Tuesday, January 29, 2008

Media Matters Daily Summary 01-29-08

Matthews to McCain: "[Y]ou know you're in my heart!"
During MSNBC's coverage of President Bush's final State of the Union address, Chris Matthews told Sen. John McCain, "Senator McCain, you know you're in my heart!" later concluding, "Well, you show a lot of courage out there, Senator." Matthews has repeatedly gushed over McCain and his candidacy. Read More

On Fox News, Cunningham repeatedly referred to Obama as "Barack Hussein Obama"
On Hannity's America, conservative radio talk-show host Bill Cunningham repeatedly called Sen. Barack Obama "Barack Hussein Obama." Discussing the Democratic presidential primaries, Cunningham asserted: "I've had a couple individuals tell me that after the so-called 'white voters' in Iowa and New Hampshire weighed in heavily, especially in Iowa, for Barack Hussein Obama and then in New Hampshire, Hillary kind of made a little bit of a comeback. There has been a conscious effort by Bubba [Bill] Clinton to smear and to slime Barack Hussein Obama on the race issue." Read More

Olbermann named Beck "runner-up" in "Worst Person" for his "hypocritical" comments about Obama, race
On the January 28 edition of MSNBC's Countdown, host Keith Olbermann named CNN Headline News' Glenn Beck the "runner-up" in his "Worst Person in the World" segment for Beck's recent comments -- documented by Media Matters for America -- on Sen. Barack Obama (D-IL) and race. On the January 25 edition of his show, Beck responded to National Public Radio commentator John Ridley's statement that "questions about 'Is Obama black enough?' " are "ridiculous" by asking: "[C]an you imagine a white commentator saying that? Can you imagine if I said, 'Is Barack Obama black enough?' ... I don't see that man as black. Of course I do, because I'm not blind. I don't see him as black or white. He just is. He's an American. He's a man." Read More

Scarborough on Giuliani: "I guess once you're called America's Mayor, you stay America's Mayor"
On the January 29 edition of MSNBC's Morning Joe, co-host Joe Scarborough introduced an interview with former New York City Mayor Rudy Giuliani by saying: "Let's go right now to former mayor, former America's Mayor -- I guess once you're called America's Mayor, you stay America's Mayor -- and also Republican presidential candidate Rudy Giuliani." Media figures have repeatedly touted Giuliani's reputation as "America's Mayor" following September 11, 2001, despite criticism over his actions before and after the terrorist attacks. Read More

NY Times article falsely suggested authority to eavesdrop on terrorism suspects expires on Feb. 1
A New York Times article falsely suggested that the legal authority "permitting intelligence officials to eavesdrop on the communications of terrorism suspects" would expire on February 1 unless Congress renews it. In fact, neither the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act -- the principal law "permitting intelligence officials to eavesdrop on the communications of terrorism suspects" -- nor the authority to monitor the communications of suspected terrorists will "expire" on February 1; rather, what are set to expire are the August 2007 revisions to FISA made through the Protect America Act. Read More

Scarborough called Crawford "only guy" defending Bill Clinton's Jackson comment -- ignoring Jackson himself
On Morning Joe, Joe Scarborough asserted that Congressional Quarterly's Craig Crawford is "the only human being on the face of the Earth, other than Bill Clinton, that doesn't think Bill Clinton's Jesse Jackson remark was inappropriate." He also said Crawford is "the only guy who has defended ... Bill Clinton's Jesse Jackson remark." But Jackson has reportedly said that he does not "read anything negative into Clinton's observation." Read More

NY Times' Hulse falsely suggested Dem Congress primary defender of congressional earmarks
The New York Times' Carl Hulse asserted that, while Democrats were "pleased" that President Bush was giving his final State of the Union speech, "they were not as elated about ... its emphasis on reducing the pet projects known as earmarks beloved by many in Congress." Yet Hulse left out a different reason for congressional criticism of Bush's earmark threat -- that, when the Republicans controlled Congress, Bush approved all of their earmark-laden appropriations bills. Nor did Hulse report that the Democrats approved fewer earmarks last year than the Republicans did in 2006 when they controlled Congress. Read More

CNN's Bash and Snow omitted McCain "shift" on immigration when airing McCain quote that Romney "flip-flopped"
In separate reports, Dana Bash and Mary Snow aired a clip of Sen. John McCain saying of Mitt Romney, "He's consistently taken both sides of any major issue. He has consistently flip-flopped on every issue." However, neither noted that McCain himself has changed his position on immigration. Read More

Wash. Post attributed defeat of Bush health-care proposal to partisan politics without reporting Democrats' substantive criticisms
A Washington Post article suggested that President Bush's proposal to "replac[e] a tax break for employer-provided health coverage with a new $15,000 tax deduction for families and $7,500 for individuals, regardless of where they buy insurance" was derailed by "[c]ongressional Democrats" who "were not eager to compromise with a Republican president on a signature Democratic issue." In fact, critics of the president's plan offered substantive reasons for opposing the proposal, none of which were reported in the article. Read More

Echoing Bush, Hannity and Luntz misrepresented impact of allowing Bush tax cuts to expire
On Hannity & Colmes, Sean Hannity echoed President Bush's misleading claim during the State of the Union address that "116 million American taxpayers ... would see their taxes rise by an average of $1,800" if the Bush tax cuts are allowed to expire, a claim that Frank Luntz further exaggerated. In fact, because the tax cuts are largely skewed toward the wealthiest Americans, the "average of $1,800" figure cited by Bush dramatically overstates the impact of repealing the tax cuts on most Americans. Read More

Beck asked, "[Y]ou ever just pictured Ted Kennedy naked?"
Discussing Sen. Ted Kennedy's endorsement of Sen. Barack Obama, Glenn Beck asked Republican strategist Amy Holmes, "[Y]ou ever just pictured Ted Kennedy naked?" Beck added, "[Y]ou know, that picture with him with his shirt off just kind of pops into your head. And you're like, 'OK, I won't have children now.' " Read More

Carlson -- who has said Obama "seems like kind of a wuss" and "sounds like a pothead" -- now claims he "give[s] the guy a pass at every turn"
Discussing what he described as "slavish" and "slobbering" media coverage of Sen. Barack Obama, Tucker Carlson stated: "And I will freely confess that I am absolutely part of the problem. I give the guy a pass at every turn and I'm nice to him even though I disagree with him." In fact, over the past year, Carlson has leveled personal attacks against Obama and spread misinformation about him.
Read More

NBC's Myers ignored key facts in reporting on controversy over Obama's home purchase
In a "web-only" report, Lisa Myers cited anonymous "[c]ritics" who suggest that indicted Chicago businessman Antoin Rezko's paying "top dollar" for a lot adjacent to Sen. Barack Obama's home somehow influenced the price Obama paid for his house. But Myers did not note that Obama has said he was "not involved in the Rezko negotiation of the price for the adjacent lot" or that Obama has asserted that he was able to purchase the house for less than asking price because "the house had been listed for some time, for months, and our offer was one of two and, as we understood it, it was the best offer." Read More

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