The conservative activist group Citizens United is reportedly distributing Hype: The Obama Effect, a DVD attacking Sen. Barack Obama, this week in newspapers in Ohio, Nevada, and Florida. The AP quoted Citizens United president David Bossie saying of the film, "We think it's a truthful attack. People can take it anyway they want." But a Media Matters analysis of Hype finds that it contains numerous falsehoods and misrepresentations of Obama's record. Newspapers that distribute the DVD should consider their obligation to provide readers with information that discredits it.
Fox News' Dick Morris baselessly accused ACORN of "committing voter fraud." In fact, ACORN does not stand accused of "committing voter fraud," and Morris did not point to any allegations that ACORN has engaged in voter fraud.
On Hannity & Colmes, Dick Morris falsely claimed that Sen. Barack Obama served as "general counsel" to the Association of Community Organizations for Reform Now (ACORN). In fact, while Obama was part of a team of attorneys that represented ACORN in a lawsuit against the State of Illinois, Obama was never "general counsel" to ACORN.
On Hannity & Colmes, Dick Morris baselessly claimed that William Ayers "hired" Sen. Barack Obama as chairman of the Chicago Annenberg Challenge "to distribute the $50 million that Ayers raised" for the educational organization. However, The New York Times reported that "according to several people involved, Mr. Ayers played no role in Mr. Obama's appointment," while the Obama campaign also has said that Ayers did not "arrange" Obama's CAC chairmanship.
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On Fox News' Hannity & Colmes, Dick Morris suggested that Sen. Hillary Clinton was "complain[ing]" of sexism when she became emotional during a campaign event in Portsmouth, New Hampshire. In fact, Clinton's voice broke as she spoke about why she was seeking the presidency; nowhere in her remarks did Clinton touch on the subject of sexism on the campaign trail.
After Gov. Sarah Palin was announced as Sen. John McCain's running mate, Dick Morris characterized the media's coverage of Palin as the result of "the deep sexism that runs through our society." Two days later, Morris said that "when a woman wants to attack, it's hard because she's seen as strident or shrill," adding: "[Sen.] Hillary [Clinton] has that problem perhaps because she is strident and shrill."
On Hannity & Colmes, Dick Morris said of Gov. Sarah Palin: "[T]here's a fight going on between her sister and her husband and the husband tasered the kid." But the issues raised by this "fight" are not merely issues of family discord; Palin has been accused of misusing her office in allegedly pressuring the Alaska public safety commissioner to fire Palin's sister's former husband, a state trooper, which the commissioner, who was subsequently fired, refused to do.
On The O'Reilly Factor, Dick Morris asserted that while Democrats say "things are terrible, Bush is awful, and McCain is more of same," "[t]hat statistic that 90 percent of the time they vote together? Ninety percent of the votes in the Senate are unanimous. Bush, Obama, and McCain probably vote together 90 percent of the time on resolutions congratulating the New York Giants and stuff." In fact, Congressional Quarterly has reported that Sen. John McCain has voted with President Bush 90 percent of the time, while Sen. Barack Obama has voted with Bush 40 percent of the time.
On August 29, Dick Morris said of Gov. Sarah Palin: "[I]t's OK if the Republicans nominated somebody for vice president who needs a little warm-up time 'til they become president." But discussing Palin on June 16, Morris said that Sen. John McCain "needs someone with a little more experience" for vice president.
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On both his radio and television shows, Bill O'Reilly again cited Sen. Barack Obama's ranking by the National Journal as the "most liberal senator" for 2007, without noting the rankings' subjectivity. O'Reilly did not note that the rankings were based not on every vote cast by senators in 2007, but rather on "99 key Senate votes, selected by NJ reporters and editors, to place every senator on a liberal-to-conservative scale."
On Fox News, Dick Morris asserted that as president, Sen. Barack Obama "would double the capital gains tax. That means that you get far less when you sell your home, or your 401(k) or your stock plan," and added, "[H]e would increase the limit on Social Security taxes, which means instead of paying 12 1/2 percent of the first $100,000, you pay it on everything that you're making." Morris' claims are false or highly misleading.
On Today, Dick Morris asserted: "[T]his whole debate about what kind of president [Sen. Barack] Obama would make has swirled around almost an existential level. Is he sort of a Manchurian candidate? A sleeper agent?" Morris has previously stated that "the determinant in the election will be whether we believe that Barack Obama is what he appears to be, or is he somebody who's sort of a sleeper agent who really doesn't believe in our system."
While discussing his latest syndicated column on Fox News' America's Election HQ, Dick Morris asserted: "[T]he question that plagues [Sen. Barack] Obama is ... Is he pro-American?" Morris has previously stated that "the determinant in the election will be whether we believe that Barack Obama is what he appears to be, or is he somebody who's sort of a sleeper agent who really doesn't believe in our system."