Fox News' Brian Kilmeade echoed a false assertion made in a December 11 AP article by claiming that President-elect Barack Obama said, "I'm confident nobody on my staff talked on my behalf when it comes to filling my seat." The AP had reported falsely that "President-elect Barack Obama said Thursday he didn't discuss his vacant Senate seat with disgraced Gov. Rod Blagojevich and said he's confident nobody on his staff did either." In fact, during a December 11 press conference, Obama did not claim that nobody on his staff "talked on his behalf" to Illinois Gov. Rod Blagojevich; rather, he stated, "I'm confident that no representatives of mine would have any part of any deals related to this seat."
Fox & Friends criticized Newsweek for publishing an unaltered cover photo of Gov. Sarah Palin, three months after airing altered photos to smear New York Times journalists for an article about the "ominous trend" in Fox News' ratings.
Fox & Friends' Brian Kilmeade stated that Saturday Night Live executive producer Lorne Michaels has "maxed out on" his contributions to Sen. Barack Obama. But Kilmeade failed to note that, according to FEC filings, Michaels has given at least $5,300 to Sen. John McCain and his Straight Talk America PAC since 2000, including the maximum $2,300 to his presidential campaign.
On Fox & Friends, Brian Kilmeade baselessly claimed that Democrats "air-drop[ped] 60 lawyers and investigators into Alaska" to investigate Gov. Sarah Palin. Kilmeade did not cite a source for the claim, but The Wall Street Journal's John Fund recently claimed that "Democrats have airdropped a mini-army of 30 lawyers, investigators and opposition researchers" into Alaska "to dig into [Palin's] record and background." Kilmeade did not mention that the DNC reportedly called Fund's assertion a "flat-out absolute fabrication" and said that neither the DNC nor the Obama campaign sent anyone to Alaska to do research.
During an appearance on Fox & Friends, Donald Trump claimed, "The worst thing that can happen [in this economy] is everybody has to pay double and triple the taxes, and that's what [Sen. Barack] Obama is looking to do." Fox & Friends co-hosts did not challenge Trump's claim, even though it is false. Obama has proposed cutting taxes for low- and middle-income families and raising taxes only on households earning more than $250,000 per year in income.
On Fox & Friends, Brian Kilmeade falsely claimed that "the president of the United States never even said there's a link between Al Qaeda and Iraq," and that "[t]hat wasn't the premise for going in there." In fact, President Bush repeatedly said there was such a link, and that the United States should invade because Saddam might give his purported weapons of mass destruction to Al Qaeda.
On Fox & Friends First, after Gretchen Carlson reported that "The New York Times says shoddy electrical wiring has killed 13 Americans and injured many more," Brian Kilmeade stated: "They had to find the negative story in Iraq?" When Carlson again discussed the Times story on Fox & Friends, Kilmeade stated: "So, this is America bad?"
MSNBC and Editor & Publisher have noted that Fox & Friends featured photos of New York Times reporter Jacques Steinberg and editor Steven Reddicliffe that appeared to have been digitally altered. But Fox News has yet to address the controversy.
During a segment in which Fox & Friends co-hosts Steve Doocy and Brian Kilmeade labeled New York Times reporter Jacques Steinberg and editor Steven Reddicliffe "attack dogs," Fox News featured photos of Steinberg and Reddicliffe that appeared to have been digitally altered -- the journalists' teeth had been yellowed, their facial features exaggerated, and portions of Reddicliffe's hair moved further back on his head.
On Fox & Friends, Brian Kilmeade, who previously falsely asserted that Sen. Barack Obama "[e]vidently ... went to a madrassa" as a child, asked his guest: "[D]o you find it insulting at all when Barack Obama goes out of his way to say, 'Hey, I am not a Muslim. I'm a Christian, and let's stop these spread' [sic] as if being a Muslim is bad?"
Fox & Friends aired a clip of Rev. Jeremiah Wright, Sen. Barack Obama's former pastor, saying at an NAACP event: "Please run and tell my stuck-on-stupid friends that Arabic is a language; it's not a religion. Barack Hussein Obama. Barack Hussein Obama. Barack Hussein Obama." Correspondent Steve Brown reported that Wright "was actually mocking the people who use Obama's full name to be divisive or derisive." Nevertheless, in later segments, Fox & Friends aired only Wright reciting "Barack Hussein Obama." Co-host Brian Kilmeade introduced one segment by saying, "He's back, and he's still supporting Barack Hussein Obama."
Fox News Sunday's Chris Wallace criticized the hosts of Fox & Friends for engaging in "two hours of Obama bashing" and for "distorting" comments Sen. Barack Obama made about his grandmother in a radio interview on March 20.
While discussing conservative radio host Bill Cunningham's repeated reference to Sen. Barack Obama's middle name -- Hussein -- Fox & Friends co-host Gretchen Carlson asserted: "[T]he silent thing that nobody is really talking about here is the reason that he was saying the middle name so many times ... is because the connotation is that Barack Obama is a Muslim potentially. His father was a Muslim." Carlson then referred to claims that Obama is a Muslim as "rumors," but neither she nor co-hosts Steve Doocy and Brian Kilmeade pointed out that those rumors are false, and that Obama is a Christian.
Referring to the expiring revisions to the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act, Fox host Chris Wallace asserted that when Sen. John McCain "gets on the campaign trail and says, 'Look, here is a law that was going to provide the tools for the United States to be able to intercept communications of people who want to kill us and Congress went home, the Democratic Congress went home on a break' -- that's going to be a pretty effective weapon to use against the Democrats in the fall." In fact, contrary to Wallace's suggestion, the government has "the tools" to "intercept communications" of suspected terrorists.