Friday, January 25, 2008

Media Matters Daily Summary 01-25-08

Morning Joe panel panned Gibson's "awful joke of an apology" after his "anti-gay tirade" about Ledger's death
On Morning Joe, Mika Brzezinski described John Gibson's statement in response to the firestorm over remarks he made concerning the death of actor Heath Ledger as "an awful, awful joke of an apology," and later asserted that it was "not an apology." After airing Gibson's statement, Joe Scarborough said, "What he said was, 'I'm sorry if you were offended. ... I'm sorry if you were offended that I mocked the death of a young man.' " Scarborough also asserted that Gibson "got caught in an anti-gay tirade." Read More

Beck falsely claimed Dem candidates have not supported striking writers
On his CNN Headline News program, Glenn Beck repeatedly suggested that the top Democratic presidential candidates have not shown support for the ongoing Writers Guild strike. In fact, all of the Democratic front-runners have expressed support for the striking writers. John Edwards joined them on a Los Angeles picket line, and Sens. Barack Obama and Hillary Rodham Clinton each issued statements of support for the writers. The candidates also withdrew from a planned December 10 CBS News debate, forcing its cancellation. Read More

Morning Joe hosts launched misleading attacks on Obama over state Senate votes
Joe Scarborough and Willie Geist ridiculed Sen. Barack Obama (D-IL) for "push[ing] the wrong button" when casting votes as an Illinois state senator. But they failed to make clear that, according to the Los Angeles Times article they were referencing (which addressed only five of the six alleged mistaken votes), Obama stated that he had voted the wrong way and asked that the record reflect that fact for each of those five votes when he actually cast them in the Illinois state Senate. Read More

UPI baselessly asserted that Obama paid "substantially lower than market value" for Rezko property
United Press International reported that Barack Obama "closed a real estate deal in 2005 with [indicted businessman Antoin] Rezko's wife while the families lived next to each other," and "paid Rezko's wife a price substantially lower than market value for an adjoining parcel." In fact, Obama purchased the land from Rezko in January 2006 (not 2005, as UPI reported), he paid substantially more than what an Obama spokesman reportedly said was the land's appraised value, and the Rezkos sold the remainder of the vacant lot before developing it and thus never "lived next to" Obama. Read More

Dobbs falsely suggested CNN Democratic debate didn't include "one question about illegal immigration"
On CNN's Lou Dobbs Tonight, Lou Dobbs agreed with a viewer that "[t]here was not one question about illegal immigration" asked during the recent Democratic presidential debate, saying, "You know, I noticed that. I wonder why." But, during the debate, CNN's Joe Johns asked Sen. Barack Obama if his health-care plan would "cover the estimated 12 million or so illegal immigrants" in the United States. And Wolf Blitzer later asked a similar question of John Edwards. Read More

CNN's Blitzer and Todd falsely present August 2007 Michelle Obama comment as current attack on Clintons
On CNN's The Situation Room, Wolf Blitzer and correspondent Brian Todd aired a video clip of Michelle Obama's August 16, 2007, comment, "So our view is that if you can't run your own house, you certainly can't run the White House," falsely suggesting that she had recently made the comment in the context of exchanges between the presidential campaigns of Sen. Barack Obama and Sen. Hillary Clinton. The remark, Blitzer suggested, showed Michelle Obama going "[t]oe to toe with the former President Bill Clinton." Read More

R. Emmett Tyrrell Jr. falsely asserted Clinton's "experience ... includes lying under oath, and obstructing justice"
In a Washington Times column, R. Emmett Tyrrell Jr. wrote that Sen. Hillary Clinton's "experience ... includes lying under oath, and obstructing justice." But Clinton has never been charged with, let alone found guilty of, "lying under oath" or "obstructing justice." Read More

Despite earlier calling it a "myth," CNN aired Huckabee's claim that FairTax allows workers to "get their whole paychecks"
During a report on CNN's The Situation Room, Mary Snow uncritically aired Mike Huckabee's assertion that "[i]f we could free people up to go out and earn -- get their whole paychecks -- it could make a truly huge difference in securing jobs and making the economy work." However, in a previous report, CNN's Ali Velshi had rebutted the claim that, under the FairTax plan, workers would get to keep their entire paychecks, saying, "Promoters like Huckabee talk about how you'd get 100 percent of your salary paid to you. Now, that is a myth." Read More

MSNBC's Hall aired McCain ad attacking Romney for "chang[ing] positions" on tax cuts without noting McCain's flip-flops on taxes, negative campaigning
On MSNBC Live, Tamron Hall aired an ad from Sen. John McCain that accuses Mitt Romney of "chang[ing] positions like the wind" on his support for "the Bush tax cuts." But Hall did not mention that McCain himself has shifted positions on President Bush's tax cuts or that McCain has previously denounced "negative campaigns." Read More

Beck called "Comrade Clinton" a "liberal fascist," Edwards "a communist"
Glenn Beck asserted that Hillary Clinton is "a liberal fascist ... who wants to redistribute the wealth in this country the way she believes is good for everybody," adding that her desire "to get back to the appropriate balance of power between government and the market ... sounds like the Soviet Union," and that "Comrade Clinton has railed against the excesses of the offensive executive pay packages and an out of whack tax code that favors the wealthy while holding down the middle class." Beck also said of John Edwards: "Now, put a red star on his furry head. He's a communist." Read More

CNN quoted CEI policy director on "green-collar jobs" without noting group's reported ties to energy industry
During a report on presidential candidates' promotion of "green-collar jobs," CNN's Gerri Willis aired a quote from Myron Ebell of the Competitive Enterprise Institute (CEI) without noting CEI's reported ties to the energy industry. CEI has reportedly received significant funding from energy industry sources, including more than $2 million from Exxon Mobil Corp. since 1998. Read More falsely claimed McCain opposed 2001 Bush tax cuts because they should be "balanced by spending cuts" asserted that "[i]n 2001, [Sen. John] McCain voted against a $1.35-trillion tax cut package, arguing that the tax cuts should be balanced by spending cuts." This assertion is false. While McCain now claims that was his reason for voting against the tax cuts in 2001, that was not the reason he gave at the time of the vote itself. In a floor statement, McCain did not mention the absence of offsetting spending cuts; rather, he stated: "I cannot in good conscience support a tax cut in which so many of the benefits go to the most fortunate among us, at the expense of middle class Americans who most need tax relief." Read More

USA Today labeled conservative evangelical Huckabee supporters as "value voters"
Repeating the myth that social conservatives are the only political constituency that votes its "values," the January 24 USA Today twice referred to voters most inclined to support Republican presidential candidate and former Arkansas Governor Mike Huckabee as "values voters." A front-page graphic claimed "Huckabee: Has drawn evangelicals and 'values voters,' " while an accompanying article noted that "Huckabee's strength is among just those kind of 'values voters' " who are "uncomfortable" with Rudy Giuliani. Read More

NBC's Corke repeated myth that Giuliani kept "out of all these early contests"
On MSNBC Live, Kevin Corke falsely suggested that Rudy Giuliani did not compete in the early states, asking senior Giuliani adviser Susan Molinari: "Why on Earth would you more or less shelve him and keep him out of all these early contests?" In fact, Giuliani did not avoid "these early contests," but spent considerable time and money in Iowa and New Hampshire. Read More

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