Fox Uses Obama's U.N. Speech To Revive False "Apology Tour" Myth


Fox News personalities labeled President Obama's address during the United Nations General Assembly a continuation of his "apology tour," a repeatedly debunked right-wing narrative started during Obama's first year in office.

In Annual U.N. Address, Obama Speaks About America's Progress And Failures

President Obama Acknowledged U.S. Has Sometimes "Failed To Live Up To Our Ideals," But "Has Steadily Worked To Address Our Problems." After highlighting the necessity of addressing current global conflicts during his annual address to the United Nations General Assembly, President Obama acknowledged that the United States has at times "failed to live up to our ideals," citing the unrest after a police shooting of a black teenager in Ferguson, Missouri. Obama also emphasized how the U.S. has "steadily worked to address our problems":

I realize that America's critics will be quick to point out that at times we too have failed to live up to our ideals; that America has plenty of problems within its own borders. This is true. In a summer marked by instability in the Middle East and Eastern Europe, I know the world also took notice of the small American city of Ferguson, Missouri -- where a young man was killed, and a community was divided. So, yes, we have our own racial and ethnic tensions. And like every country, we continually wrestle with how to reconcile the vast changes wrought by globalization and greater diversity with the traditions that we hold dear.

But we welcome the scrutiny of the world -- because what you see in America is a country that has steadily worked to address our problems, to make our union more perfect, to bridge the divides that existed at the founding of this nation. America is not the same as it was 100 years ago, or 50 years ago, or even a decade ago. Because we fight for our ideals, and we are willing to criticize ourselves when we fall short. Because we hold our leaders accountable, and insist on a free press and independent judiciary. Because we address our differences in the open space of democracy -- with respect for the rule of law; with a place for people of every race and every religion; and with an unyielding belief in the ability of individual men and women to change their communities and their circumstances and their countries for the better. [, 9/24/14]

Fox Calls Obama's Speech A Continuation Of His "Apology Tour"

Fox's Krauthammer: "This Is A Continuation Of The Apology Tour." Fox News contributor and syndicated columnist Charles Krauthammer said of President Obama's mention of Ferguson in his U.N. speech, "This is a continuation of the apology tour, or the confession tour." [Fox News, Special Report with Bret Baier, 9/24/14]

Fox's Hannity: "It Was A Continuation Of The Apology Tour That He Began In 2009." On his radio show, Fox News host Sean Hannity said: "As the president was speaking before the U.N., Obama decided it was his duty as president to once again criticize the United States. In other words it was a continuation of the apology tour that he began in 2009, and which he seems to take such great delight in." [Premiere Radio Networks, The Sean Hannity Show, 9/24/14]

Fox Nation: "Apology Tour, Part II." Fox Nation featured a Mediaite article on Obama's mention of Ferguson with the headline: "Apology Tour, Part II - Obama Invoked Ferguson at U.N.: 'We Have Our Own Racial and Ethnic Tensions.'" [Fox Nation, 9/24/14]

Fox's Years-Old, Manufactured "Apology Tour" Claim Has Been Repeatedly Debunked

Wash. Post Fact Checker: "The Apology Tour Never Happened." Washington Post fact-checker Glenn Kessler debunked the charge that Obama has apologized for America, saying "the claim that Obama repeatedly has apologized for the United states is not borne out by the facts":

The claim that Obama repeatedly has apologized for the United States is not borne out by the facts, especially if his full quotes are viewed in context.

Obama often was trying to draw a rhetorical distinction between his policies and that of President Bush, a common practice when the presidency changes parties. The shift in policies, in fact, might have been more dramatic from Clinton to Bush than from Bush to Obama, given how Obama has largely maintained Bush's approach to fighting terrorism.

In other cases, Obama's quotes have been selectively trimmed for political purposes. Or they were not much different than sentiments expressed by Bush or his secretary of state. Republicans may certainly disagree with Obama's handling of foreign policy or particular policies he has pursued, but they should not invent a storyline that does not appear to exist.

Note to GOP speechwriters and campaign ad makers: The apology tour never happened. [The Washington Post, 2/22/11]

PolitiFact: "It's A Ridiculous Charge" That Obama Has Apologized For America. PolitiFact twice investigated former presidential candidate Mitt Romney's accusations that Obama "traveled around the globe to apologize for America." The website found Romney's statements to be false, calling the claims "a ridiculous charge." [PolitiFact, 3/15/10, 6/3/11] "Apology Tour" Attack "Doesn't Hold Up When Matched With Obama's Actual Words." In August 2012, examined repeated attacks that Obama went on an "apology tour" overseas and determined, after in-depth analyses of Obama's speeches, that "the claim doesn't hold up when matched with Obama's actual words." [, 8/31/12]

To see more about Fox News' role in pushing the "apology tour" myth throughout Obama's presidency, click here.

We've changed our commenting system to Disqus.
Instructions for signing up and claiming your comment history are located here.
Updated rules for commenting are here.