Members of the conservative media, including Fox News, are attacking President Obama for not attending the commemoration of the 20th anniversary of the fall of the Berlin Wall. But when Obama has traveled abroad in the past -- including a trip in which Obama commemorated D-Day -- Fox News and figures at other media outlets have criticized him for supposedly going on an "apology tour."
Following the shootings at the Fort Hood Army Post, the Fox Nation and right-wing blogs launched political attacks on President Obama's remarks at a the Tribal Nations conference at the Interior Department, in which he addressed the tragedy after making introductory remarks.
Following Democrat Bill Owens' November 3 victory in the contested NY-23 Congressional race, right-wing bloggers have sought to highlight the "under-reported fact" that Bill Owens "campaigned against the public option." However, while Owens modified his position on the public option during the course of the campaign, he has expressed support for a public option since September, and on October 30 Owens endorsed the public option in the House health care reform bill.
Numerous conservative media outlets are pushing a distortion of comments made by Secretary of State Hillary Clinton during a roundtable discussion with business leaders in Pakistan to suggest that she celebrated the notion that "[w]e tax everything that moves and doesn't move," in contrast to lower tax rates in Pakistan. But in her comments, Clinton actually called on Pakistan to raise more revenue of its own, rather than relying on U.S. aid, and said that U.S. taxpayers and Congress say, "[W]e want to help those who help themselves."
Numerous right-wing websites, including the Fox Nation and the Drudge Report, have parroted a misleading headline posted on October 26 by Real Clear Politics and NewsBusters asserting that Rep. Barney Frank (D-MA) stated, "We are trying on every front to increase the role of government." In fact, while specifically discussing financial regulation, Frank actually said, "[W]e are trying on every front to increase the role of government in the regulatory area" [emphasis added].
Following the release of preliminary data from Recovery.gov indicating that around 30,000 jobs have been created or saved through federal stimulus contracts thus far, numerous conservative media figures have distorted the report to claim or suggest that the 30,000 figure represents the sum total of jobs created by the stimulus program to date. In fact, the 30,000 figure represents only the number of jobs created through federal contracts that have been awarded with stimulus funds, which is a small fraction of the total stimulus spending, and does not represent the total job impact of the $173 billion of stimulus funds that have been spent by the government thus far.
After attacking White House communications director Anita Dunn for stating that Mao Zedong was one of her "favorite political philosophers," Glenn Beck and right-wing bloggers have seized on "manufacturing czar" Ron Bloom's February 2008 statement that he agrees "with Mao that political power comes largely from the barrel of a gun." However, numerous conservatives, including Newt Gingrich and John McCain, have approvingly cited the tactics of Mao, Vladimir Lenin, and the Viet Cong, stated that they had used those tactics in their political work, or have otherwise highlighted their philosophies, and yet have slipped under media conservatives' communist radar.
Continuing the smear campaign against Education Department official Kevin Jennings, Sean Hannity claimed that Jennings is in favor of "indoctrinat[ing]" schoolchildren about homosexuality, and radio talk show host Sandy Rios said of Jennings, "[W]e're talking about raping the innocence of our children." To support her claim, Rios falsely claimed that a passage in a book for which Jennings wrote the foreword describes a mother telling her 8-year-old daughter she was "attracted sexually" to the same girl her daughter liked.
Numerous conservative media figures have seized on the Nobel Committee's decision to award President Obama the Nobel Peace Prize as an excuse to attack Obama or his policies. Media conservatives previously rooted against Chicago's bid to host the 2016 Olympic Games, similarly using the bid as an excuse to attack Obama, and celebrated when the games were awarded to Rio de Janeiro.
In an October 7 post, right-wing blogger Gateway Pundit falsely claimed that President Obama "is forcing a private Catholic institution to cover abortion in its insurance plan," and Ed Morrissey similarly wrote on HotAir.com that the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) "demanded that a private Catholic college offer abortion" coverage. In fact, the EEOC -- in a letter of determination that did not address the issue of abortion -- stated that the institution, Belmont Abbey College, violated discrimination laws by denying employees health insurance coverage for "prescription contraceptive drugs."
Recently, the right-wing media have engaged in relentless attacks on President Obama and his administration and progressive organizations. Those attacks have repeatedly turned out to be based on demonstrably false claims -- such as the claim that Education Department official Kevin Jennings "cover[ed] up statutory rape."
Despite evidence to the contrary, Fox News -- led by Sean Hannity -- and other right-wing media have claimed that Department of Education official Kevin Jennings "cover[ed] up statutory rape" and violated Massachusetts law by not reporting to authorities a 1988 conversation in which a high school student told Jennings about his relationship with an older man. In fact, Jennings' attorney wrote in a 2004 letter that the student was 16 years old, which is -- and was at the time -- the legal age of consent in Massachusetts.
Glenn Beck, Lou Dobbs, and prominent conservative bloggers followed the lead of conservative website Breitbart.tv after the site falsely claimed that an online video showed community organizers from the Gamaliel Foundation "pray[ing]" to President Obama. Breitbart.tv subsequently updated the original post with an editor's note acknowledging that "there is a debate over what is actually being said" and that the crowd may, in fact, be saying "oh God" rather than "Obama"; the Gamaliel Foundation subsequently stated that "at no time have we prayed to President Obama" and that in the video, the organizers "can be heard saying, 'Hear our cry oh God,' 'Deliver us oh God,' etc."
The Fox Nation, Gateway Pundit blog, and Mickey Kaus all highlighted a Minneapolis Star Tribune column to claim or suggest that ACORN stole the 2008 Minnesota Senate election for Sen. Al Franken (D). In fact, the column -- which Gateway Pundit and Kaus falsely claimed was a Star Tribune "report" or "story" -- did not contain a single allegation of a fraudulently cast vote, and the Minnesota Supreme Court stated that counsel for Franken's 2008 opponent, Norm Coleman, "confirmed at oral argument that Coleman makes no claim of fraud on the part of either voters or election officials."