Following conservative activist James O'Keefe's arrest for allegedly participating in an attempt to interfere with the telephone system at the New Orleans offices of Democratic Sen. Mary Landrieu, a Media Matters for America review found that O'Keefe previously appeared at least seven times on Fox News and other Fox networks to promote videos he recorded of ACORN workers. During these appearances, O'Keefe said he was "willing to serve prison time" for potentially violating Maryland's two-party recording law, and asserted that he was "doing creative investigative journalism."
Although it repeatedly promoted the undercover ACORN videos made by conservative filmmaker James O'Keefe, on January 27, Fox & Friends devoted just one brief segment to his recent arrest. By contrast, Fox & Friends repeatedly discussed a blindfolded half-court basketball shot, including a live interview with the coach who made the shot.
On January 24, Dick Morris wrote an article for Newsmax entitled "Pelosi and Reid Plot Secret Plan for Obamacare," and Fox Nation linked to it under the headline "Exclusive: Reid & Pelosi's Secret Plot to Pass Obamacare":
According to Morris, he found out through "highly informed sources on Capitol Hill" that Democratic leadership has a "plan to sneak Obamacare through Congress." Morris reveals that this is a "secret" two part plan. First, the House will pass the Senate's health care bill, despite ideological differences. Next, Congress will modify the bill after passage through a Senate process called "reconciliation" which requires a simple majority vote in the Senate and is not subject to filibusters. Morris claims that through putting pressure on "a core group of 23 Democratic Congressman," this "secret" plot can be averted.
Morris is correct that this is one plan that has been floated as a possibility for passing health care reform, but his assertion that this is a "secret" plot between Nancy Pelosi and Harry Reid is laughable considering that this very approach to passing health care reform has been reported on extensively by left-wing blogs, right-wing blogs, and the mainstream media since the election of Scott Brown in Massachusett's January 19 special election. For instance, here's CBS on January 22:
Scott Brown's victory in the Massachusetts Senate special election essentially obliterated any chance Democrats in the Senate had at passing a revised health care reform bill. In the wake of that blow to Democrats, two options for passing reform have emerged:
One option would be for House Democrats to pass the Senate bill -- on the condition that Democrats would make revisions to the legislation through a separate "fix it" bill passed in the Senate via reconciliation (a procedural step that only requires a 51-vote majority).
The Baltimore Sun on January 21:
Democratic leaders are still exploring whether the House could pass the health care bill approved by the Senate just before Christmas, obviating the need for another vote on major health care legislation in the Senate, where Democrats would no longer be able overcome a Republican filibuster.
The two chambers could then take up a separate package of changes to the Senate bill through a process known as budget reconciliation, which only requires a simple majority in the Senate.
The New York Times on January 21:
Another option considered by Democrats would be to use the procedural maneuver known as reconciliation to pass chunks of the health care bill attached to a budget measure, which requires only a simple majority.
You get the point.
One year after the inauguration of President Obama, right-wing media -- in particular Andrew Breitbart's Big Government, Big Hollywood, and Big Journalism -- marked the anniversary with a series of articles fondly reminiscing about the Bush administration, in which they often attempted to rewrite the history of Bush's policies and also attacked Obama.
After Wall Street Journal writer John Fund told a crowd at a David Horowitz Freedom Center forum that Sen. Charles Schumer (D-NY) and Rep. Barney Frank (D-MA) were planning on introducing legislation that would lead to universal voter registration, the claim was repeated by numerous right-wing media outlets despite the fact that Fund provided no evidence for his claim. After Frank wrote a letter to Fund denying that he was introducing such legislation, Fund retracted his statement that Frank was pushing any such legislation.
In recent weeks, Fox News has continued its pattern of engaging in political advocacy, this time supporting Scott Brown, the Republican nominee in the special election for the Massachusetts U.S. Senate seat. Fox has hosted Brown several times, providing him a forum to raise funds; Dick Morris has explicitly asked viewers to go to his website to help elect Brown. Fox media figures have distorted Democratic nominee Martha Coakley's statements and suggested Democrats may steal the election; and Fox News has suggested that a Brown victory would provide economic benefits.
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."