Thursday, May 24, 2007

Media Matters for America, May 24, 2007

Carlson defended Giuliani's speeches as "selling ... talent," attacked Edwards' speech as "soaking a public university"

On the May 22 edition of MSNBC's Tucker, host Tucker Carlson attacked Democratic presidential candidate and former Sen. John Edwards (NC) for his January 9, 2006, speech at the University of California-Davis, claiming that Edwards "soak[ed] a public university for $55,000 when he's already worth millions." He then asked: "Why the hell is he doing that? What's the possible justification for that?" However, just five days earlier, Carlson had defended the millions of dollars former New York City Mayor Rudy Giuliani made on the lecture circuit in recent years, saying: "If I make millions giving speeches, I have to get up and perform. I'm selling my talent." Additionally, Carlson made no mention of the fact that UC-Davis charged admission for Edwards' speech, which, combined with sponsorship of the event, offset Edwards' fee, according to Edwards' campaign.Read more

O'Reilly was Olbermann's "Worst Person" runner-up for "talk show nuts" comment

On the May 22 edition of MSNBC's Countdown, host Keith Olbermann named Fox News host Bill O'Reillythe "runner-up" in his nightly "Worst Person in the World" segment for, as Media Matters for America documented,"comparing extremists on the immigration debate to the, quote,'talk show nuts who are telling you that they're gonna nuke Tehran,' " despite having made similar assertions. Olbermann noted:"Last December 5th, Bill-O said, '[W]e may have to''level cities like Tehran, kill hundreds of thousands of people. A year ago, January, Bill-O said, '[I]t's a matter of time before the United States of America and Great Britain will have to bomb the country of Iran.' " Read more

Limbaugh lashed out at Media Matters and NBC, having declined invitation from Today to respond

On the May 22 edition of his nationally syndicated radio show, in response to segments on the May 21 editions of NBC's Today and MSNBC's Scarborough Country highlighting his "Barack, the Magic Negro" parody, Rush Limbaugh claimed: "Now, here's what gets me about this. This whole thing came from this website called Media Matters for America. And the drive-by media, NBC, Dan Abrams, the Today show people, everybody, CNN, they rely on this religiously to find out, quote-unquote 'find out,' what happens on this program." Limbaugh continued: "They don't listen to this program. Dan Abrams didn't listen to this program about any -- he doesn't know what happened here. His source is Media Matters for America and maybe a couple of newspaper columns." Read more recycled Clinton myths, Vince Foster conspiracy theories

In a May 14 column about Sen. Hillary Rodham Clinton (D-NY) headlined "Media ignores Hillary's scandals,"'s "Washington Watch" claimed,"It is right to ask with fresh lenses: What was her role in Whitewater, the death of [Clinton administration deputy White House counsel] Vince Foster, the curtailment of 'bimbo eruptions,' Travelgate, Filegate, and Monicagate?" The anonymously authored column continued: "Did she have an affair with Vince Foster -- as was reported in The American Spectator in the 1990s? Is she a lesbian, as has also been rumored for years?"Read more

Michelle Malkin distorted poll of U.S. Muslims to claim they are "cause for big concern"

In her May 23 syndicated column, right-wing pundit Michelle Malkin wrote: "If we believe the spin of Associated Press headline writers, there's little cause for concern about" a May 22 survey by the Pew Research Center on the American Muslim population. Malkin was referring to a May 22 AP article reporting on the survey. According to the AP, the poll "revealed" that the U.S. Muslim population is "largely mainstream" and "a community that in many ways blends comfortably into society." Malkin continued by asserting that "the details of the poll show that the always-downplayed tiny minority of jihadi sympathizers in America is cause for big concern." To support this claim, however, Malkin misrepresented the findings of the study. Indeed, she both exaggerated the percentage of respondents who believe that the U.S. government was responsible for the September 11, 2001, terrorist attacks and obscured the actual share with favorable views toward Al Qaeda. Read more

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