You don’t have to think far back to recall that President Obama had a few harsh words for Fox News…it was just that he had stopped short of calling them fake news.
Still, in the past few weeks, CNN has been repeatedly called out for lying about the sitting president or spending much of the 24-hour news cycle on a narrative that is mostly built on speculation and anonymous sources.
This is why it’s worth a trip into the not-so-wayback machine to look at how the “fair and balanced” network treated President Obama.
Here’s a nonexhaustive list of the documented falsehoods Fox News leveled against Obama and his administration:
1. “And President Obama has offered to pay out of his own pocket for the museum of Muslim culture…yet it’s the Republican National Committee who’s paying for this.” – Anna Kooiman, Oct. 5, 2013
Kooiman later admitted to having made “a bad mistake by reporting a story based on poor research that was not true,” and apologized “for not checking the fact and allowing the story to make air.”
The battle between Donald Trump and CNN may be the most explosive President vs. Network battle yet, but it’s by no means the first.Lynn Marie Morski, IVN Author
However, there was an upside for the Muslim cultural museum, whose spokesperson said this created a “news frenzy that has been good for [the museum].”
2. “Look at the debt that has been accumulated in the last two years. It’s more debt under this president than all those other presidents combined.” -Sarah Palin, May 31, 2011
PolitiFact ran the numbers, and they said that even under the most generous of estimates, Obama’s two-year debt total was $3-7 trillion short of what would have been required to make that statement true.
3. The Obama administration “manipulated deportation data to make it appear that the Border Patrol was deporting more illegal immigrants than the Bush administration.” – Lou Dobbs, July 1, 2014
Frankly, most people in Obama’s own party probably wished that his deportation statistics had been altered, but much to their dismay, Obama did deport more illegal immigrants than Bush.
Moreover, he deported more than all other presidents COMBINED.
4. “Because of President Barack Obama’s failure to “push job creation,” the black unemployment rate in Ferguson, Mo., is three times higher than the white unemployment rate.” -Lou Dobbs, Aug. 19, 2014
First off, Dobbs’ numbers were wrong. At the time, the black unemployment rate was 1.9 times higher, not three.
That discrepancy didn’t by any means start with or have any correlation to Obama’s presidency, either, as it’s been that way since the Bureau of Labor Statistics started keeping data in the 50s.
5. Less than 10 percent of Obama’s Cabinet appointees “have any experience in the private sector.” – Glenn Beck, Nov. 30, 2009
Actual percentage of posts filled by appointees with significant business experience? One third.
6. “Under the Obama plan . . . all the health care in this country is eventually going to be run by the government.” – Sen. Tom Coburn, March 4, 2009
I’m not sure when “eventually” is, but it’s 8 years later, Obama’s no longer in office, and all health care is definitely not run by the government.
Neither the right nor left’s major news networks are innocent of misrepresenting the other side...Lynn Marie Morski, IVN Author
7. Coulter said a friend’s sister “died from Obamacare” because she was “thrown off her insurance plan, you know Blue Shield completely just pulled out of California.” – Ann Coulter, February 2, 2014
While I cannot verify or deny the death of her friend’s sister, it was easily verifiable that Blue Shield had not pulled out of California at that time, nor had it left people without insurance.
8. Fox News host John Gibson stated that “[Hillary Clinton] has reportedly outed Obama’s madrassa past.”
This was based on reading an article in Insight magazine. He continued on to say she had discovered that Obama had attended a “Muslim Seminary” as a boy in Indonesia.
He had actually attended a Catholic school and a public elementary school.
There was such backlash after this falsehood that a vice president at Fox wrote to his staff:
“For the record: seeing an item on a website does not mean it is right. Nor does it mean it is ready for air on FNC. The urgent queue is our way of communicating information that is air-worthy. Please adhere to this.”
9. In September 2010, Sean Hannity featured a clip of President Obama on his show and prefaced it by calling it a “rare moment of honesty.”
The video showed Obama saying, “Taxes are scheduled to go up substantially next year, for everybody.” Following the clip, he added, “I know the anointed one will make sure that happens.”
What did Obama actually say?
“Under the tax plan passed by the last administration, taxes are scheduled to go up substantially next year, for everybody.” – Barack Obama
10. I’ll wrap up the list with a lie uttered so frequently, and so patently false, that it won the 2009 award for PolitiFact “Lie of the Year”: Death panels.
The term was originated by creative wordsmith Sarah Palin, but it became a favorite of Fox anchors and pundits alike.
When asked about the phrase, Palin’s spokesperson said she was referring to a provision in the Affordable Care Act that compensated physicians for providing voluntary counseling to patients about living wills, advanced directives, and end-of-life care options.
The ACA contains exactly zero provisions for a death panel of any sort.
This list isn’t exhaustive, nor can it likely ever be complete, because Fox can continue to distort the facts about Obama’s presidency as CNN churns out new ones about Donald Trump.
The take home message is that neither the right nor left’s major news networks are innocent of misrepresenting the other side, and it’s up to us to watch with discerning minds and check the facts for ourselves.
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