How'd you spend your election day Tuesday? If you're a Fox News host or political analyst, you might have spent it shilling and celebrating for conservative and Republican candidates:
That glee transferred to Fox & Friends, where Fox News revelled in calling GOP victories the "winds of change," a "Republican revival" and a "blueprint for success."
Here's a "fair and balanced" promo Fox News has been airing all week for its Tuesday election coverage:
On his Twitter account, former Bush adviser Karl Rove writes: "I'll be on Fox & Friends tomorrow at 8 AM and most of the day for election coverage" and "Live Desk, Your World, Hannity, O'Reilly, FBN w/ Cavuto, and Fox Election Special at 10 PM."
While promoting his Fox News appearances, Rove also pushed people to contribute to candidates, writing: "Visit www.doughoffmanforcongress.com to contribute"; "Corzine spending more than $20 mm attacking Christie. RGA is fighting back. Give now so they can stay on air http://tinyurl.com/ylruh22"; "GOP Comeback begins in NJ and VA with RGA. Give now to help them stay on air. http://tinyurl.com/ylruh22."
So let's get this straight: Fox News' top "Fox News political analyst" is actively encouraging people to defeat Democrats. And that top "Fox News political analyst" will participate "most of the day" for Fox's "fair & balanced" coverage. Rove, by the way, routinely appears by himself, unchallenged, in his role as election analyst - as he's already done on today's Fox & Friends and yesterday's On the Record:
No active follower of politics should see Bush's Brain as anything other than a partisan Republican hack. Then-Fox News executive John Moody said of Rove: "Are we getting a Republican spin? Of course. But that's what he's there for. There's no attempt to conceal that."
So there it is. Fox News' "fair and balanced" political coverage will feature self-described "Republican spin" - again, often by himself and unchallenged - from its top political analyst who also happens to be actively soliciting for Republicans and conservatives. We report, you decide.
Fox News contributor Karl Rove falsely claimed that the House health reform bill "front-loads the revenue" but "back-loads the program costs, which means by the end of the first 10 years, this program is running annual deficits," adding that it will result in "a torrent of red ink in the second decade, when the program is fully operational." Contrary to Rove's claim, the Congressional Budget Office (CBO) found that the House bill would not only reduce federal budget deficits by $104 billion through 2019, but also that it would continue to reduce the deficit in the subsequent decade.
Following Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid's announcement that the Senate health care reform bill will include a public option that each state could opt out of, several Fox News commentators baselessly suggested that states choosing not to participate in the public option would, in Karl Rove's words, have to pay taxes "for this sucker for decades," but "we're not going to get any of our money back." However, while Reid has yet to release details of the compromise Senate legislation, every other proposed bill with a public option so far has required the costs of the public plan to be covered by the premiums of those who enroll in it, and the taxes proposed in each of the bills are used to cover the expansion of coverage through Medicaid and subsidies to help certain families purchase insurance, both of which are provided to residents of every state regardless of any public option.
From the October 26 edition of Fox News' Hannity:
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A revolving door exists between the Republican Party and Fox News Channel, with a number of former Bush administration officials, former and potentially future GOP presidential candidates, and Republican strategists on Fox's payroll and airwaves. A Media Matters for America review of Fox coverage since September 1 reveals that these individuals, typically hosted alone or on unbalanced panels, often use their airtime to advance false and misleading claims about Democrats and progressives, as well as to fundraise, further demonstrating that Fox is effectively a conservative political organization and not a legitimate news outlet.
Several right-wing media figures have claimed that the Obama administration is criticizing Fox News because the network asks "tough questions" and is "reporting the truth." This assertion is undermined by Fox News' extensive history of advancing falsehoods, repeatedly passing off GOP materials as news, doctoring quotes, and frequently engaging in outrageous attacks on President Obama, such as Glenn Beck's claim that he is a "racist" with a "deep-seated hatred for white people, or the white culture -- I don't know what it is."
On Fox News' Hannity, Karl Rove suggested that a Washington Post/ABC News poll that showed broad support for a public option was skewed because "the wording of the question" didn't make clear that the public option would include government involvement. In fact, the Washington Post/ABC News poll question asked about support for "having the government create a new health insurance plan to compete with private health insurance plans," and its results mirrored those of other recent public opinion polls that asked about support for a government-administrated public option.
Fox News hosts and contributors are now asserting that the White House's criticism of Fox News is a diversion or a trick to direct attention away from the administration's policies, particularly health care reform. Glenn Beck has referred to the criticism as a "gold coin" used in a magic trick, while Newt Gingrich claimed the White House is trying to keep the media "focused on trivia."
Following the White House's recent criticism of Fox News for its conservative slant, Glenn Beck and other conservative media have fearmongered that the Obama administration will harm Fox News and its supporters -- physically or otherwise -- because of their opposition to its policies. Since September alone, Beck has asked listeners to "pray for protection," compared Fox News to Jews during the Holocaust, and suggested the White House was pointing missiles at Fox News, and Newt Gingrich asked on Hannity if the administration would subject Fox News commentators to the Chinese "Cultural Revolution" because of their objections.
From the October 18 edition of Fox Broadcasting Co.'s Fox News Sunday:
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Fox News personalities and other conservative media figures have recently claimed or suggested either that a public health insurance option is unpopular among the American public, that it is costly, or both. But they ignored that numerous major public opinion polls contradict their claims; that both the House and Senate health care reform bills require the public plan to be self-sustaining; that the Congressional Budget Office (CBO) concluded that a public option did "not have a substantial effect on the cost" of the Senate health committee bill; and that numerous experts agree that a public plan is important to help control the cost of health care.
After Sean Hannity introduced his Fox News show by asking, "Does Kevin Jennings support the group NAMBLA?" Karl Rove falsely claimed that Jennings, a Department of Education official, had engaged in "high-profile, in-your-face advocacy of things like NAMBLA and gay rights and queering elementary school curricula." Neither Rove nor Hannity provided any evidence that Jennings has ever "support[ed]" -- let alone engaged in "high-profile, in-your-face advocacy" of -- NAMBLA, and Rove's suggestion that support for "gay rights" is somehow related to support for NAMBLA is a smear.
After Andrew Breitbart posted a video of an ACORN employee in San Bernardino, California, claiming that she had killed her ex-husband, Fox News' Glenn Beck, Karl Rove, Greta Van Susteren, and Sean Hannity promoted it without fact-checking it or indicating that they had contacted ACORN for a response to the claim. In fact, ACORN stated that the employee made up the story because she recognized that the actors in the video "were clearly playing with" her so she "matched their false scenario with her own false scenarios," and, indeed, the San Bernardino Police Department has said her claim is false.