Monday, February 22, 2010

Media Matters Daily Summary 02-22-10

NY Post distorts facts to claim climate change science is "unraveling"
A New York Post editorial baselessly asserted that the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change's (IPCC) "bogus" statement about the date by which Himalayan glaciers will likely disappear was a "key finding" in order to claim that climate change science is "unraveling." In fact, scientists have noted that the IPCC report's claim should not be described as a central finding because it was not included in the IPCC's larger summaries; moreover, the editorial distorted several of climate scientist Phil Jones' statements on warming trends to suggest that they undermine the consensus that human activities are contributing to higher global temperatures. Read More

WSJ column falsely claims Phil Jones "said there was more warming in the medieval period"
L. Gordon Crovitz falsely claimed in a Wall Street Journal column that Phil Jones, director of the Climatic Research Unit at the University of East Anglia, told BBC that "there was more warming in the medieval period, before today's allegedly man-made effects," when in fact Jones said the available data does not establish this claim. Moreover, Crovitz falsely claimed that the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) "has backed away from" its 2007 statement that up to 40 percent of the Amazonian rainforests are highly sensitive to reductions in rainfall; in fact, IPCC stands by the statement, which is supported by peer-reviewed science despite the incomplete citation in the IPCC report. Read More

Quick Fact: Fox again falsely claims majority vote in Senate is "nuclear option"
A February 22 Fox Nation headline incorrectly referred to the process of reconciliation as the "nuclear option." In fact, "nuclear option" is a term coined by former Sen. Trent Lott (R-MS) to refer to a procedure that would be used to change Senate rules; reconciliation requires no rule changes and was used repeatedly by Republicans during the Bush administration. Read More

Perino claims the public "rejected" the public option; polling shows otherwise
On Fox & Friends, Fox News contributor Dana Perino claimed that "the public itself rejected resoundedly [sic]" the inclusion of a public health insurance option in health care reform efforts. In fact, numerous polls taken in 2010 have found that a majority or plurality support the creation of a public option. Read More

Wash. Post still publishing George Will's climate misinformation
In his Washington Post column, George Will -- who has been widely criticized for making inaccurate statements about climate change -- distorted comments made by climate scientist Phil Jones in order to suggest that human-caused warming is not occurring. In fact, Jones said that he is "100% confident that the climate has warmed" and added that "there's evidence that most of the warming since the 1950s is due to human activity." Read More

Wash. Post's Thiessen justifies CIA interrogation tactics with falsehood
In his new book, recently-hired Washington Post columnist Marc A. Thiessen justifies the CIA's interrogation techniques by falsely claiming: "In the eight years since the CIA began interrogating captured terrorists, al Qaeda has not succeeded in launching one single attack on the homeland or American interests abroad." In fact, Al Qaeda has repeatedly attacked U.S. interests abroad, including a U.S. consulate, a U.S. embassy, and a Marriot hotel. Read More

Beck falsely claims Obama health care proposal puts "everything you do ... into a computer database for the federal government"
Glenn Beck claimed on his radio show that President Obama's health care reform proposal "order[s] a comprehensive database on health claims, so everything that you do is going into a computer database for the federal government." In fact, nothing in the proposal supports the outlandish claim that it would result in the tracking of "everything you do"; the "database" it describes -- originally included in a Republican proposal -- would contain records related to sanctions on Medicare and Medicaid providers. Read More

Huckabee notes "vile and hateful" attacks on Michelle Obama from "the blogs" -- what about from Fox?
While interviewing Michelle Obama on his Fox News program, Mike Huckabee noted that "[t]here have been so many vile and hateful things said about your husband, said about you," citing "our political climate today and the blogs where people can" launch attacks "anonymously." However, many of the attacks against Michelle Obama, and her husband, haven't just come from "blogs" -- they've been pushed by Fox News personalities, who have characterized the First Lady as "bitter," "angry," "socialist," and unpatriotic. Read More

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