A Harris poll released on March 24 found that a majority of Republican respondents believe that President Obama "is a socialist," "wants to take away Americans' right to own guns," "is a Muslim," "wants to turn over the sovereignty of the United States to a one world government," and "has done many things that are unconstitutional." The findings follow a year of such smears and attacks on Obama by conservatives.
Conservative media figures have asserted that in a March 22 interview, Rep. John Dingell said health care reform will "control the people." In fact, Dingell has said that conservatives are taking him out of context and has explained that he was referring to "overseeing" the "insurance companies."
Right-wing media figures have asserted that SEIU president Andy Stern's appointment to President Obama's bipartisan deficit reduction commission is a "mockery," a "joke," and a "cover to raise taxes and soak the rich." However, Stern is the only labor representative on the panel; Obama also appointed two business leaders and members of both parties, including former Sen. Alan Simpson (R-WY), who will serve as co-chair of the commission.
Right-wing media figures seized on what ABC News' Jake Tapper has described as an "apparently erroneous" report of a statement allegedly made by President Obama's nominee for special envoy to the Organization of the Islamic Conference Rashad Hussain to portray him as a "pro-jihadist," a "radical," and a "terrorist sympathizer." But, as Tapper points out, Hussain has argued that terrorism is "antithetical" to Islam had has written extensively on "[d]iscrediting the terrorist ideology...to stop al-Qaeda and other terrorist groups."
Investor's Business Daily and American Thinker are forwarding claims made by meteorologist Joseph D'Aleo and computer programmer Michael Smith that the NASA Goddard Institute for Space Studies and the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) have "cherry-picked" the locations of weather observation stations in order to bias their temperature records in favor of warmer temperatures and thus produce data that supports the existence of global climate change. But climate experts have stated that Smith and D'Aleo's claims are flawed and based on an inaccurate understanding of how global temperature data is calculated and compiled.
Following President Obama's January 21 proposal to limit the size and risk-taking behaviors of banks, right-wing media figures have cited the recent dip in the stock market to criticize Obama's plan. However, economic and financial experts have said that a decline in financial stocks is not an indication that regulation is ill-advised and that stock market fluctuations do not necessarily represent the broader health of the economy.
Right-wing media figures trumpeted a blogger's fake report that in a college thesis -- which the post's author claimed was obtained by Time's Joe Klein -- President Obama attacked the Founders and the Constitution. Lou Dobbs ran with the claim even after Klein had denied the story, Michael Ledeen had apologized for having repeated it, and Rush Limbaugh had acknowledged that it might not be accurate.
Following Rush Limbaugh's failed bid to purchase the St. Louis Rams football team, the right-wing media have echoed Limbaugh's baseless claim that the Obama administration was involved in torpedoing his NFL ambitions. Limbaugh has claimed that the Obama administration "corrupted" the NFL bidding process because the head of the NFL Players Association, DeMaurice Smith, once served as counsel for Attorney General Eric Holder.
On July 16, Betsy McCaughey falsely claimed that the House health care reform bill would "absolutely require" end-of-life counseling for seniors "that will tell them how to end their life sooner." Since then, numerous media figures have echoed McCaughey's claim -- even after the falsehood was debunked and McCaughey herself backtracked.