It's been a week now since Robert Montgomery inaccurately claimed in an ESPN column that a federal strategy "could prohibit U.S. citizens from fishing" and a week since ESPNOutdoors.com executive editor acknowledged that there were "errors" and a lack of "balance" in the piece. But Fox Nation is still linking to Montgomery's column and suggesting that the false claim is somehow true.
When the allegation first surfaced, Fox Nation joined other media outlets in spreading the absurd claim (not the first time Fox has jumped on debunked conspiracy theories as senior fellow Karl Frisch has noted), with the Fox Business Network and Fox News' Glenn Beck joining in. Then an interesting thing happened: a March 10 FoxNews.com article reported that government documents don't contain "language pertaining to a potential ban on recreational fishing."
And still, Fox Nation won't let this one go.
A post by Norm Ornstein on American Enterprise Institute's The Enterprise blog titled "Hypocrisy: A Parliamentary Procedure":
Any veteran observer of Congress is used to the rampant hypocrisy over the use of parliamentary procedures that shifts totally from one side to the other as a majority moves to minority status, and vice versa. But I can't recall a level of feigned indignation nearly as great as what we are seeing now from congressional Republicans and their acolytes at the Wall Street Journal, and on blogs, talk radio, and cable news. It reached a ridiculous level of misinformation and disinformation over the use of reconciliation, and now threatens to top that level over the projected use of a self-executing rule by House Speaker Nancy Pelosi. In the last Congress that Republicans controlled, from 2005 to 2006, Rules Committee Chairman David Dreier used the self-executing rule more than 35 times, and was no stranger to the concept of "deem and pass." That strategy, then decried by the House Democrats who are now using it, and now being called unconstitutional by WSJ editorialists, was defended by House Republicans in court (and upheld). Dreier used it for a $40 billion deficit reduction package so that his fellow GOPers could avoid an embarrassing vote on immigration. I don't like self-executing rules by either party -- I prefer the "regular order" -- so I am not going to say this is a great idea by the Democrats. But even so-is there no shame anymore?
From the March 16 edition of Fox News' Hannity:
From the Fox Nation (accessed on March 16):
At least 80 advertisers have reportedly dropped their ads from Glenn Beck's Fox News program since he called President Obama a "racist" who has a "deep-seated hatred for white people." Here are his March 16 sponsors, in the order they appeared:
Add a new example to the right's long list of baseless, unsourced claims of "corrupt" practices that the Obama administration is using to pass health care reform: the UK's Telegraph is reporting that President Obama "has said he will not campaign for any Democratic congressmen who fails to support health care reform." The Drudge Report, Fox Nation, and NRO's Kathyrn Jean Lopez are all running with the story.
The Telegraph story is notable for what it is missing: anything resembling evidence. The article includes no sources -- named or unnamed -- making the claim that Obama has directly linked campaign fundraising with representatives' votes on health care reform. How do they know that Obama "has said" this? We don't know. The Telegraph simply asserts it as fact, and writes an entire article around this apparently baseless claim.
On the March 16 edition of Your World with Neil Cavuto, Fox displayed the following on-screen text:
Earlier in the year when it was announced that Sarah Palin would be joining Fox News as a contributor, the former half-term Alaska Governor was quoted as saying, "I am thrilled to be joining the great talent and management team at Fox News...It's wonderful to be part of a place that so values fair and balanced news."
Then on March 2, during Jay Leno's first week back at the helm of NBC's Tonight Show, Palin appeared as a guest. Responding to Leno's question about having joined the media -- i.e. Fox News -- Palin said (emphasis added):
"I had studied journalism...my college degree there in communications and now I am back there wanting to build some trust back in our media. I think that the mainstream media is quite broken and I think that there needs to be the fairness, the balance in there...that's why I joined Fox."
"Those years ago that I studied journalism, it was all about the who, what, where, when and why. It was not so much the opinion interjected in hard news stories. So, I would like to see, in order to build trust in the media, because it is a cornerstone of our democracy, Americans deserve to have more of that factual fairness."
If Palin did join Fox News to "build some trust back in the media" harkening back to the good old days when reports were "not so much the opinion interjected in hard news stories," then why does she spend so much time on what Fox News describes as its "opinion" programs?
According to a quick Nexis search, Palin has appeared on the following Fox News "opinion" shows since joining the network:
1/12/2010 - The O'Reilly Factor
1/13/2010 - Glenn Beck
1/14/2010 - Hannity
1/19/2010 - On the Record with Greta Van Susteren
1/20/2010 - The O'Reilly Factor
1/20/2010 - Hannity
1/27/2010 - Hannity
1/27/2010 - On the Record with Greta Van Susteren
1/28/2010 - On the Record with Greta Van Susteren
2/16/2010 - The O'Reilly Factor
2/25/2010 - Hannity
Don't get me wrong, I don't for a second buy the idea that there is a distinction between what Fox News purports to be its "news" and "opinion" programming, but the conservative network certainly makes that case, without much to show in terms of evidence, at every turn.