On her Fox News show this afternoon, Megyn Kelly continued her innuendo campaign against the Obama Justice Department, promoting a discredited 11-day-old "accusation" by Republican activists that the DOJ isn't enforcing a law on military voting. Kelly introduced the topic by saying, "Well, two former DOJ attorneys now alleging that the Department of Justice is not enforcing the law that protects the voting rights of military men and women serving overseas. The DOJ denies that accusation, but Senator John Cornyn of Texas is demanding answers and is set to meet with officials from the Department of Justice about the matter this week."
This is totally in character for Kelly. She was the No. 1 promoter of the phony "scandal" created by J. Christian Adams, a former Justice Department attorney who left the DOJ to press his ridiculous allegation that race motivated the Obama administration to take it easy on New Black Panther Party members accused of intimidating white voters.
The accusation about military voting is being made by Adams and Eric Eversole, former DOJ attorney and adviser to the McCain campaign. They claim that the Justice Department is encouraging states to ask for a waiver of a rule that requires states to ship ballots to troops overseas at least 45 days before an election.
And that's it. That's the entirety of the evidence. Two GOP activists say that that's what the Justice Department is doing, so that's what Megyn Kelly says. (In fact, the Department of Defense must also approve waivers for delays in ballot delivery, not just the DOJ.)
From the August 5 edition of Fox News' America Live:
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From the August 3 edition of Fox News' America Live:
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The idea behind Fox News is simple -- conservative political activism masked as journalism. And, for what it's worth, Fox News tends to do an excellent job blurring the line between the two, often convincing credulous members of the mainstream press that the Murdoch network is operating as a good faith journalistic enterprise. But some bits of news are harder to spin than others, and as Megyn Kelly's segment on the Bush tax cuts this afternoon demonstrated, polling data are among the toughest.
The conceit behind Kelly's segment was that allowing the Bush tax cuts to expire for the wealthiest Americans will be bad news for Democrats, and she offered up the latest Fox News poll as evidence that the country does not want to tax the rich like the Democrats want: "I anecdotally just thought that people would support the raising of taxes, people who weren't in the so-called rich category. But take a look at this new poll, folks." But here are the poll numbers she put up, and they show that 50 percent of the country favor allowing the Bush tax cuts to expire for the wealthy or for everyone:
Faced with this uncomfortable realization, she and Stuart Varney simply continued talking as if they hadn't just seen the poll numbers that obliterated their argument. Kelly stammered away: "Just 14 percent said they'd let them expire. Just 14 percent. The vast majority -- you know, you put those numbers, or you look at those other numbers, at least, the more than not, want to keep tax cuts in place for everyone, and 36 percent say at least if you make under $250,000 you shouldn't [sic] have your tax cuts."
Varney, having also seen the very same poll numbers which show that 50 percent of Americans favor letting tax cuts for the wealthy expire, said: "You'd think if you said 'you want to tax the rich, make them pay for it?' You would think that a majority would say 'yes, tax them, that's the way to pay for it, get the deficit down.' Your poll says no, that's not what they're saying."
Now, technically, Varney's right, because 50 percent isn't a "majority." But still, he and Kelly weren't just spinning this poll, they were outright denying what it actually said as they were talking about it.
Video of the segment after the jump.
From the July 29 edition of Fox News' America Live:
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Following Judge Susan Bolton's decision to block the controversial portions of the Arizona immigration law, conservative media have claimed that Arizona passed the law because the federal government is refusing to enforce immigration law and secure the border, but this rhetoric -- which directly echoes that of Republican politicians -- bears no relation to the facts. Data show federal enforcement efforts are up and illegal immigration is down.
Fox News' ever-outraged anchor Megyn Kelly had a frank and serious discussion with Tom Tancredo this afternoon concerning his lunatic Washington Times op-ed calling for the impeachment of President Obama. To her credit, Kelly pushed back pretty hard on Tancredo's garbage and actually corrected him on his facts a few times, but one moment really stood out for me -- when Kelly said that Tancredo's descriptions of Obama as a "Marxist" and an "enemy of our Constitution" are "not considered helpful," asking: "Who are you hoping to convince?"
Um... Megyn? You might want to tune into your own network 'round about 5 p.m. every weekday...
UPDATE: I should point out that Kelly has previously defended Republican members of Congress who called Obama "anti-American" and "post-American," as well as the tea partiers' attacks on Obama as a socialist: "That is a short-form way of saying government is butting its way into many aspects of our lives."
In contrast to Fox News' repeated hyping of voter-intimidation charges against members of the New Black Panther Party during the 2008 election, a search of the Nexis database indicates that Fox News' top shows did not report on similar allegations that members of the Minutemen harassed Hispanic voters at an Arizona polling center in 2006.
Fox News figures have used J. Christian Adams' unsubstantiated allegations to suggest that President Obama and Attorney General Eric Holder were involved in the Justice Department's decision in the New Black Panthers case. However, Adams himself testified that he had no "indication" that the decision involved anyone "higher up" than an acting assistant attorney general.
From the July 16 edition of Fox News' America Live:
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When a news outlet doesn't do their research, it's easy to get duped. And that's just what happened yesterday, when the Center for Immigration Studies got Fox News to repeatedly promote its "mini-documentary," "Hidden Cameras on the Arizona Border 2: Drugs, Guns, and 850 Illegal Aliens."
The video features footage from hidden cameras placed in the Tucson sector of Arizona, along trails frequently used by people who entered the country illegally. According to the video, the cameras captured "about 850 illegal aliens" in "60 days between February and March 2010." CIS says of its production: "At minimum, the inescapable conclusion is that hidden cameras reveal a reality that illegal-alien activity is escalating."
Well if CIS says such a conclusion is, "at minimum," "inescapable," Fox News shouldn't waste their time verifying the claim, right? How I wish it weren't so.
If you've tuned in to the immigration coverage on "Fair and Balanced" Fox News over the past few months, chances are you've seen this face:
His name is Paul Babeu (pronounced bab-you) and he is the Sheriff of Pinal County, Arizona, a critic of the Obama administration, and an ardent supporter of the new Arizona immigration law.
Two Arizona border sheriffs who spoke out against that law said they have not recieved any invitations to appear on Fox News. By contrast, Fox has interviewed Sheriff Babeu live at least 18 times since mid-April:
Yesterday, Fox News contributor Kirsten Powers poked holes in Megyn Kelly's campaign to promote the phony scandal involving the Department of Justice's handling of the New Black Panther voter intimidation case. Kelly told Powers: "You don't know what you're talking about." But it was Kelly who made false and misleading statements to back up her case.
During the interview, Kelly told Powers: "And unlike you, I have read the testimony before the U.S. Commission on Civil Rights, and Bartle Bull, a lifelong Democrat who worked for Robert F. Kennedy was given a civil rights award by Ted Kennedy, who happened to be at the polling station that day, testified that this was the worst case of voter intimidation...he had ever seen in his life." In fact, if Kelly read Bull's testimony, she would have known that Bull himself acknowledged that he was "troubleshooting on Election Day for the McCain Campaign." Bull also told Kelly that that he "didn't like Obama from the beginning" and "thought he was a hustler." Bull currently serves as chair a campaign to draft Rudy Giuliani to run for New York Governor.
When Powers asked Kelly if she asked conservative activist J. Christian Adams "about when he was in the Bush administration and how politicized that office was and how they only hired conservatives and how there's an entire GAO report?" Kelly responded: "If you watched the interview -- I have asked him." She later commented: "I did. I asked him." Kelly did ask Adams about complaints from the left that "the voter registration requirements of the voter registration law were not being followed" and calls for then-Attorney General Alberto Gonzales needed to do more, asking: "What you're alleging now Christian, is it just politics? A tit-for-tat?" Kelly did not, however, ask Adams about his role as conservative activist and "exhibit A" of the politicized hiring in the Bush Justice Department.
Powers also told Kelly: "I cannot believe that this one case, after all the cases that were dismissed during the Bush administration, is getting the amount of attention that it's getting. I find it absolutely shocking." Kelly responded: "Let me tell you why. Because the voting place is sacrosanct." Kelly made no effort to square her current outrage with reports that the Bush Justice Department declined to pursue similar allegations against members of the Minutemen, one of whom reportedly carried a gun in 2006 while harassing Hispanic voters in Arizona. The incident was reportedly referred to the FBI, but as Thomas Perez testified, the DOJ "declined to bring any action for alleged voter intimidation" "when three well-known anti-immigrant advocates affiliated with the Minutemen, one of whom was carrying a gun, allegedly intimidated Latino voters at a polling place by approaching several persons, filming them, and advocating and printing voting materials in Spanish."
From the July 14 edition of Fox News' America Live:
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Promoting an America Live segment on the bogus allegations of racial preferences at the Department of Justice in the New Black Panther Party case, Sarah Palin wrote on her Twitter account that Megyn Kelly "knows the case" and is "speaking truth." Media Matters has documented Kelly's track record of advancing J. Christian Adams' baseless accusations about the Justice Department's actions in the case. During the segment Palin promoted, the New York Post's Kirsten Powers called Fox News' race-baiting "doing the scary black man thing."
From Palin's July 13 post on her Twitter account: