From the October 26 edition of Fox News' America's Newsroom:
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Conservative media outlets pushed at least eleven misleading attacks on President Obama's energy policies that have become talking points used by Mitt Romney's campaign. The conservative media bubble has largely prevented voters from hearing the facts about clean energy programs, fossil fuel production and environmental regulation under the Obama administration.
Fox News anchor Martha MacCallum attacked the Obama administration for referencing an anti-Muslim video produced in the U.S. in statements about the attack on the U.S. compound in Benghazi, calling mentions of the video a "red herring." In fact, the video was linked to protests in at least 20 Muslim countries, and recent reporting says that the attackers at the Benghazi compound were motivated by the video.
Frequent Fox News guest Rep. Jason Chaffetz is pursuing investigations into the September attacks on a U.S. consulate in Libya, capping a month-long campaign in the right-wing media. This is just the latest example of the right-wing media working with Chaffetz to pursue fringe theories and far-right campaigns.
It took less than ten minutes after the Bureau of Labor Statistics released new jobs numbers this morning for Fox to start promoting conspiracy theories about the reported drop in unemployment.
Commenting on the jobs report as the numbers first came in this morning, Fox Business host Charles Payne speculated that "some people will be very cynical that a government number will come out this great on the eve of the election." Indeed, "some people" at Fox -- including Payne himself -- have subsequently spent much of the day trying to cast doubt on the numbers, with several Fox personalities and guests openly speculating that the BLS may have cooked the books to bolster Obama's chance at reelection.
In fact, much of Fox's coverage today has focused on the "questions" surrounding the supposedly "fishy" and "convenient" jobs report that the New York Times described as "unexpected good news" for President Obama.
Veteran economics journalists have dismissed these conspiracies as "implausible" and "unfounded."
Right-wing media claim that the recently reported drop in unemployment was caused by a high rate of public sector hiring. In fact, private sector job growth far outpaces public sector employment.
Fox News questioned the legitimacy of the September jobs report while simultaneously airing numbers from the report that could be perceived as bad news for President Obama and labeling them "Fox Facts."
Following the release of the report from the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), Fox and other media outlets have attacked the report as being manipulated to help the Obama administration politically. Experts say that this is an unfounded conspiracy theory.
Before an interview with Fox host Chris Wallace, America's Newsroom co-host Martha MacCallum questioned the September jobs report, which showed a drop in the unemployment rate to 7.8 percent. MacCallum said that there is "new fallout coming in over this latest jobs report. Many conservatives now speaking out, questioning the numbers in this report."
While Fox explored the supposed questions over the BLS report, on-screen graphics presented some of the report's findings as "Fox Facts." Here are those findings, and the BLS language they are derived from.
From the October 5 edition of Fox News' America's Newsroom:
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From the October 3 edition of Fox News' Fox & Friends:
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Fox News is distorting President Obama's economic agenda by pushing the straw-man argument that taxing the entirety of millionaires' incomes would fund the government for less than three months. In fact, Obama has proposed no such thing, and this Republican talking point obscures the billions in revenue that would be generated from letting the Bush tax cuts expire for wealthy households.
Since President Obama's election, right-wing media have tried to find wrongdoing by top Obama administration officials. The pseudo-scandal they have contrived have resulted in investigations, congressional hearings, and right-wing media bluster, but they have not resulted in any evidence of wrongdoing by top Obama administration officials.
Over the past year, Fox News has repeatedly taken President Obama's remarks out of context or distorted his words in order to attack him. The Romney campaign has amplified several of these attacks, and in turn, Fox News has at times hyped those attacks.
From the August 29 edition of Fox News' America's Newsroom:
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Fox News this afternoon ignored an opportunity to ask Republican National Committee chairman Reince Priebus about Mitt Romney's controversial descent into birtherism.
During a rally today Romney told a Michigan audience: "No one's ever asked to see my birth certificate. They know that this is the place that we were born and raised."
In response the Obama campaign criticized Romney's "decision to directly enlist himself in the birther movement" and pointed out that prominent Romney surrogates like Donald Trump are staunch supporters of that false conspiracy theory.
The RNC was forced to weigh in on the story earlier today. Appearing on MSNBC, RNC communications director Sean Spicer was asked about Romney's comment and said, "He was stating a fact. He's proud of the fact he was born in Michigan, that Mrs. Romney was born in the area." He also said Romney "made a light-hearted moment, nothing more than that."
But on Fox, Priebus was not asked about the story:
Fox News hosted Karl Rove this morning to discuss Rep. Todd Akin's (R-MO) comments that women have a biological mechanism to prevent them from getting pregnant if they are raped. Neither Rove nor Fox disclosed that Rove's political groups have invested more than $5 million in Akin's U.S. Senate race.*
Akin has come under fire for saying in an interview yesterday that it is "really rare" for women subjected to "legitimate rape" to become pregnant. In an appearance on America's Newsroom, Rove was asked by anchor Martha MacCallum about Akin's comments and a separate Politico story about GOP congressman Kevin Yoder skinny dipping in the Sea of Galilee. MacCallum -- who didn't play video of Akin's comments, instead choosing to vaguely describe them -- asked Rove whether the two scandals "deserve the attention they're getting."
Rove explained that "the Akin story will be important inside Missouri," but quickly pivoted to discussing the deficit and other economic issues. Rove's attempt to change the subject mirrors Akin's statement about the controversy last night, in which Akin, after claiming he "misspoke," attempted to refocus the story on "very important issues, starting with the economy."
Asked how badly Akin's comments will hurt him in his race against Sen. Claire McCaskill, Rove conceded that Akin has some "real explaining to do," then abruptly changed the subject to a story he said was "far more important," the Republican Party's fundraising advantage over the Democratic Party.
Between June and early August, Crossroads GPS, the 501(c)(4) offshoot to Rove's American Crossroads Super PAC, has spent more than $850,000 on the Missouri Senate race. According to The Washington Post, Crossroads GPS has spent more than $5.4 million dollars overall in Missouri.*
During the segment, Rove was identified as both a Fox News contributor and a former Bush adviser, but his connection to Crossroads was not disclosed.
Fox News has previously promoted ads from Rove's political groups and hosted Rove to discuss races he is invested in without disclosing the conflict of interest.
According to Politico, Crossroads has pulled its ads from the Missouri Senate race following the controversy over Akin's comments:
The group had originally booked a new round of ads to start Wednesday but began canceling them earlier today. The decision comes in the wake of comments by Missouri Rep. and GOP Senate nominee Todd Akin questioning how often women can get pregnant from "legitimate rape."
Contacted about the decision to withdraw its resources from Missouri, Crossroads spokesman Nate Hodson responded: "The act speaks for itself."
*This post originally understated the amount of money Crossroads had invested in the Missouri Senate race and has since been updated.