Greg Jarrett

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  • Fox Falsely Claims Obama Wants To Give Up Control Of The Internet To The U.N.

    Blog ››› ››› SOPHIA TESFAYE

    Fox News baselessly claimed that the Obama administration plans to give up control of a key Internet administrator to the United Nations,ignoring Obama administration officials' repeated insistence that it will not let a governmental organization run the agency.

    On the April 10 edition of Fox's America's Newsroom, guest co-host Gregg Jarrett claimed that the Obama administration was to "give up" direct oversight of the Internet and "transfer control to an international body controlled by foreign governments." Guest Jordan Sekulow agreed, claiming that the Obama administration plans to cede control of the Internet to the U.N.'s International Telecommunication Union (ITU). Jarrett advanced Fox's previous distortion of the plan, falsely suggesting that nations like China and Russia may now be able to control the Internet and that the plan would lead to the U.N. taxing the Internet. Sekulow agreed, saying that the ITU "is run by dictators" and "authoritative regimes."

    But there is no evidence to support Jarrett's claim that the U.S. intends to give control of ICANN, the agency that administers the Internet's Domain Name System (DNS), to the ITU. In a March 14 press release, the Commerce Department's National Telecommunications & Information Administration (NTIA) announced it will proceed with a 1998 plan to transition U.S. control over ICANN to a multi-stakeholder body, explicitly stating that "NTIA will not accept a proposal that replaces the NTIA role with a government-led or an inter-governmental organization solution."

    In his April 10 congressional testimony, Commerce Department assistant secretary Lawrence Strickling reaffirmed the U.S. government's commitment that no government or inter-governmental body would control ICANN [emphasis added]:

    STRICKLING: We need to ensure that the broad Internet community--companies, technical groups, civil society and governments--continue to work together as equal partners in crafting the rules of the road for the Internet through the multistakeholder model. Some authoritarian regimes however do not accept this model and seek to move Internet governance issues, including the DNS, into the United Nations system in order to exert influence and control over the Internet.

    [...]

    Some have argued that what NTIA is doing is tantamount to "giving away the Internet".That could not be further from the truth. There is no one party--government or industry,including the U.S. Government--that controls the Internet. The Internet is a decentralize dnetwork of networks. What we have in fact done, is demonstrate leadership and strategic vision by laying out a framework with clear conditions to finalize a process that has been ongoing for 16 years.

    [...]

    With the March 14 announcement, NTIA has taken the next step in the 16-year process to privatize the coordination and management of the DNS. ICANN last month began the process of convening stakeholders for the first of many public discussions on this topic. During this period, NTIA's role will remain unchanged. As we have said repeatedly, we will not accept a transition plan that would replace the NTIA role with one led by governments or an inter-governmental organizationand we have established a framework of four principles that the process must address. This must be a careful and thoughtful process. If a plan that meets these criteria cannot be implemented by September 30, 2015, we can extend the contract for up to four years.

    Further, Internet experts have stated that the U.S. plan to relinquish control of ICANN actually weakens the power of the ITU. Politico quoted Nick Ashton-Hart, the Geneva representative for the Computer & Communications Industry Association and a former ICANN official, as saying that "If the U.S. was to try and maintain the master key, it would have been more likely to result in the fragmentation of the Internet," because other countries could claim a similar role. Politico also quoted Rep. Rick Boucher (D-Va.) stating that if the federal government hadn't relinquished its oversight, the ITU could continue to argue that ICANN functioned as a pawn for the U.S. government.

  • Fox News Still Doesn't Understand The ACA's Risk Corridors

    Blog ››› ››› JUSTIN BERRIER

    Fox News launched a new false attack on the Affordable Care Act's risk corridor provision, suggesting that the program which shuffles money between private insurance companies would cost taxpayers $5.5 billion.

    On the March 5 edition of Fox's America's News HQ, co-host Greg Jarrett and Fox Business host David Asman promoted the GOP claim that the ACA's risk corridor provision is a "taxpayer funded bailout" for insurance companies, suggesting that an estimated $5.5 billion in payments over the next year contradicted President Obama's promise that there would be no more bailouts and that the ACA would not add to the deficit. Asman further claimed the administration is "calling it a temporary pool of money. Now maybe if you believe that Obamacare wasn't going to cost a dime, you'll buy that explanation. But most of the time when the government sends money in to that degree, into these companies, it doesn't get the money back":

    The distortion that risk corridors are an insurance company bailout is a frequent theme on Fox, but this latest narrative is especially misleading. What the Fox hosts failed to acknowledge is that the estimated $5.5 billion payment doesn't come from taxpayers, but from the insurance companies themselves. The risk corridor provision transfers money from insurance companies with healthier risk pools to companies with less healthy risk pools with higher than anticipated costs. 

    While the federal government may be required to subsidize some of the payment in extreme circumstances, White House officials expect that the entire risk corridor cost over the next year will be borne by the insurance companies themselves. As Bloomberg reported:

  • Fox News Host Defends Misgendering Chelsea Manning: "I Don't Do What Bradley Manning Wants Me To Do"

    Blog ››› ››› CARLOS MAZA

    Fox News host Gregg Jarrett defended his decision to continue referring to Army Pvt. Chelsea Manning - formerly known as Bradley Manning - as a man, boasting, "I don't do what Bradley Manning wants me to do."

    During the August 23 edition of America's Newsroom, Jarrett invited former prosecutor Annemarie McAvoy to discuss the prospect that Manning might sue to access appropriate medical treatment - including hormone therapy - while serving her sentence in a military prison for leaking classified documents to WikiLeaks. On August 22, Manning announced in a statement to NBC that she wished to be identified as a woman, explicitly asking to be referred to as Chelsea or using female pronouns.

    Jarrett repeatedly referred to Manning as a male and used the name Bradley throughout the segment. At the end of the interview, Jarrett defended his decision to misgender Manning, saying:

    JARRETT: People out there, don't send me angry emails that I refered to him as Bradley and not Chelsea and him instead of her. I don't do what Bradley Manning wants me to do. So thanks very much.

  • "Race-Baiter In Chief": Right-Wing Media React To Obama's Trayvon Martin Remarks

    ››› ››› BRIAN POWELL & EMILY ARROWOOD

    In a press briefing July 19, President Obama responded to the acquittal of George Zimmerman in the killing of Trayvon Martin, saying, "Trayvon Martin could have been me 35 years ago...the African-American community is looking at this issue through a set of experiences and a history that - that doesn't go away." Right-wing media figures responded to the president's remarks with attacks.

  • Fox Forwards Claim That Government Seeks "Retribution" In S&P Lawsuit

    ››› ››› ALBERT KLEINE & ALAN PYKE

    Multiple Fox News personalities have suggested the Justice Department's lawsuit against Standard & Poor's is 'political retribution,' either papering over or outright ignoring the facts behind the suit. However, the S&P investigation began well before U.S. credit was downgraded, and a raft of internal emails suggest the company may have knowingly inflated securities ratings.

  • 2012: A Year Of Gas Price Fibs On Fox

    Blog ››› ››› MAX GREENBERG

    In 2012, like most years, U.S. gasoline prices fluctuated according to global market conditions, seasonal changes in demand and several other factors. Fox News fluctuated too, finding bad -- often contradictory -- news in the ups and downs alike. No matter which way gas prices went, the network always found a way to forecast doom for the economy and pin it on Obama. But experts agree that no president can control gas prices.

    From GasBuddy.com

    As Gas Prices Rise, Fox News Launches Relentless Campaign To Falsely Blame Obama 

    Early in the year, Fox News launched a relentless campaign to pin unseasonably high gasoline prices on President Obama. The network had tried this before, but this time the coverage reached a fever pitch. During the first two months of 2012, Fox News blamed gas prices on Obama more than three times as often as all other major news outlets combined, even distorting charts to serve their agenda. To do this, Fox often claimed that the proposed Keystone XL pipeline or expanded domestic drilling could lower gas prices, while ignoring that Obama has significantly raised fuel economy standards -- a measure that would help consumers reduce their dependence on oil and vulnerability to price spikes.

    The network gloated that prices at the pump could be an "opportunity to disrupt" good economic news for Obama, or maybe even "enough to derail his return to the office." To support that goal, Fox News regularly hosted Eric Bolling, a former minor league baseball player and major Wall Street oil and energy futures trader. While Fox News presented him as an expert, actual experts, even those who support increasing access to oil, have called his claims "absolute and utter rubbish," "idiotic," "nonsense," and "not correct."

  • Fox Keeps Pushing Reagan Myth-Making About Unemployment

    Blog ››› ››› ERIC BOEHLERT

    Attacking President Obama for not doing enough to lower the country's unemployment rate, Fox News' Greg Jarrett and Brenda Buttner insisted on Sunday that when faced with a similar type of economic crisis in his first term, Ronald Reagan turned around the country's job rate in just four years.

    This false comparison has become a favorite Fox talking point.

    BUTTNER: And Ronald Reagan in fact did in four years, took the unemployment rate way down. Bill Clinton said [at the DNC] nobody could do it in four years and he did.

    JARRETT: Reagan did it. 10.8 percent down to 7 percent within four years, down to 5 percent thereafter.

    Why can't Obama be more like Reagan, the Fox talkers asked.  Why can't Obama deflate the unemployment rate the way Reagan did during his first term?

    But look at the numbers from the U.S. Department of Labor. During Reagan's first full month in office, February 1981, the unemployment rate stood at 7.4 percent. It then rose steadily and peaked at 10.8 percent in November 1982, before falling to 7.5 percent in August 1984, as he campaigned for re-election. (Jarrett's mention of "five percent" was in reference to unemployment at the very end of Reagan's second term.)

    Obama? During his first full month in office, February 2009, unemployment stood at 8.3 percent, it peaked at 10 percent in October 2009, and currently stands at 8.1 percent.

    Note that unemployment right now is nearly identical to when Obama began his first term. And at this point in his presidency, the unemployment rate under Reagan was nearly identical to when he began his first term. So why is Fox pretending Reagan slayed unemployment in his first term when his record is nearly identical to Obama's?

    In fact, left unmentioned on Fox yesterday was the fact that in the months prior to Reagan's first term, unemployment in America had been decreasing.

  • "Meet Mr. Smith And Mr. Wesson": The Right's War On Vaccines

    Blog ››› ››› BEN DIMIERO

    On Tuesday morning, following the second consecutive Republican presidential debate in which candidates ganged up on Texas Governor Rick Perry over his decision to sign an executive order mandating HPV vaccinations for young girls, Michele Bachmann appeared NBC's The Today Show. During the interview, Bachmann relayed the following story about vaccinations:

    BACHMANN: I will tell you that I had a mother last night come up to me here in Tampa, Florida, after the debate. She told me that her little daughter took that vaccine, that injection, and she suffered from mental retardation thereafter. It can have very dangerous side effects. The mother was crying when she came up to me last night -- I didn't know who she was before the debate. This is the very real concern, and people have to draw their own conclusion.

    Bachmann's remarks were soon picked up by the media, and the presidential candidate came under criticism from scientists, reporters, and her primary opponents. Several conservative media outlets turned on Bachmann over the suggestion that Gardasil could lead to mental retardation. Rush Limbaugh, for example, said that Bachmann may have "jumped the shark."

    As Alex Pareene explains at Salon, vaccine conspiracies are generally considered "liberal conspiracy" theories. And much to their discredit, outlets like the Huffington Post have published numerous vaccine/autism conspiracy articles from people like Jenny McCarthy.

    However, fearmongering about the supposed dangers of vaccinations has gained traction on the right -- including some of the same figures who are calling out Bachmann -- often as a way to scare people about big government.

    For example, during a few weeks in the fall of 2009, with concerns over the swine flu (H1N1) on the rise, Alex Jones basically took over as the assignment editor for Rush Limbaugh, Glenn Beck, and parts of Fox News.