Friday, June 29, 2007

Media Matters for America, June 29, 2007

AP uncritically reported groups' reasons for excluding Ron Paul from Iowa forum

The Associated Press uncritically reported that Republican presidential candidate Ron Paul was excluded from the Iowa presidential forum because, according to one of the groups sponsoring the event, Paul "didn't meet the criteria the groups drew up," including "having an established exploratory committee and garnering at least 1 percent in a national poll."

The AP did not mention that Paul established his presidential exploratory committee months before invitations for the forum were sent and was polling at 1 percent in at least one national poll at that time. Read more

Ignoring his colleagues, CNN's Blitzer repeatedly suggested only Democrats voted for subpoenas

On the June 27 edition of CNN's The Situation Room, host Wolf Blitzer repeatedly suggested that only Senate Democrats subpoenaed the White House and Vice President Dick Cheney's office, seeking documents about the administration's warrantless domestic wiretapping program.

Blitzer continued to frame the news as a confrontation between Democrats and the Bush administration even though CNN correspondents Dana Bash and Elaine Quijano and Democratic strategist Paul Begala all pointed out during The Situation Room that several Republicans on the Senate Judiciary Committee had voted to authorize the subpoenas. Read more

NBC's Gregory repeated Coulter falsehood on Today

On the June 28 edition of NBC's Today, guest host and NBC News chief White House correspondent David Gregory uncritically repeated the false claim made by right-wing pundit Ann Coulter on the June 26 edition of MSNBC's Hardball that Democratic presidential candidate John Edwards received "big money to speak in front of a poverty group."

Gregory used the claim during an interview with Edwards' wife, Elizabeth, to argue: "If you strip away some of the inflammatory rhetoric [by Coulter] against your husband and other Democrats, the point she's trying to make about your husband ... is in effect that he's disingenuous, especially on the signature issue of poverty, whether it's a $400 haircut or taking big money to speak in front of a poverty group." Gregory asked, "[I]s that a real point of vulnerability that you have to deal with in this campaign?" Read more

Fox's Hannity again smeared pastor of Barack Obama's church as "black separatist"

On the June 26 edition of Fox News' Hannity & Colmes, co-host Sean Hannity again accused Rev. Jeremiah A. Wright -- pastor of the Trinity United Church of Christ, which Sen. Barack Obama (D-IL) attends -- of holding "these black-separatist views, about the Black Value System." Following a trend from previous shows, Hannity did not mention Wright's explicit denial on the March 1 edition of Hannity & Colmes that his church embraces separatism Moreover, Hannity cited no specific evidence that Trinity espouses black separatism, and, indeed, Media Matters for America could find no reference on Trinity's website suggesting an espousal of black separatism, which, as articulated by African-American activist Stokely Carmichael, is the position that "[i]f we are to proceed toward true liberation, we must cut ourselves off from white people." Read more

Coulter defended CPAC comment about Edwards: "I wasn't saying it on TV"

During an interview on the June 27 edition of CNN Headline News' Glenn Beck, right-wing pundit Ann Coulter defended a controversial remark she made about Democratic presidential candidate John Edwards during the 2007 Conservative Political Action Conference (CPAC) by claiming, "I wasn't saying it on TV. I was saying it at a right-wing political convention with 7,000 college Republicans.

I didn't put it on TV." In fact, Coulter's March 2 CPAC speech -- during which she said she couldn't "really talk about" Edwards because "you have to go into rehab if you use the word 'faggot' " -- aired on C-SPAN, like many of the other speeches at the conference. Moreover, Coulter has previously used the epithet "on TV." Indeed, during the July 27, 2006, edition of MSNBC's Hardball, she referred to former Vice President Al Gore as a "total fag." Read more

Coulter falsely claimed Elizabeth Edwards "lied about" her column

During an interview with right-wing pundit Ann Coulter on the June 28 edition of MSNBC's Morning Joe, host Joe Scarborough asked Coulter about an exchange Coulter had with Elizabeth Edwards, wife of Democratic presidential candidate John Edwards, on the June 26 edition of MSNBC's Hardball with Chris Matthews.

Scarborough noted that Elizabeth Edwards "said that you had written some column where you had made light of John Edwards' dead son," and asked Coulter: "What's the story behind that?" Coulter replied: "Needless to say, that is not true. ... You can look it up. It's all over the Web.

It's a fabulous column, titled 'The Party of Ideas,' written in 2003. I had to go back and get the full gist of the column. It was about all of the Democratic primary opponents." In the column, published on November 19, 2003, Coulter, addressing John Edwards, wrote: "If you want points for not using your son's death politically, don't you have to take down all those 'Ask me about my son's death in a horrific car accident' bumper stickers?" Coulter further said on Morning Joe, "I'm the only person in America who has to go back and constantly explain an entire column when it is lied about like this. ... I am getting a little fed up with being described as the aggressor in these matters. In any event, it was about the Democratic presidential nominees back then." But Coulter did not explain how what Elizabeth Edwards said constituted a "lie[]." Read more

MSNBC's Jansing asked Edwards: "Why give Ann Coulter more publicity?"

On the June 28 edition of MSNBC Live, anchor Chris Jansing interviewed Elizabeth Edwards, wife of Democratic presidential candidate John Edwards, about her exchange with right-wing pundit Ann Coulter on the June 26 edition of MSNBC's Hardball, in which Edwards asked Coulter to stop making "personal attacks" against her husband and others. At one point during the interview, Jansing said to Edwards: "There are people who support your opinion, I'm sure you know, who say, 'Why even dignify it with a response? Why give Ann Coulter more publicity?' "read more

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