Fox News is falsely claiming that McKinsey & Co. has released a new survey this week estimating that a large number of employers will drop health coverage under the Affordable Care Act. However, in an email to Media Matters, McKinsey stated that it has not released any new research on the topic in months.
It all started on October 27, when Republicans on the House Committee on Oversight and Government Reform, led by House Republican Darrell Issa, issued a report critical of health care reform. The report cited research that McKinsey had released in June that stoked fears that "more than 30 percent of employers overall, and 28 percent of large ones, say they will definitely or probably drop coverage after 2014."
On Wednesday, just days after Issa's report cited McKinsey's June research, America's Newsroom co-host Bill Hemmer claimed that McKinsey itself was responsible for "a survey out this week." On Monday, Happening Now co-host Jenna Lee claimed that "a new survey conducted by an independent research firm finds that 30 percent of employers will definitely or probably stop offering company-sponsored health coverage once the new health-care law kicks in." Lee did not make clear what "new survey" was the source of her claim.
When Media Matters contacted McKinsey & Company to obtain a copy of the new survey, the organization told Media Matters via email that it has not released one on this topic since June. From the email:
We did not release any other survey on this topic. The Fox News piece is based on the survey that was conducted in February of this year and published in June. All the information about that survey is available on our website: http://www.mckinsey.com/en/Features/US_employer_healthcare_survey.aspx.
In June, Fox had aggressively promoted the McKinsey survey to warn that 30 percent of employers would drop health coverage once the Affordable Care Act was implemented, forcing 78 million Americans out of their current health insurance. Fox trumpeted the survey results as "blockbuster" research that undermined efforts to reform the health care system.
Those claims fell apart after McKinsey was forced to acknowledge that the survey was not intended to be a predictive economic analysis.
This is not the first time Fox News has served as a mouthpiece for GOP research.
From the October 17 edition of Fox News' Happening Now:
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Fox News is suggesting that President Obama has broken a promise he made in March that he would not put boots on the ground in Libya. But as Fox itself is reporting, there are a total of "[e]ight boots ... belonging to four individuals" on the ground.
And those four individuals are "military personnel with expertise in explosives" and "general security" personnel advising the State Department on how to rebuild the U.S. embassy in Tripoli. So it sure does not appear that Obama has broken any promises not to put boots on the ground to fight in Libya.
Nevertheless, here's supposed "straight-news" anchor Jenna Lee beginning a report by claiming that "We've heard the president and others say that there will be no boots on the ground in Libya and now we know that there are boots on the ground":
The story also made Fox's evening "straight news." On The Fox Report, correspondent Jennifer Griffins' concluded a segment on "U.S. boots on the ground in Libya" by stating that "Both State Department and Pentagon officials today insist that this is not a breach of the president's promise not to place boots on the ground, a promise that he made back in March." The host of the show, Shepard Smith, sarcastically replied to Griffin stating, "And they also insist it's not a war so there you go."
An article on FoxNews.com parroted the same information in an article titled "U.S. Boots on the Ground In Libya, Pentagon Confirms." The article stated that "Obama assured Americans in March when the bombing campaign over Libya began that there would be no boots on the ground. From the East Room of the White House on March 18, he said: "The United States is not going to deploy ground troops into Libya."
From the August 26 edition of Fox News' Happening Now:
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Last night on Comedy Central's The Daily Show, Jon Stewart called out the broadcast media for failing to include Rep. Ron Paul (R-TX) in the top tier of potential candidates for the 2012 Republican presidential nomination. One of the people Stewart called out was Bret Baier. Stewart accused Baier of giving a "smirk and an eye roll" after Paul promised to bring troops home during the GOP presidential debate that Baier co-moderated.
Stewart's criticism appeared to hit home. The very next day Bret Baier appeared on Fox News' Happening Now and stated: "One person to not discount, and we don't, is Congressman Ron Paul." Baier added: "There has been a lot of media criticism about the media coverage of Congressman Paul and I think that is a fair assessment."
Baier also asserted that Paul "will be a factor throughout this race."
Following Baier's lead, Happening Now host Jenna Lee reported on a recent spike in sales for Texas Governor Rick Perry's book since he entered the race for the Republican presidential nomination. She then noted that other candidates have written books as well, singled out Ron Paul's book for mention, and promised to check "and see if they've probably gotten a bump up as well."
Bret Baier responded to Jon Stewart's comments on Twitter:
Funny - but my smirk there was NOT over what congressman Paul said - it was ovr the fact that i couldn't control the crowd outbursts - during the breaks -i had asked them 5 times 2 hold applause - stewart misinterpreted it RT @RayZorback @Bret_Baier did U C John Stewart comment on Ron Paul vs media? He pokes fun at U 2 (in gd fun). It's hilarious. http://j.mp/p5m23V
Fox News adopted its "headline" for today straight from a press release from the office of Republican Rep. Paul Ryan, claiming that the Congressional Budget Office estimated that "government spending as a share of our economy will increase by nearly 70 percent by 2035." In its long-term budget outlook, CBO projected that spending would increase from 24.1 percent of GDP in 2011 to 27.4 percent in 2035.
From the June 16 edition of Fox News' Happening Now:
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There's been a lot of hand-wringing from the right-wing media this week about a possible "double-dip" recession. See Dick Morris on yesterday's Fox & Friends, during an epic rant about how President Obama can't possibly win a second term:
MORRIS: I think that Obama definitely can be defeated and will be defeated. I think that the -- it is impossible for him to avoid blame for this economy. At some point, does this guy look in the mirror and understand that everything he's done about the economy is wrong? That he's causing the second housing crisis by cutting out the mortgage interest deduction, that he's causing this double-dip recession by threatening tax increases on consumers? Doesn't he understand that he's causing the deficit with this gigantic government spending?
Or witness this exchange between guest host Martha MacCallum and Fox Business host Stuart Varney on the June 2 broadcast on America Live:
MacCALLUM: A lot of folks in the financial world very concerned that the economy is actually getting weaker at this point. They're dropping words like meltdown, double-dip recession and even depression. Just today we got word out for the new unemployment claims. They dropped by about 6,000 last week. Economists were expecting those claims to fall by almost twice that number. So here is the big number for today -- 422,000 people walked into unemployment offices and filed for claims for the first time last week.
Stuart Varney joins me now, of the Fox Business Network. Stuart, what's going on here? Why are we still struggling so much?
VARNEY: All of a sudden, the economy seems to have hit a brick wall and is weakening on all fronts. Let's go through them. Housing prices down 33 percent from a couple of years ago and still falling. Manufacturing orders falling off a cliff very recently.
[A]nd this economy is growing at less than 2 percent per year. That's almost at stalling speed for an economy which is supposed to be roaring out of a recovery. Martha, that is why you've got people like Robert Reich, former labor secretary under President Clinton, saying that we are, indeed, heading towards a double-dip recession. Big negatives on the economy.
It is indeed true that economist Robert Reich recently penned a gloomy Financial Times op-ed, though what he wrote was, "It is unlikely that America will find itself back in recession but the possibility of a double dip cannot be dismissed."
What does Reich, who served in three administrations and was Secretary of Labor under President Clinton, think is causing our economic woes? From his op-ed (emphasis added):
From the June 1 edition of Fox News' Happening Now:
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From the May 26 edition of Fox News' Happening Now:
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Right-wing media have continued to attack energy standards that will phase out inefficient light bulbs by 2012, claiming the bill will "ban" incandescent light bulbs and force consumers to instead purchase either $50 light-emitting diode (LED) bulbs or "dangerous" compact florescent lights (CFL). In fact, the bill only bans inefficient incandescent light bulbs, and efficient bulbs -- whose prices vary considerably depending on the type of bulb and are also projected to drop -- will save consumers money in the long run; experts have also said that concerns over mercury in CFL bulbs are overstated.
In the midst of their coverage on a 8.9 magnitude earthquake and devastating tsunami in Japan, Fox News found an opportunity to push their message of "drill, baby, drill." During today's edition of Happening Now, host Jenna Lee cut away from the show's coverage on Japan to host Fox Business' Chris Cotter and then Wall Street Journal's Steve Moore to discuss President Obama's then-upcoming remarks on the "rising energy prices." The segment quickly became a platform for Steve Moore to push for oil drilling in the United States.
Moore stated that opening the Strategic Petroleum Reserve would only decrease the price of oil at the pump by "ten cents." In fact, his own plan to "drill for oil here in the United States" would have virtually no effect on the price of gas at the pump. From today's edition of Happening Now:
STEVE MOORE: The president has been on the fence on that, about that about whether to tap the Strategic Petroleum Reserve. But I would say this, Jenna, for consumers out there. I don't think that that has a big impact on the gasoline price. If the president were to tap into the Strategic Reserve it might lower gasoline prices by five cents at most, ten cents a gallon and very temporarily. I think the bigger issue is, Jenna, what are we doing longer term? As I said, why aren't we drilling everywhere where we have a potential to develop our own gas and oil resources? I mean, the way I put it is Jenna is that every time we can drill for oil here in the United States every barrel, that's one less barrel we have to get from these countries like Saudi Arabia, like Iran and Iraq, like Libya that some so much turmoil.
On Fox News today correspondent Carl Cameron claimed that "as a consequence" of House Republicans' push to repeal the health care reform law, Democrats are "beginning to see the things that should be modified." Cameron specifically cited a proposal to amend the requirement that businesses "report on a 1099 IRS tax form any transaction with a vendor over $600."
From the February 2 edition of Fox News' Happening Now:
JENNA LEE (HOST): Do we expect them to agree on anything when it comes to the health care bill?
CAMERON: Yeah, one of the things that's happened here as a consequence of the discussion of the repeal is a number of Democrats -- there are 23 Democrats in the U.S. Senate who are up for re-election next year. And as a consequence of all this discussion of repeal, they have been forced to really focus on some of the things that many Americans and the federal judges have found objectionable. And as a consequence of that there are a number of Democrats that are actually talking about something that will pass today.
A Republican amendment originally proposed by Mike Johanns of Nebraksa has now been essentially co-opted by Michigan Democrat Debbie Stabenow and the President supports it. It would repeal the paperwork requiring businesses to report on a 1099 IRS tax form any transaction with a vendor over $600. All sides agree that that's onerous. Changes are underway, not a repeal, but Democrats are beginning to see the things that should be modified.
In fact, Democrats including Ben Nelson, Mark Begich, Max Baucus, and Scott Murphy worked to change the 1099 requirement last year. President Obama also called for changes to the 1099 requirement before the midterm elections. Even Nancy Pelosi was on board. So it's simply not accurate to credit the GOP's repeal push for Democrats' willingness to alter the provision, try as Carl Cameron might.
Responding to a NABE survey anticipating improvements in employment, Steve Moore of the Wall Street Journal said on Fox News that the tax cut extension was a major factor in the recovery and that the stimulus had a "negative" effect. But the NABE survey itself found that most respondents do not think the tax cut extension will spur hiring, and independent economists have said the stimulus boosted GDP and employment.
Fox News correspondent Doug McKelway falsely suggested that increased offshore drilling would prevent high gas prices. In fact, even the Bush administration Energy Department said that expanded offshore drilling would not substantially affect oil prices any time soon.