Obama is right: Fox News promoting "destructive" GOP agenda


In a recent Rolling Stone interview, President Obama said Fox News is part of the tradition of using the press "very intentionally to promote their viewpoints" because Fox "has a very clear, undeniable point of view" that "is ultimately destructive for the long-term growth" of the country. Indeed, Fox has a long history of actively promoting the Republican agenda and of opposing economic positions which economists say would stimulate growth.

Obama: Fox a "destructive" network that uses its platform "very intentionally to promote" its "point of view"

Obama: Fox "has a very clear, undeniable point of view" that "is ultimately destructive for the long-term growth" of the country. In an interview to appear in the October 15 edition of Rolling Stone, Obama stated his belief that Fox News is a "destructive" network that uses its platform to "very intentionally promote" its point of view, which is "ultimately destructive for the long-term growth" of the country:

The golden age of an objective press was a pretty narrow span of time in our history. Before that, you had folks like Hearst who used their newspapers very intentionally to promote their viewpoints. I think Fox is part of that tradition -- it is part of the tradition that has a very clear, undeniable point of view. It's a point of view that I disagree with. It's a point of view that I think is ultimately destructive for the long-term growth of a country that has a vibrant middle class and is competitive in the world. But as an economic enterprise, it's been wildly successful. And I suspect that if you ask Mr. Murdoch what his number-one concern is, it's that Fox is very successful.

Obama is right: Fox has an extensive record of pushing GOP agenda, candidates

Five potential Republican presidential candidates are employed by -- and speak almost exclusively through -- Fox. As Media Matters documented, five potential Republican presidential candidates are employed by Fox News as contributors or hosts and have made at least 269 appearances on the cable channel -- compared to a total of six appearances on all other major news channels combined. Fox also has a record of supporting ex-employees' bids for elected office with free airtime, fundraising opportunities, and on-air adulation.

Fox lavished coverage on the GOP's legislative agenda. Following the House Republican Conference's unveiling of its 2010 legislative agenda, "A Pledge to America," Fox lavished attention on the pledge, devoting at least 2 hours and 33 minutes on September 22 and 23 to promoting, discussing, and reporting the agenda.

FoxPAC: Fox News' corporate parent gave Republican Governors Association $1 million. News Corp., the parent company of Fox News, donated $1 million to the Republican Governors Association, causing journalism experts and news veterans to criticize the donation for "compromising the appearance of fairness."

Fox News host and contributors also raise big bucks for the GOP. Meanwhile, Fox News hosts and contributors -- including Sarah Palin, Newt Gingrich, Mike Huckabee, Karl Rove, Dick Morris, and Sean Hannity -- continue to raise money for Republican candidates and causes using political action committees and 527 and 501(c)4 organizations. Delaware's Republican U.S. senatorial candidate, Christine O'Donnell, even thanked Palin and several other Fox-tied supporters for propelling her to a primary victory over Rep. Mike Castle.

Fox also supports candidates with fawning free coverage and serves as a launching pad for their campaigns. Republican candidates regularly appear on Fox for softball interviews to launch their campaigns and promote fundraising. Indeed, Nevada's Republican U.S. senatorial candidate Sharron Angle recently bragged to supporters that her appearances on a "friendly press outlet" like Fox are very profitable for her.

Fox News aggressively promoted tea party protests. Fox News aggressively promoted the tea party protests which the channel described as primarily a response to Obama's fiscal policies, going so far as to host several of the network's shows on location at protests.

Fox has a history of adopting and promoting GOP talking points -- without even stopping to edit them. Recently, following Republican Congressmen Kevin McCarthy's and John Boehner's repeated assertions that failing to vote on tax cuts will inject "uncertainty" into the economy on Fox News Sunday, Fox personalities ran with the talking point, spreading the claim throughout the network. Similarly, last year, Fox News host Jon Scott aired a segment purporting to "take a look back" at how the economic recovery plan "grew, and grew, and grew." In doing so, Scott referenced seven dates, as on-screen graphics cited various news sources from those time periods -- all of which came directly from a Senate Republican Communications Center press release. A Fox News on-screen graphic even reproduced a typo contained in the Republican press release. Fox did not attribute the data to the Senate Republican Communications Center at the time. The following day, Scott apologized -- for running the typo.

Economists agree with Obama: proposals pushed by Fox bad for long-term growth

Fox has opposed every major effort to stimulate the economy -- despite economists' support. Since Obama took office, Fox personalities have opposed every major package proposed to stimulate the economy, despite support from a consensus of economists and economic analysts. Recent opposition has included Obama's newly proposed infrastructure plan, the extension of unemployment insurance, aid to states, and food stamps, all of which have been shown to stimulate the economy.

Fox's campaign to extend tax cuts for the wealthy would add debt, do little to stimulate growth. Over the past few months, Fox has launched a campaign aimed at extending the Bush tax cuts for the rich. However, economists and financial analysts agree that those cuts will cost $700 billion and would be much less effective at stimulating the economy than extending unemployment insurance, food stamps, and providing direct aid to states - all proposals which Fox personalities have repeatedly opposed.

Fox opposed the stimulus and since bill's passage, have repeatedly falsely claimed that it failed. In covering the 2009 American Recovery and Reinvestment Act, commonly referred to as the stimulus, Fox News consistently advanced false and misleading claims about the economic recovery package. Since the bill's passage, Fox News figures have repeatedly advanced the false claim that the stimulus "failed," despite the fact that independent and private analysts agree that the stimulus boosted GDP and increased employment.

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