The right-wing media have seized on an eight-second video clip of Rep. Jim McDermott (D-WA) to claim he called the Constitution "silly." In fact, McDermott was criticizing Republicans for not focusing on "job creation" in favor of doing "silly" things like reading the Constitution on the House floor.
The conservative media have denounced unions in Wisconsin for attempting to negotiate contracts before that state's recently passed anti-union law goes into effect, referring to what they're doing as a "cheap trick." But the conservative media praised Wisconsin Republicans when they used questionable tactics to pass the bill in the state senate.
The right-wing media have seized on a video of students protesting against Wisconsin Republican Gov. Scott Walker as evidence of children being "indoctrinate[d]" to support progressive causes. As Media Matters has noted, right-wing media have repeatedly seized on YouTube videos of children to accuse progressives of "indoctrination" of children.
The right-wing media have seized on the appointment of former Egyptian judge and intellectual Tareq El-Bishri to the Egyptian constitutional council as an opportunity to continue fearmongering about a Muslim Brotherhood takeover of the government. In fact, El-Bishri is a political and religious moderate who is not associated with the Muslim Brotherhood, but with an offshoot, Hizb al-Wasat, an unofficial political party which promotes equality and democracy.
Misrepresenting testimony from the CBO director, conservative media claim the health care reform law will eliminate 800,000 jobs. In fact, CBO said the law will "reduc[e] the amount of labor that workers choose to supply, and as health expert Paul Van De Water stated, "If people voluntarily choose to reduce their hours of work ... that's not killing jobs."
Right-wing media have rushed to defend Sarah Palin over her use of the term "blood libel," a term that historically refers to the grave anti-Semitic charge that Jews use the blood of Christian children in some religious rituals -- a myth that has long been the source of anti-Jewish violence.
HotAir.com's Ed Morrissey is the first of what will no doubt become a flood of right-wing media figures falsely characterizing a proposal for Senate Democrats to extend the first legislative day of the session in order to build support for filibuster reform as them using "chicanery" to "change the definition of a day." But the legislative day "usually does not correspond" to the calendar day, instead lasting "from days to weeks, or even months."
In a recent profile in the Weekly Standard, Mississippi Gov. Harley Barbour (R) heaped praise on the white supremacist Citizens Councils for its role in barring KKK activity in his hometown of Yazoo City. After significant criticism, Barbour later stated that "the 'Citizens Council,' is totally indefensible, as is segregation."
However, following the Weekly Standard piece, right-wing media rushed to Barbour's defense, dismissing his remarks as innocent nostalgia and decrying a left-wing smear campaign. For instance, Hot Air's AllahPundit asserted that "maybe [Barbour] was simply naïve about" the Citizens Councils' purpose.
In addition, linking to a National Review Online post defending Barbour, Fox Nation posted the headline "Haley Barbour Fends off Left-Wing Racial Smears with Ease."
For the second year in a row, right-wing media have complained that Time magazine did not choose the Tea Party as Person of the Year, despite the fact that the Tea Party was chosen as one of four "Runners-Up."
Yesterday, I noted that HotAir blogger Howard Portnoy cropped Michelle Obama's comment that military leaders have called childhood obesity a national security threat to omit the fact that Obama specifically cited military leaders when making her claim. HotAir subsequently updated the post to include the full context of Michelle Obama's remarks, but nonetheless questioned whether or not military leaders actually said that.
In fact, if they read my full post -- which they said they were responding to -- they would see that, yes, in fact, military leaders have said that childhood obesity is a national security threat. More than 100 of them.
To refresh, Portnoy, using the cropped quote, attacked the first lady for making a "disingenuous" and "idiotic statement" about childhood obesity being a "national security threat."
HotAir later updated the post, noting Obama's full quote and stating (emphasis added):
Media Matters is pitching a fit over Howard's editing of the quote that skipped over Mrs. Obama's reference to military leaders as the source of the argument. However, Howard didn't write that the First Lady made the argument up herself; he called the assertion "questionable," which given the numbers is a supportable and reasonable argument. I'll assume that those military leaders who called this a national-security issue made just as idiotic an assertion in Howard's eyes, if in fact they did.
"If in fact they did?" No, really, HotAir -- they did. As ABC News reported:
Unhealthy school lunches pose a threat to national security, according to a group of retired military leaders.
Leaving 27 percent of young adults "too fat to fight," childhood obesity is jeopardizing military recruitment, according to a report released Tuesday by the non-profit group Mission: Readiness.
The 130-plus retired military leaders making up the organization is joining together to battle the obesity epidemic on the school front.
If HotAir has a problem with this, they should really take it up with these "130-plus retired military leaders" -- not Michelle Obama. I look forward to a future HotAir post calling them out as disingenuous and idiotic over their assertion.
Over at HotAir today, Howard Portnoy attacked Michelle Obama over her comment that childhood obesity is a national security threat, calling it a "disingenuous" and "idiotic statement":
But arguably nothing has been as disingenuous as her comments today, which included the observation that
when more than one in four young people are unqualified for military service because of their weight, childhood obesity isn't just a public health threat, it's not just an economic threat, it's a national security threat as well.
One might well wonder in what way childhood obesity could be construed as a threat to national security. It might be if everyone in the nation were conscripted into military service as a matter of course, but we haven't had a compulsory draft since 1973. In addition, there are currently 75.2 million children living in the U.S., judging from the best available data. As of September 30, 2010, there were 1.4 million Americans on active duty in the military with another 850,000 on standby in the seven reserve components. Combined, those numbers come to 2.25 million, which means that discounting the "one in four"--or 18.8 million--American children who are obese leaves a pool of 56.4 million able-bodied future volunteers.
The bottom line is that, save for a smattering of concerns that have been voiced over the possibility that the new law will strain school budgets, the Healthy, Hunger-Free Kids Act has enjoyed broad bipartisan support. Attempting to curb childhood obesity is a goal one would be hard-pressed to quibble with regardless of political persuasion. Why the First Lady has seen fit to make idiotic statements like the one she did today to sell this idea is the big mystery.
Portnoy wonders how "childhood obesity could be construed as a threat to national security." Maybe had he not disingenuously cropped Obama's comment, he would understand why she made that comment. As Media Matters noted yesterday, Obama specifically cited "military leaders" who have said that childhood obesity is a national security issue. Here's her full comment (emphasis added):
OBAMA: And from military leaders who tell us that when more than one in four young people are unqualified for military service because of their weight, they tell us that childhood obesity isn't just a public health issue; they tell us that it is not just an economic threat -- it is a national security threat as well.
Michelle Obama didn't just pull that assertion out of thin air. Portnoy simply omitted that she specifically cited military leaders, who indeed have stated that childhood obesity harms military recruitment.
Someone is definitely being disingenuous here - and it's not Michelle Obama.
Media conservatives are condemning President Obama for using the word "hostage" as a metaphor while discussing negotiations. Yet Presidents Ronald Reagan and George W. Bush also used the same rhetoric in describing their political opponents.
Conservative media are pushing a deceptively cropped video of Rep. Phil Hare (D-IL) to claim he "doesn't believe the national debt is real." In fact, the context of Hare's remarks make clear he was referring to the "myth" that you can't "just can't spend" to put "people back to work" because "this country is in debt," an opinion with which liberal and conservative economists agree.
Right-wing media outlets have seized on leaked excerpts of Bob Woodward's upcoming book to suggest that President Obama has followed a strategy in Afghanistan that his generals think is folly. In fact, top Pentagon personnel, including Gen. David Petraeus, Adm. Mike Mullen, and Defense Secretary Robert Gates, have stated that they agree with Obama's Afghanistan strategy.
Following Christine O'Donnell's victory over Republican Rep. Mike Castle in the Delaware Senate Republican primary, right-wing media have taken up O'Donnell's cause, attacking the National Republican Senatorial Committee (NRSC) for reportedly deciding not to support O'Donnell.