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  • Politico comes to Jindal's defense

    Blog ››› ››› ERIC BOEHLERT

    In a rather odd turn of editorializing that completely contradicts the assembled facts in a news article, the Politico's Andy Barr collected lots of quotes for a piece article about Gov. Bobby Jindal's response to Obama's speech last night; all the quotes claimed Jindal blew it.

    But then Barr brushed the analysis aside to announce [emphasis added]:

    While Jindal may have missed a prime opportunity to establish himself as a leading Republican presidential contender in 2012, he didn't exactly lay an egg.

    Really? Here's what people in Barr's own article said about Jindal's ' performance:

    *"I think he had a really poor performance tonight, I'm sorry to say."

    *"The delivery was not exactly perfect."

    *"His basic message was sound but his language was hackneyed and his performance was wooden."

    *"His speech came across as unserious in content and condescending in its tone."

    There was not a single quote in the article that defended or praised Jindal. But don't worry governor, Politico says you didn't lay an egg.

  • UPDATED: Politico's Thrush, ABC's Klein compete for Drudge link

    Blog ››› ››› KARL FRISCH

    Politico's Glenn Thrush is up with an awfully meaty post following the President's first address to a Joint Session of Congress tonight. It says, in full:

    46 minutes

    It took President Obama 46 minutes to mention terrorism, the military or foreign affairs.

    By Glenn Thrush 09:57 PM

    I kid you not. He seems to be saying, "Please Matt Drudge, please link to me, pretty please..."

    Not to be outdone, Rick Klein makes the same pointless assessment during his live blogging of the speech on ABC's The Note:

    9:58 pm ET: Took a LONG while to get to foreign policy, no?

    I wonder how long it will take Drudge to read these love notes and post his own note in return -- in the form of a link.

    Bring on the traffic... daddy's gotta pay the bills (through online ad impressions.)

    UPDATE: It looks like Thrush and Klein may be trolling the Twitters for help in their quest for Drudge's affection.

  • Will media repeat Jindal's false attack on Obama, or correct it?

    Blog ››› ››› JAMISON FOSER

    According to Ben Smith, Bobby Jindal will accuse Obama of pessimism tonight, saying:

    A few weeks ago, the President warned that our nation is facing a crisis that he said 'we may not be able to reverse.' Our troubles are real, to be sure. But don't let anyone tell you that we cannot recover - or that America's best days are behind her.

    Smith didn't mention this, but Jindal's claim is false. Obama didn't say "we may not be able to reverse" the crisis; he said if we continue to do nothing, it may reach a point where it cannot be reversed. And he didn't say "we cannot recover" or that "America's best days are behind her." Simply didn't happen.

    Here's Obama's February 5 op-ed:

    What Americans expect from Washington is action that matches the urgency they feel in their daily lives -- action that's swift, bold and wise enough for us to climb out of this crisis.

    Because each day we wait to begin the work of turning our economy around, more people lose their jobs, their savings and their homes. And if nothing is done, this recession might linger for years. Our economy will lose 5 million more jobs. Unemployment will approach double digits. Our nation will sink deeper into a crisis that, at some point, we may not be able to reverse.

    That's why I feel such a sense of urgency about the recovery plan before Congress. With it, we will create or save more than 3 million jobs over the next two years, provide immediate tax relief to 95 percent of American workers, ignite spending by businesses and consumers alike, and take steps to strengthen our country for years to come.

    UPDATE: Salon's Alex Koppelman is all over this:

    That's misleading, at best, though it's a cute little frame. ("Obama doesn't believe in you!") In context, it's clear that the quote Jindal refers to means almost exactly the opposite of what he says it does.

  • At Politico, only Dems are to blame

    Blog ››› ››› ERIC BOEHLERT

    In their article today, John Harris and Mike Allen report on how the volatile stock market often reacts negatively when politicians discuss public policy. But in the article, Politico reporters only point the finger at Dems for making traders nervous with recent Beltway comments, not Republicans, even though Republicans have been uniformly trash talking Obama's recovery plan.

    Write Harris and Allen:

    In the past, the main object of Washington public relations was to try to make news, grab a headline and maneuver for better position in the daily scramble for power and partisan advantage. Usually, no one was much affected beyond the jawboning politicians themselves. In the current financial crisis, the PR game is serious business.

    They go on to highlight Sen. Chris Dodd and Chuck Schumer, claiming comments they made caused jitters on the Street, as well as recent pronouncement made by Treasury Secretary Tim Geithner, and VP Joe Biden. Basically, the more Dems talk, the worse the Dow does, seemed to be the Politico's point.

    Politico then relied on at least one Republican source who backed up the article's claim that loose-lipped Dems were harming the economy and giving Wall Street fits.

    But what about Republican politicians in recent weeks? Has their collective drumbeat of criticism of the Obama recovery plan had no impact whatsoever on Wall Street, or the spread of despair about the economy? How can Republican politicians be making all kinds of doomsday claims about how Obama's plan to fix the economy will surely fail, yet Politico completely ignores that trend in an article looking at the connection between pols affecting the economy?

    It seems unlikely that only Democrats are causing the jitters.

  • Environmental groups, Media Matters team-up calling on WaPo ombudsman for George Will correction

    Blog ››› ››› KARL FRISCH

    Today, Media Matters President Eric Burns joined Sierra Club Executive Director Carl Pope, League of Conservation Voters President Gene Karpinski, and Friends of the Earth President Brent Blackwelder in issuing a letter (PDF) to Washington Post ombudsman Andy Alexander asking him to address several blatant falsehoods in George Will's February 15 column about global warming. The joint letter rebuts several falsehoods in Will's column.

    As Media Matters recently noted, Alexander reportedly responded to one of these claims with further distortions of the facts.

    Jason Linkins at the Huffington Post has more on the story:

    Pressure on the Washington Post over a controversial George Will column, entitled "Dark Green Doomsayers," has escalated from being the passion project of media watchdog groups to a core concern of environmental leaders. These figures have launched a coordinated campaign against the Washington Post, seeking a correction of the record.

    […]

    The basic thrust of the column in question, published on February 15, 2009, goes something like this: a long time ago, scientists thought that the planet was poised to undergo a calamitous period of "global cooling," and also some other scary stuff about armadillo migration and the price of copper, and all of this proves that as the scientific community is so prone to lapsing into trendy, chi-chi "doomsaying," there's no real need to heed any concerns about global warming.

    Basically, it's an attempt to zero the balance of Will's objections to environmental initiatives by asserting, "once upon a time, these higher minds thought precisely the opposite, so this is just some great comedy." In reality, the article only proves that if you multiply a germ of scientific inquiry with George Will, you get zero. Throughout his piece, Will misuses his cited sources, misrepresents their findings, and omits the essential conclusions they reached.

    In addition to the joint letter, the League of Conservation Voters blog notes:

    We do not expect Mr. Will to apologize for the failings of his column. We do hope that the Washington Post, one of America's great bastions of top-notch journalism, will publicly retract and correct inaccurate information that appeared in its pages.

    Despite several documented inaccuracies, Post Ombudsman Andy Alexander continues to stand by Mr. Will's column. That's why the folks over at Media Matters brought together the leaders of the Sierra Club, Friends of the Earth, and LCV: to try one more time to set the record straight.

    While Friends of the Earth encourages their members to take action and email the Post ombudsman:

    George Will's February 15 Washington Post column, "Dark Green Doomsayers," contained numerous factual errors that painted a highly misleading picture of scientific knowledge about global warming. This is not the first time the Washington Post has published demonstrably false statements written by propagandists who wish to deny climate science.

    Please use the form below to send a message to the ombudsman of the Washington Post – the paper's "internal critic" whose "job is to represent the interests of readers, hold The Post to high standards and explain its inner workings to an often-suspicious public" – to demand that the paper formally correct Will's column and stop publishing falsehoods.

    Does your local paper carry George Will's column? Have you contacted the Washington Post and asked that they correct Will's column?

  • Because for the Village, it's a "game"

    Blog ››› ››› ERIC BOEHLERT

    Note the name of tonight's Anderson Cooper program at 10 pm, following Obama's address to Congress about the nation's ongoing economic crisis, which features cascading job losses, faltering banks, and a cratered housing market:

    For cablers, tonight's a game.

  • The WashPost finally profiles a liberal blogger

    Blog ››› ››› ERIC BOEHLERT

    Well, that only took seven years.

    Liberal bloggers have been causing a stir--and making news--since 2002, but from what I can tell based on previous research, today's Post feature is on Pam Spaulding and her influential site, Pam's House Blend, marks the first time the newspaper has devoted a feature-length, Style-section profile to an A-list liberal blogger.

    What's next for the fast-moving Post, a look at that new hit TV show American Idol?

  • Have you listened to the Media Matters Minute?

    Blog ››› ››› KARL FRISCH

    For months now, radio shows and stations throughout the country have been carrying the Media Matters Minute, a daily minute-long recap of our work capped off with the "most outrageous comment" of the day. Here's the official description:

    Tired of right-wing smears and distortions against progressive leaders and issues in the media? Subscribe (iTunes / RSS) to this daily update from Media Matters for America, the nation's preeminent progressive media watchdog. Get the facts and fight back. Hosted by Media Matters' Ben Fishel.

    Air America Radio is now featuring the Minute every day on their homepage so be sure to check it out and don't forget to subscribe to the official Media Matters Minute podcast (iTunes | RSS).

  • NYT edited out debunking of false GOP claim

    Blog ››› ››› JAMISON FOSER

    Greg Sargent reports that the submitted draft of a New York Times article referencing the GOP's false claims that the stimulus bill included funding for marsh mice noted that the claims are misleading -- but an editor removed that description of the claims.

    Here's the original language, according to Sheryl Gay Stolberg, who wrote the article: "Republicans decry, often misleadingly, what they see as pork-barrel spending for projects like marsh mouse preservation." The final text omitted the words "often misleadingly."

    Sargent notes:

    Often such editing decisions are made in haste or to save space. But this was only two words, and it's worth recalling that the notion that there was millions in the bill to save the marsh mouse in Nancy Pelosi's district isn't just some garden variety talking point. It has been a major component of GOP push-back for weeks, repeated by high profile GOP officials in all sorts of settings.

    There's really no excuse for this editing decision by the Times. It means that someone at the New York Times thought it was important to tell readers that Republicans decry pork-barrel spending for marsh mouse preservation -- and that it was important to hide from readers the fact that the Republican complaints are false.