After claiming that Fox News prevented him from discussing immigration during a recent interview, radio host Rush Limbaugh walked back his comments, insisting that there is no Fox News policy in place that censors him from talking about immigration.
Limbaugh appeared on the July 2 edition of Fox News' Fox & Friends for an interview on political unrest in Egypt. Later that day, on The Rush Limbaugh Show, Limbaugh claimed a Fox producer refused to let him discuss immigration and its effect on the GOP. Limbaugh said at the time that Fox was "not interested in bringing this subject up," going on to say that it was "quite telling."
On the July 9 edition of his radio show, Limbaugh walked back his comments, emphasizing that he and Fox News were "on the same team," later saying that "this whole drummed-up thing between Fox and me" is "all B.S.":
Fox News host Martha MacCallum attacked access to clinics offering abortions in Texas, taking issue with the fact that the clinics offer abortions at all, and not that a recently defeated state bill would have imposed so many new restrictions as to render most clinics legally inoperable.
During the July 1 edition of Fox News' America's Newsroom, co-host MacCallum called into question Texas State Senator Wendy Davis' filibuster that defeated Texas' Senate Bill 5 (SB5) which, if passed, would have been one of the nation's most restrictive abortion laws. Critics of the bill said it would have shuttered all but five of the 47 clinics that provide abortions in Texas. MacCallum attempted to discredit this claim, saying, "That makes you just wonder how many of these clinics are surviving on the fact that they are performing abortions, if so many of them would have to close if indeed it were able to pass":
MacCallum scoffed at the restrictions that SB 5 would have enacted, but medical experts in Texas oppose the bill. The Texas district of American Congress of Obstetricians and Gynecologists (ACOG) issued a statement against the bill, saying it "sets a dangerous precedent by legislating the practice of medicine and places women at risk by denying access to safe, legal reproductive health services."
ACOG added that the bill's requirement that clinics offering abortions must maintain the same standards as ambulatory surgical centers would create "additional standards that single out abortion services from other outpatient procedures."
MacCallum is not the only Fox News personality who has called into question Davis' fight to keep abortion accessible for women or the only one who has attempted to misrepresent support for her efforts. Fox contributor Laura Ingraham asked Davis on her radio program and via Twitter: "Which kids that you see on the playground shouldn't be there?" And a panel on Fox News Sunday attempted to depict SB 5 as having far more support than polls show in anticipation of Texas Gov. Rick Perry's promise to hold a July 1 special session of the state legislature to revive and pass the bill.
Fox News will air a one-hour special titled Benghazi: The Truth Behind The Smokescreen which purports to provide "a comprehensive look at all of the new developments in the story." But Fox is not a credible source on Benghazi, having littered its coverage of the incident with myths, misinformation, and outright falsehoods.
Radio host Laura Ingraham launched a series of vicious attacks on Texas State Senator Wendy Davis for her filibuster fight against the state's anti-choice bill, by asking Davis which children she "sees on the playground shouldn't be there" and bringing up Davis' personal history to try to discredit her.
In a June 27 tweet, Ingraham mocked characterizations of Davis as a hero after her successful filibuster of Texas' Senate Bill 5 (SB5), one of the nation's most restrictive abortion laws. In response to Davis' efforts, Ingraham tweeted a "question" to Davis: "Which kids that you see on the playground shouldn't be there?":
Ingraham pushed her attack further during the June 27 edition of her radio show. She seized on Davis' personal history as a teenage mother, who later became successful, to claim Davis is "the kind of person who should actually be advocating for life":
The attack mirrored one made by Texas Governor and former Republican presidential contender Rick Perry, who, according to Think Progress, used his speech at the Right To Life convention to claim Davis "hasn't learned from her own example":
According to Texas Observer staff writer Forrest Wilder, Davis responded to Perry's attack by saying "Rick Perry's statement is without dignity and tarnishes the high office he holds":
From the June 27 edition of The Laura Ingraham Show:
INGRAHAM: The amazing thing about Wendy Davis is that she became a mom while she was still in her teens and she lived in a trailer park for a time. She ended up graduating with honors from Harvard Law. Her life story actually indicates why you shouldn't give your children up. You should consider adoption, or figure out a way with family members to raise the child yourself, or take the adoption alternative. She went on to go to Harvard Law. Right, So why -- when you think about it, Wendy Davis should actually be the type of person who is advocating for life after her life story.
I mean -- you know what I would like to ask the Planned Parenthood folks, just look around you. Which of the children on the playground shouldn't be here right now? Point the children out who shouldn't be here. You're listening to your healthy radio addiction, the Laura Ingraham Show.
Conservative pundit and frequent Fox News guest Ann Coulter complained that the "ethnic composition" of the U.S. is shifting away from European-Americans, due to too much immigration from "the Third World."
In her May 22 blog that Human Events also published, Coulter warned that the immigration reform legislation being debated in the Senate is poised "to turn the country into Mexico," asking why the U.S. can't be "more or less the ethnic composition that it always was":
Why can't the country be more or less the ethnic composition that it always was? The 50-1 Latin American-to-European ratio isn't a natural phenomenon that might result from, say, Europeans losing interest in coming here and poor Latin Americans providing some unique skill desperately needed in our modern, technology-based economy.
To the contrary, it's result of an insane government policy. Teddy Kennedy's 1965 Immigration Act was designed to artificially inflate the number of immigrants from the Third World, while making it virtually impossible for anyone from the nations that historically provided our immigrants to come here.
Pre-1965 immigrants were what made this country what it was for a reason: They were the pre-welfare state immigrants. From around 1630 to 1966, immigrants sank or swam. About a third of them couldn't make it in America and went home -- and those are the ones who weren't rejected right off the boat for being sick, crippled or idiots.
Coulter went on to write "I wouldn't want that many Japanese! I wouldn't want that many Dutch (not that there are that many Dutch)!" before asking if there was "a vote when the country decided to turn itself into Mexico."
This is not the first time Coulter has invoked "Third World" language to fearmonger over U.S. immigration. In a July 18 blog post that Human Events and Free Republic re-ran, she argued that, "Just like California, the United States is on its way to becoming a Third World, one-party state."
Broadcast and cable Sunday political talk shows featured previously debunked myths about the September 11, 2012 attacks on diplomatic facilities in Benghazi, Libya.
The Daily Caller gave a platform to Robert Zimmerman Jr. to criticize the NAACP for getting involved in the death of Florida teenager Trayvon Martin -- whom Zimmerman's brother, George, is accused of killing -- despite his sending racially insensitive tweets to the NAACP earlier this year.
In a May 7 Daily Caller op-ed, Zimmerman Jr. asserted that the NAACP "thrives off racially divisive controversies." He also claimed that the NAACP failed to step up when George Zimmerman asked for help when assisting Sherman Ware, an African American man who had been beaten in Sanford, Florida, but the organization pounced on the murder of Martin by "spewing fabrications laced with racial innuendo":
In the wake of the NAACP's strange attempt to exploit the Trayvon Martin tragedy, I thought back to my discussion with [NAACP president Ben] Jealous about racial equality and my brother's rebuffed effort to enlist the NAACP to help Sherman Ware. Maybe Jealous' insistence that there will never be racial equality has something to do with the fact that his organization thrives off racially divisive controversies. After all, the NAACP had helped Ware, but only after his case had garnered significant media attention. Perhaps the NAACP can learn a few things from George. He acted when the NAACP wouldn't.
The Daily Caller failed to note Zimmerman's string of racially charged tweets made March 24 and directed at the NAACP, director Michael Moore, the NRA, and Breitbart.com. In one tweet, he attempted to draw comparisons between Martin and Georgia teen De'Marquise Elkins, who is charged with killing an infant. These tweets included one, since deleted, that included side-by-side photos showing Martin and Elkins with their middle fingers flipped up toward the camera with the following: "A picture speaks a thousand words... Any questions?"
He later tweeted reported quotes from Elkins and Martin:
Fox Business anchor Lou Dobbs dismissed the discovery of errant data points in a recently dismantled Harvard economics study that had formed the cornerstone for arguments supporting U.S. and European austerity as merely "a small mistake."
On the April 30 edition of Fox Business' Lou Dobbs Tonight, Dobbs discussed with former Reagan administration economic adviser Arthur Laffer a "contretemps" between New York Times columnist and Nobel Prize-winning economist Paul Krugman and historian Niall Ferguson over national debt and the economy. Dobbs stated that Krugman and Ferguson were referring to a recent Harvard study that contained "a small mistake," then asserting that the study's errors "doesn't change the fact," as advocated by Ferguson, that "high debt constrains opportunity for growth."
Laffer responded by saying he'd rather talk about taxes and spending. Dobbs added: "I'd rather they all start talking about both the creation of jobs and how to spur economic growth and be done with the bunch of nonsense and the debt. It's so dreary."
In fact, the Reinhart-Rogoff study -- which asserted that nations with public debt of more than 90 percent of GDP faced a tipping point of economic decline, an idea embraced by right-wing politicians and media alike, including Fox News -- suffered from much more than "a small mistake." The study was dismantled by Thomas Herndon, Michael Ash, and Robert Pollin of the University of Massachusetts, Amherst, who found that Reinhart and Rogoff's data includes calculation errors and selective exclusions that biased the results and invalidates the 90 percent tipping point finding. Rogoff and Reinhart conceded the calculation error but "adamantly deny the other accusations," which has been criticized as a weak rebuttal.
Dobbs' stance of finding discussions of debt to be "dreary" is a shift from how he led his program as recently as March 29, when he called for reduced government spending in response to President Obama's proposed improvements to infrastructure. "It shouldn't be a partisan issue because neither political party should be calling for higher spending when the federal government is running almost trillion-dollar deficits and the national debt amounts to almost $17 trillion," Dobbs said. "That doesn't seem to me to be a partisan issue at all, just one of common sense and good judgment and responsibility."
Fox's Bret Baier hosted a confidential informant to express his opinion that the Obama administration could have aided staff who were killed during the September 11, 2012, attack on a U.S. diplomatic facility in Benghazi, Libya, an opinion refuted by military experts and nonpartisan analysis.
On the April 29 edition of Special Report, Baier claimed that new details from a confidential source refutes the Obama administration's claim that "there was no help available for the Americans under assault in Libya" that would have changed the outcome of the attack. During an interview with Fox correspondent Adam Housley, a confidential Special Forces operator who monitored the events in Benghazi claimed that "there were at least two military units that could have made it in time" to respond in Benghazi. Fox's source claimed that one of those units was a group that was "training in Croatia":
But the informant's claim is nothing new. Accusing President Obama of failing to mobilize forces in order to respond to Benghazi, including the specific forces referenced by the source, has been a central point in the right-wing media's campaign to use Benghazi to damage Obama politically. However, numerous reports, including nonpartisan analyses, agree with the Obama administration's finding that no other assets than those sent to respond to the attacks were available in time to affect the outcome of the attack.
The National Review Online took a swipe at former Rep. Gabby Giffords, calling her criticism of Senate inaction on gun legislation "childish."
In an NRO post, Kevin D. Williamson attacked Giffords for criticizing the Senate after it failed to pass gun-safety legislation. Williamson called Giffords' New York Times op-ed "childish" and argued that being "shot in the head by a lunatic" does not mean that her policy positions on the recently defeated Toomey-Manchin gun control legislation should receive special consideration. From the National Review's blog, the Corner:
While Ms. Giffords certainly has my sympathy for the violence she suffered, it should be noted that being shot in the head by a lunatic does not give one any special grace to pronounce upon public-policy questions, nor does it give one moral license to call people "cowards" for holding public-policy views at variance with one's own. Her childish display in the New York Times is an embarrassment.
In her op-ed, Giffords criticized Congress for cowering to the gun lobby interests, saying the fear imposed on the Senate by the National Rifle Association could not compare to the fear of the school children of Sandy Hook Elementary and the victims and survivors when gunman Jared L. Loughner shot Giffords, killed six people and wounded 13 others. Since then, Giffords has undergone physical therapy and lobbied for stronger gun control measures, including more rigid background checks. On Wednesday, the proposed Toomey-Manchin legislation failed to gain enough support in the Senate and was voted down 54-46.
Williamson's blog was posted next to an advertisement for the National Rifle Association: