Right-wing websites including the Fox Nation have highlighted a question asked of House Speaker Nancy Pelosi at a November 9 press conference in Seattle by a local reporter who said, "Do you think it's fair to send people to jail for not buying health insurance?" In fact, the penalty under the House health care reform bill for failure to purchase insurance is a tax, not jail time, and willful failure to pay federal income taxes can result in civil or criminal penalties.
The right-wing blog Gateway Pundit says Christians are the target of more hate crimes in the U.S. than Muslims:
In the real world... Hate crimes against Muslims have steadily declined since 2001. Today there are more reported hate crimes against Christians in the United States than Muslims.
That's a reference to the fact that there were 115 reported hate crime incidents against Muslims in 2007, according to the FBI, and 118 against Christians.
Now, this would be a good time to keep in mind that 78 percent of American adults are Christian, and 0.6 percent are Muslim. In other words, there are about 130 times as many Christians in the US as there are Muslims. And yet there were essentially the same number of reported hate crimes against Muslims as against Christians in 2007.
That sure paints a different picture than Gateway Pundit's statement that "there are more reported hate crimes against Christians in the United States than Muslims," doesn't it?
In an effort to downplay hate crimes against Muslims, Gateway Pundit has accidentally provided a reminder of just how disproportionately Muslims are the victims of such crimes. Heckuva job, GP.
Members of the conservative media, including Fox News, are attacking President Obama for not attending the commemoration of the 20th anniversary of the fall of the Berlin Wall. But when Obama has traveled abroad in the past -- including a trip in which Obama commemorated D-Day -- Fox News and figures at other media outlets have criticized him for supposedly going on an "apology tour."
Following the shootings at the Fort Hood Army Post, the Fox Nation and right-wing blogs launched political attacks on President Obama's remarks at a the Tribal Nations conference at the Interior Department, in which he addressed the tragedy after making introductory remarks.
Following Democrat Bill Owens' November 3 victory in the contested NY-23 Congressional race, right-wing bloggers have sought to highlight the "under-reported fact" that Bill Owens "campaigned against the public option." However, while Owens modified his position on the public option during the course of the campaign, he has expressed support for a public option since September, and on October 30 Owens endorsed the public option in the House health care reform bill.
Numerous conservative media outlets are pushing a distortion of comments made by Secretary of State Hillary Clinton during a roundtable discussion with business leaders in Pakistan to suggest that she celebrated the notion that "[w]e tax everything that moves and doesn't move," in contrast to lower tax rates in Pakistan. But in her comments, Clinton actually called on Pakistan to raise more revenue of its own, rather than relying on U.S. aid, and said that U.S. taxpayers and Congress say, "[W]e want to help those who help themselves."
Numerous right-wing websites, including the Fox Nation and the Drudge Report, have parroted a misleading headline posted on October 26 by Real Clear Politics and NewsBusters asserting that Rep. Barney Frank (D-MA) stated, "We are trying on every front to increase the role of government." In fact, while specifically discussing financial regulation, Frank actually said, "[W]e are trying on every front to increase the role of government in the regulatory area" [emphasis added].
Following the release of preliminary data from Recovery.gov indicating that around 30,000 jobs have been created or saved through federal stimulus contracts thus far, numerous conservative media figures have distorted the report to claim or suggest that the 30,000 figure represents the sum total of jobs created by the stimulus program to date. In fact, the 30,000 figure represents only the number of jobs created through federal contracts that have been awarded with stimulus funds, which is a small fraction of the total stimulus spending, and does not represent the total job impact of the $173 billion of stimulus funds that have been spent by the government thus far.
After attacking White House communications director Anita Dunn for stating that Mao Zedong was one of her "favorite political philosophers," Glenn Beck and right-wing bloggers have seized on "manufacturing czar" Ron Bloom's February 2008 statement that he agrees "with Mao that political power comes largely from the barrel of a gun." However, numerous conservatives, including Newt Gingrich and John McCain, have approvingly cited the tactics of Mao, Vladimir Lenin, and the Viet Cong, stated that they had used those tactics in their political work, or have otherwise highlighted their philosophies, and yet have slipped under media conservatives' communist radar.
Continuing the smear campaign against Education Department official Kevin Jennings, Sean Hannity claimed that Jennings is in favor of "indoctrinat[ing]" schoolchildren about homosexuality, and radio talk show host Sandy Rios said of Jennings, "[W]e're talking about raping the innocence of our children." To support her claim, Rios falsely claimed that a passage in a book for which Jennings wrote the foreword describes a mother telling her 8-year-old daughter she was "attracted sexually" to the same girl her daughter liked.
Numerous conservative media figures have seized on the Nobel Committee's decision to award President Obama the Nobel Peace Prize as an excuse to attack Obama or his policies. Media conservatives previously rooted against Chicago's bid to host the 2016 Olympic Games, similarly using the bid as an excuse to attack Obama, and celebrated when the games were awarded to Rio de Janeiro.
In an October 7 post, right-wing blogger Gateway Pundit falsely claimed that President Obama "is forcing a private Catholic institution to cover abortion in its insurance plan," and Ed Morrissey similarly wrote on HotAir.com that the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) "demanded that a private Catholic college offer abortion" coverage. In fact, the EEOC -- in a letter of determination that did not address the issue of abortion -- stated that the institution, Belmont Abbey College, violated discrimination laws by denying employees health insurance coverage for "prescription contraceptive drugs."
Recently, the right-wing media have engaged in relentless attacks on President Obama and his administration and progressive organizations. Those attacks have repeatedly turned out to be based on demonstrably false claims -- such as the claim that Education Department official Kevin Jennings "cover[ed] up statutory rape."
Despite evidence to the contrary, Fox News -- led by Sean Hannity -- and other right-wing media have claimed that Department of Education official Kevin Jennings "cover[ed] up statutory rape" and violated Massachusetts law by not reporting to authorities a 1988 conversation in which a high school student told Jennings about his relationship with an older man. In fact, Jennings' attorney wrote in a 2004 letter that the student was 16 years old, which is -- and was at the time -- the legal age of consent in Massachusetts.