Examiner Repeats False Pelosi Mouse Claim Topic: Washington Examiner
A Feb. 13 Washington Examiner "family-friendly news satire" by Scott Ott (not on the Examiner website as far as we could tell) begins with the claim that "House Speaker Nancy Pelosi defended the inclusion of $30 million in stimulus package money to preserved the habitat of the endangered Salt Marsh Harvest Mouse."
The mouse story is false. There is no money in the stimulus bill dedicated to protecting the salt marsh mouse. Nevertheless, Matt Drudge and Fox News promoted the claim, which is likely where Ott picked it up.
Hint to Ott: Satire works better when it's based on truth.
Time For Another Outraged Letter from Brent Bozell? Topic: Media Research Center
Another Sunday morning network talking-head show host has been found to be spending quality time with a political operative. Looks like it's time for Brent Bozell to send another outraged letter to a network news president demanding answers, declaring the host to be hopelessly biased and serving as the operative's "in-house spin doctor" in creating media narratives, and insisting that the host not be allowed to report or comment on activities involving the operative and his associates -- just as he did with ABC's George Stephanopoulos.
O'Leary's Poll Now Includes Actual Lies Topic: WorldNetDaily
Brad O'Leary seems not to understand that misleading poll questions make for answers that are not taken seriously by anyone who knows anything about polls. Or maybe he's decided that he can fool enough of the people enough of the time.
We've previously noted O'Leary peddling the misleading questions in the Zogby poll he commissioned (through his barely existent "news" organization ATI) as somehow meaningful. He's back in a Feb. 13 WorldNetDaily column peddling more bogus poll questions. Like this one:
"The current stimulus package supported by President Obama contains nearly $4.2 billion for neighborhood stabilization activities that could go to organizations such as ACORN or the League of Women Voters, that would spend it on voter registration activities and other community involvement programs. Do you favor or oppose this spending provision?"
As we've repeatedlydetailed, ACORN is not even mentioned in the stimulus bill, let alone allocated any money, and ACORN CEO Bertha Lewis has stated the group isn't even eligible for the money. So O'Leary's assertion that the money "could go to ... ACORN" is a speculative scare tactic that invalidates the response.
O'Leary's bought-and-paid-for poll also asks:
"The stimulus bill would allow undocumented workers, who are also referred to as illegal aliens, who are working and paying taxes to collect a tax rebate check of $500 per person. Do you agree or disagree with this provision?"
That's an outright lie. As we've also repeatedlydetailed, Social Security numbers are needed to qualify for the tax credits in the bill, which, by definition, excludes the vast majority of illegal immigrants. Another false scare tactic, another invalidated response.
O'Leary is running out people he can fool with his lies. Then again, he's writing for WND, which seems to count on attracting gullible readers.
Examiner Attack on ACORN Built on False Claim Topic: Washington Examiner
The Feb. 12 Washington Examiner featured a two-page attack on ACORN built around a piece by local opinion editor Barbara Hollingsworth, the premise of which is that the stimulus bill "gives ACORN access to a $4.19 billion pot of money." Hollingsworth further asserts that "the largest radical group in the country ... is on the stimulus list."
As we've repeatedlydetailed, that's a lie -- ACORN is not even mentioned in the stimulus bill, let alone allocated any money. Further, as ACORN CEO Bertha Lewis has stated: "ACORN isn't getting any of this money. Since it is set aside for non-profit housing developers to help purchase, rehab, and resell foreclosed properties, we aren't eligible for it in the first place."
It is not true that grown men don’t cry. I’m grown and I’m on the verge of tears. The Republic I have loved all my life is being is being murdered, and the crime is an inside job.
If you hear a whirring sound in the background, it is my dad Ronald Reagan, who loved and served this nation, spinning in his grave as his latest successor plunges a carving knife into America’s vital organs.
Huston Falsely Suggests Bush Didn't Pre-Pick Questions Topic: NewsBusters
In a Jan. 12 NewsBusters post, Warner Todd Huston noted a reporter's claim that Barack Obama "has pre-picked those journalists whom he will allow to ask him questions at the conference" and asked: "Would they have allowed George W. Bush to pre-pick journalists like that? Would they meekly sit by and allow themselves to be systematically ignored, their freedom to ask questions silenced by any Republican? Would journalists so eagerly vie with one another for the favor of Bush like they are Obama's?"
Huston repeated his point again in a Feb. 12 post, asking, "I also wondered if this same 'free press' would have meekly allowed president Bush get away with treating the press in such a way? Or would they have raised a hue and cry that would have deafened the world?"
Of course, Huston is wrong. As Glenn Greenwald and Media Matters have pointed out, Bush regularly conducted press conferences by calling on reporters from a pre-selected list.
Was Huston howling about that at the time? We suspect he wasn't.
A Feb. 11 NewsBusters post by P.J. Gladnick declares, "Julio the McDonald's Guy Panned by Public." He's referring to Julio Asegueda, the overexcited guy asking President Obama a question at a town hall meeting.
And who is this "public" that Gladnick claims has rejected Asegueda? A commenter at Michelle Malkin's website and a handful of commenters at YouTube.
Newsmax's James Hirsen -- if you'll remember, he's the guy who falsely claimed that U2 was "teaming up with" right-wing senator Rick Santorum when, in fact, Santorum's campaign merely bought U2 concert tickets to resell to donors -- let loose an anti-Obama and anti-Democrat screed in his weekly "Left Coast Report" column.
In ranting against the stimulus bill, Hirsen referenced "House Reeker Nancy Pelosi" and claimed that "President Obama is doing his un-level best to terrify folks with predictions of 'catastrophe' if his gargantuan-sized taxpayer stickup fails."
Hirsen also stated: "The mainstream media are willing allies in the president’s propaganda feed." That's rather rich coming from a writer for a website that's a willingally in the right-wing propaganda feed (as is Hirsen himself).
Hirsen's little screed concludes: "But the real catastrophe is going to happen if the entranced segment of the public doesn’t snap out of it before our beloved America has to change her name to USSA." Uh, yeah.
New Article: Brent Bozell's Evasion Topic: Media Research Center
The Media Research Center accused ABC of refusing to respond to its attack on George Stephanopoulos -- but the MRC's news division killed a story that would have contained ABC's response. Read more >>
A Feb. 10 WorldNetDaily article by Drew Zahn stated: "As WND reported, the president's proposed stimulus package restricts school campuses that accept building funds from permitting 'sectarian instruction' or 'religious worship' in structures built or modernized with the federal money."
As we've documented, that is a lie. The bill restricts money from going to public facilities whose primary purpose is "sectarian instruction" or "religious worship"-- as public funding has been restricted from for decades.
We'd ask WND to discipline or fire Zahn, but telling lies about Obama is WND's raison d'etre these days.
O'Leary Promotes His Own Misleading Poll Topic: WorldNetDaily
A Feb. 11 WorldNetDaily column by Brad O'Leary touts "a recent poll conducted by ATI-News and Zogby International" purporting to demonstrate that President Obama's stiumulus plan is unpopular with voters. But the poll questions, as described are clearly skewed to provide a negative impression of the plan to those being polled:
"Some people say that the nearly one-trillion dollars in debt and subsequent interest incurred by the stimulus bill during an economic downturn will make the recovery hard to achieve. Do you agree or disagree?"
"Some Republicans say the Obama stimulus package spends too much and stimulates too little. Do you agree or disagree?"
"Most Republicans oppose the currently proposed stimulus bill supported by President Obama because they say there is too much money being spent for non-stimulus items. Do you agree or disagree that too much money is being spent on items that won't improve the economy?"
Poll respondents only heard the views of Republicans and "some people" about the stimulus, not the other side. That makes the poll biased and, thus, unreliable.
Further, readers don't learn until reading O'Leary's bio tag at the end of the column at O'Leary is president of ATI-News. As we've noted, ATI News is merely an aggregator of other news websites and generates no original content, and O'Leary is author of the WorldNetDaily-published Obama-bashing speculative fantasy "The Audacity of Deceit." So O'Leary clearly has a biased agenda to push, as if the Zogby poll he commissioned wasn't evenough proof of that.
O'Leary further demonstreates his disregard for the truth by also citing "a snap poll of Americans was taken by America Online" in which, "according to the 207,000 Americans who responded, he got an 'F.'" As we've previously detailed, AOL polls are opt-in and susceptible to "freeping" -- the practice of organizing like-minded voters to skew an online poll, as practiced by the right-wing Free Republic -- so its results are even more unreliable than that Zogby poll.
O'Leary's shoddy polling and biased agenda proves nothing. He should leave the polling to real pollsters.
WND, CNS Repeat False Claim About Stimulus Topic: WorldNetDaily
WorldNetDaily and CNSNews.com have joined Newsmax in the right-wing echo chamber of falsehoods regarding a claim forwarded in a Bloomberg commentary about the stimulus bill.
A Feb. 9 WND article by Bob Unruh uncritically repeated Betsy McCaughey's assertion that the provision in the stiumulus bill would bring about "likelihood of rationed care – or a health care system that simply provides treatment when it determines the cost-benefit ratio for the treatment and the patient meets its guidelines." Similarly, a Feb. 10 CNS article by Susan Jones claimed that the provision "creates a National Coordinator of Health Information Technology, 'designed to monitor your treatments, to make sure your doctor is doing what the federal government deems appropriate and cost effective,' as a commentary on the Bloomberg news wire reported on Monday."
And a Feb. 11 CNS article by Fred Lucas repeats McCaughey's assertion that the provision is about "coercing doctors to limit care" while making no apparent attempt to seek out anyone to respond to the claim.
Unruh, Jones and Lucas -- much like Newsmax's David Patten -- all fail to fact-check McCaughey's claim. In fact, language in the House bill that McCaughey referenced does not establish authority to "monitor treatments" or restrict what "your doctor is doing" with regard to patient care but, rather, addresses establishing an electronic records system such that doctors would have complete, accurate information about their patients "to help guide medical decisions at the time and place of care."
That's a trifecta of ConWeb bamboozelement. Is it any wonder that they're not treated seriously as reliable news sources?
Examiner Repeats Discredited Right-Wing Memes Topic: Washington Examiner
The Washington Examiner's Feb. 8 list of the "10 worst ideas of the week" featured in first place the bogus claim that a provision in the stimulus bill regarding funding construction on college campuses forbids religious expression.
In fifth place was a attack on the Employee Free Choice Act -- which it calls "The Union Thug Advancement Act -- falsely claiming that it will "end secret ballots on union representation elections"; it doesn't.
Any chance that next week's "10 worst ideas" will list among them the dangers of repeating discredited right-wing tropes?