On both Fox News' Happening Now - which the network states is a "news" program - and Fox & Friends -- which Fox News considers "editorial" programming -- Fox News hosts prompted Sen. Orrin Hatch to falsely claim that the amendment he co-sponsored with Sen. Ben Nelson is an attempt to "just put the Hyde amendment" -- which forbids the use of federal funds for abortions except in cases of life endangerment, rape or incest - into the Senate health care reform bill. In fact, the bill already explicitly prohibits the use of federal funds to provide coverage for abortions that are not allowed under the Hyde Amendment, and the Hatch/Nelson amendment would restrict funding of abortion beyond the Hyde restrictions; the Hatch interviews thus again demonstrate how Fox's "news" programs echo the same falsehoods and GOP talking points as their "editorial" programming.
In a segment about the Environmental Protection Agency's announcement that it will issue an endangerment finding allowing it to regulate greenhouse gases, Fox & Friends co-host Steve Doocy brought up a GOP press conference that he claimed was about "a bombshell internal EPA report that showed that the White House was interfering with the EPA's investigators who were looking into the effects of carbon dioxide." He also aired a clip of Republican Rep. Joe Barton of Texas saying:
"They [EPA scientists] were told point blank, the decision's already been made at the White House, we're gonna move forward with this, your report's not helpful, in fact it's harmful. Stop working on it. Now I have a copy of that report, I'm sure Mr. Sensenbrenner and Mr. Issa, we can provide it to anybody in this room, and it clearly, just a casual review of this report shows that they had made a predetermined decision to issue the endangerment finding, to heck with what the facts are."
According to Nexis transcripts, Barton also said, "There is a suppressed report that we've been able to get a copy of and Mr. [Darrell] Issa [R-CA] has done yeoman's work on this, and Mr. [Jim] Sensenbrenner [R-WI], that we'll be using in the future. It's an internal EPA report that shows that it's way too early to issue a public health endangerment finding.... The group within the EPA that was supposed to go out and verify issued a report that was suppressed and they were told, point blank, the decisions have already been made at the White House, we're going to move forward with this, your report is not helpful, in fact, it's harmful, stop working on it."
Barton is presumably referring to the conspiracy the right-wing hatched last June about the agency suppressing EPA "scientist" Alan Carlin's dissenting report on climate change. The right-wing blog Human Events certainly seems to think so, reporting today that Carlin's March 16 report "was disclosed by Rep. Joe Barton (R-Texas) at a Tuesday afternoon press conference in which he said that the report was not considered by EPA in reaching its Monday determination."
But the idea that the EPA suppressed Carlin's report has been repeatedly debunked -- the EPA said Carlin was not a scientist and was never asked to work on the endangerment finding, but that nonetheless, his opinions would be incorporated. Sure enough, Carlin is listed as one of the "authors and contributors" to the technical report the EPA issued yesterday supporting the finding.
But Fox & Friends ran with it anyway; as Doocy was speaking, the following on-screen graphics appeared, despite the fact that no information provided by Fox & Friends, nor anything in Barton's remarks, supports the graphics' claim that "an EPA scientist "admit[ted] findings were fraudulent," or that the White House "interfered" with any of EPA's actual scientific research.
For days now, the Fox & Friends trio -- Doocy, Gretchen Carlson, and Brian Kilmeade -- have doled out an insane amount of false rhetoric about climate change science. Baited by skeptics who say emails reportedly stolen from the University of East Anglia Climatic Research Unit (CRU) show that climate change is not happening, the Fox & Friends hosts have repeatedly distorted the emails' content without any regard for facts or context.
But since they can only spin one topic for so many days before it gets old, today they moved on to rehashing the old, debunked, Carlin was "hushed up" claim.
From the December 8 edition of Comedy Central's The Daily Show:
|The Daily Show With Jon Stewart||Mon - Thurs 11p / 10c|
|Gretchen Carlson Dumbs Down|
Fox News contributor Karl Rove asserted, "Since President Obama came to office, the federal deficit has grown by $1.46 trillion," falsely suggesting that Obama is responsible for the entirety of the increased deficit. In fact, the Congressional Budget Office, which calculated that the government recorded a $1.4 trillion deficit in fiscal 2009, projected before Obama took office that the deficit for fiscal 2009 would be $1.2 trillion.
From the December 9 edition of the Fox News' Fox & Friends:
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From the December 8 edition of MSNBC's Countdown with Keith Olbermann:
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On November 23, Fishbowl DC published an internal Fox News memo detailing the network's new "zero tolerance" policy for errors. Today -- barely two weeks later -- Fox News attempted to explain why it wasn't going to take any action to correct the following December 4 segment in which three Fox hosts and the Fox News graphics department used a string of falsehoods to turn "59 percent" into "close to 100 percent."
Here's what happened.
This morning, Media Matters' Simon Maloy caught Fox & Friends displaying a graphic that falsely suggested that 94 percent of respondents told Rasmussen Reports that it is somewhat or very likely that "scientists falsif[ied] research to support their own theories on global warming."
As Simon explained:
What happened? Well, here's the Rasmussen poll Fox & Friends cited. They asked respondents: "In order to support their own theories and beliefs about global warming, how likely is it that some scientists have falsified research data?" According to the poll, 35 percent thought it very likely, 24 percent somewhat likely, 21 percent not very likely, and 5 percent not likely at all (15 percent weren't sure).
Fox News' graphics department added together the "very likely" and "somewhat likely" numbers to reach 59 percent, and called that new group "somewhat likely." Then, for some reason, they threw in the 35 percent "very likely" as their own group, even though they already added that number to the "somewhat likely" percentage. Then they mashed together the "not very likely" and "not likely at all" groups, and threw the 15 percent who were unsure into the waste bin. Voila -- 120 percent.
As such, Fox News' presentation of the data made it seem as though 94 percent of Americans think it's at least "somewhat likely" that climate scientists falsify their research data.
So Media Matters sent an open letter to Fox News asking how the network would deal with the falsehood in light of its new policy of "zero tolerance for on-screen errors."
Well, Politico's Michael Calderone reports that Fox News has decided to respond to the falsehood by claiming it didn't happen:
But Lauren Petterson, executive producer of Fox & Friends, told POLITICO that she sees no error in the graphic. And for that reason, there will be no reprimand of staff under the "zero tolerance" policy.
"We were just talking about three interesting pieces of information from Rasmussen," Petterson said. "We didn't put on the screen that it added up to 100 percent."
While Petterson maintains that Fox & Friend's didn't err in displaying the information from Rasmussen, she acknowledges that the presentation wasn't perfect. "The mistake I do see is we could have been a little clearer here," she said.
Fox's position is absurd. As Calderone notes, "its understandable why a viewer would look at the numbers stacked up like this on-screen and assume that '94 percent of American's think it's at least "somewhat likely" that climate scientists falsify their research data.' "
One "viewer" who apparently "assumed" that was ... Fox & Friends host Steve Doocy. Here's how he described the Rasmussen poll while Fox was showing that graphic:
DOOCY: Let's go ahead and take a look: Did scientists falsify research to support their own theories on global warming? This is a brand new Rasmussen poll. About 60 percent of you say, "Somewhat likely." Thirty-five percent say, "Very likely." So you got 90 -- you got a lot of people right there thinking it is likely, although 26 percent say, "Not very likely."
So in purporting to explain the poll results, Doocy claimed that 60 percent of respondents answered, "Somewhat likely." This is false. Only 24 percent of respondents said that; the "about 60 percent" figure actually combines the "somewhat likely" and "very likely" respondents. Doocy then suggested that a separate group of respondents -- 35 percent -- said, "Very likely." Doocy then attempted to add those two figures together, saying, "So you got 90 -- you got a lot of people right there thinking it is likely."
But the falsehoods didn't stop there. As soon as Doocy finished misrepresenting the poll, co-hosts Gretchen Carlson and Eric Bolling explained that since the poll had been conducted before the apparent theft and disclosure of climate scientists' private emails, the percentage of people who think scientists are falsifying data might now be "substantially higher" -- perhaps "close to 100 percent":
CARLSON: In the spirit of fairness, I believe that question was asked before these emails were revealed, so that poll number may actually be different now.
BOLLING: Substantially higher?
CARLSON: It might be, yes.
BOLLING: Close to 100 percent now.
This is completely false. The right-wing media began lying about the Climatic Research Unit emails on November 20. The Rasmussen poll was conducted December 1-2. It included a question about the CRU emails. So, no, the current figure is probably not "substantially higher," and it is certainly not "close to 100 percent."
As Media Matters' Ari Rabin-Havt put it, "On Fox News, percentages don't add up to 100 and, apparently, 'zero tolerance' means unless we get caught."
From the December 8 edition of Fox & Friends:
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Continuing its pattern of misinforming about climate change and about emails reportedly stolen from the Climate Research Unit at the University of East Anglia (CRU), on December 8, Fox & Friends hosted Sen. James Inhofe (R-OK) to attack the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) over its recent announcement that it will regulate carbon dioxide. Inhofe linked the EPA's announcement to "climate-gate" and claimed without challenge that EPA's decision --which co-host Steve Doocy initially described as a "sneaky way" to regulate carbon dioxide-- is "totally based on [Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change] IPCC science which is what has been debunked now, officially."
From the December 8 broadcast of Fox News' Fox & Friends:
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During a discussion of Sen. Ben Nelson's (D-NE) proposed amendment to the Senate health care reform bill, Fox News on-screen text falsely suggested that the "current bill allows funding for abortion" beyond what is currently allowed under the Hyde Amendment, which forbids the use of federal funds for abortions except in cases of life endangerment, rape or incest. In fact, the Senate bill explicitly prohibits the use of federal funds to provide coverage for abortions that are not allowed under the Hyde Amendment and requires segregation of non-federal funds from federal funds to pay for those procedures -- a practice that is similar to the way that many states cover such abortions under the federally subsidized Medicaid program.
Martha MacCallum falsely claimed that no Democratic senators "wanted to give up" their current health insurance "to join on to a public option." In fact, Democratic Sens. Sherrod Brown, Christopher Dodd, Russ Feingold, Al Franken, and Barbara Mikulski have co-sponsored an amendment to mandate congressional members to enroll in the public option, should it pass -- with Democratic co-sponsors now outnumbering Republican co-sponsors of the amendment.
On the December 7 edition of Fox and Friends, Brian Kilmeade asked guest Ronald Bailey regarding the emails stolen from the Climate Research Unit at the University of East Anglia (CRU) "does it show that this is a farce?" and later claimed that scientists "use trickery, fudging the data, massaging the stats, it's hard to take it seriously."
On December 3, a FoxNews.com article and Special Report host Bret Baier both reported that Competitive Enterprise Institute (CEI) senior fellow Christopher Horner has threatened to sue NASA, alleging that the space agency has distorted climate change data; additionally, Horner appeared on the December 3 edition of Fox News' Hannity and the December 4 edition of Fox & Friends to discuss Horner's accusations. However, not once during these segments did Fox News personalities note that CEI has received millions of dollars from Exxon Mobil Corp. and foundations linked to the oil industry.
During an appearance by Republican National Committee chairman Michael Steele on Fox News' Fox & Friends, on-screen text stated: "White House Smokescreen: Claims They Created or Saved 640,329 Jobs." In fact, the Congressional Budget Office (CBO) recently estimated that the American Reinvestment and Recovery Act of 2009 resulted in an additional 600,000 to 1.6 million people being employed.