How Fox News Built The GOP's Latest Discredited Attack Ad

Blog ››› ››› BRIAN POWELL

Days after Fox News began deceptively cropping President Obama's comments regarding automatic spending cuts, a similar attack emerged in an ad by the Republican National Committee. Like Fox's manufactured attack, the ad is being criticized for taking Obama "wildly out of context."

Media Matters originally found that Fox News had taken a 2011 speech by Obama out of context in order to claim that he threatened to veto any replacement for looming budget cuts. The unedited version of his speech, however, clearly shows that the President was calling on Congress to reach an agreement that would avoid it. Shortly after Fox aired its attack, the RNC released an ad that followed Fox's playbook, accusing the president of standing in the way of any agreement to avoid the spending cuts:

After employing the same tactics as Fox, the RNC ad is being subjected to similar criticism. Buzzfeed posted the video under a headline that accuses the ad of taking "Obama wildly out of context."

In fact, Obama's full comments make clear that the president was not standing in the way of a deal, but calling on Congress to replace the automatic budget cuts with a balanced approach to reduce the deficit. The portion used by the RNC is bolded below:

Now, the question right now is whether we can reduce the deficit in a way that helps the economy grow, that operates with a scalpel, not with a hatchet, and if not, whether Congress is willing to stick to the painful deal that we made in August for the automatic cuts.  Already, some in Congress are trying to undo these automatic spending cuts.

My message to them is simple:  No.  I will veto any effort to get rid of those automatic spending cuts to domestic and defense spending.  There will be no easy off ramps on this one.

We need to keep the pressure up to compromise -- not turn off the pressure.  The only way these spending cuts will not take place is if Congress gets back to work and agrees on a balanced plan to reduce the deficit by at least $1.2 trillion.  That's exactly what they need to do.  That's the job they promised to do.  And they've still got a year to figure it out.

Although Congress has not come to an agreement yet, nothing prevents them from coming up with an agreement in the days ahead. They can still come together around a balanced plan. I believe Democrats are prepared to do so. My expectation is, is that there will be some Republicans who are still interested in preventing the automatic cuts from taking place. And, as I have from the beginning, I stand ready and willing to work with anybody that's ready to engage in that effort to create a balanced plan for deficit reduction.

The nexus between the GOP and Fox News is well documented. During the 2012 presidential campaign, the theme of the GOP's national convention also came from a deceptive attack manufactured by Fox News.

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The Presidency & White House
Fox News Channel
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