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Wednesday, October 21, 2009

The Ten Most Egregious Fox News Distortions?

I will give the Huffington Post credit. Rather than simply attacking Fox News with a bunch of rhetoric, they've actually provided evidence. This is the Huffington Post's ten most egregious Fox News distortions.

1)Bill Hemmer Accuses Obama "Czar" Of Condoning Statutory

According to the Huffington Post, the boy in question was in fact above the age of consent, 16, and Jennings knew it. In fact, that's half right. The boy was above the age of consent but Jennings, at the time, didn't know it and thought he was 15, which is below the age of consent. Either way, the boy was a minor and was having an affair, gay no less, with a man in his 20's, and Jennings didn't tell him to stop it but told him to "wear a condom". If that's an "egregious" distortion, then what will Huffington say about some of the things said on MSNBC...oh wait?

2)Fox News Crops Biden

In this one from March of this year, Martha McCallum purports to claim that Joe Biden recently (then of course) saying that the economy was strong. McCallum opened the segment by saying that "for weeks the Obama administration was saying doom and gloom on the economy" and then McCallum continued by saying they're "singing a different tune now". Then, she showed several clips of administration officials saying things similar to Biden. I will assume that Huffington is correct and this is from the campaign. Furthermore, Huffington says that Biden was quoting McCain when he said this. Still, this was one of four clips all saying the same thing. No doubt FNS shouldn't have put it in there but the point remains the same. At the time, the administration was absolutely suddenly saying things were getting better after scaring everyone in the debate over the stimulus. So, this is a distortion but egregious?

3)Fox News Deceptively Crops Obama On Health Care

The only thing deceptive here are the folks at Huffington Post. Huffington claims that Wendell Goler's report deceptively crops a soundbite by Obama. The soundbite says, "if you're going to fix it, why not a universal health care system like in Europe." Huffington claims that Obama was simply repeating the question and later on said that he didn't want a system like in Europe. In fact, Goler never said that Obama wanted a system like in Europe. He has always, however, pushed for UNIVERSAL HEALTH CARE. That's what the clip of Obama said. The point was that President Obama wants a universal health care system like they have in Europe. Goler never said that Obama wants single payer like in Europe. Rather, he said that Obama wants universal health care like they have in Europe and Obama has said that on many occasions.

4)Megyn Kelly Accuses Sonia Sotomayor Of "Reverse Racism"

This so called distortion is absurd. We all know the quote that Ms. Kelly is referring to about a Latina woman with the richness of her experience reaching a better conclusion than a white male. This is a very troubling statement and that particular statement stinks of reverse racism and to not report on it would be ridiculous. In fact Kelly said it "sounded like" Sotomayor thought that Latinos would reach a better conclusion than whites and that's exactly what it sounds like. If this is a distortion, what exactly is the truth?

5) Fox News Passes Off Republican Talking Points As Its Own

Huffington claims that this report, done by Jon Scott, was actually from a Republican communications press release. That maybe so, but the actual report quotes newspapers from Politico, to the New York Times, to the Washington Times. So, if the original idea came from a Republican press release, so be it. The actual report quotes every major media under the soon, and these media show how over time the stimulus did in fact grow. So, if this is distortion, what's the truth?

6)Fox News Misleads On PATRIOT Act:

In this one, Trace Gallagher discusses three provisions of the Patriot Act that are about to expire: the loan wolf provision, roving wiretaps, and the business records provision. These were set to expire and the Fox News report says that Democrats are considering not renewing them. The so called proof of a distortion is a piece at Cato, a libertarian think tank that has no use for the Patriot Act. First, Huffington and Cato claim that Fox says that with this loan wolf provision Moussaoui would have been caught. In fact, Sammon says that there is no evidence of this. Second, Fox News quotes former AG Mike Mukasey as saying that these provisions saved lives. Third, even Cato's attack acknowledges that there would be changes to all through. Cato claims that Democrats wanting to remove it is a distortion since they want to keep all three for the most part. That's obviously a matter of opinion.

In reality, all these issues are far too detailed and complicated for one segment. So, of course, when you interview a proponent of the Patriot Act, you will get one side. What Huffington doesn't say is if Fox News then had someone that supports civil liberties over the Patriot Act on afterwards. It's likely they did. That's just as much a distortion.

7) Chris Wallace Promotes "Death Book" Smear

This is a total distortion. This has to do with a pamphlet put on the VA's site that suggested that if you were depressed or feeling like a burden to your family, you should end it. Huffington claims that Wallace had a Republican on to talk about this "smear". Of course, what Huffington Post doesn't say is that right after the Republican, FNS had Tammy Duckworth on to defend the VA. Furthermore, Duckworth said several things that were totally erroneous and after all the outrage, the pamphlet was eventually removed.

8) Fox News Anchor Calls Obama Fist Bump A "Terrorist Fist Jab"

This one was inexcusable. This was said by then anchor E.D. Hill. The Obama's are fond of the fist bump and they've made that a cultural phenomenon. I don't know where Hill got this from however she did apologize for it and Hill no longer works for the network.

9) Fox News Makes Up Math

In this one, there's only a screen shot. In the screen shot, it says the president's budget is $3.6 trillion 4x the size of Bush's biggest budget. That's inaccurate however the projected deficit was about 1.9 trillion dollars or four times Bush's biggest budget deficit. I think the two were conflated. I believe that this was written incorrectly and since all we have is a screenshot and not the video, I suspect that this is exactly what happened.

10) Fox News Promotes Tea Party Protests

The Tea Parties in April attracted somewhere in the neighborhood of one million people. That is news. They weren't promoted but covered. There were tens of thousands of tea party goers in D.C. on the 12th of September. That Fox News covered them is not promotion but covering the news. Huffington also claims that Fox News didn't cover the gay rights march in October. Of course, that isn't true either. That was also covered.

So, of the ten, only one is legitimately a distortion. I think it says a lot that the media that claims there's distortion distorts more than Fox News itself in the piece on distortion. Frankly, conservatives can find ten such examples every week from the likes of CNN and MSNBC. For instance, Andrea Mitchell just said she doesn't think that George Soros is far left. CNN fact checked SNL when SNL dared to mock President Obama.

These were supposed to be the ten worst and most of them were themselves distorted in order to make them distortions. That says plenty.


Anonymous said...

"gay no less"

Forgive the curtness, but what the hell is that supposed to mean?

Anonymous said...

#4 is in fact inaccurate. Sotomayor never claimed she'd make a better judge than a white guy just because she's a latina. She said she'd be able to exercise better insight on matters involving discrimination, something a wealthy white male judge would have never experienced.

Fox generalized, then let its guests constantly generalize as well unchallenged. The reason you don't think this is a distortion is because either you believe the lie, or you don't know the difference. Or you don't care about the difference.

Anonymous said...

"Andrea Mitchell just said she doesn't think that George Soros is far left."

That's an incredibly weak example. I'm not sure what you even mean by it other than going out of your way to let your readers know you don't like George Soros. Are you trying to say that Andrea Mitchell isn't entitled to her opinion because your opinion is the gold standard for objective truth or something?

Its one of the reasons I never take conservative claims of media bias seriously because to conservatives think the media is liberally biased because its not conservatively biased.

Anonymous said...

About #10, Fox did not just cover it, they sponsored it. As in "Fox is going to be here, show up to be on TV." Not "people are there, let's go cover it."

There are videos of Fox producers telling crowds what to say and how to act.

mike volpe said...

Fox didn't generalize, Sotomayor generalized for number 4. If Fox made a misstatement then so did many may legislators since they all made the same statements.

Andrea Mitchell is entitled to her opinion though she's a reporter and isn't supposed to say it. Soros is for one world government, euthanasia, drug legalization, the repeal of the 2nd amendment, open borders, and I'm sure I've missed a few, so if he isn't far left, who is. There are opinions that are rooted in fact and then there is what Mitchell said and I used it because she said a couple days ago.

As for the tea parties, I don't know this video and so either show it or don't allude to it. Fox News covered the tea parties, they promoted themselves.

Anonymous said...

"If Fox made a misstatement then so did many may legislators since they all made the same statements."

*THAT IS EXACTLY MY POINT* Fox cropped her original quote, then let 'many legislators' make the same statement. You just admitted Fox makes distortions then allows the Republicans to run with them.

mike volpe said...

Fox didn't crop anything and I didn't admit anything. This was the biggest attack on her and if the Dems weren't so overwhelming she wouldn't be a SC Justice, period. Here's what she said and she said it on more than one occasion.

"Justice O’Connor has often been cited as saying that “a wise old man and a wise old woman reach the same conclusion in dueling cases. I am not so sure Justice O’Connor is the author of that line since Professor Resnik attributes the line to Supreme Court Justice Coyle. I am not so sure that I agree with the statement. First, if Prof. Martha Minnow is correct, there can never be a universal definition of ‘wise.’ Second, I would hope that a wise woman with the richness of her experience would, more often than not, reach a better conclusion"

That's what she said. She said it. It's not Fox's fault she said it and Fox reported it accurately.

Anonymous said...

Reach a better conclusion about what, Mike? That's not the end of the sentence. I know this because I've seen the whole completed quote elsewhere. You know this because there isn't a period at the end of the quote. That's what we call a cropped quote.

mike volpe said...

Who cares? She says that race and gender means you are better prepared to make decisions as a judge. That's entirely racial if not racist. Of course, it isn't the end of the quote. It's part of speeches that went ten minutes. Is Fox required to quote the entire ten minute quote to satisfy you? If this was so easy to dispute, she would have knocked it out with the first question instead Senator after Senator attacked her and they didn't stop. They didn't stop because the quote speaks for itself. If you think it's appropriate that's your business, Kelly was perfectly reasonable in suggesting that it might be reverse racist.

Sotomayor said that it was a bad choice of words even though it was said the same way multiple times. What does that say about your assertion?

In fact, there's a period at the end of the quote in the New York Times article and they don't publish the whole speech so if you are going to attack Fox News attack everyone.

jsanchez said...

I suppose I should defend 6, since the original post they cited was mine.

It is an easily checked fact that every Patriot reauthorization proposal Democrats have offered would have renewed at least the roving wiretap and section 215 provisions. It is not a matter of opinion to claim that there is some effort to make these "go bye-bye"; it is just untrue.

The report was not an "interview" with a guest; it was a dialogue between a Fox anchor, who made most of the false claims, and a Fox political analyst so poorly informed about the topic of his alleged expertise that he didn't know the names of the laws he was purporting to defend. If they've ever given equal time to the other side, I certainly haven't seen it.

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