Media conservatives have responded with a torrent of unhinged rhetoric to an Arizona judge's ruling that blocked parts of the state's immigration law from taking effect. For example, Rush Limbaugh suggested the ruling would prevent the state from defending itself from an "invasion," and Jeffrey Kuhner suggested Arizona should consider secession.
On Fox & Friends, Fox Business' Stuart Varney argued that it is "inaccurate" to attribute the recession to President Bush and claimed that "President Obama's policies have not fixed that ongoing recession." In reality, Obama's policies have created growth in the GDP and the Dow Jones Industrial Average, while turning around the increases in joblessness that began under Bush.
Fox & Friends misled on a Department of Homeland Security memo on immigration reform, falsely claiming it "appears to show the White House has an amnesty plan," which they plan to implement by "going around Congress." The hosts continued to mislead even after White House Press Secretary Robert Gibbs confirmed that the administration "doesn't support amnesty" and intended to deal with immigration "through Congress"; Fox & Friends also failed to mention that the DHS memo itself recommended against deferred action, saying it would be "controversial, not to mention expensive."
Fox News Senior Vice President Michael Clemente has now admitted that a "breakdown" allowed Foxnews.com to run a story about Shirley Sherrod's comments before she resigned. Prior to this statement, a barrage of Fox personalities aggressively pushed the claim that Fox had not run with the story before Sherrod's resignation.
Following Judge Susan Bolton's decision to block the controversial portions of the Arizona immigration law, conservative media have claimed that Arizona passed the law because the federal government is refusing to enforce immigration law and secure the border, but this rhetoric -- which directly echoes that of Republican politicians -- bears no relation to the facts. Data show federal enforcement efforts are up and illegal immigration is down.
Over the past two weeks, Fox News has frequently defended the wealthy and derided the poor. Fox News figures have criticized the extension of unemployment benefits and the expiration of the Bush tax cuts for the "so-called rich," all while accusing Democrats of using "class warfare rhetoric."
Fox & Friends hosted Glenn Beck to rehash tired health care reform misinformation, including that the health care reform bill is modeled after the British system, which will lead to "very little care" and "death panels" for infants and the elderly, and that Center for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) appointee Donald Berwick is "into rationing care." In fact, the new health care reform law does not create a health care system modeled after the British system; the existence of death panels in health care reform has been comprehensively debunked, and in his comments about rationing, Berwick was pointing out that insurance companies already ration care.
From the July 27 edition of Fox News' Fox & Friends:
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Fox & Friends repeatedly falsely suggested that the public option will not "save us a lot of money." In fact, according to a July 22 report from the nonpartisan Congressional Budget Office (CBO), the "public plan" would "reduce the federal budget deficit by about $15 billion" in 2020 and would save "about $68 billion" through 2020.
Making the case that the Bush tax cuts for the rich should be extended can be a difficult task, given that a strong majority of Americans consistently supports raising taxes on the wealthy. This isn't too surprising considering that only around 2 of every 100 U.S. households earn more than $250,000 per year.
But that won't stop Fox & Friends from trying. While discussing the January 2011 expiration of the Bush tax cuts for upper-income earners, host Steve Doocy asked: "What do they consider rich in Washington, DC? Because what they consider rich, not necessarily part of the real world." And by "real world," Doocy means New York City:
DOOCY: First of all, you know, they talk about soaking the rich, and they're going to -- tax hikes for the rich. What do they consider rich in Washington DC? Because what they consider rich, not necessarily part of the real world.
VARNEY: I guess it's that $250,000 a year cut off that the president has always mentioned. If you're above that, you're taxes go up. If you're below that, he will never raise taxes on you. I guess he makes the cut off point at $250,000.
DOOCY: But you know, living in the New York City area, there are firemen who have wives that are in the teachers' union and they make about that much, and they are not rich.
VARNEY: No they're not.
According to Census Bureau data, the median household income in New York City was $48,631 in 2007. Yet Fox & Friends believes that you can earn five times this amount, and you're still "not rich."
Now, it's true that New York City is home to a high number of uber-rich people. But that doesn't change the fact that even those who don't seem rich to the absurdly rich make a lot more money than the vast majority of the city's - and the nation's -- residents.
Fox & Friends guest co-host Juliet Huddy dredged up the debunked claim that NAACP national president Ben Jealous was in the audience during former USDA employee Shirley Sherrod's now-infamous March speech. In fact, Media Matters for America confirmed that Jealous was not in attendance.
Fox & Friends co-host Steve Doocy once again deceptively claimed that "Fox News Channel did not touch" the Shirley Sherrod story "until she had actually quit." In fact, Doocy's statement ignores that FoxNews.com published a story based on the deceptively edited video before Sherrod resigned; indeed, a subsequent FoxNews.com article reported that she resigned "shortly after FoxNews.com published its initial report on the video."
Fox News spent much of July 19 and 20 ginning up controversy about the false claim that Shirley Sherrod made racist remarks at a NAACP meeting earlier this year. As the claim unraveled, Fox media personalities disappeared their role in the story, continued to smear her as "descriminat[ory]" in the face of contradictory evidence, and boldly suggested the network did not contribute to the controversy.
From the July 21 edition of Fox News' Fox & Friends:
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From the July 20 edition of Fox News' Fox & Friends:
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