From the November 3 edition of Fox News' Special Report with Bret Baier:
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From the October 12 edition of Fox News' The Kelly File:
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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.
From the September 28 edition of Fox News' The Kelly File:
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Fox News plans to broadcast an hour-long special about this summer's Planned Parenthood smear campaign by the anti-choice Center for Medical Progress, which has released a series of deceptively-edited videos claiming to show the organization's staff engaging in unlawful actions related to fetal tissue donation. The special will be anchored by Fox News reporter Shannon Bream, who has a history of inaccurate, slanted reporting on reproductive rights issues, and who once told a class of graduating college students to always uphold "scripture absolutes."
Fox News To Air Special On Smear Campaign Against Planned Parenthood Anchored By Shannon Bream. On September 4, Fox News plans to air a special called Planned Parenthood: The Hidden Harvest anchored by Fox News reporter Shannon Bream and focused in part on a series of undercover videos claiming to show that Planned Parenthood violated federal laws on fetal tissue donation. According to Fox, the special "delves into the controversy, featuring exclusive new details about the making of those videos, and investigating an industry and field of scientific research that many didn't even know existed." [FoxNews.com, 9/3/15]
Operation Rescue President: "I Expect The Documentary Will Be Very Much On Our Side." Troy Newman, president of the anti-choice group Operation Rescue, told Breitbart News, "I expect the documentary will be very much on our side." Newman is also on the board of the anti-choice Center for Medical Progress, which produced the manipulated videos. From the September 1 Breitbart News article (emphasis added):
Fox News is reportedly set to air Planned Parenthood: The Hidden Harvest on September 4 at 10 p.m., which will shine a light on the controversial undercover videos that have gone viral.
The hour-long report will look inside the undercover campaign of David Daleiden and his Center for Medical Progress, how they trained themselves to be experts in at least talking about the arcane world of baby-parts harvesting, and how they wormed their way into a position of trust with senior managers of Planned Parenthood and tissue procurement companies who buy from them.
Troy Newman, president of the pro-life group Operation Rescue, helped hatch the plan with Daleiden more than three years ago. Newman, who is also on the board of Daleiden's non-profit group, told Breitbart News, "I expect the documentary will be very much on our side. This information really made [Fox News anchor] Shannon Bream emotional."
He said the documentary would look at "how CMP came about and how it is rocking the world in exposing the 'dark harvest' of baby parts. It will be about David and the people around him and how we hatched the plan to go undercover to uncover these atrocities."
In announcing the report, a Fox News email said:
This summer, a series of secretly recorded videos have exposed a business in fetal tissue. Already a number of politicians have called for the defunding of Planned Parenthood, a primary target of the sting, while others support the organization and call this just another salvo in the War on Women. The Fox News Reporting special ... delves into the controversy, featuring exclusive new details about the making of those videos, and investigating an industry and field of scientific research that many didn't even know existed.[Breitbart News, 9/1/15 Media Matters, 9/1/15]
Bream Cited A For-Profit Company's Website To Baselessly Suggest Illegal Activity At Planned Parenthood. On the July 28 edition of Fox News' America's Newsroom, Bream reported that while Planned Parenthood "says it has never made a profit" on fetal tissue donations, "there are things that raise questions." As evidence, she pointed to the website of a company called StemExpress, which she said "does business with Planned Parenthood affiliates" and where "you will see pricing for a fetal liver, in some cases, at over $24,000 for a single item." Bream failed to mention that the website explains that the $24,000 refers to the price for medical researchers for "a vial containing five million frozen fetal liver CD133+ stem cells." [Media Matters, 7/28/15]
Bream Cited Fox's Gimmicky "Taxpayer Calculator" To Suggest Public Funding Of Planned Parenthood Is Far Higher Than It Actually Is. On the July 27 editions of Fox News' America's Newsroom and Happening Now, Bream promoted the efforts of Sen. Rand Paul (R-KY) and Rep. Diane Black (R-TN) to strip federal funding for Planned Parenthood. She referred viewers to Fox's "Taxpayer Calculator" to supposedly find out how much individual taxpayers have contributed to Planned Parenthood, and falsely claimed that Planned Parenthood received $4.3 billion-worth of federal funding "over 10 years." [Media Matters, 7/27/15]
Independent Analysis By Forensic Experts Concluded CMP Footage Was "Manipulat[ed]." An independent analysis commissioned by Planned Parenthood and conducted by forensic experts found that the Center for Medical Progress' (CMP) videos "contain intentionally deceptive edits, missing footage, and inaccurately transcribed conversations." The experts found "42 instances in which CMP edited out content from the short as well as so-called full versions of the tapes" and that "at least two of the filmed interviews with Planned Parenthood officials are missing at least 30 minutes of content." [Media Matters, 8/27/15]
Multiple Official Investigations Into Allegations Have Found No Illegal Activity By Planned Parenthood. The deceptively-edited videos have prompted at least 11 states to launch investigations into Planned Parenthood's operations, even though there are "only three states in which Planned Parenthood affiliate clinics can participate in fetal tissue donation programs," according to Yahoo News. Five states -- Massachusetts, Indiana, South Dakota, Georgia, and Pennsylvania -- and the Department of Health and Human Services have all announced that they found no wrongdoing by Planned Parenthood or violations of federal fetal tissue laws. [Media Matters, 8/24/15]
Multiple Media Outlets Have Called Out CMP's Videos For Showing "Nothing Illegal" And Taking Planned Parenthood Staff "Grossly Out Of Context." Multiple media outlets, including The New York Times, The Guardian, the Huffington Post, and the Daily Beast, have condemned the CMP's videos. After the first video appeared, FactCheck.org debunked CMP's claim that Planned Parenthood was "selling aborted baby parts," and detailed the ways in which the allegation was inaccurate and unfounded. The videos have also been condemned for taking Planned Parenthood personnel's words "grossly out of context" and for showing "nothing illegal." The New York Times' editorial board wrote that the videos were part of a "campaign of deception" and said those who use the videos for political purposes care "nothing about the truth." [Media Matters, 7/15/15; 7/21/15; 7/22/15]
Bream Falsely Told Viewers That Government's Contraception Accomodation Violated Supreme Court's Hobby Lobby Ruling. After the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) complied with the Supreme Court's ruling in Burwell v. Hobby Lobby and announced a new set of rules to accommodate employers who object to providing employee health insurance that includes birth control, Bream told viewers of the August 25, 2014 edition of Fox News' Real Story that "a lot of people are saying" that HHS's rule change "was just a sleight of hand" that "doesn't really change anything." She went on to argue that the new rule actually defied the court's ruling because "the Supreme Court said simply [that employers] don't have to comply with the mandate, [and] now they'd have to fill out paperwork to comply with the mandate."[Media Matters, 8/25/14]
Bream Misleadingly Framed Hobby Lobby Case As About Abortion, Not Contraception. During the March 25, 2014 edition of Fox News' Special Report, Bream reported on oral arguments before the Supreme Court in the Burwell v. Hobby Lobby case, which concerned the craft store chain's opposition to the Affordable Care Act's contraception mandate. Bream misleadingly claimed the case had to do with "abortion and Obamacare, two controversial topics that stir heated passions," adding, "and that is just what happened both inside and outside the Supreme Court today." [Media Matters, 3/25/14]
Bream Tried To Tie Obamacare To Abortion Funding For Planned Parenthood. On the August 22, 2013 edition of Fox News' America Live, guest host Bream and correspondent Molly Henneberg dishonestly linked abortion with federal funds earmarked for Planned Parenthood to help sign people up for health insurance. Bream declared that there was "outrage over a new plan to give federal money to Planned Parenthood" and claimed that "critics are upset that the government wants to give funds to clinics that also provide abortions." [Media Matters, 8/22/2013]
Bream Inaccurately Suggested The Emergency Contraceptive "Plan B" Is An "Abortafacient." On the November 26, 2013 edition of Fox News' Special Report, guest host Bream inaccurately suggested that taking "Plan B" -- the brand name of the levonorgestrel emergency contraceptive sold by Teva Pharmaceuticals -- is the same as getting an abortion. She argued that there are "people who believe that that's an abortafacient, that it can cause an abortion. And there is science that these folks cite." [Media Matters, 11/30/13]
Bream Falsely Claimed That Helping A Minor Obtain A Judicial Bypass For An Abortion Is Illegal. In 2011, the conservative anti-choice group Live Action released undercover videos claiming to show Planned Parenthood engaged in wrongdoing because a staff member at a Richmond, VA clinic was caught on tape offering advice on how to help a minor obtain a legal abortion. On the February 3, 2011 edition of Fox News' Special Report, Bream falsely suggested that the "judicial bypass" procedure the staffer mentioned in the video -- which allows an adult to help a minor obtain a judge's permission to have an abortion -- is illegal. [Media Matters, 2/4/11]
Fox News Reporter Shannon Bream Endorsed Strict Religious Views In Liberty University Speech. Bream is a graduate of Jerry Falwell's deeply religious Liberty University, and in May 2013, she delivered the commencement speech at her alma mater. In her remarks, she urged the graduating class to "never back down" from "scriptural absolutes we must stay tethered to" (emphasis added):
Not talking about politics, and I personally don't care what party you do or don't belong to. This is about right and wrong, unwavering absolutes, respecting life, loving our neighbors, yeah, as much as we love ourselves, purging our lives of the secret sins that we've convinced ourselves is just no big deal, living in humility, defending those who cannot defend themselves, fighting to end religious oppression against men and women and children all across the globe and never backing down from the scriptural absolutes we must stay tethered to. [Media Matters, 9/17/15]
Many media outlets have already reported that the videos show no illegal behavior by, or on behalf of, Planned Parenthood. From the September 1 edition of Fox News' Special Report with Bret Baier:
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Fox News Sunday allowed a former George W. Bush administration official and current Jeb Bush adviser, Michael Mukasey, to baselessly claim Hillary Clinton is being investigated by the FBI. In fact, numerous news accounts report that she is "not a target" of the investigation into her emails.
From the August 18 edition of Fox News' Special Report with Bret Baier:
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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' Shannon Bream falsely suggested that Planned Parenthood profits from the sale of fetal tissue, based on a misrepresented figure sourced from the website of a separate, for-profit middleman that occasionally interacts with some Planned Parenthood affiliates.
Following the release of the latest undercover video by the anti-abortion Center for Medical Process -- which again falsely accuses Planned Parenthood of illegally profiting from the sale of fetal tissue for medical research -- Bream reported on the July 28 edition of America's Newsroom that while Planned Parenthood "says it has never made a profit" on the legal tissue donations, "there are things that raise questions."
As evidence, she pointed to the website of a company called StemExpress, which "does business with Planned Parenthood affiliates," where "you will see pricing for a fetal liver, in some cases, at over $24,000 for a single item":
BREAM: The undercover video show Planned Parenthood affiliated doctors quoting potential pricing at $30-$100 perspecimen. But you go online to the ordering system here for StemExpress, one of the companies that reportedly does business with Planned Parenthood affiliates. You will see pricing for a fetal liver, in some cases, at over $24,000 for a single item.
But The New York Times explained that while for-profit companies like StemExpress often act as middlemen between the non-profit Planned Parenthood and medical researchers, Planned Parenthood itself only receives "small fees" to cover expenses:
Those companies pay small fees, usually $100 or less a specimen, to abortion providers like Planned Parenthood, who say they charge only what they need to cover their expenses. The companies then process the tissue and sell it to researchers for higher prices that reflect the processing.
"These cells are hard to isolate," Ms. Dyer said. "These are hard processes, expensive processes that take millions of dollars of equipment. Just to attempt to do some of these isolations can cost us thousands of dollars, and it may not even work."
The figure cited by Bream -- "$24,000 for one item" -- is actually the cost to medical researchers, according to the StemExpress website, of "a vial containing five million frozen fetal liver CD133+ stem cells." Planned Parenthood isn't paying, or receiving, that amount of money.
The Center for Medical Progress has previously released two other heavily and deceptively edited videos targeting Planned Parenthood. The group is affiliated with discredited and violent anti-abortion activists.
Fox News' dishonest campaign against Planned Parenthood took a new turn when the network promoted its own deeply misleading "Taxpayer Calculator" purporting to show how much an average American taxpayer has contributed to the health care provider over the past decade.
On the July 27 editions of Fox News' America's Newsroom and Happening Now, correspondent Shannon Bream continued her network's smear campaign against Planned Parenthood Federation of America centered around a deceptively-edited video alleging to show PPFA employees negotiating the sale of "fetal body parts for medical research." Bream promoted the efforts of Sen. Rand Paul (R-KY) and Rep. Diane Black (R-TN) to strip federal funding for the organization before referring viewers to a so-called "Taxpayer Calculator" created by the network to show people how much they have contributed to Planned Parenthood over the past decade. From America's Newsroom:
BREAM: Over the past 10 years, it's estimated Planned Parenthood has received more than $4 million [sic] in federal and state government funding. Here's a look at what you, the taxpayer, have contributed based on your income level. Now, if you want a more specific estimate on just how much you've given to Planned Parenthood, head to FoxNews.com and click on "Taxpayer Calculator." Martha.
MACCALLUM: That's going to get a lot of people's attention.
BREAM: It will.
First, and perhaps most egregiously, the on-screen graphic Fox shows during both segments falsely claims that Planned Parenthood received $4.3 billion-worth of federal funding "over 10 years." According to the "Taxpayer Calculator" Bream referenced during the segment, Fox News does not actually know how much public support comes from either federal or state sources (emphasis added):
Planned Parenthood and its affiliates have received $4.3 billion in government funding over the last ten years, according to the group's annual reports. Their government funding comes from both federal and state governments. We do not know exactly how much of Planned Parenthood's funding comes from the federal government.
According to Planned Parenthood's most recent annual report, the organization received $528.4 million from "Government Health Services Grants & Reimbursements," which amounted to just over 46 percent of its operational revenue as of June 30, 2014. Some of this funding came in the form of federal Medicaid reimbursements for health care services for low-income Americans, while other funds came from various local, state, and federal grants -- the Hyde Amendment "excludes abortion from the comprehensive health care services provided to low-income people by the federal government through Medicaid."
After incorrectly assuming that all public money received by Planned Parenthood comes from the federal government, Fox News staff then based their taxpayer contribution calculations on the proportion of federal tax revenue derived from different income tax brackets. Federal income tax rates are higher than state and local income tax rates. In fact, seven states levy no income taxes at all while two others tax only capital gains and dividends, not traditional wages. Fox's sloppily constructed "average taxpayer share" does not reflect reality -- it's simply the highest estimate the network's research team could produce.
Finally, Fox's investigation of Planned Parenthood's revenue and the American taxpayer's contribution to that revenue provides no useful context for the viewer. In 2014, the federal government spent nearly 900 times more than Planned Parenthood collected from all government sources in 10 years; the $4.3 billion price tag Fox highlighted represents a miniscule portion of total government spending over the same period. Likewise, the 10-year burden shouldered by Fox's "average taxpayer" represents a tiny fraction of their total income over that period. According to Fox News, a taxpayer with earnings in excess of $2.5 million over a decade would contribute only about $40 annually. Meanwhile, the average taxpayer, with a median household income of roughly $52,000 per year, would contribute only about $1.50 per year to Planned Parenthood, according to Fox's own calculations.
The deceptive "Taxpayer Calculator" is a continuation of Fox News' long campaign of deceit against Planned Parenthood, despite the fact that the overwhelming majority of the work performed by the organization (97 percent) is not related to abortion services. Fox has demonstrated on many occasions that it has no clue what Planned Parenthood does or the vital services it provides for millions of men and women every year; including cancer screening and preventative treatment, contraceptive services, family planning, STI/STD screening, and assorted other women's health services.
In their coverage of gun violence in Chicago over the Fourth of July weekend, conservative media outlets advanced their longstanding narrative that Chicago's strict gun laws are not effective. But that view ignores what's happening in cities that have weak gun laws and astronomical rates of gun violence like New Orleans, as well as cities with strong gun laws and low rates of violence, like New York City.
Right-wing media outlets are attacking a new rule from the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) designed to increase diversity in American neighborhoods, calling it an attempt by President Obama to dictate where people live. But the program merely provides grant money to encourage communities to provide affordable housing and greater access to community resources.
From the June 4 edition of Fox News' Special Report with Bret Baier:
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A segment on Fox News' The O'Reilly Factor argued that President Obama's 2012 Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) program made it so that it is now easier for undocumented immigrants to come to the country than it is for legal immigrants, a gross misrepresentation of the policy and its actual effects on current undocumented immigrants.
On the May 20 edition of his Fox News show, O'Reilly claimed that "folks who want to come to the USA legally, [are] not being able to do so because of the current policy on illegal aliens [DACA]." Fox correspondent Shannon Bream explained that legal immigrants are waiting longer to enter the U.S. because the agency in charge of immigration has prioritized current DACA recipients. O'Reilly concluded that the rules mean that "it is much more difficult to come here legally than illegally."