Media coverage of the debt ceiling frequently claims that raising the limit without simultaneous spending cuts would give President Obama a "blank check," repeating a pattern of promoting this false narrative -- or failing to correct it -- that occurred during the unprecedented brinkmanship of 2011. The phrase implies that the debt ceiling governs additional spending desired by the White House, when in fact it is a restriction on the executive branch's ability to borrow money to pay for spending measures already enacted by Congress.
Over the past weekend, E.D. Hill anchored CNN's Saturday and Sunday morning news hours, covering topics like President Obama and the Republican contests in Iowa and New Hampshire. Hill may seem like an odd choice to anchor a straight news program on CNN. Hill has been identified by CNN as a "conservative analyst" and previously headlined a Republican fundraiser. She is perhaps best known for her time on Fox News, where she once asked if Obama and his wife were engaging in "a terrorist fist jab."
Hill made the infamous remark in June 2008, when she introduced a segment by asking: "A fist bump? A pound? A terrorist fist jab? The gesture everyone seems to interpret differently. We'll show you some interesting body communication and find out what it really says." Fox News canceled Hill's show the following week and later announced that Hill's contract would not be renewed. Hill also co-hosted Bill O'Reilly's late radio show.
The "terrorist fist jab" remark drew criticism from some in the media. It also received play on CNN. During the August 19, 2010, edition of CNN's Anderson Cooper 360, John Roberts noted the false belief that Obama is a Muslim is "on television news, the better outlets merely covering the controversy, the not-so-better ones stoking it." Roberts then ran video of Hill's remarks, among others.
Hill headlined a fundraiser for the Nashua Republican City Committee's September 12, 2009, "Steak Out." Hill was a guest speaker along with then-candidates Kelly Ayotte, Ovide Lamontagne, and Charlie Bass.
Media Matters asked CNN for clarification about Hill's role at CNN; whether Hill's Republican fundraiser should be disclosed; and if CNN believes she can be an impartial anchor. A spokesperson for CNN replied through email: "ED was filling in for the holiday schedule. We utilized others to fill in for our anchors during the same period."
Today, CNN announced that Parker Spitzer would no longer feature co-host Kathleen Parker, whose dynamic chemistry with Eliot Spitzer made the show a must-watch for dozens of Americans. According to various reports, Parker will be replaced by a rotating cast of pundits and news personalities, among them E.D. Hill.
Hill is the former Fox News daytime host whose tenure with the network ended quite abruptly after she teased a June 2008 news report on a knuckle bump between then-candidate Barack Obama and his wife thusly:
Bill O'Reilly attacked comments from former President Jimmy Carter about Fox News' race baiting and its role in promoting falsehoods about President Obama's citizenship and religion. But Carter was right: birtherism, race baiting attacks on Obama, and lies about his religion have all found a home on Fox News.
From an August 14 post by Washington Post Co. blogger Greg Sargent:
If you're a top prospective GOP Senate candidate who's introducing herself to voters in preparation for a nationally watched Senate race, it's probably not great form to spend any time hangin' with the anchor-woman who described Obama and Michelle's fist bump as a "terrorist fist jab."
That, at any rate, is what national Dems are charging, now that Kelly Ayotte, the national GOP's top choice for Senate in New Hampshire, is set to speak at a local event being keynoted by E.D. Hill, the former Fox anchor who sparked a big controversy when she offered up the aformentioned "terrorist fist jab" line.
Ayotte is set to attend the Nashua Area Republican City Committee's annual "Steakout" fundraiser on September 12th with keynote speaker Hill, according to the local party's calendar.
Sayeth DSCC spokesperson Eric Schultz: "With Kelly Ayotte surrounding herself with Washington insiders, lobbyists, and now this - it raises a lot of questions about what she stands for and what she's all about." Ayotte's campaign didn't immediately return a request for comment.
In 2003, Hill told USA Today that she's a "primary-voting Democrat." Hill later said on Bill O'Reilly's now-departed radio show in October 2008 that she had a "transformation" and changed her affiliation to Republican.
Despite the scientific consensus that human-caused global warming is real and is negatively affecting the planet, the media have repeatedly provided a platform for critics who argue that the Earth is in a period of "cooling" or that the issue of global warming does not need to be addressed.
Morning Joe co-hosts Joe Scarborough, Mika Brzezinski, and Willie Geist criticized Fox News' E.D. Hill for teasing a segment on Barack and Michelle Obama's "fist bump" by saying, "A fist bump? A pound? A terrorist fist jab? The gesture everyone seems to interpret differently." Brzezinski called Hill's comment "idiotic," and Geist said, "Talk about self-parody."
Teasing a segment on the "gesture everyone seems to interpret differently," Fox News' E.D. Hill said: "A fist bump? A pound? A terrorist fist jab? ... We'll show you some interesting body communication and find out what it really says." In the ensuing discussion with a "body language expert," Hill referred to the "Michelle and Barack Obama fist bump or fist pound," but at no point did she explain her earlier reference to "a terrorist fist jab."
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On numerous May 8 programs, Fox News anchors and reporters promoted the notion that Sen. John McCain is reluctant to discuss his experience as a prisoner of war in Vietnam. In fact, as Media Matters for America has documented, McCain has repeatedly highlighted that experience.
On America's Pulse, host E.D. Hill falsely claimed, in a teaser for an upcoming segment, that "the U.N. says the planet may actually cool off for the 10th year in a row." Hill later asserted: "U.N. meteorologists now saying that we could have, for the 10th year in a row, a colder year, temperatures ... decreasing, not warming, getting colder." In fact, global mean temperatures, as measured in two widely used data sets, have not decreased in each of the past 10 years; further, according to those data sets' producers, the data continue to show a long-term warming trend.
On Fox News' America's Pulse, E.D. Hill falsely asserted, "[T]he law that lets them [U.S. intelligence agencies] listen in to phone calls from overseas by known terrorists expired two weeks ago." In fact, the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act (FISA) did not expire; what expired were revisions to FISA under the Protect America Act, which, among other things, expanded the government's authority to eavesdrop on Americans' domestic-to-foreign communications without a warrant.