Over the last two days various Fox News personalities including Bill O’Reilly, Glenn Beck, and Sarah Palin has been pushing a new falsehood that Barack Obama turned down international aid for the Gulf oil spill. While trying to play up the Obama’s inept narrative the FNC crew neglected to mention that Canada, Germany, Mexico, Netherlands, Norway are all in the Gulf.
Fox News opened the day yesterday with Glenn Beck spreading the lie on Fox and Friends:
Beck said that Obama,”needs to explain why we haven’t — why we turned down all the international help. They offered it within a couple of days. We said no.”
Of course if Beck said it, then Palin had to run with it as she did last night on The O’Reilly Factor:
Palin said, “What the federal government should have done was accept the assistance of foreign countries; of entrepreneurial Americans who have solutions that they wanted presented they can’t even get a phone call returned. The Dutch they are known and the Norwegians, they are known for dikes and for cleaning up water and for dealing with spills. They offered to help and yet no they too, with the proverbial can’t even get a phone call back. That is what the Norwegians are telling us, and what the Dutch are telling us, and then the entrepreneurial Americans, the company in Maine that has the boom and the absorbents.”
The story was told again tonight on The O’Reilly Factor by Dick Morris and Bill O’Reilly via Media Matters:
Morris said, “We didn’t get foreign ships in because he still hasn’t waved the stupid Jones Act.”
The only part of the Fox News story that is true is that the Jones Act has not been waved, but as a press release from the Unified Command for the BP Oil Spill noted yesterday, “Currently, 15 foreign-flagged vessels are involved in the largest response to an oil spill in U.S. history. No Jones Act waivers have been granted because none of these vessels have required such a waiver to conduct their operations in the Gulf of Mexico… Even if the Jones Act applies, a foreign flagged vessel can still conduct certain planned operations as part of the BP oil spill response if the vessel is an oil spill response vessel and meets the requirements of 46 USC § 55113.”
What about those Norwegians that Sarah Palin was so upset about last night? Well it turns out that they are already there along with several other countries. Once again, from the Unified Command, “To date, the administration has leveraged assets and skills from numerous foreign countries and international organizations as part of this historic, all-hands-on-deck response, including Canada, Germany, Mexico, Netherlands, Norway, the United Nations’ International Maritime Organization and the European Union’s Monitoring and Information Centre. In some cases, offers of international assistance have been turned down because the offer didn’t fit the needs of the response.”
Surprise, surprise, Fox News is not telling their viewers the truth. FNC has a masterful ability to keep repeating a lie until it is accepted as truth by their audience. The Fox News agenda is to turn Obama into George W. Bush. The newest lie about the president turning down international aid fits in with their two year old narrative that Barack Obama is in over his head, which is why voters need to put the GOP back in charge.
The disheartening element to all of this is that there are a couple of million people who watch Fox News every day and the majority of them don’t understand that they are being brainwashed by right wing propaganda. All that the rest of us can do is stay vigilant and be ready to debunk the mistruths of Fox News at all times, and hopefully we can expose Fox News for what it really is and open people’s eyes, even if it is only one viewer at a time.