Ed Henry

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  • Fox’s Most Recent Attempt At Revisionist History On The Origins Of The “Birther” Controversy Falls Flat

    Blog ››› ››› NICK FERNANDEZ

    Fox News is attempting to spin a stolen email from Clinton campaign chairman John Podesta as proof Hillary Clinton and her 2008 presidential campaign “push[ed]” the narrative that then-Sen. Barack Obama is a Muslim and thus “started” the birther controversy. However, the email that the network is citing actually shows a Democratic super PAC, composed of allies of both Obama and Clinton, engaging in the normal practice of testing potential negative attacks “on BOTH Clinton and Obama in a hypothetical match-up against” 2008 Republican presidential nominee John McCain (R-AZ).

    During the October 15 edition of Fox News’ Fox & Friends Saturday, co-host Clayton Morris teased a segment that would supposedly reveal “the truth about the birther movement,” adding “wait until you hear who really started it.” Citing a hacked email from Clinton campaign chairman John Podesta that was made public by WikiLeaks, Morris claimed the “bombshell” email shows “that Hillary was pushing the Muslim Obama narrative back in 2008.” Fox News correspondent Ed Henry noted Democratic strategist Paul Begala’s explanation that the correspondence was from a super PAC that was “testing out different narratives the Republicans were pushing” against both Democratic candidates, but added, “This is what their explanation is, to be fair. But they're still raising” the birther controversy.

    Fox’s representation of the content of the email in question is misleading. The Fox hosts falsely claimed “Hillary was pushing” birther claims, but the email was not generated by the Clinton campaign. Instead, the email details proposed questions for a poll commissioned by an organization established to support the Democratic candidate for president in the general election engaging in the common practice of “testing your opponent’s attacks on you.”

    The email was written by Kristi Fuska, an analyst with Democratic firm Greenberg Quinlan Rosner Research, regarding polling for a group called Progressive Media USA, which was composed of supporters of both Clinton and Obama. Tom Matzzie, an Obama supporter who received the email in question, said that the Democratic group was testing possible general election attacks from Republicans “on BOTH Clinton and Obama in a hypothetical match-up against McCain.” Matzzie also explained that “the research team that cooked up the Obama attacks eventually went on to work for the Obama campaign.”

    Fox’s revisionist history regarding the birther controversy flies in the face of the network’s long history of enthusiastically echoing Republican presidential nominee Donald Trump’s years-long, racist crusade to raise doubts about President Obama’s legitimacy, and ignores the fact that Fox provided Trump with a friendly platform to promote his birther beliefs for years.

    This post has been edited for clarity.

  • Five Ways Fox Is Spinning The Release Of Trump's Tax Returns

    ››› ››› JULIE ALDERMAN

    Fox News is using five strategies to deflect criticism away from Republican presidential nominee Donald Trump amid The New York Times’ release of portions of Trump’s tax returns. The network is hyping Trump’s claim that he can change the tax code because he knows it well, that most Americans do the same thing Trump did, that his tax avoidance shows how well his business career went, and that Democratic presidential nominee Hillary Clinton did the same thing. It’s also pivoting to criticize the Clinton Foundation.

  • Media Shouldn’t Fall For Trump’s Spin That He Can Fix Tax Laws

    Trump’s Damage Control After NY Times Tax Bombshell At Odds With His Own Tax Plan That Favors His Own Businesses 

    ››› ››› TYLER CHERRY

    Following The New York Times’ report that Republican presidential nominee Donald Trump may have been able to avoid federal income taxes for 18 years after declaring a $916 million loss in 1995 as his businesses collapsed, some pundits are adopting the Trump campaign’s spin that the story proves that Trump “knows the tax code far better than anyone … and he is the only one that knows how to fix it.” In fact, Trump’s tax plan “doesn’t just preserve those breaks, it piles on new ones for real estate developers like Mr. Trump himself,” according to The Washington Post. The proposal would deliver a massive tax cut to Trump’s own businesses while providing a multi-trillion dollar tax cut to the wealthiest Americans. 

  • Fox Mischaracterizes Clinton's Hacked Remarks To Claim She's Smearing Millennials

    ››› ››› JULIE ALDERMAN

    Fox News is mischaracterizing remarks Democratic presidential nominee Hillary Clinton made at a private fundraiser in February, falsely claiming that she was mocking Bernie Sanders’ supporters as “broke and delusional.” In the audio of the remarks, which security officials believe was originally hacked by Russian government operatives and then later posted by the Washington Free Beacon, Clinton is highlighting the “sense of disappointment among young people in politics” and why they were driven to support Sanders.

  • Right-Wing Media Falsely Claim Clinton Is Adopting Trump’s Position On Refugee Vetting

    ››› ››› CYDNEY HARGIS

    Conservative media claimed Democratic presidential nominee Hillary Clinton was adopting rival Republican nominee Donald Trump’s stance on how to handle refugees and immigrants after she called for “tough vetting” following a series of recent terror attacks. However, Clinton has been consistent in calling for “rigorous” and “thorough” vetting, while also arguing that “we cannot allow terrorists to intimidate us into abandoning our values and our humanitarian obligations.” 

  • Fox Hypes Anti-Clinton Ad Without Disclosing Fox Contributor Karl Rove's Ties To Super PAC

    Blog ››› ››› MEDIA MATTERS STAFF

    Fox News promoted an anti-Hillary Clinton ad created by American Crossroads, a conservative Super PAC co-founded by Fox News contributor Karl Rove.

    On the April 14 edition of Fox News' The Five, co-host Kimberly Guilfoyle praised a new American Crossroads ad, comparing Hillary Clinton to Richard Nixon. After playing nearly the entire ad, Guilfoyle claimed the “dramatic attack ad” came from the “conservative Super PAC American Crossroads,” but did not disclose any other information about the group:

    KIMBERLY GUILFOYLE (CO-HOST): Sanders got some unsolicited help today from conservative Super PAC American Crossroads. They put out a dramatic attack ad, depicting his opponent as a modern day Richard Nixon.


    ED HENRY: I think it is important that you mentioned the context of the general election in terms of that American Crossroads ad, that’s a conservative group who will undoubtedly be pounding Hillary Clinton if she is the Democratic nominee, talking about the e-mails. But that's a stark contrast to what we are likely to see tonight. Bernie Sanders said at the very beginning of the first debate, he was taking the e-mails off the table. Very few debate moderators have pressed Hillary Clinton over the course of the last several months on that issue. Although there was a little hint from the Sanders camp today that you had both of these candidates yesterday on the picket lines with striking Verizon workers in the New York City area and the Sanders camp was saying, wait a second. It turned out Hillary Clinton was with the workers yesterday. But back in 2013 she gave one of those big paid speeches, over $200,000 paid for by, yes, Verizon. So she was standing up to the company yesterday, on behalf of the workers, but it turns out a couple years ago, was making big money from the company.

    Guilfoyle failed to disclose that American Crossroads was co-founded by Fox News political contributor Karl Rove. He joined the network in 2008, and helped create the Super PAC in 2010 where he still serves as an “informal adviser.”

    Fox News has a history of failing to disclose the ties of its hosts and contributors. And during the September 21, 2014 edition of Fox News Sunday, host Chris Wallace invited Karl Rove to discuss the 2014 midterm Senate races, without disclosing Rove's super PACs that poured millions into influencing the outcomes of the Senate races Rove was invited to discuss.



  • Media Falsely Attribute Clinton Iowa Caucuses Win To Coin Flips


    Media figures are erroneously attributing former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton's narrow victory in the Iowa caucuses to her wins in coin tosses held at several precincts to determine the apportionment of unassigned delegates. Media figures claiming that coin tosses could have flipped the outcome misunderstand the caucus process by wrongly conflating county-level delegates -- which the coin tosses assign -- and state delegate equivalents (SDEs). As The Des Moines Register explained, the coin flips "had an extremely small effect on the overall outcome."

  • Fox & Friends Revives A Debunked Myth About Hillary Clinton's Response To Boko Haram In An Attempt To Discredit Her Plan To Combat ISIS

    ››› ››› NICK FERNANDEZ

    Fox & Friends hosts attempted to discredit Hillary Clinton's plan to combat the Islamic State terrorist group by dubiously claiming her response to the Nigerian terrorist group Boko Haram was not "strong enough" during her tenure at the Department of State. In reality, experts have defended Clinton's response to the Boko Haram terrorist group as the "right" decision after her State Department was the first to blacklist three of the group's leaders so as not to empower the organization and inspire attacks against U.S. interests.

  • Rep. Elijah Cummings Debunks Right-Wing Media's Claim That Clinton Sent "Classified Information" About CIA Source Over Private Email

    ››› ››› ALEX KAPLAN

    Rep. Elijah Cummings (D-MD), the ranking member of the House Select Committee on Benghazi, cited information from the CIA to debunk the claim that Hillary Clinton compromised national security by revealing the name of a CIA source in an email sent from her private account. The claim originated from the Republicans serving on the U.S. House Select Committee on Benghazi and was amplified by right-wing media, but now the CIA has informed the Select Committee that the e-mail did not contain any classified information, according to a letter released by Cummings.