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Echoing a falsehood advanced by numerous media figures, Fox News' Gretchen Carlson falsely claimed that President Obama "pledged that he was going to get rid of all these earmarks." Additionally, an AP article reported that the "$410 billion spending bill includes the kinds of lawmakers' pet projects that Obama pledged as a candidate to eliminate." In fact, Obama actually promised to reform the earmark process and cut wasteful spending.
On Fox & Friends, Gretchen Carlson allowed Steve Adubato to misrepresent President Obama's February 24 address to Congress in order to claim that Obama engaged in "class warfare." After Adubato suggested that Obama did not refer to people who "bought houses they shouldn't have bought because they can't afford them," Carlson responded: "Good point." In fact, contrary to Adubato's suggestion, Obama did refer to people who "bought homes they knew they couldn't afford from banks and lenders who pushed those bad loans anyway."
Fox News' Gretchen Carlson suggested that President Obama is more "concerned" with Limbaugh than with "the economy" and "Al Qaeda." But the concern Obama reportedly expressed was with congressional Republicans, who he said were "listen[ing] to Rush Limbaugh" and not "get[ting] things done."
On Fox & Friends, Gretchen Carlson asserted that in answering questions about his failure to pay social security taxes several years ago, Treasury Secretary nominee Tim Geithner "kind of put the blame a little bit on a computer program." In fact, at his hearing, Geithner mentioned the tax software he used only after he was asked which brand he used to file his taxes.
During Fox News' inauguration coverage, Chris Wallace stated, "I'm not sure that Barack Obama really is the president of the United States, because the oath of office is set in the Constitution." Wallace later claimed, "I wasn't at all convinced that ... John Roberts ever got it out straight and that Barack Obama ever said the prescribed words." On Fox & Friends the following day, Fox News repeatedly aired video of the oath flub, and Gretchen Carlson asked of Obama, "Is he really president," and went on to claim, "Because there was a flub in the oath of office." However, numerous experts, including one quoted later on Fox & Friends, have reportedly said that an incorrect recitation of the oath is insignificant.
Fox & Friends' Brian Kilmeade falsely suggested that only "people at the U.N." want to close Guantánamo, while co-hosts Steve Doocy and Gretchen Carlson, as well as Glenn Beck, used TV drama 24 as a justification for the use of torture. In fact, Sen. John McCain, Defense Secretary Robert Gates, and five former secretaries of state are among those who have said that Guantánamo should be closed.
Media figures have claimed or suggested that President-elect Barack Obama is only now admitting that he may have to scale back his campaign agenda as a result of the weak economy. In fact, Obama repeatedly said prior to the November 2008 election that some policies he proposed on the campaign trail might need to be delayed because of economic conditions.
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.