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Andy Newbold

Author ››› Andy Newbold
  • Fox News Botches Basic Facts About Food Stamp Program

    ››› ››› ZACHARY PLEAT, ANDY NEWBOLD & MARCUS FELDMAN

    Fox News attacked the food stamp program for its increasing enrollment and costs, accused the program of facilitating fraud, and expressed astonishment that states are rewarded for increasing enrollment. However, enrollment in Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) increased due to the recession; there are only about 1 percent of cases that are found to be fraudulent, and the state awards for enrollment date back to the Bush administration.

  • Right-Wing Media Misleadingly Cite Cost Projection To Attack Food Stamp Program

    ››› ››› ANDY NEWBOLD & REMINGTON SHEPARD

    Right-wing media have once again attacked the federal food stamp program, the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP), this time by misleadingly citing a projection that the program will cost $770 billion over the next decade. In fact, the Congressional Budget Office estimates that both food stamp enrollment and costs will decline during that period as the economy improves.

  • Fox's Karl Rove Downplays Severity Of Public-Sector Job Cuts

    Blog ››› ››› ANDY NEWBOLD

    Karl Rove has joined other media conservatives in downplaying the severity of job losses in the public sector by touting data showing the unemployment rate among government workers in May was 4.2 percent. However, that statistic doesn't change the fact that public sector job cuts in this recovery have been more severe compared with previous recoveries, and experts note that these cuts threaten the recovering economy and impact job growth in the private sector.

    Rove, a Fox contributor and anti-Obama super PAC co-founder, appeared today on the Fox "straight news" program America's Newsroom and downplayed Obama's concerns about public sector jobs. "Friday was, of course, the president's comment where he said, The private economy is doing fine. What I'm worried about is state and local government workers," he said, adding: "Unemployment among state and local government employees is 4.2 percent, almost half the national average."

    By touting the statistic that the unemployment rate among government workers in May was 4.2 percent, Rove is downplaying the severity of public sector job cuts. Indeed, public sector job cuts in this recovery have been more severe compared with previous recoveries and threaten the recovering economy.

  • Fox Guest Pushes Falsehood That Obama Favored Health Care Over The Economy

    Blog ››› ››› ANDY NEWBOLD

    Brad Blakeman, a Republican strategist and former Bush White House aide, today pushed the GOP narrative that President Obama favored health care reform over fixing the economy. This narrative doesn't hold up to the facts, including that Obama pushed through the first of many economic initiatives a month after he was elected -- more than a year before health care reform became law.

    In an appearance on Fox News' America's Newsroom, Blakeman lashed out at Obama, saying, "If health care is struck down, this president has an awful lot of explaining to do to the American people as to why he concentrated on health care at the expense of the economy."

    The narrative that Obama chose health care reform over the economy is busted by the facts.

    Obama's first speech to Congress, on February 24, 2009, focused on the economy, as CNN noted in an article that included the transcript of his speech. The headline CNN used read: "Obama speech to Congress focuses on economy."

    On February 17, 2009, Obama signed the $787 billion American Recovery and Reinvestment Act into law, which was described by the Associated Press as "an ambitious package of federal spending and tax cuts designed to revive the economy and save millions of jobs."

    Obama also signed credit card reform into law in May 2009, assisted General Motors in exiting bankruptcy protection in July 2009, and announced several small business lending initiatives in October 2009.

    Moreover, Obama administration measures have helped grow the economy. A May 2012 CBO report estimated that the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act "lowered the unemployment rate by between 0.1 percentage points and 0.8 percentage points" and "increased the number of people employed by between 0.2 million and 1.5 million" during the first quarter of 2012. Using data from the Bureau of Labor Statistics, Council of Economic Advisers Chairman Alan Krueger stated on June 1 that "the economy has added private sector jobs for 27 straight months, for a total of 4.3 million payroll jobs over that period."

    Blakeman's remarks come on the heels of media figures, including Rush Limbaugh and The Washington Examiner's Byron York, amplifying Mitt Romney's discredited allegation that Obama knowingly slowed down the economic recovery by pushing for health care reform.

    When will media outlets begin correcting this false narrative?

  • Broken Record: Once Again, Fox Analyst Claims Iran Is On The Verge Of Getting Nukes

    Blog ››› ››› ANDY NEWBOLD

    Fox News national security analyst KT McFarland has again claimed that Iran is on the verge of having nuclear weapons, despite the fact that there are significant questions as to whether Iran is planning to build nuclear weapons at all.

    During an appearance on Fox's "straight news" program America's Newsroom, McFarland told co-host Bill Hemmer that "Iran is an expansionist country on the verge of getting nuclear weapons."

    However, there are significant questions about whether Iran is even planning to acquire nuclear weapons. Indeed, 2007 and 2011 National Intelligence Estimates found no conclusive evidence that Iran is trying to build a bomb. According to Greg Thielmann, former State Department intelligence analyst and former Senate Intelligence Committee senior staffer, and Benjamin Loehrke, senior policy analyst at Ploughshares Fund (a global security foundation), the International Atomic Energy Agency's (IAEA) November 8, 2011 report is consistent with that finding.

    Moreover, in January 31 testimony before the Senate Intelligence Committee, Director of National Intelligence James Clapper reiterated the fact that the U.S. intelligence community does not know whether Iran will try to build a bomb.

    Of course, the claim that Iran is on the verge of acquiring nuclear weapons is particularly rich coming from McFarland, as she has been warning for years that Iran is just around the corner from having nukes. In December 2008 McFarland said, "Iran is probably two years away from a nuclear weapon. Now, that's really frightening. But that's two years." In April 2010 she said that "in a couple of months time -- 6 months, 9 months -- we're going to be faced with this choice: bombing Iran or letting Iran get the bomb." And just earlier this year she distorted comments by Secretary of Defense and former CIA director Leon Panetta to claim that "Iran will have a nuclear weapon in a year or sooner."

  • Bolling Whitewashes His Own Past: Nine Of His Personal Attacks On Obama

    Blog ››› ››› ANDY NEWBOLD

    Today on Fox News' The Five, host Bob Beckel asserted that co-host Eric Bolling has frequently attacked President Obama, to which Bolling responded: "Barack Obama's never been attacked by Eric Bolling. Eric Bolling attacks Barack Obama's ideology, his politics, and his turning America into a socialist state."

    That's an amazing failure of memory on Bolling's part given his repeated personal attacks on Obama.

    To refresh Bolling's memory on his record of personal attacks, here's a trip down memory lane.

    Bolling Hyped Conspiracy Theories That Questioned Obama's Birth Certificate:

    For more examples of Eric Bolling promoting birther conspiracies, click here

    Bolling Falsely Claimed That Obama Had Been A Drug Dealer:

    (Bolling later wrote on his Twitter feed: "Said yesterday that I thought the President had admitted to buying or selling drugs. I was wrong. And I apologize to him for my mistake")

    Bolling Cast Doubt On Obama's Religion:

    Bolling Suggested That Obama Drinks Too Much:

    From Bolling's Twitter feed

    For more examples of Eric Bolling attacking Obama for drinking too much, click here

  • Today In Fox Race Baiting: Dobbs Suggests New Black Panthers Party Is Obama's "Base"

    Blog ››› ››› ANDY NEWBOLD

    On his Fox Business show, Lou Dobbs suggested that the New Black Panther Party (NBPP), which the Southern Poverty Law Center has designated a hate group, constitutes Obama's base. Dobbs quoted criticisms of Obama by the NBPP and then said: "I mean, what is going on here? This president is starting to get, at the very least, friction, if not outright attacks coming from his base."

    Fox News political analyst Juan Williams responded by noting that the NBPP is a "fringe-group."

    During the segment, Dobbs also falsely claimed that "Holder says [the NBPP] can't be prosecuted for intimidating white voters," a reference to a phony scandal relentlessly hyped by Fox News.

    In fact, it was the Bush administration, not the Obama administration, that decided not to prosecute the NBPP criminally for an incident in which an NBPP member carried a nightstick outside a Philadelphia polling place. The Bush administration chose to file a civil case in the matter instead.

    The Obama Justice Department pursued the civil case against the defendant who carried the nighstick and obtained an injunction against him. Obama later decided to drop the civil case against the other defendants.

    Furthermore, conservatives including to the Republican vice chair of the Civil Rights Commission investigating the case have agreed that the attacks against the Justice Department are meritless.

    Moreover, the DOJ's ethics office found that senior career lawyers at the DOJ "did not commit professional misconduct or exercise poor judgment, but rather acted appropriately" in their handling of the NBPP case.

    But such facts would get in the way of Dobbs' race baiting.

  • Fox's Special Report Continues To Treat Birther Conspiracy Theories Seriously

    Blog ››› ››› ANDY NEWBOLD

    Fox News' flagship "straight news" program, Special Report, dedicated a segment to Arizona's secretary of state Ken Bennett saying that he might remove President Obama from the Arizona presidential ballot because he "has been asking for two months for Hawaii officials to prove President Obama was born there" but hasn't received an answer that satisfies him.

    BRET BAIER (host): Arizona's Secretary of State Ken Bennett says he has been asking for two months for Hawaiian officials to prove President Obama was born there. Hawaiian officials won't budge until Bennett satisfies a number of requirements, and both sides disagree about whether he has actually done it.

    Bennett says he might remove President Obama from the ballot in Arizona if the proof doesn't arrive from Hawaii soon, a move Democratic critics say is politically calculated and aimed at capturing support from a fringe group of Republicans as Bennett weighs a run for governor. Bennett says he is not quote "a birther" but wants to clear up the issue for concerned Arizonans.

    Baier did not mention that Obama made his birth certificate public four years ago, and as FactCheck.org noted, it "meets all of the requirements from the State Department for proving U.S. citizenship." Nor did Baier mention that, in the midst of a relentless birther attack by Baier's network, the White House also released Obama's long-form birth certificate.

    In January Baier also gave undo credence to birther conspiracy theories. On January 7 Baier did a segment highlighting birther arguments saying some in the birther movement call Obama's birth certificate "a fake" and "others say the real issue is that he's not a natural-born citizen." Less than a month later, Baier updated the story, again giving credence to the birther movement.

    In addition, Baier's report comes on the heels of a Wall Street Journal article that similarly treated birtherism as one legitimate side in a factual dispute.

    Both the Journal and Fox News are owned by News Corp.

  • O'Reilly Whitewashes Anti-LGBT Record Of Romney National Finance Co-Chair

    Blog ››› ››› ANDY NEWBOLD

    Bill O'Reilly interviewed Romney campaign national finance committee co-chair Frank VanderSloot yesterday and whitewashed VanderSloot's record on LGBT issues. Discussing criticism of VanderSloot's record that appeared on KeepingGOPHonest.com, O'Reilly suggested the Obama campaign engaged in "political terrorism" and "slimed" VanderSloot. But O'Reilly failed to press or even mention the substance of VanderSloot's record on LGBT issues.

    VanderSloot told O'Reilly that KeepingGOPHonest.com had "said that I hated gay people and that I was anti-gay." O'Reilly then interjected: "You're anti-gay. So anybody who was buying your product who was gay said I'm not going to buy my products from this guy." VanderSloot responded: "We have a lot of people we work with, who we deal with in the business world that are gay." And O'Reilly responded: "So they basically slimed you. They smeared you." And that is as close as O'Reilly got to confronting VanderSloot with the substance of VanderSloot's anti-LGBT record.

    According to the Spokane Spokesman-Review, VanderSloot and his company, Melaleuca Inc., launched a billboard campaign in Idaho that attacked Idaho Public Television for airing a documentary called "It's Elementary: Talking About Gay Issues In Schools." Idaho Public Television said the documentary "chronicle[d] how some public and private schools in several states are dealing with gay issues in the classroom, specifically name-calling and harassment." But VanderSloot's billboards attacked the documentary, asking "Should public television promote the homosexual lifestyle to your children?"

    Via Buzzfeed, here is an image of one of the VanderSloot-funded billboards (one that was defaced with the word "YES!" to alter its meaning):

    [Buzzfeed, 5/15/12]