From the March 26 edition of Fox News' Your World with Neil Cavuto:
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Fox News is suggesting that scientists were "wrong" about global warming by using misleading graphics to obscure the long-term global temperature rise.
On his Fox News show, Neil Cavuto suggested that the recent cold weather invalidates concerns about global warming, asking weather forecaster and climate misinformer Joe Bastardi, "How did we get this so wrong?" Cavuto aired a graphic which at first glance appears to show that temperatures are dramatically cooler now than they were last March. But the graphic compares apples to oranges: the map on the left shows whether temperatures were above or below average for the month of March, while the map on the right shows absolute minimum temperatures for last Wednesday, March 20.
If the temperature scale for the map on the right were applied to the map on the left, it would mean that temperatures were over 100 degrees Fahrenheit in the upper Midwest in March 2012.
A more honest comparison would look at the same day in March 2012, showing a far less stark contrast:
But even this comparison would be flawed, as daily and regional temperature fluctuations are expected, and do not contradict the observed long-term, global temperature trends.
A Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) report released Tuesday finds that green jobs grew four times faster in 2011* than jobs in other sectors, continuing a trend of rapid growth in the U.S. But Fox News is still pushing the narrative that investing in clean energy is a "boondoggle."
The U.S. added more than 150,000 green jobs in 2011, including more than 100,000 construction jobs and 14,000 manufacturing jobs. In total, the green sector now employs more than 3.4 million workers in the U.S. The following chart shows that green jobs in the private sector increased in nearly every category in 2011:
This is not a new trend: the Brookings Institution previously found that the clean economy added half a million jobs between 2003 and 2010, and that clean tech jobs grew "more than twice as fast as the rest of the economy" during that period.
As the Los Angeles Times noted, the recent growth in green jobs "parallels a surge in public and private money" invested in clean energy in 2011.
Nevertheless, Fox News continues to distort the facts in an effort to portray government investments in clean energy as a waste of money. Fox News' Brit Hume claimed in 2011 that the Obama administration's green investments have "utterly failed to produce meaningful jobs." Last month, the Weekly Standard's Stephen Hayes claimed on Fox News that "we haven't seen many gains" from these investments. Just this week, Neil Cavuto said on his Fox Business show that Obama's green initiatives have "not had the big tangible jobs bang for the buck that you would think."
Faced with clear evidence that clean energy investments are paying off, will Fox change its tune?
*2011 is the most recent year for which the Bureau of Labor Statistics has collected data.
Fox's Neil Cavuto dishonestly spun the release of a voluntary health survey to claim that "death panels are back," echoing a fictional claim spread by Sarah Palin about health care reform. In fact, the survey is simply a tool created by researchers that doctors can choose to use as a guideline when discussing treatment options with patients.
Cavuto declared that Sarah Palin "was right" while discussing the survey with Fox News health editor Dr. Manny Alvarez. On-screen text labeled the surveys "new gov't-funded 'death tests.' " Alvarez claimed the tests would lead to elderly patients being denied care and concluded, "Death panel? You're looking at it. This is what they're making me do in the future."
But the survey, a "mortality index," was developed by San Francisco researchers as a tool doctors can voluntarily use to evaluate "whether costly health screenings or medical procedures are worth the risk" for elderly patients, as CBS News reported. CBS News explained:
[D]octors can use the results to help patients understand the pros and cons of such things as rigorous diabetes treatment, colon cancer screening and tests for cervical cancer. Those may not be safe or appropriate for very sick, old people likely to die before cancer ever develops.
Contrary to Alvarez's claim, the index is not compulsory for any doctor or patient.
Fox News hosts have been dismissing the effects of the across-the-board government spending cuts known as sequestration, claiming that "nothing is happening" following the cuts taking effect. But the cuts are already having negative economic consequences that will continue unless the cuts are replaced.
From the March 1 edition of Fox News' Your World with Neil Cavuto:
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Zeb Colter, an anti-immigrant character from World Wrestling Entertainment (WWE) that has recently drawn the ire of right-wing pundits like Glenn Beck, would be right at home in the conservative media. Many of Colter's bigoted and flawed arguments have been the right's stock-in-trade for years.
Beck targeted the Colter character on his radio show, arguing that Colter is "demonizing the Tea Party." Beck also accused the WWE of "mocking me for standing up for the Constitution." Beck's co-host Stu Burguiere complained: "It seems that the villain, the guy you're supposed to hate, is this stereotype of a conservative that I've never met."
Colter currently appears on WWE programming alongside wrestler Jack Swagger, spouting a lot of heated anti-immigrant rhetoric in the middle of a scripted feud with Mexican-born wrestler Alberto Del Rio. According to WWE, Colter's rhetoric is intended to "to build the Mexican American character Del Rio into a hero given WWE's large Latino base."
WWE explains that in order "to create compelling and relevant content for our audience, it is important to incorporate current events into our storylines."
From the February 21 edition of Fox News' Your World with Neil Cavuto:
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From the February 20 edition of Fox News' Your World with Neil Cavuto:
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Right-wing media are downplaying the economic consequences of across-the-board spending cuts. In fact, economists agree that those cuts - known as the sequester - would lead to thousands of jobs lost and decreased economic growth.
Sunday's "Forward On Climate" rally drew an estimated 35,000 people to Washington, DC to protest the Keystone XL pipeline, making it the largest climate rally in U.S. history, according to organizers. Every major news outlet covered it, putting a national spotlight on the environmental risks associated with the project. But Fox News used the rally as an opportunity to mock the protesters and cast doubt on the science of climate change.
On his Fox News show, Neil Cavuto suggested that it was "bad optics" to "protest global warming in the middle of this Arctic blast." Fox Business' Charles Payne claimed that the protesters "probably have done very little research" and are relying on "anecdotal" evidence of climate change:
But by pointing to cold weather in Washington, Fox News was actually the one using an anecdote to dispute the long-term warming trend.
Fox News host Neil Cavuto claimed that spending cuts that lead to austerity "will never happen," even as data show that continued cuts remain a drag on economic recovery. In fact, economists contend that if it weren't for government cuts, the unemployment rate would be lower.
Discussing the economy with Fox News contributor Dennis Kucinich on Friday, Cavuto argued for cutting spending to halt what he called the country's spending problem and lower the deficit. When Kucinich cautioned against sanctioning new austerity, Cavuto replied: "You have no reason to worry, my friend; that will never happen." He added: "We will never cut our way into austerity. We won't cut our way out into a paper bag."
Cavuto went on to dismiss the fact that the automatic spending cuts scheduled for March 1 would have further impact on slowing growth.
In reality, cuts in government spending in the last quarter of 2012 led the economy to shrink for the first time in more than three years. CNN Money reported that a "large cut in federal spending, primarily on defense, was one of the biggest drags on growth."According to the Wall Street Journal, "government spending, which has been a drag on growth for more than two years, declined for the ninth time in 10 quarters."
The New York Times quoted Ethan Harris, co-head of global economics research at Bank of America Merrill Lynch, as saying that the drop in spending "is the tip of the iceberg on fiscal austerity from Washington." Nigel Gault, chief U.S. economist at IHS Global Insight, told the Times that "we're being more austere than we need to be." He added: "The economy isn't growing that fast and you don't want to be taking away stimulus now."
Since the recession ended, the public sector has shed over 700,000 jobs. In a 2012 report, the Economic Policy Institute found that "if it weren't for state and local austerity, the labor market would have 2.3 million more jobs today; half of these jobs would be in the private sector." EPI added: "If all of these 2.3 million jobs had been filled, it is likely that the unemployment rate would now be between 6.7 percent and 7.5 percent." The unemployment rate currently stands at 7.9 percent. Even as the private sector has steadily added jobs, government cuts have held the economy back:
Moreover, experts argue that the across-the-board government spending cuts scheduled for March 1, commonly referred to as the "sequester," could halve U.S. economic growth and lead to one million lost jobs.
As Republicans made history yesterday by filibustering a secretary of defense nominee for the first time in U.S. history, Fox News contributor Scott Brown expressed support for the Republican's obstructionist strategy of denying Chuck Hagel's confirmation vote. Insisting there was no reason to "ram" Hagel's nomination through, and claiming Republicans were acting "thoroughly" and "thoughtfully," the former Republican senator told Neil Cavuto's viewers GOP senators leading the filibuster effort "have some very real concerns" and were acting appropriately in blocking a vote.
Sean Hannity agreed, boasting last night that blocking Hagel's confirmation represented a "major win" for the Republican Party.
Of course, Fox News employee Bill Kristol helped launch the entire anti-Hagel effort back in December and his group has aired anti-Hagel ads. This week on Fox News' Special Report, Kristol urged Republicans to stick together and delay the confirmation vote. Meanwhile, Fox contributor Erick Erickson took to the Internet yesterday, beseeching conservatives to contact their senators and implore them to filibuster Hagel's nomination.
So yeah, Fox News seems fine with the obstructionist effort underway in the Senate.
And yes, here's the part where we detail how Fox News projected a very different message when a Republican president's cabinet nominee once encountered far more mild opposition from Democrats. Under that scenario, Fox talkers thundered about the "petty" and "mean spirited" nature of Democrats and led viewers through a series of how-dare-they segments.
The glaring hypocrisy makes the current, hollow cries against Hagel even more difficult to take seriously.
The truth is, Democrats have never tried to obstruct an up-or-down vote on a secretary of defense pick before. And since the Senate tradition for the last hundred years has been to allow newly elected presidents to pick the cabinet of his choice, there is no recent instance to contrast with the Hagel nomination brawl, or the media behavior that surrounded it.
The closest comparison, and it isn't even that close, came when President Bush nominated Condoleezza Rice to be Secretary of State during his second term. Some Democrats objected, noting that Rice had helped plan, and publicly market, the controversial Iraq invasion; an invasion built around the false premise that Saddam Hussein was hoarding weapons of mass destruction.
Unlike Hagel (a critic of the Iraq War), Rice was easily confirmed by the Senate committee overseeing her selection, and was then given a full vote in the senate, which approved her 85-13. Democrats made no effort to place a "hold" or to filibuster her confirmation. As Sen. Dianne Feinstein (D-CA) told Fox's Chris Wallace at the time of the Rice nomination, "The president is entitled to his Cabinet." Feinstein added that she didn't want Rice "diminished in the eyes of the world," via the confirmation process.
But the mere fact that a handful of Democrats opposed Rice and pressed her closely about the Iraq War during the confirmation process prompted several rounds of angry complaints from Fox News. The same Fox News that now touts the Hagel filibuster as a "major win."
From the January 18 edition of Fox News' Your World with Neil Cavuto:
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Media coverage of the debt ceiling frequently claims that raising the limit without simultaneous spending cuts would give President Obama a "blank check," repeating a pattern of promoting this false narrative -- or failing to correct it -- that occurred during the unprecedented brinkmanship of 2011. The phrase implies that the debt ceiling governs additional spending desired by the White House, when in fact it is a restriction on the executive branch's ability to borrow money to pay for spending measures already enacted by Congress.