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15 Years & Smears With Fox News

15 Years & Smears With Fox News
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Written by Melinda Warner, a Media Matters blogger

As Fox News celebrates its 15th anniversary, Media Matters looks back on 15 of the network’s most outlandish smears since 2004.

Fox News: Kerry Just Loves His Manicures. Loves them!

On October 1, 2004, Fox chief political correspondent Carl Cameron wrote a fake news story about Sen. John Kerry receiving a manicure before a debate and included false quotes like “‘Didn’t my nails and cuticles look great? What a good debate!‘ Kerry said Friday” and “‘Women should like me! I do manicures,’ Kerry said.” The network subsequently issued a retraction and an apology. But this “stupid mistake” was not the only time Fox ridiculed Sen. Kerry for run-of-the-mill, pre-television appearance personal maintenance. Brit Hume, Bill O’Reilly, Pat Caddell, and others all similarly took the opportunity to mock Kerry following the debate.

Fox News: Scientists Are Liars.

Fox News hasn’t let the fact that 97 percent of the world’s climate scientists agree that global warming is occurring and that human activity is very likely to blame stop them in their quest to make sure their viewers think science, facts, and reality are figments of the left’s collective imagination. No, no, no. Scientists are liars, obviously, and global warming can be linked to naturally occurring phenomena. Like moon volcanoes.

Following the 2009 release of hacked emails from the Climate Research Unit at the University of East Anglia, Fox repeatedly claimed that the emails showed scientists “fudging data to make their case for global warming.” The allegation was unfounded at the time and was later shown to be false by numerous inquiries. Undaunted, Fox has continued to push this mythology ever since.

But Fox wasn’t content to restrict the “scientists are liars” message to the University of East Anglia. Following the lead of the Heartland Institute, Fox News trumpeted the utterly baseless claim that scientists at the University of Colorado are “doctoring” sea level data to “exaggerate the effects of global warming.” In reality, the scientists used a standard and transparent procedure performed by other research groups around the world, and even the climate skeptic cited by Fox News objects to the implication that the group engaged in scientific wrongdoing.

Fox News: Democrats Want To Kill You!

Desperate to find something, anything with which to defeat Democrat’s health care bill (because ensuring all Americans have access to quality, affordable health care is not a Fox News priority), Fox News was eager to peddle the nonsense that the bill contained a provision that elderly and sick people would face down “death panels” before obtaining approval for care. Never mind that the “death panel” provision was actually something the congressional Republicans had previously supported and was uncontroversial on its face – it simply lets Medicare reimburse patients who want to talk to their doctors about end-of life planning. No, don’t mind that.

Fox News’ O’Reilly: Arianna Huffington = KKK = Nazis

In 2008, Fox News’ Bill O’Reilly got himself very worked up over some reader comments on The Huffington Post. Following an article reporting on a fall that sent Nancy Reagan to the hospital, some readers posted tacky, hateful comments on the piece; O’Reilly read one that said “Like her evil husband, she has lived far too long. Here’s hoping she dies in the tub.” Because the site’s editor, Ariana Huffington, did not delete the comments, O’Reilly decided that made her the same as two of the most evil groups to walk the earth, saying on air:

“You know, what’s the difference between the Ku Klux Klan and Arianna Huffington? What’s the difference?”

“I don’t see any difference between Huffington and the Nazis.”

As disgusting as this instance is, it is not unheard of for Fox News personalities to invoke the two groups to describe progressives or progressive ideals. O’Reilly frequently likens those he disagrees with to Nazis and the KKK including Daily Kos, Michael Moore, and Al Franken.

Fox News: We Gave Them Arizona And They Set It On Fire!

The national debate over immigration has become increasingly more absurd on Fox News. In 2010, Fox News reported that the Obama Administration gave a “major strip of AZ to Mexico.” The Fish and Wildlife Service quickly debunked the claim with the facts that the small area was off limits to the public while security measures were improved.

Then in 2011, Fox News ran with the rumor that a tragic Arizona wildfire had been set by undocumented immigrants. First brought to national attention by Sen. John McCain (R-AZ), Fox personalities kept the story alive even though there were few facts to support the claim. Two American citizens were found to have allegedly left a campfire unattended and causing the resulting fire.

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Photo from Gage Skidmore via flickr creative commons

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107 comments

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3:38PM PDT on Oct 28, 2011

Arianna Huffington is fabulous, and Bill O'Reilly is an intentionally manipulative douchebag.

4:04AM PDT on Oct 13, 2011

You can NEVER trust Fox News!! They might be celebrating 15 years, but they should try speaking the truth!

8:28AM PDT on Oct 11, 2011

Who would listen to or get their "news" from Fox??? It's not news, just lies and hypocrisy, and fear-mongering!!!

9:36AM PDT on Oct 10, 2011

Unlike many of my enlightened cohorts, I have a problem with employing false equivalencies in the name of appearing fair. I just read about a proposal to repeal the ban on dwarf-throwing. This was proposed by a state legislator in FL, where the practice has been banned since 1989. Does it really shock anyone that this was proposed by a Republican lawmaker & not by a Democrat, as just one remedy for the economic woes with which FL is beset?

Are Democrats now hitting themselves upside their own heads and saying "Gee whiz! Why didn't WE think of this first?!"

There IS a difference. It has become much more pronounced in the past 15 years. And I will not behave as if that is not the case.

10:32PM PDT on Oct 9, 2011

Robert S.

John Stewart and Stephen Colbert pay people to watch it and pick out the parts they can make fun of - so we don't have to.

That's probably half their audience.

6:39PM PDT on Oct 9, 2011

I have always hated fox--a bunch of idiots.

12:28PM PDT on Oct 9, 2011

Trust me, the shit is gonna stop real quick, or else we are all dead. not just mentally either (which most people are already). all that needs to be done is this:
for every product large, or small, purchased by a consumer, there is a portion of stock given to them fractionally proportional to the gain of the company, as determined by inflation.
Simple as that.
*as soon as someone decides to use my idea, they can have it, if they let me help them as well, to help me, to help them,etc.* i want to start a business that gives all companies, large and small, the opportunity to take part in micro-stock consumer marketing.
According to my theory:
This idea puts the power of decision contributed equally by all of the population (democracy)into that populations hands, respectively. The corporate dictators will even stay rich with this idea, but simultaneously the people will gain significant capital relative to their spending, relative to their capital in the company, and so on...
I ask you all: is NOW the time for change? (for real?)

11:09AM PDT on Oct 9, 2011

Chris-SO true! You get a helluva lot more out of a good book than the tube. Even good fiction can be very educational and give great insight into human nature...good and bad. I especially like your comparison to Wall-E. One of my fave movies. Certainly a lot more meaning than the superficial children's story and very prophetic. Glad I'm an old fart and won't live to see it fully come to pass!!! It's already begun!

10:19AM PDT on Oct 9, 2011

Fox news is hitler in disguise...
unless you want to hear 50,0000000000000000000000000000000000000000^9999999999999999999 murder stories every day, played in succession at timed intervals (promoting extremely negative mindfulness) and an equal amount of advertising for manmade products that are going to (literally) mutate our further generations into immobile freaks (kinda like on the movie wall-e except more kind of like the hills-have-eyes- ish looking freaks) and propaganda for the fake green movement (because it is manipulated by and for the corporations, for the reason to save money and maximize their profit margins) I strongly suggest you turn off the bias corporate news and pick up a good book or internet article from an unbiased website.
we need tesla’s machines, fractal geometry array schemes, and American dreams… not bs from the corporate dictatorship leaving unable to see, and blind to the need of which I heed, the warning is for your dawning,… on reality so keep LEARNING for the knowledge of which your mind keeps yearning.
This is anti-propaganda do the same as I challenge ya….

6:00AM PDT on Oct 9, 2011

what a liars that people from foxnews,the only thing they are good in is tell lies,what a nerds

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