Fox News has aggressively supported a Republican plan to add a balanced budget amendment to the Constitution. However, progressive and conservative experts alike have made clear that a balanced budget amendment would make future recessions worse and damage the current recovery.
Over the course of just two nights, Sean Hannity has taunted President Obama as a "crybaby" at least 12 times. Hannity even had Frank Luntz ask his focus group whether they agreed that Obama was "becoming a crybaby."
Criticizing President Obama over debt negotiations, Sean Hannity invoked the discredited myth that the stimulus failed and worsened the recession. In fact, independent experts agree that the stimulus bill significantly raised employment and increased GDP by several percentage points.
Earlier this week, Fox News continued its transition from Glenn Beck with The Five, a show that debuted with a litany of sexist stereotypes. On Tuesday, the show gave co-host Greg Gutfeld a platform to dismiss concerns that childhood obesity was an epidemic and to instead compare it to bad breath.
After discussing Michelle Obama's recent trip to the Shake Shack, Gutfeld called the First Lady "our nation's anti-obesity leader," and went on to dismiss the widespread problem of childhood obesity:
But health experts agree that childhood obesity is a severe health crisis in America. A 2007 working group report by the National Institutes of Health stated that childhood obesity had "reached epidemic proportions" in America; according to the Centers for Disease Control, "childhood obesity has more than tripled in the past 30 years." The CDC also outlined how dangerous obesity is to the health of children, both immediately and continuing into their adulthood:
- Obese youth are more likely to have risk factors for cardiovascular disease, such as high cholesterol or high blood pressure. In a population-based sample of 5- to 17-year-olds, 70% of obese youth had at least one risk factor for cardiovascular disease.5
- Children and adolescents who are obese are at greater risk for bone and joint problems, sleep apnea, and social and psychological problems such as stigmatization and poor self-esteem.3,6
- Obese youth are more likely than youth of normal weight to become overweight or obese adults, and therefore more at risk for associated adult health problems, including heart disease, type 2 diabetes, stroke, several types of cancer, and osteoarthritis.6
Fox News' The Five, launched as a "new weekday program" to fill the time slot previously held by Glenn Beck, debuted with a barrage of sexist stereotypes, including comparing government spending to spendthrift wives, discussing whether Sarah Palin could be elected "based just on her hotness," and asking a female panelist whether she was "looking for a sugar daddy."
Meet The Press moderator David Gregory is still misrepresenting President Obama's economic record.
In June, Meet The Press aired a graphic claiming that "President Obama's Economic Record" consisted of higher unemployment, debt, and gas prices.
During an interview with Treasury Secretary Timothy Geithner Meet The Press aired a virtually identical graphic minus the line about gas prices, which Gregory called "the chart of the president's economic record":
What these graphics do not show, and what David Gregory did not see fit to mention, is that President Obama's recovery measures have boosted employment by several million jobs, according to several different independent estimates. Furthermore, a March 2010 study in The Wall Street Journal found that 70 percent of economists surveyed said the stimulus "boosted growth and mitigated job losses." As well, analyses have shown that virtually all of the debt added in the last several years are attributable to Bush-era policies and the economic downturn.
When Gregory presented this graphic to Geithner, he dismissed it as "a ridiculous table." Watch:
Hopefully, the Meet The Press graphics department can come up with a more truthful chart before the show next discusses economic issues.
Fox Business host Eric Bolling demonstrated this week how he responds to facts that undermine his preferred falsehoods: He laughs at them.
For several months, Fox figures have used deceptively cropped video of National Education Association official Bob Chanin's farewell address to smear the union. Sean Hannity suggested that the video showed that the teachers' union doesn't "care about the children," while Andrew Napolitano cited the video to claim that the NEA cares only for "power," and not representing its members.
Chanin's full speech clearly shows that he was explaining that caring about schoolchildren is not enough for the union to be an effective advocate - he was saying that the NEA is a more effective advocate for children because it has power to negotiate and advocate for certain policies. In his speech, Chanin explicitly said that the NEA's power would "enable us to achieve our vision of a great public school for every child."
Bolling stuck to the Fox script Tuesday, playing a deceptively cropped video of the speech and then claiming that the NEA cares only about political power and is "not about the children." Bolling described Chanin's edited comments - edited to fit the Fox News falsehood - as a "despicable slip." Fox contributor Mike Gallagher later said the comments illustrated that the NEA is "an evil, evil, corrupt entity."
And when one of Bolling's guests attempted to point out that Bolling was wrong, he simply laughed, repeated the Fox script, and moved on.
Fox Business host Gerri Willis made sure her viewers could not fault President Bush for state of the economy.
Asking her viewers who they blamed for "America's jobs crisis," Fox Business offered the following choices:
Washington Monthly's Steve Benen provides a useful chart illustrating job losses and gains each month since the start of the recession - the red bars chart the millions of jobs lost during the final months of the Bush administration:
And according to the results of a June NBC News/Wall Street Journal poll, Americans are more likely to hold Bush accountable than President Obama "for the country's current economic conditions."
But Fox viewers can't hold Bush accountable if they don't have the option.
The Saturday crew of Fox & Friends hosted Andrew Breitbart to ask him, "Does the mainstream media have a bias against conservative women?"
Aside from co-host Molly Line's laughable premise for the segment that the media called failed Republican senatorial candidate Christine O'Donnell "a witch" - after O'Donnell stated herself that she "dabbled into witchcraft" and then made a political ad declaring, "I am not a witch" - Andrew Breitbart has no credibility to comment on gender-based attacks or really anything for that matter.
During his speech at the 2011 Conservative Political Action Conference, Breitbart said of "the Code Pink ladies," "it's no longer fun to watch them and they're not even good looking anymore. It used to be that they were like, kinda slutty lefties." Amid laughter from the conservative audience, he continued, "[T]hey're getting long in the tooth." In discussing President Obama throwing out the opening pitch of a baseball game, Breitbart declared the president "pitched like an Indonesian teenage girl." He refers to women as "chick[s]" and, when attacking Salon.com's Joan Walsh, he makes frequent mention of her physical appearance.
Of course, it's not as though Fox News itself is innocent of gender-based attacks or exploiting women. After all, the network is famous for gratuitously airing video of scantily clad women and of its hosts and guests engaging in sexist commentary, not to mention the fact that News Corp--the network's parent company--fosters a culture that has led to numerous sexual harassment and discrimination lawsuits. But, apparently, that's beside the point.
The right-wing media responded with outrage after President Obama called on Congress to eliminate tax breaks on corporate jets in order to help stave off a default crisis -- accusing Obama of waging "class warfare."