That’s what defenders of Fox News kept saying when we all learned that Bill O’Reilly is an undeniable bullshit factory. Because O’Reilly is a commentator, he shouldn’t be held to the same standards that Fox News insisted Brian Williams be held to. That’s what the Fox News zombies kept telling me. Now right off the bat, without the delicious piece of information I’m about to share with you, what the O’Reilly defenders are telling us is that commentators don’t need to be truthful. While that’s an interesting perspective that makes your cable news viewing choices much easier to make, it’s a ridiculous point. Why would anyone listen to a commentator who is full of shit? Does that sound reasonable to anyone? Here’s the thing about making a disingenuous argument: you sound like a stupid asshole. But okay, that’s the line the stupid assholes decided to go with and stick to.
So ostensibly, the implication is that the news division of Fox News has higher standards and employs rigorous journalistic practices while deciding what to report, right? Not so much, but you already knew where this is going. I think it’s pretty safe to say that if you’re reading this, you follow American politics pretty closely so I’m going to throw out a headline (just the headline) and let you, the non-journalists decide if the story that goes with the headline is even plausible.
REPORT: OBAMA THREATENED TO SHOOT DOWN ISRAELI PLANES
Ummmm this sounds more absurd on its face, than;
REPORT: OBAMA THREATENED TO SHOOT DOWN BRITISH PLANES
would sound. See, American politicians are still allowed to talk shit about the UK. But Israel is some sort of holy grail. The headline is fucking preposterous on its face. Obama threatened Bibi, and we didn’t get a press conference from Bibi that was simulcast all around the world? Please spare me this fantastical assertion. And yet, here it is right there on the Fox Nation website. The headline alone is ridiculous enough, but here’s what the article says;
"A Kuwaiti newspaper is reporting that President Obama, angered at Israeli plans to strike Iran nuclear facilities in 2014, threatened to shoot down Israeli planes before they could reach their targets.
The paper, Al Jarida, cites only anonymous sources and just a handful of other publications have followed the story. But according to israelnationalnews.com, the Arabic newspaper quoted "well-placed" sources as saying Benjamin Netanyahu and two top aides "had decided to carry out air strikes against Iran’s nuclear program after consultations with top security commanders."
So they have an unsourced story from a random Kuwaiti newspaper. What to do, what to do? Do you adhere to journalistic standards and find two sources to confirm the story before printing it? Do you call the person who wrote the story to have a chat with them about what they wrote?
Not if you’re fucking Fox News. If you’re Fox News, you publish the story right after you’re done peeing yourself a little, cause you’re so happy. But since this is Fox News we’re talking about, printing this unverified, absurd-on-its-face story isn’t enough. No, if you’re Fox News you do a little segment on TV, about how the white house is denying that President Obama ever threatened to shoot down Israeli planes. You don’t include anything in your "news" piece about how tenuous the unsourced story from a random publication was in the first place. No, you just repeat the original article and report that administration denied the allegations.
Please spare me the "Bill O’Reilly is only a commentator and therefore allowed to fabricate stories to his little heart’s content, but the rest of the network is totally legitimate" nonsense. You’re done, Fox News viewers. You can no longer claim that you’re interested in factual reporting. You’re clearly making a choice to stay stupid and hateful.
At this point, you’re probably wondering why I bothered to write this, "no duh" piece. I obviously didn’t write it to inform you of something you didn’t know. I wrote it so that anytime someone links to a Fox News article, I could link straight back to this piece to shut them down. Not that I wasn’t always able to do quick searches to rebut their insistence that Fox is a legitimate news source, but now that we have the most preposterous, grandaddy of all Fox bullshit to point at, I don’t need to bother with the individual searches to rebut individual points. I will waste no more time debunking Fox. They’re in the same category as breitbart, daily caller, (the comically named) reason, and the national review. They crossed the bullshit threshold that makes them unworthy of even clicking on their links.