Glenn Beck advanced the conservative myth that no jobs have been created under the stimulus and baselessly claimed that its "intent to restore the economy ... [is] not working either." In fact, independent analyses of the stimulus, including those conducted by Moody's Economy.com and the nonpartisan Congressional Budget Office, have estimated that the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act (ARRA) increased employment by as many as 2.4 million jobs by the end of 2009 and added to real GDP growth in the second, third, and fourth quarters of 2009.
Several media figures have asserted that annual income of more than $250,000 is -- in the words of Rush Limbaugh -- "not wealthy" in order to attack President Obama's 2011 budget proposal to allow the Bush tax cuts on families earning more than $250,000 per year to expire as scheduled. According to 2006 Census data, households that earn more than $250,000 per year make up approximately two percent of all U.S. households.
George Will's January 24 Washington Post column continued his long pattern of misconstruing and distorting climate science in order to call into question the overwhelming consensus about human-caused global warming. Although Will has been repeatedly discredited on the issue, the Post continues to allow him to advance falsehoods and has yet to correct his global warming columns, and editorial page editor Fred Hiatt has defended Will.
Over the past couple of weeks, Glenn Beck has repeatedly hosted fellow radio talk show host Jay Severin. This booking seemed to make sense, as Beck was frequently chatting with him about the Massachusetts special election, and, after all, Severin broadcasts from Boston.
However, a quick search of Media Matters' archives turns up a few Severin phrases that would not be out of place on your garden variety edition of Beck's show, like saying of then-Democratic presidential candidate Hillary Clinton that "[w]ith Hillary Clinton you've got Hugo Chavez in a dress," and calling her "the devil." How about Severin channeling Beck's response to torture allegations, stating that the abuse of detainees by at Abu Ghraib was equivalent to "treat[ing] them essentially to a week in Las Vegas," adding, "I have to pay good money to have that done to me." Indeed, Media Matters has documented a long history of Jay Severin's offensive comments.
Like Beck, whose history of racially-charged remarks includes the statement that Obama is a "racist", Severin himself has a checkered history discussing minorities. In fact his comments that Mexican immigrants are "criminaliens," "primitives," and "leeches" -- in addition to calling Mexico an exporter of "women with mustaches and VD" -- was enough to get him suspended from his station for a month.
Yes, Severin and Beck even share the bond of losing advertisers after their racially-charged comments.
Thus, it only seemed fitting when, on January 20, Beck introduced Severin onto his show by calling him "a friend of mine from Boston."
When Glenn Beck returned to the airwaves for 2010, he unveiled a new intro segment for his radio show. Media Matters noted that the segment included the phrase "now is the time," from Martin Luther King Jr.'s "I have a dream" speech. This marked the latest in Beck's history of invoking Dr. King to promote himself and comparing his political stances to the civil rights movement.
The next day, Beck complained that his "show is under fire because we're using a clip from Martin Luther King there." He and contributing editor Pat Gray then mocked "the left" because "they don't even understand it."
Yet after all the fuss and bluster, on Monday Beck featured another new intro, opening his broadcast with nary an explanation as to why "now is the time," is no longer a part of his show's intro:
On his radio show today, Glenn Beck noted and took issue with the fact that the Federal Reserve reportedly made a profit of $45 billion. This, as Beck said, made him "so angry", that it became the main topic of his daily newsletter. Titling his newsletter "The record profits government won't confiscate," he included a link to transcript from today's program, and wrote that "President Obama is again threatening the banks with a massive tax to penalize those evil bankers for any profits they make. But what happens when news breaks that The Fed had a record breaking year and made more in windfall profits than Exxon Mobil? You guessed it. Silence."
The only problem with Beck's outrage about this? All of the profit from the Federal Reserve is transferred to the U.S. Treasury.
To put it in terms that Glenn Beck can understand: The government is "confiscating" the entire $45 billion.
The Washington Post article on this (where he probably got the information from, given that the calculations were done by the Post), makes this explicitly clear in its second paragraph:
The Fed will return about $45 billion to the U.S. Treasury for 2009, according to calculations by The Washington Post based on public documents. That reflects the highest earnings in the 96-year history of the central bank. The Fed, unlike most government agencies, funds itself from its own operations and returns its profits to the Treasury.
Of course, if Mr. Beck feels we're treating him unfairly for correcting this rather glaring example of stupidity, he could always give us a call.
On the January 11 edition of his radio show, Rush Limbaugh falsely distorted an Associated Press analysis of road and bridge construction to advance the falsehood that stimulus spending has had no effect on job creation. In fact, the AP analysis reported that the stimulus "has produced some jobs" and that AP "did not try to measure results of the broader aid that also was in the first stimulus"; moreover the Congressional Budget Office found that the stimulus created up to 1.6 million jobs.
Fox News and its website The Fox Nation closed out 2009 by advancing debunked attacks on President Obama. Specifically, Fox News hosted Ann Coulter, who repeatedly made the false claim that Obama attended "madrassas" as a child, while The Fox Nation continued to promote Andrew Breitbart's story that "ACORN CEO Visited Obama White House Week Before Scandal Broke" days after it was reported that the "Bertha Lewis" who visited the White House was not, in fact, the Bertha Lewis who is the CEO of ACORN.
Glenn Beck's Fusion magazine claims to provide its subscribers with "the latest perspective on what is happening in our world, coupled with [Beck's] personal thoughts as 'work in progress' as well as cutting edge comedy and satire." But the December 2009 issue of Fusion simply rehashed many of the falsehoods, smears, and hysterics promoted by Beck and others in the right-wing media throughout the previous year.
A Fox News Bulls & Bears segment discussing Republican Sen. Tom Coburn (OK)'s amendment to the health reform bill that would force members of Congress to join the public option if it becomes law focused on the supposed "hypocrisy" of Democrats supporting a public option that they would not enroll in. In fact, despite the alleged efforts of GOP Senators to keep Democrats from signing on to the amendment, Democratic Sens. Sherrod Brown, Christopher Dodd, Al Franken, and Barbara Mikulski have since become co-sponsors -- with Democratic co-sponsors now outnumbering Republican co-sponsors of the amendment.