Wednesday, January 21, 2009

Media Matters Daily Summary 01-21-09

Fox News anchors harp on oath story that experts reportedly say is insignificant

During Fox News' inauguration coverage, Chris Wallace stated, "I'm not sure that Barack Obama really is the president of the United States, because the oath of office is set in the Constitution." Wallace later claimed, "I wasn't at all convinced that ... John Roberts ever got it out straight and that Barack Obama ever said the prescribed words." On Fox & Friends the following day, Fox News repeatedly aired video of the oath flub, and Gretchen Carlson asked of Obama, "Is he really president," and went on to claim, "Because there was a flub in the oath of office." However, numerous experts, including one quoted later on Fox & Friends, have reportedly said that an incorrect recitation of the oath is insignificant. Read More

Hume baselessly claimed Bush "was well-liked ... by everyone in the military"

Fox News' Brit Hume claimed that former President Bush "was well-liked, I've been given to believe, by everyone in the military." But, according to a December 2007 Los Angeles Times/Bloomberg poll, among those who are "in the military, reserves, or is a veteran," just 44 percent of respondents approved "of the way George W. Bush is handling his job as president," while 50 percent disapproved. Read More

Fox News' Wallace falsely claimed "unemployment in 1937, 1938 was higher than it was in 1933"

During a Fox News discussion about stimulus spending and the role New Deal programs and World War II played in ending the Great Depression, Chris Wallace falsely claimed that "unemployment in 1937, 1938 was higher than it was in 1933." In fact, even without including "emergency" public employment under the New Deal, the unemployment rate in 1937 and 1938 did not surpass the 1933 unemployment rate. Read More

Reporting on Warren's invocation, NY Times repeatedly ignored his comparison of same-sex marriage to incest, pedophilia, polygamy

In separate articles, The New York Times mischaracterized opposition to the selection of Rev. Rick Warren to deliver the inaugural invocation as a function solely of Warren's opposition to same-sex marriage or same-sex marriage and abortion. In fact, Warren has compared same-sex marriage to incest, pedophilia, and polygamy. Read More

Ignoring Toussie case, USA Today claimed Bush "eschewed controversial pardons"

A USA Today editorial discussing former President Bush's departure from office claimed that Bush "eschewed controversial pardons," which it called "a refreshing contrast" to former President Clinton's departure. In fact, Bush's pardon for New York developer Isaac Toussie, announced December 23, was withdrawn after it was revealed that Toussie's family contributed more than $37,000 to Republicans. Read More

Goldberg falsely suggested Democratic presidents did not "invok[e]" Founders during their inaugural addresses

On Beck, Jonah Goldberg said of President Obama's inauguration speech: "I salute Barack Obama for invoking the Founding Fathers. At the minimum, it is good that the Democratic Party wants to start revering the Founders." Contrary to Goldberg's suggestion that Obama's invocation of the Founders was a first for a Democratic president, Bill Clinton and Jimmy Carter both "invok[ed]" the Founders during their inaugural addresses. Read More

Dobbs, Bozell join a growing list of media figures who made false comparison of inauguration costs

On his radio show, Lou Dobbs claimed that Obama's "inaugural celebration from start to finish will cost an estimated $170 million, and that dwarfs the $42 million spent on George Bush's inauguration just four years ago." Similarly, Brent Bozell wrote in a column: "For the record, the 'lavish' Bush inaugural cost $43 million. Final tallies are not complete, but according to some sources, like the Guardian newspaper, the Obama inaugural will cost more than $150 million." But the comparison is a false one, as the Bush figure excludes security, transportation, and other incidental costs. Read More

No comments: