Tuesday, January 19, 2010

Media Matters Daily Summary 01-19-10

Quick Fact: Hannity revives distortions of Coakley's remarks about "terrorists" and Catholics in ERs
On his Fox News show, Sean Hannity attacked Democratic Senate candidate for Massachusetts Martha Coakley for saying -- in Hannity's words -- that "all the terrorists are gone from Afghanistan," and that "Catholics shouldn't be working in emergency rooms." Both of Hannity's characterizations are distortions; in fact, as the context of Coakley's remarks makes clear, she was specifically discussing Al Qaeda when she referred to "terrorists," and did not say "Catholics" "shouldn't be working in emergency rooms." Read More

Quick Fact: Fox & Friends falsely claimed Coakley said Taliban are "gone from Afghanistan"
On the January 19 edition of Fox & Friends, host Steve Doocy falsely claimed that Massachusetts Democratic Senate candidate Martha Coakley "suggested the Taliban [are] gone from Afghanistan" and hosted former CIA operative Michael Scheuer to discuss whether she was "wrong." But the context of Coakley's comments make clear that she was referring to Al Qaeda's presence in Afghanistan, not to the Taliban, and her comments echo numerous military experts' statements regarding Al Qaeda's diminished presence in Afghanistan. Read More

Quick Fact: Varney ignores CBO estimate while claiming health bill "does not" cut deficit
On Fox & Friends, Fox Business contributor Stuart Varney claimed President Obama is "wrong" to believe health care reform legislation will reduce the deficit and added, "You're going to have 10 years of taxes, and you're only going to have six years of benefits in that first 10 years. You're rigging the numbers to make it look like it's going to be financially beneficial." However, the most recent Congressional Budget Office (CBO) analyses of the health care reform bills estimate that the legislation will not only reduce deficits through 2019, but will continue to reduce deficits in the subsequent decade. Read More

Come back, Bob Woodward. Save us from Game Change journalism
Dear Bob Woodward, all is forgiven. Read More

Ingraham's "D-plus" for Obama undermined by last year's rise in consumer confidence
On Fox & Friends, Laura Ingraham gave President Obama "a D-plus" on the economy and asserted that "consumer optimism" is "obviously down." But Ingraham's claim about "consumer optimism" ignores the fact that consumer confidence in December 2009 was 52.9, up from 38.0 in December 2008, an increase of 39 percent. Read More

Beck, Limbaugh, baselessly raise specter of stolen election in Massachusetts
Following a well-worn conservative strategy, Rush Limbaugh, Glenn Beck, and others have been raising the specter of voter fraud in the Massachusetts special election for U.S. Senate. In fact, actual examples of voter fraud are extremely rare, and previous claims by conservatives that elections have been stolen have proved to be utterly meritless. Read More

Fox News' Campaign for Brown
In recent weeks, Fox News has continued its pattern of engaging in political advocacy, this time supporting Scott Brown, the Republican nominee in the special election for the Massachusetts U.S. Senate seat. Fox has hosted Brown several times, providing him a forum to raise funds; Dick Morris has explicitly asked viewers to go to his website to help elect Brown. Fox media figures have distorted Democratic nominee Martha Coakley's statements and suggested Democrats may steal the election; and Fox News has suggested that a Brown victory would provide economic benefits. Read More

Quick Fact: FoxNews.com repeatedly misuses "nuclear option" term
In a FoxNews.com article, senior Capitol Hill producer Trish Turner repeatedly claimed that Democrats are considering using the budget reconciliation process to pass health care reform legislation, and referred to that procedure as the "nuclear option." But the reconciliation process is not the nuclear option, which refers to a procedure that would be used to change Senate rules; reconciliation requires no such rule changes and has been used many times in the past. Read More

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