On March 16, Fox News anchors during their self-described daytime "news hours" repeatedly forwarded the false suggestion that, by using a legislative procedure known as the "self-executing rule" to finalize health care reform in the House, Democrats would be passing health care reform "without actually voting for it." In fact, implementing the proposed procedure requires a majority vote.
On the March 16 edition of Fox News' America's Newsroom, co-host Bill Hemmer falsely claimed that the House was considering a "self-executing rule that does not require a single vote" to pass health care reform. In fact, the self-executing rule requires a majority vote in order to pass and, as Ezra Klein has noted, "the effect" of passing it "is not any different than if Congress were to pass" the Senate's health care "bill first and pass the reconciliation fixes after."
Bill Hemmer, the anchor of Fox News' America's Newsroom, claims in a TVNewser interview that Fox News' "opinion" programs don't bleed into his "news" program:
TVNEWSER: The evening opinion hosts get a lot of press and a lot of attention ... I'm kind of wondering, do you think that there's any sort of effect on the news reporters and anchors?
HEMMER: I hope not. You wonder if some of that bleeds over into other areas. In our case, it does not. On our broadcast, with Martha MacCallum and me, we shoot it down the middle at 9am and for the next several hours after that.
From the Media Matters archive of America's Newsroom:
And finally, a picture example of America's Newsroom shooting "it down the middle":
Fellow Fox "straight news" anchor Jon Scott -- when he's not cut and pasting GOP research as own or repeating fake stories that have already been retracted -- has also defended the integrity of the channel's news hours.
UPDATE: Seriously, where would anyone get the idea that the "opinion" shows bleed into the "news" programs?
(3/13/09; 1/12/09; 2/2/09; 3/13/09; 6/9/09)
Fox News has repeatedly promoted a video shot by Republican Congressional candidate Ari David's campaign of what they claim is Representative Xavier Becerra (D-CA) laughing at the recommendation that a meeting he was attending begin with the recitation of the Pledge of Allegiance. Fox News has frequently promoted other campaign videos by Republican candidates, and in some cases, let them raise funds on-air.
From the February 22 edition of Fox News' America's Newsroom:
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Fox News has declared that "A Political Star [Was] Born" at CPAC on February 18: Marco Rubio, a Republican candidate for U.S. Senate from Florida, who Fox News personalities have described as a "rising star" and an "amazing leader" who "knocked it out of the park during his speech." Rubio is the latest in a long line of GOP candidates who have been bolstered by Fox News in its role as the Republican Party's communications arm.
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.
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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Over the past week, Fox News figures have repeatedly asserted that emails from the Climatic Research Unit (CRU) at the University of East Anglia that critics have dubiously claimed undermine the scientific consensus on climate change were "leaked" -- citing no evidence for their claim -- or have described those emails as having been "revealed," "uncovered," or "discovered." In fact, CRU has stated that the emails were stolen from CRU's servers by one or more hackers.
On America's Newsroom, Fox News co-host Patti Ann Browne followed up a report on stolen emails from the University of East Anglia's Climate Research Unit (CRU) -- which she suggested indicated that climate scientists may have "fudged statistics on global warming and colluded to keep opposing views off the table" -- by saying, "Well, amidst all this talk of global warming, a winter weather warning in none other than Texas. Houston expected to break a record today with the earliest snowfall -- yes, snowfall -- ever recorded in that city's history." But climate scientists reject the notion that short-term changes in weather, let alone individual storms, bear any relevance to the global warming debate, and several major climate data centers have said that thus far, 2009 is one of the warmest years on record.
During the December 3 edition of Fox News' America's Newsroom, Bill Hemmer falsely claimed that "recently leaked emails reveal that scientists use, quote, 'tricks' to hide evidence of a decline in global temperatures over the past, say, few decades." In fact, the email in question discussing hiding the decline refers to efforts to account for unreliable tree ring data, but instrumental temperature data do not show a "decline in global temperatures," as Hemmer claimed; moreover, the email Hemmer cited was written 10 years ago, immediately after the warmest year on record.
Fox News' America's Newsroom aired a segment hyping a story on an elementary school in Boston that had prohibited Christmas-themed gifts from being sold in the school's holiday gift shop, which co-host Bill Hemmer suggested is evidence of "the War on Christmas ... raging again." However, the school's ban reportedly includes all items that can be associated with a specific religion and is not limited to Christmas.
Right-wing media have run with the Politico's Jonathan Allen misleading calculation that the House's recently announced health care reform legislation costs "about $2.24 million per word." In fact, the Congressional Budget Office (CBO) estimated that the America's Affordable Health Choices Act of 2009 "would result in a net reduction in federal budget deficits of $104 billion"; therefore, using Allen's formula, the bill would actually save $260,000 per word.
Repeated Fox News segments reported that, in Bret Baier's words, "Republican lawmakers say the Council on American-Islamic Relations, CAIR, is trying to infiltrate Capitol Hill by placing interns in key positions," an allegation stemming from a right-wing book whose author has a history of making outrageous and anti-Islamic assertions and is published by WorldNetDaily, which has its own history of making outrageous allegations and inflammatory remarks. Moreover, the document that Republican Reps. Sue Myrick (NC), John Shadegg (AZ), Paul Broun (GA), and Trent Franks (AZ) cited as evidence of CAIR's alleged activities is stolen and does not support their claims.