On MSNBC's Countdown, Keith Olbermann named Ann Coulter "Worst Person in the World" for suggesting in a column that Sen. Hillary Rodham Clinton is a closeted lesbian. During the segment, Olbermann also awarded Neal Boortz third place for falsely stating that most workers on minimum wage are teenagers and for calling adult minimum-wage workers "pathetic" and "worthless."
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On his radio show, before reading comments from a Media Matters for America item that documented his August 3 remarks describing adult minimum-wage earners as "incompetent," "ignorant," "stupid," "worthless," and "pathetic," Neal Boortz again smeared them, calling adult minimum-wage earners "100 percent pure unadulterated loser[s]."
ABC White House correspondent Jake Tapper and Washington Post staff writer Jeffrey Birnbaum both uncritically reported conservatives' argument that a minimum-wage increase will eliminate existing jobs and discourage the creation of new ones. However, several studies show that minimum-wage increases do not hurt employment.
Neal Boortz asked his audience, "[H]ow incompetent, how ignorant, how worthless is an adult that can't earn more than the minimum wage?" Boortz also falsely claimed that "most of the people that earn [the] minimum wage are teenagers."
On Fox News' Special Report with Brit Hume, Charles Krauthammer falsely claimed that the estate tax "penalizes a lot of small businesses" and could leave the "heirs" of a "small-business owner" with "nothing." In fact, the estate tax affects very few small-business owners, and the highest marginal estate-tax rate is 46 percent.
The New York Times and The Washington Post credited GOP "moderates" with forcing the Republican leadership to allow a vote on increasing the minumum wage, burying the fact that Democrats have been pushing for years to increase the minimum wage. The Times and the Post also uncritically repeated the argument, often put forth by opponents of a wage increase, that a higher minimum wage will result in job losses and discourage job creation.
A Washington Post article by staff writer Dan Balz uncritically reported RNC spokeswoman Tracey Schmitt's misleading claim in support of President Bush's economic record: that "5.4 million jobs have been created in the last three years alone," leaving the impression that job growth had also occurred earlier in Bush's presidency. In fact, Bush presided over a net loss of 2.6 million jobs, from the beginning of his presidency through July 2003.
MSNBC host Chris Matthews failed to challenge former General Electric CEO Jack Welch when Welch praised "household numbers" released by the federal Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), showing that "we grew over 300,000 jobs last month." But of the two job surveys BLS conducts each month, the household survey is widely considered to be a less accurate measure of job growth than the payroll survey, which reported job growth of 121,000 in June.
Stephen Moore asserted that "a lot of the new [tax] revenue is coming from rich people," and then asked rhetorically, "if [Bush's tax cut] was a big tax cut for the rich, why are the rich paying more taxes than ever?" In fact, filers earning at least $200,000 paid less federal income tax in 2004 on average than they did in 2002.
Few media reports on new, lower federal budget deficit projections by the Bush administration pointed out that critics have accused the administration of inflating its original deficit predictions to be able to later tout the actual, less dire, figures.
On Fox News' Your World with Neil Cavuto, Jonathan Hoenig, managing member of Capitalistpig Asset Management LLC, asserted that a pre-emptive attack on North Korea would cause "the market" to rise. "I would love to see us launch a pre-emptive attack on North Korea," Hoenig stated.
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Reporting on the death of former Enron Corp. founder and chairman Kenneth Lay, on the July 5 edition of NBC's Nightly News, correspondent Don Teague made no mention of Lay's connection to President Bush.
On June 29, several Fox News media figures suggested that the U.S. government should "put up the Office of Censorship" to screen news reports to determine whether they "hurt the country" or are of "news value," in the wake of a New York Times article disclosing a Treasury Department program designed to monitor international financial transactions.
In response to the reports describing a Treasury Department program designed to monitor international financial transactions for terrorist activity, President Bush and other White House officials lashed out at the media -- and The New York Times in particular -- for purportedly undermining the government's antiterrorism efforts. But as with the disclosure of the Bush administration's warrantless domestic surveillance and domestic call-tracking programs, the administration and its supporters in the media have relied on numerous false and misleading claims to support their arguments.