Fox News falsely claimed that new ICE official Harold Hurtt is "a sanctuary city supporter" who doesn't "believe in immigration enforcement," since he has expressed concerns about local police "in the field" enforcing immigration law, concerns that are widely held among law enforcement leaders. In fact, Houston under Chief Hurtt was not a "sanctuary city," according Fox's own definition, and he has reportedly said that in his role at ICE, "he will support local law enforcement agencies' decision to participate in any ICE program of their choosing, even if it involves questioning suspects on the street about their status."
Right-wing media are misrepresenting testimony from former Gov. Rod Blagojevich's aide John Harris to claim President Obama knew that Blagojevich wanted a Cabinet post in exchange for appointing Valerie Jarrett to the Senate. In fact, Harris provided no evidence that Obama was aware of a proposed "quid pro quo"; the allegation is reportedly based on Blagojevich's unsupported claim that he was "confident" his wishes had been relayed to Obama. Moreover, there's no evidence that anyone at the White House did anything improper in relation to the Blagojevich scandal
As Media Matters' Dianna Parker noted just minutes ago, News Corp chief Rupert Murdoch appeared on Fox & Friends this morning with New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg to discuss their support for comprehensive immigration reform. For his part, Fox & Friends co-host (and Murdoch employee) Steve Doocy seemed to be on his best behavior:
Steve Doocy hosted Murdoch and NYC Mayor Michael Bloomberg on Fox & Friends to talk about their about immigration reform efforts, and the tone of the discussion was pretty measured and -- dare I say -- pro-immigrant.
It was not the tone Fox News usually employs when talking about immigration. There was no typical scare-tactic b-roll of people appearing to cross the U.S.-Mexico border illegally by crawling over fences, no crowing about "amnesty," no outrage over immigrants stealing American jobs or getting fair wages, and no baseless suggestions that all immigrants are criminals. Get this: Doocy even used the phrase "undocumented immigrants," instead of slinging around the charged word "illegals," like he and his co-hosts do in virtually every other segment on immigration. It was like watching a completely different network.
But how far reaching will this promising change in attitude on such an important issue extend?
If the right-wing cable outlet's horrific coverage of global climate change despite Murdoch's efforts to fight the problem is to be any indication, not far at all. As Media Matters' has repeatedly noted:
News Corp. CEO Rupert Murdoch has stated that News Corp. "can set an example" and "reach our audiences" when it comes to fighting climate change, promising in 2007 to make all of News Corp.'s operations carbon neutral by 2010 and most recently commissioning pollster Frank Luntz to conduct a survey that reportedly studied the most effective way to communicate with voters on climate change. However, media figures at his news outlets, including Fox News and the Wall Street Journal, have routinely advanced false and misleading claims in denying climate change.
Remember, this is the same cable network that recently announced plans to launch a new website (FoxNewsLatino.com) targeting the Latino community despite its long history of pushing misinformation surrounding all things even remotely tied to immigration.
Right-wing media have vouched for Sen. Jon Kyl's (R-AZ) "integrity" in the wake of a video in which Kyl accused President Obama of refusing to "secure the border" in order to force the GOP to support immigration reform, a claim the White House has flatly denied. However, these media have ignored Kyl's history of making false claims.
On Fox & Friends, co-host Steve Doocy and guest Corey Stewart, chairman of the Prince William County, Virginia, board of supervisors, falsely claimed that the county's controversial immigration law reduced violent crime and has never been altered. In fact, Prince William County's violent crime rates actually increased in 2009; the law was modified in 2008 to avoid legal challenges; and a University of Virginia study of the law shows that it has not led to a reduction in crime.
From the June 20 edition of CNN's Reliable Sources:
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From the June 18 edition of Fox News' Fox & Friends:
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During Fox & Friends' coverage of responses to President Obama's Oval Office address, Republican strategist Frank Luntz featured a panel of California voters to air their opinions. The panelists frequently echoed talking points pushed by Fox news, about both Obama's speech and his handling of the oil spill.
From the June 17 edition of Fox News' Fox & Friends:
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Media are criticizing President Obama's address on the Gulf oil spill as lacking specifics. MSNBC's Mika Brzezinski described such criticism as "drivel" and argued that they would criticize his speech no matter what he says; indeed after past speeches and press conferences, the media attacked him for being too professorial, lecturing, boring, or arrogant.
Fox & Friends twice falsely reported that Ohio has lost 400,000 jobs "under the Obama administration," and advanced the claim that as a result, Obama "has a lot of 'splaining to do." In fact, the 400,000 figure includes job losses that occurred for two years before Obama took office in the midst of a deep recession.
From the June 16 edition of Fox News' Fox & Friends:
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Right-wing media have falsely suggested that in an interview with Politico, President Obama equated the disasters of 9-11 and the Gulf oil spill. In fact, Obama said the oil spill is likely to shape future environmental and energy policy, similar to how U.S. foreign policy was shaped by the 9-11 attacks.
Earlier today, we noted how Fox & Friends' Steve Doocy falsely suggested that it is "misinformation" and "not true" that Republican Nevada Senate candidate Sharron Angle wants to "get rid of Social Security" -- in fact, that's exactly what Angle wants to do, according to her own website and Fox's own prior reporting.
We're not the only ones who noticed the whitewashing Angle received on Fox. Politico's Ben Smith highlights comments by Nevada journalist Jon Ralston:
U.S. Senate hopeful Sharron Angle said that during an astonishing interview on "Fox and Friends" this morning in which the hosts claimed she is a political newcomer (not so) and was endorsed by Sarah Palin (not so).
The interview climaxed with Steve Doocy saying to her, "Perhaps it's a misinformation or mischaracterization but some have said you are out to get rid of Social Security. That's not true, right?"
Angle: "Well, that's nonsense. I have always said we need to make the lockbox a lockbox, put the money in there for our senior citizens. They came here in good faith paying into a system and Harry Reid has put an IOU in for 24 years. He has been raiding Social Security. What we need to do is personalize Social Security so the government can no longer raid it."
That's quite the different spin from Angle after her past comments about privatization --and her onetime view that Social Security is "hard to justify." (Of course, Reid is going to have to justify his policies on Social Security, but Angle clearly has been told to massage (no, not the Scientology massages) her position for popular consumption.)
Follow-up? Don't be silly....
During an interview with Republican Senate candidate Sharron Angle (NV), Fox & Friends' Steve Doocy suggested that it is "misinformation" and "not true" that Angle wants to "get rid of Social Security." In fact, Angle's campaign website advocates "transition[ing] out" Social Security.