Several media figures have likened House Speaker Nancy Pelosi's comments defending a provision in the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009, which would expand Medicaid funding for family planning services, to China's "one-child policy," eugenics, social engineering, and Nazism. In fact, the family planning provision does not mandate either limits to family size or eugenics but, rather, would expand "the number of states that can use Medicaid money, with a federal match, to help low-income women prevent unwanted pregnancies."
Beyond the echelon of widely known conservative radio hosts with national audiences lies a vast network of lesser-known syndicated and regional radio hosts who have become key components of an echo chamber for conservative talking points and falsehoods. Like their better-known counterparts, these syndicated and regional radio hosts have played active roles this election season in promoting falsehoods and smears in an all-out effort to foment hate and distrust among their listeners for President-elect Barack Obama. While the hosts vary in the degree of vitriol they spew and in their ratio of rebuttable falsehoods to unbridled smears, Media Matters for America and Colorado Media Matters have identified common themes that many, if not all, have promoted over the past year.
On his radio show, Neal Boortz baselessly suggested that Rep. Barney Frank "was protecting Fannie Mae for about seven or eight years in the 1990s because his lover, his boyfriend was working for Fannie Mae, pushing out these subprime mortgage packages." Boortz provided no evidence to support his suggestion that Frank allowed his personal relationship to affect his work in Congress. In fact, Frank repeatedly took actions over the years to strengthen oversight of Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac.
Radio host Neal Boortz falsely suggested Sen. Barack Obama is a Muslim, saying: "Let's ask Obama how many prayer rugs he has." Obama is a Christian, not a Muslim.
On his radio show, Neal Boortz described "single mothers receiving public assistance" as "welfare broodmares" -- a "broodmare" is "a mare [a female horse] kept for breeding." Boortz previously referred to "welfare brood mares" in a "Nealz Nuze" post on his website.
On his radio show, Neal Boortz asked: "[W]hy is it that the people who are being affected by the floods in Iowa and the upper Midwest, why is it that they seem to be so much more capable of taking care of themselves and handling this disaster than were the people of Katrina in New Orleans?" Boortz continued, "I think the answer's pretty clear, is that up there in that part of the country, you find a great deal of self-sufficiency. Down there in New Orleans, it was basically a parasite class totally dependent on government for their existence."
Talking with the Media Research Center's Brent Bozell, Neal Boortz said: "I'm on 'Media Morons' today ... because I said yesterday on the air that I would make a lousy Mexican because I was trying to use one of those floor buffers and it tossed me around ... when any Mexican worth his salt would be able to do that without getting hurt."
On his nationally syndicated radio show, Neal Boortz made disparaging remarks about Hurricane Katrina victims, stating, "When these Katrina so-called refugees were scattered about the country, it was just a glorified episode of putting out the garbage." Boortz also described New Orleans as "a city of parasites, a city of people who could not and had no desire to fend for themselves."
On his radio show, Neal Boortz claimed that because "Muslims don't eat during the day during Ramadan" and "fast during the day and eat at night," they are "sort of like cockroaches." Immediately following the remark, Boortz said, "I did that for Media Myrmidons" -- his term for Media Matters for America.
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