Tag Archives: Media Watch

News & Comment

Daily Caller Queries House Members on Forgoing Salaries During Shutdown – Including GOP’s Dan Lungren, Who Was Defeated in 2012

Top: Rep. Ellmers; bottom: former Rep. Lungren
Daily Caller, the gay-hating, climate-change denying website published by Swanson Foods heir Tucker Carlson, conducted a non-scientific (naturally) survey of House members asking if whether they would be willing to forgo their salaries while the government was shut down.

Result were skewed to make Democrats look feckless (naturally!), even though no Democrats voted to shut down the government. The Daily Calling reporting also produced a couple of unintentional bloopers, however — one that made a North Carolina tea bagger look like a wanton hypocrite and another that exposed the Daily Caller’s apparently casual approach to fact checking and out-of-date knowledge of who actually serves in the 113th Congress.

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News & Comment

Attention American Media: Both Sides are NOT to Blame

This treatment by ABC News shows the problem

Perhaps as inevitable as the government shutdown for which the Republicans and tea party are solely responsible is the press’s telling of it. In their version, it’s a 50/50 deal between Republicans and Democrats. But then, isn’t everything, even the stuff that’s clearly not?

For those of you playing along at home, take a shot today every time you hear these words or phrases:

  • stalemate in Congress
  • seek a compromise
  • a game of political chicken…when neither side blinked
  • each has refused to budge
  • amid the finger-wagging

If you’re still sober enough to read, please note those quotes came from a single CNN story.

Eric Boehlert at Media Matters is not only pushing back on the old “Republicans and Democrats are equally to blame” journalistic cop-out, he’s actually holding reporters who use it responsible for what’s happening.

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News & Comment

Rush’s Boss to Limbaugh: Don’t Let the Door Hit You

Rush Limbaugh’s big fat feelings might be hurt, and he is considering leaving the distributor of his show over it. Cumulus Media, which contracts with Limbaugh, is blaming reduced company revenues on last year’s boycott of advertisers on Rush’s show. The boycott was called after Limbaugh labled a “slut” the lone female who provided testimony to a Congressional committee examining insurance company coverage of birth control.

Although several dozen advertisers either permanently left the show or suspended their ads until the dust settled, Rush at the time described the situation this way.

“That’s like losing a couple of French fries in the container when it’s delivered to you at the drive-through,” Limbaugh said. “You don’t even notice it.”

But to Cumulus CEO Lew Dickey, the advertiser stampede must have been more like more being shorted the fries AND the burger, being left with the ketchup packets and the soft drink.

In an August 2012 earnings call, Dickey said Cumulus’s top three stations had lost $5.5 million, in part because of the boycott. In a March 2013 earnings call, Dickey said the company’s talk radio side had “been challenged… due to some of the issues that happened a year ago.”

Rush could actually be right that Cumulus Media’s losses aren’t all his fault. In addition to his show, the company carries The Mike Huckabee Show and The Huckabee Report, Focus on the Family “Commentary,” and The Savage Nation. I don’t know about you but I sure wouldn’t want to advertise on any of those shows.

News & Comment

NRA Shows Up at the National Press Club for Roll Out of Its ‘Guns in Schools’ Proposal with 20 Armed Goons

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Dana Milbank:

The gun-lobby goons were at it again.

The National Rifle Association’s security guards gained notoriety earlier this year when, escorting NRA officials to a hearing, they were upbraided by Capitol authorities for pushing cameramen. The thugs were back Tuesday when the NRA rolled out its “National School Shield” — the gun lobbyists’ plan to get armed guards in public schools — and this time they were packing heat.

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News & Comment

Breitbart.com Carries on Its Founder’s Tradition – Posts As Fact a Satirical Story Claiming Paul Krugman Declared Bankruptcy

Deleted: Breitbart.com deleted this story after it was found to have been sourced to a satirical news site.
A little over a month after the website once operated by the late racist provocateur Andrew Breitbart published a story falsely accusing then-nominee for Secretary of Defense Chuck Hagel of receiving funding from a foreign group called Friends of Hamas, now Breitbart.comn has been snookered by a post from a satirical site that suggested Nobel Prize winning economist Paul Krugman had filed for bankruptcy:

Breitbart.com ridiculed Paul Krugman for filing for Chapter 13 bankruptcy protection in a since-deleted post whose claims originated with a satire website. Just last month, Breitbart.com castigated a news outlet for running with a story from that same website.

In the March 11 post, Breitbart.com editor at large Larry O’Connor mocked the Nobel Prize winning economist and New York Times columnist for his alleged financial mismanagement. Unfortunately for O’Connor, the report that Krugman went bankrupt is clearly a joke and originated from the satirical website The Daily Currant. O’Connor has since deleted the post without explanation. (Update: O’Connor tweeted, saying he “trusted Boston.com as the source for that Krugman piece, but they were duped by Daily Currant, therefore, so was I!”)

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News & Comment

Poll: 90% of Americans Mistakenly Believe the Deficit Is Rising Or Flat – Just 6% Know It Is Actually Shrinking

A Bloomberg poll released last week found that 90 percent of Americans hold the mistaken view that the U.S. deficit is rising or staying the same, when in fact it has been shrinking at a rapid pace since Pres. Obama took office.

Misunderstood Deficit: [The] size and trajectory of the U.S. deficit is poorly understood by most Americans, with 62 percent saying it’s getting bigger, 28 percent saying it’s staying about the same this year, and just 6 percent saying it’s shrinking. The Congressional Budget Office reported Feb. 6 that the federal budget deficit is getting smaller, falling to $845 billion this year — the first time in five years that the gap between taxes and spending will be less than $1 trillion.

Americans also have a skewed picture of what drives federal spending.

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News & Comment

Fox Legal Expert Suggests Obama Could Be Impeached over the Sequester – Even Though It Was Voted into Law with 202 Republican Votes

Fox News legal analyst Andrew Napiltano suggested yesterday that Pres. Obama could be impeached over the sequester:

“This is almost an impeachable offense,” Napolitano [said]. “If the president is deciding how to spend money in order to hurt us, rather than in order to provide us with the services for which we have paid and for which we have hired him, he is doing the opposite of what he has taken an oath to do.”

“He has taken an oath to uphold the laws. That means make the government work. Don’t make it painful, find a way to make it work on 2 percent less.”

The former judge concluded: “That’s the way the constitution works!”

What this Fox legal expert deliberately pretends to ignore, of course, is that impeachment over the sequester would put holdovers among the 174 Republicans in the House and 28 Republicans in the Senate who voted for the sequester in the 112th Congress in a very awkward position. In particular, it would make a majority of House Republicans complicit in the president’s “crime.”

News & Comment

More on the GOP SOTU Response: Tea Bagger Technology Went Askew Again, the White House Punked Rubio and Rubio Failed At De-Romneyfication for His Party

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On her show Wednesday night, Rachel Maddow dissected the Republicans’ response to Pres. Obama’s State of the Union speech and found that it was even worse than it first appeared:

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Enumerati

Poll: Approval of Fox News Drops 9 Percentage Points

-9%

Percentage drop in approval of Fox News, according to a new PPP survey. The poll found that only 41 percent of Americans trust Fox News while 46 percent do not, which is down from 49-37 percent in 2010. The source of the collapse was a rising distrust of the Republican propaganda outlet by independent voters.

News & Comment

MSNBC’s Liberal Hosts Question the Obama Administration’s Drone Strike Program

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During the presidency of George Bush, Fox News operated as an adjunct to the White House political office (or was it vice versa?). That’s why, if there were Fox hosts who had concerns about the many nefarious activities of the Bush administration — breaking the international anti-torture treaty that Ronald Reagan signed or deliberately betraying the covert identity of a CIA specialist in the WMD black market, for example — they rarely, if ever, voiced their criticisms on air.

I don’t watch Fox 24/7, so I can’t say that it never happened, but if it did, questioning Bush-Cheney policies was never given the high-profile airing that concerns about the Obama administration’s drone strike program have been given by liberal hosts on MSNBC this week. This is notable because it upends the meme in the political media — of which Andrew Sullivan is a prime exemplar — that Fox and MSNBC are just obverse and reverse on the same coin.

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