Tuesday, September 29, 2009

Media Matters Daily Summary 09-28-09

Right-wing media follow Beck in calling for investigation into NEA
On September 11, Glenn Beck stated that only he and BigGovernment.com's Andrew Breitbart have "been calling for" an investigation into the National Endowment for the Arts' August 10 conference call -- during which Beck claims "they," presumably the Obama administration, used the NEA "to buy propaganda for the president." Since then, numerous right-wing media figures, including the Washington Times editorial board, have followed Beck's lead and called for an investigation into the NEA despite the fact that the transcript of the conference call contains no evidence of illegal electioneering or lobbying by government officials. Read More

After FoxNews.com truncated Jennings' quote, Wash. Times, Fox Nation accuse "safe school czar" of "encouraging" statutory rape
A Washington Times editorial accused "safe school czar" Kevin Jennings of "encourag[ing]" a relationship that amounted to "statutory rape," by suggesting that his only response to an underage student's revelation that he had sex with what the Times described as an "older man" was to "make sure 'to use a condom.' " In fact, Jennings stated that he hoped the student "knew to use a condom" to protect against STDs; moreover, the FoxNews.com article from which The Washington Times based this claim truncated Jennings' remarks to exclude his statement that he thought to say this because his "best friend had just died of AIDS the week before." Read More

Breitbart's Big Hollywood: Same old birtherism, comparisons of Obama to Hitler
Recently, Fox News and other media outlets have given increased attention and influence to conservative web publisher Andrew Breitbart. One of his web outlets, BigHollywood.com, frequently accuses President Obama of failing to release a valid birth certificate and routinely compares Obama to Hitler, Stalin, Lenin, Mao, Pol Pot, and Castro, despite Breitbart's claim that the site would "show another face to the conservative movement and the Republican Party." Read More

Fox emits misinformation about loans to fuel-efficient car companies
In reports on FoxNews.com, America's Newsroom, and Your World, Fox News repeatedly advanced misinformation about Department of Energy loans recently granted to Fisker Automotive and Tesla Motors to support development of fuel-efficient vehicles, suggesting that those funds would be ill-spent. The false or misleading claims include: that the loans will be used to build cars that cost $89,000 and $109,000; that the loans will finance foreign manufacturing; and that Fisker and Tesla are European companies. Read More

Serial misinformer McCaughey exposed as Big Tobacco shill during 1994 health care debate
Rolling Stone recently revealed that in 1994, tobacco giant Philip Morris implemented a "strategy to derail Hillarycare," which included an "effort to 'work on the development of favorable pieces' with 'friendly contacts in the media'" -- specifically mentioning the company's collaboration with serial health care misinformer Betsy McCaughey on her 1994 New Republic hit piece on the Clintons' health care reform bill. This latest disclosure, combined with a previously exposed conflict of interest, should destroy any remaining credibility she has with the media as an expert in health care reform acting in the public interest. Read More

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