Tuesday, March 17, 2009

Media Matters Daily Summary 03-17-09

Suggesting "your house will be worth more burned down," Doocy peddled itemized deduction falsehood
Fox & Friends' Steve Doocy falsely asserted that President Obama has proposed eliminating the ability of high-income taxpayers to take income tax deductions for their home mortgages. In fact, Obama has not proposed eliminating income tax deductions for any taxpayers; rather, a provision in Obama's budget proposal would, beginning in fiscal year 2011, reduce the tax rate at which families earning more than $250,000 per year can take itemized deductions to 28 percent. Read More

Hannity falsely claimed that under Pelosi, Republicans "can't offer amendments"
Fox News' Sean Hannity falsely claimed that under House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, "Republicans can't offer amendments; they can't offer alternative bills." In fact, in the 111th Congress, the House has voted on several Republican-sponsored amendments to various bills. Read More

CNN's Gergen forwarded small business falsehood
David Gergen forwarded the false Republican talking point that "a lot of small-business people, you know, pay taxes as high-income taxpayers. They're in the $250,000-plus. So, there are a number of them who felt like they're going to be facing crushing taxes." In fact, according to data from the Tax Policy Center, only about 2 percent of families reporting small-business income in their 2007 tax returns are in the top two income tax brackets, which include those expected to pay more in federal income taxes under president Obama's proposal Read More

The Hill repeats baseless claim that small businesses will have to provide health insurance under Obama
A Hill article asserted that "[s]mall businesses are also worried about an Obama healthcare proposal that could require small firms to provide health insurance to their workers." However, during the presidential campaign, then-Sen. Barack Obama proposed requiring large businesses that do not provide employer-sponsored health coverage to pay a percentage of their payroll into a National Health Insurance Exchange but stated that small businesses would be exempt. Read More

NY Times disappears Bush Treasury Department from article on AIG bonuses
In an article about the Obama administration's "effort to undo bonuses at A.I.G.," The New York Times reported, "The Treasury and Federal Reserve officials said they had known about the bonus program as far back as last fall." But at no point in the article did the Times note that the Treasury Department at the time was then-President Bush's Treasury Department. Indeed, the article did not mention Bush or his Treasury Secretary Hank Paulson at all, much less report that the Bush Treasury Department worked with the Federal Reserve in carrying out last year's bailouts and bought AIG stocks notwithstanding the existence of these bonus contracts.
Read More

Fox, Drudge falsely assert Dodd put "bonus protections" into stimulus bill
A FoxBusiness.com article reporting on an amendment that Sen. Chris Dodd added to the recovery bill featured the false headline -- subsequently posted by the Drudge Report -- "Amid AIG Furor, Dodd Tries to Undo Bonus Protections He Put In." Additionally, Fox News' Trace Gallagher falsely claimed that Dodd "created a loophole that allowed AIG to give out these bonuses." Rush Limbaugh also falsely asserted that Dodd's amendment provided an "exemption from any limits on" contractual bonuses agreed to before February 11. In fact, Dodd's amendment actually limited bonuses; it did not add "protection" for bonuses or "create a loophole" without which the bonuses could not be paid. Read More

Stephanopoulos ignored McCain's reversal on AIG bailout during Twitter interview
In a post describing his interview with Sen. John McCain on Twitter, George Stephanopoulos uncritically reprinted McCain's claim during the interview that he "would have never bailed out AIG." Stephanopoulos did not note that while McCain originally stated in September 2008 that he opposed a federal bailout of AIG, McCain later stated that he supported it. Read More

Beck falsely asserted that U.S. does not fingerprint foreign visitors or collect rapists' DNA
On Fox News, Glenn Beck asserted that "[w]e can't fingerprint anybody who's coming into this country because that would be offensive" and that "[w]e can't take DNA samples from killers or rapists, but you can have your fingerprint taken if you want to sell your house." In fact, the Department of Homeland Security does take fingerprints from "aliens seeking admission to the United States" at U.S. entry points, and according to the National Conference of State Legislatures, "All 50 states require that convicted sex offenders provide a DNA sample." Read More

Media ignore Bush Treasury Department role in last year's AIG bailouts, notwithstanding bonus packages
In numerous instances, media reporting on AIG's employee retention bonus packages did not point out that it was the Bush Treasury Department that worked with the Federal Reserve in carrying out last year's bailouts and bought AIG stocks notwithstanding the existence of these bonus contracts. Read More

No comments: