Yesterday, on Fox News' Your World with Neil Cavuto, former FEMA director Michael Brown repeatedly suggested that the Obama administration deliberately chose to let the BP oil spill "get really bad" so it would have an "excuse" to "shut down offshore drilling."
Today, White House press secretary Robert Gibbs called out Fox News for airing Brown's absurd conspiracy theories without pushing back on them.
Now, Fox appears to be devoting the full resources of its news division to covering up what Brown actually said and Cavuto's failure to call Brown out on it. The network has repeatedly insisted that Gibbs was wrong without ever showing viewers what Brown clearly said.
So since Fox won't report the truth, here's what actually happened.
Conservatives who bash The Washington Post as liberal tend to overlook the streak of conservatism that runs through the Post's editorial pages -- indeed, we've detailed how some Post editorial positions dovetail nicely with those of the unambiguously conservative Wall Street Journal.
Given that history, it's no surprise that Post editorial page staff member Charles Lane would pen a column that advocates, as one way to boost job growth, reducing the minimum wage. No, really.
In support of this claim, Lane cites the increase in unemployment as the minimum wage increased in increments over the past three years, adding: "I am not saying that the minimum wage increase caused this; far from it. But study after study has shown that this supposed benefit to the poor prices low-skilled workers out of entry-level jobs. It was unwise to keep raising the cost of hiring them in a recession." But Lane ignores that there are studies showing that raising the minimum wage has no significant effect on unemployment -- this one, for instance, and this one.
It's probably not surprising that Lane goes on to cite a Journal op-ed to make his case.
Missing from Lane's article, on top of the lack of data that conflicts with his suggestion, is any acknowledgement of the impact of cutting wages of people who aren't making that much in the first place. As the Economic Policy Institute points out, 4.5 million Americans saw a wage increase with the most recent incremental hike. Is cutting those wages really a smart thing to do in a recession?
Lane's other suggestions are equally dubious. It's unclear how ending federal protection of the domestic sugar industry will create jobs, nor does he explain how repealing the Davis-Bacon Act (which mandates that federally funded projects pay the prevailing local wage) will do anything other than lower wages.
But never mind. Lane's minimum wage suggestion got attention at the one place you'd expect it to (outside the Journal, anyway): Fox News.
James Rosen's report on the December 14 edition of America's Newsroom prominently features Lane's column, as well as similar claims by the author of the Journal op-ed Lane cited, David Neumark. Like Lane, Rosen ignored studies that show the minimum wage does not impact unemployment, though he conceded that a rollback is unlikely.
Rosen went on to misconstrue the debate on the issue, portraying it as between Democrats citing "social justice" and Republicans speaking "in macroeconomic terms" -- ignoring there's an macroeconomic argument for raising the minimum wage in terms of increased consumer spending.
If The Washington Post is supposed to be so unapologetically liberal, why is it manufacturing catnip for Fox News?
On the December 8 edition of Fox News' Special Report, correspondent James Rosen advanced the claim that "climate-gate" revealed that "some leading proponents of global warming [...] destroyed" raw temperature data. In fact, according to the scientists, the raw data is still available at the meteorological services where they obtained it and Climate Research Unit director Phil Jones said the CRU simply did not keep copies for "less than 5 percent of its original station data" in its database because those "stations had several discontinuities or were affected by urbanization trends."
Here's another example of Fox News revealing there's little difference between the language it uses and "Republican activists." Discussing Rep. Michele Bachmann's (R-MN) Fox News-fueled Capitol Hill protest, reporter James Rosen said:
ROSEN: ... as we keep one eye on this raucous so-called House Call that the Republican activists and conservatives are paying on the west front steps of the Capitol to protest what they call, PelosiCare.
Well that's true. As Rosen said, Republican activists and conservatives certainly do use that phrase. And who else? Fox News.
Plus, here's Fox News' William Kristol: "If you like the government's swine flu program, you'll love PelosiCare."
And Fox Business' John Stossel: "Assuming PelosiCare is something like care in Canada, you see what happened there - people did start to rebel. Even the doctors started saying, we have to have some private outlet." [Fox Business' America's Nightly Scoreboard, 11/2/09]
Fox News and "Republican activists" - inseparable?
Continuing Fox News' witch hunt against Obama administration nominees and officials whom they have labeled "czars," Glenn Beck falsely claimed that Cass Sunstein, President Obama's nominee to head the White House Office of Information and Regulatory Affairs, has said "you must be an organ donor" and "you should not be able to remove rats from your home if it causes them any pain," and Fox News reporter James Rosen also distorted Sunstein's writings about organ donation and animal rights. In fact, Sunstein advocated for reforms to the organ donation system, but not for mandatory donation, and he did not advocate against rat removal.
From the September 9 edition of Fox News' Special Report:
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From the August 7 edition of Fox News' Happening Now:
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On August 4, Fox News Washington correspondent James Rosen reported that the budget reconciliation process Democrats have "threatened" to use to pass health care reform legislation is an "arcane parliamentary tactic" and that it "is, as a matter of law, used only for budget bills to achieve deficit reduction." In fact, during the Bush administration, the Republican majority frequently used reconciliation to pass major initiatives not aimed at deficit reduction, including then-President Bush's tax cuts.
In two segments over the course of four hours on June 25, Fox News' James Rosen highlighted only scandals involving Democrats during reports that purported to examine earlier political sex scandals in an effort to assess South Carolina Gov. Mark Sanford's situation.
Fox News' James Rosen falsely suggested Republicans agree with Sen. John McCain's position that President Obama has not stood up "forcefully enough" for the protesters in Iran. Rosen did not point out, as Sen. Lamar Alexander reportedly acknowledged, that "there are different views within the Republican Conference" on the issue.
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Fox News' James Rosen took a quote he attributed to Rep. David Obey out of context to advance the falsehood that provisions in the bill would permit the federal government to control health care. In fact, the bill contains no such provisions.
On Special Report, James Rosen stated of Samuel "Joe" Wurzelbacher, "Even [Sen. Barack] Obama himself has gone to work on this working stiff," and aired a cropped quote of Obama saying, "How many plumbers you know making a quarter-million dollars a year?" In fact, the context of that remark makes clear that Obama was actually criticizing Sen. John McCain, not Wurzelbacher.
Numerous media outlets quoted or aired all or part of a statement Sen. John McCain made criticizing Sen. Barack Obama for giving a "political speech" in Berlin while "a candidate for the office of the presidency," but none noted that McCain himself gave a "political speech" in a foreign country last month, speaking to the Economic Club of Toronto in Ottawa, Canada, on a trip paid for by his presidential campaign.
CNN's Candy Crowley uncritically reported that Sen. John McCain is "continually suggesting Obama wants to surrender in Iraq without knowing what's happening there," and Fox News' James Rosen said, "Obama's absence from the war zone over the last two and a half years, McCain argued, has left the first-term senator divorced from the reality that now prevails on the ground in Iraq." However, neither Crowley nor Rosen mentioned any of the misstatements McCain has made that have raised questions about whether McCain himself "know[s] what's happening" in Iraq.