Molly Henneberg uncritically aired quotes that suggested the estate tax would affect "many" small businesses and family farms. But the Tax Policy Center estimated that in 2009, "about 90 percent of the 700 small farm and business estates that will have to file estate tax returns will not owe any estate tax."
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Despite the scientific consensus that human-caused global warming is real and is negatively affecting the planet, the media have repeatedly provided a platform for critics who argue that the Earth is in a period of "cooling" or that the issue of global warming does not need to be addressed.
Neil Cavuto and Bret Baier falsely claimed that the Employee Free Choice Act would, in Baier's words, "do away with the secret ballot in votes to unionize." In fact, as The Christian Science Monitor noted, EFCA would give "workers a choice of forming a union through majority sign-up ... or an election by secret ballot."
On Special Report, Bret Baier stated: "Following news Mr. Obama picked North Carolina to win the NCAA championship, rival coach [Mike] Krzyzewski responded: 'Somebody said that we're not in President Obama's Final Four, and as much as I respect what he's doing, really, the economy is something that he should focus on, probably more than the brackets.' " But Baier -- and other media figures -- did not report Krzyzewski's following comment in which he praised Obama, saying in part, "I love the guy, and I think he's gonna be great."
A Media Matters analysis found that since the day after President Obama's inauguration, broadcast and cable news figures have been stating that Obama's "honeymoon" is "over" or questioning whether it is, rendering the cliché all but meaningless. During this period, media figures have suggested Obama's "honeymoon" is "over" with respect to "some ... die-hard Republicans," the media, African-Americans, Cuban President Fidel Castro, "Republican critics of his economic recovery plan," and economists.
On Special Report, Bret Baier reported on emails from House Speaker Nancy Pelosi's office concerning requests for air transportation for congressional delegation trips, citing one email calling a lack of a certain type of plane "totally unacceptable" and saying, "The Speaker will want to know where the planes are." But Baier failed to report that according to ABC's The Note, the email in question "came in reference to planes available for bipartisan trips by congressional delegations -- not the speaker's personal travel" or that Republicans participated in several of the congressional delegations for which Pelosi's office requested transportation.
On Special Report, Brian Wilson stated of EFCA, "[O]ne economist warned of what would happen if the bill passed and met its predicted goal of growing unions by 5 to 10 percent," and then aired a video clip of Anne Layne-Farrar testifying to Congress: "This would result in an increase in the unemployment rate of around 1 and a half to 3 percentage points." Fox's on-screen graphic identified Layne-Farrar only as "Economist." At no point did Wilson note that Layne-Farrar's testimony was based on the results of a study conducted by Layne-Farrar and funded by industry groups that oppose EFCA.
On Special Report, Bret Baier reported that Rush Limbaugh "has been under fire for saying he wants President Obama to fail. Limbaugh has since explained he was talking about the president's policies and not the president specifically or the economy." In fact, Limbaugh has said he hopes the economic recovery package "prolongs the recession" and has also repeatedly said he wants Obama specifically to fail.
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Fox News' Glenn Beck claimed that Vice President Joe Biden met "in secret" with the AFL-CIO executive council, while Bret Baier asserted that Biden's appearance at the labor federation's meeting "was anything but transparent." In fact, the White House released a transcript of Biden's AFL-CIO speech and "a pool of print reporters" reportedly covered the speech at the request of the White House.
In separate reports, Fox News' Bret Baier and Megyn Kelly misrepresented the reported plans of the Obama administration to rescind a December 2008 Bush administration regulation to falsely assert that the Obama administration's decision could result in doctors' being prosecuted or discriminated against for refusing to perform abortions. In fact, federal law -- which the Obama administration cannot "repeal" -- prohibits public officials from requiring recipients of public funds to perform abortions or sterilizations in violation of their religious or moral beliefs.
Fox News' Bret Baier reported that an AP article "list[ed] a number of Democrats embroiled in ethical issues." But Baier did not point out any Republican public officials currently "embroiled in ethical issues."
In Fox News' special, Trillion with a T, Bret Baier promoted or repeated several myths and falsehoods about President Obama and the economic recovery bill, including that some of the spending in the bill -- which Obama has now signed into law -- isn't stimulus; that the bill will lead to "the government deciding which procedures you can have and which ones you can't"; that it would prohibit any religious activity in facilities receiving money; that the Obama administration advocated cutting the defense budget by 10 percent; and that Obama admitted "there might be some pork" in the bill.
Since Congress passed President Obama's economic recovery bill, several media figures have warned that Obama could suffer political consequences if the nation's economy does not improve substantially in a short amount of time. But Obama has consistently emphasized the long-term nature of economic recovery, repeatedly stating that the recovery "will likely be measured in terms of years and not months."