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.
On MSNBC Live, The Hill's Susan Crabtree again stated that "Democrats have spent 500,000 -- half a million dollars" in "taxpayer money" on annual retreats "over the past five years" without noting that House Republican leadership committees have been appropriated amounts of taxpayer money for salaries and expenses that are comparable to the amount given to their House Democratic counterparts. Crabtree also did not address how the House Republican leadership committees spend their "taxpayer money."
An article in The Hill -- promoted by the Drudge Report -- reported that "The House Democratic Caucus spent more than $500,000 in taxpayer money over the past five years for its annual retreats at resorts in Pennsylvania and Virginia" but failed to note that House Republican leadership committees are appropriated amounts of "taxpayer money" for salaries and expenses that are comparable to the amount given to their House Democratic counterparts. Nor did The Hill discuss how the House Republican leadership committees spend their "taxpayer money."
The Hill's Jared Allen repeated the false claim that ACORN is, in Allen's words, a "beneficiar[y] of the stimulus package," and uncritically reported NRCC communications director Ken Spain's false suggestion that the stimulus bill includes "a $4.2 billion bailout" for ACORN. In fact, the bill does not mention ACORN or otherwise single it out for funding. Additionally, the bill requires that the $4.19 billion it allocates for "neighborhood stabilization activities" be distributed through competitive processes.
Numerous media outlets have uncritically quoted President Bush asserting, regarding the controversial measures adopted by his administration in the name of national security: "There is legitimate debate about many of these decisions. But there can be little debate about the results." But these outlets have failed to note that questions have, in fact, been raised about the importance of Bush administration policies and actions to the obstruction of terror threats.
In an article about President-elect Barack Obama's meetings with members of Congress to discuss a stimulus package, The Hill's Mike Soraghan asserted, "To the surprise of some, congressional liberals offered up little initial resistance to the sudden turn to tax cuts." But in referring to Obama's purported "sudden turn to tax cuts," Soraghan ignored Obama's promise of tax cuts during the campaign, nor did Soraghan quote or name one person expressing "surprise" that "congressional liberals" would support tax cuts as part of a stimulus plan.
Since the beginning of October, Dick Morris has repeatedly used his columns and Fox News appearances to promote and raise money for the National Republican Trust PAC without disclosing that the organization has paid $24,000 to a company apparently connected to Morris, according to FEC filings. During that time, Morris' email newsletter has frequently included ads that state: "Paid for by The National Republican Trust PAC."
The Washington Post, The Washington Times, the Associated Press, and The Hill reported Sen. John McCain's claims that Sen. Barack Obama is "offering government-run health care" and "an energy plan guaranteed to work without drilling," without noting that both claims are false. Obama has not proposed "government-run health care" and Obama's energy plan calls domestic oil and natural gas production "critical to prevent global energy prices from climbing even higher."
In an article, The Hill asserted that "[m]any GOP members have previously questioned McCain for co-sponsoring legislation with Sen. Edward Kennedy (D-Mass.) that would have put millions of illegal immigrants on a path to citizenship." However, the article did not note that McCain has said he no longer supports that legislation.
Numerous media outlets uncritically reported the assertion by Sen. John McCain's campaign that Sen. Barack Obama "voted against funds for American troops in harm's way." However, none of these outlets noted that McCain himself has voted against legislation to fund the wars in Afghanistan and Iraq, nor did they mention that Obama has voted in the past to provide funds for troops stationed in Iraq and Afghanistan.
In an online video on The Hill's website, A.B. Stoddard purported to "read the quote" from retired Gen. Wesley Clark's interview with Face the Nation host Bob Schieffer. In fact, Stoddard did not fully "read the quote," omitting major parts of the exchange, including Clark's praise of Sen. John McCain and Schieffer's comments.
The Hill and Bloomberg News uncritically reported Sen. John McCain's false suggestion in a June 10 speech that Sen. Barack Obama plans to raise taxes on 21.6 million small businesses that file taxes under the individual income tax. However, Obama has proposed rolling back the Bush tax cuts only on "people who are making 250,000 dollars a year or more," and according to the nonpartisan Tax Policy Center, only 481,000 small businesses fall into the tax brackets that would be affected by those increases.
The Hill asserted that Sen. John McCain "did not buckle under pressure to abandon" his prior position on comprehensive immigration reform during the Republican presidential primary. But as The Hill itself previously reported, McCain "adopted a harder stance on the campaign trail as his primary opponents painted him as soft on" immigration. Indeed, McCain now says he no longer supports the immigration bill he co-sponsored.
The Hill's Alexander Bolton cropped a statement from Sen. Barack Obama that Bolton said "[s]ome Jewish voters interpreted ... as a sign that Obama would be overly sympathetic to the Palestinian side in future peace negotiations with Israel." Bolton also did not note what Obama subsequently said about his comments.
During The Hill's online video segment "Ask A.B.," A.B. Stoddard asserted: "[Sen.] Barack Obama has pretty much conceded that he doesn't think that he's going to win Ohio and Florida, two states that are necessary to becoming president of the United States -- usually." Stoddard offered no evidence to support this claim. In fact, the South Florida Sun-Sentinel recently quoted Rep. Robert Wexler, co-chairman of Obama's Florida campaign, as saying Obama "is confident he will win Florida," and a recent SurveyUSA poll shows Obama leading Sen. John McCain by nine percentage points in Ohio.