It’s déjà vu all over again at Fox News. Just a few hours before President Obama was sworn in for his second term, Fox took the same news that formed the basis for PolitiFact’s “Lie of the Year” – Mitt Romney’s false claim that Chrysler’s decision to build Jeeps in China would cost U.S. jobs – re-distorted the facts, declared Romney a truth teller and suggested President Obama had won re-election based on a lie. Oh, and while they were at it, attacked PolitiFact as leftist liars.
In case you’ve forgotten, Romney’s big lie was based on a truth – that Chrysler planned to produce Jeeps in China – but twisted to give the misimpression that the company would outsource American jobs there. Now that Chrysler has announced specific plans to do what it said it was going to do in the first place, Fox crowed that Romney was right all along.
As Karoli pointed out last month, Fox News and Karl Rove were equally responsible for spreading that lie and giving it so much traction. Here they go again.
In a Fox & Friends Weekend segment so laden with distortions and disingenuousness I can't name them all, Steve Doocy began with a false description of what made Romney’s lie a lie, saying that Romney’s campaign ad claimed Chrysler was “going to build Jeeps in China.” Doocy added, “But now it seems the joke is on them. Chrysler just announced that a hundred thousand Jeeps will actually be made in China starting next year. Just like Mitt Romney said.”
Um, not really.
In its original article rating Romney’s ad a “pants on fire” lie, PolitiFact wrote:
The ad ignores the return of American jobs to Chrysler Jeep plants in the United States, and it presents the manufacture of Jeeps in China as a threat, rather than an opportunity to sell cars made in China to Chinese consumers. It strings together facts in a way that presents an wholly inaccurate picture.
Furthermore, Romney originally said outright that Jeep planned to move all production to China. Rather than correct the lie, he doubled down with his campaign ad. As Jon Perr noted, this was all part of Romney's strategy to attack the auto bailout. The backfire was considered at least partially responsible for Romney's loss in November. Meanwhile, Chrysler has added 1,100 workers on a Jeep assembly line in Michigan in October and will add another 1,100 in Ohio in the fall. Not that any of that inconvenient truth came out during this segment.
To pile on to Fox’s lie about Romney's lie, Doocy introduced Seton Motley who, among other roles, is a columnist for Breitbart.com – which has its own issues with the truth. Not that Doocy mentioned that, either.
Instead, Doocy opened the discussion by saying Romney “knows a lot about the car companies” and that when he said, “Chrysler, they’re gonna wind up making Jeeps in China, the left-wing media just exploded, didn’t they?”
Seton came out of the gate with a falsehood, saying it was The Washington Post (instead of Tampa Bay Times’ PolitiFact) that had ruled this the Lie of the Year – as Doocy nodded in agreement.
Doocy feigned puzzlement as he “asked,” “So, you’ve got this fact-checking organization came in and said that that’s the ‘Lie of the Year.’ Why would a fact-checking organization say something like that? You, you would think that they would be non-political but in fact, sometimes they are a little political, aren’t they?” As if he didn’t know what Motley would say.
And sure enough, Motley said it: “I think the fact-checking movement is the latest in the ‘unbiased journalists’ movement which, prior to 1965 didn’t really exist… We created unbiased journalism to say, ‘Let’s pretend to be unbiased when we’re actually promoting leftism.’ I think the fact checkers is another advancement of that cause. And at the end of the day, they’re just leftists as they always have been.”
Now that Fox viewers had been warned that facts have a stinkin’ liberal bias, Doocy, more than three minutes into the segment, got around to reading a January 14 statement from Chrysler’s CEO that included these sentences: "We will keep the pillar cars of Jeep in the U.S. …Wrangler is one, The Grand Cherokee is another.”
Still, they ignored the significance. Fox posted a banner reading, “Chrysler backpedals.” And Motley made the completely unsubstantiated claim that $26.5 billion of the bailout was “a direct check written to the United Auto Workers union.”
Doocy closed the segment by saying, “Mitt Romney was right. Ironically, we find that out today, on the day the president’s sworn in for a second term.”
By the way, there’s reason to suspect Fox knows this was a bunch of baloney. Despite banners saying “PANTS ON FIRE” and “WHOOPS” (about PolitiFact) during the segment, FoxNews.com casts doubt on that by making the title of its video of the segment a question: PolitiFact's 'Lie of the Year' actually true?
Fox News: The network where lying liars lie about true lies.