Right-wing media figures seized on what ABC News' Jake Tapper has described as an "apparently erroneous" report of a statement allegedly made by President Obama's nominee for special envoy to the Organization of the Islamic Conference Rashad Hussain to portray him as a "pro-jihadist," a "radical," and a "terrorist sympathizer." But, as Tapper points out, Hussain has argued that terrorism is "antithetical" to Islam had has written extensively on "[d]iscrediting the terrorist ideology...to stop al-Qaeda and other terrorist groups."
Following President Obama's January 7 remarks on the attempted Christmas Day airline bombing -- during which he stated, "We are at war. We are at war with al Qaeda" -- numerous conservative media figures have falsely suggested that prior to that speech, Obama had not characterized the fight against terrorists as a war. In fact, in his inaugural address, Obama stated that "[o]ur nation is at war against a far-reaching network of violence and hatred," and he has repeatedly discussed terrorism as the rationale for U.S. military action abroad.
The Chicago Tribune, on its Swampland blog, has a story today claiming that the White House contacted a Democratic "strategist" and told him or her not to appear on Fox News. The strategist is unnamed, and the White House has vehemently denied the charge. The one voice in the Swampland piece bolstering the claim is Pat Caddell, former pollster for Jimmy Carter. Caddell is a Fox News contributor, and despite his work for President Carter has a documented history of furthering conservative misinformation.
Since his affiliation with Carter, Caddell has attacked the Clinton administration, Janet Reno, and the Democratic party itself. Caddell was recently featured on The Glenn Beck Show decrying what he described as the "gangster politics" of the Obama administration.
So, maybe not the best person to back up an anonymous claim showing a Democratic administration in a negative light.
Following an attack that conservatives previewed prior to the elections, Fox News and other right-wing media have seized on gubernatorial elections in Virginia and New Jersey to baselessly declare, in Dick Morris' words, that the results were a "deathblow to Obamacare" and have argued that the election should send a message to moderate Democrats. But exit polls do not support these claims, showing that in both states, the voters who cited health care as a top concern sided with the Democrat in the race.
Conservative media have suggested or claimed that President Obama is advocating for Chicago to host the 2016 Olympics in order to return political favors to Chicago Mayor Richard Daley or forward the financial interests of other "Chicago pals." For instance, Glenn Beck advanced baseless speculation that Obama adviser Valerie Jarrett "may personally benefit" from the Olympics, and Michelle Malkin wrote that Daley "cronies" in Obama's circle are "returning the favor for their hometown boss" by pushing for the Chicago Olympics.
Referring to Sen. John McCain's announcement that he was going to "suspend" his campaign, Sean Hannity and Fox News contributor Pat Caddell asserted on Hannity & Colmes that McCain is "not running ads." In fact, as Alan Colmes noted, and as Media Matters documented, McCain campaign television ads ran throughout the day following McCain's announcement.