Fox Highlights Poll On Belief In Obama Conspiracy Theories That Fox Helped Perpetuate

Fox News ignored its own role in perpetuating conspiracy theories about President Obama during a segment about Americans who think President Obama is hiding something -- even while engaging in the same behavior during the segment.

On the January 18 edition of Fox News' America Live, host Megyn Kelly featured a Fairleigh Dickinson University poll finding that 63 percent of Americans believe in at least one political conspiracy theory, and 36 percent think that President Obama is hiding information about his background. Kelly pondered what such a result says “about our faith in government, not to mention the media.”

But Fox has been a leading player in promoting baseless conspiracy theories about Obama:

  • Fox has regularly provided Donald Trump with a platform to question the authenticity of Obama's birth certificate.

Kelly and guest Tucker Carlson went on to reinforce the poll's findings. Kelly suggested those who believe in Obama conspiracy theories are justified in asking questions about his background because Obama has not released his college transcripts, an obsession among right-wing conspiracy-mongers who believe the transcripts will reveal that Obama was a foreign student:

KELLY: People have doubts, apparently, about his background and early life. They believe he's hiding important information about his background and early life. How much of this has to do with -- there was a whole controversy over whether he needed to release his college transcripts. And we do know precious little about his college years and who were his friends and who are the folks he spent that time with. I mean, should we not be so dismissive of the 36 percent of Americans who still have some questions about that?

Carlson responded by saying that while he didn't think questions about Obama's background are “relevant,” it is “interesting” that Obama hasn't answered them. He insisted that Obama “was not vetted, actually, very effectively by the press.”

Carlson then complained that his website, the Daily Caller, “aired a video of [Obama] calling the federal government racist in its response to [Hurricane] Katrina. Nobody reported on that during the campaign.” In fact, Carlson himself appeared on Sean Hannity's Fox News show to reveal the “exclusive” video, despite the fact that it was from a 2007 speech that was covered in the media at the time (including by Carlson). Even some conservatives questioned the relevance of the video to the 2012 presidential race.

Further, Obama did not call the federal government “racist,” as Carlson claimed; in that speech, Obama simply criticized the federal government for its poor response to Katrina and compared the reconstruction effort to that following Hurricane Andrew and the 9/11 attacks.