Disregarding U.S. attorney Patrick Fitzgerald's warning to "not cast aspersions on people for being named or being discussed" in the criminal complaint against Illinois Gov. Rod Blagojevich, several in the media have used the scandal as an opportunity to engage in suggestions of guilt-by-association against President-elect Barack Obama, by rehashing Obama's purportedly "questionable associations," or suggesting that Obama is a product of corrupt "Chicago politics."
The Washington Post's Michael A. Fletcher quoted political strategist Mark McKinnon in an article criticizing the Employee Free Choice Act but failed to identify him as a spokesman for the Workforce Fairness Institute, which Fletcher described, elsewhere in the article, as "one of a growing number of business coalitions working to defeat the measure."
Politico's Ben Smith contrasted President-elect Barack Obama and President George W. Bush's church attendance in the weeks after their elections, but Smith failed to note numerous reports of Bush's infrequent church attendance over the past eight years, as well as Bush's reported lack of membership in a Washington, D.C., congregation. Smith cited another Politico article that also ignored reports about Bush's church attendance.
The falsehood that autoworkers employed by the domestic automakers receive $70 or more per hour in wages and benefits -- advanced by dozens of media figures and outlets while Congress has discussed a potential bailout for the auto industry -- was advanced by automakers during 2007 union contract negotiations. However, while GM recently has reportedly pointed out that its labor cost figure includes benefits to current retirees, the media continue to repeat the $70 or more per hour myth.
An editorial and a column published in The Washington Times included the false claim that U.S. autoworkers earn an average of $70 an hour or more in wages and benefits. In fact, according to General Motors, the figure is based not only on current workers' hourly wages and benefits, such as health care and retirement, but also retirement and health-care benefits that U.S. automakers are providing for current retirees.
Again downplaying President-elect Barack Obama's victory, Karl Rove claimed on Today that the "call for change gave Barack Obama the presidency of the United States with 2.1 percent more than Al Gore got." In fact, in 2000, Gore received 48.38 percent of the popular vote, and according to unofficial election results posted on National Public Radio's website, Obama has received 52.7 percent of the popular vote, which is a difference of 4.32 percentage points.
In recent days, The Washington Times and the Pittsburgh Tribune-Review published op-eds by members of the Heritage Foundation containing the false claim that union autoworkers earn $75 an hour in wages and benefits. In fact, according to General Motors, these claims are based not only on current workers' hourly wages and benefits, such as health care and retirement, but also retirement and health-care benefits that U.S. automakers are providing for current retirees.
Fox News hosts, reporters, and contributors have repeatedly provided or echoed the claims of only opponents of the Employee Free Choice Act, which would give workers the right to form or join a union if a majority of workers sign a card stating they want to unionize. Absent from numerous reports and discussions on Fox News is the argument made by proponents of EFCA that under the current system, employers often fire union supporters and pressure employees to vote against unionizing.
Referring to the Minnesota Senate race recount on Fox News' Hannity & Colmes, Sean Hannity claimed Al Franken is challenging ballots "because he's trying to litigate his way into the Senate seat." But as of November 24, according to the office of the Minnesota secretary of state, Franken and Sen. Norm Coleman have challenged roughly the same number of ballots.
Responding to Media Matters on Hannity & Colmes, Dick Morris did not deny that over the last two months, he has accepted thousands of dollars in ad revenue from GOPTrust.com, a group he has repeatedly promoted and fundraised for on television and in his columns without disclosing that fact. Rather, Morris compared his receipt of ad revenue from GOPTrust.com with The New York Times' relationship with its advertisers. But there is at least one key difference: the Times does not routinely run editorials touting its advertisers and urging people to buy their products or contribute to them, as Morris has.