For Immediate Release
Brandon Hersh (202) 471-3205
"Fair and balanced" Fox News is Anything but in Coverage of Tea Parties
WASHINGTON - Despite its promise to deliver
"total fair and balanced network coverage" of the April 15 tea party protests,
Fox News repeatedly promoted the protests on that day, while hosts and guests,
including those on Fox Business, engaged in inflammatory rhetoric during their
coverage of the protests. As Media Matters
for America documented, Fox
News aggressively promoted the protests prior to April 15, encouraging viewers
to get involved across the country. The network also featured at least 20
segments on the protests and at least 73 in-show and commercial promotions for
them from April 6 to April 13. Indeed, Fox News has repeatedly
described the protests as "FNC Tax Day Tea
Examples of Fox News' and Fox Business' April 15
tea party coverage included:
- Discussing how to show
support for tea parties, Fox &
Gretchen Carlson claimed:
"You can hang [a teabag] from your mirror, too, like fuzzy dice."
- Fox News host Megyn
that "you can join the tea party action from your home if you go
to the FoxNation.com ... a virtual tax day tea party."
- Fox Business anchor
Cody Willard asked,
"Guys, when are we going to wake up and start fighting the fascism that seems to
be permeating this country?"
- Willard further stated
that conservatives and liberals are "both fascists who are taking all of my money and
building up corporate America with my welfare."
- Fox News host John
Gibson expressed "hope" that
millions of people" would participate in the protests.
- Fox Business anchor
David Asman told
viewers they "need[ed] to go" to the tea party merchandise website "no matter
what side of the issue you're on."
- Willard asked
a protester: "Are you
worried about me taking these dollars from you ... or destroying those dollars? I
mean that's what the government does anyway."
- On The O'Reilly Factor, Fox News
contributor Dennis Miller claimed
that "the average American taxpayer feels like they've just been
shot in the head in a deck chair on a sinking boat."
- Fox News host Sean
contributor Newt Gingrich "one serious question": "Is this now a battle between
capitalism and socialism?"
- Hannity also asked:
"Why don't we have more anger towards government, or is this the anger that
finally is beginning to emerge?"
- Discussing the protests
on Hannity, RedState's Erick
"[I]f we don't do something, if we don't turn the corner, we're going to be
enslaved to the government."
- Also on Hannity, radio host Bill "Bubba" Bussey
it was "time for a revolution."
- Hannity also featured
a Thomas Paine imitator to plug the tea parties.
Media Matters for America is a Web-based, not-for-profit, 501(c)(3) progressive research and information center dedicated to comprehensively monitoring, analyzing, and correcting conservative misinformation in the U.S. media.