Former Fox News contributor and journalism professor Jane Hall explained that the media should hold Fox News host Bill O'Reilly to the same standard Brian Williams faced after news broke of his multiple reporting fabrications.
Recently, O'Reilly has faced increased criticism and scrutiny following the news of various discrepancies and fabrications in stories he told about his journalistic credentials which may have wrongly benefited his career. The controversy has spurred calls from a veterans group and other organizations for O'Reilly to be held accountable for his fabrications by Fox. O'Reilly has even faced criticism from former colleagues at CBS, Inside Edition, and now Fox News.
During an interview with The Wrap, O'Reilly's former colleague at Fox, American University journalism professor Jane Hall said that media outlets should hold O'Reilly to the same standard as Brian Williams, who was suspended for six months after he acknowledged "exaggerating his role in a helicopter episode in Iraq." According to Hall:
"I think the media reporting should hold [O'Reilly] to the same standard [as Brian Williams]," former Fox News contributor and American University Journalism Professor Jane Hall told TheWrap. "He reaches how many millions of people a night? If people in the media are dismissing him as, 'he's an entertainer,' I think they're vastly underestimating his influence."
A Fox News spokesperson told The Wrap Hall's contract was not renewed and she was let go; Hall says she left of her own volition.
Hall thinks NBC News' swift response to the Williams scandal was appropriate in the context of the sober "Nightly News" brand, but emphasized O'Reilly shouldn't be let off the hook.
"He is an opinion host, but I don't think that means reporters shouldn't be writing about it given his influence and his ratings," adding that the question reporters need to ask is, "what is your audience, what is your reach, what is your political influence?"
Fox News host Bill O'Reilly boosted his idea that the U.S. is in a holy war against the Islamic State (also known as ISIS or ISIL), demanding the Obama administration "take the holy war seriously" and urging American clerics to lead the fight.
After the Islamic State's beheading of 21 Egyptian Christians in Libya, O'Reilly claimed that "the holy war is here" on the February 17 edition of his show. O'Reilly later called on "all Christians, Jews, and secularists who love their country" to call the White House and "say enough."
On the February 18 edition of his show, O'Reilly again claimed it is "appropriate to define the worldwide conflict between Muslim fanatics and nearly everybody else" as a "holy war" and demanded President Obama "take the holy war seriously." O'Reilly asserted that the West must come together to eliminate the Islamic State, adding that "if the politicians won't do it, the clergy must lead the way."
After three North Carolina students were shot to death in a possible parking dispute, Inside Edition's Deborah Norville used the news to segue into a segment providing viewers tips on how to avoid aggressive drivers and find parking spaces while shopping.
Three Muslim students were killed in their apartment complex by neighbor Craig Hicks over "long-simmering anger over parking and noise inside their condominium complex," the Associated Press reported on February 10. Police are also investigating the possibility the shooting was motivated by religious animosity toward the students.
Fox News host Bill O'Reilly criticized the Southern Poverty Law Center (SPLC) for adding former Fox contributor Ben Carson to the group's "extremist files" for his anti-LGBT comments. To defend Carson, O'Reilly invited a senior fellow from the Family Research Council (FRC), a group also listed on the SPLC's "extremist files" for their anti-LGBT rhetoric, to denounce the SPLC.
The SPLC recently added Washington Times columnist Carson to its "extremist files," citing his extreme anti-LGBT rhetoric (emphasis original):
In His Own Words:
"Marriage is between a man and a woman. It's a well-established pillar of society and no group, be they gays, be they NAMBLA [North American Man/Boy Association, a group advocating pedophilia], be they people who believe in bestiality--it doesn't matter what they are, they don't get to change the definition."
--Interview on Fox News' "Hannity," March 26, 2013
"[I]f we can redefine marriage as between two men or two women or any other way based on social pressures as opposed to between a man and a woman, we will continue to redefine it in any way that we wish, which is a slippery slope with a disastrous ending, as witnessed in the dramatic fall of the Roman Empire."
--America the Beautiful: Resdiscovering What Made This Nation Great, 2012 book written with Candy Carlson
"Obamacare is really the worst thing that has happened in this nation since slavery. And ... in a way, it is slavery."
--Values Voter Summit, Washington, D.C., Oct. 11, 2013
"I mean [our government and institutions] are very much like Nazi Germany. ... You know, you had a government using its tools to intimidate the population. We now live in a society where people are afraid to say what they really believe."
--Quoted by Breitbart News, March 12, 2014
On February 10, O'Reilly criticized the designation of Carson and invited FRC's Ken Blackwell on to discuss whether the SPLC was "straying from their mission." During the interview, Blackwell denounced the group as an "auxiliary operation of the political left," and admitted that FRC was designated a "hate organization" by the SPLC. Blackwell said that the designation of Carson as an anti-LGBT extremist is "ridiculous on its face." O'Reilly ended his interview with Blackwell by asking him whether he "consider[s] the Southern Poverty Law Center a hate group?"
The FRC was designated by the SPLC as an anti-gay hate group, owing to the malicious anti-LGBT rhetoric of FRC figures like FRC president Tony Perkins, who has endorsed a Ugandan bill that would have imposed the death penalty for homosexuality, asserted that gay people face "eternal damnation," and compared gays with terrorists. Along with other FRC personalities, Perkins has accused gay men of preying on children and condemned efforts to curb anti-LGBT bullying as part of an effort to "recruit" children "into that lifestyle."
Ben Carson responded to the SPLC in a statement to the conservative website Breitbart.com, saying, "When embracing traditional Christian values is equated to hatred, we are approaching the stage where wrong is called right and right is called wrong. It is important for us to once again advocate true tolerance," adding that "It is nothing but projectionist when some groups label those who disagree with them as haters." Carson's statement continues a pattern of conservative media conflating homophobic views and statements with Christian religious beliefs.
UPDATE: The SPLC issued a statement on February 11 announcing that it has removed Ben Carson from its "extremist files" list. The statement also notes that "Dr. Carson has, in fact, made a number of statements that express views that we believe most people would conclude are extreme" and that "his views should be closely examined."
A Fox News Special Report segment hyped fears that the Affordable Care Act (ACA) could impose a penalty on taxpayers who received an advanced premium subsidy to help defer the cost of health care insurance. But the report failed to note that the IRS offers penalty relief to some taxpayers.
According to The New York Times, many ACA enrollees who qualified for a subsidy and chose to have it paid in advanced based on their projected 2014 income may have to pay for subsidy overpayments. The Times explained, if "their actual income was higher -- because they got a raise or found a new job -- they will be entitled to a smaller subsidy and must repay the difference, subject to certain limits."
On the February 6 edition of Special Report, guest host Chris Wallace claimed that "many tax-payers are getting a nasty surprise courtesy of the president's health care law." White House correspondent Kevin Corke reported that millions could have to pay a tax penalty due to the overpayment of income-based federal subsidies to purchase health insurance under the ACA. Corke claimed that "millions may have underestimated their tax snapshot and now have to pay":
Bloomberg News is helping a Republican operative push out a dishonest smear of Hillary Clinton, hyping the aggregate cost of Clinton's air travel while she was serving as a U.S. Senator as something that could be scandalous. But the article's dubious premise is undermined by facts contained in the article, notably that Clinton's travel history was routine and completely within Senate rules.
"Hillary Clinton took more than 200 privately chartered flights at taxpayer expense during her eight years in the U.S. Senate," Bloomberg reported, "sometimes using the jets of corporations and major campaign donors as she racked up $225,756 in flight costs."
The article warned that Clinton's travel record could feed into Republican attacks that she is "out of touch."
But Bloomberg undermined the entire premise of its article, reporting that "the flights fell within congressional rules and were not out of the ordinary for senators at the time":
There is no evidence her Senate trips, which ranged in cost from less than $200 to upwards of $3,000 per flight, ran afoul of Senate rules, which were tightened by a 2007 ethics law. Before the law was changed, senators were required to pay the cost of a first-class ticket to ride aboard a private jet -- or, in some cases, even less. In Clinton's final two years in the Senate, lawmakers who flew on private or chartered planes had to pay their proportional share of the cost of the flight based on the number of passengers.
Bloomberg's complicity in pushing a GOP smear campaign that it concedes is without merit is a troubling development given the relentless and deceptive conservative attacks on Clinton.
Former Fox News host Mike Huckabee criticized his former female co-workers at Fox for using profanity and language he called "trashy."
Politico reported on Huckabee's January 23 radio interview on Iowa's Mickelson in the Morning, with host Jan Mickelson in which Huckabee complained that he experienced "culture shock" working with people at Fox News who used profanity. Huckabee specifically lamented the use of foul language by women at the network calling it, "just trashy." Listen:
USA Today amplified a misleading op-ed claiming that proposed net neutrality regulations could cost consumers $15 billion in new user fees and taxes, a number that has been called into question by advocacy groups for faulty assumptions.
On December 12, USA Today ran an op-ed by Progressive Policy Institute's Hal Singer and Brookings Institute's Robert Litan promoting their conclusion that a vote by the FCC to reclassify the Internet as a public utility under Title II of the Communications Act could cost consumers "a whopping $15 billion in new user fees to consumer bills." The authors claimed that "[o]nce Internet access service is labeled a 'telecommunications service' under Title II, consumer broadband services could become subject to a whole host of new taxes and fees."
Singer and Litan admitted that "the Internet Tax Freedom Act pending in Congress might limit the impact of some of these taxes and fees" and that the FCC could limit service fees to consumers, but argued that such moves are unlikely and would not limit the impact of all fees.
The paper published the authors' claims despite the fact that their calculations have been criticized for relying on faulty assumptions. The nonpartisan open Internet advocacy group Free Press estimated that FCC limits and the Internet Freedom Act would reduce possible fees associated with net neutrality reclassification by nearly 75 percent, to $4 billion. The group called the notion that Internet reclassification would amount to more than $15 billion in new local, state, and federal taxes an unlikely "worst-case scenario" that fails to account for how net neutrality works in practice, as it ignores "the difference between services that cross state lines and those that exist entirely within one state":
On November 21, the Republican-led House Permanent Select Committee on Intelligence (HPSCI) released the findings of a nearly two year-long investigative report into the September 2012 attacks on two U.S. facilities in Benghazi. This report, like many before it, debunked right-wing media's myths about the attacks, concluding that there was no intelligence failure prior to the attacks, no stand down order was issued during attacks, and the administration's initial talking points about the attacks were based on the Central Intelligence Agency's assessment at the time, as the administration has long maintained.
The HPSCI report concluded:
[T]he CIA ensured sufficient security for CIA facilities in Benghazi ;and, without a requirement to do so, ably and bravely assisted the State Department on the night of the attacks. Their actions saved lives. Appropriate U.S. personnel made reasonable tactical decisions that night, and the Committee found no evidence that there was either a stand down order or a denial of available air support. The Committee, however, received evidence that the State Department security personnel, resources, and equipment were unable to counter the terrorist threat that day and required CIA assistance.
Second, the Committee finds that there was no intelligence failure prior to the attacks. In the months prior, the IC provided intelligence about previous attacks and the increased threat environment in Benghazi, but the IC did not have specific, tactical warning of the September 11 attacks.
Fox News hosts cherry-picked quotations from President Obama's 2006 autobiography, The Audacity Of Hope, claiming that the President's sympathizing with Americans concerned about illegal immigration conflicts with his current plans to take executive action to prevent deportations. But Obama's autobiography clearly explained that those concerns are no reason to deny immigrants the "rights and opportunities" that Americans enjoy.
Obama recently announced a plan to issue executive actions to protect up to five million undocumented immigrants from deportation. The New York Times reported that the president's actions would likely "allow many parents of children who are American citizens or legal residents to obtain legal work documents and no longer worry about being discovered, separated from their families and sent away."
The co-hosts of The Five painted Obama as a hypocrite on the November 17 edition of the show, highlighting selected quotes from Obama's autobiography in which he expresses that he understands Americans' concerns about illegal immigration. Co-host Eric Bolling asked whether "those comments that he just spoke in Audacity Of Hope ... conflict with what he's saying now?"