Tuesday, November 25th, 2014

Maddow takes on Fox News over New Black Panther Party

In an appearance on the "Late Show with David Letterman," MSNBC anchor Rachel Maddow said that Fox News “said the New Black Panther Party decided the election for Barack Obama.” Did they?

In an interview on the Late Show with David Letterman, Rachel Maddow -- a prominent anchor on cable news channel MSNBC -- took a shot at a rival network, Fox News.

"I of course think that we (MSNBC) are much more true than Fox is true," Maddow said in the Dec. 15, 2010, interview. "The problem that I think is reasonable to assert about Fox and its coverage is that they make up stories out of whole cloth and then make a big deal out of them."

She continued, "For example, they said the New Black Panther Party decided the election for Barack Obama. They ran dozens and dozens and dozens of stories about the New Black Panther Party, which was one guy who braided his beard in Philadelphia and who didn’t have an organization, yelling on a street corner. They represented that story as if that is the guy who decided the election. That was fake."

Acting on a PolitiFact reader’s suggestion, we fact-checked Maddow’s statement that Fox News "said the New Black Panther Party decided the election for Barack Obama."

The transcripts we looked at showed that there was indeed lots of coverage on Fox. However, the discussions focused on the legal side of the story and whether other media outlets were derelict in not giving it enough attention.

In all the coverage we examined, we couldn't find a single case in which the discussion revolved around the political impact of the incident, including whether the New Black Panther Party had helped put the Obama campaign over the top in 2008. So we rated the statement False.