Fox & Friends misleads on international aid to the Gulf spill
While discussing the Jones Act, Fox & Friends' Brian Kilmeade misleadingly referenced "our inability or decision not to use the rest of the world's offers to help us skim up the sludge." In fact, the U.S. has used cleanup equipment from other nations "and will continue to do that," according to Coast Guard Adm. Thad Allen.
Fox & Friends misleadingly suggests we are not "us[ing] the rest of the world's offers to help us skim up the sludge"
Kilmeade suggests we are not "us[ing] the rest of the world's offers to help us skim up the sludge." On the June 11 edition of Fox News' Fox & Friends, Kilmeade, during a discussion of the Jones Act -- which stipulates  that all commerce transported through U.S. waters be carried by a U.S. owned and operated ship that was also built in the U.S -- claimed that "we've been unable" to clean up the oil as well as the 1991 spill in the Persian Gulf, and said, "Maybe the reason is the Jones Act and our inability or decision not to use the rest of the world's offers to help us skim up the sludge." Guest co-host Eric Bolling claimed, "So the issue is with all this additional help available and this Jones Act preventing more help to come into the Gulf."
In fact, Allen stated that "we are using" equipment from other nations for oil clean-up. In a June 10 press briefing , Allen confirmed that "we are using" foreign technology:
Q: There are many people who say that the best dredgers and skimmers in the world come from countries like the Netherlands and France and that they can't -- they're not being asked to come in because of the Jones Act. Is that the case? And why not get around that, suspend that, so you can bring that other you know technology in?
ADMIRAL ALLEN: Well, first of all, those are source countries. That's correct, they're available. But we are using them. We are dealing with folks like Norway, the Netherlands, Canada and other places. Anyplace that's got skimming capability that's available, we're willing to talk to them, and we actually have, in some cases, actually transferred the equipment down and will continue to do that.
If it gets -- if it gets to the point where there's a Jones Act required, we're willing to do that, too. Nobody's come to me with a request for a Jones Act waiver, but any skimming capability we can bring in, we're looking for.
Q: So are the actual boats being brought in or just the equipment?
ADMIRAL ALLEN: Well, in some cases it's the skimmer itself. In some cases, the skimming equipment is organic to the vessel itself. It depends on what you're talking about. To my knowledge, what we brought in is actually skimming equipment rather than the vessels themselves, but we can give you a detailed listing.
Gibbs: "We are using equipment ... from countries like Norway, Canada, the Netherlands"; no need "thus far" for "any type of waiver." In a June 10 press briefing , White House press secretary Robert Gibbs fielded a question on the administration's position in issuing waivers to the Jones Act. Gibbs stated that "there has not been any problem" with "using equipment" from foreign countries. From the briefing:
Q Senator Bill Nelson is going to write a letter to the President today asking for some clarification on the Jones Act and whether or not it is in any way inhibiting the U.S. government's use of offers from other foreign nations and foreign-flagged vessels to help in any way -- mediation, skimming, any of the other operations you're doing on the Gulf. What is the administration's position on it? The Jones Act was waived during Katrina by the Bush administration to bring oil in. What's your position on this?
MR. GIBBS: I would say this --
Q Is it an impediment or are you open to waiving it if you need to?
MR. GIBBS: No, no, as Admiral Allen said today, we are using equipment and vessels from countries like Norway, Canada, the Netherlands. There has not been any problem with this. If there is the need for any type of waiver, that would obviously be granted. But this -- we've not had that problem thus far in the Gulf.
Q But you're open to waiving it if you need to?
MR. GIBBS: If there's anything that needs to happen, that will -- we will make sure that it happens.
Fox News' Brian Wilson reported that "some foreign technology is being used in the current cleanup effort." On June 10, Fox News reporter Brian Wilson wrote on his blog  that "[t]he Coast Guard and the Administration are quick to point out that some foreign technology is being used in the current cleanup effort." According to Wilson, this technology includes:
- Canada's offer of 3,000 meters of containment boom
- Three sets of COSEQ sweeping arms from the Dutch
- Mexico's offer of two skimmers and 4200 meters of boom
- Norway's offer of 8 skimming systems
On the June 10 edition of Fox News' Special Report, Wilson said that "17 countries have offered help, and some foreign technology has been transferred to U.S. vessels so it can be used. Still, several foreign companies with some of the most advanced oil skimming and collecting ships say they are ready to help, but their vessels cannot be used because of the law."
Fox & Friends repeatedly cropped Allen's comments to omit his discussion of foreign aid already being used
Fox & Friends aired only Allen's statement that "nobody's come to me with a request for a Jones Act waiver." Fox & Friends only aired Allen's statement during a June 10 press briefing that "if it gets to the point where there's a Jones Act required, we're willing to do that, too. Nobody's come to me with a request for a Jones Act waiver." But Fox & Friends did not air Allen's statement that "we are using" technology from other nations and that "[w]e are dealing with folks like Norway, the Netherlands, Canada and other places. Anyplace that's got skimming capability that's available, we're willing to talk to them, and we actually have, in some cases, actually transferred the equipment down and will continue to do that."