Sunday, October 28, 2007

The Wurlitzer Prize for the week ending October 26, 2007

Last week, as wildfires raced through the brushlands of Southern California, and news crews from all over the world descended on the region to stick microphones and cameras in the faces of those who had suddenly become homeless, and those who didn't know whether they had homes to return to or not, the Wurlitzer™ cranked up.

First, we had right-wing nutjob Glen Beck, one of the talking heads from CNN's Headline news, on Monday opining that "people who hate America are losing their homes today." (There is some compassionate conservatism for ya!) Presumably, in Becks twisted little mind, Californians "hate America" because it's a blue state. One minor flaw to his psychotic delusions, tho...Orange County is full of Republicans, and so is San Diego. Not only that, San Diego is full of current and retired military!

Way to think before you speak there, Glen...

But you just know that the Neocon's own Pravda-ganda network, Faux Noise, could rise sink to the challenge and out-wingnut Beck like so much childs play to win the Wurlitzer this week!

On Wednesday morning, during a broadcast of Fox & Friends, co-host Steve Doocy alleged "I've heard some people talk about this a little bit to me, but have you heard anybody suggest that this could be some form of terrorism."

Correspondent Adam Housley piled on, stating that he had had "hundreds" of comments on his Fox News blog making that very speculation. (Okay, I will give him that one if he can prove mathematically that a mere two comments is the same thing as "hundreds".)

From RawStory:

Later Wednesday, Fox anchors returned to fanning the terror fears, digging up a four-year-old FBI memo and presenting it as new information relating to an al Qaeda link to the fires.

In June of 2003, FBI agents in Denver detailed an al Qaeda detainee's discussion of a plot to set forest fires around the western United States, although investigators couldn't determine whether the detainee was telling the truth, and his plot did not include setting fires in California.

Such small discrepancies in dates and details proved to be no obstacles for Fox anchors, who reported that the memo was from "late June of this year" and "is just popping up this morning."

The memo was first reported by the Arizona Republic in July 2003, although a Fox anchor said it was reported "five days ago." That confusion seems to stem from an inability to read the date on an Associated Press account of the memo from the time it was first reported.

A July 11, 2003, AP story, still available online via USA Today, reported, "The contents of the June 25 memo from the FBI's Denver office were reported Friday by The Arizona Republic."

On Fox, that information became, "The June 25 memo from the FBI's Denver offices was reported three days ago, excuse me five days ago, by the Arizona Republic."

Further distorting the report, Fox failed to mention a key caveat from the 2003 AP story they appear to have ripped from.

And that, my friends, is precisely the sort of blatant spin, agenda whoring and pure, unadulterated wingnuttery that we created our award to dubiously honor.

So for unparalleled fear-mongering and totally fact-free reporting, our award this week is bestowed upon the entire Fox News Faux Noise network.