Senator Rockefeller Suggests Taking Fox and MSNBC Off The Air To Make Citizens Feel Better About Congress

In this video, Sen. Jay Rockefeller (D-WV) suggests that he would like to see both FOX and MSNBC taken off the air so that people felt better about Congress and their government. This is coming from a Senator who led the effort to kill dozens of public interest lawsuits suing telecommunication companies for violations of their privacy and supported the effort to bar any investigation into the torture program. The problem, it seems, is the new coverage.

Here is what Rockefeller said:

“There’s a little bug inside of me which wants to get the FCC to say to FOX and to MSNBC: ‘Out. Off. End. Goodbye.’ It would be a big favor to political discourse; our ability to do our work here in Congress, and to the American people, to be able to talk with each other and have some faith in their government and more importantly, in their future.”

When you have successfully killed dozens of public interest lawsuits, one can understand why you would believe that this is within your power. The premise appears to be that, without criticism and commentary on these cable programs, people would have more “faith in their government and more importantly, in their future.”

47 thoughts on “Senator Rockefeller Suggests Taking Fox and MSNBC Off The Air To Make Citizens Feel Better About Congress

  1. But if Fox news was equal in its coverage then I might disagree…but if you censor one you censor all…..so let them be as they are…

  2. Just another case of a politician who cant stand the heat so wants the stove thrown out of the kitchen.

    We need MSNBC and Fox News, the truth is probably somewhere in the middle. If Rockefeller doesn’t like criticism then maybe he should retire to a bucolic lifestyle and raise pansies or buttercups and change his name to Casper Milquetoast.

  3. If Rockefeller doesn’t like the media coverage and public reception of Congresses criminal and otherwise unsavory and unconstitutional behavior, how about he consider this:

    “I do solemnly swear (or affirm) that I will support and defend the Constitution of the United States against all enemies, foreign and domestic; that I will bear true faith and allegiance to the same; that I take this obligation freely, without any mental reservation or purpose of evasion; and that I will well and faithfully discharge the duties of the office on which I am about to enter: So help me God.”

    And consider that he and the rest of his colleagues in the Senate are obstructionist pricks protecting people who ordered torture out of party fealty and greed over their SWORN DUTY to protect the Constitution.

    When considering these items together, it’s clear that Jay needs to STFU.

  4. The senator should know that the FCC has no jurisdiction over cable in this manner. Not even if the entities were on broadcast television as well.

  5. I wonder if the fact that his wife is the Chief executive officer of WETA-TV, a PBS channel in Washington DC, has anything to do with his desire to put more funding into NPR and PBS? Of course not, because conspiracies don’t exist.

  6. … and One in Five U.S. Adults Suffer From Mental Illness … does that mean 20 of our senators are bat-shit crazy?

    With a Democrat like this, who needs Republicans ….

  7. Maybe if Rocky would actually stand up for the middle class he might understand why MSNBC is needed to offset the continual lies coming from Fox News and the Rush Limbaugh’s of the world. Next time you see someone violating the law Rocky, do a little more that put a secret letter into a secret file to complain about it. How about growing a set and actually challenge the parties illegally spying and challenge the law that allows them to do it. And do it on MSNBC.

  8. 20 is a very kind estimate. We must keep in mind Congress is a skewed sample space by the very nature that it appeals to narcissists and sociopaths ergo the actual number of mentally ill in Congress is likely much higher than in the general populace. I’m betting I can hit 20 without without leaving the Senate.

  9. B&B,

    The political equivalent to Marx’s “I’d never join a club that’d have me as a member” is “The person that wants powers is the person that you can’t trust with any.”

  10. Gyges

    “The person that wants powers is the person that you can’t trust with any.”

    Hear, hear to that… Well said.

  11. Rockefeller is half right. Fox News should have been taken off the air long ago.

    How can a station which labels itself as “News”, let alone “Fair and Balanced” be considered to have fulfilled its charter obligation to be in the public interest when it has been demonstrated continually that Fox News is terribly biased and actively promotes falsehoods?

    The term “News” has a meaning in broadcasting. And the functioning of our democracy is dependent upon a robust and honest press. Fox “News” has completely failed to meet its crucially important societal obligation as a news organization, poisoning the well for all of the fourth estate, as it operates as a propaganda arm of the corporate elite and the Republican party.

    Fox News should lose its charter immediately, and Rupert Murdoch belongs in prison. In my humble opinion, of course.

    And you can quote me on that!

  12. @Gingerbaker, but I bet you’ll defend MSNBC. Does the word hypocrisy mean anything to you?

    The only difference between Fox News and MSNBC is that people actually watch Fox News.

  13. “@Gingerbaker, but I bet you’ll defend MSNBC. Does the word hypocrisy mean anything to you?

    The only difference between Fox News and MSNBC is that people actually watch Fox News.

    No – The difference between Fox and MSNBC for my argument is that Fox calls itself “NEWS” and MSNBC does not. A big difference, because, as I said, on broadcast TV the word “News” means something.

  14. Actually the primary difference between FAUXNews and MSNBC is FAUX is a Neocon propaganda outlet that has been busted making up “facts” they report and MSNBC will report anything that doesn’t interfere with their arms dealing. Egro, FAUX is engaged in wholesale aggressive politically motivated Neocon deception whereas MSNBC is engaged in lies of omission for simple profit. Anyone who trusts either outlet as a news source, let alone a sole news source, isn’t very good at telling fiction from reality and are largely so because of their ability to swallow propaganda and lies without critical thought.

  15. I like Maddow’s show but that’s the only program I watch on MSNBC … don’t watch anything on FOXNEWS except, sometimes, their coverage of storms because the things they make those reporters do are hilarious … CNN’s reporters are good at the crazy storm stunts too.

  16. “…Anyone who trusts either outlet as a news source, let alone a sole news source, isn’t very good at telling fiction from reality and are largely so because of their ability to swallow propaganda and lies without critical thought.”

    Unfortunately for our country, it looks like more than 3/4 of the members of the Republican Party do trust Fox News, based on polling acceptance of some of their wilder propaganda.

    You know, real people are dying and our country may just go down the tubes because of the bad decisions made by our electorate. And for a good portion of them, propaganda lies from Fox and Clearchannel radio ARE their opinions. The idiocy that engenders and sustains the Tea Partyers, for example, is manufactured, not endemic.

    I am quite serious about Fox News being taken off the air, and Rupert Murdoch deserving to be in prison.

  17. Blouise,

    “There’s a hurricane coming.”

    There are few sentences that the desperate to get famous in television love to hear more than that.

    Suckers.

    Mother Nature will kill you whether the cameras are rolling or not, but think of the ratings is she does kill you on camera! Nothing says success like, “I earned my Peabody Award the old fashioned way . . . by taking a wind driven two-by-four through the chest.”

  18. It’s amazing what those fools will do and they always seem to be trying to top one another … I think we should send them to a war zone to regain their sanity.

  19. “I am quite serious about Fox News being taken off the air, and Rupert Murdoch deserving to be in prison.”

    As am I, Gingerbaker. He should have his citizenship revoked too since the only reason he got it was to circumvent foreign ownership rules for media and to further his clearly fascist and unamerican agenda. Rupert Murdoch is one of the truly evil people on the planet (that is evil by choice) and it’s not to late to keep his line from breeding further if you ask me. If there is a Hell, Rupert isn’t just going there. Satan (along with Halliburton) have built him his own wing.

  20. FOX and MSNBC are both directly supporting the current White House Coup. Even though there exists all this entertainment for us to wonder what is going on, the reality is they like to put on a big show to keep us guessing. This game has been going on for decades and now more than ever since the WH Coup is in trouble. But don’t discount any Rockefeller related to the Federal Reserve because that is truly where the core of the problem is. They like to offer us entertainment to keep us confused but over time they have shown us who they are. It’s important to keep things in perspective.

    Marty Didier
    Northbrook, IL

  21. Senior U.S. District Court Judge Pleads Guilty to Possession of Controlled Substances and Conversion of Government Property
    WASHINGTON – Senior U.S. District Judge Jack T. Camp Jr., pleaded guilty today in U.S. District Court in Atlanta to possession of controlled substances and conversion of government property, announced Assistant Attorney General Lanny A. Breuer of the Criminal Division, Special Agent in Charge Brian D. Lamkin of the FBI’s Atlanta office and Director Vernon Keenan of the Georgia Bureau of Investigation.

    Camp, 67, a Senior U.S. District Judge in the Northern District of Georgia, pleaded guilty to two counts of unlawful possession of controlled substances and one count of conversion of government property. Camp’s guilty plea was accepted by Senior U.S. District Judge Thomas J. Hogan for the District of Columbia, who was sitting by designation in the Northern District of Georgia. Sentencing has been scheduled for March 4, 2011, at 11:00 a.m.

    As part of his guilty plea, Camp admitted that between May 2010 and Oct. 1, 2010, he unlawfully possessed and used cocaine, marijuana and Roxycodone, a Schedule II controlled substance. Camp also admitted to giving an individual, whom he knew had a prior felony drug conviction, money to purchase cocaine, Roxycodone and marijuana. Camp admitted that he unlawfully gave the individual a U.S. District Court laptop computer for her personal use. Camp was arrested on Oct. 1, 2010, after attempting to purchase drugs from an undercover FBI agent posing as a drug dealer.

    The case is being prosecuted by Trial Attorneys Deborah Sue Mayer and Tracee Joy Plowell of the Criminal Division’s Public Integrity Section. The case was investigated by the FBI Atlanta’s Public Corruption Squad. The Georgia Bureau of Investigation provided substantial assistance in this case.

    10-1328
    Criminal Division

    http://www.justice.gov/opa/pr/2010/November/10-crm-1328.html

  22. What I find interesting is this new trend of, say, Bill O’Reilly going on Jon Stewart’s show; then Jon Stewart goes on “The Factor” and then they each talk about going on each other shows and playing clips of themselves. When O’Reilly, for example, had the little spat with the ladies on “The View” both shows got a ton of mileage out of playing clips of the tiff. Could they BE more self-important?

    I can’t remember any time in my life when the “news” programs blurred the edges of reality, as they do now, trampling all over each other to preen for camera time. Walter Cronkite is rolling over in his grave.

    But to stick to the subject here, if Rockefeller was really paying attention, he’d see that both sides are not only pandering by giving their “opponent” (read: comrade in arms) air-time, they’re manipulating viewers in their transparent “wow! look at how fair & balanced we are” scheme for ratings.

    I never cared for Dan Rather, and Tom Brokaw sounded like a fellow with a mouth full of tuna. But Lord, do I miss them now.

    And I’d kill strangers for another 10 years of Peter Jennings.

  23. Patrick,

    It’s important to remember Stewart is a comedian, not a newsman. The reason that he has become news by default for many is that comedians have the “luxury” of being able to tell the truth. That, as a nation, many have resorted to “The Daily Show” for news is a two-edged blade: it’s less impressive that a comedy show is successful than it is shameful that the 4th Estate has become such sycophants and puppets of industry that they no longer seem to care about truth let alone justice and force people to look for truth and justice wherever they can find it.

    Even out of the mouths of jokers.

  24. Buddha said: “If there is a Hell, Rupert(Murdoch)isn’t just going there. Satan(along with Halliburton)have built him his own wing.”

    If Halliburton/KBR built it, I would recommend Rupert try out the shower as soon as possible.

  25. Buddha – You are of course right about the comedy aspect of people like Stewart. I sometimes find him hilarious myself. But you’ll notice how these types of shows are proliferating.

    And the scary aspect of the whole thing – it seems to me – is that all of these “newsy-infotainment” programs find their way into homes of people who can’t find the U.S. on a blank world map. How many of them can separate parody from reality? And pity, there is no IQ meter at the voting booth.

    Comedy disguised as news sinks right into the cerebral cortex of the weakest minds in America. And their ability to separate fact from funny is hardly their strong point. In my particular town 20 years ago, it resulted in a shoo-in victory in the “Sonny Bono for Mayor” race. Voters bought into the theater of the event, loved the whole idea of “cool” sound-bites, and really couldn’t have cared less how truly inept he would be.

    Kinda like Bristol Palin. Her voters keep her in the game and to hell with reality.

  26. Patrick,

    “Comedy disguised as news sinks right into the cerebral cortex of the weakest minds in America.”

    Herein lies our difference. I too have a problem with fake news, however, the word “disguised” is key to our difference. TDS is fake news in that they 1) don’t do investigative reporting and 2) they play what they present manifestly as humor.

    FAUXNews, known for making shit up and presenting it as real> news, is far more problematic and damaging as propaganda because it’s inherently dishonest in both research and presentation and presenting itself as something to be taken on par with actual investigative journalism and news when if fact it is as much “infotainment” as TDS and far less honest about their content and agenda.

    I have never heard anyone associated with TDS say it was anything other than a comedy show, yet I hear that rotund prick Roger Ailes or his master Mephistopheles Murdoch talking all the time about FOXNews like it was real journalism when actually it is real Neocon propaganda and nothing more. Propaganda with an evil fascist agenda I might add.

    Personally, I’m more worried about the weak minded being led by the Evil rather than being influenced by the Funny.

  27. Somehow when Stewart and Colbert complained about the same thing as Sen. Rockefeller it was funnier.

    Of course they didn’t want to remove the two channels, but neither does Rockefeller. He just has the same bug inside that I do (about Fox, anyway) that wish they’d either tone it down or stop compeletely. He’s completely right about their making it harder for both people and politicians to talk to each other in a civil and productive manner.

    Criticism is instructive. Cynicism is destructive.

  28. Fox would have a difficult time meeting the broadcast standards that all local stations had to meet in the 1950s and 1960s, that of broadcasting in the public interest.

    Had Congress not intervened on behalf of crappy news, to promote anti-news, Fox could not exist in its current formats.

    I don’t see any threat of new government action. I see a come-to-James-Madison speech.

    Certainly Foxistas will see it differently.

  29. “Personally, I’m more worried about the weak minded being led by the Evil rather than being influenced by the Funny.”

    Excellent observation, to be sure. But I don’t believe the wise of us would disagree that “funny” and “evil” are mutually exclusive.

    Prophets notwithstanding, not one of them ever said the anti-Christ couldn’t be a comic in disguise.

  30. Patric,

    “not one of them ever said the anti-Christ couldn’t be a comic in disguise”

    Yeah, but I’d have to say the odds are pretty slim. Despite the following sketch, jokes are almost never fatal.

  31. Buddha –

    (jokes as a weapon by the British forces)

    “We soon had the jokes . . . in a form, which our troops couldn’t understand, but the Germans could.” (and thus, they would die laughing)

    Thank you for that. Maybe we should all brush up on our (full) Monte, just to better understand our world.

  32. It’s ironic. Rational people would never trust a government which would want to take a “news” network out.

    But that is the irony Rockefeller implies.

    He might not realize it (I doubt it) but he wishes a return to the polite and genteel one-sided leftist media that reigned during my entire lifetime UNTIL Fox News came along.

    During that polite and bland media time, blood ran in US streets from inner city riots and to Vietnam protests. From Watts, to Cleveland, to Detroit, cities burned. Crime rose.

    Kent state happened.

    All calmly and politely reported by Walter Cronkite and the bland but evil leftist media.

    As bland and evil as those who wish a return to it.

  33. These days cities can buy lawsuit insurance with a $10,000 deductible. If the cities are sued for beating up citizens or bull dozing their houses or permit fraud or malicious prosecution the most they have to pay is only $10,000. See
    Colorado Intergovernmental Risk Sharing Agency.

    http://www.cirsa.org/

    Foreign insurance companies insure all CIRSA claims over $400,000 per incident.

  34. It’s ironic. Rational people would never trust a government which would want to take a “news” network out.

    But that is the irony Rockefeller implies.

    Given Rockefeller’s 40 years of strong support of the First Amendment, I think one can not fairly conclude he’s calling for government intervention to shut Fox down.

    But I suppose people who listen to Fox too much don’t know who Rockefeller is, nor what he’s done, nor what the First Amendment is, nor how to tell fact from opinion, nor Fox from news.

  35. “But I suppose people who listen to Fox too much don’t know who Rockefeller is, nor what he’s done, nor what the First Amendment is, nor how to tell fact from opinion, nor Fox from news.”

    No, actually, some of us watch Fox in order to be reasonably conversant on both sides. It’s called being open-minded.

    Which – in the current climate – is about the only way “fair & balanced” can be achieved. My TV gets 349 channels. Leaving it up to any particular bloviator to give me an unbiased view strikes me as naive.

  36. What view does Fox offer that is not available, better and smarter, in a dozen other venues?

    Offhand, I think the only two things Fox offers that are generally not available are unvetted hoaxes gullibly accepted, and obnoxious falsehoods.

  37. Even the Romans learned the logical fallacy of not separating the message from the messenger.

    I watched five interviews of George Bush last week, as he made the rounds promoting his book. By far the most probing of questions of the former President was by Bill O’Reilly.

    That’s merely one example.

  38. Patric,

    There’s a distinction between gathering operative intelligence and being a wholesale consumer of propaganda. You fall into the former and there is nothing wrong with that, however, most FAUX viewers – including my father – fall into that second category.

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