Fox continued to prove itself a safe haven for conservatives as former Secretary of Defense Donald Rumsfeld enjoyed an easy interview on Fox & Friends. Fox News chose to ignore Rumsfeld's role in the Iraq war while other outlets questioned him about manipulated intelligence and the role the war played in America's standing in the international community.
The softball questions lobbed by hosts Steve Doocy, Gretchen Carlson, and Brian Kilmeade stood in stark contrast to the challenging questions asked by Chris Cuomo of CNN's New Day and Savannah Guthrie of NBC's Today. The Fox interview comes on the heels of a new report detailing the cozy relationship between Fox News and Republicans and the friendly forum Fox presents to their conservative guests.
While Cuomo and Guthrie asked Rumsfeld questions about the lingering effects of the Iraq war and Rumsfeld's role in the intelligence failures leading up to it, the hosts of Fox & Friends chose to avoid any mention of Iraq. Hosts Gretchen Carlson, Brian Kilmeade, and Steve Doocy made no mention of the botched intelligence and instead asked leading questions that gave Rumsfeld an opportunity to criticize President Obama's handling of the developing situation in Syria.
Fox's treatment of the former Defense Secretary, and Republicans in general, has become a noticeable pattern. The Rumsfeld interview comes after a recent report by Harvard University's Shorenstein Center detailing Fox's unique role as a safe haven for conservative candidates.
On August 12, a federal court judge ruled that the New York Police Department (NYPD) was improperly performing the common police tactic of "stop and frisk" by unconstitutionally targeting persons of color without reasonable suspicion. The New York City Council agreed, and passed legislation over a mayor's veto on August 23 to safeguard against future unconstitutional applications of this long-standing enforcement tactic. Right-wing media responded by ignoring the constitutional violations and instead defended the NYPD's actions for "establishing a sense of order."
Fox News' Stuart Varney renewed his attacks on the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP), more commonly known as food stamps, to hype an upcoming special on that government assistance program and to promote a new Fox News poll that paints SNAP in a negative light. Fox has repeatedly shamed, mocked, and decried the lack of stigma directed at those on government assistance programs, and Varney's segment continued that campaign.
On the August 8 edition of America's Newsroom, Fox Business Network's Stuart Varney discussed a new opinion poll Fox conducted regarding SNAP benefits. During the segment, host Bill Hemmer lamented that we are "a nation on the dole" while Varney complained that SNAP benefits are too easily accessible and criticized efforts to raise awareness of SNAP in underserved communities They ignored the fact that SNAP spending and enrollment is projected to decline as the economy continues to recover. This segment was offered as a preview of an upcoming Fox report titled "The Great Food Stamp Binge."
Varney, who once said that many low-income Americans "have things -- what they lack is the richness of spirit," is commonly the spokesperson for Fox's campaign to 'mock the poor,' and he merely continued Fox's ongoing campaign against government assistance programs and on the recipients of those programs themselves -- a campaign that has even gained influence in Congress. Varney is infamous for his repeated efforts to dismiss and demonize those people who require government assistance. As Varney himself has admitted, "I am being mean to poor people. Frankly, I am."
As President Obama addressed reactions surrounding the acquittal of George Zimmerman, right-wing media took to Twitter and attacked the president's remarks:
House Republicans reportedly plan to remove food stamp funding from the federal farm bill, a move that stands to further jeopardize the survival of the critical anti-poverty program. This move comes after years of right-wing media figures demonizing food stamp recipients as lazy or dependent, with Rush Limbaugh going so far as to propose dumpster diving as an alternative.
Here's a look back at some of the most egregious right-wing attacks on food stamps:
Rush Limbaugh claimed on his radio show that, unlike liberals, he doesn't view people as "members of groups." But Limbaugh has a history of isolating groups of people who disagree with him and demonizing them:
The Supreme Court has ruled that the Defense of Marriage Act is unconstitutional. The decision is sure to raise the ire of conservative media figures that have spent years railing against marriage equality.
Right-wing figures have warned that marriage equality could lead to legalized pedophilia, marriage between people and a wide range of animals, and the complete destruction of America.
Below is a list of 30 of conservatives' most offensive, bizzare, and outlandish arguments demonizing marriage equality, which Media Matters originally published in March.
Though Fox News was effusive in its praise of new hire Howard Kurtz, several of the network's hosts and contributors have harshly criticized Kurtz in the past, labeling him "full of crap," "a walking conflict of interest," and someone who does "the bidding of Media Matters."
In a June 20 press release, Fox announced that beginning July 1, Kurtz "will anchor a version of what is now called Fox News Watch, which focuses on the media, with a new format during the weekends," while also serving as an on-air analyst and writer for FoxNews.com. His switch to Fox will mark the end of his tenure at CNN's Reliable Sources, a weekly media criticism show that he has hosted for the past 15 years.
Glenn Beck announced on his website The Blaze that he will be attending a June 19 rally in Washington, D.C. to oppose the Senate's immigration reform bill and to "stand against amnesty." In a segment titled "Why is Glenn going to DC?" Beck claimed that the bill would pit "amnesty over security," culminating weeks of inflammatory rhetoric directed at the bill and its supporters: