Friday, March 06, 2009

Media Matters Daily Summary 03-06-09

CNN's Yellin failed to identify CPR chairman as ex-CEO of scandal-plagued hospital firm
CNN's Jessica Yellin identified Conservatives for Patients' Rights chairman Richard Scott as someone who "runs urgent-care clinics" and the leader of "a media campaign to limit government's role in the health-care system." But Yellin did not note that Scott resigned as chairman of the nation's largest for-profit health-care company in 1997 amid a federal investigation into the company's Medicare billing, physician recruiting, and home-care practices. Read More

Media figures advance false claim that Obama is breaking campaign promise of no earmarks
Media figures have advanced the false claim that President Obama promised during his campaign to stop earmark spending and is breaking that promise by signing the omnibus spending bill currently being considered in the Senate. In fact, Obama promised to reform the earmark process and cut wasteful spending. Read More

Fox News characterized not-so-secret Biden appearance at AFL-CIO meeting as "secret"
Fox News' Glenn Beck claimed that Vice President Joe Biden met "in secret" with the AFL-CIO executive council, while Bret Baier asserted that Biden's appearance at the labor union's meeting "was anything but transparent." In fact, the White House released a transcript of Biden's AFL-CIO speech and "a pool of print reporters" reportedly covered the speech at the request of the White House. Read More

Wash. Post's Connolly reported Obama and Grassley "gently sparred" but omitted comments undermining her characterization
Washington Post reporter Ceci Connolly claimed that President Obama "gently sparred" with Sen. Charles Grassley over Obama's "proposal to offer a government-sponsored insurance option to people who do not have coverage" and that Grassley "argued that the 'public option' would make government 'an unfair competitor' to private insurers." But Connelly's characterization of their exchange as one of "gentl[e] sparr[ing]" is undermined by comments by Obama that she omitted. Read More

NY Times omitted David Bossie's controversial past in article discussing his group's anti-Clinton film
Discussing the Citizens United-produced film, Hillary: The Movie, The New York Times identified the group's president, David Bossie, only as "a former Congressional aide and a longtime foe of the Clintons." The Times did not mention that Bossie was reportedly fired as a congressional staffer in 1998 for his role in releasing misleadingly edited transcripts that gave the false impression then-first lady Hillary Clinton had been implicated in wrongdoing. Read More

Despite warnings from many economists that stimulus may be too small, network news rarely raised the issue
A Media Matters review of the ABC, CBS, and NBC evening news programs from January 25 through February 15 found that of the 59 broadcasts that addressed the economic stimulus package and debate in Congress during the three-week period leading up to and immediately following its passage, only three of those broadcasts included discussion of whether that package was big enough, despite statements from many economists that it may not be. Read More

Scarborough baselessly claimed "we're spending ... $2 trillion this year ... just to pay interest on the national debt"
On Morning Joe, Joe Scarborough baselessly claimed that "we're spending ... $2 trillion this year ... just to pay interest on the national debt." However, the Treasury Department estimated that interest payments on the national debt will be roughly $450 billion in fiscal year 2009 -- almost one-quarter the amount Scarborough claimed. Read More

Bloomberg News, WSJ op-ed blame Obama for stock drop, ignore longer-term trend
In a March 6 news article headline, Bloomberg referred to the "Obama Bear Market," and The Wall Street Journal ran an op-ed on the same day with the headline "Obama's Radicalism is Killing the Dow." In fact, the market has been on a decline since October 2007, and, as the Financial Times' Dan McCrum said, "it's the economy which is driving the market down here" and that "what's important is that President Obama doesn't try to address that in the short term. He's quite right that short-term market movements aren't -- shouldn't be driving government policy. What he needs to do is concentrate on fixing the economy, and the market will sort itself out." Read More

Limbaugh runs with homeless-cell phone smear
Discussing a photo of Michelle Obama at a homeless shelter that featured a man photographing Obama using a cell phone, Rush Limbaugh said, "[T]he homeless and the poor are showing up taking pictures of her with their cell phones." But homeless advocates have stated that cell phones are a "lifeline" for the homeless and noted the importance of having a stable phone number in trying to find jobs. Read More

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