Eric Bolling appeared on Fox News today to express outrage about a recently approved Export-Import Bank loan for a refinery upgrade project in Colombia. Bolling stated: "This is absolutely crazy and no one, no one in the administration was going to tell us about it. I happened to be digging through the Export-Import Bank loan documents and found it."
Actually, the Export-Import Bank put out a press release about the loan on April 7, which is a weird way of keeping something secret.
The Ex-Im Bank doesn't use taxpayer dollars, and the point of the loan is to "support the purchases of equipment and services from over 150 large and small U.S. engineering/design, equipment supply, contracting and process license firms." So why is Bolling upset? Well, he sees this as another opportunity to attack Obama's energy policies, despite the fact that Obama does not control the decisions of the Export-Import bank, an independent agency.
On Tuesday's edition of Fox News' America Live, guest host Martha McCallum used news that President Obama was conducting a meeting on immigration reform as a hook to fearmonger over immigration and downplay the Obama administration's efforts to secure the border.
MacCallum hosted Arizona rancher Jim Chilton and repeatedly asked Chilton leading questions about whether the Obama administration was really securing the border. For instance, MacCallum asked: "You hear from Janet Napolitano -- she claims that the border is safer than it's been in a long time sir in terms of the resources that they've put down there. What do you say to her?" She also asked at one point: "Do you feel like you're surrounded?"
At the same time, Fox News aired misleading Fox News "Fox Facts" such as "apprehensions were down 36% over the past 2 years."
At no time did Fox News note that, as the Associated Press stated in June 2010, "the US-Mexico border is more fortified now than it was even five years ago."
From the April 19 edition of Fox News' America Live:
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Conservative media responded to President Obama's budget speech by attacking it as a "class warfare debacle." Conservatives have repeatedly dredged up the same tired "class warfare" talking point to attack progressives on tax policy or other matters.
As we've repeatedly documented, the line separating Fox's news from its opinion program is an illusion.
For those of you lucky enough to not spend much of your waking hours immersed in the world of Fox News, in can be hard to concisely capture the extent to which their news programming just functions as a slightly toned-down version of the over-the-top GOP boosterism of their "opinion" shows.
But in a tease for today's America's Newsroom, Bill Hemmer managed to do exactly that:
After framing the budget battle as "not a question of cutting, it's a question of how much," Hemmer announced the guests for today's program:
HEMMER: Our lineup: Karl Rove, Stephen Hayes, Mike Pence, Maria Cardona. John Bolton tackles the battles in the Middle East, Frank Luntz on the union battles at home, and Peter King on the trial at Gitmo for KSM. Wow, we'll see you in ten minutes with Martha and me here on America's Newsroom.
For good measure, in the opening minutes of the program, Hemmer's co-host Martha MacCallum announced that GOP Rep. Paul Ryan would also be a guest today. (Based on Hemmer's previous praise of "serious," "smart" Ryan, I'm not predicting a hard-hitting interview.)
So, for those keeping track, that is three Republican members of Congress (Ryan, King, Pence), two former Bush administration officials (Rove and Bolton), a Weekly Standard columnist (Hayes), and a conservative pollster/messaging guru (Luntz). For balance, there's one Democratic strategist (Cardona).
As Jon Stewart said in last week in his segment highlighting Fox news exec Bill Sammon admitting to lying on-air about then-candidate Obama, "[w]e're all smart enough to discern the line between hard news and opinion on Fox, much in the way that you can taste all the individual ingredients that go into soup."
From the March 31 edition of Fox News' America's Newsroom:
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From the March 16 edition of Fox News' Fox & Friends:
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Last week, discredited conservative activist James O'Keefe released a video in which former NPR executive Ron Schiller appeared to disparage the tea party movement and say that NPR would be "better off" without federal funding. Since then, several media outlets have noted that the full video shows that these and other comments Schiller made were taken out of context, yet Fox & Friends has continued to promote O'Keefe's video without noting that it is deceptively edited.
The right-wing media has consistently portrayed the medical case of Canadian baby Joseph Maraachli as a fight for survival, claiming he was "rescued" from the Canadian hospital treating him, thus "sav[ing]" the child's life. In fact, Maraachli's condition is incurable -- a fact conceded even by the conservative priests who facilitated moving Maraachli to a Catholic hospital in the U.S. -- and the Canadian hospital had agreed to all of his parents' requests to discharge and transfer the child.
Fox News anchor Martha MacCallum granted legitimacy to the claim that 85 percent of U.S. mosques are led by extremists. This claim has been spread throughout the conservative media, but studies of the Muslim community have debunked the claim and an academic who has studied Muslims in America called it "nonsense."
The conservative media has steadily advocated for Republicans to force a government shutdown, with a recent piece in the Washington Examiner saying that a shutdown "doesn't sound that bad." At the same time, however, conservative media figures are pushing the talking point that a shutdown would be the Democrats' fault.
Imagine for a moment that a major newspaper published a front-page story pointing out ties between a Democratic member of Congress and the terror group Hamas. Imagine if the paper reported that the member of Congress had told attendees at a pro-Hamas rally to "pledge ourselves to support those brave men and women." Imagine if the paper reported that a judge had thrown him out of a Hamas murder trial as an "obvious collaborator."
Imagine that rather than deny any of those allegations or renounce his past support for a terrorist organization, that Democratic member of Congress told the paper that Hamas was a "legitimate force."
How do you think Fox News would respond?
They'd be doing wall to wall coverage, wouldn't they? There would be theme music and a logo -- "Terrorist In The House?" with that question mark if he was lucky. He'd be denounced by the network's daytime hosts, and Fox's crack terrorism "experts" would be called upon to question how he could remain in Congress.
And Heaven help him if he were to venture onto the network to defend himself; he'd be subject to withering criticism and probably have "Terrorist Sympathizer" added to his captions.
The reason I bring this up is that the New York Times published a front-page story today on Rep. Peter King's (R-NY) unrepentant support for the IRA. And I'm not seeing any of the above hoopla on Fox.
The story finally came up during King's interview on America's Newsroom. Watch how Martha MacCallum handles the issue:
Notice how she doesn't even start the interview with the incredible disclosure that the chairman of the Homeland Security committee has supported a terrorist organization. When she gets around to it, she asks an open-ended question, then sits silently as he completely ducks the question, choosing to talk not about his support for the IRA but instead about how much he has been praised for his work on the Northern Ireland peace process.
That's about it. Apparently satisfied with King's non-answer, MacCallum moves on to other topics.
And that's how Fox News handles the revelation that a GOP congressman supported a foreign terror group.
Fox figures and guests have continued their aggressive promotion of Rep. Peter King's (R-NY) upcoming hearings on the radicalization of American Muslims.
From the March 8 edition of Fox News' America's Newsroom:
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On today's edition of Fox News' America's Newsroom (supposedly one of Fox News' straight news programs), co-anchor Martha MacCallum hosted Fox News contributor Karl Rove to discuss President Obama's standing in the polls. They discussed a Rasmussen Reports poll question asking "how would you rate the president as a leader," and Gallup questions about Obama's standing on economic and deficit questions. But During the nearly-four minute segment, MacCallum and Rove did not once mention the most comprehensive measure of Obama's standing -- his job approval numbers.
According to Rove, Obama "moved up after he signed the tax cut deals with Republicans and after the speech in Tucson" but that the numbers were now pointing in the opposite direction. Rove argued that the Rasmussen and Gallup numbers spelled bad news for the president, and may hurt his re-election chances.
This seemed suspicious. Did Fox have a reason for ignoring Obama's overall job approval ratings? It would seem so. Gallup's daily tracking poll currently shows that 49 percent approve of Obama's performance while 44 percent disapprove. That number has remained relatively steady since the beginning of the year with Obama's approval number generally in the high 40s and his disapproval in the low 40s. And the numbers don't jump around that much over the entire previous year.
Rasmussen's daily tracking numbers jump around a bit more. Since the beginning of the year, Obama's approval numbers has ranged from a low of 44 percent to a high of 52 percent. His disapproval numbers have ranged from a low of 47 percent to a high of 55 percent. Right now, however, according to Rasmussen, Obama's approval rating is at 49 percent, close to its high point, while his disapproval numbers are at 50 percent.
Furthermore, the Gallup numbers track closely with the RealClearPolitics.com average of the most recent polls, which show Obama at 49.7 percent approval and 44.3 percent disapproval. And aside from Rasmussen no poll included in the RealClearPolitics.com average has found more people disapproving of Obama's job performance than approving of it since mid-January.