

Even this Fox News host's colleagues were stunned by his reactions to the Derek Chauvin trial verdict

Fox News chose Greg Gutfeld, the host of its new late-night talk show "Gutfeld!" along with "Judge" Jeanine Pirro as its on-air talent for Tuesday's verdict in the trial of Derek Chauvin.

Gutfeld told his co-host that he's "glad" Chauvin was found guilty on all counts in the murder of George Floyd, because his neighborhood was looted once and he wanted "a verdict that keeps this country from going up in flames."

"And now I'm just going to just get really selfish," Gutfeld said after the verdict of guilty on all counts was read. "I'm glad that he was found guilty on all charges. Even if he might not be guilty of all charges."

An off-screen voice, possibly Pirro's, said, "Oh my God." Seconds later, another off-screen voice said, "oh God," as groans can be heard.

"I am glad that he is guilty of all charges, because I want a verdict that keeps this country from going up in flames," Gutfeld admitted.

"Oh uh-oh, said Pirro.

"Oh my goodness," said another voice off-screen.

"Look, Greg," Pirro responded.

"What do you mean?" a stunned Gutfeld replied.

"I'm at least being honest," Gutfeld said defending himself. "My neighborhood was looted, I don't ever want to go through that again.

Pirro replied, saying, "Greg, Greg, we do not sacrifice individuals, for the sake, oh having people feel –"

"I'm saying is guilty," Gutfeld declared, after suggesting he might not be quite as guilty as jurors found him to be. "I'm saying I'm glad about the verdict."

Naomi Wolf has been promoting 'absurd' COVID-19 conspiracy theories — with the help of Fox News: report

Liberal author Naomi Wolf is well-known for her feminist commentary of the 1990s and her warnings against the Patriot Act during the Bush Administration's two terms. Recently, Wolf has been promoting COVID-19 conspiracy theories — and Media Matters' Matt Gertz reports that Fox News has been more than happy to hear them.

Gertz explains, "The feminist writer Naomi Wolf garnered fame during the 1990s for her book 'The Beauty Myth' and her work as an adviser to the presidential campaigns of Bill Clinton and Al Gore. But in recent years, she's been better known for promoting an array of unhinged conspiracy theories, most recently regarding the novel coronavirus that causes COVID-19. This combination has made her a perfect guest for Fox News."

Fox News' coverage of the COVID-19 pandemic has been dramatically different from that of MSNBC or CNN. When MSNBC and CNN, in 2020, were showing how enormous a threat COVID-19 posed, Fox News joined former President Donald Trump in downplaying the pandemic's severity.

"Fox is far more interested in turning coronavirus into a political cudgel than in giving users accurate health information," Gertz observes. "And so, the network's hosts lean on Wolf's liberal credentials while giving her a platform to claim that the Democratic response to the pandemic is aimed at dissolving society and enacting a totalitarian state comparable to Nazi Germany."

Gertz notes that Wolf has "appeared at least seven times on Fox" since mid-February to "discuss her views on the pandemic: twice apiece on 'Tucker Carlson Tonight' and 'The Revolution with Steve Hilton,' and three times on 'Fox News Primetime.'"

"It is irresponsible for a news outlet to give Wolf that sort of credulous attention," Gertz writes. "Her social media channels are littered with absurd claims about the virus and its vaccines. Between her first and second Fox appearances alone, she tweeted that a new technology allowed the delivery of 'vaccines w nanopatticles that let you travel back in time'; that the Moderna vaccine is a 'software platform' that allows 'uploads'; and that due to face masks, children now lack 'the human reflex that they when you smile at them they smile back' and have 'dark circles under (their) eyes from low oxygen."

Here's the insane amount Republican orgs spent buying GOP books to pad best-seller lists last election cycle

The problem with having a base that isn't particularly interested in reading anything more than a headline is that it is hard to sell books to those folks. You couple that with holding and promoting wildly unpopular positions on health care, foreign policy, economics, race, and justice, and a proclivity to act morally hypocritical and you are creating the kinds of conditions most book publishers would shy away from. Add to that most of the things you say are factually incorrect, a potential lawsuit in the waiting for a publisher, and it is a wonder how any of these conservative jokes get publishing deals in the first place.

However, the conservative oligarchy-bubble has figured a way around promoting an unpopular product—buy the perception that it isn't popular. For some time news outlets have reported on the self-dealing, bulk-book buying tendencies of campaigns and Republican committees, that help propel books by people from people like Sens. Mitch McConnell, Ted Cruz, and Tom Cotton, Rep. Dan Crenshaw, and cosmic embarrassment Donald Trump Jr., access to national best-seller lists. Being on a best-seller list—especially from one of the Republican proclaimed fake news sites like the Washington Post or the New York Times, can boost your sales further being the premiere advertisement for literature and nonfiction in the United States.

The Washington Post did a report on the shady-quality of this practice, pointing out that "Four party-affiliated organizations, including the Republican National Committee, collectively spent more than $1 million during the past election cycle mass-purchasing books written by GOP candidates, elected officials and personalities, according to Federal Election Commission expenditure reports." The practice is not simply deceitful in promoting a false sense of popularity for unpopular ideas, but because authors of books make serious money if they can get on best-seller lists off of royalties from hundreds of thousands of dollars in book sales.

One of the more well-publicized self-dealings in recent months was Texas's answer to intelligence, Rep. Dan Crenshaw, whose book got a $400,000 boost in sales from the National Republican Congressional Committee (NRCC). The NRCC defended its purchase of Crenshaw's book, saying that it had fundraised no less than three times the amount off of the book (signed copies, etc.), making it a legitimate purchase. But the Republican former Navy SEAL, who holds an elected office based almost entirely on the truly twisted Republican gerrymandering of a Texas district, was able to point to his best-seller status as proof of the popularity of his opinions.

Trump Jr., his dad the Donald, truly unpopular Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell, unpopular China-phobe Sen. Tom Cotton, and Capitol building insurgent supporter Sen. Josh Hawley all got lucky with bulk purchases of their books this past election cycle according to the Post. Hawley's big pre-buy got sidetracked when Simon & Schuster canceled the book deal with Hawley for his sweeping endorsements of anti-Democratic, fact-free election fraud charges—though he forgot to mention he likely kept some of the advance while he whined about freedom of speech.

Tom Cotton, best-known for being a slimmer, cleaner-shaven, and more hawkish version of Ted Cruz, seems to have received quite a bit of help from political action committee the Senate Conservatives Fund. According to the Post, they spent close to $90,000 buying Cotton's book—the title of which is something like Soldier Duty, Soldier soldier, duty duty, I hate China and Democracy. Coincidentally, this was the same PAC that threw $65,000 at "Regnery Publishing, [Ted] Cruz's publisher, for advance copies of Hawley's forthcoming book."

Last week, campaign finance watchdog Campaign Legal Center filed a complaint against Sen. Ted Cruz, with the Federal Election Commission and the Senate Ethics Committee. Highlighting Cruz's 15% royalty rate and his campaign's expenditure of around $18,000 on Facebook ads promoting his book, the complaint accuses Cruz of violating "the ban on the personal use of campaign funds at 52 U.S.C. § 30114(b)(1)." The complaint also reminds the two committees that the evidence they are presenting is just the Facebook advertisements and there might very well be Cruz campaign expenditures promoting his garbage tome on other platforms.

In the three months following the publication of Cruz's book, Ted Cruz for Senate paid third-party booksellers Books-A-Million and Barnes & Noble over $154,000 for "books." Other Facebook ads offered supporters a signed copy of the book in exchange for a contribution (while also urging viewers to "pre-order a copy today at Amazon or your local book retailer") and linked to a Ted Cruz for Senate fundraising page.

This isn't news for Ted Cruz, who has long bent, if not broke, the laws of campaigning and campaign finance. His interest in honesty has never existed and he has never shown the slightest of moral compunctions. And while Ted Cruz may technically be considered more intelligent than someone like Donald Trump Jr., the two men participate in identical cynical and corrupt behavior. In Junior's case, it's his actual daddy that helps pay for his lack of popularity, while in Ted Cruz's case, it's the Republican Party machine and his own campaign that he treats like a rich daddy.

Technically, the issue here is that Ted Cruz's campaign did not bulk buy directly through the publisher. The reason why this is important is that this issue has long been understood to be a thorny problem, and the FEC has made rulings on it dating back to 2014. Buying directly from the publisher, according to the FEC, allows the publisher to count those sales outside of the sales of books that they owe royalties to authors for. Cruz's campaign spent thousands directly through retailers. This makes it much more like that Cruz's royalty payouts got a direct personal bank account boost from his own campaign's funds. He's not the only one, as everybody's favorite know-nothing-at-all Dan Crenshaw's book got almost a quarter of a million in sales from a retail direct purchase by the NRCC.

Before you let that friend of yours that says chem-trails control the weather chime in, the Post explains that this level of bulk-buying, padding out the book sales, is largely a GOP "phenomenon."

'60 Minutes' faces pushback for giving Oath Keepers a platform to push lies

A segment on CBS News' "60 Minutes" segment about the Oath Keepers, which aired on Sunday evening, has attracted considerable pushback on Twitter and elsewhere from viewers who criticized its reporting on the far-right militia group's role in the Jan. 6 attack on the U.S. Capitol.

The exposé from "60 Minutes" correspondent Sharyn Alfonsi highlighted the Oath Keepers' role in organizing the Jan. 6 riot while also highlighting the apparent split between the largest chapter of the Oath Keepers and the group's founder, Stewart Rhodes, who launched the organization in March of 2009.

Within the segment, one Oath Keepers member in Arizona, Jim Arroyo, told Alfonsi that the group works closely with law enforcement, since many of the paramilitary organization members are former police officers or ex-military personnel. "Our guys are very experienced. We have active-duty law enforcement in our organization that are helping to train us. We can blend in with our law enforcement, and in fact, in a lot of cases, our training is much more advanced because of our military backgrounds." Arroyo declared during the segment.

According to FBI counterterrorism official Javed Ali, that claim made by Arroyo at least partly holds true: The Oath Keepers have a "large percentage" of members who "have tactical training and operational experience in either the military or law enforcement," he said. "That at least gives them a capability that a lot of other people in this far-right space don't have," Ali added.


Arroyo, the Arizona Oath Keepers leader, later in the interview attempted to distance himself from Rhodes, the founder of the group, who on Jan. 6 was spotted on the Capitol steps and was later found to have helped members of his militia group plot the siege.


"I want to congratulate Stewart Rhodes and his 10 militia buddies for winning first place in the ultimate dumbass contest, because that's what it was," Arroyo said. "That goes against everything we have ever taught, everything we believe in. It was pre-planned; it was pre-staged. Ten guys go and do something stupid, and suddenly we're the devil."

Many on Twitter perceived the segment as allowing Arroyo and other members of the Oath Keepers to divert blame and minimize their role in the events of Jan. 6.

"This is the same group being dismantled at the moment for their role in 1/6, but sure, give them a massive platform and free media. Real fricking brilliant," national security lawyer Bradley P. Moss, a partner at the law firm Mark S. Zaid, PC, wrote on Twitter. Former Yahoo News White House reporter Hunter Walker tweeted, "Not sure why the Oath Keepers are being given air time to downplay their role on 1/6."


Sophia Nelson, a contributing editor at the Grio, responded to the segment on Twitter writing, "Shame on CBS for giving this monster a platform and voice."

My Pillow CEO Mike Lindell tricked into thinking a prank call was from Trump

Three months after former President Donald Trump left the White House, far-right MyPillow CEO Mike Lindell remains one of his most ardent supporters and continues to make the debunked and totally false claim that Trump really won the 2020 presidential election. On Monday, his gullibility led to extreme embarrassment when Lindell thought he was getting a call from Trump during a recent right-wing livestream, but the call turned out to be a prank.

An announcement said, "I have Mr. Trump on standby, are you ready?" And after Lindell said, "Yes," Lindell heard a Trump-like voice saying, "Hello, everyone" — inspiring an enthusiastic Lindell to say, "Aw, we have the president here. Our real president. Hello, Mr. President."

But when the caller said something insulting, it became obvious to Lindell that he wasn't really speaking to Trump. And Lindell said, "You see what they're doing. They're attacking us."

'This is insane': Employees at OAN furious network is still pushing election fraud stories

According to a report from the New York Times, more than a few employees at One America News Network (OAN) are unhappy with their employer because the network is still pushing the narrative that Donald Trump is the legitimate president of the United States -- and they just want it to stop.

The online news network, which became a favorite of Donald Trump after he turned on Fox News for not blindly supporting him and was the first to call Arizona for opponent Joe Biden on election night, is currently roiled by dissent from employees unhappy with the post-election coverage.

According to the Times' Rachel Abrams, as recently as March 28 the network was running a report asserting, "There's still serious doubts about who's actually president," and it is a not view shared by all the employees.

"In interviews with 18 current and former OAN newsroom employees, 16 said the channel had broadcast reports that they considered misleading, inaccurate or untrue," the report states, adding that one producer did admit that the direction the network has taken is concerning.

"Marty Golingan, a producer at the channel since 2016, said OAN had changed in recent years. At the start of his employment, he said, it concentrated more on neutral coverage based on reports from The Associated Press or Reuters. He saw it as a scrappy upstart where he could produce cheeky feature stories, he said," Abrams wrote. "During the Trump presidency, it moved right, Mr. Golingan said. And when he was watching coverage of the pro-Trump mob breaking into the Capitol, he said, he worried that his work might have helped inspire the attack."

"He added that he and others at OAN disagreed with much of the channel's coverage. 'The majority of people did not believe the voter fraud claims being run on the air,' Mr. Golingan said in an interview, referring to his colleagues," the report states. "He recalled seeing a photo of someone in the Capitol mob holding a flag emblazoned with the OAN logo. 'I was like, OK, that's not good,' Mr. Golingan said. 'That's what happens when people listen to us',"

"Allysia Britton, a news producer, said she was one of more than a dozen employees who had left OAN in the wake of the Capitol riot. She criticized some of what the channel had reported, saying it was not up to journalistic standards," the Times report states with Britton confessing, Many people have raised concerns. And the thing is, when people speak up about anything, you will get in trouble."

While OAN has so far avoided a lawsuit from Dominion Voting Systems over defamatory comments about election fraud, some employees wish one was forthcoming to change the culture at the network.

"Dominion has sued Fox News and two of Mr. Trump's lawyers, Rudolph W. Giuliani and Sidney Powell, accusing them of making or promoting defamatory claims. A lawyer for Dominion, who did not reply to requests for comment, has said the company is considering further legal action," the report states with producer Golingan saying "some OAN employees had hoped Dominion would sue the channel."

"A lot of people said, 'This is insane, and maybe if they sue us, we'll stop putting stories like this out,'" he said.

You can read more here.

Jen Psaki had the perfect response to a Newsmax reporter trying to get Biden's UN ambassador fired

White House Press Secretary Jen Psaki responded to a reporter from the right wing website Newsmax who asked if President Joe Biden will fire the U.S. Ambassador to the United Nations.

Ambassador Linda Thomas-Greenfield joined the U.S. Foreign Service four decades ago, in 1982. Her extensive resume includes serving as United States Assistant Secretary of State for African Affairs, Director General of the United States Foreign Service and Director of Human Resources, United States Ambassador to Liberia, Deputy Assistant Secretary, Bureau of Population, Refugees and Migration, and Principal Deputy Assistant Secretary for African Affairs, among others.

She was confirmed for her current post by a highly partisan U.S. Senate in a strongly bipartisan 78–20 vote.

Newsmax White House Correspondent Emerald Robinson suggested President Joe Biden should bow down to any criticism or attacks from China, telling Psaki that Ambassador Linda Thomas-Greenfield "essentially said that white supremacy is woven into our founding documents and principles."

"This statement," Robinson claimed, "is getting widely criticized as essentially parroting Chinese Communist Party talking points. So is the President going to remove her from her position as the representative before that body to promote United States values?"

Psaki, calmly, told her no.

"Is the President going to remove an African American woman with decades of experience in the Foreign Service who is widely respected around the world from her position as Ambassador to the UN? He is not," Psaki replied. "He is proud to have her in that position. She is not only qualified, he believes she is exactly the right person in that role at this moment in time. I have not seen her comments, I will say that there's no question that there has been a history of institutional racism in this country, and that doesn't require the UN ambassador to confirm that."

Robinson, apparently trying to shape U.S. foreign policy from the press briefing room, complained thast Ambassador Robinson's remarks are "essentially the same lecture though that the Chinese delegation gave Secretary Blinken in Alaska last month. So does the President think our founding documents are racist?"

Undeterred, Psaki again responded, saying: "I would say that, I will, I will leave my comments to speak for themselves, and certainly I think most people recognize the history of systemic racism in our country, and she was speaking to that."

As most Americans known, the founding documents are inherently racist, including but hardly limited to allowing slavery and counting slaves as only three-fifths of a person.

Watch:

Fox News goes off the rails in fiery clash between two guests: 'You're nothing but a punk!'

Conservative cable news pundits who were once pals have now turned into bitter foes. That's the story of Fox News' Geraldo Rivera and Dan Bongino.

The two initially faced off on Monday debating policing in America and, more specifically, outrage sparked by the killing of Daunte Wright. On Wednesday night, the duo clashed yet again on Sean Hannity's Fox News program, where it ended with Rivera calling Bongino a "son of a b*tch."

"I have been covering cops for over 50 years. I am perhaps the most deeply experienced reporter in television history," Rivera began the Wenesday segment while addressing a matter from the clash on Monday night, highlighting his experience in covering policing in America for many years, adding that he has "been to too many cop funerals to even think about." "I have done hundreds of stories over thousands of hours with cops. Everything from shoot-outs to executing arrest warrants, to roadblocks to drug raids. You name it, I've been there. I've been to too many cop funerals to even think about. They are horrible!" he added. Rivera would then continue by calling the killing of Daunte Wright "reckless or grossly negligent behavior" while proposing that police officers use a taser as their "first weapon of choice."

But those rather straightforward remarks didn't sit well with the former Secret Service agent. Bongino responded to Rivera, stating, "I don't even know how to respond to that. Give me a second to digest the stupidity of that."

The two then got into it on air, which only became more intense as the 8-minute segment pushed forward. "You're nothing but a name-caller!" Rivera declared. "You're a cheap shot artist!" Bongino, a former police officer before becoming a carpetbagger, then fired back: "You've never worn a badge, period. Not interested in your reporting on it because reporters deal with facts, and you brought the race card into it the other night when we had this debate, despite having no facts to back that up."

The war of words from there only got more intense, with Rivera noting that "Blacks are twice as likely to be shot by cops as whites," which Bongino dismissed. "I know more than you! What do you know?" Rivera continued. "What, did you have a ten-minute career as a cop? You've been running for office for the last 20 years."

Bongino, instead of replying with statistics or facts, instead told Rivera to "take a Valium" and "pipe down." "My gosh, you're a 70-year-old man!" the thrice-failed GOP congressional candidate added.

Minutes later, nearing the end of the segment, Bongnio accused Rivera of perpetrating "a race narrative with no data to back it up at all." To which, Rivera quickly fired back: "You only accept facts that you agree with."

"He's injecting race into the argument because he has nothing else!" Bongino continued. The segment would conclude with fireworks Bongino accused Rivera of desiring to "see the country burn."

"I want to see the country burn?! You son of a b*tch! I want to see the country burn, you punk?! You're nothing but a punk!" Rivera shouted as Hannity ended the segment.

You can watch the entire clip below, via YouTube

Geraldo gets schooled on Fox by Dan Bongino, loses it www.youtube.com

Twitter suspends right-wing activist James O’Keefe

James O'Keefe, the activist best known for producing and promoting selectively edited, deceptive videos used to advance a far right wing agenda, appears to have been suspended from Twitter, and that suspension appears to be permanent.

On his verified Instagram account O'Keefe posted a screenshot of the suspension:

The Daily Beast's Justin Baragona suggests Twitter suspended him for operating fake accounts. He reports Twitter says the suspension is permanent.

O'Keefe is also suing CNN.

"Project Veritas founder James O'Keefe announced on Tuesday's 'Hannity' that he plans to sue CNN for defamation," Fox News reports.

O'Keefe's new website, exposecnn.com, requires an email address to access and currently claims: "Twitter, Facebook, Instagram, and YouTube are all suppressing the distribution of our new undercover recordings."

In September of 2020 The New York Times reported that a "deceptive video released on Sunday by the conservative activist James O'Keefe, which claimed through unidentified sources and with no verifiable evidence that Representative Ilhan Omar's campaign had collected ballots illegally, was probably part of a coordinated disinformation effort, according to researchers at Stanford University and the University of Washington."

Tucker Carlson's revealing slip of the tongue stuns observers: 'Every day he becomes more and more explicit'

On Wednesday evening, Fox News host Tucker Carlson let slip a fleeting but surprising turn of phrase that promptly stunned many of his critics.

While discussing the treatment of a man charged as a part of the Jan. 6 Capitol insurrection, Carlson tried to draw a comparison to the case of Bree Newsome, a filmmaker and activist who tore down the Confederate battle flag at the South Carolina statehouse in 2015, leading to her arrest.

But when Carlson described the incident, he didn't describe her tearing down the "Confederate flag," but simply "the flag" — a phrase that in American English typically refers to the American flag.

It was noteworthy for at least two reasons. First, Carlson seemed to be downplaying the commendable political motivations behind Newsome's act of protest. And second, it seemed to suggest his sympathy for and alliance with the Confederacy.

This second point is even more salient when considering the fact that his broader point was a defense of the Capitol insurrection — an event he has consistently tried to downplay — which included a man wielding the flag of the Confederate traitors through the government building as the mob tried to stop the counting of presidential votes.

Many argued that Carlson was quite clearly showing where he stands: with the insurrectionists.






'That is not how it works': Jen Psaki dismantles conservative reporter's factually incorrect question

During a press conference at the White House this Wednesday, reporter Owen Jensen from the Catholic news network EWTN asked Jen Psaki a question regarding the Biden administration's move to reverse a Trump-era family planning policy.

"Today, as you well know, the Biden administration and HHS started the reversal of the Trump administration's ban on abortion referrals at Title X family planning clinics," Jensen said. "So my first question -- why does the Biden administration insist that pro-life Americans pay for abortions and violate their conscience?"

"First, that's not an accurate depiction of what happened," Psaki replied.

"None of the funds appropriated under this title shall be used in programs where abortion is a method of family planning," she continued. "That is written into the Health Services Act and it specifically states that."

"Indirect subsidies minus funds that can't be traced -- we know that, come on," Jensen pressed.

"That is not how it works. That is the law," Psaki shot back. "So I'm stating what the law is and how it is implemented legally by these organizations."

According to NPR, the proposal "would largely return the federal Title X family planning program to its status before Trump took office. The current rules, implemented in March 2019 under Trump, forbid any provider who provides or refers patients for abortions from receiving federal funding through Title X to cover services such as contraception and STD screenings for low-income people."

Watch the full exchange in the video below:

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