In a July 31 report on the Food and Drug Administration's purported endorsement of the over-the-counter sale of the "morning-after" pill, or Plan B, for women 18 and older, NBC News correspondent Tom Costello falsely reported that the conservative Concerned Women for America "advocates" allowing women 18 and older to obtain the drug.
In addition to calling Al Gore a "total fag" on the July 27 edition of Hardball, Ann Coulter also falsely credited activists who oppose abortion rights with placing an abortion ban on the ballot in South Carolina. In fact, it was supporters of abortion rights in South Dakota who placed a measure on the November ballot that would allow voters to uphold or strike down a state law banning most abortions.
Rush Limbaugh claimed that "the militant pro-abortion crowd" is "behind" efforts to legalize federal funding of embryonic stem cell research, "because you need abortions to get these [embryos]." In fact, embryonic stem cells "are derived from embryos that develop from eggs that have been fertilized in vitro ... and then donated for research purposes with informed consent of the donors."
On Fox News' Your World, ABC anchor John Stossel advocated the legal sale of organs, citing the fact that "hot dogs don't spoil when we get to them" as evidence that "the market figures out ways to make these things work."
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The White House released a series of statements, reportedly initiated by new press secretary Tony Snow, attacking specific media reports and editorials as misleading. Conservatives in the media have touted the statements as indicative of a new willingness on the part of the White House communications office, led by Snow, to call the press on its misinformation. But Media Matters for America has found that, of the six "Setting the Record Straight" releases issued from May 8 to May 11, at least four are highly misleading.
Following a 700 Club segment about black ministers who oppose abortion, Pat Robertson claimed that Planned Parenthood supports "black genocide" and wanted to use Rev. Martin Luther King Jr. as a black minister "who could do that for them."
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David Muir's report on the "morning-after" pill, or Plan B, on ABC's World News Tonight, included a conservative group's claim that allowing sales of the pill without a prescription would be unsafe, but provided no scientific evidence to support the claim, while omitting the fact that Food and Drug Administration (FDA) staff scientists and outside advisory panels have recommended that the FDA approve allowing over-the-counter sales.
Playing a clip of a 2005 speech in which Sen. Hillary Rodham Clinton said abortion should be "safe, legal, and rare," Chris Matthews suggested that she was being disingenuous and accused her of "trying to play it safe" on the issue in order to follow the "same poll-tested path" in 2008 as previous Democratic presidential nominees during failed bids for the White House. But Matthews offered no support for his suggestion that Clinton's 2005 statement on abortion was disingenuous, nor did he mention that she used exactly those words in describing her views on abortion in 1999.
On his daily BreakPoint radio commentary, convicted Watergate felon and Prison Fellowship Ministries founder Charles W. Colson claimed that legalized abortion created a labor shortage, forcing the United States to solicit undocumented workers from other countries to fill jobs that might have otherwise been occupied by the "40 million sacrificed since 1973" to abortion.
The Washington Post once again reported as fact the Bush administration's misleading claim that "29 million Americans have enrolled" in the Medicare prescription drug program. But while the Post suggested that the 29 million enrollees joined the program voluntarily, more than two-thirds were, in fact, enrolled automatically.
On his nationally syndicated radio program, Glenn Beck said of Native Americans who are considering circumventing a new South Dakota law banning nearly all abortions by opening an abortion clinic on an Indian reservation in the state: "Indians will have found something that can be more profitable than casinos, and that's abortion clinics. And then, look out, man -- exploiting everything illegal for profit."
Washingtonpost.com's newly hired Republican blogger Ben Domenech, in a post about the Supreme Court on his previous weblog, wrote that "[t]he worst black-robed men and women are worse then [sic] the KKK." He also asked rhetorically: "In the past 30 years, how many innocent lives has the KKK ended? How about the Judiciary?"
In describing Nigeria's new public education campaign to fight the spread of bird flu, radio host Glenn Beck stated that the country has "actually resorted to radio jingles," and then asked if the United States could be "as dumb as Nigeria."
In reporting on President Bush's March 14 remarks on the Medicare prescription drug program, The Washington Post and the Associated Press both uncritically repeated Bush's claim that 26 million senior citizens have voluntarily enrolled in the program. In fact, the number of seniors who voluntarily enrolled is about 5 million, or one-fifth of the number touted by Bush and repeated by the Post and AP.