Thursday, July 26, 2007

Media Matters for America, July 26, 2007

Colbert Report ridiculed Hannity's baseless suggestion of "foul play" in Vince Foster's death

On the July 25 edition of Comedy Central's The Colbert Report, host Stephen Colbert mocked Fox News host Sean Hannity's July 22 report on Hannity's America -- documented by Media Matters for America -- which asserted: "[Former deputy White House counsel] Vince Foster got in his car and drove to Fort Marcy Park in Virginia. And he supposedly walked through the woods, and depending on which version of the story you believe, he took his own life. ... In the minds of some, these questions may have provided a motive for foul play." After playing a clip featuring those quotes, Colbert said: "Shocking. And if it weren't for the minds of some, like Sean Hannity, we wouldn't even have the implication that the Clintons killed one of their oldest friends." He also stated, "Sean Hannity knows there is no greater threat to America today than Bill Clinton 15 years ago." Read more

O'Reilly continued to attack Daily Kos while ignoring objectionable comments on his own site

During the July 25 edition of Fox News' The O'Reilly Factor, discussing the Democratic presidential candidates' decision to attend the YearlyKos convention, host Bill O'Reilly again railed against the purportedly "objectionable" material on the Daily Kos blog, and comedian Dennis Miller agreed, saying: "There's some mean stuff on that site. ... [T]hat's a pretty fetid little orchard over there." But neither O'Reilly nor Miller discussed the content of comments on O'Reilly's own site, including one from July 13 that was flagged in a July 26 Americablog post, in which a user mused: "Maybe it's time to burn down the capitol building like Hitler did with the Reichstag building? Anyone comparing Bush to Hitler has no idea of what the real Nazis were like in the '30s. Ellison is an idiot." The poster was apparently commenting on a remark by Rep. Keith Ellison (D-MN) comparing the Bush administration's response to the September 11 attacks with the fire at the Reichstag building orchestrated by the Nazi party. Read more

Three journalists listed as AHIP speakers, then disappear from website following Kos diary

A July 23 Daily Kos diary by "nyceve"noted that three medical correspondents -- Robert Bazell and Nancy Snyderman of NBC News and Susan Dentzer of PBS' NewsHour -- "all participate on the AHIP [America's Health Insurance Plans] Speakers Network." AHIP describes itself as "the voice of America's health insurers" and "the national association representing nearly 1,300 member companies providing health insurance coverage to more than 200 million Americans." Its board of directors consists mainly of insurance-company executives. A July 25 Roll Call article (subscription required) described AHIP as "the lobbying group for the health insurance industry." The Daily Kos diary also noted that none of the bios for the three journalists on the websites of NBC or PBS disclosed the journalists' roles with the AHIP Speakers Network. Each of the reporters was, indeed, listed on AHIP's website as part of its speakers network, but all
three names have since been removed from the list. Read more

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