FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Monday, January 11, 2010
Jess Levin (202) 772-8162
Ex-Governor Joins Network's Growing Roster of FactuallyChallenged GOP Operatives
Washington, DC -- Today, Media Matters for America responded to reports that Fox News has hired Sarah Palin -- despite her history of pushing false claims and bogus information -- to "appear on the network's programming on a regular basis as part of a multi-year deal."
"Sarah Palin has been auditioning for Fox News since the day she left public office," said Ari Rabin-Havt, Vice President of Communications and Research at Media Matters. "Between her falsehoods on Facebook and a memoir rife with distortions, Palin has clearly earned her place at a network that seems more concerned with recruiting GOP operatives than repairing its reputation as a legitimate news network."
Watch our video "Welcome to Fox, Mrs. Palin. We're Sure You'll Fit Right In."
The New York Times reported today that Fox News has hired Palin as a contributor who "will appear on the network's programming on a regular basis as part of a multi-year deal" and "will host an occasional series that will run on the network from time to time." The ex-governor joins a growing roster of Republican operatives already on the network's payroll and airwaves.
As Media Matters has noted, since her departure from public office, Palin has frequently misled the public on variety of issues:
"Death panel." In a Facebook post, Palin claimed that under Democratic health care reform, "Obama's 'death panel' " would "decide" whether her parents or her son Trig, who has Down syndrome, were "worthy of health care." Palin's assertion was based on the widely debunked claim that the House health care reform bill would require end-of-life counseling. Numerous Fox News personalities subsequently advanced Palin's false claim. PolitiFact.com named Palin's death panels claim its "Lie of the Year." During the health care debate, Palin also falsely linked the Independent Medicare Advisory Board created by the Senate health care reform bill and nonbinding mammogram guidelines to death panels.
Palin's memoir goes rogue on facts. Media Matters for America has documented numerous falsehoods in Palin's memoir, Going Rogue: An American Life. For instance:
Palin misleads on climate change. Palin wrote a December 9 Washington Post op-ed calling on President Obama to boycott the Copenhagen conference. Palin's op-ed advanced several debunked claims about what recently stolen emails from the Climatic Research Unit (CRU) at the University of East Anglia "reveal" about the scientific consensus on man-made climate change, including the claims that climate scientists "manipulated data to 'hide the decline' in global temperatures, and tried to silence their critics by preventing them from publishing in peer-reviewed journals." Palin also claimed that "we can't say with assurance that man's activities cause weather changes."
Obama's birth certificate. As Salon's Alex Koppelman detailed, Palin appeared on a conservative radio program and was asked if she would "make [Obama's] birth certificate an issue" should she run for president. Palin replied that "the public, rightfully, is still making it an issue," and that "it's a fair question" to wonder whether the president was born in the United States. She went on to denounce, once again, the "weird conspiracy theory freaky thing that people talk about, that Trig isn't my real son," but then counseled that "maybe we should reverse that and use the same type of thinking on [Obama]." Birthers subsequently used Palin's remarks to promote and legitimize their campaign that Obama was not born in the United States.