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Rachel Calvert

Author ››› Rachel Calvert
  • Fox Correspondent Debunks Colleagues On Clinton Foundation Charitable Spending

    Blog ››› ››› RACHEL CALVERT

    Fox News correspondent Eric Shawn debunked his Fox colleagues' earlier criticism that the Clinton Foundation spent just 10 percent of its budget on charitable activities in 2013, calling these claims "incredibly misleading" because the non-profit carries out its humanitarian programs in-house.

    On the May 6 edition of The O'Reilly Factor, Shawn addressed accusations of misconduct based on flawed analyses of the Clinton Foundation's expenditures.

    When asked by host Bill O'Reilly about the "accusation ... that there only 10 percent of the money raised -- and it's $2 billion -- goes to grants out to poor people or institutions," Shawn responded, "That sounds really bad but it's actually incredibly misleading." Shawn went on to explain that "the way the charity works, they don't give grants to other charities -- they do most of it themselves." According to IRS filings, Shawn said, the Clinton Foundation's charitable spending is around 80 percent, and "the experts for charity say that's very good."

    In a response to these accusations, the Clinton Foundation told PunditFact that it and the related Clinton Health Access Initiative combine to spend 88 percent of their expenditures on what the Foundation describes as "life-changing work."

    Shawn's fellow Fox contributors and hosts have cited this misleading figure as evidence of malfeasance on the part of the Clinton Foundation. On the May 4 edition of The O'Reilly Factor, Fox contributor Mary Katharine Ham echoed O'Reilly's call for the FBI to investigate the Clinton Foundation's activities, saying that their purportedly low charitable spending rates "raised red flags -- like real red flags -- for the IRS," calling into question the foundation's designation as a charity. On the May 4 edition of Fox's The Five, host Eric Bolling incorrectly said that, "only 10 cents on the dollar went to charitable uses, causes." Co-host Juan Williams responded, "I just find that incredible. That strikes me as, I don't unders[tand] -- how is that legal?"

  • Anti-Feminism Writer Suzanne Venker: Feminism Has Eliminated All Of Men's Incentives To Marry

    Blog ››› ››› RACHEL CALVERT

    War on Men

    Longtime critic of feminism Suzanne Venker claimed in a recent column that feminism and contemporary sexual mores have eliminated men's incentives to marry.

    According to the Pew Research Center, the share of never-married American adults (ages 25 and older) has increased to one-in-five; double the percentage of never-married adults in 1960. The study also found that the gap between never-married men (23 percent) and women (17 percent) also increased during this time period.

    In a May 5 FoxNews.com op-ed, Venker blamed feminism and changing sexual attitudes as the reason men don't want to get married. Venker asserted that "men used to marry to have sex and a family," but argued that "when more women make themselves sexually available, the pool of marriageable men diminishes." Later Venker added that feminism has made marriage unappealing to men because "there's nothing in it for them":

    Men used to marry to have sex and a family. They married for love, too, but they had to marry the girl before taking her to bed, or at least work really, really hard to wear her down. Those days are gone.

    [...]

    What exactly does marriage offer men today? "Men know there's a good chance they'll lose their friends, their respect, their space, their sex life, their money and -- if it all goes wrong -- their family," says Helen Smith, Ph.D., author of "Men on Strike." "They don't want to enter into a legal contract with someone who could effectively take half their savings, pension and property when the honeymoon period is over.Men aren't wimping out by staying unmarried or being commitment phobes. They're being smart."

    Unlike women, men lose all power after they say "I do." Their masculinity dies, too.

    [...]

    There was a time when wives respected their husbands. There was a time when wives took care of their husbands as they expected their husbands to take care of them.

    Or perhaps therein lies the rub. If women no longer expect or even want men to "take care of" them -- since women can do everything men can do and better, thank you very much, feminism -- perhaps the flipside is the assumption that women don't need to take care of husbands, either. And if no one's taking care of anyone, why the hell marry?

    Venker has a long history of attacking feminism in what she calls society's "war on men," claiming "women pushed men off their pedestal" since the sexual revolution. Venker has also claimed that "the so-called rise of women has come at men's expense. Men have been disempowered."

  • Even Fox's Brian Kilmeade Thinks The Phony Outrage Over Hillary Clinton's Grandparents Is Absurd

    Blog ››› ››› RACHEL CALVERT

    Fox News' Brian Kilmeade defended Democratic presidential candidate Hillary Clinton after his Fox & Friends colleagues scandalized a Buzzfeed report about comments she made about her grandparents.

    During a campaign stop in Iowa, Clinton described how her grandparents immigrated to the United States, and how her grandfather found a steady factory job in Scranton, Pennsylvania. "All my grandparents, you know, came over here," she said according to Buzzfeed, "And you know my grandfather went to work in lace mill in Scranton, Pennsylvania, and worked there until he retired at 65. He started there when he was a teenager and just kept going."

    Buzzfeed subsequently reported that only one of Clinton's parents was born abroad -- Hugh Rodham Sr., who emigrated from the United Kingdom as a child. Buzzfeed noted that a Clinton spokesperson clarified her remarks:

    "Her grandparents always spoke about the immigrant experience and, as a result she has always thought of them as immigrants," a Clinton spokesman told BuzzFeed News." As has been correctly pointed out, while her grandfather was an immigrant, it appears that Hillary's grandmother was born shortly after her parents and siblings arrived in the U.S. in the early 1880s.

    But Fox News seized on the comments to attack Clinton as deliberately lying, with Fox & Friends co-host Elisabeth Hasselbeck saying, "Again we see someone misspeaking, misleading." Co-host Steve Doocy interjected, "She's trying to make a better story, but it's not true." Doocy went on to state that "the Clintons have had a problem with the truth in the past."

    But Brian Kilmeade called out his colleagues for manufacturing outrage over such innocuous remarks, asking, "Is it that big a deal?" He defended Clinton's recollection of her family's immigrant heritage despite protests from the other hosts:

    KILMEADE: I will defend her on this. I mean, the other day, when Heritage.com came in here, I did not know if my grandmother and grandfather were born here or not, because they came over on the boat....But they did have the immigrant experience.... If you've just come over as opposed to, you weren't over yet, is it that big a deal?

    Clinton's retelling of her family's immigrant experience came during remarks she made about the current state of immigration in the United States, and how current policies turn away "people who really want to work" and who are "doing the best they can to try to make a good life for themselves and their families."

  • Wash. Post Debunks Conservative Media Praise For Jeb Bush's Program Abolishing Affirmative Action

    ››› ››› RACHEL CALVERT

    Right-wing media have praised former Florida Governor and possible 2016 Republican presidential candidate Jeb Bush's 1999 executive action eliminating race-based affirmative action in higher education admissions. Now, a new report from The Washington Post finds that black student enrollment is in decline at two of Florida's largest four-year schools.

  • MSNBC's Benen Points Out Rubio/Clinton Double Standard In Coverage Of Deleted Emails

    Blog ››› ››› RACHEL CALVERT

    In sharp contrast with its intense scrutiny of Hillary Clinton's private email server, the media has largely remained mum on Senator Marco Rubio's (R-FL) own habit of deleting official emails sent from a private email account. MSNBC's Steve Benen pointed out that the hosts of Fox News' The Five gave Rubio a free pass on his email history, while continuing to disparage Clinton's private server.

    According to a statement by Clinton's lawyer, the former Secretary of State's email server was wiped clean after she turned over approximately 55,000 pages of emails to the State Department. The Wall Street Journal reported earlier this month that not only did Rubio correspond with reporters on a private email account while he served as a leader in the Florida House, but when the Orlando Sentinal requested those emails, Rubio's spokesperson said they had been deleted. 

    In a March 31 article for MSNBC.com's MaddowBlog, Benen pointed out that while co-hosting the March 30 edition of The Five, Rubio failed to answer a direct question about whether he would publicly disclose his own private emails, writing, "At this point, Dana Perino, the former press secretary in the Bush/Cheney White House, jumped in to criticize Clinton in more detail, and Rubio never responded to the question. Which is further evidence that the politics of emails is trickier than Republican would like." 

    Benen went on to describe how similar the two email stories actually are:

    But in an unexpected twist, it was a question from a Fox News co-host that demonstrates how easy it is to remove "Clinton" out of that sentence and put in the name of several Republican presidential candidates, including "Rubio." Consider:

    In Rubio's case, the senator concedes he did official work on his private account, but he insists the deleted private emails had nothing to do with his official duties. Perhaps the way to be certain is to pursue full disclosure - up to and including careful technology scrutiny of computer servers - just to make sure he didn't do anything wrong.

    Why should Rubio be trusted to make decisions on his own about which of his emails should be deleted?

    I suppose the obvious answer is that the Florida senator isn't accused of any official wrongdoing, so there's no need to review his communications. But - and this is key - Clinton isn't facing any serious allegations, either, Benghazi conspiracy theorists notwithstanding.

    The media also ignored former Florida Governor Jeb Bush's email habits. In the wake of a Clinton feeding frenzy, the major networks paid minimal attention to the seven years it took for Bush to comply with a Florida statute requiring him to turn over private emails.

  • Fox's Outnumbered Takes Its Own Poll Out Of Context To Downplay Positive Jobs Report

    Blog ››› ››› RACHEL CALVERT

    Fox News Economy Poll

    Fox News' Outnumbered attempted to downplay the Bureau of Labor Statistics' (BLS) positive jobs report indicating steady job growth and declining unemployment rates by taking the network's own polls out of context. 

    On March 6, the BLS announced that the economy added 295,000 new jobs in February, making it the twelfth straight month of job growth for the U.S. economy. In addition, the BLS' February jobs report showed a 5.5% unemployment rate, a new post-recession low.

    In an attempt to downplay the positive jobs numbers, Outnumbered co-host Harris Faulkner pointed to a graphic of a Fox News poll indicating that 44% of Americans feel that the economy is improving, saying, "Despite reports of an improving economy, a large number of you are apparently not feeling it. A new Fox News poll finds 43% feel like the economy is getting worse and not better. That is almost as many number of people who feel things are improving":

    Faulkner failed to mention that according to Fox's own poll, this month marks an 11-year high in Americans' optimism about the economy. Faulkner also suggested that, while the official unemployment rate is falling, the more comprehensive U-6 unemployment metric gives a more accurate depiction of the economy, saying  "The real unemployment number, still twice as much, at about 11%." However, the U-6 unemployment rate has also been in decline for the fifth straight month, down 1.6% since this time last year.

  • Fox's Special Report Ignores Overwhelming Support Of Net Neutrality Regulations

    Blog ››› ››› RACHEL CALVERT

    Fox News' Special Report falsely claimed that the public won't have a say in the upcoming Federal Communications Commission (FCC) Open Internet rule, ignoring reports that the record number of public comments on the rulemaking were overwhelmingly positive and polls that show the public greatly supports net neutrality regulations.

    On February 26, the FCC will vote on a proposal that will subject Internet providers to utility-like regulation. During the February 11 edition of Special Report, host Bret Baier told his viewers that "you may have absolutely no say in the matter."

    Contrary to Baier's claim, in May 2014, the FCC requested public comments on "how best to protect and promote an open Internet" as part of the rulemaking process. While correspondent Shannon Bream did acknowledge this and mentioned that the FCC received a record 3.7 million public comments, she failed to report that the vast majority of these favored net neutrality. The Sunlight Foundation found that fewer than 1 percent of the first 800,000 public comments were opposed to net neutrality enforcement.

    In fact, recent polls indicate widespread bipartisan support for net neutrality:

    In a new survey, the University of Delaware's Center for Political Communication found that support for neutrality is strong and widespread -- regardless of gender, age, race and level of education. About 81 percent of Americans oppose allowing Internet providers like Comcast and Verizon to charge Web sites and services more if they want to reach customers more quickly, that is, allowing what are often called "Internet fast lanes."

  • Fox Ignores Obama's Condemnation Of The Islamic State To Falsely Claim He Hasn't Called The Group Terrorists

    Obama: "ISIL Is A Terrorist Organization, Pure And Simple"

    Blog ››› ››› RACHEL CALVERT

    Fox News' Andrea Tantaros and Ainsley Earhardt criticized President Obama for not condemning the Islamic State as a terrorist organization, ignoring his administration's numerous statements denouncing the group as a terrorist organization that must be destroyed.

    On the February 4 edition of Fox's Outnumbered, Tantaros and Earhardt claimed Obama has not spoken out strongly against the Islamic State.  Earhardt also accused Obama of not calling the group terrorists:

    EARHARDT: As a Christian, I would want to stand up for Jesus Christ and what he died on the cross for. If I were Muslim I would stand up for what the Koran says, teaching and civility and love one another. But the Koran does not teach this. Moderates need to come forward and talk about this -- This is a president, Andrea you have to remember,won't even call  them terrorist. This barbaric it is evil, there is evil in the world and every religion will teach that. It is evil, it is barbaric and it is so hard to watch. And this is burning a human being, a child of God's, alive. Someone needs to stand up and say something. If our president doesn't want to call this terrorism, I don't know what is.

    But the White House has called the Islamic State terrorists numerous times.  

    In a September 2014 speech, Obama condemned the actions of the Islamic State and explained his plan to "degrade and ultimately destroy the terrorist group known as ISIL." Obama also explained that "ISIL is not 'Islamic,'" noting that no religion condones violence against innocents:

    Now let's make two things clear:  ISIL is not "Islamic."  No religion condones the killing of innocents.  And the vast majority of ISIL's victims have been Muslim.  And ISIL is certainly not a state.  It was formerly al Qaeda's affiliate in Iraq, and has taken advantage of sectarian strife and Syria's civil war to gain territory on both sides of the Iraq-Syrian border.  It is recognized by no government, nor by the people it subjugates.  ISIL is a terrorist organization, pure and simple.  And it has no vision other than the slaughter of all who stand in its way. 

    In January, White House spokesperson Eric Schultz reaffirmed the Obama administration's position, saying that "ISIL is a terrorist group." After the Islamic State murdered the captive Japanese journalist Kenji Goto, the White House press secretary's office released a statement condemning "the heinous murder of Japanese citizen and journalist Kenji Goto by the terrorist group ISIL."