Right-wing media sources have falsely claimed that funding for community health centers (CHCs) included in the recently-passed health care reform legislation will fund abortions. In fact, CHCs do not perform abortions, and the Department of Health and Human Services states that federal regulations ban the use of the CHC funds for abortions except in cases already allowed under current law.
Last night, Media Matters posted an item detailing how CNSNews.com, in a January 14 article, falsely portrayed references to "Christian identity" in a 2008 interview by Erroll Southers, nominated to head the Transportation Safety Administration, as generic references to Christianity. In fact, the context of the interview shows that Southers was referring to the Christian Identity movement, which according to the Anti-Defamation League has "virulently racist and anti-Semitic beliefs" and is tied to several domestic terrorists.
Now, you'd think that after this story was demonstrated to be false, CNS would issue a correction or withdraw it. Nope -- we just checked a little bit ago, and not only is the story still live and unchanged hours after it was proven to be false, it's the top story on the CNS website's front page:
We'd be embarrassed if such an obviously false claim was left uncorrected on our website -- and we sure wouldn't be playing it up long after it was debunked. The Brent Bozell-operated CNS, it seems, operates by a different set of rules.
Terence Jeffrey, editor-in-chief of the conservative website CNSNews.com, falsely suggested that the Senate health care bill "would mandate federally subsidized abortion" in a manner inconsistent with the Hyde Amendment's restrictions on the types of abortions for which federal dollars can be used. But the section of the bill Jeffrey cited explicitly prohibits the use of federal funds to provide coverage for abortions that are currently restricted under Hyde, and requires segregation of non-federal funds from federal funds to pay for those procedures in a manner similar to that used in many states that cover such abortions under the federally subsidized Medicaid program.
Adam Brandon, spokesman for Freedom Works Foundation, one of the main sponsors of the event, estimated the crowd at 150,000. But on Sunday, the group's Web site estimated that hundreds of thousands of people turned out.
In fact, the closest thing to an official estimate comes from the Washington, D.C., fire department, which reported a turnout of 60,000 to 70,000. But Lucas didn't report that -- or the fact that FreedomWorks already has a record of making false assertions about turnout numbers. ABC traced a claim that it had reported that more than 1 million attended the rally -- ABC reported no such thing -- to FreedomWorks president Matt Kibbe.
Lucas later uncritically noted that "High Caliber, a conservative rapper," said, "I've done tea parties for 500 people. But not 500,000 or whatever it is we've got here." Because rap artists, unlike those big government fire departments, are accurate estimators of crowds, apparently.
CNSNews.com and Fox Business Network each gave a platform to representatives of the Association of American Physicians and Surgeons, but did not note that it is a conservative-leaning group that has promoted and endorsed controversial views on medicine and health.
Media figures have pointed to a 2005 Justice Department memo to claim that the use of waterboarding on Khalid Shaikh Mohammed caused him to reveal information intelligence officials used to foil a plot to attack the Library Tower in Los Angeles. But according to the Bush administration, the plot was broken up more than a year before Mohammed's capture.
The Fox Nation and the Drudge Report advanced a CNSNews.com article claiming the White House requested that Georgetown University "hide 'Jesus' " during a speech there by President Obama. However, as the CNS article noted, the White House requested "all signs and symbols" on the stage -- not solely the name of Jesus -- be covered.
A Cybercast News Service article falsely reported that Rev. Jane Holmes Dixon, a retired Episcopal bishop of Washington, D.C., called the Mexico City Policy -- a Reagan-era rule, reinstated by President Bush, that prohibits U.S. funding of international groups that provide abortion services -- a "disgrace." In fact, Dixon was referring to Bush's proposed cuts in financing for international family planning programs.