Thursday, February 26, 2009

Media Matters Daily Summary 02-26-09

O'Reilly, Miller falsely suggested Obama supported Prop 8
Fox News' Bill O'Reilly and Dennis Miller falsely suggested President Obama supported California's Proposition 8. After Miller described a call to his radio show in which the caller suggested that "had [Obama] been a California resident," he "would have voted for Proposition 8," O'Reilly stated that the caller "probably listened to The Radio Factor and then called you because we had said that." In fact, Obama opposed Proposition 8. Read More

Wash. Post, NY Times let Boehner revive small business tax falsehood
The Washington Post and The New York Times uncritically reported Rep. John Boehner's debunked suggestion that increasing taxes on those making more than $250,000 would cause a large percentage of small businesses to pay higher taxes. In fact, according to the Tax Policy Center, a mere 2 percent of tax returns that reported small business income in 2007 are in the top two income tax brackets, which include all filers with taxable incomes of more than $250,000. Read More

Santelli now agrees White House's purported "veiled threat" wasn't a threat
On NBC's Today, Rick Santelli claimed that he's "not saying" that the White House is "threatening" him. However, while on The G. Gordon Liddy Show, Santelli agreed with G. Gordon Liddy's claim that Robert Gibbs made a "veiled threat" during a press briefing. Read More

Wash. Post forwards LA-Las Vegas rail line falsehood
The Washington Post advanced the falsehood that a provision in the recovery act directs that funding be provided for a high-speed rail line between Los Angeles and Las Vegas, reporting that "[s]elf-described Republicans" in upstate New York were opposed to the bill because of "what they called 'pork' projects -- several mentioned a potential high-speed rail line from Los Angeles to Las Vegas." In fact, the bill does not direct high-speed rail funds to any specific project, and any funding would be allocated by Transportation Secretary Ray LaHood, a former Republican congressman. Read More

CNBC's Bartiromo falsely suggested Obama proposed taxing small businesses' revenue
In claiming that "small businesses ... are putting $250,000 in revenue out there, and they're going to get impacted" under President Obama's proposal to let the Bush tax cuts on wealthy taxpayers expire, CNBC's Maria Bartiromo falsely suggested that Obama has proposed taxing small business revenue. In fact, Obama has proposed raising marginal income tax rates and reducing income tax deductions for individuals earning more than $200,000 per year and for couples earning more than $250,000 per year. Read More

On Today, Matalin baselessly claimed Jindal's "education reform" made Louisiana "one of the top states in the country"
Mary Matalin claimed that Louisiana Gov. Bobby Jindal "made more progress in Louisiana in the shortest period of time in the history of the state and probably in the country. Education reform and ethics reform -- everything that put Louisiana down in scale is now one of the top states in the country." In fact, the Louisiana Department of Education noted that the 13th edition of Education Week's "series of annual report cards tracking state education policies and outcomes" found that "gains were minimal" in the state since the previous report and that "[i]n overall rank, Louisiana dropped from 21st last year to 35th this year." Read More

Scarborough baselessly claimed nations "are testing" Obama "in a way ... they wouldn't have tested Dick Cheney"
MSNBC's Joe Scarborough asserted that nations "are testing" President Obama "in a way ... that they wouldn't have tested Dick Cheney," citing as examples Iran "g[etting] the uranium they need," "North Korea going ahead with this long-range missile launch," and Pakistan "strik[ing] a deal with the Taliban." But during Cheney's two terms as vice president in the Bush administration, Iran, North Korea, and Pakistan each took actions similar to the ones Scarborough discussed. Read More

McCaffrey again discusses Afghan security forces without disclosing ties to company training them
On MSNBC Live, Gen. Barry R. McCaffrey stated: "By the way, another question to be decided is, What are we doing in Afghanistan? Are we there to build an Afghan security force with our NATO allies and then withdraw, or are we there to fight a counterinsurgency battle in this gigantic country?" But at no point during the segment was it disclosed that McCaffrey is a member of the board of directors of DynCorp International, a company under contract to train part of the Afghan National Security Force. Read More

AP ignored Democrats' response to earmark criticism: 40% are from Republicans
The AP reported that "Republicans assailed" the omnibus bill recently passed by the House as "too costly" and quoted Republicans criticizing the bill as, in the reporter's words, "bristl[ing] with earmarks." At no point did the reporter give any indication that many of the earmarks were included at the request of Republicans. Read More

Fox News' Beck still attacking stimulus bill over things he doesn't understand
On his Fox News show, Glenn Beck again attacked the recovery act by citing a provision he did not understand. Beck stated that the final version of "[t]he spending bill, clean of earmarks, has ... $800 million for carbon capture projects." Meanwhile, on-screen text read: "$800M to Carbon Capture Project: What Is That?" Read More

Lashing out at critics, George Will spreads more falsehoods in new global warming column
In a column obtained by Media Matters in advance of its publication, George Will falsely claims that in his February 15 column, he "accurately reported" on the contents of an Arctic Climate Research Center document on sea ice data. In fact, while Will suggested the ACRC data undermine the scientific consensus that humans are causing global warming, the document actually states that the sea ice data are consistent with the outcomes projected by climate-change models. Read More

USA Today falsely suggested that current system requires secret ballot election to form union
USA Today reported that the Employee Free Choice Act "would allow workers to form a union by gathering signed cards from a majority of employees, rather than the current method of winning a secret-ballot election overseen by the National Labor Relations Board." But the suggestion that a NLRB secret ballot election is currently required before obtaining union representation at a workplace is false. Under current law, a union that shows it has the support of a majority of workers can represent the workers if their employer voluntarily agrees to recognize the union. Read More

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