From the February 15 edition of Fox Broadcasting Co.'s Fox News Sunday:
Loading the player reg...
Right-wing media are indignant that President Obama appeared in a BuzzFeed video taking a selfie and saying "YOLO" as part of a promotion for HealthCare.gov.
From the February 13 edition of Fox News' America's Newsroom:
Loading the player reg...
Fox News' Gretchen Carlson distorted President Obama's explanation that U.S. ground troops are not necessary to defeat the Islamic State (ISIS or ISIL) in order to claim Obama believes it's not in our national interest to defeat the terrorist group.
In his February 11 request to Congress for an authorization for the use of military force against ISIS, Obama stated that "our core objective is to destroy ISIL." He emphasized his opposition to engaging in "another prolonged ground war in the Middle East," which he said is "not in our national security interest." He explained further that a ground campaign is "not necessary for us to defeat ISIL." From a transcript of his remarks (emphasis added):
THE PRESIDENT: This resolution reflects our core objective to destroy ISIL. It supports the comprehensive strategy that we have been pursuing with our allies and partners: A systemic and sustained campaign of airstrikes against ISIL in Iraq and Syria. Support and training for local forces on the ground, including the moderate Syrian opposition. Preventing ISIL attacks, in the region and beyond, including by foreign terrorist fighters who try to threaten our countries. Regional and international support for an inclusive Iraqi government that unites the Iraqi people and strengthens Iraqi forces against ISIL. Humanitarian assistance for the innocent civilians of Iraq and Syria, who are suffering so terribly under ISIL's reign of horror.
The resolution we've submitted today does not call for the deployment of U.S. ground combat forces to Iraq or Syria. It is not the authorization of another ground war, like Afghanistan or Iraq. The 2,600 American troops in Iraq today largely serve on bases -- and, yes, they face the risks that come with service in any dangerous environment. But they do not have a combat mission. They are focused on training Iraqi forces, including Kurdish forces.
As I've said before, I'm convinced that the United States should not get dragged back into another prolonged ground war in the Middle East. That's not in our national security interest and it's not necessary for us to defeat ISIL. Local forces on the ground who know their countries best are best positioned to take the ground fight to ISIL -- and that's what they're doing.
But Fox viewers heard a much different description of Obama's sentiment the next day on The Real Story with Gretchen Carlson. According to Carlson, "The president said we have no national security interest in this fight." After airing a short video depicting a portion of his remarks (but omitting Obama's statement about destroying ISIS), Carlson asked Republican Sen. Lindsey Graham (SC), "What did President Obama mean yesterday when he said that it's not in our interest to defeat ISIL? Huh?"
Playing word games with Obama's remarks is one of Fox News' favorite pastimes. The network often feigns outrage over distorted or selectively cropped comments, setting up easy attacks on their fictionalized version of the president.
From the February 11 edition of Premiere Radio Networks' The Rush Limbaugh Show:
Loading the player reg...
The Wall Street Journal glossed over Jeb Bush's close ties to the neoconservative movement that shaped the foreign policy of his brother, former President George W. Bush, suggesting that Jeb Bush's foreign policy would be more moderate than that of his brother's. But Jeb Bush has praised his brother's foreign policy, specifically the decision to invade Iraq, and even signed a founding neoconservative document.
Right-wing media are using the suspension of NBC's Brian Williams to attack Hillary Clinton, fixating on a story she apologized for telling years ago about landing amid sniper fire in Bosnia when she was first lady.
The media has rightfully focused over the past week on Williams' apparent pattern of falsely claiming that he rode on a military helicopter that was forced to land after being hit by a rocket-propelled grenade during a reporting trip to Iraq in 2003. Williams apologized during the February 4 broadcast of Nightly News and has since been suspended for six months without pay.
But the right-wing media have sought to use Williams' tall tales for political advantage, pointing to Clinton's Bosnia story to ask, "If Brian Williams can no longer be the face of NBC then can Hillary no longer be the face of the Democratic Party?" In a segment representative of such discussions on Fox News,Fox & Friends' Steve Doocy asked this morning, "Brian Williams has been held to this standard because he told these lies about Iraq. But what about Hillary Clinton?" Invoking Clinton's Bosnia story which "turned out not to be true," the hosts aired a clip of a Fox News contributor declaring Clinton's story to be worse than Williams', while on-screen text asked "Why Isn't Hillary Held Accountable For Lies?" and "Did Mainstream Media Give Clinton A Pass?"
But Clinton acknowledged nearly seven years ago that she had misspoken in describing the events that occurred in Bosnia. And contrary to conservative claims, Clinton was heavily criticized by media outlets at the time, including by NBC News. As Bloomberg News reported in March 2008:
Democratic presidential candidate Hillary Clinton and her staff said she misspoke when saying she landed under sniper fire during a March 1996 trip to Bosnia as first lady.
"I did make a mistake in talking about it the last time, and recently," Clinton told reporters in Greensburg, Pennsylvania. "I made a mistake. I have a different memory. That happens. I'm human. For some people that's a revelation."
During a speech last week in Washington, she said, "I remember landing under sniper fire. There was supposed to be some kind of a greeting ceremony at the airport, but instead we just ran with our heads down to get into the vehicles to get to our base."
Moreover, in seeking to use Williams' story for partisan benefit, conservatives are ignoring numerous Republican politicians who have embellished their stories of military service to burnish their political careers, dating back to Sen. Joe McCarthy's self-aggrandized war record. As Joe Conason noted in a 2010 piece on how "mythmaking is indeed characteristic of the politicians most revered by the GOP," both Ronald Reagan and George W. Bush greatly exaggerated their service:
Take George W. Bush, whose controversial service as a Texas Air National Guard pilot was shrouded in mystery, evidently because he wanted to conceal the basic facts of his privileged admission to the TANG and his strange departure from its ranks. In his 2000 campaign autobiography, ghosted by Karen Hughes, Bush claimed that after completing his training in the F-102 fighter plane, "I continued flying with my unit for the next several years." That simple sentence was entirely untrue, according to records eventually released by the Bush campaign, which showed that he had never flown in uniform again after his suspension from active duty in August 1972 for failing to show up for a mandatory physical examination.
In the same book Bush also suggests that he tried to volunteer for service in Vietnam "to relieve active duty pilots" fighting the war. But, of course, the entire purpose of his privileged (and questionable) enlistment in the TANG was to avoid the Vietnam draft, as he hinted in a 1998 newspaper interview when he said: "I don't want to play like I was somebody out there marching [to war] when I wasn't. It was either Canada or the service and I was headed into the service." Two years later, under the tutelage of Hughes, that momentary candor evaporated.
Yet Bush's self-serving revisions cannot compare with the fantastic recollections of the late Ronald Reagan, whose veneration by Republicans was never diminished by his bizarre utterances. In November 1983, he told Israeli Prime Minister Yitzhak Shamir during a White House visit that while serving in the U. S. Army film corps, his unit had shot footage of the Nazi concentration camps as they were liberated. He repeated the same tale to Nazi hunter Simon Wiesenthal and other witnesses. Reagan had indeed served in the Army and worked on morale-boosting movies for the War Department. But he had done so without ever leaving Hollywood for the entire duration of the war.
From the February 10 edition of Comedy Central's The Daily Show:
In 2014, weekday evening cable news programs featured significantly more male than female guests and commentators to discuss foreign affairs and national security stories, with women making up merely 22 percent of the total featured guests and commentators across the three networks.
Fox hosted Republican lobbyist Van D. Hipp Jr., who attacked the Obama administration for denying a request to market drones to the Kingdom of Jordan. Neither Fox nor Hipp disclosed that his firm, American Defense International (ADI), has recently lobbied Congress on behalf of the defense contractor that makes the drone.
Hipp is the Chairman of American Defense International (ADI), which describes itself as "a Washington, DC based consulting firm specializing in government affairs, business development and public relations." General Atomics is a defense contractor based in San Diego. ADI lists General Atomics as one of its clients on its website; the lobbying shop has received $1.2 million from the company dating back to 2002, including $170,000 last year.
Hipp, a former chairman of the South Carolina Republican Party and Principal Deputy General Counsel of the Navy in the George H.W. Bush administration, appeared on The Real Story with Gretchen Carlson on February 6. Hipp discussed the possible death of an American hostage being held by ISIS, who claims that the hostage was killed by a Jordanian airstrike.
Without prompting, Hipp repeatedly attacked President Obama for denying an application for his client, while couching it in criticism of ongoing efforts to fight ISIS.
Hipp said, "We need to make sure he's [King Abdullah of Jordan] got all the fuel and bullets, precision weapons and yes, unmanned aerial vehicles which he's asked the United States for and our State Department is still sitting on that." Hipp went on to expand on his criticism of the State Department decision, without any disclosure of Hipp's financial conflict of interest.
JAMIE COLBY: If we were to reach out to Jordan, what would be the steps, specifically, you think we could take that maybe would even encourage our allies to do the same?
VAN HIPP: Well what Congressman Duncan Hunter has pointed out was very disturbing, the fact that Jordan has requested, an unarmed predator, unmanned aerial vehicle to help them, and he has called on President Obama to get the State Department to reverse that decision. I couldn't believe that when I read that, and he's got other requests for precision munitions, night vision systems, devices, you name it. I say: Give him everything he needs and give him everything he needs now. And let's acknowledge the threat for what it is.
COLBY: Van Hipp, your message is loud and clear and heard and I appreciate you sharing it with us.
The company that would provide the drone Hipp referenced is his lobbying firm's client.
As Foreign Policy reported on February 5, "The Obama administration has denied a request from a leading U.S. defense contractor for a license to market its unarmed Predator drones to Jordan, whose requests for U.S.-made weapons are viewed as more urgent due to its participation in the fight against the Islamic State. The contractor, General Atomics, submitted export license applications last spring to market the Predator XP, a new export version of the unarmed MQ-1 drone flown by the U.S. military, to Jordan and numerous other countries. The U.S. government formally denied the request for Jordan on Oct. 28, according to the office of Rep. Duncan Hunter, a Republican whose district includes San Diego, where General Atomics is based."
The Lobbying Disclosure Act Database lists ADI as a registered lobbyist on behalf of General Atomics, dating from 2002 through their most recent filing on January 20. For 2014, ADI reported doing $170,000 of lobbying on behalf of General Atomics. (First Quarter, Second Quarter, Third Quarter, Fourth Quarter). The firm's most recent lobbying report states it was paid by General Atomics for "Meetings with officials regarding foreign weapon sales." ADI has received $1.2 million in lobbing fees from General Atomics since 2002, according to OpenSecrets.org's database of federal lobbying data.
Hipp has personally lobbied for General Atomics, most recently in 2007, according to OpenSecrets' database.
From the February 5 edition of Fox News Radio's Kilmeade & Friends:
Loading the player reg...
From the February 4 edition of Fox News' The Kelly File:
Loading the player reg...
Fox News' flagship news program aired graphic footage of the Islamic State (ISIS) terrorist group executing a hostage, despite previously criticizing other media outlets for airing such footage they called "terrorist propaganda."
This week the Islamic State (ISIS) released a video purporting to show the horrific murder of a Jordanian pilot being held hostage by the terrorist group. Jordan officials confirmed the pilot's death, and are currently working to authenticate the video produced and distributed by ISIS.
Fox News' Special Report aired images of the execution from the terrorists' video on February 3. Host Bret Baier explained the network's reasoning for showing the graphic images, warning viewers, "The images are brutal. They are graphic. They are upsetting," but, "The reason we are showing you this is to bring you the reality of Islamic terrorism and to label it as such. We feel you need to see it." After displaying the images, Baier added, "Having seen the whole video, it is something you cannot unsee. Horrific and barbaric, as well as calculating and skilled at high-tech propaganda." FoxNews.com later uploaded the full-length, 22-minute video on its site.
Fox News host Bill Hemmer claimed that job losses due to sequestration "apparently ... did not happen," ignoring that hundreds of layoffs across industries like national security and education were attributable to sequestration's budget cuts.
On the February 3 edition of Fox News' America's Newsroom, host Hemmer took issue with a statement made by President Obama in February 2013 in which he asserted that if sequestration happened, "thousands of Americans who work in fields like national security, education or clean energy are likely to be laid off." Hemmer replied "so, apparently that did not happen."
In fact, a wide range of organizations related to national security were forced to lay off employees, among them defense contractors, workers at a nuclear site, army depot employees, and employees at a company that repairs U.S. Navy ships.
In the field of education, which Obama mentioned, the effects of sequestration included teacher layoffs in states like Florida, Illinois, Minnesota and New Jersey. Valuable educational programs, like Head Start, were unable to get funding, which resulted in widespread teacher job losses.
Another field that was heavily hit by the effects of sequestration was science and medical research, with hundreds of scientists, including those working on cancer and HIV research, laid off due to the resulting budget cuts.