Friday, January 29, 2010

Media Matters Daily Summary 01-29-10

Quick Fact: Palin falsely suggested health reform would increase deficit, denied Obama cut taxes
Fox News contributor Sarah Palin falsely suggested in a January 28 Facebook post that Democrats' health care reform plans would increase the deficit and that President Obama has not cut taxes. In fact, the Congressional Budget Office (CBO) has estimated that the health care reform bills passed by both the House and Senate would reduce federal deficits through 2019 and beyond, and the recovery act signed into law by Obama included $288 billion in tax relief. Read More

Attacking Obama's speech, Lowry misleads on stimulus estimates, Supreme Court case
New York Post columnist Rich Lowry claimed that President Obama's 2 million job estimate of the impact of the recovery act is "from an outfit that has every incentive to make the numbers look as cheery as possible," when in fact that estimate falls within the range given by the nonpartisan Congressional Budget Office (CBO). Lowry also purported to correct Obama's statement about the Supreme Court's decision in Citizens United v. FEC, but four Supreme Court justices and other legal experts have said the impact of the ruling is uncertain. Read More

WSJ editorial demands Obama "get his facts right" in his Supreme Court criticism
A January 29 Wall Street Journal editorial claimed that President Obama's remark during the State of the Union address about how he believed the Supreme Court's decision in Citizens United v. FEC could "open the floodgates for special interests, including foreign corporations, to spend without limit in our elections" is "false." But, in fact, Obama's comments echo what four of the Supreme Court justices wrote in their opinion -- that the decision "would appear to afford the same protection to multinational corporations controlled by foreigners as to individual Americans" to make certain election-related expenditures. Read More

Quick Fact: George Will claimed EFCA would "abolish workers' rights to secret ballots"
George Will asserted in a Washington Post column that "organized labor's 'card check' legislation" would "abolish workers' rights to secret ballots in unionization elections." In fact, currently it is employers, not workers, who have the right to demand a secret ballot; the Employee Free Choice Act would strip employers of that right; employees would be able to utilize the "secret ballot" election process. Read More

Media conservatives falsely claim Obama's Supreme Court criticism was "unprecedented"
Right-wing media are attacking President Obama for his criticism of the recent Supreme Court decision in Citizens United v. FEC during the State of the Union, calling it "unprecedented" and accusing the president of "intimidation." In fact, Obama's comments were not "unprecedented"; Presidents Ronald Reagan and George W. Bush have previously used the State of the Union to criticize judicial actions, including those of the Supreme Court. Read More

Fox Nation touts "hero" labeling of Obama photos, ignores that it's a photographic term
The Fox Nation highlighted a Mediaite post claiming that "the individual responsible for the naming convention of the presidential imagery on the official White House website has literally 'given' hero status to the photos" of President Obama because the file names of "all the Presidential images" begin with "hero_." But Fox Nation did not mention that the Mediaite post was later updated to note that "hero" is photographic terminology for "the image selected for final use. i.e. typically the best image from the selection" -- as conservative bloggers pointed out when the issue was raised in March 2009. Read More

Quick Fact: Hannity falsely claims Obama "created" the "massive deficit" and that "stimulus is a failure"
On his radio show, Sean Hannity claimed that President Obama "seems to be concerned about a massive deficit," which Hannity said Obama "created," and asserted that the economic "stimulus is a failure." In fact, the 2009 increases in spending and the deficit include the impact of policies enacted under former President Bush, and economists have estimated that the stimulus "raised employment" by as many as 2 million jobs through December 2009. Read More

Beck "don't know much about history"... or economics
On January 28, Fox News host Glenn Beck purported to explain the origins of the financial crisis but instead made several false claims. Beck misinformed his viewers on the difference between institutions that provide student loans and those that purchase existing home loans, his own previous comments about the financial bailouts, and the Federal Reserve's regulatory role. Read More

Conservative media link bin Laden's remarks about climate change to progressives, Democrats
Numerous conservative media figures responded to Osama bin Laden's reported comments blaming the United States and other industrialized nations for global warming by linking bin Laden with progressives and Democrats. Fox example, Rush Limbaugh likened bin Laden's remarks to "those of the average, run-of-the-mill leftist, like Obama or Harry Reid or Nancy Pelosi or the entire Democrat Party," and Glenn Beck stated that bin Laden was "running to [progressives'] defense." Read More

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