More cut and paste: Fox's Doocy parrots Heritage talking points, claims they came "from a friend"

››› ››› ERIC HANANOKI

On August 12, Steve Doocy cited five "really hard" health care questions to ask elected officials at town hall meetings, which he said he received "from one of [his] friends." All of Doocy's questions, however, are virtually identical to the "five questions Americans should be pressing their elected leaders on" posted on the conservative Heritage Foundation's blog.

From the August 12 edition of Fox News' Fox & Friends:

DOOCY: Now because so many of your elected officials and the president are going to be having these town hall meetings, I actually got from a friend of mine this -- you know how sometimes you get --

BRIAN KILMEADE (co-host): Is this your car dealer?

DOOCY: No, it's somebody else. You know how --

KILMEADE: Is it the guy that helped you with your gutters? That you don't like --

DARI ALEXANDER (guest co-host): Is it your dentist?

DOOCY: No, I got a new gutter guy.

KILMEADE: Really? OK.

DOOCY: This is from one of my friends, and I got a lot of friends who send me stuff, and this is one of those things where if you find yourself in a town hall meeting and you need to ask a really hard question -- that it would be hard for these guys and gals to weasel out of -- ask them one of these five questions. [Fox & Friends; 8/12/09]

Heritage offers "five questions Americans should be pressing their elected leaders on"

Heritage offers five questions for Americans to ask members of Congress at town hall meetings. In an August 4 post on its blog, The Foundry, Conn Carroll, Heritage Foundation assistant director of strategic communications, wrote: "This country deserves a respectful, honest debate about health care. And the hundreds of townhalls Members of Congress will be hosting across the country this August are just the place for that conversation to happen. Here are just five questions Americans should be pressing their elected leaders on over the coming month." The questions Carroll then listed are virtually identical to the ones Doocy said he received "from one of [his] friends."

Question 1

Doocy: "Can you, elected person, promise I will not lose my current plan and doctor?"

Fox News onscreen text:

From Heritage:

"Can you promise me that I will not lose my current plan and doctor?"

Question 2

Doocy: "Can you promise that you and your family, elected person, will enroll in the public plan?"

Fox News onscreen text:

From Heritage:

"Can you promise that you and your family will enroll in the public plan?"

Question 3

Doocy: "Can you, elected official, promise that the health care will not lead -- nationwide health care -- will not lead to higher deficits in the long term, which the president said he has -- stands against?"

Fox News onscreen text:

From Heritage:

"Can you promise that Obamacare will not lead to higher deficits in the long term?"

Question 4

Doocy: "[C]an you promise that government bureaucrats will not ration health care for the patients on the public plan?

Fox News onscreen text:

From Heritage:

"Can you promise that government bureaucrats will not ration health care for patients on the public plan?"

Question 5

Doocy: "[C]an you promise that my tax dollars will not fund abortions?"

Fox News onscreen text:

From Heritage:

"Can you promise me that my tax dollars will not fund abortions?"

Heritage is a "conservative" think tank

Heritage's mission is to "promote conservative public policies." On the "about" page of its website, Heritage states it is "a research and educational institute -- a think tank -- whose mission is to formulate and promote conservative public policies based on the principles of free enterprise, limited government, individual freedom, traditional American values, and a strong national defense."

Fox News' recent history of passing off conservative talking points without attribution

Fox passes off GOP press release as its own research -- typo and all. In purporting to "take a look back" at how the economic recovery plan "grew, and grew, and grew," anchor Jon Scott referenced seven dates, as onscreen graphics cited various news sources from those time periods -- all of which came directly from a Senate Republican Communications Center press release. A Fox News onscreen graphic even reproduced a typo contained in the Republican press release. The next day, Scott acknowledged that the story was "prompted by a news release from the Senate Republican Communications Center" and apologized for the typo.

"FOXfact[s]" about GOP budget nearly identical to GOP Rep. Ryan's op-ed. While Scott interviewed Rep. Paul Ryan, Fox News aired "FOXfact[s]" purporting to describe facts about the House Republican budget. However, all of the seven on-screen "FOXfact[s]" were nearly identical to portions of an op-ed Ryan published in that day's Wall Street Journal.

Transcript

From the August 12 edition of Fox News' Fox & Friends:

DOOCY: Now because so many of your elected officials and the president are going to be having these town hall meetings, I actually got from a friend of mine this -- you know how sometimes you get --

BRIAN KILMEADE (co-host): Is this your car dealer?

DOOCY: No, it's somebody else. You know how --

KILMEADE: Is it the guy that helped you with your gutters? That you don't like --

DARI ALEXANDER (guest co-host): Is it your dentist?

DOOCY: No, I got a new gutter guy.

KILMEADE: Really? OK.

DOOCY: This is from one of my friends, and I got a lot of friends who send me stuff, and this is one of those things where if you find yourself in a town hall meeting and you need to ask a really hard question -- that it would be hard for these guys and gals to weasel out of -- ask them one of these five questions.

First of all: Can you, elected person, promise I will not lose my current plan and doctor? Yes or no. Can you promise that you and your family, elected person, will enroll in the public plan?

KILMEADE: And so, in other words, ask the elected official if they're going to go along.

DOOCY: That's right. Can you, elected official, promise that the health care will not lead -- nationwide health care -- will not lead to higher deficits in the long term, which the president said he has -- stands against.

And can you promise that government bureaucrats will not ration health care for the patients on the public plan? And finally, can you promise that my tax dollars will not fund abortions?

These are five questions to ask. And this particular spam said if anyone is a no, tell them to vote no on the new health care plan. OK, that's one point of view; if you've got another point of view, email it to us right now at friends@foxnews.com.

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