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Karen Famighetti

Author ››› Karen Famighetti
  • Wash. Post Inexplicably Gives Credence To Discredited Abortion-Breast Cancer Link

    Blog ››› ››› KAREN FAMIGHETTI

    A post appeared on The Washington Post's health blog The Checkup today titled "Should Komen have been funding Planned Parenthood in the first place?" The post discusses the decision of the breast-cancer charity Susan G. Komen for the Cure to no longer partner with Planned Parenthood affiliates to provide breast exams.

    The post, written by health columnist Jennifer LaRue Huget, asks whether Komen should have been funding Planned Parenthood because an organization called The Coalition on Abortion/Breast Cancer claims that abortion increases the risk of breast cancer. This organization is run by Karen Malec, who apparently has no medical background and presents herself primarily as a journalist, according to her biography.

    It's unclear why Huget is treating the Coalition on Abortion/Breast Cancer seriously. Huget admits that research on the link between abortion and breast cancer risk is "spotty" but nonetheless links to a study from November 2011 that suggests that there may be an increase in breast cancer risk among women who have had an abortion.

    Malec promoted this study shortly after it was published last year, and The Daily Caller wrote an article advancing her claims. At the time, Media Matters spoke about the study with the former chief of the Abortion Surveillance Branch at the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, who called the study's methodology "one of the worst" he's seen and said it was "grossly inadequate":

  • Wash. Post's Parker Wildly Distorts Charitable Giving Of Obama, Romney

    Blog ››› ››› KAREN FAMIGHETTI

    On this morning's edition of The Chris Matthews Show, panelist Kathleen Parker claimed that Mitt Romney has "give[n] away "42 percent of his income, compared to Obama, who gave away 1 percent to charity."

    PARKER: Fairness, if you can frame the debate around fairness, you win. And all polling will tell you that. But the conversation that needs to take place is what is fairness? Let's define that. Is it fair to say, oh Mitt Romney gives away more money than most people earn? He didn't have to give away 42 percent of his income, compared to Obama, who gave away 1 percent to charity. I mean, let's really talk about what fairness is.

    Parker is clearly suggesting that Romney gave 42 percent of his income to charity. But that 42 percent figure comes from her Washington Post colleague Jennifer Rubin, and represents the amount the Romneys estimate they will pay in 2011 in charity and federal, state, and local taxes. Obviously, Mitt Romney did have to "give away" the money he paid in taxes, unless he wanted to violate the law. In 2011, the Romneys estimate they gave 19.2 percent of adjusted gross income to charity.

    In comparing the 42 percent figure to "Obama, who gave away 1 percent to charity," Parker is linking the percentage of their income the Romneys paid in taxes and charitable contributions in 2011 to the percentage the Obamas gave to charity from 2000-2004 - a true apples-to-oranges evaluation. (In 2010 -- the most recent year for which the Obamas have released their tax returns -- the Obamas donated 14.2 percent of their income before tax deductions and exemptions to charity.)

    In fact, the Obamas spent a larger percentage of their income on taxes and charity in 2010 than the Romneys did in either 2010 or in 2011.

  • O'Reilly Adopts Mitt Romney's "Entitlement Society" Language To Defend Him From MoveOn Ad

    Blog ››› ››› KAREN FAMIGHETTI

    Bill O'Reilly opened his Fox News show tonight by talking about a purported increase in "political viciousness." During the segment, he played a ad criticizing Mitt Romney's record on jobs.


    O'Reilly also stated that "the campaign is really all about an entitlement society versus a self-reliant one, and the struggle will be intense." That "entitlement society" language comes straight from the mouth of one Mitt Romney.

    From a December 20 Washington Post article headlined "Romney sees choice between 'entitlement society' and 'opportunity society' ":

    BEDFORD, N.H. -- Mitt Romney framed the 2012 presidential election in a speech here Tuesday night as a choice between an "entitlement society" dependent on government welfare and an "opportunity society" that enables businesses to flourish.

    After playing's anti-Romney ad, O'Reilly opined, "Now, that propaganda will most likely not change many hearts and minds, but it gives you an idea of what's to come."

    Interesting choice of words.

  • Who Needs Facts To Attack Planned Parenthood? Not The O'Reilly Factor


    Bill O'Reilly and Fox News contributor Laura Ingraham falsely claimed that abortion is the "core business" of Planned Parenthood, when, in fact, abortion services made up 3 percent of the organization's medical activities in 2010. Ingraham also claimed that Planned Parenthood spends $56 million per year on "lobbying"; it actually spent $56 million in 2010 on "public policy," which includes a variety of activities.

  • 2011: The Year Of The Right-Wing Media's War On The American Worker


    This was a banner year in the right-wing media's campaign to belittle working Americans. In the early part of the year, media conservatives promoted anti-union laws in Wisconsin and Ohio, transitioned to attacking the National Labor Relations Board, and spent the entirety of the year demonizing union workers, low-income Americans, and the unemployed.

  • Fuzzy Numbers: Fox's Bolling Claims Obama Has Cut Border Spending "In Half"


    On his Fox Business show, Eric Bolling claimed that "President Obama has cut spending on the border in half." In reality, the Customs and Border Patrol budget has increased under Obama, the number of Border Patrol personnel has increased, and spending on immigration enforcement is greater under his administration than under the Bush administration.

  • Memo To Limbaugh: Fox News Figures Do Jump From Fox To Politics

    Blog ››› ››› KAREN FAMIGHETTI

    On his radio show, Rush Limbaugh made the argument that many Democrats move from roles in media to roles in politics, and that this route is not an option for conservatives. Conservatives, Rush argued, go to Fox after they are done with their political careers and seldom go back into politics.

    LIMBAUGH: I have no doubt that that's what Chelsea Clinton to NBC is all about: learn about television for a later professional career. Now, this is an avenue not open to conservatives. It is an avenue not available to us. At least, not with any of the big three networks. I guess you could say we go to the media after we bomb out in politics, and we go to Fox. But that's after we bomb out. After we lose our elections, that's where we get hired by Roger Ailes, and so forth and so on. But seldom do we go from Fox back to politics. I could be wrong about this. I'm trying to think off the top of my head if that happens, but we do know that Chelsea Clinton is going to go from NBC to politics. There's no question about it whatsoever in my mind.

    Limbaugh is correct that some Fox commentators are former politicians who have lost elections or left politics -- Sarah Palin and Mike Huckabee are prime examples. However, if he is having difficulty calling to mind Fox figures who have made the leap back to politics, he need look no further than the current Republican race for president. Two candidates, Rick Santorum and Newt Gingrich, were formerly on the Fox News payroll. Another example is Tony Snow; the former George W. Bush staffer and original host of Fox News Sunday left his Fox News Radio show to return to the White House as press secretary.

  • Limbaugh Falsely Suggests That No Cain Accusers Have Made Specific Allegations

    Blog ››› ››› KAREN FAMIGHETTI

    On his radio show today, Rush Limbaugh stated that "nobody can tell us" what Herman Cain did when he allegedly sexually harassed women during his time at the National Restaurant Association.

    LIMBAUGH: I don't know what I've missed. Has anybody called any of these women with Cain a hooker? Zero that you know of, too? I've not heard that. Has anybody called any of them a gold digger? Now, somebody might have employed [sic] that the woman that uses makeup by the tub, what is her name? It's Bialek. I've heard some people say, you know, bankrupt twice and so forth, but I've not heard anybody say they're gold diggers. What I've heard is that they're all righteous and they're indignant and they think the world needs to know what the man did. But nobody can tell us what he did.

    Either Limbaugh is being deliberately inaccurate here, or he is doing a dismal job of following the story in the news. Sharon Bialek, the accuser he mentioned, was very specific in her allegation against Cain. She laid out these details at a highly publicized press conference, as The New York Times reported:

    Speaking before a phalanx of journalists in Manhattan, the woman, Sharon Bialek, said she asked Mr. Cain for employment help in 1997 after being fired from the association's education foundation.

    After taking her out for a night on the town in Washington, she said, he suggested she engage with him sexually in return for his assistance -- seizing her inappropriately when they were alone in a car and running his hand up her skirt.

    "Mr. Cain said, 'You want a job, right?' " she said.


    Ms. Bialek said Mr. Cain first surprised her by upgrading her room at the Capital Hilton to a grandiose suite, and letting her know that he had done so after meeting her there for drinks in a lobby bar. She said he then took her to dinner at an Italian restaurant, after which he offered to drive her home, making his approach in the parked car.

    As she described it, Mr. Cain ran his hand up her skirt, "reached for my genitals" and pulled her head toward his crotch. "I said, 'What are you doing? You know I have a boyfriend; this isn't what I came here for,' " Ms. Bialek said, her voice cracking. "Mr. Cain said, 'You want a job, right?' "

    She said when she asked him to take her home he did so, "right away."

    At this time, the accusations against Cain are still just that and have not been proven. However, to suggest that none of the accusers have made specific allegations is just plain false, and seems to be part of Limbaugh's campaign to delegitimize and demean the Cain accusers and women in general in any way he can think of.