If you've tuned in to the immigration coverage on "Fair and Balanced" Fox News over the past few months, chances are you've seen this face:
His name is Paul Babeu (pronounced bab-you) and he is the Sheriff of Pinal County, Arizona, a critic of the Obama administration, and an ardent supporter of the new Arizona immigration law.
Two Arizona border sheriffs who spoke out against that law said they have not recieved any invitations to appear on Fox News. By contrast, Fox has interviewed Sheriff Babeu live at least 18 times since mid-April:
From the July 14 edition of Fox News' Happening Now:
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From the July 6 edition of Fox News' Happening Now:
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From the June 29 edition of Fox News' Happening Now:
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For years, Fox News has been claiming, despite overwhelming evidence to the contrary, that its reporters are "fair and balanced" journalists who simply report the news. So how will they explain "reporter" William La Jeunesse all but announcing his opposition to Sen. Barbara Boxer (D-CA)? Today, La Jeunesse, who hours before called Boxer a "big-spending liberal," said that Boxer's "weakness" is "[s]he stands for everything that is wrong with Washington and she is the status quo."
From Happening Now:
LA JEUNNESE: Well, Patti Ann, you know, given that both these women are ex-CEOs, there's a term they use in businesses to evaluate your competition called SWOT. Strength, weakness, opportunity, and threat. Now, if we apply that to the senate race, Boxer, Fiorina, Carly Fiorina really buried her competition here.
Her strengths? Let's look at those. Number one, she is a former executive who managed a payroll. She also, you know, managed people. She ran a business, that's a message that played well given California's high unemployment and massive deficits. She opposes gay marriage and abortion -- that's an opportunity to solidify her credibility with conservatives.
Possible weakness? She mocks global warming in a state where 80 percent of voters consider it a serious problem.
Now, Barbara Boxer. She has ten million dollars in the bank. She has the support of every union and environmentalist in California. Both are experienced at getting out the vote, and running attack spots. Boxer supports amnesty for illegal immigrants, which should help with the Latino vote -- one out of every three Californians.
Weakness? 18 years in the Senate. She stands for everything that is wrong with Washington and she is the status quo, Patti Ann, and will have to defend it.
In a statement last year, Fox News VP Michael Clemente defended his employer by stating that "the average news consumer can certainly distinguish between the A-section of the newspaper and the editorial page, which is what our programming represents. So, with all due respect to anyone who might still be confused about the difference between news reporting and vibrant opinion, my suggestion would be to talk about the stories and the facts."
So question to Clemente: Does La Jeunesse's statement that Boxer "stands for everything that is wrong with Washington" belong in your so-called "A-section of the newspaper?"
On today's edition of Happening Now on Fox News Channel, the following chyron appeared:
The caption reads "9/11/09: WH Offers Romanoff 3 Jobs To Drop Primary Challenge." The chyron aired during an interview with RNC chairman Michael Steele, who was discussing conservative-generated controversy relating to the Senate candidacy of Andrew Romanoff in Colorado.
The problem is, the chyron adds a new false element to the story - both Romanoff and the White House have denied that any job offer was made, let alone 3. Romanoff said that three job descriptions were presented to him should he decide not to make a run for the senate seat, but "at no time was I promised a job," and in fact, the White House aide who contacted him said he "could not guarantee my appointment to any of these positions." Similarly, a White House statement said "there was no offer of a job."
So where did Fox come up with this idea that there was any "offer" made? No other reporting supports this allegation, and the chyron isn't repeating a charge anyone made. Furthermore, in a later appearance on that same program Romanoff denied being offered a program. Based on all that contrary evidence, my best guess would be that this is just the latest from Fox's chyron writers doing their best to cast the Obama administration in a negative light.
At least the spelling was right this time.
From the May 10 edition of Fox News' Happening Now:
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During Fox News host Gregg Jarrett's interview with Sen. Jim DeMint, on-screen text displayed two "FOXfact[s]" that falsely referred to a "$50 bil[lion] bailout fund" contained in financial regulatory reform legislation. Jarrett then asked DeMint if President Obama and others were "deliberately trying to mislead the American public" about the nature of the fund. In fact, the fund would provide for the orderly liquidation of failing firms, not bail them out.
Following reports that the FDA is considering regulating the amount of salt in processed foods, media conservatives have falsely claimed that the Obama administration is "seizing our salt shakers." In fact, the FDA review has nothing to do with consumers' use of table salt and instead invovles examining warnings about high sodium content in processed foods and restaurant meals, the sources of 77 percent of sodium intake.
Criticizing Democratic efforts to reform regulation of the financial industry, right-wing media figures have begun repeating the myth that affordable housing initiatives are to blame for the 2008 financial crisis, pointing to the 1977 Community Reinvestment Act and Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac. Economists -- including Federal Reserve Chairman Ben Bernanke -- have strongly rejected this notion.
Pushing a false Republican talking point, Fox Business Network's Eric Bolling claimed that Democrats' financial reform bill includes "a $50 billion slush fund so that if a firm, company is too big to fail, maybe they can tap into that and maybe not allow it to fail." In fact, the "orderly liquidation fund," which would be paid for by financial institutions, would be used to dismantle a failing firm and "is anything but a bailout," in the words of Republican Sen. Bob Corker.
Three weeks ago, Media Matters reported that Fox host John Stossel is scheduled to keynote an upcoming fundraising luncheon for a "research" organization with heavy ties to the energy industry and whose research and representatives have repeatedly appeared on Fox.
The organization, the Institute for Energy Research (IER), says on the event's website that Stossel will keynote the June 4 luncheon in Houston. IER confirmed to Media Matters today that Stossel will still be speaking at the event. IER said it had arranged Stossel's appearance through a speaker's bureau and had not been in touch with Fox. Last fall, The New York Times reported that "a Fox spokesperson said all speeches given by employees require approval from the network."
Karl Rove proffered false and dubious claims to criticize the Obama administration's nuclear policy review as "troubling" and likely to "undermine our strength" -- a position at odds with military brass and nuclear experts who support a limited deterrent role for nuclear weapons. Rove's false claim that the United States "will not use nuclear weapons under any circumstance against a non-nuclear state" distorts a provision limited to nations acting in compliance with their non-proliferation obligations.
President Obama argued for the passage of health care reform legislation at a rally today at George Mason University in northern Virginia, and only one cable news network didn't cover the event in it's entirety. Can you guess which network cut away to cover Minority Leader Rep. John Boehner's press conference?
From the March 19 edition of Fox News' Happening Now:
Fox's Jon Scott cut off President Obama and stated flatly: "I described it before it began as a pep rally and you can kind of see that's what it is. The President doing everything he can to try and get the American people behind his health care reform plans." Scott suggested the Fox audience finish watching Obama's event on the internet if they were so inclined and then cut to Boehner for "the opposition point of view."
Oh, and for the record, both MSNBC and CNN showed Boehner's press conference after Obama's event had ended.
Here's a side-by-side comparison of the networks:
On March 16, Fox News anchors during their self-described daytime "news hours" repeatedly forwarded the false suggestion that, by using a legislative procedure known as the "self-executing rule" to finalize health care reform in the House, Democrats would be passing health care reform "without actually voting for it." In fact, implementing the proposed procedure requires a majority vote.