In recent days, Fox News anchors and contributors have falsely asserted, repeatedly, that people who don't pay taxes would be eligible for a $500 individual tax credit included in President-elect Barack Obama's proposed economic recovery plan, echoing an oft-repeated myth from the presidential campaign that Obama's proposed tax cuts would go to people who don't pay taxes. In fact, Obama has proposed a tax credit for working Americans, meaning they do pay Social Security and Medicare taxes.
MilitaryTimes.com reported: "When asked how they feel about President-elect Barack Obama as commander in chief, six out of 10 active-duty service members say they are uncertain or pessimistic, according to a Military Times survey." But according to a separate MilitaryTimes.com article, the poll was based on voluntary responses by subscribers to Army Times Publishing Co. newspapers rather than a random statistical sample of service members. A report on the poll on Fox & Friends also omitted this information.
Discussing 1980 photos of President-elect Barack Obama published in Time, Sean Hannity asked, "[W]hy didn't we see these pictures beforehand?" and "You think the media maybe thought, well, it might not hurt -- it might not help Barack Obama?" Similarly, Fox News hosts asked, "Was Time magazine sitting on these photos until after the election?" In fact, according to Time, the photographer, Lisa Jack, a fellow student of Obama's at the time and now a psychologist, "put the negatives in a safety-deposit box, so that they could not be used until after the election."
Following President-elect Barack Obama's announcement of his intention to release results of an internal review of contacts between his aides and Illinois Gov. Rod Blagojevich's office next week, Fox News' Gretchen Carlson stated that "there is varying discussion about whether or not prosecutor [Patrick] Fitzgerald went to him [Obama] and said, hold off for another week." In fact, Fox News' Major Garrett previously reported that Fitzgerald's office "confirms that it made a special request of President-elect Obama's transition team that it not release any of the information involved in this internal search."
Special Report host Brit Hume, Fox & Friends co-host Gretchen Carlson, and New York Post writer Geoff Earle uncritically repeated a report by Israeli newspaper Haaretz that French President Nicolas Sarkozy called Sen. Barack Obama's position on Iran "utterly immature" and "formulations empty of all content" without noting that the French Embassy issued a statement calling the Haaretz report about Sarkozy's comments "groundless."
Fox News' Gretchen Carlson falsely claimed that "roughly 40 percent" of Sen. Barack Obama's plan to cut taxes "is a handout to people who do not pay taxes." In fact, all American workers are required to pay taxes on their wages for Social Security and Medicare, and according to an Obama economic adviser, "every person that receives a tax cut under Barack Obama's plan is working."
On October 24, Fox & Friends co-host Gretchen Carlson baselessly linked a woman's allegations -- since recanted -- that she was attacked by a black man in retaliation for supporting Sen. John McCain to a report that Fox & Friends aired the day before of police concerns of possible violence if Sen. Barack Obama loses the election.
Fox & Friends aired a heavily cropped version of former President Bill Clinton's comments broadcast on the previous day's Meet the Press in which Clinton was asked if Sen. Barack Obama is a "great man." Co-host Gretchen Carlson asserted that the cropped comments were evidence of "a major diss against Barack Obama by Bill Clinton." But Carlson omitted Clinton's assertion in the same interview that he "certainly admire[s] him" and that Obama's "greatness will ... become apparent" when he is elected president.
On Fox & Friends, Gretchen Carlson said that the "first time" Sen. John McCain "really did start sharing some personal moments" about his prisoner of war experience in Vietnam was during his August 16 appearance at a forum at Pastor Rick Warren's Saddleback Church, adding that "most people would say that John McCain hasn't talked enough about his POW experience." In fact, McCain has discussed his POW experience, including "personal moments," during the current campaign as well as on numerous previous occasions.
Referring to a response given by Sen. John McCain at the Saddleback Civil Forum on the Presidency, Fox News' Gretchen Carlson asserted that "he doesn't like to talk about when he was a POW." In fact, McCain has repeatedly highlighted his experience as a POW, even as he and the media have promoted the notion that he is reluctant to do so.
Three Fox & Friends co-hosts repeatedly asserted that former President Bill Clinton recently "attack[ed]" Sen. John McCain's "selfless heroism at the Hanoi Hilton," in Andrew Napolitano's words, and two of the hosts -- Napolitano and Gretchen Carlson -- falsely suggested that Clinton's statement and recent comments by retired Gen. Wesley Clark were part of a coordinated effort by Sen. Barack Obama's campaign to "attack" McCain's service. But the Fox & Friends co-hosts provided no evidence that Clinton's comments were intended to refer to McCain; nor did they provide the context of those remarks.
While discussing reports of a shortage of one type of IP addresses, Gretchen Carlson stated: "I was wondering if we should call up Al Gore. Because maybe he would have a solution for this, since he invented the Internet." In fact, Gore never said that he "invented the Internet."
On Fox & Friends, Ben Stein misrepresented Sen. Barack Obama's tax plan to raise the capital gains tax rate on the wealthiest earners, stating: "[P]eople that have incomes in the five digits ... that's crazy to increase their capital gains tax." In fact, Obama has said he would not raise the capital gains tax on individuals with income of less than $250,000.
Discussing an attack ad on Sen. Barack Obama that Sen. John McCain has denounced, Fox & Friends co-host Andrew Napolitano asserted: "John McCain, for his whole career, has tried to stay above this kind of a fray. Why should he change now?" Napolitano did not point out that this is the latest example of a pattern in which McCain denounces smears against his opponents, while also benefiting from them. Moreover, in asserting that McCain has "tried to stay above this kind of a fray," Napolitano seemingly ignored several instances in which McCain has misrepresented the statements or positions of his opponents.
Echoing his false claim the previous day that DNC chairman Howard Dean accused Sen. John McCain of "blatant opportunism" for referencing his military service as part of his presidential campaign, co-host Steve Doocy asserted on Fox & Friends that "Howard Dean looked at the biography tour and called John McCain blatantly opportunistic, which is extraordinary about a guy who spent five years in the Hanoi Hilton." In fact, Dean did not say that McCain's reference to his military record was "blatantly opportunistic."