As Washington Monthly's Steve Benen notes, former Arkansas Governor and current Fox News host Mike "Huckabee doesn't know what he's talking about."
Perhaps Politico should have taken that into consideration before uncritically repeating Huckabee's false claim that the economic recovery package is "anti-religious." Though the provision Huckabee cited is correct -- the bill would not provide money to be used on a religious "school or department of divinity" -- Politico did not note that, contrary to Huckabee's suggestion that this provision is a consequence of the liberal trifecta of Pelosi-Reid-Obama, such provisions were included in bills passed when the Republicans were in the majority, as Media Matters has noted.
Look, if Mike Huckabee doesn't like the stimulus bill, fine. But to tell people the legislation is "anti-religious" is just insane. Or, to put it another way, Huckabee is bearing false witness, which as he may have heard, is generally frowned upon.
Regular readers know the story by now, but if you're just joining us, this myth has been making the rounds in right-wing circles for about a week. Originally, the American Center for Law and Justice, a right-wing legal group formed by TV preacher Pat Robertson, said the stimulus bill includes a provision that would prohibit "religious groups and organizations from using" buildings on college campuses. Soon after, religious right groups and right-wing blogs were up in arms, demanding that lawmakers fix the "anti-Christian" language of the bill. Fox News and the Christian Broadcasting Network helped get the word out to the far-right base about the nefarious measure. Sen. Jim DeMint (R-S.C.) actually tried to have the provision removed from the bill.
There was, however, one small problem: there was no such measure. The ACLJ doesn't know how to read legislation, and didn't realize that the standard language in the bill simply blocks spending for on-campus buildings that are used primarily for religion (like a chapel, for example). This same language has been part of education spending bills for 46 years. It's just the law, and it's never been controversial.
The Time mag writer seems to be reading way too much into the Obamas' decision to send their daughters to the Sidwell Friends school in Washington, D.C. Gibbs claims it revolves around the school's Quaker background and then quickly gets bogged down in Quaker dogma:
Unlike many Quaker schools, Sidwell is not attached to a particular Friends meeting, but many of its trustees are Quakers and the emphasis on open-minded pursuit of excellence and understanding is enforced by weekly Meetings for Worship.
The headline also suggests Time, which received no insight from the Obamas about this choice, can read minds: "Why Sasha and Malia Will Go to Sidewell Friends".
In truth, Time has no idea why the Obamas chose Sidwell Friends. And the magazine ought to probably just say so.
On Hardball, Chuck Todd falsely claimed that the U.S. Court of Appeals for the 9th Circuit "wants to get rid of the Pledge" of Allegiance. In fact, in Newdow v. U.S. Congress, a 9th Circuit panel did not decide that the entire Pledge of Allegiance was unconstitutional, but rather "h[e]ld that ... the 1954 Act adding the words 'under God' to the Pledge ... violate[s] the Establishment Clause" of the First Amendment.
Bill O'Reilly once again resurrected his misleading claim that a Wisconsin elementary school "sang a whole different lyric to 'Silent Night,' " erroneously attributing the school's changed lyrics to political correctness. In fact, the new lyrics were merely part of a 1988 Christmas play called The Little Tree's Christmas Gift.
On both The Radio Factor and The O'Reilly Factor, host Bill O'Reilly falsely claimed a Texas school district "told students they couldn't wear red and green because they were Christmas colors." The school district has since released an official statement refuting O'Reilly's false contention.