Bill O'Reilly again falsely claimed that the Army Field Manual "says, quote, 'You are not to make any captured person uncomfortable in any way.' " In fact, the Army Field Manual includes an entire section on "Interrogation Operations," which includes several techniques and strategies that make detainees "uncomfortable."
Fox News' Shepard Smith falsely suggested that a $500 individual tax credit, reportedly included in President-elect Barack Obama's proposed economic recovery plan, would benefit people who don't currently pay taxes, asking, "I know we don't know the details yet, but $300 billion in tax cuts -- how do you cut taxes on people who don't pay taxes?" In fact, all American workers are required to pay taxes on their wages for Social Security and Medicare under the Federal Insurance Contributions Act.
Reports have claimed that former CIA official John Brennan "withdrew from consideration" as President-elect Barack Obama's choice for CIA director because of criticism from "liberal groups" that "his tenure coincided with controversial Bush administration programs" -- or, in the words of Fox News' Jim Angle, "the left ... torpedoed" Brennan "because he was part of the war on terror over the last decade." But these outlets did not mention that Brennan was not simply at the CIA at the same time as the interrogation and rendition policies were instituted or carried out but, in fact, has publicly supported them.
Ann Coulter asserted that "the inestimable economist" John Lott Jr. has said the "500 corrections" made to unofficial Senate election returns prior to the beginning of the recount is a "statistical impossibility." In fact, Lott -- a discredited research scholar -- wrote in a FoxNews.com column that the "sizes of the errors" in some Minnesota precincts which led to the 504-vote correction were "surprisingly large," but did not claim they were statistically impossible. Further, an election analysis by Minnesota Public Radio has shown that changes in vote totals of up to 1,000 votes after polls close are "fairly typical in Minnesota."
Following reports that her January 6 appearance on NBC's Today had been canceled, Ann Coulter -- who reportedly told CBS News her new book is "about the rewards and praise you get for being a victim and the way liberals use victimhood" -- complained during appearances on Sean Hannity's radio and television programs that "the Today show thing was a hoax from the beginning" and "a setup to block me from other TV shows." The next day, CBS' Harry Smith told Coulter: "[T]he more I listen to your complaints, the more I kept thinking, well, you're the whiner. You're the one who's claiming victimhood here. That you're the victim of this great left-wing conspiracy."
On Hannity & Colmes, referring to the Minnesota Senate election, Dick Morris baselessly claimed that Al Franken and the Democrats are "stealing it right in front of our eyes" and asserted that both disputed ballots and their duplicates were counted, resulting in votes being counted "twice." Morris and Sean Hannity echoed claims in a Wall Street Journal editorial that alleged double counting of duplicate ballots during the recount. But the Journal simply asserted that there was double counting, echoing an accusation by Norm Coleman's campaign.
On Hannity & Colmes, Ann Coulter defended a statement in her new book, Guilty: Liberal "Victims" and Their Assault on America -- that children whose parents divorce are "future strippers" -- as "something that needs to be said," later saying of her book's contention that the children of divorces would become strippers: "Yes, and they will be, and that is a fact." Coulter also referred to single motherhood as "a recipe to create criminals, strippers, rapists, murderers."
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.
MilitaryTimes.com reported: "When asked how they feel about President-elect Barack Obama as commander in chief, six out of 10 active-duty service members say they are uncertain or pessimistic, according to a Military Times survey." But according to a separate MilitaryTimes.com article, the poll was based on voluntary responses by subscribers to Army Times Publishing Co. newspapers rather than a random statistical sample of service members. A report on the poll on Fox & Friends also omitted this information.
On Special Report, Fred Barnes and Charles Krauthammer echoed other conservatives in claiming that the Community Reinvestment Act and efforts to expand affordable housing are at least in part to blame for the home foreclosure crisis. But as experts have noted, the CRA does not govern the vast majority of subprime lenders.
Numerous media figures have cited Japanese fiscal policy during the "lost decade" of the 1990s to criticize President-elect Barack Obama's plan to undertake a large-scale stimulus program. These media figures ignore evidence that, according to prominent economists, economic conditions were improving in Japan before the Japanese government temporarily abandoned stimulus spending in an attempt to reduce the deficit.
On Hannity & Colmes, Newt Gingrich falsely asserted that following 9-11, Dennis Hastert "did not get a private plane," adding that "[t]here's no reason for anyone but the president and vice president of the United States to have that level of security." In fact, at the time, the House sergeant-at-arms, the Defense Department, and the White House agreed that military planes should be made available to the speaker of the House for national security reasons, and Hastert was the first speaker to use one.
Discussing 1980 photos of President-elect Barack Obama published in Time, Sean Hannity asked, "[W]hy didn't we see these pictures beforehand?" and "You think the media maybe thought, well, it might not hurt -- it might not help Barack Obama?" Similarly, Fox News hosts asked, "Was Time magazine sitting on these photos until after the election?" In fact, according to Time, the photographer, Lisa Jack, a fellow student of Obama's at the time and now a psychologist, "put the negatives in a safety-deposit box, so that they could not be used until after the election."
On Hannity & Colmes, Sean Hannity suggested that President-elect Barack Obama -- the first African-American elected president -- was named Time magazine's Person of the Year because Vice President-elect Joe Biden chose Time's Jay Carney as his communications director. Hannity stated: "Shocker: The president-elect is crowned Time magazine's Person of the Year; this after Time magazine's D.C. bureau chief accepts a job in the Obama White House. Ah, I'm sure it's a coincidence."
During an interview with President Bush that aired on Fox News' Special Report, Bret Baier asked Bush, "Do you believe that there hasn't been a terrorist attack on U.S. soil in more than seven years because of the policies your administration has implemented?" The question tracked a talking point reportedly contained in a "two-page memo" that the Los Angeles Times reported "presents the Bush record as an unalloyed success" and "mentions none of the episodes that detractors say have marred his presidency."