Fox News president Roger Ailes made his debut as a panelist on ABC's This Week on Sunday. However, he brought little to the roundtable beyond hackneyed conservative talking points repeatedly advanced by Republican leaders and his own network's stable of right-wing pundits.
Talking Point: Health care bill is too long, lawmakers don't have time to read it
Ailes: Bill is “2,000 pages for lawyers to hide things.” After New York Times columnist Paul Krugman presented evidence of Fox News' “deliberate misinformation” on health care reform, Ailes responded: “How many words are in the Constitution? The Founding Fathers managed -- they didn't need 2,000 pages of lawyers to hide things.” Ailes further claimed that Obama told “people it's an emergency that we get it, but it won't go into effect for three years” and that lawmakers “don't have time to read it.” [This Week, 1/31/10]
Minority Leader John Boehner (R-OH): “All you need to know is there are 1,990 pages. That should tell you everything.” Appearing on the October 30, 2009, edition of Fox News' America's Newsroom, Boehner asserted of the House health care bill: “All you need to know is there are 1,990 pages. That should tell you everything.” [America's Newsroom, 10/30/09]
Boehner called for bills to be posted online so members have time to read them. In an October 28, 2009, Dallas Morning News op-ed, Boehner wrote:
When it comes to the issue of congressional transparency, House Republicans are providing a clear answer. We've listened to the American people, and we're united in our support for common-sense changes such as “read the bill” reform that would require all bills to be posted online for a minimum of 72 hours before they are brought to a vote.
Rep. Dave Camp (R-MI): “Democrats' 2,000 page gamble ... delays reforms for several years.” On November 4, 2009, Camp, the ranking Republican on the House Ways and Means Committee, issued a press release that read, in part:
“Americans' health care is too important and too complex to risk on Democrats' 2,000-page gamble. Instead, Republicans are promoting a step-by-step approach to comprehensive health care reform, and the first step is to make health insurance affordable for families, affordable for small businesses and affordable for America.
” Unlike the Democrat plan that increases taxes almost immediately but delays reforms for several years, the Republican plan will immediately begin to lower costs."
Hannity: "[I]f you can't put this down in 30 pages or less, it proves that this is a complicated, you know, bunch of bureaucratic garbage." Fox News host Sean Hannity stated of the bill, a copy of which he had on his set, “My gosh, I could work out with this.” He added, “Nineteen hundred pages. That -- if you can't put this down in 30 pages or less, it proves that this is a complicated, you know, bunch of bureaucratic garbage.” [Hannity, 10/29/09]
Talking Point: Obama wants “radical change”
Ailes: “some people say” Obama wants “radical change.” Asked by host Barbara Walters to give “advice to Barack Obama,” Ailes said: “I think he's in a very tough spot. He is enormously likable, and I think despite what everybody says, people would like him to succeed. But he came in with a belief that the radical change he wanted -- or what some people say is the radical change that he wanted -- would be widely accepted.” [This Week, 1/31/10]
Rep. Michele Bachmann (R-MN): “We have the most left-leaning, radical president we've ever had in the history of the United States.” In an interview with the Christian Broadcasting Network, Bachmann asserted:
“We have the most left-leaning, radical president we've ever had in the history of the United States. The most radical, left-leaning speaker of the House than we've ever had in the history of the United States and one of the most radical, left-leaning majority leaders in the Senate,” she said. “We have never had this type of radical view of government before and the American people look at this and are repulsed at liberalism in practice.” [CBN.com, 1/20/10]
Beck suggests Obama is “a radical revolutionary” who is trying “to intentionally collapse the financial system.” On the January 21 edition of his radio show, Glenn Beck said: “I'm thinking that we just don't need a president that's a radical revolutionary.” And that he'd like “a president who's not trying to fundamentally transform our country by killing the Constitution ... and doesn't try to intentionally collapse the financial system.” [Premiere Radio Networks' The Glenn Beck Program, 1/21/10]
Fox News' Gretchen Carlson wondered if “following Obama's agenda” made Dodd and Dorgan “too radical for America.” Teasing a segment on the announced retirements of Sen. Byron Dorgan (D-ND) and Sen. Chris Dodd (D-CT), Fox & Friends co-host Gretchen Carlson asked: “Did following Obama's agenda make them too radical for America?” As she asked this, the on-screen text read: “Too Radical for America?” [Fox & Friends, 1/7/10]
Talking Point: Profiling is necessary to protect Americans
Ailes suggests profiling necessary for security: "[I]t's not the Norwegians that are doing this." Asked what the top priorities are for the nation, Ailes listed as his top priority the “safety and sovereignty of the United States,” adding: “We've got to get much tougher. We've cut the hands off the CIA. We can't -- it's not the Norwegians that are doing this. We know who it is; we can't seem to say it. So sooner or later, we're going to have to toughen up on all this stuff.” [This Week, 1/31/10]
Brian Kilmeade: "[I]f you're a 20- to 30-year-old Islamic male, even if you have no evil intentions, expect to be delayed. We have to profile." On the January 4 edition of Fox & Friends, co-host Brian Kilmeade said, "[N]inety percent of these terrorists are men, Islamic men between 20 and 30. Why are we pretending that all of us should get equal training [sic]? Shouldn't we just tell -- if you're a 20- to 30-year-old Islamic male, even if you have no evil intentions, expect to be delayed. We have to profile." [Fox & Friends, 1/4/10]
Sen. James Inhofe (R-OK): “I believe in racial and ethnic profiling,” In a January 21 Senate Armed Services Committee review of the Fort Hood shootings, Inhofe asserted:
And I'm, for one -- I know it's not politically correct to say it -- I believe in racial and ethnic profiling. I think if you're looking at people getting on an airplane and you have X amount of resources to get into it, you need to get at the targets, not my wife. And I just think it's something that should be looked into.