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  • Right-Wing Media Cheerlead For Yet Another Fishing Expedition Into Kagan's Record

    Blog ››› ››› ADAM SHAH

    Hope springs eternal. Despite more than a year of fruitless digging, the right-wing media can't let go of their hope that Supreme Court Justice Elena Kagan will be disqualified from hearing cases about the constitutionality of the Affordable Care Act.

    Recently, conservative media have been hyping letters from House Judiciary Committee Chairman Lamar Smith (R-TX) as well as 49 other congressional Republicans seeking documents to determine if Kagan was involved with health care litigation during her time as solicitor general (the position she held immediately before being appointed to the Supreme Court).

    Conservative media don't bother hiding the reasons for hoping that Kagan must be recused. As Judicial Watch head Tom Fitton wrote on, "The U.S. Supreme Court will ultimately settle the issue regarding whether or not Obama's socialist healthcare overhaul will be the law of the land. Everyone knows it. And if Elena Kagan is forced to recuse herself from hearing the case that will be one fewer dependably liberal vote on the Supreme Court for Obamacare."

    In addition to Fitton's post on,'s Ed Morrissey breathlessly hyped the 49 House members' letter, asking, "Did Elena Kagan mislead the Senate Judiciary Committee during her confirmation hearing when answering questions about her level of involvement in ObamaCare?" The Washington Times also hyped the same letter, as did Newsmax. And National Review Online blogger Carrie Severino and Glenn Beck's website hyped both the 49 House members' letter and Smith's letter.

    But CNS News may take the cake for the most overwrought reaction. CNS reported that Smith had begun an "investigation" into whether Kagan had been involved in health care litigation as solicitor general. It subsequently had to append an "editor's note" to the article explaining that the House Judiciary Committee "requested a correction of the story" because Smith had not launched a "formal investigation" but had merely made a "request for addition information."

    CNS's overreaction to Smith's letter to the Justice Department epitomizes the right-wing's campaign to have Kagan recuse herself from health care litigation. The right-wing media keeps demanding further inquiry into the issue of whether Kagan should recuse herself. The additional information shows that there is no reason for Kagan to recuse herself. But the right-wing media claims that all it needs is a little more information, and it will become clear that Kagan did recuse herself.

    Below the fold is a brief recap of the right-wing media's recusal campaign so far.

  • Right-Wing Media's Relentless False Attack: Obama Does Not Support Israel


    Right-wing media have claimed that President Obama attacked Israel in his recent restatement of U.S. policy that a peace agreement between Israel and Palestine should be based on the 1967 borders with agreed upon swaps. These criticisms follow a long series of falsehoods, distortions, and smears advanced by the right-wing media to claim that Obama and his administration are anti-Israel or even anti-Semitic.

  • Right-Wing Media Attacks Obama For The Location Near The Location Of His Speech

    Blog ››› ››› SHAUNA THEEL

    Media conservatives attempted to discredit President Obama's speech on immigration before it even happened, launching a nonsensical attack on the location of Obama's speech -- El Paso, Texas -- to push the myth of immigrant violence. In fact, the location underscores how preposterous that myth is.

    Criticizing Obama for holding the speech in El Paso, CNSNews wrote:

    El Paso is across the border from Juarez, Mexico, a city where 3,111 civilians were murdered last year--more than in all of Afghanistan.


    El Paso is one of nine Border Patrol sectors along the almost 2,000-mile-long U.S.-Mexico border, running from the Gulf Coast to the Pacific Ocean. Located directly across from the Mexican city of Juarez, it has been among the more dangerous border areas in recent years.

    Fox Nation trumpeted the CNS piece, calling El Paso the "wrong town" for an immigration speech:

    But what about the crime rate in El Paso, where the speech was actually held? It turns out that El Paso is one of the safest large cities in the nation. In fact, CQ Press rated El Paso the city with the lowest crime rate in the United States with a population of over 500,000 residents in 2010.

    Indeed, El Paso actually illustrates the success of federal agents and local law enforcement in keeping violence from spilling over to the United States.

  • CNSNews' Jeffrey: "It is time to drive public schools out of business"

    Blog ››› ››› JAMISON FOSER

    Terry Jeffrey, editor-in-chief of Media Research Center subsidiary CNSNews, takes the right's war on public school teachers a few steps further:

    What Wisconsin ought to be debating is whether these public school teachers should keep their jobs at all.

    Then every state ought to follow Wisconsin in the same debate.

    It is time to drive public schools out of business by driving them into an open marketplace where they must directly compete with schools not run by the government or staffed by members of parasitic public employees' unions.

    In addition to being less expensive and better than public schools at teaching math and reading, Catholic schools -- like any private schools -- can also teach students that there is a God, that the Ten Commandments are true and must be followed, that the Founding Fathers believed in both and that, ultimately, American freedom depends on fidelity to our Judeo-Christian heritage even more than it depends on proficiency in reading and math.

    That's what at least some conservatives want to get out of their attacks on unions: The complete elimination of public schools. And Jeffrey is adamant that private schools not be regulated by states in any way: "the state shall not regulate the private schools, period." That means no oversight to make sure private schools are successfully educating children. Or to make sure they're providing safe conditions and sanitary facilities. Nothing. What could possibly go wrong?

  • CNS, Jim Hoft prove once again why they're bloggers, not economists

    Blog ››› ››› DAVID SHERE

    I'm often astonished at what passes for economic analysis on the right. Media Matters has extensively documented hypocrisy, inaccurate reading of history, confusion about basic terms, misreading of government reports, misleading gimmickry, and downright incompetence on the part of right-wing media outlets. Recently, a new meme has appeared on the right, the claim that President Obama has added $3 trillion dollars of debt during his tenure -- more debt in 21 months in office, according to conservatives, than the United States accumulated in its first 214 years of independence. It would be a dramatic and powerful statement about the recklessness of this administration -- if it weren't ludicrous and hopelessly misleading.

    The claims:

    On October 18 Terence P. Jeffrey of reported that "[i]t's official: The Obama administration has now borrowed $3 trillion...." From CNS News:

    It took from 1776, when the United States became an independent country, until 1990, the year after the Berlin Wall fell signaling victory in the Cold War, for the federal government to accumulate a total of $3 trillion in debt, according to the Treasury Department. It only took from Jan. 20, 2009, the day President Barack Obama was inaugurated, until Oct. 15, 2010, for the Obama administration to add $3 trillion to the federal debt.

    Gateway Pundit's Jim Hoft picked up the story, noting "That didn't take long. The Obama administration has now borrowed $3 trillion, according to the U.S. Treasury Department. But look what we have for it... 9.6% unemployment and a record national deficit." Similarly, Doug Powers, of, chimed in, under the headline "Miracle Worker: Obama Matches 214 Years Worth of US Debt in Less Than 24 Months" by writing "President Obama, assisted by his willing accomplices in Congress who have helped swipe the national credit card like giddy teenage girls at the mall with daddy's Visa, have made history."

    The reality:

    These bloggers' claims that the total outstanding debt of the U.S. government has increased by slightly more than $3 trillion dollars since Obama's inauguration are completely accurate. The accuracy though, ends there.

  • Friday Fun: CNS News "reporter" schooled by Gibbs at White House briefing

    Blog ››› ››› KARL FRISCH

    And now, some Friday fun.

    For those that don't know, CNS News is a "news" service offered by "parent organization" Media Research Center. They employ a hack team of "reporters" doing their best to advance right-wing misinformation at press events all over Washington. It really is quite fun to read -- if only for its ridiculousness.

    So, it was equally fun to see White House press secretary Robert Gibbs absolutely destroy CNS News "reporter" Fred Lucas at a press briefing this week. Writing about the exchange, Mediaite's Frances Martel concluded from the back-and-forth:

    The lesson? Robert Gibbs won't entertain baseless questions from reporters who haven't done their homework. And when he does, he makes enough of an example out of them to keep the rest of the Press Corps on their toes.

    Martel gave the following overview but the video is a must see:

    CNS News' Fred Lucas was curious to hear White House Press Secretary Robert Gibbs' take on comments by newly-appointed health care chief Donald Berwick about "redistribution." After slamming Lucas for playing political games and talking about public comments as if they came from a "secret comment book" that he had mysteriously acquired, Gibbs caught Lucas attributing comments to Berwick by Republican Congressman Paul Ryan.