Rick Folbaum

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  • Fox News Reports On The Consequences Of Climate Change

    Blog ››› ››› SHAUNA THEEL

    No, seriously. Fox News reported that the "power disruptions that were caused by Superstorm Sandy" will become more frequent across the country as a result of climate change, according to a new report from the Department of Energy.

    Watch as Fox News -- on the same show that once wondered whether moon volcanoes meant global warming wasn't occurring -- connects "higher temperatures [and] more frequent droughts" to climate change:

    Sure, the Fox News reporter felt the need to tack on the inane disclaimer that "there are those that are skeptical of climate change and feel that a lot of the data out there has been sort of bloated a little bit." But this segment is a big step forward for a network that once directed its reporters to cast doubt on the basic fact that the planet has warmed and has misled its audience in 93 percent of its coverage according to an analysis from the Union of Concerned Scientists.

    The report in question, released July 11, found that our unrestrained greenhouse gas emissions will lead to more power disruptions, and noted that many of these impacts are already being felt -- drought in Texas, wildfires in the Southwest, flooding in the Midwest, and other events connected to climate change have caused blackouts and billions of dollars of damage.


    As Fox News has now recognized the economic threat posed by climate change, will the network continue its refrain that the issue should not be a priority?

    UPDATE (7/12/13): The reporter in this segment, Rick Folbaum, was previously the host of a 2005 special "The Heat Is On: The Case of Global Warming" that did not dispute the science demonstrating manmade climate change. In a preview to the special, Folbaum unequivocally conveyed the threat of climate change:

    After months of research and interviews with many experts, I've learned this simple fact: the earth is heating up. And it's happening much faster than ever before. No one can argue with this. The vast majority of the scientific community says we're witnessing a unique and troubling kind of climate change, one where changes that used to occur over centuries are now taking place during the course of a single lifetime.

    However, after conservative groups (including several who received funding from ExxonMobil at the time) lashed out at Fox News, the network responded by airing a special that only featured contrarians on the science and threat of global warming.

  • WSJ's Moore: Wrong On Infrastructure Funding

    Blog ››› ››› BRIAN THORN

    Steve MooreThe Wall Street Journal's Steve Moore falsely claimed that there's adequate funding for infrastructure, ignoring sharp declines in infrastructure and construction spending. 

    On Fox News' America's Newsroom, guest host Rick Folbaum interviewed the Wall Street Journal's senior economics writer Steve Moore on the state of infrastructure spending and regulation.  During the segment, Folbaum acknowledged successful efforts by Republican lawmakers to block funding for "highways, rail, transit, airports" and questioned whether current spending levels, as opposed to regulation alone, might be a problem for national infrastructure projects.

    Moore ignored the claim of Republican obstruction altogether, dismissing "this idea that there's not enough money for infrastructure," and quickly returning to the question of regulation:

    Moore's dismissal of infrastructure underfunding, however, ignores a number of economic realities.

  • Fox News Allows Rand Paul To Whitewash His Controversial Stance On The Civil Rights Act

    Blog ››› ››› THOMAS BISHOP

    Fox News played a portion of Sen. Rand Paul's (R-KY) speech at Howard University where he claimed "I have never wavered in my support for civil rights or the Civil Rights Act" without noting his long history of controversial statements regarding the anti-discrimination law.  

    During a recent visit to Howard University, a historically black college, Paul claimed that "no Republican questions or disputes civil rights" and that he has "never wavered in his support of civil rights or the Civil Rights Act." Fox News aired Paul's claim and reported on his visit as "an effort to reach out to the youth and minority vote" and added that the senator urged the students to be open "to the Republican message":

    But Fox ignored Paul's previous comments on the Civil Rights Act that contradict his statement to Howard students.  Paul has been asked on several occasions about his stance on the Civil Rights Act, where he answered "I abhor racism...  but at the same time I do believe in private ownership." The Washington Post reported that in a 2002 letter to the editor to the Bowling Green Daily News, Paul claimed a "free society" should allow "hate-filled" groups to discriminate based on race. From the article:

  • Fox Finds New Way To Twist Panetta's Benghazi Testimony


    Fox News contributor Byron York suggested that Defense Secretary Leon Panetta's congressional testimony on Benghazi indicated that President Obama failed to order the military to protect Americans under attack. However, Panetta testified that Obama explicitly directed him to take military action to protect American lives.

    On Fox's America's Newsroom on Friday, guest host Rick Folbaum aired clips of Sen. Lindsey Graham (R-SC) questioning Panetta during Thursday's hearing about the attack on a U.S. compound in Benghazi, Libya. York described Panetta's testimony as confirming that "[a]fter having a prescheduled meeting in the afternoon on that day, Secretary Panetta spoke to [President Obama] no more." York then said, "I think what became clear with Lindsey Graham's questioning about possible military activity is that nobody in the Pentagon would have ordered military action without a specific order from the president. And the president wasn't around."

    But Panetta's very testimony refutes York's accusation: Panetta made it clear that Obama ordered Joint Chiefs of Staff chairman Gen. Martin Dempsey and himself to take all necessary action to protect Americans under attack. 

  • Fox Spins Study Showing Low Recidivism Rate Among Undocumented Immigrants To Attack Obama On Immigration

    Blog ››› ››› EMILY ARROWOOD

    Fox News is using a new report about the Obama administration's deportation of immigrants (legal and undocumented) to reinforce their narrative that President Obama is not committed to enforcing illegal immigration. In fact, the Congressional Research Service report proves the opposite: that the Obama administration has prioritized the removal of undocumented immigrants who are a danger to society, increasing the number of deportations by nearly 90 percent.

    According to the study, which analyzed records from October 2008 -- before Obama was in office -- to July 2011, 46,734 undocumented immigrants were released within that three-year span. Of those, 7,283 or 15.9 percent, recommitted crimes within three years of their initial arrest and release. To put it in context, Americans' recidivism rate is about 40 percent.

    But Fox News anchor Rick Folbaum described those findings as "revealing that illegal immigrants are more likely to return to jail after being arrested than citizens or even legal residents" -- which is the exact opposite of what the report concluded. According to the report, legal immigrants' recidivism rate was 16.5 percent. When taken together, the report found that 17 percent of legal and undocumented immigrants recommitted crimes within three years of their release.

    Still, host Bill Hemmer stated that the report cast "fresh doubt on the president's immigration policy." Host Lou Dobbs promoted the findings, suggesting the Obama administration has an "anti-enforcement agenda."

    Nothing is further from the truth. The Obama administration has prioritized the removal of dangerous undocumented immigrants. U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) director John Morton made this clear:

    Over the past three and a half years, ICE has established clear priorities that focus our enforcement resources on aliens that pose a threat to public safety or national security, repeatedly violate our immigration laws or recently crossed our borders.

  • Fox Hiding Half The Story On Automatic Spending Cuts


    Fox News is telling a one-sided story focused exclusively on cuts to defense spending that were included in a 2011 budget deal. What Fox is not telling its viewers is that the deal also included cuts to critical services for vulnerable Americans and reductions in important medical research funding, and that non-defense spending cuts would lead to a loss of more than 1 million jobs.