Tuesday, January 12, 2010

Media Matters Daily Summary 01-12-10

Stenography 101: How the press let Palin and Cheney rig the system
Not content with its lapdog coverage of President Bush over the past decade, the Beltway press has adopted a new, super-soft way to deal with Bush's former vice president, Dick Cheney, as well as GOP media star Sarah Palin. Journalists have set aside what had been decades' worth of guidelines and embraced special new rules for how Cheney and Palin get treated. Read More

Quick Fact: Van Susteren allowed Brown to falsely suggest health reform will limit mammograms, pap smears
During the January 11 edition of her Fox News program, Greta van Susteren allowed Scott Brown, Republican Senate candidate for Massachusetts, advance the false suggestion that the health care reform bills would prevent women from receiving mammograms and pap smears. Read More

Fox falsely links voluntary NYC-led salt reduction initiative to federal health care reform
Fox & Friends co-host Steve Doocy claimed that a New York City-led initiative to encourage reduced salt intake would allow the government to "decide how much salt is in our diets," tying the voluntary guidelines to "some sort of government-run health care," repeating a consistent pattern of Fox personalities distorting voluntary guidelines as illustrating government mandates that would exist under health care reform. However, as the New York City government makes clear, the program "is a voluntary initiative, not a regulatory measure." Read More

Right-wing media run with Mail article falsely suggesting climate expert predicts "mini ice age"
FoxNews.com, Fox Nation, and Gateway Pundit's Jim Hoft have cited a Mail on Sunday article suggesting that climate scientist Mojib Latif predicted a "mini ice age" over the next 20 or 30 years, with Hoft asserting that global warming is "junk science." But Latif has since challenged the Mail article's use of his research, and at the U.N. climate conference the Mail article references, Latif stated that while temperatures could "cool" temporarily "relative to the present level" due to natural climate variability, there is a clear "long-term warming trend" that is "manmade." Read More

Fox Nation runs with RedState's attacks on Southers
The Fox Nation is the latest media outlet to advance right-wing smears of Erroll Southers, President Obama's nominee to head the Transportation Security Administration (TSA), by linking to video clips of an interview Southers gave on national security and terrorism issues. Asking, "Will Pres. Obama's TSA Nominee Recover from This?", Fox Nation echoed attacks made by Red States' Erick Erickson by distorting and misrepresenting Southers' remarks. Read More

Hoft falsely claimed Coakley said Taliban aren't in Afghanistan
Jim Hoft falsely claimed that Democratic Massachusetts Senate candidate Martha Coakley said that the "Taliban" are no longer in Afghanistan, and Hoft added that Coakley is "not just wrong- She's dangerous." In fact, the context of Coakley's comments makes clear that she was talking about Al Qaeda, not the Taliban; indeed, military experts, including Gen. David Petraeus and national security adviser James Jones, have stated that Al Qaeda's presence is diminished in Afghanistan, and intelligence officials reportedly estimate that there are fewer than 100 Al Qaeda members there. Read More

"Please, please help" Scott Brown: Fox "political analyst" Morris uses position to fundraise for Mass. GOPer
During the January 11 edition of Fox News' Hannity, Dick Morris urged viewers to "go to DickMorris.com ... to help elect [U.S. Senate candidate Scott] Brown [R-MA]," because if "we win this fight, then there will never be another victory for Obama." DickMorris.com includes a fundraising plea "to help us raise $300,000 for a last minute media buy to push Brown and the Republicans to victory"; Fox News executives allow Morris to solicit funds for Republican efforts despite reportedly telling colleague Mike Huckabee to cease conflict-of-interest promotions that help his political action committee. Read More

Fox News provides MA Sen. candidate Brown a forum to raise funds and misinform
In recent days, Scott Brown, the Republican nominee in the special election for the Massachusetts U.S. Senate seat, has made numerous appearances on Fox News to raise funds for his campaign, solicit volunteers, and peddle misinformation. In the wake of the November 2009 elections, Fox News provided airtime to GOP and conservative candidates, and its on-air personalities celebrated and shilled for them. Read More

Special Report highlights Brown's fundraising, ignores Fox's role in helping him do so
In a report on the Massachusetts special Senate election on Fox News' Special Report, correspondent Molly Line highlighted how the campaign of Republican candidate Scott Brown claims "they've raised $1.3 million in the last 24 hours," but made no mention of Fox News' role in helping Brown raise some of that money. Brown has made several appearances on Fox News to solicit funds and volunteers for his campaign -- two of which took place in "the last 24 hours." Read More

O'Reilly uses poll showing 57% approval for Obama attack response to claim Americans "not thrilled" with response
Bill O'Reilly cited a CBS poll announcing a drop in Obama's approval ratings and commented, "Talking Points predicted that last week with Dick Morris -- I predicted that Americans were not thrilled with President Obama's rather unemotional response to the Christmas Day terror situation." But the CBS News poll O'Reilly cited found that Americans approve of the Obama administration's response to the attempted terrorist attack by a 57 percent to 29 percent margin. Read More

Deficit hawk Beck attacks Fed's "windfall profits," doesn't note they will be returned to the Treasury
During his January 12 Fox News program, Glenn Beck claimed there was a "double standard" by Democratic politicians in attacking "windfall" profits from energy companies, but not criticizing what Beck described as the Federal Reserve's "windfall profits" over the past year. Beck did not mention that the Federal Reserve's profits will reportedly be returned to the U.S. Treasury, which The Washington Post described as "good news for the federal budget." Beck has previously highlighted the federal debt and deficit by suggesting that it would result in a "Venezuelan-style utopia wonderland" and stating that the American people are being "led to the slaughterhouse." Read More

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