Fox News, right-wing media promote anti-health care “Code Red” rally

Fox News personalities and its website, The Fox Nation, continued the network's pattern of right-wing advocacy by promoting the December 15 anti-health care reform “Code Red” rally, which featured a speech by Fox News contributor Laura Ingraham. Other right-wing radio hosts joined Ingraham in boosting the event, which was coordinated by several conservative political organizations and featured speeches from Republican senators.

Fox News promotes “Code Red” rally on Capitol Hill

Laura Ingraham promotes rally on Fox News. According to her website, Ingraham is scheduled to speak at the rally. From the December 15 edition of Fox News' Fox & Friends:

STEVE DOOCY (co-host): Hey, before you go, tell us about -- we've heard of Code Pink rallies, different colored rallies --

INGRAHAM: Very different today.

DOOCY: Code -- what is the Code Red rally that you're running today?

INGRAHAM: Yeah, well, it's not my rally, but it's called the Code Red rally, and code red is emergency in medical terms, obviously, and we have an emergency right now with politics in the United States of America. The people don't feel represented, so on Capitol Hill today at 1:30 -- you can go to my website for information, or Americans for Prosperity, and find out all the details of how you can get there and what's going to happen. But it's a message to people like Joe Lieberman and Senator Jim Webb of Virginia and all of these so-called moderates to stand up for freedom in this country, so it's going to be fun -- 1:30 today.

During the segment, Fox News aired the caption, “CODE RED RALLY; Happening today, 1:30PM in Wash DC”:

Fox News also aired an image of Ingraham's website -- which promoted the rally -- over the caption, “CODE RED RALLY TODAY; Thousands expected to protest health care”:

Fox's Gallagher, Henneberg report on “thousands of demonstrators set to storm Capitol Hill” at rally. On The December 15 edition of The Live Desk, anchor Trace Gallagher introduced correspondent Molly Henneberg's live report from the rally by stating, “Tea party protest brewing in the nation's capital today, thousands of demonstrators set to storm Capitol Hill, opposed to what they call government control of health care and out-of-control spending.” During the segment, Henneberg reported that “Every once in a while this crowd breaks into chants of 'Kill the bill' - they want this health care bill to go down.”

Fox News website The Fox Nation repeatedly promotes rally. On December 15, Fox Nation posted a link to a Politico article about the rally under the headline, “DeMint, Ingraham Warn of 'Code Red Emergency Rally”:

The same day, Fox Nation posted a link to a article about the Dec. 15 rally under the headline, “Tea Party 'Die In' Today in D.C.”:

Ingraham on her radio program: “This is really your last opportunity to make your voice heard.” During the December 9 edition of her radio program, Ingraham said:

INGRAHAM: On December 15, we are converging on the Capitol. You haven't heard this announced before, and I think -- believe I'm the first national show to announce what's going to be happening on December 15. At 1 p.m., people from across this country are being called to stand up for their freedom, stand up to the integrity -- for the integrity of our medical decisions, stand up for our fiscal futures, and stand up for a true representative government.

This is really your last opportunity to make your voice heard. I'm calling it Code Red. A Code Red rally, because in code red, this is serious. When it goes code red, it is an emergency. And this is not hyperbole, this is not some stunt for ratings or media attention. I don't care about any of that. What I care about is that we do everything in our power now, so we don't look back a year from now, two years from now, saying, “Oh, I wish we just did one -- we could have made the time, we could have made the effort, we could have called more often. We could have sent more letters and emails.” “Momentum Building for Code Red Rally”. Ingraham also has several posts on her website,, promoting the rally and providing details on how people can “find affordable transportation” to the event.

Michelle Malkin promotes Code Red rally on her website. Fox News contributor Michelle Malkin also promoted the rally in a December 15 post on her website, writing: “With Demcare now in critical condition, Tea Party activists are turning up the heat today in Washington for the Code Red Rally on Capitol Hill.” Malkin also stated that Laura Ingraham would be “hosting” the rally.

Conservative media also hypes Dec. 15 rally

Limbaugh: “Anger” over health care “is still percolating...There are all kinds of groups coming together to try and put up just a huge number of Americans in Washington on December 15 to stop this.” On the December 9 broadcast of Premiere Radio Networks' The Rush Limbaugh Show, Limbaugh stated:

LIMBAUGH: There is a -- there's another rally in Washington on the 15th of this month -- Tuesday, December 15 -- Code Red rally against Obamalosi-care and for freedom. The conservative grassroots are mobilizing. There is as much anger in America today over health care as there was in -- back in August during the tea parties. Now, the members of the House and members of the Senate are -- the Democrats -- are trying to act as though that anger has subsided, it has cooled down, and so forth. And it hasn't. It is still percolating,

And the frustration, the frustration over the lack of any strategy in the Senate to stop the Democrats is mobilizing the grassroots. There are -- I'm not going, I don't know who's going, I don't think there's a single name involved in this, it's just -- it's at 1:30 in the afternoon on Tuesday, December 15. There are all kinds of groups coming together to try and put up just a huge number of Americans in Washington on December 15 to stop this to illustrate in front of their eyes that only 38 percent of the American people support this; 52 percent, in some polls 60 percent, oppose it.

And the frustration, as I see, is born of the fact that leadership in Congress is not doing much to stop this at all. They're playing with it on the margins and this sort of thing. And there are some members of the Senate saying, “Hey, we need the help, we need these people to show up.” Phone calls don't do it anymore, emails don't do it anymore. It's a massive effort that is being planned on December 15. The people that are informed on this know full well what an utter disaster for the United States of America the passage of this bill represents. It fundamentally remakes and reorients the kind of country we have always been into a country we were never intended to be.

Dobbs: Rally “could be the best chance we have to stop the health care takeover by the government.” Lou Dobbs has also promoted the rally on his radio show. During his December 14 broadcast, Dobbs said:

DOBBS: We want to also tell you about big red -- the big Code Red rally tomorrow in Washington, D.C. All the information's up on Tomorrow could be the best chance we have to stop the health care takeover by the government and by the Democratic Party, by the way. We're sponsoring -- we're among those sponsoring the Code Red rally on Capitol Hill tomorrow, December 15, 1:30 p.m. in the Upper Senate Park. We hope that you will check out -- check out the website,, Code Red rally, to help you find ways to get there and to make your voice heard and just to yell out, “can you feel this now?” because, I mean, this thing is crazy.

Code Red rally is being coordinated by conservative organizations

Wash. Times reports numerous conservative groups are organizing Dec. 15 rally hosted by “talk radio godess Laura Ingraham.” In a December 14 “Inside the Beltway” article, The Washington Times reported:

The American Conservative Union, the Susan B. Anthony List, 60 Plus and Americans for Prosperity are among the groups that will stage the early afternoon event in Upper Senate Park. Buses are rolling in from as far away as New York and North Carolina, organizers say. Republican Sens. Tom Coburn of Oklahoma and Jim DeMint of South Carolina will speak, along with talk radio goddess Laura Ingraham and Rick Scott, chairman of Conservatives for Patients Rights.

“We can expose them and confront them in the classic American spirit - a public gathering on their doorstep,” says Ms. Ingraham. “We will put every politician who supports this travesty on notice. Enjoy your remaining time in the U.S. Capitol because we're coming for your seat.”

Speakers to include Republican senators. Also according to the Washington Times article, speakers at the rally will include Republican Sens. Tom Coburn and Jim DeMint.

Americans for Prosperity and other conservative groups coordinating the rally. According to the website for the protest, “High Noon for Healthcare,” “coalition partners” include:

  • Americans for Prosperity
  • The American Conservative Union
  • Susan B. Anthony List
  • 60 Plus
  • Independent Women's Voice
  • The Center for Freedom and Prosperity
  • Let Freedom Ring
  • Small Business & Entrepreanurship Council
  • Citizens Against Government Waste
  • Patients' First
  • Catholic Families for America
  • Americans for Tax Reform
  • National Taxpayers Union
  • Physicians for Reform
  • Concerned Women for America
  • Eagle Forum
  • Life Coalition International
  • Hispanic Leadership Fund
  • Council for National Policy
  • The Center for Medicine in the Public Interest
  • American Principles in Action
  • Institute for Liberty
  • Coalition on Abortion/Breast Cancer
  • Association of American Physicians and Surgeons
  • Take Back Medicine

Fox News has repeatedly engaged in conservative advocacy by promoting protests

Fox News promoted April 15 tea parties. In the lead-up to the April 15 tea parties, which the channel repeatedly described as “FNC Tax Day Tea Parties,” Fox News frequently aired segments publicizing and encouraging viewers to get involved with the protests. A Media Matters for America study found that from April 6 to 13, Fox News featured at least 20 segments on the “tea party” protests. A subsequent Media Matters study found that from April 6 to 15, Fox News aired at least 107 commercial promotions for its coverage of the April 15 tea parties.

Fox News promoted health care disruptions. Fox News promoted disruptions of Democratic town hall events by protesters opposed to health care reform -- protests that are touted by Republican leaders and supported by conservative groups. Following the August 2 disruption of a town hall event hosted by Sen. Arlen Specter (D-PA) and Health and Human Services Secretary Kathleen Sebelius, Fox News personalities repeatedly lauded such protesters and urged viewers to take similar action.

Fox News promoted 9-12 protests. In the lead-up to the 9-12 protest, Beck's website worked with others organizing the September 12 “March on Washington,” and he repeatedly encouraged viewers to attend the protest. Fox News also heavily promoted the Tea Party Express tour -- the final stop of which was the 9-12 protest -- on Fox News, Fox Business, the Fox Nation, and

Fox News promoted Bachmann's Nov. 5 protest against health care reform bill. Fox News and its personalities also repeatedly promoted Rep. Michelle Bachmann's (R-MN) November 5 anti-health care reform protest. In the days leading up to the protest, Bachmann made appearances on several Fox News programs including Glenn Beck, Hannity, and Fox & Friends, during which she promoted the protest. The protest was also promoted on Fox Nation, and both Sean Hannity's and Glenn Beck's radio programs.