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Eric Boehlert is the author of Lapdogs: How the Press Rolled Over for Bush (Free Press, 2006). He worked for five years as a senior writer for Salon.com, where he wrote extensively about media and politics. Prior to that, he worked as a contributing editor for Rolling Stone. Boehlert has a bachelor's degree in Near Eastern studies from the University of Massachusetts and is a Senior Fellow at Media Matters for America.
Thursday, November 19, 2015(1 comments)
When Fox News Didn't Blame The White House For A Huge Terror Attack In Europe
For anyone who's been watching the Fox News coverage since Friday and seen the almost non-stop smear campaign against Obama (it's been part of the larger, right-wing media freakout), it's almost unimaginable what the Fox commentary would sound like if ISIS killed hundreds in America during next year's campaign. (Calls for impeachment would come quickly, I assume.)
Thursday, October 15, 2015(1 comments)
It's Time For The Press To Break Up With Gowdy's Benghazi Committee
The Benghazi committee has been very good to a Beltway press corps anxious to pursue storylines about Clinton's supposed incompetence and crooked ways. This year, the Benghazi committee has helped pundits produce months' worth of baseless speculation about looming email indictments and the potential for a Clinton campaign "collapse."
Saturday, October 10, 2015(20 comments)
How Do You Cover The Gun "Debate" When One Side Spouts Nonsense?
How does the press cover the unfolding Republican gun spectacle? And when do reporters and pundits step forward and point out that one side of the gun "debate" has not only lost touch with reality, but at times has lost touch with common decency? That query goes to the heart of informative political reporting.
Friday, September 11, 2015(3 comments)
Trump and How the Media's Birther Blind Spot Keeps Getting Bigger
Rather than having the release of Obama's birth certificate dissuade those on the far right about the birther issue, since 2011 the ranks of Republican birthers have swelled to huge proportions as the GOP base clings to the dark fantasy that Obama is an African-born impostor who's ineligible to be president or to command U.S. military forces.
Thursday, August 13, 2015(1 comments)
How Fox News and Donald Trump Ate the Republican Primary
Fox and Ailes have grabbed whatever they wanted as their own and the party has been powerless to stop them. Although there has been little indication the GOP ever wanted to interfere with Fox. Perhaps until now. Until Republicans realized Ailes wasn't creating a campaign masterpiece, he was creating a monster.
Thursday, July 23, 2015(9 comments)
How the Press Missed the Trump Surge
The idea that Trump's appeal isn't genuine or that the press has lured Republicans into supporting him is likely more comforting than acknowledging the truth: Trump, an ignorant, nativist birther, is appealing to an often-ugly streak within the conservative movement. He's winning over the illogical, demagoguery wing of the Republican Party.
Thursday, May 7, 2015(1 comments)
Murdoch Media Reach For '90s Playbook: Criminalize The Clintons (Evidence Optional)
A criminal probe sparked by Clinton Cash would be a dream come true for partisan media outlets. The Fox News-led posse is essentially demanding criminal investigations be launched in order to find the evidence first, and then proceed to political prosecutions. It's a bold attempt to criminalize politics.
Tuesday, January 6, 2015 The Gruesome U.S. Beheadings Fox News Ignored
Fox News ignored the Florida scene of grisly, domestic violence. Apparently, without a Muslim suspect under arrest for the beheading, Fox News wasn't interested. However, in late September 2014, Fox News became almost singularly obsessed with the gruesome work-place beheading in Moore, Oklahoma by a recent Muslim convert, Alton Nolen.
Thursday, November 20, 2014(7 comments)
Network News' Shameful Decision To Snub Obama's Immigration Address
Some GOP lawmakers insisted Obama could face a flurry of legal action including impeachment proceedings, while others have urged the entire federal government be shut down if Obama goes through with his plan. Yet according to executives at ABC, CBS, NBC and Fox, Obama's address isn't worth covering.
Wednesday, November 19, 2014(1 comments)
Ferguson Protests And Fox News' Contempt For Free Speech
Conservative commentators have a long history of condemning, as vile and un-American, citizens who protest on behalf of their causes, whether it's racial injustice, income equality, collective bargaining rights, or raising the minimum wage. The spotlight on Ferguson and its supposed "lynch mob" represents just the latest example of those sweeping condemnations and attacks on civil discourse.
Sunday, November 9, 2014(4 comments)
Obstruction, and How the Press Helped Punch the GOP's Midterm Ticket
Speaking truth to power and accurately portraying what has happened to American politics and noting without equivocation that the sabotage that has occurred is designed to ensure the federal government doesn't function as designed, and that it cannot efficiently address the problems of the nation. And this week, it all paid off for Republicans.
Thursday, August 21, 2014 Obama, Race, And The Right-Wing Media's Heckler's Veto
It's fine for pundits to yearn for open dialogue and rhetorical leadership from the White House. It's less helpful for them to ignore the unpleasant realities of nasty partisan politics in the age of Obama. It does no good to pretend race baiting hasn't become a badge of honor and a professional path to success for lots of right-wing pundits.
Friday, May 9, 2014(1 comments)
From Vince Foster To Benghazi: How Fox News Has Mainstreamed The Fringe
Today's Fox News would have eagerly endorsed the sordid Foster affair, relentlessly demanding that "unanswered questions" be addressed and that sweeping investigations be launched. That in turn, would have forced Republicans into action, which would have sparked endless mainstream news coverage. Today the megaphone's much bigger, much louder, and in many ways much more dangerous.
Saturday, February 22, 2014(4 comments)
Ted Nugent and How the Conservative Press Can't Hide Its Hate Streak
Increasingly reliant on bad fringe actors like Nugent to connect with their far, far-right audience, the conservative media have built up Obama-bashing personalities who no longer occupy any corner of the American mainstream. Yet Nugent enjoys deep ties with Republican campaigns all across the country. When those ties receive media scrutiny, they cannot be defended.
Thursday, February 6, 2014(4 comments)
Campaigns in Waiting: The Press Loved Bush's But Dumps On Clinton
For what other politician would editors at CNN look at astronomical polling results (an 89 percent favorable rating in Iowa), and then assign an article on that person's "Iowa problem"? For no other politician, of course, because it defies logic. That kind of fact-free campaign analysis didn't make sense when Bush ran for president, and it doesn't make sense now.
Thursday, November 21, 2013(2 comments)
WMD Guilt? With Obamacare, The Press Keeps Trying To Minimize Iraq War
An American city drowned in slow motion following Hurricane Katrina? The United States launched a senseless, pre-emptive war that will drain the U.S. Treasury for decades to come? Well, Obama's Healthcare.gov website doesn't work very well! This is the mother lode of false equivalency. By suggesting the temporary health care woes are like Iraq, the press is doing its best to wash away the Iraq War stain.
Tuesday, November 12, 2013 CBS Still Ducking The Tough 60 Minutes Questions
After Benghazi, 60 Minutes allotted 90 seconds at the very end of its broadcast in order to apologize (in addition to the earlier apology on This Morning). Also, there's no indication that any CBS employees will be reprimanded for the Benghazi mess. The message from CBS News, following the high-profile implosion of its October 27 Benghazi report? We're sorry. But we're not that sorry.
Monday, November 11, 2013 How CBS Could Have Avoided The 60 Minutes Benghazi Fiasco
If Fager was so "proud" of CBS's work, why wasn't the veteran journalist willing to discuss the Benghazi issue with a reporter who can ask follow-up questions, rather than Fager issuing a one-way statement and dodging the details? That's not how a "proud" chairman deals with a newsroom crisis. That's how a nervous chairman deals with one.
Friday, November 1, 2013 Called On To Explain Big Story, Media Botches Obamacare
The Beltway press rarely bothers to explain, let alone cover, public policy any more. With a media model that almost uniformly revolves around the political process of Washington (who's winning, who's losing?), journalists have distanced themselves from the grungy facts of governance, especially in terms of how government programs work and how they affect the citizenry.
Tuesday, August 6, 2013(2 comments)
For Rush Limbaugh, The Damage Is Done
Of course, Limbaugh and Clear Channel could hold their ground, refuse to budge on Cumulus' demands and walk away from the radio giant with AM stations from coast to coast. That is an option, but it's also an unpleasant one in terms of what it would mean to Limbaugh's once unvarnished reputation as the AM talk gold standard.
Sunday, April 21, 2013 Boston and the Right-Wing Media's Collapse
any in the far-right media worked to set news standards in mindless, awful behavior in the wake of the Boston attack. Faced with covering the most important American terror news story in a decade, too many players opted to just make stuff up. Prompting witch hunts, they cast innocents as would-be killers and then couldn't be bothered with apologies.
Saturday, March 23, 2013(4 comments)
GOP Rebranding? Roger Ailes Isn't Buying It
There's been little public acknowledgement that there can be no effective rebranding of the Republican Party if Ailes doesn't sign off. Meaning, the GOP can turn itself inside out if it wants, but if Fox News, the self-appointed face and voice the GOP, doesn't change, none of it matters because Fox will still be pounding home every negative stereotype that party leaders now want to erase.
Wednesday, March 6, 2013(15 comments)
How "Liberal Media" Keep Blaming Obama for GOP's Radical Behavior
For four years this nonsensical narrative about how it's up to Obama to change the GOP's conduct has been promoted and celebrated inside Beltway newsrooms. And now all the savvy pundits agree: Republicans' obstinate ways created the sequestration showdown, so that means it's Obama's fault. By failing to lead, by failing to change Republican behavior, Obama must shoulder the blame.
Thursday, February 28, 2013(1 comments)
Woodward Does Duty With Phony Outrage Machine
Woodward remains the most famous journalist of the Baby Boomer generation. His often methodical, behind-the-scenes reporting can provide real insights. But by signing up for duty with the Phony Outrage Machine and by parading around on Fox News wringing his hands over a fictitious threat, Woodward does serious damage to his reputation.
Sunday, February 24, 2013(5 comments)
The Bush Years And What A "Lapdog" Press Really Looked Like
During long stretches of his first term, Obama was hammered with "unrelentingly negative" press coverage. By contrast, the lapdog era of the Bush years represented nothing short of an institutional collapse of the American newsroom. And it was one that, given the media's integral role in helping to sell the Iraq War, did grave damage to our democracy.
Tuesday, January 29, 2013 Palin, Fox And The End Of An Era
At Fox, Palin represented a particularly angry and juvenile wing of the conservative movement. It's the part that appears deeply obsessed with Obama as a person; an unhealthy obsession that seemed to surpass any interest in his policies. Fox News got steamrolled by Obama's re-election. Palin's departure from the Fox payroll serves as a useful exclamation point to that fact.
Wednesday, December 12, 2012 Is Conservative Media One Big "Racket"?
In the business of media self-promotion, and particularly the carnival barker variety that powers so much of the conservative movement via Fox News and AM talk radio, it's inevitable that the goals of the "conservative entertainment complex," as writer David Frum dubbed it, would collide with the retail politics of the Republican Party.
Thursday, August 9, 2012(1 comments)
The Media Myth Surrounding Obama's Negative Campaign
The topic of Obama's supposedly negative campaign has become something of a media obsession, while at the same time the press has shown very little interest in detailing how the Romney campaign is running almost an entirely anti-Obama sales pitch to American voters.
Tuesday, June 26, 2012 Why Media's Health Care Reform Coverage Was Even Worse Than You Thought
The news coverage of the health-care debate provided by the "liberal media" represented a godsend to the Republican Party and the larger conservative movement. Coverage was stacked overwhelmingly in their favor in terms of the volume of GOP talking points stressed. The net results from the skewed coverage? Less than 20 percent of Americans say they have a clear understanding of what's actually in the health-care law.
Friday, June 22, 2012(4 comments)
From "Racist," To "Dick," To Heckling: How The Press Treats Obama
The GOP Noise Machine has for years depicted Obama as a lowly, un-American dictator/criminal; as someone unworthy of respect, which is exactly how Munro treated him. The only difference was that instead of doing that in the hothouse confines of Daily Caller's website where openly hating Obama in the expected norm, Munro lashed out in a very public setting.
Saturday, June 2, 2012(1 comments)
Birthers, Billionaires and Fox: The GOP Freak Show in Full Effect
With a new breed of conservative media outlets making their presence felt during the 2012 campaign season, the emerging general election is being waged by the right with an unmistakable stamp of irresponsibility and a complete lack of adult supervision. Each passing day draws new revelations and guffaws.
Friday, May 18, 2012(1 comments)
Why Is Roger Ailes Lecturing College Students About Journalism?
Fox has every right to be in the partisan attack business. But for prestigious universities to usher Roger Ailes into their lectures halls under the guise of him being a news executive and letting him spin fantastic tales about how Fox is a fair and balanced news organization is a joke.
Saturday, March 17, 2012(38 comments)
Struggling Clear Channel And Rush Limbaugh's $400 Million Payday
Whether Limbaugh's show is in the midst of the death throes, only time will tell. But one thing is clear, the radio industry has never seen anything like the sponsorship controversy surrounding Limbaugh's once-untouchable program.
Saturday, March 10, 2012(4 comments)
The Self-Destruction Of Limbaugh, Murdoch and Beck
Led by the likes of Limbaugh, Murdoch and Beck, the conservative press has adopted a strange brand of radicalism that embraces falsehoods, smears and even law breaking, all of which places their practice well outside the mainstream culture.
Saturday, January 28, 2012(15 comments)
How Fox News Is Destroying The Republican Party
Wannabe kingmaker Roger Ailes is facing an open revolt.
More and more despondent conservatives are expressing alarm over the unfolding Republican primary season and what they see as the party's dwindling chances of defeating President Obama in November.
Friday, January 6, 2012 Why Conservatives Can't Do Journalism
The right-wing's online Noise Machine today is populated by people like Andrew Breitbart and Dana Loesch who run websites that crank out borderline incoherent bouts of "journalism" that inevitably whip up their Obama-hating readers and have zero impact on the national discussion.
Tuesday, August 2, 2011(1 comments)
Touting "Innate" GOP Advantage, Wash. Post Ignores Wash. Post
There's "an innate sense" out there that Republicans are the ones to trust on key issues, such as spending and the debt? Well, that "innate sense" might extend throughout the Beltway press corps, but it doesn't reflect mainstream America. Not according to polling data.
Wednesday, April 6, 2011 Local Media Covered Monday Union Rallies; National Media Not So Much
In terms of the news pages for national newspapers, USA Today and the Washington Post ignored the King-inspired rallies, according to a Nexis search. The Wall Street Journal's print edition today also contained no mention, while the New York Times devoted 400 words to the union story. But the Beltway press showered attention on last week's Tea Party event that drew "dozens" of supporters to Washington, D.C.
Friday, March 18, 2011(1 comments)
Why Fox News Will Keep Bullying NPR
The brand of radical conservative who has NPR in their sights today is not the same type of conservative critic who tweaked the network's supposedly liberal bias in the past. This new brand of bully is borderline delusional about NPR and sees it as a genuine force of evil; a hub of sinister activity.
Friday, March 4, 2011(1 comments)
Is Fox News Chairman Roger Ailes Going to Jail?
The crime of Roger Ailes, powerful chairman of Fox News is technically the same crime committed by Bill Clinton, for which he was impeached in 1997. It's "subordoning perjury", i.e., urging someone to lie under oath. No one is above the law, said Fox News at the time. And now?
Wednesday, February 16, 2011 Did Glenn Beck Turn A Profit At Wilmington Charity Event?
There seems to be an enormous gap between the $300,000 ticket revenues Beck generated and the $44,000 he donated to charity. Beck's Wilmington costs accounted for nearly 85% of ticket sales? If true, that's one poorly run charity event. Keep in mind the Fox News host pocketed $32 million in 2009. Did he not pick up any of the Wilmington expenses himself, or did he deduct every last penny before making his $44,000 donation?
Friday, February 11, 2011(4 comments)
FOX NEWS INSIDER: "Stuff Is Just Made Up"
A former Fox News employee confirmed what critics have been saying for years about Murdoch's cable channel. Namely, that Fox News is run as a purely partisan operation, virtually every news story is actively spun by the staff, its primary goal is to prop up Republicans and knock down Democrats, and staffers at Fox News routinely operate without the slightest regard for fairness or fact checking.
Thursday, February 3, 2011(2 comments)
Ten Reasons Fox News Doesn't Really Care About The Egypt Story
Egypt is killing Fox News' mojo.Why? Fox News is a political organization. Under Obama, Fox News exists in order to attack Democrats and to try to destroy the Obama presidency, while at the same time boosting Republicans. Period.
Thursday, November 11, 2010 Memo to media: There is no right-wing "smell test"
There is no right-wing smell test. It no longer exists. In fact, there appears to be no sense of smell at all, which is closely related to the right-wing media's lack of common sense and decency. Day in and day out the right-wing noise machine traffics in utter nonsense pretending they're connected with reality and breaking "news."
Thursday, November 4, 2010(1 comments)
Andrew Breitbart's mainstream demise
The so-called "journalism" Breitbart and his bloggers produce is sloppy, unprofessional and unreliable, not to mention weirdly paranoid and more times than not just completely unhinged. And as ABC News discovered, Breitbart himself simply cannot be trusted.
Thursday, October 21, 2010 Memo to the media: The Tea Party is coming for you
detaining Hopfinger was a political statement. Just like Miller's announcement a week earlier that he would no longer answer questions from Alaska reporters was also a political statement: "We've drawn a line in the sand. The Alaska "arrest" sent an even more disturbing message from the Tea Party to the press: We're coming for you.
Thursday, October 14, 2010(8 comments)
Press claims Chamber of Commerce story's too "convoluted." Like Whitewater wasn't?
The Time scribe downplayed allegations that the Chamber of Commerce is using foreign funds as part of its 2010 blitzkrieg to take down the Democratic Party in November. I'm still a bit shocked that a journalist would dismiss any news story based on the premise that it's "convoluted and far-fetched."
Tuesday, July 27, 2010(5 comments)
Beck's incendiary angst is dangerously close to having a body count
It's impossible to argue that today's avalanche of insurrectionist rhetoric doesn't have a real world effect. Or that those on the fringes don't find comfort in seeing and hearing their worst fears legitimized on AM radio and Fox News.
Sunday, July 11, 2010 Welcome to a long, hot summer of right-wing race baiting
What's new now is the jaw-dropping notion that Limbaugh's pushing about how Obama's policies, which the AM talker insists are ruining this country, can be explained by the president's burning desire to exact revenge on America for its historical sin of slavery and long-running discrimination against minorities.
Wednesday, May 26, 2010(14 comments)
FLASHBACK: When the New York Times ignored gaping holes in candidate Bush's war record
I'm having a tough time buying the Times' sudden devotion to the Blumenthal military topic, considering that during the 2000 presidential campaign, the same Times staff went out of its way not to report on the web of detailed allegations that Republican George Bush had failed to fulfill his military obligation while defending Texas air space as an Air National Guard pilot.
Thursday, May 20, 2010(1 comments)
The Truth About Glenn Beck's TV Ratings
Beck has basically lost all the new viewers he picked up over the last twelve months (blame in on the Massa Moment?), which is why in May of 2010, he's pretty much back where he started in May of 2009. After twelve months of hype, Beck has not significantly grown his TV audience.
Tuesday, April 6, 2010 Post-Hutaree: How Glenn Beck and Fox News spread the militia message
For anyone who thought the dark, Waco-fueled chapter of domestic extremism in this country was behind us, the Hutaree arrests were a jarring reminder that, with the election of another Democratic president, the violent militia message is back. And it's stronger than ever.
Wednesday, March 31, 2010(6 comments)
What if Fox News actually wants mob violence?
Speaking out of both sides of their mouths with astonishing ease, conservatives denounced liberals who protested Coulter's appearance in Canada, and then played defense on behalf of marauding right-wing radicals who unleashed death threats, threw bricks through office windows, and hurled epithets at politicians.
Tuesday, March 23, 2010 Fox News, health care, and the right-wing nervous breakdown
Listening to Limbaugh, they thought they were dictating the agenda. Watching Fox News, they though they reflected the mainstream. And reading right-wing blogs, they thought they had killed health care reform. Wrong, wrong, and wrong. It was the sudden and rude realization that, instead, they'd spent the past few months trapped inside an echo chamber,
Wednesday, March 17, 2010(2 comments)
The media myth of Obama's "falling poll numbers"
Adopting the polar opposite narrative from the Bush era when pundits and reporters seemed obsessed with trying to boost the president's standing, Beltway scribes today have made it plain that when it comes to Obama and polling, good news is no news.
Tuesday, March 9, 2010(3 comments)
The Pentagon shooter, insurrectionism, and right-wing bloggers
what the GOP Noise Machine is doing today is embracing, and mainstreaming, the same kind of hate rhetoric and doomsday conspiratorial talk that flourished on the far-right fringes during the '90s. (Think Waco and black helicopters.) And legitimizing that kind of talk is dangerous.