Issues ››› Elections
  • Doocy couldn't come up with anything else to ask Rick Scott about his health care "expertise"?

    Blog ››› ››› CHRISTINE SCHWEN

    Fox & Friends kicked off what is bound to be a full week of campaigning for Republicans early this Monday morning, by hosting yet another Republican candidate whose opponent was conveniently "unable to join" them. Today's beneficiary of Fox & Friends' boosterism was Florida gubernatorial candidate Rick Scott. In a move that should surprise no one, Doocy made sure to mention Scott's "expertise" in running hospitals, but never found time to mention Scott's health care company settled with the government over a massive Medicare fraud investigation. Must have just slipped his mind.

    Doocy interviewed Scott for almost four minutes today, and included such hard hitting questions about whether he was "actually helped by early voting" in the primary, and about how he is going to "get people to show up and do the voting?" Doocy also made a point to cast Scott as a health care expert, asking: "Your expertise is in hospital business, you were CEO for a big company. Would you work, if you were governor, to repeal all or part of the health care act?" Naturally, Scott said he would repeal the whole thing:

    If you felt like something was missing from this interview, well, you're right. See, Scott resigned as chairman of Columbia/HCA Healthcare Corp, the group Doocy alluded to, in 1997 amid a federal Medicare fraud investigation. According to a July 26, 1997, Los Angeles Times article, Scott resigned "amid a massive federal investigation into the Medicare billing, physician recruiting and home-care practices of" Columbia/HCA, "the nation's largest for-profit health care company." According to a December 18, 2002, Justice Department press release describing a tentative settlement with HCA to resolve civil litigation, "When added to the prior civil and criminal settlements reached in 2000, this settlement would bring the government's total recoveries from HCA to approximately $1.7 billion." We have also documented repeated instances in which media outlets and figures have uncritically repeated or aired Scott's health care misinformation, including that of his advocacy organization, Conservatives for Patients' Rights.

    You've heard of "we report, you decide," this was more "we won't report, and you're misled."

  • Fox News: Please define, "up for grabs"

    Blog ››› ››› JULIE MILLICAN

    This morning, Fox & Friends just gave us a lesson in wishful thinking. They led their show with a segment speculating that the U.S. Senate race in Delaware was "up for grabs," and went to quite some length suggesting that the Republican candidate, Christine O'Donnell, had a shot at winning the seat. Fox & Friends, let me introduce you to Nate Silver, a respected statistician with an impressive track record of predicting election results. He gives your "up for grabs" seat a 100% chance that the Democrat, Chris Coons, will win--and by a wide margin. Take a look:

    Five Thirty Eight screen grab

  • FoxPAC welcomes former contributor Kasich back for yet another campaign appearance

    Blog ››› ››› KAREN FAMIGHETTI

    Fox News recently hosted former Fox News contributor John Kasich, the current Republican candidate for governor of Ohio, to raise funds for his campaign and criticize President Obama's recent trips to Ohio, complaining that "Obama will have been here eleven times on Sunday night, Biden has been here four times in the last three weeks."

    It was Kasich's ninth appearance on Fox News since he announced his candidacy, according to a search of the Nexis database.

    Media Matters has documented how Fox News contributors who are also political candidates often use the network to promote their campaigns. Apparently past contributors are no exception.

  • Chris Coons debates right-wing smears and Fox News "journalists"

    Blog ››› ››› SHAUNA THEEL

    Fox Nation rehashed a ridiculous and relentless right-wing attack, labeling Chris Coons a "Bearded Marxist"-- an attack that Fox News candidate Christine O'Donnell pushed in her recent debate against Democrat Chris Coons, her opponent in the Delaware Senate race.

    As Media Matters documented, Fox News has aggressively hyped the false claim that Coons called himself a "bearded Marxist" in a college newspaper article. In fact, this false claim is based entirely on a joke that Coons recounted in the article, as Coons himself pointed out in the debate. Observers such as Fox News' Greta Van Susteren and CNN's Howard Kurtz have agreed that this is a "cheap shot" and "bogus."

    O'Donnell debates moderators

  • Conservative media's "foreign unions" charge doesn't hold up

    Blog ››› ››› MATT GERTZ

    In recent days, right-wing media have responded to criticism that conservative political groups have put out millions of dollars worth of GOP attack ads from undisclosed donors, possibly including foreign donors, by deploying a wave of false claims about supposedly equivalent actions taken by progressive groups.

    Among the most pernicious (and baseless) is the suggestion that the AFL-CIO, the labor union coalition that generally backs Democratic candidates, is funded from foreign sources.

    On the October 10 edition of ABC's This Week, conservative columnist George Will claimed that "the AFL-CIO receives dues from foreign entities associated with it." Likewise, on the October 12 edition of Fox News' America Live, talk radio host Lars Larson charged that "Half of the AFL-CIO is made up of foreign unions":

    In both cases, the commentators were arguing that neither the conservative groups nor the AFL-CIO had done anything wrong. But their suggestion about the AFL-CIO's supposed foreign membership appears to be false.

    About half of the AFL-CIO's member unions are "international" -- not "foreign" -- unions. What this generally means is that they are U.S.-based unions that also have foreign -- usually Canadian -- members. But according to the AFL-CIO, the Canadian members of the AFL-CIO's member unions are not themselves AFL-CIO union members; the dues the member unions pay to the AFL-CIO are based solely on their American members.

  • FoxPAC: Morris uses Fox platform to fundraise for new pro-GOP PAC

    ››› ››› TERRY KREPEL

    Earlier this month, Fox News political analyst Dick Morris announced the creation of Super PAC for America, whose goal is to raise $20 million to help Republicans win 100 House seats in this year's election. As he has numerous times before, Dick Morris is using his Fox News platform to promote and raise money for the group.

  • NRO's Derbyshire: Public employees should not be allowed to vote

    Blog ››› ››› CHELSEA RUDMAN

    No, you didn't misread that. John Derbyshire, National Review Online contributor, today rehashed his 2003 argument that nonmilitary government employees shouldn't be allowed to vote. Here's today's post, written in response to fellow contributor Pat Sajak's article about how public employees have a "conflict of interest" when voting:

    Pat Sajak: "I'm not suggesting that public employees should be denied the right to vote ..."

    Go ahead, Pat: say it. I did, back in 2003.

    [Quoting 2003 article:] "If you let public employees vote, what do you think they are going to vote for? For more public spending, more government jobs, higher government wages. Can you vote yourself a pay raise? No, and neither can I. Bill Bureaucrat and Pam Paperpusher can, though, and they do. Bill and Pam have no problem at all with ever-swelling public budgets, with ever-expanding public services, with the creeping socialism that is slowly throttling our liberties out of existence."

    It's an idea whose time will soon come.

    Other conservative commentators, like WorldNetDaily's Robert Ringer, have also advocated taking away public employees' voting rights. Using Derbyshire and Ringer's logic, I guess anyone who uses public services -- like the post office, roads, schools, libraries, police, firefighters -- probably has a "conflict of interest" when voting. So does anyone who pays taxes.

    Elsewhere in the 2003 article, Derbyshire writes that public servants should be content with the "privilege" of working for the government: "Working for the State, or the nation, is a great privilege and an honor. It brings with it great security, since States and Nations very, very rarely go out of business. Let privilege, honor and security be rewards enough; let's not gild the lily with fripperies like voting rights."

    Lest you think he's kidding, note that public employees are hardly the only group Derbyshire thinks unworthy of such "fripperies." In a 2009 interview with Alan Colmes, he also suggested we'd "probably" be a better country if women didn't vote.

    Basically, he's saying our country would be a better place if people who don't agree with him couldn't vote. Who's "throttling our liberties out of existence," again?

  • The media's foreign money double-standard

    Blog ››› ››› JAMISON FOSER

    Whenever there's a hint of a Democratic campaign finance controversy, the media is quick to draw comparisons to 1997, when Republicans and the media were in a frenzy over the possibility that some foreign money had made its way into the DNC's coffers during the 1996 campaign.

    But there was another foreign-money-in-politics story that broke in 1997 that doesn't get dredged up nearly as often: The revelation that the Republican National Committee essentially laundered funds from a Hong Kong businessman for use during the 1994 elections, when the GOP took control of congress.

    Here's some background, from a July 24, 1997, Los Angeles Times article:

    The Senate's campaign fund-raising hearings placed Republicans on the hot seat Wednesday, examining a money trail in which $1.6 million from a Hong Kong business ended up in party coffers in the critical final weeks of the 1994 congressional elections thanks to timely work by former GOP chairman Haley Barbour.

    The embarrassing episode dates back to the heat of the 1994 congressional elections, when Barbour sought out financial support from Ambrous Tung Young, a wealthy Hong Kong businessman and Republican Party loyalist.

    Barbour arranged a $2.1-million loan guarantee from Young Brothers Development USA, the Florida-based subsidiary of Young's Hong Kong-based real estate and aviation company, to support the National Policy Forum, a GOP think tank created by Barbour in 1993 to promote the Republican philosophy.

    The Forum took out a $2.1-million commercial bank loan, guaranteed by certificates of deposit purchased with funds provided to Young Brothers Development by the parent company in Hong Kong. The Forum then immediately sent $1.6 million to an RNC account.


    Documents unveiled at Wednesday's hearings show a close relationship between the party and the policy forum, and a clear awareness by all parties that the loan guarantee from Young, a Taiwanese citizen, would ultimately end up aiding Republican campaigns.

    "We are willing to consider the support of $2.1 million, which is the amount you have expressed to me that is urgently needed and directly related to the November election," Young wrote in a September 1994 letter to Barbour.

    Months before that, Michael Baroody quit as president of the National Policy Forum and complained in his resignation letter of Barbour's "fascination" with raising foreign money, an account he repeated in testimony Wednesday.

    There's more. Check it out.

    But the media -- which took three years to catch on to the foreign money-laundering -- forgot all about it almost as soon as those campaign finance hearings ended.

    If an organization that is spending tens of millions of dollars to influence this year's elections on behalf of Democrats and was accused of using foreign money to do so, you can be sure the media would be quick to remind you of the 1996 campaign finance scandals. But the Chamber of Commerce is accused of using foreign money to help Republican candidates, and the media dismisses the allegations -- and they certainly don't invoke the GOP's 1994 scheme.