Fox Business Network repeatedly promoted a controversial oil shale venture in Israel without disclosing that Rupert Murdoch -- the head of Fox's parent company -- is one of the project's most prominent investors.
Last year, News Corp. chairman Rupert Murdoch joined the "Strategic Advisory Board" of Genie Energy, and purchased an equity stake in Genie Oil and Gas, which consists of Genie Energy's interests in oil shale initiatives on federal land in Western Colorado and in Israel's Elah Valley. Genie Energy -- which is a division of IDT Corporation, a global telecommunications company -- has attracted several other high-profile advisers and investors, including former Vice President Dick Cheney, Lord Jacob Rothschild, and Michael Steinhardt, a prominent hedge fund investor and philanthropist.
Extracting oil from shale has long enticed investors and those seeking a route to energy independence, but no company has yet proved a way to make the process both commercially viable and environmentally sound. Genie Energy's experimental drilling methods -- which seek to reduce the high levels of water use and greenhouse gas emissions typically associated with shale development -- are still in the pilot phase.
On three consecutive days last month, Fox Business promoted Genie Energy's project in Israel -- known as Israel Energy Initiatives (IEI) -- yet never disclosed Murdoch's financial stake in it.
From the May 4 edition of Fox News' Fox & Friends:
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From the May 3 edition of Fox News' Fox & Friends:
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In December, the Fish and Wildlife Service proposed adding the dunes sagebrush lizard -- which lives only in New Mexico and West Texas and "faces immediate and significant threats due to oil and gas activities, and herbicide treatments" -- to the Endangered Species List.
Fox has predictably seized on the issue to baselessly claim that protecting the lizard "could cost you a bundle at the gas station," in the words of Stuart Varney, guest-hosting Your World with Neil Cavuto. Varney interviewed Ben Shepperd of the Permian Basin Petroleum Association and went so far as to suggest that efforts to protect the lizard are motivated by a desire to hurt the oil industry:
VARNEY: Why is this happening now? I mean, is there - do the environmentalists just want to protect any and all species, none of them can ever be moved or disturbed in any way, shape or form? Or are they going directly at the oil industry?
SHEPPERD: Well, I think a little of both, Stuart. The environmental groups have sued to list over a thousand species in the last four years and there's no scientific basis for it. And some folks have said that this is a direct attack against the oil and gas industry, which tends to support conservative candidates and also as a way to drive up oil and gas prices to move us hopefully to alternative fuels.
David Asman joined in pushing the conspiratorial claim while discussing the lizard on his Fox Business Show America's Nightly Scoreboard, suggesting that the protecting the species could be part of "a ploy to hurt Texas oil production."
The right-wing media are deceptively suggesting that, in the words of The New York Post, President Obama is "focused on raising income -- and possibly payroll -- taxes on the wealthiest Americans" rather than making cuts in spending to fix the current deficit problem. In fact, Obama has proposed significant spending cuts, and experts say it is impossible to balance the budget without some tax increases.
Greta Van Susteren, appearing on Fox News' Your World With Neil Cavuto with guest host Stuart Varney, tore into the Supreme Court for its decision not to expedite Virginia's lawsuit against the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act.
From the April 25 edition of Your World With Neil Cavuto:
VARNEY: Do you agree with the timetable that we've been laying out? That the Supreme Court may get it, may decide on it, in the summer of 2012? In other words another at least a year's delay? Do you agree that timetable?
VAN SUSTEREN: It could be that timetable or it could be longer. But that's not the problem. You know, these people have a very important job to do to decide constitutionality. Everyone agrees the Supreme Court will make this decision. So why do they put it off till then? Why in the world would they do that? This is very important to the American people, whether you are for or against it. But the fact that they're going to take the summer off, that this is a profoundly important decision, is disgraceful.
VARNEY: Maybe they didn't want to appear to be rushing into what could be seen as a political decision.
VAN SUSTEREN: They're not the political branch. And if they're such cowards and so worried about how people are going to think, they are supposed to determine constitutionality; they're supposed to ignore the politics of it. And this is a very simple issue, and that is whether or not the provision exceeds the commerce clause. It's not that complicated. Either it does or it doesn't. And they shouldn't be so cowardly to worry about politics. We survived Gore versus Bush and a lot of people thought that was politics.
In reality, there may be several possible reasons why the Supreme Court did not take up the health care case. As SCOTUSblog.com noted, due to its high threshold for cases, the Supreme Court has only accepted these expedited petitions "in only a handful of cases over the past seventy-five years." Additionally, Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg said that the Supreme Court benefits from lower courts' opinions when decided whether to hear an appeal. However, since the Court did not provide an explanation the reasons for the its decision are unclear.
But Van Susteren's main complaint seems to be that the Supreme Court justices are lazy and did not take up such an important case because they wanted "to take the summer off." That statement is blatantly dishonest. The Supreme Court session does run from October through June or July, but that does not mean that the justices are not working over the summer months. The Supreme Court website states: "The Court recesses at the end of June, but the work of the Justices is unceasing. During the summer they continue to analyze new petitions for review, consider motions and applications, and must make preparations for cases scheduled for fall argument."
And after calling the court "disgraceful" and the justices "cowards," Van Susteren continued to diminish the court's work, saying the decision of whether the individual mandate in the health care law oversteps the Commerce Clause is "not that complicated." Again, Van Susteren is being dishonest; with several court cases on the health care law pending around the country, which have resulted in several varying rulings thus far, the issue of the constitutionality of the health care law is very much a complicated one.
On The O'Reilly Factor, Fox Business host Stuart Varney claimed that subsidies for wind and solar power have resulted in "[v]irtually nothing." In fact, reports show that wind and solar power are rapidly growing sources of electric power in the United States.
On Fox & Friends, Fox Business host Stuart Varney falsely claimed President Obama's "speech on Wednesday was a direct attack on anybody who wanted to cut spending at all" and that he "has refused to look at even modest spending cuts of any kind." But Obama's deficit plan does include spending cuts, and economists have agreed with Obama's assessment of the GOP plan.
Fox & Friends marked Tax Day by repeatedly complaining that the wealthy pay a significant portion of federal income taxes, while claiming that President Obama's deficit reduction plan amounts to "soak[ing] the rich." Fox & Friends also ignored proposed spending cuts to suggest Obama's deficit plan only consists of tax increases.
In the past week, Fox News figures have adopted the GOP talking point that the nation's deficit is a "spending problem, not a revenue problem." But numerous economic experts have said that decreased revenue is a major cause of the deficit.
From the April 15 edition of Fox News' Fox & Friends:
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In the past week, Fox hosts have contradicted each other and even themselves in their rush to opine on the upcoming vote to raise the debt ceiling. Economists and experts across the board agree that failure to raise the debt ceiling could have catastrophic consequences.
From the April 12 edition of Fox News' Hannity:
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Fox repeatedly pushed for a government shutdown if all Republican demands regarding the budget were not met. But after a budget deal was struck between the White House and congressional leaders to avert a shutdown, Fox immediately shifted its talking points to praise House Speaker John Boehner and congressional Republicans for negotiating a deal.
With a possible government shutdown looming, many right-wing media figures have falsely suggested that the negotiations are centered solely on spending. However, according to news reports, conflicts over policies -- such as Republican demands to defund Planned Parenthood and restrict the Environmental Protection Agency's regulatory abilities -- are currently more responsible for the lack of a budget deal.