Following the release of President Obama's proposal for the fiscal year 2010 budget, media figures and outlets have promoted a number of myths and falsehoods related to the proposal.
In a report about the estate tax on America's Newsroom, Alisyn Camerota and Molly Henneberg repeatedly referred to the tax as the "death tax," a term popularized by supporters of the repeal of the tax.
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Molly Henneberg falsely claimed, "Reconciliation was last used in 2001 by Republicans to pass the first Bush tax cuts." In fact, Republicans used the budget reconciliation process to pass several Bush initiatives after 2001, and it was used as recently as 2007.
On Special Report, Molly Henneberg reported that "Democrats control the White House and Congress, and they want government-run health-care programs." In fact, the White House health-care Web page states: "On health care reform, the American people are too often offered two extremes -- government-run health care with higher taxes or letting the insurance companies operate without rules. President Obama and Vice President Biden believe both of these extremes are wrong."
Discussing Sen. John McCain's criticism of Sen. Barack Obama for not visiting wounded soldiers in Germany, Fox News' Molly Henneberg asserted that the "Obama campaign originally said the candidate thought it would be, quote, 'inappropriate' to visit wounded troops as part of a campaign-funded trip, but later they said that the Pentagon said they couldn't go without media cameras." In fact, the Obama campaign did not say that Obama decided not to visit because the Pentagon barred media from accompanying him.
Fox News' Molly Henneberg uncritically reported the assertion by Bud Day, a member of the then-named Swift Boat Veterans for Truth, that Wesley Clark "spent a month in Vietnam, got badly wounded, evacuated, and that was his Vietnam experience." In fact, according to documents posted on the website for Clark's 2004 presidential campaign, Clark served at least six months in Vietnam -- first as a 1st Infantry Division staff officer, then as an infantry company commander -- before he was wounded.
On Fox News' The Strategy Room, Molly Henneberg asserted that Wesley Clark "seemed to attack [Sen. John] McCain's military service," and aired a video clip of Clark saying on CBS' Face the Nation, "I don't think riding in a fighter plane and getting shot down is a qualification to be president." But Henneberg did not report or in any way indicate that, in making that comment, Clark was responding to Face the Nation host Bob Schieffer's statement that, unlike McCain, Sen. Barack Obama has not "ridden in a fighter plane and gotten shot down."
NBC's Kelly O'Donnell and CNN's John King asserted that Sen. John McCain was surprised by conservative radio talk-show host Bill Cunningham's controversial remarks about Sen. Barack Obama at a February 26 McCain rally, failing to note that Cunningham has previously referred to Obama as "Barack Hussein Obama" and "Barack Mohammed Hussein Obama." Fox News' Molly Henneberg suggested McCain could not have expected Cunningham to refer to Obama's middle name, even though Cunningham did just that on Fox News a month ago.
On Special Report, correspondent Molly Henneberg uncritically aired Sen. James Inhofe's false claim that "[i]t was warmer in the '30s than it is today," and Inhofe's baseless assertion that "it was warmer in the 15th century than it is today."
Fox News correspondent Molly Henneberg claimed that vice presidents "rarely, if ever" hold press conferences. In fact, Vice President Al Gore conducted at least 15 press conferences while in office; Cheney has so far conducted three.