MRC seeks $2 million
In a video filled with testaments to the organization, MRC states that it is seeking to raise $2 million in its “demand the media tell the truth” campaign:
But Bozell's claims about what the media is doing are all falsehoods.
Bozell distorts ABC quote on tea party
At the beginning of the video, Bozell says “stop lying,” and the video immediately cuts to a reporter saying that “it paints a picture of an opposition driven, in part, by a refusal to accept a black president” while clips of a tea party rally play on screen. In fact, the reporter in question -- ABC's Dan Harris -- did not say this in his own voice, but actually said that "some prominent Obama supporters are now saying that it paints a picture of an opposition driven, in part, by a refusal to accept a black President" [emphasis added].
You can read the transcript for yourself courtesy of the MRC blog Newsbusters.
Not only that, but Harris was reporting a fact and aired people saying that some of the opposition to Obama was based on racism. Harris also aired conservative activist Roger Clegg saying that "[i]t's a classic case of calling wolf."
In addition, let's look at the facts. Is there bigotry in the tea party movement? Well the National Tea Party Federation suspended Tea Party Express spokeeperson Mark Williams after he wrote a fictional letter about “We Coloreds” in opposition to the NAACP. The letter came in response to an NAACP resolution repudiating “racist elements” within the Tea Party movement. In the letter, “Jealous” writes to Lincoln:
We Colored People have taken a vote and decided that we don't cotton to that whole emancipation thing. Freedom means having to work for real, think for ourselves, and take consequences along with the rewards. That is just far too much to ask of us Colored People and we demand that it stop!
And the ridiculous idea of “reduce[ing] the size and intrusiveness of government.” What kind of massa would ever not want to control my life? As Coloreds we must have somebody care for us otherwise we would be on our own, have to think for ourselves and make decisions!
Mr. Lincoln, you were the greatest racist ever. We had a great gig. Three squares, room and board, all our decisions made by the massa in the house. Please repeal the 13th and 14th Amendments and let us get back to where we belong.
Williams' letter was only the latest in a long line of racially incendiary comments by Williams.
Furthermore, look at some of the racially-charged signs that have appeared at tea party rallies. Glenn Beck himself has seemingly acknowledged that tea partiers sometimes express themselves with racist signs, which is why he instituted a no-signs policy for his 8/28 rally.
Bozell falsehood: The health care reform bill does not reduce the deficit
Next in the video, Bozell says: “Stop telling the American people that this is an administration that's cutting the deficit.” The video then shows a clip of ABC's George Stephanopoulos saying: “In fact, it reduces the deficit over the first ten years, even more over the second.”
Stephanopoulos was talking about Senator Max Baucus' (D-MT) version of the health care reform bill. He said on September 16, 2009:
STEPHANOPOULOS: Take a step back, though. This bill, as Jonathan Karl suggested, meets the President's main principles. It covers just about all Americans, 94%, without increasing the deficit. In fact, it reduces the deficit over the first ten years, even more over the second ten years. But bottom line, right now, on the politics, the majority of Democrats were left out of these negotiations. This bill does not have the votes to get out of the Senate Finance Committee or the floor of the Senate.
And guess what? According to a preliminary analysis that the non-partisan Congressional Budget Office released the day of Stephanopolous' report, Baucus' bill would reduce the deficit by $49 billion in the first ten years and by around “one-half percent of GDP” in the second ten years. (CBO later estimated that the final health care reform bill that was enacted by Congress also reduces the deficit.)
Fox News' Carl Cameron reported on the same day that "[t]he non-partisan Congressional Budget Office's preliminary report says it would extend coverage to 94 percent of non-elderly Americans and would actually reduce the deficit $49 billion over the next ten years" (accessed via Nexis). But there's clearly a liberal media conspiracy here.
Bozell falsehood: The Obama administration has not cut taxes
In the video, Bozell next says: “Stop telling the American people that this is an administration that is cutting taxes.” The video then airs a clip of a reporter saying “there are tax cuts and credits that will benefit 95 percent of families.”
The clip comes from the February 17, 2009, edition of NBC's Today show, where reporter Trish Regan discussed the provisions of the Recovery Act, which Obama was signing into law that day. Regan said (via Nexis):
REGAN: It is a lot of money, $787 billion. So the billion-dollar question here is, how will the stimulus affect average Americans? Well, first of all, there are tax cuts and credits that will benefit 95 percent of families. Beginning this June, millions of workers will actually see an extra $13 in their paychecks every week. This is the $400 tax credit that will be distributed on a weekly basis. Now, the package also includes a variety of tax incentives that will help you if you're sending your child to college, buying a new car or a first home, or making your own home more energy efficient. There are also some important benefits here for people who have recently been laid off. Unemployment benefits will be extended, health care benefits increased and there is money to retrain workers for new jobs.
The president hopes that the stimulus will create more than three million jobs over the next two years but, you know, Meredith, a lot of economists I'm talking to say it could take longer than that. In other words, this is not necessarily the silver bullet, but hopefully we will see some jobs created.
And, as you may suspect, Obama has cut taxes. In fact, the $787 billion American Recovery and Reinvestment Act has so far resulted in $233 billion in tax relief, including the Making Work Pay tax credit, an annual credit of $400 per individual or $800 for families. In addition, the recovery act included a temporary increase in the earned income tax credit, a temporary increase in the refundable portion of the child tax credit, an increase in the first-time homebuyer tax credit, and tax incentives for businesses. Obama has also sought additional tax cuts in Fiscal Year 2011. Obama's FY 2011 budget proposal includes a call to "[e]xtend [the] making work pay tax credit in 2011."
Despite the massive package of tax cuts included in the Recovery Act - which boosted the paychecks of nearly all working Americans - CBS News reports that
one third of Americans believe the Obama administration has raised taxes. Fifty percent think taxes have stayed the same, but only 8 percent think taxes have gone down. In fact, most Americans received a tax break in 2009.
Bozell falsehood: The stimulus did not help people
In the video, Bozell goes on to say: “Stop telling people that these are new programs that are going to be helpful to them.” The video then airs a clip of Katie Couric saying: “Congress is expected to approve the economic stimulus plan by tomorrow. It is designed in part to get you spending again by giving you the money to do it.” Finally, Bozell concludes the video by saying: “Start telling the truth.”
The Couric clip comes from the February 12 edition of the CBS Evening News. Again, Newsbusters has provided transcript of this segment. Couric introduces a report by Nancy Cordes, which notes the tax cuts that were included in the recovery act and quotes Roberton Williams from the Tax Policy Center stating of tax cuts targeted at low income workers: “The poor spend almost any additional money they have coming in. They have lots and lots of needs relative to their incomes. They need every dollar they can have, and a new dollar in the door goes out pretty quickly.”
Not only is it true that, as we've discussed, the recovery act contained tax cuts, but it has turned out that the law has been “helpful” to people.
A report released in August by CBO estimated that the stimulus lowered the unemployment rate by between 0.7 and 1.8 percentage points. CBO estimated that the stimulus increased the number of employed people by between 1.4 and 3.3 million.
Furthermore, in its fourth quarterly report, the Council of Economic Advisers included figures from private estimates that also credited the recovery act with significantly raising employment over what would have occurred without the stimulus package. The estimates, from IHS/Global Insight, Macroeconomic Advisers, and Mark Zandi, range from 1.8 to 2.2 million jobs, as of the second quarter of 2010.