Tuesday, November 28, 2006

Media Matters Latest, November 28, 2006

O'Reilly falsely claimed to have "coined the term 'San Francisco values' "
In a syndicated column, Bill O'Reilly falsely claimed to have "coined the term 'San Francisco values.' " In fact, the term "San Francisco values" has been used to attack political opponents since at least the mid-1990s, and Newt Gingrich appears to have popularized the phrase during the 2006 midterm election cycle. Read more

Frank on "fair and balanced" Fox News Sunday: "Chris, you have an odd view of balance"
Fox News Sunday host Chris Wallace asked three Democratic members of Congress a series of questions that led to a rebuke from one, Rep. Barney Frank, who accused Wallace of having "an odd view of balance," "looking to pick fights where there aren't," and putting him and the two other guests "in a kind of a bad light." Read more

Fox News' Vogel falsely suggested AARP opposed California's new driver-assessment program
In a report on Fox News Live, correspondent Anita Vogel falsely suggested that the AARP opposes California's new driver-assessment program. In fact, while the AARP does oppose legislation that would require additional driving tests based solely on age, AARP supports legislation requiring driver assessments for all, such as California's program. Read more

Russert lobs softballs at Schwarzenegger
On the November 26 edition of NBC's Meet the Press, host Tim Russert lobbed a series of softball questions to California Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger (R) on Schwarzenegger's November 7 re-election and his role in the Republican Party, and did not challenge Schwarzenegger on a false statement he made about the economy. Russert ended his 19-minute interview with one question about Iraq, and responded to Schwarzenegger's answer by saying: "Congratulations, and we hope you come back and talk about the issues confronting your state and our country soon." Read more

Wash. Post reported Bush's "opening message since the election has been one of conciliation," ignored partisan maneuvering
Washington Post staff writer Peter Baker wrote that President Bush's "opening message since the election has been one of conciliation." But Baker did not mention Bush's renomination of several controversial candidates for high-ranking offices, nor did he note Bush's push for legislation authorizing warrantless domestic wiretapping. Read more

On Fox News, Barnes and Kondracke failed to note McCain's shifting statements on abortion
While discussing potential candidates for the 2008 Republican presidential nomination, Fred Barnes and Morton Kondracke mentioned Sen. John McCain's views on abortion rights, but did not note his apparently inconsistent statements. Neither Barnes nor Kondracke mentioned that McCain told reporters in 1999 that he would "not support repeal of Roe v. Wade" or that McCain later issued a "clarification" saying he "would work toward its repeal." Read more

Limbaugh on Middle East: "Fine, just blow the place up"
On the November 27 edition of his nationally syndicated radio show, in response to claims made by King Abdullah II of Jordan on the November 26 edition of ABC's This Week that "we could possibly imagine going into 2007 and having three civil wars on our hands," Rush Limbaugh said: "[W]ell, let's just have them. Let's just have the civil wars ... because I'm just fed up with this." Limbaugh then asserted: "Fine, just blow the place up. Just let these natural forces take place over there instead of trying to stop them." Additionally, Limbaugh claimed: "[E]verbody comes to us. ... So we go and try to fix it and our own people, Democrats and the left in our country do their best to sabotage our efforts, and then we get blamed for trying to clean up the messes that these people start." Read more

On NPR, Davis repeated 1992 Democratic convention claim
On the November 25 broadcast of National Public Radio's Weekend Edition, former Clinton special counsel Lanny Davis claimed that "Democrats have been intolerant" and repeated the false claim that former Pennsylvania Gov. Bob Casey Sr. was "refused the microphone at the [1992] Democratic National Convention because he was pro-life." As Media Matters for America has noted, several opponents of abortion rights were given speaking slots at the 1992 convention. Read more

AP depicted 9-11 Commission recommendations as either "accomplished" or unfeasible
An Associated Press article asserted that the incoming Democratic Congress will face an uphill battle in its drive to implement all of the 9-11 Commission's recommendations because "[m]uch of what the commission proposed has been accomplished" and "there are no still-lingering proposals that can easily be enacted into law." But there are several "still-lingering" recommendations that members of the commission -- none of whom were quoted in the article -- say could be implemented by the Democratic Congress. Read more

Carlson claimed he was "not defending" people who were "spooked" by Muslims praying in airport; then defended them
Discussing six Muslim men who were removed from an airplane in Minnesota after other passengers saw them praying in the terminal prior to boarding, Tucker Carlson claimed that he was "not defending" the fact that the praying "freaked people out," but then quickly added that "they were doing something other people didn't understand, and it spooked the other people." Read more

Wash. Times editorial falsely claimed that rising CO2 levels "hardly prove[] the existence of man-made global warming"
A Washington Times editorial claimed that while "[s]cientists on all sides agree" that carbon dioxide levels are increasing, the evidence "hardly proves the existence of man-made global warming." In fact, organizations representing thousands of scientists share the consensus view that "human activities are responsible for much of the recent warming" of the planet. Read more

O'Donnell misrepresented Democrats on Iraq withdrawal, falsely claimed no experts support them
On the November 26 edition of the NBC-syndicated Chris Matthews Show, MSNBC chief White House correspondent Norah O'Donnell misrepresented a Democratic proposal for the phased redeployment of U.S. troops from Iraq as "essentially a pullout in four to six months." In fact, Sen. Carl Levin (D-MI) and Sen. Jack Reed (D-RI) introduced the proposal in June 2006 and called for a phased redeployment to begin by the end of the year, or approximately six months from that time. O'Donnell further asserted that Democrats will "wind up -- even though they were validated somewhat in the message by these elections ... looking weak on national security because ... [t]here is not one military or foreign-policy expert who thinks you could actually feasibly do that, and second, that would be a good idea." However, as Media Matters for America has noted, numerous military and foreign-policy experts support a phased withdrawal, to begin immediately or within a time frame consistent with the Levin-Reed proposal. Read more

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