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GOP Turns To News Corp. To Sell Ryan's Budget Plan

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Headlined to None 4/5/11

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In recent days, News Corp. has been a welcome host for the GOP to roll out Rep. Paul Ryan's budget plan, with Fox News Sunday hosting Ryan to tout his proposal; The Wall Street Journal  publishing an op-ed by Ryan hyping his "GOP Path to Prosperity"; and Sean Hannity hosting Ryan to discuss his plan to "save America," among other Fox News appearances. Indeed, according to Politico, the GOP "choreographed" their rollout of Ryan's proposal with these News Corp outlets.

Politico: GOP "Carefully Choreographed The Ryan Rollout"

Politico: "Republicans Have ... Carefully Choreographed The Ryan Rollout." In April 4 article, Politico noted:

Republicans have also carefully choreographed the Ryan rollout. Ryan went on "Fox News Sunday" to begin to frame the discussion as his party is "saving" Medicare and Medicaid. To explain the details, Ryan went to The Wall Street Journal's opinion pages with a Tuesday op-ed. [Politico4/4/11]

Indeed, News Corp. Has Been A Welcome Host For Rollout Of Ryan's Plan

Fox News Sunday Hosted Ryan On April 3 For An "Exclusive First Look" At His Budget Plan. On April 3, Fox News Sunday hosted Ryan for what host Chris Wallace called "an exclusive first look" at House Republicans' "dramatic new plan to cut spending and reform entitlements." [Fox Broadcasting Co.'s Fox News Sunday, 4/3/11, accessed via Nexis]

WSJ Publishes Ryan Op-Ed On His Plan, Titled, "The GOP Path to Prosperity." On April 5, The Wall Street Journal published an op-ed by Ryan introducing his plan, headlined, "The GOP Path to Prosperity." [The Wall Street Journal4/5/11]

Fox Hypes Ryan's Upcoming  Hannity Appearance: "So Just How Much Does Paul Ryan Think He Can Save America?" An April 5 Fox promo for Ryan's upcoming appearance on Hannity asked, "So Just How Much Does Paul Ryan Think He Can Save America?" [Fox promo, 4/5/11]

Fox Has Long Served As A GOP Communications Arm

Fox Figures Use GOP "Ram It Through" Language To Attack Health Care Reform. During the debate over the health care reform bill, numerous Fox figures, including Sean Hannity and Greta Van Susteren, as well as Newt Gingrich and Rick Santorum -- both of whom were employed by the network at the time -- mimicked Republican politicians' language by claiming Democrats were attempting to "ram it through" Congress. [Media Matters2/25/10]

Fox Adopts Opposition's Choice Of Phrase "Obamacare" For Health Care Reform. Fox has consistently referred to the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act as "Obamacare," both in its straight news reporting and opinion shows. Despite acknowledging that the phrase is the name preferred by opponents to the health care bill, Fox figures have even gone so far as to replace the actual name of the bill with the phrase "Obamacare" when reading press releases that referred to the law as "the Affordable Care Act." [Media Matters3/4/113/23/11]

Scott Passes Off GOP Press Release As Original Reporting, Typo Included. During the February 10, 2009, edition of Fox News' Happening Now, co-host Jon Scott purported to "take a look back" at how the economic recovery plan "grew, and grew, and grew." In his report, Scott referenced seven dates, as on-screen graphics cited various news sources from those time periods -- all of which came directly from a Senate Republican Communications Center press release. A Fox News on-screen graphic even reproduced a typo contained in the Republican press release. Scott later apologized, but only for the typo. [Media Matters, 2/10/09Media Matters2/11/09]

Fox & Friends Hosts Recite Misleading House GOP Press Release. During the October 22, 2009, broadcast of Fox & Friends, the co-hosts did a segment on the stimulus package in which they parroted a House Republican press release and repeated its claim that the stimulus' impact is "6 million jobs shy of what the administration promised us" since the administration stated "that 3.5 million jobs would be created." Co-host Gretchen Carlson added, "And, in fact, the United States has lost 2.7 million since the stimulus plan." However, the administration estimated that by 2011 -- not September 2009, when the 2.7 million job losses since February were recorded -- 3.5 million jobs would be created or saved by the stimulus compared to the number of jobs that would have existed at the end of 2010 had the government not passed the legislation. Their numbers came directly from a GOP press release that relied on misleading comparisons and distorted data to attack the stimulus. [Media Matters10/22/09]

Fox & Friends Promotes Pawlenty Health Care Reform Ideas. From the February 12 edition of Fox & Friends:

BRIAN KILMEADE (co-host): Meanwhile, talk about health care reform, Tim Pawlenty, who by all accounts has got to be running for president it seems, or definitely testing the waters, on yesterday wrote a big editorial today about the five things that he would do, and we all could do, and that they hope Republicans bring up in the big summit to make health care reform a real reform.

STEVE DOOCY (co-host): Because the president has asked, "Give me some ideas." Here they are.

KILMEADE: All right, here it is. First one: incentivize patients to be smart with consumers.

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Media Matters for America is a Web-based, not-for-profit, 501(c)(3) progressive research and information center dedicated to comprehensively monitoring, analyzing, and correcting conservative misinformation in the U.S. media.
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