Right-wing media figures have responded to immigration reform by invoking the oft-repeated conservative argument that legalizing immigrants will enlarge the "welfare state." In fact, the announced immigration reform proposal would prevent newly legalized immigrants from receiving federal benefits for an extended period of time; moreover, immigrants in general are less likely to receive welfare benefits.
From the January 17 edition of Fox News' Fox & Friends:
Loading the player ...
Fox News figures suggested that President Obama is to blame for the delay of emergency relief for victims of superstorm Sandy, but it was House Speaker John Boehner who delayed a vote on a Hurricane Sandy relief bill in the House. Even congressional Republicans have blamed Boehner for the lack of action.
After the Senate passed a disaster aid bill for states affected by Sandy, the House was expected to vote Tuesday night on a similar, $60.4 billion aid package. But Boehner adjourned the House before scheduling a vote on the bill; Republican complaints that the bill was "loaded with spending on projects unrelated to storm damage" appeared to play a role in Boehner's decision.
On Fox & Friends on Thursday, co-host Steve Doocy led a segment about Sandy relief by noting that Obama is on vacation in Hawaii and added, "Meanwhile ... there are tens of thousands of people whose houses were destroyed by Sandy." Doocy continued, "And it's interesting -- you go back 60 days, the president of the United States was out at a big photo op with Chris Christie, saying, 'I'm going to eliminate the red tape. I'm going to make sure that FEMA follows through.' And now 60 days later, nothing."
After a montage of Obama speaking about cutting through red tape for Sandy aid was aired, Fox News contributor Michelle Malkin said, "Well, golf clap for that Oscar-winning performance reel from Obama, paying lip service to the exigency and emergency and urgency of helping out Sandy victims. Aloha and mahalo, right?" Malkin later added, "I think it's ridiculous to fully blame Boehner for the gridlock that's happening over this bill."
But Obama has urged Congress to pass a relief bill, and he responded to Boehner's delay of the vote by calling on Boehner to "bring this important request to a vote today, and pass it without delay for our fellow Americans."
And Republicans have blamed Boehner, not Obama, for the delay of the House vote on Sandy relief. As CBS News reported, New York Republican Reps. Peter King and Michael Grimm "fiercely decried the decision" to delay the vote, and King "suggested he might vote against Boehner in his bid to hold on to his speakership."
Fox News is helping to lead the right-wing media charge against NBC sportscaster Bob Costas after he brought up the issue of gun violence during halftime of Sunday night's NFL telecast. Fox's heavy-handed move reflects a long pattern of gun advocates trying to make sure a larger media discussion about gun violence in America does not take place.
Sadly, they appear to be succeeding.
Costas last night quoted at length a column by Fox Sports' Jason Whitlock, who wrote about the tragic story of Kansas City Chiefs linebacker Jovan Belcher. On Saturday morning, he shot his girlfriend, Kasandra Perkins, and then drove to Arrowhead Stadium and shot himself to death in front of his Chiefs coach.
Whitlock stressed how "numb" our society has become to gun violence and murder, and suggested if Belcher didn't own a gun, both he and his girlfriend would be alive today.
After Costas invoked the column on NBC last night, the Fox & Friends team was incensed this morning:
KILMEADE: I just don't know if it's appropriate enough on a Sunday night, less than 24 hours after the guy took his own life and killed his girlfriend, the mother of his baby, to make that stance. Although he was quoting a columnist in doing so. I don't really think we needed to hear that last night.
It's telling that it was pair of sports journalists who focused on the topic of gun violence in the wake of the Belcher murder-suicide, because if it weren't for them, it's unlikely the issue would have been elevated to the national stage this weekend. And that's the way Fox would have preferred it.
Fox attacked unions over the liquidation of Hostess Brands after negotiations with its bakers union failed, but Fox ignored the fact that the company faced myriad financial problems. Similarly, Fox attacked Wal-Mart employees for striking, but failed to acknowledge the workers' concerns. Fox has run a long-standing campaign against unions.
From the November 8 edition of Fox News' Hannity:
Loading the player ...
From the November 8 edition of Fox News' Fox & Friends:
Loading the player ...
Political observers remain convinced that winning Ohio next week represents the key to electoral success for both Barack Obama and Mitt Romney. They also seemed to be in agreement that the federal government's successful, $50 billion bailout of the auto industry stands out as perhaps the most important issue in the must-win Buckeye state, where an estimated 850,000 jobs are tied to the industry. But Romney's in a bind over the bailout, and for that he can blame the conservative media.
Previously, Romney had derided the government aid as a "sweetheart deal disguised as a rescue plan" and guaranteed that if Detroit companies accepted federal aid, you could "kiss the American automotive industry goodbye." His dismissive comments became more strident during the Republican primary season, even after it became clear the bailout had succeeded. That's when Romney "joined other Republican candidates in a chorus of bailout-bashing and union-bashing," wrote the Detroit Free Press' Tom Walsh. Romney was busy "painting the Obama administration's crisis-management effort as a reckless campaign to run up the national debt and do favors for labor unions."
To now help fix his political problem in Ohio, the conservative press, led by Fox News, has been trying to blur Romney's stance on the issue, claiming he simply called for "managed bankruptcy with government backing." In fact, the approach Romney advocated would have thrown the companies into turmoil and cost hundreds of thousands of workers their jobs.
But the question remains, why did Romney harden his stance against the bailout over time? Why did he campaign on the idea that government assistance was "the wrong way to go"? One likely explanation is that the right-wing media, a dominant force in the Republican primary campaign (i.e the Fox News Primary), railed against the bailout with extraordinary force. For conservative players like Rush Limbaugh and the team at Fox, the government's helping hand to Detroit symbolized the zenith of Obama's alleged socialist leanings. It also signaled the demise of both democracy and capitalism in America.
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.
From the October 18 edition of Fox News' Fox & Friends:
Loading the player ...
From the October 17 edition of Fox News' Hannity:
Loading the player ...
Conservative media figures attacked debate questioner Katherine Fenton as a "feminazi" and "tool" for asking the candidates about their views on pay inequity.
Fenton asked, "In what new ways do you intend to rectify inequalities in the workplace? Specifically regarding females making only 72 percent of what their male counterparts earn."
During tonight's presidential debate, moderator Candy Crowley corrected Mitt Romney's false claim that President Obama did not refer to the September 11 attack on the American consulate in Benghazi, Libya as an act of terrorism the day after the attack.
Crowley was right, and Romney was wrong: In his September 12 remarks, the president said: "No acts of terror will ever shake the resolve of this great nation, alter that character, or eclipse the light of the values that we stand for. Today we mourn four more Americans who represent the very best of the United States of America." Despite this, conservatives in the media are insisting that Obama never said that.
Fox News host Eric Bolling:
Fox News contributor Michelle Malkin:
Blogger Jim Hoft:
Both Malkin and Hoft linked to a September 30 Commentary blog post by Alana Goodman arguing that "at no point" in Obama's remarks responding to the Benghazi attack "was it clear that he was using that term to describe the attack in Benghazi." Instead, argued Goodman, the line might have been "just a generic, reassuring line he'd added into a speech which did take place, after all, the day after the anniversary of the 9/11 attacks." Even though Obama mentioned the four Americans killed in Benghazi in the very next line.
That makes little sense and is a reed far too thin to stand on. But it's good enough for Fox News and the conservative blogosphere.
Trying to ignite a controversy by fabricating a quote from an Obama campaign deputy, members of the conservative press on Thursday lashed out at Stephanie Cutter for something she didn't say about the terrorist attacks on the United States embassy in Benghazi.
The gotcha attack received a crucial early boost from a BuzzFeed reporter who mischaracterized what Cutter said while appearing on CNN yesterday.
Pressed about key questions that remain about the embassy attack last month and what the security status was on the ground in Benghazi when four American were killed, Cutter noted on CNN that the topic had become politicized [emphasis added]:
In terms of the politicization of this -- you know, we are here at a debate, and I hope we get to talk about the debate -- but the entire reason this has become the political topic it is, it's because of Mitt Romney and Paul Ryan. It's a big part of their stump speech. And it's reckless and irresponsible what they're doing.
Cutter clearly stated that she believed the terrorist attack on the U.S. consulate had become a partisan political issue in the U.S. because Republicans were making it one during the campaign season.
That's not exactly a novel observation. As Republicans prepared to hold a recess hearing this week into the attack, a New York Times published an article headlined, "Before Hearings on Libya Attack, Charges of Playing Politics." And the paper's editors explained that they kept coverage of the hearing off the front-page, in part, because the issue had become so "politicized." (Fox News has led that "scandal" charge for weeks).
Romney himself shocked many observers when, as the Libya crisis was still unfolding, the candidate accused the Obama of sympathizing with "those who waged the attacks.'
"The conventional wisdom emerged in Washington almost immediately on Wednesday: Mitt Romney's handling of the violence in Egypt and Libya was a disaster," CBS News soon reported. The article quoted a prominent Republican strategist saying that Romney's reaction had suggested his "first instinct is to try to score political points."
Cutter pointing out the issue had evolved into a "political topic" isn't controversial or remotely outrageous. So the conservative media embellished the meaning of Cutter's remarks. They invented a controversy and ginned up the faux outrage by insisting Obama's deputy campaign manager said the Libya attack is only of importance, is only an issue at all, because of Republicans.
Cutter: Benghazi Is Only An Issue 'Because of Romney and Ryan'
Stephanie Cutter: Mitt Romney is "Entire Reason" Benghazi Attacks are a National Issue
Obama Spokesman Stephanie Cutter: Benghazi Is Only an Issue Because of Mitt Romney and Paul Ryan
Obama Campaign Official Stephanie Cutter: Benghazi Terrorist Attack 'Only an Issue because of Romney and Ryan'
Michelle Malkin's Twitchy:
Appalling disgrace: Stephanie Cutter says 'Benghazi Only An Issue Because of Romney and Ryan'
Note that several of the headlines included the phrase 'only an issue' in quotation marks, indicating it's a direct quote from Cutter. (Twitchy headline: "Cutter Says"). But it's not a direct quote because Cutter didn't say that. Instead, conservatives seemed be quoting a tweet from a reporter and then pretending it was a Cutter quote.
The tweet came from BuzzFeed's Andrew Kaczynski who tweeted an inaccurate description of Cutter's CNN appearance:
That wasn't accurate. And "is only an issue" represented Kacynski's interpretation of what Cutter said, not what she actually said. In subsequent tweets, Kaczynski inserted more accurate language, but conservatives preferred his original, off-the-mark "only an issue" telling of the tale and used to attack Cutter.
If Obama's deputy campaign manager thought the attack on the U.S. embassy were only an issue today because of the Romney and Ryan, she likely would have said so. Instead, she superficially said it became a political issue (a partisan issue) because Romney and Ryan were campaigning on it, which is true.
Right-wing media are offering GOP presidential hopeful Mitt Romney advice for the upcoming presidential debate. They suggest Romney should push economic myths to attack Obama's record, "smack the president," and get under Obama's skin.