Fox News ought to think before letting their pundits speak

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(Part One can be found here)

In January 2014 John Cook, Editor-in-Chief of Gawker wrote an article titled, “Fox News’ Favorite Investigator Was Paid to Smear Murdoch’s Wife.” According to Cook, he received a tip, a pseudonymous email in 2008 alleging that Wendi Deng, then-wife of Rupert Murdoch, was involved with infidelity, adultery and continuous scandalous affairs including an affair with an executive from Murdoch’s own company.

According to Cook when he revisited the email he opened up the Word document and viewed the metadata associated with it under the “Properties” tab, he saw that the author of the 2008 email was Maria Stasek. In 2008 Stasek was office manager for Beau Dietl and Associates, the firm run by Bo Dietl. When Cook contacted Stasek she didn’t have much to say.

Bo Dietl on "Imus in the Morning"
Bo Dietl on “Imus in the Morning”

When Cook contacted Dietl he said, “I know Murdoch.” I know Roger [Ailes]. I’m a very loyal Fox guy. I would never take a case to hurt them.” Cook said that Dietl told him that Stasek had been fired years ago, and suggested that she had authored the tip without his knowledge or authorization.

According to Cook, Dietl later took back his initial claim that he was not involved and confirmed that he had been hired to spread dirt on Wendi Deng. Dietl told Cook that, “It was not Roger Ailes who hired me to look into Wendi and Rupert.” Dietl would not say who had hired him but said that he had been in touch with Fox News’ vice president for legal affairs, Diane Brandi.

Cook also stated in his article that Dietl was a personal friend of Roger Ailes and has done investigative work for Fox News staffers in the past. According to Cook when Bill O’Reilly’s former producer Andrea Mackris accused O’Reilly of repeatedly harassing her with lewd and explicit sexual propositions, Fox News turned to Dietl for a counterattack. (My two-part article on Bill O’Reilly is on the Baltimore Post-Examiner website.)

In September of 2014 The Wall Street Journal and The Villager reported that Dietl’s security firm had lost the contract with the privately funded Manhattan college, The Cooper Union, for which they had been providing security since early 2012. Some students were upset about comments Dietl had made criticizing the Ferguson protesters. William Mea, the schools vice president for finance and administration, released a statement to students and faculty that Dietl “has made statements that reflect a different world view than that of many — perhaps most — of the Cooper community.”

Questions were also raised why the increased expense in security for Dietl’s firm over the prior contractor was needed as school records indicated that there was no spike in campus crime between 2007 and 2013. Dietl said that he was frustrated that the students were advocating for his ouster, and said they “have no right” to be involved in the school president’s hiring decisions.

In June of this year News12 in Long Island, NY reported that that Dietl’s firm was contracted by Nassau County, where Dietl resides, for $24,000 to conduct a feasibility study of merging the Freeport and Hempstead village police departments into the Nassau County Police Department. Dietl’s firm completed a 13-page report about the consolidation. According to News12 some of the lines in Dietl’s study appeared to have been copied verbatim from a separate study that was done by a California consulting firm in 2013. News12 sent the Nassau report to Richard Brady, the firm’s president for examination.

Dietl denied that he plagiarized the report stating that it was done by one of his employees. On a television interview with a reporter who was questioning him about the report Dietl responded, “I don’t have to answer to anybody.”

Dietl told News12 that he had spoken to the California firm’s president and that they had come to an understanding, but when a News12 reporter spoke to Brady he said that he stands by his statement that Dietl’s firm plagiarized his company’s report. Brady said that Dietl’s firm changed the names of the communities and the actual police data, but other than that the text is almost identical.

In August of this year The Detroit News reported that Bo Dietl was planning to file a lawsuit against Ford Motor Company because they slandered his investigative company. Dietl’s firm was hired by Texas-based Versata who is suing Ford for allegedly stealing trade secrets. Ford alleges that two investigators dressed in black suits from Dietl’s team “barged into” a witness’s apartment without invitation “like FBI agents” instilling fear in the witness’s family. Dietl stated, “I don’t want my guys to be looked at as goons.” “We conduct investigations in the most professional way, and that’s an affront to me and I’m not standing for it.”

Sean Hannity
Sean Hannity

Last week Sean Hannity said on the Fox show Hannity speaking about the Black Lives Matter group, “The rhetoric has contributed to an atmosphere that it’s not safe to be a cop.” Hannity then said, “Black lives matter, all lives matter, I thought all lives matter.” Then Hannity turned to his guest, Bo Dietl and remarked about the wristband that Dietl was wearing that read “Blue Lives Matter.”

I agree that all lives matter. Did it ever occur to Hannity or Dietl that the reason the Black Lives Matter group uses that terminology is just to make a point? The same point that Dietl is making with his wristband, blue lives matter.”

It appears that some folks at the Fox News Channel believe that they have a monopoly on spreading hate and discontent. Hannity speaks out as fast as he can anytime he has anything to use against the Black Lives Matter group. And Dietl, his answer to any question that is thrown at him is either Muslims or how many kids were killed in Chicago last week.

Sean let me tell you something. It has never been safe to be a cop, that’s the nature of the job, but you would not know that because you never walked the line.

Hannity and Dietl are quick to say that there is no war on blacks, but speak of the war on cops. I have some news for everybody. There is no war on blacks and there is no war on cops. The facts do not support that, end of story.

That being said black people in this country have been the predominant victims of police abuse and misconduct for decades. That fact cannot be disputed.

Criminals of all races kill cops. If you kill a cop you should be leaving the scene in a body bag. If a cop violates someone’s civil rights they need to be thrown off the force and charged. That’s how you fix the problem.

Just look back at how many cop killers are brought in alive. If that is not a testament to the professionalism of American law enforcement, I don’t know what is.

Fox News needs to clean up their own back yard before they criticize anyone else.

“With few constraints on the Internet it is important that the national media stop the corruption and begin telling the truth.” “Reporting the news comes with a big responsibility.” “If you can’t trust a news anchor or commentator then you’re not going to watch that person.” “Throw out the irresponsible people.”

Those are Bill O’Reilly’s words not mine.

Dan Rather, Lara Logan and Brian Williams paid a price, but not Fox News’ Bill O’Reilly. Come on Fox News, how is it that this documented liar is still employed by your corporation? Why hasn’t anyone at Fox News or any of his guests ever called O’Reilly to task for his well-documented lies about his past?

I’m surprised that Bill O’Reilly hasn’t said he was at the Last Supper with Jesus!

Credibility is the only currency that means anything in a news organization. This gross dishonesty in the media has got to stop.

Where are the ethics?

Sean Hannity believes that people should be accountable for others actions and take responsibility based on what they say. Hannity has said that dozens of times on his show, usually referring to the Black Lives Matter group.

Did Bill O’Reilly take responsibility when Dr. George Tiller was gunned down by a psychotic pro-lifer in church in front of his family? After all, O’Reilly for years called him, “Tiller the baby killer,” “Dr. Killer, Baby killer” and said that “there has to be a special place in hell for this guy.” Did his comments influence the killer? According to Hannity he should have shared some of the responsibility.

“Tell me how the President can unilaterally pick and choose what parts of the law he’s going to uphold at whatever time he chooses.” “You only believe that you should obey the laws you want to obey, obey the laws that you like, why don’t you join me and say Juan [Williams] that everyone should obey the law.” Those are Sean Hannity’s own words.

Obviously Hannity talks out of both sides of his mouth and doesn’t believe everyone should obey the rule of law.

Hannity-race warIn April 2014 night after night Hannity supported Nevada rancher Cliven Bundy and Bundy’s gun-toting anti-government right-wing fanatics who were at the Bundy ranch to “protect” Bundy and his family. Some were flying the Revolutionary War Don’t Tread On Me Gadsden flag. And who were they “protecting” the Bundy’s from; cops and federal agents.

Bundy for years was breaking the law by letting his cattle graze on land owned by the federal government, refusing to pay grazing fees. Bundy lost in court. The legal battle started in 1998. Other ranchers were paying their taxes and grazing fees, but not Bundy.

Sean Hannity thought they were “patriots” and called the federal agents heavy handed.

He didn’t say much about those “patriots” pointing their own weapons at the Bureau of Land Management agents or police officers of the Las Vegas Metropolitan Police Department.

Had Hannity done his homework, which he failed to do, he would have learned that Cliven Bundy as far back as 1998 didn’t believe in the authority of the federal government, only the state of Nevada and the power of the local sheriff.

Why were there so many heavily armed federal agents out there?

Could it have been because persons of similar belief, groups like Posse Comitatus and Sovereign Citizens have been responsible for killing and wounding of law enforcement officers both federal and local over the years?

Watching and listening to Hannity it was almost as if he was hoping for armed conflict.

Should Hannity have been held accountable had the situation escalated or for the actions of one of the fanatics who were out at the ranch?

Instead of taking the moral high ground and be ethically responsible and try to de-escalate an already tense situation what did Hannity do?

He asked the Bundy’s, “What are your plans if they [federal agents] in fact come late in the night, are you worried they may kill your dad or someone in your family.”

What was the mindset of those “patriots” who were “protecting” Bundy?

One told a news reporter, “We were strategizing to put all the women up at the front. If they’re going to start shooting it’s going to be women televised all over the world getting shot by these rogue federal officers.”

On the Alex Jones show, another anti-government fanatic, Bundy said speaking of Sean Hannity, “He is my hero and he has supported me, I love him and support him one-hundred percent.”

Then what happened? Cliven Bundy showed his racist colors. In the presence of a New York Times reporter, speaking of “Negroes,” Bundy said, “They abort their children, they put their young men in jail, because they never learned how to pick cotton. And I’ve often wondered, are they better off as slaves, picking cotton and having a family life and doing things, or are they better off under government subsidy?”

Hannity’s response; he said he was repulsed and dropped Bundy like a bad habit.

Jerad and Amanda Miller from Jerad’s Facebook page.
Jerad and Amanda Miller from Jerad’s Facebook page.

In the midst of the fanatics at the Bundy Ranch was man named Jerad Miller, a convicted felon.

Miller was interviewed while at the ranch by a reporter from Al Jazeera America. He was sporting an AK-47 type assault rifle with a thirty round magazine over his shoulder. He told the reporter, “I’m not afraid of death, I’m afraid of being enslaved, I’m afraid of living under tyranny.”

The same reporter said she saw Miller being served breakfast by members of the Bundy family.

Jerad Miller was also interviewed while at the Bundy Ranch by a reporter from KRNV-4/Reno. Miller stated, “I feel sorry for any federal agents who want to come in here and push us around … If they’re going to come and bring violence to us, well, if that’s the language they want to speak, then we’ll learn it.”

On Sunday June 8, 2014 Las Vegas Metropolitan Police Department Officers Alyn Beck and Igor Soldo were eating lunch in a booth at CiCi’s Pizza on Nellis Blvd. in Las Vegas, Nevada.

Jerad Miller, one of the “patriots” who was at the Bundy Ranch, along with his wife, Amanda, entered the restaurant.

Jerad Miller pulled a handgun out and shot Officer Soldo one time in the back of the head. Officer Beck reacted when he was shot by Jerad Miller in the throat.

Amanda Miller and Jerad Miller then fired multiple shots in Officer Beck’s body.

After the shooting they pulled both officers out of the booth, placed them on the ground, and then placed a Revolutionary War Gadsden Flag over the body of Officer Beck and threw a Swastika on top of his body.

Jerad Miller pinned a note on Officer Soldo’s body that read, “This is the start of the revolution.”

The Millers left the restaurant and headed to a Walmart down the street where Amanda Miller gunned down a citizen who was carrying a concealed weapon legally and who tried to stop them. The Millers were killed after a shootout with LVMPD officers inside the Walmart.

Cliven Bundy’s son, Ammon Bundy told the Associated Press that they asked Jerad Miller to leave the ranch because of his criminal history and “very radical views.”

Watching YouTube videos, which there are many, of the militias and other groups who were out there, I don’t know how much more radical Miller’s views were from the rest of them.

Richard Mack is the leader of the CSPOA and were supporters of Cliven Bundy. They believe it is their sworn duty as local and country law enforcement to oppose all federal authorities by whatever means necessary. “We will take America back, Sheriff by Sheriff, County by County, State by State.” —Sheriff Richard Mack Taken directly from their website.
Richard Mack is the leader of the CSPOA and were supporters of Cliven Bundy. They believe it is their sworn duty as local and country law enforcement to oppose all federal authorities by
whatever means necessary.
“We will take America back, Sheriff by Sheriff, County by County, State by State.” —Sheriff Richard Mack
Taken directly from their website.

Where did Jerad Miller, a convicted felon, get that assault weapon he had over his shoulder at the Bundy Ranch? Was it provided to him by someone at the ranch? Why didn’t the Bundy’s notify law enforcement if they knew of his criminal history and he was walking around with a weapon? Had the police intervened maybe Officers Beck and Soldo might still be alive today. But that didn’t happen. Was Jerad Miller the only convicted felon carrying a weapon at the ranch?

LVMPD stated the Millers had handguns and a shotgun with them when they went on their killing spree. What happened to the assault rifle?

Why was it that the Bundy Ranch “patriots” were allowed to point weapons at law enforcement officers day after day with no repercussions? What type of precedent did that set should a similar incident occur in the future somewhere else in the country?

What if everyone at the ranch was black, would it have turned out differently and would Sean Hannity and the Fox News Channel have still supported them?

When Sean Hannity and Bo Dietl blame the rhetoric of others for influencing others’ criminal behavior, how far do we really want to push that line.

Having the right to say something, doesn’t always mean it is morally right to say it. Sean Hannity, Bill O’Reilly, Bo Dietl and others at the Fox News Channel should learn that.



One thought on “Fox News ought to think before letting their pundits speak

  • November 6, 2015 at 9:47 PM

    Lots of idiots out there in TV wasteland. We can all thank President Reagan for the hideous deregulation of broadcasting and for putting America in the broadcasting crap heap where corporate giants own way, way, way too many stations which are now responsible to no one and uphold absolutely NO standards. It’s a disgusting mess.

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