A few days ago, Roger Ailes, head of Fox News, said that with the exception of Sean Hannity, all of his on-air personalities were liberal. Fox and Friends, in a show of being both “fair and balanced” and “liberal” presented a four minute video which amounted to nothing short of an Obama attack ad, complete with ominous music and dubious facts.
Here’s the video:
The video, which was intended to mock Obama’s theme of “hope and change” focused entirely on economic issues, without providing explanations for any of them. Let’s pretend for a moment that this “news feature” is actually news and debate its “facts” one at a time:
Debt – The national debt under President Obama is larger than when he took office, but there are several reasons. The debt now is $15.7 trillion, about $5 trillion more than when he took office. I know Republicans hate to hear this, but George W. Bush was to blame for the vast majority of the rise in debt under Obama. Not only did he spend money like a drunken sailor, he forgot to tell Congress to put it on the books. Obama took care of that for him.
But more importantly, who cares? Debt is not our problem, at least not as an isolated number. Most of that money is money we owe ourselves. We don’t have to actually pay it back. We need to look at the short-term, which means generating more income, which means increasing the tax base. We can do that in two ways, tax the rich and invest in putting people back to work, two options that our austere Republican party seems dead set against.
There aren’t enough jobs – The blame for the fact that we don’t have a lower unemployment rate right now lies completely at the feet of Republicans (and some conservative Democrats). There’s no sugar coating it. Private sector jobs are now back to pre-recession levels. Due to Republican austerity, especially at the state level, public sector jobs have been cut, preventing the recovery from gaining full steam. Nonetheless, unemployment has gone down under the Obama administration and employment has gone up.
Obama has grown the size of government – That one is a flat-out lie. The government has decreased under the Obama administration.
Obama the Food Stamps President – Of course food stamp use has increased. We are in a recession. People need to eat. We aren’t that heartless as a country, yet. Still, George W. Bush actually deserves the moniker of “food stamp President,” not Obama.
Gas prices are high – Gas prices were actually at their highest level ever during the Bush administration. Of course, the GOP answer is to “drill baby, drill,” and oh, boy, do we ever. We now drill more than ever. Of course, drilling was never the answer. Our oil goes to the world market, not specifically to the US. The high prices can be attributed to factors that are out of our control, like increasing demand worldwide. They can also be attributed to factors that are under the control of Congress, should they choose to regulate, oil speculators. Speculators are also affecting the cost of food.
The video has not been immune to consequence and criticism. The producer of the video had a job offer with CNN. The offer has since been rescinded. Roger Ailes claims he wasn’t made aware of the video.