Not about "parties or politics"? Fox News promotes anti-Dem "Tea Party Express"
Research ››› ››› ERIC HANANOKI
On July 28, The Fox Nation promoted Our Country Deserves Better PAC's "Tea Party Express," which is dedicated to opposing Democratic officeholders. The promotion of the PAC belies Fox Nation's claim to being unbiased and undermines the claim by Glenn Beck that the tea parties, which Fox and Beck relentlessly promoted, aren't "about parties or politics or the president.
From TheFoxNation.com, accessed on July 28:
"Tea Party Express" targets Democrats
Tea Party Express' purpose is to "highlight some of the worst offenders in Congress." Our Country Deserves Better PAC's (OCDB) website states that the Tea Party Express "will host a series of tea party rallies all across the nation. ... At each stop the tour will highlight some of the worst offenders in Congress who have voted for higher spending, higher taxes, and government intervention in the lives of American families and businesses." [TeaPartyExpress.org, accessed 7/28/09]
Tea Party Express' "Target[s]" are all Democrats. In its "Target Races" section, OCDB's website states that in "order for the Tea Party movement to truly have an impact, we must vote out of office those politicians who have betrayed their constituents by pushing through massive deficits, higher taxes and government intervention into the private sector and private lives of American families." All 30 targets listed as of July 28 are Democrats. [TeaPartyExpress.org, accessed 7/28/09]
OCDB funded and organized by Republicans to oppose Democrats
OCDB formed by Republicans. OCDB PAC "was formed in August  by California political consultant Sal Russo and former California Assemblyman Howard Kaloogian." [Associated Press, 10/16/08] As their OCDB biographies note, Russo is a veteran Republican consultant and Kaloogian served as a Republican.
OCDB's mission is to oppose Obama and "Democratic Congress." On its "About Us" page, OCDB states that "we must stand up to Barack Obama and the Democrat-controlled Congress." The PAC also solicits contributions by stating, "Help us fight the Democratic Congress!"
In 2008, OCDB's sole objective was Obama's defeat. National Public Radio reported on September 26, 2008, that OCDB's website then said "it has one objective: to defeat Obama." During the 2008 campaign, the PAC hosted "patriotic, pro-McCain/Palin rallies" to "Stop Obama."
OCDB campaigned for Republican Tedisco. OCDB "campaign[ed]" "on behalf of" Republican New York congressional candidate Jim Tedisco in March by "broadcasting television and radio advertisements. ... Total ad buy is expected to reach well into the hundreds of thousands by Election Day."
OCDB's current campaigns are anti-Democratic Party. The PAC's website currently lists numerous campaigns aimed at Democrats, such as asking for White House chief of staff Rahm Emanuel's resignation and an effort proposing to "spend in excess of $1 million" to defeat Sen. Majority Leader Harry Reid in 2010. The PAC's website also lists campaigns opposing "ObamaCare" and the cap-and-trade bill.
OCDB's history of smears against Democrats
[I]nvoked a long-discredited smear against Obama that seems designed to play on fears of his "otherness": that he's not really a U.S. citizen. "We all know that Barack Obama is not qualified to be president of the United States, beyond being above the age of 35 and probably an American citizen," said Williams, emphasizing the word 'probably.' He laughed and then repeated: "Probably. Even money."
On his blog, Williams has repeatedly raised doubts about Obama's citizenship. Williams wrote that Obama's "actual birth certificate has never been produced however and is now the subject of a lawsuit to demand that it be produced" and that "our choice this November" is between Sen. John McCain and "the former Barry Soetoro, Indonesian Muslim turned welfare thug turned anointed." Williams has a history of smearing and baselessly attacking progressives and Democrats.
In 2008, OCDB produced numerous ads and videos smearing Obama. For instance, OCDB produced ads and videos with such titles as "Obama's Wrong Values," "Obama: Not Faithful to Our Military," and "Obama's Patriotism Problem." The AP wrote of OCDB's ads: "The images and allegations are provocative and, in some cases, unfounded. ... Clips from a controversial sermon delivered by Obama's former pastor Jeremiah Wright are used in two ads to charge that Obama doesn't share average Americans' values. Another ad questions Obama's patriotism with a video clip in which he does not hold his hand to his heart during the national anthem. A third accuses Obama of sympathizing with Islamic militants. The ad does not support the statement."
OCDB's most recent ad compares Obama to Ahmadinejad. In an ad posted online on July 7, OCDB aired images of Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad and footage of fighting in the streets following the recent Iranian elections while a narrator reads a series of news clips, then states, "But wait. These press reports aren't about Iran. They're about Barack Obama's administration right here in the U.S."
Fox Nation purports not to be "bias[ed]"
To promote the launch of The Fox Nation, Fox News aired advertisements telling viewers, "[i]t's time to say 'no' to biased media and 'yes' to fair play and free speech."
Fox News' Beck: Don't make tea parties about politics, "Republican rallies"
Beck: Don't let April 15 tea parties become "just Republican rallies." Beck: "I fear that these tea parties, if they become just Republican rallies or anti-Obama rallies, they have completely missed the point, because the Republicans sold America out just as much as the Democrats have. They have violated a sacred honor and trust with our money and everything else." [Glenn Beck, 3/31/09]
Beck: April 15 tea parties aren't "about parties or politics or the president." Beck: "Also, we're getting ready for next week's Tax Day tea parties across the party. People that come together to let the politicians know, 'OK. enough spending.' We're taking the show on the road next Wednesday. We will be live from the Alamo in San Antonio, Texas. This isn't about parties or politics or the president; just standing together for principles." [Glenn Beck, 4/7/09]
But Fox News disagrees. As Media Matters noted, despite Beck's claims, Fox News itself and tea-party organizers have characterized the April 15 protests primarily as a response to the administration's fiscal policies.