A New York Times essay by Jason DeParle highlighted a resurgence of the use of the word "welfare" among conservatives, this time to attack President Obama's economy recovery plan. Indeed, while economists agree that provisions in the legislation targeting needy people are among the most economically stimulative, Media Matters documents below the pervasiveness of what DeParle called the "weaponiz[ation]" of the "very word, welfare," in the media, particularly, but not exclusively on Fox News, to denounce the stimulus bill.
In his latest New York Times article, CNBC's John Harwood continued a pattern of repeatedly and uncritically referring to Sen. John McCain as a maverick, without noting his own role in promoting that reputation or noting McCain's rightward shift on high-profile issues or acknowledging his numerous falsehoods. Harwood has also frequently referred to McCain as a maverick while reporting on the primary and general election campaigns for NBC, MSNBC, and CNBC.
The New York Post reported CNBC host Maria Bartiromo's assertion that Sen. Barack Obama would "take the capital gains tax at 15 percent right now all the way up to 25 to 28 percent." The Post further quoted Bartiromo: "Sell anything, like a home or stocks, and make a profit ... [almost] 30 percent of the profit will go to the government instead of 15' " [brackets in original]. But Bartiromo's suggestion that the entire profit on the sale of a house is always subject to tax is false; single homeowners can exempt up to $250,000 in gains realized from the sale of an owner-occupied home from capital gains taxes, and married homeowners can in most cases exempt up to $500,000. Politico's Mike Allen uncritically reprinted the Post report of Bartiromo's comments in its entirety.
A New York Times article detailed the connection between numerous media military analysts and the Pentagon and defense industries, reporting that "the Bush administration has used its control over access and information in an effort to transform" media military analysts "into a kind of media Trojan horse -- an instrument intended to shape terrorism coverage from inside the major TV and radio networks." A Media Matters review found that since January 1, 2002, the analysts named in the Times article -- many identified as having ties to the defense industry -- collectively appeared or were quoted as experts more than 4,500 times on ABC, ABC News Now, CBS, CBS Radio Network, NBC, CNN, CNN Headline News, Fox News, MSNBC, CNBC, and NPR.
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Moderator Chris Matthews asserted during the October 9 Republican presidential debate, "Polls show that Republicans are known as the party of national security and of moral values." But recent polling shows Democrats either tied or at a slight advantage against Republicans on the issue of national security, as well as holding an advantage in sharing voters' moral values.
During the October 9 Republican presidential debate, MSNBC's Chris Matthews and CNBC's Maria Bartitomo did not challenge Rudy Giuliani's claim that Sen. Hillary Clinton "once said that the unfettered free market is the most destructive force in modern America." In fact, in a 1996 interview, Clinton said she agreed with the quote, "The unfettered free market has been the most radically disruptive force in American life in the last generation."
On Kudlow & Co., Larry Kudlow allowed Republican presidential candidates Mitt Romney and Rudy Giuliani to mischaracterize two statements by Sen. Hillary Rodham Clinton to portray her as being opposed to free markets. In fact, in one instance, Clinton went on to say that "there is no greater force for economic growth than free markets," and in the other, she said that "the market is the driving force behind our prosperity."
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Numerous news outlets -- including the Los Angeles Times, ABC, CNN, and CNBC -- uncritically reported President Bush's false claim that Democrats oppose "listening to," "detaining," "questioning," and "trying the terrorists." In fact, Democrats have repeatedly acknowledged the need to eavesdrop on, detain, question, and try terrorists, while objecting to specific Bush administration antiterrorism policies that they consider to be violations of current U.S. or international law, or unwarranted expansions of presidential powers.
Several members of the media have complied with the Bush administration's efforts to rebrand the "global war on terror" by adopting the administration's newest catchphrase: Islamic fascism.
On CNBC's Kudlow & Company, Ann Coulter objected to host Lawrence Kudlow's assertion that the Iraq war is widely unpopular, claiming: "All objective evidence is that it isn't." Coulter cited the "[v]ast support for the war" shown in polling from "throughout 2002 and before we went in." However, Coulter then dismissed current polling demonstrating the war's unpopularity.
On Meet the Press, Tim Russert cited a flawed AP article, which omitted key facts that undermined its suggested connection between Senate Democratic Leader Harry Reid and disgraced former lobbyist Jack Abramoff, in order to link Reid to "money from Jack Abramoff."