Several media figures on Fox News and Fox Business -- including Glenn Beck -- have blasted the National Endowment for the Arts for awarding Recovery Act grants to San Francisco arts organizations, claiming the grants will pay for "porn." However, those personalities ignored significant facts: Direct grants were only made to organizations that were screened to receive funding in the past, and every group they criticized previously received tens of thousands of dollars from the Bush administration.
NBC's Miguel Almaguer stated that the proposed California budget deal is "a compromise, what some characterize as shared pain and sacrifice." But Almaguer did not provide examples of what the wealthy may have given up, nor note that the deal does not raise taxes.
Fox News' Sean Hannity and CNN's Kiran Chetry cited a USA Today article to claim or speculate that political favoritism played a role in the distribution of funds from the recovery act. However, the article itself stated, "Investigators who track the stimulus are skeptical that political considerations could be at work."
From the July 8 edition of Fox News' Hannity:
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Brit Hume asserted that Democrats "could turn [the stimulus] into business-friendly tax cuts or personal income tax rate cuts," but that "those are Republican ideas." In fact, the recovery act included tax incentives for businesses estimated to total $75.9 billion in 2009 and 2010.
Joe Scarborough and Maria Bartiromo falsely claimed that the Obama administration is predicting that the economy will grow at a rate of 4 percent in 2010 and, Scarborough added, "over the next decade." In fact, the administration predicted a 3.2 percent growth rate in 2010 and 2.6 percent from 2015 through 2019.
Bill Sammon falsely compared the budget reconciliation process some progressives have suggested be used to advance health-care reform legislation to the "nuclear option," which Republicans proposed in 2005 to prohibit filibusters of judicial nominations.
Megyn Kelly twice repeated the discredited falsehood that "nearly 10 million bucks" in stimulus funds is going to "renovate an abandoned train station that no one uses."
From the June 19 edition of MSNBC's Morning Joe:
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Media reports on polls indicating public concern over the federal budget deficit did not report the view among prominent economists that the government's response to recession should be spending and not deficit reduction.
Media figures repeated Sen. Tom Coburn's claim that stimulus funds are being used "to renovate an abandoned train station that hasn't been used in 30 years." But while the station house has long been closed, "[t]he station's platform currently serves more than 80,000 passengers a year," as Coburn's report noted.
Bill Sammon, Gretchen Carlson, and Investors Business Daily each claimed that the stimulus bill is funding what Sammon described as a "guard rail to nowhere." However, the Army Corps of Engineers has said that the project is "not going forward."
Joe Scarborough suggested that President Obama's remark that "we are out of money" was at odds with Obama's health care reform proposal. However, Obama has argued that health care reform is essential to the long-term economic health of the country.
The Hill again reported Senate Republicans' objections to the Democrats' use of reconciliation to pass health care reform without noting Republicans' past support for reconciliation.
Reporting on the Obama administration's budget, the AP purported to contrast the administration's "efforts to portray itself as tough on waste and spending" with the administration's spending proposals, but did not explain what specific spending constituted waste.