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."
On The O'Reilly Factor, Dennis Miller ridiculed Thomas Beatie, a transgender man who recently gave birth to a child, calling him a "nympho satyr" and saying: "[A]ll I know is the guy's more pregnant than the old woman in the shoe is. And somebody has got to get some protection for this guy, be it a condom or an IUD or a satellite dish or a catcher's mitt. I don't even know what he needs down there, but I need an equipment check on aisle five." Referring to the baby, Miller had video of the polar bear cub at the Berlin zoo aired.
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Following President-elect Barack Obama's announcement of his intention to release results of an internal review of contacts between his aides and Illinois Gov. Rod Blagojevich's office next week, Fox News' Gretchen Carlson stated that "there is varying discussion about whether or not prosecutor [Patrick] Fitzgerald went to him [Obama] and said, hold off for another week." In fact, Fox News' Major Garrett previously reported that Fitzgerald's office "confirms that it made a special request of President-elect Obama's transition team that it not release any of the information involved in this internal search."
On Special Report, Mara Liasson said of President Bush's handling of the Iraq war, "I think that history will judge him pretty kindly," but made no mention of the ongoing debate over whether the United States should have initiated the war in the first place or whether it has been worth the cost in lives, money, and diverted attention and resources. She also described Bush as "handing over a war that's pretty manageable, if not almost won, to his successor." Liasson's words closely tracked Bush's own recent descriptions of progress in Iraq, as he has repeatedly discussed the legacy of his presidency.