Fox News has seized upon a study conducted by PricewaterhouseCoopers (PWC) for America's Health Insurance Plans (AHIP), which concluded that under the Senate Finance Committee health care reform bill, "by 2019 the cost of single coverage is expected to increase by $1,500 more than it would under the current system and the cost of family coverage is expected to increase by $4,000 more than it would under the current system," in some cases reporting the study's conclusions as fact. However, health care experts have noted that, in the words of health care economist Len Nichols, "Aside from the obvious conflict of interest associated with a report funded by the very industry it analyzes, PWC's basic analytic assumptions -- by their own admission -- are at variance with the bill and the opinions of most analysts."
In reports on FoxNews.com, America's Newsroom, and Your World, Fox News repeatedly advanced misinformation about Department of Energy loans recently granted to Fisker Automotive and Tesla Motors to support development of fuel-efficient vehicles, suggesting that those funds would be ill-spent. The false or misleading claims include: that the loans will be used to build cars that cost $89,000 and $109,000; that the loans will finance foreign manufacturing; and that Fisker and Tesla are European companies.
In its Glenn Beck-driven witch hunt for "czars" in the Obama administration, Fox News has turned its attention to attacking Office of Safe and Drug-Free Schools director Kevin Jennings, with Sean Hannity and Fox & Friends asking whether Jennings should be "fired" and whether he is "the guy for the job." In pressing for Jennings to be fired and misconstruing Jennings' past comments, Fox News continues its pattern of using gross distortions to attack President Obama's advisers.
Appearing on Fox News, Wall Street Journal senior economics writer Stephen Moore again falsely suggested that health care reform legislation would "impose an 8 percent payroll tax on" all small businesses, which would "increase the cost of hiring a new worker." In fact, the "8-percent payroll tax" in the House health care reform bill is a penalty on certain employers who do not provide health care coverage to their employees; businesses that provide health care coverage would be exempt from the tax.
From the August 18 edition of CNBC's The Kudlow Report:
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From the August 13 editions of Fox News' Your World with Neil Cavuto and On the Record with Greta Van Susteren:
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On Fox News, Wall Street Journal editorial board member Stephen Moore falsely claimed that the House tri-committee health care reform legislation includes "an employment tax," under which, "[e]very time a business hires a new worker, they'd have to pay an 8 percent tax." In fact, the "8 percent tax" is a penalty on certain employers who do not provide health care coverage to their employees, requiring them to pay 8 percent of their payroll; businesses that provide health care coverage would be exempt from the tax.
Conservative media figures have echoed House Minority Leader John Boehner's statement that "93% of the American people have access to high-quality, affordable health insurance" by arguing that because most Americans purportedly have access to health insurance, health care reform constitutes, in Fox News host Steve Doocy's words, "blowing up the system for 5 percent" who don't. These media figures have ignored that tens of millions of Americans are underinsured and that the reform bills contain several provisions intended to benefit those currently insured.
Several media figures on Fox News and Fox Business -- including Glenn Beck -- have blasted the National Endowment for the Arts for awarding Recovery Act grants to San Francisco arts organizations, claiming the grants will pay for "porn." However, those personalities ignored significant facts: Direct grants were only made to organizations that were screened to receive funding in the past, and every group they criticized previously received tens of thousands of dollars from the Bush administration.
On Fox News, Stephen Moore said of the Obama administration's plans for dealing with the economic situation: "The one thing this administration won't do is cut taxes." In fact, the recovery act included $288 billion in tax relief.
Conservatives in the media have continued to cite the findings of a widely disputed study by a Spanish economist to assert or suggest that the United States will lose two jobs for every one green job created if the American Clean Energy and Security Act passes.
The Wall Street Journal's Stephen Moore falsely accused Rep. Barney Frank of "involvement in giving a blank check to Fannie and Freddie," echoing the oft-repeated myth that Frank fought efforts to strengthen congressional oversight over Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac.
Echoing a false GOP talking point, Stephen Moore claimed that "groups like ACORN" received money in the recovery act. In fact, the act does not mention ACORN or otherwise single it out for funding.
On CNBC, Stephen Moore falsely claimed that President Obama "never used the word 'entrepreneur' " in an April 14 speech. In fact, during the speech Obama said, "If businesses and entrepreneurs know today that we are closing this carbon pollution loophole, they'll start investing in clean energy now."
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