Thursday, October 22, 2009

Media Matters Daily Summary 10-22-09

Fox News paints White House criticism of Fox as diversion to distract from health care reform debate
Fox News hosts and contributors are now asserting that the White House's criticism of Fox News is a diversion or a trick to direct attention away from the administration's policies, particularly health care reform. Glenn Beck has referred to the criticism as a "gold coin" used in a magic trick, while Newt Gingrich claimed the White House is trying to keep the media "focused on trivia." Read More

Rove obscures Wash. Post/ABC News poll question on public option to suggest "the wording of the question" skewed results
On Fox News' Hannity, Karl Rove suggested that a Washington Post/ABC News poll that showed broad support for a public option was skewed because "the wording of the question" didn't make clear that the public option would include government involvement. In fact, the Washington Post/ABC News poll question asked about support for "having the government create a new health insurance plan to compete with private health insurance plans," and its results mirrored those of other recent public opinion polls that asked about support for a government-administrated public option. Read More

Communications arm? Fox & Friends recites misleading GOP press release on stimulus
Fox & Friends hosts Brian Kilmeade, Steve Doocy, and Gretchen Carlton parroted a House Republican press release and repeated its claim that the stimulus impact is "6 million jobs shy of what the administration promised us" since the administration stated "that 3.5 million jobs would be created. And, in fact, the United States has lost 2.7 million since the stimulus plan." However, the administration estimated that by 2011 -- not September 2009, when the 2.7 million job losses since February were recorded -- 3.5 million jobs would be created or saved by the stimulus compared to the number of jobs that would have existed at the end of 2010 had the government not passed the legislation. Read More

Dick Morris celebrates opposite day, fails Depression era-World War II quiz
Appearing on The O'Reilly Factor, Fox News' Dick Morris claimed that as president, Franklin Roosevelt's "largely conservative course" helped lower unemployment, suggested that "a new depression came on the country" because Roosevelt abandoned course, and claimed that Roosevelt "was only re-elected because there was a war on." In fact, numerous economists have said that it was a retreat from progressive economic principles that led to a recession in 1937, and Morris' claim regarding Roosevelt's 1940 re-election is undermined by the fact that it occurred more than one year before the United States entered World War II. Read More

WND's new Jennings smear: He "counseled a 15-year-old to keep quiet" about relationship with older man
In recent days, the conservative website WorldNetDaily has in three separate articles falsely claimed that Education Department official Kevin Jennings "counseled a 15-year-old student to keep quiet about being seduced by an older man." In fact, the student Jennings counseled was 16 -- the legal age of consent -- and there is no evidence that Jennings told the student to "keep quiet." Read More

More Fox fabrication: falsely claims Philly ACORN video shows "unlawful actions"
Following the release of what Fox News itself called "heavily edited tape" of conservative James O'Keefe's visit to a Philadelphia ACORN office, Fox News ran captions stating, "Exposing ACORN: New Video Shows Unlawful Actions." In fact, in the heavily edited video, there is no evidence of any ACORN worker engaged in any "unlawful actions," and moreover, ACORN workers filed an incident report with Philadelphia police following O'Keefe's visit. Read More

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