Pundits made a lot of predictions in the days leading up to the midterm elections, some of them right, some of them wrong, and some of them outright laughable. Media Matters shows you how your political "experts" actually fared:
Right-wing media have been hyping reports from an Indian news agency that President Obama's upcoming trip to India will cost $200 million a day and will require 34 warships to be stationed off the Indian coast. In fact, the White House, the Secret Service and the Pentagon have called the claims false, and numerous U.S. media sources question the numbers.
This is either the one of the best pranks Fox News has ever pulled, or one of their worst copy-editing mistakes.
This morning, to kick off their election night recap, Fox & Friends interviewed Sen. Lisa Murkowski from Anchorage about the status of the Alaska Senate race. At the top of the 5:00 am (ET) hour, "total write-in" votes were ahead of Republican Joe Miller 40 percent to 35 on Fox's ticker.
At one point early in the interview, co-host Gretchen Carlson observes, "One of the things that the people had to do in order to select you was to actually spell your name correctly."
True enough, Gretchen. How do you spell Murkowski, anyway? It seems that someone at Fox doesn't know:
To be fair, they're not the only ones who made this mistake: so did Murkowski's campaign.
Fox showed their graphic not once, but twice. Watch:
UPDATE: In case the wording in the post is confusing, to clarify, as Sen. Murkowski explains in the video, write-in ballots that do not spell her name clearly will not automatically be discounted -- each ballot will be examined to determine "voter intent."
Fox spent the final 24 hours before the midterm elections by continuing to relentlessly campaign for Republicans, hosting 13 GOP candidates or campaign officials, and one conservative candidate, while featuring only three Democrats.
One of the segments kicking off today's Fox News Election Day coverage promoted a curious far-right favorite: repealing the 17th Amendment. This one is especially confusing, because it involves a group purportedly in favor of wresting power from the government and giving it to the people...demanding that power be wrested from the people and given back to the government.
The 17th Amendment to the U.S. Constitution, ratified by states in 1912 and 1913, provides for the direct election of senators by citizens -- previously, senators were chosen by state legislatures. According to FindLaw, a Thomson Reuters reference guide to law, the idea was the result of "increasingly popular dissatisfaction" with indirect election, due to evidence that it led to "deadlocks within legislatures" as well as "the influencing of legislative selection by corrupt political organizations and special interest groups through purchase of legislative seats."
Obviously, the 17th Amendment didn't solve all our problems with interest group influence. But it did put the power to elect senators in the hands of the populace at large. And you would think this idea -- giving more electoral power, at the federal level, to the average American citizen -- would be celebrated by Fox, whose hosts often use a populist, let's-give-our-country-back-to-the-people rhetoric.
You would be wrong. Fox & Friends hosted Judge Andrew Napolitano this morning to explain why the 17th Amendment is "the only part of the Constitution that is itself unconstitutional." This is an argument he has pushed before, and one that is increasingly popular on the far right.
For the past several months, Fox News has hyped GOP accusations of voter fraud, no matter how little evidence exists to support them, and Bret Baier has promised that Fox will cover voter fraud allegations "in every show." But Fox has failed to report on, or has dismissed and distorted, numerous accusations of voter fraud or intimidation carried out by individuals linked to right-wing groups and politicians.
Fox continued its week of relentless campaigning for Republicans by hosting six more GOP candidates while hosting just one Democratic candidate as well independent Charlie Crist and DNC chair Tim Kaine. Fox has spent the week before the election almost exclusively hosting Republican candidates.
Fox & Friends wants to know: Man, why does Illinois hate our soldiers so much that they want to disenfranchise their vote? And, could it be that they love prisoners more?
No, Steve Doocy and guest Quin Hillyer. They don't, and they don't.
In an especially misleading chapter of the ongoing saga of several states' failure to send out all military ballots on time, Fox & Friends co-host Steve Doocy today brought Washington Times editorial writer Quin Hillyer on to the show to push one of the most outrageous "voter fraud" conspiracy theories yet. Seizing on the story that 35 Illinois counties failed to mail absentee ballots to service members overseas on time, Doocy and Hillyer suggest that Cook County officials, the Illinois Board of Elections, the U.S. Department of Justice, and the Obama administration are in some kind of conspiracy to steal the election by robbing soldiers of their votes and giving them to felons instead. Grab the popcorn, cause this will take a few minutes.
In the final days before the midterm elections, following a very familiar pattern, conservative media have yet again turned to hyping baseless and misleading claims of voter fraud.
Right-wing media figures have seized on a Wired article about the classified Iraq war documents recently released by WikiLeaks.com to desperately claim "Bush was right" that Saddam Hussein had a stockpile of weapons of mass destruction (WMDs). In fact, the Wired article reported the documents did not "reveal evidence of some massive WMD program by the Saddam Hussein regime," but rather remnants of the stockpiles largely destroyed during the Gulf War.