Fox News host Mike Huckabee denied responsibility for shady email pitches sent to subscribers to his email list, telling Media Matters that he is “simply a conduit to send messages” and “can’t always vouch for the veracity” of the promoted products.
Huckabee is part of the conservative movement’s attempts to cash in on their followers by renting out their email lists to suspect sources. Fox News contributor Scott Brown was recently forced to disown a quack doctor after he sent a sponsored email touting the doctor’s dubious Alzheimer’s disease cures. Huckabee also sent emails promoting the doctor.
During a press conference held at the annual Conservative Political Action Conference (CPAC) outside Washington, Media Matters asked Huckabee about shady sponsored emails he’s sent with his name on it, such as the Alzheimer’s disease emails.
Huckabee shrugged off responsibility for the emails, saying “You are supposed to read the disclosure and the disclaimer that is a part of the messages. We are simply the conduit to send messages, these are sponsored and I can’t always vouch for the veracity.”
Huckabee’s sketchy sponsored emails extend beyond questionable medical cures. He recently sent a sponsored email touting the stock recommendation of a financial analyst who was fired from Fox News for ethical violations.
Huckabee sent an email on February 14 from “Fox News alumnus” Tobin Smith and “our paid sponsor, Champlain Media” about “important information” regarding the stock of Gray Fox Petroleum (GFOX).Huckabee’s message added that the sponsorship does “not necessarily reflect my views.” A Smith-penned message implored readers to “Buy shares of GFOX now while you can still get them at around $1.00 and you could… TURN $10,000 INTO $282,000 in the next 6 months!”
Tobin Smith is so disreputable that he was fired from Fox News — no small feat — for receiving compensation to promote a company stock, a violation of network policy. Smith engages in “sponsored research,” in which companies hire analysts like Smith to act as pitchmen. MarketWatch’s Chuck Jaffee noted that people like Smith take “money to help small stocks find a market using fluff-and-shine hyperbolic chatter” and target “novice investors who fail to do due diligence.”
Small print in the Huckabee email states that the email is part of a “paid advertising” campaign “by Tobin Smith” and “Cenad Ltd. has paid $155,040.88 for the dissemination of this info to enhance public awareness for GFOX.” It also adds that Smith “has received twenty thousand dollars for this and related marketing materials.” It is not clear how much Huckabee received for the email dissemination, though a MikeHuckabee.com card states that his list has 700,000 subscribers and charges $27.50 per thousand emails, with a “300,000 NAME MINIMUM ORDER $1,000.00 MINIMUM PAYMENT.”
While it is too early to know how GFOX will perform, Huckabee fans should be cautious about taking the advice. In addition to the investing dangers of sponsored research, a Media Matters review last year found that Smith regularly pitched lofty stock price targets which weren’t met. For instance, Smith recommended in January 2013 that readers buy the stock of Boldface Group “at less than 50-cents, and you could … Turn $10,000 into $50,000 in the next 6-12 months!” It’s now trading at one cent.
Fox News helps grow Huckabee’s email list, as the former Republican governor regularly promotes MikeHuckabee.com on his weekly program. When visitors reach the page, they’re immediately asked to sign-up for his list. In other words, Huckabee is growing his email list through Fox News, and then selling access to that list so hucksters like Tobin Smith can target his Fox fans.
As Salon’s Alex Pareene noted, “the conservative movement is an elaborate moneymaking venture. For professional movement conservatives, their audiences and followers are easy marks.”
Have you checked out Mythopedia, the new online tool that you can use to take down the conservative lies that plague our media today?
Try it out here: http://mythopedia.mediamatters.org/
And read more from TPM here.
For Religious Conservatives, the War Against Gay Rights is Already Lost.
One of the more enjoyable aspects of the recent and rapid advance of gay rights over the past few years — and the past few months in particular — has been watching the Baghdad Bob-like insistence on the far-right that the battle against the Homosexual Menace can still be won. For those of you who might not remember, “Baghdad Bob" was a nickname given to Saddam Hussein’s Information Minister Muhammad Saeed al-Sahhaf. He earned notoriety for being the worst propagandist anyone had ever seen, insisting that the defense of Iraq from the Dubya invasion was going great for Hussein — at one point telling reporters there were no Americans in Baghdad while our tanks rolled around in the background.
The right’s approach to the advance of gay rights and gay acceptance has been complete denial to a ludicrous degree. For people who talk about liberty and freedom a lot, they sure don’t seem to have a lot of use for them.
At the head of all this stupid, you’re generally going to find Michele Bachmann. Yesterday was no exception.Raw Story: Appearing on CNN’s The Situation Room, and speaking before Arizona governor Jan Brewer vetoed SB 1062 which would have effectively legalized discrimination based on religious grounds, Rep. Michele Bachmann (R-MN) explained to Wolf Blitzer that a veto would “eviscerate” freedom of speech.
Asked by host Blitzer what she thinks Governor Jan Brewer should do with the bill sitting on her desk, Bachmann replied that we need to have “tolerance” for people on both sides of the issue.
“I think what we need to do is respect both sides. We need to respect both opinions,” Bachmann replied. “And just like we need to observe tolerance for the gay and lesbian community, we need to have tolerance for the community of people who hold sincerely held religious belief.”Let’s get one thing straight right off the bat: the right to discriminate isnot religious freedom. It’s the opposite. When you give everyone the right to be as oppressive as their dark, hating hearts desire, the result is not more freedom, but more oppression. This is what Libertarians constantly fail to understand and this is why hate-filled intellectual lightweights like Bachmann love Libertarian arguments so much. They aren’t pro-freedom, they’re pro-oppression. It’s the same with the Obamacare contraception coverage debate — forcing your employees to abide by your religious beliefs is not religious freedom, it’s state-sanctioned religious oppression.
So when a Bible-beating dope like Bachmann tells you something is about freedom or liberty, it’s not. It’s about the opposite. If Michele Bachmann gave a damn about religious liberty, she wouldn’t be such a tireless fearmonger when it came to Muslims.
But the bigger and dumber argument is that we have to tolerate the intolerance of bigots like Bachmann and other SB1062 supporters — or we are ourselves intolerant. This is an incredibly stupid argument specifically designed to turn logic on its head. It would make the people denouncing white supremacists or counter-protesters at a Westboro Baptist funeral protest the real bigots. This is not an argument that can survive in the wild. “Tolerate my intolerance, hater!” is just as stupid and illogical as it sounds
Meanwhile, similar pro-discrimination bills are dropping like flies all around the country. None made it as far as Arizona’s, so they didn’t get the same amount of coverage. And, as I spent yesterday pointing out, no challenge to a state same-sex marriage ban has failed since the Supreme Court’s Windsor decision — a fact that handed the Michele Bachmanns of the world yet another loss yesterday.
The tide in the right’s fight against the Creeping Homosexual Menace isn’t turning, it’s turned. The war is all but over and the fierce denials from the homophobe chorus only serve to (barely) delay the inevitable. Those tanks behind the Baghdad Bob-like Michele Bachmann aren’t from the Religious Conservatives’ advance force — they’re flying rainbow flags.
And it’s time for the dead-enders to wave white ones.
[photo via Wikimedia Commons]
“Tolerate my intolerance! (Or YOU are the bigot)” may well be just as stupid and illogical as it sounds, but it is an argument that’s actually been surviving fairly well among conservatives.
I’ve heard variations of it used without irony many times, and to its adherents, its logic appears to be sound. Here’s the logic:
1. Bigotry is a conservative (and thus Christian) tenet, is natural, and is correct.
2. Intolerance for bigotry equals intolerance for conservatives (and Christians) who tell the truth.
3. Due to the above ostracism, white conservatives (especially Christian ones) are all marginalized.
4. This makes conservatives (especially racist, bigoted and “Christian” conservatives), the most oppressed group in America.
Or, shorter, you’re all assholes for telling me to stop being such an asshole.
Nixon obstructed justice with the Watergate burglars and resigned in disgrace - was that embarrassing?
Reagan sold weapons to Hezbollah terrorists and swore to America that he didn’t - was that embarrassing?
Bush the Smarter pardoned Reagan’s crooked cabinet to save his own guilty ass - was that embarrassing?
Keep this in mind when Republicans try so slander Hillary/Democrats in the coming months.
Jason Jones of The Daily Show discovers that American conservatives may be able to find their perfect home in Russia.
Something to share with Aunt Betty.
Just when you thought the religious right couldn’t get any crazier, with its personhood amendments and its attacks on contraception, here comes the academic left with an even crazier idea: after-birth abortion. No, I didnt make this up. Partial-birth abortion is a term invented by pro-lifers. But after-birth abortion is…
This is an older article—from 2012, but it only recently came to my attention, and I expect to find it referenced by some of the conservatives with whom I correspond. I thought it made some sense to capture some thoughts on it here, in order to be prepared for this obscure reference. Odds are good that most of us have already come across it, amongst the claims that “liberals want to kill babies” and other such nonsense that is emailed around and reported in right-wing media.
In this Slate article, William Saletan presents a 2011 academic paper, intended to examine the logic in a bioethics debate, as the position of the “academic left.” Either he is genuinely confused by academic papers that analyze logic, or he is deliberately linking such a paper to the pro-choice movement and the “academic left” in an attempt to demonize and dehumanize his political opponents. I seriously doubt it is the former.
It is beyond misleading to refer to this paper, the “pro-choice case for infanticide,” as an actual pro-choice position, as Saletan does. Giubilini and Minerva’s paper was intended as a logical exercise in policy definitions that would spark debate and counterargument, not an argument for a policy itself.
This point puts the lie to Saletan’s left/right framing, as the right-wing positions he notes are in danger of actually becoming law. While Saletan does pick up the counterargument, as the paper’s authors intended, he does so by pretending the authors were suggesting policy prescriptions.
Further, the framing of killing as a “choice” in the paper does not actually extend the logic of the pro-choice position. The call for bodily autonomy that the pro-choice movement supports is in fact subverted by the extreme logic of the paper.
As the authors themselves noted in an open letter regarding their paper:
When we decided to write this article about after-birth abortion we had no idea that our paper would raise such a heated debate.
“Why not? You should have known!” people keep on repeating everywhere on the web. The answer is very simple: the article was supposed to be read by other fellow bioethicists who were already familiar with this topic and our arguments. Indeed, as Professor Savulescu explains in his editorial, this debate has been going on for 40 years.
We started from the definition of person introduced by Michael Tooley in 1975 and we tried to draw the logical conclusions deriving from this premise. It was meant to be a pure exercise of logic: if X, then Y. We expected that other bioethicists would challenge either the premise or the logical pattern we followed, because this is what happens in academic debates. And we believed we were going to read interesting responses to the argument, as we already read a few on this topic in religious websites.
However, we never meant to suggest that after-birth abortion should become legal. This was not made clear enough in the paper. Laws are not just about rational ethical arguments, because there are many practical, emotional, social aspects that are relevant in policy making (such as respecting the plurality of ethical views, people’s emotional reactions etc). But we are not policy makers, we are philosophers, and we deal with concepts, not with legal policy.
Moreover, we did not suggest that after birth abortion should be permissible for months or years as the media erroneously reported.
If we wanted to suggest something about policy, we would have written, for example, a comment related the Groningen Protocol (in the Netherlands), which is a guideline that permits killing newborns under certain circumstances (e.g. when the newborn is affected by serious diseases). But we do not discuss guidelines in the paper. Rather we acknowledged the fact that such a protocol exists and this is a good reason to discuss the topic (and probably also for publishing papers on this topic).
However, the content of (the abstract of) the paper started to be picked up by newspapers, radio and on the web. What people understood was that we were in favour of killing people. This, of course, is not what we suggested. This is easier to see when our thesis is read in the context of the history of the debate.
We are really sorry that many people, who do not share the background of the intended audience for this article, felt offended, outraged, or even threatened. We apologise to them, but we could not control how the message was promulgated across the internet and then conveyed by the media. In fact, we personally do not agree with much of what the media suggest we think. Because of these misleading messages pumped by certain groups on the internet and picked up for a controversy-hungry media, we started to receive many emails from very angry people (most of whom claimed to be Pro-Life and very religious) who threatened to kill us or which were extremely abusive. Prof Savulescu said these responses were out of place, and he himself was attacked because, after all, “we deserve it.”
We do not think anyone should be abused for writing an academic paper on a controversial topic.
However, we also received many emails from people thanking us for raising this debate which is stimulating in an academic sense. These people understood there was no legal implication in the paper. We did not recommend or suggest anything in the paper about what people should do (or about what policies should allow).
We apologise for offence caused by our paper, and we hope this letter helps people to understand the essential distinction between academic language and the misleading media presentation, and between what could be discussed in an academic paper and what could be legally permissible.
Alberto Giubilini and Francesca Minerva
Oh no, not racist at all.
State officials, hospitals report high number of those infected are “young invincibles.”
Keep an eye out for messages saying this is a all plot to convince young people they need health insurance.
We’re taking a look at the actual party positions found in the most recent Republican Party platform (pdf), in order to better understand just what “moderate” Republicans actually support.
This is a series of six parts, as follows:
We are on the last section in this post, and there is a lot to cover in Part 6. After all, there are a lot of things that make us truly exceptional. Even so, the focus here is on what makes us better than everyone else in the world, and how to keep it that way.
The Republican Party Platform