Making the case that the Bush tax cuts for the rich should be extended can be a difficult task, given that a strong majority of Americans consistently supports raising taxes on the wealthy. This isn't too surprising considering that only around 2 of every 100 U.S. households earn more than $250,000 per year.
But that won't stop Fox & Friends from trying. While discussing the January 2011 expiration of the Bush tax cuts for upper-income earners, host Steve Doocy asked: "What do they consider rich in Washington, DC? Because what they consider rich, not necessarily part of the real world." And by "real world," Doocy means New York City:
DOOCY: First of all, you know, they talk about soaking the rich, and they're going to -- tax hikes for the rich. What do they consider rich in Washington DC? Because what they consider rich, not necessarily part of the real world.
VARNEY: I guess it's that $250,000 a year cut off that the president has always mentioned. If you're above that, you're taxes go up. If you're below that, he will never raise taxes on you. I guess he makes the cut off point at $250,000.
DOOCY: But you know, living in the New York City area, there are firemen who have wives that are in the teachers' union and they make about that much, and they are not rich.
VARNEY: No they're not.
According to Census Bureau data, the median household income in New York City was $48,631 in 2007. Yet Fox & Friends believes that you can earn five times this amount, and you're still "not rich."
Now, it's true that New York City is home to a high number of uber-rich people. But that doesn't change the fact that even those who don't seem rich to the absurdly rich make a lot more money than the vast majority of the city's - and the nation's -- residents.
Fox & Friends guest co-host Juliet Huddy dredged up the debunked claim that NAACP national president Ben Jealous was in the audience during former USDA employee Shirley Sherrod's now-infamous March speech. In fact, Media Matters for America confirmed that Jealous was not in attendance.
Fox & Friends co-host Steve Doocy once again deceptively claimed that "Fox News Channel did not touch" the Shirley Sherrod story "until she had actually quit." In fact, Doocy's statement ignores that FoxNews.com published a story based on the deceptively edited video before Sherrod resigned; indeed, a subsequent FoxNews.com article reported that she resigned "shortly after FoxNews.com published its initial report on the video."
Fox News spent much of July 19 and 20 ginning up controversy about the false claim that Shirley Sherrod made racist remarks at a NAACP meeting earlier this year. As the claim unraveled, Fox media personalities disappeared their role in the story, continued to smear her as "descriminat[ory]" in the face of contradictory evidence, and boldly suggested the network did not contribute to the controversy.
From the July 21 edition of Fox News' Fox & Friends:
Loading the player reg...
From the July 20 edition of Fox News' Fox & Friends:
Loading the player reg...
Another day, another right-wing media freak out. Today, the right is in a tizzy over a Daily Caller exclusive scoop that "documents show media plotting to kill stories about Rev. Jeremiah Wright." Except, of course, their "documents" show no such thing.
The Daily Caller purports to have obtained copies of emails from the "Journolist" listserv, which they report is "comprised of several hundred liberal journalists, as well as like-minded professors and activists." Their big, breaking story exposes that some liberal journalists and a professor were outraged by an April 2008 Democratic Presidential primary debate -- a debate that was widely criticized as being "specious and gossipy." As you may recall, during that debate Obama was asked questions such as, "Do you think Reverend Wright loves America as much as you do?"; "How do you convince Democrats" that not wearing an American flag lapel pin "would not be a vulnerability?"; and "Can you explain" your "relationship" with Bill Ayers, a question that was literally suggested to moderator George Stephanopoulos by right-wing radio hosts.
The debate was, in a word, ridiculous. And numerous media figures agreed. The Daily Caller highlights portions of the purported Journolist emails which showed several participants discussing how best to frame and word an open letter to ABC News condemning the debate. Each of the media figures mentioned in the Daily Caller report was an opinion columnist or a blogger. Hardly the stuff of a mainstream media conspiracy, though the Caller desperately tried to paint it as such. They specifically said that journalists from Time and Politico were involved in the discussion, but the article provides absolutely no evidence to back this up.
So, yes, it appears that the big scandal is that liberal journalists and professors talked to each other about how to frame a publically released letter to ABC News. Stop the presses!
Expanding on the stupidity of the Daily Caller report is the fact that many of these same journalists were very clear and very open about their displeasure with the ABC news debate at the time.
Fox News figures have used J. Christian Adams' unsubstantiated allegations to suggest that President Obama and Attorney General Eric Holder were involved in the Justice Department's decision in the New Black Panthers case. However, Adams himself testified that he had no "indication" that the decision involved anyone "higher up" than an acting assistant attorney general.
On the July 16 edition of Fox & Friends, host Steve Doocy sat idly by as Congresswoman Michele Bachmann (R-MN) alleged she has "not" ever seen "anything that constituted racism, or was even close to it" at any tea party rally "from coast to coast":
DOOCY: You have been to many tea parties.
BACHMANN: I have. From coast to coast.
DOOCY: From coast to coast. Have you ever seen anything that constituted racism or was even close to it?
BACHMANN: I have not. The assertions that were made by some of my colleagues during the health care debate, there's no record of it. Nothing on audio tape, nothing. So people need to back them up.
From the July 16 edition of Fox News' Fox & Friends:
Loading the player reg...
On Fox & Friends, Steve Doocy falsely claimed that a government report found students enrolled in Washington, D.C.'s Opportunity Scholarship Program (OSP), which awards vouchers to students to attend private schools, "performed better academically than students in the public schools" and claimed that Congress' defunding of the program is evidence that "the teachers union has a stranglehold on the Democratic Party." In fact, the report to which Doocy is presumably referring "found no conclusive evidence that the OSP affected student achievement overall."
From the July 14 edition of Fox News' Fox & Friends:
Loading the player reg...
Right-wing media -- led by a FoxNews.com article rife with distortions -- have hyped a report by a right-wing group alleging instances of voter fraud in the 2008 Minnesota Senate election to baselessly suggest that Al Franken was "elected by felons" and that his win represents a "Senate seat stolen" and "an illegal victory." But, local officials have reportedly said that the group's data "is not good," and that the report makes claims that are "not accurate" and "likely inflated."
Distorting a New Jersey court case, Fox & Friends repeatedly claimed that the state may be forcing police officers "to speak foreign languages when they arrest people." In fact, the Court ruled that non-English speaking DWI suspects must be informed that they are required by law to submit to breath tests in a language they can understand, which can be done through audio recordings or interpreters, not through a mandate that officers speak foreign languages.
Fox & Friends host Steve Doocy said that the Justice Department's lawsuit against Arizona's controversial immigration law is "just the latest example of what some say is a federal government that is overstepping its authority and getting too big." However, Doocy omits that the Bush administration sued Illinois seeking to have an immigration statute ruled unconstitutional, and legal experts agree Arizona law is "unconstitutional."