Wednesday, March 24, 2010

Media Matters Daily Summary 03-24-10

Parker falsely claimed that health care bill "expands public funding for abortion"
In her Washington Post column, Kathleen Parker became the latest conservative media figure to falsely claim the Senate bill "expands public funding for abortion." In fact, the bill bans federal funding for abortion except in cases currently allowed under the Hyde amendment: rape, incest, and conditions that endanger the life of the pregnant woman. Read More

Fox & Friends mangles provision subjecting lawmakers to plans created by health bill
Fox & Friends hosts Brian Kilmeade, Gretchen Carlson, and Steve Doocy falsely claimed that the health care reform bill contains "a carve out, preventing ... lawmakers" from "getting what they have just given the American people," in Kilmeade's words. In fact, the bill says the opposite; the health plans offered to "Members of Congress and congressional staff" will be restricted to those plans created under the bill, while leadership and committee staff may be exempt from that requirement. Read More

Drudge latest to push baseless smear that Stupak "sold" health care vote for "airport grants"
The Drudge Report is the latest to push the completely baseless smear that Rep. Bart Stupak (D-MI) "sold" his health care vote for "airport grants," a claim Stupak has strongly denied. In fact, there is no evidence for this charge; indeed, the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) awarded grants in 47 states -- including one in Minority Leader John Boehner's district -- as part of a decades-old airport improvement program. Read More

Former individual mandate champion Gingrich now cheerleads efforts to declare it unconstitutional
In recent days, Newt Gingrich has approvingly cited efforts by Republican attorneys general in several states to challenge the constitutionality of the health care reform legislation's provision requiring individuals to purchase health insurance or pay a fine. But as recently as 2008, Gingrich proposed such an individual mandate on some Americans as part of his own health care reform plan. Read More

Freddoso baselessly suggests Ellsworth sold health care vote for campaign money
In a Washington Examiner blog post, David Freddoso baselessly suggested that Rep. Brad Ellsworth (D-IN) -- who is seeking the nomination to run for retiring Sen. Evan Bayh's seat -- "s[old] his 'yes' vote on ObamaCare for $1 million in campaign money." However, the campaign money that Bayh is reported to be contributing is for the Indiana Democratic Party, not simply for Ellsworth; moreover, in announcing his retirement in February, Bayh made clear that he would use his remaining campaign money "to help whoever our nominee is in Indiana." Ellsworth has been widely reported to be the "frontrunner" for the nomination since Bayh's announcement. Read More

Plan B: Fox promotes GOP AGs' efforts to overturn health care reform
Continuing their activism against health care reform, since the House passed its landmark legislation, Fox News and Fox Business Network have hosted at least nine interviews with Republican state attorneys general, giving them a platform to promote their efforts to overturn that legislation through the courts. Many legal scholars have disputed the primary claim of the attorneys general that the bill is unconstitutional because it requires people to have health insurance. Read More

Breitbart-promoted video distorts Wallis to claim he advocates "forced redistribution of wealth"
Andrew Breitbart's website is pushing a new video that suggests Obama adviser Rev. Jim Wallis advocated for a "forced redistribution of wealth" that strings together cropped comments from Wallis' past interviews and panel discussions, many of which have been previously distorted by Glenn Beck. But as the context of Wallis' remarks make clear, he in no way advocated for "forced" redistribution of wealth; but rather in most cases, he discussed his beliefs regarding the "spiritual" responsibility of helping the poor to achieve economic parity. Read More

Another bogus Napolitano health care vote-buying conspiracy falls flat
Fox News legal analyst Andrew Napolitano falsely suggested that Rep. Alan Mollohan (D-WV) "changed his vote" to support health care reform because the Justice Department ended its investigation of Mollohan. In fact, Mollohan voted for the House health care reform legislation in November, and Napolitano's allegation of a deal between Mollohan and the Obama administration is baseless. Media Matters previously noted that in the same segment, Napolitano falsely suggested that Rep. Jim Matheson (D-UT) similarly "changed his vote" because President Obama bribed him, even though Matheson has consistently voted against health care reform. Read More

Wash. Examiner columnist falsely portrays Liu as "against private ownership of property"
Washington Examiner columnist Theodore H. Frank distorted a column by federal circuit court nominee Goodwin Liu to claim Liu was "disqualif[ied]" from that position because he purportedly spoke "against private ownership of property." In fact, Liu merely identified the term "private ownership of property," as used by an organization then-Supreme Court nominee John Roberts was affiliated with, as indicative of "an ideological agenda hostile to environmental, workplace, and consumer protections." Read More

Dingell rebuts claims that he said purpose of health care reform is to "control" the American people
Conservative media figures have asserted that in a March 22 interview, Rep. John Dingell said health care reform will "control the people." In fact, Dingell has said that conservatives are taking him out of context and has explained that he was referring to "overseeing" the "insurance companies." Read More

Beck distorts Wallis' comments to claim he is a "Marxist"
During the March 23 edition of his Fox News show, Glenn Beck distorted a segment of an interview in which Rev. Jim Wallis discussed meeting activist Dorothy Day to claim that Wallis admitted he was a "Marxist." In fact, Wallis recounted discussing with Day their "conversion" from "secular radicalism and Marxism to Jesus Christ." Read More

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