New York Post columnist Rich Lowry claimed that President Obama's 2 million job estimate of the impact of the recovery act is "from an outfit that has every incentive to make the numbers look as cheery as possible," when in fact that estimate falls within the range given by the nonpartisan Congressional Budget Office (CBO). Lowry also purported to correct Obama's statement about the Supreme Court's decision in Citizens United v. FEC, but four Supreme Court justices and other legal experts have said the impact of the ruling is uncertain.
Following President Obama's January 7 remarks on the attempted Christmas Day airline bombing -- during which he stated, "We are at war. We are at war with al Qaeda" -- numerous conservative media figures have falsely suggested that prior to that speech, Obama had not characterized the fight against terrorists as a war. In fact, in his inaugural address, Obama stated that "[o]ur nation is at war against a far-reaching network of violence and hatred," and he has repeatedly discussed terrorism as the rationale for U.S. military action abroad.
Following the release of reportedly stolen emails from the Climate Research Unit (CRU) at the University of East Anglia, numerous right-wing media figures have attempted to undermine the case for action against global climate change by comparing the scientific consensus that human activity is driving global warming to a "cult." However, as the Union of Concerned Scientists has stated, the scientific understanding of climate change is "based on the work of thousands of scientists from hundreds of research institutions" and "[t]he e-mails provide no information that would affect" this understanding.
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."
From the July 29 edition of Fox News' Hannity:
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Some prominent media conservatives have harshly criticized President Obama's speech in Cairo, while others offered praise for Obama's address.
William Kristol baselessly asserted that at a 2001 law school symposium, Judge Richard Paez had "basically rebuke[d]" Sotomayor for her speech the previous night. In fact, Paez's comments were largely in agreement with Sotomayor's.
Rich Lowry falsely claimed that Judge Sonia Sotomayor "disagreed with a colleague who thought judges should transcend their 'personal sympathies and prejudices.' " In fact, in the speech Lowry referenced, Sotomayor made clear that she "agree[d]" with the sentiment that judges should seek to "transcend their personal sympathies and sentiments" whenever possible.
Jon Scott, host of Fox News' weekly media analysis program, Fox News Watch, claimed that Vice President Joe Biden's appearance at the AFL-CIO executive council meeting was "closed to the press," adding, "We don't have any idea what he said there." In fact, the White House released a transcript of Biden's AFL-CIO speech, and "a pool of print reporters" reportedly covered the speech at the request of the White House.
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.
The Drudge Report and the National Review's Rich Lowry falsely claimed that Sen. Barack Obama didn't vote to condemn MoveOn.org's 2007 newspaper advertisement critical of Gen. David Petraeus. In fact, Obama did vote for an amendment by Sen. Barbara Boxer that condemned the ad, as well as other attacks on past and present members of the armed forces, as the USA Today blog post to which the Drudge Report linked points out.
On Hannity & Colmes, National Review's Rich Lowry aired a clip of Sen. John McCain falsely asserting that Sen. Barack Obama said he's "going to bomb a country that is a sovereign nation," a distortion of Obama's statement about Pakistan that McCain has repeatedly made. Lowry then echoed McCain by saying that Obama "detailed his willingness to bomb suspected terrorist cells in Pakistan." In fact, Obama said: "If we have actionable intelligence about high-value terrorist targets and [Pakistani] President [Pervez] Musharraf won't act, we will."
In his latest column, Rich Lowry wrote that "[t]he effect" of a Democratic proposal to raise the federal minimum wage "basically will be to give a small boost to the wage of teenagers working summers or after school." In fact, the Economic Policy Institute found that 71 percent of those who would be "directly affected" by the Democratic minimum-wage proposal are age 20 or over.
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