On August 4, Katie Couric joined repeat offender Bret Baier in reporting on unusually large -- and sometimes disruptive -- crowds turning out to protest health care reform at town halls hosted by members of Congress without noting that conservative organizations opposed to Democrats' proposals -- boosted by the likes of Rush Limbaugh and Sean Hannity -- are conducting a campaign to pack those events with their supporters. For the second night in a row, Baier reported on the protests but ignored the conservative strategy to pack town hall events with health care reform opponents.
On Special Report, anchor Bret Baier claimed that at recent congressional town hall meetings, the "public" is "venting" about health care reform, while correspondent Shannon Bream stated that "skeptical Americans across the country are pushing back" against the legislation. But at no point did Special Report note that conservative organizations opposed to the bills are conducting a campaign to turn out their supporters to attend those events, with the support of conservative media figures and outlets such as Rush Limbaugh and The Fox Nation.
In covering President Obama's promotion of health care reform and his July 22 press conference, several media figures have suggested that Obama has "overexposed" himself by holding too many press conferences and granting too many interviews.
From the July 22 edition of Fox News' Special Report with Bret Baier:
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Bret Baier reported Gerald Walpin's allegation that, in firing him, President Obama "violated congressionally enacted protections for inspectors general." But Baier gave no indication that he contacted the Obama administration for a response; nor did he report on the administration's rationale for firing Walpin.
Fox News' special about Judge Sonia Sotomayor misrepresented Sotomayor's quote that "the Court of Appeals is where policy is made" to claim that she "apparently confess[ed]" to "legislating from the bench." The special also misrepresented President Obama's quote about "empathy."
Following a trend by other Fox News figures, Bret Baier and Major Garrett claimed that President Obama "apologized" for the U.S. role in global warming. But in the remarks they aired, Obama did not apologize, and in other comments, he noted that "no one nation is responsible for climate change."
From the July 7 edition of Fox News' Special Report with Bret Baier:
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Bret Baier falsely suggested that President Obama has cited Canada's medical system as a "possible model" for his health care reform plan. In fact, Obama has explicitly rejected a Canadian-style health care system.
Brian Kilmeade and Bret Baier falsely suggested that only Republicans had called the ABC health care special with President Obama an "infomercial." In fact, numerous Fox News personalities, including Kilmeade, and the network's Fox Nation website, echoed Republicans and called the ABC special an "infomercial."
From the June 23 edition of Fox News' Special Report:
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Media outlets that had advanced conservative claims that cap-and-trade legislation would cost thousands of dollars per household have yet to report on a CBO analysis estimating that the net impact to households would be significantly lower for legislation recently passed out of a House committee.
Fox News figures have repeatedly accused other media of inadequately covering the shooting of two soldiers at an Army recruiting center in Arkansas. But while CNN and MSNBC offered live coverage of a press conference held by a survivor of that shooting, Fox News did not, nor did it report later that day on the man's remarks to the media.
Numerous media figures have advanced the attack that because the current unemployment rate is higher than initial administration predictions, in the words of Newt Gingrich, Obama's "policies are failing." But supporters of a stimulus bill had warned before it was passed that it would not result in an immediate decrease in unemployment.
Says Baier of his early success (emphasis added):
"I have a lot of people tell me they establish a relationship with an anchor. It is about believability and trust. It is about inviting that person into your home, into your living room, every night," Baier says in a telephone interview. "It is about the product that goes on the air. It is about being true to our motto which is 'being fair and balanced.'
"I am proud of what we have been able to do and I think our numbers and the network numbers show that we are striking a chord."
Too bad the "chord" Baier and his Fox News buddies keep striking is so badly out of tune.
The piece goes on to note that Baier attributes Fox News' success to its "scrappy" early days as a new kid on the cable news block. How touching, they only had bagels and a moving truck (again, emphasis added):
Baier knows what it means to fight for viewers. He's been with Fox News since 1998 when he started the network's Atlanta bureau out of his apartment only two years after the channel launched.
Two years later, the presidential race between George W. Bush and Al Gore rested on "hanging chads" in Florida and a Supreme Court decision in Washington, D.C. Baier was dispatched to Florida.
"I remember CNN had all of these trucks. And they had this buffet set up. We were working out of the back of a Ryder truck and eating bagels," he recalls. "That is the beauty of Fox. We have always been scrappy."
I don't know if "scrappy" is the right word for what Fox News has "always been."
Seems to me there may be an extra letter in there somewhere.