With the health care reform debate hitting the closing stretch (in theory), Fox News is taking their role as the “voice of the opposition” very seriously. As Eric Hananoki detailed a few weeks ago, Fox News has spent much of the past several months actively promoting falsehoods and smears about reform:
But Fox News has made defeating health care reform its top priority, as the channel's hosts, reporters and pundits have pushed a steady stream of falsehoods and smears about "death panels," euthanasia, deficit explosions, the public option, constitutionality, rationing, abortion, and socialized medicine. Fox News served as the chief promoters of anti-health care reform disruptions of town halls, the anti-health care “Code Red” rally and Rep. Michele Bachmann's (R-MN) anti-health care demonstrations.
In the past day, the usual torrent of Fox News health care misinformation has become a deluge. Fox & Friends ran a video comparing the reform process to Alice in Wonderland (with Speaker Pelosi as the Red Queen); Steve Doocy, Bill O'Reilly, Bill Hemmer and Brian Kilmeade lied about abortion funding in health care legislation; Greta Van Susteren allowed Bart Stupak to lie about the same thing; Fox News employee Sarah Palin posted another falsehood-laden Facebook policy paper (dutifully reprinted by Fox Nation); Glenn Beck attacked the mother of an uninsured woman who died; and Sean Hannity declared “Princess” Nancy Pelosi and “Prince” Harry Reid the losers in the health care debate.
Apparently not content with letting their parade of misinformation do the work of opposing health care reform, Fox News has repeatedly promoted their own employees' anti-reform activism. If you are a Fox viewer, you are likely aware of the anti-reform protest in D.C. today, thanks to Fox & Friends promoting it this morning.
If you don't have access to a TV, fear not: Fox has all of your anti-health care reform needs covered online, as well. Here's Fox Nation promoting today's anti-reform protest:
See, Fox Nation is just quoting their employee telling people to attend the rally. They aren't directly telling people to go -- that would be unbecoming of a news organization. It's such a good trick, they went with a variation of it this morning:
If you click on the link, you are directed to a page on Fox Nation that reprints Fox contributor Laura Ingraham's list of targets in Congress (along with phone numbers) that people should call and encourage to vote against reform. If you want to email instead, Fox Nation includes this helpful pointer for people contacting members from out-of-district: "Please note: Most representatives' email contact forms require you to enter a zip code and address located within their district."
And then there's Fox News “political analyst” Dick Morris, who throughout the health care debate has been a one-man anti-reform fundraising and organizing machine thanks to the generous amounts of air time.
Recently, Dick Morris has encouraged Fox viewers to visit his website for information on how to oppose health care reform. The solicitations have paid off, as Morris bragged in a February 26 email that he raised $200,000 in three days for his anti-Dem ads.
Since then, Fox has continued to help Morris promote his anti-reform activism. Yesterday, Morris went on Fox Business to promote his anti-reform campaign. Later that night, Morris went on Hannity and implored the audience to “get off your couch” and “donate for ads” to oppose reform.
On Saturday, Fox host Mike Huckabee cut out the middle man and urged his viewers to “call, email, write” Congress to oppose health care reform bill.
Maybe Fox would have a better claim to being a legitimate news organization if they weren't so shameless about their blatant activism.