Fox News host Brit Hume and correspondent Bret Baier suggested that Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac were heavily involved in the subprime mortgage market "years ago," and falsely suggested that Rep. Barney Frank has opposed stricter regulation of Fannie and Freddie. Neither Hume nor Baier noted that Fannie and Freddie were not active in the subprime market in 2003, or that Frank has supported and authored bills to strengthen oversight of Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac.
On Fox News' America's Newsroom, Megyn Kelly falsely suggested it was publicly revealed that PBS' Gwen Ifill was the author of the forthcoming book, The Breakthrough, only after it was announced she would moderate the upcoming vice presidential debate. In fact, media outlets, including the Associated Press, reported that Ifill was the book's author well before the announcement.
On The O'Reilly Factor, after guest Tonya Reiman claimed that House Speaker Nancy Pelosi's body language during a recent speech suggested she "practices the speech too much," Bill O'Reilly responded: "You know who used to do that, who practiced for hours before making a speech? And I'm not making any comparison here. So, don't -- you crazy left-wing websites out there, it's not a comparison. Adolf Hitler. Adolf Hitler practiced for hours, all of his ... gestures and everything else before he went out there."
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Fox News' Neil Cavuto contradicted reporting by Fox News by suggesting that the financial bailout bill would not have failed if House Speaker Nancy Pelosi "had just shut up earlier and not characterized it one way or the other" in a speech she gave before the vote. However, Fox News producer Chad Pergram reported before Pelosi spoke that Republicans "may only have 40 to 60 of their members" supporting the bill, a number that Pergram said "leaves us very short there." Additionally, several GOP House members have said that Pelosi's speech did not cause Republicans to switch their votes.
Several conservatives in the media have recently blamed the Community Reinvestment Act for the current financial crisis -- when, in fact, the CRA does not apply to institutions making the vast majority of troubled loans underlying the crisis. It applies only to depository institutions, such as banks and savings and loan associations. Experts have estimated that 80 percent of high-priced subprime loans were offered by financial institutions that are not subject to the CRA.
Fox & Friends aired a heavily cropped version of former President Bill Clinton's comments broadcast on the previous day's Meet the Press in which Clinton was asked if Sen. Barack Obama is a "great man." Co-host Gretchen Carlson asserted that the cropped comments were evidence of "a major diss against Barack Obama by Bill Clinton." But Carlson omitted Clinton's assertion in the same interview that he "certainly admire[s] him" and that Obama's "greatness will ... become apparent" when he is elected president.
Following the first presidential debate, Sean Hannity promoted the results of a Fox News text-message poll that found that Sen. John McCain won the debate, but did not mention that viewers were allowed to begin voting for "who [they] thought won" just 10 minutes into the debate.
On Fox News' Fox & Friends Saturday, Steve Doocy stated that FactCheck.org said it was "true" that Sen. Barack Obama voted for a "bill that ... would increase taxes on people earning as little as $42,000 a year." Doocy added: "[Sen.] John McCain said, 'That was true, you did.' " In fact, FactCheck.org stated that "McCain was correct -- with qualification," adding that the votes McCain has previously cited for the claim were on a measure that "actually would not have altered taxes without additional legislation. ... McCain is referring to the provision that would have allowed the 25 percent tax bracket to return to 28 percent. The tax plan Obama now proposes, however, would not raise the rate on that tax bracket."
On Special Report, Brit Hume said, "A $100,000 grant that then-Illinois state Senator Barack Obama awarded in 2001 to a group headed by a one-time campaign volunteer is under investigation by the Illinois attorney general." But Hume did not note that a spokesperson for Attorney General Lisa Madigan said "Obama's actions in awarding the money are not a focus of the investigation," according to the Chicago Sun-Times article Hume cited in his report.
Referring to Sen. John McCain's announcement that he was going to "suspend" his campaign, Sean Hannity and Fox News contributor Pat Caddell asserted on Hannity & Colmes that McCain is "not running ads." In fact, as Alan Colmes noted, and as Media Matters documented, McCain campaign television ads ran throughout the day following McCain's announcement.
Fox News and CNN news anchors continue to assert that Sen. John McCain has "suspended" his campaign, even though McCain campaign surrogates continue to appear on cable news networks attacking Sen. Barack Obama.
Fox News co-host Megyn Kelly did not challenge McCain campaign senior adviser Nancy Pfotenhauer to reconcile her criticism of Sen. Barack Obama during the segment with her assertion that Sen. John McCain said, 'I'm going to put politics on hold 40 days out from an election, withdraw some $12 million in paid media and advertising off the airs in order to do what's right and put the country first.' "
Sean Hannity falsely asserted that former Fannie Mae CEO Franklin Raines is "a chief economic adviser" to Sen. Barack Obama. A McCain campaign ad claims that Raines "advises" Obama -- a claim that Raines and the Obama campaign have denied -- but even that ad did not claim that Raines is a "chief" adviser.
On Fox News, Rush Limbaugh claimed that in a U.N. speech, Iran's President Ahmadinejad was "echoing [Sen.] Barack Obama talking points -- talking about how America is responsible for all the problems of the world, talking about how American defense spending is -- led to the crisis here." Limbaugh provided no evidence that Obama has said anything remotely similar to Ahmadinejad's remarks, which, according to a translation, included references to "Zionist murderers" and to the purported influence of "Zionists" on the "political decision-making centers of some European countries and the U.S."
On Fox News' The O'Reilly Factor, Mary Katharine Ham falsely claimed that Sen. Barack Obama "need[ed] changing political winds" to support designating the Iranian Revolutionary Guard a terrorist group. In fact, Obama has consistently supported designating the Iranian Revolutionary Guard a terrorist organization, having co-sponsored a bill in 2007 to do so.