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.
Michelle Malkin, Rush Limbaugh, and Sean Hannity have falsely asserted or suggested that Robert Reich, speaking at a congressional forum, proposed that jobs created by the economic stimulus package should exclude white males. In fact, Reich has repeatedly stated that he favors a stimulus plan that "includ[es] women and minorities, and the long-term unemployed" in addition to skilled professionals and white male construction workers, not one that is solely limited to them.
On Fox & Friends, Michelle Malkin falsely suggested that Minnesota's State Canvassing Board is comprised of no Republicans, while, in a column, Newsmax's Lowell Ponte claimed that the "selection of the Canvassing Board and the recount were controlled by Secretary of State Mark Ritchie." In fact, the board is bipartisan.
While discussing Sen. Barack Obama's answers to Tim Russert's questions about Nation of Islam leader Louis Farrakhan at the February 26 Democratic presidential debate, Fox News contributor Kirsten Powers said: "If I was him, I would have just immediately denounced him." In fact, Obama did denounce Farrakhan's comments during the debate.
Discussing a recent campaign event during which Sen. Hillary Clinton's voice broke while answering a question from the audience, several media figures have baselessly claimed that Clinton's actions were not "genuine" or were "pretend," including Glenn Beck, who said of the incident, "Hillary Clinton isn't just running for president, but she's also making a run for the best actress nomination." Michelle Malkin wrote that "[a]nyone who believes Hillary spontaneously teared up and got emotional on the campaign trail has been in a coma the last three decades."
While discussing a recent campaign event during which Sen. Hillary Rodham Clinton's voice broke as she talked about why she is seeking the presidency, several media figures described Clinton's actions as "calculated," reviving a characterization frequently made by the media that Clinton is "calculating."
During a Fox & Friends segment discussing an August 28 column by Cuban dictator Fidel Castro, on-screen text falsely asserted, "CASTRO'S DREAM TEAM: WANTS CLINTON AND OBAMA IN '08," referring to Democratic presidential candidates Hillary Clinton and Barack Obama. Also during the segment, an on-screen graphic depicted Castro, Clinton, and Obama enclosed in a red heart. In fact, at no point in his column did Castro endorse Clinton or Obama. Indeed, he attributed to Clinton and Obama a pro-democratic view that he called an "error," and he said of Clinton and Obama, "They are not making politics: they are playing a game of cards on a Sunday afternoon."
While other media outlets, in their coverage of Mitt Romney's presidential campaign, have addressed the longtime evangelical hostility to Romney's Mormon faith, Fox News has largely avoided the subject and has responded to other media coverage of the issue by alleging media bias or, in the case of one guest, accusing liberals of anti-Mormon bigotry.