Fox News' reporting on a July Ernst & Young report critical of President Obama's tax policies repeatedly referred to the organization as "non-partisan," even though the study was sponsored by industry groups opposed to Obama's policies - a fact that was not mentioned during Fox's reporting.
The Ernst & Young report, which was highlighted by Republican House Speaker John Boehner, claimed several policies that would result in higher marginal taxes paid by high-income earners would harm the economy. During his Special Report segment on the study, Fox's chief national correspondent Jim Angle touted Ernst & Young as an "independent research organization" and "a non-partisan group."
Later during the program, host Bret Baier followed suit, describing the organization that prepared the report as an "independent research organization" that is "non-partisan."
But what Angle and Baier never told their viewers is that the report was "[p]repared on behalf" of partisan, conservative-leaning industry organizations that have opposed Obama administration policies, including the Independent Community Bankers of America, the National Federation of Independent Business, and the United States Chamber of Commerce.
A look at the history of the study's sponsors shows just how partisan they are.
Fox News' chief national correspondent Jim Angle attacked President Obama's call for a fairer tax code, claiming that the wealthiest Americans shoulder most of the federal tax burden, while the rest pay very little. However, the rich pay a larger portion of federal taxes because their income has ballooned in recent years, increasing the total amount they pay. Additionally virtually all Americans pay some kind of tax.
After President Obama proposed allowing the Bush tax cuts to expire for incomes over $250,000, Fox News dismissed the revenue this would bring as merely "a drop in the bucket." In the past, Fox has repeatedly characterized billions in revenue increases from the wealthy or corporations as being too little to bother with, but claimed that relatively small amounts of funding for public broadcasting and Planned Parenthood were unaffordable.
Today, Rush Limbaugh claimed that a Washington Post story on Bain Capital's investments in firms specializing in outsourcing was debunked by the Post's Fact Checker blog. But the fact-check Limbaugh mentioned was directed at a campaign ad, not the Post's own reporting.
On June 21, The Washington Post exposed Bain Capital's investments in companies "that were pioneers in the practice of shipping work from the United States to overseas call centers and factories making computer components," which went on while Romney "was actively involved in" running the company. The Romney campaign sought a retraction of the story, but after Limbaugh's show ended, it was reported that the Post is standing by its story and will not retract it.
When he was discussing the Romney campaign's efforts to get the story retracted, Limbaugh incorrectly claimed that the story had been fact-checked by the Post's Glenn Kessler, and said the report on Bain Capital was "so inaccurate it's embarrassing":
LIMBAUGH: This is from Dylan Byers at the Politico just now, about 45 minutes ago. Romney campaign representatives will meet with TheWarshington [sic] Post today to seek a formal retraction of its June 21 report that Bain Capital invested in firms that specialized in outsourcing American jobs.
Now, the Post's story -- they've got their own fact checker there, a guy named Glenn Kessler. And he gave his own paper's story four Pinocchios, which is the biggest -- the worst rating it can get for truth. Four Pinocchios -- four giant Pinocchios -- means this story is so inaccurate it's embarrassing. And so Romney is meeting -- his representatives are meeting with the Post today. They want a retraction.
But Limbaugh is wrong: Glenn Kessler did not fact-check the Washington Post's story on Bain Capital. Kessler's fact-checking post focused on a campaign ad that claimed Bain Capital engaged first-hand in the outsourcing of jobs. In contrast, the Post's story, which came out the day after the ad was posted online, reported and verified that Bain Capital invested in companies that facilitated outsourcing. There are no Washington Post Fact Checker stories about the Post's article on Bain Capital.
Attacking a Department of Justice hotline for potential civil rights abuses in Arizona, Rush Limbaugh declared that reporters of such abuses are merely "tattle-tales" or "criminals" who "can now snitch out law enforcement." But the potential civil rights concerns over the law - especially concerns about racial profiling - are very real.
Although the Supreme Court struck down most of SB1070, Arizona's controversial immigration law, it allowed the so-called "show me your papers" provision to go into effect. In an effort to keep tabs on potential racial profiling abuses, the federal government launched a hotline and email address where people can report potential civil rights concerns.
Limbaugh labeled the hotline a "tattle-tale line," created so that "ticked-off, sniveling little liberals" "can call and rat out Arizona law-enforcement officials to Barack Obama." He went on to address Arizona residents:
LIMBAUGH: When your police and your sheriff departments try to do their jobs, left-wing lawyers stand ready to bury your bogus law suits, at the request and the behest of Barack Obama. This hotline, this email address, is criminalizing the enforcement of the law.
What this is all about is the presumption that law enforcement does nothing but profile. And they're gonna profile. And who gets to decide whether it's profiling or not? A former ACLU lawyer, former La Raza lawyer at the Department of Justice?
Criminals can now snitch out law enforcement, folks. Barack Obama has sided with people who are on the other side of the law.
In reality, racial profiling concerns over Arizona's immigration law are legitimate.
On his radio show today, Rush Limbaugh launched into an extended rant in which he explained "the key selling points in the marketing of Barack Obama to the American public" and how he knew that Obama was "a fraud" as early as 2008, while the American people were blinded by his "magic." He went on to lay out the ways in which the president has shown his "radicalism" by rehashing long-debunked conspiracy theories.
Here are some of Limbaugh's more notable quotes from the monologue, which stretched to nearly eight minutes:
LIMBAUGH: [Obama] was different. Unique. Smarter. More worldly. More articulate. More reasonable. More understanding. We had never seen anything like him before. Yes, he was of mixed-race, but that wasn't what made him different. Turns out, it did. No, it was that he was special.
Barack Obama was special. He was better than us. He was better than we are. He would deliver us from evil; he would make the world love us again, because the rest of the world already loved him -- new-found respect. He was going to end partisanship. He was going to end racism. He was going to end discrimination simply by being elected. Nothing more. Magic was just waiting to happen.
LIMBAUGH: Nobody delivered speeches like Obama. Nobody mesmerized a crowd like Obama. No candidate before him could say so little so well. No candidate before Obama ever, ever had the ability to say nothing as brilliantly and as articulately as Barack Obama.
And nobody before him ever had a better crease in the pants. The crease in his slacks was so sharp and so unique that one of the most brilliant political commentators in the world, David Brooks at the New York Times, recognized that crease in Obama's pants immediately as the thing that stood out about him, that was going to make him a great president. We actually heard this. It was stated and Brooks wrote it and he repeated it. And it was used as -- proudly as an example of the uniqueness of Obama.
According to The National Republic, Brooks did indeed notice the crease in Obama's pants while meeting and talking to him for the first time as a senator, but who knows where Limbaugh got the idea that the crease was the "thing that stood out about him" for Brooks. And the column that Brooks wrote following his meeting with Obama, in fact, doesn't mention anything about a crease.
LIMBAUGH: He was a citizen of the world. He could go to Cairo and make Osama Bin Laden convert to Judaism. He could turn gay people straight, straight people gay, bi people -- whatever they wanted. He could do whatever anybody wanted to be done. He could make it possible. And it was gonna happen almost instantly the day after he was immaculated. We were lucky. We were oh so lucky to have Barack Obama -- except that we weren't.
Osama Bin Laden reportedly lived in Pakistan for years, not Egypt.
Limbaugh went on to repeat the discredited idea that the Affordable Care Act instituted death panels and the false claim that Obama "shut down American oil rings while bankrolling oil rigs in Brazil."
Rush Limbaugh, who has been busy complaining about the Department of Homeland Security's new immigration policy for young undocumented immigrants, today tried to support his views by claiming that Americans "are diametrically opposed" to a plan that would provide undocumented immigrants with an opportunity to legalize their status. Limbaugh stated:
LIMBAUGH: The people of this country are diametrically opposed to amnesty. They don't want any part of it. Obama announced it, and I said, it's not going to help him. Everybody thinks it's gonna -- what he's doing, folks, he has given up on mainstream America. His bet is that his electoral chances are better coalescing all these disparate, extreme fringe groups into one voting block, and he thinks that bunch will outnumber mainstream America. That's what he's counting on.
In reality, not only do a majority of Americans support the new immigration policy, they also favor allowing undocumented immigrants who meet certain conditions to stay here legally.
A December 2011 National Journal poll found that "a substantial majority of Americans say they would prefer to allow some or all illegal immigrants to remain in the United States":
When asked what should be done with the roughly 11 million illegal immigrants in the country, just 25 percent of those polled said that they should all be deported "no matter how long they have been in the U.S."
Twenty-eight percent of those surveyed said that ill illegal immigrants should be allowed "to stay, provided they have broken no other laws and commit to learning English and U.S. history." The largest group, at 39 percent, said that the United States should "deport some, but allow those who have been here for many years and have broken no other laws to stay here legally."
Fox News has resorted to advancing an old falsehood to criticize President Obama's recent immigration policy change, claiming that his administration has failed to enforce immigration laws. In fact, the Obama administration's immigration enforcement policy has been so effective in the last three years that the New York Times recently remarked: "Mr. Obama's record on deportations has not been matched since the 1950s, with nearly 400,000 foreigners removed in each year of his term."
Indeed, during Obama's three years in office, the U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement deported more than 1.1 million undocumented immigrants. The annual average number of deportations under Obama is twice the annual average from President Bush's first term, and 30 percent higher than Bush's average when he left office. The removal of undocumented immigrants has steadily risen since Obama took office.
More specifically, deportations of undocumented immigrants who have criminal convictions have risen 89 percent since 2008.
But since Obama announced the immigration policy shift, Fox has conveniently ignored these facts in favor of amplifying the Republican message that under Obama, the United States is "the only country in the world that does not enforce its immigration laws," as Sen. Marco Rubio claimed last night on Fox News' Hannity.
Fox hosts downplayed the severity of the recession and whitewashed the financial crisis after President Obama reminded voters that the recession was caused by a financial crisis and thus would take longer from which to recover. In fact, economists say that recessions caused by financial crises, like the most recent recession, are more severe and have a much longer recovery time than other recessions.
Fox News pushed the falsehood that the Department of Homeland Security's change in immigration policy will cause people "to go running over the border" in order to get their children a place to stay in America. In fact, the new policy, which exempts certain young undocumented immigrants from deportation, applies only to immigrants who have been living in the United States for five years.
Today was no different with Fox & Friends Sunday co-host Clayton Morris saying that there could be "a major spike of illegal immigration in the short term, with people thinking, hey, here is my window of opportunity to be -- get my kids a place to stay in America" and co-host Juliet Huddy interjecting, "Now's the time to go running over the border."
In fact, people who immigrate to the United States now are not covered by the DHS policy change. The announcement states that to be eligible, an immigrant must have come to the United States before the age of sixteen, graduated from high school or be an honorably discharged veteran, and not have a criminal background. In addition, the immigrant must have lived continually in the United States for five years and been present on the date of the policy announcement, June 16, 2012.
Furthermore, immigrants must have "verifiable documentation" that they have been living here for five years:
Only those individuals who can prove through verifiable documentation that they meet these criteria will be eligible for deferred action. Individuals will not be eligible if they are not currently in the United States and cannot prove that they have been physically present in the United States for a period of not less than 5 years immediately preceding today's date.