Fox News is parroting a Republican research document that falsely claims President Obama is "pivoting" to jobs ahead of his State of the Union speech. But job creation has been a priority during the entire administration, as Obama has crafted and pushed policies that have created millions of private sector jobs, lowered unemployment, and boosted economic growth.
Fox News host Megyn Kelly used a he-said-she-said partisan frame to characterize a discussion about increases in non-defense discretionary spending before President Obama's State of the Union address. But the majority of economists agree that previous stimulus programs have successfully aided job creation.
Kelly touted a Fox News poll on the popularity of the 2009 American Recovery and Reinvestment Act as well as future stimulus spending. According to the poll, the public perception is that the stimulus did not work. And although Kelly noted that Democrats like President Obama and Nancy Pelosi have argued that federal stimulus spending was responsible for the creation of three million jobs, she failed to point out that this isn't just the opinion of political partisans -- it's the opinion of most economists. A 2010 Wall Street Journal poll of economists showed that 70% of economists agreed that the stimulus was good for the U.S. economy.
According to a May 2012 Congressional Budget Office report, the stimulus created the equivalent of between 900,000 and 4.7 million jobs in 2010 and between 600,000 and 3.6 million jobs in 2011. A February 2013 report from the Center on Budget and Policy also stated that the recession would have been worse without stimulus spending.
Misleading contributions from Kelly's guest, Fox Business Channel's Lou Dobbs, only highlighted the absence of expert analysis during the segment. Dobbs defied the prevailing opinion of economists by claiming that the 2009 stimulus bill, "hasn't worked." He continued, "The jobs that are being created - there is no such thing as jobs being created and saved."
From the February 1 edition of Fox News' Lou Dobbs Tonight:
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As congressional leaders debate a framework for comprehensive immigration reform that will likely grant undocumented immigrants legal status, conservative media are engaged in promoting myths and falsehoods about what reform means for the country.
From the January 25 edition of Fox Business' Lou Dobbs Tonight:
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How illogical has the right-wing media 'debate' about gun control become this week in the wake of President Obama moving forward on a host of violence prevention measures?
So illogical that conservative media voices expressed outrage, while spreading constant misinformation, about the role doctors might play in addressing gun violence in America. The right-wing Noise Machine cranked up the indignation because the Obama administration wants to make sure health care professional are allowed to communicate with their patients about guns and gun safety.
In other words, the right-wing Noise Machine is furious that the White House is treating gun violence, in part, as a health care issue when it so transparently is one.
Fact: The United States' life expectancy rate is far lower than most other affluent countries, in part because of our rate of gun violence far outpaces those other countries.
Meanwhile, taxpayers here spend billions each year paying health care costs to treat gunshot victims, the strong majority of whom, research indicates, are uninsured. Taxpayers spend even more money covering societal costs, such as long-term psychological problems, disability, and the loss of productivity suffered by approximately 70,000 Americans who suffer non-fatal gun shot wounds annually.
Following the school gun massacre in Newtown, CT last month, Bloomberg News reported:
The cost of U.S. gun violence in work lost, medical care, insurance, criminal-justice expenses and pain and suffering amounted to as much as $174 billion in 2010, according to data compiled by the Pacific Institute for Research and Evaluation in Calverton, Maryland.
That averages out to more than $644 in costs for every gun owned in America. As economist Ted Miller, the Institute's principal research scientist told Bloomberg, "Gun ownership is like smoking, an expensive and dangerous habit."
So yes, gun violence is America represents an epic and costly health care problem, which is why it makes sense to include health care providers in any comprehensive attempt to combat the crisis. (On Wednesday, the White House announced the administration would "issue guidance clarifying that the Affordable Care Act does not ban doctors from asking patients "about firearms in their patients' homes and safe storage of those firearms.")
As the Firearm & Injury Center at the University of Pennsylvania has concluded, "Healthcare providers have a vital role in preventing intentional and unintentional firearm injuries and their impact on patients, families and communities." And that's why the group Doctors for America applauded Obama's gun violence imitative this week.
Fox Business host Lou Dobbs pushed the extreme conspiracy theory that President Obama wants to destroy the Second Amendment as a first step in eliminating the entire Bill of Rights. But Obama has consistently voiced his support for the Second Amendment, including during the Monday press conference that Dobbs referenced on his show.
During his program, Dobbs aired a partial clip of Obama saying at the press conference, "The issue here is not whether or not we believe in the Second Amendment. The issue is: Are there some sensible steps that we can take to make sure that somebody like the individual in Newtown can't walk into a school -- "
Dobbs responded by claiming that Obama is "so committed to constraining or dismissing outright our Second Amendment rights, it makes you wonder why he's not ridding the Constitution of the First Amendment as well." He later said, "You've got to wonder why the president doesn't double down in his assault on the Constitution, taking on not only the Second, but the First Amendment, the Fourth, the Fourteenth." Dobbs then suggested that the reason Obama has "begun with the Second Amendment" is because "[w]ithout our rights under the Second Amendment, removing the rest of our Bill of Rights would be a lot easier."
The context of Obama's comments clearly shows that Obama was not "dismissing outright" Second Amendment rights.
From the January 4 edition of Fox Business' Lou Dobbs Tonight:
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Fox News hyped results from poll questions premised on falsehoods to reinforce its phony narrative about the attack on a U.S. diplomatic compound in Benghazi, Libya, that left four Americans dead. This fits with Fox News' history of pointing to public opinion polls to suggest that false talking points it has promoted are fact.
Fox News reported these poll results as it was announced that U.N. Ambassador Susan Rice was withdrawing as a candidate for secretary of state. Fox News led a relentless smear campaign against Rice alleging that her statements about Benghazi on Sunday morning news shows were somehow a scandal, despite copious evidence to the contrary.
While discussing the Benghazi attack, international correspondent Catherine Herridge and Fox Business anchor Lou Dobbs each cited a Fox News poll question that asked, "On the night of the attack, do you think President Obama should have ordered U.S. troops to go to Benghazi and help the Americans at the consulate there?" Sixty-five percent said yes, but the question falsely suggests that the Obama administration didn't act to help Americans in Benghazi.
In reality, reinforcements from the U.S. Embassy in Tripoli arrived in Benghazi the night of the attack. Furthermore, Defense Secretary Leon Panetta has said that a military response to the attack was not possible.
Herridge and Dobbs also cited a poll question that asked, "Do you think the Obama administration has covered-up what happened" in Benghazi? Though 48 percent agreed, the question is premised on a Fox News conspiracy theory -- the Obama administration has continually said that it was sharing information as it developed, and multiple investigations of the attack are under way.
In the wake of Michigan passing a so-called "right-to-work" law, which significantly weakens the ability of unions to bargain on behalf of workers, right-wing media pushed numerous myths about the anti-union policy.
Fox Business host Lou Dobbs falsely claimed that right-to-work laws eliminate forced union membership. In fact, federal law already prohibits unions from requiring membership, and right-to-work laws actually allow workers to receive union benefits without having to pay fees.
From the December 7 edition of Fox Business' Lou Dobbs Tonight:
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From the December 6 edition of Fox Business' Lou Dobbs Tonight:
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Fox News' Lou Dobbs is accusing President Obama of "trying to subvert the national sovereignty," "circumvent[t] our constitution," and impose "unprecedented ... rule by fiat" by participating in UN climate change negotiations, even though the latest round of talks is expected to accomplish little.
The UN climate change summit in Doha, Qatar is not expected to produce any new commitment to reducing the greenhouse gas emissions driving climate change, and if it does, any treaty would need to be ratified by a supermajority in the Senate. Yet Dobbs claimed Obama is trying to "rule by fiat" by supporting action on climate change, even as anchor Megyn Kelly pointed out that Americans support doing more:
But far from "trying to subvert the national sovereignty," Obama was recently praised by the conservative Wall Street Journal editorial board for "veto[ing]" an attempt by Europe to levy a carbon tax on U.S. airlines in one of his first moves after re-election.
As part of its ongoing effort to fight tax increases on the wealthy, Fox News figures have suggested that ending the Bush tax cuts for the wealthy wouldn't affect the deficit because that money would only run the government for eight and a half days. But economists agree that ending these tax cuts would raise a significant amount of revenue and that more tax revenue must be part of balanced approach to reducing the deficit.