Ignoring Bush Treasury role, Politico reported that Republicans "feel they have a free shot at the Democrats" over AIG
The Politico uncritically quoted top congressional Republicans criticizing the Obama administration over AIG bonuses, reporting that "[h]aving mostly opposed Obama's stimulus plan, the second half of the Troubled Asset Relief Program (TARP) funds and the omnibus spending bill, Republicans feel they have a free shot at the Democrats for anything that goes wrong now." The article 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
What do AIG bonuses have to do with health care and cap-and-trade?
Several media outlets have asserted that AIG's payment of controversial employee-retention bonus packages could squelch or impede President Obama's ability to promote his policy agenda. Most of those reporting the claim failed to elaborate on how disclosure of the bonuses could impede Obama's ability to pass aspects of his agenda such as health-care reform and climate change policy. Read More
Fox's Hannity, Doocy repeated falsehood that Dodd to blame for AIG bonuses
Fox News' Sean Hannity repeated the false claim that an amendment Sen. Chris Dodd added to the recovery bill "protected" AIG bonuses. Fox & Friends' Steve Doocy further advanced this falsehood by asserting that Dodd "inserted into the stimulus package specific language that kept these bonuses in." In fact, the relevant provision in the recovery act, which was based on an amendment by Dodd, actually restricted the ability of companies receiving funds under the act to award bonuses; it did not create a right for executives at AIG -- or anywhere else -- to receive bonuses. Read More
USA Today, LA Times continue to omit Bush Treasury's role in AIG bonus controversy
USA Today and the Los Angeles Times reported Republican criticism of the Obama administration over AIG's employee bonus packages but 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 stock notwithstanding the existence of these bonus contracts. Read More
Time cites NRSC attack on Dodd over AIG bonuses without noting that several GOP senators reportedly opposed executive pay restrictions
Time's Jay Newton-Small asserted that Sen. Chris Dodd's proposal for a 100 percent tax on AIG bonuses, "may have been overcompensation, so to speak, on Dodd's part," adding, "The National Republican Senatorial Committee was quick to point out that Dodd had amended the stimulus plan to make a specific 'exception for contractually obligated bonuses agreed on before Feb. 11, 2009.' " But Newton-Small did not point out in response to the NRSC's attack on Dodd that several Republican senators reportedly said in February they oppose any government restrictions on executive compensation. Read More
Hannity falsely claimed McCain had "been against the AIG bailout from the very beginning"
Fox News host Sean Hannity falsely asserted that Sen. John McCain had "been against the AIG bailout since the very beginning." In fact, while McCain stated in September 2008 that he opposed a federal bailout of AIG, McCain later stated that he supported it. Read More
CNN's Bash falsely claims recovery bill language required AIG bonuses "to stay in place"
On The Situation Room, Dana Bash falsely claimed that "a clause" of the economic recovery act "effectively made sure that the contracts that were in place for the past couple of years with companies like AIG -- why those had to stay in place and why AIG had to give the bonuses." In fact, the relevant provision in the recovery bill actually restricted the ability of companies receiving funds under the act to award bonuses in the future; it did not mandate that AIG -- or any other companies -- pay bonuses. Read More
Limbaugh falsely claimed "not one Republican voted for the TARP bailout"
Rush Limbaugh falsely claimed that "not one Republican voted for the TARP bailout." In fact, many congressional Republicans voted in favor of the Emergency Economic Stabilization Act of 2008, which authorized the secretary of the Treasury to create the Troubled Asset Relief Program to provide financial aid to banks and other financial institutions. Read More
Limbaugh joined by other conservatives standing up for AIG against "mob rule"
In the wake of Rush Limbaugh's defense of AIG, several conservative media figures -- including Sean Hannity, Glenn Beck, and Michelle Malkin -- have joined him in condemning criticism of the company's employee retention bonuses. Read More