Thursday, December 21, 2006

Media Matters Latest, December 21, 2006

Schlussel: Should Barack Hussein Obama be president "when we are fighting the war of our lives against Islam"?
In a December 18 column headlined "Barack Hussein Obama: Once a Muslim, Always A Muslim" and posted on her website, right-wing pundit Debbie Schlussel argued that because Sen. Barack Obama's (D-IL) middle name is Hussein, his late, estranged father was of Muslim descent, and he has shown interest in his father's Kenyan heritage, Obama's "loyalties" must be called into question as he emerges as a possible Democratic presidential candidate. In the column, Schlussel asked: "So, even if he identifies strongly as a Christian ... is a man who Muslims think is a Muslim, who feels some sort of psychological need to prove himself to his absent Muslim father, and who is now moving in the direction of his father's heritage, a man we want as President when we are fighting the war of our lives against Islam? Where will his loyalties be?" She ended her column by asking if Obama becoming vice president instead would be acceptable. Answering her own question, she wrote: "NO WAY, JOSE ... Or, is that, HUSSEIN?" Read more

On MSNBC, Mitchell allowed McCain aide to distance Terry Nelson from controversial RNC ad
NBC News' Andrea Mitchell did not challenge Sen. John McCain aide Rick Davis when he asserted that Terry Nelson was not "behind" a campaign ad attacking Rep. Harold Ford Jr. that was criticized as racist. In fact, Nelson was head of the political unit that paid for the ad and presumably in a position to sign off on its creation and broadcast. Read more

Wash. Post's Cohen touted McCain's "visceral hostility" toward lobbyists, ignoring longstanding, growing relationship
In his Washington Post column, Richard Cohen asserted that Sen. John McCain has, for a "long time," displayed a "visceral hostility toward the ways of Washington's K Street lobbying crowd." In fact, McCain and his staff have longstanding ties to the lobbying industry, and he is reportedly strengthening those ties in anticipation of a 2008 presidential bid. Read more

Matthews likened Sen. Clinton to a "strip-teaser," asked, "Is she a convincing mom?"
On the December 19 edition of MSNBC's Hardball, host Chris Matthews compared Sen. Hillary Rodham Clinton (D-NY) to a "strip-teaser"; said she had "a nice, mellifluous voice" and "her hair looked ... great"; and wondered if Clinton is "a convincing mom." Read more

Morris "leaving the country" if Clinton-Obama ticket wins
On the December 18 edition of Fox News' Hannity & Colmes, guest host Karen Hanretty asked Fox News political analyst Dick Morris if he was "proposing a ticket of [Sen.] Hillary Clinton [D-NY], [Sen.] Barack Obama [D-IL]," for the Democratic presidential nomination, to which Morris replied: "I'm not proposing it. I'm leaving the country if this happens." Morris added, "I do not want Hillary Clinton controlling the FBI and the IRS and the CIA and the DEA." When co-host Alan Colmes later asked Morris if he was "really going to leave" should Clinton win, Morris said, "I hope not to have to make that choice." Morris' comments first appeared on and later were noted by and other media outlets. Read more

O'Reilly falsely claimed Best Buy employee confirmed ban on "Merry Christmas"
On the December 19 edition of Fox News' The O'Reilly Factor, host Bill O'Reilly continued to assert that "Best Buy orders its employees not to say 'Merry Christmas.' " O'Reilly said that he got this information from "Best Buy employees," falsely claiming that he "had one on the radio today." As Media Matters for America recently noted, a Best Buy spokesperson denied that the company forbids employees to say "Merry Christmas" to customers. A caller on the December 19 broadcast of O'Reilly's nationally syndicated radio show, who claimed that employees at Best Buy "are not allowed to say Merry Christmas" and "could get fired" for doing so, identified herself as a Best Buy customer, not an employee. Read more

Will media challenge first lady's criticisms of media -- now refuted by conservatives -- during interviews?
Given that conservatives such as Rich Lowry and Tony Blankley have challenged Laura Bush's assertion that the media have failed to cover "a lot of good things that are happening" in Iraq, will the media similarly take on the first lady's baseless -- and at times outright false -- attacks on the media? Read more

O'Reilly challenged Rather to "put up or shut up" for claiming that Fox News echoes White House
On the December 18 edition of Fox News' The O'Reilly Factor, host Bill O'Reilly attacked former CBS Evening News anchor Dan Rather for his criticism of Fox News Channel, telling Rather that he "needs to put up or shut up." On the November 17 edition of HBO's Real Time with Bill Maher, Rather asserted that "I think it's fair to say, Bill, in fact, I know it is, that Fox News operates at least in a somewhat different way than every other news organization that I know. ... They have their talking points ... from the White House." Rather defended his claim during the December 17 edition of CNN's Reliable Sources. Responding to Rather's assertions, O'Reilly stated that he "want[ed]" Rather to provide "some documentation of his accusation" when Rather appears on The O'Reilly Factor. O'Reilly asserted that Rather "can't" "back ... up" his claim; suggested Rather was "dishonest"; and stated that Fox News is "balanced" because the channel employs O'Reilly himself, hosts Alan Colmes, Sean Hannity, and Greta Van Susteren, as well as analysts Kirsten Powers and Michelle Malkin. In fact, as Media Matters for America has repeatedly documented, Fox News anchors, contributors, and correspondents routinely forward White House talking points in their own reporting. Read more

No comments: