Fox’s Shepard Smith: CNN is not ‘fake news’

Via The Hill:

Fox News anchor Shepard Smith defended CNN on Friday after the news organization was barred from spokesman Sean Spicer’s question-and-answer session at the White House.

“For the record, ‘fake news‘ refers to stories that are created, often by entities pretending to be news organizations, solely to draw clicks and views and are based on nothing of substance,” Smith said during his program.

“In short, fake news is made up nonsense delivered for financial gain. CNN’s reporting was not fake news. Its journalists followed the same standards to which other news organizations, including Fox News, adhere,” he added.

CNN was not the only news organization to be barred from attending Spicer’s “gaggle.” Others included Politico, The Hill, BuzzFeed, the Daily Mail, BBC, the Los Angeles Times and the New York Daily News.

CNN also criticized the administration’s tactics Friday, calling it “an unacceptable development by the Trump White House.”

Smith maintained that talking with White House officials off the record does not fit into the category of fake news.

“Senior administration officials regularly speak without attribution so that the public can be informed of what our government is doing, off the record,” he said.

Fox News and the GOP

There is trouble in paradise. Anna Marie Cox:

The marriage between the [Fox] network and the [Republican] party has been almost entirely beneficial to both entities. Working together – brazenly, even explicitly so – has been a force multiplier for the GOP brand and message. It’s not really a surprise that as the linked swimmers have started to go against the current of history, their connection puts them both at risk of drowning.

On the surface, the question appears to be: who will let go first? Jettisoning Morris and Palin suggests that Fox is loosening its grip and attempting to edge away from the Tea Party-based ideological rigor that weighed down the GOP in 2012. But almost simultaneously, Republicans have been speaking publicly about breaking away from their dependence on the network. As one strategist told Buzzfeed:

“Fox is great. But those viewers already agree with us … How else are different demographics going to get to know you if you never reach out to them?”

No matter who may be trying to end the marriage first, extricating themselves from the relationship won’t be graceful: the habits of mental cohabitation are too difficult to break. Witness the coverage of Benghazi, where conservative outrage on the channel remains strident and forceful and in harmony with Republican officials, despite the willingness of most of the country to move on to matters closer to home. It’s a positive feedback loop that spirals into irrelevance: Republicans pursue a conspiracy that only Fox viewers believe, based on reports only Fox airs, and new information gets hammered into a shape that fits the existing narrative.

Political quote of the day

When simplistic tag lines are ordered up at Fox News by Rupert Murdoch, Roger Ailes and Prince Waleed, and they are parroted within hours by every politician and talking head on the right, perhaps ask “is this the conservatism of Barry Goldwater and William F. Buckley, any longer?” Ponder: what do these New Lords get out of teaching you to hate every American elite of science, intellect or skill, along with your own freely elected government… while demanding that you ignore the one elite that threatens everything we love? Theirs?

David Brin, scientist and best-selling author, from Class War and the Lessons of History.  (via Quotation of the Day Mailing List)

Its the end of the world

Or it is not the end of the world. You decide.

Mark Morford has his own thoughts on the issue that are well worth a read.


Reports are flooding in from around the world that the Fukushima meltdown was one of the worst disasters in mankind’s short history, a game-changing horror of unimaginable scope and psychological timbre that will wreak emotional and environmental havoc for years, decades and even millennia to come, spreading radioactive particles over thousands of square miles of Japan and beyond.

What’s more, none of that is really true, the disaster isn’t really all that bad, the radiation levels are relatively low and Japan is feeling much better already, thanks for asking.

The Fukushima meltdown is easily as terrible as 1979’s Three Mile Island, which, it turns out, wasn’t all that bad, depending on who you don’t care enough to ask. Fukushima is probably the second worst disaster of its kind in history, even though no one really knows how to measure the full extent of these things so that’s probably false as well, although we do know it’s not as bad as Chernobyl because nothing could ever really be that devastating ever again, except for the fact that it totally could.

Political quote of the day

Juan Williams
Juan Williams

At least there’s one good thing to come out of this whole Juan Williams v. NPR mess: we’ve finally found a program that Republicans are willing to say they would cut.

— an unnamed reader of Andrew Sullivan’s blog.