Fox News covered this week's tenth anniversary of the U.S. invasion of Iraq the least of the three major cable networks. MSNBC provided more coverage than Fox and CNN combined.
From March 18 through March 20, MSNBC devoted more than four and a half hours of coverage to the Iraq anniversary. CNN spent 2 hours and five minutes on the story, while Fox News covered it for only an hour and twenty one minutes.
This study is a tally of the raw volume of Iraq anniversary coverage and did not take into account the quality of the content.
For example, Fox News segments included in the study include one in which an anchor questioned criticism of the media's coverage of the Bush administration's case for war, and another in which a Fox host declared the invasion "the smartest thing George Bush did."
While much of MSNBC's coverage was focused on the heavy toll of the war, segments like Morning Joe's report falsely claiming Rep. Nancy Pelosi (D-CA) originally supported the invasion (and co-host Joe Scarborough's subsequent apology for doing so) were also counted.
After being sold on faulty pretenses, according to a recent Brown University study, the war in Iraq cost the lives of 4,488 U.S. service members, at least 3,400 U.S. contractors, and an estimated 134,000 Iraqi civilians. (The study clarifies that the estimate for civilian deaths "does not account for indirect deaths due to increased vulnerability to disease or injury as a result of war-degraded conditions. That number is estimated to be several times higher.")
The Brown University study estimates the war "will cost the U.S. $2.2 trillion, including substantial costs for veterans care through 2053, far exceeding the initial government estimate of $50 to $60 billion."
Media Matters searched raw video for any variation of "Iraq" on CNN, Fox News, and MSNBC's all-day news programming (from 6 a.m. through 11 p.m.) for the day before, of, and after the Iraq War's 10th anniversary, March 18 through 20, 2013. We did not include repeats of programs; for instance, even through MSNBC's Hardball with Chris Matthews airs at both 5 p.m. and 7 p.m., we only included the 5 p.m. broadcast. We included and timed any teasers, promos, news briefs, news packages, and full segments on the Iraq war anniversary as well as any relevant parts of interviews and panels discussing the Iraq war. We did not including any passing mentions of the Iraq war made in segments on other topics, such as the frequent invoking of the Iraq war during segments about the recent allegations of chemical weapon use in Syria.
Oliver Willis contributed research to this report.
After repeatedly promoting the original allegations that Sen. Robert Menendez solicited prostitutes in the Dominican Republic, Fox News' evening and primetime shows ignored an Associated Press report that Dominican police now believe that three women who claimed to have been paid by Menendez for sex were actually paid to make those false allegations.
Following a November report from the Daily Caller that two Dominican prostitutes had told that outlet that they had been given money by Menendez in exchange for sex, Fox News' evening and primetime programs discussed the allegations in at least 20 segments, according to a search of the Nexis database. Fox's The Five, Special Report, The O'Reilly Factor, Hannity, and On The Record all reported on the claims.
In the intervening months, the story has fallen apart as several important details have emerged. In March, the Washington Post reported that a woman who had previously claimed she had been paid by Menendez for sex had retracted her story and signed an affidavit saying she had actually been paid to lie. (The Daily Caller disputed that the woman in the Post report was one of the women they had spoken to for their initial story.)
Fox was slow to report on the Post revelations. In fact, according to the Nexis database, The O'Reilly Factor is the only Fox News evening program to report on the Post story about the woman recanting her story.
Several news outlets, including ABC News and the New York Post, have also claimed to have been approached by a GOP operative with the Menendez allegations, but declined to run with the story because it seemed flimsy.
On March 18, in a report that severely damages the already shaky Fox-promoted Caller stories, the AP reported that Dominican police officers had traced payments of several hundred dollars from a Dominican attorney to three women that were taped making the Menendez allegations:
Police in the Dominican Republic say they have determined that three women who said they had sex with U.S. Sen. Robert Menendez for money were in fact paid to make false claims by an attorney in the Caribbean country.
Police spokesman Maximo Baez says officers traced the payments to attorney Melanio Figueroa. Baez says two women received about $425 each and the other was paid about $300 to falsely state on camera that they had sex with Menendez (D-N.J.).
Baez said at a news conference today that authorities were seeking to interrogate Figueroa about the payments. Figueroa did not respond to messages left at his office. The women's videotaped statements were published on a conservative U.S. website. Menendez denied the allegations.
Fox News completely ignored the AP report during their March 18 primetime programming.
Conservatives continue to wage war over the future of the Republican Party, with Media Research Center president Brent Bozell and several other activists penning a letter discouraging donors from giving money to Karl Rove's new political group.
Rove has been the focus of conservative anger for weeks following the announcement of Conservative Victory Project, a new group he is launching with the help of the allies behind his Crossroads political groups. According to the New York Times, the group will seek to "recruit seasoned candidates and protect Senate incumbents from challenges by far-right conservatives and Tea Party enthusiasts."
The letter, flagged by TIME reporter Zeke Miller, is signed by Bozell, Tea Party Express chairman Amy Kremer, Citizens United president David Bossie, Family Research Council president Tony Perkins, and a handful of other conservative activists who claim to represent "millions of grassroots conservatives."
Addressed to "Top Crossroads Donors," the letter rips Rove's Crossroads political groups for supporting moderate candidates and having "squandered hundreds of millions of dollars in what were arguably the most inept campaign advertising efforts ever."
Broadcast and cable news networks have largely ignored a new report which concluded that the United States' rebuilding efforts in Iraq squandered billions of dollars due to widespread fraud, abuse, and waste.
Last week, Stuart Bowen, the Special Inspector General for Iraq Reconstruction, released a report concluding that of the $60 billion the U.S. has spent on reconstruction projects in Iraq following the 2003 invasion, at least $8 billion of it was "wasted."
In the five days since its release, only PBS and MSNBC have offered substantial coverage of the report.
NBC, ABC, and CBS have all ignored it during their evening newscasts (though it warranted passing mention on NBC's Today, the other networks' morning news programs also ignored the findings). Fox News' Bret Baier gave the story less than twenty seconds of coverage during Special Report.
CNN has completely ignored the report.
Though NBC, ABC, CBS, Fox News, and CNN have devoted a combined thirty five seconds to the story, PBS and MSNBC have each spent more than ten minutes discussing the report and its conclusions.
Breitbart.com ridiculed Paul Krugman for filing for Chapter 13 bankruptcy protection in a since-deleted post whose claims originated with a satire website. Just last month, Breitbart.com castigated a news outlet for running with a story from that same website.
In the March 11 post, Breitbart.com editor at large Larry O'Connor mocked the Nobel Prize winning economist and New York Times columnist for his alleged financial mismanagement. Unfortunately for O'Connor, the report that Krugman went bankrupt is clearly a joke and originated from the satirical website The Daily Currant. O'Connor has since deleted the post without explanation. (Update: O'Connor tweeted, saying he "trusted Boston.com as the source for that Krugman piece, but they were duped by Daily Currant, therefore, so was I!")
In his post, O'Connor jabbed Krugman for supposedly spending "$84,000 in one month" on Portuguese wines and "a dress from the Victorian period," and concluded that "apparently this Keynsian [sic] thing doesn't really work on the micro level." O'Connor sourced the report to a Boston.com post written by "Prudent Investor." The post by "Prudent Investor" sources an Austrian website, which reprinted the original Daily Currant story. (Update: Boston.com appears to have deleted the story.)
Just last month, the Breitbart team laid into the Washington Post when the paper's website adopted a satirical story about Sarah Palin from Daily Currant. In a post about the snafu, Breitbart blogger John Nolte ripped the paper for not letting "facts get in the way of a good Narrative." According to Nolte, if Post blogger Suzi Parker "had a shred of self-awareness, integrity, and dignity, she would have changed the headline to 'Too Good To Check,' and under it posted an essay about how shallow, smug, bitterly angry partisanship can blind you to common sense."
But when his website ran with a too good to check story about Paul Krugman, they merely deleted the post without explanation.
O'Connor is scheduled to participate in the "CPAC 2013 All Star Panel" at this week's Conservative Political Action Conference.
News Corp. subsidiary News America Inc. has pumped a quarter million dollars into today's Board of Education elections in Los Angeles. Rupert Murdoch's corporation is not merely an interested onlooker in the elections; fellow News. Corp subsidiary Wireless Generation has a contract with the school district.
According to the Los Angeles Times, "a relatively small group of major donors" has given big last-minute financial support to a political action committee called the "Coalition for School Reform." The PAC reportedly aims to help current Los Angeles schools superintendent John Deasy survive the elections by supporting board candidates that favor keeping him in the position.
Among the major donations listed by the Times are $250,000 from News Corp. subsidiary News America Inc. and an additional $25,000 from News Corp VP Joel Klein, who heads up Amplify, the corporation's education division.
As Anthony Cody has explained at Education Week, Wireless Generation, an education technology company owned by News Corp. "already has a big contract" with the Los Angeles Unified School District (LAUSD). According to Wireless Generation's website, starting in July 2011, the group partnered with the LAUSD to provide "DIBELS," a reading assessment tool.
News Corp. has previously inserted itself into local education politics with close financial ties to its education division. In September 2012, Joel Klein penned a column for the Wall Street Journal attacking striking Chicago teachers without disclosing News Corp.'s role in the multi-million dollar testing contracts that were central to the teachers' dispute.
Murdoch also reportedly has designs to further influence Los Angeles-area politics; he has expressed serious interest in purchasing the LA Times and bringing it under the News Corp. umbrella.
Conservative media figures are abandoning Washington Post writer Bob Woodward's over-hyped claim that he was threatened by a White House official.
In a CNN appearance and an interview with Politico, Woodward claimed that a White House representative (later revealed to be economic adviser Gene Sperling) had threatened him over his reporting on the history of the sequester cuts. Woodward's assertion that the White House was trying to intimidate him was quickly promoted by major conservative media figures.
But the full email exchange between Woodward and Sperling, released this morning by Politico, strongly suggests that Woodward's claims of White House intimidation were overblown. As a result, as Brett LoGiurato explains at Business Insider, several conservatives are now turning on Woodward.
The Daily Caller, which hyped Woodward's initial claims last night, posted an article by Matt Lewis this morning explaining that conservatives had seized on Woodward's initial story because it "confirmed our suspicion about the Obama Administration's 'Chicago-style' of politics." After reading the full emails, Lewis concluded that conservatives had been "played," and that the exchange is "much more innocuous" than it was initially presented.
National Rifle Association president David Keene made a February 16 appearance on conspiracy theorist Gary Franchi's television show as part of his media tour to oppose strengthening gun laws. Franchi is involved in the 9/11 Truth movement and believes the government is secretly building FEMA concentration camps that will be used to round up American citizens.
Franchi interviewed Keene about his belief that President Obama may use the Newtown school massacre to aid in the passage of the United Nations Arms Trade Treaty.
Franchi is a well-known and avid conspiracy theorist. During the 2012 election cycle, Franchi was the head of Revolution PAC, a pro-Ron Paul group. He made headlines when NBC News reported on his extensive history of promoting outlandish conspiracy theories.
As explained by NBC, Franchi was the founder of the Lone Lantern Society, a group that supports "'the birth of freedom and the death of the New World Order,' a secretive elite that is supposedly trying to set up a world government." The Lone Lantern held numerous demonstrations calling for a new investigation of 9-11.
In a 2008 interview with former Department of Homeland Security Secretary Tom Ridge, Franchi asked if Ridge endorsed the idea of a "new investigation for 9-11" based on the idea that there may have been a "controlled demolition of the World Trade Center." (During the conversation, Franchi also asks Ridge about the "North American Union," the conspiracy that the governments of America, Canada, and Mexico are secretly planning to merge; a hypothetical North American currency union; and whether he is a member of the Council on Foreign Relations, the Bilderberg Group, the Trilateral Commission, and the Bohemian Grove.)
Franchi has also repeatedly endorsed the paranoid conspiracy that the government has been building FEMA concentration camps to imprison political opponents. He produced two separate documentaries on the subject, titled Camp FEMA: American Lockdown and Enemy of the State: Camp FEMA Part 2.
According to a 2010 report by the Southern Poverty Law Center, Franchi was a "regular speaker at Patriot conferences, offering a familiar diet of fears of globalist plotters," warning against a cabal of bankers and elite organizations that secretly control governments.
Last night on The O'Reilly Factor, previewing Sen. Marco Rubio's response to President Obama's State of the Union speech, Fox News political analyst Karl Rove labeled Rubio "the American experience" and declared him "probably one of the best communicators since Ronald Reagan."
Over-the-top praise of Rubio on the network is nothing new. Rubio's increasingly prominent role in the national political conversation is thanks, in part, to the help of Fox News, which has served as his primary cheerleader since his 2010 Senate campaign.
In recent weeks, Rove in particular has showered praise on Rubio and his role in the debate over immigration reform. His comparison of Rubio to Reagan on The O'Reilly Factor wasn't even the first time he had done so on Fox's airwaves this month; he made similar comments during a February 4 appearance on Special Report.
Rove isn't alone in his adoration of the Florida senator. Fox personalities have fawned over Rubio on-air for years, boosted his 2010 Florida Senate run (including helping him fundraise on-air), hosted him for dozens of primetime appearances on the network, and repeatedly touted him as an ideal vice presidential pick for former GOP presidential candidate Mitt Romney.
In this report:
The GOP civil war continues to intensify, with numerous prominent conservative media figures lashing out at Karl Rove in recent days over vehement disagreements about the direction of the party. This is far from the first incident pitting Rove against fellow right-wing media figures. In recent years, conservative media personalities -- many of whom work with Rove at Fox News -- have called Rove a "propagandist," "not a conservative," and an "effete sore loser" who heads an "absolutely repulsive" political group.
The New York Times reported on February 2 that Rove, along with allies behind his Crossroads political groups, has decided to launch the Conservative Victory Project. According to the Times, the group will work to "recruit seasoned candidates and protect Senate incumbents from challenges by far-right conservatives and Tea Party enthusiasts."
Following the news, Rove quickly became the target of conservative ire, with several media figures accusing him of betraying conservative principles and the Tea Party. The outcry was loud enough that Rove ran to Sean Hannity's Fox News program to do damage control, touting American Crossroads' huge investment in Sen. Marco Rubio (and a few other Tea Party favorites) as proof of his conservatism.
Conservative anger at Rove has been simmering for years, intensifying in the past few months after Rove's Crossroads political groups squandered several hundred million dollars during the 2012 elections.