It’s pretty well-known among those of us not sipping the Kool-Aid/tea combination that Fox News is an arm of the Republican Party, and with that goal in mind they willfully spread propaganda and misinformation every opportunity they get, provided it benefits conservative political ideology.
1) Snow disproves global warming.
Conservative publications, especially Fox News programs, often question the validity of human-influenced climate change by saying that snow means the world is obviously not warming very much. What they fail to realize is that we aren’t talking about rises in temperatures of tens of degrees, so it wouldn’t affect snowfall. In fact, superstorms that occur in winter are likely to drop huge amounts of snow, because as the polar ice caps melt and less water is trapped by arctic ice, the amount of water in the air will increase — and thus precipitation, such as snow or rain, will also increase. Here’s a video example of someone from Fox getting stupid on air:
2) Lunar volcanoes disprove climate change, too.
Yeah, it’s hard to figure out how they got that idea, so here’s Bill Nye stepping in to correct them:
3) The Bush tax cuts expiring is going to cause a huge increase in taxes for the middle class, and those dirty nasty liberals just want to steal your hard-earned money.
Yeah, not quite. In fact, the Bush tax cuts are thought to be a major contributor to the deficit. Fox News, though, is in the habit of showing extremely misleading numbers as seen in the following graphic:
Any high school math student can tell you that’s an extremely misleading way to present a graph.
4) Green jobs aren’t worth investing in.
Fox News has been running this myth again and again, from Solyndra to…well, just really Solyndra. Fox likes to use failed green-energy companies to “prove” that President Obama investing in green energy for the future is fiscally irresponsible. Unfortunately, the numbers just don’t pan out. First of all, as said time and time again, a certain percentage of companies always fail, and the government has invested in or given grants to companies that weren’t successful before, and will many times in the future. Fox is only upset because it is seen as a “leftist” goal — you know, sustainability. Second, as reported by Media Matters, the green energy industry added 150,000 jobs in 2011 and is seen as one of the fastest-growing industries in the country. Here’s a graph they provided on the matter:
5) Dr. Suess movies are just leftist propaganda.
The host of Lou Dobbs Tonight on the Fox Business Network, Lou Dobbs, said that The Lorax is leftist propaganda and, “The president’s liberal friends in Hollywood [are] targeting [a] younger demographic using animated movies to sell their agenda to children.” When speaking on The Lorax and another movie, The Secret World Of Arrietty, he described them as, “Two new films out this year, plainly with an agenda, plainly demonizing the so-called ’1 percent’ and espousing the virtue of green-energy policies, come what may.”
In reality, both movies have valuable lessons for children that have absolutely nothing to do with political ideology.
6) Rape victims are asking for it.
As part of the right’s war on women, Fox News has consistently had contributors and talk show hosts or guests patiently explain why it is a woman’s fault if she is raped. It may be your clothes, your attitude, or the fact that you’re a well-known slut, but whatever it is, it’s your fault.
If I need to explain to you why this is wrong, you’re a terrible person. It is not a woman’s fault when she is raped, and saying that it is contributes to America’s silent endorsement of rape culture. Not only that, but men are raped as well, and stats point to it being a male problem — although 10 percent of rapes have a male victim, 99 percent of rapes have a male perpetrator. Strangely, those two percentages together reflect the approximate incidence of homosexuality in males, showing that rapists don’t care what you’re wearing. Unless, of course, we start saying that men need to dress more modestly or they’re going to be raped.
7) Romney was going to win in a landslide.
You can work through this one on your own.
8) Healthcare reform is a government takeover of healthcare and is socialism.
Well, they’re still screaming that one loud and proud, even though it was declared PolitiFact’s (an independent and objective fact-checking arm of The Tampa Bay Times) 2010 “Lie Of The Year.” It simply isn’t true. A true government takeover of healthcare would result in a tax raise designed to cover the costs of everyone in America’s medical expenses, and we wouldn’t have to worry about paying for insurance. Instead, the Affordable Care Act is a government reform of healthcare regulations, designed to drive the price down and make insurance affordable.
9) The Affordable Care Act contains “death panels.”
NO. It doesn’t. It’s a conservative favorite, it seems, despite being completely untrue. Although, because Fox News very rarely issues corrections for false statements (all journalists are wrong sometimes, but journalistic integrity means acknowledging and apologizing), it’s unlikely that viewers know that yet. In fact, that one was PolitiFact’s 2009 “Lie Of The Year!” It looks like they’re trying to form a tradition over there at Fox.
10) There’s been more debt formed under Obama than every other president combined.
While the debt has certainly increased under Obama, and it’s debatable whose fault that is, there has not been more formed under Obama than all other presidents combined. In fact, the debt has increased about 40%, from $11 trillion to $15 trillion. We’re a nation founded on debt. Other conservatives from other networks have tried to claim the same thing, but it simply isn’t true.
11) You’re going to jail if you don’t buy health insurance once the Affordable Care Act takes effect.
Not only have they stated as such (PolitiFact counts four times during 2009 that the above lie was told on Fox News programs), but they’ve also lied about lying about it (see number 12). You aren’t going to jail, and never were.
12) Fox News never reported you’re going to jail if you don’t buy health insurance.
This one is specifically attributable to Bill O’Reilly, who rigorously defended the above accusation, saying “Fox News never reported that.” He tried to defend after-the-fact by saying they were talking about a specific time during the development of the bill, but fact-checking organizations and other news organizations aren’t buying it.
13) $250,000 is “middle-class income,” and families earning that much aren’t wealthy at all.
When Obama proposed raising taxes on all households with a yearly income of more than $250,000, anti-tax conservatives were outraged. Fox News contributor Charles Payne said, on an episode of America Live, said:
You know, realistically, I think the question is a lot of people resign themselves to the idea that taxes are going to go up. The real thing is how do you define rich. I think this is really the big sticking point, and this where I have a big problem because 250,000 certainly is not the real definition of rich and certainly that’s not where the average American family who gets to that point should be punished for all the work that they put in.
Ahhh. Punished. Unfortunately, the Census Bureau, Tax Policy Center and fact-checkers disagree; $250,000 annually represents the top two percent of Americans, which is hardly middle class. Median income is approximately one-fifth of that amount.
14) Tax cuts for the wealthy are good for everyone. They’re economic vitamins!
Not so much. In fact, historical evidence and math both point to the opposite; cutting taxes for the wealthy has been shown, by everyone from Paul Krugman to Stephen King, to do nothing for jobs or the economy. In truth, tax cuts of that nature are likely to increase wealth and income disparity and inequality among Americans, creating a definite sense of class warfare. That, combined with austerity policies failing across Europe and being used somewhat in the United States, is creating a sense of unhappiness and instigating calls for reform. Fox News viewers, however, won’t know that.
The basic reason is that tax cuts for the rich don’t promote spending, so they don’t put money back into the economy. Conversely, tax cuts for those with lower levels of income do promote spending. The difference? Lower-income families are more likely to be “strapped for cash,” meaning that spending is limited by income. Oftentimes with wealthier individuals or families, the same does not hold true, with spending being limited by a variety of other factors, not necessarily year-to-year income. Cutting their taxes simply allows them to put more (unnecessary) money away, basically removing it from the economy for a duration of time.
15) In the 1970s, global COOLING was the enemy of climate science.
REALITY: There Was No Consensus Among Climate Scientists On Global Cooling In The 1970s. A September 2008 article in the Bulletin of the American Meteorological Society, a peer-reviewed publication, investigated the “pervasive myth” that “there was a consensus among climate scientists of the 1970s that either global cooling or a full-fledged ice age was imminent.” The article found:
“A review of the climate science literature from 1965 to 1979 shows this myth to be false. The myth’s basis lies in a selective misreading of the texts both by some members of the media at the time and by some observers today. In fact, emphasis on greenhouse warming dominated the scientific literature even then.” [Bulletin of the American Meteorological Society, September 2008]
In case that’s not enough lying by Fox, here’s an awesome compilation courtesy of Jon Stewart:
Fox News has no sense of journalistic integrity.