Wednesday, July 22, 2009
Echoing the Heritage Foundation's Foundry blog, the Drudge Report, and Rush Limbaugh, Fox News hosts Sean Hannity, Neil Cavuto, Steve Doocy, and Brian Kilmeade advanced the false claim that President Obama stated during a conference call that he has not read or is not familiar with provisions in the House health care reform bill. In fact, Obama did not make such a statement.
In the comments to which the Fox News hosts were referring, Obama was responding to a blogger who asked him to comment on a claim made in a July 15 Investor's Business Daily editorial -- which Media Matters for America has noted is false -- that the bill, in the blogger's words, "will make individual private medical insurance illegal." Obama responded, "You know, I have to say that I am not familiar with the provision you're talking about."
On the July 21 edition of his Fox News show, Hannity claimed Obama "continues to push the August deadline even though a conference call earlier today made it clear that he hasn't even read key provisions in the bill." Hannity also asserted that Obama is "not reading the bill too closely." Hannity then played audio of Obama stating, "I am not familiar with the provision you're talking about," falsely claiming that Obama was responding to a question "about a provision in the House bill."
On the July 21 edition of Your World, Cavuto did not challenge Sen. Jim DeMint (R-SC) when he claimed that Obama "doesn't even know what's in it, and he's admitted it."
And on the July 22 edition of Fox & Friends, Doocy claimed that Obama was asked "about one particular part, section 102," when he stated, "I am not familiar with the provision you're talking about." Kilmeade later stated, "[S]o I thought, OK, 102 -- it's over 1,000 pages. So it's no big deal. Maybe we are demanding too much."...(Remainder.)