Race 4 2012

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  • Beck Introduces Falsehood Into GOP Presidential Campaign

    Blog ››› ››› SHAUNA THEEL

    Glenn Beck doesn't just shape and propagate the GOP party line; now he's feeding talking points to Republican presidential candidates, too. After Beck distorted a speech by Obama, GOP Presidential candidate and former Fox News contributor Rick Santorum repeated Beck's falsehood.

    The talking point began its life in an April 13 post on Beck's website, The Blaze, by Beck's co-host Stu Burguiere:

    Obama: USA wasn't a great country until 1965.

    Not an exact quote, but that's exactly what he's saying here...right?


    So, we would not be a great country without Medicare, Social Security, unemployment, and Medicaid? Well, we didn't have all of them until 1965. [The Blaze, 4/13/11]

    Beck promoted the falsehood on his radio show -- on the same day that he interviewed Santorum over the phone:

    The great thing about this president is I learn something new every day. Every single day I learn something about my country that I did not know: for instance, that America was not a great country up until about 1965. [Premiere Radio Networks, The Glenn Beck Program, 4/14/11]

    And Santorum repeated the falsehood yesterday while announcing his candidacy for president. From The Associated Press:

    SANTORUM: Obama recently discussed "Medicare, Medicaid and unemployment insurance. He said, 'The country is a better country with those programs. I will go one step further,' he said. 'America was not a great country until those programs.' America was a great country before 1965."

    THE FACTS: Santorum misquoted Obama's April 13 speech, when the president said: "We contribute to programs like Medicare and Social Security, which guarantee us health care and a measure of basic income after a lifetime of hard work; unemployment insurance, which protects us against unexpected job loss, and Medicaid, which provides care for millions of seniors in nursing homes, poor children and those with disabilities. We are a better country because of these commitments. I'll go further -- we would not be a great country without those commitments."

    Santorum neglected to note that Obama included Social Security, a popular program created in 1935. And Obama did not say America "was not a great country" before 1965, the year that ushered in Medicare and Medicaid. He implied the nation would not be great now had it failed to implement the safety-net programs when it did.

    Let's see what other Beck-promoted fibs make their way into the race to be President of the United States.

  • Fox News Helps "Renew Interest" In Sarah Palin's "Brand"


    Fox News hosts and analysts helped portray Sarah Palin's bus tour, organized by her Political Action Committee, as an effort to revitalize Palin's "brand." Palin then sat for an interview on the bus tour with Greta Van Susteren, who devoted the first half of her Fox News show to what Fox itself is describing as an effort to renew interest in Palin's brand.

  • Fox News' Role In 2012 GOP Primary Grows

    Blog ››› ››› SHAUNA THEEL

    On Special Report, Bret Baier reported that Newt Gingrich will announce Thursday that he is forming a presidential exploratory committee, noting that Gingrich is still a Fox News contributor.

    CNN reports that employing Gingrich while he is a potential Presidential nominee raises serious legal issues (emphasis added):

    When it comes to the law however, a spokesman with the Federal Elections Commission tells CNN there is no express prohibition forbidding a presidential candidate from being simultaneously employed by a television or radio outlet.

    But, says FEC spokesman Christian Hilland, "There are some issues that a candidate should be mindful of so that air time isn't considered a prohibited contribution to her or his own campaign."

    Specifically, there might be legal issues if Fox allows Gingrich to promote his own campaign or attack other opponents. That would essentially mean Fox would be giving him free airtime, which would require equal time for other candidates. On the other hand, Fox and Gingrich are likely in the clear, according to FEC regulations, if Gingrich restricts on-air comments to subjects other than the presidential campaign.

    However, the FEC often makes case-by-case determinations on what is permitted in situations like this, meaning they will likely not weigh in on the issue until a formal complaint is filed.

    Still, it is clear none of this is expressly impermissible until Gingrich becomes an express candidate for office. That won't occur until he raises at least $5,000 or refers to himself as a presidential candidate, according to the FEC.

    Indeed, Fox News donated the equivalent of $55 million in free advertising to five of their employees who are potential presidential nominees in 2010, including about $7.41 million dollars for Gingrich. In his capacity as a Fox News contributor, Gingrich has defended the 1995 government shutdown, all while his Fox News colleagues downplay the potential impact of a government shutdown.

    CNN shed light on how responsible news organizations deal with the ethical issues involved:

    CNN faced similar circumstances in the 1990s with Crossfire co-host Pat Buchanan when he ran for the Republican Presidential nomination. CNN ended Buchanan's duties on the show once it was clear that he was seriously considering a presidential bid.

    Buchanan, who now works as an analyst on MSNBC, offered his view Tuesday.

    "If I announce an exploratory committee for President, I should and would take a leave of absence from the network," Buchanan said.

    UPDATE: Fox News' ethic crisis escalates: On tonight's episode of Hannity, Sean Hannity and Frank Luntz speculated about whether Gingrich would run.

    Gingrich is scheduled to appear on Hannity this Friday. Hannity has promised to ask him about his plans for 2012.

  • American Spectator's Jeffrey Lord sides with Palin in Fox 2012 Primary: "Rove Gets It Wrong"

    Blog ››› ››› MEDIA MATTERS STAFF

    In an American Spectator blog post, Jeffrey Lord opined on the Fox 2012 Primary, writing that Karl Rove is "wrong," in his criticisms of Christine O'Donnell's unsuccessful, Palin-backed candidacy for the Delaware Senate race. Lord wrote that Rove's criticism "is setting the boundaries for a very serious discussion to come."

    From Lord's November 2 American Spectator post headlined, "Rove Gets It Wrong: O'Donnell's Loss is Conservative Win":

    What startles in the Karl Rove declaration that there is a "lesson" in the defeat of Christine O'Donnell is that he simply doesn't get it.


    Ms. O'Donnell deserves conservative thanks.

    Karl Rove is setting the boundaries for a very serious discussion to come.

  • FoxNews.com weighs in on Fox 2012 Primary: Rove, Palin still sparring

    Blog ››› ››› MEDIA MATTERS STAFF

    FoxNews.com writes that Fox News contributors Sarah Palin and Karl Rove "butted heads" on election night Tuesday, continuing their fight for the Fox 2012 Primary.

    From a November 2 article, titled "Rove, Palin still Diverge on Christine O'Donnell":

    Karl Rove and Sarah Palin butted heads again Tuesday over Republican Senate candidate Christine O'Donnell - even as O'Donnell conceded the race for the Delaware Senate seat to Democrat Chris Coons.

    Rove drew fire from Palin and other conservatives earlier this year after O'Donnell won the Republican primary in a surprising upset, saying that O'Donnell was unelectable, had made too many mistakes and carried too many skeletons in her background, and would prove detrimental to the party. Palin and others immediately critized Rove's comments.

    Tuesday night, in the wake of O'Donnell's defeat, the two FNC contributors showed they still haven't come to an agreement.