THOMAS BISHOP & ANDY NEWBOLD/Media Matters for America
Over three days, Fox News spent at least 17 segments and over 43 minutes of airtime smearing Massachusetts U.S. Senate candidate Elizabeth Warren over benign comments she made about infrastructure spending and the success of the wealthy.
On July 30, Democrats announced that Warren will be given a key speaking slot at the Democratic National Convention in Charlotte, North Carolina in September.
In response to that announcement, Fox, over the following three days, seized on benign remarks Warren had previously made in an effort to smear her. Warren's opponent is Sen. Scott Brown, whom Fox relentlessly campaigned for in 2010.
One of the comments Fox fixated on came from a recent ad released by Warren's campaign. Fox claimed that in the ad, Warren said she wanted the United States to be "like China" and that she may have "call[ed] for America to go communist." In fact, the Senate candidate said that the U.S. should increase its infrastructure spending in order to compete with countries like China. Warren's comment -- which is supported by studies showing that U.S. infrastructure is deteriorating and needs significant investment -- echoed a similar observation from former Fox contributor Newt Gingrich.
Fox also attacked Warren over a comment she made during a campaign stop in August 2011 that "[t]here is nobody in this country who got rich on his own." But Warren was merely making the unremarkable observation that the private sector success of the wealthy is driven by government investments funded by the public -- an observation Fox itself has made.
Fox Devotes At Least 17 Segments And Over 43 Minutes To Smearing Warren
Fox began their attacks on Warren on July 31, following the announcement that she will be speaking at the Democratic National Convention.
Among the attacks over Warren's proposal to spend more on infrastructure projects like roads and bridges was Fox Business host Stuart Varney calling Warren a "collectivist" and "anti-private enterprise." Among the attacks over Warren's unremarkable observation on private sector success was Fox's Sean Hannity calling Warren and Obama -- who made similar remarks that were distorted by Fox -- "clueless."
Fox's Sarah Palin, commenting on Warren speaking at the convention, said that Warren has "almost confessed to her Marxist views."
Media Matters monitored Fox's coverage of Warren on July 31, August 1, and August 2 -- the three days following the announcement that she would be speaking at the Democratic National Convention -- and found that Fox News devoted at least 17 segments, including teases, and over 43 minutes to attacking Warren over her comments.