Fox's Bill O'Reilly downplayed the impact of raising the minimum wage, claiming only an"infinitesimal" number of people would be impacted, and ignoring the 27.8 million Americans that would benefit from a raise in the minimum wage.
During the January 20 State of the Union address, President Obama urged members of Congress to raise the minimum wage, saying those "who still refuse to raise the minimum wage, I say this: If you truly believe you could work full-time and support a family on less than $15,000 a year, go try it. If not, vote to give millions of the hardest working people in America a raise."
On the January 21 edition of Fox News' The O'Reilly Factor, host Bill O'Reilly and network contributor Eric Shawn undermined President Obama's minimum wage initiative, and diminished the number of Americans that would be impacted by raising the minimum wage. O'Reilly asserted that only "a very low number" of people make "minimum wage anyways," claiming that the number of people who would be impacted by the change would be "infinitesimal" and saying Obama has been "misleading everybody" by insisting a raise would have a big effect:
But according to the Economic Policy Institute, raising the federal minimum wage to $10.10 per hour by 2016 would "raise the wages of 27.8 million workers, who would receive about $35 billion in additional wages over the phase-in period."
Coverage of the economy on weeknight television news shows during the last six months of 2014 continued to focus heavily on policies meant to boost job creation and economic growth, but discussions overwhelmingly lacked input from actual economists. Additionally, a Media Matters analysis uncovered a relative decline in the number of segments promoting the conservative media myths that Obamacare and increasing the minimum wage hurt the labor market.
Fox News host Bill O'Reilly falsely claimed that he had no role in hyping the myth that Muslim "no-go zones" exist throughout France, just days after Fox News apologized for spreading the fiction. In fact, O'Reilly previously cited the so called "no-go zones" as one of the contributing causes of the Paris terror attacks.
On January 17, Fox correspondent Julie Banderas apologized for the network's coverage "regarding the Muslim population in Europe" in the days following the terrorist attacks in Paris, explaining that there is no credible evidence to support the existence of Muslim "no-go zones." Several other Fox hosts offered additional apologies throughout the day.
On the January 20 edition of The O'Reilly Factor, during a discussion about the Parisian mayor Anne Hildalgo's announcement that she intends to sue Fox News for its "prejudiced" coverage following the attacks, O'Reilly denied that the Fox apology was about the Muslim "no-go zone" myth in France. He insisted that it was only about Steve Emerson's ludicrous claim that the entire English city of Birmingham was Muslim-only and nobody else went to the city. O'Reilly also denied that he had anything to do with the "no-go zones" claim (emphasis added):
O'REILLY: All right, we got a minute. The mayor of Paris, Anne Hidalgo, said she's going to sue Fox News for reporting on so-called no-go zones in Paris. They're dominated by Muslims and police hesitate to go in there -- at least that has been the reportage in some places. I didn't have anything to do with this. But I will point out that the mayor is a socialist.
But on January 9, O'Reilly cited Muslim "no-go zones" in France as a cause behind the terror attacks in Paris (emphasis added):
O'REILLY: France brought a lot of this terrorism on itself. We just talked about the no-go zones that they allow. They allow, 10 percent of the population is Muslim. They are all in there, they're radicalized, they don't assimilate.
UPDATE: O'Reilly also claimed that Fox News "isn't even seen in France, because they block it." But The Washington Post's Erik Wemple reports that a Fox spokesperson confirmed that the network reaches 13,680 homes in France but has a limited reach because it is only available in English and broadcasts on a U.S.-based schedule.
From the January 20 edition of Fox News' The O'Reilly Factor:
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On Fox, Bill O'Reilly excused likely presidential candidate and Fox favorite Dr. Ben Carson's recent controversial comparison of Islamic State militants to American patriots, and allowed Carson to double down on his comparison.
On January 15, Ben Carson likened American patriots to Islamic State militants in a speech at the Republican National Committee's (RNC) winter meeting. Carson equated the mentality of American patriots who were willing to die for their beliefs to those who fight for the Islamic State, asserting that "They got the wrong philosophy, but they're willing to die for what they believe, while we are busily giving away every belief and every value for the sake of political correctness." Carson's remarks were subsequently met with criticism.
On the January 16 edition of Fox News' The O'Reilly Factor host Bill O'Reilly excused Carson's controversial comparison, allowing him to double down and claimed the media had taken him "out of context." Carson insisted that he was "not saying that as a comparison between our patriots and ISIS" but that pre-revolutionary militiamen "had conviction and believed in what they were doing to the point that they were willing to die for it" much like Islamic State militants. Carson added a "warning" that like American patriots and Islamic State fighters, "we have to change" our "process of giving away all of our beliefs for the sake of political correctness." O'Reilly reassured Carson that he should not "worry about the liberal media" because "they're never going to give you a shot":
O'REILLY: Now, what did you tell the GOP in San Diego?
CARSON: I told them a lot of things. The funny thing... is I was talking about the pre-revolutionary days and how our bunch of rag-tag militia men defeated the most powerful empire on earth and how they were able to do that. Because they had conviction and believed in what they were doing to the point that they were willing to die for it. And I said, fast forward to today, and you have ISIS. And, you know, they have the wrong philosophy completely, totally disagree with them. But they also have strong conviction and are willing to die for what they believe and we at the same time are in the process of giving away all of our beliefs for the sake of political correctness and I'm saying that as a warning we have to change that. Not saying that as a comparison between our patriots and ISIS, which I've said at the time. I said, the liberal media will of course take that out of context.
O'REILLY: Well, yeah, don't worry about the liberal media, they're never going to give you a shot.
From the January 13 edition of Fox News' The O'Reilly Factor:
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The Islamophobic rhetoric spewed by right-wing media in response to the deadly attack on the French satirical newspaper Charlie Hebdo in Paris is just the most recent in a long history of conservative anti-Islam vitriol.
From the January 9 edition of Fox News' The O'Reilly Factor:
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Bill O'Reilly repeatedly interrupted and dismissed two Muslim-American leaders he hosted on his show who explained that, contrary to O'Reilly's claims, many Muslims are standing up to terrorists.
On the January 8 edition of Fox News' The O'Reilly Factor, O'Reilly invited Hussam Ayloush of the Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR) and Haris Tarin of the Muslim Public Affairs Council to discuss Muslims' efforts to combat terrorism. O'Reilly repeatedly interrupted and talked over his guests as they attempted to point out that Muslims around the world are taking steps to fight extremism. When Tarin tried to point out that "there's Muslims on the front lines ... who are dying" in the fight against terrorism, O'Reilly cut him off and told him "Here's the deal with the no-spin zone. When you say something that's ridiculous, I'm going to interrupt you."
From the January 8 edition of Fox News' The O'Reilly Factor:
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Right-wing media rushed to exploit the deadly attack on the French satirical newspaper Charlie Hebdo in Paris. But this is just the latest in right-wing media's long history of politicizing tragedy to push political objectives.
From the January 7 edition of Fox News' The O'Reilly Factor:
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Bill O'Reilly interviewed former Ku Klux Klan leader David Duke about GOP Rep. Steve Scalise's address to a white supremacist group in a segment Duke turned into a bizarre defense of his reputation.
Scalise, who has a leadership position in the GOP as the House Majority Whip, has apologized for speaking to a white supremacist conference in 2002. Conservative media are divided on whether Scalise is a victim of the media, or made a mistake serious enough for him to resign his leadership post.
During his January 5 Fox News appearance, Duke denied he was ever a white supremacist, insisting that his organization, the European-American Unity and Rights Organization (EURO), was "a chartered human rights organization," and described affirmative action programs as racially discriminatory. Duke gave cover to Scalise, insisting that he can't be sure if Scalise ever addressed his organization. O'Reilly pushed back against Duke's insistence that he was never a white supremacist, saying "don't sit here and tell me that you're not trying to promote the cause of the white people, because you are."
As the interview ended, Duke held up a picture of President Obama labeled "Communist Terrorist Murderer."
Duke also appeared on CNN on January 3, where Michael Smerconish pressed him to acknowledge that the Holocaust occurred.
Watch the interview below:
Conservative media personalities have long ignored the public's overwhelming support for wider access to birth control, instead pushing long debunked myths that birth control is cheap and easy to access, is only about preventing pregnancies, and can cause abortion.
Here are the facts behind right-wing media's three biggest myths about birth control:
This year saw landmark reports on climate change, detailing the ever-increasing scientific certainty that human activities are driving catastrophic climate change and that action needs to be taken to prevent the worst effects. Yet despite the fact that more Americans than ever support action on climate change, conservative media went to ridiculous lengths to cast doubt on the scientific consensus behind global warming, citing everything from free market economics to witchcraft, touting conspiracy theories and predictions of an "ice age," and even fulfilling Godwin's law.
Here are the 11 dumbest things conservative media said about climate change this year:
11. Bill O'Reilly: "It's Easier To Believe In A Benevolent God, The Baby Jesus" Than Manmade Climate Change. On the December 16 edition of Fox News' The O'Reilly Factor, Bill O'Reilly led a discussion on whether or not it is easier to believe in the birth story of Jesus than in manmade climate change, positing that it is "easier to believe in a benevolent God, the baby Jesus, than it is in some kind of theory about global warming." When his guest pointed out that 97 percent of climate scientists agree that human activities are driving global warming, O'Reilly baselessly countered, "I wouldn't put it that high. I've read a lot about it." He concluded: "[I]t's a choice -- people choose to believe."