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.
In a New York Post column, Scott Gottlieb claimed that under the Senate health care bill, "the individual market - the ability to go directly to an insurer and buy a health-care policy - will disappear," and "we'll all get the same package of benefits." In fact, under the Senate bill, individual (nongroup) plans can still be offered outside of the exchanges, and benefit packages can vary, as long as the policies meet the minimum requirements established by the legislation.
On his radio show, Rush Limbaugh described both George W Bush and George H.W. Bush's presidencies as being "eight years of prosperity." In fact, economic recessions occurred during both Bush administrations.
Right-wing blogs Gateway Pundit and Say Anything recently seized on an Associated Press article which reported that 20 states facing budget strains have cut back on free cancer screenings, such as mammograms, to claim that the declines followed recommendations made by the US Preventive Services Task Force (USPSTF) in November. In fact, as the AP article made clear, this statistic came from an American Cancer Society's Cancer Action Network survey, which was conducted from July 2008 to April 2009, months before the USPSTF issued its recommendation.
In the latest of an obsessive series of editorials vilifying Department of Education official Kevin Jennings, The Washington Times again advanced discredited attacks to assert that Jennings is "unfit to serve as a senior presidential appointee". The editorial falsely claimed that Jennings encouraged a sexual relationship between a student and adult, attempted to tie Jennings to the North American Man-Boy Love Association (NAMBLA), and falsely suggested that Jennings supported a controversial workshop at a 2000 event sponsored by the group he founded, the Gay, Lesbian and Straight Education Network (GLSEN).