Tuesday, December 08, 2009

Media Matters Daily Summary 12-08-09

Right wing smears scientific consensus on global warming as a "cult"
Following the release of reportedly stolen emails from the Climate Research Unit (CRU) at the University of East Anglia, numerous right-wing media figures have attempted to undermine the case for action against global climate change by comparing the scientific consensus that human activity is driving global warming to a "cult." However, as the Union of Concerned Scientists has stated, the scientific understanding of climate change is "based on the work of thousands of scientists from hundreds of research institutions" and "[t]he e-mails provide no information that would affect" this understanding. Read More

The end of the Wash. Times and Rev. Moon's right-wing charity
You'd think that somebody with a direct line to the Almighty, and tapped by Jesus to save mankind on Earth, would be able to come up with a better business plan for running a daily newspaper. But, alas, after nearly three decades of unrelenting financial losses, the Rev. Sun Myung Moon, a federal tax cheat, accused cult leader, and founder of the Unification Church, has decided to pull out. Actually, according to news reports, it's more like Moon's U.S. college-educated sons, as part of an internal family power struggle, have decided to finally cut off the endless stream of Asian church cash that's kept The Washington Times afloat. Read More

Investigation confirms: No evidence of illegal actions by ACORN in videographer scam
After media outlets and figures have repeatedly claimed that videos released by conservative activists James O'Keefe and Hannah Giles revealed a pattern of ACORN aiding efforts to evade taxes on a fictitious child-prostitution ring, an investigation by former Massachusetts Attorney General Scott Harshbarger (D) found that "there is no evidence that action, illegal or otherwise, was taken by any ACORN employee on behalf of the videographers." Indeed, an analysis of those incidents by Media Matters for America indicates that in at least six of the eight videos released, ACORN employees at those offices either were not clearly informed that underage prostitutes were involved, refused to help, appeared to deliberately respond with wildly over-the-top statements, or contacted the police after Giles and O'Keefe had left; moreover, ACORN employees at at least two of the offices advised Giles to file tax returns. Read More

CBS advances email distortion to claim that scientists "manipulate[d]" data to get "the answer they wanted"
A CBS Evening News report on emails reportedly stolen from the University of East Anglia Climate Research Unit (CRU) claimed that an email reference to a "trick" to "hide the decline" showed that scientists had "manipulate[d] some research" in order to get "the answer they wanted." Numerous scientists have stated that the "trick" of hiding the decline is a legitimate method to compensate for unreliable tree-ring data after 1960 and that the email in question has been distorted; moreover, several climate scientists have emphasized that the distortions of illegally obtained emails in no way undermines the overwhelming consensus on global warming. Read More

NY Post distorts EPA finding to suggest it is not supported by sound science
In a December 8 editorial, the New York Post distorted quotes from the Environmental Protection Agency's (EPA) December 7 greenhouse gas endangerment finding to suggest that the decision is not based on reliable science, but rather on the "judgment" of EPA administrator Lisa Jackson. In fact, the full context of the quotes the Post cited makes clear that they do not support the editorial's claim that the EPA finding did not rely on scientific justification. Read More

Washington Times continues anti-gay war on Kevin Jennings, "Obama's buggery czar"
The Washington Times continued its anti-gay war on Department of Education official Kevin Jennings in a December 8 editorial entitled "Obama's buggery czar," the paper's ninth editorial smearing Jennings since late September. The Times editorial advanced several false and misleading claims in order to paint Jennings as a "moral malefactor" who supported and promoted "kids having sex with adults" as well as "homosexuality and promiscuity." Read More

Quick Fact: Fox & Friends continues to misinform on stolen CRU emails
Continuing its pattern of misinforming about climate change and about emails reportedly stolen from the Climate Research Unit at the University of East Anglia (CRU), on December 8, Fox & Friends hosted Sen. James Inhofe (R-OK) to attack the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) over its recent announcement that it will regulate carbon dioxide. Inhofe linked the EPA's announcement to "climate-gate" and claimed without challenge that EPA's decision --which co-host Steve Doocy initially described as a "sneaky way" to regulate carbon dioxide-- is "totally based on [Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change] IPCC science which is what has been debunked now, officially." Read More

Quick Fact: Rove claims proposed $250 checks intended to pacify seniors "angry about Medicare cuts that the administration's proposing"
Fox News contributor Karl Rove claimed that an Obama administration proposal to send $250 checks to senior citizens was spurred because seniors are "angry about Medicare cuts that the administration's proposing." In fact, the Obama administration has stated that the checks are a response to the lack of a cost-of-living adjustment (COLA) for Social Security in 2010. Read More

Beck attacks health care reform with smears of Creamer, hypocritical outrage, and obligatory conspiracy theories
In repeated attacks on health care reform efforts, Glenn Beck falsely claimed that progressive activist Robert Creamer was imprisoned for "ripping off the non-profit entity that he's working for" - but the presiding judge reportedly said Creamer's motivation was to actually keep his non-profit alive, not steal from them. While attacking "convicted felon" Creamer, Beck further displayed selective and hypocritical outrage: Beck's Fox News colleague is felon Mark Fuhrman, and Beck's program runs advertisements featuring Watergate felon G. Gordon Liddy. Read More

Beck smears judge as "corrupt" for not recusing himself in Creamer case -- but prosecution reportedly didn't voice concerns
Glenn Beck charged that late U.S. District Judge James Moran was "corrupt" because he failed to recuse himself in a case involving progressive activist Robert Creamer, who has been the subject of frequent smears by Beck. However, the Chicago Tribune reported that "neither defense attorneys nor prosecutors voiced concerns about Moran's connections to Creamer." Read More

Beck falsely claimed Robert Creamer "stole" $2 million from banks
Glenn Beck falsely claimed that progressive activist Robert Creamer "stole" $2 million from banks while serving as Executive Director of the Illinois Public Action Fund. In fact, Creamer was never accused of stealing any money and the judge in the case reportedly gave Creamer a lighter sentence because no one suffered any "out of pocket losses." Read More

Fox's Rosen advanced misleading claim scientists destroyed climate data
On the December 8 edition of Fox News' Special Report, correspondent James Rosen advanced the claim that "climate-gate" revealed that "some leading proponents of global warming [...] destroyed" raw temperature data. In fact, according to the scientists, the raw data is still available at the meteorological services where they obtained it and Climate Research Unit director Phil Jones said the CRU simply did not keep copies for "less than 5 percent of its original station data" in its database because those "stations had several discontinuities or were affected by urbanization trends."
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