Thursday, December 17, 2009

Media Matters Daily Summary 12-17-09

Scarborough falsely suggests Lieberman is in line with public opinion on health reform
On MSNBC, host Joe Scarborough stated, "Yes, Joe Lieberman's holding up a piece of legislation, but Joe Lieberman is not standing in the way of a piece of legislation that America wants. I've yet to see a poll over the last two or three months that show Americans want health care reform in any form." However, Lieberman has indicated that he will support the Senate health care reform bill after demanding that it exclude both a public health insurance option and an expansion of Medicare to uninsured Americans aged 55-64 -- two policies that are broadly popular among the American public according to recent polls. Read More

Quick Fact: IBD advances dubious rumor that WH threatened Nelson with base closure
An Investor's Business Daily editorial advanced the dubious rumor that the White House is "threatening" to close Nebraska's Offutt Air Force base if Sen. Ben Nelson "doesn't fall into line" in supporting health care reform. In fact, both Nelson and the White House have denied the rumor, which the IBD editorial did not note. Read More

Goldfarb struggles to preserve his disintegrating White House base threat story
In a December 16 post, Weekly Standard blogger Michael Goldfarb defended the accuracy of his report that the White House is "threatening to close" Nebraska's Offutt Air Force Base "to extort" Sen. Ben Nelson's vote on health care reform -- denied by both the White House and Nelson's office -- by pointing to a request by 20 Republican senators for a congressional investigation of his report. But a Nebraska newspaper reported on December 17 that Nelson's fellow Nebraska senator, Mike Johanns, said he signed on to the request even though he doesn't believe Goldfarb's story is true and Goldfarb's blog post follows his retraction of his prior claim that White House chief of staff Rahm Emanuel had personally issued such a "threat." Read More

Who's behind the right's base closure smear?
The right-wing media are accusing the Obama administration of playing politics with national security. But by using a trumped-up allegation peddled by a discredited former McCain aide to smear the White House, Obama's critics are guilty of the politicization of the military they claim to denounce. Read More

Fox & Friends deceptively cropped Dean's comments, disappearing public option references
In purporting to air Howard Dean's comments opposing the Senate health care bill, Fox & Friends omitted his statement that the "problem" with the bill is that with the removal of the public option, "we are now committed to a solution using the private insurance companies." At no point in the segment - during which Dean's opposition to the bill was repeatedly conflated with that of the tea party attendees - did Fox draw a connection between Dean's opposition to the bill and the removal of the public option from the bill. Read More

Ignoring Dean, Matthews claims that "netroots" critics of health care reform "never ran for office"
On his MSNBC show, Chris Matthews attacked what New York magazine writer John Heilemann called "the Democratic left" who have "trash[ed] the health care bill and attack[ed] the president; Matthews stated: "I don't consider them Democrats. I consider them netroots," and added, "I think a lot of those people are troublemakers who love to sit in the back seat and complain. They're not interested in governing this country. They never ran for office, they're not interested in working for somebody in public office." In fact, Howard Dean, who, as The New York Times reported, "has urged the Senate to scrap the bill and start from scratch," ran for president in the 2004 Democratic primary after having served for more than 11 years as governor of Vermont. Read More

Hannity falsely suggests Clinton "promis[ed]" U.S. would pay $100 billion per year to address climate change in developing countries
Sean Hannity suggested on his radio show that Secretary of State Hillary Clinton had "promis[ed]" that the United States would pay $100 billion "every year" to address climate change in developing countries. But Hannity's claim was immediately contradicted by an audio clip of Clinton's speech that he then aired on his show, in which Clinton said the U.S. "is prepared to work with other countries toward a goal of jointly mobilizing $100 billion a year" [emphasis added]. Read More

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