Conservative media are selectively and deceptively quoting from an exchange between CNN's Dana Bash Senate and Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-NV) to make it appear as if he dismissed the plight of cancer-stricken children being denied access to clinical trials due to the shutdown of the federal government. In fact, Reid said that legislators should fully fund the government, rather than force different groups to fight over funding.
Specifically, conservatives are claiming that Reid replied to a reporter's question, "If you can help one child with cancer, why wouldn't you?" by saying "why would we want to do that?" In fact, Reid was responding to Sen. Chuck Schumer, who had interjected, saying "why pit one against the other?"
On October 1, the federal government was shut down after conservative Republicans refused to pass legislation funding operations unless that funding was tied to the defunding or delay of Obamacare. As part of an effort to avoid political damage from that unpopular decision, House Republicans have called for piecemeal bills that would fund some parts of the federal government, including the National Institutes of Health and national parks.
Right-wing media have attacked House Speaker Nancy Pelosi for her statement that unemployment insurance stimulates the economy and creates jobs, calling her remarks "laughable" and "lunacy." In fact, economists agree that extending unemployment insurance has a strong stimulative effect on GDP and employment during a recession.
Conservative media have attacked financial reform legislation under consideration in Congress by stating that it establishes a "permanent bailout" or "bailouts forever" -- echoing language recommended by Republican strategist Frank Luntz to derail the bill. But far from encouraging "bailouts" for failing financial firms, the bill would establish the government's authority to liquidate them.
In a Washington Examiner blog post, David Freddoso baselessly suggested that Rep. Brad Ellsworth (D-IN) -- who is seeking the nomination to run for retiring Sen. Evan Bayh's seat -- "s[old] his 'yes' vote on ObamaCare for $1 million in campaign money." However, the campaign money that Bayh is reported to be contributing is for the Indiana Democratic Party, not simply for Ellsworth; moreover, in announcing his retirement in February, Bayh made clear that he would use his remaining campaign money "to help whoever our nominee is in Indiana." Ellsworth has been widely reported to be the "frontrunner" for the nomination since Bayh's announcement.
Disregarding U.S. attorney Patrick Fitzgerald's warning to "not cast aspersions on people for being named or being discussed" in the criminal complaint against Illinois Gov. Rod Blagojevich, several in the media have used the scandal as an opportunity to engage in suggestions of guilt-by-association against President-elect Barack Obama, by rehashing Obama's purportedly "questionable associations," or suggesting that Obama is a product of corrupt "Chicago politics."
The conservative activist group Citizens United is reportedly distributing Hype: The Obama Effect, a DVD attacking Sen. Barack Obama, this week in newspapers in Ohio, Nevada, and Florida. The AP quoted Citizens United president David Bossie saying of the film, "We think it's a truthful attack. People can take it anyway they want." But a Media Matters analysis of Hype finds that it contains numerous falsehoods and misrepresentations of Obama's record. Newspapers that distribute the DVD should consider their obligation to provide readers with information that discredits it.
In a syndicated column criticizing Sen. Barack Obama's education plan, Thomas Sowell falsely claimed that under Obama's "merit pay for teachers" proposal, merit would be "measured by teachers themselves," rendering Obama's reference to merit pay, Sowell wrote, "meaningless." In fact, Obama has said that he will work with teachers unions to develop a system to determine merit pay, not that he would allow teachers to evaluate their own performance or independently choose the measures by which merit is evaluated.
On Fox News' America's Election HQ, David Freddoso claimed: "Senator [Barack] Obama says that he is a reformer, an agent of positive change. And looking at his record, though, in Chicago, Springfield, and Washington, I found that he is absolutely -- there's nothing in his record to bear out that claim." However, in Freddoso's recently released book, he specifically credited Obama with two "real accomplishment[s] ... in the name of reform" -- the Federal Funding Accountability and Transparency Act of 2006, and a 1998 Illinois ethics bill.
In The Case Against Barack Obama, David Freddoso misrepresents findings by the Illinois state government to claim that a statement by Sen. Barack Obama explaining his opposition to a bill that amended the Illinois Abortion Law of 1975 was "not true." Obama asserted that "measures mandat[ing] lifesaving measures for premature babies" were "already the law" in Illinois. Freddoso falsely asserts that the Illinois Department of Public Health and a letter from the Illinois attorney general's office refute Obama's statement. They do not; indeed, a reported statement by the Public Health Department supports it.
During an interview with David Freddoso, MSNBC's Alex Witt baselessly adopted a word Freddoso used to describe how Sen. Barack Obama challenged his opponents' qualifications for appearing on the ballot of the 1996 Illinois state Senate Democratic primary for the 13th district, saying that Obama's opponents were disqualified on a "technicality." In fact, one of Obama's opponents in that 1996 race reportedly admitted that he "now suspects" some of the signatures his campaign collected were forged, while another reportedly had some of her signatures disqualified because they were from voters who lived outside the 13th district -- facts Witt did not raise during the interview.
The first few pages of David Freddoso's book, The Case Against Barack Obama, are marked by false and misleading assertions about Sen. Barack Obama, accompanied by dubious citations. A Media Matters review of the endnotes reveals that the rest of the book is little different from these first few pages, as throughout the book, Freddoso misrepresents or distorts his sources and even makes assertions that are actually refuted by sources he cites.
On Hannity & Colmes, Alan Colmes questioned David Freddoso's assertion in his new book that Sen. Barack Obama "thr[e]w all of his opponents off the ballot on a technicality, so that those voters have no choice but to elect him. This is precisely how he first won his state Senate seat in 1996." But Colmes pointed out that the "technicality" that Freddoso described included allegedly forged petitions and signatures reportedly from people who did not live within the district that the Senate seat represented.
The introduction and first few pages of David Freddoso's forthcoming book, The Case Against Barack Obama, are marked by false and misleading assertions about Obama, accompanied by dubious citations.
David Freddoso's upcoming book, The Case Against Barack Obama, will be published by Regnery, which reportedly "likens the goal of [the Obama] book to that of 'Unfit for Command,' " a widely discredited book containing numerous false and baseless attacks on John Kerry's military service.