Fox News' KT McFarland claimed that building the Keystone XL pipeline would decrease dependence on oil from the Persian Gulf and alleviate the impact of future Middle East conflicts on the U.S. economy. In fact, studies show the pipeline will have little effect on foreign crude oil imports, and if the economy remains dependent on oil, events in the Middle East will have a significant impact on U.S. energy markets regardless of where the nation's oil imports originate.
On the March 4 edition of Fox News' America's Newsroom, Fox News national security analyst KT McFarland said that building the Keystone XL pipeline would make us less vulnerable to conflicts in the Middle East, such as a potential nuclear Iran. She claimed that if "if we get our own oil" from the Keystone pipeline we won't need to rely on Middle East oil, which is responsible for pulling the U.S. "into every Middle East conflict." From the show:
A 2010 study conducted by the U.S. State Department found that building the Keystone pipeline would not significantly affect how much oil was imported from foreign countries including the Middle East. The study included a graphic which showed almost no change in foreign imports of oil with or without Keystone XL pipeline:
Following in the footsteps of others in the right-wing media, Fox News host Sean Hannity selectively edited a video of outgoing Secretary of Defense Leon Panetta to portray President Obama as "virtually absent" during the September 2012 attack on a diplomatic facility in Benghazi, Libya. In fact, Panetta testified that White House officials were kept informed of events throughout the incident.
On the February 7 edition of his Fox News program, Hannity said "a major bombshell was revealed" during Panetta's testimony during a congressional briefing that Obama "was virtually absent" during the Benghazi attack. Hannity then played segments of Panetta's testimony.
But Hannity did not air the section of Panetta's testimony in which he pointed out that information about the attack "went to the White House" and that Obama stayed in contact with military officials and was "well-informed" during the attack. Hannity also failed to air a clip of Gen. Martin Dempsey stating that White House staff "was engaged with the national military command center pretty constantly through the period, which is the way it would normally work."
Hannity joins numerous other right-wing outlets in selectively editing the testimony of Panetta and Dempsey.
From the January 23 edition of Premiere Radio Networks' The Sean Hannity Show:
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As Secretary of State Hillary Clinton prepares to testify before Congress about the September 11 attack on a U.S. diplomatic compound in Benghazi, Libya, Media Matters reviews the falsehoods conservative media have pushed regarding Clinton and her response to the attack.
From the January 17 edition of Fox News' Hannity:
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During his Fox News program, Sean Hannity cited the plot of the movie Zero Dark Thirty to push the theory that enhanced interrogation techniques helped the U.S. intelligence community locate Osama bin Laden. However, CIA records show that enhanced interrogation techniques were not key to finding Bin Laden.
Fox News figures have tried to use an investigative panel's recent report on the Benghazi attack to congratulate their network on its coverage of the attack. But the report actually debunks several incorrect and misleading narratives Fox pushed about Benghazi.
On December 18, the independent Accountability Review Board, which was set up by the State Department to investigate the Benghazi attack, released their findings in a report that "sharply criticized the State Department" for oversights that led to insufficient security at the U.S. compound in Benghazi, as The New York Times reported.
During the December 19 broadcast of On The Record, host Greta Van Susteren asked Fox News contributor Sarah Palin for her thoughts on the report, and Palin answered, in part, "Kudos to Fox News for being the news outlet that stayed on top of this story. Americans deserve these answers." Van Susteren responded that she felt "some level of pride" for Fox's Benghazi coverage, because of "all the sort of heat we took from people, saying that it wasn't a story." She added, "[T]here's been a lot of resistance to my national security colleagues getting this information. So, I do take some pride with them."
Similarly, Fox contributor Kirsten Powers suggested on Special Report that the Benghazi report wasn't even necessary because of the program's coverage of the attack, saying, "Well, it's interesting that that report -- you could have known all that if you'd just watched this show. So, it's sort of funny that they had to do an investigation to figure all of that out."
In fact, the review board's report actually discredits Fox's coverage of the attack.
From the December 19 edition of Fox News' Happening Now:
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Fox News figures accused Secretary of State Hillary Clinton of faking an illness when she suffered a concussion after fainting due to dehydration. The State Department has criticized Fox News contributor John Bolton for engaging in "wild speculation based on no information."
Fox News hyped results from poll questions premised on falsehoods to reinforce its phony narrative about the attack on a U.S. diplomatic compound in Benghazi, Libya, that left four Americans dead. This fits with Fox News' history of pointing to public opinion polls to suggest that false talking points it has promoted are fact.
Fox News reported these poll results as it was announced that U.N. Ambassador Susan Rice was withdrawing as a candidate for secretary of state. Fox News led a relentless smear campaign against Rice alleging that her statements about Benghazi on Sunday morning news shows were somehow a scandal, despite copious evidence to the contrary.
While discussing the Benghazi attack, international correspondent Catherine Herridge and Fox Business anchor Lou Dobbs each cited a Fox News poll question that asked, "On the night of the attack, do you think President Obama should have ordered U.S. troops to go to Benghazi and help the Americans at the consulate there?" Sixty-five percent said yes, but the question falsely suggests that the Obama administration didn't act to help Americans in Benghazi.
In reality, reinforcements from the U.S. Embassy in Tripoli arrived in Benghazi the night of the attack. Furthermore, Defense Secretary Leon Panetta has said that a military response to the attack was not possible.
Herridge and Dobbs also cited a poll question that asked, "Do you think the Obama administration has covered-up what happened" in Benghazi? Though 48 percent agreed, the question is premised on a Fox News conspiracy theory -- the Obama administration has continually said that it was sharing information as it developed, and multiple investigations of the attack are under way.
Conservative media have been facilitating a witch hunt against U.N. Ambassador Susan Rice, claiming that her public statements regarding the attack on the diplomatic compound in Benghazi, Libya, were untruthful and misleading. In fact, Rice was using talking points that had been approved by the CIA, and she repeatedly emphasized that the information was preliminary.
In a Wall Street Journal op-ed, Bush administration attorney general Michael Mukasey disregarded Ambassador Susan Rice's actual remarks on the attack at the U.S. diplomatic compound in Benghazi, Libya, to suggest she lacks the "moral fitness" to serve as secretary of state.
Mukasey and co-writer Anne Bayefsky said that although former secretaries of state have "said or done foolish things," "moral fitness is also relevant" when selecting a new top diplomat. On this trait, they found Rice lacking, in part because of Rice's description of the attack in Benghazi during appearances on the Sunday news shows on September 16.
Conservative media figures have led a witch hunt against Rice over these appearances, despite the fact that Rice based her statements on talking points provided by the U.S. intelligence community.
Mukasey and Bayefsky claimed that Rice deserves blame in part because she referenced an anti-Islam video that sparked global riots. They suggested Rice was somehow at fault because she "knew that the video story line was questionable, as Sen. Dianne Feinstein (chairman of the Senate Select Committee on Intelligence) and administration officials had already suggested publicly that the attack was al Qaeda-related."
But in reality, Rice repeatedly qualified her remarks, saying that an investigation was ongoing and that "we don't want to jump to conclusions" before the investigation was finished. She also said that "we look to that investigation to give us the definitive word as to what transpired." So Rice did, in fact, stress that current intelligence was "questionable," to use Mukasey and Bayefsky's word.
Furthermore, credible reporting says that the video did indeed play a role in the Benghazi attack.
Mukasey and Bayefsky also noted Feinstein and administration officials publicly suggested the attacks may have had Al Qaeda ties, ostensibly in contrast with Rice's statements.
But when CBS' Bob Schieffer asked Rice whether Al Qaeda had played a role, she replied, "I think it's clear that there were extremist elements that joined in and escalated the violence. Whether they were al Qaeda affiliates, whether they were Libyan-based extremists or al Qaeda itself I think is one of the things we'll have to determine."
Also absent from the Journal op-ed? Disclosure of Muskasey's former role as a Romney campaign adviser.
Pulitizer Prize-winning author and journalist Tom Ricks is denying a claim by a Fox News executive that he privately apologized for an interview on the channel in which he said that Fox News has been "operating as a wing of the Republican Party" in its coverage of the attack on the U.S. diplomatic compound in Benghazi, Libya.
In an email to The Hollywood Reporter, Michael Clemente, Fox News executive vice president, accused Ricks of dodging a question by Fox host Jon Scott on the Benghazi attack. "When Mr. Ricks ignored the anchor's question, it became clear that his goal was to bring attention to himself -- and his book. ... He apologized in our offices afterward but doesn't have the strength of character to do that publicly."
Ricks responded to Clemente's claim in an email to the Reporter: "Please ask Mr. Clemente what the words of my supposed apology were. I'd be interested to know. ... Frankly, I don't remember any such apology."
Ricks said in an interview with Media Matters' Joe Strupp that Fox staffers "seemed surprised" after the interview. Ricks further said that he told Fox before the interview that he thought the Benghazi story had been "hyped," and that he was not given any restrictions by Fox prior to going on the air.
Ricks expected the interview to go on for "several more minutes," he told Media Matters. It lasted less than two minutes, abruptly ending after he said that Fox was "operating as a wing of the Republican Party."
Ricks' criticism echoes that of other media critics who have pointed out Fox's role as a mouthpiece for Republican candidates and causes.
National security journalist Tom Ricks appeared on Fox News to blast the network's incessant coverage of the attack on the U.S. diplomatic compound in Benghazi, Libya. After saying that "Benghazi was hyped, by this network especially," Ricks went on to say that "the emphasis on Benghazi has been extremely political, partly because Fox was operating as a wing of the Republican Party."
For example, Fox claimed that the Obama administration's statements that an anti-Islam video played a role in the attack were indicative of an administration "cover-up"; in fact, reports confirm that some of the attackers say they were motivated by the video. Fox has also attacked Susan Rice, U.S. ambassador to the U.N., for linking the video to the attacks in a series of Sunday show appearances, even though Rice was accurately conveying the consensus of the intelligence community at the time. Fox even suggested that the Obama administration abandoned Americans to die in Benghazi, despite the fact that reinforcements were sent to Benghazi from Tripoli on the night of the attack.
Others have criticized overblown reactions to the Benghazi attack: Time's Joe Klein called efforts to "create a scandal" out of Benghazi "tawdry," while the Washington Post editorial board said the conservative response to Benghazi has been focused on "half-baked conspiracy theories."
Right-wing media are attempting to portray President Obama as anti-Israel and pro-Hamas in light of the conflict between Israel and Gaza, ignoring recent public praise of the Obama administration from Israeli officials.