Thursday, November 30, 2006

Media Matters Latest, November 30, 2006

Wash. Post's Ignatius cast Hagel as among earliest "national politician[s]" to criticize Iraq war, ignoring his support for 2002 war resolution
In his Washington Post column, David Ignatius asserted that if Sen. Chuck Hagel decides to run for president in 2008, "he can claim to have been right about Iraq and other key issues earlier than almost any national politician, Republican or Democratic." However, Ignatius' claim is undermined by the fact that Hagel voted to authorize military action against Iraq in October 2002, which numerous Democrats vocally opposed at the time. Read more

Hedgecock baselessly compared Baghdad's violent death rate to D.C.'s
On the November 28 broadcast of The Rush Limbaugh Show, guest host Roger Hedgecock baselessly claimed that "the murder rate in Baghdad, the people being killed in Baghdad, is lower than the murder rate of Washington, D.C." Based on estimates from the Brookings Institution, Baghdad's violent death rate since January 2006 is about 238 per 100,000 people; by contrast, Washington, D.C., had a homicide rate of 35.4 per 100,000 in 2005. Read more

Bozell suggested vast majority of generals "disagree" with NBC that Iraq is in "civil war," but cited none who have specifically denied it
On Hannity & Colmes, Brent Bozell criticized NBC News' decision to refer to the situation in Iraq as a "civil war," saying that there are "probably 100 generals" in Iraq "who would disagree" with that assessment. Bozell offered no specific examples of any high-ranking military officials who have said Iraq is not in the midst of a civil war. Read more headline proclaimed that Bush "Takes Charge on Iraq," but article, and other reporting, suggest otherwise
A article about the scheduled news conference with President Bush and Iraqi Prime Minister Nuri Kamal al-Maliki carried the headline "The President Takes Charge on Iraq," but the article itself noted only that the White House "is eager to show that the President is focused intently on Iraq." Another article posted the same day detailed the "five fatal mistakes" in Bush's Middle East policy. Read more

"War on Penguins" rages on in Medved's USA Today op-ed
In a November 29 USA Today op-ed, conservative radio host Michael Medved continued his attacks on the animated children's movie Happy Feet (Warner Bros., November 2006), claiming that the movie, which features tap-dancing penguins, contains "unmistakably alarming, discomfiting and politically potent elements," and that penguins themselves have "become targets and instruments of powerful propaganda." As Media Matters for America noted, in a November 17 weblog post on, Medved referred to the film as "Crappy Feet" and claimed that it was the "darkest, most disturbing feature length animated film ever offered by a major studio." Read more
Olbermann named O'Reilly "Worst Person" for saying imams kicked off plane "wouldn't get handcuffed in Crate & Barrel if they started chanting and stuff"
On the November 28 edition of MSNBC's Countdown, host Keith Olbermann named Fox News host Bill O'Reilly "the winner" in his nightly "Worst Person in the World" segment for his "war on Christmas crap" and, as Media Matters for America documented, "trash[ing] the retailers Crate & Barrel because the spokeswoman was quoted in a newspaper as saying, 'We would definitely not say Merry Christmas.' " Olbermann also pointed out O'Reilly's comment that "the imams who were yanked off the U.S. Air flight last week, quote, 'wouldn't get handcuffed in Crate & Barrel if they started chanting and stuff.' " Olbermann then observed, as Media Matters also noted, that "[t]he spokeswoman was asked if employees there were required to say 'Merry Christmas' to customers," to which "[s]he said no, they weren't required" but "[t]hey could if they wanted to." Read more

Asserting incoming Senate GOP leader's "conciliatory" tone, Wash. Post article left out GOP's dumping of unfinished spending bills on Democrats
The Washington Post reported that incoming Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell "[s]ound[ed] a conciliatory note" and "vowed ... to work with Democrats" when they take control of Congress next year. But the article made no mention of the Senate Republican leadership's reported decision not to deal with several government spending bills for fiscal year 2007 in the lame-duck session, placing the burden on Democrats to finish them. Read more

Savage: To "save the United States," lawmakers should institute "outright ban on Muslim immigration" and on "the construction of mosques"
On the November 27 edition of his nationally syndicated radio show, Michael Savage declared that in order to "save the United States," lawmakers should institute "an outright ban on Muslim immigration" into the country. Savage also recommended making "the construction of mosques illegal in America, and the speaking of English only in the streets of the United States the law." Read more

WSJ's Miniter baselessly linked same-sex marriage to rise in out-of-wedlock births
In his November 28 online column, Wall Street Journal assistant editor Brendan Miniter baselessly asserted that a study indicating an increase in out-of-wedlock births "reveals why" the debate over same-sex marriage "is worth having now." Read more

Fox & Friends interviewed Inhofe again; co-host Doocy seconded his claim that humans are not a cause of global warming
Fox & Friends conducted a one-on-one interview with Sen. James Inhofe for the second time in two weeks, during which he asserted that there is no "relationship between manmade gases and global warming." In fact, the scientific consensus view is that "human activities are responsible for much of the recent warming" of the planet. Read more

O'Reilly declared that "secular-progressives" want "out-of-wedlock birth in the USA" to be "at record highs"
On the November 27 broadcast of his nationally syndicated radio show, The Radio Factor, host Bill O'Reilly highlighted an upcoming segment of the program on "wins" and "losses" in the "culture war" by claiming "out-of-wedlock birth in the USA [is] at record highs, which the S-Ps [secular-progressives] want." Read more

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