A new study has suggested that the economic stimulus resulted in the loss of approximately 550,000 jobs. Given that this could help reinforce the false conservative narrative that "the stimulus failed," it was bound to receive airtime on Fox News.
Today, the study made its way onto one of Fox's "straight news" programs, America Live:
MARTHA MacCALLUM (guest host): How about this? There's a brand new verdict when you take a look at the research that has been done by a university study that is just out on President Obama's stimulus plan and what it really did for jobs in the United States.
This is an exhaustive study done by two economists, and it says basically that the plan saved -- you remember the, you know, sort of "saved or created" moniker there -- that it saved 450,000-government sector jobs. But this study says that it actually destroyed or delayed 1 million private-sector jobs. Meaning that at the end of the day, this effort cost more jobs -- the trillion dollar stimulus -- than it created. This is a hugely controversial study that is out there, and it has some incredible implications.
The conservative blog RedState is also promoting the study.
First, it is misleading to call this study, by Timothy Conley of the University of Western Ontario and Bill Dupor of Ohio State, "exhaustive," as the authors themselves note in the conclusion:
Much work on the effects of the ARRA remains to be done. We found, surprisingly, either negligible or negative effects of the Act on total employment; thus, it is important to explore whether alternative empirical specifications, besides the historical `Keynesian multiplier' approach of Section 5 used by other researchers, are capable of finding a significant positive jobs effect.
More important, Fox overplays the study as a game-changer. It is not. It is a single study added to a pile of estimates that say the stimulus helped curb job losses and increase economic output.
From the May 13 edition of Fox News' America Live:
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Following the day-long freakout by Fox over hip-hop artist Common being invited to the White House for a poetry event, Fox was finally confronted by a guest who exposed the right-wing media's abject hypocrisy over the issue. Fox's supposed outrage apparently stems from Common lyrics it views as "controversial" and his association with Rev. Jeremiah Wright, President Obama's former pastor. Common, who is from Chicago, has said he's known Wright since he was a child from attending Trinity Church there.
But when guest Keli Goff, a political analyst and contributing editor for TheLoop21.com, pointed out during tonight's On the Record that conservatives have embraced artists like Kid Rock -- whose offensive lyrics haven't kept Sarah Palin from praising him -- Fox's outrage was exposed for what it is: selective and decidedly hypocritical.
During a segment about the Common invitation, guest host Martha MacCallum said the invitation was "disturbing on a lot of levels." She then claimed that in some of his lyrics, the rapper talks about "glorifying the killing of policemen," among other things, and asked: "Why would we want to do this?" Goff disagreed with MacCallum's characterization, saying that Common "is one of the good guys in hip-hop," "known for not putting the misogynistic lyrics out there," and that he is "politically conscious."
Goff's words echo the sentiment expressed by a Fox News reporter in an October 2010 report on FoxNews.com. As we pointed out earlier, Fox News reporter Jason Robinson lauded Common's music as "very positive" and noted that he is known as the "conscious rapper." But MacCallum wasn't buying it. She claimed that inviting Common wouldn't "bring respect to the White House" or "elevate people." She added: "This is no Robert Frost. This is no Maya Angelou -- this moment that is happening tomorrow night. ... How can you possibly compare these lyrics to the works of these people and say that we're elevating?"
MacCALLUM: When you have an opportunity to teach children about, you know, poetry, right? This is something they already know, you know what I'm saying. This is their world in many cases. They're familiar with this. Take it a step higher for them. Teach them about something that they don't know. Missed opportunity, in my opinion.
Goff then replied:
GOFF: Can I just say, from this line of reasoning, the Pope wouldn't be welcome in the White House because he's presided over one of the biggest pedophilia scandals in American history, right? From that logic ... people shouldn't be welcome that you think have presided over offensive ideas. Willie Nelson is a Kennedy Center honoree. He's been convicted of drug abuse, multiple drug possessions, multiple times.
MacCallum, who earlier had suggested she was offended by the White House's invite because of Common's supposedly offensive lyrics, repeatedly called this logic "absolutely ridiculous."
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.