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Todd Gregory

Author ››› Todd Gregory
  • Fox's Take On Wisconsin Election: "Wasting A Lot Of Money"

    Blog ››› ››› TODD GREGORY

    As Wisconsin residents vote on whether Republican Gov. Scott Walker should be recalled, the Fox News line on this exercise in democracy has become apparent: It's a waste of money.

    Today, Fox & Friends interviewed Wisconsin state Sen. Alberta Darling, a Republican who fought off a recall effort in August. Co-host Brian Kilmeade told Darling, "I'm getting the sense that there's a lot of recall fatigue in Wisconsin, and people are pretty much fed up. You guys are wasting a lot of money -- $16 million, just on this one":

    It's unclear why Kilmeade thinks that a recall election initiated by nearly a million signatures is a waste of money.

    Recall elections are part of Wisconsin's democratic process. The state constitution has included a recall provision since 1926. As Marquette University law professor Edward Fallone explained in a blog post, the effort to recall Walker is consistent with the intent of that provision.

    Megyn Kelly also used her "straight news" show, America Live, to push the idea that the election is somehow wasteful. Kelly said the election "comes with a hefty price tag" and called it "very expensive" while this graphic aired:

    Video below the jump.

  • Lila Rose To Benefit From The Fox Cycle's Media-Intimidation Phase

    Blog ››› ››› TODD GREGORY

    A Fox News promo indicates that tonight's edition of The O'Reilly Factor will answer the question of whether journalists are conspiring to "silence" the manufactured attack on Planned Parenthood that is being ginned up by anti-choice activist Lila Rose and her group Live Action:

    VOICEOVER: Press protection of Planned Parenthood? Has the media intentionally silenced the story about the group's gender-specific abortion counseling?

    If "the media" -- in Foxspeak, that means "every outlet other than Fox" -- chooses not to cover Rose's videos, perhaps it's because there is no story. Statistics show that sex-selective abortion simply does not happen with any regularity in the United States, as the vast majority of abortions are performed before gender is detectable, and the gender birth ratio in America is close to even. The videos Live Action has released thus far do not show a pattern of Planned Parenthood encouraging women to have sex-selective abortions.

    What's really at work here is the Fox Cycle. As we've documented, this is a strategy Fox News uses to help right-wing activists and fringe figures catapult bogus stories into mainstream outlets.

  • Fox News Rolls Out Its Marketing Push For Romney's General-Election Campaign

    Blog ››› ››› TODD GREGORY

    Mitt Romney won the Texas Republican primary last night, clinching the GOP's nomination for president. In response, Fox News has engaged its function as the Republican Party's communications arm and mounted an all-out push to promote Romney and attack President Obama.

    This morning, Fox & Friends aired a four-minute anti-Obama attack ad. Not from any campaign or super PAC, but from Fox itself -- the video opens with the text "Fox & Friends Presents":

    The ad was loaded with dishonest and misleading claims.

    Later, America's Newsroom, which is one of Fox's "straight news" shows, aired a portion of host Bill Hemmer's softball interview with Mitt and Ann Romney in San Diego. Hemmer said of the interview, "If you're looking for policy, that's really not the intention for why we went to California. This is really trying to get to know this man, because he's going to be in your living rooms now for at least the next six months and possibly a lot longer after that."

    Hemmer's co-host, Martha MacCallum, then suggested that the purpose of the interview had been to increase Romney's poll numbers.

  • Limbaugh On "Persecution Of Blacks In America": "What Persecution Would That Be?"

    Blog ››› ››› TODD GREGORY

    Rush Limbaugh is dismissing the notion that racial minorities face persecution.

    Limbaugh was discussing a campaign stop Mitt Romney made on May 24 at a West Philadelphia charter school. A Washington Post blog entry reported that during the event, Romney "received something of a history lecture about the persecution of blacks in America and the struggles of African American children to meet the academic achievements of their white counterparts."

    Limbaugh read from the post on his radio show and talked extensively about the meaning of the episode. After reading the line about the "persecution of blacks in America," Limbaugh said, "What persecution would that be? Persecution of blacks in America. What are we talking -- affirmative action? What is this persecution that's going on?"

    Limbaugh also gave his listeners his brief account of what happened at the event:

    Romney goes to this charter school in West Philadelphia. Local officials attending the event lectured him and insulted him. The Obama campaign organized so-called residents to protests across the street from the school where Romney was. They shouted at Romney, and they told him to get out of their neighborhood.

    Later, Limbaugh commented on what he described as Romney attempting "outreach to the African-American community" (emphasis added):

    So it's a "damned if you do and damned if you don't" situation. Which is why -- this -- I don't blame Romney for trying this. In fact, I give him credit for it. But it's why I am of the belief that there's no compromise here. I mean, Romney shows up, and they basically are gonna say for publication that they're offended he would dare come into their neighborhood and denigrate him for doing so? Said that when he talks, he's speaking garbage. What in the world is there to compromise there? Where is the common ground?

    That's why, to me, defeating these people is what's paramount, not getting along with them and not trying to find common areas of agreement. Particularly in an election year. I mean, I wouldn't expect these people to do anything other than what they are doing. They're Obama voters, they're Obama supporters. They're Democrats. They're not interested in what Romney has to say.

    Full transcript below the jump.

  • WSJ News Article: Birthers Say Obama Is A Foreigner; He Disagrees

    Blog ››› ››› TODD GREGORY

    Press critics often use the term "false balance" to describe the practice of presenting a matter of clear-cut fact as the subject of dispute. Some media outlets have made progress on avoiding this problem in their reporting recently.

    The Wall Street Journal, however, published an egregious example of false balance in its May 21 edition. In a news article about Arizona's secretary of state asking Hawaii to "verify it has" President Obama's birth certificate, here's how the Journal described the birther conspiracy theory (emphasis added):

    A spokesman for [Arizona Secretary of State Ken Bennett] said Sunday that his request was "simply done at the request of thousands of voters in Arizona."

    A spokesman for the Obama campaign in Arizona said the secretary of state's "flirtation with a conspiracy theory that has been debunked time and time again will have no bearing on the election."

    The "birther" movement contends Mr. Obama wasn't born in the U.S. or at least hasn't shown beyond a doubt that he was born in Hawaii, as Mr. Obama and the state say. The U.S. Constitution requires that to be eligible for the presidency, a person needs to be a "natural born" U.S. citizen. Hawaii on its website links to a long-form copy of Mr. Obama's birth certificate that he posted last year.

    That's a ridiculous way to present this subject. Obama's birth certificate was made public four years ago, and as noted, it "meets all of the requirements from the State Department for proving U.S. citizenship." The Honolulu Advertiser published a contemporaneous announcement of Obama's birth.

    None of this is in dispute. Except, apparently, in the news pages of The Wall Street Journal.

  • UPDATED: Fox News Corrects False Report On Elizabeth Warren's Book

    Blog ››› ››› TODD GREGORY

    In a National Review blog post, Katrina Trinko falsely accused Massachusetts Senate candidate Elizabeth Warren of plagiarism. She alleged that Warren lifted passages for her 2005 book All Your Worth, which she co-wrote with her daughter Amelia Warren Tyagi, from another book:


    Trinko has since deleted that blog post and published a correction:

    I took down my earlier post on Elizabeth Warren plagiarizing from the book Getting On the Money Track. On, the Warren book All Your Worth is listed as having been published January 9, 2006. As it turns out, that is the paperback publication date; the hardback book was published in March 2005. As such, it appears that Getting on the Money Track (published in October 2005) plagiarized from All Your Worth, not the other way around.

    I apologize for the error.

    On Fox News' flagship news program, Special Report, guest host Shannon Bream repeated National Review's false report:

    Will Special Report issue a correction on Monday?

  • Hannity Embraces Incendiary Plan To Attack Obama

    Blog ››› ››› TODD GREGORY

    A May 17 New York Times article reported that a group of Republican strategists have proposed a sizable campaign to attack President Obama's character. The article set off a wave of condemnations not just from progressives, but also from Mitt Romney and one of the high-profile conservative donors whom the proposal was pitched to.

    On his Fox News show, Sean Hannity acknowledged Romney's rejection of the proposal's tactics, which focus on playing up Obama's relationship with his former pastor, Rev. Jeremiah Wright. Hannity played a clip in which Romney said, "I want to make it very clear: I repudiate that effort."

    After the clip of Romney, Hannity said, "Now, Governor Romney, I have to respectfully disagree with you." He continued:

    Now, I do believe the economy, jobs, national security are by far the most pressing issue [sic] facing the country today. I also feel that every candidate, though, needs to be fully vetted. Now, that's something the mainstream media failed to do back in 2008 with Barack Obama, and I believe that the president's relationship with the Reverend Jeremiah Wright, a man that influenced him for over 20 years, inspired him, is a very important campaign issue. After all, it is a matter of character.

    Hannity is creating an alternate reality in which the "mainstream media failed" to vet Obama in 2008.

    For instance, on the subject of Wright -- Hannity's undying obsession -- there was a blizzard of media coverage. Over the course of about two months in the early part of 2008, The New York Times and The Washington Post published dozens of articles and columns that mentioned Wright.

    Hannity is wishing for a 2008 that never happened.

  • UPDATED: Fox News Smears Obama As A Drug Dealer

    Blog ››› ››› TODD GREGORY

    This post includes an update with new information at the bottom.

    As Fox News discussed the report that Mitt Romney forcibly cut a high school classmate's hair, the channel's hosts steered conversation toward President Obama admitting to drug use in his memoir, Dreams From My Father.

    But Fox could not confine itself to reliving the details of a book published 17 years ago -- its hosts baselessly suggested that Obama had dealt drugs.

    During the May 10 edition of The Five, co-hosts Eric Bolling and Greg Gutfeld had this exchange:

    BOLLING: What would you call a guy who not only used cocaine, but dealt cocaine in high school and/or college? What would you call that kind of guy?

    GUTFELD: The president.


    BOLLING: Besides "president."

    Later, Bolling appeared on Hannity to discuss the Romney story, and he made his accusation more explicit, saying "I think" Obama has "actually even admitted" to "selling drugs."

  • On Fox, "Hate Group" Leader Pam Geller Says Obama "Switched Sides" In War On Terror

    Blog ››› ››› TODD GREGORY

    Sean Hannity invited anti-Muslim "hate group" leader Pam Geller onto his Fox News show to analyze current events again, and Geller used the opportunity to accuse President Obama of being in league with terrorists.

    On the May 7 edition of his show, Hannity led a discussion of a Washington Post report that the U.S. has been releasing prisoners in Afghanistan "as part of negotiations with insurgent groups." During the discussion, Geller said that Obama "has basically declared the war on terror over." Hannity interjected, "Two weeks ago." (This accusation is presumably based on the overhyping of a single quote from an anonymous State Department official.)

    Geller continued, "Two weeks ago. And frankly, he's not just declared it over, he's switched sides. The very idea that we've been releasing jihadists for years is not an act of appeasement, it's an act of surrender."


    It is inexplicable that Hannity continues to give a platform to a person designated by the Southern Poverty Law Center as the leader of a "hate group." She is devoid of credibility.

    By contrast, during the very next hour on Fox News, Greta Van Susteren hosted someone with a relevant background to comment on the Washington Post report -- Fox News military analyst Robert Scales.