Wednesday, February 21, 2007

Media Matters for America February 21, 2007

Newsweek: McCain flip-flops a "pro" with "values voters," but Romney reversals a "con"

In an article offering a "'values voter' tally" of "the pros and cons of top GOP hopefuls" in the 2008 presidential campaign, Newsweek touted McCain's reversal on the Christian right -- first condemning Jerry Falwell and Pat Robertson as "agents of intolerance" then trying to "make amends" -- as a "pro" for him among "values voters," while Romney's "alleged flip-flops" on same-sex marriage and abortion rights "could really hurt" him among "[e]vangelicals." Read more

Journal Ed. Report selectively quoted Clinton to claim she is "disingenuous" and "supported the war" in 2004

On the February 17 edition of Fox News' Journal Editorial Report, host and Wall Street Journal editorial page editor Paul Gigot pointed to three brief statements by Sen. Hillary Rodham Clinton (D-NY) -- from a 2002 Senate floor statement, a 2004 interview on CNN's Larry King Live, and a 2007 speech -- as examples of her alleged "marked turn to the left" on the Iraq war. Gigot went on to ask Journal columnist Bret Stephens to comment on Clinton's argument that her 2002 vote in favor of the Iraq war resolution was not intended to serve as "a blank check for President Bush," but rather to "give the president more leverage" in the weapons inspection process. Stephens responded that this argument is "disingenuous" and claimed that Clinton "supported the war for a very long time, including after it became clear that weapons of mass destruction were probably not going to be found in Iraq." As proof, Stephens cited the quote from the 2004 CNN interview, in which Clinton stated that she "did not regret" voting for the 2002 resolution "because at the time it was in the context of weapons of mass destruction." Read more

Newsweek joins Romney swooners: Darman and Thomas call him "buff and handsome"

A February 26 Newsweek article by Jonathan Darman and Evan Thomas described former Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney (R) as "buff and handsome in late middle age." Read more

Olbermann awarded O'Reilly, Miller "Worst Person" "bronze" for false accusations about Clinton

On the February 16 edition of MSNBC's Countdown, host Keith Olbermann awarded Fox News anchor Bill O'Reilly and Fox News contributor Dennis Miller "[t]he bronze" in his nightly "Worst Person in the World" segment for, as Media Matters for America documented, falsely asserting that Sen. Hillary Rodham Clinton (D) did not attend any memorial services for victims of the September 11 terrorist attacks. Olbermann stated that Miller played "the straight man feeding Orally [O'Reilly] the question, 'Did Hillary Clinton not even attend one 9-11 memorial service?' Bill-O [O'Reilly] of course replied, 'That is correct.' " Miller had asked O'Reilly: "I always liked the way [former New York Mayor] Rudy [Giuliani] stepped up to the memorial services for the 9-11 people. Didn't he attend like hundreds and hundreds of them? And didn't, in fact, The [O'Reilly] Factor do some research back then that Hillary Clinton did not attend one?" to which O'Reilly replied: "That is correct." Olbermann then explained that, contrary to O'Reilly's assertion, "[e]ven one of the senator's sleaziest critics said in November of 2001 that she quote, 'attended three highly publicized memorial services.' The critic who said that, the critic who O'Reilly just contradicted? Bill O'Reilly." Read more

AP, CNN, The State reported McCain's Roe comment without noting McCain's history of flip-flopping on overturning Roe

Despite his history of inconsistency on the subject, which Media Matters for America has repeatedly noted (here, here, here, and here), the Associated Press uncritically reported in a February 18 article Sen. John McCain's (R-AZ) statement that "I do not support Roe versus Wade. It should be overturned." Read more

Numerous media outlets attribute "slow bleed" rhetoric to Democrats

CNN and MSNBC are among the latest media outlets to suggest that the term "slow bleed" was the Democrats' description of Rep. John Murtha's strategy in dealing with the administration on Iraq. In fact, the term has been embraced by Republicans to attack Democrats after it appeared in a Politico article. Read more

Fox News reporter relayed dubious Justice Department assertion that recent U.S. attorney firings all based on "performance-related issues"

Catherine Herridge uncritically repeated an assertion by Justice Department officials that seven U.S. attorneys were fired recently because of "performance-related issues." But in testimony before a Senate committee, Deputy Attorney General Paul McNulty conceded that performance played no role in at least one of those cases. Moreover, at least five reportedly received positive job reviews before being fired.
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