Wednesday, November 29, 2006

Media Matters Latest, November 29, 2006

Good Morning America welcomed "talk-radio host" Glenn Beck to discuss Islam, didn't mention Beck's history of smears
Diane Sawyer hosted Glenn Beck on Good Morning America for a discussion of Pope Benedict XVI's visit to Turkey and the pope's recent comments on Islam. Sawyer identified Beck only as a "television and talk-radio host ... who has said it's time for the world to stop buckling to the pressure of radical Islam." She did not note that Beck is a self-identified conservative who has a history of making derogatory statements about Islam and Muslims. Read more

Fox News' Doocy: "Islam turned violent" and "proved the pope's point" about "Islam and violence"
On the November 28 edition of Fox News' Fox & Friends, co-host Steve Doocy asserted that when "Islam turned violent" after Pope Benedict XVI's controversial comments about the religion, it "essentially proved the pope's point." In a September 12 speech, Pope Benedict quoted "the erudite Byzantine emperor Manuel II Paleologus," as the pope described him, saying, "Show me just what Mohammed brought that was new, and there you will find things only evil and inhuman, such as his command to spread by the sword the faith he preached." As The New York Times reported, Pope Benedict said "he was 'very sorry' about the reaction to his remarks," adding: "In no way did I wish to make my own, the words of the medieval emperor. ... I wished to explain that not religion and violence, but religion and reason, go together." Read more

CNN's Baghdad reporter says Iraq is embroiled in "civil war," but rest of network is still hedging
In several reports from Baghdad, CNN's Michael Ware has stated that Iraq is embroiled in a civil war. However, several other CNN reporters and analysts have continued to avoid the unqualified use of the term "civil war." Read more

Barnes: Voters' "repudiat[ion]" of Bush helped foster violence in the Middle East
On The Beltway Boys, Fred Barnes baselessly asserted that recent violence in the Middle East is the result in part of the voters' "repudiat[ion]" of President Bush in the midterm elections. Later Barnes asserted that "five, 10 years ago," Americans "didn't see dead bodies all over the front page of newspapers, whether it's an accident or an explosion or Iraq or something." By contrast, CNN's John Roberts stated that "the pictures on television are sanitized compared to" the events occurring "on the ground." Read more

Kohn claimed Bill Clinton "didn't have his facts straight" during Fox News Sunday interview, but Kohn was the one misrepresenting the facts
Author Bob Kohn falsely claimed former President Bill Clinton "didn't have his facts straight" when he confronted Chris Wallace on Fox News Sunday. But Kohn misstated Clinton's assertions to Wallace. Read more

Matthews: Dems "don't want to be policymakers -- that's grown-up stuff"
On the November 27 edition of MSNBC's Hardball, host Chris Matthews asserted that Democrats would not hasten the withdrawal of U.S. troops from Iraq by cutting off funding for the war because "they're not policymakers," and because "[t]hey don't want to be policymakers -- that's grown-up stuff." Matthews added that Democrats would "rather sit in the back seat and complain, 'Mommy, when we getting there?' " Matthews has previously mocked Democrats with this automotive reference. As Media Matters for America noted, on the October 24 edition of Hardball, Matthews claimed that Democrats have not offered a specific plan for Iraq and then asked rhetorically: "Do you know what the difference is between a grown-up and a kid?" He then suggested that to be "grown [] up," Democrats would have to "sit in the front seat and drive the car." Read more

O'Reilly: Imams kicked off plane "wouldn't get handcuffed ... if they started chanting stuff" at Crate & Barrel
Bill O'Reilly revived the "war" on Christmas and declared that "[m]aybe the imams who got thrown off the plane [would] shop" at the home furnishings retailer Crate & Barrel because it has a policy of saying "Happy Holidays" instead of "Merry Christmas." O'Reilly also declared that Christmas is "a secular holiday" that "honors the birth of Jesus. ... And the reason it does is because Jesus was a philosopher," but "you can have a religious connotation to the holiday if you choose to." Read more

On MSNBC's Tucker, radio host Michael Graham suggested only some Dems are "for God"
On the November 27 edition of MSNBC's Tucker, Boston radio host Michael Graham discussed whether Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney (R), a Mormon, could win over evangelical voters in a Republican presidential primary. Graham asserted that Romney's religion was acceptable because "the line here is for God and against God. And anybody who is on God's team, with the possible exception of Islam right now ... will be welcomed by Southern Republican voters." Graham pointed to Connecticut Sen. Joe Lieberman, who is Jewish, as an example of someone who "is wildly popular ... probably the most popular Democrat among Southern Republicans." In implying that Lieberman is "on God's team" and "for God," Graham suggested that other Democrats might be "against God." Host Tucker Carlson responded: "That is, I think, a really smart point about Joe Lieberman." Read more

Olbermann named O'Reilly "Worst Person" runner-up for claiming to have "coined the term 'San Francisco values' "
On the November 27 edition of MSNBC's Countdown, host Keith Olbermann awarded Fox News host Bill O'Reilly the "silver" in his nightly "Worst Person in the World" segment for writing, as Media Matters for America documented: "I coined the term 'San Francisco values' and well understand they have little to do with democracy." Olbermann explained that, in fact, "[a] California congressman used it in a campaign as early as 1996," as Media Matters noted. Read more

Print reports portrayed Medicare drug price reform as problematic for Democrats, ignoring internal drug memo laying out industry concerns
The Washington Post, the Los Angeles Times, and The Wall Street Journal all asserted that it may be difficult for congressional Democrats to deliver on their pledge to reform the Medicare drug plan over the opposition of the Bush administration, congressional Republicans, and the pharmaceutical industry, but did not report an internal drug company memo that warned of bills that would allow imported drugs and force price competition. Read more

AP article on new DOJ probe of domestic spying program failed to note that Bush blocked previous one
In reporting on the Justice Department's probe into the Bush administration's warrantless domestic surveillance program, the Associated Press left out the fact that President Bush had effectively shut down a previous probe -- by the department's Office of Professional Responsibility -- by denying investigators the necessary security clearances. Read more

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