Fox & Friends baselessly suggested that Rep. Alan Grayson's (D-FL) mailing of a DVD to his constituents constituted an "ethics violation." In fact, a spokesman for the committee that oversees the approval of such mailings told Media Matters that Grayson's DVD had been vetted and that the mailing was "not a violation" of House ethics rules.
Fox & Friends this morning hosted GOP candidate George Demos to further their seemingly never-ending, biased coverage of the Islamic Community Center and mosque set to be built a few blocks away from the site of the World Trade Center attacks. Today they found a new angle on the subject. While continuing their baseless fearmongering that the project is being funded by "terrorist groups," they attempted to draw a false comparison between support for the community center and delays in the construction of a small Greek Orthodox church, St. Nicholas' Church, suggesting that the government is favoring a mosque over a church:
There are a few problems with their attempt to compare the two situations. First, despite trying to push the phrase "Ground Zero mosque" at every opportunity, the community center is being built blocks away. St. Nicholas' church, on the other hand, is actually being built at Ground Zero:
The issue here is more than just semantics. Because it's being built directly next to Ground Zero, the church is subject to all the complications, and delays involved in construction at the site. According to a New York Times article,
The Port Authority of New York and New Jersey, the agency overseeing reconstruction, has not finalized the exchange of land needed to provide the congregation with a new home near ground zero. Until that deal is completed, the authority cannot proceed with building the southern foundation wall for the entire site, and cannot draw up designs for a bomb screening center for buses and trucks that would go under the new church. And because security is crucial, delays in the vehicle security center mean delays in other parts of the site.
Failing to note this important aspect of the story would be bad enough, but host Peter Johnson Jr. and Demos went further, falsely claiming that government officials were intentionally delaying the construction of the church. Johnson Jr. said "our own government [is] now accused of putting road blocks in the path of its own citizens trying to rebuild that church," and Demos suggested the Port Authority is blocking the project, saying they "originally agreed to have them swapped to have a bigger piece of land and abruptly reneged on their deal a year ago and refused to meet with the Greek Orthodox Church." Of course, this isn't true, as the New York Times explains, "Both St. Nicholas and the Port Authority are eager to resolve the issues quickly, especially since the authority plans to pick a contractor to build the southern perimeter wall for the entire site this summer, and it needs title to the church's property to proceed."
But those of you following Fox's treatment of this story will not be surprised to learn that they went further, seamlessly turning this into the latest manufactured attack on Christianity. Demos claimed "Our Christian values are under attack in this country and we have a church that's not being rebuilt and our government should be doing everything it can to make sure we rebuild this," and Johnson asked Demos if he thought "the Port Authority is attacking Judeo-Christian values in not allowing them to go forward."
It is becoming more and more apparent that not only can GOP candidates reliably push their talking points on Fox without challenge, but anyone espousing anti-Muslim sentiment can be assured of a comfortable setting to manufacture outrage without accurately representing the facts.
Reporting on the breaking news that an Arizona federal district judge had blocked parts of a controversial Arizona immigration law, Fox News Supreme Court reporter Shannon Bream stated that an appeal of the case "will go to the Ninth Circuit, which is viewed widely as the most liberal circuit out there. It is also the most overturned by the U.S. Supreme Court. So a loss there is not necessarily an overall loss." In fact, the Ninth Circuit was nowhere near the most overturned federal appeals court last year and has not been the most overturned court in many years.
Peter Johnson Jr., also a Fox News legal analyst, discussed the case with Bream but never corrected her statement.
This attack on the Ninth Circuit is a favorite talking point of conservative media figures, but it's dead wrong. Indeed, according to SCOTUSblog.com, in the last Supreme Court term -- from October 2009 - June 2010 -- seven of the 13 appellate courts had a higher reversal rate than the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit. The seven circuits with a higher rate were the Second, Fourth, Fifth, Sixth, Seventh, Eight, and Eleventh Circuits. And the five circuits had a lower reversal rate: the First, Third, Tenth, D.C., and Federal Circuits.
The Ninth Circuit also hasn't had the highest reversal rate in recent years. (See SCOTUSblog statistics for the terms beginning October 2008, October 2007, October 2006, October 2005 and our previous summary of circuit statistics from October 2001 - June 2005 for the data.)
Fox & Friends hosted Glenn Beck to rehash tired health care reform misinformation, including that the health care reform bill is modeled after the British system, which will lead to "very little care" and "death panels" for infants and the elderly, and that Center for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) appointee Donald Berwick is "into rationing care." In fact, the new health care reform law does not create a health care system modeled after the British system; the existence of death panels in health care reform has been comprehensively debunked, and in his comments about rationing, Berwick was pointing out that insurance companies already ration care.
Fox & Friends repeatedly falsely suggested that the public option will not "save us a lot of money." In fact, according to a July 22 report from the nonpartisan Congressional Budget Office (CBO), the "public plan" would "reduce the federal budget deficit by about $15 billion" in 2020 and would save "about $68 billion" through 2020.
On Fox & Friends, senior legal analyst Peter Johnson, Jr. claimed that the Justice Department's lawsuit against Arizona's controversial illegal immigration law is "baseless," "nonsensical," and "almost laughable." But legal experts -- and even Fox's own Judge Napolitano -- dispute this claim, saying the Arizona law is "un-American" and "unconstitutional."
From the July 8 edition of Fox News' Fox & Friends:
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Right-wing media have seized on an opportunity for race-baiting with the manufactured scandal surrounding J. Christian Adams' accusations that President Obama's Department of Justice engaged in racially charged "corruption" in the New Black Panther Party case.
Led by Fox News, right-wing media have attacked Attorney General Eric Holder over his announcement that the Justice Department has begun civil and criminal investigations into the Gulf oil spill. Their attacks echo previous criticism from Fox and right-wing media figures over SEC charges and congressional hearings into Goldman Sachs and hearings into a Toyota vehicle recall.
In a show devoted entirely to a White House offer to Rep. Joe Sestak (D-PA) of a position on a presidential panel, Sean Hannity joined several guests in portraying that offer as violation of the law. In fact, and numerous legal experts have stated that no crime was committed.
Right-wing media figures -- including Glenn Beck and Rush Limbaugh -- have attacked critics of the Arizona immigration law by invoking the idea of a civil war. For example, Beck suggested President Obama is "trying to destroy the country" and pushing America toward civil war.
From the May 24 edition of Fox News' Fox & Friends:
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Fox's Peter Johnson, Jr. continued to push smears of Donald Berwick, Obama's nominee to run the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services, by distorting Berwick's comments on redistribution, the British NHS and rationing after they had been shown to be innocuous.
Fox & Friends repeatedly criticized the Obama administration for what they characterized as "slashing" New York City's transit and port security funding, calling it "shocking" and the "moral equivalent of Katrina." However, New York City is reportedly set to receive $47 million more for transit and port security than last year as a result of stimulus funds, according to the Department of Homeland Security.
The Washington Post reported that there was controversy over whether to read the suspected Times Square bomber his Miranda rights after suspected Christmas Day bomber Umar Farouk Abdulmutallab "stopped cooperating with authorities after being read his rights." In fact, intelligence and law enforcement officials stated that Abdulmutallab cooperated both before and after he was Mirandized, as the Post itself reported previously.