Tuesday, May 20, 2008

Media Matters Daily Summary 05-20-08

NPR's Williams, Fox's Morris asserted that McCain went against GOP on immigration without noting his reversals
NPR's Juan Williams asserted that Sen. John McCain "has fought his own party, the GOP, on immigration." And Fox News' Dick Morris stated that McCain "really has moved to the left of the Republican Party" on "the immigration bill." However, neither Williams nor Morris mentioned that McCain has reversed his position on immigration and now asserts that "we've got to secure the borders first" -- a position at odds with his prior assertion that border security could not be disaggregated from other aspects of comprehensive immigration reform without being rendered ineffective. Read More

NY Times has yet to challenge claim by McCain adviser and Bush "Pioneer" Charlie Black that he doesn't lobby candidates he works for
In a post on The Caucus, Michael Luo uncritically quoted -- and The New York Times has yet to challenge -- the assertion by McCain adviser Charlie Black that "I have personally had a policy that, if I'm working in somebody's campaign that I do not lobby they and their staff, since 1984." In fact, the Politico's Mike Allen reported that while "Black served as an informal adviser to the Bush-Cheney reelection campaign in 2004," "[l]obbying filings show that in 2003 and 2004, Black's firm lobbied the Defense Department, State Department and Executive Office of the President on behalf of" Fluor Corp. and Occidental Petroleum Corp. According to a search of the Lobbying Disclosure Act Database, in 2003 or 2004, Black's firm lobbied the Executive Office of the President for 12 companies or individuals in addition to those Allen cited. Moreover, during the period that Black was lobbying the Bush administration, he and his wife were "Pioneers" for the Bush/Cheney ca mpaign, raising more than $100,000. Read More

Cameron said McCain "suggested Obama is naïve" for Iran stance, but didn't note that Gates also reportedly said the U.S. should "talk with" Iran
Fox News' Carl Cameron reported that Sen. John McCain "suggested [Sen. Barack] Obama is naïve" for his position on negotiating with Iran, and aired a clip of McCain saying, "It could very well convince him [Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad] that those policies are succeeding in strengthening his hold on power, and embolden him to continue his very dangerous behavior. The next president ought to understand such basic realities of international relations." But Cameron did not note that Defense Secretary Robert Gates also reportedly has said that the United States should "sit down and talk with" Iran. Read More

CNN, First Read repeated McCain adviser's false claims about campaign manager's lobbying history
CNN and MSNBC.com's First Read blog uncritically repeated McCain campaign adviser Charlie Black's claim that campaign manager "Rick Davis and nobody else at his firm [Davis Manafort] either has been a registered lobbyist in five years." In fact, public disclosure reports filed with Congress show that Davis was registered to lobby in 2005 for Davis Manafort -- three years ago, not five. In addition, in 2006, while no longer registered as a lobbyist, Davis reportedly helped arrange a meeting with McCain on behalf of a Russian aluminum magnate with whom he was "seeking to do business." Read More

Jonah Goldberg misrepresented Gore's comments about Hurricane Katrina
In his Los Angeles Times column, Jonah Goldberg asserted that in an NPR interview, Al Gore "chuckled" at the idea that Hurricane Katrina "was God's wrath for New Orleans' sexual depravity," then "went on to blame Katrina on man's energy sinfulness." In fact, Gore stated during the interview that "any individual storm can't be linked singularly to global warming." Goldberg also claimed that the numbers of polar bears "have quadrupled in the last 50 years"; in fact, data to support estimates of the polar bear population 50 years ago are reportedly nonexistent, recent growth in the polar bear population is believed to be linked to hunting bans, and the Department of Interior found that "the polar bear is likely to become an endangered species within the foreseeable future." Read More

In discussion of DeGeneres' marriage announcement, Fox News host Gutfeld equated "public exhortations of love" with talking about bowel movements
On Red Eye, Greg Gutfeld criticized Ellen DeGeneres' announcement that she plans to marry Portia de Rossi: "For me, public exhortations of love are no different than telling everyone how great your bowel movements are since switching to All-Bran -- no one gives a [bleep] except you." Gutfeld then said: "And so, this is why I never discuss my marriage with anyone, which is the main reason why John Stamos and I are so happy together. And if you disagree with me, then you, sir, are worse than Hitler." But Gutfeld himself has engaged in "public exhortations of love" and has talked about his wife. In addition to writing about his wife in a book, according to a 2005 New York Observer item, Gutfeld "talks incessantly and adoringly of his 24-year-old Russian bride, Elena, and carries with him an envelope chock-full of photos." Read More

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