Thursday, October 19, 2006

Media Matters Latest, October 19, 2006

Hannity and Melanie Morgan cited "double standard" in media's attention on Foley while ignoring Cindy Sheehan's alleged participation in porn chat rooms
On Hannity & Colmes, Sean Hannity joined authors Melanie Morgan and Catherine Moy in comparing Cindy Sheehan's purported interest in online pornography to sexually explicit instant messages former Rep. Mark Foley allegedly sent to underage congressional pages. Morgan asserted that "[t]here's a double standard and hypocrisy at work" in the fact that there was far greater attention and criticism focused on the Foley scandal. Read more

Why has CNN devoted 50 times as much coverage to Harry Reid's land deal as Dennis Hastert's?
From October 12-17, CNN aired 3,361 words about allegations that Senate Democratic Leader Harry Reid (NV) improperly reported a land deal in which he made $700,000. Read more

Print media reported Weldon conspiracy theories, offered no response from CREW
The New York Times, The Washington Post, and the Associated Press have reported Rep. Curt Weldon's statements blaming an FBI investigation of him on Citizens for Responsibility and Ethics in Washington (CREW) but failed to include any response from CREW or point out that the FBI is a division of the U.S. Department of Justice, which is part of the Bush administration and headed by a Bush confidante. Read more

Supposedly nonpartisan Beck: "If Democrats are elected, we are in for two years of investigation, God forbid, impeachments, while the world is set on fire"
On the October 17 edition of his CNN Headline News program, host Glenn Beck used his opening monologue to claim: "If Democrats are elected, we are in for two years of investigation, God forbid, impeachments, while the world is set on fire." Beck added that "[w]hat you won't see when the Democrats take over: leadership and good ideas," and added that "if we allow the politics of destruction to continue ... then we will fall, and it will be our own fault." During a portion of his monologue, an on-screen graphic read: "Let The Bad Times Roll!" Read more

Olbermann awarded Savage "the bronze" in "Worst Person" segment for claiming Dem victory "could lead to the break up of the United States of America"
On the October 17 edition of MSNBC's Countdown, host Keith Olbermann awarded syndicated radio host Michael Savage "the bronze" in his nightly "Worst Person in the World" segment for stating, as Media Matters for America documented, that a Democratic victory in November's midterm elections "'could lead to the break up of the United States of America, the way the Soviet Union broke up,' and that California is already 'in the hands of the far-left homosexual mafia.'" Savage last appeared on the "Worst Person" segment on October 11 for claiming former Secretary of State Madeleine Albright is a "traitor" who "should be tried for treason, and when she is found guilty of treason, she should be hung," as Media Matters also noted. Read more

Wash. Post, NY Times, Reuters provided uninformative coverage of detainee bill signing
Although Washington Post, New York Times, and Reuters reports on President Bush's signing of the Military Commissions Act included general criticism of the legislation, they were all silent on its most controversial provision: allowing the president to detain noncitizens in the United States or abroad for any reason, indefinitely. Read more

ABC World News ignored Democratic criticism of detainee bill; NBC, CBS downplayed story altogether
In her report on President Bush's signing of the controversial detainee bill, ABC's Martha Raddatz noted Sen. Russ Feingold's general opposition to the bill but gave no indication of Feingold's specific criticism -- that the bill "allows the government to seize individuals on American soil and detain them indefinitely with no opportunity to challenge their detention in court." Nightly news broadcasts on NBC and CBS devoted little attention to the bill's signing and ignored Democratic criticism of it altogether. Read more

O'Donnell asked congresswoman to go "on the record" with "promise" that Dems won't "make the president's final two years in office a living hell"
On the October 18 edition of MSNBC News Live, MSNBC chief Washington correspondent Norah O'Donnell asked Rep. Loretta Sanchez (D-CA) to go "on the record" with a "promise" that Democrats "will not issue tens or hundreds of subpoenas to the White House when it comes to Katrina, Iraq, and a number of issues" that would "make the president's final two years in office a living hell." O'Donnell also baselessly suggested that such oversight would "mean that nothing gets done in Washington." Her comments were first noted by the weblog Firedoglake. Read more

Dobson vs. Dobson: Moments after saying liberals "despise this country and its freedoms," he claimed Focus on the Family is "not political"
During the October 16 broadcast of his Focus on the Family radio show, Focus on the Family founder and chairman James C. Dobson claimed that "here at Focus on the Family, we're not political." Yet only minutes earlier, Dobson remarked to his guest, conservative radio host William Bennett, that "the liberal community" and the media "despise this country and its freedoms, and they're doing everything they can do to undermine it." Later in the broadcast, Bennett suggested that Democratic congressional candidates advocate "the course of action that Osama bin Laden wants us to take." In response, Dobson declared that "I fear that some of our leaders will follow that same pattern" of former British Prime Minister Neville Chamberlain, who "appeased the Nazis and [Adolf] Hitler." Read more

Halperin asserted, despite polling to the contrary, that Republicans have "an advantage" over Democrats on "national security and taxes"
In an October 17 online article titled "Down but Not Out, GOP Still Has a Chance," ABC News political director Mark Halperin asserted that Republicans have "an advantage" over Democrats in the upcoming midterm elections on "national security and taxes." In fact, as Media Matters for America has repeatedly noted (here and here), recent polls suggest that Democrats actually hold an advantage over Republicans on both issues. Additionally, during the October 16 edition of CNN Headline News' Glenn Beck, Halperin asserted that Democrats "are more liberal in many cases than they want to admit" and are "basically just trying to hide what they want to do, knowing full well that the country, a lot of the country, will vote for change, even without specifics." Read more

Boortz: Islam is a "deadly virus" and "we're going to wait far too long to develop a vaccine to find a way to fight this"
On the October 16 edition of his nationally syndicated radio program, Neal Boortz declared: "Islam is a virus. It is a deadly virus that is spreading throughout Europe and the Western world," adding that "we're going to wait far too long to develop a vaccine to find a way to fight this." Later in the broadcast, Boortz, who stated that he "would be willing to put money that Spain will be operating under Islamic law within 10 years," predicted "that Europe is doomed, and America's going to have a tough time surviving in anything close to its present form after America falls to Islam -- to the Muslim creeping virus." Boortz also characterized Islam as "not a very pleasant religion" and "a creeping mold infestation." He also said of Muslims: "[T]hese people are violent." Read more

After calling for ABC to fire Rosie O'Donnell over religious comments, conservatives silent on disclosures of Bush White House contempt for Christian conservatives
Conservatives in the media have attacked Rosie O'Donnell for comments she has made regarding Christianity and Catholicism, and several have even called for O'Donnell to be fired. But those same conservatives have yet to comment on disclosures in a newly released book that the Bush White House has pandered to Christian conservatives for votes, while breaking promises on policy and referring to them as "the nuts," "insane," and "ridiculous" behind closed doors. Read more

NY Times, CNN's Malveaux repeated claim that terrorism is a "winning" and "strong" issue for GOP, despite polls showing otherwise
In their news reports on President Bush's signing of the Military Commissions Act, The New York Times reported that the war on terrorism is a "winning issue for Republicans," and CNN's Suzanne Malveaux uncritically reported that the Bush administration believes national security is "a strong issue for Republicans" heading into the midterm elections. In fact, recent polling shows that more voters prefer Democrats to handle the issue of combating terrorism. Read more

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