Discussing the issue of whether health insurance plans that cover Viagra should also cover birth control, Fox News' Bill O'Reilly asserted: "Viagra is used to help a medical condition -- that's why it's covered. Birth control is not a medical condition, it is a choice." But O'Reilly's assertion is contradicted by professional medical associations that have stated that pregnancy is a medical condition and that "[c]ontraception is medically necessary" for women.
Sean Hannity falsely suggested that federal areas legally available for leasing by oil companies contain no oil. In fact, federal agencies have estimated that more oil exists on the tens of millions of acres of federal areas currently legally available for drilling than there is in the areas currently off limits to drilling.
Commenting on Fox & Friends' airing of an altered photo of New York Times reporter Jacques Steinberg, Fox News' Bill O'Reilly said: "You may remember Fox News made fun of him recently for painting a distorted ratings picture -- that's why they distorted his picture -- and propping up MSNBC." O'Reilly previously compared the altered photo, which Fox & Friends did not indicate was distorted, to a Times illustration of him.
Fox News Sunday's Chris Wallace falsely claimed that Sen. John McCain "momentarily mistook Shias and Sunnis in Jordan," and the Chicago Tribune's Michael Dorning asserted that if Sen. Barack Obama "makes a mistake" on his upcoming overseas trip, "it'll be a much bigger deal than, say, when McCain was in Jordan, or somewhere in the Middle East, and basically mixed up Shia and Sunnis for a moment." In fact, McCain did not "mix up" Shias and Sunnis just for a moment; he made the false statement three times in two days.
On Fox & Friends First, after Gretchen Carlson reported that "The New York Times says shoddy electrical wiring has killed 13 Americans and injured many more," Brian Kilmeade stated: "They had to find the negative story in Iraq?" When Carlson again discussed the Times story on Fox & Friends, Kilmeade stated: "So, this is America bad?"
Several media outlets, including CNN, MSNBC, Fox News, and The Washington Post, have uncritically reported Sen. John McCain's speech attacking Sen. Barack Obama for "outlining a plan" for Afghanistan and Iraq before his upcoming visit to the region without noting that in the same speech, McCain outlined his own "Comprehensive Strategy For Victory In Afghanistan," but hasn't visited that country since December 2006.
On Fox News' America's Election HQ, Ralph Peters falsely suggested that Sen. Barack Obama has said that the United States "should send ground troops into Pakistan" and "invade the country through which we get our supplies." In fact, Obama did not say he would "invade" Pakistan; rather, he stated: "If we have actionable intelligence about high-value terrorist targets and [Pakistani] President [Pervez] Musharraf won't act, we will."
A week after referring on MSNBC to Sens. Barack Obama and John Kerry as "two Ivy League fancy lads," GOP strategist Andrea Tantaros again referred to Obama as a "fancy lad," this time on Fox News' America's Newsroom. In neither case was her remark challenged by the anchors of the shows.
On Special Report, Jim Angle reported that during debate on the FISA Amendments Act of 2008, "Senator Orrin Hatch dismissed the idea that the intelligence agencies were trying to listen to anyone other than those with terrorist connections" and aired a clip of Hatch stating, "I don't want to bruise anyone's ego, but if Al Qaeda is not on your speed dial, the government is probably not interested in you." Angle did not note that several news articles have reported that surveillance under the government's warrantless eavesdropping program was not limited to those with "Al Qaeda on [their] speed dial," but also included thousands of Americans with no ties to any terrorist group.
On Hannity & Colmes, Sean Hannity aired a deceptively cropped statement from Bill Clinton's remarks at the Aspen Ideas Festival in asserting that Clinton was "obviously taking a shot at Senator [John] McCain," omitting the context showing that Clinton was discussing what Nelson Mandela means to him. Hannity also falsely asserted that Clinton's statement and recent comments by Wesley Clark were part of "a series of attacks on Senator McCain's military record."
On both his radio and television shows, Bill O'Reilly again cited Sen. Barack Obama's ranking by the National Journal as the "most liberal senator" for 2007, without noting the rankings' subjectivity. O'Reilly did not note that the rankings were based not on every vote cast by senators in 2007, but rather on "99 key Senate votes, selected by NJ reporters and editors, to place every senator on a liberal-to-conservative scale."
Three Fox & Friends co-hosts repeatedly asserted that former President Bill Clinton recently "attack[ed]" Sen. John McCain's "selfless heroism at the Hanoi Hilton," in Andrew Napolitano's words, and two of the hosts -- Napolitano and Gretchen Carlson -- falsely suggested that Clinton's statement and recent comments by retired Gen. Wesley Clark were part of a coordinated effort by Sen. Barack Obama's campaign to "attack" McCain's service. But the Fox & Friends co-hosts provided no evidence that Clinton's comments were intended to refer to McCain; nor did they provide the context of those remarks.
Discussing the controversy over Fox & Friends' airing of altered photos of two New York Times staffers, Fox News' Bill O'Reilly compared the photo of Times reporter Jacques Steinberg, which Fox & Friends did not indicate was distorted, to a Times illustration of him.
On Fox News Sunday, Juan Williams asserted of a recent campaign ad from Sen. Barack Obama: "He makes himself out to be born in Kansas, Kansas values. He's in Hawaii." However, as Media Matters for America has noted, in the ad, Obama does not "make himself out to be born in Kansas"; rather, he makes clear he was "raised" by his mother and grandparents, who "grew up" in Kansas. Karl Rove made a similar claim in a Wall Street Journal op-ed.