Cheryl Casone | Media Matters for America

Cheryl Casone

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  • “Did you hear that, Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez?”: Fox has another socialism freakout after Trump’s State of the Union address

    Blog ››› ››› BOBBY LEWIS & JOHN KERR

    During his 2019 State of the Union address, President Donald Trump declared, “America will never be a socialist country.” Fox News and Fox Business guests and hosts picked up the narrative, stressing that while we are watching socialism “falling apart” in Venezuela, “the Democrats continue to crawl closer” to the ideology” even though “it leads to ruin, it is immoral, and it is fundamentally wrong.”

    Here are some examples of Fox News and Fox Business figures losing their minds, once again, about socialism.

    Fox’s Sean Hannity: “The president also made it perfectly clear, America will never become -- now think about this, even Nancy [Pelosi] and Chuck [Schumer] had to stand up. Not sure that Congresswoman [Alexandria] Ocasio-Cortez liked it -- we will never become a socialist country.”

    Fox & Friends co-host Steve Doocy: “One of the most delicious cutaways was of Bernie Sanders” while Trump was talking about Venezuela and saying that “the United States will never be a socialist country. Now that’s something everybody’s got to applaud for, right? No, not really.”

    Doocy: “The Democrats, who would not stand, when we were talking about socialism, the unborn, unemployment, and things like that. You would think these are things we all get together on.”

    Fox & Friends co-host Brian Kilmeade claimed that socialism is “falling apart” in Venezuela, adding, “When you talk about the Green Deal, free pre-K, free college, free ‘Medicare-for-all,’ you talk about an unsustainable, untenable series of invoices that America can’t possibly pay.”

    Former White House press secretary Sean Spicer: “The policies that are being advocated by Democrats continue to crawl closer to socialism and embrace an economic scheme that I think has failed throughout the world, and that concerns me.”

    Spicer: “We see the folks in Venezuela really fighting for freedom and independence, ... and yet you have these folks in the Democratic Party that are embracing socialism and proudly -- they are embracing it.”

    Fox Business host Stuart Varney: “Socialists don’t care about growth and prosperity. They don’t care about America’s booming economy. They don’t care about it.”

    Varney: “The Democrat Party, again, my opinion, has been taken over by the socialist left. … Look what you have got here on the left of the Democrat Party. It is socialism! I’m not surprised that the Democrats in the House did not stand up and cheer when the president called out socialism. That’s who they are. That’s who they have become. OK, I’ve got a bee in my bonnet, because I am a refugee from socialism. … It leads to ruin, it is immoral, and it is fundamentally wrong. It is based actually on legalized theft.”

    Varney: “If you watch this program, you’ll know we are dead set against socialism. Personally, I walked away from British socialism in the 1970s. I have often said I am a refugee. Socialism leads to decline and ruin. It stifles individual success. So-called democratic socialism is simply legalized theft.” 

    Varney: “Democrats running for the presidency have embraced … the Green New Deal to kill oil companies and ‘Medicare-for-all’ that kills private health insurance. That is socialism. That is the new face of the Democrat Party. No wonder they sat on their hands when the president said, ‘We were born free, and we will stay free.’ Forgive me, please, for spending so much time on this, but I have seen it in practice. I have lived it. And I'm here to tell you socialism is just plain awful. This is Varney & Co.; we celebrate capitalism.”

    Fox Business’ Maria Bartiromo: “How is it possible that they did not stand up when he said we will not become a socialist country?”

    Bartiromo: “That was President Trump last night disavowing socialism in his State of the Union address. … Nobody got up! … Half the room didn’t get up.”

    Fox News contributor Dagen McDowell: “These Democrats are actually anti-capitalism. … They are on the record for being in favor of socialism. We already know that socialism is going mainstream in the Democratic Party.”

    Fox Business host Cheryl Casone: “The president called out socialism last night in his State of the Union, and Democratic Congresswoman Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez [is] not happy about it. … The left is reeling this morning.”

    Fox Business’ Trish Regan: “Did you hear that, Bernie Sanders? Did you hear that, Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez? Socialism has no place in the United States of America. So it is time, right now, for you to abandon your far-left policies. We’ve seen what they have done to Venezuela.”

    Regan: “The president tonight rejecting Venezuelan dictator Nicolás Maduro's brutal socialist policies and vowing that the United States of America will never head in that direction. Let’s hope not.”

    Regan: “To me, [denouncing socialism] should be something you should stand for. Yes, America’s never going to be a socialist country. … Nancy Pelosi -- you’re right; she did clap, a little bit -- but she wouldn’t stand for that. And to me, you know, our identity is not as socialists. I mean, we really -- we are capitalists that believe in safety nets.”

    Regan: Ocasio-Cortez “tells us we just need to be socialists, and it won't be like Venezuela. It'll be much, much better. This is her theory; this is what she was explaining to her comrades over there watching on MSNBC tonight -- that somehow Americans want this, that Americans want their money to be stolen from them, to be redistributed, and given to the likes of her.”

    Regan: “When they’re talking about things like freedom and Bernie Sanders can’t even applaud for that, we’ve got a problem!”

    Regan: “There used to be a time when that was not a cool thing, to be called a socialist. That was actually, you know, a term that could be used against you. … That’s suddenly en vogue. And do you think that that should be a warning for Americans right now, when you look at a country like Venezuela only three hours from Miami; that’s 20 years of socialism.”

    The Wall Street Journal’s James Freeman: “Some people are talking on Twitter about how isn’t it amazing an American president has to say this, that we’re not going to be socialist. But that is sadly the time we’re living in.”

    Freeman: “It is amazing, given that we’ve been getting this real-time education [from Venezuela] in socialism and its destructive power, that meanwhile it seems to be picking up in the United States.”

    Donald Trump Jr.: Democrats “use Venezuela as their model for socialism, so I love that my father said that ‘America will never be a socialist country,’ because that’s the other side’s platform right now. … Watch their body language last night on things that all Americans should agree on. They don’t even stand or applaud. It’s pretty scary.”

    Trump Jr: Systems like socialism would “shut down” everything that makes America great. “Just look at anywhere else they’ve been implemented.”

    Presidential historian Doug Wead on Trish Regan Primetime: “My socialist friends here in the United States say American socialism will be very different from the Soviet Union, very different from Venezuela, and we'll have freedom of speech, for example. But we already have American socialism. It's practiced at the University of California at Berkeley. On many of our campuses, we're experiencing socialism right now. They don’t allow freedom of speech.”

    Wead on Varney & Co.: “Bernie Sanders got trapped in that socialism comment. I think that will come back to haunt him.”

    Republican National Committee spokesperson Kayleigh McEnany: The speech was great at “exposing the radical left agenda, the infanticide, the ideas of socialism and single-payer and these really radical proposals.”

  • Trump's Debunked Google-Clinton Conspiracy Theory Comes Straight From Conservative And Russian Media

    ››› ››› ALEX KAPLAN

    In prepared remarks, Republican presidential nominee Donald Trump pushed the debunked claim that Google is “suppressing” negative information about Democratic presidential nominee Hillary Clinton in its search results. The claim, which has been debunked by mainstream outlets and experts as “utter nonsense,” originated in right-wing media and was also pushed by a Russian pro-Kremlin news site and the website of Trump’s campaign CEO.

  • On Fox, Expansion Of Overtime Protections Is "Left-Wing Economic Engineering"

    Blog ››› ››› CRAIG HARRINGTON

    Fox News renewed its attacks against federal overtime protections ahead of a rumored announcement that the Department of Labor will extend guaranteed overtime to qualifying employees earning up to $52,000 annually.  

    Throughout the day on June 10, Fox News and Fox Business personalities derided an expected proposal from the Labor Department that would expand guaranteed overtime pay to millions of American workers who currently work uncompensated hours. During a news update on Fox Business' Mornings with Maria Bartiromo, contributor Cheryl Casone said the rule was being called "frankly, a job killer." On Varney & Co., host Stuart Varney complained that President Obama was attempting to lift wages "by fiat," and claimed that the overtime rule would harm "the assistant managers of this world, who will no longer become assistant managers." On Cavuto: Coast to Coast, host Neil Cavuto quoted Rep. Tim Walberg's (R-MI) opposition to overtime protections, adding that "you can't fathom" why the Labor Department would act to expand overtime.

    On Fox News' Happening Now, co-host Jon Scott was joined by reporter Kevin Cirilli of The Hill and Weekly Standard editor Daniel Halper to discuss political and economic repercussions of such a regulatory change.  Halper blasted the administration for engaging in supposed "left-wing economic engineering" before concluding that the rule change might "end up hurting the average worker":

    HALPER: You have to give it to  President Obama, he promised to govern with a pen and the phone, and he is. He's coming through. He's going around Congress ... the problem with this left-wing economic engineering is that it might not work, right? It might help some people, but it's probably going to hurt a lot of other people. Why should an employer, for instance, increase the hours of its current employees, give  a lot of overtime, if it will cost them a lot more? 

    The employer, their bottom line, is to worry about their bottom line -- to worry about making money. And if this costs them too much money, well they're just going to find a way around it. And it's going to end up hurting the average worker and laborer. And, it's not going to achieve its stated goal, no matter how noble it may be.

    In fact, economists believe expanding overtime protections to include more salaried employees is vital to long-term economic recovery. Under current federal guidelines, salaried employees are only guaranteed overtime pay if they earn up to $23,660 per year. Raising the threshold to $52,000 would expand overtime protections to at least 6.1 million additional American workers, and bring the policy roughly in line with federal standards last witnessed in 1975, according to the Economic Policy Institute. Economist Jared Bernstein of the Center for Budget and Policy Priorities predicted that the rule might actually boost job creation by encouraging employers to hire more part-time help.

    Fox has a long history of opposing overtime protections while ignoring any economic benefits. The network attacked the administration in March 2014 when President Obama initially requested that the Labor Department review its standards. Despite admitting that they did not know what the administration would propose, Fox personalities called the regulatory change a job killer and complained that it amounted to "forced income redistribution." Fox figures worried that paying people for the hours that they actually work "undercuts work ethic" and created a "disincentive to stand out." Fox host Bill O'Reilly surmised that the president "may be actually hurting" workers by extending overtime protections, while Fox's Jon Scott wondered if the proposal was just an election-year distraction

  • Fox's Cheryl Casone Calls Repaying Government Tax Credit "A Huge Tax Bill"

    Blog ››› ››› BRIAN THORN

    Fox Business Network's Cheryl Casone misrepresented a tax credit in the Affordable Care Act by omitting vital information about the program and warning it could lead to "a huge tax bill."

    On Fox News' America's Newsroom, Casone mischaracterized the consequences of the ACA's insurance exchange tax credit application, claiming "if you do not accurately project your 2014 income by October 1, 2013 -- that is this year -- you're going to be hit with a huge tax bill." Casone went on to explain: "you're going to get a tax subsidy from the government to help pay for getting into the exchanges" and noted that "you may have to pay the government back in the spring of 2015":

    But Casone mischaracterized the program by claiming it will lead to a "huge tax bill." Recipients may have to repay the tax credit -- in part or in full -- received for the insurance exchange if the recipient projected his or her income lower than it turned out to be. But Casone failed to acknowledge that should an individual's projected income be higher than his or her actual income, he or she, if eligible for the credit, will receive a refund from the government.

    As Tim Jost at Health Affairs explained last year, this method is a widely accepted way of providing private health insurance to low- and middle-income families:

    At the heart of the Affordable Care Act (ACA) health care reforms are the premium tax credits, which will extend health insurance coverage to 18 million lower and middle-income Americans. The idea of using tax credits to purchase private health insurance for the uninsured is one of a number of the historically conservative policy positions adopted by the ACA. Both the Paul Ryan Roadmap and a recent proposal by James Capretta and Robert Moffit on How to Replace Obamacare also support premium tax credits to make health insurance accessible to Americans.

    To create tax credits that are sufficiently substantial to in fact make health insurance affordable to lower-income Americans, without creating a program so costly that it is unaffordable to the country, tax credits must be means-tested and must be structured so as not to crowd out employment-based insurance. This turns out, not surprisingly, to be very complicated.


    Reconciliation.  Although the tax credit is paid in advance directly to an insurer on a monthly basis, it is in fact a tax credit that must be claimed on the taxpayer's annual income tax return.  Final eligibility for the credit, therefore, cannot be known until the taxpayer files his or her annual return, at which point household income for the year will be finally determined. A "reconciliation" must then occur between the tax credit already received and that to which the individual is actually entitled.   If over the course of the year household income turns out to be greater or less than projected, or if household composition or compliance with other eligibility requirements has changed, the final tax credit may turn out to be greater or less than the amount already paid.

    If the taxpayer turns out to have been eligible for more than had been paid, the taxpayer gets a refund.  If, however, the government has paid more than the taxpayer in fact turns out to be entitled to, the taxpayer must pay the money back.

  • Fox Sets Standard For Jobless Claims Not Reached In Decades

    Blog ››› ››› ALBERT KLEINE

    Fox Business anchor Cheryl Casone set an unreasonable standard for weekly jobless claims, stating that the figure needed to dip to 200,000 or lower to show a healthy labor market -  a level that hasn't been reached in over 40 years.

    In the wake of the Labor Department's release of weekly jobless claims figures for September 23-29 that showed a slight increase from the previous week's report, Casone weighed in on what this meant for overall job growth. From the October 4 edition of Fox & Friends:

    CASONE: Here's the problem. We need to see job growth. We need to see these claims numbers come down to 200,000 and below to see meaningful job recovery and we're just not getting that unfortunately.

    However, the real problem lies in Casone's figures. The 200,000 benchmark is unrealistic today, as historical data show that the last time initial claims numbers were that low was in 1970, when the U.S. population was about 203 million  (around 65 percent of current population estimates). Furthermore, the current figures are by no means outlandish, approximating those experienced in the early 2000s. From the Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis:

    St. Louis Fed

    (Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis, 9/22/2012)

    The above graph also shows that while there have been slight upticks in initial jobless claims, the overall trend has been downward since 2009.  While Casone claims that these numbers inhibit job recovery, the private sector has nonetheless created 4.5 million jobs in the last 29 months.

  • FLASHBACK: Fox News On Gas Prices In 2008

    Blog ››› ››› SHAUNA THEEL

    Following GOP strategy, Fox News is again blaming the Obama administration for rising gasoline prices -- a claim that has been repeatedly debunked by energy analysts. But back in the summer of 2008, when the average U.S. gasoline price hit a record high of $4.11, Fox said that "no President has the power to increase or to lower gas prices."

    In 2008, Fox's coverage occasionally even mirrored the facts: expanding domestic oil drilling will not significantly lower prices, and the only way to reduce our vulnerability to gas price spikes is to use less oil. Perhaps there was more room for reality-based coverage at Fox when there wasn't an incumbent president to defeat?

    In case you missed it, here's how Fox is covering gas prices now:

  • Fox Panel Teams Up To Promote A Bushel Of Misinformation On Health Care Reform

    ››› ››› TERRY KREPEL

    A seven-minute segment on Fox News' America Live featured a deluge of falsehoods and distortions about President Obama's health care reform record, including the false suggestion that PricewaterhouseCoopers found that health care reform is responsible for rising costs. In fact, Pricewaterhouse found that reform is "expected to have minimal impact on [the] medical cost trend in 2012."

  • Conservative Media Mark Oil Spill Anniversary By Attacking Drilling Regulation

    ››› ››› JOCELYN FONG

    In the days leading up to the anniversary of the Deepwater Horizon explosion, a disaster that killed 11 men and resulted in the largest offshore oil spill in U.S. history, conservative media figures have complained about federal oversight of drilling and have called for a swift increase in domestic oil production. This comes as news reports note that Congress has yet to enact reforms recommended by the National Oil Spill Commission, that the agency tasked with minimizing risks from offshore drilling lacks the resources to do so effectively, and that a design flaw in the blowout preventers has not been fixed.