Laura Ingraham Backs Up Colin Powell’s Warning to GOP on Voter ID…

On Tuesday, the hosts of Fox & Friends tackled statements by Gen. Colin Powell who attacked state-level voter identification laws on Sunday saying that they were being perceived as discriminatory and would backfire on the politicians who support them. Conservative radio host Laura Ingraham agreed with Powell’s warning that Democrats would use voter identification laws to scare their base voters into turning out for the midterm elections because Republicans seemingly cannot make a positive case for voter ID.

“These kinds of procedures that are being put into place, to slow the process down and make it likely that fewer Hispanics and African Americans might vote, are going to backfire, because these people are going to come out and do what they have to do in order to vote, and I encourage that,” Powell said on CBS’ Face the Nation on Sunday.

RELATED: Colin Powell Warns GOP: Voter ID Laws Will ‘Backfire’

When asked why it was unreasonable for people to be required to have an identification card to vote, Ingraham said it was not but it suited a political objective for some to oppose voter ID.

“Because desperate people are to portray America as a horribly racist and discriminatory place where we can patronize — apparently we can patronize an entire class of people for political gain,” Ingraham said.

Gretchen Carlson pressed Ingraham to respond to Powell’s assertion that voter ID laws would backfire on their supporters. “Well, if Republicans can’t make the argument, yeah,” Ingraham replied.

She said the GOP should make the argument for a “pure vote,” in which voter ID goes to ensure everyone – black, white, or Hispanic – has their vote counted once and is not cancelled out by a fraudulent vote. However, she said she is not hearing Republicans make that case.

Ingraham expressed her disappointment that Powell did not use his considerable stature to deflate some of the criticisms of voter identification from Democrats which she said are invalid.

Watch the clip below via Fox News Channel:

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Laura Ingraham Knows What Makes Duck Dynasty So Successful

Filling in for Bill O’Reilly Friday night, Laura Ingraham opened The O’Reilly Factor with a monologue explaining why she thinks A&E’s Duck Dynasty scored the highest ever ratings for a reality TV show with its premiere this week.

“What’s the allure of watching a bunch of long-haired rednecks sitting around teasing each other talking about their business, relationships and family lives?” Ingraham asked. Besides being “genuinely funny,” Ingraham attributed the show’s success to its “focus on family, country and faith.” She pointed out that every episode “ends with a prayer.”

“How often today do we see families in prayer on entertainment television?” Ingraham asked. “As families have disintegrated in America, as our culture has become hyper-sexualized, as kids are losing their innocence at younger and younger ages, I think it’s undoubtedly a welcome relief to many TV viewers to just watch a program that doesn’t offend their core values.”

Duck Dynasty depicts a colorful, intact, dare I say traditional family and they’re leading a happy and really successful life,” she continued. “What a concept!”

With The History Channel’s The Bible mini-series also setting ratings records, there is certainly a massive TV audience in this country for religious content. But is that really why people are tuning into Duck Dynasty?

Watch video below, via Fox News:

[photo via screengrab]

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ABC’s Stephanopoulos Hits Back at Rand Paul for Suggesting He Colluded with Obama

Speaking with Laura Ingraham this afternoon, George Stephanopoulos addressed Republican Sen. Rand Paul‘s suggestion that the ABC host purposely aided the Obama White House in driving the “war on women” narrative of 2012.

In an interview with Geraldo Rivera last week, Sen. Paul asserted that Stephanopoulos’ “obscure” question about contraception during a GOP debate might hint that the newsman colluded with the Obama campaign to generate the resultant “war on women” narrative.

Stephanopoulos told Ingraham today that such accusations are factually untrue.

“[Sen. Paul] laid out all of these charges, which are completely false,” the This Week host said. “And the idea that this question came out of thin air is just wrong. It’s just factually incorrect. The reason it came up was because just the week before, Rick Santorum actually said in an interview with Jake Tapper […] that he did believe that states had a right to ban [contraception].”

He added: “It was an open question and I was just trying to see if Mitt Romney agreed or not.”

Listen below, via The Laura Ingraham Show:

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Laura Ingraham: Anti-’Stop-and-Frisk’ Judge Doesn’t Live in High-Crime Area

On Tuesday, Laura Ingraham, a conservative radio host and Fox News contributor, lambasted Judge Shira A. Scheindlin for her ruling last week that New York City’s controversial “Stop-and-Frisk” policy must be halted. Ingraham and the hosts of Fox & Friends said that this judge’s “utopian” worldview would change if she lived in a high-crime area of New York City.

Ingraham began by warning that the ruling ensures that police are less thorough in their policing and will be “demonized” in the community. She added that the ruling is yet another reason why Republican presidential candidates need to talk about how important courts are, as Scheindlin was a justice appointed by former President Bill Clinton.

Gretchen Carlson noted that the people who live in the high-crime areas where police are primarily employing “Stop-and-Frisk” are supportive of the policy.

“The judge should move into Bed-Stuy or up in some of the difficult areas of Staten Island where – this has saved lives, this policy,” Ingraham said.

RELATED: CNN Panel Fights over Stop and Frisk: Violence Happening in ‘Predominantly Black Areas’

Clayton Morris observed that the judge lives in an area with dramatically lower crimes statistics than the city average. “That’s convenient,” Ingraham noted.

This is typical evolving standards of the Constitution jurisprudence that conservatives have been talking about for decades,” Ingraham added. “Where a judge substitutes her on view of the world, her own utopian view of how the world should be for the way the real life is — for the people who are trying to get by, not get killed, not get robbed, not get raped on the streets of New York.”

James Madison is rolling in his grave right now,” Ingraham added after claiming that there was nothing that violated the 4th Amendment to the Constitution in the policy of “Stop-and-Frisk.”

Watch the clip below via Fox News Channel:

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30 Rocking: Alec Baldwin Hire Is The Right Direction For MSNBC

Off the heels of a rare Fox News primetime shakeup this week came reports that MSNBC is set to make a big splash hire, nabbing Alec Baldwin as a weekly primetime host on Fridays at 10pm. The media reaction has been mixed, and my colleague Tommy Christopher penned a bold piece criticizing the hire, suggesting it is a move that will lead MSNBC in the wrong direction, one moving away from its brand of diversity and potentially alienating viewers.

If you read Christopher’s column (which you should), one of the main reasons he sees Baldwin as a bad fit rests on a twitter rant Baldwin went on against a British reporter, calling him a “queen” and suggesting he’d stick his foot up the reporters ass but ultimately wouldn’t because the reporter would “dig it too much.” The issue was soon squashed as GLAAD accepted a lengthy apology by Baldwin.

Although I agree with Tommy taking offense to Baldwin’s insensitive and inflammatory comments, I respectfully disagree that Baldwin’s offensive comments toward homosexuals, and suspect apology afterward, will ultimately drive away MSNBC’s audience, one that has been fleeing the network since the 2012 election ended, resulting in apocalyptic ratings that are simply unsustainable.

If horribly offensive comments made by cable news hosts is the bar for having or not having a robust audience, then how do some of Baldwin’s soon to be colleagues still have loyal followings? I might agree with him politically, but was Chris Matthews completely tone deaf comment thanking the political Gods for Hurricane Sandy not a slap in the face to the millions of tri-state area residents who had just lost their homes and livelihoods, many whom watch him nightly?

Was former primetime host Ed Schultz’s off the rails comment on radio, calling Laura Ingraham a “right-wing slut,” not an attack on a huge ratings demographic, women across America?

Lawrence O’Donnell seems to be doing just fine in the ratings, and he offended an entire religion after calling Mormonism an “invented religion”?

Commentators like Tommy and I can have our opinions, but the ultimate decision on which voices will help lead MSNBC in the right direction lies with network President Phil Griffin, and parent company Comcast. They have to choose the personnel with the best potential to rate and represent their brand effectively.

The argument in support of Baldwin’s hire goes beyond the aforementioned double standard—it is simply a smart TV move. If the decisions made by MSNBC since the 2012 election have taught us anything, it is:

A. Wonking out at 8 pm primetime is not a smart programming decision (have you seen Chris Hayes’s ratings lately?)

B. Being the “place for politics” is great during the buildup to and in monumental election years, but your ratings will take a nosedive if you don’t offer a variety of programming when political interest wanes.

C. If you’re all opinion all the time, you might as well close up shop during big breaking news stories like the Boston Marathon bombing and the George Zimmerman murder case.

As I’ve argued before, MSNBC President Phil Griffin made a bold, but boneheaded move in yanking Ed Schultz out of primetime to drop him into his current weekend wasteland, so he should be applauded for attempting the course correction that Baldwin’s hire signifies. Friday night at 10 pm isn’t exactly the most prized time slot, but Baldwin will surely move to a more prominent slot if the results are there. In Baldwin, MSNBC if getting an already made star with a huge following in entertainment circles, that obviously has the potential to cross over to political circles as well.

Sure, adding Baldwin does not visually expand MSNBC’s diversity, but it is not simply having African-American hosts in prominent roles that has made MSNBC a ratings powerhouse among African-Americans: it’s the message and support for issues African-Americans care about that gravitate them toward MSNBC. There is no reason to think Baldwin, a staunch liberal, wouldn’t cover stories that groups other than white males like himself would want to watch. More importantly, there is reason to think he’d present stories in a different and fun way, utilizing his acting and performance skills to help drive home his political points while driving up the ratings.

And in the end, whether or not you like Alec Baldwin’s acting, attitude, or politics, suggesting his show on on MSNBC will lead it in the wrong direction is forgetting an important fact.

MSNBC is already moving in the wrong direction, as since the 2012 election, ratings have either stalled, plateaued, or fallen off a cliff. It’s Griffin’s job to fix all three. He could sit back and relax, standing idly by until the next election cycle, accepting mediocre to declining ratings until viewers come back as election excitement mounts, or he could be proactive, realizing his network needs to be building its momentum in all years, those politically heavy and not.

Alec Baldwin is a great start.

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Image via NBC/In-House

Why Does Geraldo Rivera Really Really Want You To Know Black School Bus ‘Thugs’ Were Black?

On Thursday night’s The O’Reilly Factor, substitute host Laura Ingraham and Geraldo Rivera chewed over some “new” details in the July 9 assault on a 13 year-old aboard a Florida school bus, and although they never really explained what the “new details” were, Geraldo explained that the three assailants’ blackness was a new detail to him, and a very important one. He posited a “double standard” between this story and the killing of Trayvon Martin, and he and Ingraham concluded that “we (the media) should have reported who they (the suspects) were,” and “faster.”

Ingraham began the segment by reporting the following “details”:

  • The attackers are black and the victim white.
  • Police say the attackers were angry at the boy for ratting them out after they tried to sell him pot in the school bathroom.
  • The three boys are charged with aggravated battery.
  • The bus driver John Moody is now under fire for not physically intervening after yelling at the boys to stop and calling dispatch for help.
  • The bus driver retired shortly after the attack.

Geraldo added that we are apparently “taking the attacker’s word that it wasn’t racially motivated,” and that he “had no idea that the three attackers were black and the victim, the 13-year-old was white until I finally did see the video.”

He says he read about the story on CNN.com, which embedded the video just above its write-up of the video, as websites will do. Ingraham also lamented the speed with which this story was covered, and Geraldo invoked some sort of “wretched double standard,” alleging that if the races had been reversed, “you would have had a massive movement, Jesse Jackson and Al Sharpton, all the others (all the other what? He doesn’t say), would have been the crime of the century.” (Watch the segment here, if you want to.)

There are many, many problems with this, the very least of which is that Geraldo and Ingraham aren’t reporting any new details, and that both of them would have known this if they had watched that embedded CNN video from three days ago, or this Fox 13 report from July 12:


Let’s examine the “wretched double standard” Geraldo speaks of, because although the school bus beating was reported on immediately, it didn’t become a national story until the surveillance video was released. In the case of Trayvon Martin, the media was “all over it,” as Geraldo says, three weeks after the unarmed 17 year-old was killed, and didn’t become a huge national story until…the 911 tapes were released, almost a month after the killing. Surely Geraldo remembers that he pronounced Trayvon a victim of his own hoodie just three days shy of the one-month mark. Maybe he just thinks of racial victim-blaming as “Wednesday.”

Geraldo also doesn’t seem to remember that Al Sharpton and “all the others” didn’t “move to Florida” because a black teenager was killed, but because his killer was not arrested. If it will make Geraldo feel better, we can see if the Rev will consider demanding an arrest in this case, as well.

But what’s really sickening about this utterly false, ill-informed narrative is that Geraldo never explains why it’s so important to him that we know these assailants were black, and the victim was white (even though we do already know that, and Geraldo didn’t know it because he apparently has top-of-webpage blindness). There are very clearly articulable reasons why the Trayvon Martin case centers around race, but this one appears to have none, other than as a tit for Trayvon’s tat. The motive for the attack is crystal-clear, and has been from the beginning.

In fixating on a racial double-standard that is only a result of his own inept news consumption, though, Geraldo completely ignores the aspect of this story that should be front and center. From Fox 13:

It was apparent retribution after the 13-year-old told Lealman Intermediate School officials that two of the three assailants were selling pot in the school restroom.

Gulfport police say the boys allegedly selling marijuana in the bathroom were confronted as they came out of the bathroom. That suggests not a lot of time passed between getting the information and acting on the information.

Then the suspects were allowed to get on the same bus with the victim.

Why did the school not protect this child’s identity, or failing that, why did they allow these three aboard that bus? What kid, white or black, is ever going to trust their school to protect them if they try to do the right thing, and report criminal activity? That kid wasn’t put in danger because he was white, he was put in danger because his school failed him. Geraldo’s obsession with spreading the gospel of black thugs completely eclipsed his judgment as a newsman, and as a human being.

Geraldo: Media Has ‘Wretched Double Standard,’ Covers Trayvon But Not Black-On-White Assault

Geraldo Rivera joined Laura Ingraham on The O’Reilly Factor to tackle a recently discovered video of three black teenagers beating up a white teen on a bus. Rivera and Ingraham agreed the fact this incident occurred weeks ago and the media didn’t pick it up at the time was a damning contrast with how much the press played up the Trayvon Martin case. Rivera acknowledged the media has a “wretched double standard” when it comes to race and crime in the United States.

Rivera told Ingraham he read a lot on the bus incident but had no idea the assailants were black until he watched the video. He said if it were the other way around, “it would be the crime of the century” and Al Sharpton would be screaming about it.

Rivera owned up to the media’s extraordinary bias in how it ignored a story about black-on-white violence, as well as the fact that unlike with George Zimmerman, there is no hint of a question this time whether the violence was racially motivated. Rivera concluded, “We should have reported who they were, and we did not. I think we failed.”

Watch the video below, via Fox News:

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Follow Josh Feldman on Twitter: @feldmaniac