John Amato at Crooks and Liars thinks so. His angle? With Fox News now routinely getting caught doctoring video and airing the misleading clips in its news reports, Amato thinks Rupert Murdoch's 'news' channel might be running afoul of FCC regulations.
Specifically, Amato points to this FCC language:
"Hoaxes. The Commission's prohibition against the broadcast of hoaxes is set forth at Section 73.1217 of the Commission's rules, 47 C.F.R. § 73.1217.
This rule prohibits broadcast licensees or permittees from broadcasting false information concerning a crime or a catastrophe if: (1) the licensee knows this information is false; (2) it is foreseeable that broadcast of the information will cause substantial public harm; and (3) broadcast of the information does in fact directly cause substantial public harm.
UPDATED: Rupert Murdoch can likely rest easy. The FCC regulates broadcast television and radio, outlets that use the public airwaves. But the FCC does not regulate cable television.
From the November 20 edition of Fox News' Live Desk:
Here's one from today:
CNN Poll: Blame for recession shifting from GOP to Democrats
Here's the nut graph [emphasis added]:
A CNN/Opinion Research Corporation survey released Friday morning indicates that 38 percent of the public blames Republicans for the country's current economic problems. That's down 15 points from May, when 53 percent blamed the GOP. According to the poll 27 percent now blame the Democrats for the recession, up 6 points from May. Twenty-seven percent now say both parties are responsible for the economic mess.
So, in the last six months, the percentage of Americans who blame Democrats for the recession has inched up six points, or one point per-month. That apparently, accounts for the "shifting" trend that CNN highlights in its headline. Also, note that a clear plurality still blame Republicans for the recession.
So wouldn't this headline have worked and actually been more accurate:
CNN Poll: Blame for recession still points to GOP
On Thursday, the prevaricating Gateway Pundit claimed Obama went on CNN and bragged that, "I've restored America's standing in the world." GP then mocked "The Arrogant One" for his massive ego. But oops, that's not what Obama said. Here's what he said: "We've restored America's standing in the world." [Emphasis added.] A little different, right?
But it's been more 24 hours and Gateway Pundit, supposedly one of the leaders of the conservative blogosphere, has not updated his original post or headline, let alone posted a correction to acknowledge that yeah, he doctored Obama's quote.
Behold the right-wing blogosphere, where manufactured quotes, even those involving the POTUS, are welcomed!
News Hounds make a great point [emphasis added]:
President Obama sat down with Major Garrett for a few minutes in an interview that was aired on yesterday's (11/18/09) Special Report. It was straightforward, fair and respectful. But there was no mention of one of Fox News' biggest stories of late, President Obama's bow to the Emperor of Japan. If Fox News thought the bow so important that the network obsessed over it on multiple shows and gave it top billing on their Fox Nation website, shouldn't Garrett have asked about it?
Garrett's glaring omission raises two distinct possibilities. A) He was woefully unprepared for his Obama sit-down. B) He would have been monumentally embarrassed to even raise the foolish topic of the bow.
I'm going with B.
And just in case you're unclear about the massive amount of fooling Fox News did on the all-important bow story, just take a look:
From The Fox Nation, accessed on November 20:
Note the on-air chron from one of CNN's countless Palin reports this week:
Hmm, what is behind the Sarah Palin mania? Could it be, y'know, the press?
Number of "Palin" mentions on network and cable news TV so far this week: At least 1,435.
Or, so says TVeyes.com.
One of the nagging questions during Tea Party 2009 has been just how large a block of citizens and voters does the right-wing movement represent? And is the movement really big enough to justify the kind of saturation coverage its events and priorities have generated from the press?
Last April 15, Tea Parties were respectfully attended. The health care mini-mobs, which the Tea Party movement helped fuel, generated an avalanche of media attention, but most of the forums attracted crowds in the hundreds and occasionally in the thousands, which is rather modest for a supposedly national movement in a country of nearly 300 million.
And of course, when the Tea Party followers staged its Sept. 12, anti-Obama rally in Washington, D.C., organizers and supporters, perhaps disappointed by the turn out, felt the urge to completely concoct crowd estimates; estimates that were off by 1.9 million people. More recently, the Tea Bag followers protested in D.C., and once again supporters were forced to wildly inflate the numbers.
But if the Tea Party brigade actually represented a national movement, wouldn't they have had at least 300-400,000 marching in D.C? More recently, anti-immigration-flavored Tea Party events fell completely flat. And the country's first unofficial Tea Party candidate for Congress, Doug Hoffman, famously lost to a Democrat in NY-23; a district that hadn't sent a Democrat to Congress in 150 years. So yeah, the track record remains suspect.
I raise that point because there appears to be early signs of a grassroots movement forming on the left, and if the press has showered the noisy Tea Party activists all year with time and attention, than it ought to be willing to do the same for national progressive activists.
From a Reform Immigration for America announcement this week:
Tonight, more than 60,000 activists, families, friends, and neighbors gathered for a nationwide tele-town hall event that created even greater momentum for comprehensive immigration reform legislation in 2010. The national teleconference was put together by an enormous coalition of faith, law enforcement, labor, civil rights, and immigrant advocacy groups working together to pass comprehensive immigration reform this year. The breadth and size of the coalition was reflected in the massive numbers of people who joined the call. The Reform Immigration FOR America Campaign organized 1,009 house parties in 45 states and Puerto Rico.
On November 16 we noted Washington Times editor emeritus Wesley Pruden's claim that President Obama "has no natural instinct or blood impulse" for what America "is about" because "[h]e was sired by a Kenyan father, born to a mother attracted to men of the Third World and reared by grandparents in Hawaii, a paradise far from the American mainstream."
In today's column, Pruden responds to criticism of his "observations" by asserting that Obama's four years in Indonesia "inevitably" instilled in him "a distorted image of his native land" because "How could a little American boy, learning in cultural isolation in a Muslim school 10,000 miles from home, absorb anything but a strange and different culture?" Pruden adds, "Such a culture has its charms and merits on its own terms; some would regard it as a better culture than our own, but it isn't necessarily the culture to nurture a boy who would be president of the United States."
From Pruden's November 20 Washington Times column:
Now that every nut in America is equipped with a laptop computer, you're likely to run afoul of a nut on the loose almost anywhere.
I observed in this space earlier this week that Barack Obama's curious compulsion to travel the world to make endless apologies for America could stem from his spending the most formative years of his childhood in the Third World. I mentioned two observable facts, neither in any way accusatory or rude, that his father was a Kenyan (Marxist) and the mother who raised him was obviously attracted to men of the Third World. She married two of them.
These observations, and how that might have influenced a child, struck several readers - I've heard from them all - as unforgivable xenophobia, arrogance and, of course, the mindless all-purpose indictment, "racism." My observation that the president's mother was attracted to the Third World was, incredibly, taken as insult, as if being attracted to "men of the Third World" is bad. But bigotry, like beauty, lies often in the eye of the beholder, or in this case in the eye of the accuser. Most of the e-mails were crude, obscene and, worse, cast in the language of the schoolyard. Some included the obligatory shot at George W. Bush. With friends like these the president needs no enemies.
Mr. Obama himself writes about his birthright at length in his memoir, "Dreams From My Father" -- one of the best memoirs from any of our presidents. Since every one of us is the extension of our life's experiences, I observed that the impressions of his childhood could explain the president's obsession with making apologies and amends for his country's sins and shortcomings, perceived and otherwise.
No president before him, Democrat, Republican or Whig, had felt such compulsion to tug at his forelock. But these are familiar complaints heard in the Third World. When I lived and worked there years ago, I heard them often. Everything America does is suspect, usually meant to wound and humiliate, even its good-hearted attempts to do good. Such complaints are usually driven by resentment, covetousness and even malice. A child growing up in such an atmosphere inevitably absorbs a distorted image of his native land, missing something of his birthright.
How could a little American boy, learning in cultural isolation in a Muslim school 10,000 miles from home, absorb anything but a strange and different culture?
"I was introduced to dog meat (tough), snake meat (tougher) and grasshopper (crunchy)," he writes. The strangeness was "one long adventure, the bounty of a boy's life." Such a culture has its charms and merits on its own terms; some would regard it as a better culture than our own, but it isn't necessarily the culture to nurture a boy who would be president of the United States.
Right-wing media are up-in-arms about what they are falsely claiming is a "requirement for a monthly abortion fee" in the Senate health care reform bill.
In reality, there is no such "fee." Rather, the right is distorting a provision of the bill that requires insurance plans that offer abortion coverage to segregate their funds so that tax dollars aren't used to fund abortion coverage. And since the bill says that every state's health exchange must offer at least one plan that doesn't cover abortion (except in cases of rape, incest, or a danger to the mother's life), consumers won't be forced to fund abortions with their premiums either.
The misinformation food chain started when House GOP leader John Boehner's staff posted the following on his blog, under the headline, "Sen. Reid's Government-Run Health Plan Requires a Monthly Abortion Fee":
Just like the original 2,032-page, government-run health care plan from Speaker Nancy Pelosi's (D-CA), Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid's (D-NV) massive, 2,074-page bill would levy a new "abortion premium" fee on Americans in the government-run plan.
[A] monthly abortion premium will be charged of all enrollees in the government-run health plan. It's right there beginning on line 11, page 122, section 1303, under "Actuarial Value of Optional Service Coverage." The premium will be paid into a U.S. Treasury account - and these federal funds will be used to pay for the abortion services.
Section 1303(a)(2)(C) describes the process in which the Health Benefits Commissioner is to assess the monthly premiums that will be used to pay for elective abortions under the government-run health plan and for those who are given an affordability credit to purchase insurance coverage that includes abortion through the Exchange. The Commissioner must charge at a minimum $1 per enrollee per month.
Drudge quickly linked to Boehner's post and proclaimed, "Reid's Government-Run Health Plan Requires a Monthly Abortion Fee... ." By this afternoon, Rush Limbaugh was claiming that Boehner had "found" in the Senate bill a "requirement for a monthly abortion fee."
This is simply false.
"Monthly abortion fee" implies there is some sort of extra charge assessed to consumers in order to pay for abortions. But this isn't the case. Rather, the bill sets up requirements by which insurance plans segregate their funds so that federal dollars don't pay for abortion coverage.
Section 1303(a)(2)(B) requires insurers who cover any abortions that are not currently allowed to be paid for with federal funds to use money not provided by the federal government to "segregate an amount equal to the actuarial amounts determined under subparagraph (C) for all enrollees." This "segregated" money is what can be spent on abortion coverage.
Subparagraph (C) of Section 1303(a)(2) -- the subparagraph that Boehner and Limbaugh claim "describes the process in which the Health Benefits Commissioner is to assess the monthly premiums that will be used to pay for elective abortions" -- simply lays out a process by which insurers determine how much of their money to segregate in order to ensure that federal money doesn't pay for elective abortions.
If you choose to purchase a plan that covers abortion, it's completely expected that a portion of your premium pays for abortion coverage. Saying that this creates some sort of additional "abortion fee" is like saying that there's a "monthly heart attack fee" because the plan covers heart attacks.
Which brings us back to Limbaugh, who took the distortion a step further by claiming, "You will be required to pay a monthly abortion premium." Not just individuals who purchase an insurance plan that covers abortion, but apparently each and every "you" listening to Limbaugh's show.
In reality, you won't be required to pay a "monthly abortion premium," and you won't even be required to have your premiums help pay for abortion coverage. The bill requires that each exchange offer at least one insurance plan that doesn't cover abortions. If you purchase one of those plans, your premiums won't be used to cover abortion.