The Obama campaign just released its first advertisement of this election season. It focused on his record of ethics and energy independence, specifically addressing the phony allegations from “secretive oil billionaires” (the Koch brothers?).
It did not take long for Fox News to start its attack on the ad by posting two articles this morning on Fox Nation that lamely attempt to refute it. The first article sported the headline: “Obama’s First Ad Riddled With Falsehoods.”
Here’s the funny part. When you click on the article it takes you to a page that does not cite a single example of a falsehood from the ad. In fact, it even links to a Brookings Institution report that affirms what the ad says about “clean economy” jobs.
The closest the Fox Nationalists get to a falsehood is the claim that PolitiFact rated Obama’s campaign promise to toughen ethics rules a “promised kept.” That’s actually true and the ad cited a January 29 posting as proof. However, PolitiFact revisited the issue two months later and reversed their decision because the administration had granted some waivers to the rules in order to seat a few appointees who did not comply completely with the new rules. But the claim in the ad was still correct as referenced.
The next item Fox raised had something to do with Solyndra. But all they wrote was that it was a company that went bankrupt. They don’t address in any respect what that has to do with anything in the Obama ad being untrue. It seems they just like to keep saying it.
Then came the Brookings Institution piece. Obama’s ad notes that the clean energy industry supports 2.7 million jobs. Brookings confirms that. Fox doesn’t dispute it. So where is the falsehood?
The second Fox Nation article linked to a column in the Washington Post that gave Obama four “Pinocchios” due to the same PolitiFact discrepancy noted above. It also provided a link to the PolitiFact page tracking Obama’s promises. The most striking thing about that is that out of 25 promises listed, only 6 were designated as broken. And even that number is suspect because some concerned matters that were out of the President’s control. For instance, they rated Obama’s promise to repeal the Bush tax cuts as “broken,’ despite the fact that it was the Republicans in congress who feverishly obstructed Obama’s efforts, and continue to do so. I think that a broken promise is when someone goes back on their word to do something. That is not the case here and it could even be said that the President kept the promise because he got the Republicans to agree to let the Bush tax cuts expire at the end of this year.
If Fox is going to accuse Obama’s campaign ad of being “riddled with falsehoods” it would be nice if they tried just a little to back up the claim. But that isn’t how Fox works. Since they are not encumbered with being actual journalists, they can just make stuff up and trust that their dimwitted audience won’t bother to do any research on their own. It’s not an honest way to do business, but it’s easy and it helps to spread the disinformation that is the reason for Fox’s existence.