In 2010, Glenn Beck repeatedly made up facts on Fox News show -- a barrage of lies that would force any credible news outlet to fire him. Media Matters counts down 15 of the most notable fibs that Beck told this year on Fox News, culminating with the biggest lie of all.
As Media Matters reported, last week, the Program on International Policy Attitudes released a report on "Misinformation and the 2010 Election," which examined variations in misinformation by exposure to news sources, among other subjects. The study found that "those who had greater exposure to news sources were generally better informed."
However, the study also found that there were "a number of cases where greater exposure to a news source increased misinformation on a specific issue," and highlighted Fox News' viewers higher levels of misinformation on a variety of topics.
Of the many issues that regular Fox News viewers were found to have been misinformed about, their false beliefs about climate change stood out, in light of the recent revelation that Fox News boss Bill Sammon ordered his staff to cast doubt on climate change science in reports that are supposed to convey "straight news."
Of those who said they watched Fox News "almost every day," a whopping 60 percent believed, incorrectly, that "most scientists think climate change is not occurring" or that "views are divided evenly." Compare that with those who said that they watched other news programs almost every day: 25% of regular CNN viewers, 20% of MSNBC viewers, and 35% of Network TV news broadcasts viewers believed that falsehood. Of those who reported that they read newspapers and news magazines (in print or online) "almost every day,"40 percent believed that falsehood. Of those that reported watching or listening almost every day to public broadcasting, which Fox News has repeatedly demonized, only 13 percent believed that falsehood.
PolitiFact recently named "a government takeover of health care" as its 2010 "Lie of the Year" -- a lie that Fox News hosts and contributors have repeatedly promoted.
Media conservatives are condemning President Obama for using the word "hostage" as a metaphor while discussing negotiations. Yet Presidents Ronald Reagan and George W. Bush also used the same rhetoric in describing their political opponents.
Monday night, Sean Hannity chided Jill Zarin, star of Bravo's Real Housewives of New York City and author of Secrets of a Jewish Mother, for being "sensitive" after she challenged Hannity's outrage over the supposed War on Christmas.
Hannity kicked off the discussion saying that Sen. Jim Inhofe "refuses to participate in the Tulsa Holiday Parade because it used to be called the Tulsa Christmas parade." Zarin responded, "Who cares? Don't go." At that point Hannity defended Inhofe: "The War on Christmas is ridiculous."
Asked whether he would would support a government funded Hanukkah parade, Hannity asked Zarin, "Where is your tolerance?"
Zarin later said that she thought Inhofe was "too sensitive." Hannity responded, "You're the one who's sensitive; why can't you say 'Merry Christmas' or have a Christmas parade versus a Holiday Parade?"
Come to think of it, the War on Christmas is ridiculous.
Liz Cheney called on President Obama to "repudiate" his policy in Afghanistan and say that decisions will be "based on conditions on the ground." In fact, Obama has repeatedly said that the transition in Afghanistan will be based on "conditions on the ground."
CBS Evening News anchor Katie Couric blamed Democrats for the expiration date of the Bush tax cuts. In fact, Democratic leaders in Congress voiced opposition to the sunset provisions, which allowed Congress to hide the true cost of the tax cut and avoid a filibuster in the Senate.
Sean Hannity repeatedly railed against the Smithsonian art exhibit on his Wednesday show, using deceptive phrasing to give the false impression that taxpayer dollars paid for the exhibit and that the artwork that has been the focus of attacks was still on display. In fact, the exhibit is privately funded, and the video that Hannity has repeatedly objected to had already been removed.
Hannity said, "It couldn't be worse timing, the story of the Smithsonian. And, you know, we pay 65 percent of their bill. They have this exhibit, you know, with genitalia, brothers kissing, Jesus Christ on a cross with ants all over him. You know, we make it possible for the doors to open at the Smithsonian. So, people are seeing that and they're saying, 'Wait a minute. I'm having a hard time paying my taxes and paying my mortgage.' " A still image of Jesus from the video aired as he spoke. But the previous night, Hannity said that the piece had been pulled from the exhibit. Wednesday, that information was missing in his repeated rants.
Glenn Beck distorted a Congressional Budget Office cost estimate to claim that food-safety legislation would mean "higher taxes for you," baselessly claimed the bill would drive up food costs, and underplayed concerns about food safety. Beck demonized the legislation as a George Soros-backed effort to "control you."
Greg Jarrett continued Fox News' distortion of the DREAM Act today on America Live -- one of Fox's "straight news" shows -- offering his own mischaracterizations and uncritically repeating GOP talking points.
After host Megyn Kelly introduced Jarrett, he began his segment by saying:
You know, for millions of illegals, the DREAM Act is a propitious title because it would fulfill their dream of jumping right to the front of the line and becoming U.S. citizens. Those who oppose it call it a veritable nightmare, granting amnesty right away to more than 2 million illegal immigrants, and in the end, maybe as many as 6 million or more illegals.
Jarrett is wrong that the DREAM Act would allow some immigrants to "jump right to the front of the line." In a document addressing myths about the DREAM Act, the Immigration Policy Center stated:
DREAM Act students do not compete for visas with other applicants for legal permanent residence. Instead, DREAM Act creates a separate program for students that requires them to earn legal permanent residence by attending college or serving in the military for two years while in a temporary legal status. DREAM will not affect the number of visas available or the time it takes to get a visa for those entering through traditional legal immigration."
Jarrett also falsely suggested that the bill would grant immigrants immediate citizenship. In fact, the versions of the DREAM Act pending in the House and Senate both state that eligible unauthorized immigrants could have their status adjusted to "conditional permanent resident status," which "shall be valid for a period of 6 years" and subject to termination should the immigrant cease to be eligible. Following the 6-year period, Dream Act immigrants would have to meet further requirements to gain permanent resident status and could only apply for citizenship (provided they meet further requirements) after they obtained such status.