Conservative media voices have insisted that an increase of the federal minimum hourly wage from $7.25 to $9 would harm the economy. However, a wealth of economic evidence disputes the claims that minimum wage hikes are job killers, that the minimum wage is already high, and that it only applies to jobs held by relatively young workers.
Fox News misleadingly claimed that an increase in the minimum wage would harm small businesses. In fact, data show that small businesses in states with a higher minimum wage experience better economic performance and job growth.
Fox News is claiming that the future of solar power in the U.S. is "dim" because we have less sunlight than countries like Germany, the current world leader in solar generation. But Fox has completely reversed the facts: the U.S. receives far more direct sunlight, but has been outperformed due to Germany's superior solar policies.
On Fox & Friends, co-host Gretchen Carlson claimed that the U.S. solar "industry's future looks dim." The show brought on Fox Business reporter Shibani Joshi, who said that Germany's solar industry is doing "great" because "they've got a lot more sun than we do," before adding, "In California, it's a great solution, but here on the East Coast it's just not going to work."
The U.S. is lagging behind Germany in solar power generation, but it doesn't have anything to do with our solar potential. In fact, the Southwest has "among the best photovoltaic resources in the world," according to a report by GTM Research. Even the East Coast states have greater solar potential than Germany, as illustrated by this map from the National Renewable Energy Laboratory:
But while Germany gets relatively little sunlight, it does have a more coherent national solar policy than the U.S., as Bloomberg Businessweek reported in October 2012:
Conservative media launched vicious attacks against former Secretary of State Colin Powell in an effort to discredit his remarks and Republican credentials after Powell criticized Republicans for having a "dark vein of intolerance in some parts of the party."
Regular Fox News guest Kate Obenshain criticized the Obama administration's reported forthcoming push to require background checks for all potential gun buyers, claiming it would keep her from selling a gun to her neighbor. In fact, it would only prevent such sales if the purchaser was not legally permitted to own the weapon.
The Washington Post has reported that a working group led by Vice President Biden is considering measures to prevent gun violence. Neither the White House nor the working group has proposed any legislation banning private sales altogether as Obenshain suggested on Fox & Friends when she said that banning "individuals from being able to sell guns to other individuals" is what "closing the gun show loophole is about."
Instead, the Post reported that the White House is considering requiring every would-be gun purchaser to submit to a background check when they try to buy a firearm; federal law currently requires such a check only if the gun is bought from a licensed firearms dealer. These background checks determine whether or not the intended buyer is legally allowed to own a gun, or is banned from gun ownership due to mental health or a criminal record. Several states already have universal background checks to prevent gun sales to felons and other prohibited purchasers while still allowing the private sale of firearms, provided the buyer undergoes a background check.
In the absence of a universal background check requirement, private sellers at gun shows have proven to be a source of weapons trafficked to Mexican drug cartels. According to a 2009 report from the Government Accountability Office, the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, and Firearms singled out private sellers at gun shows as a source of guns used by drug cartels:
In addition to these firearms that are successfully traced back to a retail dealer, some ATF officials told us, based on information from their operations and investigations, many seized guns also come from private sales at gun shows, though it is impossible to know this exact number due to the lack of records kept for such purchases.
Though more recent figures are unavailable, a 1997 study from the Department of Justice found that private gun sales outside of stores also make up an estimated 40 percent of all firearm sales.
Moreover, Obenshain is at odds with the overwhelming majority of NRA members and gun owners who support universal background checks. A poll conducted by Mayors Against Illegal Guns in July found that 74 percent of NRA members and 87 percent of non-NRA gun owners support "requiring criminal background checks of anyone purchasing a gun."
From the January 7 edition of Fox News' Fox & Friends:
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From the December 20 edition of Fox News' Fox & Friends:
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Fox News host Gretchen Carlson falsely claimed that the Michigan legislature's approval of right-to-work legislation is directly linked to the failure of a ballot initiative to put collective bargaining rights in the state constitution. In fact, the two issues are not linked legislatively.
Michigan's anti-union "right-to-work" bill, which will significantly alter the way unions are financed, was signed into law on December 11. The law forbids union contracts that require workers who enjoy the benefits of a collective bargaining agreement to pay union dues, reducing the amount of money a union takes in. Carlson falsely claimed on the December 12 edition of Fox & Friends that Michigan voters "voted on a referendum to do exactly just this -- to give people who belong to unions a free choice about whether or not they actually want to pay the dues or they don't."
Carlson echoed her claim on the December 13 Fox & Friends, saying that "voters actually wanted what happened here."
The Republican-majority Michigan legislature today approved a so-called "right-to-work" law that would significantly reduce the power of organized labor in that state. The legislation prohibits unions from collecting dues from nonunion employees.
Fox has been aggressively defending this "right-to-work" law, falsely claiming it will benefit workers and the state economy and touting it as a "victory for capitalism." The network continues to defend this type of legislation despite the fact that "right-to-work" laws have had a significant and negative effect on state economies, employment, and employee compensation.
Here, Media Matters looks at some of the worst anti-union rhetoric from Fox.
Fox News suggested that former Senator Chuck Hagel (R-NE) may have trouble getting Senate confirmation from fellow Republicans following reports that he is being considered for the position of President Obama's Secretary of Defense. Fox's objection to Hagel follows previous efforts by the network to obstruct Obama's possible Cabinet nominations.
In late November, Foreign Policy reported that Hagel was being vetted for "a possible top national security post in the Obama Administration," including the position of Secretary of Defense that Secretary Leon Panetta will vacate. Senators from across the political spectrum, including Carl Levin (D-MI), Joe Lieberman (I-CT) and Jim Inhofe (R-OK) praised Hagel's potential nomination, and Jeff Sessions (R-AL) who specifically praised Hagel's "seriousness and experience."
Despite this praise, Fox & Friends co-host Gretchen Carlson claimed Hagel might be opposed by Senate Republicans. Carlson said that Hagel's opposition to the 2007 troop surge in Iraq and his accompanying then-Senator Obama on a trip to Afghanistan and Iraq in 2008 means he is "not a typical Republican" and that "could present some obstacles" to his Senate confirmation.
Indeed, Hagel did voice concerns about the 2007 surge. However, he was not the only Republican to do so. Many Republican senators at the time, including Sens. Susan Collins (R-ME), Gordon Smith (R-OR), Norm Coleman (R-MN), George Voinovich (R-OH), John Sununu (R-NH) and John Warner (R-VA), all expressed concerns about the 2007 surge.
For the second day in a row, Fox News host Gretchen Carlson criticized the GOP for failing to effectively communicate its ideas, especially following its defeat in the 2012 presidential election. But while Carlson's comments were directed at the Republican National Committee, Fox itself has acted as the communications arm of the GOP for years, a practice that has opened the network to heavy criticism, especially following Republican presidential candidate Mitt Romney's recent loss.
On the December 6 edition of Fox & Friends, Carlson claimed that "Republicans actually have a legitimate message" on the issue of raising taxes and cutting entitlements, going so far as to ask if "we need a better mouthpiece for the Republicans to be able to communicate." On today's show, Carlson revisited her comments, saying that the RNC should do a better job of getting the message out because there "has been a lot of discussion about the communication of the Republican ideas and the effectiveness of that during the campaign."
From the December 7 edition of Fox News' Fox & Friends:
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Fox News portrayed the dismissal of British politician Christopher Monckton from the UN climate conference in Qatar as evidence that there was legitimate "dissent" against climate change being quashed. In fact, Monckton, who is known for incendiary antics and remarks, was expelled for violating the conference's code of conduct, and protesters on the other side of the issue were also expelled for similar violations.
Monckton was removed from the 2012 UN climate talks in Doha, Qatar, after impersonating a delegate from Myanmar in order to misleadingly claim that there has been "no global warming at all" for 16 years, obscuring the clear warming trend. He was subsequently barred from all future UN climate conferences.
The following morning, Fox & Friends seized on the episode to paint "Lord Monckton" as a martyr of climate "dissent" and bemoan a lack of "debate" on the issue. Co-host Brian Kilmeade claimed somewhat dubiously that "Everyone took notes and they learned from that, and global warming is indeed now wrong." Gretchen Carlson declared that the conference "was supposed to be a debate apparently at this convention, but a debate usually involves two different points of view. I guess this time they're just going to have one point of view." Steve Doocy conceded that Monckton had spoken out of turn in Doha, but concluded of his dismissal, "There goes for dissent."
But Monckton wasn't being singled out. A group of activists was also expelled from Doha for "unfurling an unauthorized banner calling for the Qatari hosts to lead the negotiations to a strong conclusion," according to Greenwire (subscription required). And contrary to Carlson's suggestion, the purpose of the Doha conference is not to "debate" the widely-accepted and extensively documented science behind manmade climate change. Rather, it is to "speed up global action towards a low-emission future where everyone has the chance of a sustainable life."
More significantly, Monckton, who has no formal scientific training, is a notorious and prolific peddler of climate myths, and he wasn't being punished for "dissent" -- he was expelled for "impersonating a Party" and violating the conference's code of conduct.
From the December 6 edition of Fox News' Fox & Friends:
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Right-wing media, including Fox News and the Drudge Report, are attacking NBC's Bob Costas for daring to question America's "gun culture" in the wake of the tragic murder-suicide committed by a Kansas City Chiefs football player. The Drudge Report characterized Costas' comments as a "gun control rant" while Fox criticized him for "lecturing America on gun control" in the wake of the tragedy.
On December 1, Kansas City Chiefs linebacker Jovan Belcher killed his girlfriend at the house they shared before subsequently killing himself in front of his head coach and other members of the Chiefs organization. The following evening, during halftime of NBC's Sunday night football game, Costas endorsed part of a column by sportswriter Jason Whitlock who criticized the gun culture in America.
Costas said: " 'Our current gun culture," Whitlock wrote, 'ensures that more and more domestic disputes will end in the ultimate tragedy, and that more convenience-store confrontations over loud music coming from a car will leave more teenage boys bloodied and dead.' " Costas later added: " 'But here,' wrote Jason Whitlock, 'is what I believe: If Jovan Belcher didn't possess a gun, he and Kasandra Perkins would both be alive today.' "
Fox News' Fox & Friends repeatedly questioned whether it was "appropriate" for Costas to be "lecturing America on gun control."
In the wake of previous tragedies, conservative media figures have advocated against gun laws and even denied that gun violence is a serious problem in the United States. Now they've turned their focus to Costas who brought up the subject of America's gun culture in the wake of the latest high-profile example of gun violence.