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Archive for November 12th, 2009

Testing Next Year’s Lies Today

Posted in Main Blog (All Posts) on November 12th, 2009 5:46 am by HL

Testing Next Year’s Lies Today
Republicans have made it clear they aren’t going to let honesty become an obstacle in the midterm elections. READ THE WHOLE ITEM By Joe Conason

Republicans have made it clear they aren’t going to let honesty become an obstacle in the midterm elections.

READ THE WHOLE ITEM

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Shannyn Moore: Stupak’s Flaccid Amendment Needs No Viagra

Posted in Main Blog (All Posts) on November 12th, 2009 5:45 am by HL

Shannyn Moore: Stupak’s Flaccid Amendment Needs No Viagra
Americans Against Chafing (A.A.C.) Unite! Oh, yes, it’s time. With the House passing a health care bill with the Stupak Amendment, we really need to…

Separated At Birth: 10 Politicians With Famous Doppelgangers (PHOTOS)
Ever see a politician on the news and think, “Hey, that guy looks like a ‘Sesame Street’ character!” No? We do…a lot….

Wayne Besen: Voting on Equal Rights is a National Disgrace
With a record of 0-31 in marriage initiatives, now may be a good opportunity to review our complicity in a process that doles out or strips away basic rights by majority vote.

Nelson Montana: We Finally Have Health Reform! And I Think I’m Going To Be Sick
The Republican strategy was ingenious. They forced the administration to concede and compromise, got much of what they demanded and still complain when it fails. Brilliant.

Steve Marmel: If Carrie Prejean can’t handle Larry King, it’s time to start debating toddlers
It seems to me that Carrie Prejean is still living in a world where her looks are powerful enough to help her dodge real questions…


Hannity video switch-up is only the tip of Fox News’ video-doctoring iceberg

Posted in Main Blog (All Posts) on November 12th, 2009 5:44 am by HL

Hannity video switch-up is only the tip of Fox News’ video-doctoring iceberg

On his Fox News show, Sean Hannity misleadingly aired video from the 9-12 March on Washington while discussing Rep. Michele Bachmann’s (R-MN) much smaller November 5 anti-health care reform rally to claim that “twenty-thousand plus” people showed up to Bachmann’s protest. Hannity’s video switch-up — which Jon Stewart highlighted on The Daily Show — is just the latest example of Fox News hosts’ extensive history of deceptively using video and photos to advance a false or misleading story line.

Fox News has history of deceptively using video to advance dubious storylines

Hannity aired video from 9-12 rally while discussing Bachmann’s recent rally. As Stewart noted, Hannity aired video of the 9-12 rally while he was interviewing Bachmann on his November 5 show about an “Emergency House Call” rally that she and other GOP members held that day to protest Democrats’ health care reform bill. Hannity said, “Twenty-thousand plus people showed up. Were you as surprised as I was?” Bachmann replied that “estimates are anywhere between 20 and 45,000 people had assembled.” While she was speaking, Hannity interspersed actual footage from Bachmann’s rally, with footage from the 9-12 rally, which reportedly drew 70,000 people. According to MSNBC, “Three Capitol Hill police officers all guessed that the crowd numbered at about 4,000” in attendance for Bachmann’s protest.

From the November 10 edition of The Daily Show with Jon Stewart:

dailyshow

Fox News encouraged crowd to cheer during report on 9-12 rally. During live coverage of the 9-12 rally — which Fox News heavily promoted — Fox News correspondent Griff Jenkins stated that protesters were “coming out to have their voices heard” and were an “absolute grassroots movement.” As he was speaking, the crowd assembled behind him cheered, apparently in response to his words. However, other footage later revealed that a Fox News producer was encouraging the crowd to cheer by waving her hands in the air while Jenkins spoke.

Beck claimed G-20 protesters in Pittsburgh carried a hammer-and-sickle symbol, but image actually came from a California school’s “Class of 2007” mosaic. On the September 29 edition of his Fox News show, Glenn Beck claimed that “[t]he very next day after the premiere” of Michael Moore’s new film, Capitalism: A Love Story, “people were on the streets” of Pittsburgh protesting the G-20 summit “with this.” Beck then aired an image of a hammer and sickle and read from the photo, “Oh, look at that — ‘Capitalism Will Fail’ down there at the bottom.” But the image Beck aired was not from the G-20 protests in Pittsburgh. Rather, as FoxNews.com reported on June 25, the image was of a “Class of 2007” mosaic painted by eighth-graders on tiles outside a Berkeley, California, school. The following is the image that Beck aired during his report:

beckmosaic

Fox News presented deceptively cropped six-month-old Biden clip as new. During the March 16 edition of Fox News’ The Live Desk, co-host Martha MacCallum misleadingly aired a six-month old clip of Vice President Joe Biden saying, “The fundamentals of the economy are strong,” while claiming that “after weeks of economic doom and gloom, the Obama administration is now singing a slightly different tune.” MacCallum then purported to contrast Biden’s remarks — which she characterized as from “this weekend” — with what then-Sen. Barack Obama said during the 2008 presidential campaign, when he criticized Sen. John McCain for stating that the “fundamentals of our economy are strong, but these are very, very difficult times.” However, Biden did not make his remarks that weekend; Biden made his remarks at a September 15, 2008, campaign event, and, like Obama, was criticizing McCain for his remarks — not echoing McCain. MacCallum later apologized for the incident.

Fox News has repeatedly used doctored video and photos to smear progressives

Media Matters for America has documented numerous examples of Fox News hosts and correspondents cropping comments by progressives and Democratic political figures, and in one case, the appearance of New York Times reporters, in a manner that misrepresents them. For instance:

Ingraham used doctored video to smear Gore. On the May 1 edition of The O’Reilly Factor, during a segment suggesting that former Vice President Al Gore has profited from his advocacy of renewable energy and climate change mitigation, guest host Laura Ingraham presented clips of Gore’s April 24 congressional testimony that had been edited to remove his statements that he donates the money he makes from his climate-related work to a nonprofit organization.

Goler reverses meaning of Obama quote to falsely suggest he supports European-style health care. During the April 24 edition of Fox News’ Special Report, White House correspondent Wendell Goler cropped a comment by President Obama and took it out of context — effectively reversing the statement’s meaning — to falsely suggest that Obama supports creating a health care system “like the European countries.” Goler claimed that Obama “doesn’t want to do it halfway” on health care, and then aired a clip from a March 26 online town hall event of Obama saying, “If you’re going to fix it, why not do a universal health care system like the European countries?” Following the clip, Goler reported: “His critics worry universal health care would mean government-run health care.” In fact, Obama actually said, “Now, the question is, if you’re going to fix it, why not do a universal health care system like the European countries? [emphasis added]” In doing so, Obama was paraphrasing the town hall question he had been asked — “Why can we not have a universal health care system, like many European countries, where people are treated based on needs rather than financial resources?” — before explaining why he opposed such a system.

Hannity cropped comment to suggest Obama “blame[s] America.” On the April 3 edition of his Fox News show, Hannity played a clip of Obama saying in an April 3 speech in Strasbourg, France: “In America, there’s a failure to appreciate Europe’s leading role in the world. Instead of celebrating your dynamic union and seeking to partner with you to meet common challenges, there have been times where America’s shown arrogance and been dismissive, even derisive.” Hannity then said: “And the liberal tradition of blame America first, well, that’s still alive.” Hannity later asked: “Why is there this anti-Americanism in Europe?” In fact, immediately after the part of the speech Hannity played, Obama criticized anti-Americanism in Europe as well as Europeans who “choose to blame America for much of what’s bad.”

Fox News cropped Obama quote on empathy. During the May 1 edition of Special Report, saying it was a “description of how the president hopes his nominee will interpret the law,” congressional correspondent Major Garrett aired a clip in which Obama stated, “I view that quality of empathy, of understanding and identifying with people’s hopes and struggles, as an essential ingredient for arriving at just decisions and outcomes.” Garrett then said, “That aggravates those who believe justices should follow the Constitution and legislative intent.” But Garrett omitted the very next sentence, in which Obama stated: “I will seek somebody who is dedicated to the rule of law, who honors our constitutional traditions, who respects the integrity of the judicial process and the appropriate limits of the judicial role.”

Fox News aired altered photos of NY Times reporters. On the July 2, 2008, edition of Fox News’ Fox & Friends, co-hosts Steve Doocy and Brian Kilmeade labeled New York Times reporter Jacques Steinberg and editor Steven Reddicliffe “attack dogs,” claiming that Steinberg’s June 28, 2008, article on the “ominous trend” in Fox News’ ratings was a “hit piece.” During the segment, however, Fox News featured photos of Steinberg and Reddicliffe that appeared to have been digitally altered — the journalists’ teeth had been yellowed, their facial features exaggerated, and portions of Reddicliffe’s hair moved further back on his head. Fox News gave no indication that the photos had been altered.


Tea Party Leader Launches PAC To Back Small-Government Candidates

Posted in Main Blog (All Posts) on November 12th, 2009 5:43 am by HL

Tea Party Leader Launches PAC To Back Small-Government Candidates
A leading Tea Party activist is launching a political action committee to back candidates who run on a limited-government platform — perhaps the most serious effort yet to to channel the Tea Partiers’ grassroots energy toward electoral politics.

Scrubbed: Call For Backlash Against Muslims Embarrasses Even Right-Wing Think Tank
The right-wing think tank that published a conservative author Dave Gaubatz’s call for a backlash against the “Muslim community” has now scrubbed the line and replaced it with a call for a backlash against the “Muslim Brotherhood.”

Muslim Mafia Author: Now Is The Time For A ‘Backlash’ Against Muslims
A conservative author whose book was touted just last month by four Republican members of Congress is explicitly calling for a “backlash” against American Muslims in the wake of the Fort Hood shootings.


Frank Luntz — The Early Years

Posted in Main Blog (All Posts) on November 12th, 2009 5:39 am by HL

Frank Luntz — The Early Years


Perry Says Obama “Hell-Bent” on Socialism

Posted in Main Blog (All Posts) on November 12th, 2009 5:38 am by HL

Perry Says Obama “Hell-Bent” on Socialism
Texas Gov. Rick Perry (R) accused President Obama of “punishing” Texas and being “hell-bent” on turning the United States into a socialist country, reports Politico.

Said Perry: “This is an administration hell-bent toward taking American towards a socialist country. And we all don’t need to be afraid to say that because that’s what it is.”

Perry also accused the Obama administration of intentionally dumping illegal immigrants from other western states in Texas.

Dodd Slides Again in Connecticut
Sen. Christopher Dodd (D-CT) is still in serious trouble in his re-election race with 53% of voters saying he does not deserve re-election, a new Quinnipiac poll finds.

Connecticut voters disapprove, 54% to 40%, of the job Dodd is doing, compared to a 49% to 43% disapproval in September.

In general election match ups, Dodd loses to both Rob Simmons (R), 49% to 38%, and to Linda McMahon (R), 43% to 41%.

Said pollster Douglas Schwartz: “After inching up in the polls for months, Sen. Christopher Dodd is sliding back down again on job approval. He continues to struggle with independent voters as 60 percent disapprove of the way he is handling his job.”


Drug Policy Alliance Conference Comes at a Crucial Moment for Drug Reform

Posted in Main Blog (All Posts) on November 12th, 2009 5:37 am by HL

Drug Policy Alliance Conference Comes at a Crucial Moment for Drug Reform
More people than ever grasp the need to shift from criminalization to a public health model — the Drug Policy Alliance’s conference leads the way on this discussion.

Muslim-Americans Have Good Reason to Fear Fort Hood Backlash
Though anti-Muslim hysteria has leveled off somewhat since September 11, Muslims still routinely get the blame for anything that even remotely smacks of a terrorist act.

Why Is Obama Caving to Fox?
"President Obama will give an interview to Fox News’ Major Garrett, Drudge reports."


Do Lieberman and Brooks Know What Time It Is?

Posted in Main Blog (All Posts) on November 12th, 2009 5:36 am by HL

Do Lieberman and Brooks Know What Time It Is?
Now that we know that Maj. Nidal Malik Hasan was steeping in a kettle of Islamicist paranoia and rage, Joe Lieberman will hold hearings to examine the dark brew. And David Brooks, wired just like Lieberman, fans the fumes this…



David BrooksUnited StatesLong IslandNew YorkGovernment

VIDEO House Blocks Access To Goldstone Report
On November 4, the House of Representatives voted 344-36 (22 voted present) in favor of a resolution condemning the Goldstone Report, which chronicled the war crimes committed during last year’s Gaza war. Not only that, in a break with normal…


War crimeGaza WarGoldstone ReportUnited States House of RepresentativesWarfare and Conflict

US-Israel Relations In Deep Freeze after Obama-Bibi Meeting
Crisis. President Obama and Prime Minister Netanyahu met for two hours last night. Here is the post meeting statement from the White House. “The President and Prime Minister Netanyahu discussed a number of issues in the U.S.-Israel bilateral relationship. The…


White HouseUnited StatesPrime MinisterIsraelMiddle East


Maddow Rips Rep. Pete Hoekstra For Leaking Sensitive National Security Information

Posted in Main Blog (All Posts) on November 12th, 2009 5:35 am by HL

Maddow Rips Rep. Pete Hoekstra For Leaking Sensitive National Security Information
Last night, MSNBC host Rachel Maddow accused Rep. Pete Hoekstra (R-MI), the ranking member on the House Intelligence Committee and current gubernatorial candidate, of leaking sensitive intelligence information to the press. Hoekstra told the Washington Post this week that Maj. Nidal M. Hasan had e-mail conversations with a radical Yemeni cleric, Anwar al-Aulaqi. Maddow excoriated […]

Last night, MSNBC host Rachel Maddow accused Rep. Pete Hoekstra (R-MI), the ranking member on the House Intelligence Committee and current gubernatorial candidate, of leaking sensitive intelligence information to the press. Hoekstra told the Washington Post this week that Maj. Nidal M. Hasan had e-mail conversations with a radical Yemeni cleric, Anwar al-Aulaqi. Maddow excoriated Hoekstra for letting Aulaqi know that his e-mail is being monitored:

MADDOW: Why is it Pete Hoekstra who’s taking it upon himself to tell the press that this radical cleric is having his email read by U.S. intelligence agencies? The FBI had not said publicly that this cleric had been emailing Hasan. The CIA, the NSA, the White House — nobody else had reported this cleric was e-mailing Hasan. This is just Pete Hoekstra letting us know — and letting the radical cleric who is under surveillance know — that he’s under surveillance.

Maddow’s guest, The Nation’s Chris Hayes, said Hoekstra’s reputation is “of an epic grand-stander.” Watch it:

Asked if there was a concern that Hoekstra was leaking sensitive information, a Republican spokesman for the House intelligence committee told Maddow’s show, “I do not know, guessing, since [Aulaqi] was deported, he knew he was a target anyways.” Maddow noted that Aulaqi wasn’t “deported,” but rather left the country voluntarily, according to the 9-11 Commission. (Aulaqi had contacts with some of the 9-11 hijackers.)

House Intelligence Committee Chairman Silvestre Reyes (D-TX) said, “I am disappointed that some have rushed to the news media with unfounded information in order to gain headlines.”

Hoekstra has been trying to use the Ft. Hood shootings to engage in a political attack against Obama, claiming “administration officials delayed briefing members of Congress about the alleged gunman,” thus raising “red flags” about what the White House was hiding. “What do they know that they don’t want us to know?” Hoekstra said on Fox News.


Federal Diary: Connolly seeks answers on long-term-care premiums, is skeptical about cuts in mail delivery

Posted in Main Blog (All Posts) on November 12th, 2009 5:34 am by HL

Federal Diary: Connolly seeks answers on long-term-care premiums, is skeptical about cuts in mail delivery
Gerald Connolly is an amateur thespian and a professional politician.

Honduras accord is on verge of collapse
Less than two weeks after U.S. diplomats announced a historic agreement to reverse a coup in Honduras, the accord is in danger of collapse and both Honduran officials and U.S. lawmakers are blaming American missteps for some of the failure.

Dodd confronts critics in regulation fight
Sen. Christopher J. Dodd (D-Conn.) this week joined the generations of dreamers who have advocated for eliminating the nation’s muddle of bank regulators, arguing that a single agency would be more efficient and would end the ability of banks to choose the most lenient supervisor.


For Obama, as with his predecessors, defining China is challenge
When President Obama arrives in Shanghai and Beijing next week, he will face a prickly question that has vexed presidents since Richard M. Nixon first visited Mao Zedong in 1972: How exactly does the United States define its relationship with China?

Corrections
— In the Nov. 12 Local Living section, the MisFits column should have said that some White House employees have pedometers, not that employees of the Office of Management and Budget received pedometers at the White House.