Michael Savage recast July 16 comments he made about autism in order to claim that he was "take[n] out of context." Savage falsely suggested that his comments distinguished between "the truly autistic" and those he described on July 21 as "the misdiagnosed, the falsely diagnosed, and the outright fakers in the autism field."
Discussing the issue of whether health insurance plans that cover Viagra should also cover birth control, Fox News' Bill O'Reilly asserted: "Viagra is used to help a medical condition -- that's why it's covered. Birth control is not a medical condition, it is a choice." But O'Reilly's assertion is contradicted by professional medical associations that have stated that pregnancy is a medical condition and that "[c]ontraception is medically necessary" for women.
CNN.com's Political Ticker blog uncritically repeated the false claim by Sen. John McCain that Sen. Barack Obama favors "hav[ing] the government take over the health care system in America." In fact, Obama has called for individuals to choose their own insurance and has not proposed that the "government take over the health care system in America." CNN has repeatedly uncritically aired -- or repeated -- similar attacks by McCain.
On his nationally syndicated radio show, Michael Savage claimed that autism is "[a] fraud, a racket. ... I'll tell you what autism is. In 99 percent of the cases, it's a brat who hasn't been told to cut the act out. That's what autism is. What do you mean they scream and they're silent? They don't have a father around to tell them, 'Don't act like a moron. You'll get nowhere in life. Stop acting like a putz. Straighten up. Act like a man. Don't sit there crying and screaming, idiot.' "
In his latest column, The Washington Times' Wes Pruden wrote: "We were all supposed to be dead now, done in by AIDS, the gift of the gays. After that it was SARS, bequeathed to the world by China. Then it was avian flu, which, to be fair to the alarmists, did in fact result in the deaths of millions. The millions were all chickens, true, but chickens have feelings, too." According to the United Nations, at least 1 million people have died from AIDS-related illnesses every year since 1997 and at least 2 million every year since 2003.
On Hardball, Chris Matthews asserted, "I don't hear Democrats talk ... about the need to reduce the number of abortions." He continued: "[Y]ou don't hear them talking a lot about the need for education, for much fewer, maybe enormously fewer, unwanted pregnancies, which is the reason people get abortions." In fact, Sen. Barack Obama said in April, "[W]e should be doing everything we can to avoid unwanted pregnancies that might even lead somebody to consider having an abortion."
On Hardball, George Will described female pro-choice voters as "women who believe, in the words of Barack Obama, that they shouldn't be punished with a baby." As video of Obama's remarks shows, Obama was discussing sex education, not abortion, when he made the comment Will highlighted.
In recent comparisons of Barack Obama's and John McCain's positions, Gannett News Service and the Associated Press claimed that McCain opposes a constitutional amendment banning abortion. However, McCain has previously asserted that he supports such an amendment, and McCain advisers have reportedly said that he would not try to change the Republican Party's platform on abortion, which in 2004 called for a constitutional ban on abortion.
The New York Times' John Harwood wrote that Sen. John McCain "prevailed over a field of Republicans who almost unanimously shared his support for the Iraq war, embrace of President Bush's tax cuts, skepticism toward government-run health care and opposition to abortion rights," while Sen. Barack Obama and Hillary Clinton "both staked out opposite ground from Mr. McCain." But neither Obama nor Clinton has proposed "government-run health care"; the Times has previously pointed out that McCain has "inaccurately described Obama's and Clinton's health care proposals" by likening them to "government-run health care systems."
The Associated Press' Liz Sidoti reported without challenge several attacks Sen. John McCain recently made against Sen. Barack Obama, including what Sidoti referred to as his "ready response" that a "significant difference between myself and Senator Obama" is that "I am not going to dictate that the government decide what your health care is going to be." In fact, Obama's plan does not allow for government control of health care; rather, it calls for individuals to choose their own insurance.
CNN's Jim Acosta uncritically aired video of Sen. John McCain asserting: "There are those who are convinced the solution is to move to a nationalized health-care system," echoing his repeated assertions that Sens. Hillary Clinton and Barack Obama are proposing government-run health care. But, while McCain has routinely made such assertions, Acosta did not note that McCain's suggestion is false; neither Clinton nor Obama has proposed a "nationalized health-care system."
On The Situation Room, Dana Bash uncritically aired a clip of Sen. John McCain saying of health care plans put forward by Sen. Hillary Clinton and Sen. Barack Obama: "This will accomplish one thing only. We will replace the inefficiency, irrationality, and uncontrolled costs of the current system with the inefficiency, irrationality, and uncontrolled costs of a government monopoly." In fact, neither Clinton nor Obama has proposed a "government monopoly" on insurance coverage; rather, both have called for individuals to choose their own insurance.
CNN's Dana Bash, Wolf Blitzer, and Kyra Phillips all uncritically aired video of Sen. John McCain's false attacks on Sens. Barack Obama and Hillary Clinton regarding health care, in which McCain suggested that the Democratic candidates favor a "one-size-fits-all, big-government takeover of health care," and that "[t]hey want the government to make the decisions." In fact, neither Obama nor Clinton has proposed a "big-government takeover of health care"; both have called for individuals to choose their own insurance.
Ed Henry and Jessica Yellin joined the growing list of CNN anchors and reporters who have embraced the lexicon of social conservatives, characterizing Christian conservative voters as "values voters" and equating an opposition to abortion rights with "family values." Henry suggested that support for reproductive choice is not a "family value" and that being pro-choice is inconsistent with being "pro-family," while Yellin suggested that those who are not "white evangelical voters" vote on something other than values.
The New York Post's Charles Hurt wrote that when Sen. Hillary Clinton proposed national health-care reform as first lady, "Americans revolted over her proposals," adding that "she still doesn't understand that most people believe the federal government is the only thing that could actually make health care worse." In fact, recent polling suggests that a majority of Americans support health-care reform proposals that expand the government's role.