FoxNews.com promoted this story on its home page about federal land that has been closed off in Buenos Aires National Park in Arizona due to public safety concerns:
The article reports (emphasis added):
But the 3,500 acres will remain off-limits for the foreseeable future, she said - despite what she calls an "incredible response" of negative feedback that followed recent reports surrounding the closure. The 3,500-acre parcel is only 3 percent of the entire refuge, Gall said, so she prefers to err on the side of caution.
You might wonder where the "negative feedback" about the closure came from. It was most likely based on a totally made-up Fox News story. As we noted:
In the June 15 report, America Live guest host Shannon Bream says, "A massive stretch of Arizona now off limits to Americans. Critics say the administration is, in effect, giving a major strip of the Southwest back to Mexico."
There are a few problems with this: A representative of the refuge told Media Matters that the "massive stretch" of land is about five miles square, it's been closed since 2006, and it obviously hasn't been given back to Mexico.
To recap: Fox News completely made up a story (no land was given to Mexico, not an inch) about a small section of a national park that has been closed for 4 years out of safety concerns, and assuming Fox got the quote right (certainly a gamble at this point) from the park's acting refuge manager, "doesn't have a great impact to visitor use on the refuge." These completely false stories prompted the refuge to post a note on their website:
Recently there were reports in the news stating that the Buenos Aries National Wildlife Refuge was closed. This information is not correct.
And now Fox News is writing a story about the response to a false story that they created. This may be the kind of thing that generates pageviews and ratings, but it bears no resemblance to the truth or journalism.
Just about a month ago, Glenn Beck aimed one of his twisted history attacks on Woodrow Wilson's supposed role in enacting the 17th amendment. The history on this - that is, what actually happened is that 99% of the work involved in passing the 17th amendment (which provided for the direct election of senators) occurred before Wilson took office. With his now-legendary grasp of history Beck claimed that "Woodrow Wilson changed it, changes the way our system works." So he blamed Wilson for legislation he had nothing to do with.
Fast forward to today for another of Beck's uninformative "Founder's Friday" shows. On his show today, Beck discussed women's suffrage but not Wilson's role in it. What did that have to do with Woodrow Wilson? Well, Wilson - who was president when suffrage became law - supported it.
From an October 1, 1918 article in The New York Times:
In an effort to break down the opposition to the Woman's Suffrage resolution in the Senate, President Wilson went before that body today and urged that it be adopted as a war measure.
Despite his support, that measure failed, but subsequent votes in Congress and the states led to the right to vote for women in the election of 1920. The National Archives portrays Wilson's support as crucial to its passage, stating that "the political balance began to shift" when Wilson changed his position to support suffrage.
Beck had an extensive discussion about the intermittent rights to voting some women had in pre-suffrage America, but on a show supposedly dedicated to giving people the full story about history, Beck omitted the key role Wilson had in that struggle. He later took time to accuse Wilson of practicing historical revisionism. Imagine.
From the July 1 edition of ABC Radio Networks' The Mark Levin Show:
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From the July 2 edition of Premiere Radio Networks' The Rush Limbaugh Show:
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On the July 1 edition of his Fox News show, Glenn Beck assembled a panel including "preachers and pastors" to provide "a look at today's news." Many of the panelists have a history of extreme and divisive statements, as well as Republican or right-wing activism.
Megyn Kelly appeared on Hannity to discuss her interview from earlier in the day with GOP activist and former Justice Department attorney J. Christian Adams. Adams made allegations that the Department of Justice (DOJ) improperly dismissed voter-intimidation charges against the New Black Panther Party. Kelly's appearance on Hannity was even less illuminating than her previous attempt to cover this story.
Kelly recounted Adams's story as he related it on her program earlier in the day. But in the Hannity edition of the story, Kelly took it a step further and omitted the statement she had received from the DOJ noting, "It is regrettable when a former Department attorney distorts the facts and makes baseless allegations to promote his or her agenda." Nor did she point out that Adams had acknowledged in their interview that he had no firsthand knowledge of the allegations he was making, which were instead based on hearsay and charges made by others.
Furthermore, in her discussion of the interview with Hannity, Kelly neglected to mention Adams' history as a conservative activist (as she reported previously) or that he was reportedly hired by Bush appointee Bradley Schlozman in the DOJ. The Department of Justice Inspector General's Office and the Office of Professional Responsibility found that Schlozman "violated civil service rules by improperly taking political and ideological affiliations into account when making career attorney hires."
If someone is making a big show about resigning due to what they claim to be politically-motivated behavior, their political history is surely relevant, yet Kelly completely left this information out during her discussion with Hannity. As a result, this gave the audience an incomplete and skewed view of the claims being made and the person making the claims. Which, in the world of Hannity, was probably the point all along.
At one point on his Wednesday show, Glenn Beck said "my head hurts trying to figure this out." That was in reference to another one of his conspiracy theories, but it often feels like a universal maxim when dealing with Beck's seemingly infinite fantasies.
Today Beck said that President Obama deliberately waited 71 days to accept international help with the Gulf oil spill. Why? Because he wanted to create a crisis situation in order to pass cap and trade through Congress. That, on it's face, doesn't make much sense, but it's also just wrong factually.
Like every other conspiracy Beck promotes, this one falls apart pretty quickly. International help has been accepted in the clean up for some time now, despite the claims of Beck and others at Fox News, and Admiral Thad Allen, who is in charge of the operation, has indicated that there are 15 foreign vessels involved in the clean up. Allen noted this 15 days ago, and the ships had been operating before that.
The main point of Beck's conspiracy, that President Obama was just now accepting foreign help in order to pass cap and trade (somehow), just isn't true. Beck pumping out this kind of unsubstantiated conspiracy every night really does make your head hurt.
On his show tonight, Sean Hannity said it was "numbing" that Elena Kagan "cannot say no" to Sen. Tom Coburn's question about whether the federal government could mandate what kind of food people should eat. As Hannity noted, the question does have parallels to the health care reform law and possible legal challenges to the constitutionality of the law that could come before the Supreme Court. In other words, Kagan declined to directly respond on an issue that could come before her, should her nomination be successful.
During Beck's latest bizarre parody/rant today about GDP and Al Gore's An Inconvenient Truth, you may have missed him acknowledging the source of his information.
Beck said, "I want to thank Charles Koch for this information." Who is Charles Koch? Beck never said, but Charles Koch is the CEO and president of Koch Industries. Koch is also a co-founder of the conservative Cato Institute (Cato Institute representatives have appeared earlier this year on Beck advocating the privatization of Social Security and Medicare).
Koch Industries is in the manufacturing industry and is heavily involved in the petroleum, chemicals and energy sectors. Forbes magazine currently ranks Koch as the second largest private company in America. In 2000, Koch Industries was ordered to pay a "record fine" by the EPA and the Justice Department for claims resulting from "more than 300 oil spills from its pipelines and oil facilities in six states." In 2001 Koch paid a legal settlement of $25 million for "improperly taking more oil than it paid for from federal and Indian lands." In 2009, Koch broke their own record when a subsidiary had to pay "a $1.7 million civil penalty and spend up to an estimated $500 million to correct self-reported environmental violations discovered at facilities in seven states."
Suddenly it becomes quite clear what sort of people are providing Glenn Beck with research in order to parody work about climate change research.
On today's edition of Fox News' America Live, Megyn Kelly opined that because of a 15 year old book review she wrote, "it would be really hard" for Elena Kagan to refuse to answer questions at her Supreme Court confirmation hearings: