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Terry Krepel

Author ››› Terry Krepel
  • Fox's O'Reilly Calls For Boycott Of Mexico: Will It Be As Ineffective As His Boycott Of France?

    Blog ››› ››› TERRY KREPEL

    Fox News host Bill O'Reilly is calling for his viewers to boycott Mexico, though his four-year boycott of France during the Iraq War was a failure despite his false and conflicting claims to the contrary.
    On the June 18 edition of The O'Reilly Factor, O'Reilly declared that Mexico "is not our friend" and that Americans "should stop going there" because the country is allegedly allowing human trafficking into the United States and because the Mexican president is "giving us the middle finger" over the case of a U.S. Marine jailed in Mexico for allegedly inadvertently crossing the border. O'Reilly urged viewers to boycott the country, telling them, "Let's stop rewarding Mexico until they stop hurting us."

    O'Reilly previously threatened a boycott of Mexico in 2006 over its promise to sue the United States if evidence emerged that the National Guard had directly helped to detain Mexican citizens trying to illegally enter the United States. But O'Reilly's longest-lasting boycott was against France for opposing the Iraq War; he began his boycott in March 2003 and lifted it in May 2007 after the election of Nicolas Sarkozy as French president.

    During the boycott period, O'Reilly made numerous claims about its purported success that proved to be either conflicting or completely wrong:

    • On the April 27, 2004, edition of The O'Reilly Factor, O'Reilly claimed that the Paris Business Review had documented the success of O'Reilly's boycott against France for not sufficiently supporting the United States in its fight against terrorism and in Iraq. O'Reilly said, "They've lost billions of dollars in France according to the Paris Business Review." A Media Matters search at the time found no evidence of the existence of a publication called the Paris Business Review.
    • On the July 14, 2004, edition of The O'Reilly Factor, O'Reilly stated: "French exports to the USA have fallen by more than a billion dollars from 2001 to 2003." But that decline was unrelated to O'Reilly's purported boycott, which he called for in March 2003. The decline in those years actually occurred between 2001 and 2002. It was a decline of $2.2 billion; French exports in 2003 actually increased $979 million from the previous year. In fact, French exports to the U.S. increased every year during the duration of O'Reilly's boycott.
    • O'Reilly also made numerous conflicting claims about the effects of his boycott on the French economy. For instance, on the October 24, 2005, broadcast of his radio show, O'Reilly declared that his boycott effort has "hurt the French economy, not to a tremendous extent, but to an annoying extent. To the extent that they sent the French ambassador to New York to try to talk me out of it." Previously, O'Reilly had variously claimed that the boycott effort had caused France to lose "billions of dollars," "more than a billion dollars," and "$138 million."
  • Watch: Shep Smith Rebuts Fox News' Rush To Judge Bowe Bergdahl


    Many Fox News hosts and pundits rushed to brand recently released Army Sgt. Bowe Bergdahl as a deserter and a traitor, but Shepard Smith took a different line by saying he was "disgusted" by the rush to judgment, cautioning that Bergdahl is innocent until proven guilty.

    On May 31, the White House announced it had secured the release of Bergdahl from the hands of the Taliban in Afghanistan. Right-wing critics of President Obama began reporting as fact that Bergdahl had been a deserter and collaborated with the enemy, despite the fact that an investigation into the matter has not yet taken place.

    On the June 3 edition of Shepard Smith Reporting, host Smith took umbrage at the reporting, saying, "If you desert or commit treason, you have to be proved to have done so. We can't just decide because some people come on television and yakety yak, and we've got a report of this and a report of that and that's what happened. As the Army said, as the Pentagon said, you bring them home. You bring them home first, and then you investigate."

  • REPORT: Fox News Buries Christie Bridge Scandal

    Network's Coverage Of New Revelations Miniscule Compared To CNN, MSNBC


    The day a major scandal broke involving New Jersey Governor Chris Christie, Fox News devoted scant coverage to the developing story. On January 8, Fox devoted less than 15 minutes to the New Jersey bridge closure scandal, compared to more than two hours each on CNN and MSNBC.

  • Wash. Post Media Blogger Confirms "Ideologically Tilted Coverage" On Fox's Daytime Coverage

    Blog ››› ››› TERRY KREPEL

    Washington Post media blogger Erik Wemple has re-confirmed that Fox News' supposed "objective" news coverage is filled with conservative-leaning programming.

    In a March 27 blog post, Wemple watched Fox from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. ET -- the times that Fox officials have claimed are dedicated to objective news reporting -- and found that while there was "straight-up news coverage," there was also "ideologically tilted coverage":

    The Erik Wemple Blog counted 14 meaty, beefy segments totaling around 64 minutes in which a rightward tilt was somewhere between slight and overwhelming. Here are some examples of how Fox News engineered the slant:

    On Friday, Fox News's Alisyn Camerota substituted for the distinguished Megyn Kelly as host of "America Live," which runs from 1 p.m. to 3 p.m. Camerota moderated a discussion between two guests on the clash between the Democrats and Republicans over the federal budget.

    The discussion was ho-hum, as many discussions on the federal budget tend to be. What put it in the column of tendentious Fox News coverage was not so much how it proceeded, but what preceded it. Fox News producers chose to tease the segment with the ad below, which comes from the Congressional Leadership Fund, a group that bills itself as "focused solely and exclusively on maintaining the Republican majority in the House of Representatives."

    The ad repeats a frequently invoked talking point for Republicans in the battle over government spending: Families have to balance their budgets, so why doesn't the government? When Democrats are faced with that argument, they generally point out that families carry debt in the form of mortgages and student loans and the like.

    Yet Fox News didn't play a Democratic attack ad with any such talking points.


    These findings don't disprove the Pew study, but they call into question Fox's claim that its 9-to-4 is objective.

    Wemple went on to note that, while Fox claims a hallmark of "moderated debates between two people of opposing points of view," many of the interview segments he watched consisted of a single guest, typically one who is conservative-leaning.

    Wemple also highlighted how the personal agenda of Fox News chief Roger Ailes is reflected in Fox's "news" coverage:

    One-sided coverage of Obamacare comes from the top. In his new book on Fox News chief Roger Ailes, author Zev Chafets asks the executive what he'd do if he were elected president. Killing the Affordable Care Act tops his list of priorities. His on-air lieutenants do a wonderful job of carrying forward that sentiment.

  • Limbaugh Bashes Another Discrimination Settlement As "Reparations"

    Blog ››› ››› TERRY KREPEL

    limbaughRush Limbaugh attacked a federal discrimination settlement with women and Hispanic farmers as "reparations" and suggested that all one has to do to collect money is "think they were discriminated against." In fact, the process required to claim settlement money requires substantive documentation submitted under the penalty of perjury.

    On his radio show, Limbaugh noted that Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack is airing radio ads asking women and Hispanic farmers and ranchers who may have been discriminated against to apply for a share of $1.3 billion, plus an additional $160 million for debt relief, set aside by the federal government as a settlement. Limbaugh said that we should "just be honest" and call this "reparations," adding that "All they have to do is think they were discriminated against, and they can apply for their share of $1.3 billion in reparations":

    LIMBAUGH: So somewhere it's been determined that the Agriculture Department discriminated against Hispanic and women farmers and Hispanic and women ranchers. All they have to do is think they were discriminated against, and they can apply for their share of $1.3 billion in reparations. Can we just be honest about what this is? One-point-three-billion-dollar pool of money that these people are going to make claims on, and then another $160 million in farm debt relief that Obama set aside from his stash as part of a new era of civil rights. So wait, here you have these cruise ship passengers getting $500, and these discriminated-against Hispanic and women farmers and ranchers get to divvy up $1.3 billion. What are they going to think is the place to go for prosperity?

    The USDA settlement was first proposed in 2011 as a settlement to cases filed by women farmers (Love v. Vilsack) and Hispanic farmers (Garcia v. Vilsack) that alleged discrimination in federal loans and other assistance, and it was finalized last year. The filing deadline to seek a settlement is March 25.

    Contrary to Limbaugh's suggestion that all one must do to collect is "think they were discriminated against," a detailed form must be filled out and supporting documentation must be included, such as:

  • Facts MIA In Right-Wing Media's Latest Benghazi Myth


    Right-wing media figures distorted Secretary of Defense Leon Panetta's congressional testimony to attack President Obama over the response to the terror attack on the Benghazi consulate. In fact, Panetta and Gen. Martin Dempsey explained that the attack occurred in two waves separated by large blocks of time, and White House officials were engaged with military throughout the incident.

  • Fox Vs. Fox: Frequent Fox Guest Mark Levin Denounces Karl Rove

    Blog ››› ››› TERRY KREPEL

    The war of words on the right continues to escalate, with radio host Mark Levin becoming the latest Fox News figure to attack Fox political analyst Karl Rove. In a February 8 post on his Facebook page, Levin accused Rove of lying about conservative Rep. Steve King (R-IA). Earlier in the week on his radio show, Levin claimed Rove is "despised by the grassroots" and said Rove's name and new political group "are poison in conservative and Republican circles in many respects."

    Rove has recently been at the center of a conservative firestorm over the announcement of his new group, Conservative Victory Project, which the New York Times explains will work "to recruit seasoned candidates and protect Senate incumbents from challenges by far-right conservatives and Tea Party enthusiasts."

    Levin -- a frequent Fox News guest who has agreed to make regular appearances on Sean Hannity's Fox show -- wrote on his Facebook page that Rove "flat out lied" during an appearance on Sean Hannity's radio show. According to Levin, Rove told Hannity that Rep. Steve King (R-IA) had "endorse[d]" controversial comments about rape made by defeated Missouri senatorial candidate Todd Akin. Levin added, "This is the kind of sleaziness conservatives are fed up with. And Rove went on national radio and smeared King with this lie."

    King, who is reportedly considering running for a Senate seat in Iowa, has been identified as the type of conservative Rove's organization would likely target. Steven Law, president of American Crossroads, the super PAC co-founded by Rove that created the Conservative Victory Project, has expressed concern about King's history of extreme comments, which Law labeled his "Todd Akin problem."

    Levin has also targeted Rove on his radio show. On February 7, Levin declared that Rove is "despised by the grassroots," mocked his "stupid little third-grade whiteboard," then brought "my buddy" King on the show and said: "Steve King and all you conservatives out there who are thinking about running in these primaries and so forth -- your best commercial is going to be that your opponent is funded by Karl Rove. I'm serious, Steve King -- I think Karl Rove's name, I think his organization are poison in conservative and Republican circles in many respects." Levin added, "Bring it on, Karl baby. Bring it on, doughboy. Bring on your little whiteboard. We're ready." During the same show, Levin also labeled Rove a "propagandist." 

    Levin follows Erick EricksonLiz Cheney, and Mike Huckabee as Fox contributors and regular guests who have joined numerous conservative pundits in criticizing Rove.

  • Fox's Hannity Joins Right-Wing Media In Selectively Editing Panetta's Testimony

    Blog ››› ››› TERRY KREPEL

    Following in the footsteps of others in the right-wing media, Fox News host Sean Hannity selectively edited a video of outgoing Secretary of Defense Leon Panetta to portray President Obama as "virtually absent" during the September 2012 attack on a diplomatic facility in Benghazi, Libya. In fact, Panetta testified that White House officials were kept informed of events throughout the incident.

    On the February 7 edition of his Fox News program, Hannity said "a major bombshell was revealed" during Panetta's testimony during a congressional briefing that Obama "was virtually absent" during the Benghazi attack. Hannity then played segments of Panetta's testimony.

    But Hannity did not air the section of Panetta's testimony in which he pointed out that information about the attack "went to the White House" and that Obama stayed in contact with military officials and was "well-informed" during the attack. Hannity also failed to air a clip of Gen. Martin Dempsey stating that White House staff "was engaged with the national military command center pretty constantly through the period, which is the way it would normally work."

    Hannity joins numerous other right-wing outlets in selectively editing the testimony of Panetta and Dempsey.