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.
Brit Hume asserted on Your World that "the New Deal -- everybody agrees, I think, on both sides of the spectrum now, that the New Deal failed. The debate is over why it failed," later stating, "President [Franklin] Roosevelt waged what could only be called a jihad against private enterprise." In fact "everybody" doesn't "agree" that the New Deal failed; Nobel laureate Paul Krugman, among others, has said that Roosevelt did not go far enough to end the crisis and that his attempts to balance the budget hindered recovery.
Numerous media figures have cited Japanese fiscal policy during the "lost decade" of the 1990s to criticize President-elect Barack Obama's plan to undertake a large-scale stimulus program. These media figures ignore evidence that, according to prominent economists, economic conditions were improving in Japan before the Japanese government temporarily abandoned stimulus spending in an attempt to reduce the deficit.
On September 18, Fox News' Neil Cavuto conflated giving home mortgages to minorities with risky lending practices, suggesting that there should have been "a clarion call that said, 'Fannie and Freddie are a disaster. Loaning to minorities and risky folks is a disaster.' "
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On Your World, Neil Cavuto did not challenge Rep. Michelle Bachmann's false claim that "[w]e didn't have any spillage whatsoever from the oil rigs during Katrina." In fact, a report prepared for the federal government by an international consulting firm identified damage from Hurricane Katrina to 27 platforms and rigs that resulted in the spilling of approximately 2,843 barrels of petroleum products into the Gulf of Mexico.
Since Sen. John McCain named Alaska Gov. Sarah Palin as his running mate, media outlets including the Associated Press, MSNBC, CNN, Fox News, the Detroit Free-Press, and the washingtonpost.com blog The Fix have taken the "maverick" label the media have frequently and uncritically applied to McCain and affixed it to Palin as well.
Fox News' Neil Cavuto interviewed "anti-feminist attorney" Roy Den Hollander, who discussed his lawsuit against Columbia University for offering a women's studies program "but not a men's studies program." Den Hollander said: "[C]ut out the feminazi, feminist women's studies programs and bring back varsity sports, and you're going to do a lot better for the university." Den Hollander later said that women "are a suspect class. Every time they open their mouths, I begin to suspect something."
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Echoing The Washington Post's Dana Milbank, Fox News' Neil Cavuto repeated as fact a disputed version of a comment Sen. Barack Obama reportedly made in a closed-door meeting with congressional Democrats, citing it as purported evidence that Obama's "messianic thing is getting a little over the top."
On Fox News, David Asman falsely claimed of Sen. Barack Obama's reported plans for a White House transition months before the November election: "It's never been done before." Similarly, on MSNBC Live, U.S. News & World Report's Kenneth Walsh asserted that Obama is preparing for taking office "very early, and it plays into this notion that the Republicans are talking about, about Obama being too arrogant, that he has sort of a sense of inevitability that has set in there." However, a Media Matters review confirms that Presidents George W. Bush, Bill Clinton, Ronald Reagan, and Jimmy Carter all planned for a White House transition months before the election.
Fox News' Stuart Varney misrepresented the cost of the Housing and Economic Recovery Act of 2008, falsely asserting that the "House, right now, [is] voting on that $300 billion housing bailout bill." During the segment, on-air captions read "$300B Bailout Bill," and "House Voting On $300B Housing Bailout Bill." In fact, the Congressional Budget Office estimated that the bill "would increase budget deficits (or reduce future surpluses) by about $24.9 billion over the 2008-2018 period."
Fox Business Network's Eric Bolling asserted that, according to offshore oil "drillers" with whom he had spoken, "China was probably drilling offshore, very close to our shore through Cuba, and taking some of that oil that -- that honestly could -- could and should be helping our situation." His assertion that China was drilling "very close to our shore" echoed a claim made by Vice President Dick Cheney -- citing columnist George Will -- that both Cheney and Will have since corrected.
On Your World, Dick Morris claimed that Antoin Rezko sold Sen. Barack Obama a strip of land "for an amount that was substantially below its apparent market value." However, according to documents posted on the Obama campaign website, Obama paid $104,166 for the piece of property -- well above its appraised value of $40,500.
On The O'Reilly Factor, Marc Rudov said men should boycott the Sex and the City movie and would not see it because "paying to hear women whine is as stupid as paying for cobwebs, because you can get them both at home for free." When Bill O'Reilly asked Margaret Hoover whether she believed "that most American women are as shallow as" the four main characters in the movie, Rudov interrupted: "I do."
Fox News' Neil Cavuto left unchallenged a false claim by Vets For Freedom chairman Pete Hegseth that Sen. Barack Obama has "never met with General Petraeus." In fact, as recently as April 8, Obama questioned Petraeus and U.S. Ambassador to Iraq Ryan Crocker at a Senate Committee on Foreign Relations hearing on Iraq.