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Andy Newbold

Author ››› Andy Newbold
  • Chris Wallace Decides: It's Not About Contraception, It's About A Government Mandate

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    The recent announcement that the Obama administration would require most employers to provide birth control caused immediate outrage throughout Fox News and the right-wing media. (Churches and other religious institutions are exempt.) Today on Fox News' Happening Now, Jon Scott explained to fellow Fox News host Chris Wallace that critics are calling "the birth control mandate an attack on religious freedom" while "supporters say it's about woman's access to family planning and health care." Chris Wallace -- supposedly part of the network's straight news division and anchor of Fox News Sunday -- decided that the supporters of the mandate were totally wrong.

    Wallace said: "I don't think it's just about birth control. I really think this controversy is about government intrusion. There are a lot of people who aren't Catholics who are very upset about this because they think the government shouldn't be in the business of telling anybody in any religion what they have to do. And so it becomes a question of government limits or government intrusion in the lives of institutions or of people." Wallace also said: "This idea of mandates is something I think you don't have to be Catholic to be upset about."

    Wallace's comments directly contradicted comments that Democratic senators had made about the contraception issue. For instance, Senator Patty Murray (D-WA) said: "We have news for Republican: This is about contraception. The attacks on women's rights never come without being disguised as something else."

    And it's ridiculous to suggest that this isn't about access to contraception. According to a study by the Kaiser Family Foundation, "[e]mployer-based coverage is the primary form of health insurance for 64% of women of reproductive age, but a sizable minority of women lack coverage for contraceptives." Notably, poorer and college-aged women are the ones who struggle the most with the cost of prescription birth control.

    But that's Fox's straight news division for you: always ready to rebut the progressive position regardless of the facts.

  • Obama's Mortgage Relief Plan Is Immediately Attacked By The Right-Wing Media


    President Obama recently outlined his proposal that would give millions of homeowners a chance to save thousands of dollars annually by refinancing their mortgages at a lower interest rate even if their homes are currently underwater. The right-wing media immediately went on the attack, claiming that Obama's mortgage relief plan is a political stunt being used to "pander" to voters during an election year.

  • Fox Deception: Keystone XL Pipeline Would Lower Domestic Gas Prices

    Blog ››› ››› ANDY NEWBOLD

    Tonight on Fox Business' Power And Money, David Asman hosted Joe Petrowski, President and CEO of Gulf Oil LP, to claim that because President Obama has decided not to immediately build the Keystone XL (KXL) pipeline and pursue additional domestic oil production, gas prices will increase as early as "the summer." Petrowski specifically asserted that building the pipeline could reduce gas prices in the long term by as much as "20 to 30 cents a gallon."

    However, according to researchers at the Cornell University Global Labor Institute, TransCanada, the proposed manufacturers of the pipeline, admitted that "KXL will increase the price of heavy crude oil in the Midwest by almost $2 to $4 billion annually." The Cornell study explains that this will happen as a result of "diverting major volumes of Tar Sands oil now supplying the Midwest refineries, so it can be sold at higher prices to the Gulf Coast and export markets."

    Fox expects us to take Petrowski at his word when he claims that building KXL could result in gas prices dropping "20 to 30 cents a gallon"; indeed, Asman responds to his claim by saying that the Gulf executive is "on the retail side of the gas business, so you know" how gas prices come about.

    But the Cornell University study estimates nearly the exact opposite of Petrowski's claim, estimating that building the KXL pipeline could increase domestic gas and diesel fuel prices in some states by between "10 to 20 cents more per gallon" and, to rub salt on the wound, possibly "cancel out some or all of the jobs created by KXL" after only one year of increased fuel prices. From the study:


    According to TransCanada, KXL will increase the price of heavy crude oil in the Midwest by almost $2 to $4 billion annually, and escalating for several years. It will do this by diverting major volumes of Tar Sands oil now supplying the Midwest refineries, so it can be sold at higher prices to the Gulf Coast and export markets. As a result, consumers in the Midwest could be paying 10 to 20 cents more per gallon for gasoline and diesel fuel, adding up to $5 billion to the annual US fuel bill. Further, the KXL pipeline will do nothing to insulate the US from oil price volatility.

    Even one year of fuel price increases as a result of KXL could cancel out some or all of the jobs created by KXL, based on the (more accurate) $3 to 4 billion budget for KXL (the remaining cost to build within the Us). Higher fuel prices due to KXL would have broad adverse impacts. Gasoline is a significant cost for most Americans, and especially for those with lower incomes and/or residing in rural areas. Moreover, refined oil products (notably gasoline and diesel) are very widely used throughout the economy (especially in agriculture and commercial transportation). So higher fuel prices due to KXL would ripple through the economy and impact a very broad range of people and businesses.

    This is just another example of Fox misleading its viewers on facts about the Keystone XL pipeline.

  • The Right-Wing Media's Flawed Keystone XL Rejection Attacks


    Right-wing media figures are slamming President Obama for the State Department's decision to reject plans to build the Keystone XL pipeline until a full assessment can be made, claiming that he is "killing jobs." But they cite industry-funded estimates of job creation that are wildly inflated. Moreover, the administration had long warned that it would be unable to complete the legally required review under the deadline imposed by a GOP-backed provision and would thus be forced to reject the project, and conservative outlets have previously attacked other Obama proposals that experts say significantly boost economic growth.

  • Rush Limbaugh Opens 2012 With More Race-Baiting Attacks


    Consistent with his long history of race-baiting attacks, Rush Limbaugh has used his first programs of 2012 to levy a series of racial attacks on President Obama. In the last week, he has claimed that President Obama's "plan" is "payback" against the "white Europeans" who "illegitimately founded" the United States, said that the Obamas think they are "owed" a lavish lifestyle "because of what's been done to" them and their "ancestors," and asserted that Obama believes the United States was "immoral in its founding" in part due to slavery.

  • Right-Wing Media Freak Out Over New Defense Strategy


    Following the Obama administration's announcement of an overhauled defense strategy that will guide cuts in defense spending, the right-wing media have claimed President Obama is "weakening national security" and marking a "new milestone" in "America's strategic retreat." But experts have said that the proposed plan is fiscally responsible while remaining "the world's most dominant military."

  • Conservative Media Back GOP Obstructionism, Attack Obama's Appointment Of Cordray As CFPB Chief


    Right-wing media have called President Obama's recess appointment of Richard Cordray as director of the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB) during a Senate recess of fewer than three days an "open declaration of war on constitutional principles" and an "unprecedented power grab." However, neither the Constitution nor the courts have specified how long the Senate must be in recess for a president to make a recess appointment; past presidents have made recess appointments during recesses of three days or fewer; and congressional Republicans are engaged in unprecedented obstructionism that is preventing hundreds of Obama nominees from being confirmed.

  • "Fuzzy Math": Fox's Latest Attempt To Obscure The Current Unemployment Figures

    Blog ››› ››› ANDY NEWBOLD

    Ever since the Department of Labor released the November unemployment numbers, which showed that the unemployment rate had dropped to 8.6 percent from 9 percent, Fox News has had trouble accurately presenting the data.

    On December 2, the day of the announcement, Fox News' morning show Fox & Friends created a graphic that rounded up the unemployment rate to 9 percent.

    Earlier today, Fox's "straight news" division aired a misleading chart purporting to show the unemployment rate during 2011. The chart made it seem as if unemployment had not dropped at all even though it had dropped by 0.4 percentage points.

    Then Fox tried again. Maybe the third time is the charm. On tonight's edition of his Fox News show, Sean Hannity said that the 8.6 percent unemployment rate reported by the Department of Labor actually constituted "Washington, Obama fuzzy math" because it does not account for people who have stopped looking for work. (One small victory for honesty: At least this time, Hannity didn't lie about the unemployment rate when Bush left office.)

    One could argue about the best way to measure unemployment, but when George W. Bush was president, Hannity touted the same Department of Labor statistics to claim that the economy under Bush was going gangbusters.

    There is fuzzy math here. But it's not coming from Obama. It's coming from Fox News.