Fox & Friends repeatedly attacked Martha Coakley, Democratic Senate candidate for Massachusetts, for saying there are no "terrorists" in Afghanistan, and at one point falsely claimed she said the "Taliban" is "no longer a threat." But the context of Coakley's comments makes clear that when she said "terrorists," she was specifically referring to Al Qaeda, not the Taliban, and indeed, her comments are similar to military experts' statements that Al Qaeda's presence is diminished in Afghanistan.
From the January 13 edititon of Fox News' Fox & Friends:
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Fox & Friends co-host Steve Doocy claimed that a New York City-led initiative to encourage reduced salt intake would allow the government to "decide how much salt is in our diets," tying the voluntary guidelines to "some sort of government-run health care," repeating a consistent pattern of Fox personalities distorting voluntary guidelines as illustrating government mandates that would exist under health care reform. However, as the New York City government makes clear, the program "is a voluntary initiative, not a regulatory measure."
Responding to Sen. Harry Reid's recently reported controversial comments about President Obama, numerous conservative media figures have accused Democrats of having a "double standard" regarding racially insensitive remarks made by Republicans, specifically citing the outrage over former Senate Majority Leader Trent Lott's past comments in support of Strom Thurmond's 1948 segregationist presidential campaign. But others -- including NPR's Cokie Roberts, Rev. Al Sharpton, and NAACP's Hilary Shelton -- have argued that the two comments are not comparable, because Reid was praising an African-American's advancement, whereas Lott was expressing support for a segregationist.
Fox & Friends' hosts and the New York Post editorial board complained that the "near-five-hour delay" (or "three-and-a-half hour delay") of President Obama's press conference addressing the intelligence review of Umar Farouk Abdulmutallab's alleged attempt to set off a bomb on a Northwest Airlines flight on Christmas day was "disconcerting," "strange and eerie," "dysfunctional," and "not what the White House should be doing." In fact -- as Fox & Friends co-host Steve Doocy at one point acknowledged -- administration officials stated that the delay was required to declassify the summary of a report on the attempted attack which was released following the conference.
Conservative media figures have politicized the failed Christmas Day terrorist attack to criticize President Obama's handling of national security matters. But their assertions about Obama's and former President Bush's handling of terrorism and national security are replete with myths and falsehoods.
Following President Obama's January 7 remarks on the attempted Christmas Day airline bombing -- during which he stated, "We are at war. We are at war with al Qaeda" -- numerous conservative media figures have falsely suggested that prior to that speech, Obama had not characterized the fight against terrorists as a war. In fact, in his inaugural address, Obama stated that "[o]ur nation is at war against a far-reaching network of violence and hatred," and he has repeatedly discussed terrorism as the rationale for U.S. military action abroad.
From the January 8 edition of Fox News' Fox & Friends:
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Following news that Senate Democrats Chris Dodd and Byron Dorgan will retire in 2010, Fox News personalities have repeatedly tied theirs and other congressional Democrats' retirements to President Obama's "radical" agenda. In doing so, Fox ignored that a similar number of Republicans in Congress have announced that they also will not seek re-election.
Attacking a CIA program providing climate data to scientists, Fox & Friends accused the Obama administration of "[s]pying on icebergs instead of terrorists" and "[t]racking climate change instead of Al-Qaeda," which echoes a press release from the conservative and ExxonMobil-funded National Center for Public Policy Research that claimed the program "diverts intelligence assets to climate research." In fact, federal officials have reportedly said that the program, which allows the scientific community to gather data from CIA equipment, "has little or no impact on regular intelligence gathering."
Following reports that Sen. Chris Dodd (D-CT) would not seek re-election this year, several media figures -- including Fox News' Stuart Varney and Steve Doocy and MSNBC's Joe Scarborough -- have claimed Dodd received a "sweetheart" mortgage deal from Countrywide. However, in their reports, these same media figures failed to note that the Senate Ethics Committee "found no credible evidence" Dodd's mortgages violated Senate ethics rules.
From the January 6 edition of Fox and Friends:
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Just had lunch at Starbucks, chipotle chicken and coffee, $72. News flash, it's FREEZING in NYC, I wonder if Al Gore is shivering somewhere
From a subsequent message by Doocy:
I was writing... I wonder if Al Gore is shivering somewhere... this global warming thing is really starting to kick in...
From the January 10 broadcast of Fox News' Fox & Friends:
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Always a few days late to the party, the Fox & Friends brigade took some time out of their busy morning to attack President Obama for his "detached," "tepid" response to the Christmas day attempted bombing of a Northwest airline flight. "It took him three days" to respond, co-host Steve Doocy sniffed, while Brian Kilmeade reported that he didn't think "anyone was going to get fired" because of the incident.
The right has been complaining about Obama's response pretty much since the incident took place, as Huffington Post's Sam Stein pointed out on December 29, 2009. But, as Stein noted, Bush waited six days to respond to a shoe-bomber Richard Reid's very similar attempted bombing of a passenger plane, with no complaint from the right. In fact, it seems that the Obama administration's initial response and the Bush initial administration's response to similar attempted terror attacks, were, well, very similar. Both administration's monitored "the situation," and once enough facts were known to reply, the President responded. The only difference is that Obama responded publically sooner.
This, of course, is no matter to Republicans, including former Bush administration officials who were actually in office when the Reid incident occurred, and their cohorts in the media.
As for Fox & Friends' feigned concern over whether "heads" were going to "roll," because of the attempted attack (like, oh say, Director of Homeland Security Janet Napolitano's), no Bush administration heads seem to have rolled because of Reid's attempted attack. In fact, no heads rolled after the terrorist attacks of September 11, 2001, where over 3,000 people were killed. Indeed, in 2004, Bush awarded former CIA director George Tenet, who was the CIA director during both the September 11 attacks and Reid's attempted attack, the Presidential Medal of Freedom. The FBI Director at the time, Robert Mueller, is still FBI Director today. Then-Attorney General John Aschroft remained on the job, as did Condoleezza Rice, who was at the time, Bush's National Security advisor. Of course, Rice was later promoted to Secretary of State. I don't recall the right-wing media calling for any of their heads back in 2001.
Compare that silence to the hand-wringing and chest thumping reverberating from right-wing media figures and Republican politicians today, with their relentless, politically motivated assaults on everyone from Napolitano, to Attorney General Eric Holder, to Deputy National Security Advisor John Brennan. Oh how their principles change when there's a Democrat in charge.