This morning, Fox and Friends characterized Sen. Bob Casey’s (D-PA) Create Jobs & Save Benefits Act as a “$165 billion bailout” of union pensions. “It has been decades since you’ve seen an administration so prone to the influence of unions as this one is. I’m not going to say this is owned by the unions, but their influence on this administration is simply enormous,” Fox Business Network’s Stuart Varney claimed of the legislation, which is actually designed to partition “specific types of union pensions that are deemed to be insolvent.” Later in the day, the network went after House Republicans for co-sponsoring similar legislation in the House. On America Live with Megyn Kelly, the network showed a chart of the nine Republicans supporting the measure and questioned their sanity.
This didn’t go over well with Rep. Steve LaTourette (R-OH), a co-sponsor of the House measure, who took to the floor this afternoon to criticize Fox for its coverage. “I think as a Republican, I’m supposed to love Fox News and hate MSNBC,” he began. “Now, I’m going to tell you, I do hate MSNBC, but something just happened on Fox News that compelled me to come to the floor”:
LATOURETTE: They’ve run this diagram and it really is a, I think, blaspheming my good friend Pat Tiberi from Ohio and indicating that there are nine Republicans supporting a bill that will bail out unions. Well, that’s nonsense and I don’t know who the pin head and weenie is at Fox News that decided to put that story together. But the true facts of this piece of legislation are as follows. This bill will save the taxpayers by saying to those corporations that have union pension plans, if you find yourselves in a bind, rather than thrusting that upon the taxpayer, it spreads out over five years the ability to bring those pension plans up to speed. That’s good government, it’s a good bill. It’s a good Tiberi bill and I don’t know what they’re doing at Fox News, but they should stop smoking it and get back to reporting the facts.
LaTourette may soon regret his remarks. Last month, Sen. Tom Coburn (R-OK) criticized Fox News for pushing misinformation about health care reform, but later walked back his comments after being confronted by host Neil Cavuto.