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Alexandrea Boguhn

Author ››› Alexandrea Boguhn
  • Conservative Media Baselessly Invoke Solyndra To Smear Obama Budget

    ››› ››› ANDREW SEIFTER, DENISE ROBBINS & ALEXANDREA BOGUHN

    Conservative media revived their Solyndra scandal-mongering to attack the proposed clean energy funding in President Obama's budget. But contrary to their claims, Solyndra did not receive the clean energy tax credits included in the President's budget, and the budget doesn't increase funding for the largely successful loan guarantee program that did support Solyndra.

  • WSJ Adopts Broadband Lobbyist's Language To Describe Net Neutrality Proposal

    Blog ››› ››› ALEXANDREA BOGUHN

    net neutrality

    The Wall Street Journal adopted the language of net neutrality critics to describe the Federal Communications Commission's (FCC) net neutrality proposal, deeming the new potential rules an "intrusive regulation."

    On January 30, the FCC announced that it would "introduce and vote on new proposed net neutrality rules in February." Although the official proposal has yet to be released, according to The Huffington Post, FCC Chairman Tom Wheeler "suggested that Internet service... should be regulated like any other public utility."

    In a February 3 article discussing the FCC's plans, The Wall Street Journal wrote that the proposed net neutrality measures would "subject" companies "to more intrusive regulation" (emphasis added):

    The move would fully embrace the principle known as net neutrality, and if enacted, would bring a new definition to the economics of the Internet industry: Rather than regulating broadband firms lightly, as has been its practice so far, the FCC would treat them like telecommunications companies and subject them to more intrusive regulation, especially in areas relating to how they manage traffic on their networks.

    But The Wall Street Journal's rhetoric is borrowed directly from net neutrality critics who oppose such measures. Later in the same article, a lobbyist for the wireless industry was quoted as calling such a move an "intrusive public utility regulation" (emphasis added):

    Meredith Attwell Baker, CEO of CTIA--The Wireless Association, the Washington lobby for the wireless industry, said, "We have significant reservations with any approach that applies intrusive public utility regulation on mobile broadband for the first time, which is why Congress's consideration of net neutrality legislation is the best path forward to provide certainty to all stakeholders."

    In contrast, The New York Times described the coming proposal as a move to regulate "Internet service like a public utility," noting that it will actually take a less intrusive approach than previous plans. The article explained that Chairman Wheeler "will advocate a light-touch approach" to net neutrality, "shunning the more intrusive aspects of utility-style regulation."

  • The Scott Walker Immigration Shift ABC News Ignored

    Blog ››› ››› ALEXANDREA BOGUHN

    Walker on This Week

    ABC News left out key facts about Governor Scott Walker (R-WI)'s changing stance on immigration during their interview with the GOP presidential hopeful.

    On the February 1 edition of ABC's This Week with George Stephanopoulos, guest host Martha Raddatz prompted Walker to discuss his proposals on immigration, asking "What would you do about the 11 million undocumented who are still here?" Walker replied that "We for sure need to secure the border. I think we need to enforce the legal system. I'm not for amnesty, I'm not an advocate of the plans that have been pushed here in Washington... we need to find a way for people to have a legitimate legal immigration system in this country, and that doesn't mean amnesty."

    But this is a significant change in Walker's position on immigration. Previously, he questioned the need for greater border security, and supported a pathway to citizenship that was advocated by lawmakers in Washington.

    As The Washington Post reported, during a 2013 interview with the Wausau Daily Herald editorial board, Walker advocated for a focus on "a saner way to let people into the country" rather than a focus on border security (emphasis added):

    "It's all is about the 11 million [undocumented immigrants]," Walker said. "You hear some people talk about border security and a wall and all that. To me, I don't know that you need any of that if you had a better, saner way to let people into the country in the first place."

    Walker added: "If people want to come here and work hard in this country, I don't care if you come from Mexico or Canada or Ireland or Germany or South Africa or anywhere else. I want them here."

    In the same interview, Walker said "I think they need to fix things for people who are already here, find some way to deal with that." When asked specifically about the 11 million undocumented immigrants already in the country, and whether he could "envision a world where with the right penalties and waiting periods and meet the requirements where those people could get citizenship," Walker replied "sure ... I mean I think that makes sense."

  • Bill O'Reilly Downplays Impact Of Minimum Wage Increase For Low-Income Workers

    Blog ››› ››› ALEXANDREA BOGUHN

    O'Reilly

    Fox's Bill O'Reilly downplayed the impact of raising the minimum wage, claiming only an"infinitesimal" number of people would be impacted, and ignoring the 27.8 million Americans that would benefit from a raise in the minimum wage.

    During the January 20 State of the Union address, President Obama urged members of Congress to raise the minimum wage, saying those "who still refuse[] to raise the minimum wage, I say this: If you truly believe you could work full-time and support a family on less than $15,000 a year, go try it. If not, vote to give millions of the hardest working people in America a raise."

    On the January 21 edition of Fox News' The O'Reilly Factor, host Bill O'Reilly and network contributor Eric Shawn undermined President Obama's minimum wage initiative, and diminished the number of Americans that would be impacted by raising the minimum wage. O'Reilly asserted that only "a very low number" of people make  "minimum wage anyways," claiming that the number of people who would be impacted by the change would be "infinitesimal" and saying Obama has been "misleading everybody" by insisting a raise would have a big effect:

     

    But according to the Economic Policy Institute, raising the federal minimum wage to $10.10 per hour by 2016 would "raise the wages of 27.8 million workers, who would receive about $35 billion in additional wages over the phase-in period."

    And according to a Congressional Budget Office report, the "ripple effect" of raising the minimum wage would benefit 16.5 million workers, and would lift nearly one million people out of poverty. 

  • Fox's O'Reilly Excuses Ben Carson's Comparison Of ISIS To American Patriots

    Blog ››› ››› ALEXANDREA BOGUHN

    Carson

    On Fox, Bill O'Reilly excused likely presidential candidate and Fox favorite Dr. Ben Carson's recent controversial comparison of Islamic State militants to American patriots, and allowed Carson to double down on his comparison.

    On January 15, Ben Carson likened American patriots to Islamic State militants in a speech at the Republican National Committee's (RNC) winter meeting. Carson equated the mentality of American patriots who were willing to die for their beliefs to those who fight for the Islamic State, asserting that "They got the wrong philosophy, but they're willing to die for what they believe, while we are busily giving away every belief and every value for the sake of political correctness." Carson's remarks were subsequently met with criticism.

    On the January 16 edition of Fox News' The O'Reilly Factor host Bill O'Reilly excused Carson's controversial comparison, allowing him to double down and claimed the media had taken him "out of context." Carson insisted that he was "not saying that as a comparison between our patriots and ISIS" but that pre-revolutionary militiamen "had conviction and believed in what they were doing to the point that they were willing to die for it" much like Islamic State militants. Carson added a "warning" that like American patriots and Islamic State fighters, "we have to change" our "process of giving away all of our beliefs for the sake of political correctness." O'Reilly reassured Carson that he should not "worry about the liberal media" because "they're never going to give you a shot":

    O'REILLY: Now, what did you tell the GOP in San Diego?

    CARSON: I told them a lot of things. The funny thing... is I was talking about the pre-revolutionary days and how our bunch of rag-tag militia men defeated the most powerful empire on earth and how they were able to do that. Because they had conviction and believed in what they were doing to the point that they were willing to die for it. And I said, fast forward to today, and you have ISIS. And, you know, they have the wrong philosophy completely, totally disagree with them. But they also have strong conviction and are willing to die for what they believe and we at the same time are in the process of giving away all of our beliefs for the sake of political correctness and I'm saying that as a warning we have to change that. Not saying that as a comparison between our patriots and ISIS, which I've said at the time. I said, the liberal media will of course take that out of context.

    O'REILLY: Well, yeah, don't worry about the liberal media, they're never going to give you a shot.

    Fox News has long promoted Carson as a likely 2016 presidential candidate despite his former affiliation with the network as a paid contributor.

  • Amid Criticism, Media Mogul Rupert Murdoch Backtracks On Controversial Comments About Muslims

    Murdoch: I "Did Not Mean All Muslims Responsible For Paris Attack"

    Blog ››› ››› ALEXANDREA BOGUHN

    Following a firestorm of media criticism, News Corp. chairman Rupert Murdoch backtracked on controversial tweets he made following terrorist attacks in Paris, France that all Muslims should be held accountable for terrorism.

    In January, terrorist attacks in France killed 17 people, including an attack on the satirical weekly newspaper, Charlie Hebdo. Rupert Murdoch responded to the attack by tweeting that "Maybe most Moslems peaceful, but until they recognize and destroy their growing jihadist cancer they must be held responsible." The tweet was roundly criticized and condemned as "incredibly irresponsible."

    On January 14, Murdoch walked back his controversial comments on twitter writing that he "did not mean all Muslims responsible for Paris attack" but that the "Muslim community must debate and confront extremism":

    But Murdoch's response ignored Muslims who are speaking out against extremism. Following the Paris attacks, Muslim organizations as well as leaders of Arab states  denounced the attacks as "brutal and cowardly." And as Media Matters' Karen Finney explained, Murdoch's rhetoric "alienates rather than engages Muslims who both regularly denounce and are often the victims of Islamic terrorism."

  • Myths About Abortion Rights, Debunked

    ››› ››› ALEXANDREA BOGUHN

    The right-wing media misinformation behind the 231 restrictions on abortion passed by state legislatures in the last four years has found its way into Congressional Republicans' latest strategy to roll back abortion rights nationally. Medical experts agree that such anti-choice legislation is often based on medically inaccurate or outright false information and that these regulations harm women. Here are the facts behind the myths underpinning the GOP's war on abortion rights.