EDITORIAL: MORE FOX NEWS HACKERY
Fox News Channel’s chief political anchor Bret Baier on Wednesday reported that an FBI ivestigation was movingÂ towards â€œlikely an indictmentâ€ for Hillary Clinton in a “pay-to-play” case the Bureau has been investigating for “more than a year.”Â The anchor of “Special Report with Bret Baier” breathlessly told viewers in a story that was called a “bombshell” on right wing media outlets that “two separate sources with intimate knowledge of the FBI investigations” assured Fox News that the “Clinton Foundation investigation is far more expansive than anybody has reported so far,” and the FBI is “actively and aggressively pursuing this case.”
Baier went on to tell his right wing audience that lapped up every word with excitement and without question that the investigation into the Clinton FoundationÂ “is a, quote, ‘very high priority.’ Agents have interviewed and reinterviewed multiple people about the Foundation case, and even before the WikiLeaks dumps, agents say they have collected a great deal of evidence. Pressed on that, one sources said, quote, ‘a lot of it,’ and ‘there is an avalanche of new information coming every day.'”
Now, if you’re like me and heard Baier say this yesterday, maybe you thought it sounded bad but then you stopped and thought that it just sounded fishy. First of all, the FBI doesn’t indict. A prosecutor from the Dept. of Justice would, and would have to make that decision after the investigation was complete.
Secondly, we know there is a part of the FBI that is conservative to far right wing and furious that Comey did not recommend indicting Clinton this summer. Hence the leaks we’ve increasingly seen in recent weeks, including the insane tweeting of government files on Bill and Hillary Clinton from a dormant FBI account.
So if Baier were a journalist worth his salt, he’d be talking to sources within the FBI, since there are plenty who apparently have an axe to grind, and not, as he said, “two separate sources with intimate knowledge of the FBI investigations,” who frankly could be anyone, and anyone who wants to plant a story without taking blame, but clearly not anyone inside the Bureau.
Third, “there is an avalanche of new information coming every day.” Really? Seriously? Maybe in an investigator’s dreams, but it doesn’t work that way.
So, as Raw Story and Media Matters and other outlets report today, Bret Baier was forced to walk back his story, although he still insists an indictment of Hillary Clinton will be forthcoming, because sources not in the FBI were brave enough to not go on the record with their names but assure him, days before the election, this will happen, so he can report it while holding on to a modicum of credibility.
“The Daily Beast hasÂ reportedÂ on a pipeline between conservative FBI agents (both active and retired) — angered by FBI Director James Comeyâ€™s conclusion in July that there was insufficient evidence to recommend any indictment in the review of Clintonâ€™s use of private email as secretary of state — and Fox News.Â AccordingÂ to The Daily Beast, â€œTrump supporters with strong ties to the agency kept talking about surprises and leaks to come — and come they did.â€
And, unsurprisingly, the far right wing media universe was stunned when the story wasn’t picked up by more reliable sources.
It’s Fox News hackery at its finest.
Here’s yesterday’s initial report that sounds so damning until you actually listen to how artfully he uses key words that sound damning but then, you know, also just sound false.
Breaking news on the Hillary Clinton email investigation
Posted by Bret Baier on Wednesday, November 2, 2016
Baier is still holding on to the indictment part, but was stunned that his supposed bombshell of a story, which, again, we believe is just plain false, “got picked up everywhere.”Â
Here he is walking it back, where he notes that, yes, only a prosecutor, not the FBI, can indict someone:
Continuing my reporting with the newest information on the breaking news into the Hillary Clinton email investigations on America's Newsroom with Bill Hemmer and Martha MacCallum.#SpecialReport #FoxNews
Posted by Bret Baier on Thursday, November 3, 2016
And one more disgusting side note about how Fox News operates. In the above video where Baier walks back part of his story, look at the stock footage on the right side of the screen starting at the -4:03 mark that Fox News chooses to use of Clinton. Hillary Clinton with Black people, and for a moment, there’s even an HRC logo flag in the shots. There’s also a few seconds of Clinton being chummy with several men wearing Scott Israel tees. Google Scott Israel and you’ll find articles like, “Sheriff Scott Israel accused of misusing office for political campaign.”
There is of course nothing wrong with hanging out with Black people or gay people, except in the minds of many Fox News viewers. So the picture painted for those Fox News viewers is Clinton only hangs out with minorities and people who are accused of corruption.Â
It’s frankly very ugly.
And this is how the right operates.
Do a Twitter search for “Clinton” and “indict” and you’ll find tweets like this one, retweeted almost 1100 times, and liked nearly 1000 times:
BREAKING BOMBSHELL VIDEO : FBI WILL SEEK TO INDICT HILLARY https://t.co/IDO2f7Bw8u
â€” Amy Moreno (@VivaLaAmes) November 3, 2016
Or this one from the far right media watchdog that doesn’t even know that the FBI cannot indict anyone:
â€” NewsBusters (@newsbusters) November 3, 2016
And then there are “articles” like this at the right wing Independent Journal Review, that according to their stats have been viewed, apparently, 935,000 times in less than a day: “FBI Sources: Agency Moving Towards ‘Likely an Indictment’ for Hillary Clinton.”Â
And we wonder why it feels like the right is living in a different universe. It’s exactly because of this type of “reporting” that gets repeated by literally millions of conservatives every day.
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‘Snooze Fest’: Internet Mocks Trump’s ‘Extremely Boring’ and ‘Low Energy’ CPAC Speech
White Nationalist One-Term Twice-Impeached Former US President Speaks to Right Wing Group From Nazi-Inspired Stage
For the first time since he incited an insurrection last month the disgraced former American president, Donald Trump, on Sunday delivered what many are calling a “low-energy” and “extremely boring” speech to attendees of CPAC, the Conservative Political Action Conference, in Orlando, Florida late Sunday afternoon.
The ex-president, who started his speech 100 minutes late, looked and sounded far older than he did on January 6, attacking President Joe Biden and insisting that his five weeks performance should be enough for “Democrats to lose the White House” in 2024.
“Actually, as you know, they just lost the White House,” Trump told supporters, adding: “I may even decide to beat them for a third time, who knows?”
The crowd, a mostly over-50 group of white Americans, roared, even though Trump has won only one election, and never the popular vote.
Trump’s speech was very similar to his past stump speeches, filled with racism, white nationalism, and lies about his opponents and the 2020 election that he lost – which he continues to refuse to admit. The “fake news” media, transgender people, and NIH Director Dr. Anthony Fauci were also the target of his attacks.
we’ve reached the transphobia portion of Trump’s CPAC speech pic.twitter.com/MJMzIqTgwg
— Aaron Rupar (@atrupar) February 28, 2021
He also tried to re-instill the perceived victimization of conservatives that fueled his presidency, claiming for example that Americans will no longer be able to hire attorneys because undocumented immigrants are taking them all away from U.S. citizens, which is a lie.
The former president is lying a lot.
— Daniel Dale (@ddale8) February 28, 2021
Other lies included that wind energy is bad for the environment,
Listening to lackluster, hackneyed, lie-ridden, hate-driven, not-very-bright, Trump doing a pretty limp impression of himself back in the good old days when he was a higher-energy con man, crook and traitor should fill every Dem in America fill with optimism.
— David Rothkopf (@djrothkopf) February 28, 2021
Honestly? I’ve watched hundreds of Trump rallies. Given how long it’s been since he spoke, it seemed fair to think he might have a lot of energy pent up and a lot to say (on and off script). But his energy seems kind of low about 30 mins in.
— Ali Vitali (@alivitali) February 28, 2021
House Republican Adam Kinzinger on Trump at CPAC: “Trump lost the election FYI. Side note this speech is boring. We can’t win with this boring, low energy, stream of conscience, weak, has been, choke artist.”
— Hugo Lowell (@hugolowell) February 28, 2021
Does anyone else think Trump sounds like his heart really isn’t in this? The energy is … low.
— Karen Tumulty (@ktumulty) February 28, 2021
This is a snooze fest. Trump is boring with his same old crap.
— SammyBoca🇺🇸 (@SammBoca) February 28, 2021
This is…sadder and lower energy than I expected it to be.
— Tom Nichols (@RadioFreeTom) February 28, 2021
Get the hook, Trump is even boring the CPAC crowd.
— michael labriola (@17mikes) February 28, 2021
Looks like Trump used up all of his energy.
— Brian Tyler Cohen (@briantylercohen) February 28, 2021
Low Energy One Term Twice Impeached Never Won the Popular Vote Former Junior Employee Donald Trump is a catchy nickname. https://t.co/lwntOxJvwf
— Rachel Vindman (@natsechobbyist) February 28, 2021
Trump is delivering no new material at this CPAC speech, which was the case with his speeches over the past four years. Same old lies. Same old fear-mongering. Same old depravity, but with less energy.
— Ahmed Baba (@AhmedBaba_) February 28, 2021
Trump is low energy boring looser
— Nadeem the dream (@nadeema) February 28, 2021
Trump is low energy, prompter-focused so far, tbh, with pretty low energy ad libs.
— Jon Ralston (@RalstonReports) February 28, 2021
Trump could at least do us the courtesy of coming up with fresh, exciting lies. Instead, it’s all re-runs.
It’s one thing to be deceptive—but a reality star like Trump should know that being boring is when you start to lose even the diehard fans.
— NotATweeter16 (@NotATweeter16) February 28, 2021
Wow, Trump’s speech is really boring. It’s the same nonsense.
— Wake Up America (@PreserveTruthUS) February 28, 2021
— McKinnon Mitchell (@AnotherMcKinnon) February 28, 2021
Trump is at CPAC summarizing his entire presidency in detail and it is exactly as boring as you might imagine (and full of lies).
— Tara (@TaraPoshusta) February 28, 2021
I watched just one very long Trump speech from beginning to end. After that nothing reported or excerpted on social media was something I hadn’t already heard. He is undoubtedly the worst, most boring speaker, ever.
— Marjorie Daw (@MarjorieDaw) February 28, 2021
This Trump speech is full of fear, lies, it’s extremely boring. pic.twitter.com/siU7c2L8BJ
— Les Nessman (@LesNesman2) February 28, 2021
Trump Has Left Behind a Republican Party Almost as ‘Toxic’ as He Is: GOP Adviser
According to a report from Politico, Donald Trump may no longer be president but the Republican Party he left behind has been damaged to the point where it has almost become as “toxic” as he is to voters, according to one former top aide to a Republican senator.
As the report notes, high-profile members of the Republican party are still pushing Trump’s “Big lie” that the 2020 election was stolen from him and have made that their focus going forward in lieu of proposing new policies that would allow them to win back the White House and both chambers on Congress.
Writing for Politico, David Siders explained, “Nearly four months after the election and one month into Joe Biden’s presidency, the politics of grievance has become the near-singular organizing principle of the post-Trump GOP. And whether at CPAC or in statehouses across the country, policy prescriptions for restoring so-called voter integrity have emerged as the primary focus of the party’s energy.”
That focus on stopping people from voting could blow up in their faces, but worse still, it means they have no other message for voters other than the fact that they are lingering on Trump’s loss.
Benjamin Ginsberg, a conservative election lawyer asked, “Tell me what the innovative Republican policies have been of late?” before adding it is “probably a sign that the Republican Party is mired in a bit of a policy wasteland and doesn’t know which way to turn to get out.”
According to former Attorney General Alberto Gonzales, who served in President George W. Bush’s administration, there is no evidence of widespread election fraud and Republicans harping on it is, “a big distraction. And I worry that it will continue to be a big distraction as long as a certain individual makes statements that it was stolen.”
Former Sen. Mitt Romney (R-UT) adviser Kevin Madden was a bit more blunt in his assessment.
“It is a party that has been fashioned in the mold of Trump — Trump’s message, Trump’s tactics — and it is perfectly comfortable being a party that is defined by what it’s against,” he explained before adding, “… you become almost toxic as a party brand to larger, growing parts of the electorate. … The limitation of a message and a platform that’s just about disagreeing with the opposition is that it doesn’t speak to the broader concerns or anxieties of a big part of the electorate.”
You can read more here.
Matt Schlapp Lashes Out at Critics of CPAC’s Nazi Symbol Stage Design
The head of the Conservative Political Action Committee on Saturday attacked critics noting CPAC’s stage looks like a Nazi symbol.
Matt Schlapp made his denial after “Nazi” trended nationwide on Twitter as users discussed the stage looking like an Odal rune symbol.
And by “resembles,” I mean “is identical to.”
— Ilyse Hogue (@ilyseh) February 27, 2021
Would be easy for Matt Schlapp to address this today, apologize and make some small changes to the stage.
Would make it clear it was a mistake and that CPAC doesn't want any one to believe they are giving any more aid and comfort to American extremists than they already are.
— Simon Rosenberg (@SimonWDC) February 27, 2021
Schlapp, however, did not apologize. Instead he said, “stage design conspiracies are outrageous and slanderous.”
Stage design conspiracies are outrageous and slanderous. We have a long standing commitment to the Jewish community. Cancel culture extremists must address antisemitism within their own ranks. CPAC proudly stands with our Jewish allies, including those speaking from this stage.
— Matt Schlapp (@mschlapp) February 27, 2021
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