Fox News cherry picked President Obama's comments to try to rehabilitate Mitt Romney's false suggestion during the debate that Obama had not referred to the attack on the American consulate in Benghazi, Libya as an act of terror.
On September 12, Obama said: "No acts of terror will ever shake the resolve of this great nation, alter that character, or eclipse the light of the values that we stand for. Today we mourn four more Americans who represent the very best of the United States of America." Obama also referred to the Benghazi attack as an "act of terror" while campaigning in Colorado on September 13 when he said: "To all those who would do us harm, no act of terror will go unpunished."
But in a report on Fox & Friends First, national correspondent Steve Centanni ignored Obama's September 13 statement. After airing Obama's September 12 comments, Centanni aired other statements in which the president referenced an anti-Islam video. Based on this skewed record, Centanni concluded that weeks later "the President was still talking about a response to the videos" rather than terrorism.
In addition to cherry picking of Obama comments to hide Obama's repeated reference to terrorism, Centanni's comments about the anti-Islam video is also dishonest.
There is no contradiction between Obama labeling the attack an "act of terror" and him discussing the anti-Islam video. A recent article by The New York Times reported that the consulate assailants said that they were "moved to act because of the video." Libyans "who witnessed the assault and know the attacks" also said the video was the catalyst for the attack.
Furthermore, State Department security officer Eric Nordstrom testified before Congress that the same extremist group that is suspected of targeting the U.S. consulate in Benghazi had previously attacked a Tunisian consulate in that city over "what they claimed was an anti-Islamic film."
For the second day in a row, Fox's "straight news" division has hyped the claim that U.S Supreme Court Justice Elena Kagan should recuse herself from the case involving the constitutionality of a provision of the Affordable Care Act. Fox pointed to an email Kagan sent to then-Justice Department adviser Laurence Tribe on the day the House of Representatives passed the Affordable Care Act in which Kagan said, "I hear they have the votes, Larry!! Simply amazing."
Legal ethicists have thrown cold water on the argument that Kagan needs to recuse herself over that email. But Fox seems to have an argument that the legal ethicists haven't thought of: Fox national correspondent Steve Centanni said Kagan's recusal may be required by "Article 28 of the Constitution." Fox's graphics department provided the relevant quote from the "U.S. Constitution, Article 28, Sec. 144":
Three glaring problems with this argument: The Constitution has no Article 28, has no Section 144, and does not contain the language quoted.
The Constitution actually contains seven articles, none of which have more than 10 sections. It also has 27 amendments, none of which contain anywhere near 144 sections.
The language Fox quoted from actually comes from a statute passed by Congress, Title 28 of the U.S. Code, Section 455. But that's the very statute legal ethicists have analyzed in finding that Kagan does not need to recuse herself because of the email.
On his radio show today, Glenn Beck discussed what he falsely claimed was "an ad done now by the federal government," which depicts a woman feeding a baby out of jars labeled "arsenic" and "mercury." The ad was produced by an independent group called American Family Voices to combat Congressional efforts to halt various Environmental Protection Agency regulations.
Beck and his side-kick Pat Gray repeatedly mocked the notion that the EPA is under attack and that people need to be warned about the threat of toxic substances. Beck said, "Darn it. I didn't know that we weren't supposed to feed our kids arsenic ... who knew that arsenic was bad?" This thoughtful response continues for more than six minutes. Here's the audio (warning: listening to this will make you dumber):
Fox News also covered the ad today and correspondent Steve Centanni responded by saying, "[A]t issue, of course, are not poisonous heavy metals like arsenic but a common bi-product of human respiration, carbon dioxide."
But that's not accurate. Proposals to block EPA from addressing carbon dioxide emissions are just one part of the Republican campaign to bind the agency tasked with keeping our air and water clean and safe. In fact, two EPA administrators who served under Reagan and Bush recently wrote in a Washington Post op-ed that "the agency President Richard Nixon created in response to the public outcry over visible air pollution and flammable rivers is under siege." They went on to criticize a House bill that will "impede [EPAs] ability to protect our air and water."
Beck's been busy ranting about how revolutions in the Middle East will lead to the fall of America, so it makes sense that he didn't notice when the House passed a spending bill that, as NPR reported, "would slash the EPA budget by nearly a third -- more than any other agency" and would gut "programs that prevent air and water pollution and enforce environmental laws."
Mother Jones further noted that the House bill included measures to "block the agency from issuing regulations on particulate pollution, emissions from cement plants, and emissions of mercury, arsenic, and other toxic pollutants from coal-fired power plants. The riders would also restrict oversight of mountaintop-removal coal mining, block pending regulations on coal-ash disposal, and bar the EPA from moving forward with its plan to clean up the Chesapeake Bay and other national waterways":
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.
From the December 8 edition of Fox News' Special Report:
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On America's Newsroom, Fox News' Steve Centanni conflated the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act with the Protect America Act, asserting that President Bush is "urging Congress, pushing Congress, to pass the extension of FISA, or what he calls the Protect America Act." In fact, the 1978 FISA law established the federal government's underlying statutory authority to eavesdrop on the communications of suspected terrorists, while the PAA, among other things, expanded the government's authority to eavesdrop on Americans' domestic-to-foreign communications without a warrant.