For years, Rush Limbaugh has referred to first lady Michelle Obama as "Michelle, my belle." But in recent months, Limbaugh has repeatedly called Obama "Michelle, my butt" and then acted as though he misspoke.
On America Live John Stossel falsely claimed that the Healthy, Hunger-Free Kids Act -- which aims to increase access to child nutrition programs and reduce childhood obesity -- will increase the deficit by $4.5 billion. In reality, the bill is deficit neutral.
Over the past several weeks, Fox News has persistently used inflammatory rhetoric in attacks against the Dream Act -- which would provide legal status to certain unauthorized immigrants who came to the United States as children.
Fox News figures, including several purportedly objective journalists, have also taken to referring to the Dream Act as "a nightmare" in the eyes of its opponents. Did they get a memo or have they all independently arrived at the same uninspired pun?
Here are several examples:
Fox & Friends: Is The Dream Act A "Nightmare For Hard-working Americans?" On the November 30 edition of Fox & Friends, teasing a segment on the DREAM Act, co-host Gretchen Carlson said: "Harry Reid's Dream Act could give millions of illegal immigrants citizenship. Is the senator's dream a nightmare for hard-working Americans?" [Fox & Friends, 11/30/10]
Jarrett: "Those Who Oppose It Call It A Veritable Nightmare." On the November 23 edition of America Live, Fox host Greg Jarrett stated: "You know, for millions of illegals, the DREAM Act is a propitious title because it would fulfill their dream of jumping right to the front of the line and becoming U.S. citizens. Those who oppose it call it a veritable nightmare, granting amnesty right away to more than 2 million illegal immigrants, and in the end, maybe as many as 6 million or more illegals." [America Live, 11/23/10]
Baier: Dream Act Is "A Nightmare For Some Opposed To Citizenship For Illegal Aliens." On the November 16 edition of Special Report, Fox host Bret Baier stated that the DREAM Act is "a nightmare for some opposed to citizenship for illegal aliens." [Special Report, 11/16/10]
Fox Reporter McKelway: "To A Lot Of Republicans" The Dream Act "Is A Nightmare." On the December 8 edition of America Live, Fox News reporter Doug McKelway asserted: "To the Democrats it is indeed the Dream Act, but to a lot of Republicans it is a nightmare, and it's not just the provisions of this particular bill that troubles them. It is that the Dream Act represents one larger piece of a puzzle -- a puzzle of changing demographics across the United States that some believe favor the Democrats." [America Live, 12/8/10]
Hannity: "Democrats Call It The Dream Act, But Republicans Say It's Really An Amnesty Nightmare." On the December 2 edition of his Fox News show, Sean Hannity stated, "Democrats call it the Dream Act, but Republicans say it's really an amnesty nightmare." [Hannity, 12/2/10, via Nexis]
Last week, the Washington Post reported on a Pentagon study group that found minimal risk to repealing the military's "don't ask, don't tell" policy. According to two sources familiar with the report -- which is slated to be released on December 1 -- overturning the law would actually have "positive, mixed or nonexistent effects," and military objections to allowing openly gay men and women to serve would subside once repeal took effect.
Good news, right? Not if you're Robert Knight of Coral Ridge Ministries.
In an op-ed in today's Washington Times, Knight, a conservative activist and writer with a proclivity for making homophobic remarks, pushed back hard against the report, deriding its leak as part of a mission to "destroy the military's backbone" and expressing skepticism that most soldiers indeed support repeal:
Not all of the snipers targeting U.S. military personnel are in caves or perched on cliffs in Afghanistan. Some are right here in America, planting stories instead of explosives. Their mission: to destroy the military's moral backbone. On Oct. 28, unnamed "sources" claimed to the Associated Press that a survey conducted by the military over ending the ban on homosexuality reveals that most soldiers are thrilled with the idea. Sure they are.
Knight also claimed the military would "be used as a battering ram against American society's resistance to mandated acceptance of homosexuality" and concluded, "Watch this week for more leaks and talking heads concluding that the 'science is settled,' that GI Joe really does want Gay Joe for a bunky."
Knight's op-ed is just the latest anti-gay screed the Washington Times has tastelessly chosen to publish. As we've previously noted, the Times has an extensive history of plugging anti-gay smears, falsehoods, and distortions, including that repealing DADT would "break" the military."
However, mounting evidence reveals that the law isn't working and that repeal would not undermine unit cohesion and morale. Moreover, polls show that an overwhelming majority of Americans support overturning the policy.
When it comes to DADT, it's clear that the arguments put forth by the Times fly in the face of the facts. Rather than offer substantive evidence, the Times goes to great lengths to promote an anti-gay agenda that relies solely on conservative dogma and the vitriol of other homophobes. This is both an insult and a disservice to all members of the military and the general public.
Newt Gingrich's history of bigoted and offensive remarks far predates his recent statement that President Obama has pretended to be "normal" but actually seems to be engaged in "Kenyan, anti-colonial behavior."
As the nation prepares to mark the ninth anniversary of the September 11 terrorist attacks, numerous media figures have propagated anti-Muslim rhetoric, often smearing Muslims as "terrorists," "jihadists," and "extremists," and dismissing Islam altogether as a "militant" and "anti-Semitic" faith.
Faced with the prospect of the top two income tax rates returning to where they were in 2000, conservative media have accused Democrats of engaging in "class warfare" to attack the "so-called rich." Economists have said that extending the Bush tax cuts for top earners -- which would reportedly cost $700 billion over ten years -- would do little to stimulate the economy; moreover, households making more than $250,000 will still pay less in taxes under Obama's plan than if all of the tax cuts were allowed to expire as Republicans originally scheduled them to do.
In commentary on President Obama's speeches, conservative media have apparently concluded that references to Jimmy Carter's "malaise" speech are a handy tool to use, no matter the topic at hand. For instance:
Obama's August 31 address on Iraq
Obama's June 15 Oval Office speech on the BP oil spill
Obama's June 2 speech on the economy at Carnegie Mellon
Obama's January 20 Inaugural Address
In an August 31 Washington Times editorial, former Reagan administration official and Heritage Foundation writer James T. Hackett attempted to remedy what has so far eluded conservatives - finding "a new Ronald Reagan." His suggested "heir" to "the Gipper's" throne? Sarah Palin, who has been nominated for the role in the past by Ann Coulter and Richard A. Viguerie.
Now, you would think that conservative media would approach labeling individuals "the next Ronald Reagan" the same way they purport to approach most things - with a "less is more" attitude. This is, after all, the Ronald Reagan, an iconic right-wing hero. Sadly, however, this is not the case. Observe:
Considering that most rising conservative figures are compared to Reagan by their counterparts in the media, maybe the question isn't who is "the next Ronald Reagan," but who isn't it?
Fox News and right-wing blogs have attacked New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg for saying at a Ramadan dinner that "we in New York are Jews and Christians and Muslims, and we always have been." Bloomberg was actually echoing a statement in support of interfaith understanding that Imam Feisal Abdul Rauf made during a memorial service for Daniel Pearl.
From Bloomberg's speech:
"At an interfaith memorial service for the martyred journalist Daniel Pearl, Imam Rauf said, quote, 'If to be a Jew means to say with all one's heart, mind, and soul: Shma` Yisrael, Adonai Elohenu Adonai Ehad; Hear O Israel, the Lord our God, the Lord is One, not only today I am a Jew, I have always been one.'
"He then continued to say, 'If to be a Christian is to love the Lord our God with all of my heart, mind and soul, and to love for my fellow human being what I love for myself, then not only am I a Christian, but I have always been one.'
"In that spirit, let me declare that we in New York are Jews and Christians and Muslims, and we always have been. And above all of that, we are Americans, each with an equal right to worship and pray where we choose. There is nowhere in the five boroughs of New York City that is off limits to any religion." [emphasis added]
You would think that Bloomberg's statement would be applauded or at least be seen as non-controversial. Instead, right-wing websites used the remarks to continue to stir up anti-Muslim rage.
After a CNN.com opinion piece lauded Bloomberg's comments under the headline: "New York's Bloomberg: We are all Muslims," the conservative websites pounced.
For instance, Fox News' website Fox Nation featured the headline: "Bloomberg: We Are All Muslims" and accompanied the headline with an image of Bloomberg in Arabic headwear: