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Andy Newbold

Author ››› Andy Newbold
  • Fox's Jim Angle Hides Paul Ryan's Budget "Sleight Of Hand"

    Blog ››› ››› ANDY NEWBOLD

    During a speech yesterday to the Associated Press, President Obama described Rep. Paul Ryan's (R-WI) budget proposal as a "Trojan Horse" that is using the disguise of a deficit reduction plan, but is actually "an attempt to impose a radical vision on our country." Obama laid out the possible implications of the cuts in the Ryan budget "if the cuts were to be spread out evenly." Soon after, Ryan responded to the speech on his Facebook page suggesting that "the assumption that our budget makes these kinds of indiscriminate cuts is false."

    And Fox News has Ryan's back.

    On America Live, Fox News chief Washington correspondent Jim Angle, ostensibly part of Fox's "straight news" division, accused President Obama of using "sleight of hand" when describing the potential cuts under the Ryan budget. He went on to say Obama was "assuming across the boards cuts, but the cuts he mentioned are not part of the Ryan budget." Fox's analysis of Obama's speech is almost identical to Paul Ryan's response.

    However, as Fox News contributor Sally Kohn pointed out later in the same show, Obama was filling in the blanks in Ryan's budget, which proposes large cuts in certain areas of federal spending but does not specify which programs should be cut.

  • Turning On A Dime, Conservative Media Recoil At Obama's Remarks About "Unelected" Judges

    ››› ››› ADAM SHAH & ANDY NEWBOLD

    Conservative media are on the attack after President Obama responded to a question about the Supreme Court's consideration of the Affordable Care Act by pointing out that conservatives criticize "unelected" judges who engage in "judicial activism" to "overturn a duly constituted and passed law." But Obama is right: for years conservatives have railed against "unelected" judges who overturn laws passed by the people's representatives.

  • Fox Falsely Suggests Only "Liberal Groups" Are Saying Supreme Court Would Be Acting Politically If It Struck Down Health Care Law

    Blog ››› ››› ANDY NEWBOLD

    Fox News appears ready to continue its campaign against the Affordable Care Act by preemptively defending the Supreme Court should it choose to strike down the law.

    During today's edition of Fox's "straight news" program, America Live, guest host Alisyn Camerota led off a segment by airing a clip of President Obama's criticism of the Supreme Court decision in Citizens United v. FEC during his 2010 State of the Union speech. Camerota then asked: "Could history repeat itself? We're hearing from some liberal groups laying out plans to use the Supreme Court as a political piñata if it rules against the health care law."

    But progressives are hardly the only ones pointing out that if the Supreme Court ignores the text and history of the Constitution as well as its own precedent, the decision might very well be based more on politics than law.

    In fact, Charles Fried, a former solicitor general under President Ronald Reagan, remarked that the reason the legal arguments against the Affordable Care Act are being taken seriously is "politics, politics, politics."

  • Right-Wing Media Suggest ICE Should Devote Resources To Deporting Innocent Student Protesters

    ››› ››› ANDY NEWBOLD

    Right-wing media criticized U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) for declining to deport six undocumented students who were arrested while participating in a non-violent protest against the immigration policies of controversial Maricopa County Sheriff Joe Arpaio. However, ICE has limited resources and determined that the students did not fall under its enforcement priorities, which focus on "national security, public safety, and border security."

  • Limbaugh Receives Criticism Over His So-Called "Apology" For Misogynistic Attacks On Fluke

    Blog ››› ››› MELODY JOHNSON & ANDY NEWBOLD

    Rush Limbaugh finally issued an "apology" after numerous high-profile figures from across the political spectrum condemned him for his vile attacks on Georgetown University student Sandra Fluke, who testified before Congress recently about the lack of access to contraception for women for students at her school.

    But Limbaugh's statement has not dampened the controversy, with people from across the political spectrum noting how weak Limbaugh's apology actually was:

    Journalist A.B. Stoddard: "It Wasn't Just Two Words. It Was Everything He Said." From the March 6 edition of MSNBC's News Nation with Tamron Hall:

    STODDARD: I think that Rush Limbaugh got caught in his apology by trying to isolate these two, you know, horrible names that he called Miss Fluke. And he didn't actually apologize for the whole context of his remarks -- the sentiment behind his remarks. I actually think, beyond those names, the worse thing he did was say that Sandra Fluke should take videos of herself engaged in sexual activities and post them online so the taxpayers could know what they were paying for. It wasn't just two words. It was everything he said.

    [...]

    STODDARD: There was a million things to apologize for; he just picked two words. And he really extended this controversy and made it longer and more drawn out than he had to. [MSNBC, News Nation with Tamron Hall, 3/6/12]

    NBC's Today Panel Agrees That Limbaugh's "Sort Of" Apology Was Not Enough. From the March 6 edition of NBC's Today:

    During a panel discussion of Limbaugh's comments on NBC's Today show, contributors Donny Deutsch, Star Jones, and Dr. Nancy Snyderman agreed that the comments were so offensive that his apology wasn't enough. Deutsch said that Limbaugh was "attacking our daughters" and "calling our daughters 'sluts' if they use contraception." Jones added that "this is an attack on women's health." [NBC, Today, 3/6/12]

    NY Times Editorial Page Editor Andrew Rosenthal: Limbaugh's Statement "Really Just Distorted Ms. Fluke's Message In A Whole New Way." From a March 5 blog post on The New York Times' website:

    Last Friday, I wrote about people who actually bother to apologize for offensive and harmful behavior. Sincere admissions of guilt deserve special attention, in part because it's now standard for national figures to either hide from their mistakes, or to just go through the motions of pretending they're sorry.

    I guess it's obvious that I have Rush Limbaugh on the mind.

    Recently, he made himself and the political right look ridiculous by verbally abusing Sandra Fluke, the Georgetown University law student who tried to testify before Congress about the cost of birth control.

    Mr. Limbaugh twisted Ms. Fluke's comments beyond recognition. In her statement (now posted on YouTube), Ms. Fluke drew attention to a friend who was prescribed birth control pills for a medical condition, and had to pay for the treatment out of pocket. She said nothing whatsoever about her sex life.

    But in Mr. Limbaugh's propaganda chamber, her testimony became a declaration of sexual promiscuity. He accused her of expecting taxpayers to pay her to have sex, and suggested that she post videos of herself having sex on the Internet. He called her a "slut" and a "prostitute" and said she was "round heeled."

    On Saturday, after several advertisers withdrew their sponsorship, Mr. Limbaugh issued a statement in which he said, "I sincerely apologize," but really just distorted Ms. Fluke's message in a whole new way. "I think it is absolutely absurd that during these very serious political times, we are discussing personal sexual recreational activities before members of Congress," he said. "I personally do not agree that American citizens should pay for these social activities."

    Except no one is requiring Americans to pay for other people's sex lives, and the only person talking about "personal sexual recreational activities" is Mr. Limbaugh. While he acts like a 13-year-old peering through a crack in the door of a changing room that he thinks is a strip club, the rest of us are trying to have a sensible discussion about a public health issue. It has no connection with the frequency or kind of sex anyone is having. [The New York Times, 3/5/12]

    Fox Business' Don Imus On Limbaugh's "Lame" Apology: He's An "Insincere Pig." From the March 5 edition of Fox Business' Imus in the Morning:

    IMUS: Here's the problem with all this. It was a vile, personal attack of this woman, and it was sustained over what -- it was what, Wednesday, and then you come back and you double down on Thursday and come back and double down on Friday and then issue a lame apology on your website in which you say, "I didn't mean to personally attack her," when you did attack her. So, were it me, and I ran a radio station or whatever, I'd make him go down there and apologize to her face to face. Get on the -- he owns a Gulf Stream IV. Get on it. Go to Washington, take her to lunch and say, "Look, I'm sorry I said this stuff, and I'll never do it again." Period. No, he's an insincere pig. Pill-popping pinhead." [Fox Business, Imus in the Morning, 3/5/12, via Media Matters]

    LA Times Columnist David Horsey: "Limbaugh's Lame Apology To Sandra Fluke Does Not Even Come Close To Getting Him Off The Hook." In a March 5 Los Angeles Times column, Pulitzer Prize-winning editorial cartoonist and columnist David Horsey wrote:

    Rush Limbaugh's lame apology to Sandra Fluke does not even come close to getting him off the hook. He needs to apologize to America for pushing political discourse to the level of drunk good ol' boys shouting crude epithets in a topless bar.

    [...]

    If this were some aberration in Limbaugh's behavior, fair-minded people might be tempted to accept his grudging and very limited apology. But it is nothing new. This is how he has "entertained" day after day for years. He doesn't debate. He doesn't inform. He vilifies, insults, smears, slanders, distorts and misleads. Rush is a schoolyard bully who specializes in picking on girls -- or "feminazis," as he loves to call them. [Los Angeles Times, 3/5/12]

  • Fox Joins GOP In Disappearing Overwhelming Support For Birth Control Rule From Religious Groups

    Blog ››› ››› ANDY NEWBOLD

    Fox has been working hard lately to manufacture tension between religious groups and President Obama over the administration's rule providing access to birth control insurance. However, following the White House's announcement of an accommodation for religiously-affiliated employers with objections to the rule, Catholic Hospitals, Colleges, and Charities came out in support of the president on the birth control compromise. A wide range of Catholic, evangelical and mainline faith leaders also agree with the birth control rule as do the Leadership Conference of Women Religious, Sisters of Mercy, and NETWORK. So, you would think Fox would move on to a new topic.

    Alas, Fox, with the help of the Republican Party, is still making the same arguments. In order to do so, Fox and the GOP are pretending that there is no religious support for Obama's birth control policy.

    Today Fox's "straight news" division covered a House Oversight and Government Reform hearing on "Lines Crossed: Separation of Church and State. Has the Obama administration Trampled on Freedom of Religion and Freedom of Conscience?" The hearing, chaired by Congressman Darrell Issa (R-CA), featured witnesses who oppose mandatory insurance coverage for birth control. However, the committee refused to allow supporters of the birth control policy to have their say. The hearing consisted of nine witnesses who opposed the birth control policy, but only gave Democrats one witness to tell the other side. Moreover, Issa rejected the witness the Democrats chose and made it impossible for two other Democratic witnesses to appear.

    And Fox's "straight news" division coverage of the hearing was as diligent as Issa at ignoring religious support for the birth control rule. Fox News' America Live host Megyn Kelly showed clips of the hearing and said: "you've got a lot of Catholic and other religious leaders who are still saying 'you didn't get it done Mr. President. You should have talked to us beforehand.' " She, like the House GOP, failed to mention a single religious group that has come out in support of the birth control rule. Nor did she mention the fact that most Americans and Catholics support the birth control rule as well.

  • Obama's Birth Control Policy Has Support From Catholic Hospitals, Colleges, And Charities, But Fox Won't Tell You That

    ››› ››› ANDY NEWBOLD

    Following the announcement by President Obama that his administration will ensure that women have access to insurance coverage for birth control while accommodating employers who object to providing birth control, Catholic hospitals and other institutions have said that they support the policy. But Fox News refuses to tell its viewers that the policy has widespread support, instead pretending that Catholic hospitals and other employers are being victimized.

  • Fox's Liz Trotta On Sexual Assault In Military: "What Did They Expect? These People Are In Close Contact"

    Blog ››› ››› ANDY NEWBOLD

    During a segment about new rules regarding women in the military, Fox News contributor Liz Trotta attacked the Department of Defense for increasing spending on support programs for victims of sexual assault. Trotta also reacted to a Pentagon report showing a 64% increase in violent sexual assaults since 2006 by stating: "Now, what did they expect? These people are in close contact."

    Trotta began by claiming "we have women once more, the feminist, going, wanting to be warriors and victims at the same time" and later added that feminists "have also directed them, really, to spend a lot of money. They have sexual counselors all over the place, victims' advocates, sexual response coordinators. ... you have this whole bureaucracy upon bureaucracy being built up with all kinds of levels of people to support women in the military who are now being raped too much."

    When Fox News anchor Eric Shawn said that "many would say that they need to be protected," Trotta replied: "That's funny, I thought the mission of the" armed forces "was to defend and protect us, not the people who were fighting the war."

  • Fox Prepares To Move The Goalposts On Insurance Coverage For Contraception

    Blog ››› ››› ADAM SHAH & ANDY NEWBOLD

    For weeks, the right-wing media have been attacking the Obama administration for drafting regulations that required most employers to provide contraceptive coverage to women. While the regulation exempted churches and other religious institutions, conservatives screamed that it would violate the religious conscience of Catholic hospitals and other employers. Today, President Obama announced an accommodation in which insurance companies would directly offer contraception coverage to employers who have religious objections to such coverage.

    The Catholic hospitals -- who conservative media say they are trying to protect -- support the accommodation. According to the Associated Press: "The president of the Catholic Health Association, a trade group representing Catholic hospitals that had fought against the birth control requirement, said the organization was pleased with the revised rule. 'The framework developed has responded to the issues we identified that needed to be fixed,' Sister Carol Keehan said in a statement."

    Despite the support from Catholic hospitals, Fox's supposedly "straight news" division is already laying the groundwork to attack the accommodation.

    Discussing the accommodation, Fox News' Happening Now host Jon Scott said "There's no guarantee, I have to think, that this accommodation is going to be acceptable." Scott also said: "Saying that the church doesn't necessarily have to pay for the birth control option, that the insurance companies have to, that doesn't seem like it's going to necessarily fly."

    It will be hard to make the case that Obama has done anything less than bend over backwards to achieve consensus. Catholic hospitals support the accommodation; the Catholic group Catholics United supports the accommodation; and recent polls have shown that the majority of Catholics support insurance plans that cover contraception.

    But Fox seems ready to keep trying to drum up outrage.