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  • Fox News' "trust fund baby" prime-time host is on a mission to demonize the homeless

    Blog ››› ››› MADELINE PELTZ & JOHN KERR

    On his prime-time Fox News show, Tucker Carlson, an admitted “trust fund baby” and “out-of-the-closet elitist,” has taken a surprising interest in the subject of homelessness in America. But his programming mostly consists of attacking people experiencing homelessness, complaining they make cities “dirty,” describing them as criminals and drug addicts, and claiming they’re victims of “family dissolution.”

    Carlson’s attacks culminated in a May 13-17 nightly series titled “Homeless in America” in which he showed b-roll of unsuspecting people on the streets of West Coast cities and labeled them drug addicts and menaces to society. Carlson also repeatedly suggested that “normal people” are the real victims of the homelessness crisis, even claiming that the issue is preventing families from visiting public parks. Overall, his coverage has largely framed the issue as a moral and personal failure of struggling individuals, drawing on the longstanding Fox News tactic of shaming poor people.

    Previously:

    Tucker Carlson blames homelessness in Los Angeles on immigration and sanctuary cities

  • Fox anchor repeats Trump’s lie about the economic harm from his tariffs on imports from China

    Economists say Trump’s tariffs have hurt America’s economic growth

    Blog ››› ››› ZACHARY PLEAT

    Fox News anchor Sandra Smith parroted a tweet from President Donald Trump crediting the recent 3.2% GDP growth in part on his tariffs on imports from China. But economists, including those with the nonpartisan Congressional Budget Office (CBO), have explained that Trump’s tariffs have actually slightly depressed U.S. GDP growth.

    Economists warned at least a year ago that Trump’s tariffs would hurt the U.S. economy. Now, a May 10 CNBC article quoted Oxford Economics economist Greg Daco, who estimated that “the tariffs in place since last year depressed U.S. gross domestic product by about 0.1 percentage point this year.” Daco further estimated that Trump’s new tariffs and China’s retaliatory tariffs would “cut U.S. GDP by 0.3 percentage point next year, costing the U.S. economy about $62 billion.” Daco’s estimate of the tariffs’ effect so far matches a January estimate by the CBO that Trump’s tariffs “will limit growth of U.S. real gross domestic product by an average of 0.1 percent each year for the next 10 years if they remain in place at current levels.” Fox has previously downplayed the negative economic impacts from Trump’s tariffs, but Smith ignored them entirely when she repeated Trump’s lie.

    From the May 13 edition of Fox News’ America’s Newsroom:

    SANDRA SMITH (CO-ANCHOR): You know, it’s amazing to see the president in his words this morning, he’s been tweeting a lot this morning. Here’s one of them: “The unexpectedly good first quarter 3.2% GDP was greatly helped by tariffs from China. Some people just don't get it.” You know, in the wake of that monstrous GDP number and the big drop in the unemployment rate and the added jobs that we recently saw, some who don't usually give the president credit for the growth in the economy were giving him credit there. Here is the president saying you’re not giving me enough credit for what this has already done to the United States.

  • Fox melts down after polls show vast majority favor taxing the rich more

    Blog ››› ››› ZACHARY PLEAT


    Melissa Joskow / Media Matters

    After new polling was released showing the overwhelming popularity of raising taxes on millionaires and billionaires, Fox News and Fox Business figures blasted voters as “brainwashed” and ignorant and even claimed that some taxes on the wealthy are “anti-human.”

    A Fox News poll released at the end of January showed that a vast majority of registered voters -- 70 percent in total -- support raising income taxes on families making more than $10 million per year, and 65 percent support raising income taxes on those making more than $1 million per year. A Morning Consult/Politico poll released on Monday showed 61 percent of registered voters favor a wealth tax on households worth more than $50 million. Two other recent polls also found majority support for increasing taxes on the rich. But Fox hosts and guests decried these proposals as “one big giant con” amounting to a “war on the wealthy.”

    First up on Monday was the Fox Business show Varney & Co., where host Stuart Varney -- who has previously declared himself among the top 1 percent of income earners in America -- delivered a monologue bashing a Democratic proposal to strengthen and expand Social Security as just “another tax hike proposal from the Democrats.” He said, “The Democrats’ 2020 campaign is an endless series of tax hikes, massive tax hikes with massive new spending. Tax-and-spend on steroids.” He suggested that Democrats’ proposals to tax the richest Americans are aimed at undermining President Donald Trump, declaring that Democrats “hate Trump and can’t tolerate any success, even prosperity.” Varney also warned his viewers that Democrats “resent wealth. And if you’ve got it, they want it.”

    Following Varney’s monologue, Fox contributor Mike Huckabee compared Democratic lawmakers to armed robbers: “The Democrats have got a new uniform they're all supposed to wear. It’s ski masks and carrying blue steel revolvers, because they all believe that, instead of robbing 7-Elevens, they’re just going to rob everybody who has a job, everybody who’s making wages.” He also suggested that the Democrats’ aim was to “kill the economy and put people back on the welfare rolls and get them off those nasty jobs they're getting.” When Varney asked why “this form of socialism, this grab bag of take-money-off-the-rich,” was so popular, Huckabee blamed liberals in teaching positions for having “indoctrinated people coming up through the education system that there’s something really wrong with people who have been successful.” Huckabee continued by blaming American voters, saying, “We have a real economic ignorance going on in America.” Later in Varney’s show, Fox contributor Bill McGurn claimed that Democrats simply “don’t like wealth,” prompting Varney to ask if “jealousy of wealthy people [is] the norm.”

    On Fox’s America’s Newsroom, Fox Business host Charles Payne claimed “there’s a racial element” to raising taxes on the rich and said Democrats are “trying to use tax policy [as] a social justice tool to rewrite the wrongs of yesteryear,” adding, “It’s a punitive action.” Later in the day on his Fox Business show Making Money, Payne declared the Democrats’ tax proposals “the war on the wealthy” and rhetorically asked if Democrats can “win on class warfare.” On Tuesday, Payne returned to America’s Newsroom to blame the education of America’s children for the popularity of taxing the rich: “The idea of fairness has been promoted in our schools for a long time. And we're starting to see kids who grew up in this notion that fairness above all, and now they are becoming voting age and they are bringing this ideology with them.”

    On the Fox Business show Cavuto Coast to Coast, Reagan administration economist Art Laffer slammed Sen. Bernie Sanders’ (I-VT) proposal to greatly increase the estate tax rate for billionaires, saying, “There is no tax that is more vulgar, in my mind, than the death tax.” After a short rant, Laffer declared that the estate tax is “the most anti-family, anti-human tax I know of.”

    Fox Business show Bulls & Bears featured several panelists who ranted against Democratic proposals to tax the rich more. Host David Asman kicked the discussion off by asking, “Isn’t demonizing the rich an attack on the American dream?” Gary Kaltbaum, who runs his own investment firm, responded by calling the proposals “a war on the wealthy” and “just one big giant con because these socialists hate successful people.” Jonathan Hoenig, who owns the aptly named investment fund company Capitalistpig, ranted that American voters “have been brainwashed -- I mean, Americans writ large have been brainwashed in schools” into supporting tax increases on the rich, and claimed, “We’ve never seen this explicit hatred for success, envy of people who produce something.” Hoenig concluded that taxing the rich will run America into “the poor house.”

    And Fox Business host Lisa Kennedy Montgomery used her daily monologue to dismiss the popularity of taxing the rich as a “rush on both sides to fan the flames of jealousy” and called Democrats’ proposals “an emotional and irrational appeal that amounts to redistribution.” She ominously warned rich people: “God help you if you find success in the new world. Even if capitalism is still marginally more popular, socialism has a better PR team. And when it gains a foothold, they're coming to neuter your golden nuggets.”

  • Tucker Carlson is trying to lie his way out of an advertiser exodus

    Blog ››› ››› MADELINE PELTZ

    Tucker Carlson has resorted to lying about his own words after drawing backlash for a sexist rant in which he said women earning more money leads to “more drug and alcohol abuse, [and] higher incarceration rates.”

    As more advertisers decide to distance themselves from Carlson’s often extreme rhetoric, the Fox host has resorted to lying about his comments. In response to the controversy, and on the same day Red Lobster announced it would no longer associate its brand with his show, Carlson has attempted to defuse the situation by lying about what he originally said.

    On January 2, Carlson said, “In many areas, women suddenly made more than men. Now, before you applaud that as a victory for feminism, consider some of the effects,” which he claimed included higher incarceration rates and drug and alcohol abuse. The next day, after his comments were widely condemned, Carlson made the dishonest assertion that his rant was about falling male wages, making no mention of rising wages for women.

    On Monday, January 7, Carlson once again claimed that his critics were outraged that he said wages for men were falling, falsely stating that he was being criticized after he “dared to talk about the role of falling male wages.” But his false assertion does not change his original claim that increased earnings for women are a societal ill.