In a January 18 editorial entitled "Obama is Killing the Economy," The Washington Times claimed that "Barack Obama has the worst budget record of any president in American history" by comparing the Congressional Budget Office's (CBO) projections of the FY 2009 deficit to the smaller FY 2008 deficit. In fact, only a small portion of the fiscal year 2009 deficit is due to Obama's policies; in January, before he took office or signed any legislation, CBO projected that, based on policies set under President Bush and economic conditions at the time, the deficit for fiscal year 2009 would reach $1.2 trillion.
On January 15, Fox & Friends misrepresented the details of the recent health care negotiation relating to proposals to taxing high-cost "Cadillac" health care plans by falsely claiming that the proposal to "eliminate from any taxing dental and vision" policies applied only to union members, and Fox & Friends repeatedly claimed that the concessions won during the negotations were "a bribe" to unions. In fact, most of the negotiations, including the dental and vision exemptions, apply to all workers -- not just union workers -- and the extension given to union members regarding the implementation of the excise tax was reportedly made in order to allow unions time to negotiate less expensive plans for their workers.
Right-wing media outlets have continued to attack Democratic Massachusetts Senate candidate Martha Coakley for her recent comments about terrorism in Afghanistan, often by distorting her remarks on the subject. But the context of Coakley's comments make clear that she was referring to Al Qaeda's presence in Afghanistan -- echoing numerous military experts' statements regarding Al Qaeda's diminished presence in Afghanistan.
On the January 12 edition of On the Record, Wall Street Journal senior economics writer Stephen Moore rehashed old falsehoods about health care reform, by claiming that "a major provision" of the bill, the individual mandate, "looks to be unconstitutional" and that "[p]eople aren't going to get any benefits from this bill for three or four years." In fact, numerous legal experts have disputed the claim that the individual mandate is unconstitutional, and the health care reform bill provides many benefits "in the first year of enactment."
Citing no evidence, conservative media figures have baselessly claimed that the civilian trial of the 1993 World Trade Center bombers led to the attacks of September 11, 2001. The claim echoes Sean Hannity's previous suggestion that documents released during the trial of the 1993 bombing mastermind "tipped off" Osama bin Laden; in fact, Attorney General Eric Holder testified that this charge is based on "misinformation" because prosecutors had the power to request that such documents be protected from release.
Since the attempted Christmas Day bombing of a Northwest Airlines flight, Fox News has waged war on Department of Homeland Security Secretary Janet Napolitano, going so far as to ask whether she should be fired. In doing so, various Fox News figures and outlets have seized on Napolitano's comments that "the system worked" after the attempted terrorist attack while ignoring both Napolitano's later clarification that she was discussing the emergency response notification system that took place following the attempted attack, and that Bush administration officials Attorney General John Ashcroft and Homeland Security Secretary Tom Ridge previously claimed success for passengers' ability to thwart "shoe-bomber" Richard Reid's December 2001 attempted bombing of a domestic airline.
Fox has a bit of a problem. James Cameron's movie Avatar is a story about aliens from planet Pandora who embark in an "epic battle" against human "corporations" who "are mining a rare mineral that is key to solving Earth's energy crisis" without regard to Pandora's inhabitants. This "sanctimonious" story line inspired some on the right to attack, and Fox Nation dutifully published the following "review" on December 14:
Yet, only a few short weeks later, on January 4, they're touting the financial success of the film:
So what changed to make Fox Nation so interested in having you see an "America-Hating PC Revenge Fantasy?" Could it have to do with the fact that Avatar was produced by 20th Century Fox?
On the January 4 edition of Fox & Friends, Steve Doocy claimed that the decision to try Umar Farouk Abdulmutallab, who is alleged to have attempted to set off a bomb on a Northwest Airlines flight, in civilian court, rather than holding Abdulmutallab as an "enemy combatant," "takes us back to the days of the Clinton administration, when things like this were treated as a law enforcement issue, and not as a national security issue." In fact, the Bush administration also tried and convicted several terrorism suspects in civilian court.
The conservative media are now labeling the Independent Medicare Advisory Board created by the Senate health care reform bill a "death panel," even though the board is explicitly prohibited from "modify[ing] eligibility," "restrict[ing] benefits," or "ration[ing] health care" and its recommendations can be overridden by Congress. In falsely declaring the existence of "death panels," right-wing media figures have previously pointed to the House bill's end-of-life counseling provision, out-of-context statements by Obama administration adviser Dr. Ezekiel Emanuel, general "rationing" purportedly instituted by the legislation, and nonbinding mammogram guidelines.
Fox & Friends co-host Steve Doocy claimed that one of the things conservatives hate about the Senate health care bill is that it "does provide insurance for illegal aliens. Sorry, Joe Wilson." But the language of the bill explicitly bars undocumented immigrants from purchasing insurance through the exchanges.