Fred Barnes | Media Matters for America

Fred Barnes

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  • What Conservative Media Get Wrong About The Link Between Gun Safety And Terrorism Prevention


    Conservative media are attacking President Obama for saying in his Oval Office address on terror that Congress should limit the availability of assault weapons and the ability of people on terror watch lists to legally purchase firearms, claiming his "entirely out of place" reference to gun legislation was an attempt to "shift the conversation" and "attack the Second Amendment." In fact, the discussion of guns was pertinent to terrorism in the United States because 95 percent of U.S. terrorism fatalities since 9/11 have been the result of gunfire and Al Qaeda has urged its followers to exploit America's weak gun laws to carry out attacks.

  • As Donald Trump Calls To Ban Muslim Entry To US, Right-Wing Media Pretend Anti-Muslim Backlash Doesn't Exist

    ››› ››› TYLER CHERRY

    Right-wing media criticized President Obama for condemning Islamophobia and roundly denied the existence of anti-Muslim discrimination in the United States as "pure myth" and "something that doesn't really exist." These claims gained traction just as GOP presidential frontrunner Donald Trump released a proposal to ban Muslim entry into the United States.

  • Fred Barnes Is Always Wrong

    Blog ››› ››› SIMON MALOY

    Fred Barnes sees an Obama presidency in trouble. That's probably good news for President Obama.

    The Weekly Standard executive editor and Fox News contributor took to the pages of the Wall Street Journal to lay out his case for why "the Obama administration is in an unexpected and sharp state of decline." Barnes' bill of particulars is by this point cliché: scandalmania, inability to "lead," failure to magically bend the congressional Republicans to his will -- nothing we haven't seen many times before from countless Beltway pundits. What sets Barnes' analysis apart from the rest is his knack for studying the political present, gaming out what he thinks is the likely future, and getting it completely, fantastically wrong.

    In 2004, shortly after George W. Bush won reelection, Barnes wrote a piece  titled "Realignment, Now More Than Ever," in which he predicted that the Republican Party -- powered by Hispanic voters who "are attracted to the entrepreneurial bent and traditional values of Republicans" -- would enjoy "the next best thing to a permanent majority." Per Barnes: "Republican hegemony in America is now expected to last for years, maybe decades."  Republicans were in the minority two years later and the support Bush enjoyed from Hispanic voters crumbled.

    In 2006, as Bush's popularity plunged the summer before the midterm elections, Barnes wrote a piece on "The Bush Bounce." According to Barnes, Bush's "approval rating dropped to an artificially low 31 percent in the Gallup Poll, far below its natural zone between 40 percent and 50 percent." He added: "At worst, Bush has bottomed out. At best, he's on his way to renewed popularity." Bush's approval rating hit 44 percent in mid-September 2006. It dropped to 37 the next month and stayed under 40 for the remainder of his presidency, frequently dipping into the 20s.

    In 2008, almost the entire punditry class looked at the political environment heading into the presidential election and predicted an easy victory for Barack Obama. Three days before the election, Fred Barnes predicted John McCain would win with 279 electoral votes. "We're a center-right country. He's [Obama] a northern liberal. They usually lose. Remember Walter Mondale, remember John Kerry, Mike Dukakis," said Barnes, wrongly.

  • Fox's Fred Barnes Claims Obama Is "Championing" Instant Citizenship For "Any Illegal Immigrant"

    Blog ››› ››› SAMANTHA WYATT

    Fox News contributor Fred Barnes alleged that President Obama is championing legislation that will make undocumented immigrants instantly eligible for a pathway to citizenship. In fact, according to Obama's immigration reform proposal, applicants must prove eligibility and wait roughly thirteen years before becoming citizens.

    On the March 27 edition of Special Report with Bret Baier, Barnes suggested that President Obama's immigration reform bill includes instant eligibility for a pathway to citizenship:

    In reality, Obama's plan would require applicants to wait multiple years before obtaining citizenship. Talking Points Memo reported that applicants would likely have to wait eight years to obtain a green card, and five more to apply for citizenship.

    A draft of the White House immigration proposal published by USA Today on February 17 outlined a conditioned path to citizenship in which undocumented immigrants would have to pay taxes, pass a criminal background check, submit biometric information, and pay additional fees before applying for the new visa:

    According to the White House draft, people would need to pass a criminal background check, submit biometric information and pay fees to qualify for the new visa. If approved, they would be allowed to legally reside in the U.S. for four years, work and leave the country for short periods of time. After the four years, they could then reapply for an extension.

    Illegal immigrants would be disqualified from the program if they were convicted of a crime that led to a prison term of at least one year, three or more different crimes that resulted in a total of 90 days in jail, or if they committed any offense abroad that "if committed in the United States would render the alien inadmissible or removable from the United States."

  • Fox Covers Up GOP Obstruction Of The DREAM Act

    ››› ››› JUSTIN BERRIER

    After President Obama announced that the U.S. will stop deporting certain young immigrants, Fox News figures have accused President Obama of undercutting Republican Sen. Marco Rubio's attempt to pass legislation reportedly similar to the DREAM Act. In fact, Obama and Democrats attempted to pass the DREAM Act in 2010, before being blocked by Senate Republicans.

  • Fox Business Fails In Attempt To Discredit Economists Who Predict Obama Jobs Plan Will Create Jobs

    ››› ››› ZACHARY PLEAT

    Fox Business is questioning the credibility of Moody's Analytics chief economist Mark Zandi after he estimated that President Obama's jobs plan would create nearly two million jobs, arguing that "every other economist in the world" disagrees. In fact, many economists have said that the American Jobs Act would create millions of jobs.

  • Another Right-Wing Media Conspiracy: Obama Played "Rope-A-Dope" On Birther Issue


    Following the release of President Obama's long-form birth certificate, elements of the conservative media have run with the conspiracy theory that Obama delayed releasing the document in order to play "rope-a-dope" with birthers or to distract from other issues. This comes as other right-wing media figures have hyped other conspiracy theories such as the claim that the birth certificate was Photoshopped.