Fox News' Trace Gallagher cited a poll showing 54 percent of Americans don't like Obamacare as a reason to back the Republican plan to shut down the federal government if the law is not defunded. Gallagher's analysis is at odds with multiple polls cited earlier the same day by his Fox colleague Gregg Jarrett that showed a majority of Americans do not support Republican defunding efforts.
On September 20, House Republicans passed a continuing resolution that would defund the Affordable Care Act (ACA) but continue to fund the government. Senate Republicans have criticized the plan, with Richard Burr of North Carolina describing it as "the dumbest idea I've ever heard of."
On the September 20 edition of Studio B with Shepard Smith, guest host Trace Gallagher said during an interview with The Hill's managing editor, Bob Cusack, "[T]hey're not just a bunch of nutty House members up there voting for this thing. I mean look, 54 percent, the latest polls show 54 percent of Americans are against Obamacare, so the House is at least fighting for the majority of Americans."
But Gallagher ignored polls showing that a majority of Americans oppose the Republican effort to defund Obamacare -- a fact made clear during an earlier Fox News segment. During that segment, Fox News host Gregg Jarrett advised Monica Crowley that he had "looked at three different polls today. They all say the same thing. That is, as unpopular -- and it is -- as Obamacare is, they don't want the government shut down because of a defunding effort."
An August poll by the Kaiser Family Foundation found that 57 percent of Americans disapprove of cutting off funding "as a way to stop the law from being implemented, a finding that has been consistent in Kaiser Health Tracking Polls since January 2011."
[E]ven this push poll that dramatically oversamples Republicans (more on that in a minute) finds respondents are more likely to say that the Affordable Care Act should be kept than scrapped -- and that a plurality would blame Republicans if the government were to shut down.
Only 44.5 percent "oppose the health care law and think it should be repealed," while 52 percent either support the law as is or have some concerns, but say they think implementation should move forward. And asked whom they would blame if "there was an impasse between president Obama and Congress on whether to continue to fund the health care law, and that impasse resulted in a partial government shutdown," the top response (28 percent) was Republicans in Congress. The next option, Obama, got 21 percent of respondents.
Gallagher's dishonest reading of the American public's attitude toward defunding the Affordable Care Act is the latest example of Fox's dishonest characterization of the House vote to defund the law, which FoxNews.com recently described as a vote "to keep government open."
Following a months-long campaign from Fox News to demonize food stamp recipients, the U.S. House of Representatives voted to cut $39 billion from the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP). The cuts would result in nearly 4 million Americans -- mostly elderly, children, and the disabled -- losing or seeing a reduction in their benefits.
While Fox News has denigrated SNAP recipients for years, its campaign came to a head in August when the network aired a misleading special titled, "The Great Food Stamp Binge." Their shoddy report focused on a clownish man named Jason Greenslate, "a blissfully jobless California surfer" who has taken advantage of SNAP benefits.
The special labeled Greenslate "the new face of food stamps," devoting two full segments to the unlikable freeloader while following him along in his day to day activities. But labeling Greenslate a representative of SNAP recipients flies in the face of readily available data, which shows that the fraud and waste rate in the SNAP program is less than 1 percent and that 41 percent of food stamp recipients live "in a household with earnings."
In early September, Politico reported that Fox distributed copies of the special to members of the House in anticipation of the upcoming vote:
[O]ver the August recess, Fox News aired a sympathetic report entitled "The Great Food Stamp Binge" -- videos of which are now being distributed by Fox staff to House members.
POLITICO inquiries to Fox News regarding the videos have gone unanswered since Saturday. But both Republican and Democratic offices confirmed that copies have been dropped off unsolicited in recent days, and the broadcast has already provided colorful fodder in promoting the Cantor package.
In remarks on the House floor, Congressman David Price (D-NC) said that "Fox News is trying to help the Republicans pushing this mean-spirited legislation by focusing on a California surfer who abuses the SNAP system." A September 16 article from Roll Call also detailed Greenslate's role in a memo distributed by House Republican leadership that outlined SNAP talking points:
The surfer, unnamed in a memo Cantor circulated to GOP lawmakers earlier this month, is Jason Greenslate, 29. A Fox News report in August highlighted Greenslate, an unemployed musician perpetually in a cap and sunglasses, buying lobster rolls with $200-a-month benefits and laughing at the idea of a 9-to-5 job.
Conservative bloggers quickly cited Greenslate as a prime example of a flawed government program. But Democrats will counter that Greenslate is atypical of SNAP recipients, and they are expected to highlight more sympathetic beneficiaries.
Fox's effort may well have influenced the House Republicans' vote to cut $40 billion from the SNAP program. As USA Today reported:The bill would cause 3 million people to lose benefits while another 850,000 would see their benefits cut, according to the non-partisan Congressional Budget Office.
President Obama has promised to veto the bill if it passes the U.S. Senate.
Economist Mark Zandi debunked the myth that the Affordable Care Act (ACA) has been responsible for a shift away from full-time jobs to part-time work. Zandi's analysis flies in the face of the popular right-wing talking point that the ACA has been responsible for a rise in part-time employment at the expense of full-time jobs.
Fox has consistently ignored data to make the false claim that the ACA has caused a shift from full-time work toward part-time work, often using dishonest anecdotes and analysis from the likes of Karl Rove to make its point.
On CNBC's Squawk Box, Zandi, the chief economist at Moody's Analytics, pushed back on the panel's speculation that the ACA has been responsible for a rise in part-time employment. When asked if Rove was correct in claiming that ACA has led to a rise in part-time employment, Zandi responded with a "no." Zandi later said of the part-time work claim: "I don't see it in the data."
As more data come in, the law's impact can't be seen in hiring statistics, says Mark Zandi, chief economist of Moody's Analytics.
"I was expecting to see it. I was looking for it, and it's not there,'' says Zandi, whose firm manages ADP's surveys of overall private-sector job creation. If the Affordable Care Act "were causing a drop, you would see meaningful slowing.
Zandi is joined by other economists in his analysis. Economists Jared Bernstein and Paul Van de Water of the Center on Budget and Policy Priorities noted that the share of involuntary part-time workers "is down about one percentage point off of its peak." Helene Jorgensen and Dean Baker of the Center for Economic and Policy Research found that the number of workers working below the 30 hour cutoff in the range of 26-29 hours per week is actually lower in 2013 than in 2012, and concluded: "This suggests that employers do not appear to be changing hours in large numbers in response to the sanctions in the ACA."
The evidence is overwhelming that the Affordable Care Act has had little to no impact on full-time versus part-time job growth, and as Fox News personalities continue to push the myth, they find themselves in direct contradiction with analysis put forth by actual economists.
Rush Limbaugh's ignorance over the civil rights movement was on full display as he claimed that the movement was "about one thing - and that was integration."
On his radio program, Limbaugh attempted to draw distinctions between the 1963 March on Washington and the event's 50th anniversary. Limbaugh claimed he intended to ignore the anniversary celebrations but said "if you want to sum up what's really wrong with all this, Martin Luther King Jr. and the civil rights coalition of his era was about one thing - and that was integration":
Limbaugh's analysis of the civil rights movement shows a shocking disinterest in the breadth of what the activists of that era were fighting for.
The title of the 1963 march was the March on Washington for Jobs and Freedom. The final manual for the march included a list of demands which included topics not limited to integration. Topics such as an increase in the minimum wage, a broadened Fair Labor Standards Act, and a federal Fair Employment Practices Act to bar discrimination by employers, both public and private, were listed among the demands of the marchers:
As noted civil rights activist Rep. John Lewis (D-GA) took the stage at the 50 year anniversary of the March on Washington, Rush Limbaugh claimed that "the real victims of racism" aren't on stage today.
On his radio show, Limbaugh suggested that black conservatives had faced more racism than speakers at the anniversary such as President Obama. Limbaugh concluded that "real victims of racism are not on this stage." Limbaugh's comments came approximately five minutes before Lewis began to address the march:
Rep. Lewis was the youngest keynote speaker at the original March on Washington in 1963. As the chairman of the Student Nonviolent Coordinating Committee in 1965 Lewis helped lead the March from Selma, Alabama to Montgomery, Alabama. In an incident known as Bloody Sunday, the activists were met by armed officers as they left the town of Selma and attacked:
Government archives detail the demonstration in which Lewis suffered a fractured skull:
In 1965, at the height of the modern civil rights movement, activists organized a march for voting rights, from Selma, Alabama, to Montgomery, the state capital. On March 7, some 600 people assembled at a downtown church, knelt briefly in prayer, and began walking silently, two-by-two through the city streets.
One minute and five seconds after a two-minute warning was announced, the troops advanced, wielding clubs, bullwhips, and tear gas. John Lewis, who suffered a skull fracture, was one of fifty-eight people treated for injuries at the local hospital. The day is remembered in history as "Bloody Sunday."
After repeatedly hyping the IRS' targeting of political groups, Fox News is ignoring new evidence undermining its scandal mongering that only conservative organizations were targeted.
On August 20, Rep. Sander Levin (D-MI), the Ranking Member of the House Ways and Means Committee, released information providing more evidence that the IRS targeted progressive groups in addition to conservative ones. As Salon's Alex Seitz-Wald reported:
Democrats say the new information should put to rest any lingering embers of the IRS scandal. "This new information should put a nail in the coffin of the Republican claims that the IRS's actions were politically motivated or were targeted at only one side of the political spectrum," said Elijah Cummings, the Maryland Democrat who is the ranking member on the House Oversight Committee.
The term "Emerge" had been redacted from an earlier version of a document released by the IRS, but was present on a newer version made available today. The new documents also showed that successors to ACORN, the liberal grass-roots organizing group that became a bugaboo of conservatives and that Congress defunded (again and again). The instructions on "ACORN successors" came on a BOLO (be on the lookout) list that included healthcare organizations, medical marijuana groups, newspapers, open source technology groups and other non-political organizations.
Fox News has promoted selective clips of interview transcripts leaked by House Republicans that fit a predetermined narrative, ignored previous revelations that progressives had been targeted, and hyped old news as a "bombshell" and explosive evidence that proved the IRS's behavior went straight to the White House. Time and again the IRS "scandal" has proven to be nothing more than a scam.
There is now even more proof that progressive groups were subjected to the same type of scrutiny as conservative groups.
Carolyn Ryan, political editor for The New York Times made the case for assigning a reporter to cover Hillary Clinton full-time more than three years before the next presidential election by claiming "[w]ith the Clintons ... there is a certain opacity and stagecraft." Ryan's caricature of the Clintons alongside the Times' recent reporting raises significant questions about how they will be covered by the paper.
An August 17 New York Times article from public editor Margaret Sullivan described the "potential benefits and the possible pitfalls" of assigning a reporter to a full-time beat of Hillary Clinton -- someone who "holds no political office and has not said she's running for one" -- more than three years removed from the next presidential election.
From Sullivan's conversation with Times' political editor Carolyn Ryan:
Carolyn Ryan, The Times's political editor, made the case to me for the assignment. Mrs. Clinton, she said, "is the closest thing we have to an incumbent, when we look at 2016." And getting in early allows The Times to develop sources and get behind the well-honed facade.
"With the Clintons," she said, "there is a certain opacity and stagecraft and silly coverage elsewhere. Amy can penetrate a lot of that." She praised Ms. Chozick as a relentless reporter who is "very savvy about power and has a great eye for story."
Ryan's description of "a certain opacity and stagecraft" surrounding the Clintons, as well as the decision to assign a full-time reporter to Hillary Clinton, raises questions about the publication's coverage of the family. Indeed, the same article addresses this concern when Brendan Nyhan, assistant professor of government at Dartmouth College, said, "a dedicated beat creates the incentive to make news."
Evidence of Nyhan's concerns can be seen in a flawed report the Times published on August 13 which speculated that The Clinton Foundation was experiencing financial and management issues, questioned the capabilities of senior Foundation employees, and asserted that the Foundation "ran multimillion-dollar deficits for several years." This prompted a letter from former President Bill Clinton where he corrected the record by pointing out several key flaws in the Times' story. Furthermore, Mr. Clinton released an executive summary of a 2011 review of the Foundation by the law firm Simpson Thacher & Bartlett which refutes the Times' assertion of mismanagement. The review states that "[i]nterviewees uniformly praised the effectiveness of the Foundation and its affiliates, noting the enormous amount they have accomplished over a ten-year period."
Times readers are already experiencing the "pitfalls" of the paper's approach to this subject without the "benefits", as the drive to make news outstrips verifiable facts and misinforms the public in the process.
Washington Times columnist Charles Hurt claimed that "[l]iterally, revolutionary wars have been fought over less" than what right-wing media are calling an Obamacare "exemption" for members of Congress and assured his readers that they "should be sharpening the tines of [their] pitchforks."
In his August 13 op-ed titled "Obamacare exemption - none dare call it treason," published in The Washington Times and promoted on FoxNation.com, Hurt argued that were it not for citizen apathy, America "would already be in all-out political revolt":
Had we innocent, taxpaying citizens not long ago lost our capacity to be outraged by the disgraceful manner in which this place operates, we would already be in all-out political revolt. Against President Obama. Against Democrats in Congress. And, especially, Republicans.
Literally, revolutionary wars have been fought over less.
Last week, while many Americans spent hard-saved money on long-overdue vacations, the snakes and weasels inside the federal bureaucracy schemed until they hatched an evil plan. It would feather their own nests with more of your money, protect themselves from the ravages of the laws they foist upon us, desecrate our Constitution and then smear us with insult so putrid it would make a roadside vulture gag.
All the legal, constitutional and parliamentary maneuvering is enough to confuse Albert Einstein, but here is the bottom line: Congress and staff managed to get themselves exempted from the single, most-punishing aspect of Obamacare.
Yes, you should be sharpening the tines of your pitchforks.
Fox News host Eric Bolling and Daily Caller senior editor Jamie Weinstein continued Fox's attempt to breathe life back into its manufactured Benghazi scandals by suggesting that issues debunked long ago were still open questions.
Fox News personalities, Eric Bolling and Marc Siegel made false claims about the Individual Payment Advisory Board (IPAB) included in the Affordable Care Act in an attempt to revive the "death panel" lie. This claim has been repeatedly debunked and has no basis in the law itself.
Bolling's claim that "the whole point of [IPAB] is to decide what medical treatment I'm going to be able to get" and Siegel's conclusion that IPAB is "a death panel - it's a rationing board," has been a proven falsehood dating back to 2011.
In June 2011, Georgia Representative Phil Gingrey claimed that the IPAB board could "decide whether you get care, such as continuing on dialysis or cancer chemotherapy." Gingrey concluded, "it's rationing."
PolitiFact addressed this claim in August of that year:
Gingrey is "not even close to correct," said Michael Tanner, a scholar with the libertarian Cato Institute. He opposes the IPAB.
"It [IPAB] has nothing to do with individual care at all. It's not making decisions on individuals," Tanner said.
Experts agree that the IPAB has no say in whether a specific person receives dialysis, chemotherapy or any other such treatment. The board does not intercede in individual patient cases. It makes broad policy decisions that affect Medicare's overall cost.
Furthermore, the IPAB is barred from making policy recommendations that would block patients from receiving needed care, experts told PolitiFact Georgia.
"The legislation explicitly forbids the board from rationing care," said Stuart Guterman, a health policy expert with the Commonwealth Fund, a nonpartisan group which works to improve health care access, quality and efficiency. Guterman said he thinks the IPAB can help with health care savings.
Finally, the law itself makes it clear that IPAB is forbidden from making "any recommendation to ration health care ... or otherwise restrict benefits."