Sean Hannity baselessly asserted that "[t]he federal government and the Democrats ... forced these banks, through the Community Reinvestment Act, to make these risky loans," adding, "The risky loans started the subprime mortgage crisis, which impacted all these financial institutions, which needed government bailouts." In fact, according to housing experts, the vast majority of subprime loans were made by independent lenders not covered by the CRA.
On all three network evening news programs, reports on the bailout of Citigroup included interviews with supporters of the deal, but only the CBS Evening News included any criticism of the bailout -- and that criticism came from a source who argued that the bailout was not large enough. None of the reports featured criticism of the bailout on the grounds that it is a poor deal for taxpayers, even though several economists have made that argument.
On Hardball, guest host Mike Barnicle did not challenge the false claim by Republican strategist Todd Harris that union autoworkers earn "70, $75 an hour," a claim also recently made on Hardball by a Heritage Foundation fellow and echoed by host Chris Matthews.
MSNBC's Mika Brzezinski falsely claimed that "the average Big Three automaker union worker's compensation is $73/hour -- two and a half times the average for the taxpayer being asked to bail them out." In fact, the $73 figure includes not only future retirement benefits for current workers, but also benefits paid to current retirees, according to GM.
Several media outlets have used data that combines the average cost of current wages and benefits and future benefits to falsely assert or suggest that autoworkers make $70 or more per hour. But, as analysts and some media outlets have noted, the figure includes not only future retirement benefits for current workers, but also benefits paid to current retirees.
An Augusta Chronicle editorial supporting the "Fair Tax," a proposal that "replaces all federal income and payroll based taxes" with a national sales tax, falsely stated that under the "Fair Tax" people will "get their entire paycheck." In fact, Georgia residents would still have to pay the Georgia income tax, which is withheld from their paychecks.
On Hannity & Colmes, Sean Hannity and Hugh Hewitt rehashed the discredited claim that President-elect Barack Obama is to blame for recent declines in the stock market. In fact, analysts have cited economic data on dropping retail sales, increasing unemployment, and other significant factors to explain recent stock-market declines.
While discussing potential Republican outreach efforts toward African-Americans, Jason Lewis stated on The Rush Limbaugh Show: "[T]his whole notion of taxing -- taxing America's labor -- you know, I don't know how else you describe what this sordid experience of slavery was when you take away somebody's ability to engage in the marketplace with the fruits of their labor." Lewis later added: "We need to go into the African-American community there on cultural issues. And they should be there on taxes, because they know what it's like to have to work for free."
On CBS' Face the Nation, Fox News contributor Newt Gingrich falsely claimed that Indiana and Utah -- both governed by Republicans -- have the "lowest unemployment rates in their respective regions." However, according to the most recent Bureau of Labor Statistics records, neither Utah nor Indiana has the lowest unemployment rate in its region, and several states with lower unemployment rates are governed by Democrats.
On Fox News Sunday, host Chris Wallace did not challenge the false assertion by Sen. Jon Kyl (R-AZ) that Republican economist "Marty Feldstein says we shouldn't" enact a new economic stimulus plan. But Feldstein wrote in an October 30 op-ed that "[t]he only way to prevent a deepening recession will be a temporary program of increased government spending."
In case you had any doubts about the economic cheerleading that went on for years on places like CNBC and Fox News and then Fox Business, take a look at the how Peter Shift was practically laughed on sets in 2006 and 2007 when he started talking about the deep, looming recession when consumers were going to stop spending, or when he warned about the coming housing collapse.
Sean Hannity and Rush Limbaugh continue to suggest that President-elect Barack Obama is to blame for the decline in the stock market, referring to the state of the stock market as an "Obama recession." In fact, analysts have refuted the proposition that the market decline has anything to do with anticipation of Obama's presidency.
On The War Room, Jim Quinn addressed his prior comments comparing "slave[s] in the old South" to welfare recipients today. Quinn said: "Now, naturally, the point that I was making was that there are two forms of servitude: There's the servitude that you can be forced into, and there's the servitude you can be coerced into, I mean, the horrors of slavery notwithstanding -- naturally, that was my point." He later added: "[W]hen you think about it, the slave had more personal nobility than the welfare recipient, because he or she had no say in their station in life. The welfare recipient actually volunteers for it. It is the liberal plantation."
Conservative commentators have asserted that President-elect Barack Obama is to blame for the decline of the stock market since the election. But several analysts disagree, citing weak corporate reports and the release of unemployment statistics.