Thursday, January 31, 2008

Media Matters Daily Summary 01-31-08

NY Times falsely suggested independent progressive groups are operating "outside campaign finance rules"
The New York Times' Leslie Wayne asserted that Sen. Barack Obama is "benefiting from millions of dollars being spent outside campaign finance rules," suggesting that the four groups she identified in the article are not subject to campaign finance regulations or, worse, are violating them. But three of the groups she named are political action committees (PACS) or have PACS and thus are subject to campaign finance restrictions, and she offered no evidence that they are not in compliance with those restrictions. Read More

Ignoring Boehlert's specific claims, O'Reilly suggested Media Matters is "lying" about Fox News' ratings
Referring to Eric Boehlert's recent Media Matters column, Bill O'Reilly claimed that "the smear factory has put out an article that says Fox News will have a rough year in 2008. Well, if the January ratings are any indication, Media Matters is once again lying its 'you know what' off." But Boehlert did not address Fox News' overall ratings; he compared Fox News' and CNN's ratings during major campaign events in January to support his argument that Fox News will have a "tough year." And O'Reilly did not address any of Boehlert's specific assertions about Fox News. Read More

Savage: "Bring in 10 million more from Africa. ... They can't reason, but bring them in with a machete in their head"
On The Savage Nation, a caller identified by Michael Savage as "Kojo" asked Savage: "[D]o you know how the AIDS got there [Africa]?" Savage responded: "It got there because it was spread from eating green monkey meat, my friend. If you study the science -- but I don't think you have the capacity to understand science, my dear friend Kojo." Later, Savage stated: "See, we don't live in Africa where people settle arguments with machetes. We live in a country where we settle it with arguments. Something you apparently don't know anything about. ... Couldn't use the machete so his mind went blank. There, that's what we got. There's multiculturalism for you. There's immigration for you. There's the new America for you. Bring them in by the millions. Bring in 10 million more from Africa. Bring them in with AIDS. Show how multicultural you are. They can't reason, but bring them in with a machete in their head. Go ahead. Bring them in with machetes in their mind." Read More

Wash. Times article, Globe column discussing NOW-NY letter omitted Clinton campaign's reported disavowal of letter
A Washington Times article and a Boston Globe column both discussed a statement from the New York chapter of the National Organization for Women that criticized Sen. Edward M. Kennedy for endorsing Sen. Barack Obama and not Sen. Hillary Rodham Clinton for president, but both omitted the Clinton campaign's reported disavowal of NOW New York's statement. In a New York Daily News column, Bill Hammond reported that "her [Clinton's] campaign quickly disavowed [NOW New York president Marcia] Pappas' attack on Kennedy. 'This statement does not at all reflect her views or the opinion of the Clinton campaign,' spokesman Howard Wolfson said." Read More

WAMU report on McCain's relationship with congressional colleagues ignored his reputed "volcanic temper"
On Capitol News Connection, reporter Jodi Breisler stated that Sen. John "McCain's beliefs and behaviors can get him in trouble with other members of Congress," before playing a clip of American University professor James Thurber saying: "Senator McCain can be a little prickly because sometimes he has truth, and when you have truth, you push something very hard until your colleagues get a little tired of hearing it and you don't have the votes." In fact, McCain reportedly has a long history of outbursts and confrontations with his Senate colleagues. Read More

CNN's Bash noted McCain said he'd oppose his own immigration bill -- but not his remark days earlier that as president, he'd sign it into law
On American Morning, Dana Bash asserted that Sen. John McCain made "a concession" to "conservatives" on the issue of "illegal immigration" during CNN's January 30 Republican presidential debate, when McCain said he would not, in Bash's words, "vote for his own legislation allowing citizenship" for undocumented immigrants if it came to a vote on the Senate floor. But Bash failed to note that just days earlier on Meet the Press, McCain had said he would sign that very legislation into law. Read More

On Glenn Beck, Minuteman's Gilchrist compared La Raza to the KKK, smeared ADL, Southern Poverty Law Center
On Glenn Beck, Minuteman Project founder Jim Gilchrist claimed that a sign in downtown Los Angeles identifying "La Raza Plaza" "is perhaps a racist sign." He further stated: "And if we're going to have a La Raza Plaza sign, what's next? A KKK Plaza sign, a Black Panther Plaza sign?" Later in the program, Gilchrist said the "Anti-Defamation League, like the Southern Poverty Law Center, are professional fundraising groups" and asserted: "They participate in encouraging and proliferating hate. These are not groups that you want to get -- you rely on for any valid information." Read More

Tapper falsely suggested Bill Clinton proposed "slow[ing] down our economy" to fight climate change
In a blog post, ABC News' Jake Tapper wrote: "In a long, and interesting speech, [Bill Clinton] characterized what the U.S. and other industrialized nations need to do to combat global warming this way: 'We just have to slow down our economy and cut back our greenhouse gas emissions 'cause we have to save the planet for our grandchildren.' " But Clinton did not say that is what has to be done to combat global warming. Read More

Wash. Times op-ed falsely suggested PAA expiration would forbid U.S. to "monitor communications for counter-terror purposes"
In a Washington Times op-ed, Discovery Institute senior fellow John Wohlstetter falsely suggested that if the August 2007 Protect America Act (PAA) expires on February 1 as scheduled, the government will not be "allow[ed] ... to continue to monitor communications for counter-terror purposes." In fact, the government would retain the authority to monitor the communications of suspected terrorists after the PAA expires; only the PAA's revisions to the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act would expire. Read More

NY Times, Newsweek articles on Clinton statement on Kazakh president conflict with contemporaneous report
A January 31 New York Times article by reporters Jo Becker and Don Van Natta Jr. claimed that during a September 2005 visit to Kazakhstan, former President Bill Clinton "commend[ed] [Kazakh President] Mr. [Nursultan] Nazarbayev for 'opening up the social and political life of your country.' " Similarly, an article in the February 4 issue of Newsweek by Michael Isikoff and Mark Hosenball claimed that Clinton "praise[d] ... Nazarbayev, an authoritarian ruler with a poor human-rights record, for 'opening up the social and political life of your country.' " However, both the Times and Newsweek versions of Clinton's quote conflict with an Agence France Presse (AFP) article published at the time of Clinton's visit. According to the September 7, 2005, AFP article, Clinton said: "I applaud this statement you have made about opening up the social and political life of your country and [it's] a good point that you made this statement before the election this year" [emphasis added]. Read More

Media once again uncritically report McCain's criticism of Romney's negative ads without mentioning McCain's numerous ads attacking Romney
In their coverage of the January 30 Republican presidential debate, the Los Angeles Times, The Wall Street Journal, the Chicago Tribune, ABC, and National Public Radio all reported Sen. John McCain's criticism of Mitt Romney over negative campaign ads. However, none of those media outlets noted that McCain has aired numerous ads attacking Romney, despite having said that "negative campaigns don't work." Read More

Echoing Drudge and ABC's Tapper, Fox News' Hill falsely asserted Clinton said "we need to slow" economy to fight global warming
Fox News host E.D. Hill falsely asserted that former President Bill Clinton said that "we need to slow" the economy to combat global warming, echoing a report by ABC's Jake Tapper. In fact, Clinton did not say that. Read More

NY Times failed to note Giustra reportedly involved in Kazakhstan mining deals more than a decade ago
In an article about former President Bill Clinton's September 2005 trip to Kazakhstan with Canadian mining financier Frank Giustra, The New York Times suggested that Giustra was able to secure agreements giving his company the right to buy into Kazakh mining projects because of his connection to Clinton. The Times did not note that Giustra was reportedly involved in Kazakh mining deals more than a decade ago. Read More

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