The Washington Post has promoted the conservative myth that corporate taxes in the United States are among the highest in the world while pushing the claim that tax rates should be further reduced as part of a so-called "reform" of the tax code.
A Media Matters study on the coverage of key policy issues in nightly news' midterm election broadcasts finds that 65 percent of network news segments that dealt with the midterm elections failed to discuss the policy issues most important to the American people.
Sharyl Attkisson was toasted by Oversight Committee Chairman Darrell Issa (R-CA) at a party last night promoting her new book. The former CBS News reporter has previously criticized other reporters for being too cozy with those they cover, denied promoting a conservative agenda, and insisted that her extensive reporting relationship with Issa "doesn't mean we like each other."
During the event at a Georgetown home, Issa reportedly praised Attkisson, telling the audience that "his committee wouldn't be able to do its job without journalists like" Attkisson, while criticizing NBC and MSNBC.
A photo posted by David Weigel (@daveweigel) onNov 11, 2014 at 4:22pm PST
In her book Stonewalled and during her book tour, Attkisson has repeatedly denied that she uses her journalism to advance a conservative agenda, saying that her policy preferences are "mixed" and that her reporting has been critical of both parties.
She left CBS amid claims from colleagues that her work, which often focused on trumped-up claims of Obama administration misdeeds, had a "political agenda," leading "network executives to doubt the impartiality of her reporting." She has since reported solely for right-wing outlets like Heritage Foundation's The Daily Signal and the Sinclair Broadcasting Group's network affiliates.
Attkisson lavishes praise on Issa in her book, describing him as a "former CEO and self-made millionaire from Califonia" who is a "dominant personality, quick study, and insanely confident." She laments how he is "viewed even more harshly by some in the news media" than past Oversight Committee chairs.
Ignoring Issa's long record of deceptive media manipulation, she criticizes her journalist colleagues for treating his claims with skepticism. Attkisson alleges that her fellow reporters are implicitly supporting the White House by suggesting that Issa may have political motivations for some of his claims, and suggests those reporters oppose him because he is a Republican.
She shows no interest in the evidence that supports that view of Issa. For example, shortly before gaining the chairman's gavel, Issa called President Obama "one of the most corrupt presidents in modern times" and described one pseudoscandal as "an impeachable offense, according to [discredited political analyst] Dick Morris." He has frequently compared his investigations of the Obama administration to Watergate and Iran-Contra.
It's not surprising that Attkisson would praise Issa given how her reporting has depended on his committee. At CBS News, Attkisson frequently focused on topics that were the subject of Oversight Committee hearings, and her reports were often based on administration documents seemingly obtained from Issa or his staff.
In a recent interview with the Daily Beast, Attkisson denied claims that "she has uncritically broadcast Issa's allegations without appropriate vetting and scrutiny," but said that "I can see why people would think that, because a lot of times my reporting was in line with the same things Issa was investigating." She added that this "doesn't mean we like each other" and that she doesn't "pretend to be BFFs with him."
A photo posted by Hadas (@hadasdeoro) onNov 11, 2014 at 6:10pm PST
Conservative media have used Republican electoral gains in the 2014 midterm election to renew calls to repeal the Affordable Care Act (ACA). But recent polling indicates that most Americans do not support repealing the healthcare law, including midterm voters.
Media are promoting Republican gains in the House and Senate in Tuesday's midterm elections as evidence that the country has shifted to the "center-right" on political issues, despite the fact that ballot initiatives and national polling reveal broad support for progressive positions.
From the November 5 edition of MSNBC's The Rachel Maddow Show:
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From the November 5 edition of Fox News' Special Report With Bret Baier:
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CNN political contributor Ana Navarro suggested President Obama is to blame for not delivering on "promises on immigration" without noting the GOP's efforts to obstruct any action on the issue.
On the November 5 edition of CNN's Wolf, Navarro pointed to Obama's 2007 campaign promises on the issue and claimed that the president had not acted for "political reasons":
NAVARRO: I do think that President Obama and Republicans both are between a rock and a hard place when it comes to this executive immigration action, particularly President Obama. He's under tremendous pressure from Latinos, from immigration advocates, from his progressive base. He has been making promises on immigration since he was campaigning as Senator Barack Obama in 2007, and time and time again, these groups have had to hear from him, "Wait. It's not your turn yet. For political reasons, you have to wait." And a lot of them are done waiting. But on the other hand, you've got Republicans, some of whom I think have a genuine desire to work on immigration, but it will poison the well. When you've got people like Lindsey Graham, Marco Rubio, and John McCain, authors of the bipartisan agreement in the Senate on immigration, sending him a letter saying, "You know, really think about it," and, "This is going to have consequences," I think it's a very difficult place.
But Navarro's assessment of who is to blame for lack of reform ignores Republican efforts to delay action on immigration by any means necessary, including threats of impeachment.
In 2013, after the Senate passed a comprehensive immigration reform bill that included a path to citizenship for undocumented immigrants, House Republicans steadfastly refused to act on it for over a year. This led President Obama to announce in June that he would take executive action on the issue if Republicans continued to refuse to vote on the bill.
From the November 3 edition of Fox News' The Kelly File:
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Fox News' Gretchen Carlson criticized Cosmopolitan magazine for writing about politics and endorsing candidates on the same day Fox's Megyn Kelly teamed up with the magazine for a Facebook Q&A.
Cosmopolitan expanded its coverage to include politics in August, launching its "#CosmoVotes" campaign which focuses on candidate endorsements, coverage of "women-centric issues," and a "social media effort" to encourage readers to vote, particularly in the upcoming midterm elections.
On the November 3 edition of The Real Story, host Gretchen Carlson criticized Cosmopolitan's foray into politics, suggesting the magazine is "taking it a step too far," because "they basically say some kind of snarky words about any Republican candidate, calling them 'troubling,' 'an extremist who rails against the poor,' 'an anti-choice radical.'" Carlson noted that other women's magazines have covered the 2014 midterm elections highlighting both Republicans and Democrats, but questioned Cosmopolitan's decision to endorse certain candidates, saying, "A lot of people are probably wondering why fashion magazines are getting into politics and actually endorsing candidates but that is the world that we live in now":
Right-wing media outlets have used misleading voter fraud stories to stoke fears of rampant voter fraud in the months leading up to the 2014 midterm elections. But experts state that voter fraud in the U.S. is virtually non-existent and that voter ID laws would actually disenfranchise voters.
From the October 28 edition of Fox News' The O'Reilly Factor:
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Rock The Vote president Ashley Spillane responded to Fox News hosts' criticism of the campaign encouraging young people to vote, saying the hosts' declaration that they don't want young people to vote if they "don't know the issues," is "crazy."
During the October 8 edition of Fox News' Outnumbered, co-hosts Kennedy and Harris Faulkner chided the Rock The Vote "#TurnOutForWhat" campaign aimed at motivating young people to vote in the 2014 midterm elections "for the issues that matter to them." Faulkner claimed the campaign "is about kids getting high, getting drunk," and asked "do you really want to motivate them to vote and be ignorant at the polls?" Kennedy agreed saying "no" she didn't want young people to vote if they don't know the issues.
On October 9, Spillane responded on HuffPost Live, calling the view that young people shouldn't vote "crazy." She further explained that their comments exemplified a "problematic take on youth voting in American media":
Cable and broadcast television news networks have repeatedly hosted former Secret Service agent Dan Bongino to comment on Secret Service security lapses, but have often failed to disclose that he is a Republican congressional candidate.
After reports of Secret Service lapses were uncovered by The Washington Post, Bongino has appeared on cable and broadcast news networks more than a dozen times to discuss the security failures. In several of these appearances, the networks did not disclose Bongino's campaign as a Republican for Maryland's 6th Congressional District, which was announced nearly a year ago.
Bongino was featured during the October 2 edition of Fox News' The O'Reilly Factor, introduced only as a former Secret Service agent and author of a book based on his career. He used his appearance to criticize the White House staff and management. Bongino also briefly appeared during the October 1 edition of NBC's Nightly News, identified only as a former Secret Service agent, to comment on the resignation of Julia Pierson as director of the Secret Service. An October 1 appearance on MSNBC's Jose Diaz-Balart also failed to disclose his congressional campaign, and his status as a congressional candidate was also neglected during his September 30 appearance on CNN Newsroom while discussing the congressional hearing on the agency's recent failures.
Fox News has repeatedly allowed political candidates to work as on-air personalities and CNN's failure to disclose former host Newt Gingrich's conflicts of interest recently helped spur the Society of Professional Journalists to overhaul its transparency provisions.
A New York Times report finds that conservative members of Congress appear more often on Sunday news shows than liberal members, reaffirming Media Matters' data finding overall that guest appearances on Sunday news shows lean right.
A Times analysis of research collected by American University finds that the distribution of guest appearances by members of Congress on Sunday news shows favors conservatives by a margin of 57 percent to 42 percent. The report finds that the ideological tilt also applies to former Congressional members by nearly the same margin.
The parade of politicians on the Sunday morning talk shows veers to the right, not the left.
Conservative members of the current Congress have appeared more often on the network talk shows than their liberal counterparts. Senators and representatives from the conservative end of the ideological spectrum have made 57 percent of the appearances, compared with 42 percent for liberals, according to an Upshot analysis of data collected by American University.
When the Sunday shows have turned to former members of Congress, the same ideological pattern emerges: Conservatives have made 56 percent of the appearances, compared with 41 percent for liberals. As a group, the former conservative lawmakers were slightly more liberal than their current counterparts.
These findings reinforce an analysis from Media Matters that found guest appearances by elected and administration officials on Sunday broadcast news shows in 2013 favored Republicans on at least half of the shows, especially in solo interviews.
Ideology Of Guests On Sunday News Broadcast Shows: More Conservatives Than Progressives. Media Matters found that conservative guests outnumbered progressive guests on three of the four Sunday shows in 2013.
[Media Matters, 1/31/14]
Conservatives Received Majority Of Solo Interviews On Three Of The Four Broadcast News Shows. Three of four Sunday shows also devoted a majority of their solo interviews to conservative guests.
[Media Matters, 1/31/14]
Sunday Broadcast News Shows Invited More Conservative Journalist Guests Than Liberals. A Media Matters analysis found that all Sunday broadcast news shows in 2013 hosted more conservative journalists and pundits than liberals. Fox News Sunday had the largest imbalance with a 49 percent plurality of journalist guests being conservative and only 16 percent being progressive. On the other three broadcast news shows neutral journalists and pundits were the most common, followed by conservatives, and then progressives.
[Media Matters, 1/31/14]
Sunday Broadcast News Shows Dramatically Leaned Conservative During George W. Bush's First Term. A Media Matters study found that during President Bush's first term, Republican/conservative guests outnumbered Democratic/progressive guests, 58 percent to 42 percent. Guest appearances by elected officials and administration representatives also favored Republicans during this period, 61 percent to 39 percent. [Media Matters, 2/14/06]
Footnote: All original analysis conducted by Rob Savillo.