Fox News is harping on the right-wing myth that philanthropist George Soros is behind MoveOn.org to falsely accuse him of directing people to protest at Wal-Mart on Black Friday, the busy shopping day after Thanksgiving.
Many Wal-Mart employees and their allies have been protesting over labor conditions at Wal-Mart and are planning to do so again on Black Friday. While MoveOn did send an email urging recipients to support the Black Friday protests, it asked them to sign a petition, not attend the events, and MoveOn says that Soros made only one donation to the organization in 2004.
Discussing the subject on America Live, Fox business contributor Stuart Varney claimed that "George Soros, through MoveOn.org, has sent out an email nationwide urging everybody who has an interest in this to turn up at a Wal-Mart on Friday and demonstrate."
According to MoveOn, Soros has not contributed to the organization in more than eight years, since he made a donation in 2004 to an election-related initiative that no longer exists.
MoveOn's email encouraging people to sign the petition supporting the protesters contains no mention of Soros. Varney's statement echoes a claim in a Daily Caller article that quotes portions of the MoveOn email. Like Varney, the Daily Caller failed to support its assertion that Soros is involved.
UPDATE: The Daily Caller has updated its article by removing all references to Soros. At the bottom of the story, it has added this correction:
An earlier version of this story connected the liberal financier George Soros with MoveOn.org. Soros was a major contributor to one of MoveOn's political organizations more than six years ago, but does not appear connected to its current Wal-Mart protests.
The Daily Caller attempted to stoke anger about a Homeland Security Web page for new immigrants that provides information about government benefit programs, but buried at the end of its article the fact that the page was created in 2007. The Daily Caller also implied that immigrants abuse the U.S. social safety net, but there are strict eligibility requirements for social welfare programs, and most immigrant visa applicants must sign an affidavit stating they have adequate financial support.
Fox News is trying to disqualify Susan Rice, the U.S. ambassador to the United Nations, from being nominated as the next secretary of state by alleging that she made inaccurate statements about the attack on the U.S. compound in Benghazi, Libya. But during her Sunday show appearances, Rice was accurately conveying the consensus of the intelligence community at the time, and there is evidence that the anti-Islam video she referenced did, in fact, play a role in motivating the attack.
Observers in the media are declaring that Fox News' political activism has damaged the Republican Party in light of its losses in the 2012 elections. Fox figures have actively campaigned for Republican candidates over the past four years and instructed GOP officials on how to behave once they're elected.
On his Fox News show, Bill O'Reilly declared that no one "here" has ever called President Obama a murderer or liar over his handling of the attack on the U.S. compound in Benghazi, Libya. But several Fox figures have accused Obama of purposely allowing Americans to die in Benghazi, and just last week, O'Reilly himself questioned a fellow Fox News host about having labeled the president a liar on Libya.
O'Reilly addressed the issue on his Friday show when guest Geraldo Rivera told him that President Obama deserves an apology for the way he's been treated in the press following the Benghazi attack. Rivera stated, "The president of the United States has been absolutely slandered over this story. He's been called a murderer and a liar." O'Reilly then interjected: "OK. But not by anybody here, and not by rational people."
In reality, Fox News hosts, contributors, and regular guests have suggested that the Obama administration made a political decision to let Americans die in Benghazi.
Furthermore, O'Reilly questioned fellow Fox host Jeanine Pirro last week about having labeled Obama a liar on her show.
The Drudge Report and Fox News have attacked the federal government and President Obama over their response to Hurricane Sandy, with Drudge suggesting that Obama is responsible for hunger in New York City. In fact, the federal government shipped 1 million meals to New York, and the Federal Emergency Management Agency and other agencies have provided other aid in the days following Sandy.
Fox News hosts and contributors repeatedly suggested that the Obama administration made a "political decision" to allow Americans to be killed in the September 11 Benghazi, Libya, attack on an American compound. But U.S. agents and the U.S. Embassy in Tripoli rushed to the aid of the compound during the attack, and Defense Secretary Leon Panetta has said that the attack was over before the U.S. military had sufficient information on which to act.
Fox host Greta Van Susteren claimed that recently released State Department emails prove that the Obama administration knew the attack in Benghazi, Libya, was an act of terrorism as it was happening and that it was "ridiculous" for the administration to link the attack to an anti-Islam video. Yet the emails show only that the State Department was aware that an Islamist militia had taken credit for the attack, and other reporting has indicated that the anti-Islam video did, in fact, play a role in the attack.
Republican presidential candidate Mitt Romney rehashed at least seven previously debunked claims during the October 22 presidential debate, including the phony talking point that Obama went on an apology tour. Romney's dishonesty, now apparent in the third straight debate, continues to present a challenge to the media.
Appearing on Fox News, anti-union activist Mallory Factor spun a conversation about voter registration efforts into a baseless attack on labor unions, complaining that by helping register new, eligible voters, AFL-CIO is engaged in "rampant" voter fraud.
On Fox's America's Election HQ, host Eric Shawn asked Factor about voter registration programs gearing up as Election Day approaches. Shawn stated, "There's been a lot of attention on these Republican efforts, but there are really major voter registration programs by both sides." Factor responded: "There are major voter, ah, fraud going on. Voter fraud is rampant."
As evidence of this "rampant" fraud, Factor bizarrely complained that union members are registering to vote. He told Shawn: "The unions have 400,000 people on the streets. [Richard] Trumka pledged it. AFL-CIO -- Trumka, head of AFL-CIO -- pledged 400,000 people on the street to help, and they've already registered 450,000 union households. 68,000 new registrants in Ohio alone."
Indeed, AFL-CIO is helping register new voters before Election Day, but a successful voter registration campaign in no way constitutes "voter fraud," let alone "rampant" voter fraud, as Mallory claimed. Shawn pointed this out to Factor: "That's not voter fraud. I'm sure they are having efforts to try to, you know, get the vote out." And yet, Factor doubled down on his baseless claim, suggesting with absolutely no evidence that the union-led voter registration efforts are somehow corrupt: "I'm sure they are having efforts to get the vote out. And I'm sure -- It ain't all clean cut. Remember we have a union-label president. They need him."
Of course, despite this groundless accusation (and Fox News' and other conservatives' efforts to unearth any voter registration fraud), instances of actual voter fraud continue to be "exceedingly rare."