Monday, April 23, 2007

Media Matters for America, April 23, 2007

Limbaugh "Worst Person" for claiming VA Tech shooter was a "liberal"

On the April 20 edition of MSNBC's Countdown, host Keith Olbermann named nationally syndicated radio host Rush Limbaugh the "winner" of his nightly "Worst Person in the World"
segment for claiming that the perpetrator of the April 16 shootings at Virginia Tech was a "liberal," as Media Matters for America documented. Olbermann quoted Limbaugh saying: "This guy had to be a liberal. You start railing against the rich, and all this other -- this guy is a liberal. He was turned into a liberal somewhere along the line. So it's a liberal that committed this act." Read more

Limbaugh falsely accused Media Matters of not providing context for his "Obama Osama" comment

On the April 20 broadcast of his nationally syndicated radio show, host Rush Limbaugh asserted that Media Matters for America "takes everything that we say here out of context". The example Limbaugh provided was an incident on his July 11, 2005, broadcast in which he repeatedly referred to Sen. Barack Obama (D-IL) as "Obama Osama" and "Osama Obama." Limbaugh argued that he was just engaging in a "parody because Senator [Edward] Kennedy [D-MA] at the National Press Club was asked about Obama and said, "Well, we need to ask Osama about that." In fact, as Media Matters documented at the time, while Limbaugh mentioned Kennedy's gaffe during the broadcast, he also repeatedly referred to Obama as "Osama Obama" or "Obama Osama" in criticizing Obama and Democrats in general. Read more

Limbaugh claimed Media Matters "fell for" his "liberal" gunman "joke" "hook, line, and sinker"

On the April 23 broadcast of his nationally syndicated radio show, host Rush Limbaugh claimed "I was making a joke" when he said on his April 19 broadcast that Virginia Tech gunman Cho Seung-Hui "had to be a liberal, " and "it's a liberal that committed this act" before adding on April 23, "I do believe that it was liberalism that got a hold of this guy and made him hate things, professors and this sort of thing." Limbaugh also lashed out at Media Matters for America, claiming that he had made the comments about Cho "as a means of illustrating on this show how the words of conservative talk show hosts are twisted and taken out of context," before adding, "And sure enough, Media Matters fell for it hook, line, and sinker. They had it up all over the place." Read more

Ignoring polling, Matthews claimed "[t]wo-thirds" of Americans say leave [Gonzales] alone

Discussing Attorney General Alberto R. Gonzales' April 19 appearance at a Senate Judiciary Committee hearing into the firing of eight U.S. attorneys on that day's edition of MSNBC's Hardball, host Chris Matthews baselessly asserted that "[t]wo-thirds of the American people say -- I mean, they don't like it, but they don't think he's [Gonzales] telling the truth -- but
they say leave him alone." In fact, several polls have indicated that a plurality of respondents believe Gonzales should resign, while other polls show the public divided on the subject. During the program, Matthews also did not challenge the false assertion by guest David Rivkin, a Justice department official under President George H.W. Bush, that senators "did not talk about specific U.S. attorneys" with Gonzales during the hearing. Read more

PBS gave Perle hour to repeat debunked claims about Iraqi WMDs and links to Al Qaeda

On the PBS series America at a Crossroads, former Defense Policy Board chairman Richard Perle, in an April 17 segment titled "The Case for War: In Defense of Freedom," made a series of
assertions about the Iraq war that have already been shown to be false. He claimed that "all of the intelligence available to us suggested that Saddam had weapons of mass destruction [WMD]. ... We all believed that, which is why I object to referring to some of the things that were said before the war as 'lies.' " In fact, the Bush administration made several statements about Saddam's WMD capabilities that "all of the intelligence available to us" did not support. Perle then claimed that prewar Iraq had a working relationship with Al Qaeda, a claim that has been debunked by the Senate Intelligence Committee. Finally, Perle claimed that Osama bin Laden's "network has been destroyed," even though U.S. intelligence officials' have reportedly said that bin Laden is rebuilding his network. Read more

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