Right Wing

FOX "News" Bids Glenn Beck Adieu

Glenn Beck on cover of TIME, Sept., 2009Glenn Beck's show is ending after years of grassroots campaigning caused FOX News' once highest-rated show to lose advertising and public support.

On April 6, 2011, FOX News announced it would help Beck "transition" into other ventures, which include for-air projects and FOX News' websites. What the press release did not mention was the successful campaign against Beck initiated by Color of Change, an organization rooted in equal political access for people of color.

On the show Fox and Friends in 2009, Beck said that President Obama had a "deep seated hatred for white people." Color of Change began a petition appealing to Beck's advertisers to end their support, and within two days, reportedly 100,000 people had signed it. The current number of signatures, according to the group, now stands at 285,000 people. Organizations like Media Matters, MoveOn, CREDO Action and StopBeck joined Color of Change in petitioning Beck's advertisers to stop supporting the show.

"Revere America": Another Conduit for a Super-Wealthy Family to Influence Elections

Miles C. CollierOn March 23, 2011 a group called Revere America issued a dire-sounding PRNewswire press release titled, "Americans Fear Loss of Freedom on Anniversary of Health Care Reform Law." It warned that "a majority" of Americans view health care reform as "a threat to their freedom" and cited a poll by Bill McInturff of Public Opinion Strategies to prove it. The release came well after Revere America had spent $2.5 million on attack ads in the 2010 mid-term elections to defeat Democratic candidates in two states -- New York and New Hampshire -- who had voted in favor of health care reform. Just prior to the mid-term elections, in the autumn of 2010, Revere America ran a a slew of false and misleading attack ads against the health care reform bill that erroneously called health reform "government-run healthcare" (a Republican and insurance industry buzz-phrase). The ads said that the new law will result in higher costs and longer waits in doctors' offices. In another false claim aimed at inducing fear, the ads told viewers that "your right to keep your own doctor may be taken away."

Pay Attention to the Insurers Behind Paul Ryan's Curtain

Rep. Paul Ryan (R-WI) has proposed privatizing MedicareDemocrats who think Paul Ryan and his Republican colleagues have foolishly wrapped their arms around the third rail of American politics by proposing to hand the Medicare program to private insurers will themselves look foolish if they take for granted that the public will always be on their side.

Rep. Ryan's budget proposal would radically reshape both the Medicare and Medicaid programs. It would turn Medicaid into a block grant, which would give states more discretion over benefits and eligibility. And it would radically redesign Medicare, changing it from what is essentially a government-run, single-payer health plan to one in which people would choose coverage from competing private insurance firms, many of them for-profit.

Maine's Governor Orders Removal of Public Mural Depicting Workers

The Governor of Maine, Paul LePage, ordered a commemorative public mural depicting Maine's labor history be removed from the state's Department of Labor, saying he had gotten complaints that the artwork was too pro-labor. The 36-feet long, 8-foot tall work by Judy Taylor of Tremont, Maine depicts workers like Rosie the Riveter, child laborers, shoemakers, textile workers, strikers and the first female American cabinet member, Frances Perkins, who served as U.S. Labor Secretary. The governor had the mural taken down in secrecy, over the weekend, and had it stored in an undisclosed location. The governor also plans to assign new names to the building's conference rooms, which are currently named after prominent labor leaders. In response to the mural's removal, Maine video producer Geoff Leighton proposed balancing out the mural by adding to it images of well-known recent American business moguls, like WorldCom's Bernard Ebbers, who was convicted of fraud and conspiracy, former Enron CEO Kenneth Lay, and ponzi-scheme investor Bernie Madoff, "who were significant in bringing wealth to the wealthy, despite onerous government regulations and pesky unions."

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Is Your Underwear Undermining Your Values? What Is Jockey's CEO Doing at a Tea Partiers' Convention and with David Koch?

MADISON--Is your underwear undermining your values? The new scrutiny of CEOs that has been ignited by the historic Wisconsin labor protests has turned up concerns close to home, very close to home--for the vast majority of people who wear underwear. To take a page from the ubiquitous Capitol One ad campaign, what's in your blue jeans? Is your underwear choice unwittingly paying the salary of a CEO who shares your values or who actively works against them?

Kochs Fund $5.6 Million Ad Campaign in Ohio

Billionaires Charles and David Koch of Koch Industries are funneling $5.6 million through the astroturf group FreedomWorks for an Ohio TV ad campaign starting March 18, 2011 that continues the attack on labor unions that Wisconsin Governor Scott Walker started in February. FreedomWorks, a non-profit group heavily involved with organizing the Tea Party, does not disclose its corporate donors. The 30-second TV ad focuses on Ohio, but features discredited Fox News footage taken of an out-of-state protest, inserted in the ad order to depict Wisconsin union protesters as being aggressive. The ad blames unions for what it claims is a debt "crisis" in Ohio. It says, "We won in Wisconsin, but the fight must go on," and urges viewers to call a phone number to "Thank Governor Kasich for leading the fight against Union corruption in Ohio."The ad doesn't mention that a Wisconsin judge temporarily blocked implementation of Governor Walker's anti-union bill over a potential violation of open meetings laws incurred in the way the highly-contentious bill was pushed through Wisconsin's legislature.

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Scott Fitzgerald and WIsconsin GOP Pull Back From the Brink

Senate Majority Leader Scott Fitzgerald has backed off a March 14 announcement that he would effectively eliminate Senate Democrats' right to vote during committee hearings and sessions. At first glance, it may appear that Fitzgerald and company are retreating from weeks of out-of-control decision-making, but the more likely explanation is that blocking votes may be unconstitutional and illegal. Plus, the move was completely contrary to Fitzgerald's prior claims that he was only trying to force the fourteen back into Wisconsin and "back to work." In a temporary win for legislative sanity, Fitzgerald seems to have backed down for now.

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