Mary Matalin claimed that Louisiana Gov. Bobby Jindal "made more progress in Louisiana in the shortest period of time in the history of the state and probably in the country. Education reform and ethics reform -- everything that put Louisiana down in scale is now one of the top states in the country." In fact, the Louisiana Department of Education noted that the 13th edition of Education Week's "series of annual report cards tracking state education policies and outcomes" found that "gains were minimal" in the state since the previous report and that "[i]n overall rank, Louisiana dropped from 21st last year to 35th this year."
As Washington Monthly's Steve Benen notes, former Arkansas Governor and current Fox News host Mike "Huckabee doesn't know what he's talking about."
Perhaps Politico should have taken that into consideration before uncritically repeating Huckabee's false claim that the economic recovery package is "anti-religious." Though the provision Huckabee cited is correct -- the bill would not provide money to be used on a religious "school or department of divinity" -- Politico did not note that, contrary to Huckabee's suggestion that this provision is a consequence of the liberal trifecta of Pelosi-Reid-Obama, such provisions were included in bills passed when the Republicans were in the majority, as Media Matters has noted.
Look, if Mike Huckabee doesn't like the stimulus bill, fine. But to tell people the legislation is "anti-religious" is just insane. Or, to put it another way, Huckabee is bearing false witness, which as he may have heard, is generally frowned upon.
Regular readers know the story by now, but if you're just joining us, this myth has been making the rounds in right-wing circles for about a week. Originally, the American Center for Law and Justice, a right-wing legal group formed by TV preacher Pat Robertson, said the stimulus bill includes a provision that would prohibit "religious groups and organizations from using" buildings on college campuses. Soon after, religious right groups and right-wing blogs were up in arms, demanding that lawmakers fix the "anti-Christian" language of the bill. Fox News and the Christian Broadcasting Network helped get the word out to the far-right base about the nefarious measure. Sen. Jim DeMint (R-S.C.) actually tried to have the provision removed from the bill.
There was, however, one small problem: there was no such measure. The ACLJ doesn't know how to read legislation, and didn't realize that the standard language in the bill simply blocks spending for on-campus buildings that are used primarily for religion (like a chapel, for example). This same language has been part of education spending bills for 46 years. It's just the law, and it's never been controversial.
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Several media outlets have praised or uncritically reported praise of the President's Emergency Plan for AIDS Relief. However, none of those outlets noted criticism of PEPFAR's requirement that starting in fiscal year 2006, 33 percent of funds set aside for prevention under the act that created PEPFAR be spent on abstinence-until-marriage education. According to many of the government officials responsible for managing PEPFAR abroad, as well as the Institute of Medicine, this requirement hindered PEPFAR's effectiveness in preventing the spread of AIDS until it was removed when Congress reauthorized PEPFAR in 2008.
Radio host Bill Cunningham compared the Cincinnati Zoo to Eugene "Bull" Connor, the Birmingham Public Safety commissioner infamous for using dogs and fire hoses against civil rights demonstrators in the 1960s. Cunningham made the remark while criticizing the zoo's decision to pull out of a promotional partnership with the Creation Museum, which seeks to "affirm the truth of the biblical record of the real origin and history of the world and mankind" and reportedly contains a display featuring "a triceratops with a saddle on its back."
The Time mag writer seems to be reading way too much into the Obamas' decision to send their daughters to the Sidwell Friends school in Washington, D.C. Gibbs claims it revolves around the school's Quaker background and then quickly gets bogged down in Quaker dogma:
Unlike many Quaker schools, Sidwell is not attached to a particular Friends meeting, but many of its trustees are Quakers and the emphasis on open-minded pursuit of excellence and understanding is enforced by weekly Meetings for Worship.
The headline also suggests Time, which received no insight from the Obamas about this choice, can read minds: "Why Sasha and Malia Will Go to Sidewell Friends".
In truth, Time has no idea why the Obamas chose Sidwell Friends. And the magazine ought to probably just say so.
"Aggressive Underdog vs. Cool Counterpuncher" (Washington Post)
"McCain Brings Heat, Obama Stays Mr. Cool" (Chicago Sun-Times)
"Analysis: McCain Intense, Obama Maybe Too Cool" (Boston Globe)
"Debate Sees An Aggressive McCain and a Cool Obama" (The Hill)
"A fiesty McCain, a cool Obama, and appeals to 'Joes' everywhere" (Christian Science Monitor)
"McCain seemed energized; Obama kept cool" (Denver Post)
In a syndicated column criticizing Sen. Barack Obama's education plan, Thomas Sowell falsely claimed that under Obama's "merit pay for teachers" proposal, merit would be "measured by teachers themselves," rendering Obama's reference to merit pay, Sowell wrote, "meaningless." In fact, Obama has said that he will work with teachers unions to develop a system to determine merit pay, not that he would allow teachers to evaluate their own performance or independently choose the measures by which merit is evaluated.
On Hardball, Chuck Todd falsely claimed that the U.S. Court of Appeals for the 9th Circuit "wants to get rid of the Pledge" of Allegiance. In fact, in Newdow v. U.S. Congress, a 9th Circuit panel did not decide that the entire Pledge of Allegiance was unconstitutional, but rather "h[e]ld that ... the 1954 Act adding the words 'under God' to the Pledge ... violate[s] the Establishment Clause" of the First Amendment.
A Washington Post article uncritically reported a McCain campaign ad's false assertion that Sen. Barack Obama's " 'one accomplishment' on education has been to support 'comprehensive sex education' for kindergarteners," even after Michael Dobbs, the Post's own "Fact Checker," wrote that the McCain campaign's claim is "wrong," and that the ad is "dishonest" and "deceptive."
Fox News' Major Garrett uncritically quoted a portion of an ad by Sen. John McCain's campaign that claimed that Sen. Barack Obama's biggest accomplishment on education was teaching "comprehensive sex education to kindergartners." Garrett gave no explanation of Obama's actual position on sex education, provided no response from the Obama campaign, and gave no indication that he had sought such a response, nor did Garrett note that the bill Obama supported would have required school sexual education programs to give "age and developmentally appropriate" materials and instruction for students in kindergarten through 12th grade and included material warning children about sexual predators.
On his Milwaukee radio talk show, Mark Belling referred to schoolteachers who talk to their students about global warming as "idiot union teacher[s]," "liberal unionized hack[s]," "greedy, overpaid unionized schoolteacher[s]," and "fruitcake[s]."
Chris Matthews stated of Sen. Hillary Clinton, "When she went to New York, she quickly became a New Yorker with the Yankees hat and the upstate listening tour." Matthews has repeatedly suggested that Clinton's assertion during her first Senate campaign that she has "always been" a Yankees fan is false, despite photographic and other evidence showing that her allegiance to the Yankees long precedes her Senate run.
On World News, Charles Gibson aired a clip of Sen. John McCain's remarks at the April 14 Associated Press Annual Meeting and Luncheon -- during which McCain criticized Sen. Barack Obama for comments Obama made on April 6 -- but did not note that Obama responded to McCain's comments later that day at the same event.
Washington Post editorial page editor Fred Hiatt falsely claimed that Sen. Barack Obama "derided" teaching math and reading to "all children, especially poor and minority children" as "preparing children 'to fill in bubbles on standardized tests.' " In fact, Obama suggested that preparation for standardized tests shouldn't "come at the expense of music, or art, or phys. ed., or science." Hiatt also claimed that Sen. John McCain is the only current presidential candidate with "principles" that he "holds strongly enough to take an electoral hit" on issues such as the Iraq war, immigration, and "curbing the influence of money in politics." But McCain has shifted positions and demonstrated inconsistencies on all three of those issues.