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  • Right-Wing Sites Wrong About White House Registering Fetuses For Tours

    Blog ››› ››› DAVID SHERE

    A story bubbled up in the right-wing media suggesting that the White House requires "that unborn children get security clearance" if their parents want to tour the building. The reporting was based on an email from the White House that instructs potential visitors about "how to enter security information for a baby that has not yet been born."

    The Daily Caller, Washington Free Beacon, Drudge Report, National Review Online, and Fox Nation all highlighted this story and presented it in the context of President Obama's support for abortion rights.

    However, a closer reading of the email shows that expecting parents are required to fill out security information for a child who is not yet born only if they anticipate giving birth by the time they want to visit the White House. The email clearly refers to "newborns" and gives instructions for what to do once "the baby is born."

    The Huffington Post spoke to a representative from the Secret Service who said that "all White House guests are required to provide information at the time of their request for the tour, including for children and infants, and those expected to be on the tour once born."

    So, no, the White House does not require pregnant visitors to register their fetuses as people for security purposes.

  • Memo To Media: EPA Official's Comments Applied Only To Lawbreakers

    ››› ››› SHAUNA THEEL

    Several media outlets have distorted comments by an EPA official, falsely suggesting that he said "oil companies should be crucified." In fact, the official was using an analogy, which he has since apologized for, to describe a common approach to regulatory enforcement: making examples out of those who break the law.

  • Right-Wing Media Try To Distract From Obama's Proposals To Have The Rich Pay Their Fair Share

    Blog ››› ››› ANDY NEWBOLD

    President Obama has proposed increasing tax rates on wealthier Americans -- including himself -- while conservatives have fought to defend the rich from any attempts to increase their taxes. But despite their fight to stop all proposals aimed at having the rich pay their fair share, the right-wing media have attacked Obama over the effective federal tax rate he and his wife Michelle paid on their 2011 income.

    Andrea Tantaros, a co-host of Fox News' The Five, said that the problem isn't that Obama pays "what effectively is a tax rate of about 20 percent," but that "he begrudges everybody else for doing" the same thing. She suggested that Obama should "lead by example and simplify the tax code" because "he's using all these same loopholes."

    In a post titled "Obama Family Tax Shelter: First Family Transfer Wealth, Avoids Taxes," The Washington Free Beacon wrote: "There is nothing illegal about the president's taking advantage of this tax shelter, but it does raise eyebrows given that he has lamented the myriad tax exemptions used by the wealthy -- 'millionaires and billionaires' like himself -- to pay less in taxes. He has yet to propose a comprehensive plan to reform the byzantine tax code."

    The Fox Nation and Drudge Report also highlighted Obama's tax returns.

    However, when Obama recently made the case for the Buffett Rule, which would set a minimum effective tax rate for millionaires, conservatives accused Obama of waging "class warfare."

    When, in 2011, Obama released a jobs plan that would be paid for in part by limiting the deductions that could be claimed on wealthier taxpayers' tax returns, conservatives responded by shouting "class warfare" and accusing Obama of "soak[ing] the rich."

    And when, in 2010, Obama sought the elimination of the Bush tax cuts for the highest earners, conservatives advanced several dubious claims to suggest that ending the Bush tax cuts for the wealthy would hurt "many small businesses" and hinder job growth.