Carlson, Doocy falsely claim Pelosi called health reform opponents "un-American"

››› ››› JEREMY HOLDEN

Discussing the recent health care town hall protests, Gretchen Carlson falsely claimed, "Nancy Pelosi says anyone who speaks out is un-American," and Steve Doocy falsely claimed, "Pelosi [said] that apparently the opposing view to her view is un-American." In fact, in a USA Today op-ed, Pelosi and House Majority Leader Steny Hoyer wrote that "it is now evident that an ugly campaign is underway not merely to misrepresent the health insurance reform legislation, but to disrupt public meetings and prevent members of Congress and constituents from conducting a civil dialogue," and that "[d]rowning out opposing views is simply un-American."

Carlson, Doocy falsely claimed Pelosi said "anyone who speaks out," has "the opposing view," is "un-American"

From the August 10 edition of Fox News' Fox & Friends:

CARLSON: Some lawmakers are outright canceling the town halls now, and Nancy Pelosi says anyone who speaks out is un-American.

[...]

DOOCY: You know what? I think so many Americans are frustrated that the stimulus got jammed through so fast. Nobody read that. They're just afraid that if this thing, which is so bulky and so enormous and touches everybody, just goes through so fast without talking about it, there could be dire consequences.

Well, now's the talking time. You know, our members of Congress are home for a month, and this is our chance to do some talking. Of course, going back to Nancy Pelosi saying that apparently the opposing view to her view is un-American, that's our text question this hour. Is it un-American to debate health care?

Pelosi, Hoyer wrote: "Drowning out opposing views is simply un-American."

Pelosi, Hoyer op-ed: "[U]gly campaign is underway" to disrupt public meetings and prevent civil dialogue; "[d]rowning out opposing views is simply un-American." Pelosi and Hoyer wrote in an August 10 USA Today op-ed:

[A]s members of Congress spend time at home during August, they are talking with their constituents about reform. The dialogue between elected representatives and constituents is at the heart of our democracy and plays an integral role in assuring that the legislation we write reflects the genuine needs and concerns of the people we represent.

However, it is now evident that an ugly campaign is underway not merely to misrepresent the health insurance reform legislation, but to disrupt public meetings and prevent members of Congress and constituents from conducting a civil dialogue. These tactics have included hanging in effigy one Democratic member of Congress in Maryland and protesters holding a sign displaying a tombstone with the name of another congressman in Texas, where protesters also shouted "Just say no!" drowning out those who wanted to hold a substantive discussion.

Let the facts be heard

These disruptions are occurring because opponents are afraid not just of differing views -- but of the facts themselves. Drowning out opposing views is simply un-American. Drowning out the facts is how we failed at this task for decades.

Health care is complex. It touches every American life. It drives our economy. People must be allowed to learn the facts. [USA Today, 8/10/09]

Fox personalities promoted town hall protests

Fox promoted disruptions of health care town halls. Following the August 2 disruption of a town hall event hosted by Sen. Arlen Specter (D-PA) and Health and Human Services Secretary Kathleen Sebelius, Fox News personalities repeatedly lauded such protesters and urged viewers to take similar action. Indeed, Sean Hannity characterized one protest as "more like a Philadelphia Eagles game or a Flyers game than a town hall" and stated, "That's a pretty good way to fight back."

Fox Nation headlined report on WH efforts to combat health care misinformation, "Is the White House Attacking Democracy?" An August 5 headline on the Fox Nation asked, "Is the White House Attacking Democracy." The headline linked to a Politico article that reported the White House "launched a coordinated effort" to "combat what it calls a 'viral whisper campaign' to torpedo health care reform."

From the August 10 edition of Fox News' Fox & Friends:

CARLSON: Some lawmakers are outright canceling the town halls now, and Nancy Pelosi says anyone who speaks out is un-American.

[...]

DOOCY: Meanwhile, Speaker Pelosi and Steny Hoyer, a couple of the leading Democrats in the House, have written an op-ed that appears in today's USA Today, and they say -- it starts out by talking about how Americans are waiting for affordable health care. It talks about the ugly campaign, and how both sides are yelling at each other, and then -- it's interesting, because what they write is, "These disruptions are because opponents are afraid not just of differing views but of the facts themselves. They are drowning out opposing views, and that is simply un-American."

BRIAN KILMEADE (co-host): Un-American? I thought that was all part of the debate.

[...]

DOOCY: You know what? I think so many Americans are frustrated that the stimulus got jammed through so fast. Nobody read that. They're just afraid that if this thing, which is so bulky and so enormous and touches everybody, just goes through so fast without talking about it, there could be dire consequences.

Well, now's the talking time. You know, our members of Congress are home for a month, and this is our chance to do some talking. Of course, going back to Nancy Pelosi saying that apparently the opposing view to her view is un-American, that's our text question this hour. Is it un-American to debate health care?

Posted In
Health Care, Health Care Reform
Network/Outlet
Fox News Channel
Person
Steve Doocy, Gretchen Carlson
Show/Publication
FOX & Friends
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