On its August 19 broadcast, Fox News' Fox & Friends told viewers "how you can join" the Tea Party Express, a bus tour organized by the Republican PAC Our Country Deserves Better, whose mission is to oppose President Obama and the Democrats. In promoting the tour, Fox News hosted Tea Party Express organizer and OCDB vice chairman Mark Williams, who has said Obama lacks a valid birth certificate and who has compared "Obama's death panels" to Nazi experiments.
From the August 19 edition of Fox News' Fox & Friends:
BRIAN KILMEADE (co-host): Straight ahead, citizens take their concerns about health care on the road to -- on the road. The organizer of a cross-country tea party tour, and how you can join, next.
KILMEADE: The Tea Party Express will make 35 stops across the country, giving Americans a constructive outlet in which to share their concerns on health care, and I imagine more.
During the segment, Fox News helped viewers find out "how you can join" the Tea Party Express by noting the dates and locations of 22 stops. For instance, here are the first seven stops Fox News promoted:
During the segment, Williams promoted the website of the Tea Party Express.
"Tea Party Express" targets Democrats
Williams suggests Tea Party Express is a politically diverse tea party group:
WILLIAMS: And this is very important. We at the Tea Party Express -- teapartyexpress.org -- we at the Tea Party Express are as a divergent group of people politically as you could possibly ask for. You just did that great story on Barney Frank. He was my congressman when I lived in Massachusetts. And he, by the way, is everything you saw at that town hall meeting.
Tea Party Express' purpose is to "highlight some of the worst offenders in Congress." Our Country Deserves Better PAC's (OCDB) website states that the Tea Party Express "will host a series of tea party rallies all across the nation. ... At each stop the tour will highlight some of the worst offenders in Congress who have voted for higher spending, higher taxes, and government intervention in the lives of American families and businesses. These Members of Congress have infringed upon the freedom of the individual in this great nation, and its time for us to say: 'Enough is Enough!' " [TeaPartyExpress.org, accessed 8/19/09]
Tea Party Express' "Target[s]" -- since removed -- were all Democrats. OCDB's website previously contained a section -- at http://www.teapartyexpress.org/races/index.html -- titled, "Target Races," which stated that in "order for the Tea Party movement to truly have an impact, we must vote out of office those politicians who have betrayed their constituents by pushing through massive deficits, higher taxes and government intervention into the private sector and private lives of American families." All 30 targets listed as of July 28 were Democrats. The section of the website has been removed since Media Matters for America last accessed and reviewed the section. [TeaPartyExpress.org, accessed 7/28/09]
Our Country Deserves Better PAC funded and organized by Republicans to oppose Democrats
OCDB formed by Republicans. OCDB PAC "was formed in August  by California political consultant Sal Russo and former California Assemblyman Howard Kaloogian." [Associated Press, 10/16/08] As their OCDB biographies note, Russo is a veteran Republican consultant, and Kaloogian served as a Republican in the California Assembly.
OCDB's mission is to oppose Obama and "Democratic Congress." On its "About Us" page, OCDB states that "we must stand up to Barack Obama and the Democrat-controlled Congress." The PAC also solicits contributions by stating, "Help us fight the Democratic Congress!"
In 2008, OCDB's sole objective was Obama's defeat. NPR reported on September 26, 2008, that OCDB's website then said "it has one objective: to defeat Obama." During the 2008 campaign, the PAC hosted "patriotic, pro-McCain/Palin rallies" to "Stop Obama."
OCDB campaigned for Republican Tedisco. OCDB "campaign[ed]" "on behalf of" Republican New York congressional candidate Jim Tedisco in March by "broadcasting television and radio advertisements. ... Total ad buy is expected to reach well into the hundreds of thousands by Election Day."
OCDB's current campaigns are anti-Democratic Party. The PAC's website lists numerous campaigns aimed at Democrats, such as asking for White House chief of staff Rahm Emanuel's resignation and an effort proposing to "spend in excess of $1 million" to defeat Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid in 2010. The PAC's website also lists campaigns opposing "ObamaCare" and the cap-and-trade bill.
OCDB's history of smears against Democrats
In 2008, OCDB produced numerous ads and videos smearing Obama. For instance, OCDB produced ads and videos with such titles as "Obama's Wrong Values," "Obama: Not Faithful to Our Military," and "Obama's Patriotism Problem." The AP wrote of OCDB's ads: "The images and allegations are provocative and, in some cases, unfounded. ... Clips from a controversial sermon delivered by Obama's former pastor Jeremiah Wright are used in two ads to charge that Obama doesn't share average Americans' values. Another ad questions Obama's patriotism with a video clip in which he does not hold his hand to his heart during the national anthem. A third accuses Obama of sympathizing with Islamic militants. The ad does not support the statement." [AP, 10/16/08]
Recent OCDB ad compares Obama to Ahmadinejad. In an ad posted online on July 7, OCDB aired images of Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad and footage of fighting in the streets following the recent Iranian elections while a narrator reads a series of news clips then states, "But wait. These press reports aren't about Iran. They're about Barack Obama's administration right here in the U.S."
Mark Williams is a birther with a history of smearing progressives
Williams: Obama's "birth certificate has never been produced." According to the Center for Media and Democracy, at an October 2008 rally, Williams:
[I]nvoked a long-discredited smear against Obama that seems designed to play on fears of his "otherness": that he's not really a U.S. citizen. "We all know that Barack Obama is not qualified to be president of the United States, beyond being above the age of 35 and probably an American citizen," said Williams, emphasizing the word "probably." He laughed and then repeated: "Probably. Even money."
On his blog, Williams has repeatedly raised doubts about Obama's citizenship. Williams wrote that Obama's "actual birth certificate has never been produced however and is now the subject of a lawsuit to demand that it be produced" and that "our choice this November" is between Sen. John McCain and "the former Barry Soetoro, Indonesian Muslim turned welfare thug turned anointed."
Looks real, but... you knew there'd be a "but" didn't you?
If this is real (photos below -- link to story below them) then this birth certificate conflicts with a parrallel [sic] story about Obama's real name being "Barry Sotero", also backed by "official" documentation
Link to story below photos and, as we say on TV -- You Decide
Williams later updated his post by writing: "It was fun while it lasted for some I suppose but all good things must come to an end. This one ends with a blogger who is claiming credit. Click here for that, scroll down for the previous story"
Williams repeatedly claims Obama wants "death panels," links to Nazi experiments. On his blog, Williams has falsely asserted that health care legislation would have a "death panel." Williams also linked "Obama's death panels" to Nazis in an August 15 post:
How Obama's Death Panels Work to Reduce Health Care Costs
Prepare for a chill to run down your spine.
"The T4 Program was specifically developed by the Nazi's in 1939 to deal with individuals, who had a disability, were elderly, were mentally insane, or who were considered to be in any way feebleminded and weak. T4 stands for Tiergarten Strafe number 4, which was the address of the main administration offices of this program in Berlin. The program was responsible for the deliberate murder of over 100,000 individuals.
Although much intense discussion and debate about what to do with those members of society who were too weak or defective had occurred between political and medical members of the Nazi hierarchy, it was not until early 1938 that the first human being was euthanized by the permission and order of the government. "
Williams frequently smears progressives, Democrats. Williams has a history of smearing and baselessly attacking progressives and Democrats. More recently, Williams called Obama the "Racist in Chief." In response to a Media Matters item noting Williams and OCDB's history, Williams wrote on August 1:
All the pot that these hippies smoke must have fried their synapses because they keep repeating the same stuff over and over again every time they get bored and revisit their irritation with me.
In his blog post, Williams did not dispute any claims by Media Matters.
From the August 19 edition of Fox News' Fox & Friends:
KILMEADE: Straight ahead, citizens take their concerns about health care on the road to -- on the road. The organizer of a cross-country tea party tour, and how you can join, next.
KILMEADE: All right, countless citizens have been making their voices heard at tea party protests across the country. One of the biggest movements has grown out of Sacramento, where one group plans to take their grievances with their -- with the government on the road. The Tea Party Express will make 35 stops across the country, giving Americans a constructive outlet in which to share their concerns on health care, and I imagine more.
GRETCHEN CARLSON (co-host): Yep, like spending or something like that. Mark Williams, the vice chair of Our Country Deserves Better political action committee, is also the organizer of the Tea Party Express. And he joins us live today from Sacramento. Good morning to you, Mark.
WILLIAMS: Good morning, guys -- bright and early morning to you. And I'm one of the organizers, so we're working with a whole bunch of people across the country. Unlike the characterization of us by people on the unholy left, this is truly grassroots. All we're doing is herding cats. And we are herding lots of them, I hope.
CARLSON: Well, and that's sort of has been the implication, has it not, that you're just this fringe element. Put that to rest this morning once and for all. Who is going to be joining you on this caravan?
WILLIAMS: Well, we've got a wonderful group of folks coming along with us. My co-vice chair, Deb Johns, is a Blue Star Mom. She and I have worked on many campaigns over the years. We'll be joined by local dignitaries and local speakers, local tea party people along the way. The Tea Party Patriots have just been outstanding in cities across the country, helping us get venues and turn people out. We are bringing musical acts -- patriotic music and such.
And basically we're giving people, like you said, a constructive outlet. We are holding essentially our own legitimate town hall meetings across the country, as opposed to the staged ones that the president has been putting on. And Obamacare seems to be the -- I guess, what is it this week, health care insurance reform -- whatever they changed the name to from day to day. That seems to be the touchstone, because it's got everything. It's got the government intrusion, it's got the wasteful spending, it's got the let's get this done before we read it, it's got the bill written in Martian. Have you tried to read this thing? Ten pounds, 4 and a half inches thick. More than a thousand pages written in some bizarre language that nobody can understand -- not even the president. So it all kind of comes together there.
And this is very important. We at the Tea Party Express -- teapartyexpress.org -- we at the Tea Party Express are as a divergent group of people politically as you could possibly ask for. You just did that great story on Barney Frank. He was my congressman when I lived in Massachusetts. And he, by the way, is everything you saw at that town hall meeting. Believe me, that's --
KILMEADE: Well, the good news for you, Mark -- and we got your message, you can get at your website -- is Barney Frank agrees with you -- don't trust the government. So --
WILLIAMS: Don't trust the government.
KILMEADE: -- he doesn't realize he's in it yet, but we will tell him that later. Mark Williams, congratulations on the --
WILLIAMS: I learned that being represented by him.
KILMEADE: Right. Congratulations on all your success. The Tea Party Express, and you are just one of the organizers. Thanks, Mark.
WILLIAMS: Thank you.