Fox News' opinion shows predictably bashed President Obama's jobs plan after it was introduced during a joint session of Congress Thursday night. Making a mockery of Fox's claim that there is a distinction between its news and opinion programming, Fox's supposedly "straight news" shows picked up right where its opinion shows left off.
During an interview with Rep. Robert Andrews (D-NJ) on today's edition of Fox News' America's Newsroom, purported "straight news" anchor Martha MacCallum attacked Obama's jobs plan as unlikely to succeed claiming that the "original stimulus plan ... didn't work, as evidenced by the employment numbers and every other indication in the economy that we've seen." The claim that the stimulus failed is a myth that economists have debunked, although that hasn't stopped Fox from pushing the claim.
The following hour on America's Newsroom, Chris Wallace, the host of Fox News Sunday, repeated the myth that the stimulus failed, saying that "the part" of the plan calling for increased infrastructure spending "sound[ed] like 'Son of Stimulus,' like we were back to the future in February of 2009, and it just hasn't worked." He later added: "You know, you look at the results of the stimulus from 2009 where they promised it would keep unemployment under 8 percent and we haven't been -- you know, we've been over 8 percent for the last 28 months."
Shortly after Wallace made his remarks, MacCallum again bashed the plan, this time suggesting that what the economy really needs is renegotiation of union contracts. MacCallum said: "A lot of the union membership out there has been very supportive of a lot of more conservative ideals. The union leadership has fought tenaciously to hold onto its political position, even though the membership in this country is down to something like 7 percent of American workers that are in unions." She later said: "It is simple math in terms of many of these contracts that have been promised that simply cannot be fulfilled in so many cases for unions. So we need to go back to the drawing board in a lot of those cases."
Fox News routinely blurs the line between its supposed "straight news" and opinion programs. This is just one of the more obvious efforts of the two divisions to campaign against Obama.