From the August 15 edition of Fox News' Happening Now:
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Fox News is obscuring the negative impact of Congressman Paul Ryan's Medicare plan on seniors by accusing President Obama and the Democrats of "stoking fears" about the plan. In fact, Ryan's plan would adversely affect current and future seniors, forcing them, among other things, to pay more for prescription drugs, and it would create a voucher system that would drive up health care costs.
Fox News host Jon Scott suggested today that Democrats shouldn't criticize Medicare provisions in Paul Ryan's budget because "one of their own," Sen. Ron Wyden (D-OR), was a "cosponsor" of Ryan's plan. But while Wyden did write a Medicare policy paper with Ryan, he ultimately voted against Ryan's budget and has criticized the idea that it has bipartisan support.
On today's broadcast of Fox's Happening Now, Scott asked his guest about the Ryan plan, saying: "The Democrats are saying, you know, 'Extremist position on Medicare.' They're saying it's Social Darwinism, that kind of thing. And yet, conveniently ignoring that one of their own, Ron Wyden of Oregon, is a cosponsor of the Ryan plan."
But while Wyden did co-author a paper with Ryan in December 2011, he was not a "cosponsor" of Ryan's budget, nor did he support the Medicare changes the budget would have imposed. In fact, Wyden voted against Ryan's plan -- which called for "significant cuts for future Medicare benefits" -- when it was put forward in the Senate in May 2011. As Roll Call noted this week, Wyden "never signed on to support the House-adopted budget resolution written by Ryan that included plans for a premium support approach."
Not only did Wyden vote against Ryan's plan, he has specifically rejected the idea that his work with Ryan suggests there is bipartisan support for Ryan's plan. As Roll Call reported, Wyden called such an idea "nonsense":
At a Saturday campaign stop with his new vice presidential pick, Rep. Paul Ryan (Wis.), Romney praised the House Budget chairman's work with Democratic Sen. Ron Wyden (Ore.) to develop a Medicare overhaul plan.
"This man said, 'I'm going to find Democrats to work with.' He found a Democrat to co-lead a piece of legislation that makes sure we can save Medicare," Romney said in Ashland, Va. "Republicans and Democrats coming together. He's a man who has great ideas and the capacity to lead to find people to cross the aisle - to work together."
Wyden was quick to push back on Romney's version of events.
"Gov. Romney is talking nonsense. Bipartisanship requires that you not make up the facts. I did not 'co-lead a piece of legislation.'" Wyden said. "I wrote a policy paper on options for Medicare. Several months after the paper came out, I spoke and voted against the Medicare provisions in the Ryan budget."
Fox News is using a new report about the Obama administration's deportation of immigrants (legal and undocumented) to reinforce their narrative that President Obama is not committed to enforcing illegal immigration. In fact, the Congressional Research Service report proves the opposite: that the Obama administration has prioritized the removal of undocumented immigrants who are a danger to society, increasing the number of deportations by nearly 90 percent.
According to the study, which analyzed records from October 2008 -- before Obama was in office -- to July 2011, 46,734 undocumented immigrants were released within that three-year span. Of those, 7,283 or 15.9 percent, recommitted crimes within three years of their initial arrest and release. To put it in context, Americans' recidivism rate is about 40 percent.
But Fox News anchor Rick Folbaum described those findings as "revealing that illegal immigrants are more likely to return to jail after being arrested than citizens or even legal residents" -- which is the exact opposite of what the report concluded. According to the report, legal immigrants' recidivism rate was 16.5 percent. When taken together, the report found that 17 percent of legal and undocumented immigrants recommitted crimes within three years of their release.
Still, host Bill Hemmer stated that the report cast "fresh doubt on the president's immigration policy." Host Lou Dobbs promoted the findings, suggesting the Obama administration has an "anti-enforcement agenda."
Nothing is further from the truth. The Obama administration has prioritized the removal of dangerous undocumented immigrants. U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) director John Morton made this clear:
Over the past three and a half years, ICE has established clear priorities that focus our enforcement resources on aliens that pose a threat to public safety or national security, repeatedly violate our immigration laws or recently crossed our borders.
Fox News is telling a one-sided story focused exclusively on cuts to defense spending that were included in a 2011 budget deal. What Fox is not telling its viewers is that the deal also included cuts to critical services for vulnerable Americans and reductions in important medical research funding, and that non-defense spending cuts would lead to a loss of more than 1 million jobs.
From the July 27 editiion of Fox News' Happening Now:
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From the July 18 edition of Fox News' Happening Now:
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Over two days, Fox News spent 42 segments and more than two hours of airtime manufacturing a scandal by deceptively editing comments President Obama made at a campaign appearance in Virginia.
On July 13, Obama made the unremarkable observation that business owners do not achieve success in a vacuum, but that public infrastructure - such as roads, schools, and fire departments - create a community that supports businesses:
OBAMA: If you were successful, somebody along the line gave you some help. There was a great teacher somewhere in your life. Somebody helped to create this unbelievable American system that we have that allowed you to thrive. Somebody invested in roads and bridges. If you've got a business -- you didn't build that. Somebody else made that happen. The Internet didn't get invented on its own. Government research created the Internet so that all the companies could make money off the Internet.
The point is, is that when we succeed, we succeed because of our individual initiative, but also because we do things together. There are some things, just like fighting fires, we don't do on our own. I mean, imagine if everybody had their own fire service. That would be a hard way to organize fighting fires.
Media conservatives have distorted those comments to accuse the president of expressing hostility toward business.
In discussing the speech relentlessly in the past 2 days, Fox has fixated on the passage where Obama said, "If you've got a business, you didn't build that." But Fox ignores what Obama was talking about before saying "you didn't build that," when he touted "this unbelievable American system that we have that allowed you to thrive," and said: "Somebody invested in those roads and bridges."
Fox's manufactured controversy has now become the focus of an official Mitt Romney campaign ad.
Taking its cues from the Romney campaign, Fox News used many of its shows on July 16 to deflect from the brewing controversy over Mitt Romney's tenure at Bain Capital to focus on the economy:
In an appearance on Fox & Friends, Romney responded to intense scrutiny into his years as CEO, chairman, and sole shareholder of Bain by downplaying the criticism and focusing attention onto President Obama and the weak economy.
Fox News apparently noticed Romney's dodge, and several of the channel's hosts dutifully repeated the "Bain doesn't matter, the economy does" mantra over much of the day:
From the July 13 edition of Fox News' Happening Now:
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Fox News reported Thursday that "two pro-gun advocates who reported extensively on the Fast and Furious scandal" have filed a complaint against Attorney General Eric Holder with the District of Columbia's Office of Bar Counsel. Somehow the network never got around to mentioning that one of those "advocates" is Mike Vanderboegh, the ex-militia blogger infamous for urging his readers to commit vandalism against Democrats and for inspiring an alleged terrorist plot to kill federal employees.
Last year, Fox News featured Vanderboegh in two separate reports on Fast and Furious, identifying him as an "online journalist" and an "authority on the Fast and Furious investigation." The network did not disclose Vanderboegh's past ties to the militia and Minuteman movements, history of conspiratorial rantings, or the fact that he made headlines in 2010 for telling his readers to respond to the passage of health care reform by breaking the windows of Democratic offices, then took credit after that occurred.
Fox ceased to cite Vanderboegh on-air after prosecutors in Georgia said that one of four alleged members of a militia group in that state had repeatedly cited Vanderboegh's novel Absolved as the source of their alleged plot to kill numerous government officials. In Vanderboegh's novel, which was self-published online, underground militia fighters declare war on the federal government over gun control laws and same-sex marriage, leading to a second American revolution.
In June, Vanderboegh predicted that if health care reform were found to be constitutional, it would trigger a violent insurrection against "government tyranny," stating, "You may call tyranny a mandate or you may call it a tax, but it still is tyranny and invites the same response."
But Fox correspondent William La Jeunesse included none of this context in passing on Vanderboegh's allegations on Happening Now:
Fox News anchor Jon Scott claimed the Bush tax cuts generated growth and substantially increased revenue. In fact, economists say the Bush tax cuts produced anemic growth at best while creating substantial budget deficits that persist to this day.
Fox News contributor John Bolton suggested the Obama administration might be willing to let Iran have a nuclear weapons program in exchange for a peace settlement in Syria. But President Obama has made it clear that his policy is to prevent Iran from obtaining nuclear weapons, and he has signed strong sanctions against Iran.
After President Obama proposed allowing the Bush tax cuts to expire for incomes over $250,000, Fox News dismissed the revenue this would bring as merely "a drop in the bucket." In the past, Fox has repeatedly characterized billions in revenue increases from the wealthy or corporations as being too little to bother with, but claimed that relatively small amounts of funding for public broadcasting and Planned Parenthood were unaffordable.
Fox News anchor Jenna Lee highlighted the extremely misleading statistic that the economy has lost more than 470,000 jobs since January 2009. In doing so, Lee ignored the fact that President Obama took office in the middle of a deep recession when hundreds of thousands of jobs were being shed each month.
Responding to the release of the June jobs report showing a gain of 80,000 jobs last month, President Obama highlighted the positive trend in private sector job growth, noting that "businesses have created 4.4 million new jobs over the past 28 months." After repeating Obama's comments, Lee said:
LEE: But remember, the president has been in office for roughly three and a half years, and according to the Labor Department, since the president took office in January of 2009, and private and public sectors combined have actually lost 473,000 jobs.