As Media Matters' noted yesterday, Fox News' Dana Perino apologized for falsely claiming last week that President Obama supported the release of the Lockerbie bomber. Perino said she was "glad there's a website out there that can track my every move and keep me honest."
Mediaite's Tommy Christopher says others can learn from Perino, even if the apology was a bit "sarcastic":
Perino may have been a tad sarcastic in her veiled praise for Media Matters, but hers is exactly the right attitude to take. All too often, when a media figure gets called out, the tendency is to point the finger elsewhere. It was refreshing to hear Perino own her mistake, and thank those who pointed it out.
There will be some who will note that her apology comes a week late, but I think it works out better that way. She's speaking to the same audience who heard her initial report, and the distance from last week's story gives the apology some air of its own to breathe.
On Fox & Friends, Steve Doocy continued the Fox tradition of giving Republican guests softball interviews by hosting three Republican attorneys general who are filing lawsuits challenging the constitutionality of the health care reform law. Doocy failed to note that legal experts have said that the health care reform bill is constitutional.
From the August 2 edition of Fox News' Fox & Friends:
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Fox News Senior Vice President Michael Clemente has now admitted that a "breakdown" allowed Foxnews.com to run a story about Shirley Sherrod's comments before she resigned. Prior to this statement, a barrage of Fox personalities aggressively pushed the claim that Fox had not run with the story before Sherrod's resignation.
From the July 27 edition of Fox News' Hannity:
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Yesterday, the noise machine's nonsense scandal du jour was that the Obama administration supposedly "supported" the release of the Lockerbie bomber. Fox News' Dana Perino, FoxNews.com, Drudge, and several conservative bloggers hyped the story, with the always-unhinged Pam Geller going so far as to call for a "special investigation" and a "charge of treason." Rush Limbaugh claimed that Obama "backed the release," because he "wanted to make nice with the Muslim world." As we pointed out at the time, reports indicated that the administration opposed the release of the Lockerbie bomber on compassionate grounds, but stipulated that if he were to be released, he should go to Scotland, and not to Libya.
Predictably, the story has continued to disintegrate. Yesterday, The State Department released its correspondence with the Scottish Ministry of Justice, which states in no uncertain terms that the administration "is not prepared to support Megrahi's release on compassionate release or bail," and that "it would be most appropriate for Megrahi to remain imprisoned for the entirety of his sentence."
Responding to the release of the letter in a post headlined "Two Cheers For The Administration On Megrahi," PowerLine's John Hinderaker states that this story is a "non-controversy in which the State Department and the Obama administration acted honorably and appropriately."
Despite the letter from the State Department clearly demolishing this non-scandal, some conservative bloggers just won't give up the ghost. Undeterred (as usual) by reality, Jim Hoft responded to the letter by announcing in a headline that the administration "Preferred [Lockerbie Bomber's] Release." This serves as more evidence that Hoft either does not bother to read the things he links to, or that his deranged hatred of the administration is such that it leads him state with a straight face that up is down.
Even more embarrassing than Hoft's post was this inane screed by RedState's Lori Ziganto about how Obama "can't seem to man up." This was posted after the release of the letter, yet completely ignored its existence:
The right-wing media are distorting a U.K. Sunday Times article to claim that the "White House backed [the] release of [the] Lockerbie bomber," Abdel Baset al-Megrahi. In fact, the Sunday Times article right-wing media figures are citing makes clear that "the United States wanted Megrahi to remain imprisoned in view of the nature of the crime."
Fox News spent much of July 19 and 20 ginning up controversy about the false claim that Shirley Sherrod made racist remarks at a NAACP meeting earlier this year. As the claim unraveled, Fox media personalities disappeared their role in the story, continued to smear her as "descriminat[ory]" in the face of contradictory evidence, and boldly suggested the network did not contribute to the controversy.
In contrast to Fox News' repeated hyping of voter-intimidation charges against members of the New Black Panther Party during the 2008 election, a search of the Nexis database indicates that Fox News' top shows did not report on similar allegations that members of the Minutemen harassed Hispanic voters at an Arizona polling center in 2006.
Right-wing media continued trumpeting completely unsubstantiated allegations that the Department of Justice -- and Attorney General Eric Holder specifically -- dismissed voter-intimidation charges against members of the New Black Panther Party because the defendants were African-American. In fact, Assistant Attorney General Thomas Perez testified that the charges were dropped after attorneys at the Civil Rights Division determined that there was insufficient evidence to prosecute the three defendants.
Taking subterfuge to a new level, Fox News this morning hosted Dana Perino to promote the right-wing hatchet job against the Obama Justice Department with a straight-faced denial that nothing similar happened during the Bush administration. It did. And while she worked there.
To review, right-wing media have taken the lead of GOP activist and "exhibit A" of the politicized Bush DOJ, J. Christian Adams, to accuse President Obama and Attorney General Eric Holder of racially charged corruption tied to the Justice Department's decision not to pursue additional charges against members of the New Black Panther Party for allegedly intimidating voters outside a Philadelphia polling center in 2008. After the Bush administration chose not to pursue criminal charges against the party, its leader and the two members standing outside the polling center, the Obama administration's Justice Department successfully obtained civil judgment against Samir Shabazz for carrying a weapon outside the polling center while withdrawing civil charges against the other three parties.
Despite this fact -- which is not in dispute -- Fox News continues to dishonestly present Adams' specious case as if it's in any way plausible. Perino, for her part, synopsized Adams' allegations and philosophized:
PERINO: I don't know if we'll ever find out the truth. I know that if I -- when I was press secretary, and the situation had been reversed -- I definitely would have been asked if the White House knew about it. Or at least what the White House thought about it, because what we should get now from the Justice Department is at least some sort of an explanation as to why they thought it wasn't a good case.
Apparently no one will "find out the truth" watching this channel. More after the jump.
From the July 7 broadcast of Fox News' Fox & Friends:
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Right-wing media have denounced Labor Secretary Hilda Solis' campaign informing vulnerable workers, including the undocumented, about the wage standards to which they are entitled. However, the Labor Department's policy of enforcing labor laws without regard to immigration status long predates the Obama administration; moreover, the enforcement of labor laws is widely seen -- even by those who advocate for greater restrictions on immigration -- as a key to discouraging employers from hiring unauthorized workers.
Right-wing media figures have repeatedly claimed that it's "time we stopped blaming Bush" in discussions of the Gulf oil spill. However, under the Bush administration, federal offshore drilling regulators relaxed regulatory standards and were plagued by ethics scandals.
Responding to Democrats who have cited the Bush administration while discussing problems currently facing the U.S., including the Gulf oil spill, Dana Perino stated on Fox News, "They know that that is not true," and challenged them to "name one regulatory piece that was repealed during the Bush administration that led to this or that." However, the federal offshore drilling regulator under the Bush administration relaxed regulatory standards and was plagued by ethics scandals.