Thursday, January 14, 2010

Media Matters Daily Summary 01-14-10

Thomas misrepresents climate science to claim "global warming is a falling doctrine"
Asserting that "global warming is a falling doctrine," conservative columnist Cal Thomas falsely claimed the climate change consensus "suffered a severe blow" from recent European winter storms and falsely cited U.S. National Snow and Ice Data Center (NSIDC) data on summer Arctic ice. Thomas also trumpeted David Rose's questionable January 10 Mail on Sunday article, which purported to report on the research of climate scientist Mojib Latif, but was denounced by Latif for distorting his work. Read More

IBD launches flawed attack on Andy Stern, SEIU
An Investor's Business Daily editorial advanced the false claim that Andy Stern, president of Service Employees International Union (SEIU), "is the most frequent visitor to the White House." Moreover, IBD attacked Stern for saying, "[W]orkers of the world unite (is) not just a slogan anymore; it's a way we are going to have to do our work," and claimed, "In SEIU's worldview, there is no room for dissent. Karl Marx, call your office"; however, IBD ignored that Stern has also said it's "good news" that "communism's dead." Read More

Right-wing media continue to distort Coakley's comments on Afghanistan
Right-wing media outlets have continued to attack Democratic Massachusetts Senate candidate Martha Coakley for her recent comments about terrorism in Afghanistan, often by distorting her remarks on the subject. But the context of Coakley's comments make clear that she was referring to Al Qaeda's presence in Afghanistan -- echoing numerous military experts' statements regarding Al Qaeda's diminished presence in Afghanistan. Read More

REPORT: Top Fox News programs devote scant coverage to Haiti earthquake
On January 13, Fox News' three top-rated programs for 2009 -- The O'Reilly Factor, Hannity, and Glenn Beck -- devoted a combined total of less than 7 minutes of coverage to the earthquake in Haiti, instead choosing to air such things as Beck's hour-long interview with Sarah Palin, Bill O'Reilly's discussion of Comedy Central host Jon Stewart, and Sean Hannity's advocacy for Massachusetts candidate Scott Brown's Senate campaign. By contrast, the content of MSNBC's three top-rated shows underscored the significance of the Haiti disaster; Countdown, The Rachel Maddow Show, and Hardball devoted a total of more than two hours to the earthquake.
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Wash. Times cites GOP criticism of White House jobs numbers, but not that they are in line with other estimates
A Washington Times article repeated congressional Republicans' criticisms of the Council of Economic Advisers' estimate that the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act created up to 2 million jobs, reporting that "Republicans say the numbers simply don't wash." Despite noting that "[t]he government counts stimulus jobs in several ways," the article made no mention that the White House estimate is "within the range of other projections," including estimates from the nonpartisan Congressional Budget Office. Read More

The right-wing media react to Haiti
Tuesday's devastating earthquake in Haiti continues to bring grim news. Estimated death counts range from the tens of thousands to more than 100,000. Haiti's capital and largest city, Port-au-Prince, sustained massive damage: its hospitals -- all of them -- destroyed or rendered unusable, the presidential palace and a United Nations mission flattened. Damage to Haiti's airport, seaport, roads, power supplies, and other utilities has exacerbated the suffering and hindered relief efforts. Read More

Limbaugh politicizes tragedies while accusing others of doing the same
Following the earthquake that struck Haiti on January 12, Rush Limbaugh said the tragedy would "play right into [President] Obama's hands," adding that the administration would use it to boost its credibility with the "light-skinned and dark-skinned black community in this country." Limbaugh, who has previously stated that Democrats see tragic events as a way to bolster their standing within the African-American community, has a history of politicizing such tragedies. Read More

Debunked climate email claims return after right-wing media notice top scientist received federal grant
Right-wing media outlets have used a National Science Foundation grant awarded to Pennsylvania State University scientist Michael Mann to study the effects of climate change as an excuse to revive debunked claims about emails that were stolen from the Climatic Research Unit (CRU) at the University of East Anglia, some of which were written by Mann. Those debunked claims include: that Mann used "'tricks' to finesse his data"; that scientists including Mann discussed "efforts to interfere with the peer review process to stifle opposing views"; and that climate scientists like Mann have "knowingly perpetrated a fraud on the global community" with regard to climate change. Read More

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