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.
The Drudge Report and the National Review's Rich Lowry falsely claimed that Sen. Barack Obama didn't vote to condemn MoveOn.org's 2007 newspaper advertisement critical of Gen. David Petraeus. In fact, Obama did vote for an amendment by Sen. Barbara Boxer that condemned the ad, as well as other attacks on past and present members of the armed forces, as the USA Today blog post to which the Drudge Report linked points out.
On Hannity & Colmes, National Review's Rich Lowry aired a clip of Sen. John McCain falsely asserting that Sen. Barack Obama said he's "going to bomb a country that is a sovereign nation," a distortion of Obama's statement about Pakistan that McCain has repeatedly made. Lowry then echoed McCain by saying that Obama "detailed his willingness to bomb suspected terrorist cells in Pakistan." In fact, Obama said: "If we have actionable intelligence about high-value terrorist targets and [Pakistani] President [Pervez] Musharraf won't act, we will."
In his latest column, Rich Lowry wrote that "[t]he effect" of a Democratic proposal to raise the federal minimum wage "basically will be to give a small boost to the wage of teenagers working summers or after school." In fact, the Economic Policy Institute found that 71 percent of those who would be "directly affected" by the Democratic minimum-wage proposal are age 20 or over.
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The National Review's Rich Lowry falsely claimed that a "late-October New York Times poll found that 55 percent of the public favors sending more troops to Iraq." In fact, according to an October 27-31 New York Times/CBS News poll, only 16 percent of respondents favored increasing the number of U.S. troops in Iraq.
Fox News anchors and commentators seized upon a Washington Post editorial falsely asserting that the revelation that former Deputy Secretary of State Richard Armitage was the original source for syndicated columnist Robert D. Novak's column exposing CIA operative Valerie Plame's identity disproved the notion of a coordinated effort within the White House to discredit former ambassador Joseph C. Wilson IV, using the occasion to repeat a host of false claims about the CIA leak case.
On Hannity & Colmes, Newt Gingrich stated that Donald Rumsfeld's likening of Iraq war critics to Nazi appeasers was "not an insulting comment." Gingrich also repeated the misleading claim that the United States "found over 700 chemical warheads and weapons in Iraq, which supposedly had none, according to our friends on the left."
On Fox News' Hannity & Colmes, guest co-host Rich Lowry asserted that Rep. John P. Murtha was "again sounding like the grim reaper when it comes to the war on terror." Lowry also asked whether Murtha has "already decided to undermine another American war effort." Former CIA operative Wayne Simmons attacked Murtha for "running a psy-op [psychological operation] against his own people and against his own military," adding that Murtha "has come out and talked poorly about the military."
In an online column, National Review editor Rich Lowry wrote that President Bush, who in 2004 pledged to cut the federal budget deficit in half by 2009, may follow through on that pledge by the end of 2006. However, many experts have said that the Bush administration routinely offers inflated deficit projections so it can then take credit for actual deficits that come in below those projections.
On Fox News' Hannity & Colmes, guest host and National Review editor Rich Lowry claimed that nationally syndicated radio host Rush Limbaugh was being "smeared" by the media "because you're seeing his picture up on the TV screen with the legend 'arrested' underneath it" after Limbaugh and Palm Beach County, Florida, state prosecutors reached an agreement on the charge that Limbaugh illegally obtained prescription drugs. Similarly, a Newsweek article asserted that the use of the word "arrested" in initial news stories was "misleading."
Following recent demonstrations in which protesters marched against proposed legislation that would criminalize undocumented workers, some in the media have criticized the demonstrators for carrying Mexican flags. But these same media figures have not complained about people waving other nations' flags, such as Irish flags at St. Patrick's Day events, Italian flags at Columbus Day events, or Israeli flags at Israel Day events.