Tuesday, February 24, 2009

Media Matters Daily Summary 02-24-09

AP falsely reported Obama called Social Security "the single most pressing fiscal challenge we face by far"
AP's Liz Sidoti falsely reported that at his fiscal responsibility summit, President Obama "called the long-term solvency of Social Security 'the single most pressing fiscal challenge we face by far.' " In fact, Obama made that comment in reference to "the rising cost of health care." Read More

On Hannity, Dietl promoted Social Security falsehood
On Hannity, Bo Dietl falsely asserted that "[t]en years from now" there will be only two workers for each Social Security beneficiary. He added, "The problem is there's going to be bankruptcy in Social Security and then the pension system." In fact, the 2008 Social Security trustee's report estimates that the ratio will fall from more than 3 workers for every beneficiary to a 2.2 ratio by 2030, not in "[t]en years." Furthermore, Social Security will be able to pay full benefits until 2041, at which point it will be able to cover 78 percent of benefits if no legislative changes are made. Read More

Cavuto purported to "correct" Obama with corporate tax falsehood
Fox News' Neil Cavuto stated that President Obama "misstate[d]" the facts on the U.S. corporate tax rate structure, and purporting to "correct" him, claimed that the U.S. corporate tax rate is "at a high 35 percent ... the highest in the industrialized world. That is un-debatable and unequivocal." In fact, while the U.S. statutory corporate tax rate is 35 percent, according to the Government Accountability Office, "Statutory tax rates do not provide a complete measure of the burden that a tax system imposes on business income." Additionally, World Bank and GAO data indicate that the U.S. effective corporate tax rate is lower than 35 percent and lower than several developed economies.
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Ignoring FDIC, ABC's Stark says bank nationalization happens "in socialist countries" and is "not supposed to happen" in the U.S.
On World News, business correspondent Betsy Stark stated: "Wall Street is the bastion of free-market capitalism, and nationalization, even if it's meant to save the banks, is something that happens in socialist countries; it's not supposed to happen in the United States." In fact, the FDIC has acted as receiver assuming all deposits for 66 failed banks since October 1, 2000. Indeed, Cato Institute senior fellow Gerald P. O'Driscoll Jr. wrote, "The federal government, under the auspices of the FDIC, can be said to routinely nationalize failed banks." Read More

Wash. Times claim that Guant√°namo and Abu Ghraib were "completely unrelated" contradicted by bipartisan Senate report
In an editorial, The Washington Times asserted that Abu Ghraib and Guant√°namo "are completely unrelated," adding that "there have never been credible allegations of Abu Ghraib-like misconduct at Guantanamo." In fact, a 2008 Senate Armed Services Committee report concluded that military "interrogation policies were influenced by the Secretary of Defense's December 2, 2002 approval of aggressive interrogation techniques for use at GTMO," and that those "policies were a direct cause of detainee abuse and influenced interrogation policies at Abu Ghraib and elsewhere in Iraq." Read More

Updated Report: Economists comprised only 6 percent of guest appearances discussing stimulus on cable news, Sunday shows
A Media Matters review of the Sunday talk shows and 12 cable news programs from January 25 through February 15 found that during 203 hours of programming on Sunday mornings and weekday afternoons and evenings, only 41 of 722 total guest appearances in discussions about the economic recovery legislation and debate in Congress, were made by economists -- a mere 6 percent. The review is an update of a Media Matters study released February 11 that found that from January 25 through February 8, only 5 percent of the total guest appearances that included discussions of the recovery plan were made by economists.
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Media quote Jindal without noting he is misrepresenting Obama's comments

Media outlets have uncritically reported Gov. Bobby Jindal's misrepresentation of a quote from President Obama. The outlets reported that according to excerpts of Jindal's response to Obama's address to Congress, Jindal would say: "A few weeks ago, the President warned that our nation is facing a crisis that he said 'we may not be able to reverse.' Our troubles are real, to be sure. But don't let anyone tell you that we cannot recover -- or that America's best days are behind her." In fact, Obama stated that if his economic recovery plan were not passed, "we may not be able to reverse" the current economic crisis. Read More

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