From the March 20 edition of Fox News' America's News HQ:
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CNN's John Roberts interviewed "Republican political consultant" Roger Stone, who advanced the oft-repeated conservative smear that Sen. Barack Obama would be "dangerous" as president. Although Roberts said Stone is "famous for running some very, very effective negative campaigns over the course of American political history," he didn't mention Stone's recent efforts, such as the anti-Hillary Clinton 527 group Citizens United Not Timid, which emphasized its acronym on its website and on T-shirts.
Conservative radio host Armstrong Williams criticized vice-presidential debate moderator Gwen Ifill over her upcoming book about African-American political leaders, saying she "should have disclosed" it, and that it is "ultimately impossible" for her not to favor Sen. Barack Obama, because she has a "financial stake" in his winning the presidency. However, beginning in 2003, Williams did not disclose that he received $240,000 in Education Department funds to promote No Child Left Behind. The Government Accountability Office found that the Department of Education's actions constituted "covert propaganda" in violation of the law.
Fox News' Neil Cavuto contradicted reporting by Fox News by suggesting that the financial bailout bill would not have failed if House Speaker Nancy Pelosi "had just shut up earlier and not characterized it one way or the other" in a speech she gave before the vote. However, Fox News producer Chad Pergram reported before Pelosi spoke that Republicans "may only have 40 to 60 of their members" supporting the bill, a number that Pergram said "leaves us very short there." Additionally, several GOP House members have said that Pelosi's speech did not cause Republicans to switch their votes.
On Fox News, Rush Limbaugh claimed that in a U.N. speech, Iran's President Ahmadinejad was "echoing [Sen.] Barack Obama talking points -- talking about how America is responsible for all the problems of the world, talking about how American defense spending is -- led to the crisis here." Limbaugh provided no evidence that Obama has said anything remotely similar to Ahmadinejad's remarks, which, according to a translation, included references to "Zionist murderers" and to the purported influence of "Zionists" on the "political decision-making centers of some European countries and the U.S."
On September 6, Fox News' America's Election HQ aired numerous reports documenting claims by Republicans and the McCain campaign that they "rescued" American flags that were going to be "disposed of" by the Democrats after their convention at Invesco Field. But during the reports, Fox News gave no indication that it had sought to contact a Democratic Party official or Obama campaign spokesperson for comment, and only reported a Democratic response hours after it began reporting the Republican claims.
On Fox News' America's Election HQ, David Freddoso claimed: "Senator [Barack] Obama says that he is a reformer, an agent of positive change. And looking at his record, though, in Chicago, Springfield, and Washington, I found that he is absolutely -- there's nothing in his record to bear out that claim." However, in Freddoso's recently released book, he specifically credited Obama with two "real accomplishment[s] ... in the name of reform" -- the Federal Funding Accountability and Transparency Act of 2006, and a 1998 Illinois ethics bill.
On Fox News' America's Election HQ, Ralph Peters falsely suggested that Sen. Barack Obama has said that the United States "should send ground troops into Pakistan" and "invade the country through which we get our supplies." In fact, Obama did not say he would "invade" Pakistan; rather, he stated: "If we have actionable intelligence about high-value terrorist targets and [Pakistani] President [Pervez] Musharraf won't act, we will."
On America's Election HQ, Eric Shawn did not challenge retired Col. George "Bud" Day's false assertion that "what was said in the Swift Boat campaign by the swift boaters [was] absolutely true." In fact, the Swift Boat Veterans for Truth promoted false and baseless smears about Sen. John Kerry's military service during the 2004 presidential campaign.
While discussing his latest syndicated column on Fox News' America's Election HQ, Dick Morris asserted: "[T]he question that plagues [Sen. Barack] Obama is ... Is he pro-American?" Morris has previously stated that "the determinant in the election will be whether we believe that Barack Obama is what he appears to be, or is he somebody who's sort of a sleeper agent who really doesn't believe in our system."
Fox News' Carl Cameron falsely suggested that Sen. John McCain acknowledged weakness on economic issues only once, "[i]n one of those marathon interactions with reporters on the bus," while NBC's Andrea Mitchell baselessly asserted that McCain was "obviously joking" when he admitted his lack of knowledge about the economy. In fact, McCain has made such an acknowledgement on numerous occasions over the course of the campaign, and when confronted with one such remark at a Republican presidential debate, McCain did not respond by asserting that he had been "joking" -- he suggested he hadn't said it.
Fox News' Bill Hemmer aired a portion of an ad from Vets for Freedom in reporting that Sen. John McCain is "getting a bit of help" from the group, which is "launching ads featuring Iraq veterans blasting [Sen.] Barack Obama." However, Hemmer did not note that Sens. Lindsey Graham and Joe Lieberman served on the group's board of advisers or that McCain has previously denounced independent expenditures on his behalf, asserting, "If anyone considering an outside expenditure thinks they are benefiting me I would prefer they do not air the ads."
On Fox News' America's Election HQ, GOP strategist Terry Holt said that Al Gore "claimed to have invented the Internet," and on Fox News' On the Record, Politico reporter Ken Vogel stated: "And they're going to try to show him [Sen. Barack Obama] as a chronicle -- a chronic exaggerator, like they did with Al Gore in 2000, when they seized on his every claim, starting memorably with his claim that he invented the Internet, as some say that he said." In fact, Gore did not claim that he "invented the Internet." Rather, he said: "During my service in the United States Congress, I took the initiative in creating the Internet."
NPR's Juan Williams asserted that Sen. John McCain "has fought his own party, the GOP, on immigration." And Fox News' Dick Morris stated that McCain "really has moved to the left of the Republican Party" on "the immigration bill." However, neither Williams nor Morris mentioned that McCain has reversed his position on immigration and now asserts that "we've got to secure the borders first" -- a position at odds with his prior assertion that border security could not be disaggregated from other aspects of comprehensive immigration reform without being rendered ineffective.