Luntz's panel participants have been watching Fox News

Luntz's panel participants have been watching Fox News


During Fox & Friends' coverage of responses to President Obama's Oval Office address, Republican strategist Frank Luntz featured a panel of California voters to air their opinions. The panelists frequently echoed talking points pushed by Fox news, about both Obama's speech and his handling of the oil spill.

Fox talking point: Obama using oil spill to push his "agenda"

A Luntz panel participant stated: "It's almost, to me, as if though he's trying to placate us and the reality is he has an agenda, which is to pass further legislation to -- like cap and trade and that seems to be more important to him than it does to stop the oil from coming ashore." [Fox & Friends, 6/16/2010]

Hannity: Obama administration using oil spill to "ram their radical environmental agenda through Congress." On the June 3 edition of his Fox News program, Sean Hannity claimed "it appears the administration is willing to stop at nothing to ram their radical environmental agenda through Congress. Even as the oil continues to flow into the Gulf, the president is ready to use this disaster in order to pass a cap and tax bill that could have a crippling affect on our economy."

Hannity: "The president didn't miss the opportunity to politicize the issue." On the June 15 edition of Fox News' Hannity (accessed via Nexis), Hannity said of specific actions president said he had taken: "I guess that's why everything in the Gulf has gone so smoothly over the past two months. And of course the president didn't miss the opportunity to politicize the issue. To the anointed one, this oil spill provides an excuse to push Democratic initiatives from cap and tax. Well, to take a look."

Beck: "The president is using the BP oil spill crisis to jam cap-and-trade right down your throat. On the June 14 edition of Fox News' Beck (accessed via Nexis), host Glenn Beck claimed "The president is using the BP oil spill crisis to jam cap-and-trade right down your throat. That's why he compared it to 9/11. It's just -- I mean, you're going to have to make a sacrifice, America."

Fox talking point: Admin. did not respond to the oil spill

A Luntz panel participant stated: "I think the problem was 90 percent of it was about cap and trade, selling the program, and about 10 percent on the spill, and that to me is reflective of why there's been so little on his part done to the spill." [Fox & Friends, 6/16/2010]

Hannity accuses Obama administration of doing "absolutely nothing" about spill." On the April 30 edition of Fox News' Hannity, Hannity falsely claimed the Obama administration "sat back for nine days and they did absolutely nothing." In fact, Media Matters has noted that the Obama administration responded immediately following the rig explosion.

Fox News graphic asks "Dereliction of Duty?" On the May 29 edition of Fox News' Fox & Friends Saturday, during an interview with Rep. Steve Scalise (R-LA), an on-screen graphic asked "Dereliction of Duty?"

Fox & Friends attacks Obama's response to spill by falsely suggesting there has been a "lack of cleanup." On the May 28 edition of Fox News' Fox & Friends, guest host Dave Briggs claimed the president "should be taking some accountability for the lack of cleanup going on." Co-guest host Clayton Morris added: "We all know that it's BP's fault. I mean, there's no discounting that. But what's at blame now is the cleanup process and the government's reaction to it."

Fox & Friends accuses Obama administration of ignoring Louisiana's request for resources by falsely suggesting it hasn't responded to the state's barrier plan. Briggs also suggested that the administration is ignoring Louisiana Gov. Bobby Jindal's request for resources, saying, "The people in Louisiana are saying, hey, we want you to give us some resources. We've been asking for them for weeks and not getting them." Co-guest host Alisyn Camerota later added: "Thirty-eight days. I mean, had they done anything -- just try anything, even if it didn't work. We've seen other examples here on the show, even, of people with little gadgets, little ideas for sponges, for hairnets -- for anything. Bobby Jindal has been down there saying, just help me build some barrier islands -- man-made barrier islands to keep it from coming ashore. Anything that could have been done in the past 38 days."

Fox talking point: Obama administration rejected international aid offers

A Luntz panel participant stated: "It's been 55 plus days and the oil is still leaking and it's coming onshore and we're turning away help. Let's get it done." Another participant said, "We need action, we need help. We need help from our allies and they've offered and they've been turned down." [Fox & Friends, 6/16/2010]

Beck: Obama "needs to explain ... why we turned down all the international help." On the June 15 edition of Fox News' Fox & Friends, Beck said that Obama "needs to explain why we haven't -- why we turned down all the international help. They offered it within a couple of days. We said no." In fact, there are currently 15 foreign-flagged vessels in the Gulf responding to the spill -- each of which reportedly did not require Jones Act waivers -- the U.S. has used cleanup equipment from other nations, according to Coast Guard Adm. Thad Allen.

Carlson suggests that because Jones Act "has not been waived," foreign ships have not been allowed into Gulf to help. In a later segment on the June 15 Fox & Friends, co-host Gretchen Carlson hosted Sen. George LeMieux (R-FL) and stated: "Steve Doocy asked [White House press secretary Robert Gibbs] why the Jones Act has not been waived, allowing international ships to come into the Gulf." LeMieux later responded, in part, "The Jones Act shouldn't be preventing any foreign ships from coming to help in the skimming operations."

Ingraham suggests Jones Act has prevented international help from reaching Gulf. Later on Fox & Friends, Fox News contributor Laura Ingraham stated that one of the "things the president needs to talk about and needs to do" is to "waive the Jones Act" so that "all of our technology, all of our manpower, all the skimmers internationally" could reach the Gulf. Ingraham did not note that there are already international ships in the Gulf responding to the spill.

Kilmeade suggests we are not "us[ing] the rest of the world's offers to help us skim up the sludge." On the June 11 edition of Fox News' Fox & Friends, co-host Brian Kilmeade, during a discussion of the Jones Act -- which stipulates that all commerce transported through U.S. waters be carried by a U.S. owned and operated ship that was also built in the U.S -- claimed that "we've been unable" to clean up the oil as well as the 1991 spill in the Persian Gulf, and said, "Maybe the reason is the Jones Act and our inability or decision not to use the rest of the world's offers to help us skim up the sludge." Guest co-host Eric Bolling claimed, "So the issue is with all this additional help available and this Jones Act preventing more help to come into the Gulf."

Fox talking point: Obama goes on apology tours

A Luntz panel participant stated: "It just felt to me like more of the same. He seems to alternate between the apology tour and the indecision experience and I didn't hear anything new and nothing that made me feel like there was anything of substance going to happen." [Fox & Friends, 6/16/2010]

Fox has repeatedly called international trips "apology tours." As Media Matters has noted, Fox has repeatedly referred to overseas trips taken by Obama and Clinton as an "apology tour."

Beck: "[Y]ou'll be happy to know, our apology tour is continuing. On the July 20 edition of Glenn Beck, Beck stated, "Hillary Clinton is in India to broaden the strategic partnership for -- as I like to call it, on our apology tour." Later in show, Beck teased "[t]he story behind America's latest apology." During the segment, Beck stated, "[Y]ou'll be happy to know our apology tour is continuing. On Saturday, Secretary of State Hillary Clinton began her trip in India by blaming the U.S. for global warming," and aired a series of graphics depicting the "So Sorry '09 Tour," one of which stated that on July 20, Clinton "apologize[d] for causing global warming."

Doocy: The great apology tour continues. On the July 21 Fox & Friends, co-host Steve Doocy teased a segment by stating, "Then, the Great Apology Tour continues. This time Hillary Rodham Clinton is saying the United States is sorry for global warming." Later in the show, guest host Camerota stated, "Secretary of State Hillary Clinton overseas in India, and looks like she's picking up possibly on the ongoing apology tour ... where President Obama left off." During the segment, Beck appeared as a guest and remarked, "We're so sorry. We're so sorry that we changed the world in medicine. We're so sorry that we brought television technology, and satellite technology, to the world. We're so sorry -- the microwave oven, what a mistake that was. Gosh, we're sorry for all the innovations that have come out of the United States. ... Oh my gosh, what a horrible society we live in. I can't take it anymore." He went on: "Stop apologizing. You name the country that has done more good than the United States. Have we had bad periods in our history? Have we made mistakes? Yes -- who hasn't? India?"

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