Glenn Beck deceptively edited Israeli Prime Minister Benyamin Netanyahu's comments to Congress to suggest they were a rebuke of President Obama, who purportedly "played into the hands of radicals." In fact, Netanyahu made clear that his comments were not a denunciation.
As attention turns to speculation that May 21, 2011, will be the Biblical day of rapture, Media Matters revisits a litany of fringe right-wing media figures who foretold that President Obama might just be the Antichrist - the latest in a long line of world leaders presaged as "the beast."
The right-wing media is attacking President Obama for discussing immigration reform rather than focusing on the economy, but researchers have estimated that immigration reform can add $1.5 trillion to GDP and create 900,000 jobs.
Media conservatives attempted to discredit President Obama's speech on immigration before it even happened, launching a nonsensical attack on the location of Obama's speech -- El Paso, Texas -- to push the myth of immigrant violence. In fact, the location underscores how preposterous that myth is.
Criticizing Obama for holding the speech in El Paso, CNSNews wrote:
El Paso is across the border from Juarez, Mexico, a city where 3,111 civilians were murdered last year--more than in all of Afghanistan.
El Paso is one of nine Border Patrol sectors along the almost 2,000-mile-long U.S.-Mexico border, running from the Gulf Coast to the Pacific Ocean. Located directly across from the Mexican city of Juarez, it has been among the more dangerous border areas in recent years.
Fox Nation trumpeted the CNS piece, calling El Paso the "wrong town" for an immigration speech:
But what about the crime rate in El Paso, where the speech was actually held? It turns out that El Paso is one of the safest large cities in the nation. In fact, CQ Press rated El Paso the city with the lowest crime rate in the United States with a population of over 500,000 residents in 2010.
Indeed, El Paso actually illustrates the success of federal agents and local law enforcement in keeping violence from spilling over to the United States.
Fox & Friends Sunday repeatedly touted the "thousands" that attended a tax cut rally where Rep. Michele Bachmann (R-MN) spoke, going so far as to make the rally's supposedly large turnout one of their top headlines today.
Yet according to Fox's local affiliate, reporting from St. Paul, Minnesota, it was the rally's low turnout that made it newsworthy. In an article titled "Hundreds Attend Anti-Tax Hike Rally At Capitol: Turnout Significantly Smaller Than Last Year's," Fox 9 News reported:
Hundreds gathered at the Minnesota Capitol to rally against a possible tax hike, but though it attracted the attention of some prominent lawmakers, the turnout didn't meet expectations.
Organizers said that about 6,000 people turned out for last year's event, but this year the headcount may have only touched 1,000.
Politico also noted the rally's "sparse attendance" and highlighted the comments of a conservative blogger:
The [Tax Day] rally's sparse attendance is attracting nearly as much attention as Bachmann's remarks.
Will Folks, a widely read blogger in South Carolina political circles, termed the rally a "dud" in a post Monday afternoon.
"Politicians, political operatives and members of the media came close to outnumbering attendees at a much-hyped Columbia, S.C., tea party rally starring U.S. Rep. Michele Bachmann and S.C. Gov. Nikki Haley on Monday," Folks wrote.
"Only 300 people (including a horde of Palmetto political operatives) attended the event in downtown Columbia, S.C. -- which is a generous estimate in our book. That attendance figure -- confirmed by other media outlets -- amounts to less than one-tenth the size of multiple crowds that have gathered at the S.C. State House in recent years in support of parental choice."
This is not the first time that Fox News has appeared to inflate the attendance at Bachmann's rallies. In 2009 Sean Hannity had to apologize for airing footage of a larger rally while discussing a Bachmann rally.
Video of Fox & Friends Sunday below the jump.
While once again demonizing a Mexican-American studies program in Tucson, Arizona, Glenn Beck falsely claimed that the program is "mandatory." Enrollment in the class has always been voluntary.
Through he said/she said journalism, the media gives Andrew Breitbart's debunked videos legitimacy they don't deserve. Exhibit A: The St. Louis Post-Dispatch.
The St. Louis Post-Dispatch reports that "a pair of heavily edited videos" shows two professors "appearing to condone the use of violence in labor negotiations." At the end of the article, they note:
Officials at UMKC say they have been reviewing the video but thus far have expressed support for their professor.
They have criticized the Internet videos, saying their editing put the instructors' comments out of context.
Well, were they? The Post-Dispatch does not have to take the school officials' word for it -- they can see for themselves. With a little bit of research, they can show their readers that, yes, Big Government was taking Professor Don Giljum out of context when they edited out the portions of his comments that show him rejecting violence (in bold):
I tend to agree with you, because I think if you look at labor's history over the years, you'll find that, you know, we've had a very violent history with violent protests and reaction to suppression. OK? But as time has changed, the tactics have changed, or the need for those have changed. OK?
Now, you know, that's not to say that in certain instances, strategically played out and for certain purposes, that industrial sabotage doesn't have its place. I think it certainly does. But as far as -- You know, and I can't really honestly say that I've never wished, or have never been in a position where I have haven't wished real harm on somebody or inflicted any pain and suffering on some people--
STUDENT: We're all human.
GILJUM: --who didn't ask for it, but, you know, it certainly has its place. It certainly makes you feel a hell of a lot better sometimes, but beyond that I'm not sure as a tactic today, the type of violence or reaction to the violence we had back then would be called for here, and I think it would do more harm than good.
Howard Kurtz slammed Sean Hannity for featuring an "absolute slam dunk case of misleading editing," which occurred during an hour-long Fox News special on what Hannity claimed was the media's "liberal bias." One of several targets of Hannity's hatchet job, Anderson Cooper, criticized Hannity for editing video of him in a "completely misleading way" last week.
Kurtz further noted the sham that Hannity, "the same Fox News host who reliably delivers the Republican line every night," would be criticizing others for media bias through use of deceptively cropped video. Watch:
Glenn Beck is stoking fears that a Mexican-American studies program in Arizona segregates students and promotes "the overthrow of the U.S. government." School district officials say the program does not segregate students and reject claims that it violates state law that, among other things, prohibits teaching the overthrow of the United States government.
Right-wing media figures have dismissed the consequences of defaulting on America's debt. Yet experts agree that if the U.S. were to default as a result of not raising the debt ceiling, it would have a catastrophic effect on the economic recovery.