The Washington Times reported that the Congressional Budget Office (CBO) found the House health care reform bill "will have a gross cost of $1.06 trillion but, with $167 billion in new penalty taxes imposed on businesses and individuals, the net cost is $894 billion." But the Times' report is misleading; at no point did it explain that the $894 billion figure it cited is actually the net cost of coverage provisions, which CBO found "would be more than offset," nor did the report explain that CBO estimated the bill would generate a "net reduction in federal budget deficits of $104 billion" over the next decade.
Rush Limbaugh falsely claimed that a section of the version of the health care reform bill unveiled by Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi will cause small businesses to "lose their tax breaks for health coverage" and asserted that "it's hard to tell from the damn convoluted language." In fact, the section at issue actually creates a tax credit; it does not limit any other tax breaks.
Expressing outrage that a video showing a "defaced flag" with "graffiti splattered all over it" is a finalist in a Democratic National Committee contest, Fox News and Sean Hannity ignored desecration of the flag by Fox News' own Glenn Beck, with Fox News contributor Michelle Malkin declaring that "the defacing of the flag, of course, is well within the mainstream of far-left propaganda tactics." President Bush also previously defaced a U.S. flag.
Following the White House's recent criticism of Fox News for its conservative slant, Glenn Beck and other conservative media have fearmongered that the Obama administration will harm Fox News and its supporters -- physically or otherwise -- because of their opposition to its policies. Since September alone, Beck has asked listeners to "pray for protection," compared Fox News to Jews during the Holocaust, and suggested the White House was pointing missiles at Fox News, and Newt Gingrich asked on Hannity if the administration would subject Fox News commentators to the Chinese "Cultural Revolution" because of their objections.
In recent days, both Glenn Beck and Rush Limbaugh have suggested that the H1N1 flu vaccine may be unsafe and questioned the Obama administration's recommendation that Americans get vaccinated, with Limbaugh asserting that "[y]ou'll be healthier" if you don't believe what the government says and Beck suggesting that the vaccine may be "deadly." However, health experts have repeatedly stated that the vaccine is a safe and necessary tool to combat the virus, and that, in CDC chief Thomas Frieden's words, "This flu vaccine is made as flu vaccine is made each year, by the same companies, in the same production facilities, with the same procedures, with the same safety safeguards" and "[t]hat enables us to have a high degree of confidence in the safety of the vaccine."
Conservative media figures who have promoted conspiracy theories about President Obama's birth certificate have recently used their platforms to promote the anti-health care reform disruptions of congressional town hall events. Indeed, the disruptions resemble similar efforts by birthers to disrupt town halls.
Stuart Varney interviewed former Sen. Harrison Schmitt to discuss whether "[g]lobal warming is real" but did not disclose that Schmitt is chairman emeritus of The Annapolis Center for Science-Based Public Policy, an organization funded by ExxonMobil.
While reporting on banks that had repaid TARP funds, Fox Business' Sandra Smith falsely claimed that "the government, the Obama administration, deemed these banks necessary to receive these funds." In fact, the banks Smith mentioned reportedly obtained the funds under the Bush administration in December 2008.