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Todd Gregory

Author ››› Todd Gregory
  • CNN's Erick Erickson Apologizes For "Vagina Monologues" Tweet

    Blog ››› ››› TODD GREGORY

    During the first night of the Democratic National Convention, CNN contributor Erick Erickson tweeted, "First night of the Vagina Monologues in Charlotte going as expected":

    Following widespread criticism, he later apologized, saying that it wasn't his intention to offend people:

    Among his numerous past inflammatory statements, Erickson launched a series of sexist attacks on feminists during the 2010 Super Bowl.

    That year, a TV ad featuring quarterback Tim Tebow had been rumored to contain an anti-abortion rights message. When the ad aired and was not as pointed as expected, Erickson tweeted, "That's what the feminazis were enraged over? ... That's what being too ugly to get a date does to your brain" and "Ugly feminists return to their kitchens." He continued his attacks the next day.

  • How The Sunday Shows "Covered" Romney's Birther Line

    ››› ››› TODD GREGORY

    The major Sunday network news talk shows gave less than two minutes of coverage to Mitt Romney's invocation of the conspiracy theory that President Obama was not born in the United States. The New York Times reported that Romney's comment was part of a shift by the Romney campaign to a "more combative footing against President Obama in order to appeal to white, working-class voters."

  • Fox Hypes The Daily Caller's Cooked-Up Story On Delphi Pension Emails

    Blog ››› ››› TODD GREGORY, MIKE BURNS & THOMAS BISHOP

    Fox News and The Daily Caller are promoting the baseless charge that the Obama administration illegally ended a pension plan for workers at Delphi, an auto parts maker, because the workers weren't union members.

    The Daily Caller alleges that emails it has obtained show that the Obama Treasury Department was the "driving force" behind the decision to end the Delphi pension plan, instead of the independent federal agency that insures pensions, called the Pension Benefit Guaranty Corp. (PBGC). And Fox News has made the same charge. But the emails show nothing of the sort.

    The email exchanges come from PBGC employees in 2009, when the government-led rescue of the auto industry was being carried out.

    In reality, the emails are so far removed from their context that it's impossible to draw definitive conclusions about them, but the Daily Caller does its best to fill in the blanks by doctoring quotes and ignoring inconvenient information.

    Only one of the 16 emails comes from a Treasury Department employee, and it doesn't show pressure to terminate the Delphi pension. In fact, unions aren't mentioned at all in the emails.

    Fox has devoted several segments to hyping the cooked-up story. For instance, today, Fox's Lauren Simonetti appeared on Fox & Friends First and claimed that "all along, Treasury and White House officials have claimed that the pension decisions were made by the independent Pension Benefit Guaranty Corporation. Key officials even testified to that under oath. The emails recently obtained by The Daily Caller show that's not the case."

    Previously, the Daily Caller reporter who wrote the story, Matthew Boyle, appeared on the August 7 edition of America Live to claim the emails "prove beyond a shadow of a doubt" that the "Obama administration political officials were the ones who ultimately made the decision, coercing the PBGC officials into terminating the pensions of these non-union workers."

  • Hannity Still Shamelessly Promoting Romney Lie About Military Voting In Ohio

    Blog ››› ››› TODD GREGORY

    The game is up on the falsehoods about the Obama campaign's lawsuit to restore early voting in Ohio, but that hasn't deterred Sean Hannity from lying about it.

    On August 6, PolitiFact Ohio gave a rating of "false" to Mitt Romney's statement that the Obama lawsuit is challenging voting privileges for the military. Nevertheless, the same night, Hannity used his Fox News show to pound home the falsehood.

    Hannity teased his report by saying that Romney is hitting Obama over a lawsuit to "limit the number of days armed service members can vote" -- a statement that is in no way true.

    Ohio changed its early-voting rules after problems there during the 2004 election prevented thousands of people from casting their ballots. The state responded by expanding early voting for the 2008 and 2010 elections.

    But last year, the Republican-controlled legislature eliminated in-person voting during the three days before the election for everyone but military families and overseas voters. The Obama campaign lawsuit explicitly states what it is asking for: "Plaintiffs bring this lawsuit to restore in-person early voting for all Ohioans during the three days prior to Election Day."

  • Fox Enables Romney's Military Voting Falsehood

    Blog ››› ››› TODD GREGORY

    Fox News is helping Mitt Romney spread the false perception that the Obama campaign is trying to limit military voting in Ohio through a lawsuit that is actually intended to expand voting. This is part of a pattern in which Fox has consistently promoted misinformation that benefits the Romney campaign.

    Previously, Fox twisted President Obama's "you didn't build that" comments, a misrepresentation that Romney echoed on the campaign trail and in several ads. Fox also distorted Obama's remark that the wealthy paid higher taxes under President Clinton and that "it worked," in terms of the country's economic success during the 1990s. The Romney campaign released an ad using the same distortion.

    This time, Fox and Romney are spreading misinformation about a lawsuit that the Obama campaign filed last month seeking to allow all Ohio voters more time to cast their ballots, falsely suggesting that it actually seeks to restrict military voting.

    Fox has aired multiple misleading segments on the lawsuit. Today, Fox & Friends Sunday hosted Pete Hegseth, a member of Concerned Vets for Freedom (and a former GOP Senate candidate), to obscure that the lawsuit simply seeks to overturn Ohio Republicans' attempts to limit early voting for civilians. Hegseth claimed that the defenders of the Ohio law limiting early voting see it as being "about allowing Ohio to give more opportunities to veterans."

    That statement turns the intent of the Obama campaign lawsuit -- and the history of early voting in Ohio -- on its head.

  • Fox's Evening News Show Lies About Military Voting In Ohio

    Blog ››› ››› TODD GREGORY

    Special Report guest host Shannon Bream falsely claimed that the Obama campaign is suing to prevent military voters in Ohio from having extra time to cast their ballots. In reality, the lawsuit seeks to allow all voters in Ohio to cast their ballots during the window open to military personnel and their families. The lawsuit does not seek to restrict voting by military families in any way.

    Correspondent Ed Henry followed with a misleading report that included a clip of Mitt Romney saying that it would be a disservice to members of the military to try to impede them from voting. But Henry did not cite any evidence that the lawsuit is intended to impede military voting.

    As The Cincinnati Enquirer reported on July 18, "Now, only uniformed military personnel, their spouses and their voting-age dependents [in Ohio] can vote through Monday, the day before the Nov. 6 election. Everyone else must vote by the Friday before Election Day. The campaign says that means all Ohio voters aren't being treated fairly and that's a violation of the U.S. Constitution's equal protection clause" (via Nexis).

    From the August 3 edition of Special Report:

  • Fox's The Five: Maybe Obama Is A Foreigner

    Blog ››› ››› TODD GREGORY

    Fox News' afternoon chat show The Five has dipped back into the well of conspiracy theories about President Obama's background. Co-host Andrea Tantaros suggested that Obama might have applied to college as a foreign student, an idea that echoes an April Fool's Day hoax from a years-old chain email.

    Tantaros brought up this idea during a discussion of Sen. Harry Reid's statement that a Bain Capital investor told him that Mitt Romney didn't pay taxes for 10 years. As a comparison, Tantaros wondered what would happen if she said that "some girl" called her and told her that Obama had applied as a foreigner.

    Fox News host Mike Huckabee floated the idea that Obama might have received loans as a foreign student on The O'Reilly Factor in January.

    Also during The Five, co-host Greg Gutfeld delivered a self-described "cheap shot" about Obama's birth certificate and referred to him as "the Kenyan."

    From the August 3 edition of The Five:

    Gutfeld is a former editor of the U.K. edition of Maxim magazine and is positioned as the show's comic relief. His attempts at humor often consist of sexist comments.

  • Conservative Media Freak Out Over Improvement To Welfare Reform

    ››› ››› JOCELYN FONG, TODD GREGORY & CHELSEA RUDMAN

    In response to requests from Republican-led states, the Department of Health and Human Services announced it will consider allowing states to create more efficient ways to report on the work requirement for recipients of Temporary Assistance for Needy Families (TANF). The conservative media have responded by falsely claiming that this is the "end of welfare reform" and that it "guts" the work requirement.

  • CNN's Erin Burnett Cherry-Picks Numbers To Attack Health Care Law

    Blog ››› ››› JEREMY HOLDEN & TODD GREGORY

    CNN's Erin Burnett cherry-picked numbers to claim that the health care reform law was "a massive fail" because medical costs are expected to grow more in 2014 than they did in 2010.

    But the massive fail here is on Burnett: health care costs in 2010 grew at historically low rates as the country emerged from a deep recession, making it an inappropriate point of comparison.

    Discussing the Supreme Court's decision to uphold the Affordable Care Act on Thursday, Burnett claimed that "we're all losers" under the health care reform law because it will not reduce health care spending. Burnett explained:

    According to the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services, health spending in 2010 grew about 3.9 percent from the year before. But in 2014, when the president's health care law takes full effect, spending will jump 7.4 percent.

    But the very research that Burnett cited, a June report from the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services, explains that unusually slow cost increases in 2010 was a historic anomaly explained by the recession:

    [T]he continuing impact of losses in employment and health insurance coverage associated with the recession helped to limit growth in private spending. Private health insurance spending growth is estimated to have been just 2.6 percent in 2010 as the number of people enrolled in private plans fell by roughly 5 million. Moreover, out-of-pocket spending climbed just 1.8 percent (after 0.4 percent growth in 2009) as many people continued to restrain their use of health care goods and services.

    A June 12 Wall Street Journal article reporting on the CMS estimates explained that the 2010 figures were "a short-term trend" tied to the recession:

    Consumers have been cutting back on doctors' visits and employers have trimmed insurance since the U.S. first fell into a recession. National health-care spending growth was 3.8% in 2009, the smallest increase on record, and was followed by a similar 3.9% in 2010.

    Burnett's massive failure only begins with her cherry picking 2010 for her point of comparison. Her second point of comparison is 2014, which is when CMS researchers said the "largest impact on the growth of health spending is expected to occur."

    So Burnett took one of the lowest rates of health spending growth on record and compared it to the year that will bring the largest impact on growth, and declared that everybody loses.

    CNN's viewers most certainly did.