Suggesting the United Nations is coming for your guns is among the longest running pieces of scarelore for the National Rifle Association and other gun lobby groups. Today Fox News got in on the action, airing a segment that recycled the paranoid accusations most recently seen in NRA fundraising efforts.
The segment, produced as part of Fox's "Taking Liberties" series, appeared on today's episodes of America's Newsroom and Happening Now, correspondent Douglas Kennedy interviewed critics of the proposed treaty who inaccurately describe its intended goals.
Happening Now introduced segment with the misleading chryon, "Obama Administration Backs U.N. Treaty To Control Guns."
While the Obama administration hopes to back the U.N. arms treaty, treaty negotiations haven't been concluded. There is no final treaty language, no treaty to back, and no guarantee the administration will find the final treaty acceptable. Fox's misleading suggestion mirrors a long debunked chain e-mail that erroneously suggests the administration has already signed the treaty.
It didn't get much better once the segment started rolling.
Following Sean Hannity's lead, The Washington Times falsely suggested that the United Nations supported President Bush's invasion of Iraq. In fact, the U.N. Security Council did not back Bush's invasion of Iraq, and then-Secretary General Kofi Annan suggested the invasion was "illegal."
On The Live Desk, Martha MacCallum did not challenge the false assertion by Christine O'Donnell, 2008 GOP Senate candidate in Delaware, that Sen. Barack Obama "and my opponent [Sen. Joe] Biden are pushing for this global tax that would require America to pay tax to the U.N." In fact, the Global Poverty Act, a bill introduced by Obama, would not "require America to pay tax to the U.N.," and it would not commit the United States to any targeted level of spending.
During his interview with U.S. ambassador to the United Nations John R. Bolton, Bill O'Reilly repeatedly lashed out at the U.N., putting Bolton -- who, before being appointed ambassador to the U.N., had made comments that were harshly critical of the organization -- in the position of defending the U.N. and its Security Council.
Continuing a pattern of attacks on the United Nations by Fox News, Big Story Weekend guest host Julie Banderas asked: "[W]hen it comes to issues like North Korea and Iran, our supposed allies Russia and China always seem to be all talk, so why bother having a U.N. at all?" During the segment, on-screen text read: "What's the point of the U.N. if allies are all talk?"
In response to recent remarks by Mark Malloch Brown, the deputy Secretary-General of the United Nations, who criticized "U.S. administrations of both parties" for allowing the U.N.'s "loudest detractors, such as Rush Limbaugh and Fox News," to define the international organization for the "U.S. heartland," Limbaugh and various other Fox News media figures smeared Brown, referring to him, in turn, as a "pointy-headed, elitist liberal" and "a phony."