Fox News is parroting anti-abortion group Center for Medical Progress' (CMP) claim that Planned Parenthood's decision to stop accepting reimbursement for fetal tissue donations is an "admission of guilt," ignoring that state and federal investigations have already cleared the organization of wrongdoing.
After Rep. Kevin McCarthy (R-CA) dropped out of the race to be Speaker of the House, sending Republicans soul-searching, Fox News figures were quick to attribute the sudden turn-of-events to the powerful House Freedom Caucus and its Tea Party movement roots. What Fox News has chosen not to mention, however, is its own role in creating and fostering the movement that has caused such dysfunction in Washington.
House Republicans have voted to form a special committee to investigate Planned Parenthood, following a months-long campaign by right-wing media and anti-choice groups pushing deceptive attacks against the women's health organization. Multiple recent state investigations and a federal investigation have cleared Planned Parenthood of wrongdoing.
Conservative media have paved the way for a government shutdown by championing Republican efforts to defund Planned Parenthood and uncritically hyping deceptively-edited smear videos by the Center for Medical Progress -- even though state and federal investigations continue to find no wrongdoing by the health provider.
Media continue to use the news that two emails Democratic presidential candidate Hillary Clinton turned over to the State Department from her time as secretary of state may be retroactively classified as "top secret" to push myths about Clinton's handling of government information and scandalize her email use.
Fox News suggested that Hillary Clinton must have known her emails were classified when she received them during her tenure as secretary of state because they contained satellite imagery and signal intelligence. But officials say that the emails don't include any form of "sensitive sourcing" and may not have been classified at the time she received them.
Fox News' Fox & Friends promoted conspiracy theorist Mark Dice to lampoon Hillary Clinton and her supporters, despite his long history of promoting outlandish conspiracy theories including claiming the federal government carried out the 9/11 terror attacks. Fox & Friends' own network has even previously called him out as a conspiracy theorist.
"How much for this body part?"
Fox News correspondent Peter Doocy says he sought the answer to that question on Planned Parenthood's website, parroting debunked allegations from deceptively edited videos claiming that Planned Parenthood sells "fetal baby parts." In reality, the videos show no wrong-doing, as Planned Parenthood only donates fetal tissue with consent to important scientific research, and the money exchanged for the donations is both legal and solely to cover costs.
This month The Center for Medical Progress (CMP) has released two deceptively cut videos purporting to show Planned Parenthood officials "haggling over" prices for the sale of fetal tissue. The latest video, released on July 21, claims to catch an official offering to change abortion procedure techniques "to get more intact fetuses" in exchange for more money. But both videos have been deceptively edited to leave out crucial context that debunks the notion that the reproductive health provider sells fetal tissue for profit.
Yet Fox News correspondent Peter Doocy parroted the bogus talking points to attack Planned Parenthood on the July 21 edition of Special Report. Doocy went so far as to claim that he searched the non-profit's website for "fetal baby part prices," but was unable to find them because the sale is a "well-kept secret":
DOOCY: The debate about abortion is usually 'when does life start.' But tonight the debate is 'how much for this body part.' With one Planned Parenthood executive hoping it's enough for a fancy new car.
DOOCY: I've searched the Planned Parenthood website for fetal baby part prices but can't find them. Because until these videos came out, these transactions had been Planned Parenthood's well-kept secret.
Doocy's allegations demonstrate that even Special Report, the network's flagship news program, is willing to hype dangerous and false rhetoric from an organization with ties to extremist and violent groups.
Media and factcheckers quickly denounced CMP's original edited video, as the full footage contradicts the allegation that Planned Parenthood sells fetal tissue, and even the edited portion "shows nothing illegal." Instead, the video "repeatedly [says Planned Parenthood's] clinics want to cover their costs, not make money when donating fetal tissue" for scientific research, as FactCheck.org pointed out, and quoting a "biorepository" expert, they write that "[t]here's no way there's a profit" made on the donations based on the prices discussed in the videos.
What's more, the research enabled by fetal tissue donation is a critical tool for fighting a number of diseases, as The New York Times explained in an editorial blasting the shady anti-choice organization and those championing their false claims:
Researchers use fetal tissue to study and develop treatments for diseases and conditions like H.I.V., hepatitis, congenital heart defects, retinal degeneration and Parkinson's. Last year, the National Institutes of Health gave $76 million in grants for fetal tissue research. Planned Parenthood is certainly not the only collector of fetal tissue -- clinics associated with universities also supply tissue for research.
The Center for Medical Progress video campaign is a dishonest attempt to make legal, voluntary and potentially lifesaving tissue donations appear nefarious and illegal.
Fox & Friends highlighted the Department of Justice's finding of systematic racial bias in the Ferguson Police Department to blame Attorney General Eric Holder for the shooting of two police officers, after previously overlooking the racial bias findings when the report was first released in order to hype the lack of charges against Darren Wilson.
On March 4, the Department of Justice (DOJ) released the findings of their Ferguson investigation in two reports. One report stated that police officer Darren Wilson's "'actions do not constitute prosecutable violations' of federal civil rights law," while the second report found "systemic racial discrimination by the Ferguson Police."
On the March 12 edition of Fox News' Fox & Friends, reporter Peter Doocy described the DOJ's finding of racial bias, emphasizing that Attorney General Eric Holder "floated the possibility" of dissolving the Ferguson police department as a result, while co-host Steve Doocy linked the DOJ report and Holder's response to the shooting of two police officers in Ferguson. Doocy described the shooting, saying, "a new wave of violence comes one week after Attorney General Eric Holder vowed to dismantle that city's police department," and questioned whether it was "what he wanted."
Co-host Elisabeth Hasselbeck asked Fox senior judicial analyst Andrew Napolitano whether Holder "fuel[ed] the flame," and Napolitano asserted, "he probably did fuel the flame," emphasizing that "the political environment in which this happened, obviously, the flames were fanned by" Holder.
Originalmente publicado en inglés por Eric Hananoki y traducido al español por el staff de Media Matters.
Fox News está presentando a Libre Initiative, el grupo patrocinado por los multimillonarios hermanos Koch, como una organización comunitaria fundada para "empoderar Hispanos" y avanzar "las libertades y la prosperidad". En realidad, el grupo insta a los Hispanos a que apoyen políticas públicas que según expertos, "van contra sus propios intereses" y "privan de derechos a los votantes Hispanos".
La Libre Initiative fue fundada en 2011 y supone ser una "organización comunitaria, no partidista, y sin fines de lucro, que promueve los principios y valores de la libertad económica para empoderar a la comunidad hispana de EE.UU." El grupo tiene "presencia en ocho estados" y "planea expandirse hacia Wisconsin y North Carolina este año, además de incrementar su equipo en un 30 por ciento antes de 2016."
Fox ha pintado al grupo como el producto de "una coalición de organizaciones de liderazgo hispano." Pero el equipo de Libre está conformado por veteranos del partido republicano, y han recibido más de $10 millones en fondos de parte de los multimillonarios petroleros Charles y David Koch. Libre ha admitido que su mensaje "se alinea mejor con los Republicanos" y "con los principios e ideas de Charles y David Koch."
El grupo promueve la agenda de gente como los Koch a costa de los hispanos. Libre se opone al Affordable Care Act (ACA por sus siglas en inglés, también conocido como Obamacare), que le ayuda a los hispanos a conseguir seguro de salud. Se oponen a un incremento federal del salario mínimo, que le ayudaría a más de 6.7 millones de hispanos. Apoyan leyes de identificación electoral que sirven para "privar a votantes hispanos de su derecho al voto." Han acompañado a Fox News a empujar desinformación sobre los "ilegales" y la inmigración. Libre también ha hecho campaña en contra de políticos que apoyan una reforma migratoria, debido al apoyo que estos políticos han manifestado a favor de Obamacare.
En este reporte sobre la Libre Initiative y los medios:
Fox News is passing off the Koch-funded Libre Initiative as a grassroots organization founded "to empower Hispanics" and advance "liberty, freedom and prosperity." In reality, the group urges Hispanics to support policies that experts say go "against their own interests" and "disenfranchise Hispanic voters."
The Libre Initiative was founded in 2011 and claims to be a "non-partisan, non-profit grassroots organization that advances the principles and values of economic freedom to empower the U.S. Hispanic community." The group "has a presence in eight states" and "plans to expand to Wisconsin and North Carolina this year and increase its staff by about 30 percent ahead of 2016."
Fox has portrayed the group as the product of "a coalition of Hispanic leadership organizations." But Libre is staffed by veteran Republican operatives, and the group has received over $10 million in funding from oil billionaires Charles and David Koch. Libre has admitted its message "aligns more with Republicans" and "with the principles and ideas of Charles and David Koch."
The group promotes the agenda of people like the Kochs at the expense of Hispanics. Libre opposes the Affordable Care Act (ACA), which helps Hispanics get health insurance. They oppose a federal minimum wage increase, which would help more than 6.7 million Hispanics. They support voter ID laws that serve "to disenfranchise Hispanic voters." They've joined Fox News in pushing misinformation about "illegals" and immigration. Libre has also campaigned against politicians that support immigration reform due to those politicians' support of the Affordable Care Act.
In this report about the Libre Initiative and the media:
A Fox News Special Report segment attacked new rules approved by the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) to ensure net neutrality, claiming the rules were done in secret and would slow down the Internet. But the FCC received millions of public comments in favor of net neutrality, and experts say the rules will ensure Internet fairness.
Today, the FCC passed "net neutrality" rules, which allows the agency to regulate Internet service as a utility and prohibits "Internet service providers from granting faster access to companies that pay for the privilege."
On the February 26 edition of Fox News' Special Report, host Bret Baier reported that "the FCC approved sweeping new rules that no member of the public has even seen." Correspondent Peter Doocy called the new regulations a government "power grab" that will result in consumers having slower Internet.
In fact, the public overwhelmingly supports new net neutrality regulations. During the public comment period, the FCC received a record 3.7 million comments on the topic of net neutrality. According to a report by the Sunlight Foundation, fewer than one percent of the first 800,000 public comments were opposed to net neutrality enforcement.
Furthermore, tech experts have called net neutrality the guiding principle that has made the Internet successful. Google's director of communications explained that the new net neutrality rules would promote competition and help the economy. And the National Bureau of Economic Research reported that "there is unlikely to be any negative impact from such regulation on [Internet Service Provider] investment."
The Washington Post reported that new rules could make the Internet faster by "mak[ing] sure services such as Google Fiber can build new broadband pipes more easily."
Fox News correspondent Peter Doocy pushed a Republican attempt to tar net neutrality when he said that it "could do to the Internet what Obamacare did to the healthcare system," a right-wing attack widely discredited when Senator Ted Cruz (R-TX) pushed the idea in November.
During the February 24 edition of Fox News' Special Report, correspondent Peter Doocy reported that the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) will vote on net neutrality protections for the Internet on February 26. Doocy compared the alleged lack of transparency in the FCC's proposed plans to the Affordable Care Act's passage and claimed, "some critics already calling a slowed down web Obamanet, and their fear is that these changes could do to the internet what Obamacare did to the healthcare system."
This attack echoes right-wing media outlets and Republican lawmakers who pushed the analogy that net neutrality regulations would be like "ObamaCare for the web." In a February 22 Wall Street Journal opinion piece, L. Gordon Crovitz dubbed net neutrality regulations "Obamanet." But the idea behind the term gained popularity after a November tweet sent by Sen. Ted Cruz where he asserted that "'Net Neutrality' is Obamacare for the Internet."
"Net Neutrality" is Obamacare for the Internet; the Internet should not operate at the speed of government.-- Senator Ted Cruz (@SenTedCruz) November 10, 2014
Cruz was roundly criticized for his misleading attack. Tech blog Gizmodo called Cruz' tweet "disingenuous" and "dangerous." And according to Salon, "Cruz was absurdly wrong on the substance and demonstrated an ignorance of both healthcare and tech policy." Salon did concede however that healthcare and internet service did share some "common features":
Healthcare and Internet service in America do share some common features - specifically, we pay a lot for both, and the product we get in return kinda sucks relative to how much we spend. Head to Europe or Asia and chances are that you'll be able to purchase faster Internet access for far less money than you'd pay here. Also, Internet connections abroad are getting faster and cheaper, while prices and speeds are pretty much staying the same in the U.S.
Click here for more information on net neutrality
Right-wing media personalities took victory laps following the Supreme Court's decision in Burwell v. Hobby Lobby Stores, in which the Court ruled that closely held corporations cannot be required to provide health coverage for employees that includes contraception if the employer has a religious objection.
Fox News has resurrected a debunked, six-year old smear against President Obama as part of its desperate attempt at damage control in the wake of network contributor Karl Rove's baseless accusation that Hillary Clinton is suffering from brain damage.
On May 14, Fox News aired a sound bite from a 2008 CNN interview with then-presidential candidate Barack Obama and CNN's Wolf Blitzer in which Obama states: "And, so, for him to toss out comments like that, I think, is an example of him losing his bearings as he pursues this nomination." Co-hosts Steve Doocy and Elisabeth Hasselbeck used the clip to recycle an old, debunked talking point that Obama was suggesting Sen. John McCain was "off his rocker" because he "was getting older." Fox then used this clip to argue that attacks on a political opponent's mental health occurs on both sides of the aisle in an attempt to paint Rove's recent comments suggesting Hillary Clinton had brain damage as "not unusual":
HASSELBECK: In 2008 Obama suggested McCain lost his bearings because he was getting older in fact.
DOOCY: Okay so where's the press attacking then Senator Obama for suggesting that John McCain was off his rocker? There wasn't any because you know there's just a double standard when it comes the left and the right in the mainstream media.
This attack dates back to 2008 when conservative media first tried to twist Obama's interview to claim he was attacking McCain's age. But even then, Obama's spokesman insisted that the comment was taken out of context while pointing out that "clearly losing one's bearing has no relation to age."
The transcript of the interview reveals that Obama was responding to McCain's smear where he claimed "Obama is favored by Hamas." Obama addressed the comment in the interview by pointing out that McCain had previously promised not to "run that kind of politics" by leading a smear campaign, and that by engaging in this negative campaigning, McCain had violated his pledge.
Rove's suggestion that Hillary Clinton might have brain damage from a 2012 concussion was widely criticized, yet conservative media have continued to politicize her health. Fox's efforts to exhume the thoroughly-debunked lies surrounding the 2008 campaign in an effort to run defense for Rove shows just how far the network is willing to go to smear Hillary Clinton and score political points in the next presidential election.