From the January 20 edition of Fox News' Special Report with Bret Baier:
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In advance of the House GOP's health care repeal vote, Fox News hosts, contributors, and guests have repeatedly misinformed about the health care reform bill with attacks ranging from falsely claiming that the bill "did not include incentives for wellness" and that the bill will cause jobs "to be lost," to rehashing old falsehoods such as that the bill does not reduce the deficit because it creates "10 years of revenue against six years of expenses."
From the January 13 edition of Fox News' Special Report with Bret Baier:
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The Tucson gun massacres continues to tie the right-wing media up in knots as they scramble to respond to allegations that their violent, anti-government rhetoric has led to a drastic coarsening of our public discourse.
The problem that pundits like Michelle Malkin and Charles Krauthammer have had this week as they defend their hate rhetoric is that they're inadvertently making a perfect case for tighter gun control laws in this country; gun controls that both Malkin and Krauthammer adamantly oppose.
For instance, in her New York Post column, Malkin attacks Pima County Sheriff Clarence Dupnik for not doing his job. According to Malkin, everyone knew the Tucson shooter, Jared Loughner, was nuts [emphasis added]:
As the sheriff himself has now admitted, Loughner leveled death threats against others that were investigated by law enforcement -- and then apparently shrugged off. Locals note that Loughner's mother worked for the county and may have had some pull.Pima County College campus police reported five serious confrontations with the mentally unstable young man before he was kicked out of the school. Classmates said they feared for their lives.
In case of Loughner we had a classmate who was e-mailing contemporaneously at the time. She wrote [he] was unstable and dangerous and imagined he was a guy who would come in and shoot up a class.She sat at the back of the class near the door so she would be the first one out. This guy had five encounters with campus police. But as the campus police told the instructor of the algebra class, we can't do anything until he does something.
Conservative pundits are anxious to stress it was common knowledge that the Tucson shooter was "mentally unstable" and that even his classmates feared he might turn violent. Conservatives stress that point as part of their argument about how Loughner was simply crazy, not political. (And to criticize Dupnik.)
But would Malkin and Krauthammer, who are hardcore opponents of gun control in this country, now please explain how someone, in their words, as "mentally unstable" and obviously "dangerous" and "disturbed" as Jared Loughner was able to effortlessly purchase guns and ammo for his massacre?
Or have conservative pundits still not figured out the spin on that one?
UPDATED: An Andrew Breitbart blogger joins the inadvertent gun control crowd, dismissing the Tucson shooter as a "delusional lunatic." No word from the Breitbart blogger how that "delusional lunatic" was able to purchase a semi-automatic pistol.
In the wake of former House Majority Leader Tom Delay's three-year prison sentence for money laundering and conspiracy charges, Media Matters looks back on the right-wing media's attacks on DeLay's prosecution by Travis County, Texas, district attorney Ronnie Earle. Conservative media have called Earle a "zealot," a "political crackpot," and said that he should be "behind bars."
Krauthammer: "Tom Delay Is Going To Be A Big Mac" For Earle, Who Sees Delay As "A Political Prize." From the September 28, 2005, edition of Fox News Channel's Special Report with Brit Hume:
KRAUTHAMMER: As we saw with the distinction between hard and soft money in the federal campaigns, a distinction which was incredibly violated by the Clinton-Gore campaign in 1996 to such an open extent that in the end it became -- the law became a dead letter and nobody ever obeyed it again.
Look, let's begin by stipulating that, as the lawyers like to say, you can indict a ham sandwich and that Ronnie Earle has been after this ham sandwich, Tom DeLay is going to be a Big Mac for him. The real -- I don't want to stretch the analogy, but this is -- the guy has been after him for years, is a political prize.
We also know that in the past he indicted Senator Hutchison and it was a bogus charge, it was dropped. The indictment itself is a political event. It was meant to be a political event. I agree that it looks very thin. Showing that these murky laws were violated intentionally, knowingly by DeLay, who ordered this elaborate scheme, is going to be a high bar unless he has it on videotape. It's hard to say how he would show it. But the political impact is obvious. DeLay had to step down temporarily. [Special Report with Brit Hume, 9/28/2005, via Nexis]
Coulter: "I Mean, It's Terrifying To Have A Criminal Prosecutor, Someone Who Can Put You In Jail, Bringing These Political Prosecutions." From the April 4, 2006, edition of Fox News Network's Hannity and Colmes:
HANNITY: All right, Ann, there is a whole political side to this equation. But when you indict for a nonexistent crime, and then you go grand jury shopping afterwards, and then you already are on record saying you're going to bring this man down, doesn't it look like the criminalization of politics in our day?
COULTER: Absolutely. And you can't imagine a Republican prosecutor doing the same. I think Ronnie Earle was a joke and everyone recognizes that. No one is concerned about that prosecution.
But I also think the political side of this -- I mean, it's terrifying to have a criminal prosecutor, someone who can put you in jail, bringing these political prosecutions. But the political side of this is also something to consider, and that is the way liberals just choose a Republican, an effective Republican, blacken the person's name just by repetition and hysteria. [Hannity and Colmes, 4/4/2006, via Nexis]
Napolitano: "The Republican Leadership Today Called Him [Earle] A Political Crackpot. And There Is A Basis For Calling Him That." From the November 16, 2004 edition of Fox News Channel's, The Big Story with John Gibson:
NAPOLITANO: Tom DeLay's associates, people that have worked for him, and some who still do work for him, have all been indicted by a sort of renegade prosecutor in Texas, who has made it known that Tom DeLay is in his crosshairs. ...
JOHN GIBSON (host): OK, but now tell me about this prosecutor. You said quasi-renegade.
NAPOLITANO: I was being polite when I said quasi-renegade. The Republican leadership today called him a political crackpot. And there is a basis for calling him that. [FOX News Channel, The Big Story with John Gibson, 11/16/04]
Fox News Contributor Barone: Earle Is "A Partisan Democrat Who Has Done Some Really Rotten, Political Prosecuting." From the November 17, 2004, edition of Fox News Channel's Special Report with Brit Hume:
BARONE (FOX News Channel contributor and U.S. News and World Report senior writer): "Ordinarily I would agree with the Democrats' point of view on this. This is, you know, changing the rule, lowering the ethical standards. But the fact is what you've got here is a prosecutor -- Travis County prosecutor, Ronnie Earle, a partisan Democrat who has done some really rotten, political prosecuting. ... So this is a rotten prosecutor who -- and I think in those circumstances, it's appropriate." [FOX News Channel, Special Report with Brit Hume, 11/17/04]
Buchanan: "They Ought To Put That Guy, Earle, Behind Bars." From the October 11, 2005, edition of MSNBC's Imus in the Morning:
IMUS: We're talking to Pat Buchanan here on the Imus in the Morning program, 17 till the hour. Even people who are not fans -- we're kind of switching gears here, slightly -- but, even people who aren't fans of Tom DeLay think that this looks a little flimsy, what they have on him, or not?
BUCHANAN: They ought to put that guy, Earle, behind bars. Look, I mean, look what he did. He indicts DeLay, on Friday, so DeLay's lawyers come in on Monday and said, "Ronnie Earle has indicted DeLay for violating, in 2002, a law that wasn't even passed and enacted until 2003" --
BUCHANAN: --and so Earle has got egg all over his face. So, he impanels a grand jury --
IMUS: Over the weekend, I guess, right?
BUCHANAN: --and in five hours they indict him. Well, it's unbelievable.
BUCHANAN: I mean, really. I was talking with a friend of mine in the green room last night, and we were talking about this -- you know, the criminalization of politics is appalling. It used to be good enough that you'd go out there, and you beat the guy, fair and square. And he's out for four years, and you have a good laugh. But, now's it's, uh, it's not satisfactory or if you can't beat him, you put him in prison. [Imus in the Morning, 10/11/2005]
O'Reilly: "He's A Zealot. Earle Is A Zealot. We All Know That." On the September 28 edition of his Fox News show, O'Reilly said of Delay, "Well I want everybody to follow the law. If he broke the law, he should pay the price." He later continued:
O'REILLY: You know I don't think it is a populous story. I tried to do it on the radio today and we had, like, six calls. You know people don't care. They don't understand what he did.
I think that the people who pay attention know this Ronnie Earle. He's the guy who indicted Kay Bailey Hutchison, the senator, and got -- and she was acquitted of tampering with government documents. He's a zealot. Earle is a zealot. We all know that.
Kellyanne was right when she pointed out that he's made inappropriate statements, politically, in his prosecutional forums. And this is tainted, A to Z. That being said, there is definitely a chance he could be convicted, don't you think? [Fox News, The O'Reilly Factor, 9/28/05, via Nexis]
From the January 7 edition of Fox News Channel's Special Report:
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Charles Krauthammer claimed that the Congressional Budget Office's finding that the Affordable Care Act reduced the deficit was based on a "gimmick" because Democrats did not include the so-called "doc fix" in the bill. In reality, the "doc fix" was proposed prior to the debate on the Affordable Care Act and has little to do with the issue.
Today on Fox News' Special Report with Bret Baier, during a discussion of the recent media whirlwind surrounding Director of National Intelligence James Clapper, "Fox All-Star" panelist Charles Krauthammer revived the long-discredited conservative attack that Homeland Security Secretary Janet Napolitano cited last year's attempted Christmas Day terrorist attack as evidence that the "system had worked":
KRAUTHAMMER: This is a team that gave us a Homeland Security secretary who said after the Christmas -- the attempted attack on Christmas day last year -- that a bomb that nearly went off and where the bomber was subdued by the passengers was an example of how the system had worked. There are problems with this team.
That would be a perfectly reasonable statement, if it did not entirely ignore the fact that Napolitano's comments -- said during a December 27, 2009, appearance on CNN's State of the Union -- specifically referred to the emergency response that took place following the attempted attack:
NAPOLITANO: One thing I'd like to point out is that the system worked. Everybody played an important role here. The passengers and crew of the flight took appropriate action. Within literally an hour to 90 minutes of the incident occurring, all 128 flights in the air had been notified to take some special measures in light of what had occurred on the Northwest Airlines flight. We instituted new measures on the ground and at screening areas, both here in the United States and in Europe, where this flight originated. So the whole process of making sure that we respond properly, correctly and effectively went very smoothly.
The next day, on NBC's Today, Napolitano clarified that she was referring specifically to the emergency response and notification system.
As Media Matters pointed out at the time, numerous Fox News personalities attempted to skewer Napolitano over the remark. In doing so they, like Krauthammer, completely ignored both the original context and similar comments made by Bush administration officials in the wake of the thwarted shoe bomber attack.
After would-be shoe bomber Richard Reid was subdued by fellow passengers in 2001, both then-Secretary of Homeland Security Tom Ridge and then-Attorney General John Ashcroft claimed success in the public's role in thwarting the attack. From a December 28, 2009, article by ABC News' Jake Tapper:
Napolitano's predecessor as Secretary of the Department of Homeland Security, Tom Ridge, went on MSNBC's Hardball on September 10, 2002, where host Chris Matthews asked him if the US government had thwarted any terrorist attacks within the US.
"You can't measure that success," Ridge said, "because it's difficult to determine with an organization that's so decentralized."
Matthews suggested that such success could in fact be measured "if you catch a guy about to blow up a building" or "you catch a guy moving a car bomb into an area of their building."
"Because of the vigilance of some citizens, we certainly have gotten some folks on airplanes, shoe bombers," Ridge said.
"Throughout the war on terrorism, our military and intelligence officials have made a concerted effort to share appropriate information with the public in order to enlist their assistance," Ashcroft said. "We've asked citizens to be vigilant, to be alert to any possible threat. The success of this strategy was made clear by yesterday's indictment of Richard Reid, who may very well have succeeded in destroying American Airlines Flight Number 63, as the indictment charges, had it not been for the courage and attentiveness of the citizen passengers and crew."
From the December 20 edition of Fox News Channel's Special Report with Brett Baier:
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Oh my, the right-wing media howls are getting awfully loud about the Democrats trying to pass legislation during the so-called lame duck session following their midterm elections. The howls consistently make the same point: Democrats lost in November so they ought to get out of the way, cease carrying out the nation's business, and let Republicans take control in January. In other words, the voters spoke on Election Day and their message was clear: We want Republicans to run things.
It's a very interesting argument, this notion that Fox News' Charles Krauthammer continues to push that the current session of the "voted out" Congress is "illegitimate" and that the Republican-controlled Congress next year will be "legitimate." It's interesting, and deeply ironic, because if we flash back to December of 1998 you'll recall that following those midterm elections results, following those Republican losses, and following that very clear mandate from voters, what did the Republican lame duck session of "voted out" Congress do?
Oh nothing very controversial, just impeached the President of the United States.
During the height of the GOP-driven impeachment nonsense, the voters seemed to send a very clear message to Republicans. So clear in fact, that Speaker of the House Newt Gingrich lost his job. So what was the message Republicans leaders heeded? To continue with the extraordinary act of impeachment, of course. (And yes, people like Krauthammer cheered the lame duck proceedings on.)
So yes, today's howls about the Democratic lame duck session of Congress are loud. But they're equally dumb and hypocritical and dishonest. Because when the tables were last turned, Republicans didn't care about midterm mandates or the voice of the people. Like Republicans today, they were simply focusing on destroying a Democratic president.
Here was Limbaugh yesterday whining about Democrats. Note the phrase at the end of the clip where he describes them as "bitter" about midterm defeats, and seeking "revenge." Kind of reminds you of impeachment Republicans, right?
And oh yeah, would it kill the Beltway press to point out this rather gigantic bout of conservative hypocrisy?
From the December 16 edition of Fox News' Special Report:
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From the December 15 edition of Fox News' Special Report with Bret Baier:
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On tonight's episode of The O'Reilly Factor, host Bill O'Reilly asked Washington Post columnist Charles Krauthammer to weigh in on the presidential prospects of potential Republican challengers to President Obama - specifically, those of Fox News' own Sarah Palin.
O'Reilly asked Krauthammer why Palin is polling so far behind President Obama, as compared to other candidates like Mitt Romney and her Fox co-worker, Mike Huckabee. While initially, Krauthammer suggested that her lack of support was caused, in part because "the media's contributed enormously" to the "unprecedented" level of "animus to her," he focused the majority of his criticism on the way she has handled herself during her stint in the political spotlight. Watch:
Krauthammer remarked specifically on Palin's infamous interview with Katie Couric, noting that it was not a "gotcha interview" and that she was asked "fairly simple questions." While Krauthammer "would have hoped" that Palin would "spend the next years sort of getting really deep into policy" even though "it sounds really dull," he points out that this has not been the case.
Krauthammer is hardly the first Fox contributor to knock Palin's credentials. Karl Rove is a frequent critic and has questioned Palin's recent foray into reality television, suggesting that she lacked the "certain level of gravitas" required in a presidential candidate. Fellow Fox News contributor Morton Kondracke agreed with Rove and even told Media Matters' Joe Strupp that he thinks Palin is "a joke."
The year may be winding down, but the Fox News primary is certainly heating up.
In the wake of last week's announcement of a compromise between the Obama administration and congressional Republicans on the extension of the Bush tax cuts, the leaders of the right-wing media has fractured into a camp that supports the deal and a camp that fervently opposes it.
And what is Fox News contributor Charles Krauthammer doing to do about the troubling situation?
I ask about Krauthammer because the conservative columnist appeared on PBS's Inside Washington recently and lamented how the media are "obsessed" with Palin, clearly suggesting the press gives the former governor more attention than she deserves. In fact, Krauthammer suggested Palin's current media saturation is part of a liberal plot to make it seem as though his fellow Fox News contributor is the "only representative of conservatism of any importance."
Bottom line: "Liberals" are "obsessed" with Palin.
So what's Fox News' excuse? Last week, according to TVeyes.com, "Palin" was mentioned nearly 175 times on at air at Fox News, as compared to approximate 150 mentions that appeared on CNN during the same period.
It's true that "Palin" came up approximately 225 times on MSNBC last week. But Krauthammer's point of a liberal Palin obsession doesn't make much sense if far-right Fox News can't stop talking about her either; if Fox News mentioned Palin, on average, 25 times per-day, everyday last week.