Monday, January 11, 2010

Media Matters Daily Summary 01-11-10

Quick Fact: Wash. Times falsely claims Obama "avoided" calling terrorist threat a "war"
In a January 11 article, The Washington Times' S.A. Miller falsely claimed that President Obama "avoided characterizing the terrorist threat as a 'war' and the administration dropped the 'war on terror' title that President George W. Bush made the official description the [sic] global anti-terrorism campaign." In fact, in his inaugural address, Obama stated that "[o]ur nation is at war against a far-reaching network of violence and hatred," and he has repeatedly discussed terrorism as the rationale for U.S. military action abroad. Read More

Media claim GOP abandoned Lott -- but GOP also elected him to leadership again
Politico and National Review Online both stated that Republicans forced former Mississippi Sen. Trent Lott to resign as Senate majority leader following his praise for Strom Thurmond's 1948 segregationist campaign for president. In fact, although Lott did resign as majority leader, the Senate Republican caucus later welcomed him back to the Senate leadership, electing him minority whip in 2006. Read More

Conservative media dubiously compare Reid's controversial comments to Lott's support of segregationist Thurmond
Responding to Sen. Harry Reid's recently reported controversial comments about President Obama, numerous conservative media figures have accused Democrats of having a "double standard" regarding racially insensitive remarks made by Republicans, specifically citing the outrage over former Senate Majority Leader Trent Lott's past comments in support of Strom Thurmond's 1948 segregationist presidential campaign. But others -- including NPR's Cokie Roberts, Rev. Al Sharpton, and NAACP's Hilary Shelton -- have argued that the two comments are not comparable, because Reid was praising an African-American's advancement, whereas Lott was expressing support for a segregationist. Read More

Wall Street Journal advances distortion of Coakley's remarks on taxes to promote GOP attack
A January 11 Wall Street Journal editorial on the upcoming special Senate election in Massachusetts repeated Republican Senate candidate Scott Brown's attacks on his Democratic opponent, Massachusetts Attorney General Martha Coakley, reporting that Brown "hit [her] on taxes, including, Ms. Coakley's comments in November that 'We need to get taxes up.' " In fact, the context of Coakley's remarks indicates that she was referring to increasing tax revenues by getting people back to work; indeed, Coakley later clarified that she was referring to tax revenues in her remarks, not increasing taxes, which the Journal ignored. Read More

Factually challenged news channel hires factually challenged Palin
The New York Times reported that Fox News has hired Sarah Palin as a contributor who "will appear on the network's programming on a regular basis as part of a multi-year deal" and "will host an occasional series that will run on the network from time to time." Fox News hired Palin despite her months of pushing false claims and bogus information, including the "Lie of the Year" that the Democrats' health care bill includes "death panels." Read More

Prop. 8 federal lawsuit begins; cue right-wing media hysteria
This week in a San Francisco Federal District Court, a legal odd couple will be on display. Attorney David Boies, who represented Al Gore before the U.S. Supreme Court in the infamous 2000 case of Bush v. Gore, and conservative attorney Ted Olson, who represented George W. Bush, are joining forces to overturn California's Proposition 8. It will be their contention that the initiative passed by voters in 2008 banning same-sex marriage in the Golden State violates the Equal Protection and Due Process clauses of the U.S. Constitution, singles out gays and lesbians for a disfavored legal status, and discriminates on the basis of gender and sexual orientation. Read More

Hoft builds false Jennings "Gay Bars" claim on "hate group's" distortion
Jim Hoft falsely claimed that Department of Education official Kevin Jennings "Personally Pushed Books That Encouraged Children to Meet Adults at Gay Bars For Sex," citing anti-gay "hate group" Mass Resistance's falsehood that a book Jennings recommended to high school and college students "encourage[s] teens to, among other things, go to gay bars and have sex with adults to see if they like it." Media Matters for America has reviewed the book, compiled all references to gay bars, and determined that the book at no point encourages teens to "go to gay bars and have sex with adults"; in fact, a majority of the youth testimonials included in the book that mention gay bars refer to them negatively. Read More

Limbaugh distorts AP analysis on stimulus to falsely claim no jobs have been created
On the January 11 edition of his radio show, Rush Limbaugh falsely distorted an Associated Press analysis of road and bridge construction to advance the falsehood that stimulus spending has had no effect on job creation. In fact, the AP analysis reported that the stimulus "has produced some jobs" and that AP "did not try to measure results of the broader aid that also was in the first stimulus"; moreover the Congressional Budget Office found that the stimulus created up to 1.6 million jobs. Read More

RedState witch-hunts for Southers, gets everything wrong
In a January 11 post, RedState's Erick Erickson attacks Erroll Southers, President Obama's nominee to be chief of Transportation Security Administration, asserting that video shows that "[a]ccording to Erroll Southers, pro-life Christians and our support of Jews is a bigger threat to national security than Al Qaeda." In fact, Erickson's claims about Southers -- whose confirmation vote was delayed due to a Republican hold -- are distortions or downright falsehoods. Read More

Quick Fact: Beck again falsely claims FDR, Sunstein were "pushing" to amend Constitution with "Second Bill of Rights"
On his Fox News program, Glenn Beck again falsely claimed that Franklin Roosevelt, in support of a "Second Bill of Rights," "was pushing for a change to the Constitution." Beck added that "progressives" like Office of Information and Regulatory Affairs Director Cass Sunstein have "been pushing for the Second Bill of Rights since FDR," and cited this as evidence that such progressives "know" that health care reform is "unconstitutional." Read More

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