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Fox Batshit Crazy News
The Latest Lies from Dreck and Ins-Hannity
On December 14 Fox News's Glenn Beck reiterated a story that he and his henchman, Sean Hannity, had been harping on for several months--the allegation that the White House Science and Technology Adviser, John Holdren, advocates forced sterilization and compulsory abortion. Before being appointed by Obama, Holdgren was director of the Science, Technology and Public Policy program at the John F. Kennedy School at Harvard. This sensational "news" story was a lie.
The shred of truth in the story came from the fact that Holdren was the third author of a 1977 book entitled Ecoscience: Population, Resources, Environment in which extreme population measures were discussed but not advocated. Despite the fact that PolitiFact investigated and debunked Beck's July claims, he and Hannity have continued to repeat their wildly innacurate claims. For example, Beck claimed that Holdren advocated "forcing abortions and putting sterilants in the drinking water to control population." PolitiFact concluded that "the text of the book clearly does not support such a position...In fact, the authors make it clear that they did not support coercive means of population control...Certainly, nowhere in the book do the authors advocate forced abortions." (PolitiFact has won a Pulitzer Prize. Hannity and Beck have not.)
A week after the PolitiFact report, Beck was back at it again, describing Holdren, "musing about how to infect the nation's water to make women infertile for the benefit of Mother Earth." Hannity resumed the attack on Holdren as follows: "Science adviser Eric [sic] Holdren, who spoke out in defense of compulsory abortion and sterilization of women, he is in the cabinet." Pretty good: two errors in one sentence--Holdren is not a cabinet member, and his name is John, not Eric. On September 9, Hannity continued "he's (Obama) got, in the case of Eric [sic] Holdren, his science advisor, a guy that has talked in favor of compulsory abortion and sterilization." And on September 10: "Does Eric [sic] Holdren need--need to go--a guy that supports compulsory abortion and sterilization?" Stories like this migrate from ideological blogs to our premier ideological news network where talk-show hosts like Ins- Hannity and Dreck--whom many consider an accurate source of news follow up with drumbeat coverage. The Holdren story started with a blogger, then moved to Fox where it's been exploited for five months. No other mainstream media outlet has reported on the story which Faux News repeated 32 times.
Dreck and Ins-hannity drove the coverage that caused the resignation of two low-level appointees Van Jones and Yosi Sergant. Holdren is bigger game. They also have an unfactual vendetta going against Cass Sunstein an Obama appointee to the White House Office of Management and Budget. Sunstein has also been mentioned as a possible appointee to the U.S. Supreme Court. Exposing the lies of Hannity, Beck and others is the responsibility of fact-based journalists. PolitiFact and Media Matters can't do the job alone.
[I'm indebted to Lou Dubose in the January 1, 2010 issue of the Washington Spectator, PolitiFact and Media Matters for America for the above material. The Washington Spectator is an excellent little publication which is available by mail-$18 for 22 issues. I'm also indebted to the WizardofWhimsy for the caricatures. ]
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