Right-wing media picked up a misleading NBC News report that claimed President Obama knew millions of Americans would receive "cancellation" letters terminating their health insurance -- a report NBC News later clarified by explaining many of the policies would be "replaced" and not canceled.
In an October 28 NBC News report, senior investigative reporter Lisa Myers claimed that "50 to 75 percent" of individual health insurance consumers "can expect to receive a 'cancellation' letter or the equivalent over the next year" because their existing policies do not meet Affordable Care Act standards. Right-wing media have used similar language to claim "thousands of people across the country receiving cancellation notices from their insurers." In a New York Post column, National Review's Rich Lowry claimed "hundreds of thousands of people in states around the country are now receiving notices that their insurance is getting canceled." Fox News' Charles Krauthammer described the issues with the discontinued policies as "almost a parody of the definition of a liberal."
However, on the October 29 edition of MSNBC's The Daily Rundown, host Chuck Todd challenged Myers' description of policy letters sent to insurance consumers as policy replacements, not cancellation. Myers agreed:
On NBC's Nightly News, Lisa Myers stated of the final version of the economic recovery bill: "If the package creates or saves three and a half million jobs as predicted, it will cost a quarter of a million dollars per job." Her report echoed a claim in a January 15 press release issued by Republicans on the House Appropriations Committee. In fact, economists note that the figure is based on false assumptions.
NBC's Lisa Myers reported that critics, whom she did not name, say that "in paying full price for" the vacant lot adjoining Sen. Barack Obama's Chicago home, indicted Chicago businessman Antoin Rezko "may have essentially subsidized Obama's purchase" of the property in 2005. While noting that Obama "strongly disputes" the charge, Myers did not report Obama's specific statements countering the suggestion.
In a "web-only" report, Lisa Myers cited anonymous "[c]ritics" who suggest that indicted Chicago businessman Antoin Rezko's paying "top dollar" for a lot adjacent to Sen. Barack Obama's home somehow influenced the price Obama paid for his house. But Myers did not note that Obama has said he was "not involved in the Rezko negotiation of the price for the adjacent lot" or that Obama has asserted that he was able to purchase the house for less than asking price because "the house had been listed for some time, for months, and our offer was one of two and, as we understood it, it was the best offer."
During a report on the fallout from Sen. Larry Craig's guilty plea for misdemeanor disorderly conduct, NBC's Lisa Myers reported that Tony Perkins says "value voters have lost faith in the Republican Party and warns that Republicans had better be sure their members are living up to pro-family rhetoric." In doing so, Myers joined other media figures in advancing the myth that social conservatives are more concerned with "values" than other voters.
In a segment on whether Osama bin Laden will release a propaganda tape prior to the midterm elections -- as he did two years ago -- NBC's Lisa Myers omitted any discussion of bin Laden's motivations in releasing the 2004 message, which the CIA reportedly determined to be an effort to assist in the re-election of President Bush.
Several days after ABC's Nightline ran a report on the ad wars of the 2006 elections, claiming, without providing any examples of Democratic-sponsored attack ads, that "both sides are playing a serious game of hardball" with "mudslinging" attack ads hitting "below the belt," NBC News followed its lead, airing a report on "dirty tricks" in political campaigns without any examples of "dirty tricks" by Democrats.
Broadcast networks covering the news that special counsel Patrick Fitzgerald reportedly told White House senior adviser Karl Rove that he does not anticipate charging Rove in connection with the CIA leak investigation left out key information concerning Rove's conduct and the false and misleading information put out by the White House concerning the matter. Rove's history of falsely claiming that he was not involved in disclosing CIA operative Valerie Plame's identity was ignored or downplayed, as was the White House's false denials of Rove's role.
NBC's Lisa Myers and CNN's David Ensor both asserted that data collected by the National Security Agency through a just-exposed program include only "phone calls made and received, but not customers' names and addresses." But they failed to inform viewers about a key point made by USA Today, which broke the story -- that the NSA can easily obtain this information through other databases.
NBC's Nightly News and Fox News' Special Report with Brit Hume uncritically reported the new White House explanation for President Bush's claim that "I don't think anybody anticipated the breach of the levees." The administration now claims that Bush was warned only of the levees "overtopping," not breaching. However, some key facts undermine this White House explanation.