On his Fox News show, Sean Hannity repeatedly distorted Imam Feisal Abdul Rauf's words to say that Rauf "scares" him by "wanting America to be Sharia compliant." In fact, Rauf has actually said that the current American political system, including the Constitution and the Declaration of Independence, is Sharia compliant.
In an article about Dr. Laura Schlessinger's controversial comments where she "articulated the 'n' word all the way out -- more than one time," the Associated Press reported that General Motors has decided that it will no longer be advertising on Schlessinger's nationally syndicated radio show.
From an August 18 AP article:
Corinne Baldassano, an executive with Schlessinger's production company, Take on the Day LLC, said the talk show host plans to pursue opportunities through her website, books, podcasts and a YouTube channel.
At least two national sponsors of her radio program, General Motors Co., and Motel 6, owned by Accor SA, have pulled out, Baldassano said.
On August 10, Schlessinger launched into a racially charged rant during which she repeatedly used a racial epithet. Schlessinger also told an African-American caller that she had a "chip on [her] shoulder," and suggested that "If you're that hypersensitive about color and don't have a sense of humor, don't marry out of your race." The following day, Schlessinger apologized for her comments.
In response to Schlessinger's rant, Media Matters for America called on her sponsors to stop supporting her racially-charged rhetoric. In addition to GM, as Media Matters' Joe Strupp noted, a spokesperson for Advance Auto Parts said the company was investigating Schlessinger's comments before deciding whether to continue advertising. In a Twitter message, Advanced Auto officials said Schlessinger's "comments does not reflect the views or opinions of OnStar." In a message to Media Matters, Netflix spokesman Steve Swasey said, "Netflix does not support bigotry of any kind. Netflix advertising on individual programs does not indicate the company's endorsement of the opinions expressed on those programs." In an email, Motel 6 executives said, "We have ended our relationship with the Dr. Laura show, and there will be no future Motel 6 advertising on this program."
In an August 17 interview on CNN's Larry King Live, Schlessinger announced that she will not seek to renew her radio contract when it expires at the end of this year. Schlessinger said that she was ending her show in order to "regain my First Amendment rights." According to Schlessinger, in the wake of her rant last week, highlighted by Media Matters, "my First Amendment rights have been usurped by angry, hateful groups."
Right-wing media are attacking President Obama's statement that he "believe[s] that Muslims have the same right to practice their religion as everyone else in this country" and are entitled to build a mosque in Lower Manhattan.
The conservative media have repeatedly attacked Imam Feisal Abdul Rauf for his remark that "the United States' policies were an accessory" to the 9-11 attacks. However, Rauf's comments are not outside the mainstream; indeed, the former chairman and vice chairman of the 9/11 Commission have stated that U.S. "actions have contributed" to "a rising tide of radicalization and rage in the Muslim world."
Glenn Beck falsely claimed that Feisal Abdul Rauf, who is heading efforts to build a community center in New York, currently "employs" an imam who blamed "the Jews" for 9-11; in fact, the imam resigned in 2001 prior to making those comments. Beck also absurdly claimed Rauf was "connected to Hamas" and attacked Rauf for making comments about the 9-11 attacks that are strikingly similar to comments Beck himself made in April.
In an op-ed headlined "Unemployment: What Would Reagan Do?" American Enterprise Institute vice president Henry Olsen stated: "There is only one instance since World War II of the U.S economy increasing the employment-population ratio by five percentage points in a decade: the recovery that followed Ronald Reagan's tax cuts in 1983." In fact, Congress passed the Reagan tax cuts in 1981, and economists say it did not lead the nation out of recession. In 1983, Reagan actually raised taxes to shore up Social Security.
Olsen's underlying argument is essentially a regurgitation of right-wing talking points: the Obama administration's policies are misguided and ineffective; Reagan's economic policies brought unprecedented job growth and prosperity. Accordingly, Olsen claims that following the Reagan tax cuts in 1983, "the employment-population ratio recovered less than two years after hitting bottom. The momentum continued for the rest of the decade, fueled by the 1986 tax reform that lowered the top marginal income tax rate to 28%, allowing America to employ the millions of late baby boomers, women and immigrants who sought jobs." He concludes: "Rather than tear down Reaganism, our leaders in Washington should heed its lessons and unleash the private sector that alone can pull us out of our doldrums."
However, the claim that Reagan ended the "1979-82 recession" with 1983 tax cuts is pure myth; economists attribute Reagan-era recovery to interest rate cuts not tax cuts and Reagan actually signed a tax increase in 1982 and 1983.
Conservative media have pushed the dubious claim that the Bush tax cuts were responsible for economic recovery. In fact, economists have stated that the Bush administration's tax policies failed to make the economy grow faster and contributed to a decline in median household income.
Media conservatives have waged a relentless war against labor unions, blaming them for a wide variety of problems and smearing them as "communists" and "thugs," among other attacks. However, experts have credited unions for establishing many of the "most fundamental and valued features of today's society" and "paving the road to the middle class for many millions of working families."
In a Bloomberg News column, Kevin Hassett of the American Enterprise Institute added another example to the already sizable pile of absurd right-wing comparisons involving health care reform. In today's version, Hassett decried health care reform as "the most reckless policy experiment in [American] history, the economic equivalent of the Bay of Pigs invasion." As Media Matters has documented extensively, those in the right-wing media have regularly made ridiculous health care reform comparisons in an effort to attack President Obama and his policies.
For instance, Rush Limbaugh repeatedly pushed the Nazi theme when describing Obama's health care plan, and Glenn Beck compared health care reform to Flight 93 on 9-11, Pearl Harbor, Neville Chamberlain meeting Adolf Hitler, and the Hindenburg disaster. Other right-wing media figures have compared the passage of health care reform legislation to historical events including the Black Plague, Bloody Sunday, the passage of the Stamp Act, the federal government's refusal to bail out New York City in the 1970s, the Jonestown massacre, and The Day The Music Died.
From Hassett's August 2 column:
One of the more illuminating remarks during the health-care debate in Congress came when House Speaker Nancy Pelosi told an audience that Democrats would "pass the bill so you can find out what's in it, away from the fog of controversy."
That remark captured the truth that, while many Americans have a vague sense that something bad is happening to their health care, few if any understand exactly what the law does.
To fill this vacuum, Representative Kevin Brady of Texas, the top House Republican on the Joint Economic Committee, asked his staff to prepare a study of the law, including a flow chart that illustrates how the major provisions will work.
The result, made public July 28, provides citizens with a preview of the impact the health-care overhaul will have on their lives. It's a terrifying road map that shows Democrats have launched America on the most reckless policy experiment in its history, the economic equivalent of the Bay of Pigs invasion.
On his Fox News show tonight, Glenn Beck discussed the forced resignation of former Tea Party Express leader Mark Williams and admitted to Tea Party Express Chair Amy Kremer that he is "a recovering shock jock." He then condemned some of Williams' remarks, claiming: "In my wildest dreams, I would never have said that Allah is a 'monkey god' or all Muslims are animals or we should repeal the 13th or 14th amendment."
While Beck was surely right in condemning William's explosive rhetoric, to claim that he himself is "a recovering shock jock" and then suggest that he has walked away from the format is pure fantasy.
Earlier this month, Beck decried Six Flags' "Muslim Day," comparing it to having "Japanese Day" after Pearl Harbor. In shock as to why any Muslim would participate in the event, Beck asked: "Wouldn't your wife say, 'We are not going to the -- that's in poor taste. It's a day after 9-11.' "
And indeed, Beck has a long history of pushing inflammatory and often violent rhetoric. He has suggested that President Obama is trying to "destroy the country," declared that "[m]y tax dollars, your tax dollars" are "going to fund the murder of children," and even called Obama a "racist" with a "deep-seated hatred for white people."
It's clear that Beck is not a "recovering shock jock," but a purveyor of incendiary comments that are all too characteristic of the right-wing media.