Thursday, August 4, 2011

UnAmerican Fox News Told America The Debt Ceiling Did Not Matter

UnAmerican Fox News Told America The Debt Ceiling Did Not Matter

During the debt ceiling debate, Fox has relentlessly pushed economic policies and positions that experts have said would be harmful to the economy, including downplaying default concerns, openly advocating for default and a credit downgrade, and actively lobbying for a balanced budget amendment.

Fox Figures Consistently Dismissed Or Downplayed Concerns Over Government Default

Hannity: Democrats' "Doomsday Rhetoric Would Have You Believe" That If The Ceiling Deadline Passes, The "Economy Would Crumble." On the July 11 edition of his Fox News show, Sean Hannity said: "As the deficit reduction talks continue in Washington, Democrats have been ramping up their efforts to scare the American people into supporting this deal. Now, the left's doomsday rhetoric would have you believe that if Congress does not vote to raise the debt limit by August the 2nd, the American economy would crumble." [Fox News, Hannity, 7/11/11, via Media Matters]

Dobbs Calls Debt Ceiling Deadline A "False Date" And "Pure Fiction." On his July 11 Fox Business show, host Lou Dobbs called the August 2 deadline for raising the debt limit a "false date" and "pure fiction." Dobbs made his comments in response to J. Dennis Hastert, former Republican speaker of the House, who said that "the federal government can decide what it's going to pay, when, and where." [Fox Business, Lou Dobbs Tonight, 7/11/11, via Media Matters]

Carlson: "Some Republicans" Are Asking Whether Debt Ceiling Deadline Is A "Democratic Ploy." On the July 12 edition of Fox News' Fox & Friends, co-host Gretchen Carlson claimed that "some Republicans are saying that August 2 deadline, as I alluded to at the top of the show -- is that a Democratic ploy, or is that a hard and fast date now? Remember, back in April that was the first deadline date, and everyone kind of pooh-poohed it, and before you knew it, in the middle of that horrible earthquake tsunami in Japan, the Treasury secretary moved it." [Fox News, Fox & Friends, 7/12/11, via Media Matters]

Moore: "The Biggest Lie In This Whole Debate ... Has Been That The United States Is Going To Default On Its Debt." On the July 18 edition of Fox News' America's Newsroom, Fox News contributor Steve Moore claimed: "The biggest lie in this whole debate for the last six months has been that the United States is going to default on its debt, and I will tell you this point blank with 100 percent certainty: There will not be a default on U.S. securities, no matter what happens." [Fox News, America's Newsroom, 7/18/11, via Media Matters]

Doocy: Obama Is Trying To "Gin ... Up" Default Crisis As If "It's The End Of The World." On the July 19 edition of Fox News' Fox & Friends, co-host Steve Doocy responded to a Pew Research Center poll which claimed that 43 percent of independents say it's "not essential to meet deadline" by claiming, "It's that last number right there, the independents, that has got to horrify the White House, because they're trying to gin this up as if it's the end of the world." [Fox News, Fox & Friends, 7/19/11, via Media Matters]

Cavuto: "I Would Welcome A [Credit] Downgrade." On the July 27 edition of Fox News' Your World, host Neil Cavuto claimed: "I would welcome a [credit] downgrade. I really would. I think it would be the pain from which we have a gain." Fox News host John Stossel responded, "Maybe that would wake people up." [Fox News, Your World, 7/27/11, via Media Matters]

Morris: Offices That Would Close Without Increase In Debt Ceiling Are "Ones We Don't Much Care About." On the July 28 edition of Fox News' On the Record, Fox News contributor Dick Morris claimed that, if the debt ceiling is not raised, "some offices are going to close, but they are ones we don't much care about. I mean, who is going to go crazy because the National Labor Relations Board closes its doors, or the Federal Communications Commission or the Federal Trade Commission?" Morris later claimed that "the country is not going to fall apart" without agencies such as those. [Fox News, On the Record, 7/28/11, via Media Matters]
While Some On Fox Have Openly Advocated Against Raising The Debt Ceiling

Napolitano: "If I Were In The Congress, I Would Encourage Everybody To Vote Against Raising The Debt Ceiling." On the April 11 edition of his Fox Business show Freedom Watch, host Andrew Napolitano interviewed Rep. David Schweikert (R-AZ). During the interview, Napolitano spoke repeatedly about the debt limit and at one point said, "If I were in the Congress, I would encourage everybody to vote against raising the debt ceiling." From the show:

NAPOLITANO: You have a couple of crucial votes coming up, Congressman Schweikert ... I suggest to you, Congressman Schweikert, is one of the more crucial votes you'll have to make this year, and that's the vote on whether or not to raise the debt ceiling.

SCHWEIKERT: The debt ceiling.

NAPOLITANO: And here is where the Republicans alone -- they don't need the Democrats, they don't need Mrs. Pelosi and they don't need the Senate -- can stop the flow of red ink. Because if every Republican in the House, or a majority of the Republicans, simply says no, then the debt ceiling does not go up, and the president is forced to cover the debt service, defense, entitlements and discretionary spending just on what he collects every month. What are the chances of that happening?

SCHWEIKERT: Judge, I've got to tell you, you're speaking like I'm thinking, except there's a lot more in the details. What happens if we stand firm, and do we what's right on the debt ceiling vote, and the bond markets go nuts on us. Every point that interest rates go up on U.S. sovereign debt is close to another 100 billion dollars in debt service. And remember, the discussion is raising the debt ceiling functionally to pay the bills that the previous Congress have already spent the money on.

NAPOLITANO: Correct. Correct, correct.

SCHWEIKERT: And so where do you find the balance of convincing the world debt markets that we're taking our debt seriously, so we don't panic them, and at the same time we bend this curve in the spending? This is walking a tightrope, because if we screw up, boom, every bit of savings we've accomplished gets eaten up by higher interest rates, and if we don't do it enough, then the left keeps buying their next election by this crazy spending.

NAPOLITANO: Last question, Congressman Schweikert. And if I were in the Congress I would encourage everybody to vote against raising the debt ceiling. But you've analyzed this in a most respectful and intelligent way. What will the Republicans get from the president and the Democrats in return for voting to raise the debt ceiling that will permanently, permanently stop this red ink and this madness? [Fox Business, Freedom Watch, 4/11/11, via Media Matters]

Napolitano Has Repeatedly Spoken Against Raising The Debt Limit. Napolitano has frequently used his Fox Business show as well as guest host positions on the Fox News Channel to speak against raising the debt limit. As a guest host on the March 10 edition of Fox News' Glenn Beck, Napolitano urged Rep. Jason Chaffetz (R-UT) and Sen. Jeff Sessions (R-AL) to vote against the debt limit. During the January 4 edition of Freedom Watch, Napolitano said, "It's an easy one for me -- the debt ceiling should not be raised." [Fox News, Glenn Beck, 3/10/11, via Media Matters; Fox Business, Freedom Watch, 1/4/11, via Media Matters]

Bolling: "I Say Let Them Default." As a guest co-host on the April 13 edition of Fox & Friends, Fox Business host Eric Bolling told Stuart Varney, "I say let them default. ... What's going to happen?" Varney replied, "Armageddon is going to happen." From Fox & Friends:

VARNEY: There's a great danger in that. As you approach this deadline, if you're even talking about default, as even a possibility, a remote possibility, you really spook the world's money people. You really spook them.

BOLLING: I say let them default.

VARNEY: Really?

BOLLING: Let them go. What's going to happen?

VARNEY: You're a brave guy.

BOLLING: What's going to happen?

VARNEY: Armageddon's going to happen.

BOLLING: How is it going to be Armageddon? Let's talk about that for a second.

VARNEY: OK. If we fail to allow ourselves to borrow any more money --


BOLLING: That's got to stop. That will force it to stop. That will guarantee --

VARNEY: So you've got an immediate $150 billion cut every month.

BOLLING: That will guarantee in order for it to come out of default, you have to stop spending. [Fox News, Fox & Friends, 4/13/11, via Media Matters]

Hannity: "I Would Not Vote To Raise The Debt Ceiling." During a panel discussion on the April 12 broadcast of his Fox News' show, Sean Hannity said, "If I was in Congress, I would not vote to raise the debt ceiling." From Hannity:

HANNITY: If I was in Congress, I would not vote to raise the debt ceiling.


HANNITY: Vote for a balanced budget amendment -

SCHOEN: I would with a plan to balance the budget absolutely.

[STAN] DZIEDZIC [FMR. OLYMPIC WRESTLER]: I think it is dangerous to go down that path.


DZIEDZIC: Well, you have to remember that -

HANNITY: Wouldn't force him to cut?

DZIEDZIC: If that was the end result, but you may - you may force a risk premium for uncertainty on the bonds -

HANNITY: Isn't China, isn't Europe lecturing us now on capitalism and how if we don't get control of our debt -- wouldn't they see that as a sign that America may actually get it? [Fox News, Hannity, 4/12/11, accessed via Nexis]

Palin: "Hells No, I Would Not Vote To Increase That Debt Ceiling." On the April 29 edition of Fox News' Special Report, Fox News contributor Sarah Palin responded to a question about whether she would vote to increase the debt ceiling by claiming: "Hells no, I would not vote to increase that debt ceiling. Otherwise it just shows the American public we're not serious yet, we're still going to incur more debt." [Fox News, Speical Report, 4/29/11, via Media Matters]

Bolling: "We Should" Let The Debt Ceiling Expire "And See What Happens." On the July 28 edition of Fox News' Fox & Friends, Bolling responded to White House press secretary Jay Carney's statement that people unconcerned with raising the debt ceiling should "buy and hold [and] see what happens" by claiming, "He was right, though. We should buy and hold and see what happens." Bolling later claimed, "That downgrade and default thing that they keep throwing out there and scaring, you know, the bejesus out of people, it won't matter." [Fox News, Fox & Friends, 7/28/11, via Media Matters]

But Economic Experts Have Agreed That Failing To Raise Debt Ceiling And Defaulting Would Have Disastrous Consequences

Zandi: "In A Post-Default World, Financial Markets Would Unravel And The U.S. And Global Economy Would Enter Another Severe Recession." In a July 15 Washington Post op-ed, Moody's economist Mark Zandi stated: "The Obama administration and Congress must raise the federal debt ceiling by Aug. 2. That's all there is to it." Zandi warned that failure to do so could create "another severe recession" in "U.S. and global econom[ies]." From The Washington Post...
Since Fox News is a mouthpiece for Anti-American far Right conservatives it serves their interests to see the country dive into an even deeper recession. That way they could blame the consequences on a Democratic president. Now that a debt ceiling bill has been passed that is all about spending cuts without raising revenue, it is Republcans who are resposnsible for the continued recession.