Wednesday, October 28, 2009

Media Matters Daily Summary 10-28-09

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.

WSJ column forwards outdated climate info published in SuperFreakonomics
Wall Street Journal columnist Bret Stephens advanced the claim made by Steven Levitt and Stephen Dubner in SuperFreakonomics -- which has recently come under criticism by economists and climate scientists for what they say are distortions in the book's climate change chapter -- that, in Stephens' words, "sea levels will probably not rise much more than 18 inches by 2100." However, this claim is apparently based on projections made in 2007 by the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) that did not include future changes in ice flow and therefore do not represent recent developments in climate science observations indicating that increased and accelerated ice sheet loss will cause sea levels to rise by more than previously projected. Read More

Fox News-Wash. Times witch hunt takes aim at new target: judicial nominee Edward Chen
Fox News and The Washington Times have used a series of comments reportedly made by Edward Chen -- one of President Obama's judicial nominees -- to smear him as a "radical leftist" who "doesn't appear to love America," and as a "biased radical" when, in fact, the quotes in question establish nothing of the sort. These attacks on Chen follow months of a Fox News-led witch hunt against other Obama advisers and appointees, as well as race-baiting attacks on then-Supreme Court nominee Sonia Sotomayor. Read More

Right-wing blogs distort Frank's comments to suggest he "admitted" Dems seek to "increase" government control "on every front"
Numerous right-wing websites, including the Fox Nation and the Drudge Report, have parroted a misleading headline posted on October 26 by Real Clear Politics and NewsBusters asserting that Rep. Barney Frank (D-MA) stated, "We are trying on every front to increase the role of government." In fact, while specifically discussing financial regulation, Frank actually said, "[W]e are trying on every front to increase the role of government in the regulatory area" [emphasis added]. Read More

Zogby poll falsely claims Lloyd wants FCC to "force" replacement of whites in broadcast industry with minorities
A Zogby poll commissioned by a conservative activist included a question falsely claiming that Federal Communications Comission official Mark Lloyd "wants the FCC to force good white people in positions of power in the broadcast industry to step down to make room for more African-Americans and gays to fill those positions." In fact, in audio clips conservatives have circulated of a speech Lloyd made four years before joining the FCC, Lloyd does not suggest that the FCC or any other government agencies should do anything -- let alone require white people to "step down" -- to increase diversity in the broadcast industry. Read More

Fox & Friends hosts Luntz to decry Pelosi "rebranding" the public option, push "government option" language
Fox & Friends hosted "word doctor" Frank Luntz -- who has instructed conservatives to use the term "government option" rather than "public option" because it doesn't poll as well -- to criticize House Speaker Nancy Pelosi's "rebranding" of the public option as the "consumer option." Co-host Gretchen Carlson also continued Fox News' trend of using language echoing that approved by Luntz by asking if the public option should be called a "government takeover of health care." Read More

Hill transcribes RNC demands for investigation into Obama's alleged "special access" for donors, ignores Bush took practice to the extreme
The Hill's Blog Briefing Room reported that Republican National Committee chairman Michael Steele has called for an investigation "into allegations that President Barack Obama gave top donors special access to the White House," stemming from a "report published in The Washington Times." The Hill reported that Steele likened the practice to that which occurred under President Clinton but ignored that the Bush administration made heavy use of rewarding top political donors with overnight White House stays, policy briefings, trips to Camp David, "friend-raisers," and galas. Read More

Media should opt out of forwarding Lieberman's dubious public option claims
Media outlets continue to uncritically report Sen. Joe Lieberman's (I-CT) statement that he will oppose cloture for the Senate health care reform bill because he believes the opt-out public option provision Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid has said will be included in the bill would increase the national debt and burden the taxpayers. However, while Reid's bill has not yet been released, every proposed bill with a public option thus far has required that those who enroll in the plan cover its costs through premiums, rather than have the plans be paid for through federal revenues. Read More

Hannity, Wash. Times oppose judicial nominee Chen over his personal views, but previously criticized Dems for doing that
Recently, Sean Hannity and The Washington Times editorial page have both claimed that the Senate should oppose judicial nominee Edward Chen based on reported comments he made in the past about America and 9-11. However, both Hannity and the Times editorial page previously claimed Senate Democrats were wrong for opposing judicial nominees based on their political views and personal opinions, claiming that, as Hannity put it, "nominees' personal opinions are irrelevant." Read More

Conservative "outrage" over flag video undercut by Beck and Bush defacing flags
Saying, "Words will not express my contempt," Lou Dobbs told listeners he was "outrage[d]" by a report that the group Organizing for America's website had listed as a finalist in a health care video contest a video in which a mural of the United States flag is "splattered with health care graffiti until it's covered completely by black paint." But conservatives' purported "outrage" over the video is undercut by the fact that Fox News' Glenn Beck and President Bush previously defaced U.S. flags. Read More

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