Another day, another reason for Fox & Friends host Steve Doocy to stay far, far away from legal (mis)interpretation. On the July 7 edition of Fox & Friends, Doocy questioned why the White House is suing Arizona over the state's controversial illegal immigration law when it should be "singling out Rhode Island" -- a state he falsely claimed has "a law that mirrors" Arizona's law, has "been on the books for years," and "has already been upheld by two of the highest courts in the country." To make this falsehood appear super official, Doocy even offers up the First Circuit Court of Appeals case Estrada v. Rhode Island amixed in with a little legal analysis as "proof" of his claims. Too bad he is one hundred percent wrong. From Fox & Friends:
Steve Doocy twice falsely claimed that Elena Kagan "barred military recruiters from the Harvard campus." In fact, Kagan consistently followed the law; Harvard students had access to military recruiters during her entire tenure as dean; and Harvard's data show that her actions did not adversely affect military recruitment.
This past winter the conservative media was absolutely giddy using record-breaking snowfall and chilly temperatures to cast doubt on the scientific concensus surrounding global climate change:
Before we go any further, it bears noting that there is a very real difference between weather ("what conditions of the atmosphere are over a short period of time") and climate ("how the atmosphere 'behaves' over relatively long periods of time.")
Yes, these right-wing media figures and outlets regularly conflate weather and climate to undermine public opinion about the broad and conclusive scientific consensus that climate change is real and exacerbated by human activity.
Now, what if we were to take these science deniers at their word? What if they were simply reporting the weather as it relates to climate change? If cold weather means global warming is a scam, doesn't warm weather mean global warming is legit?
Media conservatives would finally be consistent if they agreed with both scenarios but they'd still be wrong about both equations.
Again, weather and climate aren't the same.
If anything shows the shallow political calculations of the conservative media, it's the games it plays with weather and climate.
So, as much of the country feels the triple-digit temperatures of a summer heat wave, don't expect Fox News, Drudge, or any of the other right-wing media flat-earthers to step forward and use the summer weather as a political cudgel. That's a dubious weapon exclusively reserved on the right for snow, cold weather and winter.
Right-wing media continued trumpeting completely unsubstantiated allegations that the Department of Justice -- and Attorney General Eric Holder specifically -- dismissed voter-intimidation charges against members of the New Black Panther Party because the defendants were African-American. In fact, Assistant Attorney General Thomas Perez testified that the charges were dropped after attorneys at the Civil Rights Division determined that there was insufficient evidence to prosecute the three defendants.
From the July 7 broadcast of Fox News' Fox & Friends:
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From the July 7 edition of Fox News' Fox & Friends:
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Steve Doocy falsely claimed that the Justice Department "still has not explained why they dropped the case" against members of the New Black Panther Party. However, Assistant Attorney General Tom Perez testified that a "default judgment was sought and obtained" against a defendant carrying a nightstick and that DOJ attorneys concluded that "the evidence did not support" additional charges.
Fox News repeatedly attacked President Obama's recent town hall remarks on the stimulus by falsely referring to it as the "bailout" and claiming that it "didn't work." In fact, the "bailout" was first enacted under the Bush administration, and the stimulus has been estimated by both the White House and independent analysts to have increased employment by about 2 million jobs relative to a baseline estimate of what jobs levels would have been without the stimulus.
From the July 1 edition of Fox News' Fox & Friends:
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Tucker Carlson visited Fox & Friends yesterday to tout a "study" released by the National Association of Scholars, which concluded that, in Steve Doocy's words, "the majority of books on college summer reading lists lean to the left. And boy do they." From the segment:
DOOCY: All right. According to this outfit, 70 percent of the summer reading books at 290 colleges, 70 percent, have a liberal bias.
CARLSON: Oh, absolutely. And just to be completely clear, these are mandatory reads. These are either all school reads, books that everyone has to read, or they're freshman -assigned books. So these are not books you read if you sign up for certain classes. These are books you have to read. [This is false, by the way]
The largest category, fully 60 books, is racism and multiculturalism. The second largest category, at 27 books is the environment, and the third largest category is Islam. Only 6 books out of hundreds surveyed in this study were described as quote, classics. Only 6. Total. So it tells you right there, just by the categories you know the political orientation.
According to Carlson, "you know" a book has a liberal "political orientation" if it is about "multiculturalism" or "the environment" or "Islam." If only there were some common expression that warned against such reasoning.
Two questions that Fox & Friends didn't answer: 1. Who is the National Association of Scholars? And 2. How did they conduct their study?
In the latest example of their frenzy to attack progressive officials for, well, basically anything, the right-wing media is in a tizzy over video, which they claim shows Sen. Al Franken sleeping during Elena Kagan's Supreme Court confirmation hearing. First, it isn't even remotely clear from the video that Franken is napping, and secondly, the right's attack seems particularly odd, given that they're attacking Franken for actually being at the hearing. During most of the hearings, only about half of the Senators were even present at any given time.
For example, Fox & Friends this morning showed a short clip of Franken, and accused him of falling asleep during the hearing. Brian Kilmeade took offense to this, sarcastically noting he's "the newest guy on the Judiciary Committee and he's working his way right in there, making an impact. Congratulations. He's made a seamless transition." From the video, all that can be determined was that Franken's eyes were moving. You can watch the video and judge for yourself whether or not Franken was sleeping:
Fox News' attacks on Franken were particularly ironic. Given that they're suggesting he found the hearings to be so dull that he fell asleep, one would think the network went to great lengths to cover something as important as a Supreme Court nomination hearing. Nope.The network devoted scant coverage to it, only managing to air a few questions from Republican Senators, and completely skipping over the two highest ranking Democrats on the Judiciary Committee, Sens. Leahy (D-VT) and Kohl (D-WI). Hot Air's Allahpundit found the hearings dull too. In a post today he noted with surprise that "something interesting did get said at today's interminably boring hearing," while O'Reilly called the hearings "boring as burnt toast."
This is just the latest in a long line of right-wing attacks that use short or cropped videos to smear Democrats, and this is surely one of the dumbest. Doocy compounded the stupidity of the smear by asking "Why is he on the Judiciary Committee? He is not a lawyer!" Doocy didn't ask why Sens. Kohl, Feinstein, Grassley, Coburn, or Kaufman, who are also not lawyers, were on the committee.
I also don't recall any equivalent outrage from Fox when Sen. Jim Bunning (R-KY) reportedly fell fast asleep during a Senate Finance Committee meeting on health care reform. After all, that would be "fair and balanced."
Media figures have falsely suggested that Vice President Joe Biden admitted the stimulus failed when he said, "There's no possibility to restore 8 million jobs lost in the Great Recession." In fact, the administration said all along that the stimulus would mitigate job losses but that government action alone could not restore all of the jobs lost since December 2007 and that "the private sector needs to do the rest." In addition, private analysts have said the stimulus significantly raised employment over what would have occurred otherwise, and Congressional Budget Office estimates show that the unemployment rate is expected to return to pre-recession levels in the coming years.
From the June 29 broadcast of Fox News' Fox & Friends:
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Fox News falsely claimed that new ICE official Harold Hurtt is "a sanctuary city supporter" who doesn't "believe in immigration enforcement," since he has expressed concerns about local police "in the field" enforcing immigration law, concerns that are widely held among law enforcement leaders. In fact, Houston under Chief Hurtt was not a "sanctuary city," according Fox's own definition, and he has reportedly said that in his role at ICE, "he will support local law enforcement agencies' decision to participate in any ICE program of their choosing, even if it involves questioning suspects on the street about their status."
Right-wing media are misrepresenting testimony from former Gov. Rod Blagojevich's aide John Harris to claim President Obama knew that Blagojevich wanted a Cabinet post in exchange for appointing Valerie Jarrett to the Senate. In fact, Harris provided no evidence that Obama was aware of a proposed "quid pro quo"; the allegation is reportedly based on Blagojevich's unsupported claim that he was "confident" his wishes had been relayed to Obama. Moreover, there's no evidence that anyone at the White House did anything improper in relation to the Blagojevich scandal