Thursday, October 29, 2009

Media Matters Daily Summary 10-29-09

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.

Did Fox News approve its hosts' speeches to these groups?
In an article on Fox Business analyst John Stossel's scheduled anti-health care reform speeches for the conservative group Americans for Prosperity, The New York Times reported that a "Fox spokesperson said all speeches given by employees require approval from the network and said his Arkansas appearances were arranged before he was a Fox employee." Media Matters for America has assembled a list of recent speeches given by Fox News hosts Bill O'Reilly, Sean Hannity, and Mike Huckabee, as well as Fox News political contributor Newt Gingrich, in which they appeared before conservative political organizations or endorsed Republican candidates, reinforcing the fact that Fox News is itself a conservative political organization. Read More

Fox & Friends report on "overstated" stimulus job impact ignores that errors were corrected a week ago
In an October 29 report, Fox & Friends co-host Brian Kilmeade said that an Associated Press investigation showing that some of the jobs reported by federal contract recipients as having been created due to the stimulus were inaccurate, which Kilmeade said "makes the [jobs] numbers suspect." But, while Kilmeade reported that the "White House says it's aware of the problems and working to fix them," he ignored that the White House has claimed that the majority of the errors identified in the AP report had already been corrected prior to the report running and that the job data posted represent "just 2% of Recovery Act spending." Read More

Purporting to give voice to doctors, McCaughey forwards misleading health care attacks
In a Wall Street Journal op-ed, Betsy McCaughey misrepresented remarks by Dr. Jeffrey Borer to suggest that he is opposed to treatment guidelines when, in fact, he stated that guidelines are "needed" and "very valuable" while noting that "they have important limitations." McCaughey further advanced the claim that White House health care adviser Ezekiel Emanuel supports rationing of health care and attributed the claim to a doctor who belongs to a conservative-leaning group that holds several controversial views and has promoted the right-wing conspiracy theory that Vince Foster didn't commit suicide. Read More

Wash. Times defense of "traditional marriage" is full of distortions
A Washington Times editorial -- being promoted on the Fox Nation -- claimed that "[a] large number of studies show children raised in a family with a mother and a father perform much better in everything in life"; in fact, studies show that children raised by gay or lesbian parents suffer no adverse effects in their psychosocial development. Additionally, the editorial distorted the words of Chai Feldblum, President Obama's nominee to the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission, to suggest she did not support marriage, when, in fact, she said "marriage is a normatively 'good' framework for most people to aspire to." Read More

Limbaugh still advancing false claims about NY Times reporter Revkin's "thought experiment"
Rush Limbaugh falsely claimed that New York Times environmental writer Andrew Revkin was "thinking seriously about capping families at one child to reduce carbon emissions." Limbaugh has previously advanced a similar falsehood while suggesting that Revkin "just go kill" himself; in fact, Revkin made it clear that he was engaging in a "thought experiment, not a proposal" which did not involve "capping families." Read More

Media advance GOP's deceptive claims of partisanship in health reform process
In the wake of the Senate Finance Committee's October 13 passage of a health care reform bill, the fifth such bill passed out of congressional committees this year, numerous media figures have advanced the claim that the bill and the process of crafting health reform more generally was overly partisan, and have blamed Democrats. But these charges ignore the numerous Republican amendments included in both Senate health reform bills, and turn a blind eye to Republicans Senators' refusal to negotiate on health care reform in good faith and to their efforts to bring about, in the words of Sen. Jim DeMint, Obama's "Waterloo." Read More

Fox News' flag desecration hypocrisy
Expressing outrage that a video showing a "defaced flag" with "graffiti splattered all over it" is a finalist in a Democratic National Committee contest, Fox News and Sean Hannity ignored desecration of the flag by Fox News' own Glenn Beck, with Fox News contributor Michelle Malkin declaring that "the defacing of the flag, of course, is well within the mainstream of far-left propaganda tactics." President Bush also previously defaced a U.S. flag. Read More

Limbaugh doesn't let "damn convoluted language" stop him from misinforming on health bill
Rush Limbaugh falsely claimed that a section of the version of the health care reform bill unveiled by Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi will cause small businesses to "lose their tax breaks for health coverage" and asserted that "it's hard to tell from the damn convoluted language." In fact, the section at issue actually creates a tax credit; it does not limit any other tax breaks. Read More

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