Students Launch "Meet the Facts" In Response to David Gregory's Aversion to Basic Fact-Checking (UPDATED)


Bloggasm's Simon Owens interviewed one of the founder behind Meet the Facts in his piece, "If David Gregory won’t fact check Meet the Press, these college students will"

Chas Danner was one of the many annoyed by Gregory’s comment. As a 31-year-old undergraduate journalism student in NYC, Danner is a regular reader of Rosen’s and not long ago set off to find out whether there was a Facebook group trying to pressure Gregory to change his mind. “This would be a pretty easy thing to get a group going to help pressure Meet the Press,” he told me during a phone interview. “And so I went on and it turns out there was already a group started by this guy named Paul Breer. All I knew about him is that he’s a guy from Kansas. So I joined the group, made a couple quick graphics and then gave him some advice.”

Read the Simon's full piece...

In his "My Simple Fix for the Messed Up Sunday Shows," Jay Rosen offered a suggestion to the Sunday talk shows -- namely to fact check their guests and themselves.
Look, the Sunday morning talk shows are broken. As works of journalism they don't work. And I don't know why this is so hard for the producers to figure out.

[...] the whole Sunday format has to be re-thought, or junked so the news divisions can start over with a new premise. Of course the problem is that the people who would have to make that decision are the same people whose entire knowledge base and skill set lies in producing the "old" style of political television. That is what they know, so that is what they continue to do. I guess it's not hard to understand complacency of this kind. But do they really think we don't notice the growing absurdity of bringing to a common table people who agree on nothing?

I think the situation calls for cynicism. But I have to admit that is not much of a call. So instead I propose this modest little fix, first floated on Twitter in a post I sent out to Betsy Fischer, Executive Producer of Meet the Press, who never replies to anything I say. "Sadly, you're a one-way medium," I said to Fischer, "but here's an idea for ya: Fact check what your guests say on Sunday and run it online Wednesday."


The beauty of this idea is that it turns the biggest weakness of political television–the fact that time is expensive, and so complicated distortions, or simple distortions about complicated matters, are rational tactics for advantage-seeking pols—into a kind of strength. The format beckons them to evade, deny, elide, demagogue and confuse…. but then they pay for it later if they give into temptation and make that choice. So imagine the midweek fact check from last week as a short segment wrapping up the show the following week. Now you have an incentive system that’s at least pointed in the right direction.

read his full piece...
The only host willing to take the ball and run with it was ABC's Jake Tapper, temporary host of This Week.

This week we’ve invited Pulitzer Prize winning website PolitiFact to fact-check the newsmaker interviews featured on the program.

The idea was first proposed by NYU journalism professor Jay Rosen and I thought it worth a try. PolitiFact editor Bill Adair, the St Petersburg Times’ Washington bureau chief, and I know each other from fact-checking forums and such (I was at the Fact Check desk during the 2004 elections) so I asked him if he’d be willing to give it a try. He was.

Obviously I aspire to fact-check newsmakers during the show itself, but in addition to that, starting this Sunday April 11, after the show, you can read Politifact’s fact checks on ABCNews.com/This Week and at Politifact.com.


Jake even took to sitting down with Stephen Colbert to discuss his decision to do what really should be a given with any news show (and NBC's David Gregory's flat out rejection of the idea):

Colbert: "David Gregory has rejected this hare-brained scheme, saying "people can fact-check 'Meet the Press' every week on their own terms." Thank you, David! It is not a Sunday host's job to make sure his guests aren't lying, any more than it's a party host's job to make sure the food isn't poisoned. The host is there to tell his guests when it is their turn to talk. That is why NBC is currently grooming Gregory's replacement: a chess timer."
NBC's David Gregory, who hosts the unwatchable Meet the Press, in one of his all too familiar smarmy & condescending responses, would have none of it:
David Gregory: "No, I won't fact check my guests and you guys can't make me..."

April 11, 2010: The fact checking on This Week debuts at Politifact.com. David Gregory tells Howard Kurtz that it's an "interesting idea" that Meet the Press will not be adopting . "People can fact-check 'Meet the Press' every week on their own terms," Gregory says.


April 12, 2010: Brian Stelter of the New York Times reports on the news from Tapper and This Week. David Gregory again says there's no need to fact check his guests because viewers can do it themselves.

Critics say that kind of truth telling rarely happens on television. But David Gregory, the moderator of “Meet the Press” on NBC, said that accountability is “in the DNA” of his program. He said he had considered Mr. Rosen’s idea but concluded that people can fact check the program on their own online.


Interpretation: So... what is going on here? As with his defiant claims that the press did well in questioning the Bush Administration's case for war, David Gregory believes he always and already asks the questions necessary to get at the truth. (So what's your problem?) If the truth does not emerge from his interviews, it's not his fault because he--always and already--asks the tough questions. That's who he is. It's in his DNA. The criticism he gets is therefore partisan chatter. Or it comes from people who want him to go beyond asking the tough questions to the point of conclusion: that man is lying.

David Gregory thinks that is not his role.

I see two other possibilities for his refusal to adopt the fact check: one banal, the other more troubling. The banal: He's too proud to adopt something that a competitor picked up on first; it would look like a "me too" response and he is the market leader, first in the ratings and heir to the chair that Tim Russert held. The more disturbing possibility is that he thinks Tapper's policy may give Meet the Press a competitive edge in booking guests who won't want to be checked so vigorously. (As opposed to competing with an even better fact check, which would probably cause Bob Schieffer at Face the Nation to adopt the same policy, forcing the guests to accept the new rules or flee to cable, which has a fraction of the viewers.)

Look at it this way: the Washington politician who's been on Meet the Press more than any other is John McCain. On April 6, Politifact's truth-o-meter rated McCain a pants-on-fire liar for claiming that he never called himself a maverick. See what I mean?

read more....

That where "Meet the Facts" comes in:

Meet The Facts is a non-partisan grassroots effort to encourage the NBC television program Meet The Press to incorporate a formal fact checking procedure for all statements made on air by its guests. That analysis would then be released to the public, preferably within several days of the broadcast.

This campaign is not about attacking Meet the Press or its staff, but rather about holding the program/brand to a higher standard – one that at present it is not itself meeting. Furthermore, we think “Meet The Facts” is a pretty catchy name. If NBC News and the staff of Meet The Press agree to permanently institute a public fact checking system for everything guests say on the air, we think they should absolutely name that feature “Meet the Facts” and we will gladly transfer over the domain name, Twitter username, and Facebook page username for their use, and at no cost.

We look forward to a time when If It’s Sunday It’s Meet The Press – but politicians beware, come Monday It’s Meet The Facts.


Meet The Press Does Not Fact Check its Guests

Who holds politicians accountable for the statements they make on television? According to host David Gregory: not Meet The Press. Fact checking is one of the primary functions of journalism, but Mr. Gregory has said that it's up to the viewers to determine fact from fiction.

If you disagree, let Meet The Press know using one of the options below. Join this non-partisan effort to return some integrity and relevance to Sunday morning television.

Read more about this subject here | Join us on Facebook and Twitter | Please help spread the word!


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Olbermann: Tancredo Says Obama is Hiding His Birth Certificate?

Tom Tancredo's has a new new theory about President Obama's birth certificate: Essentially, it's the "you made me hit you" defense.

You see, in Tancredo's paranoia, President Obama does have a birth certificate, but he's deliberately keeping it hidden to make teabaggers look crazy.

Talking to Alan Colmes, this is how he explained it (via Think Progress):

TANCREDO: Now they very well not want to show it because they want to propagate this whole thing that’s going on about birthers. … They may be doing it for that reason; I don’t know why they don’t want anyone to see it. … They want it propagated because you know –

COLMES: It makes your party look nuts!

TANCREDO: Yeah well maybe that’s why they don’t produce document, I don’t know.

Listen here (starting at 8:22):

Keith Olbermann had a few words about this on last night's Countdown during his "Tea Time" segment:
Helping Tea Partiers Look Crazy

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GOP Back Room Hypocrisy: "Behind Closed Doors"

Senate Democrats released the following ad mocking the GOP's hypocrisy about making back room deals.

They said they wanted transparency but when it came to Wall Street reform, GOP senators went BEHIND CLOSED DOORS! What was discussed? What deals were made? No one will ever know.

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Mark Fiore on the American Dream: Born to Lose

From Mark Fiore explains the Wall Street crisis:

How can you achieve the American Dream? Just sit back and see what the big banks have done! Losing to win, it's the new way!

See more great animations at http://www.MarkFiore.com

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Arizona: Don't Give Us Your Tired, Your Poor, or Your Huddled Masses

(h/t Pluto):

Check out Pluto's DKos diary that goes along with this pic.

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Jon Stewart & Stephen Colbert on the Goldman Sach Hearings

Here's Jon Stewart on the Senate's reaction to the financial reforms being proposed in the Senate and at Goldman Sachs during yesterday's hearings at which several Senators, like Michigan's Carl Levin, couldn't contain their disdain.

Who Wants to Beat a Millionaire

Even though the Senate is too paralyzed by partisan politics to impact the financial crisis, it can still express good old-fashioned impotent rage.


Here was Stephen Colber's take on the outrage towards Goldman execs, particularly Lloyd Blankfein.
The Real Lloyd Blankfein

Bull Beat swoons over bank CEOs even more than the Wall Street Journal, plus it comes with a free Lloyd Blankfein poster.

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Sarah Palin Wins "Worst Mother in America" Award

LOL. The half term gov, Sarah Plain, win the "Worst Mother in America" award from "merica's Best Christian," Mrs. Betty Bowers,

Mrs. Betty Bowers, America's Best Christian, bestows Sarah Palin with Bringing Integrity To Christian Homemakers' prestigious "Worst Mother in America" award to honor Sarah's heroic efforts in self-indulgent, absentee parenting.

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Mark Fiore: Let's keep America American; An Anti-Immigrant Advertisement

Mark Fiore addresses anti-immigration laws by reviewing past anti-immigration sentiment:

Let's keep America American. No amnesty for illegals, keep the hordes out! An anti-immigrant advertisement and Mark Fiore political animation.

See more videos from Mark at http://www.MarkFiore.com

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Mark Fiore Says "Thanks!" to His Supporters After Winning Pulitzer

Mark Fiore won a Pulitzer for his animated, political satire, and now he's has a message of thanks for all his fans:

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Mitt Romney & Senate Republicans: Wall Street's Best Friends

The DNC has released the following ad, "Mitt Romney: Wall Street's Best Friend," attacking the former Massachusetts Governor & failed 2008 presidential hopeful for his unabashed support of Wall Street:

They also released "Risky Business," an ad attacking Republicans for blocking Wall Street reform when they stood in unison to filibuster the Financial Regulation Bill, which so far, has occurred two time since Majority Leader, Harry Reid, has brought the bill up for a vote. He will try to break the filibuster again today.
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Fox News and the Arizona Immigration Law

Fox 'News' has a very different take from that of the rest of civil society on Arizona's new, draconian anti-immigration law:

Media Matters:

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Jon Stewart: Arizona is the "Meth Lab of Democracy"

"Show me your papers" didn't sit well with Jon Stewart, who after a week of draconian laws being reported in the news, described Arizona as the "Meth Lab of Democracy."

Among them, the new racial profiling law which expects police to arrest anyone who "looks like' they're an illegal immigrant, if they do not have the proper papers proving the legal status.

Law & Border

The Arizona immigration law is very clear -- the police will only check people who are reasonably suspicious.

Stephen Colbert had a slightly different take. He's looking forward to having his hand stamped by the police after showing his papers, so that he'll be entitled to free drinks on ladies' night:
The Word - Docu-Drama

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Joe Klein & Andrew Sullivan Rightfully Accuse Beck & Palin of Sedition

With all the charges from the right about Obama being hell bent on destroying the country -- accusing him (and Democrats) of everything from Socialism to Fascism and Nazism -- the real threat comes from them, their teabagging cheerleaders, and the network and political party that encourages and incites them on a daily basis.

Finally, the main stream media has begun calling their call to arms & revolution -- through their daily fear-mongering propaganda -- for what it is: Sedition.

Last week, on the April 18 edition of The Chris Matthews Show, Joe Klein declared that statements by Fox's in house lunatic, Glenn Beck, and half-term Governor Sarah Palin, are "right up close to being seditious."

Then, on the April 25 edition of The Chris Matthews Show, The Atlantic’s Andrew Sullivan agreed with Klein's sedition charges against Beck, Palin, expanding the charges to "the Fox News Republican National Committee Coalition Machine."
Here is the definition of sedition according to the US Code: (h/t PoliticusUSA):

“ If two or more persons in any State or Territory, or in any place subject to the jurisdiction of the United States, conspire to overthrow, put down, or to destroy by force the Government of the United States, or to levy war against them, or to oppose by force the authority thereof, or by force to prevent, hinder, or delay the execution of any law of the United States, or by force to seize, take, or possess any property of the United States contrary to the authority thereof, they shall each be fined under this title or imprisoned not more than twenty years, or both. “

According to Wikipedia, Sedition is:

[...] a term of law which refers to overt conduct, such as speech and organization, that is deemed by the legal authority as tending toward insurrection against the established order. Sedition often includes subversion of a constitution and incitement of discontent (or resistance) to lawful authority. Sedition may include any commotion, though not aimed at direct and open violence against the laws. Seditious words in writing are seditious libel. A seditionist is one who engages in or promotes the interests of sedition.


Sedition is the stirring up of rebellion against the government in power. Treason is the violation of allegiance to one's sovereign or state, giving aid to enemies, or levying war against one's state. Sedition is encouraging one's fellow citizens to rebel against their state, whereas treason is actually betraying one's country by aiding and abetting another state. Sedition laws somewhat equate to terrorism and public order laws.

Read or watch the bile what comes from Fox "news," Glenn Beck, Sean Hannity and Sarah Palin and tell me -- with straight face -- that it doesn't warrant the charges leveled by Joe Klein & Andrew Sullivan.

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Senate Leaders to GOP: Time to Hold Wall Street Accountable

Senate Democrats have a message for their Republican colleagues: It's Time to Hold Wall Street Accountable:

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Financial Weapons of Mass Destruction

Americans United for Change explains why unregulated derivatives are "Financial Weapons of Mass Destruction" that have nearly brought down the economy once, and how Senate Republicans are doing their best to keep derivative reforms from being included in the upcoming financial reform bill:

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It's Black and White: "We have fundraisers everyday...mostly on the Republican side..."

The DNC released the following ad a couple of days ago: "It's Black and White." In it, "super lobbyist" Charlie Black explains how well things are going on behalf of his Wall Street clients after attending fundraiser with Senate Republicans:

"We have fundraisers everyday...mostly on the Republican side...successful these days."

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President Obama Announces Vote 2010

President Obama is set to star in a host of new videos aimed at getting the millions of new voters from the 2008 election out to the polls in 2010. The DNC plans on spending $50 million while using Organizing for America's 13 million email addresses to help Democrats, particularly endangered ones, in the upcoming midterm elections.

Via the Washington Post (h/t TPM):

President Obama will declare his stake in the November midterm elections for the first time on Monday as his Democratic Party announces an ambitious strategy to appeal to independent voters in its quest to maintain control of Congress.

Obama plans to issue a call-to-action video message to his supporters on Monday, the first in a series of personal efforts designed to rekindle the grass-roots magic that propelled him to the presidency in service to his party's congressional and gubernatorial candidates, Democratic officials said.

The keystone of the Democratic National Committee's $50 million plan for the midterms is persuading the roughly 15 million people who voted for the first time in 2008 to return to the polls this fall. Although such voters historically do not cast ballots in midterm elections, party leaders think their participation this year could help lift Democrats over the top in close contests.

Here is the first video:

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Video: "Harry Potter = EVIL"

That there are people who actually think this should come as no surprise to anyone who witnessed Sarah Palin nearly become Vice President of the United States (@almightygod):

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Colbert's Advice to Sen. Graham: Release a Straight Sex Tape to Squash Gay Rumors

Addressing the constant rumors that he is gay and the recent demand by the head of a conservative, anti-amnesty, anti-illegal immigration group for him to "come out of that log cabin closet," Stephen Colbert advises Republican Senator Lindsey Graham to "save his good name and career" by releasing a straight sex tape.

The Word - Straight to Video

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Jon Stewart's "Go F*ck Yourself' Choir Returns: South Park Death Threats

Jon Stewart's "Go F*ck Yourself' choir returns to address the death threats against South Park's creators from Muslim extremists upset at the show's joking about the Prophet Mohammad.

South Park Death Threats

Jon hesitates to repeat a phrase he's used before, but he has something to say to anyone threatening death in the name of religion or politics.

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Stephen Baldwin Begs For Money, Compares His "Restoration" to Biblical Fig Job's

Alec Baldwin's born again brother, Stephen, unable to support himself through honorable means, has taken to these here intertubes to beg for money in a project he is calling The Restoration of Stephen Baldwin. Comparing himself to the biblical figure, Job, is a bit much even for this nutter.

Truly pathetic.

In 2003, he had an experience that changed his life forever. He became Born Again Christian, giving his life to Jesus Christ. Over the next few years, he became very vocal about his faith, using his spotlight to boldly preach the gospel. However, because of this convictions it has caused him the loss of many jobs and the most recently, a highly publicized bankruptcy.

He has been publicly ridiculed and insulted by people who think that he has been abandoned by God. A simple search through the internet will reveal that people not only mock Stephen, but mock God.

In response to this (with the permission of Stephen's ministry President Daniel Southern) we have established RestoreStephenBaldwin.org. A privately funded and managed website. Our vision is to see Stephen Baldwin publicly restored in front of millions. Stephen's platform will increase allowing him to reach even more people with the Gospel and God will get all of the glory. Publicly.

The Story Behind The Vision: Job

Job was the most inflential man in the east, (Job 1-3) he was a man of great wealth who stood up for righteousness and his God. However, there came a period of time where Job went through great distress and testing. He lost his children, his health, his home and wealth. Throughout this pain and suffering, he stood in faithfulness to God and would not turn his back on Him. Because of his faithfulness, Job was instantly restored by "All Who Knew Him"

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Weekly Presidential Address: Good News from the Auto Industry; Financial Reform Still Necessary

In his Weekly Presidential Youtube-Radio Address, while trumpeting the suceess of the Auto bailouts, he President reiterates why the were necessary in the first place -- despite being extremely unpopular -- and explains, once again, why the financial reform bill is still so necessary.

From the White House website:

As the auto industry and financial markets begin to stabilize, the President says the governments emergency interventions can now wind down. He pledges that real reform, particularly on Wall Street, must now begin.

"In addition, Chrysler Financial has already fully repaid with interest the loans it received to support auto financing. And we are closing the books on the temporary program that helped parts suppliers weather this storm – returning this investment to the Treasury in full, with interest, as well. Finally, we are bringing to an end many of the emergency programs designed to stabilize the financial sector and restart lending so folks could finance cars and trucks – as well as homes and small businesses.

"On Friday, in fact, the Treasury Department informed Congress that this financial rescue – which was absolutely necessary to prevent an even worse economic disaster – will end up costing taxpayers a fraction of what was originally feared. This is a direct result of the careful management of the investments made by the American people so that we could recoup as many tax dollars as possible – and as quickly as possible.


"That’s why I went to New York City this week and addressed an audience that included leaders in the financial industry. And once again I called for reforms to hold Wall Street accountable and to protect consumers. These reforms would put an end – once and for all – to taxpayer bailouts. They would bring greater transparency to complex financial dealings. And they will empower ordinary consumers and shareholders in our financial system. Folks will get clearer and more concise information when they make financial decisions – instead of having to worry about deceptive fine print. And shareholders and pension holders will have a stronger voice in the boardrooms of companies in which they invest their savings.

Read the full transcript..

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Senator John Ensign raised just $50 in the first quarter of 2010. That is not a typo:

Sen. John Ensign's re-election campaign took in just $50 in contributions, from one contributor, during the first quarter of 2010, according to FEC reports. The paltry take comes as more bad news for the scandal-tarred Nevada Republican, who would run for re-election in 2012.

Disclosure reports examined by TPMmuckraker show that Robert Donald, a Las Vegas retiree, was the sole contributor to the "Ensign for Senate" committee between January and March. Donald gave two separate $25 contributions.


Cobert to Tea Klux Klan: Donate to United Negro Collage Fund

Stephen Colbert's advises the Tea Klux Klan to donate to his United Negro Collage Fund in order to avoid charges of racism:

P.K. Winsome - Tea Party Consulting

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Jon Stewart to Bernie Goldberg: Fox is "a Terrible, Cynical, Disingenuous News Organization...the Lupus of News"

Jon Stewart's gospel "go fuck yourselves" to Fox "news": "You're a terrible, cynical, disingenuous news organization... Fox News, you're the Lupus of news." (h/t TPM)

Bernie Goldberg Fires Back

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God is Talking To Glenn Beck Now

No, seriously. Glenn Beck says so: "God is giving a plan, I think, to me."

Sick fuck.

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Mitch McConnell Faces Up To Wall Street Re-Regulation

Via BlueGal:

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Dick Morris Admits He Lied About Clinton, Reno & Waco

Dick Morris has been caught with his pant down before, so it will not come as a surprise that he's been caught with them down again, politically speaking, this time (h/t Bonsai66):

Appearing on Hannity on April 19, Dick Morris dropped a bombshell claim that has "never been said before," that in 1997 then-Attorney General Janet Reno threatened Bill Clinton that if he did not reappoint her as Attorney General she was "going to tell the truth about Waco." He very specifically claimed that "Clinton told me -- that I couldn't not appoint Reno because she would have turned on me over Waco. That's the phrase he used." At the time, Media Matters' Brian Frederick pointed out that Morris' new story contradicted the previous version of events Morris offered in his 2004 book, Because He Could, in which Morris merely speculated that it "may well have been" that Reno was "demanding reappointment as her price for taking the fall for Waco." Brian asked: "Did Dick Morris fabricate [a] new Clinton-Reno-Waco story?"

Turns out he did....

read more/watch...

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Fox Personalities Rally for GOP in More Than 300 Instances in 49 States

Media Matters has compiled a new report that shows in more than 300 instances, Fox "news" personalities have helped Republican candidates or worked against Democratic ones in nearly every state in the country. I've included just a few examples, but seriously, this is a fascinating report that you should really click over to review in full:

In recent years, at least twenty Fox News personalities have endorsed, raised money, or campaigned for Republican candidates or causes, or against Democratic candidates or causes, in more than 300 instances and in at least 49 states. Republican parties and officials have routinely touted these personalities' affiliations with Fox News to sell and promote their events.

Glenn Beck

During the October 14, 2009, edition of his radio program, Fox News host Glenn Beck hosted Rep. Michele Bachmann (MN) and asked her, "How can I help you raise money?" Bachmann replied by mentioning her campaign website. Beck replied, "We should have a fundraiser for you, Michele." Bachmann replied that she "will take it."

Sean Hannity

Fox News host Sean Hannity regularly appears at fundraisers for Republicans and has donated to Republicans in the past:

On his syndicated radio program in November 2009, Hannity told New Jersey listeners to "get to the polls" and "stop Obama-care in its tracks."

Mike Huckabee

Fox News host Mike Huckabee frequently endorses candidates through his political action committee, Huck PAC. The PAC states: "Huck PAC proudly remains committed to helping Republicans regain control of the U.S. House, U.S. Senate and a majority of governorships." Huck PAC has raised at least $1 million for the 2009-2010 cycle.

In 2009, Huckabee repeatedly used Fox News to fundraise for his PAC on-air. On December 21, 2009, Washington Post media critic Howard Kurtz reported that "Fox executives told Huckabee to stop plugging [his] Web site on the air after learning that it linked to his political action committee, which the network deemed a conflict of interest."


What I included in this post is just the tip of this iceberg. You really should check out the mile long lists of everyone Huckabee, and others, have donated too or helped.

It's shocking, while not all that surprising.

Please Digg this as well.

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TV Ad: "For Years" Republicans Stood By While Wall Street Ran Wild

Taking John McCain's 2008 'the fundamentals of our economy are strong' out for a spin again, Democrats released this ad asking you to " Tell Republicans it's time to reform Wall Street."

Form the DNC:

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TV Ad: Republican Leader Mitch McConnell is "Unfit To Lead"

MoveOn is taking direct aim at Senate Republican Leader Mitch McConnell for his secret meetings with Wall Street bankers. MoveOn also released radio ads targeting Sens. Voinovich and Collins. From MoveOn.org:

Mitch McConnell held a secret meeting with Wall Street bankers, and then tried to kill financial reform--just like the banks wanted. That makes him Unfit to Lead.

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Fulfill a Dream: The Martin Luther King Jr. Memorial

The Martin Luther King Jr. National Memorial Fund is just $14 million away from it's goal of $120 million dollars. Let's help fulfill this dream:

This month of April marks the 42nd anniversary of the death of Dr. King and we are commemorating his life and work by creating a memorial in our nation's capital. The Washington, DC, Martin Luther King, Jr., National Memorial will honor his life and contributions to the world through non violent social change.

The Martin Luther King Jr. National Memorial will be the first on the National Mall to recognize a person of color and a man of peace, not a president or a veteran of war. In 1996 Congress authorized the Memorial Foundation to raise funds to establish a national memorial to honor the legacy of Dr. King on the National Mall. The memorial’s very existence signifies that we as a people believe Dr. King and his legacy deserve this esteemed placement in what can be considered America’s “Hall of Fame.”


After many years of fund raising, the memorial is only $14 million away from its $120 million goal.

Donate $5 Today through Text Messaging

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James Carville: "Crazy people don't like to be teased."

"James Carville" returned to Saturday Night Live through alter-ego Bill Hader to discuss teabaggers and their lack of a sense of humor, among other things.

From last night's SNL Weekend Update (h/t Raw Story):

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Frank Rich on "Confederate History Month"

In his latest piece, Frank Rich links the sorts of opposition to President Obama to the types of racially charges feelings Virginia Governor Bob McConnell's purposely revived, and just as purposely retreated from, "Confederate History Month (not before first claiming slavery wasn’t ‘significant’ enough to be included, that is):

“It’s Not About Race” declared a headline on a typical column defending over-the-top “Obamacare” opponents from critics like me, who had the nerve to suggest a possible racial motive in the rage aimed at the likes of Lewis and Cleaver — neither of whom were major players in the Democrats’ health care campaign. It’s also mistaken, it seems, for anyone to posit that race might be animating anti-Obama hotheads like those who packed assault weapons at presidential town hall meetings on health care last summer. And surely it is outrageous for anyone to argue that conservative leaders are enabling such extremism by remaining silent or egging it on with cries of “Reload!” to pander to the Tea Party-Glenn Beck base. As Beck has said, it’s Obama who is the real racist.

I would be more than happy to stand corrected. But the story of race and the right did not, alas, end with the health care bill. Hardly had we been told that all that ugliness was a fantasy than we learned back in the material world that the new Republican governor of Virginia, Robert McDonnell, had issued a state proclamation celebrating April as Confederate History Month.


Most Americans who don’t like Obama or the health care bill are not racists. It may be a closer call among Tea Partiers, of whom only 1 percent are black, according to last week’s much dissected Times/CBS News poll. That same survey found that 52 percent of Tea Party followers feel “too much” has been made of the problems facing black people — nearly twice the national average. And that’s just those who admit to it. Whatever their number, those who are threatened and enraged by the new Obama order are volatile. Conservative politicians are taking a walk on the wild side by coddling and encouraging them, whatever the short-term political gain.

The temperature is higher now than it was a month ago. It’s not happenstance that officials from the Sons of Confederate Veterans in Virginia and Mississippi have argued, as one said this month, that the Confederate Army had been “fighting for the same things that people in the Tea Party are fighting for.” Obama opposition increasingly comes wrapped in the racial code that McDonnell revived in endorsing Confederate History Month. The state attorneys general who are invoking states’ rights in their lawsuits to nullify the federal health care law are transparently pushing the same old hot buttons.


How our current spike in neo-Confederate rebellion will end is unknown. It’s unnerving that Tea Party leaders and conservatives in the Oklahoma Legislature now aim to create a new volunteer militia that, as The Associated Press described it, would use as yet mysterious means to “help defend against what they believe are improper federal infringements on state sovereignty.” This is the same ideology that animated Timothy McVeigh, whose strike against the tyrannical federal government will reach its 15th anniversary on Monday in the same city where the Oklahoma Legislature meets.

What is known is that the nearly all-white G.O.P. is so traumatized by race it has now morphed into a bizarre paragon of both liberal and conservative racial political correctness. For irrefutable proof, look no further than the peculiar case of its chairman, Steele, whose reckless spending and incompetence would cost him his job at any other professional organization, let alone a political operation during an election year. Steele has job security only because he is the sole black man in a white party hierarchy. That hierarchy is as fearful of crossing him as it is of calling out the extreme Obama haters in its ranks.

read the full piece....

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