On Thursday night, Mitt Romney's campaign announced an ad blitz across eight swing states over the next several days. On Friday, Fox News' Sean Hannity aired one of the new ads in full, providing the Republican campaign with free advertising. However, the ad dishonestly edited remarks from former President Clinton, which Hannity did not point out.
In a segment on the Democratic National Convention with Fox News contributor Sarah Palin, Hannity called into question Clinton's support for President Obama by playing the new ad in full. The ad is a part of the GOP's new carpet-bombing ad campaign, which "will run 15 separate ads spread across Colorado, Florida, Iowa, Nevada, New Hampshire, North Carolina, Ohio and Virginia" and cost the campaign "about $4.5 million." According to the Huffington Post:
The commercials suggest that Americans are not better off after nearly four years of Obama's leadership. They link Obama to high foreclosure rates, defense cuts, government regulations and the national deficit.
Ignoring the ad's deceptive editing, Hannity asked Palin whether Clinton was "a good lawyer defending a guilty client." As Fox News itself has pointed out, however, the ad uses footage of Clinton that is deceptively edited to make it seem as if his support for Obama is not genuine. As the FoxNews.com article noted, "the old campaign video in its entirety made no mention of the economy or Obama's campaign promises. Clinton was instead referring to Obama's claim that he was one of the earliest opponents of the Iraq war."
Fox has a history of providing free advertising for GOP campaigns, even when those ads are riddled with falsehoods. The network has aggressively promoted ads from GOP Super PAC American Crossroads. Recently, The O'Reilly Factor declared a misleading Romney ad "basically...true," while Fox's Carl Cameron supported a hypocritical Romney ad on welfare reform.
Fox News itself has produced an anti-Obama ad.
Over three days, Fox News spent at least 17 segments and over 43 minutes of airtime smearing Massachusetts U.S. Senate candidate Elizabeth Warren over benign comments she made about infrastructure spending and the success of the wealthy.
On July 30, Democrats announced that Warren will be given a key speaking slot at the Democratic National Convention in Charlotte, North Carolina in September.
In response to that announcement, Fox, over the following three days, seized on benign remarks Warren had previously made in an effort to smear her. Warren's opponent is Sen. Scott Brown, whom Fox relentlessly campaigned for in 2010.
One of the comments Fox fixated on came from a recent ad released by Warren's campaign. Fox claimed that in the ad, Warren said she wanted the United States to be "like China" and that she may have "call[ed] for America to go communist." In fact, the Senate candidate said that the U.S. should increase its infrastructure spending in order to compete with countries like China. Warren's comment -- which is supported by studies showing that U.S. infrastructure is deteriorating and needs significant investment -- echoed a similar observation from former Fox contributor Newt Gingrich.
Fox also attacked Warren over a comment she made during a campaign stop in August 2011 that "[t]here is nobody in this country who got rich on his own." But Warren was merely making the unremarkable observation that the private sector success of the wealthy is driven by government investments funded by the public -- an observation Fox itself has made.
Fox began their attacks on Warren on July 31, following the announcement that she will be speaking at the Democratic National Convention.
Among the attacks over Warren's proposal to spend more on infrastructure projects like roads and bridges was Fox Business host Stuart Varney calling Warren a "collectivist" and "anti-private enterprise." Among the attacks over Warren's unremarkable observation on private sector success was Fox's Sean Hannity calling Warren and Obama -- who made similar remarks that were distorted by Fox -- "clueless."
Fox's Sarah Palin, commenting on Warren speaking at the convention, said that Warren has "almost confessed to her Marxist views."
Media Matters monitored Fox's coverage of Warren on July 31, August 1, and August 2 -- the three days following the announcement that she would be speaking at the Democratic National Convention -- and found that Fox News devoted at least 17 segments, including teases, and over 43 minutes to attacking Warren over her comments.
From the August 1 edition of Fox News' Your World:
Loading the player reg...
Fox News is not disclosing its clear conflict of interest in defending Chick-fil-A against criticism over the fast-food restaurant's stance on marriage equality, as the controversy stands to benefit HarperCollins, a publishing company owned by Fox News' parent company, News Corporation.
Chick-fil-A president Dan Cathy set off a controversy when, during a July 16 interview, he said that his company supports "the biblical definition of the family unit." Cathy later said in a radio interview, "As it relates to society in general, I think we are inviting God's judgment on our nation when we shake our fist at him and say, 'We know better than you as to what constitutes a marriage.' "
Amid calls to boycott the company over the anti-marriage equality remarks, The Jim Henson Company, which created toys for Chick-fil-A, spoke out against the restaurant, writing on Facebook: "[W]e have notified Chick-Fil-A that we do not wish to partner with them on any future endeavors. Lisa Henson, our CEO is personally a strong supporter of gay marriage and has directed us to donate the payment we received from Chick-Fil-A to GLAAD." Chick-fil-A then announced it had pulled the Henson toys, citing safety concerns.
Following the split with The Jim Henson Company, Chick-fil-A replaced the toys with the children's books The Berenstain Bears. As reported by NBC News, a statement on the Berenstain company website "said the books' publisher, HarperCollins, has been working on this marketing project for more than a year." The statement read, in part:
The Berenstain family does not at this time have control over whether this program proceeds or not. We hope those concerned about this issue will direct their comments toward HarperCollins and Chick-fil-A.
While all this has been going on, Fox has been defending Chick-fil-A while not disclosing that it has an interest in doing so. Both Fox and HarperCollins, the publisher of the Berenstain Bears books, are subsidiaries of News Corporation. If the HarperCollins marketing project suffers as a result of a decline in sales brought about by the Chick-fil-A controversy, News Corp. stands to take a hit to its bottom line.
From WFAA.com's video of U.S. Senate candidate Ted Cruz's (R-TX) July 31 speech:
Loading the player reg...
From the July 31 edition of Fox News' On The Record with Greta Van Susteren
Loading the player reg...
Ted Cruz has the support of several prominent Fox News personalities in today's runoff for the Republican nomination for U.S. Senate in Texas. Cruz's website touts endorsements from Sarah Palin and Sean Hannity. Palin, Hannity and Dick Morris have backed Cruz on Fox, and the network has conducted softball interviews with him.
Cruz, once considered a longshot to beat Texas Lt. Gov. David Dewhurst, has attracted the backing of Tea Party groups like the Tea Party Express. Since 2009, Fox News has promoted and nurtured the Tea Party and its cause.
Dewhurst, however, hasn't been completely shut out from Fox News support. Host Mike Huckabee endorsed Dewhurst in January and starred in a campaign ad calling Dewhurst "the only proven conservative in this Senate race."
Among the Fox Newsers endorsing Ted Cruz:
Right-wing media have praised the decision made by many Republican governors to not participate in the Affordable Care Act's expansion of Medicaid eligibility. But the provision being rejected by GOP governors would expand affordable health care coverage to millions of struggling Americans.
Fox News host Greg Gutfeld hyped a Daily Mail article that smears end-of-life care in Britain as "euthanasia," repeating the article's false claim that "130,000 elderly patients are euthanized prematurely" because of the health care system there. In fact, the kind of care that these patients receive is offered only after their doctors "agree that all reversible causes for their condition have been considered."
Gutfeld made his claim while the show he co-hosts, The Five, was hosting Fox News contributor Sarah Palin to discuss the Supreme Court ruling upholding the Affordable Care Act. Palin again peddled the long-debunked claim that the Medicare Independent Payment Advisory Board is a "death panel" that "will tell you ... whether your level of productivity in society is worthy of receiving the rationed care that will be the result of Obamacare."
Gutfeld agreed with Palin and responded: "To your point, the Daily Mail in the U.K. reported that 130,000 elderly patients are euthanized prematurely because they don't have enough room for beds. Which goes to your point -- inevitably, this is what happens."
From the June 29 edition of Fox News' Hannity:
Loading the player reg...
Right-wing media have reacted to the Supreme Court's ruling upholding President Obama's health care law by claiming it is "a dark day for freedom" and "the end of America as we know it." But the decision allows the health care law to implement reforms that will protect and extend affordable insurance coverage to millions of Americans.
Today, the Supreme Court upheld the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act as constitutional. Right-wing media figures immediately began venting on Twitter. Here is an hour's worth of the worst right-wing ranting about the Supreme Court decision after it was announced:
Fox News figures have attempted to spin the results of Wisconsin's recall election to claim Gov. Walker's victory is a referendum on President Obama. In fact, polling shows Obama holding a significant lead over Romney in Wisconsin, and even conservatives admit the election is a poor predictor of Obama's re-election bid.
Economists agree that austerity measures in a weak economy lead to less growth and fewer jobs, and the condition of Wisconsin's jobs market, which is lagging much of the rest of the country, is consistent with that fact. Nevertheless, Fox News figures are spinning Gov. Scott Walker's recall win as proof that budget cuts "will help our nation as a whole with the economic woes that we face."
From the June 5 edition of Fox News' On the Record with Greta Van Susteren:
Loading the player reg...