In a Newsweek article titled "Roger's Reality Show," Howard Kurtz wrote that Fox executives acknowledge that the news channel "took a hard right turn." This admission confirms what has long been clear: that Fox's news division has been slanted.
Fox "straight news" anchor Bret Baier and Fox News correspondent William La Jeunesse attacked the Department of Justice's inspector general for releasing audio tapes related to the ATF's failed Fast and Furious program. At no point did Baier or La Jeunesse note that the inspector general's office says the tapes were released in order to comply with the constitutional rights of the targets of a criminal investigation.
Fox News' supposedly "straight news" reporters recently asserted that federal investments in clean energy are wasteful and that the costs of green jobs outweigh the benefits. These claims are contradicted by several studies showing clean energy investments create more jobs than several other types of investments.
From the August 24 edition of Fox News' Happening Now:
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Fox News host Dave Briggs claimed that a new immigration policy, which will postpone deportation proceedings of certain undocumented workers in order to prioritize convicted criminals, is "perhaps blanket amnesty." Fox News has a long history of labeling immigration policies "amnesty," a term that has been shown to produce a more negative reaction than describing a policy as "a path to citizenship."
From the June 22 edition of Fox News' America Live:
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Continuing its pattern of hyping ridiculous conspiracy theories to attack the Obama administration, Fox News baselessly suggested that the ATF's Operation Fast and Furious was deliberately designed to go badly in order to justify stricter U.S. gun laws. In fact, even a report prepared for House Oversight Committee Chairman Darrell Issa (R-CA) and Sen. Chuck Grassley (R-IA) refutes this theory.
Less than week after fearmongering that if states stop participating in Secured Communities -- a federal deportation program begun under the Bush administration that may result in serial killers being on the loose -- Fox News was back at it, attacking states for not participating in the program.
On Fox News' America's Newsroom, Fox News correspondent William La Jeunesse claimed that states opting out of the Secure Communities program is "mutiny" and is "undermining" current federal policy "and the rule of law" at the behest of "the Latino lobby." La Jeunesse's report then got really muddled. While showing a graphic, he falsely asserted that immigrants identified by the Secured Communities program either "had existing criminal convictions" or were "typically arrested for misdemeanors."
LA JEUNESSE: Secured Communities -- the program is a cornerstone of the president's immigration policy, which says, for illegals here, you work hard, you keep your nose clean, you get to stay. You break the law, you go home. But now the Latino lobby is pushing back. And this mutiny by states like Illinois, New York, Massachusetts are undermining that policy and the rule of law.
Now under the program, a criminal's fingerprints are run, not just with the FBI, but also DHS. DHS ran about 8 million fingerprints. Some 500,000 of those were immigrants, mostly illegals. About 200,000 were scheduled to be deported. About three-quarters had existing criminal convictions from murder to shoplifting. The rest arrested for misdemeanors like driving without a license. Now it is this group, the final group that some are -- some states that is -- are refusing to turn over to the feds even though supporters say even non-felons can be dangerous.
In fact, as La Jeunesse himself acknowledged later in the report, 70 percent of undocumented immigrants processed through the Secure Communities program had been convicted of a crime -- whether a misdemeanor or a felony, meaning that 30 percent were not convicted of any crime.
In news reports on a House Republican proposal that would require the Obama administration to open new areas to offshore drilling, Fox News correspondent William La Jeunesse claimed that "97 percent of America's offshore oil remains off-limits." In fact, the areas already open to drilling contain the "vast majority" of estimated offshore oil resources, according to the Energy Information Administration.
In the wake of the earthquake in Japan and the resulting threat of nuclear disaster in that country, right-wing media have attacked renewable energy sources such as wind and solar, arguing that it's a waste of time to pursue these sources as possible alternatives to fossil fuels and nuclear power. However, studies show that the use of wind and solar energy is increasing at a record pace, and continuing investment in wind and solar will yield significant economic benefits.
Fox News' William La Jeunesse touted Sharron Angle for what he portrayed as her relative lack of PAC donations. In doing so, he left out one big special interest donor: FoxPAC.
In fact, Angle actually bragged about fundraising from "friendly" outlets like Fox News. That very fundraising has allowed her the small donors that La Jeunesse touts. In addition to allowing Angle to fundraise on Fox News, groups supported by Fox News and its contributors have spent over $3 million dollars on the race:
Fox News today has repeatedly aired a report by correspondent William LaJeunesse which was nothing more than a misleading attack on Ann Kirkpatrick, a member of Congress from Arizona's 1stcongressional district. Kirkpatrick is a first-term congresswoman who doesn't seem to have a lot of national recognition, but nevertheless, LaJeunesse ran an almost five minute segment attacking her for running for reelection as a fiscal conservative, a stance that he seemed to feel was unjustified.
LaJeunesse launched into a misleading hit piece on Kirkpatrick for claims she has made during her campaign, specifically that she ran against auto and wall street bailouts, and defied Democratic leadership in her opposition to TARP. Since Kirkpatrick was not in office when TARP was passed, she bases her opposition to the Wall Street bailouts on a January 2009 House resolution "dissapprov[ing] the obligation of any amount exceeding" the amount of money originally described in TARP. Her statement that she voted in opposition to auto bailouts is based on two votes against the Consumer Assistance to Recycle and Save Act, also known as the cash-for-clunkers program. As a candidate, Kirkpatrick expressed opposition to TARP, saying that it "unfairly helped Wall Street over families." Nevertheless, LaJeunesse portrayed her as deceptive and misleading. Watch:
Fox News correspondent William La Jeunesse continued his trend of misleading reporting on immigration today with a segment on the Obama administration's policies regarding workplace enforcement of illegal immigration laws. La Jeunesse's report centered on the decrease in "illegal worker arrests" during job site raids under the Obama administration. He began by stating that "this president is taking a very different approach to worksite enforcement" than President Bush did and claimed that "under this president, most of the illegal workers go free."
La Jeunesse also included commentary from Bush administration ICE director Julie Myers, who suggested that law enforcement officials were now "turning a blind eye" to illegal workers and claimed the policy amounts to "de facto amnesty."
First of all, La Jeunesse's report lacked necessary context, singling out the number of arrests and deportations due to worksite enforcement while ignoring the total numbers to suggest that the Obama administration has been lax in enforcing immigration law. In fact, despite a decrease in the number of workplace raids and arrests, the Obama administration has deported a record number of undocumented immigrants. Obama's first year in office saw a total of 387,790 deportations, up 5 percent from 2008 under the Bush administration.
La Jeunesse also neglected to mention that during her tenure as Department of Homeland Security assistant secretary for ICE, Myers came under harsh criticism, not just for awarding an employee dressed up as an escaped Jamaican prisoner (complete with blackface) with a prize for "most original costume" at an ICE Halloween party (and then trying to cover it up), but for the "heavy-handed" worksite raids she emphasized throughout her tenure. In fact, in 2008, 114 employees of Micro Solutions Enterprises (MSE), all legal residents or citizens, filed claims against ICE after they were detained during a raid on their employer.
For years, Fox News has been claiming, despite overwhelming evidence to the contrary, that its reporters are "fair and balanced" journalists who simply report the news. So how will they explain "reporter" William La Jeunesse all but announcing his opposition to Sen. Barbara Boxer (D-CA)? Today, La Jeunesse, who hours before called Boxer a "big-spending liberal," said that Boxer's "weakness" is "[s]he stands for everything that is wrong with Washington and she is the status quo."
From Happening Now:
LA JEUNNESE: Well, Patti Ann, you know, given that both these women are ex-CEOs, there's a term they use in businesses to evaluate your competition called SWOT. Strength, weakness, opportunity, and threat. Now, if we apply that to the senate race, Boxer, Fiorina, Carly Fiorina really buried her competition here.
Her strengths? Let's look at those. Number one, she is a former executive who managed a payroll. She also, you know, managed people. She ran a business, that's a message that played well given California's high unemployment and massive deficits. She opposes gay marriage and abortion -- that's an opportunity to solidify her credibility with conservatives.
Possible weakness? She mocks global warming in a state where 80 percent of voters consider it a serious problem.
Now, Barbara Boxer. She has ten million dollars in the bank. She has the support of every union and environmentalist in California. Both are experienced at getting out the vote, and running attack spots. Boxer supports amnesty for illegal immigrants, which should help with the Latino vote -- one out of every three Californians.
Weakness? 18 years in the Senate. She stands for everything that is wrong with Washington and she is the status quo, Patti Ann, and will have to defend it.
In a statement last year, Fox News VP Michael Clemente defended his employer by stating that "the average news consumer can certainly distinguish between the A-section of the newspaper and the editorial page, which is what our programming represents. So, with all due respect to anyone who might still be confused about the difference between news reporting and vibrant opinion, my suggestion would be to talk about the stories and the facts."
So question to Clemente: Does La Jeunesse's statement that Boxer "stands for everything that is wrong with Washington" belong in your so-called "A-section of the newspaper?"
From the June 9 edition of Fox News' America's Newsroom:
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