Center for American Progress

Fox News: Deploying Reporters/Pundits to Distort the Facts

On everything from Enron, to tax cuts, to national security, Fox News has used its reporters, anchormen and pundits to parrot the Bush administration’s right-wing policies as if they were conventional wisdom or fact.

Fox anchor Brit HumeFOX: ANCHOR MAN SAYS ENRON HAS NOTHING TO DO WITH BUSH ENERGY POLICY: Despite the White House coordinating its energy policy with Enron’s Ken Lay during the energy crisis, Brit Hume said Enron, “is not a scandal about the Bush energy policy.” [ABC, 2/9/02; Fox anchor Brit Hume, 1/16/02]

Fox reporter Brian WilsonFOX: REPORTER IGNORES POLLS, SAYS EVERYONE HAS TO AGREE TAX CUTS HELPED: Fox News correspondent Brian Wilson claimed, “A lot of people are doing their taxes right now and seeing the benefits of that kind of tax cuts that’s in the system. Last time, everybody will have to agree, it did generate quite a little bump in the economy.” He said this despite Fox News’ own September 2003 poll showed that 61 percent of Americans believed tax cuts have not helped their families finances, and a January New York Times poll finding “fewer than one in five people said their tax burden had been eased.” [Fox reporter Brian Wilson, 3/5/04; FOX Poll, 9/23-24; NY Times, 1/18/04]

Fox host Bill O'ReillyFOX: HOST SAYS BUSH DID ‘EXACTLY THE RIGHT THING’: Despite questions about Bush’s Iraq policy, Bill O’Reilly declared “Americans are looking for a strong leader. Mr. Bush has been that. And most Americans had emotion invested in him. He did exactly the right thing after 9/11.” [Fox host Bill O’Reilly, 7/22/03]

Fox anchor Tony SnowFOX: ANCHOR SUGARCOATS IRAQ, OFFERS NO PROOF OF CLAIM: Despite burgeoning violence in Iraq and the Fox News Sunday host Tony Snow said Bush’s Iraq policy “has created peaceful conditions in more than 90 percent of Iraq.” He offered no source for his statistic= [Fox anchor Tony Snow, 10/14/03]

Fox reporter Jim AngleFOX: ANCHOR & REPORTER SPIN BUSH EDUCATION POLICY: Despite the prospect that Bush would propose reducing education funding, Fox’s Jim Angle reported “Bush seems to see education reform as the next big front in the battle for Civil Rights. And of course, it will be the number-one priority once he takes office.” When asked about Bush’s clear plan to push for vouchers, Angle said, “Well, it’s a mischaracterization, obviously, of his education plan.” [Fox reporter Jim Angle, 1/15/01]

Fox host Sean HannityFOX: HANNITY SPEWS UNSUBSTANTIATED LIES ABOUT IRAQ: Fox’s Sean Hannity claimed “We now have documents proving the connection between al Qaeda and Iraq but that’s not enough to convince people. We had weapons dumped in the Euphrates. That’s not enough to convince people.” He produced no evidence of his assertions, and they have never been substantiated. [Fox host Sean Hannity, 4/28/03]

Fox anchor Neil CavutoFOX: ANCHORMAN SUGARCOATS ANTI-UNION POLICIES: Chastising AFL-CIO President John Sweeney, Fox anchor Neil Cavuto claimed Republicans’ anti-union agenda was acceptable because it represented “a view of individual worker spirits, a boundary-less type of environment where managers can talk directly to workers rather than through an intermediary like unions.” [Fox anchor Neil Cavuto, 7/30/02]

Fox reporter Carl CameronFOX: REPORTER SAYS PUBLIC SUPPORTS RIGHT-WING ECONOMICS: While Fox News’ own polling showed 69 percent of Americans thought the economy under Bush was either “fair” or “poor” in early 2002, and 68 percent in a Bloomberg poll felt that Bush’s economic policies had made no difference on the economy or made it worse off, Carl Cameron reported, “Most polls show that the public prefers the Republican economic approach over that of Democrats.” [Fox News/Opinion Dynamics Poll, 1/9-10/02; Bloomberg Poll, 1-13/02; Fox reporter Carl Cameron, 1/18/02]

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