Media Matters Defends Obama’s False Accusation About Fox News
Well, that didn’t take long. Media Matters is nothing, if not consistent in their immediate defense President Obama, no matter what the situation is.
David Corn of Mother Jones, has released a new book, ‘Showdown’ in which President Obama finds a likely scapegoat for the humiliating losses Democrats faced in the 2010 mid-term elections and his low poll numbers. Whenever something goes wrong for the President, he finds somebody to blame (other than himself) and this time it’s Fox News. From Politico:
According to Mother Jones Washington bureau chief David Corn’s new book, “Showdown,” Obama told union officials in 2010 that he was “losing white males” who were tuning into Fox News. “Fed by Fox News, they hear Obama is a Muslim 24/7, and it begins to seep in…”
Bret Baier, host of Fox News ‘Special Report’ fired back:
For the record, we found no examples of a host saying President Obama is a Muslim.
That’s all it took for Media Matters to fire on all cylinders to prove Obama was 100% right about his comments, blasting out this “research” item this am:
Bret Baier Ignores Fox News’ Role In Fueling Obama Muslim Myth
I’ll go through the list shortly, but the first matter is to completely dismiss part of their post. Every item under the sub-heading, “Fox Has Repeatedly Questioned Obama’s Christian Faith” is a complete joke as it relates to Obama’s complaint. Citing Sean Hannity’s complaint the President didn’t issue an Easter proclamation in no way can be tied to any “Obama is a Muslim” myth.
In taking a look at the actual examples where somebody on Fox said “Muslim” and “Obama” in the same sentence, the research team at Media Matters was able to produce a total of seven — that’s right — seven examples. Two examples came from the same ‘Special Report.’
The first example is the following screen shot:
If you watch the edited clip Media Matters posted (and yes, it was edited), Fox was talking about Barack Obama’s experiences in the Muslim world as a positive in dealing with Muslim leaders. This report was done during a trip to the Middle East by the President and just prior to a major speech in Cairo.
In the same report, Media Matters cites Charles Krauthammer’s comments about the President:
On Special Report, discussing an Obama trip to the Middle East, Fox News contributor Charles Krauthammer stated: “I think it’s good for the president to use the fact that he does have a Muslim upbringing, relations, contacts, and an affinity for Islam as a result. That’s important. He should use that in trying to warm relations with the Muslim world.”
Of course, Media Matters in knowing their fan base are too lazy to actually watch the clip would miss the first few words Krauthammer said. He said, “Well it’s an important speech and I think it’s good for the President…”
This is how deceptive Media Matters behaves. Clearly, Krauthammer is praising the President, not trying to fuel some dark conspiracy theory.
The other examples do not dismiss what Baier said. He claimed “no host” has ever said Obama is a Muslim and he’s right. But let’s examine the examples MM cited:
Brian Kilmeade Asks, “If [Obama] Was Worried” About People Thinking He’s Muslim, “Wouldn’t He Have … Kept His Name As Barry And Not Barack?”
Yes, clearly a stupid question by Kilmeade, whether it is rhetorical or not.
Fox Contributor Steve Hayes: “It’s Hard To Sort Of Unwind” Idea Obama Is A Muslim “Now.”
Another statement and provides the kind of fodder MM looks for.
Hume Falsely Claimed Obama’s Half-Brother Said Obama Had A “Muslim Background.”
This was before Obama was even elected as it was said back in June of 2008. In addition, Hume issued an on-air correction a week later. So this is a truly lame example on their part.
Their next example cites the absurd Donald Trump’s claim about Obama being Muslim due entirely to the birth certificate issue. This would be a devastating example, except for the fact that Donald Trump appeared on other networks spouting his bizarre birther theories, including MSNBC.
In fact, according to the Pew Project for Excellence in Journalism, Fox News gave the least amount of coverage to the birther bonanza when Donald Trump was floating it. That’s right. Less coverage than CNN or MSNBC (who provided the most). So unless Media Matters and the President want to include MSNBC and CNN as networks “fueling the Obama is a Muslim” myth, this example is super weak.
Their final example is from obscure Pastor that nobody has ever heard of:
Fox Guest [Robert Jeffress] Suggested Obama Is Secretly Muslim
And that’s it!
Now let’s look at the numbers. Media Matters went through their archives and were able to find a total of seven examples to justify Obama’s claim and to refute Baier going back to June of 2008. Fox is on 24 hours a day which includes repeat programming. Using the baseline of 30 days for a month, if we multiply that by 24 hours, we get 720 hours of programming a month by Fox News.
720 hours a month of programming is 8,640 hours a year of programming. If we start in June 2008 and go to their latest example which is April of 2011, we’re talking about 45 months of programming. Using a round figure, Fox has had about 32,000 hours of programming sincce June, 2008 and amongst those tens of thousands of hours, Media Matters was only able to dig up seven examples?
Remember, the President said:
Fed by Fox News, they hear Obama is a Muslim 24/7
His claim is that Fox News is at the forefront of this theory and that simply is not true. The President wanted a good scapegoat for his troubles. Fox News was the target of his false assertion and Media Matters was happy to carry his water.