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Matt McLaughlin

Author ››› Matt McLaughlin
  • Right-wing media use Clinton's heart procedure to stoke fears about health care reform


    Following former President Bill Clinton's hospitalization to undergo a procedure on his heart, several conservative media figures used the incident to attack Democratic health care reform efforts. For example, Rush Limbaugh said he was "thankful we don't yet have Obamacare," or "the death panel" might not have approved Clinton's surgery.

  • Hannity falsely claims that "global temperatures continue to plummet"


    Continuing his attacks on the scientific consensus about global warming, Sean Hannity falsely claimed that "global temperatures continue to plummet year after year." In fact, several scientific organizations have concluded that 2009 was one of the warmest years on record and that the decade of 2000-2009 was the warmest on record.

  • More GOP promotion: Fox News lets Hayworth plug his website


    On Fox News' Your World, guest host Stuart Varney let former Rep. J.D. Hayworth (R-AZ) promote his candidacy for Arizona's U.S. Senate seat and encourage viewers to visit his campaign website. Fox News has promoted the political campaigns of other GOP candidates this year -- including helping them raise funds and solicit volunteers.

  • Right-wing media continue barrage of religious attacks against Obama


    On Fox News' Hannity, host Sean Hannity again attacked President Obama over his relationship with Rev. Jeremiah Wright, and guests Richard Miniter and Noelle Nikpour attacked Obama over devotional messages he receives, while earlier this week, right-wing blogs attacked Obama over his church attendance. These attacks follow repeated religion-based smears of Obama both during the 2008 presidential campaign and after he took office.

  • Wash. Times' Gaffney falsely claims Americans "overwhelmingly oppose" gays serving in military


    In a Washington Times column, Frank Gaffney falsely asserted that Americans "overwhelmingly ... oppose conferring on homosexuals, lesbians, bisexuals, transgender individuals and hermaphrodites a nonexistent 'right' to serve openly in the military." In fact, numerous polls show "overwhelmingly" high support for allowing gays to serve openly in the military.

  • Conservative media link bin Laden's remarks about climate change to progressives, Democrats


    Numerous conservative media figures responded to Osama bin Laden's reported comments blaming the United States and other industrialized nations for global warming by linking bin Laden with progressives and Democrats. Fox example, Rush Limbaugh likened bin Laden's remarks to "those of the average, run-of-the-mill leftist, like Obama or Harry Reid or Nancy Pelosi or the entire Democrat Party," and Glenn Beck stated that bin Laden was "running to [progressives'] defense."

  • Quick Fact: Hannity falsely claims Obama "created" the "massive deficit" and that "stimulus is a failure"


    On his radio show, Sean Hannity claimed that President Obama "seems to be concerned about a massive deficit," which Hannity said Obama "created," and asserted that the economic "stimulus is a failure." In fact, the 2009 increases in spending and the deficit include the impact of policies enacted under former President Bush, and economists have estimated that the stimulus "raised employment" by as many as 2 million jobs through December 2009.

  • Limbaugh recycles! (His attacks on Obama)

    Blog ››› ››› MATT MCLAUGHLIN

    Rush Limbaugh has previously slammed "crazy environmentalist wackos," but he seemed to embrace the practice of recycling on his radio show today. Rush attacked President Obama throughout the show, deriding last night's State of the Union address, and if Limbaugh's smears seemed familiar to regular listeners, they were -- he got plenty of extra mileage out of smears he's already used plenty of times before.

    Limbaugh started his show by comparing Obama's "pathetic" State of the Union address to "a speech by Hugo Chavez or Fidel Castro." Only two weeks ago, Limbaugh told his listeners, "I think Obama has the same speechwriter as Hugo Chavez." Rush equated the president with Chavez last November, too. When Obama gave a speech on national security in May 2009, Limbaugh asserted that "we got Castro'd." Then in September, while pushing the tired "death panel" falsehood about health care reform, Limbaugh again compared Obama to Castro.

    Limbaugh again invoked Chavez and Castro a little later in today's show while attacking Obama as a "delirious" and "petty, little man" and likening the president to a "little kid" who "becomes king due to a premature death." (Don't worry -- Rush assured his listeners that he doesn't like to say these things about the president of the United States.) A week ago, Limbaugh described the president as a "spoiled-rotten little man-child" and suggested he is "delusional." Limbaugh made a habit of referring to Obama as a "boy" and a "man-child" throughout 2009, in addition to calling him a "a small and petty, spoiled little man."

    In the second hour of today's show, Limbaugh stated that Obama's promise to uphold laws requiring equal pay for women was actually an effort to pit "groups of Americans against each other" and to expand Obama's "enemies list," which Limbaugh said is "longer than any enemies list I have ever seen." That echo listeners heard was from August, when Rush joined a slew of other media conservatives in asserting that "the White House is gathering an enemies list." Limbaugh and other conservative media figures had similarly accused the White House of compiling an "enemies list" after a March 2009 report that "[t]op Democrats" were "depicting Rush Limbaugh as the new face of the Republican Party."

    One thing that stands out to me is that the circumstances under which Limbaugh was discussing Obama were very different in many of these cases: national security, health care reform, women's rights. But Rush came back to the same attacks time after time. It makes me wonder if Limbaugh would make the same attacks regardless of what Obama says or does.

  • O'Keefe made numerous appearances on Fox News programs to promote ACORN videos and defend his tactics


    Following conservative activist James O'Keefe's arrest for allegedly participating in an attempt to interfere with the telephone system at the New Orleans offices of Democratic Sen. Mary Landrieu, a Media Matters for America review found that O'Keefe previously appeared at least seven times on Fox News and other Fox networks to promote videos he recorded of ACORN workers. During these appearances, O'Keefe said he was "willing to serve prison time" for potentially violating Maryland's two-party recording law, and asserted that he was "doing creative investigative journalism."