Thursday, July 23, 2009

Media Matters Daily Summary 07-23-09

Mainstreaming the fringe: Lou Dobbs fuels birther bonfire
If James von Brunn weren't in a locked security ward at Southeast General Hospital in Washington, D.C., and awaiting trial for the murder of a security guard at the U.S. Holocaust Memorial Museum, the 88-year-old racist and neo-Nazi might have taken comfort from listening to Lou Dobbs' syndicated radio show or watching Dobbs on CNN in recent days. Von Brunn would have likely felt some sense of affirmation from Dobbs, as the host began belatedly championing the cause of so-called "birthers," the angry band of right-wing conspiracy theorists who claim President Obama has not released a valid birth certificate and, in some cases, flat-out assert that he was not born in America and therefore is ineligible to be president of the United States. (Here's a good birther primer; here's the official right-wing defense of birthers.) Read More

Scarborough still citing $23 trillion number, even after he "checked" into it
Despite claiming that he "went and checked" the source of the figure, Joe Scarborough again advanced the falsehood that the total cost of TARP is $23 trillion. Read More

NBC's Todd ignored Elmendorf's comments undercutting criticism of his meeting with White House
Chuck Todd reported Republican criticism of a White House meeting between President Obama and CBO director Douglas Elmendorf but did not note Elmendorf's comments undermining that criticism. Read More

In latest column, Will outsources climate change falsehoods to NRO's Steyn
George Will repeated Mark Steyn's false claim that "If you're 29, there has been no global warming for your entire adult life." In fact, climate experts reject the notion that global warming has slowed or stopped. Read More

CNN "conspiracy theorist" Lou Dobbs discredits his network -- one wild claim at a time
Lou Dobbs has repeatedly used his CNN show and his radio show to spread discredited theories and wild claims -- his attention to which jeopardizes CNN's credibility. Read More

Meet the Birthers: This is who Lou Dobbs is mainstreaming
In light of Lou Dobbs' recent promotion of birther theories, Media Matters presents a look at some of the leading figures within the birther community and the views they've espoused. Read More

In WSJ, serial health care misinformer McCaughey at it again
In a Wall Street Journal op-ed, Betsy McCaughey falsely claimed the House Democrats' health care reform bill will "pressure the elderly to end their lives prematurely." McCaughey frequently appears in the media to advance falsehoods about progressive health care reform proposals. Read More

Wealthy conservative media figures deny crisis in health care
Rush Limbaugh, Glenn Beck, and Sean Hannity -- who each reportedly make more than $20 million per year -- have downplayed the struggles of those lacking adequate health care, asserted that "there isn't a health care crisis," or characterized the United States as having "the best health care system in the world." Read More

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