Wednesday, June 25, 2008

Media Matters Daily Summary 06-25-08

Savage: "We're getting refugees now who have never used a telephone, a toothbrush, or toilet paper. ... [T]hey never assimilate. And then their children become gang-bangers"
Michael Savage asserted on June 23: "We're getting refugees now who have never used a telephone, a toothbrush, or toilet paper. You're telling me they're going to assimilate? They will never assimilate. They come here and they bring their destitute ways to this country, and they never assimilate." He continued: "And then their children become gang-bangers. It is a disaster." Savage added that earlier immigrants to the U.S. "had used toilet paper and toothbrushes and they knew how to survive in this country. They took a job or they worked. They didn't come and sit and have 16 children and eat beetle nuts." Read More

WABC* says Imus' explanation of controversial comments "makes sense" -- then why did Warner Wolf give a different one?
On his radio show, host Don Imus explained controversial comments he'd made the previous day about Adam "Pacman" Jones, who, it was noted, is African American, by asserting, "My point was that there's no reason to arrest this kid six times. He's a football player. He's a lovely kid. He's out having fun. He doesn't need to be arrested six -- he gets arrested times. Well, we know why he gets arrested six times." But, sportscaster Warner Wolf, who was part of both conversations, offered a different explanation: "[A]nybody that listens to the show knows that whether it's a politician or an athlete or anyone, someone who's obviously guilty, you joke and say, 'Well, it must have been racism.' I mean, it's a joke. I mean, we all know that 'Pacman' is no model citizen. The guy's been arrested and suspended. So it's a joke." Notwithstanding the apparent conflict in their explanations, WABC's* Phil Boyce reportedly said of Imus' explanation: "When I first heard the comment I thought t hat's probably what he meant, but I called him and he explained and it made sense to me. I said, 'Let's make sure you explain it the next time you're on the air,' and he did a very good job." Read More

Dick Morris repeated false and misleading claims about Obama's tax proposals on Hannity & Colmes and Today
On Fox News, Dick Morris asserted that as president, Sen. Barack Obama "would double the capital gains tax. That means that you get far less when you sell your home, or your 401(k) or your stock plan," and added, "[H]e would increase the limit on Social Security taxes, which means instead of paying 12 1/2 percent of the first $100,000, you pay it on everything that you're making." Morris' claims are false or highly misleading. Read More

AP ignored previous reporting on Obama's questioning of Petraeus
An AP article stated that Sen. John McCain "chid[ed] [Sen. Barack Obama] for never receiving a briefing from Gen. David Petraeus, commander of U.S. forces in [Iraq]." The article reported McCain's claims without challenging them -- it made no mention of the fact that Obama has twice questioned Petraeus on the situation in Iraq during Senate hearings. Read More

Hume: "[W]e regret the error" in report of Jerusalem Post story about Obama's half brother
On Special Report, Brit Hume issued a correction following his false claim that Sen. Barack Obama's half brother had told The Jerusalem Post that Obama had a "Muslim background." But while Hume suggested that his only "error" was in repeating a flawed report in the Post, he did not acknowledge that he had falsely claimed Malik Obama had spoken with The Jerusalem Post. The Post did not claim that Malik Obama spoke to the newspaper; the article indicated that Malik Obama gave an interview to Israel's Army Radio, not the Post. Read More

Discussing FEC confirmations, Wash. Post omitted that Bush withdrew nomination of chairman who questioned McCain loan
In an article on five new FEC confirmations, The Washington Post did not note that President Bush withdrew the renomination of chairman David Mason, who has requested that Sen. John McCain assure the FEC he did not act improperly by signing a loan agreement that could have forced him to remain in the race -- even if he had no chance of winning -- in order to be eligible for public matching funds to repay the loan. Read More

Mitchell did not challenge Burr's false assertion that "there wasn't a drop" of oil "that was spilled in the Gulf" due to Category 5 hurricanes
On MSNBC Live, responding to a comment by Andrea Mitchell about "the massive 1969 oil spill" in Santa Barbara, California, Sen. Richard Burr stated: "Well, Andrea, how technology has changed since 1969. It can take a Category 5 hurricane in the Gulf that really came twice, and the technology made sure that there wasn't a drop that was spilled in the Gulf." In fact, a report prepared for the U.S. Minerals Management Service stated that as a result of Hurricanes Katrina and Rita "124 [oil] spills were reported with a total volume of roughly 17,700 barrels of total petroleum products." Read More

Hannity compared carbon offsets to "cheat[ing] on your wife," ignored Murdoch's efforts to make News Corp. carbon neutral
On Hannity & Colmes, Sean Hannity criticized the purchase of credits to offset one's "carbon footprint," asserting, "Those offsets -- that is the biggest hoax in the world. ... You know what it's like? You go cheat on your wife, and then say, 'Honey, but don't worry. I bought an offset.' Good luck." Hannity has yet to address the pledge by News Corp. chairman and CEO Rupert Murdoch "to be carbon neutral, across all our businesses" -- which includes Fox News -- "by 2010." Read More

On CNN Headline News' Glenn Beck, guest host Graham asserted as fact that Obama is "the most liberal" senator
While guest-hosting CNN Headline News' Glenn Beck, Michael Graham asserted as fact that Sen. Barack Obama is "the most liberal member of the U.S. Senate." While The National Journal rated Obama the most liberal senator in 2007, the rankings were based on a subjective selection of Senate votes by the magazine's staff. By contrast, another study based on all non-unanimous votes found Obama to be tied for the 10th most liberal senator in 2007. Read More

Fox's Garrett uncritically aired Focus on the Family's Minnery saying that Obama, in '06 speech, was "diminishing the idea that people of Christian faith have anything to say"
Fox News' Major Garrett uncritically aired an audio clip of Focus on the Family's Tom Minnery asserting that in a June 2006 speech, Sen. Barack Obama was "diminishing the idea that people of Christian faith have anything to say." In fact, in that speech, Obama said: "[W]hat I am suggesting is this -- secularists are wrong when they ask believers to leave their religion at the door before entering into the public square. Frederick Douglass, Abraham Lincoln, William Jennings Bryan, Dorothy Day, Martin Luther King -- the majority of the great reformers in American history -- were not only motivated by faith, but repeatedly used religious language to argue for their cause." Read More

MSNBC again hosted Lott in discussion of McCain's energy policy without disclosing that Lott is a lobbyist for gas and oil companies
On MSNBC Live, anchor Chris Jansing discussed Sen. John McCain's energy policy with former Sen. Trent Lott but failed to disclose that Lott is now a lobbyist for major energy companies. Earlier this month, Andrea Mitchell discussed energy policy with Lott and Sen. John Breaux on MSNBC Live but failed to disclose that both are lobbyists for oil and gas companies. Read More

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