Saturday, February 07, 2009

Media Matters Daily Summary 02-07-09

Limbaugh, Hannity, and the GOP: an iron triangle of stimulus misinformation

On any given day during the current congressional debate over the economic recovery plan, chances are good that Rush Limbaugh or Sean Hannity will say something false about the administration's or congressional Democrats' efforts to pass a bill. And they do not promote these falsehoods in isolation; they are often promoted concurrently with each other and with Republican members of Congress. President Obama reportedly chastised congressional Republicans for "listen[ing] to Rush Limbaugh," and, as Media Matters for America has pointed out, Limbaugh has also demonstrated a proclivity for listening to -- and parroting -- congressional Republicans.

For his part, in consecutive shows on January 30 and February 2, Hannity hosted Sens. Mitch McConnell, Tom Coburn and John McCain on his radio show, and on February 4 he hosted Rep. Mike Pence on Fox News. As a result, Hannity and Limbaugh have created an echo chamber of Republican talking points and misinformation criticizing the economic recovery plan. And given the acknowledgment by some national journalists that they pay attention to Limbaugh and Hannity, it follows that they care what the two are saying about the stimulus -- CNBC anchor Erin Burnett said as much about Limbaugh, touting his op-ed in The Wall Street Journal on that topic as "serious." Read More

NY Times reported claim that 61 Guantánamo detainees have "returned to the fight" without noting DOD made different claim in January

In a February 7 article, The New York Times reported that Pentagon press secretary Geoff Morrell "put the number at 61" of former Guantánamo detainees who have "returned to the fight." But the article did not note that Morrell has previously stated that there are only 18 detainees confirmed to have "returned to the fight," with another 43 suspected of having done so. Nor did the Times indicate whether Morrell has stated that DOD has subsequently confirmed that more than 18 detainees have "returned to the fight." Read More

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