From the April 6 edition of Fox News Channel's Fox & Friends Saturday:
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From the April 2 edition of Courtside Entertainment Group's The Laura Ingraham Show:
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Fox News continues to ignore reports that undermine the Daily Caller smear -- promoted by Fox News -- that Senator Robert Menendez (D-NJ) patronized prostitutes on a trip to the Dominican Republic. On March 22, media outlets reported that the Daily Caller's original named source, Melanio Figueroa, alleged that the Daily Caller and other media outlets paid and pressured him to fabricate the accusations -- an allegation that Fox News has not covered.
The Washington Post's latest story on the allegations against Menendez reported:
A top Dominican law enforcement official said Friday that a local lawyer has reported being paid by someone claiming to work for the conservative Web site the Daily Caller to find prostitutes who would lie and say they had sex for money with Sen. Robert Menendez (D-N.J.).
The lawyer told Dominican investigators that a foreign man, who identified himself as "Carlos," had offered him $5,000 to find and pay women in the Caribbean nation willing to make the claims about Menendez, according to Jose Antonio Polanco, district attorney for the La Romana region, where the investigation is being conducted.
The Daily Caller issued a statement Friday saying that the information allegedly provided by the Dominican lawyer, Melanio Figueroa, was false.
These revelations demonstrate Figueroa's lack of credibility and thus cast even more doubt on the Daily Caller's already-shaky story, as Figueroa was the only named source in their original story outlining the allegations. Responding to this latest Post story, along with other reports from the Post throwing doubt on the Caller's reporting, CNN media critic Howard Kurtz called the story "discredited" and said that the Daily Caller "owes the senators and its readers an apology."
A transcript search, including a search of the Nexis database, of Fox News programming on March 22 and of Fox's media criticism show Fox News Watch on March 23 shows no mention of Menendez. This continues a pattern of Fox covering the Daily Caller's allegations less and less as the credibility of the story continues to implode, even though the network covered the allegations in at least 20 segments after the initial report was made in November.
Tucker Carlson, who is a Fox contributor and editor-in-chief of the Daily Caller, has not defended his publication's smear of Menendez on the network since March 5, when he appeared on The O'Reilly Factor and called the Daily Caller reporting "straightforward, traditional journalism." He also said that his website's sources "received no money from anyone." Carlson has appeared on Fox News at least three times in the past two weeks -- as a guest on Special Report on March 11 and on America's Newsroom on March 13, and as guest host of Hannity on March 15. The Daily Caller's discredited allegations against Sen. Menendez were never mentioned during those appearances.
Fox's effort to cover up its contributor's floundering story, which Fox was previously happy to promote, raises new questions about Carlson's future relationship with the network.
The Daily Caller's lurid, fraudulent story of Sen. Robert Menendez (D-NJ) patronizing Dominican prostitutes has taken yet another hit as the lawyer representing the prostitutes, Melanio Figueroa, has reportedly let loose with a variety of outlandish story-changing allegations, among them that he was paid and pressured by various media outlets (the Daily Caller among them) to fabricate the whole affair. Figueroa's credibility is now non-existent, which only serves to reinforce how wildly irresponsible the Daily Caller was to run with the story in the first place.
The Washington Post reported on March 22 that a "top Dominican law enforcement official" said that Figueroa told investigators that in autumn 2012 he had been approached by a man claiming to be from the Daily Caller and offered $5,000 to "find prostitutes who would lie and say they had sex for money with Sen. Robert Menendez." The Daily Caller adamantly denied the allegations, which as of yet lack evidence and appear far-fetched, and the Post acknowledged that the "account provided that Dominican authorities said they received from Figueroa could not be independently confirmed by The Washington Post." The Post also noted that Figueroa's new story is a reversal from his previous denials of having made the whole thing up.
The Daily Caller, meanwhile, has published a story pushing back against Figueroa, reporting that he "blamed four news outlets -- CNN, The Daily Caller, Telemundo and Univision -- for allegedly encouraging him to fabricate false accusations about Menendez." The Caller also reported that "CNN and Univision both issued statements forcefully denying Figueroa's accusations," and pointed out that the attorney has repeatedly contradicted himself in recent days as the Menendez story has collapsed.
Fox News contributor and Daily Caller editor-in-chief Tucker Carlson added to the ongoing Republican civil war by calling conservative nonprofits "parasites" on conservatism who have consumed "literally billions of dollars" and "achieved virtually nothing in the last thirty years." Carlson also remarked, "If there's a more useless group of people in the world, I'm not aware of it."
Since Mitt Romney's defeat last November, Republicans have been feuding among themselves over the future of the party and conservative ideals. The fight exploded when Karl Rove and his allies at American Crossroads announced plans to, in the words of The New York Times, "recruit seasoned candidates and protect Senate incumbents from challenges by far-right conservatives and Tea Party enthusiasts." Conservative media figures conservative groups like FreedomWorks have hit Rove over the project. FreedomWorks raised nearly $41 million last year and has come under heavy scrutiny recently due to bizarre internal feuding and questions about its finances.
Carlson made his remarks on the March 18 broadcast of WMAL's Mornings on the Mall during a discussion about the Republican infighting. From the program:
CARLSON: There are a ton of sleazy consultants out there. A lot of them are getting rich, I live near a lot of them, so I can vouch for their richness, for sure. The irony, though, is that these charges are being thrown by almost always people in the conservative nonprofit sector, and if there's a more useless group of people in the world, I'm not aware of it. I mean, conservative nonprofits in Washington consume over time, over the last forty years, literally, literally billions of dollars. And the country has become much more liberal in every single way.
So they have failed to do anything other than, you know, buy weekend houses and send their kids to college. I mean they've profited from it. But they haven't won, you know, any important ideological victory in thirty years. So like, wait a second. They need to reexamine their own status. I mean, these are parasites too, as far as I'm concerned. They really are.
LARRY O'CONNOR (CO-HOST): Just a quick follow up because you're making it sound like this is really a battle over money. Are you saying those nonprofits are hammering consultants like Karl Rove because they don't like all that money being donated to -- to the consultants instead of going to the nonprofits?
CARLSON: I'm saying they ought to take the plank out of their eye before they point out the speck in their neighbors, I guess is what I'm really saying. I mean, I think there are a lot of really sincere, decent conservatives working in nonprofits, I know them, of course. I don't want to make a blanket indictment. However, they as a group have achieved virtually nothing in the last thirty years. I know, because I've lived here. And look at the results. Our taxes are higher, more people are pro-choice. I mean -- you know, like all their stated goals have not been achieved. And they've consumed a huge amount of money doing it, so it's time for some serious soul-searching. And for those people to get up and start screaming about how other people are wasting money and aren't sincere and are cynical, I mean, it's nauseating. To me, I'm not a consultant or an employee of a nonprofit so I think I can see it with some clarity, there are a lot of parasites on the, you know, on conservatism.
Carlson's remarks were highlighted on the video website of the conservative nonprofit Media Research Center. The MRC is headed by conservative activist Brent Bozell, who has harshly criticized Rove and discouraged donors from giving money to his group. In addition to heading the MRC, Bozell is also the chairman of ForAmerica, a conservative nonprofit.
The Conservative Political Action Conference (CPAC) bills itself as an event convened to "crystallize the best of the conservative thought in America" that will showcase "all of the leading conservative organizations and speakers." Media covering CPAC 2013 should know that the conference's speakers, from the most prominent to the lesser-known, have a history of launching smears, pushing conspiracy theories, and hyping myths about the validity of President Obama's birth certificate.
From the March 10 edition of CNN's Reliable Sources:
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More questions about the Daily Caller's role in publicizing prostitution allegations against Sen. Robert Menendez (D-NJ) have arisen after it was revealed that two newspapers declined to report the story after expressing concerns about the accusers' credibility.
Tucker Carlson has defended The Daily Caller's reporting on Sen. Robert Menendez (D-NJ) patronizing prostitutes in the Dominican Republic as "traditional, straightforward journalism" as that story has come under fire. But when Sen. David Vitter (R-LA) was accused of patronizing prostitutes in 2007, Carlson defended Vitter and lambasted the media for digging into what he described as private matters that were no business of theirs.
In their initial much-hyped pre-election bombshell, the Caller reported on allegations from two Dominican prostitutes that Menendez had paid them for sex. Menendez has repeatedly denied the allegations, and the FBI has reportedly found no evidence of their veracity.
This week the story has unraveled after the Washington Post and ABC News reported that one of the prostitutes who alleged that she had sex with Menendez has recanted her story in an affidavit and claimed that she was paid to lie about the senator. ABC further reported that they also looked into the story last year but decided not to run it because they doubted the women that they and the Caller had spoken to were telling the truth.
In an interview with Fox News' Bill O'Reilly, Daily Caller Editor-in-Chief Tucker Carlson defended his website's claim that Sen. Robert Menendez (D-NJ) paid women for sex in the Dominican Republic, but he dodged the question of whether the women interviewed by the Daily Caller might have been paid by political operatives to tell their story, as evidence from ABC News and The Washington Post now suggest.
Responding to O'Reilly's inquiry about whether the allegations were fabricated, Carlson stopped short of declaring that the women the Daily Caller interviewed were not paid to tell their story. Instead, he said that he was satisfied that the person who brought this story to the Caller "received no money from anyone," later saying, "Did our source take money? ...[T]he answer is, no, he didn't."
Fox News cribbed research and graphics directly from a National Republican Congressional Committee (NRCC) press release without disclosing their origin in order to attack President Obama's purported "sequester priorities."
In a Fox & Friends Saturday interview with NRCC chairman Greg Walden, co-host Tucker Carlson claimed that he was "going through a list here" of supposedly wasteful federal spending projects and crucial programs that are impacted by the mandatory spending cuts required by sequestration, but did not explain where that list originated. Every case of both worthwhile and allegedly worthless spending they discussed had previously been highlighted in a February 28 NRCC press release.
Later in the segment, Carlson asked Walden, "wouldn't it make sense for Republicans to come up with a list, push that list over to the White House, and publicize that list of pointless programs like this that ought to be cut?" Walden replied, "Absolutely."
Throughout this segment and a second segment Fox aired on-screen graphics that mimicked images included in the NRCC release in order to criticized what they termed Obama's "sequestration priorities." Here are those images, with the Fox versions on the left and NRCC versions on the right:
Fox & Friends Sunday hosted a small business owner to disparage the Affordable Care Act without disclosing his membership in the anti-health care reform group National Federation of Independent Business (NFIB).
Co-hosts Clayton Morris and Tucker Carlson identified their guest David McArthur only as a "small business owner" while interviewing him about the impact the Affordable Care Act might have on his small bakery in St. Louis. Morris asked, "Do you feel that these plans, Obamacare specifically, limit growth in this country and [are] holding back the economy, because small business owners like yourself are afraid to hire and afraid to grow?" McArthur replied, "Well, certainly it does."
The NFIB was the lead plaintiff suing to overturn the Affordable Care Act before the Supreme Court. In a post titled "The Group Trying To Kill Obamacare," Salon.com's Alex Seitz-Wald reported that the group spent at least $2.9 million in 2010 alone working to overturn the law. The Huffington Post reported that the NFIB "received 10 donations totaling more than $10 million from anonymous donors" in 2010 and 2011, in addition to $3.7 million in funding from Karl Rove's Crossroads Grassroots Policy Strategies. The Huffington Post also reported that the organization's "multimillion-dollar independent expenditures and campaign donations have benefited almost exclusively Republicans."
This is not the first time Fox has hosted undisclosed NFIB members to criticize the Affordable Care Act.
In July 2012, Fox & Friends hosted small business owner Mike Paine to attack the health care reform law without disclosing his membership in the organization. Prior to that, NFIB member and small business owner Joe Olivo appeared on Fox News and Fox Business at least six times to criticize the Affordable Care Act, without disclosure of his membership.
Fox News figures are reviving the myth that the Head Start education program is a failure, in light of reports that the program may lose funding. In fact, research shows the program benefits disadvantaged children in that it has a positive impact both early and later on in their lives.
Fox News ignored its own role in perpetuating conspiracy theories about President Obama during a segment about Americans who think President Obama is hiding something -- even while engaging in the same behavior during the segment.
On the January 18 edition of Fox News' America Live, host Megyn Kelly featured a Fairleigh Dickinson University poll finding that 63 percent of Americans believe in at least one political conspiracy theory, and 36 percent think that President Obama is hiding information about his background. Kelly pondered what such a result says "about our faith in government, not to mention the media."
But Fox has been a leading player in promoting baseless conspiracy theories about Obama:
Fox hosts falsely claimed that Obama was educated in a Muslim madrassa.
Fox has repeatedly insinuated that Obama is a Mulsim.
Kelly and guest Tucker Carlson went on to reinforce the poll's findings. Kelly suggested those who believe in Obama conspiracy theories are justified in asking questions about his background because Obama has not released his college transcripts, an obsession among right-wing conspiracy-mongers who believe the transcripts will reveal that Obama was a foreign student:
Fox attacked unions over the liquidation of Hostess Brands after negotiations with its bakers union failed, but Fox ignored the fact that the company faced myriad financial problems. Similarly, Fox attacked Wal-Mart employees for striking, but failed to acknowledge the workers' concerns. Fox has run a long-standing campaign against unions.