Numerous media figures have asserted that the proposed stimulus package supported by President Barack Obama would amount to spending at least $223,000 for every job created, echoing a press release issued by the Republicans on the House Appropriations Committee. But by calculating the per-job cost by dividing the estimated total cost of the stimulus package by the estimated number of jobs created -- and thus suggesting that the sole purpose of that package is to create jobs -- these media figures ignored other tangible benefits stemming from the package, such as infrastructure improvements and education, health, and public safety investments.
David Brooks wrote that Gov. Sarah Palin "made mortal enemies of the two people [Sen. John] McCain has always held up as the carriers of the pork-barrel disease: [Rep. Don] Young [R-AK] and [Sen. Ted] Stevens [R-AK]." Brooks' characterization of Palin and Stevens as "mortal enemies" is undermined by substantial evidence, including a joint Stevens-Palin press conference in July in which Stevens said he has "never known of any animosity between" them and Palin said she had "great respect" for Stevens, as well as Palin's previous service as co-director of a 527 organization bearing Stevens' name.
New York Times columnist David Brooks asserted of Alaska Gov. Sarah Palin: "She's evangelical, but she's pretty progressive on gay and lesbian issues. She's for drilling in ANWR [Arctic National Wildlife Refuge], but she talks about global warming quite a lot." But Palin has reportedly said of global warming, "I'm not one though who would attribute it to being man-made," a position at odds with findings by the United Nations Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change; she has also reportedly opposed giving spousal benefits to same-sex partners of public employees.
On MSNBC, David Brooks asserted that "less educated" and "downscale" people "look at [Sen. Barack] Obama, and they don't see anything," adding: "And so, Obama's problem is he doesn't seem like the kind of guy who could go into an Applebee's salad bar, and people think he fits in naturally there." Applebee's officials have confirmed to Media Matters that its restaurants do not have salad bars.
On The NewsHour with Jim Lehrer, Mark Shields asserted that Sen. John McCain "emphasized a lot of places of disagreement" with President Bush during his March 26 foreign policy speech, including "the sense of communality and collegiality among nations, reaching to the allies." But neither Shields nor the others in the discussion noted any of the highly critical statements McCain made about U.S. allies who opposed the Iraq war.
The New York Times' David Brooks asserted that Sen. John McCain's March 26 foreign policy speech "was so important because he broke with Bush on several ways" and described one of those ways as, "Should the U.S. go it alone on certain issues? He said no, we are -- we need a strong America, but in the community of nations. And he detailed that." Similarly, The Washington Post's David Broder wrote that McCain "outlin[ed] a vastly different approach from President Bush's" in the speech, in part by offering a "repudiation of unilateralism." Yet neither Brooks nor Broder accounted for any of the statements McCain made during the run-up to the Iraq war about France, Germany, and Belgium, which revealed a very different attitude to U.S. allies.
On Meet the Press, discussing the New York Times article about Sen. John McCain's relationship with a lobbyist, David Brooks said he "do[esn't] really understand the case" involving McCain and the letters he wrote to the Federal Communications Commission about an issue involving Paxson Communications, then suggested that McCain "only wrote two letters" as chairman of the Senate Commerce Committee. But the Times reported that McCain sent a series of letters to the FCC in a separate case, including "an unusually blunt letter to the head of the Federal Communications Commission, warning that he would try to overhaul the agency if it closed a broadcast ownership loophole."
Responding to Chris Matthews' question, "[W]ill Barack Obama's oratorical ability on the lectern in front of big rooms continue to be his winning edge?" The New York Times' David Brooks said: "Yes, but he's got to get away from colleges. Go visit a factory for once." In fact, Obama delivered what his campaign called a "major economic policy address" at a Wisconsin General Motors factory a few days before Brooks made his comment.
In his New York Times column, David Brooks wrote that Sen. John McCain "led the charge against [convicted lobbyist] Jack Abramoff." In fact, as chairman of the Indian Affairs Committee, McCain reportedly steered the Abramoff investigation away from examining any potential wrongdoing by his Republican colleagues. Brooks also asserted that "[w]hile others ignored the spending binge, McCain was among the fiscal hawks." But while McCain originally opposed the 2003 Bush tax cuts on fiscal policy grounds, he subsequently voted to extend them.
Given that conservatives such as Rich Lowry and Tony Blankley have challenged Laura Bush's assertion that the media have failed to cover "a lot of good things that are happening" in Iraq, will the media similarly take on the first lady's baseless -- and at times outright false -- attacks on the media?