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Wallace Hosts Limbaugh on Faux News Sunday for Half-Hour Deluge of Misinformation

Tuesday, November 03, 2009

By Media Matters

Fox News Sunday host Chris Wallace dedicated the first half of his November 1 program to an interview with radio host Rush Limbaugh, during which Wallace allowed and in some cases prompted Limbaugh to advance numerous misleading, baseless, or outrageous claims, as well as engage in inflammatory attacks on President Obama.

Limbaugh repeats false, misleading, and baseless claims without challenge

Limbaugh repeats discredited claim that individual health care mandate is unconstitutional. Limbaugh responded to Wallace's question about whether he thought the "individual mandate is constitutional" by stating, "No. ... I do not think it's constitutional. Chris, this is -- these are dark days for the country. This is deadly serious stuff. This is a total attempt to remake the country as founded and constituted. And it worries me greatly." Several other conservative media outlets including The Washington Times and Fox News have pushed the claim that health care reform proposals under consideration by Congress are unconstitutional.

In fact, legal experts have disputed claim that individual mandate is unconstitutional. In an October 23 Politico piece, University of California, Irvine law professor Erwin Chemerinsky stated, "Under an unbroken line of precedents stretching back 70 years, Congress has the power to regulate activities that, taken cumulatively, have a substantial effect on interstate commerce." According to's Timothy Noah, Yale law professor Akhil Reed Amar and Fordham Law School dean William Treanor debunked conservatives' argument that the individual mandate could be considered a "taking" in violation of the Fifth Amendment, noting that such a policy is permissible under the Commerce Clause. George Washington University law professor Orin Kerr, who served as Republican Sen. John Cornyn's special counsel for Supreme Court Justice Sonia Sotomayor's confirmation proceedings, has responded to a similar claim made by Fox News senior judicial analyst Andrew Napolitano by stating that Naplitano's argument that "President Obama's health care proposals are unconstitutional because they exceed the commerce clause power" was filled with "errors, misstatements, and plainly weak claims."...(Remainder.)



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