Since sexual harassment allegations against GOP presidential candidate Herman Cain have emerged, right-wing media figures have blamed a wide range of people and entities for the story's emergence, from the "Democratic machine" to the "liberal media" and even "the left-wing nutjobs at Media Matters."
A study published in the prestigious journal American Economic Review estimates that the costs imposed on society by air pollution from coal-fired power plants are greater than the value added to the economy by the industry. The study concluded that coal may be "underregulated" since the price we pay for coal-fired power doesn't account for its costs.
According to a Nexis search, not a single major newspaper or television network has covered the study. By contrast, an industry-funded report on the cost of EPA regulations of these air pollutants has received considerable media attention.
The authors of the American Economic Review paper -- Nicholas Muller of Middlebury College and Yale's William Nordhaus and Robert Mendelsohn -- are considered centrists. Mendelsohn opposed the Kyoto climate treaty and spoke this year at the right-wing Heartland Institute's conference on climate change.
Economist Paul Krugman wrote that the study should "be a major factor in how we discuss economic ideology," adding "It won't, of course." From Krugman's post:
It's important to be clear about what this means. It does not necessarily say that we should end the use of coal-generated electricity. What it says, instead, is that consumers are paying much too low a price for coal-generated electricity, because the price they pay does not take account of the very large external costs associated with generation. If consumers did have to pay the full cost, they would use much less electricity from coal -- maybe none, but that would depend on the alternatives.
At one level, this is all textbook economics. Externalities like pollution are one of the classic forms of market failure, and Econ 101 says that this failure should be remedied through pollution taxes or tradable emissions permits that get the price right. What Muller et al are doing is putting numbers to this basic proposition -- and the numbers turn out to be big. So if you really believed in the logic of free markets, you'd be all in favor of pollution taxes, right?
Fox Nation is featuring an excerpt of a Human Events post that attacks President Obama's idea of September 11 being a "national day of service." The post states, "The Americans who died on September 11, 2001, were not engaged in 'volunteering and service.' They had jobs."
From a September 9 Fox Nation post, which excerpts the first three paragraphs of the Human Events post:
The excerpt reads:
The anti-Muslim segment of the conservative media has identified yet another Republican as a traitor to America because he is supposedly too close to Muslims. The current target is Governor Rick Perry (R-TX), labeled as the "5th column candidate" by Pamela Geller because of his ties to Muslim leader Aga Khan IV and others.
In 2001, Ann Coulter wrote two days after the 9-11 attacks that "We should invade their countries, kill their leaders and convert them to Christianity." National Review Online soon fired her. Now it looks like she's trying to get fired from another outlet.
In her Human Events column today, Coulter writes that a "few well-place rifle rounds" would end the rioting in the United Kingdom. She then added that a "more sustained attack on the rampaging mob might save England from itself" because it would "remov[e]" more people from the welfare rolls:
A few well-placed rifle rounds, and the rioting would end in an instant. A more sustained attack on the rampaging mob might save England from itself, finally removing shaved-head, drunken parasites from the benefits rolls that Britain can't find the will to abolish on moral or utilitarian grounds. We can be sure there's no danger of killing off the next Winston Churchill or Edmund Burke in these crowds.
Fox Nation, of course, is highlighting Coulter's column:
Coulter's incitement to massacre isn't the only thing wrong with the column. Coulter, no stranger to borderline racist commentary, also uses the riots to argue that progressive policies in the United Kingdom are debasing people with "long English ancestry and perfect Anglo features."
In at least 40 instances since the beginning of 2011, conservative media outlets wrongly told consumers that the light bulb efficiency standards scheduled to take effect in 2012 will require them to use compact fluorescent light bulbs (CFLs).
In a May 19 Human Events op-ed titled, "To Liberals, Every Woman Looks Like a Hotel Maid," Ann Coulter compared former President Bill Clinton to "rapists," alleged statutory rapists and alleged sexual predators. Fox Nation promoted Coulter's column in a May 19 post. From the op-ed:
Only in Hollywood movies are handsome lacrosse players from nice families seen as likely rapists. In real life, they look more like the 5-foot-2-inch Roman Polanski or pudgy, unathletic Bill Clinton -- or the homunculus 5-foot-2-inch Strauss-Kahn.
Coulter has previously pushed the falsehood that Bill Clinton is a rapist, as have various other right-wing media contributors.
The conservative media has steadily advocated for Republicans to force a government shutdown, with a recent piece in the Washington Examiner saying that a shutdown "doesn't sound that bad." At the same time, however, conservative media figures are pushing the talking point that a shutdown would be the Democrats' fault.
In the wake of last weekend's shooting in Arizona, Sarah Palin, Andrew Breitbart, and others in the conservative media have accused some journalists and progressives of manufacturing a "blood libel" against them. Historically, the term "blood libel" 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.
Following the release of former President George W. Bush's book Decision Points, right-wing media are promoting Bush's claim that waterboarding "saved lives." But this claim is disputed by intelligence experts, including former British officials who have "cast doubt" on Bush's waterboarding claims.
From the November 8 edition of Fox News' Fox & Friends:
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The Toronto Sun issued a correction to a column they recently published claiming that George Soros, as a child, "collaborated with the Nazis." This smear has long been popular among conservatives attacking Soros for his support of progressive causes.
A few weeks ago, Fox & Friends hosted GOP candidate George Demos to talk about St. Nicholas Church, a Greek Orthodox church which was destroyed when the South Tower of the World Trade Center fell. As I noted at the time, Fox used this story as another means of attacking Park51, the Islamic community center being planned in lower Manhattan. The implication was that the government, specifically New York City's Port Authority, was fighting against the construction of this church, while fast-tracking Park51. Of course, the comparison is ridiculous. Park51 is being privately funded and is working in an area blocks away from Ground Zero, whereas St. Nicholas' Church is being constructed on Ground Zero and is working with the government to settle on terms for public funding. Park51 had to pass one landmark commission ruling, whereas St. Nicholas' Church has to deal with all of the complications involved in building at Ground Zero, including working out a new bus security center underneath the area the church is planning on rebuilding.
Despite clearly being completely different situations, the false juxtaposition was too tempting for the right-wing media to resist. Following Fox & Friends' lead, and without providing any context, Pamela Geller wrote "That iconic church remains yet to be rebuilt due to obstacles and red tape by the city. The interminable delays typify Ground Zero delays, another barren gaping hole. But not for the 15 story mega nosque. No problems there. Bloomberg is ramming this stab in the eye of every American through at breathtaking speed." She wasn't the only one to push this manufactured story. Fox Nation, Jim Hoft, Jawa Report, and Human Events also parroted Fox & Friends' attack. A search of Nexis showed many major Fox shows covering the story, such as Special Report, The O'Reilly Factor, and Hannity.
Conservative media figures have repeatedly claimed or suggested that it would be unprecedented and "corrupt" for Democrats to address "controversial" issues during Congress' lame duck session following the 2010 elections. But in 1998, Republicans impeached President Clinton during such a post-election congressional session.
Right-wing blogs have seized on Sen. Jon Kyl's (R-AZ) claim that President Obama is refusing to "secure the border" in order to force the GOP to support comprehensive immigration reform -- a claim the White House has since flatly denied. Indeed, the Obama administration has already taken numerous steps to boost border security but argues that "truly securing the border will require a comprehensive solution," which is a view shared by immigration experts as well as several Republicans.