Doug Ross Owes Me $1,400 In Gold

Conservative blogger Doug Ross is offering “a 1-ounce Krugerrand from my Y2K bunker” worth $1,400 to “any 'progressive' who can provide me with a documented lie repeated by Fox News reporters.” In a related note, Doug Ross owes me $1,400 in gold.

To win the gold, Ross says the Fox News lie must meet four criteria:

  • Typos don't qualify ( “ooh, the news ticker used a 'D' after his name, not an 'R'!” ).
  • The lie must have been reported by at least two Fox News reporters (not analysts, reporters).
  • The transcripts and/or video clips must be available on a suitably trustworthy site for verification.
  • The real news story, refuting the Fox News lie, must have been correctly reported at around the same time by at least one news reporter from CNN or MSNBC (with similar links and/or transcripts from their sites).

We at Media Matters have been documenting Fox lies for years. And despite Ross' restrictions -- which remove from consideration falsehoods from Fox's opinion lineup, as well as claims so bizarre that no mainstream outlet ever reported on them -- a number of examples stand out. Here's one.

Following Elena Kagan's nomination to the Supreme Court, several Fox News reporters falsely claimed that while she was dean of Harvard Law School, Kagan “barred” military recruiters from campus:

  • Megyn Kelly: "[T]he criticism of Kagan is that while she was dean of Harvard Law School, and she was dean in 2003, she decided to continue a policy of banning the military from the campus because they didn't like the Don't Ask, Don't Tell policy." [America Live, 5/17/10]
  • Bret Baier: “The top Republican on the Senate Judiciary Committee has asked the Pentagon about its recruitment efforts at Harvard while Supreme Court nominee Elena Kagan was dean of the law school there. Kagan barred recruiters in protest of the Don't Ask, Don't Tell policy.” [Special Report, 6/3/2010]
  • Carl Cameron: “In the Clinton White House, she recommended compromised policies that worry conservatives over abortion and guns. As dean of the Harvard Law School, she made headlines supporting a controversial wartime ban on campus military recruitment.” [Special Report, 6/28/2010]

In fact, Kagan did not support a “ban on military recruitment” at Harvard Law, and Harvard law students had access to military recruiters during her entire tenure as dean. As we've noted:

Throughout Kagan's tenure as dean, Harvard law students had access to military recruiters -- either through Harvard's Office of Career Services or through the Harvard Law School Veterans Association. Kagan became dean of Harvard Law in June 2003. In accordance with Harvard's pre-existing nondiscrimination policy, she barred the school's Office of Career Services (OCS) from working with military recruiters for the spring 2005 semester after the U.S Court of Appeals for the 3rd Circuit ruled that law schools could legally do so. During that one semester, students still had access to military recruiters via the Harvard Law School Veterans Association. During the fall 2005 semester, after the Bush administration threatened to revoke Harvard's federal funding, Kagan once again granted military recruiters access to OCS.

Indeed, according to data we obtained from Harvard Law School's public information officer, graduates entered the military during each year Kagan served as dean, and the number of graduates from each of the classes that could have been affected by the prohibition on Harvard Law's OCS working with military recruiters was equal to or greater than the number who entered the military from any of Harvard's previous five classes.

CNN accurately reported on Kagan's actions in this May 10, 2010, segment (emphasis added):

JOHN KING: All right let's go through some of the issues. Republicans right out of the bat say one of the main avenues of inquiry they want to propose looking at is what happened on this whole incident of the military recruiters on the Harvard campus. She opposes “don't ask, don't tell” . She's been very clear about that.

And when she was at the school -- we'll put up some details here because this can be confusing -- she reinstated a policy banning military recruitment because the military discriminated against gay Americans. She did permit the military to recruit through a student group. She did not let them have their central office that they once had on campus.

The government threatened to withhold federal aid and Kagan did relent permitting recruitment at the law school. Professor, you were there. I want you to listen first to Jeff Sessions. He's the top Republican on the Judiciary Committee. And he believes this is a significant avenue of inquiry.

Mr. Ross, you owe me one ounce of gold.