Cabinet & Agencies

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  • In latest "czar" witch hunt, Wash. Times ignores data undermining industry criticism of OSHA nominee

    ››› ››› JEREMY HOLDEN

    A September 15 Washington Times article on the latest "hunt" against advisers to President Obama cited a 2005 paper that Dr. David Michaels -- Obama's nominee to head the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) -- wrote on the success of "corporate interests" in "shaping science policy" and quoted the National Association of Manufacturers (NAM) saying of Michaels: "[H]is approach in every case seemed to be to paint employers as a whole as malevolent actors." But in laying out the case against Michaels, the Times ignored evidence from the paper it cited that undermined this claim, as Michaels also wrote that "the denial of scientific evidence and the insistence on an impossible certainty are not limited to business interests," citing opposition by "zealous environmentalists" to food irradiation as an example.

  • Fox witch hunt attacks Senate-confirmed nominees as unaccountable to Congress


    As part of Fox News' witch hunt against Obama administration "czars," Fox News asserted that "czars are not subjected to congressional oversight." In fact, many of the Obama administration officials the network has labeled "czars" have been confirmed by the Senate or were appointed to positions created through legislation passed by Congress; additionally, a number of the officials had counterparts in the Bush administration.

  • Witch hunt continues: Fox goes after Sunstein with false smears


    Continuing Fox News' witch hunt against Obama administration nominees and officials whom they have labeled "czars," Glenn Beck falsely claimed that Cass Sunstein, President Obama's nominee to head the White House Office of Information and Regulatory Affairs, has said "you must be an organ donor" and "you should not be able to remove rats from your home if it causes them any pain," and Fox News reporter James Rosen also distorted Sunstein's writings about organ donation and animal rights. In fact, Sunstein advocated for reforms to the organ donation system, but not for mandatory donation, and he did not advocate against rat removal.

  • Bill O'Reilly called for more "czars" during Bush administration

    ››› ››› ADAM SHAH

    Fox News personalities, including O'Reilly Factor guest-host Laura Ingraham, have attacked President Obama for appointing "czars" -- a term the channel uses to refer to any White House official tasked to advise the president on a specific issue, regardless of whether the position is subject to Senate confirmation -- with Fox News host Gretchen Carlson singling out the appointment of a "border czar" for criticism. However, during the Bush administration, Fox's Bill O'Reilly called for the appointment of an "immigration czar," as well as a "charity czar" and a "disaster relief victims family czar."

  • In NY Times op-ed, Finder finds contradiction in consistent statements to assert Holder flip-flopped

    ››› ››› JEREMY HOLDEN

    Editor's Note: After this item was posted on August 30, we received an email from Joseph Finder, the author of the op-ed, taking issue with the item. Mr. Finder contends that we were wrong in asserting that Mr. Holder's statements in 2002 and 2008 were consistent. After review, we agree with Mr. Finder that we went too far in asserting that the two statements were consistent; the facts do not establish that. However, our criticism of the omission of a key part of Mr. Holder's 2002 comments remains valid. Mr. Finder omitted the part of Mr. Holder's 2002 comments in which Holder made clear that he shared then-Secretary of State Powell's position that, in Mr. Holder's words: "[T]hese are not people who are prisoners of war as that has been defined, but who are entitled to, in our own interests, entitled to be treated in a very humane way and almost consistent with all of the dictates of the Geneva Convention." By leaving out that statement, Mr. Finder denied his readers information that was relevant to an assessment of Mr. Holder's views on detainee treatment, then and now.

    The New York Times published an op-ed by Joseph Finder, who contrasted statements Attorney General Eric Holder made in 2002 and in 2008 to suggest that after originally stating that the United States government should not extend rights consistent with the Geneva Convention to detainees held at Guantánamo Bay, Holder subsequently flip-flopped. But Holder's comments are completely consistent; Finder suggests otherwise by reporting Holder's 2002 statement that detainees were "not, in fact, people entitled to the protection of the Geneva Convention," but ignoring his statement later in the same interview that they are nonetheless "entitled to be treated in a very humane way and almost consistent with all of the dictates of the Geneva Convention."

  • Wallace's "fact check" ignores his prior "death book" falsehoods, advances new one

    ››› ››› JEREMY HOLDEN

    Purporting to "fact check" an interview with assistant secretary of Veterans Affairs Tammy Duckworth from the previous week's edition of Fox News Sunday about an end-of-life educational booklet used by the Veterans Health Administration (VHA), Chris Wallace falsely claimed, "The VHA handbook specifically mentions only one document, 'Your Life, Your Choices,' " which he noted "critics call the death book." Wallace's "fact check" segment in no way addressed several distortions and falsehoods he and former Bush administration aide Jim Towey advanced during an interview on the booklet that also aired during the August 23 broadcast.

  • Fox's Carlson claims Obama yet to name Army secretary -- Fox's live reporting disagrees

    ››› ››› ERIC HANANOKI

    During the August 24 edition of Fox News' Fox & Friends, co-host Gretchen Carlson claimed that "a lot of the top" White House positions are "anonymous because they haven't been named yet to certain posts," citing the Army secretary as an example. However, President Obama named Rep. John McHugh (R-NY) to the post on June 2, and The New York Times noted that "Republican senators are holding up nominees like John McHugh for Army secretary to influence what happens to the detainees at Guantánamo Bay, Cuba."

  • "Death book" distortions abound on Fox News Sunday

    ››› ››› JEREMY HOLDEN

    On Fox News Sunday, Chris Wallace hosted former Bush administration aide Jim Towey to discuss his recent Wall Street Journal op-ed, "The Death Book for Veterans," and in doing so promoted numerous distortions about an end-of-life educational booklet used by the Veterans Health Administration (VHA). In addition to forwarding the smear that the booklet is a "death book," Wallace promoted Towey's distortion that the booklet encourages veterans to "pull the plug" -- it doesn't; Wallace and Towey both claimed that the Bush administration suspended use of the booklet -- it didn't; and Wallace claimed that a VHA document requires doctors to direct veterans to the booklet -- it doesn't.