Tuesday, February 23, 2010

Media Matters Daily Summary 02-23-10

Beck, O'Reilly, Hannity all ignore Zazi plea deal
On February 22, the hosts of Fox News' three top-rated programs -- Glenn Beck, Bill O'Reilly, and Sean Hannity -- did not mention the guilty plea on terrorism charges in U.S. District Court in Brooklyn by Najibullah Zazi, who was at the center of an alleged plot to bomb the New York subway system. Beck, O'Reilly, and Hannity have all previously criticized President Obama's desire to prosecute suspected terrorists in the U.S. legal system rather than in military tribunals. Read More

Drudge, CNS News falsely suggest Obama health care proposal would go beyond Hyde to fund abortions
A February 22 CNS News article, to which the Drudge Report linked, claimed that "Obama's 'new' health care plan would use tax dollars to pay for abortions," falsely suggesting that President Obama's plan, which adopts the Senate bill's abortion language, exceeded the Hyde Amendment, which forbids the use of federal funds for abortions except in cases of life endangerment, rape, or incest. Read More

Washington Examiner falsely claims Obama health care bill "includes a sweetheart deal to protect unions' expensive health care plans from taxation"
A February 23 Washington Examiner editorial falsely claimed that President Obama's health care proposal "includes a sweetheart deal to protect unions' expensive health care plans from taxation imposed on nonunion health plans." In fact, the Obama plan delays the excise tax on high-cost insurance plans for all high-cost health care plans, not just union plans. Read More

Will Breitbart, O'Keefe, and Giles come clean about the ACORN pimp hoax?
Last September 12, when the story of undercover ACORN surveillance videos was just breaking, conservative activist Hannah Giles, who starred in the clips as a wannabe prostitute, appeared on Fox News. Host Greg Gutfeld was positively giddy during his Giles interview, as he mocked the ACORN employees who were caught on tape giving Giles and her undercover partner, James O'Keefe, all kinds of misguided advice on how a prostitute could avoid paying taxes on her late-night income. Read More

Right-wing media mock Reid for linking unemployment to rise in domestic abuse
Right-wing media figures have seized on comments Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid made linking unemployment to a rise in domestic violence by suggesting that if he loses his re-election bid, then Reid, whose mother was a victim of domestic abuse, will subsequently become abusive toward his wife. Moreover, on Fox & Friends, Laura Ingraham dismissed a 2004 study, which found that "the rate of violence increases as the number of periods of male unemployment increases," to claim that Reid's comments were "lunacy" and "stigmatize the unemployed"; in addition to the 2004 study from which Reid was apparently citing, several other studies and experts indicate that there is a link between abuse and unemployment. Read More

Fox & Friends misrepresents CIA documents to claim they contradict Pelosi on interrogation briefings
During the February 23 edition of Fox News' Fox & Friends, co-hosts Steve Doocy and Alisyn Camerota falsely claimed that newly released CIA documents show House Speaker Nancy Pelosi was briefed "about Abu Zubaydah and waterboarding" on April 24, 2002, and suggested the documents contradict Pelosi's previous statement that she was not told by the CIA in 2002 that waterboarding had been used on Abu Zubaydah. But contrary to Fox & Friends' claims, the documents state only that Pelosi was briefed about "[o]ngoing interrogations of Abu Zubaydah" on April 24, 2002, not about "waterboarding" or enhanced interrogation techniques, which were first used in August 2002, according to the CIA. Read More

Wash. Post's Thiessen justifies waterboarding with yet another falsehood
In his new book, Washington Post columnist Marc Thiessen justifies waterboarding by falsely claiming that the CIA adhered to limits on the technique described in a 2002 Department of Justice memorandum. In fact, the CIA inspector general found that one of the "interrogators/psychologists" acknowledged that in order to make the interrogation "more poignant," CIA interrogators at one location did not abide by the memo's limits. Read More

Special Report pushes debunked claim that DADT repeal would "adversely impact" troop readiness
Bret Baier uncritically reported that Gen. George Casey stated that repeal of the military's Don't Ask, Don't Tell (DADT) policy "might ... adversely affect readiness." This claim is refuted by the experiences of several other countries that lifted their bans on gays and lesbians serving but saw no adverse effects on their troops; moreover, Baier did not note that numerous defense experts have called for DADT's repeal. Read More

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