Monday, March 16, 2009

Media Matters Daily Summary 03-16-09

Politico, AP forward GOP small business falsehood
The Politico and the AP forwarded the false Republican talking point that President Obama's proposals to let the Bush tax cuts for wealthy taxpayers expire and reduce the tax rate at which wealthy taxpayers could take itemized deductions would increase taxes on a large percentage of small businesses. In fact, according to the Tax Policy Center, just 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 that would be affected. Read More

NY Times uncritically quoted Cheney saying Bush administration detention policies were "done legally"
In a New York Times article, A.G. Sulzberger quoted without challenge Dick Cheney's assertion that Bush administration policies on detentions and intelligence gathering were "done legally" and "in accordance with our constitutional practices and principles." Sulzberger did not note that the Supreme Court has repeatedly rejected Bush administration policies regarding detentions, that the Justice Department has withdrawn Bush administration memoranda authorizing interrogation practices, and that the International Committee of the Red Cross has reportedly determined that interrogation practices used during President Bush's tenure in office amounted to torture. Read More

Wash. Times uncritically reprints NRO columnist calling released detainee an "al Qaeda jihadist"
The Washington Times reprinted part of a National Review Online column that claimed that former Guantánamo Bay detainee Binyam Mohammed is "the al Qaeda jihadist who was planning to carry out mass-murder attacks in American cities, who is now free and clear to live and plot in Londonistan." However, the Times did not note that the Justice Department withdrew charges against Mohammed of plotting to commit terrorist attacks and subsequently transferred Mohammed to the U.K. Read More

Fox News presents deceptively cropped six-month-old Biden clip as new
Fox News' Martha MacCallum claimed that "after weeks of economic doom and gloom, the Obama administration is now singing a slightly different tune. Take a look at what was said in recent interviews this weekend." Fox News then aired clips of administration officials purportedly giving an optimistic view of the economy, which included video of Joe Biden stating: "The fundamentals of the economy are strong." However, Biden did not make those remarks during an "interview[]" over the past weekend; he made those remarks at a September 2008 campaign event in which he criticized statements by John McCain. Read More

Media repeatedly declare that Obama's "honeymoon" is "over" -- but the cliché lives on
A Media Matters analysis found that since the day after President Obama's inauguration, broadcast and cable news figures have been stating that Obama's "honeymoon" is "over" or questioning whether it is, rendering the cliché all but meaningless. During this period, media figures have suggested Obama's "honeymoon" is "over" with respect to "some ... die-hard Republicans," the media, African-Americans, Cuban President Fidel Castro, "Republican critics of his economic recovery plan," and economists. Read More

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