Wednesday, February 25, 2009

Media Matters Daily Summary 02-25-09

NY Times uncritically quoted Jindal's misrepresentation of Obama remarks
The New York Times uncritically repeated Gov. Bobby Jindal's misrepresentation of a quote from President Obama, and quoting from an advanced excerpt of Jindal's speech, wrote: " 'A few weeks ago, the president warned that our nation is facing a crisis that he said "we may not be able to reverse," ' Mr. Jindal said. '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

Confronted with the truth, Hannity refused to back down from debunked mouse, LA-Vegas rail falsehoods
On Fox News, Sean Hannity repeated the false GOP talking points that the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act directs that funds be spent to protect the salt marsh harvest mouse in San Francisco and on a high-speed rail line between Southern California and Las Vegas. In fact, as Rep. Joe Sestak noted in response to Hannity, the bill does not contain any language directing funds to the salt marsh harvest mouse or its San Francisco wetlands habitat, nor does the bill include a provision directing that funds be spent on a high-speed rail line between Southern California and Las Vegas. Read More

O'Reilly latest to advance UAW pay falsehood
On his radio and television shows, Bill O'Reilly advanced the falsehood that "the average autoworker now makes 70 bucks an hour." In fact, a recent Barclays Capital analysis reportedly found that the average U.S. autoworker is paid "an average of $55 an hour in wages and benefits." Read More

Fox & Friends' Carlson allows guest to misrepresent speech to claim Obama engaged in "class warfare"
On Fox & Friends, Gretchen Carlson allowed Steve Adubato to misrepresent President Obama's February 24 address to Congress in order to claim that Obama engaged in "class warfare." After Adubato suggested that Obama did not refer to people who "bought houses they shouldn't have bought because they can't afford them," Carlson responded: "Good point." In fact, contrary to Adubato's suggestion, Obama did refer to people who "bought homes they knew they couldn't afford from banks and lenders who pushed those bad loans anyway." Read More

Politico falsely claimed that Santelli's "rant" criticized "careless banks"
The Politico falsely claimed that CNBC's Rick Santelli criticized "irresponsible behavior by careless banks" when he "rallied bail-out skeptics with an on-air rant." In fact, during his widely circulated February 19 "rant," Santelli did not mention "careless banks"; rather, he repeatedly criticized behavior by homeowners, questioning if "we really want to subsidize the losers' mortgages." Read More

O'Reilly advanced falsehood that "the Democrats in charge of the finance committees" resisted regulating mortgage industry
On The O'Reilly Factor, Bill O'Reilly falsely claimed that "the Democrats in charge of the finance committees" resisted efforts by the Bush administration to regulate the mortgage industry and Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac in particular. In fact, it was only after the Democrats did gain control of both "finance committees" in Congress in 2007 that Congress passed legislation strengthening oversight of Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac. Read More

MSNBC's Brewer, Watson aired Gingrich's gratuitous Twitter attack on Pelosi
MSNBC uncritically repeated a Twitter post by Newt Gingrich in which he attacked House Speaker Nancy Pelosi for "standing up to applaud the private jet line" in President Obama's address to Congress "while she flies around in a government jet at taxpayer expense." Gingrich has repeatedly attacked Pelosi over her use of the plane while also falsely claiming that her predecessor, Dennis Hastert, did not use one. Read More

NY Times drew false equivalence between Will and Gore
In drawing a false equivalence between a February 15 column by George Will and Al Gore's statement that global warming "is creating weather-related disasters that are completely unprecedented," New York Times reporter Andrew C. Revkin wrote that "[b]oth men, experts said afterward, were guilty of inaccuracies and overstatements." But while the major theme of Will's column -- that human-caused global warming is not occurring -- has been completely rejected by what Revkin describes as "a strong consensus among scientists," Revkin did not note that the IPCC has stated that humans "[m]ore likely than not" have contributed to an increasing likelihood that many of the types of events Gore cited will occur. Read More

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