Saturday, November 18, 2006

Media Matters Latest, November 18, 2006

Pledging "[t]his isn't sour grapes," Beck falsely claimed sixth-year election losses have "plagued every president, Republican and Democrat alike, since Ulysses S. Grant"
In attributing Republican losses in the midterm elections on a "six-year curse" that has "plagued every president, Republican and Democrat alike, since Ulysses S. Grant," Glenn Beck ignored that Democrats gained seats in Congress in 1998, the sixth year of Bill Clinton's presidency. Beck also mischaracterized a study making the "six-year curse" claim, ignoring the author's statement that "[n]ot all presidents experience difficulties in every category." Read more

Beck & O'Reilly: boot Vermont out of the union for electing "socialist" Sanders to Senate
Following the election of self-described socialist Rep. Bernard Sanders (I-VT) to the U.S. Senate on November 7, conservative television hosts Glenn Beck and Bill O'Reilly declared that Vermont no longer belongs in the United States. Read more

Media focus on Murtha-Hoyer race, ignore Foley investigation's (lack of) impact on GOP leadership elections
In reporting on the Democratic and Republican House leadership elections, the media have focused heavily on the race for House majority leader between Reps. John P. Murtha (D-PA) and Steny Hoyer (D-MD) -- and many reports discussed whether Murtha's involvement in the 1980 Abscam scandal would affect the race, which Hoyer ultimately won. By contrast, the media have largely overlooked the fact that Republicans held their House leadership elections on November 17 -- before the House ethics committee was scheduled to release the results of its investigation into whether the House GOP leadership covered up the scandal surrounding former Rep. Mark Foley (R-FL). News outlets have ignored this decision despite the House GOP leadership's acknowledgment that it had discussed a recommendation by House Chief Deputy Whip Eric Cantor (R-VA) to postpone the elections until after the committee releases its findings. Read more

MSNBC's Carlson: "Trent Lott's comeback -- is it a good thing for the Republican Party or is he the Howard Dean of the GOP?"
On the November 16 edition of MSNBC's Tucker, host Tucker Carlson teased an upcoming segment about Sen. Trent Lott's (R-MS) November 15 election as Senate minority whip by stating, "Still to come: Trent Lott's comeback -- is it a good thing for the Republican Party or is he the Howard Dean of the GOP? Opinions vary." Carlson was referring to the fact that Lott was forced to step down from his Senate leadership post in 2002 over remarks he made at then-Sen. Strom Thurmond's (R-SC) birthday party praising Thurmond's 1948 pro-segregation presidential campaign. Carlson did not elaborate on his comparison between Lott and Dean. Read more

Blitzer, Hannity praised Steele's "spectacular" and "principled" campaign, ignoring misleading campaign tactics
Wolf Blitzer failed to challenge the assertion of Michael Steele, a losing Republican candidate for a Senate seat in Maryland, that he "did not see ... until a couple of days after the fact" a flier that misleadingly referred to "Ehrlich-Steele Democrats" and falsely suggested that certain prominent African-American Maryland Democrats endorsed Steele and Republican Maryland Gov. Robert L. Ehrlich Jr. Both Blitzer and Sean Hannity praised Steele's campaign in their interviews with him without noting Steele's 10-point margin of defeat. Read more

Pelosi labeled "Wicked Witch of the West" by Kondracke, "shrew" by Orin-Eilbeck
On the November 16 edition of Fox News' Special Report, Roll Call executive editor Morton M. Kondracke called House Democratic Leader Nancy Pelosi (CA), the incoming speaker of the House, "the Wicked Witch of the West." In a November 17 column, New York Post Washington bureau chief Deborah Orin-Eilbeck twice called Pelosi a "shrew." Read more

Poe responds to Media Matters (again)
In a November 17 update to his October 31 posting, Richard Poe, co-author of The Shadow Party, criticized Media Matters' "tardy response" to Poe's "rebuttal" of Media Matters' critique of The Shadow Party. Poe's response to our response to his response to our response to his book may have been fast, but he didn't actually challenge anything we wrote. Just as he has yet to actually take issue with a single fact in our 2 1/2-year-old debunking of his May 2004 NewsMax article, though he insists it stands un-debunked. Read more

AP pushed non-story on Edwards' PS3 flap, glossed over his criticisms of Wal-Mart
The Associated Press relayed an accusation of hypocrisy by Wal-Mart against Wal-Mart critic John Edwards after a volunteer member of Edwards' staff contacted a Wal-Mart store in an attempt to acquire a PlayStation 3 system for Edwards' family. AP ran the story despite Edwards' denial of knowledge of the volunteer's action, and without any mention of the substantive criticisms Edwards has leveled against Wal-Mart. Read more

Media stressed that Clinton had avoided Vietnam service when he visited there, but ignored Bush's military service in reporting on his first visit
At the time of President Bill Clinton's November 2000 visit to Vietnam -- the first by a U.S. president since the end of the Vietnam War -- numerous media reports noted Clinton's lack of service during the conflict, in many cases specifically referring to his having "avoided service" and noting that it was Clinton's first visit to the country. In contrast, network and cable news coverage of President Bush's recent visit to Vietnam as part of his trip to Southeast Asia has largely failed to note that Bush had never been to Vietnam, and no reports have thus far mentioned that during the Vietnam War, Bush was instead in the Texas division of the Air National Guard and requested transfer to Alabama so he could work on a Senate campaign. Both Clinton's and Bush's trips occurred late in their presidencies, and the merits of their military service were issues in the 1992 and 2004 presidential campaigns, respectively. Read more

NPR's Liasson touted McCain's "maverick conservatism," bipartisanship as "what voters are looking for now," ignoring voters' rejection of his view on Iraq
In reporting on recent speeches by Sen. John McCain, National Public Radio's Mara Liasson uncritically reported his argument that "his brand of maverick conservatism ... is what voters are looking for now" and asserted that the "role of independent and moderate voters" in the midterm elections "reinforces McCain's appeal as a general election candidate." She did not mention that McCain is at odds with a majority of voters on Iraq -- including most independents -- who disapprove of the war and favor some type of U.S. troop withdrawal. Read more

Blitzer ignored McCain's inconsistencies on issues, gave short shrift to other '08 hopefuls
While discussing Sen. John McCain's potential presidential candidacy, CNN's Wolf Blitzer ignored McCain's inconsistencies on taxes and abortion and essentially contradicted himself about McCain's position on Iraq. Blitzer also noted the names and experience of other political figures with presidential exploratory or campaign committees but did not describe their positions on any issues. Read more

Cavuto endorsed Bolton's nomination to U.N. post, claiming it's "not right" that the Senate will not confirm him
On the November 16 edition of Fox News' Your World, host Neil Cavuto, Fox News' managing editor of business news, endorsed John Bolton, President Bush's nominee for U.S. ambassador to the United Nations, who is seeking to be permanently appointed to the position after ascending to the post in March 2005 via a recess appointment. Cavuto stated that it is "not right" that the Senate is unlikely to confirm Bolton and twice asked if "there [is] another way around" the Senate's confirmation process, wondering whether there was "an alternative way of paying" Bolton's salary or giving him "a different title." Cavuto also praised Bolton, saying that he has done "a pretty fine job" as ambassador. Read more

Jon Stewart on Beck's remark to Keith Ellison: "Finally, a guy who says what people who aren't thinking are thinking"
On the November 16 edition of Comedy Central's The Daily Show, host Jon Stewart addressed a recent remark that CNN Headline News host Glenn Beck made to Rep.-elect Keith Ellison (D-MN), the first Muslim ever elected to Congress. As noted by Media Matters for America, Beck said: "I have been nervous about this interview with you, because what I feel like saying is, 'Sir, prove to me that you are not working with our enemies.' " After airing Beck's comment, Stewart declared: "Finally, a guy who says what people who aren't thinking are thinking." Read more

Savage: Anti-gay remarks will "wind up tomorrow" on "blogs run by gays," who are "like drug addicts"
Days after telling his listeners that the "radical homosexual agenda ... threaten[s] your very survival," on the November 16 edition of his radio show, Michael Savage asserted that a "society that embraces homosexuality is a society that will not last much longer." Savage then predicted his remarks would "wind up tomorrow in several of the blogs run by gays -- and they think only of that 'cause they're like drug addicts." Later in the broadcast, Savage claimed, "There is not a mean bone in my body," and concluded: "With God's will and your listenership, we shall nuke Iran." Read more

Olbermann named National Review's Lowry second "Worst Person" for misstating results of NY Times poll
On the November 16 edition of MSNBC's Countdown, host Keith Olbermann awarded National Review editor Rich Lowry "runner-up" in his nightly "Worst Person in the World" segment for, as Media Matters for America documented, falsely claiming a recent New York Times poll showed "55 percent of Americans favor sending more troops to Iraq." As Olbermann noted, "In fact, the poll indicates only 16 percent of Americans favor sending more troops to Iraq. That 55 percent figure Mr. Lowry tried to slip past the gullible represented those in the poll who would support more troops, quote, 'if that meant the U.S. would finally gain control over Baghdad and stabilize the country.' " Read more

No comments: