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Context of 'February 1-3, 2005: Fox News Runs Series on Venezuela'

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Fox News commentator Bill O’Reilly says that those who oppose the Iraq war, such as actor Sean Penn and journalist Peter Arnett, are traitors. [Unger, 2007, pp. 290]

Entity Tags: Bill O’Reilly, Peter Arnett, Sean Penn, Fox News

Timeline Tags: Domestic Propaganda

Alex Ben Lock of Television Week writes: “We have seen in the past year the rise of the Fox News Channel, founded only in 1996 (see October 7, 1996), as one of the most important news media of our culture.… Fox has engaged an even larger audience that is amazingly loyal to the FNC brand.… Fox News, in combination with a network of conservative talk radio commentators, has changed the way many Americans process news—despite or maybe because of the adamant opposition of numerous intellectuals, journalists, celebrities, and others who still can’t believe what has happened” (see October 13, 2009). [Jamieson and Cappella, 2008, pp. 48]

Entity Tags: Alex Ben Lock, Fox News

Timeline Tags: Domestic Propaganda

Fox News runs a three-part series on Venezuela, narrated by Fox News’ Steve Harrigan, suggesting that the Chavez government “is moving toward totalitarian rule” and is a potential threat to the US. Miami University political science professor Anibal Romero tells Harrigan that Chavez is a “dangerous fellow. He’s a confused person. He has radical instincts. He’s deeply anti-American… and is prepared to do terrible things.” Harrigan acknowledges the president’s popularity among the country’s poor, but cites the opposition’s concerns that his popularity “does not give the president the right to do whatever he wants.” The “police, military and armed thugs have been tools used freely by Chavez to hang on to power during a coup attempt and a national strike in 2002.… Chavez has packed the Supreme Court and the army with his supporters, seized control of the country’s wealth and introduced a penal code that criminalizes dissent. Anyone who opposes him faces violence or prison.” Chavez opponents also complain that he is clamping down on the press. Ana Christina Nunez, legal counsel for Globovision, the country’s only 24-hour news channel, says, “Our own journalists don’t know whether they can show whatever it is they are trying to cover.” Harrigan also reports that Chavez is “pushing the idea that anyone can grow what they want on someone else’s land” and that he “has declared war on large landowners.” “More than 1,000 of Venezuela’s urban poor have set up bamboo shacks” on land that has “belonged to a British company for a century.” They use the land “to raise their own products for income,” he reports. The British firm’s employees show Harrington on a map how these successive invasions are eating away at the British company’s land holdings and threatening to drive the company into “bankruptcy.” Joaquin Roy, a professor at Miami University, warns that what’s happening in Venezuela could be the first step of land takeovers that could threaten US interests. [Fox News, 2/4/2005]

Entity Tags: Fox News, Hugo Chavez Frias

Timeline Tags: US-Venezuela (1948-2005)

Responding to recent comments by evangelist Franklin Graham that questioned President Obama’s US citizenship (see April 24-25, 2011), Fox News anchor Shepard Smith tells his viewers: “Fox News can confirm that the president of the United States is a citizen of the United States. Period.” Smith refers viewers to the validated copy of Obama’s birth certificate that has been available for years (see June 13, 2008) before making the assertion that Fox confirms Obama’s US citizenship. [Media Matters, 4/25/2011; Business Insider, 4/26/2011]

Entity Tags: Donald Trump, Barack Obama, Shepard Smith, Franklin Graham, Fox News

Timeline Tags: Domestic Propaganda

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