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Many in the media have proclaimed the GOP the winner in the "stimulus message war" over President Obama and congressional Democrats. But they often do so with no self-reflection or acknowledgment of their cohort's role in advancing the Republicans' side in the debate through the credulous repetition of falsehoods and other Republican talking points.
CNN's Carol Costello repeated without challenge a claim she called "effective Republican spin" -- that spending in the pending Democratic economic recovery bills is not stimulus. She did not point out what numerous economists have noted: that, as the Center for Economic and Policy Research's Dean Baker said, "[s]pending is stimulus. Any spending will generate jobs. It is that simple."
On The Situation Room, Carol Costello described Sen. John McCain as "pro-family," continuing a pattern on CNN of using phrases such as "pro-family," "family values," and "values" in describing conservatives, perpetuating the notion that only conservatives favor families and vote their values.
CNN's Carol Costello and Ed Henry, and Fox News' Brit Hume falsely suggested that only the Democratic members of the Senate Select Committee on Intelligence approved the committee's June 5 "Report on Whether Public Statements Regarding Iraq by U.S. Government Officials Were Substantiated by Intelligence Information." In addition to the committee's Democrats, Republican Sens. Chuck Hagel and Olympia Snowe endorsed the report and stated that it "accomplished its primary objective."
Reporting on Sen. John McCain's efforts to court Clinton supporters, by "speaking right to them and flattering his old friend," neither CNN correspondent Carol Costello nor host Wolf Blitzer noted that notwithstanding his recent "flattering" words about Clinton, McCain has previously distorted Clinton's record on issues such as health care, taxes, the environment, and housing, and also issued several personal attacks against Clinton and her family.
CNN's Carol Costello said that Sen. John McCain "told reporters ... he would support a [same-sex marriage] ban in his own state of Arizona in November," without noting that McCain previously supported such a ban in Arizona that was rejected by the state's voters in 2006.
Reporting on a YouTube video that CNN's Wolf Blitzer described as portraying Sen. Barack Obama and his wife as "America-hating racists," correspondent Carol Costello quoted, without challenge, a Republican National Committee official saying attacks on Obama's patriotism "do[n't] come from us." Costello did not note that Sen. John McCain's campaign has suspended one staffer for circulating the video and that the campaign also reportedly said it was "an error" when it sent out a Wall Street Journal op-ed attacking Obama's minister.
CNN correspondent Carol Costello aired a video clip of Sen. John McCain criticizing an earmark requested by Sens. Chuck Schumer and Hillary Clinton in which McCain says: "Senator Clinton tried to spend $1 million on the Woodstock concert museum." However, Costello did not mention that McCain skipped the vote on removing the earmark, as other CNN reporters have also failed to do.
CNN's Carol Costello said that audience response at a Barack Obama rally is "a scene some increasingly find not inspirational, but 'creepy,' " quoting columnists who have likened Obama supporters to members of a cult or described their enthusiasm as "creepy." On-screen text during Costello's report read: "OBAMA-MANIA BACKLASH" and "PASSION 'CULT-LIKE' TO SOME." Washington Post columnist Charles Krauthammer similarly cited other writers to make the same assertion: "ABC's Jake Tapper notes the 'Helter-Skelter cult-ish qualities' of 'Obama worshipers,' what Joel Stein of the Los Angeles Times calls 'the Cult of Obama.' "
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Discussing driver's licenses for illegal immigrants, CNN correspondent Carol Costello remarked on The Situation Room that the issue "literally drives some off the deep end, like Lou Dobbs."
Echoing the false assertion in a Politico article that Democrats are "Zero for 40" on passing "bills limiting President Bush's war policy," CNN's Carol Costello reported, "Forty times Democrats have forced a vote to curtail the Iraq war and 40 times they've lost." In fact, in April, both the House and Senate passed war funding legislation that included a timetable for a U.S. troop withdrawal, which President Bush vetoed.
Discussing young female voters' support for presidential candidate Sen. Hillary Rodham Clinton, CNN's Carol Costello asserted, "[I]f Hillary Clinton can persuade these young, single women to vote for her, many say she will win. And those who oppose Clinton know that. That's why they're calling these young women voters stupid." She added, "[T]he online magazine Jezebel dubbed them the elusive, slutty, anxious female, that's slutty in a political sense of course," a reference to a June 14 Jezebel item with the headline: "Barack Obama Lures Elusive Slutty Anxious Female Demographic."