Friday, March 13, 2009

Media Matters Daily Summary 03-13-09

Blitzer let Fleischer falsely claim Obama has a "proposal to eliminate deductions" for charitable donations
CNN's Wolf Blitzer did not challenge Ari Fleischer's false claim that President Obama has a "proposal to eliminate deductions" for charitable donations and housing-related expenses. In fact, Obama's fiscal year 2010 budget proposal includes a provision to reduce to 28 percent the rate at which families earning more than $250,000 a year can take deductions for charitable donations, housing-related expenses, and other itemized deductions. Read More

CNBC's Kernen, Bartiromo falsely claimed Obama promised to eliminate earmarks
CNBC's Joe Kernen falsely claimed that President Obama "promised ... no more earmarks," while colleague Maria Bartiromo similarly asserted that "during the campaign, [Obama] said he would eliminate" earmarks. In fact, Obama promised to reform the earmark process and cut wasteful spending, not eliminate earmarks altogether. Read More

Wash. Post contradicts prior reporting in purporting to contrast Clinton and Bush U.S. attorney dismissals
Contradicting its own prior reporting, The Washington Post asserted that when Bill Clinton "took office, he fired all U.S. attorneys at once," while George W. Bush "took a different approach, slowly releasing several of the prosecutors." But the Post previously reported that "Bush and ... Clinton each dismissed nearly all U.S. attorneys upon taking office." Indeed, Bush moved to replace almost all of Clinton's U.S. attorneys within the first five months of his term in office, according to a 2001 Justice Department press release. Read More

AP headline said "Christians optimistic but disappointed in Obama," but report was about conservative Christians
The New York Times published an AP report on its website with the AP's headline, "Christians optimistic but disappointed in Obama." In fact, the report stated that "[c]onservative evangelical and Catholic leaders" and "some right-leaning Christian leaders" -- not Christians in general -- were "expressing feelings ranging from disappointment to optimism in their reaction to the president's decisions so far." Read More

CNN's Willis falsely claimed "household net worth ... dropped by almost 18 percent since last year"
On American Morning, Gerri Willis falsely claimed that "household net worth, according to the Federal Reserve, down almost 18 percent since last year." In fact, household net worth decreased by 18 percent in 2008 -- not 2009. Read More

In puff piece on Newsmax, quoted Dick Morris without noting he writes for Newsmax
A profile of Newsmax and its co-founder, Christopher Ruddy, quoted Dick Morris praising Newsmax without noting Morris' affiliation with the outlet. The profile also omitted key information on Ruddy, including his history of promoting unfounded conspiracy theories about the 1993 death of deputy White House counsel Vince Foster. Read More

Fox News illustrates segments on serious issue of crime in Mexico with footage of bikini-clad women
Fox News has once again engaged in its longstanding practice of airing gratuitous footage of scantily clad women -- this time in its coverage of the grim issue of drug cartel-related violence in Mexico. In segments raising the question of whether Mexico is no longer safe for college spring break trips -- a proposition challenged by some guests -- footage of young women in bikinis aired on Hannity, On the Record with Greta Van Susteren, and The O'Reilly Factor. Read More

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