Here are today's news items from Media Matters for America, click on the title or 'read more' to read the entirety of each story.
Perino says it "feels un-American" for White House to criticize a news outlet, but as Bush's press secretary she blasted NBC
Former White House press secretary and current Fox News contributor Dana Perino has recently contrasted the Obama administration's criticism of Fox News with the Bush administration's treatment of MSNBC, saying, "I could have taken that tack, but I thought it was not the right thing to do and I think it's mostly because it's really unproductive, it feels un-American, and it's not inspiring." However, Perino did criticize NBC, MSNBC's parent network, during her time as press secretary, asserting that NBC had "intentionally" mischaracterized remarks made by President Bush. Read More
The first year of Barack Obama's presidency has seen some absurd media memes, from nonexistent "death panels" to crazy birtherism. But for overall ahistorical (not to mention hysterical) audacity, it's tough to beat the past week's overheated comparisons of Barack Obama to Richard Nixon. Read More
Conservative media misrepresent 30K stimulus job count
Following the release of preliminary data from Recovery.gov indicating that around 30,000 jobs have been created or saved through federal stimulus contracts thus far, numerous conservative media figures have distorted the report to claim or suggest that the 30,000 figure represents the sum total of jobs created by the stimulus program to date. In fact, the 30,000 figure represents only the number of jobs created through federal contracts that have been awarded with stimulus funds, which is a small fraction of the total stimulus spending, and does not represent the total job impact of the $173 billion of stimulus funds that have been spent by the government thus far. Read More
Right-wing smear machine falls for fake Obama quote labeled as "satire"
Right-wing media figures trumpeted a blogger's fake report that in a college thesis -- which the post's author claimed was obtained by Time's Joe Klein -- President Obama attacked the Founders and the Constitution. Lou Dobbs ran with the claim even after Klein had denied the story, Michael Ledeen had apologized for having repeated it, and Rush Limbaugh had acknowledged that it might not be accurate. Read More
The Friday Rush: His dream deferred, Limbaugh takes a takes a backseat to Glenn Beck
Maybe Rush Limbaugh is still torn up over the whole St. Louis Rams debacle. Imagine: A man's boyhood dream of acquiring a small nation's worth of wealth by bloviating for 15 hours a week on the radio, and then using this fortune to be a co-owner of the worst team in the NFL, was utterly crushed. Rush learned the hard way (though it's admittedly a stretch to assume he "learned" anything from this experience at all) that 20-plus years of nationally syndicated half-truths, no-truths, and obscene smears drenched in race-baiting are sometimes frowned upon when you try to cross over to the mainstream. Read More
In latest bigoted smear, Fox leads right-wing media assault on Jennings' involvement with anti-AIDS group
Advancing the newest ludicrous and bigoted attack in a long series of failed efforts by conservatives to smear Education Department official Kevin Jennings and force his firing, Fox News' Sean Hannity and the Washington Times editorial board have insisted that Jennings' past involvement with the AIDS Coalition to Unleash Power (ACT UP) somehow disqualifies him from serving in the Obama administration. But such arguments are absurd, given that ACT UP, an anti-AIDS activist organization, has been credited with both creating awareness of the AIDS epidemic in America and facilitating more effective treatment of the disease. Read More