From the January 13 edition of Fox Business' Happy Hour:
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In January 2007 -- in what can only be described as a stunning display of race baiting, religious bigotry, and outright dishonesty -- the hosts of Fox & Friends spent a substantial portion of a broadcast repeating an obviously false online claim that then-Sen. Obama had attended a radical Islamic madrassa as a child in Indonesia.
The madrassa lie was quickly debunked by CNN. Fox & Friends was forced to "clarify" its report. John Moody, who was a Fox News executive at the time, reportedly said that the Fox News hosts who ran with the false story "violated one of our general rules, which is know what you are talking about. ... They reported information from a publication whose accuracy we didn't know." Separately, Moody also reportedly wrote of the madrassa incident: "For the record: seeing an item on a website does not mean it is right. Nor does it mean it is ready for air on FNC."
But almost three years later, the madrassa smear has returned to Fox. On two shows this week -- both guest-hosted by Fox News' Eric Bolling -- frequent Fox guest Ann Coulter has claimed three times that Obama attended "madrassas" as a child. Bolling has yet to challenge Coulter's false claims.
Mediaite posted video of one of Coulter's comments here.
From the December 28 edition of Fox News' The O'Reilly Factor (as transcribed on Fox News' website):
COULTER: And I also would like say, especially with a former Obama advisor on the program, I mean, this is - this was part of the selling point of for Obama liberal. Andrew Sullivan pointed out, you know, what are these radical Islamists going to do when they look and see the president of the great Satan. And you know, he has brown skin. And he attended madrassas. And he talks about how he's so moved by the call to prayer five times a day. He used to hear in Indonesia. If anyone can say we're going to look for radical Islamists, it ought to be President Obama. If he does that, if he institutes racial profiling at the airports, I'll vote for him.
BOLLING: Matthew, would it be so bad?
From the December 30 edition of Fox News' Glenn Beck (as transcribed in the Nexis database):
BOLLING: Ann, let me just talk to you about this for a second.
Since Obama has been in office June 2009, the Little Rock soldier was killed, August 2009; U.S. citizen born in Brooklyn, he's going to fight for the Taliban; in September, Talib Islam born Michael Finton wants to go fight for the Taliban; the Zazi brothers in Denver, they want to blow up the New York City subway; Nidal Hasan, the Army major at Fort Hood; and then this attack on Christmas.
You know, these incidences have definitely stepped up in the last 11 months.
COULTER: Right, I think they have. And that isn't a very long time for three actual attacks on U.S. soil. And I think the point is, these are two competing ideologies of how you deal with our enemies. And if anything, I mean -- I mean, they kept using it as a selling point that Obama would throw Islamic radicals on their hind legs when they look up and they see someone who studies with [sic: studied at] madrassas and they see the "Great Satan" has a president with a brown face and the world is going to love us.
Well, that clearly has not come to be the case. And moreover, you know, he is in a position even stronger than George Bush to do what ought to be done and that is to start looking for passengers who look like the last three dozen terrorists to attack airplanes. He could engage in -- whatever you want to call it -- racial profiling, ethnic profiling, looking for young Muslim males, foreign-born Muslim males. But no, to the contrary, what we have is his homeland security coming out and saying the system works.
BOLLING: Andrew, you're in the west coast. Are feelings changing a little bit? It's been a liberal left coast for a long, now they see all these attacks and potential attacks going on. Is the sentiment changing?
BREITBART: In Hollywood -- well, look, the thing is, what's happened over the last few years in Hollywood and as being a critic of Hollywood at large, I have to make an apology to the FOX audience because, for years, I thought it was a monolithically left-centered town. It's not. There are tons of right-of-center libertarian-leaning conservatives. It's just that there's a certain Stalinist bent to leftist where if a person were to peep, a conservative peep were to comes out of a Jon Voight, these people are merciless in getting rid of them.
There are a ton of people who would love to make movies that portray the threat of terrorism, to use Hollywood like Hollywood was used in World War II, to be part of the war effort, but Hollywood continues to still make anti-war movies at a time of war even with Obama in power.
BOLLING: Ann, what -- is it going to take a successful attack where, you know, a lot more Americans die for the sentiment to change? I mean, this whole, you know, it's a culture. This whole culture has to change. It has to be more -- hey, we better err on the side of safety, because if we don't, people die. If we err on the side of political correctness, people's feelings get hurt, right?
COULTER: Right. Right, well, I happen to think sentiment has changed. Maybe it didn't need to change. I think if you polled Americans after 9/11, they would have said drop the political correctness when it comes to boarding airplanes.
And like I say, Obama can be doing more than Bush. He is specially situated that way, as having gone to madrassas as a child, not being a white male, which is, you know, the height of political incorrectness, but just the contrary, we're moving in exactly doing the -- making -- repeating the worst mistakes of the Bush administration.
The response to this attack is -- is for Obama to take the bull's move, not to allow people to read magazines for the last hour of a flight, not to go to the bathroom for the last hour of a flight. I mean, the way of objective of airport security seems to be to just make it more and more unpleasant for Americans to fly and to make it easier and easier for radical Muslims to fly to the point that now they're talking about doing these full nude body scans for everyone boarding an airplane.
BOLLING: And, Andrew, Ann makes a good point. Have they won? Have they won? If they haven't won the war, has al Qaeda won a small battle just making, you know, our lives miserable every time we step into an airport?
From the December 9 edition of Fox Business Network's Happy Hour:
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On November 23, Fishbowl DC published an internal Fox News memo detailing the network's new "zero tolerance" policy for errors. Today -- barely two weeks later -- Fox News attempted to explain why it wasn't going to take any action to correct the following December 4 segment in which three Fox hosts and the Fox News graphics department used a string of falsehoods to turn "59 percent" into "close to 100 percent."
Here's what happened.
This morning, Media Matters' Simon Maloy caught Fox & Friends displaying a graphic that falsely suggested that 94 percent of respondents told Rasmussen Reports that it is somewhat or very likely that "scientists falsif[ied] research to support their own theories on global warming."
As Simon explained:
What happened? Well, here's the Rasmussen poll Fox & Friends cited. They asked respondents: "In order to support their own theories and beliefs about global warming, how likely is it that some scientists have falsified research data?" According to the poll, 35 percent thought it very likely, 24 percent somewhat likely, 21 percent not very likely, and 5 percent not likely at all (15 percent weren't sure).
Fox News' graphics department added together the "very likely" and "somewhat likely" numbers to reach 59 percent, and called that new group "somewhat likely." Then, for some reason, they threw in the 35 percent "very likely" as their own group, even though they already added that number to the "somewhat likely" percentage. Then they mashed together the "not very likely" and "not likely at all" groups, and threw the 15 percent who were unsure into the waste bin. Voila -- 120 percent.
As such, Fox News' presentation of the data made it seem as though 94 percent of Americans think it's at least "somewhat likely" that climate scientists falsify their research data.
So Media Matters sent an open letter to Fox News asking how the network would deal with the falsehood in light of its new policy of "zero tolerance for on-screen errors."
Well, Politico's Michael Calderone reports that Fox News has decided to respond to the falsehood by claiming it didn't happen:
But Lauren Petterson, executive producer of Fox & Friends, told POLITICO that she sees no error in the graphic. And for that reason, there will be no reprimand of staff under the "zero tolerance" policy.
"We were just talking about three interesting pieces of information from Rasmussen," Petterson said. "We didn't put on the screen that it added up to 100 percent."
While Petterson maintains that Fox & Friend's didn't err in displaying the information from Rasmussen, she acknowledges that the presentation wasn't perfect. "The mistake I do see is we could have been a little clearer here," she said.
Fox's position is absurd. As Calderone notes, "its understandable why a viewer would look at the numbers stacked up like this on-screen and assume that '94 percent of American's think it's at least "somewhat likely" that climate scientists falsify their research data.' "
One "viewer" who apparently "assumed" that was ... Fox & Friends host Steve Doocy. Here's how he described the Rasmussen poll while Fox was showing that graphic:
DOOCY: Let's go ahead and take a look: Did scientists falsify research to support their own theories on global warming? This is a brand new Rasmussen poll. About 60 percent of you say, "Somewhat likely." Thirty-five percent say, "Very likely." So you got 90 -- you got a lot of people right there thinking it is likely, although 26 percent say, "Not very likely."
So in purporting to explain the poll results, Doocy claimed that 60 percent of respondents answered, "Somewhat likely." This is false. Only 24 percent of respondents said that; the "about 60 percent" figure actually combines the "somewhat likely" and "very likely" respondents. Doocy then suggested that a separate group of respondents -- 35 percent -- said, "Very likely." Doocy then attempted to add those two figures together, saying, "So you got 90 -- you got a lot of people right there thinking it is likely."
But the falsehoods didn't stop there. As soon as Doocy finished misrepresenting the poll, co-hosts Gretchen Carlson and Eric Bolling explained that since the poll had been conducted before the apparent theft and disclosure of climate scientists' private emails, the percentage of people who think scientists are falsifying data might now be "substantially higher" -- perhaps "close to 100 percent":
CARLSON: In the spirit of fairness, I believe that question was asked before these emails were revealed, so that poll number may actually be different now.
BOLLING: Substantially higher?
CARLSON: It might be, yes.
BOLLING: Close to 100 percent now.
This is completely false. The right-wing media began lying about the Climatic Research Unit emails on November 20. The Rasmussen poll was conducted December 1-2. It included a question about the CRU emails. So, no, the current figure is probably not "substantially higher," and it is certainly not "close to 100 percent."
As Media Matters' Ari Rabin-Havt put it, "On Fox News, percentages don't add up to 100 and, apparently, 'zero tolerance' means unless we get caught."
Conservative media figures have attacked Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid's (D-NV) remarks linking slavery to Republican opposition to health care reform legislation, but have routinely attacked progressives and the Obama administration for creating "slavery" and enslaving the public.
From the December 8 edition of Fox News' Your World:
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From Bolling's Twitter feed:
From the December 4 edition of Fox News' Fox & Friends:
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From the November 18 edition of Fox Business Network's Happy Hour
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From the November 11 edition of Fox News' The Live Desk:
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Filling in for Glenn Beck, Fox Business Channel host Eric Bolling falsely claimed of the House health care reform bill, "if the Congressional Budget Office is right and the government program actually costs what they tell you it will cost", then we "woke up Sunday morning $1.2 trillion further in debt."
From Fox Business host Eric Bolling's Twitter account:
In recent days, Glenn Beck has said that something he is "working on" will "take the administration down" and that White House interim communications director Anita Dunn "will have to go away" after "what we show you tonight." Beck and his fellow Fox News personalities have repeatedly called for Obama administration officials to be fired, asked people to dig up information on administration officials, and fearmongered about President Obama, his advisers, and his policies.
On September 8, Fox News host Megyn Kelly stated that "more of President Obama's special advisers are now under scrutiny after the resignation of his green jobs czar," Van Jones and described "criticisms" being lodged against Obama science and technology adviser John Holdren and Obama nominee Cass Sunstein. In fact, Fox News personalities have been leading the charge against Jones, Holdren, Sunstein, and other Obama administration officials and nominees they have described as "czars" -- often by unearthing and criticizing statements the officials had made in the past rather than critiquing their job performance or credentials for those positions -- with Sean Hannity, for example, declaring that "my job starting tomorrow night is to get rid of every other ['czar']."
From the August 14 edition of Fox News' The Live Desk: