Poultry excuses defame the Muppets

The message in the following photo is a lie:

This is what happened:

Last Friday, the company behind beloved shows such as “Fraggle Rock,” “Labyrinth,” and “The Muppets,” severed ties with Chick-Fil-A due to the fast food chain’s CEO’s opposition to same sex marriage.

According to “Muppets” fan site ToughPigs.com, The Jim Henson Company had partnered with Chick-Fil-A to feature Jim Henson’s Creature Shop toys — “essentially a plastic tube with cut-out features for customizing your own puppet” — in their kid’s meals from mid-July until August 18th.

However, on Friday, the Jim Henson Company posted the following statement to their Facebook page:

“The Jim Henson Company has celebrated and embraced diversity and inclusiveness for over fifty years and we have notified Chick-Fil-A that we do not wish to partner with them on any future endeavors. Lisa Henson, our CEO is personally a strong supporter of gay marriage and has directed us to donate the payment we received from Chick-Fil-A to GLAAD. (http://www.glaad.org/)”

So, since the Muppets called Chick-Fil-A out because of its bigoted CEO, the company responds with a blatant lie saying it’s pulled its Muppet toys because they’re unsafe. Seems like Henson Co. has grounds for a libel suit.

John Stewart captures the issue (before the toy safety lie) here.

Dick Cheney has a heart, literally

From the Associated Press:

Former Vice President Dick Cheney had a heart transplant Saturday and is recovering at a Virginia hospital, his office said.

An aide to Cheney said he had been waiting for a transplant for more than 20 months and does not know the identity of the heart donor.

Cheney was recovering Saturday night at the Intensive Care Unit of Inova Fairfax Hospital in Falls Church, Va., after surgery earlier in the day.

There are so many things that could be said here. I’ll control myself and wait for “The Daily Show” to run with it. But obviously, this is why he cancelled his trip to Canada last week. (The reason he gave was essentially that the liberals were out to get him.)

Jon Stewart is shrill

If you haven’t seen “The Daily Show” this week, check out the opening segments of Monday’s and Tuesday’s episodes.

Jon Stewart completely loses it Monday when Newt “the serial adulterer” Gingrich got a standing ovation for calling the media despicable in the South Carolina debate because CNN’s moderator opened with a question on Newt cheating on his multiple-sclerosis afflicted second wife, the woman with whom he cheated on his cancer stricken first wife.

Then the next day, he goes nuclear when Mitt “I’m unemployed just like you” Romney releases tax returns that show the former GOP frontrunner makes about $57,000 a day, without working, and has a tax rate less than a person who makes $57,000 a year. The news I picked up from that segment was that Romney’s Bain Capital lobbied heavily to get the lower tax rate for the rich through Congress.

Check the full episodes here and here.

It’s sad that a comedy show is doing a better job informing people than television news does.

Stephen Colbert joins the campaign

Stephen Colbert is probably doing more to explain the presidential campaign process, and the evils of super PACs than anyone in the media today.

Mitt Romney is a serial killer? What a great ad.

But as Bill Moyers says: I’ll believe corporations are people when Texas executes one.

All you need to know about class warfare

Check out this episode of “The Daily Show,” where Jon Stewart tears apart the idiots at Rupert Murdoch’s Fox News and Fox Business channels for saying it’s unfair to tax the rich because the poor don’t pay their “fair share” of taxes.

Then go to this clip from PBS that shows most Americans are out of touch with income inequality in the U.S. When presented with three charts, they thought Sweden‘s distribution was where America stood. As for the chart that represented America’s distribution, most people though it was a chart for a Third World country. (Just for the record, the third chart, where things were distributed equally, was idiotic, and people who selected that one shouldn’t be allowed to operate heavy machinery.)

There is no excuse for anyone not understanding what the distribution of wealth is in this country.

Here’s a chart posted on various blogs back in February:

The truth is out there. Not the “truth” created by Fox News, but the thing rational people call reality.

If your world view has been shaped by Fox, and if you fall for the GOP line that the rich are under assault and the poor are a bunch of freeloaders, you are a sad, sad human being.

News Corp. takes a major hit

The phone-hacking scandal has actually hurt Rupert Murdoch:

News Corp. dropped its bid to take full control of British Sky Broadcasting Group PLC, as a political firestorm ignited by reporting tactics at one of its U.K. newspaper titles upended the company’s strategic ambitions and delivered a blow to its influence in Britain.

News Corp. pulled the plug on the deal hours before a vote in which U.K. Prime Minister David Cameron’s Conservative Party lined up to support a motion by the opposition Labour Party urging the company to abandon the bid.

That report is from the Wall Street Journal, Murdoch’s respectable paper in the U.S.

Murdoch’s political cronies are running scared, too. Today’s Prime Minister’s Questions hour in Parliament saw something you’d never expect: The Conservatives, whom Rupert essentially put in power, turning against him. Here’s Ed Miliband, the Labour leader, blasting David Cameron and his ties to News Corp.:

So, it turns out Rupert did crap in the food one too many times.

But as we look at the people now standing up to News Corp., let’s not forget that others had been sticking their necks out in criticizing the company and its practices.

Nick Davies at the Guardian has been covering illegal activities at News Corp. for years, and most of the time, no one paid attention to what he was writing.

– The New York Times did the first comprehensive piece on the scandal in the U.S. in its magazine last September.

– Hugh Grant, the actor, wired himself in April and taped a News Corp. investigator who admitted hacking was pervasive in the company and went to the top.

– Even Jon Stewart, of the Daily Show, has been in a battle with Fox News over the dubious practices of that News Corp. unit.

But others are speaking now, who should just do us all a favor and keep their mouths shut:

A number of key members of the family which controlled The Wall Street Journal say they would not have agreed to sell the prestigious daily to Rupert Murdoch if they had been aware of News International’s conduct in the phone-hacking scandal at the time of the deal.

“If I had known what I know now, I would have pushed harder against” the Murdoch bid, said Christopher Bancroft, a member of the family which controlled Dow Jones & Company, publishers of The Wall Street Journal. Bancroft said the breadth of allegations now on the public record “would have been more problematic for me. I probably would have held out.” Bancroft had sole voting control of a trust that represented 13 percent of Dow Jones shares in 2007 and served on the Dow Jones Board.

Now the Bancrofts were a bunch of heirs to the Dow Jones fortune whose only interest in the company was raking in the big dividend checks every year. One of the reasons Dow Jones was vulnerable to a takeover was because of their lack of interest in anything other than their stock holdings and their regular company checks. When they sold to Rupert, they were vilified. But they made a killing. They got $5 billion for a company that News Corp. eventually had to write off a couple of billion for because it was a bad deal. The Bancrofts will parrot the line that had they known what News Corp. was capable of, they never would have sold, but let’s face it. You’re not going to see them make an offer to buy the company back, even at the now discounted price.

They just need to shut up and count their money.

NPR should learn “The Chicago way”

I haven’t said much about James O’Keefe (the right-wing’s Ashton Kutcher) and how he Punk’d NPR recently because I’ve already expressed my views on him:

O’Keefe is a liar. Everything he does is a lie. Anyone who puts him on air saying he’s telling the truth is actively engaging in and encouraging a lie. If you see his face on your television set everything that comes out of his mouth will be a lie.

But what really pisses me off in the wake of all this is NPR. It’s in a fight for its life. The right wing is giving it the full Acorn treatment and won’t be satisfied until it’s dead. And despite all this, it isn’t fighting back.

Atrios has the perfect reaction to this:

I’ve really lost interest in defending organizations that are uninterested in defending themselves.

Jon Stewart has already used NPR and pussies in the same segment.

And Media Matters chronicled how NPR has let O’Keefe get away with this crap before, without even pointing out the reality that … (see my quote above).

NPR repeatedly covered O’Keefe, and adopted his (false) claims about what his videos showed. But only a single NPR report available on Nexis contained so much as an allegation that he’d ever been less than honest. NPR’s coverage of O’Keefe helped enhance his stature and credibility. And then he peddled a misleading videotape of an NPR executive, and the media ran with it, badly damaging NPR.

Right now, NPR should at least be like Sean Connery in “The Untouchables.”

But I think it’s gone beyond that point. NPR should go Robert De Niro on him:

There’s a certain president in Washington who can learn from this movie.

The haves and the have nots?

Why is it that when teachers and other unionized government employees ask that their collective bargaining rights be protected and that they be given a fair wage, the folks at Fox News rant about irresponsibility and greed because teachers are getting $50,000 a year and benefits.

But when folks making $250,000 a year and Wall Street types making megamillions say that getting rid of their Bush tax cuts is the first step to America’s economic collapse, the folks at Fox News take their side and say they’re patriots whose American dream is being shattered.

I don’t get it. Jon Stewart doesn’t either.