In a series of segments called 10 Ways to Save the Economy, Fox News' Special Report with Bret Baier promoted conservative talking points on the financial crisis, stimulus package, estate tax, and deregulation. The segments also frequently echoed the viewpoint of Fox News' conservative opinion programming. None of the ten segments advocated measures favored by progressives to help the economy.
While guest hosting Fox's "straight news" program, Special Report, Shannon Bream did a report suggesting that the estate tax hurts small businesses and therefore causes the economy to hemorrhage jobs. But the report failed to mention that a vanishingly small number of businesses and individuals are subject to the estate tax.
In December, the EPA's Environmental Appeals Board ordered the EPA to revisit two permits the agency had granted to Shell Oil for oil exploration off the coast of Alaska. The board -- which was responding to an appeal from Alaska native and environmental groups -- determined that the EPA had made two errors in issuing the clean air permits and told the agency's regional office that they needed to be revised. On February 3, Shell announced that the drilling projects would be postponed until after 2011 due to the permit delays and Alaska's short (105 day) offshore drilling season.
According to a search of Nexis and our archive, the Fox News Channel did not cover either the appeals board decision or the Shell announcement ... until this week. After FoxNews.com posted an article on the delayed Shell permits yesterday, Fox News ran segments on the issue during both Happening Now and America Live, two of Fox's purportedly "straight news" daytime shows. Glenn Beck also discussed the Shell permits on his Fox News show.
Why the sudden burst of coverage of a story that is a couple months old? Fox's framing may provide the answer. From America Live:
SHANNON BREAM (host): As gas prices rocket toward $5 a gallon, we're now learning the Environmental Protection Agency has thrown a roadblock in front of an exploration effort that could give the U.S. access to an estimated 27 billion barrels of oil.
From the April 26 edition of Fox News' America Live:
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Fox Business host Lou Dobbs claimed that "very few jobs have been lost" at the local and state levels in the last few years. In fact, state and local governments have shed more than 500,000 jobs since July 2008 -- while the private sector is in its 12th month of job growth.
This afternoon on Fox News' America's News HQ, Shannon Bream hosted former House Majority Leader Tom Delay (R-TX) to comment on the narrowly averted threat of a government shutdown. Not mentioned at any point during the segment was the fact that DeLay is facing a three-year prison sentence after being convicted of money laundering and conspiracy to commit money laundering.
DeLay's conviction is currently under appeal.
From the April 10 edition of America's News HQ:
From the February 6 edition of Fox News' America's News HQ:
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Since the release of a second video from anti-choice group Live Action, which shows a Planned Parenthood worker at a Richmond, Virginia, clinic advising a man and woman posing as a pimp and prostitute, right-wing media have suggested that the video shows Planned Parenthood engaged in wrongdoing. In fact, the Richmond clinic reported the incident to Planned Parenthood's national security team, and legal experts have agreed that the worker's advice in the video is consistent with state law.
From the January 30 edition of Fox News' America's News HQ:
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That wacky California is at it again! Or so Fox News would have us believe. In several segments on November 16, Fox News anchors distorted a recent California Supreme Court ruling that upholds a law allowing nonresidents who attended high school in California to pay in-state tuition. That group includes illegal aliens, and Fox was quick to paint the ruling as a step towards "immigration reform amnesty."
Fox & Friends kicked off this story on November 16, when Gretchen Carlson teased the story by saying, "A court says illegal immigrants should be allowed to pay in-state tuition. Should they really get a discount on an American education?" Text at the bottom of the screen read, "Illegal discount." Later in the episode, guest host Eric Bolling brought on Fox News legal analyst Peter Johnson, Jr. to discuss the California ruling. At one point, Bolling asked, "Is this the path to some sort of immigration reform amnesty?"
Later that day, guest host Shannon Bream on Fox's America Live promoted the story by saying, "Some of your tax money could soon go to educating illegals instead of Americans, U.S. citizens. And it's all been approved by a very powerful court."
In fact, the law gives the same tuition benefits to U.S. citizens who meet its requirements, and in the nearly 10 years since it has passed, has largely benefited them, not illegal immigrants.
The 2001 law, AB 540, extends in-state tuition eligibility to any student who attended high school in California for three years and received a diploma there. Ten states now have similar laws. This week's ruling rejects plaintiffs' claims that the California provision violates federal law by providing educational benefits to undocumented aliens that citizens can't receive.
Not only does the law also apply to U.S. citizens and legal residents, those two groups are its largest beneficiaries. Students who attended boarding school in California, for example, or who have become residents of other states since graduating from Californian high schools, are the bulk of those able to take advantage of in-state rates. According to an October 2010 article in the San Francisco Chronicle, a judge in the California Supreme Court ruling "cited UC reports that more than 70 percent of the students paying lower fees because of the law are U.S. citizens or legal residents, not illegal immigrants." In fact, the official UC statement on the November 15 ruling explains:
The law applies to students who attend high school in California for at least three years and graduate. It has benefited both undocumented students and U.S. citizens. In 2008-09, for example, nearly 80 percent of the 2,019 students who qualified under the law for tuition exemptions at UC were U.S. citizens or legal residents. Documented students have accounted for over two-thirds of those benefiting from the exemption in every year since the program's introduction at UC in 2002-03.
Fox's Shannon Bream, while discussing the recent cancellation of President Obama's scheduled meeting with congressional Republicans, pushed the ridiculously untrue claim about the meeting between Obama and the House GOP in January.
Bream claims there was a "brouhaha" associated with the meeting, reporting that "a lot" of House Republicans said that they "didn't know he was coming."
But as Talking Points Memo has explained, this is clearly untrue. House Republicans knew in advance that Obama planned to attend the meeting, with Rep. Mike Pence (chairman of the House Republican Conference) issuing a press release thanking the President for "accept[ing] our invitation" to attend.
At the same time both Politico and The Hill, among others, reported on the planned visit. It wasn't a surprise to anyone. As far as people knowing about Obama's attendance in advance, there was no "brouhaha."
Bream's overarching premise - that the "brouhaha" over the previous meeting caused the current meeting's cancellation - also falls apart as the Senate GOP leadership's spokesman explained that "The meeting was scheduled for November 30th, because it didn't work this week and because that's the date that worked for everybody -- period." According to washingtonpost.com's Greg Sargent, "I have not been able to find a single GOP aide who actually subscribes to the 'ambush' myth, either on or off the record."
There was no ambush, there was no brouhaha, and the cancellation wasn't caused by worry over the nonexistent previous brouhaha. Everything Bream said about this was untrue.
From the November 12 edition of Fox News' America Live:
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Special Report deceptively quoted a statement from Sen. Harry Reid's office to advance what Bret Baier called "a political scandal" involving a former low-level staffer. But the portions of the statement Fox News omitted make clear that the alleged misconduct occurred before the staffer joined Reid's office and that the office had been unaware of the allegations.
The right-wing media is relying on completely unsubstantiated allegations about what Justice Department officials have said to accuse the DOJ of refusing to enforce voting-rights laws against racial minorities. However, the facts clearly show that the DOJ has, in fact, enforced voting-rights laws when the alleged violators are racial minorities.
Conservative media have claimed that 50 percent of "small business income" would be taxed at a higher rate if Democrats allow the Bush tax cuts for the top brackets to expire. However, the apparent sources for that claim, the Tax Policy Center (TPC) and the Joint Committee on Taxation (JCT), explained that business income on individual tax returns does not necessarily reflect what most consider small businesses, but includes such enterprises as law partnerships and real estate investments.