Right-wing media have falsely claimed that "unions and left-wing groups" spent roughly $30 million, or have otherwise ignored money spent by conservative groups, to influence the recent Wisconsin recall elections. In fact, about $30 million was reportedly spent by right-wing and left-wing groups combined, "with a slight edge possible to Republicans overall."
From the August 11 edition of Fox News' America Live:
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Back in May, Media Matters highlighted radio host Mike Gallagher's ill-informed remark about Fox News anchor Megyn Kelly's maternity leave. Gallagher, a Fox News contributor and frequent guest on Kelly's show, called her maternity leave "a racket" and wondered whether a man would also "get three months off" for paternity leave.
On her first day back, Kelly confronted Gallagher over his "moronic" remarks. While Gallagher initially attempted to defend them, it quickly became clear he didn't know what he was talking about:
GALLAGHER: Well -- are you going to disagree that there is - now, again, I'm on my knees -
KELLY: Oh, you're standing - are you doubling down? No, no, no, no, no. Are you not taking those remarks back, is maternity leave, according to you, a racket?
GALLAGHER: Well, do men get maternity leave, Megyn? I can't believe I'm asking you this -
KELLY: Guess what, honey, they do. Yes, they do. It's called the Family Medical Leave Act.
The Family and Medical Leave Act (FMLA) provides certain private employees, both men and women, with up to 12 weeks of unpaid, job-protected leave per year. FMLA, while a significant piece of legislation in 1993, still has several limitations.
Kelly went on to add about paid family leave in the United States:
KELLY: The United States is the only country in the advanced world that doesn't allow paid - doesn't require paid maternity leave. Now I happen to work for a nice employer that gives me paid maternity leave. But virtually no --
GALLAGHER: Yes, you do.
KELLY -- but the United States is the only advanced country that doesn't require paid leave. If anything, the United States is in the dark ages when it comes to maternity leave. And what is it about getting pregnant and carrying a baby nine months that you don't think deserves a few months off so bonding and recovery can take place, hm?
Kelly's correct that the United States is in the "dark ages" on family leave. In a February 2011 report, Human Rights Watch found that "[j]ust three countries definitively offer no legal guarantee of paid maternity leave: Papua New Guinea, Swaziland--and the United States":
From the August 8 edition of Fox News' America Live:
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On his radio program today, conservative host and Fox News contributor Mike Gallagher referenced Fox News anchor Megyn Kelly's maternity leave and remarked, "What a racket that is." When told that Kelly was possibly taking three months off, Gallagher replied, "That's unbelievable."
During the segment, Gallagher also wondered whether a man would also get "get three months off" for paternity leave. Since Kelly's Fox News contract is private, we don't know what provisions, if any, she has regarding paid leave. At a minimum, however, the Family and Medical Leave Act (FMLA) provides certain private employees, both men and women, with up to 12 weeks of unpaid, job-protected leave per year. The 1993 law, while a significant piece of legislation, still has several limitations (for instance, since the law provides only unpaid leave, many families can't afford to take full advantage of the law).
Gallagher is a regular on Kelly's America Live program. He recently appeared on America Live with guest host Martha MacCallum, which prompted Wallace to ask, "She's an attractive woman, don't you think?"
America Live featured a segment focused on "pro-union groups pour[ing]" money into Wisconsin's Supreme Court race in order to criticize "pro-union" attacks on the incumbent, conservative Justice David Prosser Jr. In fact, more outside money has been spent on Prosser's behalf -- a fact ignored by America Live, and Fox News has recently hyped Prosser's campaign, which many see as a referendum on Republican Gov. Scott Walker's anti-union policies.
An hour and a half into today's broadcast of Fox News' America Live, after two days of completely ignoring the story, Megyn Kelly finally got to reporting on the Office of Professional Responsibility's statement that they had completed their review of the Justice Department's handling of the New Black Panther Party case and determined that DOJ's attorneys engaged in no "professional wrongdoing." For 20 seconds.
The brief reference to the OPR statement came in the middle of a one-minute-four-second news brief which largely focused on Rep. Frank Wolf's (R-VA) demand to the DOJ for documents related to the case:
KELLY: Well, new developments today in the New Black Panther voter intimidation case. Congressman Frank Wolf now giving the Department of Justice a 30-day deadline to produce documents on why it essentially dropped major portions of that voter intimidation case. You may remember on Election Day in 2008 members of the New Black Panther Party were caught on videotape holding a nightstick and hurling racial taunts at white and black voters as they entered a polling station in Philadelphia. The Department of Justice decided internally, in connection with an internal probe, that no wrongdoing occurred, and that neither race nor politics played any role - no politics, I should say -- in the dismissal of those charges. Now, that's from the DOJ's Office of Professional Conduct, clearing essentially the lawyers in the case. Now that the DOJ 's investigation is over, Congressman Wolf is pushing Congress to get their hands on the documents. He's the chair of the subcommittee on Commerce and Justice that's been looking into this case.
So if you're following:
If Megyn Kelly wants people to pretend that she is a journalist, can't she at least try to play one on TV?
Kelly, of course, is a touchstone of the so-called "news division" that puts the "news" in Fox News.
It was in that role last year that Kelly eagerly promoted "explosive new allegations" that the Obama Justice Department was racist, as evidenced by their supposed refusal to protect white voters from intimidation at the hands of minorities. Kelly bragged how she helped Fox News drag the rest of the media "kicking and screaming" to cover the preposterous claims being pushed by right-wing activists with an axe to grind. Kelly alone hyped the story during 45 segments in 2 weeks, covering 3 hours and 39 minutes of airtime.
I imagine Megyn Kelly, for one, will not return to this particular scandal -- a scandal that she has been hyping with obvious relish for some time now -- very often in the future.
Indeed. In four hours of on-air coverage since the new developments broke, Kelly has reported on kids who got stuck in the mud, a YouTube video of two girls in a fistfight, a missing cobra, AARP's support two years ago for health care reform, and - I'm not making this up - explosive new charges that the Obama administration is insufficiently transparent. The closest Kelly has come to the New Black Panthers was a report on controversy surrounding Oscar-winning film The Black Swan.
Kelly seems content to cover everything except an investigation that essentially discredited the non-scandal she flogged over, and over, and over again last summer.
Here's Megyn Kelly's report on the last night's news that the Justice Department's Office of Professional Responsibility has concluded an extensive investigation and determined that Obama administration DOJ attorneys engaged in no "professional wrongdoing" in their handling of the New Black Panther Party voter intimidation case:
Oh, I'm sorry, that's actually her report on the allegation of a "studio cover-up" about how much dancing Natalie Portman did in the making of the movie Black Swan (In what I am sure is a coincidence, Black Swan was produced by fellow Newscorp affiliate Fox Searchlight Pictures, and the film's DVD was released yesterday). Kelly offered absolutely no coverage today of OPR's complete dismissal of the story that last year she essentially tried to make into the Watergate to her Woodward.
From the March 30 edition of Fox News' America Live:
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The Urban Institute recently published a report contradicting the claim often pushed by Fox News that the health care reform law will "kill jobs." But Fox's Bill Hemmer nevertheless used the institute's report to attack health care reform and its "effect on jobs."
In honor of the one year anniversary of the passage of the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act, Media Matters presents a timeline of one of the most disgraceful and pernicious myths about the law--death panels.
Fox News' Megyn Kelly deceptively called the anti-collective bargaining law recently passed in Wisconsin a "budget law." In reality, GOP lawmakers stripped out spending provisions to force a vote on the measure without Democrats present, and state lawmakers have yet to pass those spending provisions that were removed from original proposal.
Fox figures and guests have continued their aggressive promotion of Rep. Peter King's (R-NY) upcoming hearings on the radicalization of American Muslims.