Right-wing media have rushed to attack President Obama for responding to criticism that he spends too much time consulting experts rather than "kick[ing some butt]" by saying, "I want to know whose ass to kick." Many conservative media figures previously hyped criticism that Obama lacked emotion in his response to the oil spill.
In a Wall Street Journal op-ed, Karl Rove dubiously claimed that the Congressional Budget Office (CBO) found it "would cost $115 billion more than estimated." In fact, the higher cost estimate would only be spent if Congress separately appropriates it, just as Congress would have to do for any other spending bill, and moreover, the White House has said that this money would have to be offset by other cuts.
Following Israel's raid on a Palestinian aid flotilla that resulted in nine deaths, the right-wing media has strained to find ways to blame President Obama for the incident from criticizing his foreign policy to attempting to link him to the Gaza flotilla through Bill Ayers and Jodie Evans.
In the opening of his "Undercover Census Fraud Investigation" video, self-described conservative activist James O'Keefe displayed the following on-screen text to illustrate the potential cost of the alleged census "fraud": "If 600,000 Census employees get paid $18.25/hour and each of them gets paid just four hours extra that's $43,800,000." Yet, like most things O'Keefe-related, this claim is highly misleading.
O'Keefe's figure is based on the assumption that all census workers make the same amount of money he did, when he spent two days training to be a census enumerator in New Jersey. However, according to the Census 2010 website, "census takers"are paid different amounts based on which local office they report to. These starting wages vary from $10.00/hour to $25.00/hour. The average starting salary for all 492 local offices is $14.78/hour.
Moreover, O'Keefe knows it to be the case that not all census enumerators make the same amount as he did. During his Good Morning America interview, O'Keefe and Andrew Breitbart unveiled that one of O'Keefe's cohorts similarly went undercover in Louisiana and got a job as an enumerator. Host George Stephanopoulos reported during the interview that O'Keefe's buddy was paid $13.25 an hour.
On ABC's Good Morning America, Andrew Breitbart falsely suggested that the ACORN employees in James O'Keefe's videos "help[ed] set up a prostitution ring in every single office." In fact, several ACORN employees either refused to help O'Keefe -- in one such case, O'Keefe has admitted as much -- or contacted the police following their encounters with him.
Fox & Friends guest hosts falsely suggested that there was a "lack of cleanup going on" in the Gulf Coast oil spill and falsely suggested Louisiana's barrier plan had been ignored. In fact, cleanup of the oil spill has been ongoing for more than a month, and the Army Corps of Engineers responded to the barrier plan -- the effectiveness of which is being questioned -- and raised concerns that it would push oil into Mississippi.
On the May 26 edition of Hannity, Michelle Malkin leveled numerous attacks against the White House, using distorted, disputed, and baseless accusations to smear White House general counsel Robert Bauer and deputy chief of staff Jim Messina as being cronies in President Obama's "culture of corruption."
The right-wing media is clinging to the falsehood that Sen. Bob Casey's Create Jobs & Save Benefits Act is a "$165 billion bailout" of union pensions. In fact, the legislation proposes the "partition" of specific types of union pensions that are deemed to be insolvent,and its sponsor reportedly said it would cost between $8 and $10 billion.
Fox News' Fox & Friends hosted WorldNetDaily writer Aaron Klein to push his latest book filled with baseless accusations and absurd conspiracy theories about the Obama administration. Klein's appearance is the latest example of his repeated attempts to level baseless attacks on the president and his administration.
On the May 17 edition of The Dan Patrick Show, Fox Sports reporter Chris Myers contrasted Nashville, TN flood victims with Hurricane Katrina victims, who Myers mocked as "standing on a rooftop, trying to blame the government." Unlike Katrina victims, according to Myers, Nashville flood victims aren't "making a big deal out of it." On May 20, Fox Sports president Ed Goren contacted Media Matters, claiming there was an "elevated discussion" with Myers, who reportedly issued an apology the same day.
Meanwhile, on the Fox News Channel, Fox & Friends host Steve Doocy said on May 14 of the Nashville flooding: "[E]ven though this is a national, and natural, disaster of biblical proportions, practically, you don't hear any whining and complaining from those people. It's not like they're saying 'hey will the federal government please bail us out?'" Occasional Fox News host Courtney Friel agreed that this was how Nashville was different from Hurricane Katrina.
It will come as no surprise to regular Fox News viewers that Roger Ailes didn't spring into action as Goren did. Nobody demanded that Doocy or Friel apologize; indeed, their comments were barely noticed.