Right-wing media have responded to the Supreme Court's decision upholding the health care mandate -- the requirement that most Americans purchase health insurance or pay a fee -- by claiming that President Obama has instituted the "biggest tax increase in the history of the world" and a "massive, regressive tax on all Americans." In fact, the fee will only be applied to a small percentage of people who choose not to purchase health insurance.
Fox News Radio reporter Todd Starnes reacted to the June 25 Supreme Court ruling striking down several parts of Arizona's immigration law by warning about "Mexican invaders" and questioning whether Arizona should consider secession.
Starnes added to those comments during the June 26 edition of his "Fox News and Commentary" radio segment. In the form of an open letter to Mitt Romney, Starnes asked the Republican presidential candidate why he wasn't "down on the border ... vowing to defend American soil from the Mexican invaders":
STARNES: Justice Scalia says Arizona is under siege -- lives are in jeopardy.
Now is not the time for wishy washy statements about giving states more latitude.
Now is the time for tough talk, sir.
Why weren't you down on the border with a bullhorn in hand, Sheriff Joe and Governor Brewer by your side, vowing to defend American soil from the Mexican invaders?
On Saturday, Brooklyn hosted its 15th Annual Brooklyn Pride Night Parade. Fox News Radio reporter and anti-gay mouthpiece Todd Starnes was in attendance and reacted pretty much exactly how anyone familiar with Starnes would expect – by using Twitter to mock the parade's attendees:
Starnes also took to his Facebook page to complain about the event, writing:
Starnes' comments – which sound a lot like the kind of thing you'd hear from a homophobic teenager – weren't the only anti-gay remarks he made over the weekend.
On Monday, Fox News' resident anti-gay mouthpiece Todd Starnes posted an article about a proposed city ordinance in Hutchinson, Kansas which would prohibit discrimination on the basis of sexual orientation and gender identity in housing, employment, and public accommodations.
Rather than focus on the specifics of the ordinance, or Kansas' history of supporting anti-LGBT discrimination, Starnes chose to depict the measure as an assault on churches:
This morning, Fox & Friends co-host Steve Doocy addressed his recent misquote of President Obama during an interview with Mitt Romney. On April 19, Doocy told Romney, "Speaking of rhetoric, [President Obama] had some fiery rhetoric pointed at you yesterday. He said, 'Unlike some people, I wasn't born with a silver spoon in my mouth.'"
As several outlets pointed out, Doocy put words into Obama's mouth. Obama never used the words, "unlike some people," which undermined Doocy's claim that the remark was "fiery rhetoric pointed at" Romney. During brief comments this morning, Doocy said he "did some paraphrasing that seemed to misquote the president" but didn't fully explain what he exactly got wrong on last Thursday.
Doocy's Fox & Friends misquote wasn't an isolated incident. After Fox & Friends on April 19, Doocy appeared on co-host Brian Kilmeade's Fox News Radio show where he again claimed that Obama said, "Unlike some people, I wasn't born with a silver spoon in my mouth." Listen:
KILMEADE: You just got done talking with the former governor of Massachusetts. Seems since getting the nomination, it is like a huge weight off his shoulders.
DOOCY: It does. And you know what? I think he's loosening up a little bit. He -- he did react to what President Obama said yesterday. Where he said, you know, I wasn't -- unlike some people, I wasn't born with a silver spoon in my mouth. And Mitt Romney said, you know what, I'm not -- I'm not going to attack fellow Americans. [Fox News Radio, Kilmeade & Friends, 4/19/12]
After Doocy made the remarks, the radio program actually played a brief clip of Obama stating, "I wasn't born with a silver spoon in my mouth." Doocy didn't react to the clip.
From the April 17 edition of WXKS' The Jeff Katz Show:
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Fox News' Todd Starnes has never shied away from aligning himself with some of the more extreme and fringe elements of right-wing politics. He's flirted with "birtherism," made inflammatory comments about Muslims and African-Americans, and accused the Obama administration of launching a war against Christianity.
Over the past few months, it appears that Starnes has taken up a new cause – using his position as a Fox News Radio reporter to give a voice to some of the country's worst anti-gay hate groups
Last December, Starnes appeared on the American Family Association's (AFA) "Today's Issues" radio show to promote his Fox News website, ToddStarnes.com. He was joined by Tony Perkins, president of the Southern Poverty Law Center-designated anti-gay "hate group" Family Research Council (FRC). During the segment, Starnes claimed that his website would act as a hub of "culture war stories" that would depict hate groups like FRC and AFA in a positive light:
STARNES: This is sort of a place in the Fox family, the Fox News family, that folks can go and find those culture war stories that we cover.... These are stories that resonate with patriotic, God-fearing, God-loving Americans. And I think when people see the stories in one spot, they really understand what's at stake and how thankful we are that there are organizations like the Family Research Council and American Family Radio that cover these issues. [emphasis added]
Perkins was thrilled, to say the least. He said he was "encouraged" by Starnes' reporting, praising him for "giving voice" to social conservatives who believe that Christianity is under attack:
PERKINS: That's the kind of stuff we like to see. And, this is what I think happens when these issues are talked about. Because in isolation, people think 'oh well, we're all by ourselves" and so they usually back down... But when people realize 'hey, this is a connected effort,' and 'we're not alone,' and people are standing up, it has an encouraging effect to it. And that's why I appreciate the work that you're doing, Todd. I know you're just reporting, but what you're doing is you're giving voice to a lot of Americans out there who are deeply concerned about the direction of this country and in particular this attack on Christianity. And I for one am encouraged by that. [emphasis added]
Starnes was serious about his pledge to mainstream and promote FRC. Since his AFA radio appearance, Starnes has frequently included comments from FRC spokespersons – including Perkins, Peter Sprigg, and Ken Klukowski – in his reporting.
Fox News figures have hailed GOP Rep. Paul Ryan's "courage" for "heroically and gutsily tak[ing] on these enormous entitlement programs" in his most recent budget proposal. But economic experts have said that Ryan's plan is "grossly irresponsible" and "all smoke and mirrors." Fox's praise for Ryan's budget echoes the network's long history of touting him and his policy proposals.
From the February 16 edition of Fox News Radio's Kilmeade & Friends:
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From the January 11 edition of Fox News Radio's Kilmeade & Friends:
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Right-wing media have recently attacked President Obama for celebrating Hanukkah too early and for displaying too many Christmas trees at the White House. Right-wing media have long attacked Obama for how he observes holidays, including Thanksgiving, Veterans Day, Memorial Day, Easter, Ramadan, and even Halloween.
Earlier today, Fox & Friends hosted Rep. Michele Bachmann for a characteristically friendly interview about her presidential campaign. The morning show hosts asked Bachmann to expand on her recent attacks on President Obama; whether she would attend Trump's farcical debate; and her Tea Party support, referencing a recent Tea Party endorsement while noting that "Tea Party Caucus members in Congress apparently not endorsing you, at least just yet."
"We're growing, we're gaining, we've got a lot of momentum, particularly in Iowa, now in South Carolina, and now in New Hampshire," Bachmann told Fox & Friends of her general support. "So we're very excited that the direction that this course is taking."
The interview ended on that note, leaving viewers with Bachmann's unsurprisingly upbeat assessment. But there's one person who silently didn't agree that Bachmann has any perceivable momentum: Fox News interviewer Brian Kilmeade.
On his Fox News Radio show today, Kilmeade told his audience that Bachmann wasn't running with "the elite part of the field" because of her polling numbers and offered an explanation as to why he didn't bring it up during his interview: "I didn't want to say anything this morning because I didn't want to hurt her feelings."
From the December 6 edition of WXKS' The Jeff Katz Show:
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In a November 22 tweet, Fox's Todd Starnes suggested that the Occupy Wall Street protesters are "domestic terrorists:"
From the August 31 edition of Fox News Radio's Kilmeade & Friends:
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