On Fox News, Wall Street Journal senior economics writer Stephen Moore advanced a long-time Republican falsehood by claiming that "the big problem" with small business tax credits in the proposed jobs bill "is that a lot of small businesses are looking ahead at what is going to happen next year with the big increases on tax increases when the Bush tax cuts go away." However, despite Moore's suggestion that the Obama administration's proposal to eliminate the Bush tax cuts for wealthy taxpayers would affect a large percentage of small businesses, in fact, it would apply to fewer than 1.3 percent of all those who declare small business income.
On the day after the Senate primary in Illinois, Fox News continued its pattern of engaging in political advocacy, this time in support of Mark Kirk, the Republican nominee for the 2010 election for the Illinois U.S. Senate seat. During their February 3 coverage of the primary, Fox News repeatedly aired a National Republican Senatorial Committee (NRSC) "attack ad" targeting Kirk's Democratic opponent, Illinois State Treasurer Alexi Giannoulias, provided Kirk a platform to attack Giannoulias, and repeatedly offered favorable comparisons between Kirk and Scott Brown, the Republican victor in the special election for the Massachusetts U.S. Senate seat who received similarly favorable treatment from Fox News prior to his election.
Fox News host Bill Hemmer raised the tired specter of ACORN receiving federal funding to attack Department of Housing and Urban Development funding included in President Obama's 2011 budget proposal. Conservatives in the media have exhaustively cited the possibility of federal money going to ACORN to attack health care reform legislation, the financial bailout bill, and the economic recovery act.
Fox News anchor Martha MacCallum falsely reported that "if you remember correctly, last Thursday, Congress voted to raise the debt ceiling by 1.9 trillion, right, to 14.3 trillion," and that according to a wire report, "the Treasury Department has just said that we're gonna be on track to hit that approved debt ceiling this month, in the month of February." In fact, the Associated Press reported the same day that "[t]he Treasury Department said Wednesday it expects to hit" the "current" debt limit of $12.4 trillion and noted that "the House has yet to pass" the proposed $1.9 trillion increase.
Several media figures have asserted that annual income of more than $250,000 is -- in the words of Rush Limbaugh -- "not wealthy" in order to attack President Obama's 2011 budget proposal to allow the Bush tax cuts on families earning more than $250,000 per year to expire as scheduled. According to 2006 Census data, households that earn more than $250,000 per year make up approximately two percent of all U.S. households.
From the February 2 broadcast of Fox News' America's Newsroom:
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Previewing President Obama's announcement of his fiscal year 2011 budget plan, Fox News provided a platform to Art Laffer, a member of President Reagan's Economic Policy Advisory Board,* to offer dubious claims about tax cuts. Laffer claimed that in fiscal 2011, "all of the Bush tax cuts expire," ignoring that President Obama's budget plan allows those cuts to expire only for those making more than $250,000 per year, and asserted that the recession in the early 1980s occurred because President Reagan delayed the implementation of his tax cuts and ended due to those cuts, a claim disputed by many economists who instead cite changes to interest rates.
From the February 1 edition of Fox News' America's Newsroom:
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From the January 29 edition of Fox News' America's Newsroom:
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No doubt attempting to fan the flames of an imagined Clinton-Obama feud, the top story currently on the Drudge report screams: "What is she up to? Hillary Skips State of Union."
Answer: Attending two important national security related meetings in London--a trip that was sanctioned by the President. The Washington Post reported on January 27:
Seems there's an important international meeting Wednesday in London on battling radicalization in Yemen, and then another, long-planned conference there Thursday on development and security in Afghanistan.
Once the Wednesday meeting was "locked in," we were told, the State Department and National Security Council staffs agreed that Clinton had to be in London. These are both big administration priorities. Key allies will be gathering there to discuss Yemen, an uber-concern of late, especially since the Christmas Day airplane bombing attempt.
And everyone who's anyone -- including maybe the neo-Soviets and the Chicoms and possibly even the Iranians -- will be there to talk about Afghanistan.
Clinton laid out the situation in a meeting last week with Obama, and he agreed that she should go.
Nonetheless, some on the right have taken Drudge's bait and run with speculation that there's a riff between Clinton and Obama and that Clinton may be angling for a run at the Presidency in 2012. Case in point, on Fox News' America's Newsroom, after positing that Clinton could be considering a 2012 run, co-host Martha MacCallum echoed Drudge in reporting, "People who follow politics closely ... think that might be a little odd that she wasn't at the State of the Union address. Next thing you know she's saying she doesn't necessarily serve two terms as Secretary of State, and they wonder if everything's OK between Hillary Clinton and the president." Despite later noting the purpose of Clinton's trip and acknowledging that it seemed like a "legitimate" reason for Clinton to miss the State of the Union, MacCallum went on to say "it does raise some questions about how she'll sort of game out the political scene" and pushed her guest, Douglas Schoen, to speculate if there was "anything that would make her change her mind about the possibility of running against him?"
Fox Nation has also taken the bait by asking, "What's Hillary Plotting" and linking to an article on Clinton's absence from the State of the Union address:
And, just in case it wasn't obvious what Drudge was trying to suggest in trumpeting that Clinton missed the State of the Union, Drudge is now linking to Peter Roff's U.S. News & World Report blog post, which asks the question: "A Hillary Clinton Primary Challenge to Obama in 2012?" From Drudge:
From the January 28 edition of Fox News' America's Newsroom:
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In recent weeks, Fox News has continued its pattern of engaging in political advocacy, this time supporting Scott Brown, the Republican nominee in the special election for the Massachusetts U.S. Senate seat. Fox has hosted Brown several times, providing him a forum to raise funds; Dick Morris has explicitly asked viewers to go to his website to help elect Brown. Fox media figures have distorted Democratic nominee Martha Coakley's statements and suggested Democrats may steal the election; and Fox News has suggested that a Brown victory would provide economic benefits.
During an interview with Scott Brown, the Republican candidate in the special election for the open Massachusetts seat in the U.S. Senate, Fox News' Martha MacCallum falsely claimed that Democrats are "pushing to change Massachusetts law now, according to reports," so that Brown "can't be sworn in until after the health care vote." MacCallum cited only unnamed "reports" to support her claim, but in fact, the Boston Herald article that first referenced Brown's certification reported that Secretary of the Commonwealth William Galvin said the election results could be delayed "for absentee and military ballots to come in" -- not due to any change in Massachusetts law.
In recent days, Scott Brown, the Republican nominee in the special election for the Massachusetts U.S. Senate seat, has made numerous appearances on Fox News to raise funds for his campaign, solicit volunteers, and peddle misinformation. In the wake of the November 2009 elections, Fox News provided airtime to GOP and conservative candidates, and its on-air personalities celebrated and shilled for them.
Conservative media figures have politicized the failed Christmas Day terrorist attack to criticize President Obama's handling of national security matters. But their assertions about Obama's and former President Bush's handling of terrorism and national security are replete with myths and falsehoods.