Although Martha MacCallum is officially a "news anchor," she doesn't appear to take the Fox "fair & balanced" "news" mission very seriously. But today's "America's Newsroom" discussion about the fate of health care was "fair and balanced" in that the two guests represented different perspectives. Martha didn't offer any partisan commentary. So it's all good, right? Not so fast. MacCallum began with video from a $6 million anti-health care reform ad from a "women's group." However, she failed to identify the "women's group" behind the ad that provided her with the basis of the discussion about what happens if health care reform is overturned. But this "women's group" just happens to be the rip-roaring radical right wing homophobic "Concerned Women for America." And that means that the premise for Martha's piece is based on a partisan ad from not just some generic women's group but a virulently partisan one. So much for "fair & balanced!
In reporting on the ad, MacCallum described it has having been produced by "a women's group." The Fox chyron merely identified the source of the ad as "a women's group." There was nothing in the video to identify the source. Well, ladies and gentlemen, it so happens that "Concerned Women for America" isn't just your average ladies garden club. It was begun by Beverly LaHaye. Bev's hubbie, Tim LaHaye rose to fame with his end-times, rapture ready "Left Behind" novels. The "concerned" women are really concerned with homosexuals who, they believe, have a mental disorder which makes them prone to pedophilia. Among their more fanciful notions is the one that gay marriage "entices children to experiment with homosexuality." And despite being proudly patriotic, they want to deny access to abortion for American female members of the military even in cases of rape.
They are also opposed to icky sex education - a position articulated by their president, Penny Nance, a sweet Southern mom who appears on Fox to promote whatever's hot in the American Taliban "family values" crowd. They are opposed to the Violence Against Women Act because, in its expansion of protection to lesbians, it promotes the "gay agenda." And despite their commitment towards "decency" in the media, the concerned ladies didn't say a word about Rush Limbaugh's three day sexist attack on Sandra Fluke.
And now the group has launched a $6 million dollar ad that shows a "first-hand account of the devastating effects of government-mandated health care including delayed care, denied care, and skyrocketing cost." (My, my, they must have had to have sold lots of cookies to amass that kind of cash!) As the "Church Lady" would say, "isn't that special!"
Addendum - "Jezebel" has a great report on the"simplistic" and "fearmongering" ad in which they describe how the ad warns that the government won't let you select a doctor. Their follow up comment is so true: "Know what's a helluva lot worse than not being able to pick your doctor? Not being able to go to the fucking doctor at all." And BTW, the ad was released by the CWA's "Legislative Action Committee" which is considered a social welfare group under tax law. And Fox complains that Media Matters isn't in accordance with the IRS? Please!