REPORT: Fox News has hyped phony New Black Panthers scandal at least 95 times

Fox devoted more than 8 hours of airtime to discussion of New Black Panthers

Six Fox News shows have discussed the phony New Black Panthers scandal during a total of 95 segments since Megyn Kelly's June 30 interview hyping the unsubstantiated allegations of right-wing activist J. Christian Adams. In all, these Fox shows have devoted more than eight hours of airtime to discussing the New Black Panthers.

Adams' accusations don't stand up to the facts

  • Adams is a longtime right-wing activist who is known for filing an ethics complaint against Hugh Rodham that was subsequently dismissed. Adams served as a poll watcher for George W. Bush in Florida in 2004, and he reportedly volunteered for a Republican group that trains lawyers to fight “racially tinged battles over voting rights.”
  • Adams was hired at the Justice Department in 2005 by Bradley Schlozman, who was found by the Justice Department's inspector general and Office of Professional Responsibility to have improperly considered political affiliation when hiring career attorneys -- the former head of the DOJ voting rights section reportedly said that Adams was “exhibit A of the type of people hired by Schlozman.”
  • Adams has admitted that he does not have firsthand knowledge of the events, conversations, and decisions that he is citing to advance his accusations.
  • The Bush administration's Justice Department -- not the Obama administration -- made the decision not to pursue criminal charges against members of the New Black Panther Party for alleged voter intimidation at a polling center in Philadelphia in 2008.
  • The Obama administration successfully obtained default judgment against King Samir Shabazz, a member of the New Black Panther Party who was carrying a nightstick outside the Philadelphia polling center.
  • The Bush administration DOJ chose not to pursue similar charges against members of the Minutemen, one of whom allegedly carried a weapon while harassing Hispanic voters in Arizona in 2006.
  • No voters have come forward to claim that they were intimidated and did not vote because of the New Black Panthers' presence outside the polling center.
  • The Republican vice chairwoman of the U.S. Commission on Civil Rights, which is currently investigating the Justice Department's decision, has said that the case is “very small potatoes” and that it has been surrounded by “overheated rhetoric filled with insinuations and unsubstantiated charges.” She has further stated that the investigation has not “served the interests of the Commission” and that the DOJ has given a “plausible argument” for not pursuing additional charges in the case.

Fox News has discussed phony scandal during at least 95 segments

Media Matters reviewed Fox News' coverage of the phony New Black Panther Party scandal on America Live and Fox News' evening shows available in Nexis from June 30 through July 14:

  • America Live has discussed the phony scandal during 45 segments totaling more than 3.5 hours since Kelly's June 30 interview with Adams.
  • The O'Reilly Factor has discussed the phony scandal during 18 segments totaling more than 1 hour since Kelly's interview.
  • Glenn Beck has discussed the phony scandal during 15 segments totaling more than 2 hours since Kelly's interview.
  • Hannity has discussed the phony scandal during 10 segments totaling more than 42 minutes since Kelly's interview.
  • Special Report with Bret Baier has discussed the phony scandal during 6 segments totaling more than 14 minutes since Kelly's interview.
  • On the Record with Greta Van Susteren has discussed the phony scandal during 1 segment totaling more than 7 minutes since Kelly's interview.