Fox Nation vs. Reality: Fox News Recycles Three Year Old ObamaCare Lie

The professional prevaricators at Fox News really had to extend themselves to achieve their latest pinnacle of dishonesty. The lead story on their community web site, and Home of Flagrant Fallacies, Fox Nation, was another in their series of attacks on the Affordable Health Care Act (aka ObamaCare). The blazing headline read “Even Obama Buddy Warren Buffett Has Soured on ObamaCare: Scrap It and Start Over!”

Fox Nation

That would be a disconcerting development if it were true. But like so many things on Fox, it is not only untrue, it is an embarrassing fictionalization that reputable news enterprises avoid at all costs. Fox, it seems, seeks out this sort of malarkey.

Here’s the story. An obscure web site (Money Morning) that appears to thrive by hooking readers into dubious investment schemes, published an article that purported to be a recent interview with the Oracle of Omaha, Warren Buffett. The article, titled “Buffett: Scrap Obamacare and Start All Over,” presented quotes that were portrayed as his current, and negative, opinions about ObamaCare. For instance…

“We have a health system that, in terms of costs, is really out of control,” he added. “And if you take this line and you project what has been happening into the future, we will get less and less competitive. So we need something else.”

There are just two little problems: 1) The comments were actually made three years ago and 2) They were so far removed from context that Buffett’s spokesman disavowed them. The truth is that Buffett was commenting on a draft version of health care reform that was being debated in the senate in 2010. Contrary to the impression left by Money Morning that Buffett was criticizing ObamaCare in its current state as the law of the land, Buffet was merely offering his opinion of what he would prefer while the bill was still being crafted.

It is fair to say that Buffett had some constructive criticism at that stage of the bill’s development. However, when asked directly whether he would support the bill, he said that he would favor it over the other option of no bill at all. So Money Morning misrepresented the timing of the quotes, as well as the substance of their meaning. And to make matters worse, their blunder was picked up by numerous right-wing news outlets who were more than happy to hype what they thought was a falling out between Obama and Buffett.

Along with Fox Nation, the false story was published by the Wall Street Journal, the Weekly Standard, and the highly choleric NewsBusters. Since the publication, Money Morning edited their article to reflect that the content was three years old, but they did not acknowledge that their previous version was wrong (here is a link to the cached original text). Both the Weekly Standard and NewsBusters posted corrections. But neither of Rupert Murdoch’s properties, the Wall Street Journal and Fox Nation, have bothered to set the record straight.

The degree of dishonesty exhibited here was documented by PolitiFact, who did a thorough analysis. Their conclusion was that the misrepresentation of Buffett’s comments was a “Pants On Fire” lie. It is well worth reading their entire article. Included in their findings is the fact that Buffet expressed his support for ObamaCare just last year, and he praised the Supreme Court’s decision upholding it.

Be Sure To “LIKE” News Corpse On Facebook

It’s noteworthy that the Fox Nationalists posted their phoney story well after it was already known that it was wrong. And they have had plenty of time to discover the error and correct it, but have not done so. That’s because they don’t care whether their reporting is true or not. They only care if they can influence their gullible audience, even if that means misinforming them. And that is something that they do better than just about anybody else.

Fox Nation vs. Reality: Buying The Buffett Rule

C’mon guys, you’re making this way too easy for me.

This morning Fox Nation posted an item with the headline, “Poll: Americans Not Buying Buffett Rule.” That seems straightforward enough. The poll ought to simply show that a majority of respondents do not believe that raising taxes on millionaires will do any good. And since they are relying on the results of a poll conducted by Fox News, they should be able to support whatever preconceived myth they want to invent. But notice the very first paragraph of the story:

Fox Nation Buffett Rule

That’s right – the poll by Fox News itself says that “more voters think raising taxes on wealthy Americans will help rather than hurt the economy.” And the margin (16%) isn’t even close. Yet the Fox Nationalists paste a headline atop the article that is outright, diametrically opposed to the truth.

What’s next? A story about ObamaCare saving thousands of lives with a headline that says “ObamaCare Killing Patients In Droves.” Or maybe an article about the end of the Afghan war titled “Army Escalates Actions In Afghanistan.” And I can see the headline on election night if Obama is reelected: “Romney Wins!”

Are these people even trying anymore? Has it really come down to Fox just posting the headline they’d like to see above any random story, even if it says the complete opposite? They must really think their readers are idiots. And since they must know their audience better than anyone else, I will defer to their assessment.

HEY FOX NEWS: We Didn’t Start The Class War Fire

The top headline today on Fox Nation is a conspicuously slanderous lie (as opposed to their conventional slanderous lies): Oakland on Fire: Obama Gets Class War He Asked For.

Fox Nation

First of all, not only has Obama never asked for a class war, he has never even expressed support for the Occupy movement that the Fox Nationalists are inferring is a class war. This has been a disappointment to progressives who want the President to go beyond acknowledging the frustration of the protesters and the 99% of the nation whom they represent.

More importantly, the class war theme has been beaten to death by right-wingers intent on blaming the American people for the obscene economic disparity that is the work of wealthy corporations and their benefactors in Congress. If the elitist One-Percenters are afraid (and they should be) of the rampaging hordes approaching their villas with torches and pitchforks, then they should stop behaving like robber barons and start acting like patriots. They should care more about their country and fellow citizens than they do about hoarding wealth, ripping people off, and destroying the economy.

As Billy Joel said (sort of), “We didn’t start the [class war] fire,” but we’ll be more than happy to finish it, and we will prevail. Revolution is in our DNA. It’s how we gained liberty from lords and monarchs a couple of hundred years ago, and we will do it again. And this time many of the lords are actually on our side. The enemy isn’t really the Upper Crusties, it’s the conservative media and politicians acting on behalf of a minority of ultra-rightist neo-fascists (and that is not a reference to Hitler, but to the actual definition of fascism, which Mussolini called “corporatism.”). With respect to the foregoing, the best thing I can do in response is to just reprise an article I wrote a few days ago on this very subject:


CLASS WAR VICTORY! The Wealthy Have Surrendered, So Who’s Still Fighting?

“Conservatives say if you don’t give the rich more money, they will lose their incentive to invest. As for the poor, they tell us they’ve lost all incentive because we’ve given them too much money.” ~ George Carlin

The national debate triggered by the Occupy Wall Street protests has given the wealth gap a renewed focus in the public arena. And with good reason. That gap is wider today than it was just prior to the Great Depression; wider, in fact, than it has ever been. The brutality of that economic disparity has thrust our nation into a bitter and persistent recession. But it has also inspired millions of Americans to step forward and demand reforms that not only restore fairness, but readjust the balance of political power.

Conservatives regard this new activism as a declaration of class war. But it’s important to note that they only call it war when we fight back. The war was already in progress and, as Warren Buffett said, “We (the rich) are winning.” Now a new survey reveals that Buffett is not the only one-percenter that is fighting on our side. The Wall Street Journal (ironically) is reporting that…

“A new survey from Spectrem Group found that 68% of millionaires (those with investments of $1 million or more) support raising taxes on those with $1 million or more in income. Fully 61% of those with net worths of $5 million or more support the tax on million-plus earners.”

We can also count Bill Gates amongst the one-percenters who advocate more progressive taxes.


[Note: The same segment from ABC’s This Week was posted on Fox Nation with a headline that perverts reality beyond all recognition: “Bill Gates Knocks Down Obama’s Millionaire’s Tax.” Gates did no such thing. He continues his remarks saying that taxing millionaires by itself will not solve the debt problem, but no one is suggesting that it will. And his support for taxing the rich more is clear and unambiguous.]

When two-thirds of the people that will be affected by a tax increase support the increase, it begs the question, who are the opponents? For the answer you need look no farther than the Office of the Speaker of the House of Representatives:

John Boehner: “[T]here’s nothing that’s disappointed me more over the last 8 weeks than to watch the President of the United States basically give up on the economy, give up on the American people.” […] “People are frustrated, and that’s why the House has been focused all year on trying to create a better environment for job creation in our country.”

Boehner is wrong about Obama. The President has not given up on the economy or the American people. He has given up on Boehner. And Boehner’s assertion that the House has been focused on creating jobs is laughable. He and his Republican troops have done nothing but obstruct progress on every legislative attempt to stimulate job growth. In fact, they have been working hard to recast the issue as one that is centered on those they call the “job creators.”

House Republicans have a web site at jobs.gop.gov. The funny thing about the site is that it has no content whatsoever that addresses the plight of workers or the unemployed. The site isn’t really about jobs at all, as the heading makes abundantly clear: The House Republican Plan for America’s Job Creators. That’s an admission that the Republican agenda for jobs is really just an agenda for business owners and corporations. Click through to their plan and you will see a short list of proposals that hew narrowly to tax cuts for business, deregulation, and deficit reduction. It’s the same tired parade of failed policies that Republicans put forth as their solution to everything. None of those policies will produce jobs and, more importantly, they aren’t even what small businesses, the biggest driver of jobs, say that they want.

A new Gallup poll asked small business owners “What would be a primary motivation or reason for hiring any new employees?” The top three responses, representing 63% of respondents, were all related to demand.

“Small-business owners point to increased revenues (27%), an improving economy (20%), and growth or expansion of their business (17%) as their top motivations for hiring new employees in 2012.”

This survey affirms the analysis of most economists who agree that companies do not expand hiring when their taxes are cut or regulations are relaxed. They hire when they need to satisfy increased demand or exploit an economic opportunity. The Wall Street Journal surveyed a group of economists and concluded that…

“The main reason U.S. companies are reluctant to step up hiring is scant demand, rather than uncertainty over government policies, according to a majority of economists in a new Wall Street Journal survey.”

Once again, that’s the conservative Wall Street Journal reporting. It’s fair to presume that the economists the Journal surveyed were not from some sleeper cell of de-thawed Bolsheviks. In addition to this widespread agreement by experts that the GOP fixation on tax relief for the Upscalers is fiscal folly, the popular sentiment on Main Streets across the nation overwhelmingly favors making those who have benefited the most contribute more to restoring our country’s economic health. After all, the rich are the only ones who have not been called upon to share the sacrifice.

Shared Sacrifice

When the big picture is unfurled there are conclusions to draw that are too obvious to ignore. The American people support raising revenue via taxes. Economists agree that demand, not tax relief, drives job creation. And a majority of millionaires believe that their own tax rates are too low. Yet Republicans in Congress continue to stonewall. The intransigence of the GOP serves no constituency and has no discernible benefit politically. The only plausible return for their bullheadedness is in the form of financial support from a deep-pocketed minority of one-percenters who simply cannot abide one more cent in taxes.

That’s the naked truth that Boehner & Co. are having such a hard time defending. That’s why the Occupy movement has captured such a broad swath of public support. And that’s why it is all the more peculiar that the media still fails to present these issues honestly, and that many in the Democratic Party, including the President, have not unambiguously acknowledged the voice of the people and joined the fight for economic justice. If the wealthy have conceded that the people’s position is the one that ought to prevail, then where are the people’s representatives?

CLASS WAR VICTORY! The Wealthy Have Surrendered, So Who’s Still Fighting?

“Conservatives say if you don’t give the rich more money, they will lose their incentive to invest. As for the poor, they tell us they’ve lost all incentive because we’ve given them too much money.” ~ George Carlin

The national debate triggered by the Occupy Wall Street protests has given the wealth gap a renewed focus in the public arena. And with good reason. That gap is wider today than it was just prior to the Great Depression; wider, in fact, than it has ever been. The brutality of that economic disparity has thrust our nation into a bitter and persistent recession. But it has also inspired millions of Americans to step forward and demand reforms that not only restore fairness, but readjust the balance of political power.

Conservatives regard this new activism as a declaration of class war. But it’s important to note that they only call it war when we fight back. The war was already in progress and, as Warren Buffett said, “We (the rich) are winning.” Now a new survey reveals that Buffett is not the only one-percenter that is fighting on our side. The Wall Street Journal (ironically) is reporting that…

“A new survey from Spectrem Group found that 68% of millionaires (those with investments of $1 million or more) support raising taxes on those with $1 million or more in income. Fully 61% of those with net worths of $5 million or more support the tax on million-plus earners.”

We can also count Bill Gates amongst the one-percenters who advocate more progressive taxes.


[Note: The same segment from ABC’s This Week was posted on Fox Nation with a headline that perverts reality beyond all recognition: “Bill Gates Knocks Down Obama’s Millionaire’s Tax.” Gates did no such thing. He continues his remarks saying that taxing millionaires by itself will not solve the debt problem, but no one is suggesting that it will. And his support for taxing the rich more is clear and unambiguous.]

When two-thirds of the people that will be affected by a tax increase support the increase, it begs the question, who are the opponents? For the answer you need look no farther than the Office of the Speaker of the House of Representatives:

John Boehner: “[T]here’s nothing that’s disappointed me more over the last 8 weeks than to watch the President of the United States basically give up on the economy, give up on the American people.” […] “People are frustrated, and that’s why the House has been focused all year on trying to create a better environment for job creation in our country.”

Boehner is wrong about Obama. The President has not given up on the economy or the American people. He has given up on Boehner. And Boehner’s assertion that the House has been focused on creating jobs is laughable. He and his Republican troops have done nothing but obstruct progress on every legislative attempt to stimulate job growth. In fact, they have been working hard to recast the issue as one that is centered on those they call the “job creators.”

House Republicans have a web site at jobs.gop.gov. The funny thing about the site is that it has no content whatsoever that addresses the plight of workers or the unemployed. The site isn’t really about jobs at all, as the heading makes abundantly clear: The House Republican Plan for America’s Job Creators. That’s an admission that the Republican agenda for jobs is really just an agenda for business owners and corporations. Click through to their plan and you will see a short list of proposals that hew narrowly to tax cuts for business, deregulation, and deficit reduction. It’s the same tired parade of failed policies that Republicans put forth as their solution to everything. None of those policies will produce jobs and, more importantly, they aren’t even what small businesses, the biggest driver of jobs, say that they want.

A new Gallup poll asked small business owners “What would be a primary motivation or reason for hiring any new employees?” The top three responses, representing 63% of respondents, were all related to demand.

“Small-business owners point to increased revenues (27%), an improving economy (20%), and growth or expansion of their business (17%) as their top motivations for hiring new employees in 2012.”

This survey affirms the analysis of most economists who agree that companies do not expand hiring when their taxes are cut or regulations are relaxed. They hire when they need to satisfy increased demand or exploit an economic opportunity. The Wall Street Journal surveyed a group of economists and concluded that…

“The main reason U.S. companies are reluctant to step up hiring is scant demand, rather than uncertainty over government policies, according to a majority of economists in a new Wall Street Journal survey.”

Once again, that’s the conservative Wall Street Journal reporting. It’s fair to presume that the economists the Journal surveyed were not from some sleeper cell of de-thawed Bolsheviks. In addition to this widespread agreement by experts that the GOP fixation on tax relief for the Upscalers is fiscal folly, the popular sentiment on Main Streets across the nation overwhelmingly favors making those who have benefited the most contribute more to restoring our country’s economic health. After all, the rich are the only ones who have not been called upon to share the sacrifice.

Shared Sacrifice

When the big picture is unfurled there are conclusions to draw that are too obvious to ignore. The American people support raising revenue via taxes. Economists agree that demand, not tax relief, drives job creation. And a majority of millionaires believe that their own tax rates are too low. Yet Republicans in Congress continue to stonewall. The intransigence of the GOP serves no constituency and has no discernible benefit politically. The only plausible return for their bullheadedness is in the form of financial support from a deep-pocketed minority of one-percenters who simply cannot abide one more cent in taxes.

That’s the naked truth that Boehner & Co. are having such a hard time defending. That’s why the Occupy movement has captured such a broad swath of public support. And that’s why it is all the more peculiar that the media still fails to present these issues honestly, and that many in the Democratic Party, including the President, have not unambiguously acknowledged the voice of the people and joined the fight for economic justice. If the wealthy have conceded that the people’s position is the one that ought to prevail, then where are the people’s representatives?

IDIOT FOX: Bill O’Reilly Doesn’t Know What Income Taxes Are

In an analysis of Barack Obama’s speech before congress last night, Bill O’Reilly invited Obama’s press secretary, Jay Carney, to the program to discuss the speech and its proposals. As usual, O’Reilly demonstrated his immense capacity for misunderstanding even the simplest concepts. He also reminded us of why no Democrat should EVER appear on his show. Here is how Fox Nation is reporting the exchange:

Fox Nation

Technically, if Carney has been knocked into next week, then he’s ahead of the rest of us. Which is far better than living in the past like O’Reilly whose crusty and outdated approach to issues has proven to have failed unambiguously.

Much of the conservative media is disseminating the same absurd and false argument that O’Reilly made. The part of the interview that is making the rounds amongst the right-wingers this morning revolves around the example Obama gave of the inherent unfairness in the tax code:

“Right now Warren Buffett pays a lower tax rate than his secretary — an outrage he has asked us to fix.”

That is an objectively true statement. But that didn’t stop O’Reilly from pouncing on it with a fierce conviction of his righteousness as he demanded that…

“You’ve got to stop with Warren, OK? Warren is 88 years old or something. He says his secretary pays more tax. It’s not true. He’s talking about two different things. […] He’s talking about capital gains, Warren Buffett. The secretary pays federal income taxes, it’s two different taxes. But Warren and the president are trying to fool us. Stop it.”

Actually, the difference between earnings derived from capital gains and those derived from labor is immaterial with regard to reporting income. They are both subject to income taxes, (albeit at different rates) and are both reported as income on an income tax return. As can be clearly seen here:

Income Taxes

So contrary to O’Reilly’s lunk-headed theories, anyone who receives income, whether from capital gains or wages, pays federal income taxes. For O’Reilly and the rest of the right-wingnuts to deny it is foolish and/or dishonest. The points that both Obama and Buffett are making is that different types of income are being taxed at different rates and that the result is one that favors the rich.

The tax benefits enjoyed by wealthy folks like O’Reilly were put in place by legislators who respond to big donations from the very people who will receive the benefit. It is not surprising to hear O’Reilly and other elitist media pundits defend that system of reward. What is surprising (and sad) is that there are so many deluded, middle-class citizens who have allowed themselves to become lackeys of the master-class. The Tea Party is a pathetic example of the doctrine of the “useful idiot” who can be exploited to work on behalf of policies that are demonstrably harmful to their own interests.

Hopefully the ever more transparent greed of the 1% of the population that is hoarding most of the nation’s wealth will motivate the majority to rise up in opposition to the unfairness of the current situation. This is the time to make your voice heard. Your representatives and your local media need to know what the people are thinking. They can’t read minds. So do them and yourselves a favor and speak up – NOW!

Rupert Murdoch Dead Last In Charitable Giving

Conde Naste’s Portfolio Magazine has compiled a list of billionaires ranked by their charitable donations. The Generosity Index itemizes fifty of the wealthiest individuals as donors, relative to their wealth.

Coming in fiftieth is the miserly media mogul, Rupert Murdoch. It shouldn’t surprise anyone that an uber-conservative, Republican monopolist, should finish last in expressions of charity. The Republican me-first ideology that values greedy self-centrism predictably drives people like Murdoch to the bottom of these lists.

At the other end of the spectrum, the top five most generous billionaires (Warren Buffett, Bill Gates, Eli Broad, George Soros, and John Kluge) are all reliable supporters of Democrats and most have contributed to the campaign of Barack Obama.

This news bite is just a little more evidence that Republicans tend to be selfish, social Darwinians and Democrats tend to have more compassion and concern for the well being of others.