Thursday, March 19, 2009

Media Matters Daily Summary 03-19-09

On MSNBC, Tucker Carlson rewrote history to blame Frank for mortgage crisis
Tucker Carlson claimed that the mortgage crisis "emanated from Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac," and asserted that one of the "reasons this crisis began ... was federal pressure to increase homeownership, and Barney Frank was in an oversight position during that process and didn't do a lot to stop it." In fact, Frank did not become chairman of the House Financial Services Committee until 2007, and it was not until Democrats gained a majority in Congress that legislation strengthening oversight of Fannie and Freddie passed. Read More

Limbaugh defense of AIG bonuses follows attacks on "insane benefits" of UAW sending Big Three "down the tubes"
Rush Limbaugh has repeatedly defended AIG from criticism of its employee retention bonuses; by contrast, he criticized the UAW in December 2008 for the contracts it had negotiated with automakers. Limbaugh stated: "[T]he Big Three are going down the tubes in part because of both the insane benefits for current workers, and the crazy compensation for retirees." He also said: "You can't pay people who produce nothing for you. And you can't pay a whole bunch of them over and over again who don't do anything, even if they have in the past." Read More

Fox's Hemmer did not challenge Inhofe's assertion that Obama cap-and-trade proposal is "the most regressive tax that you can have"
On America's Newsroom, Bill Hemmer did not challenge Sen. James Inhofe's claim that President Obama's proposal to cap annual carbon emissions and auction the right to pollute is "the most regressive tax that you can have, because ... someone who is very poor spends a very high percentage of his or her income on ... energy that they have to buy." Hemmer did not point out that, in proposing a cap-and-trade program in his budget outline, Obama addressed the issue of higher energy costs impacting consumers differently by proposing to return "[t]he balance of the auction revenues ... to the people, especially vulnerable families, communities, and businesses." Read More

After admitting culpability during Daily Show interview, Cramer now calls Stewart's criticism of CNBC "naïve and misleading"
On Today, Jim Cramer asserted of Daily Show host Jon Stewart that "it was a naïve and misleading thing to attack the media" for their coverage of the economic recession, just one week after acknowledging that CNBC's reporting deserved criticism during an appearance on The Daily Show. Read More

Fox News promo falsely claimed Obama "pushes a plan" requiring vets to pay for health insurance
Fox News aired a promotion for a broadcast of Hannity that falsely claimed: "[President] Obama pushes a plan that could force vets to pay through the roof for health coverage." In fact, the White House has stated it does not support a provision previously under consideration that would have billed military veterans' private insurance companies for treatment of their combat-related injuries performed at Veterans Administration hospitals. Read More

Fox News' Bream uncritically repeats conservative claim Obama judicial nominee "has ties" to ACORN
Fox News reporter Shannon Bream said regarding appeals court nominee David Hamilton: "Critics say Hamilton has ties to the liberal activist group ACORN." Bream did not note that Hamilton's "ties" reportedly consist of "raising contributions door-to-door for the advocacy group ACORN for one month after college" in 1979. Read More

"This is what's happening to our money": CNBC's Kudlow lights dollar bill on fire
On CNBC's The Call, while purporting to describe "the value of our money," Larry Kudlow lit a U.S. dollar bill on fire, destroying part of the bill -- a possible violation of Title 18, Section 333, of the U.S. Code. Read More

Hannity falsely asserted Dems "voted for those bonuses," while GOP "did not"
On his radio show, Sean Hannity falsely claimed, "Every single Senate Democrat voted for those [AIG] bonuses. Every -- almost every Democrat in the House voted for those, because they voted for the stimulus bill. And by the way, Republicans did not." In fact, the economic recovery act did not require that AIG pay bonuses; rather, it restricted the ability of companies receiving money from the Troubled Asset Relief Program to award bonuses in the future. Read More

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