GOP Turns To News Corp. To Sell Ryan's Budget Plan

In recent days, News Corp. has been a welcome host for the GOP to roll out Rep. Paul Ryan's budget plan, with Fox News Sunday hosting Ryan to tout his proposal; The Wall Street Journal publishing an op-ed by Ryan hyping his “GOP Path to Prosperity”; and Sean Hannity hosting Ryan to discuss his plan to “save America,” among other Fox News appearances. Indeed, according to Politico, the GOP “choreographed” their rollout of Ryan's proposal with these News Corp outlets.

Politico: GOP “Carefully Choreographed The Ryan Rollout”

Politico: “Republicans Have ... Carefully Choreographed The Ryan Rollout.” In April 4 article, Politico noted:

Republicans have also carefully choreographed the Ryan rollout. Ryan went on “Fox News Sunday” to begin to frame the discussion as his party is “saving” Medicare and Medicaid. To explain the details, Ryan went to The Wall Street Journal's opinion pages with a Tuesday op-ed. [Politico, 4/4/11]

Indeed, News Corp. Has Been A Welcome Host For Rollout Of Ryan's Plan

Fox News Sunday Hosted Ryan On April 3 For An “Exclusive First Look” At His Budget Plan. On April 3, Fox News Sunday hosted Ryan for what host Chris Wallace called “an exclusive first look” at House Republicans' “dramatic new plan to cut spending and reform entitlements.” [Fox Broadcasting Co.'s Fox News Sunday, 4/3/11, accessed via Nexis]

WSJ Publishes Ryan Op-Ed On His Plan, Titled, “The GOP Path to Prosperity.” On April 5, The Wall Street Journal published an op-ed by Ryan introducing his plan, headlined, “The GOP Path to Prosperity.” [The Wall Street Journal, 4/5/11]

Fox Hypes Ryan's Upcoming Hannity Appearance: “So Just How Much Does Paul Ryan Think He Can Save America?” An April 5 Fox promo for Ryan's upcoming appearance on Hannity asked, “So Just How Much Does Paul Ryan Think He Can Save America?” [Fox promo, 4/5/11]

Fox Has Long Served As A GOP Communications Arm

Fox Figures Use GOP “Ram It Through” Language To Attack Health Care Reform. During the debate over the health care reform bill, numerous Fox figures, including Sean Hannity and Greta Van Susteren, as well as Newt Gingrich and Rick Santorum -- both of whom were employed by the network at the time -- mimicked Republican politicians' language by claiming Democrats were attempting to “ram it through” Congress. [Media Matters, 2/25/10]

Fox Adopts Opposition's Choice Of Phrase “Obamacare” For Health Care Reform. Fox has consistently referred to the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act as “Obamacare,” both in its straight news reporting and opinion shows. Despite acknowledging that the phrase is the name preferred by opponents to the health care bill, Fox figures have even gone so far as to replace the actual name of the bill with the phrase “Obamacare” when reading press releases that referred to the law as “the Affordable Care Act.” [Media Matters, 3/4/11; 3/23/11]

Scott Passes Off GOP Press Release As Original Reporting, Typo Included. During the February 10, 2009, edition of Fox News' Happening Now, co-host Jon Scott purported to “take a look back” at how the economic recovery plan “grew, and grew, and grew.” In his report, Scott referenced seven dates, as on-screen graphics cited various news sources from those time periods -- all of which came directly from a Senate Republican Communications Center press release. A Fox News on-screen graphic even reproduced a typo contained in the Republican press release. Scott later apologized, but only for the typo. [Media Matters, 2/10/09; Media Matters, 2/11/09]

Fox & Friends Hosts Recite Misleading House GOP Press Release. During the October 22, 2009, broadcast of Fox & Friends, the co-hosts did a segment on the stimulus package in which they parroted a House Republican press release and repeated its claim that the stimulus' impact is “6 million jobs shy of what the administration promised us” since the administration stated “that 3.5 million jobs would be created.” Co-host Gretchen Carlson added, “And, in fact, the United States has lost 2.7 million since the stimulus plan.” However, the administration estimated that by 2011 -- not September 2009, when the 2.7 million job losses since February were recorded -- 3.5 million jobs would be created or saved by the stimulus compared to the number of jobs that would have existed at the end of 2010 had the government not passed the legislation. Their numbers came directly from a GOP press release that relied on misleading comparisons and distorted data to attack the stimulus. [Media Matters, 10/22/09]

Fox & Friends Promotes Pawlenty Health Care Reform Ideas. From the February 12 edition of Fox & Friends:

BRIAN KILMEADE (co-host): Meanwhile, talk about health care reform, Tim Pawlenty, who by all accounts has got to be running for president it seems, or definitely testing the waters, on yesterday wrote a big editorial today about the five things that he would do, and we all could do, and that they hope Republicans bring up in the big summit to make health care reform a real reform.

STEVE DOOCY (co-host): Because the president has asked, “Give me some ideas.” Here they are.

KILMEADE: All right, here it is. First one: incentivize patients to be smart with consumers.


DOOCY: Also pay for performance, liability reform -- that's something that has been missing -- interstate health care insurance -- make it portable -- and modernize health insurance. Seems pretty simple.

KILMEADE: And also make it transferrable. [Fox News, Fox & Friends, 2/12/10]

Fox Adopts GOP Talking Points On “Uncertainty” Of Economy. In advance of the 2010 midterm elections, Fox adopted Republican claims that failing to immediately vote to extend Bush-era tax cuts to the wealthy injects “uncertainty” into the economy that hinders hiring, a claim which both Reps. John Boehner and Kevin McCarthy had recently made on the Sept. 26, 2010, edition of Fox News Sunday. Following Boehner's and McCarthy's claim that “uncertainty” on tax cuts was hindering job creation, several Fox News anchors adopted the language as their own. For instance, on the September 27, 2010, broadcast of Fox & Friends, Doocy claimed: “People say the uncertainty is just killing people. Why can't we know what we're going to pay in taxes next year?” Carlson added:

CARLSON: People across America should be really, really upset about this. Steve touched on the big buzzword here, and that is uncertainty. That means that businesses are not going to continue to hire, or start hiring, they're not going to continue to lend to small business -- I mean, everyone is living in this cloud of unknown, including even people who work in payroll departments. [Media Matters, 9/27/10]

Ailes Brings GOP Talking Points To ABC's This Week. Fox News president Roger Ailes made his debut as a panelist on ABC's This Week on January 31, 2010. However, he brought little to the roundtable beyond hackneyed conservative talking points repeatedly advanced by Republican leaders and his own network's stable of right-wing pundits. Ailes advanced GOP talking points related to the length of the health care bill, the claim that Obama wants “radical change,” and that profiling is necessary to protect Americans. [Media Matters, 1/31/10]

Echoing GOP, Fox Figures Falsely Claim Reid Included $8 Billion In Bill For High-Speed Rail. Fox News hosts and contributors advanced the false claim -- pushed by Republican lawmakers -- that Reid included a provision in the recovery bill directing that $8 billion be spent on a high-speed rail line between Southern California and Las Vegas. In fact, the bill did not direct high-speed rail funds to any specific project, and any funding would be allocated by Transportation Secretary Ray LaHood, a former Republican congressman. Numerous House Republicans had pushed the false claim that the legislation directed money to the California-to-Las Vegas rail line during floor debate on the bill several days prior to Fox News adopting the falsehoods. [Media Matters, 2/18/09]

Fox Insider: Network Talking Points Evolving From “Conservative Take On Things” To “Made Up.” In an interview with Media Matters, a Fox News insider replied to a question regarding what most viewers and observers of Fox News would be surprised to learn about the controversial cable channel by saying: “I don't think people would believe it's as concocted as it is; that stuff is just made up.” [Media Matters, 2/10/11]

Doocy Proves He “Sounds Like” Rubio By Airing A Clip -- Of Rubio. During the October 7, 2010, edition of Fox & Friends, then-Democratic Senate candidate Kendrick Meek appeared on the program to discuss his campaign and his opponent, Republican Marco Rubio. After parroting GOP talking points, Meek told Doocy he “sounds like” Rubio. Doocy responded by airing a clip of Rubio. [Fox News, Fox & Friends, 10/7/10]