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.
In numerous instances, the media have falsely stated or suggested that a CBO analysis of less than half of the economic recovery bill examined the entire bill, resulting in the false suggestion that the analysis, in the words of the Politico, "shows very little money will be spent in the first six or so months after enactment" of the recovery plan. But as the AP noted, the CBO analysis did not "cover tax cuts or efforts by Democrats to provide relief to cash-strapped state governments to help with their Medicaid bills." Six days later, some outlets were still making the false suggestion.
The Washington Times' Tara Wall said regarding the selection of Rev. Rick Warren to deliver the inaugural invocation: "The fact is most Americans, most Californians, oppose gay rights. This is reflective of the nation." Wolf Blitzer interjected: "Not gay rights, but same-sex marriage." Wall responded: "Excuse me, same-sex marriage. This is reflective of the nation as a whole." But simply characterizing Warren's position on same-sex marriage as mirroring that of most Americans, Wall and Blitzer ignored Warren's degrading comments about same-sex marriage and his mischaracterization of Proposition 8.
CNN announced in a press release: "Brody, Castellanos, Milbank, Rosen, Wall Span Spectrum of U.S. Politics for CNN Analysis, Commentary ... CNN has added five more top political reporters and commentators to its deep bench of political contributors and analysts." CNN's new "top political reporters and commentators" that "[s]pan" the "[s]pectrum" include reported McCain adviser Alex Castellanos, former RNC official Tara Walls, Christian Broadcasting Network's David Brody -- who once described a male blogger as Fred Thompson's "angry girlfriend" -- and Washington Post columnist Dana Milbank.