After Fox News aired a doctored version of Teamsters president James Hoffa's Labor Day speech, the right-wing media pointed to the clearly edited video to accuse Hoffa of encouraging violence against conservatives. In fact, unaltered video -- video aired by Fox hours after the clearly edited version had been heavily promoted throughout the conservative media -- shows that Hoffa was encouraging the crowd to vote against Republicans in the 2012 election.
Led by journalists at Fox News, media figures have mocked the Obama administration for using the phrase "federal family" to refer to federal agencies involved in Hurricane Irene relief efforts, suggesting that the administration invented the phrase as a "euphemism" for "federal government." However, "federal family" is not a new phrase; it dates back to at least George H.W. Bush's administration and was regularly used by members of George W. Bush's administration when discussing disaster relief.
Fox News has repeatedly played up the national debt as the "number one issue" facing the country, despite statements from economists that unemployment is a more pressing problem. Now, in the aftermath of a default crisis that was manufactured by conservatives, Fox is criticizing Obama for "pivoting" back to jobs, suggesting that he has not been sufficiently focused on the issue in the past.
Ed Henry is reportedly moving from CNN to Fox News to become the network's Chief White House correspondent. When asked by Media Matters, Henry declined to comment on Bill Sammon, Fox News' Washington managing editor.
Last year, CNN came under criticism for hiring conservative blogger Erick Erickson, who described Michelle Obama as a "Marxist harpy wife" and Supreme Court justice David Souter a "goat fucking child molester." Henry defended the hiring, writing on his Twitter account:
For those Tweeting CNN shouldn't have hired @ewerickson as a contributor, seriously do you think a network should NOT have diverse voices?
CNN reporter Ed Henry, a board member of the correspondents group, said he backs Fox. "When CNN bid for the front row in 2007, Fox could have challenged it and had a knock-down, drag-out fight like the one we might have this time. But they did the gentlemanly thing and said CNN had more seniority. I've got to honor that commitment."
In 2005, Henry described a Democratic proposal for withdrawal from Iraq as what "some have referred to" as "the cut-and-run provision," a phrase that echoed a Republican talking point about the conflict.
Henry falsely claimed in 2006 that Sen. Byron Dorgan (D-ND) had received campaign contributions from convicted lobbyist Jack Abramoff and his wife.
Henry was one of the attendees at a much-criticized beach party held by the White House for members of the press. He defended himself against criticisms of a conflict of interest, saying his critics didn't have a sense of humor.
From the January 2 edition of CNN's State of the Union:
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From the November 5 edition of CNN's Anderson Cooper 360:
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Despite passage of health care reform bills in House and Senate committees and the endorsement by major medical organizations of congressional Democrats' reform efforts, numerous television pundits have suggested that President Obama's health care plan is in serious jeopardy.
Yes, as Politico's Michael Calderone points out, Huffington Post is asking readers to vote for their favorite White House correspondent:
Current nominees: Chuck Todd, Savannah Guthrie, John Yang, Suzanne Malveaux, Ed Henry, Bill Plante, Jake Tapper, Major Garrett and Wendell Goler.
Henry would like your vote. But some think there are some notable exemptions: Former White House press office staffer Pete Seat wants Chip Reid and Washington Times White House correspondent Christina Bellantoni thinks Mark Knoller was robbed.
Mere hours after the Gridiron Dinner -- an annual gathering of the political press in which everyone soberly bonds over their concern for the state of the world and offers the plucky and trembling Ed Henry advice on being a newsman -- President Barack Obama appeared on 60 Minutes for an interview with Steve Kroft, and while the session, to the untrained eye, might have looked like a ranging and substantive interview, media figures with more discernment and savvy saw it for what it was: Obama laughing at the hardships of America, forever and ever.
And so, as the keepers of the public trust, they grimly went to work, warning America about Obama's reckless demonstration of "emotion" and "brief levity" and "humor," because HOW DARE HE. What sort of rat bastard President would force the cast of MSNBC's commedia dell'arte show Morning Joe suspend their pleasing lazzi, about sex toys -- the important issues of the day -- to discuss his loathesome laughter! In this new video by Media Matters, you can see just how this important topic was relentlessly pursued, like the icy grip of death.
On CNN's Lou Dobbs Tonight, Ed Henry falsely suggested that President Obama's proposals to allow the Bush tax cuts to expire and to increase the capital gains tax rate would affect taxpayers in all income brackets. In fact, Obama has proposed allowing the Bush tax cuts to expire -- and increasing the capital gains tax rate -- only for individuals earning more than $200,000 in income and for joint filers earning more than $250,000 per year.
In numerous instances, the media have falsely stated or suggested that a CBO analysis of less than half of the economic recovery bill examined the entire bill, resulting in the false suggestion that the analysis, in the words of the Politico, "shows very little money will be spent in the first six or so months after enactment" of the recovery plan. But as the AP noted, the CBO analysis did not "cover tax cuts or efforts by Democrats to provide relief to cash-strapped state governments to help with their Medicaid bills." Six days later, some outlets were still making the false suggestion.
On CNN's Lou Dobbs Tonight, Ed Henry asserted that the Congressional Budget Office's cost estimate of the economic stimulus bill "basically says that 52 percent of the money will be spent out over the next 18 months, that some 64, 65 percent of the bill will be paid out over the first two years." However, Henry's calculations are based on outlays only, excluding the plan's tax cut provisions. Including both outlays and tax cuts, the CBO estimated that about 64 percent of the recovery bill would be paid out within 19 months, and about 86 percent by the end of fiscal year 2011.
On his CNN show, Lou Dobbs falsely claimed that in an item criticizing a report by Ed Henry on President Obama's economic recovery package, Media Matters "tr[ied] to conflate the Office of Management and Budget numbers as somehow superior with the Congressional Budget Office." In fact, Media Matters merely pointed out that according to the OMB director, the CBO conducted only a partial analysis of the bill, which Henry did not report.
On Lou Dobbs Tonight, Ed Henry reported that a "study" from the Congressional Budget Office "was suggesting that a lot of the spending proposals in the original [economic stimulus] plan would not really take effect for a couple of years, so it wouldn't clearly help create jobs in the first two years of the president's administration." However, the director of the Office of Management and Budget stated in a letter that his agency's "analysis indicates that at least 75 percent of the overall package ... will be spent over the next year and a half" -- which Henry did not report.
NBC and CNN uncritically reported Sen. John McCain's charge that Sen. Barack Obama voted for an energy bill in 2005 that was "full of goodies and breaks for the oil companies," while McCain voted against it. Neither provided a response from the Obama campaign, which says that Obama voted for the bill because it included extensive investments in renewable energy. Nor did either report note that the bill actually resulted in a net tax increase for the oil and gas industry.