After President Obama's re-election, conservative media figures attacked New Jersey Governor Chris Christie for his praise of the president's leadership following Hurricane Sandy. Their attacks followed News Corp. chief Rupert Murdoch's pre-election statement that Christie would be to blame if Obama won the election.
From the November 7 edition of Fox News' America Live:
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From the October 25 edition of Fox News' The O'Reilly Factor:
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During the October 22 presidential debate, conservative media took to Twitter to launch personal attacks against President Obama in an attempt to criticize his performance and distract from Mitt Romney's lies.
Conservative commentator Ann Coulter referred to Obama as "the retard":
Fox News contributor Stephen Hayes wrote, "Seems to me President Obama's condescension has crossed the line from aggressive to disrespectful. Will voters like him mocking Romney?"
Conservative media figures are lashing out at GOP presidential candidate Mitt Romney for not attacking President Obama aggressively enough during tonight's presidential debate over his handling of Libya. Many of these same media figures have spent much of the past month lobbing frequent, inaccurate attacks at the administration over the attack on the U.S. consulate in Benghazi.
Fox News host Greg Gutfeld:
Fox News political analyst Dick Morris:
Fox News Radio host Todd Starnes:
Fox News contributor Michelle Malkin:
Fox News host Eric Bolling:
Fox News contributor Laura Ingraham:
Romney has regularly echoed false talking points from conservative media figures during debates.
After Secretary of State Hillary Clinton said that she's responsible for State Department personnel, right-wing media quickly claimed that President Obama was dodging responsibility for the attack on the U.S. Consulate in Benghazi, Libya. But Clinton was actually pointing out that the State Department, not the White House, is responsible for diplomatic security while Obama has said that he is ultimately responsible for national security.
Fox News contributor Laura Ingraham distorted Secretary of State Hillary Clinton's comments in a Fox News interview about the September 11 attack in Benghazi, Libya, falsely portraying her as trying to deflect blame.
According to Fox News host Greta Van Susteren's blog, Fox News reporter Wendell Goler spoke with Secretary Clinton in Peru today. Ingraham tweeted a link to notes on the interview and misrepresented them.
Ingraham conflated two responses that Secretary Clinton gave during the interview to imply that Clinton couldn't "speak to who knew what" regarding the September 11 Benghazi attack. In fact, Clinton's comments were about a separate IED attack in Benghazi in June.
Ingraham tweeted, "Hillary tries to defuse the Benghazi issue bef the debate--says she's responsible but 'can't speak to who knew what.' "
Goler's notes from the interview include Clinton saying she is "responsible for the State Dept, for the more than 60K people around the world," and that "decisions about security are made by security professionals." Goler's notes then say that Clinton responded to a question regarding a separate June IED attack:
Re June IED attack: "I can't speak to who knew what. We knew there were security breaches and problems throughout Libya. That's something that came about as the aftermath of the revolution to topple Ghadaffy with so many militias formed. So many weapons loose...it was taken into account by security professionals as they made their assessments."
From the October 14 edition of Fox Broadcasting Co.'s Fox News Sunday:
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Right-wing media are attacking ABC reporter Martha Raddatz, the moderator of the vice-presidential debate, complaining that she interrupted GOP candidate Paul Ryan significantly more than Vice President Joe Biden. In fact, Raddatz interrupted Biden and Ryan roughly the same number of times.
Following the October 11 debate, right-wing media figures complained that Raddatz cut Ryan off significantly more often than she did Biden. Washington Examiner senior editorial writer Philip Klein tweeted, "Every time Biden starts interrupting Ryan, Martha Raddatz cuts Ryan off." Fox News contributor Laura Ingraham complained that Raddatz interrupted Ryan when he rebutted "Biden's illogical position on abortion and Catholic Church." Town Hall news editor Katie Pavlich wrote, "This debate should be renamed: Joe Biden and the Moderator Interrupt Paul Ryan!"
But Raddatz interrupted Biden and Ryan approximately an equal number of times. According to a Media Matters review of the debate, Raddatz interrupted Biden 15 times and Ryan 18 times:
Fox News commentators have reimagined U.S. Ambassador Susan Rice's statements about the consulate attack in Benghazi, saying Rice was "so definitive" in Sunday show interviews about what had happened there. In fact, Rice repeatedly made clear during her interviews that definitive conclusions would only follow from an administration investigation, which she stressed was under way.
Last week it was reported that the television networks and the Associated press this year will skip exit polling in 19 states. Picking states whose outcome are already considered predetermined, and therefore where polling isn't as important, the media consortium cited cost cutting as one of the key reasons behind the move. With more and more people voting early by mail (and from home), the exit pollsters have to shift their focus and spend more time and money contacting voters by phone, which is more expensive
Pretty straightforward, right?
Not this election season. Not when nearly every news cycle brings with it a new sinister conspiracy launched by the far right press, which remains desperate to explain why Obama's campaign hasn't yet completely collapsed under the weight of what they claim to be his historic domestic and international failures.
So on the same day the exit polling story was reported in the Washington Post, Breitbart.com's Big Journalism posted an item announcing that the elimination of the 19 exit polling states represented an obvious media-driven conspiracy (an "insidious plan") concocted by the "goose-stepping" networks and AP to help re-elect President Obama.
What was so evil about the cost-cutting move? Of the 19 states, 15 are red ones where Romney will win easily.
The real reason the consortium has cut these states is that they know that if they report fifteen states coming in for Romney early, independent voters in other states will take notice and be swayed his way.
The networks and the AP just knew that for independent voters who still hadn't voted at night on November 6, if early returns showed Romney had won Louisiana, Kentucky and Georgia, for example, that would prompt undecided voters all over the country to flock to the polls to vote for the Republican, because he'd won states he was supposed to win. (Just like they did with McCain in 2008?) Therefore, the networks and AP had to step in and cut off exit polling in key Romney states.
That's the basis for the Breitbart.com fantasy (announced as fact, of course) about how the media were conspiring yet again to aide Obama's reelection.
What's so remarkable is that that wasn't even the most delusional theory that was launched last week by the far-right press, which has transformed itself during the closing weeks of the campaign into a full-time, partisan fun house.
As imaginative as Breitbart's exit poll scheme was, there's no way it could compete with last Friday's epic job truthers push by Fox News and the rest of the off-kilter far-right media. Without the slightest bit of evidence, Obama's media detractors suggested a truly vast conspiracy had taken hold inside the federal government in an effort to doctor the unemployment numbers and boost Obama's re-election run.
Media figures cheered Republican Mitt Romney's performance in the first presidential debate, claiming he offered specifics and an economic plan to contrast with that of President Obama. In fact, independent analysis shows Romney provided vague details at best.
From the October 2 edition of Fox News' Fox & Friends:
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Two Fox News Sunday panelists suggested that Susan Rice, the U.S. ambassador to the United Nations, did not properly emphasize the fact that there is an ongoing investigation into the attack on the U.S. consulate in Benghazi, Libya. In fact, in the interview that they were referring to, and throughout her appearances on the Sunday talk shows, Rice repeatedly noted that the investigation was ongoing and that its results would ultimately reveal what happened.
This suggestion feeds into the right-wing conspiracy theory that the Obama administration has been purposefully deceptive in its public statements about the investigation.
Today on Fox News Sunday, Christian Science Monitor reporter Liz Marlantes questioned why Rice, during a September 16 appearance on Fox News Sunday, didn't simply say, "We're investigating, we don't really know very much yet." Later, Fox News contributor Laura Ingraham similarly asked why Rice didn't say, "We have an ongoing investigation, and I'm really not going to say anything more. We're going to learn more."
But in her September 16 appearance, Rice stressed the fact that it was important not to jump to conclusions before the investigation was completed, but shared the administration's "best current assessment" (emphasis added):
RICE: Well, first of all, Chris, we are obviously investigating this very closely. The FBI has a lead in this investigation. The information, the best information and the best assessment we have today is that in fact this was not a preplanned, premeditated attack. That what happened initially was that it was a spontaneous reaction to what had just transpired in Cairo as a consequence of the video. People gathered outside the embassy and then it grew very violent and those with extremist ties joined the fray and came with heavy weapons, which unfortunately are quite common in post-revolutionary Libya and that then spun out of control.
But we don't see at this point signs this was a coordinated plan, premeditated attack. Obviously, we will wait for the results of the investigation and we don't want to jump to conclusions before then. But I do think it's important for the American people to know our best current assessment.
In her appearances throughout September 16, Rice repeatedly emphasized that the investigation was ongoing and would provide the definitive answer to what happened. Her statements mirrored those of other administration officials.
From the September 30 edition of Fox Broadcasting's Fox News Sunday:
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