Monday, October 30, 2006

Media Matters Latest, October 30, 2006

On This Week, Will misrepresented Mehlman's views on controversial RNC ad, ignored contrary evidence in asserting "objectively good" economy
George F. Will falsely claimed that Republican National Committee chairman (RNC) Ken Mehlman "was appalled" by a controversial RNC ad attacking Tennessee Democratic Senate candidate Harold Ford Jr. that critics have characterized as racist. In fact, Mehlman has repeatedly defended the ad as "fair." Will also asserted that the economy "is just objectively good," joined by Time's Jay Carney, who asserted that real wages have been "coming up a little bit lately"; in fact, even though productivity has expanded by 14 percent since November 2001, real hourly wages have remained largely unchanged. Read more

Newsweek cited '04 bin Laden video, but omitted part of the story of that "October surprise"
A Newsweek article by Mark Hosenball wondered whether "Osama bin Laden [is] going to weigh in on the midterm elections," citing a bin Laden tape released before the 2004 presidential election. But in citing reports that bin Laden wants to be "relevant" to the U.S. electoral process, Hosenball told only part of the story, ignoring evidence that bin Laden's 2004 videotape was intended to assist in the re-election of President Bush. Read more

CNN reports accusation of political timing of Saddam Hussein verdict, without noting administration's pattern and practice
CNN reported a claim by Saddam Hussein's lawyer that the release of the verdict in his trial on charges of crimes against humanity two days before U.S. congressional midterm elections is timed to influence that vote, but CNN did not provide evidence that might lend credence to such an accusation: If true, this would be far from the first time that the Bush administration has timed an Iraq- or national security-related event for political advantage. Read more

In claiming that Dems risk exacerbating "image as soft on national defense," NY Times' Kirkpatrick falsely suggested only Dem base favors withdrawal
In an October 29 article, New York Times reporter David D. Kirkpatrick suggested that congressional Democrats could exacerbate the "party's image as soft on national defense" by "[p]leasing the party's 'bring 'em home' base" and calling for a timetable to withdraw U.S. troops from Iraq. But Kirkpatrick's assertion about the "party's 'bring 'em home' base" rests on a falsehood. Contrary to his suggestion, it is not just the base of the Democratic Party that is calling for troop withdrawal from Iraq -- it is a majority of the country, as indicated by recent polling. Kirkpatrick even mentioned a USA Today/Gallup poll (subscription required) that shows the public supports withdrawal, but cited it for a different point -- that "more than 80 percent of the public expects Democrats to set a timetable for a withdrawal from Iraq if they take control of Congress." Read more

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