A Media Matters analysis found that since the day after President Obama's inauguration, broadcast and cable news figures have been stating that Obama's "honeymoon" is "over" or questioning whether it is, rendering the cliché all but meaningless. During this period, media figures have suggested Obama's "honeymoon" is "over" with respect to "some ... die-hard Republicans," the media, African-Americans, Cuban President Fidel Castro, "Republican critics of his economic recovery plan," and economists.
On Special Report, Bret Baier reported on emails from House Speaker Nancy Pelosi's office concerning requests for air transportation for congressional delegation trips, citing one email calling a lack of a certain type of plane "totally unacceptable" and saying, "The Speaker will want to know where the planes are." But Baier failed to report that according to ABC's The Note, the email in question "came in reference to planes available for bipartisan trips by congressional delegations -- not the speaker's personal travel" or that Republicans participated in several of the congressional delegations for which Pelosi's office requested transportation.
On Special Report, Brian Wilson stated of EFCA, "[O]ne economist warned of what would happen if the bill passed and met its predicted goal of growing unions by 5 to 10 percent," and then aired a video clip of Anne Layne-Farrar testifying to Congress: "This would result in an increase in the unemployment rate of around 1 and a half to 3 percentage points." Fox's on-screen graphic identified Layne-Farrar only as "Economist." At no point did Wilson note that Layne-Farrar's testimony was based on the results of a study conducted by Layne-Farrar and funded by industry groups that oppose EFCA.
On Special Report, Bret Baier reported that Rush Limbaugh "has been under fire for saying he wants President Obama to fail. Limbaugh has since explained he was talking about the president's policies and not the president specifically or the economy." In fact, Limbaugh has said he hopes the economic recovery package "prolongs the recession" and has also repeatedly said he wants Obama specifically to fail.
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Fox News' Glenn Beck claimed that Vice President Joe Biden met "in secret" with the AFL-CIO executive council, while Bret Baier asserted that Biden's appearance at the labor federation's meeting "was anything but transparent." In fact, the White House released a transcript of Biden's AFL-CIO speech and "a pool of print reporters" reportedly covered the speech at the request of the White House.
In separate reports, Fox News' Bret Baier and Megyn Kelly misrepresented the reported plans of the Obama administration to rescind a December 2008 Bush administration regulation to falsely assert that the Obama administration's decision could result in doctors' being prosecuted or discriminated against for refusing to perform abortions. In fact, federal law -- which the Obama administration cannot "repeal" -- prohibits public officials from requiring recipients of public funds to perform abortions or sterilizations in violation of their religious or moral beliefs.
Fox News' Bret Baier reported that an AP article "list[ed] a number of Democrats embroiled in ethical issues." But Baier did not point out any Republican public officials currently "embroiled in ethical issues."
In Fox News' special, Trillion with a T, Bret Baier promoted or repeated several myths and falsehoods about President Obama and the economic recovery bill, including that some of the spending in the bill -- which Obama has now signed into law -- isn't stimulus; that the bill will lead to "the government deciding which procedures you can have and which ones you can't"; that it would prohibit any religious activity in facilities receiving money; that the Obama administration advocated cutting the defense budget by 10 percent; and that Obama admitted "there might be some pork" in the bill.
Since Congress passed President Obama's economic recovery bill, several media figures have warned that Obama could suffer political consequences if the nation's economy does not improve substantially in a short amount of time. But Obama has consistently emphasized the long-term nature of economic recovery, repeatedly stating that the recovery "will likely be measured in terms of years and not months."
Fox News' Bret Baier asserted that Rep. David Obey is "under fire" because the economic stimulus bill provides more than $2 billion for the National Park Service, "the industry for which his son lobbies," and cited a Washington Times article reporting that, in Baier's words, "a spokeswoman for Congressman Obey's office says nepotism was not a factor." But Baier did not mention that the Times article also reported the spokeswoman saying the funding for parks "was included at the request of [Rep.] Norm Dicks." Nor did Baier note that Dicks has repeatedly made similar appropriations requests for national parks in previous appropriations bills.
During an interview with President Bush that aired on Fox News' Special Report, Bret Baier asked Bush, "Do you believe that there hasn't been a terrorist attack on U.S. soil in more than seven years because of the policies your administration has implemented?" The question tracked a talking point reportedly contained in a "two-page memo" that the Los Angeles Times reported "presents the Bush record as an unalloyed success" and "mentions none of the episodes that detractors say have marred his presidency."
Discussing the recount in the Minnesota Senate race between Al Franken and Sen. Norm Coleman, Fox News' Bret Baier asserted that the Franken campaign has been "dogged" in challenging questionable ballots and then aired a photograph of a ballot challenged by Franken, stating: "Franken is challenging this ... ballot, although the bubble beside Coleman's name appears to be clearly marked." However, Baier did not note or display any of the published examples of ballots that the Coleman campaign has challenged which "appear to be clearly marked" for Franken or another candidate besides Coleman.
Discussing reports that President-elect Barack Obama is considering naming Sen. Hillary Clinton secretary of state, several media figures have responded with smears, including speculation that Clinton would pursue her own agenda as secretary of state and not Obama's, references to Clinton as Obama's "enem[y]," and speculation that Obama is considering the nomination because if Clinton remains in the Senate, she poses a threat of challenging him for the Democratic nomination in 2012 and can "mak[e] trouble" for him in the Senate.
On the Fox News special Saving Our Economy, Bret Baier repeated or failed to challenge numerous false assertions about the role of affordable housing initiatives in the financial crisis and Democratic responses to the crisis.