Fox’s Republican debate moderators have a long history of pushing biased and extremist commentary

Gun Rights
  • Perino falsely claimed that union health insurance plans got a special “carve-out” from Obamacare. Perino claimed that during the 2010 legislative debate on the Affordable Care Act, unions “wanted their carve-out so that their Cadillac plans weren’t going to be taxed,” and “they ultimately got that.” But the legislation at the time had applied that delayed taxation “carve-out” to all high-cost insurance plans, not just union health insurance plans. [Media Matters, 4/9/10]

  • Varney blasted unions as “the antithesis of freedom” and an innovation killer. [Fox Business, Freedom Watch, 9/4/10]

  • Perino spread misinformation about a National Labor Relations Board decision. Conservative media figures had claimed that the National Labor Relations Board was seeking to ban companies from moving to states with lax labor laws by filing a complaint against Boeing’s decision to move the production facility for a 787 Dreamliner to South Carolina. In fact, the NLRB’s general counsel alleged that Boeing moved its 787 production line in retaliation for strikes by Boeing workers at its Seattle-area plant, which would constitute a clear violation of federal labor laws. Perino claimed that the NLRB was “rewarding friends” of the Obama administration. [Media Matters, 5/11/11; Fox News, America’s Newsroom, 5/11/11]

  • Varney attacked a plan by then-President Barack Obama to revitalize infrastructure because it “favors the unions entirely.” [Fox News, Fox & Friends, 9/6/11]

  • Varney demonized UAW’s “sweetheart deal” with GM, while leaving out the union’s concessions on cost-of-living wage increases. [Media Matters, 9/20/11]

  • Varney conducted a pro-management interview with a Walmart spokesperson about a planned strike by workers in a segment that was sponsored by Walmart. During the interview, Varney did not mention the concerns of the company’s workers, instead praising the company for “taking on” unions, asking if they planned to fire striking workers, and plugging the company’s charitable efforts following Hurricane Sandy. Following the segment, Fox News ran a banner ad explaining that “this program is brought to you by Walmart,” followed by an advertisement for the company’s Black Friday promotion. [Media Matters, 11/19/12]

  • Varney responded to the free-rider problem in Michigan’s “right to work” law by calling the law “a flat-out good thing.” [Fox News, Fox & Friends, 12/13/12]

  • Varney failed to disclose the corporate ties of a lobbyist he interviewed, who dismissed a fast-food worker strike. In July 2013, Varney interviewed Richard Berman of the Employment Policies Institute to provide a critical analysis of planned walkouts. Berman dismissed the idea of raising fast food employee wages, claiming that the hike in pay would result in lower employment. Berman, a corporate lobbyist, was allowed to provide this input without disclosing his organization’s ties to the fast food industry. [Media Matters, 7/29/13]

  • Perino seemingly blamed teachers unions for gun violence in schools. While criticizing then-film producer Harvey Weinstein for saying he would make an anti-NRA film, Perino suggested that he could better “tackle gun violence if” it “would take on the teachers unions.” [Fox News, The Five, 1/16/14]

  • Varney portrayed unions as a drag on the economy when discussing a UAW attempt to organize workers in a Tennessee plant. [Fox News, Fox & Friends, 2/13/14]

  • Perino falsely claimed that unions could make direct political contributions while defending a Supreme Court ruling overturning individual contribution limits. In defending the April 2014 McCutcheon v. FEC decision overturning the $123,200 individual direct political contribution limit per two-year election cycle, Perino claimed that unions face no limits on contributions. But she was incorrect; like corporations, unions could spend unlimited amounts for independent expenditures during elections, but they were still barred from making direct contributions to candidates or political parties — which is what the McCutcheon case was about. [Media Matters, 4/4/14]

  • Varney and his guests repeatedly assailed low-wage restaurant, home care, and university workers who were taking part in nationwide demonstrations organized by the Fight For $15. Over the course of six segments, Varney and hisguests attacked the protesters for demanding a $15-per-hour minimum wage and pushed frequently debunked myths that increased wages would destroy jobs and hurt business. On two occasions, Varney allowed restaurant executives — White Castle Vice President Jamie Richardson and Bennigan’s CEO Paul Mangiamele — to claim that increased wages would actually hurt workers. [Media Matters, 4/14/18]

  • Perino framed the Protecting the Right to Organize Act, a bill that sought to provide protections for workers attempting to organize, as an example of overreach by the federal government. “In the bill, they have something called the PRO Act,” Perino commented, during an interview with Sen. John Kennedy (R-LA). “If this passes, basically what that would do is supersede any state that has right-to-work laws. So the federal government basically trying to come in and layer on on top of states whose citizens have made decisions.” [NPR, 3/9/21; Fox News, America’s Newsroom, 4/1/21]

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