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Fox News Has a “Brain Room”? Who Knew!?

Reported by Alex - January 29, 2010 -

Yesterday (1/28) on America’s Newsroom, Martha McCallum told viewers that according to the Fox News “brain room", President Obama was wrong when he said that the recent SCOTUS ruling on corporate donations to candidates would “open the floodgates” for foreign-controlled companies to spend in US elections. Well, once again Fox News gets it wrong and our intelligent and well-educated 44th President gets it right. Details and a pic of the Fox News Brain Room (they really make it waaayyyyy too easy) after the jump.

President Obama said this during his State of the Union Address on Wednesday night:

With all due deference to separation of powers, last week the Supreme Court reversed a century of law that I believe will open the floodgates for special interests –- including foreign corporations –- to spend without limit in our elections.

The SCOTUS decision the President was referring to is the outcome of Citizens United v. Federal Election Commission in which the Supreme Court voted 5-4 – that’s the five conservative judges against the four liberal ones – to overturn longstanding restrictions on corporate campaign donations. The decision rested on a freedom of speech issue and laws which have defined corporations as “persons” under certain circumstances (when it suits them, natch) since the 19th century.

Co-hosting America’s Newsroom yesterday, Martha McCallum took issue with President Obama’s statement, saying,

Our Fox News brain room has been digging into the specifics of the president's statement. And they dug out the Supreme Court decision itself, and the president's reference to foreign corporations' participation in this change is what is wrong here. Now, the court specifically wrote that it was not overturning restrictions on foreign dollars. Those will stay in place. It is possible that that is what caused that reaction from Justice Samuel Alito.
(Read about “that reaction” – a notable breach of etiquette - here)

So Fox Noise has a “brain room,” eh? Who knew? That must be where these gems came from:

fox-brain-room-final.jpg * Airing old footage of a November 2008 Sarah Palin rally and claiming the large crowd shown had turned up for one of her 2009 book signings;
* Similarly, showing a huge crowd at Michele Bachman’s sparsely- attended Washington tea party last November which turned out to be a shot of the 9/12 tea party in DC.
* Maybe they’re the ones who decide when to call an “R” a “D” in the chyrons.
* Speaking of chyrons, this one was a beaut. And then there was this, this, and this. And all these.
* Then there is the genius who decided that Sarah Palin would make a good pundit and occasional host. Hmmmm, maybe all that exposure isn't such a bad idea, if you get my drift.

Anyway, the “brain room” sure got it wrong this time (again). Speaking for the four dissenting Justices, Justice Stevens wrote,

If taken seriously, our colleagues' assumption that the identity of a speaker has no relevance to the Government's ability to regulate political speech would lead to some remarkable conclusions. Such an assumption would have accorded the propaganda broadcasts to our troops by "Tokyo Rose" during World War II the same protection as speech by Allied commanders. More pertinently, it would appear to afford the same protection to multinational corporations controlled by foreigners as to individual Americans: To do otherwise, after all, could " 'enhance the relative voice' " of some ( i.e., humans) over others ( i.e. , nonhumans)...Under the majority's view, I suppose it may be a First Amendment problem that corporations are not permitted to vote, given that voting is, among other things, a form of speech.
Heavens – who do those four Supreme Court Justices think they are!? Not only do they dissent from the majority (conservative) opinion, they contradict the opinion wafting from the Fox Brain Room!

The fact is that individual foreign nationals are still prohibited from making donations to US political campaigns, as are wholly foreign-owned-and-based companies. But presuming that the four dissenting Justices know just a teensy bit more about law than the Fox “brain room” we can safely assume that they have good reason to believe that a back door may have been opened wide for campaign funding by foreign-controlled U.S companies.

Perhaps the five conservative Justices had some of the Saudi-controlled oil companies in mind when they ruled against long-standing precedent to define corporations as persons in relation to electoral law – companies like Houston’s Saudi Refining Company, or the US-based subsidiaries of the Saudi state-owned Saudi Aramco; no doubt a few shekels from that direction would go down well with the Republican base and their media mouthpiece. But wait! It also means that the Venezuelan oil company Citgo, controlled by Hugo Chavez, can also have a piece of the political action! That’s not going to go down well with the teabaggers, is it? I can’t wait to hear what Sarah Palin has to say about that, you betcha. And how many Fox heads are going to explode when the SEIU makes a big, fat donation to President Obama’s re-election campaign? Brains – or something – will be splattered everywhere.

Furthermore, you’d think that given the danger this new arrangement might potentially pose to national security – its amazing what some politicians might turn a blind eye to for a few dollars worth of free advertising from, say, a Singapore-owned company who controls some of our ports - that the Fox News Chicken Littles aren’t screaming their heads off. But in the Fox (cough) Brain (cough) Room, scoring emotive political points will trump reason and logic every time.

H/T Media Matters