Glenn Beck and the paranoid style
"The modern right wing ... feels dispossessed: America has been largely taken away from them and their kind, though they are determined to try to repossess it and to prevent the final destructive act of subversion. The old American virtues have already been eaten away by cosmopolitans and intellectuals; the old competitive capitalism has been gradually undermined by socialistic and communistic schemers; the old national security and independence have been destroyed by treasonous plots, having as their most powerful agents not merely outsiders and foreigners as of old but major statesmen who are at the very centers of American power." Read More
Fox & Friends outrage over Franken-Lieberman exchange undermined by Lieberman himself
During the December 18 edition of Fox News' Fox & Friends, hosts Steve Doocy, Gretchen Carlson, and Brian Kilmeade repeatedly attacked Sen. Al Franken -- calling him "uncivil," a "newbie," and "an angry clown" -- for denying Sen. Joe Lieberman extra speaking time on the Senate floor. The Fox & Friends hosts ignored that, in fact, Franken, Lieberman, and Majority Leader Harry Reid all stated on December 17 that Franken was following Reid's orders not to grant any speech extensions. Read More
Moore falsely claims Obama predicted "strong job growth" following unemployment rate reduction
On Fox News' On the Record, discussing an increase in the number of people filing for unemployment in the week ending December 12, Wall Street Journal senior economics writer Stephen Moore falsely claimed that, following the Department of Labor's December 4 report that the unemployment rate had dropped the previous month, "a lot of people, including the president, said, you know, we passed the hump, now we're going to see strong job growth over the next few months, and that just really hasn't happened." In fact, in remarks following the Department of Labor's December 4 report, Obama said that while "the trendline right now is good," "there are going to be some months where the reports are a little better, some months where the reports are worse." Read More
Carlson falsely claimed ACORN videos exposed "illegal activity"
On Fox & Friends, co-host Gretchen Carlson -- discussing the Justice Department's appeal of a federal court decision that lifted a ban on federal funding to ACORN -- falsely claimed that videos of ACORN employees released by conservative activists exposed "illegal activity" by ACORN. In fact, an independent investigation of the videos found that "[t]here is no evidence that action, illegal or otherwise, was taken by any ACORN employee on behalf of the videographers"; moreover, DOJ's appeal does not allege that ACORN employees shown in the videos engaged in any "illegal activity." Read More
Right-wing media seize on snow at Copenhagen conference to deem climate change a "fraud"
Right-wing media have highlighted recent snowfall during the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change in Copenhagen, often suggesting that the winter storm is evidence that climate change is, in Rush Limbaugh's words, "a fraud." But climate scientists reject the notion that short-term changes in weather, let alone individual storms, bear any relevance to the global warming debate, and several major climate data centers have said that, thus far, 2009 is one of the warmest years on record. Read More
Cato's Michaels falsely claims emails show CRU scientists were "silencing" dissent
In a Wall Street Journal op-ed, Cato Institute fellow and author Patrick Michaels claimed that recently stolen emails from the Climatic Research Unit (CRU) reveal "a silencing of climate scientists" and "dramatically weakened the case for emissions reductions." Michaels cited emails that show scientists' objections to certain papers being published in journals, however, the scientists do not appear to be in a position "to bias" the scientific literature, because several of the papers they criticized were published or cited, and in one paper's case, editors at the journal conceded that it should not have been published as written. Read More
Hannity report on Russian climate "bombshell" misses the mark
On his Fox News show, host Sean Hannity falsely claimed that a "major Russian climate change organization dropped a bombshell" report claiming that "much of its climate data was tampered with by a leading British research center" and that "any of their data that could help disprove global warming was simply ignored." In fact, the Moscow-based Institute of Economic Analysis (IEA) is not a "climate change organization"; it is an economic and social policy think tank headed by Andrei Illarionov, an economist, climate skeptic, and fellow at the libertarian Cato Institute; moreover, the report was not about "their" data -- it simply purported to analyze how the UK Met Office used data from Russian meteorological stations. Read More