Friday, September 30, 2005

Media Matters Latest, September 30, 2005

CNN, MSNBC parroted DeLay's allegation that Earle is a "partisan zealot" but failed to note Earle's history of prosecuting Democrats


On September 28 and 29, CNN news personalities repeatedly cited and played footage of former House Majority Leader Tom DeLay's (R-TX) September 28 accusation that Travis County, Texas, District Attorney Ronnie Earle is a "partisan fanatic" and an "unabashed partisan zealot" who is prosecuting DeLay for political reasons, without noting that most of the public officials Earle has prosecuted were Democrats. Similarly, on the September 28 edition of MSNBC's Scarborough Country, MSNBC chief Washington correspondent Norah O'Donnell aired DeLay's charges without noting Earle's history of prosecuting Democrats.


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NY Times: No one calls DeLay "the Hammer" to his face


A New York Times article on the indictment of former House Majority Leader Tom DeLay (R-TX) reported that his moniker -- "the Hammer" -- is not "a nickname anyone uses with Mr. Delay himself." But contrary to the Times' claim, the nickname was repeatedly used by his supporters during a recent event in tribute to DeLay, and news reports indicate he is proud of his "reputation as the Hammer."


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Newspapers uncritically reported DeLay's denial of "day-to-day" involvement in TRMPAC


In reporting on the September 28 indictment of former House Majority Leader Tom DeLay (R-TX) for conspiracy to violate Texas campaign finance laws, The Wall Street Journal, the San Francisco Chronicle, and The Baltimore Sun all quoted DeLay denying involvement in the day-to-day operations of the political action committee Texans for a Republican Majority (TRMPAC) but failed to present any of the publicly available evidence that undermines DeLay's defense.


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Brooks claimed Blunt could "loosen the baggage" on Republicans after DeLay's indictment, but new leader has also faced ethics questions


Appearing on the September 28 edition of National Public Radio's (NPR) All Things Considered, New York Times columnist David Brooks suggested that new House Majority Leader Roy Blunt (R-MO) could "loosen the baggage on the party" caused by outgoing leader Tom DeLay (R-TX), who has been indicted over allegations of a conspiracy to launder illegal corporate contributions into Texas House races. But, in fact, Blunt has faced significant ethics charges of his own.


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WSJ reported erroneous tax cut figures, contradicted its own reporting


In a September 29 Wall Street Journal (subscription required) article, staff writers David Rogers, Brody Mullins, and Jeanne Cummings erroneously reported that the Republican proposal to extend capital gains and dividend tax cuts would cost "$12.5 billion from 2008 to 2010." Not only does this statistic underestimate the cost of the proposed cut, it also contradicts the figure Mullins cited in a previous article on Republican tax cut proposals.


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CBS reported DeLay's attack on Earle but omitted Earle's rebuttal


Following the indictment of former House Majority Leader Tom DeLay (R-TX) on conspiracy charges, the nightly news broadcasts on the three major television networks ran stories on the unfolding scandal. But while all three programs covered DeLay's accusation that Ronnie Earle, the Travis County, Texas, district attorney who filed the charges, is a partisan Democrat on a political vendetta, only ABC and NBC noted that during his career Earle has prosecuted substantially more Democrats than Republicans. CBS allowed DeLay's accusation to go unchallenged.


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Coulter on DeLay scandal: Reporters and liberals "want it to be against the law to be a Republican, and they would like us in Guantánamo"


Defending former House Majority Leader Tom DeLay (R-TX) on the September 28 edition of Fox News' DaySide, right-wing pundit Ann Coulter attacked reporters and liberals, claiming that "they want it to be against the law to be a Republican, and they would like us in Guantánamo." Her comments were made in the context of discussing, with DaySide co-hosts Mike Jerrick and Juliet Huddy, a question that a reporter posed to White House press secretary Scott McClellan: "Is the President concerned that there's a stench of corruption around the Republican establishment in Washington?" "The stench of corruption means Republicans are in power," Coulter said. Later, she claimed, "They want us all in Guantánamo. And, by the way, I want to say, if you're a Republican in Washington and you haven't been indicted, you're doing something wrong."


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Limbaugh, no holds barred: Sheehan "doesn't have the IQ of a pencil eraser"


On the September 26 broadcast of his nationally syndicated radio show, Rush Limbaugh attacked the motivations of Cindy Sheehan motivations in engaging in her anti-war activities, stating she is being "inculcated" and "manipulated." Limbaugh added that Sheehan "doesn't have the sense to come in out of the rain" and "doesn't have the IQ of a pencil eraser."


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Hannity, Coulter "don't believe" that Tillman liked Noam Chomsky, opposed Iraq war; Tillman's mother disagrees


On the September 27 edition of Fox News' Hannity & Colmes, co-host Sean Hannity and right-wing pundit Ann Coulter told co-host Alan Colmes that they "don't believe" a report that Army Ranger Pat Tillman was a fan of leftist author Noam Chomsky, opposed the Iraq war, and planned to vote for Sen. John Kerry (D-MA) in the 2004 presidential election. But according to a September 25 San Francisco Chronicle report that Colmes cited, Tillman's mother said that he had planned to meet privately with Chomsky and that "Pat was very critical of the whole Iraq war." Tillman, a former pro football star, served in Iraq before being killed by friendly fire in Afghanistan in April 2004.


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