Cabinet & Agencies

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  • Beck falsely claimed "[o]nly 3 percent" of stimulus plan would be "spent in the next 12 months"

    ››› ››› GREG LEWIS

    Fox News' Glenn Beck falsely claimed that "[o]nly 3 percent" of the Democratic economic stimulus plan would be "spent in the next 12 months." Beck's figures were based on a partial Congressional Budget Office cost estimate that excluded faster-moving provisions in the bill. According to the CBO's full cost estimate of the bill, 11.2 percent of the $816 billion bill would be spent in the first seven-and-a-half months after the bill is enacted, and, when including the bill's tax cut provisions, $169 billion -- or 20.7 percent of the bill's total cost -- would take effect in the first seven-and-a-half months.

  • Wash. Post asserted CBO "report" analyzed "the majority of money" in Dems' stimulus plan, but CBO document posted by Huffington Post indicates otherwise


    The Washington Post asserted that "a report from the Congressional Budget Office ... said the majority of money in the Democratic [stimulus] plan would not get spent within the first year and a half." In fact, a document described by The Huffington Post as being the "whole" CBO " 'report' " accounts for only approximately $358 billion out of the "more than $850 billion" that the Post reported is included in the Democratic proposal, meaning that the CBO analysis could not possibly reach any conclusions about "the majority of money in the Democratic plan."

  • Wash. Post reported investor concern over partial analysis of recovery package, but not rebuttal

    ››› ››› HANNAH DREIER

    The Washington Post reported, "Ed Yardeni, president and chief investment strategist at Yardeni Research, said he was skeptical of the stimulus package because much of the spending in it may come well after the crisis is over, as a report from the Congressional Budget Office has suggested." But the Post did not include a response from the Obama administration or the Democratic leadership anywhere in the same edition of the newspaper.

  • CNN's Henry advanced GOP criticism of stimulus package based on purported CBO "study," ignored Dems' response


    On Lou Dobbs Tonight, Ed Henry reported that a "study" from the Congressional Budget Office "was suggesting that a lot of the spending proposals in the original [economic stimulus] plan would not really take effect for a couple of years, so it wouldn't clearly help create jobs in the first two years of the president's administration." However, the director of the Office of Management and Budget stated in a letter that his agency's "analysis indicates that at least 75 percent of the overall package ... will be spent over the next year and a half" -- which Henry did not report.

  • Morris attacked Obama's DOJ choices with falsehood


    Summary: Dick Morris used a falsehood to attack President-elect Barack Obama's choices for positions at the Department of Justice, asserting that Eric Holder "approved of the Clinton/Reno 'wall' preventing intelligence from finding out what criminal investigators had found out." However, the so-called "wall" policy was established well before President Clinton took office and was retained by the Bush administration prior to September 11, 2001.

  • MSNBC's Hall suggested that Obama has not appointed a Republican to his Cabinet -- but Gates considers himself one


    On MSNBC Live, discussing political diversity in President-elect Barack Obama's administration, Jonathan Allen said that Obama had chosen "Robert Gates as defense secretary, and that's something that I think [Obama's] people will point to." Tamron Hall responded, "Gates is not a registered Republican." Hall did not note that Gates himself has said, "I felt, when I was at CIA, that as a professional intelligence officer, like a military officer, I should be apolitical, and so I didn't register with a party. I consider myself a Republican," and noted that until his selection by Obama, "all of my senior appointments have been under Republican presidents."

  • Honestly, who writes the Politico headlines?

    Blog ››› ››› ERIC BOEHLERT

    And is the stated purpose there to be as misleading as possible? Because it's become something of an epidemic.

    Here's the latest: "Latinos unhappy with Obama picks."

    Now, if you're a Politico novice, you might see that headline and think the article, written by Gebe Martinez, will detail how Obama's early key picks for his new administration have angered Latinos and that the article will include relevant quotes to back up the headline's crystal-clear claim.

    But if you're a Politico veteran, you understand that headlines often have little to do with the article's content and that specifically in recent days/weeks headline that try way too hard to gin up conflict regarding the new Obama team usually fall flat.

    Well, add this "Latinos unhappy with Obama picks" article to that pile because there is virtually nothing in the piece to justify the headline. Zero.

    No joke, this is as close as the article comes to substantiating the "unhappy" headline [emphasis added]:

    But at this early stage in the appointments process, there is a trickle of disappointment running through the Latino community.

    We understand that in the click-through world headlines can make or break a story. But is maintaining some semblance of journalistic guidelines when hyping stories asking too much?

  • That was then ... Matthews lauded "experience" of Bush's Cabinet picks in 2001, but says Obama's selection of prior administration vets is "crap"


    Amid reports that President-elect Barack Obama has decided to nominate Clinton Justice Department veteran Eric Holder to be attorney general, Chris Matthews criticized Obama on Hardball: "You could do this in any bureaucratic state, you could do it in the old Soviet Union. ... You don't need elections for this crap." But in 2001, Matthews said of George W. Bush's Cabinet picks, which included veterans of past administrations: "There's some real heavyweights in terms of experience."

  • Cavuto failed to challenge false claim that "we didn't have any spillage whatsoever ... during Katrina"

    ››› ››› JEREMY HOLDEN

    On Your World, Neil Cavuto did not challenge Rep. Michelle Bachmann's false claim that "[w]e didn't have any spillage whatsoever from the oil rigs during Katrina." In fact, a report prepared for the federal government by an international consulting firm identified damage from Hurricane Katrina to 27 platforms and rigs that resulted in the spilling of approximately 2,843 barrels of petroleum products into the Gulf of Mexico.

  • CBS, NBC evening news broadcasts ignored IG report finding illegal actions in Justice Department hiring practices; ABC devoted less than 30 seconds

    ››› ››› ANNE SMITH

    Evening news broadcasts on CBS and NBC failed to cover a new report finding that the actions of top aides in the Justice Department who used political considerations in hiring "violated federal law and Department policy, and also constituted misconduct." ABC's World News, meanwhile, devoted less than 30 seconds to the report. Despite the potential implications for U.S. counterterrorism efforts, all three networks ignored the finding that "an experienced career terrorism prosecutor" was denied a counterterrorism assignment while "a much more junior attorney who lacked any experience in counterterrorism issues and who officials believed was not qualified for the position" was hired instead.

  • Buchanan claimed McCain's FCC letters were "in the normal course of business of a congressman" -- not according to then-FCC chairman

    ››› ››› MATT GERTZ

    Discussing reports about Sen. John McCain's ties to lobbyist Vicki Iseman, Pat Buchanan asserted: "I don't have a problem with John McCain writing a letter there, depending on what he says in the letter," adding, "[B]ut McCain shouldn't be denying that, I don't think, because it seems to me that's in the normal course of business of a congressman." But contrary to his description of McCain's actions as "the normal course" for a congressman, the FCC chairman at the time criticized McCain for his request, calling it "highly unusual."

  • O'Reilly falsely claimed ACLU lawsuit against warrantless wiretapping tried "to overcome" congressional statute


    Bill O'Reilly falsely asserted that the ACLU's lawsuit over the Bush administration's warrantless domestic wiretapping program "was basically an attempt ... to try to overcome a law which was passed by Congress, through the courts." In fact, the ACLU's lawsuit claimed, in part, that the program was in violation of several, as O'Reilly put it, "law[s] ... passed by Congress," including the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act of 1978, and asked that the courts enforce those laws by ordering the program shut down.

  • CNN's Yellin did not challenge McConnell by noting GAO report also mandated by law

    ››› ››› BRIAN LEVY

    CNN's Jessica Yellin uncritically reported Sen. Mitch McConnell's claim that a recently released report on the Iraq war by the Government Accountability Office was "not equal" in significance to an upcoming report from the Bush administration because the administration's report "is written into law." In fact, the GAO report is required by the same law as the president's report.

  • CNN's Arena reported "allegations" of political hiring at DOJ, but former official admitted doing so


    CNN's Kelli Arena reported that "there have been some allegations that certain people were hired as career prosecutors because of their political affiliation." In fact, former Justice Department White House liaison Monica Goodling testified before Congress that she had repeatedly considered political affiliation when she made hiring decisions about assistant U.S. attorneys.