Fox News Sunday host Chris Wallace devoted more than nine minutes of his show to asking politicians and Fox News contributors about the April 15 tea parties. At no point did Wallace -- who has previously asserted that Fox "really [is] ... fair and balanced" -- note, much less take a position on, Fox News' relentless promotion of the tea parties.
On Fox News Sunday, Chris Wallace purported to correct Gov. Tim Kaine's statement that Rush Limbaugh "has been saying that he wants the president to fail" by asserting that "Limbaugh says -- and I think if you read what he says, he wasn't saying, 'I want the president to fail' -- he was saying, 'I want his policies, his agenda to fail,' and that he disagreed with them and thought they were bad for America." In fact, Limbaugh has repeatedly said he wants President Obama to fail while also specifying that he wants Obama's policies to fail.
Chris Wallace allowed Sen. John McCain to falsely claim that, according to the Congressional Budget Office (CBO), "[a]ll of this spending, all of this debt, all of the policies" will, "in the long term, cause us to have a negative ... GDP growth." In fact, CBO has predicted a slight reduction in long-term GDP growth when compared to current projections -- though not enough to result in negative GDP growth -- due to the "crowding-out" effect of the increase in government debt resulting from the economic recovery act.
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On Fox News Sunday, Chris Wallace claimed that Eric Holder "got into office by the skin of his teeth." However, Holder was confirmed by the Senate in a 75-21 vote, and the Senate Judiciary Committee voted 17-2 in favor of reporting his nomination to the full Senate.
Fox News' Bill Sammon claimed that "[p]eople look at" the economic recovery bill "and see ... some mouse is being protected in [House Speaker Nancy] Pelosi's district" -- echoing a falsehood previously forwarded by several other Fox News hosts and reporters. The bill, in fact, contains no language allocating funding to protect the salt marsh harvest mouse in San Francisco wetlands.
On Fox News Sunday, Chris Wallace failed to challenge RNC chairman Michael Steele's claim that Hispanic leaders support a "secure our borders first" approach to immigration. In fact, many of the nation's leading Hispanic organizations advocate for comprehensive immigration reform, not a "secure our borders first" approach.
Notwithstanding his previous retraction of similar comments, Brit Hume asserted on Fox News Sunday that it was "very like" President George H.W. Bush "to refrain from comment on other political figures, the incoming president, and so on." In fact, Bush repeatedly criticized President Bill Clinton's policies while Clinton was in office.
Consistent with a pattern on Fox News, Chris Wallace used a term echoed by opponents of the Employee Free Choice Act when he identified the EFCA as "union card check." Wallace later acknowledged that he was using the terminology of one side of the debate on the bill.
A Media Matters analysis found that, on the first two Sundays following the November 4 elections, in which a Democrat took the White House and the party added to its majority in the House and Senate, conservatives and Republicans dominated post-election analysis on both Fox News Sunday and Face the Nation -- a pattern that is consistent with their guest and panelist lineups in the first weeks after the November 2004 elections.
In criticizing Sen. Barack Obama's "mindset about taxes," Fox News' Brit Hume said that "when you've lowered [capital gains tax rates] in the past, you get a gusher of revenue, because people go ahead and take their capital gains and the revenues go up." However, in suggesting that cuts in the capital gains tax result in greater revenue, Hume did not note that many economists have challenged the idea that tax revenue increases over the long term as a result of cuts in the capital gains tax rate.
During separate interviews on NBC's Nightly News and Fox News Sunday, Sen. John McCain falsely claimed that Sen. Barack Obama was a community organizer when Gov. Sarah Palin was in elected office. Neither NBC's Brian Williams nor Fox's Chris Wallace noted that McCain's claim is false. In fact, Palin was an undergraduate at the University of Idaho when Obama was a community organizer.
On Fox News Sunday, Mara Liasson falsely asserted that a Tax Policy Center analysis of Sens. McCain's and Obama's tax plans "said that Obama might add more to the deficit -- because it's unclear how he's going to pay for these -- than McCain would add to the deficit." In fact, the Tax Policy Center found that Obama's tax proposals would raise $700 billion over the next 10 years, while McCain's tax proposals would lose $600 billion, when scored against a " 'current policy' baseline," which "assumes that the 2001 and 2003 tax cuts would be extended and the AMT [Alternative Minimum Tax] patch made permanent."
Fox News Sunday's Chris Wallace did not challenge Gov. Tim Pawlenty's false assertion that Sen. Barack Obama "is somebody who has first said that the Iranian Revolutionary Guard isn't a terrorist group, and now he's changed his views on that and several other foreign policy issues." In fact, Obama has consistently supported designating the Iranian Revolutionary Guard a terrorist organization, having co-sponsored a bill in 2007 to do so.