Fox Broadcasting Co.'s coverage of the State of the Union:
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Demonstrating once again that the line between Fox News' news and opinion programming is blurred, The Live Desk aired a caption referring to the "govt [government] option," a term right-wing pollster Frank Luntz suggested Sean Hannity use on his program because the term doesn't poll as well as "public option." Featuring captions that use language endorsed by a Republican strategist is only the latest evidence that Fox News is actually a conservative political organization.
Fox News correspondent Caroline Shively asserted that "[Sen. Barack] Obama says 'Enough already. There's nothing wrong with being a Muslim, but I have been a Christian for two decades now.' " In fact, Obama has said that he has "always been a Christian," and has also repeatedly stated that he has never been a Muslim or ever practiced Islam.
On Fox News Live, radio host Mark Williams claimed, "I've been in upstate New York in the Albany area for the last couple of weeks, and I have yet to meet anybody who likes" Sen. Hillary Clinton. However, two recent polls of likely New York state Democratic primary voters show that a majority of respondents from the upstate region said they will support Clinton in the February 5 Democratic primary.
Responding to Barack Obama's explanation for why he stopped wearing an American flag pin on his lapel during the lead-up to the Iraq war, because it had become "a substitute for, I think, true patriotism," Fox News Live co-host E.D. Hill said: "When I heard this, actually, one of the direct quotes [of Obama] that got to me was 'I won't wear that pin.' It reminded me of the 'I didn't have sex with that woman.' " Fox legal analyst Andrew Napolitano then accused Obama of "disrespecting the American flag," while his Fox News Radio co-host, Brian Kilmeade, said that Obama was "anti-Betsy Ross."
On Fox News Live, after hearing a segment of Rush Limbaugh's controversial comments characterizing service members who advocate U.S. withdrawal from Iraq as "phony soldiers," guest Carrie Lukas of the Independent Women's Forum asserted, "If you go on for another, about 30 seconds, you hear Mr. Limbaugh start talking about Jessie MacBeth." In fact, a 1 minute and 50 second discussion occurred between Limbaugh's original "phony soldiers" comment and his reference to MacBeth.
On Fox News Live, Jim Angle repeatedly misrepresented both Rush Limbaugh's "phony soldiers" comment and the arguments of "Limbaugh's critics," falsely reinforcing Limbaugh's claim that he was referring to actual military imposters, rather than service members or former service members with whom he disagrees.
On Fox News Live, correspondent Anita Vogel reported on a ballot initiative proposed by a Republican organization that would "divvy up" California's "55 coveted electoral votes to the winner of each congressional district, rather than the winner-take-all system currently in place." On-screen text during Vogel's report identified a spokesman for the GOP group as "pro-reform" and an opponent of the initiative as "anti-reform." However, the spokesman has criticized two other initiatives on California's electoral vote that have been proposed by Democrats.
On Fox News Live, E.D. Hill asserted that "it sounded like" former CIA operative Valerie Plame's testimony to a House committee was "completely skirting the issue of whether she still fell under those rules of being considered covert" when her identity was leaked. In fact, Plame specifically testified that she was "covert" until Robert Novak publicly revealed her identity in a 2003 column.
The New York Post and Fox News touted a poll that found that "57 percent of Americans supported 'finishing the job in Iraq' -- keeping U.S. troops there until the Iraqis can provide security on their own." But neither the Post nor Fox News noted that the company that conducted the poll considers itself a "Republican polling firm" and that poll questions apparently were, according to the head of a different Republican polling firm, "designed to register certain responses."