Fox personalities are attempting to discredit the October jobs report before its release on November 2 by suggesting that if the unemployment rate drops as it did in September, the numbers may have been manipulated by the Obama administration. In fact, there is no evidence to suggest the government's numbers are manipulated.
Fox figures claim that many federal disability benefit payments are fraudulent because the number of people in the program has increased under the Obama administration. In fact, improper payments of disability benefits are minimal and experts agree the higher levels of disability benefits are a direct result of the recession.
Conservative commentator and frequent Fox News guest Ann Coulter defended her repeated use of the derogatory term "retard" on Thursday, saying the word is simply a synonym for words like idiot and moron. In fact, the word is widely considered a slur and disability advocates argue it is hate speech.
Appearing as a guest on Alan Colmes' Fox News Radio show, Coulter stated she did not regret her use of the word, saying that "no one would refer to a down syndrome child, someone with an actual medical handicap, by saying retard." She added: "Where do you think the words idiot, imbecile, cretin, moron, come from? These were all technical terms at one time. Retard has been used colloquially to just mean 'loser' for 30 years."
In an October 22 post on her Twitter feed following the presidential debate, Coulter wrote: "I highly approve of Romney's decision to be kind and gentle to the retard," presumably a reference to President Obama. The next day she again tweeted that if Obama is "'the smartest guy in the room' it must be one retarded room." In an email to Politiker defending her remarks, she wrote: "The only people who will be offended are too retarded to understand it."
But many agree that the word is meant only to demean and should be considered hateful speech.
Huffington Post blogger Ellen Seidman, who has a son with special needs, says that while it's not true that "anyone who uses the word flippantly has something against people with special needs," the word is demeaning "even if it's meant as a joke, because it spreads the idea that people who are cognitively impaired are either stupid or losers."
Analyzing the fact that the word is now being increasingly avoided, NPR reported that disability advocates have continually campaigned against the word, arguing that "it's not a hilarious put-down; it's hate speech."
Organizations like the American Psychiatric Association still use the medical phrase "mental retardation," so the term "retard" is culturally understood to be associated with mental disability, regardless of context. What distinguishes the term from the other words Coulter cited, such as idiot and cretin, is that unlike "retard," they do not necessarily denote mental disability.
However, CNN reports that even the APA "plans to replace the term 'mental retardation' with 'intellectual development disorder'" in the 2013 edition of their manual.
Following Mitt Romney's repeated claims during the presidential debate that he largely agrees with President Obama on foreign policy, mainstream media adopted the narrative that little separates the candidates on this issue. In fact, this narrative allows Romney to disavow extreme positions.
During the October 22 presidential debate, conservative media took to Twitter to launch personal attacks against President Obama in an attempt to criticize his performance and distract from Mitt Romney's lies.
Conservative commentator Ann Coulter referred to Obama as "the retard":
Fox News contributor Stephen Hayes wrote, "Seems to me President Obama's condescension has crossed the line from aggressive to disrespectful. Will voters like him mocking Romney?"
Fox Business aired a graphic that set an image of CNN's Candy Crowley on fire in what seemed to be continuing efforts to demonize her for her debate fact check on the attack in Libya.
During the October 16 presidential debate, Crowley corrected Mitt Romney's false claim that President Obama waited 14 days before calling the attack in Benghazi an act of terror. In fact, as Crowley noted, Obama referred to the attack as terrorism on September 12.
As a result, conservative media have denounced Crowley as a terrorist, assassin, and communist. And in what seemed to be a continuation of Fox's attacks on her, Fox Business aired a graphic of a burning image of Crowley. On-screen text beneath the image read: "Nothing moderate about moderation":
As the image flashed on-screen, host Lou Dobbs stated: "It's been a tough year for presidential debate moderators." He then aired video of Crowley's debate fact check, but did not address the image.
Conservative media's backlash against Crowley's actions during the debate have included denying the fact that Obama referred to Benghazi as an act of terror and falsely claiming that Crowley walked back her remarks following the debate.
Fox News today promoted a campaign ad from pro-Republican super PAC American Crossroads that deceptively edited footage from Obama administration officials to claim that they have purposely misled the public about the deadly attack in Benghazi, Libya.
The ad opens with the recent presidential debate exchange on Libya between President Obama and Republican candidate Mitt Romney, in which Romney falsely claimed that Obama waited 14 days before labeling the attack on the U.S. Consulate in Benghazi an act of terror. After airing footage of several Obama officials talking about an anti-Islam video that fueled protests around the Middle East, the ad cuts to CNN's Candy Crowley, the moderator of the October 16 debate, purportedly agreeing with Romney's claim.
On Fox News' The Five, co-host Andrea Tantaros introduced the ad by saying that it "clearly illustrates the contradiction that this administration has done so far with regard to the Libya story." Tantaros later claimed that the Obama administration has "told us so many different stories," the ad "really is the best way to lay it out."
In fact, as Slate's David Weigel illustrated, the ad attempts to "change the record" by omitting remarks Ambassador Susan Rice made to NBC's David Gregory, giving the false impression that she blamed the attack on a U.S. Consulate in Benghazi on an anti-Muslim video:
When Gregory asked Rice whether terrorism occured in Banghazi [sic], Rice did not mumble about the video. She offered some disclaimers then said that "opportunistic extremist elements came to the consulate." The idea that Rice foolishly claimed that the attack was part of a video protest, and nothing more, is a myth that only comes true with sketchy edits.
Indeed, during her interview on NBC and in other interviews on September 16, Rice repeatedly stated that she wanted not to jump to conclusions because an FBI investigation into the attack was ongoing.
Fox News has launched a cover up of Mitt Romney's debate falsehood that President Obama waited 14 days before calling the deadly September attack on the U.S. consulate in Benghazi, Libya, an act of terror.
While debate moderator Candy Crowley immediately corrected Romney's falsehood during the October 16 presidential debate, pointing out that Obama called the attack an act of terror during his first public comments after it occurred, Fox anchor Bret Baier started the Fox cover up during the network's post-debate coverage. Baier claimed Obama wasn't "specifically speaking about Benghazi" when he referred to the attack on September 12 as an act of terror, but rather was speaking "generically."
Sean Hannity followed suit, claiming that Obama was actually referring to the September 11, 2001, attacks. Straight news anchor John Roberts said that because the remarks "came at the end" of his speech, it's unclear that Obama was referring to Benghazi.
Fox's effort to cover up Romney's debate falsehood continued throughout its October 17 coverage. Watch:
At the same time Fox was trying to deflect from one Romney debate falsehood, they were completely ignoring many other Romney falsehoods from the debate, including his debunked boast that his economic agenda will be responsible for creating 12 million new jobs in 4 years.
Fox's Greg Gutfeld defended Mitt Romney's debate remarks about pay equity by suggesting that President Obama discriminates against women in the White House by paying them less than men. In fact, an analysis of White House pay showed that the gender pay gap in the White House is smaller than in the overall economy.
Moreover, as The American Prospect's Paul Waldman has noted, what that analysis indicated is that "men, on average, are occupying higher-paying jobs in the White House ... not that women are being paid less for doing the same job -- the kind of discrimination the Ledbetter act was designed to combat."
During the October 16 presidential debate, Romney addressed a question about how to fix workplace inequality by explaining how he "took a concerted effort to go out and find women who had backgrounds that could be qualified to become members of our cabinet." Romney added: "I went to a number of women's groups and said, can you help us find folks? And I brought us whole binders full of -- of women."
On Fox, Gutfeld defended Romney by contrasting Obama's treatment of women working in the White House with Romney's record of hiring women for cabinet positions as Massachusetts governor, claiming that what Romney "was saying is that he has a great record of hiring women. He hires lots of women."
By contrast, Gutfeld continued, the White House "pays their women roughly what, 17, 18 percent less than the men who work in the White House. The difference is about $10,000."
But as the Atlantic pointed out, the question wasn't centered on hiring practices; it dealt specifically with how "to rectify the inequalities in the workplace ... regarding females making only 72 percent of what their male counterparts earn" -- a fact Gutfeld ignored in his false comparison.
Fox News contributor Laura Ingraham distorted Secretary of State Hillary Clinton's comments in a Fox News interview about the September 11 attack in Benghazi, Libya, falsely portraying her as trying to deflect blame.
According to Fox News host Greta Van Susteren's blog, Fox News reporter Wendell Goler spoke with Secretary Clinton in Peru today. Ingraham tweeted a link to notes on the interview and misrepresented them.
Ingraham conflated two responses that Secretary Clinton gave during the interview to imply that Clinton couldn't "speak to who knew what" regarding the September 11 Benghazi attack. In fact, Clinton's comments were about a separate IED attack in Benghazi in June.
Ingraham tweeted, "Hillary tries to defuse the Benghazi issue bef the debate--says she's responsible but 'can't speak to who knew what.' "
Goler's notes from the interview include Clinton saying she is "responsible for the State Dept, for the more than 60K people around the world," and that "decisions about security are made by security professionals." Goler's notes then say that Clinton responded to a question regarding a separate June IED attack:
Re June IED attack: "I can't speak to who knew what. We knew there were security breaches and problems throughout Libya. That's something that came about as the aftermath of the revolution to topple Ghadaffy with so many militias formed. So many weapons loose...it was taken into account by security professionals as they made their assessments."