Wednesday, September 30, 2009

Media Matters Daily Summary 09-30-09

Military coup fantasy is latest in trend of extremist right-wing rhetoric
Continuing a trend of increasingly violent and revolutionary rhetoric advanced by conservative media figures, Newsmax columnist John Perry wrote that President Obama "is inviting" a military coup and detailed the reasons he said officers might support such a "[m]ilitary intervention" with the end result being one in which "[s]killed, military-trained, nation-builders would replace accountability-challenged, radical-left commissars." On the same day, radio host Jim Quinn told armed service members to "run for your life, get out," because Obama "is gonna get you killed." Read More

Kudlow distorts health insurance mandate to claim violators "face a $25,000 fine, or imprisonment, or both"
On his CNBC show, Larry Kudlow distorted a provision in the health care reform bill proposed by Sen. Max Baucus (D-MT) to claim that "if an individual opts out of this insurance plan ... apparently they face a $25,000 fine, or imprisonment, or both." In fact, the bill would levy a $1,900 "excise tax" on those who don't purchase health insurance; those who refuse to pay the tax could face a fine or prison sentence, as the Wall Street Journal editorial Kudlow cited as the source of his claim clearly stated. Read More

Beck leads conservative media in raising specter of Chicago cronyism to attack Obama's bid for Olympics
Conservative media have suggested or claimed that President Obama is advocating for Chicago to host the 2016 Olympics in order to return political favors to Chicago Mayor Richard Daley or forward the financial interests of other "Chicago pals." For instance, Glenn Beck advanced baseless speculation that Obama adviser Valerie Jarrett "may personally benefit" from the Olympics, and Michelle Malkin wrote that Daley "cronies" in Obama's circle are "returning the favor for their hometown boss" by pushing for the Chicago Olympics. Read More

Beck guru Skousen's "story of slavery" suggests slave owners were "worst victims of the system"
Fox News' Glenn Beck has heavily promoted the writings of far-right activist W. Cleon Skousen, even making Skousen's book, The 5000 Year Leap, a central part of his 9-12 Project. Skousen is the author of several controversial works, including The Making of America: The Substance and Meaning of the Constitution, which presented as "the story of slavery in America" a passage from a book that attacked abolitionists for delaying emancipation; cast slave owners as "the worst victims of the system"; claimed white schoolchildren "were likely to envy the freedom of their colored playmates"; and claimed that "[s]lavery did not make white labor unrespectable, but merely inefficient," because "the slave had a deliberateness of motion which no amount of supervision could quicken." Read More

More "indoctrination": Conservative media attack Obama's proposal for more school
Glenn Beck and other conservative media figures are now attacking President Obama's proposal to extend the length of school days and the school year, adding to conservative media's recent penchant for fearmongering about children in order to smear progressives. Beck and Rush Limbaugh claimed government mandates for longer school days would give the government more time to "indoctrinate" kids, and Michelle Malkin said Obama is acting as "school czar." Read More

Beck repeatedly gets basic facts wrong despite boasting that "some of the biggest minds in America" do his research
Fox News' Glenn Beck has bragged that "[m]y credibility means everything to me," and that he has "some of the biggest minds in America" on his research team "working harder than ... any staff ever on television" to get the truth out, but Beck frequently gets his facts wrong. For instance, in recent weeks Beck has falsely claimed Van Jones was a "convicted felon"; repeated Andrew Breitbart's false claim that an online video showed community organizers from the Gamaliel Foundation "pray[ing]" to President Obama; claimed an obsolete constitutional provision protecting the slave trade applies to "immigrants"; and, most recently, claimed a "Class of 2007" mosaic painted on tiles outside a California school was carried by G-20 protesters in Pittsburgh this week. Read More

Despite evidence to contrary, Fox News machine claims Jennings "cover[ed] up statutory rape"
Despite evidence to the contrary, Fox News -- led by Sean Hannity -- and other right-wing media have claimed that Department of Education official Kevin Jennings "cover[ed] up statutory rape" and violated Massachusetts law by not reporting to authorities a 1988 conversation in which a high school student told Jennings about his relationship with an older man. In fact, Jennings' attorney wrote in a 2004 letter that the student was 16 years old, which is -- and was at the time -- the legal age of consent in Massachusetts. Read More

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