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Chelsea Rudman

Author ››› Chelsea Rudman
  • Fox Knows Who's To Blame For Boehner's Delay Of Sandy Relief Bill: Obama

    Blog ››› ››› CHELSEA RUDMAN

    Fox News figures suggested that President Obama is to blame for the delay of emergency relief for victims of superstorm Sandy, but it was House Speaker John Boehner who delayed a vote on a Hurricane Sandy relief bill in the House. Even congressional Republicans have blamed Boehner for the lack of action.

    After the Senate passed a disaster aid bill for states affected by Sandy, the House was expected to vote Tuesday night on a similar, $60.4 billion aid package. But Boehner adjourned the House before scheduling a vote on the bill; Republican complaints that the bill was "loaded with spending on projects unrelated to storm damage" appeared to play a role in Boehner's decision.

    On Fox & Friends on Thursday, co-host Steve Doocy led a segment about Sandy relief by noting that Obama is on vacation in Hawaii and added, "Meanwhile ... there are tens of thousands of people whose houses were destroyed by Sandy." Doocy continued, "And it's interesting -- you go back 60 days, the president of the United States was out at a big photo op with Chris Christie, saying, 'I'm going to eliminate the red tape. I'm going to make sure that FEMA follows through.' And now 60 days later, nothing."

    After a montage of Obama speaking about cutting through red tape for Sandy aid was aired, Fox News contributor Michelle Malkin said, "Well, golf clap for that Oscar-winning performance reel from Obama, paying lip service to the exigency and emergency and urgency of helping out Sandy victims. Aloha and mahalo, right?" Malkin later added, "I think it's ridiculous to fully blame Boehner for the gridlock that's happening over this bill."

    But Obama has urged Congress to pass a relief bill, and he responded to Boehner's delay of the vote by calling on Boehner to "bring this important request to a vote today, and pass it without delay for our fellow Americans."

    And Republicans have blamed Boehner, not Obama, for the delay of the House vote on Sandy relief. As CBS News reported, New York Republican Reps. Peter King and Michael Grimm "fiercely decried the decision" to delay the vote, and King "suggested he might vote against Boehner in his bid to hold on to his speakership."

  • Praise, Blame, Despair: Right-Wing Media Can't Decide How To Feel About Boehner's Failed Plan B


    Right-wing media have inconsistently responded to House Speaker John Boehner's (R-OH) failed attempt to pass his proposed "Plan B" to resolve the so-called "fiscal cliff" standoff, including praising conservative Republicans who opposed the measure, expressing regret that the measure didn't pass, questioning the viability of Boehner's speakership, and blaming President Obama for the plan's failure, despite Obama's concessions to the GOP.

  • Huckabee Tries To Walk Back Comments On God And School Shootings

    Blog ››› ››› CHELSEA RUDMAN

    Fox host and former governor Mike Huckabee attempted to walk back his comments linking a lack of religion in schools to Friday's tragic shooting in Newtown, CT. But while Huckabee now claims that he did not suggest "prayer in schools" would have prevented the shooting, he indeed seemed to imply that religion in schools could have done as much in his remarks on Friday.

    On Friday, Huckabee responded to a question about God from Fox host Neil Cavuto by linking the removal of "God from our schools" to mass school shootings.

    On Fox & Friends Saturday, he attempted to clarify his comments, saying, "Yesterday, I was on Neil Cavuto. He asked me, you know, where was God? I said, you know, we've systematically removed him from our culture, from our schools. Well, I've been barraged by people who have said that I said, well, if we just have prayer in schools, this wouldn't happen. That's not my point."

    Huckabee continued:

    HUCKABEE: No, my point is a larger point -- that we have as a culture decided that we don't want to have values, that we don't want to say that some things are always right, some things are always wrong. When we divorce ourselves from a basic sense of what we would call, I would say, collective morality where we agree on certain principles to be true always, then we create a culture -- not that it specifically creates this crime. It doesn't. But it creates an atmosphere in which evil and violence are removed from our sense of responsibility.

  • Fox Takes Rove Off The Bench To Push His Political Group's Misleading Attack

    Blog ››› ››› CHELSEA RUDMAN

    Karl Rove reappeared on Fox News to parrot his own political organization's view on the deficit negotiations without disclosing his ties to the group. Rove's commentary came just six days after it was reported that Fox had limited Rove's appearances following his "election-night tantrum" over Romney's loss -- yet Fox still failed to disclose Rove's involvement with Crossroads GPS, which has aired an ad on this issue.

    Appearing on Special Report to discuss the deficit reduction negotiations, Rove pushed the Republican claim that U.S. debt is a "spending problem" rather than a revenue problem. He cited Office of Management and Budget (OMB) statistics to claim that "we're back above the revenue level we had" in 2008 but that spending has increased by almost $900 billion since then:

    Rove said that "Republicans are emphasizing savings" from spending cuts in social insurance programs and concluded that "[w]e got to find fundamental reforms that allow us to save money."

    But economists say that decreased revenue is a major cause of the deficit. According to the Tax Policy Center, federal revenue as a percentage of GDP was 15.4 percent in 2011 and 15.1 percent in 2010. These are the lowest figures since 1950 -- and well below the post-World War II average.

    And Rove's choice of numbers paints a misleading picture. The OMB's 2013 figures, which are estimates, are higher for both outlays and revenues than the latest available data, which are for 2011. Total revenues in 2011 were $2.3 trillion -- which is still less than the figure for 2008, so the U.S. is not yet "back above the revenue level we had" in 2008.

  • It's Not Just Perino: Fox Figures Have A Sordid History Of Blaming Female Victims


    While discussing the recent murder of Kasandra Perkins at the hands of her boyfriend, NFL player Jovan Belcher, Fox News host Dana Perino claimed women who are "victims of violence" need to "make better decisions." Perino's comment is just the latest in a long line of Fox figures placing blame on female victims of crime or alleged crimes.

  • Fox Garbles Economics To Claim European Austerity Proves Need For GOP Policies

    ››› ››› CHELSEA RUDMAN

    While reporting on budget negotiations, Fox News' Mike Emanuel suggested that Europe's experience with economic austerity measures supports Republicans' calls for more spending cuts and fewer tax increases. But economists agree that cutting government spending hurts weak economies, and a recent study found that moderate tax increases would have almost no effect on economic growth.

  • Hannity Ignores Evidence To Attack Susan Rice Over '98 Embassy Bombings


    Sean Hannity implied that U.N. Ambassador Susan Rice was complicit in security failures surrounding the 1998 bombings at U.S. embassies in Africa by drawing parallels between those incidents and the recent attack in Benghazi, Libya. But recent reports have made it clear that Rice was not to blame for a lack of security at the African embassies. 

    Hannity was echoing criticism made by Sen. Susan Collins (R-ME). After meeting with Rice, Collins told reporters on Thursday that she was troubled by parallels she claimed to see between the attack in Benghazi and the 1998 bombings of U.S. embassies in Kenya and Tanzania, when Rice was assistant secretary of state for African affairs.

    The Associated Press reported that review boards established to investigate the 1998 bombings "did not find reasonable cause that any U.S. employee breached his duty in [connection] with the bombings" and noted, "Rice was not blamed." The Huffington Post reported that members of those review boards have said Rice was not responsible for inadequate security; review board member Philip Wilcox said he didn't "remember any inference or allegation that Susan Rice had been negligent" in her role at the State Department, while Michael Armacost, who was also on one of the review boards, said, "I don't recall anything about [Rice having a role]."

    Further, as Mother Jones' David Corn pointed out, Rice was not mentioned in the boards' reports at all. Corn noted that Rice "was a policy person who would not be in charge of embassy or security operations."

    Yet on Thursday night, Hannity echoed Collins' remarks, saying that those at the embassy in Kenya had requested additional security before the bombings. He also pointed out that Rice delivered televised remarks following both the '98 attacks in Africa and the Benghazi attack, and accused Rice of "propagandiz[ing]" in both sets of appearances. Hannity concluded, "Tell me where this doesn't sound familiar," and later said the Africa bombings were "so very similar to Benghazi, and assistance denied again."

  • Myths And Facts About The Conservative Media's Witch Hunt Against Susan Rice


    Conservative media have been facilitating a witch hunt against U.N. Ambassador Susan Rice, claiming that her public statements regarding the attack on the diplomatic compound in Benghazi, Libya, were untruthful and misleading. In fact, Rice was using talking points that had been approved by the CIA, and she repeatedly emphasized that the information was preliminary.

  • CNN Sweeps Away GOP Intransigence On Taxes In Budget Talks

    Blog ››› ››› CHELSEA RUDMAN

    CNN falsely portrayed disagreement over changes to the federal budget as being exclusively due to Democrats' reluctance to cut social safety net programs. In two segments on Early Start, CNN didn't mention that Republicans' resistance to increasing taxes on the wealthy is also an obstacle in reaching a compromise to avoid the automatic tax increases and spending cuts known as the fiscal cliff.

    In the first segment, guest host Christine Romans described the negotiations by saying, "Entitlement reform is a stumbling block here." She continued, "Democrats don't want deep cuts to programs like Medicare, Medicaid, Social Security. Republicans see no other choice."

    Co-host Zoraida Sambolin went further in the second segment, claiming that "the sticking point" in fiscal cliff negotiations is "entitlement reform." Sambolin continued, "Republicans appear willing to budge on higher taxes for the wealthy, but only if programs like Social Security, Medicare and Medicaid face cuts."

    CNN isn't telling the whole story. Though Romans later discussed tax revenues in an interview with Rep. Diane Black (R-TN), her segment at the top of the show erased Republicans' unwillingness to consider tax increases on the wealthy -- which has been a sticking point in the negotiations.

    Immediately following the election, House Speaker John Boehner called raising tax rates "unacceptable" to the Republican House. A few days later, Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell told The Wall Street Journal, "We have a voter mandate not to raise taxes," and said, "I am not willing to raise taxes to turn off the sequester. Period." Republicans' insistence on maintaining the Bush tax cuts for the wealthy has remained one of the biggest points of disagreement.

    And Sambolin's claim that Republicans "appear willing to budge on higher taxes for the wealthy" is questionable at best. While a handful of Republicans have indeed signaled a willingness to compromise on raising taxes for the wealthy, most Republicans are instead saying they are open to "eliminat[ing] individual loopholes and deductions," as The Washington Post reported. And as the Post noted, ending many of those deductions would affect not only the wealthy, but would also "reach far into the middle class."