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In a recent segment attacking Democratic politicians and policies, Fox News host Dan Bongino aired a map that supposedly depicted the “top ten most unhealthy U.S. cities.”
The source of the graphic was a WalletHub analysis that looked at health care, food, fitness and green space. But the website actually listed the cities Bongino plucked out as the 10 “healthiest places to live in the U.S.,” not the most unhealthy.
Fox News and Bongino acknowledged the error. When the same program ran on Fox News’ airwaves hours later, the faulty graphic had been replaced by other images.
In a sweeping segment blaming "garbage Democrat politicians" for society’s ills, Fox News host Dan Bongino aired a map that he claimed showed the "Top Ten Most Unhealthy U.S. Cities."
The map highlighted 10 blue-leaning cities: San Francisco; Seattle; Portland, Oregon; San Diego; Honolulu; Washington, D.C.; Austin, Texas; Irving, Texas; Portland, Maine; and Denver.
"You look at some of the health outcomes in some of these inner cities that these Democrats have run monopolistically for decades, and you stand a pretty darn good chance of dying in one of these inner cities," Bongino said Feb. 5 as the graphic aired beside him. "Far more likely than if you lived in areas where they gave a damn about people and their healthcare outcomes."
The problem: the source for Bongino’s graphic, the personal finance website WalletHub, says the exact opposite of what his map showed.
Bongino's original Feb. 5 segment on Fox News included a graphic that claimed to show the "Top Ten Most Unhealthy U.S. Cities."
The 10 cities Bongino singled out as the "most unhealthy" are actually the 10 "healthiest places to live in the U.S.," based on assessments of health care, food, fitness and green space.
Bongino also mixed up Irvine, California, a city southeast of Los Angeles, with Irving, Texas, a large Dallas suburb; the WalletHub analysis concluded that Irvine, not Irving, is the eighth healthiest place to live.
The 10 cities at the bottom of WalletHub’s 182-city list were Brownsville, Texas; Laredo, Texas; Gulfport, Mississippi; Shreveport, Louisiana; Memphis, Tennessee; Montgomery, Alabama; Fort Smith, Arkansas; Jackson, Mississippi; Huntington, West Virginia; and Lubbock, Texas.
Reporters and social media users panned the mistake on Twitter.
The inverted and inaccurate graphic was presented during the 9 p.m. EST showing of "Unfiltered with Dan Bongino," Bongino’s weekend talk show. When Fox News ran the program again hours later, it had pulled the graphic from the airwaves. As Bongino spoke, file footage depicting homeless people in Seattle was shown beside him instead.
When the segment ran again later that evening, the inaccurate graphic had been removed and replaced with other images.
"On Saturday night's episode of ‘Unfiltered with Dan Bongino,’ a graphic was aired with inaccurate information on the unhealthiest cities in the country," a Fox News spokesperson said in a statement. "We regret the error which will be corrected on next week’s program."
Bongino acknowledged the error on another show he hosts, "The Dan Bongino Show," on Feb. 7, though he insisted that the graphic "had nothing to do with what I said." He said his staff made the error as they rushed to put together a graphic to match his plan for a segment on what he called "the two Americas."
"It was just totally, completely wrong about healthiest cities in the United States," he said. "It was just totally, completely, almost comically wrong."
Reached for comment, Bongino attacked fact-checkers in an emailed response and blocked this reporter from viewing his Twitter feed. Matt Palumbo, the content manager for Bongino Report, said that the faulty graphic had already been corrected.
We rate Bongino’s graphic Pants on Fire!
Correction: The segment aired at 9 p.m. ET; a previous version said 10 p.m. ET.
Fox News, "Unfiltered with Dan Bongino," as seen at 10 p.m. EST via the Internet Archive, Feb. 5, 2021
Fox News, "Unfiltered with Dan Bongino," as seen at 12 a.m. EST via the Internet Archive, Feb. 6, 2021
WalletHub, "Healthiest & Unhealthiest Cities in America," Feb. 8, 2022
The Daily Beast, "Dan Bongino Faceplants in Attempt to Own ‘Unhealthy’ Libs With Fake Graphic," Feb. 7, 2022
The Dan Bongino Show, "Video Evidence Proves The Censors Are Full Of It (Ep 1700)," Feb. 7, 2022
Email statement from Fox News, Feb. 8, 2022
Email correspondence with Dan Bongino, Feb. 8, 2022
Email correspondence with Matt Palumbo, content manager for Bongino Report, Feb. 8, 2022
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