MSNBC's Joe Scarborough falsely suggested that Rep. Barney Frank is only now, in the wake of the mortgage crisis, taking the position that the government should focus on the expansion of affordable rental housing, rather than enacting policies geared toward universal home ownership. In fact, Frank has long advocated that the government focus on expanding affordable rental housing.
A New York Times essay by Jason DeParle highlighted a resurgence of the use of the word "welfare" among conservatives, this time to attack President Obama's economy recovery plan. Indeed, while economists agree that provisions in the legislation targeting needy people are among the most economically stimulative, Media Matters documents below the pervasiveness of what DeParle called the "weaponiz[ation]" of the "very word, welfare," in the media, particularly, but not exclusively on Fox News, to denounce the stimulus bill.
On Morning Joe, Chris Matthews accused the Obama administration of not "honestly marketing" the recovery bill, in part because "unemployment extensions" included in the package are "relief," he said, not "recovery." But Congressional Budget Office director Douglas Elmendorf has testified that transfers to persons, such as unemployment insurance and nutrition assistance, are effective tools to stimulate GDP growth and that the stimulative effect on GDP leads to job creation.
Joe Scarborough and Mika Brzezinski did not challenge Sen. John Thune's claim that the creation of "government jobs" does not stimulate the economy. In fact, Congressional Budget Office director Douglas Elmendorf has stated that, "in terms of the short-term stimulus, either kind of job [government or private sector] works because the people who get those jobs and receive the paycheck go out and spend it, and that's -- or spend much of it, and that is the multiplier effect that economists talk about."
Discussing the Obama administration's plan to cap salaries for executives at banks that received federal assistance, Mike Barnicle asserted on Morning Joe: "It's fun holding [the banks] up and saying they can only ... make 500 grand a year if they're going to take federal money." But he did not disclose that his wife is the chief marketing officer and Northeast president of Bank of America, which reportedly was among "five of the biggest companies" to receive federal bailout funds.
MSNBC's Joe Scarborough and Mika Brzezinski continued their assault on the economic recovery package, misrepresenting New Deal unemployment figures to argue that government spending does not boost employment.
Morning Joe's Mika Brzezinski has relentlessly repeated the claim that funding for "welfare programs" and nutrition assistance included in the recovery bill is "not stimulus," even after CNBC's Erin Burnett cited economist Mark Zandi and said that "[f]ood stamps" and "[u]nemployment benefits" are some of the measures that "would increase spending." Other economists have also said that programs that provide aid to state governments and individuals, would, in the words of CBO director Douglas Elmendorf, "have a significant impact on GDP."
MSNBC's Mika Brzezinski echoed her disputed claim that funding for "welfare programs" included in the recovery bill, such as "food stamps and helping low income people pay for college," would not stimulate the economy. In fact, economists have said that programs that provide aid to state governments and individuals would, in the words of Congressional Budget Office director Douglas W. Elmendorf, "have a significant impact on GDP."
On Morning Joe, Mika Brzezinski suggested that funding for "welfare programs" included in the economic recovery bill would not stimulate the economy. However, economists have said that programs that provide aid to state governments and individuals would, in the words of Congressional Budget Office director Douglas W. Elmendorf, "have a significant impact on GDP."
Fox News' John Gibson and MSNBC's Joe Scarborough each asserted that if President Obama abandons Bush administration policies and procedures "which kept us safe for the last seven, eight years," in Gibson's words, Obama will bear responsibility for any future act of terrorism. However, neither mentioned evidence that President Bush's policies did not eliminate the terrorist threat to America and that some Bush policy decisions, such as the invasion and occupation of Iraq, may, in fact, have aggravated the threat.
In citing an op-ed by Marc Thiessen, President Bush's former chief speechwriter, in which Thiessen claimed that "the policies and institutions" Bush implemented in the name of national security after 9-11 "are succeeding," The New York Times and the hosts of MSNBC's Morning Joe did not note evidence undermining Thiessen's argument.
Numerous media outlets have uncritically quoted President Bush asserting, regarding the controversial measures adopted by his administration in the name of national security: "There is legitimate debate about many of these decisions. But there can be little debate about the results." But these outlets have failed to note that questions have, in fact, been raised about the importance of Bush administration policies and actions to the obstruction of terror threats.
On MSNBC's Morning Joe, discussing a Washington Post article reporting Bush administration official Susan Crawford's conclusion that Guantánamo detainee Mohammed al-Qahtani was tortured, Pat Buchanan suggested that specific techniques used on Qahtani were not torture, ignoring the reason Crawford gave for reaching her conclusion. As Mika Brzezinski noted, Crawford said her conclusion that Qahtani was tortured was based not on "any one particular act," but on "a combination of things" Crawford called "abusive," "uncalled for," and "coercive."
Media figures have claimed or suggested that President-elect Barack Obama is only now admitting that he may have to scale back his campaign agenda as a result of the weak economy. In fact, Obama repeatedly said prior to the November 2008 election that some policies he proposed on the campaign trail might need to be delayed because of economic conditions.
MSNBC's Joe Scarborough falsely suggested that assertions in The Wall Street Journal about the Minnesota Senate race were the result of "reporting," including the Journal's reference to "double counting" in the race. But in claiming that there was "double counting," the Journal did not cite reporting and echoed an accusation by the campaign of the incumbent, Republican Norm Coleman.