Thursday, February 25, 2010

Media Matters Daily Summary 02-25-10

An O'Reilly Factor hat trick: Rove, Morris, and Schoen repeat falsehoods on the eve of health care summit
On the night before the bipartisan health care summit, Bill O'Reilly hosted Fox News contributors Karl Rove, Dick Morris, and Doug Schoen, all of whom repeated various falsehoods about health care reform. Read More

Quick Fact: Fox & Friends seizes on Breitbart-pushed video to falsely accuse Dems of hypocrisy on "nuclear option"
Fox & Friends advanced the falsehood that the reconciliation process is the same as the "nuclear option" in order to accuse Democrats of hypocrisy for now considering using reconciliation to pass health care reform when they once criticized the "nuclear option." In fact, Democrats were criticizing a 2005 Republican proposal to change Senate rules regarding the ability to filibuster judicial nominees; it was unrelated to reconciliation, which is a procedure that is part of the Senate rules. Read More

Gingrich falsely claims that health care reform legislation would add "big deficits"
On the February 25 edition of Fox News' Fox & Friends, Fox News contributor Newt Gingrich falsely claimed that "all" Democrats' health care proposals "require...higher deficits" and would add "big deficits." In fact, according to the non-partisan Congressional Budget Office, both the House and Senate versions of health care reform legislation reduce the federal deficit. Read More

Quick Fact: Kilmeade cites Rove to falsely claim that Obama's budget "tripled the deficit"
On the February 25 edition of Fox News' Fox and Friends, co-host Brian Kilmeade cited Fox News contributor Karl Rove to claim that Obama "in the past has said things that have proven blatantly untrue" like, "for example," that "his budget wouldn't triple the deficit, and it has." In fact, only a small portion of the fiscal year 2009 deficit is due to Obama's policies. Read More

Fox News continues to attempt to redefine "nuclear option"
In its latest attempt to redefine the meaning of the term "nuclear option," Fox News has seized on a Breitbart-promoted video to falsely accuse Democrats of hypocrisy for considering using the reconciliation process to pass health care reform, when they had previously opposed the "nuclear option." But, in fact, the nuclear option referred to a Republican proposal to change Senate filibuster rules on judicial nominees and was not related to reconciliation. Read More

Fox News' double standard on who can question the CIA
In May 2009, several Fox News hosts repeatedly attacked House Speaker Nancy Pelosi's statement that the CIA misled Congress on the use of enhanced interrogation tactics. But after Sen. Pat Roberts (R-KS) recently claimed the CIA's newly released account of a 2003 briefing on interrogation videos is not true, these Fox News hosts ignored the conflict. Read More

Fox News personalities accuse DOJ of sympathizing with terrorists
Numerous Fox News personalities have accused the Department of Justice (DOJ) of sympathizing with terrorists, citing reports that nine DOJ attorneys had previously represented or advocated for terrorism suspects in their private practices. Monica Crowley and Steve Doocy accused the lawyers of being "terrorist sympathizers" and being "sympathetic" to terrorists, respectively, and Michelle Malkin asked whether the DOJ has "jihadis' best interests at heart." Read More

'Ram it through': Media adopt GOP characterization of majority vote
In the past week, media figures have routinely referred to a potential effort to pass a health care reform bill with a majority vote as an effort to "ram," "jam," or "cram" a bill through Congress, a characterization pushed by Republican politicians. The reconciliation process, which enables the Senate to pass legislation with 51 votes, has been used repeatedly by Republicans, including to pass major changes to health care laws.
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Right-wing media falsely claim that health care reform will increase premiums
Right-wing media are using an exchange between President Obama and Sen. Lamar Alexander (R-TN) to falsely claim that the Senate health care bill would cause individual health insurance premiums to increase. In fact, the nonpartisan Congressional Budget Office estimated that the Senate's version of health care reform would result in lower premiums for most individual enrollees. Read More

A newspaper worth paying for?
In a January 2009 essay about efforts to convince readers to pay for online news articles, The New York Times' David Carr noted one publication that has enjoyed rapid growth in its online paid subscriber base: Cook's Illustrated. According to Carr, "[T]he company has 260,000 digital subscribers at a cost of $35 a year, and that group grew by 30 percent in 2008." A few months later, The Boston Globe reported that the magazine's print subscriber renewal rates "are about 78 percent. ... Most magazines would kill to have renewal rates near 60 percent; the average across all consumer magazines is between 35 and 40 percent." Read More

Quick Fact: Special Report again advances myth that DADT repeal could hurt military readiness
For the second time in a week, Fox News' Special Report uncritically reported Army Chief of Staff Gen. George Casey's advancement of the myth that repeal of the military's "don't ask, don't tell policy" could adversely affect "readiness and military effectiveness," ignoring other nations that have allowed gay men and lesbians to serve openly have not suffered such adverse effects. Read More

Garrett presents Obama's rebuttal of GOP health care falsehoods as he-said/he-said
Fox News' Major Garrett presented President Obama disagreeing with Sen. Lamar Alexander's falsehood that under the Senate health care bill "premiums go up because of the government mandate" and Rep. Paul Ryan's falsehood that the Senate bill "does not ... reduce the deficit" as a he-said, he-said debate. But the non-partisan Congressional Budget Office (CBO) supports Obama on both points. Read More

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