Wednesday, February 03, 2010

Media Matters Daily Summary 02-03-10

Quick Fact: Wash. Times falsely claims Obama is raising all income tax rates
A Washington Times editorial falsely claimed that under president Obama's 2011 budget, "people currently in the 10 percent, 25 percent, 28 percent, 33 percent and 36 percent personal income tax rates will all face higher tax rates." In fact, Obama's budget proposes allowing the top two income tax rates to return to their pre-Bush tax cut levels -- affecting only income that exceeds $200,000 for individuals and $250,000 for families -- and leaving the other three income tax rates at their current levels. Read More

Conservatives' attack on DADT repeal affecting "unit cohesion" not supported by facts
In a Wall Street Journal op-ed, foreign policy journal editor Mackubin Thomas Owens argued against repealing a ban on gay men and lesbians from serving openly in the military by claiming it would "undermine the nonsexual bonding essential to unit cohesion"; Family Research Council senior fellow Peter Sprigg made a similar claim during the February 2 broadcast of MSNBC's Hardball. But those claims are heavily undermined by the fact that other countries allow gay men and lesbians to serve in the military and have not experienced issues with "cohesion." Read More

Fox News' MacCallum just wrong that U.S. is "on track" to hit "new" debt limit "this month"
Fox News anchor Martha MacCallum falsely reported that "if you remember correctly, last Thursday, Congress voted to raise the debt ceiling by 1.9 trillion, right, to 14.3 trillion," and that according to a wire report, "the Treasury Department has just said that we're gonna be on track to hit that approved debt ceiling this month, in the month of February." In fact, the Associated Press reported the same day that "[t]he Treasury Department said Wednesday it expects to hit" the "current" debt limit of $12.4 trillion and noted that "the House has yet to pass" the proposed $1.9 trillion increase. Read More

Kilmeade assertion about when Abdulmutallab "shut up" is open to debate
On Fox & Friends, co-host Brian Kilmeade stated as fact that Northwest Airlines bombing suspect Umar Farouk Abdulmutallab "talked for about 50 minutes then shut up after his Miranda rights were read to him ... [a]t the airport and in the hospital. He was quiet after that." But numerous news outlets have reported that according to federal officials, federal agents decided to give Abdulmutallab a Miranda warning after he had already stopped cooperating. Read More

Kristol claim that DADT is a "success" undermined by cost in "personnel and treasure"
In a Weekly Standard editorial headlined "Don't Mess With Success," editor William Kristol approvingly cited Sen. John McCain's reference to Don't Ask Don't Tell (DADT) as a "successful policy" and stated that it "works pretty well at accommodating the complex demands of a war-ready military nestled in a liberal society." Those claims are undermined by the discharge of thousands of servicemembers under the law at a cost to replace them of hundreds of millions of dollars. Read More

Fox Nation's claim that Obama cut program to "Get Even With Stupak" undermined by Stupak himself
Following the Obama administration's budget proposal to cut a scholarship program named after the late son of Rep. Bart Stupak (D-MI), the Fox Nation claimed, "White House Gets Even With Stupak," and linked to a RedState post suggesting that President Obama proposed cutting the program in retaliation for Stupak's proposal of an anti-abortion amendment to the House health care reform bill. However, Stupak himself has reportedly said the proposed budget cut "was not an act of retaliation" and that the program "is a perennial target of budget cutters from both parties," including former President Bush. Read More

Why are the media hosting anti-gay bigots to comment on DADT?
Media have turned to conservatives with histories of making bigoted, anti-gay remarks to comment on Secretary of Defense Robert Gates and Chairman of the Joint Chiefs Mike Mullen's February 2 testimony on repeal of Don't Ask, Don't Tell (DADT). Those commentators include Family Research Council (FRC) president Tony Perkins, who had claimed that the "real issue" regarding the scandal involving former Rep. Mark Foley's (R-FL) interactions with congressional pages is the purported "link between homosexuality and child sexual abuse," and FRC senior fellow Peter Sprigg, who once said that he preferred to "export homosexuals" rather than "import them." Read More

Quick Fact: Wash. Examiner omits Galen Institute's reported health care industry funding
A February 2 Washington Examiner op-ed by Galen Institute president Grace-Marie Turner criticized President Obama's stance on health care reform and touted a reform proposal by a Republican member of Congress. The Examiner did not disclose that Turner's group is reportedly funded in part by the pharmaceutical and medical industries. Read More

Fox News revives ACORN-funding bogeyman to attack Obama budget
Fox News host Bill Hemmer raised the tired specter of ACORN receiving federal funding to attack Department of Housing and Urban Development funding included in President Obama's 2011 budget proposal. Conservatives in the media have exhaustively cited the possibility of federal money going to ACORN to attack health care reform legislation, the financial bailout bill, and the economic recovery act. Read More

Several conservative media figures support repeal of DADT
In the wake of Obama's State of the Union pledge to end the Don't Ask Don't Tell (DADT) policy which bans gay men and lesbians from openly serving in the military, conservative media figures including syndicated columnist Charles Krauthammer, Weekly Standard columnist Stephen Hayes, Fox News analyst Margaret Hoover, and American Spectator columnist Phillip Klein have all come out in support of Obama's call to repeal the ban. Read More

Right-wing media continue barrage of religious attacks against Obama
On Fox News' Hannity, host Sean Hannity again attacked President Obama over his relationship with Rev. Jeremiah Wright, and guests Richard Miniter and Noelle Nikpour attacked Obama over devotional messages he receives, while earlier this week, right-wing blogs attacked Obama over his church attendance. These attacks follow repeated religion-based smears of Obama both during the 2008 presidential campaign and after he took office. Read More

GOP communications arm: Fox News now campaigning for Kirk
On the day after the Senate primary in Illinois, Fox News continued its pattern of engaging in political advocacy, this time in support of Mark Kirk, the Republican nominee for the 2010 election for the Illinois U.S. Senate seat. During their February 3 coverage of the primary, Fox News repeatedly aired a National Republican Senatorial Committee (NRSC) "attack ad" targeting Kirk's Democratic opponent, Illinois State Treasurer Alexis Giannoulias, provided Kirk a platform to attack Giannoulis, and repeatedly offered favorable comparisons between Kirk and Scott Brown, the Republican victor in the special election for the Massachusetts U.S. Senate seat who received similarly favorable treatment from Fox News prior to his election. Read More

No comments: