Donald Trump recently declared on CNBC that "Saudi Arabia is doing Obama a big fat favor" by increasing oil production in order to bring gasoline prices down, and that if Obama is re-elected the "favor will be repaid many times over." Fox Nation took this conspiracy even further, calling it a "SECRET SAUDI OIL DEAL TO WIN REELECTION"; Real Clear Politics, Breitbart.com, and Newsmax also promoted Trump's comments.
This has put conservatives in the bizarre position of claiming that Obama is nefariously lowering gasoline prices in order to help the economy and win re-election, after previously claiming that Obama was trying to raise gas prices.
And the claim that there is a "SECRET" "DEAL" is ridiculous: it is public knowledge that the U.S. has pressured Saudi Arabia to boost its oil output. The administration's apparent success in doing so undercuts Trump's previous attack that the Saudis were not ramping up production because Obama was a poor "messenger" or was too busy on "his basketball court" or something.
The Saudis have no incentive to do "Obama a big fat favor" unless it is in their own self-interest. As the Washington Post reported, energy economist Phillip Vergeler believes that Saudi Arabia is trying to "stay in the good graces of United States and Europe" by providing "economic stimulus," but they are also acting in order to slow down shale production in North America and put pressure on Iran.
Right-wing bloggers misled by dishonest Fox News video editing are attacking Teamsters President James Hoffa for supposedly urging violence against Tea Party activists during a Labor Day speech. Conservatives are also attacking President Obama, who appeared at the event, for "sanctioning violence against fellow Americans" by failing to denounce Hoffa. But fuller context included in other Fox segments makes clear that Hoffa wasn't calling for violence but was actually urging the crowd to vote out Republican members of Congress.
During the segment that the bloggers have latched onto, Fox edited out the bolded portion of Hoffa's comments:
HOFFA: Everybody here's got to vote. If we go back and keep the eye on the prize, let's take these son of a bitches out and give America back to America where we belong! Thank you very much!
In an initial report on Hoffa's speech at 1 p.m. on Fox News, Ed Henry reported that Hoffa said that "we'll remember in November who's with the working people" and "said of the Tea Party and of Republicans, 'let's take these sons of bitches out.'"
Henry made clear during that segment that Hoffa's comments were references to voting out Republican members of Congress, not to violence. And roughly 20 minutes later, he explained on Twitter that the "full quote" of the "take these son of a bitches out" comment is "Everybody here's got to vote. If we go back & keep the eye on the prize, let's take these sons of bitches out":
But in a second segment that ran at roughly the same time as Henry's tweet, Fox News dishonestly edited the speech in the manner seen above. Andrew Breitbart's Big sites, Real Clear Politics, The Daily Caller, the Media Research Center, and the Drudge Report have all highlighted that footage, using it to condemn "the violence emanating from union thug bosses" and demand that Obama "denounce" the comments.
Right wing blogs were forced to issue humiliating updates after their most recent fake story -- that the Israeli delegation had rejected President Obama by "skip[ping]" his speech to the United Nations -- completely dissolved. In fact, the Israeli delegation was absent because they were observing the Jewish holiday Sukkot.
Right-wing blogs have seized on Sen. Jon Kyl's (R-AZ) claim that President Obama is refusing to "secure the border" in order to force the GOP to support comprehensive immigration reform -- a claim the White House has since flatly denied. Indeed, the Obama administration has already taken numerous steps to boost border security but argues that "truly securing the border will require a comprehensive solution," which is a view shared by immigration experts as well as several Republicans.
The Drudge Report is hyping a severely edited video of former Vice President Al Gore's recent commencement address at the University of Tennessee-Knoxville under the mocking headline, "Gore Gives Depressing Commencement Speech On Global Warming."
Drudge links to Real Clear Politics, which posted the video -- produced by Americans for Prosperity, the tea party-affiliated group reportedly financed by oil and gas tycoon David Koch -- and echoed AFP's derisive headline, "The Most Depressing Graduation Speech Ever."
Essentially, AFP grabbed about two minutes worth of cropped comments from Gore's 20-minute speech -- during which he discussed some of the potential effects of global warming -- and spliced them together to make it seem like Gore spent his time ripping the joy and emotion from graduation day by warning of Earth's impending doom. In a blog post that RCP dutifully reprinted, AFP mockingly wrote: "Instead of providing encouragement for the graduates of the University of Tennessee, Al Gore takes the opportunity to promote his doomsday global warming scenario."
In reality, Gore did not "promote" "doomsday global warming scenarios." The full video of Gore's speech makes clear that while Gore discussed serious problems facing not only the United States but the entire world -- primarily the effects of climate change and the global economic crisis -- he used the opportunity to issue a challenge to the graduates to find solutions to these problems that will lead to "economic renewal with millions of good new jobs being created in this transition to a sustainable economy and a sustainable society." In fact, he rejected the idea of a "world filled with chaos because the predictions of the scientists were allowed to come true," saying that he believed this generation of graduates would "find the moral courage to rise up and solve a crisis that so many said was impossible to solve."
Gore also said: "I believe in my heart that we are going to solve this crisis. I believe that this is the greatest opportunity that our society has ever had. And I'm excited about the fact that from this day forward, you're going to be a part of all of the great work that our society is doing."
Surely this sent the graduates into a fit of despair. Here's how one graduate described Gore's speech:
Bo Cox, a newly-minted graduate, said he was unsure about Gore's appearance at first.
"I was a little skeptical about what he'd say but really impressed by it. It was fun to have him speak and fun to have a big name at our commencement," Cox said.
Right-wing websites including the Fox Nation have highlighted a question asked of House Speaker Nancy Pelosi at a November 9 press conference in Seattle by a local reporter who said, "Do you think it's fair to send people to jail for not buying health insurance?" In fact, the penalty under the House health care reform bill for failure to purchase insurance is a tax, not jail time, and willful failure to pay federal income taxes can result in civil or criminal penalties.
Numerous right-wing websites, including the Fox Nation and the Drudge Report, have parroted a misleading headline posted on October 26 by Real Clear Politics and NewsBusters asserting that Rep. Barney Frank (D-MA) stated, "We are trying on every front to increase the role of government." In fact, while specifically discussing financial regulation, Frank actually said, "[W]e are trying on every front to increase the role of government in the regulatory area" [emphasis added].