Tuesday, September 29, 2009

Media Matters Daily Summary 09-29-09

Wash. Times and Fox News now unleashing mobs on private citizens (including kids)
Last week, a Washington Times blogger posted a call to arms, beseeching readers to help the newspaper dig up more information regarding a long list of arts organization representatives who took part in a conference call with the White House on August 10. The call was part of a National Endowment for the Arts initiative, and it's a conference call that was secretly taped and has been wildly overhyped in conservative media circles as some sort of linchpin in a larger criminal enterprise being run out of the White House to politicize the arts. (There's no evidence the August 10 conference call broke any laws.) Read More

Kid video redux: Conservatives freak out over another video of kids "praising" Obama
Just days after claiming that a video showing elementary school kids in New Jersey singing a song about President Obama was evidence of "indoctrination," the conservative media are at it again -- this time flogging another video of kids performing at a PTA meeting in North Carolina. Hotair.com posted the video with the caption "liberal indoctrination camp," while Fox & Friends host Steve Doocy compared it to a Barack Obama "campaign commercial." Read More

Conservative media raise ACORN bogeyman to baselessly cast doubt on Franken's campaign victory
The Fox Nation, Gateway Pundit blog, and Mickey Kaus all highlighted a Minneapolis Star Tribune column to claim or suggest that ACORN stole the 2008 Minnesota Senate election for Sen. Al Franken (D). In fact, the column -- which Gateway Pundit and Kaus falsely claimed was a Star Tribune "report" or "story" -- did not contain a single allegation of a fraudulently cast vote, and the Minnesota Supreme Court stated that counsel for Franken's 2008 opponent, Norm Coleman, "confirmed at oral argument that Coleman makes no claim of fraud on the part of either voters or election officials." Read More

MSNBC airs discredited allegation linking White House to ACORN
RedState contributor Brian Faughnan suggested on MSNBC that White House political affairs director Patrick Gaspard was formerly a "senior" official at ACORN -- a charge that was discredited minutes later by the Politico's Ben Smith. During the segment, MSNBC host Dylan Ratigan did not challenge Faughnan's statement and did not point out to the audience that MSNBC had not verified that the charge was true. Read More

Fox News attacks Obama's efforts to promote U.S. Olympic bid
In recent days, Fox News hosts, contributors and guests have used President Obama's promotion of the United States bid to host the 2016 Summer Olympics in Chicago as an excuse to attack him, while Michelle Malkin and Matt Drudge have baselessly linked the murder of a teenager in Chicago to the Olympic bid. Attacks on Obama's efforts include Sean Hannity saying that "it sounds" like Obama "is more concerned about bringing the Olympics to Chicago than winning the war in Afghanistan," Brent Bozell claiming Obama's trip to Copenhagen to promote the Chicago bid "is evidence that this man just cannot stay away from the klieg lights," and Bret Baier invoking the "carbon footprint" of Obama's trip to Copenhagen to smear the president. Read More

Latest fact-check fail: Fox News runs with claim that White House official worked for ACORN
After Matthew Vadum wrote in The American Spectator that "[e]vidence shows that years before he joined the Obama administration," White House political affairs director Patrick Gaspard "was ACORN boss Bertha Lewis's political director in New York," Fox News seized on the blog post, asserting that -- in Sean Hannity's words -- "ACORN has somebody on the inside of the White House." However Politico's Ben Smith has since reported that the allegation "just isn't true" and that the White House has denied the American Spectator report; in its reporting, Fox News gave no indication that they attempted to fact-check the Spectator report or contact the White House for a response. Read More

Fox News heavily covers McChrystal's troop-increase recommendations after largely ignoring Shinseki's
According to searches of the Nexis database, Fox News has reported on Gen. Stanley McChrystal's recommendation to increase U.S. troop levels in Afghanistan on 17 programs in the week since it was reported by The Washington Post, but mentioned Gen. Eric Shinseki's February 2003 recommendation that that "several hundred thousand soldiers" would be needed to successfully occupy Iraq on only six programs available in Nexis in the three and a half months between his testimony to Congress and his retirement as Army chief of staff. Moreover, Fox News personalities have repeatedly criticized President Obama for not yet acting on McChrystal's advice but almost entirely avoided criticizing the Bush administration for not heeding Shinseki's 2003 recommendation. Read More

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