On The O'Reilly Factor, Karl Rove falsely claimed that Rep. Barney Frank "was one of the more prominent opponents of [housing] reform in 2004 and 2005." In fact, Frank supported efforts to enhance regulatory oversight on mortgage brokers Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac in 2005, and he has long championed policies that emphasize low-income home rentals as opposed to homeownership.
Bernard Goldberg revived the claim that, in 2002, RNC chairman Michael Steele had Oreo cookies thrown at him. In fact, Steele, then running for Maryland lieutenant governor, Robert Erlich, Steele's then-running mate, and Paul Schurick, Erlich's then-spokesman, have recounted several different -- sometimes contradictory -- versions of the alleged incident. Indeed, in November 2002, Steele reportedly speculated that Oreos allegedly present at the debate may just have been "someone having their snack."
Fox News' Bill O'Reilly falsely claimed that Rep. Barney Frank, "who was supposed to be in charge of oversight, running the House Finance Committee, he didn't do his job because he was ideologically blinded. He wanted to give mortgages to everybody." In fact, Frank has advocated for policies that emphasize low-income home rentals as opposed to homeownership.
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 his Fox News program, Glenn Beck reported as true the idea floated on Forbes.com that a program the Obama administration is reportedly considering should be called the "Bad Asset Repository Fund." Without noting that the reported program has not in fact been named, Beck then ridiculed the creators of the nonexistent name for failing to recognize that the acronym is "BARF."
On Fox News, Carl Cameron and Laura Ingraham repeated or uncritically reported the false Republican claim -- originating in an AP article -- that, in Cameron's words, the economic stimulus bill would allow "illegal aliens" to claim "tax credits of $500 per person or 1,000 per couple." Cameron and Ingraham advanced the falsehood even after a revised version of the AP article made clear that the bill excludes undocumented immigrants.
On his radio and television shows, Bill O'Reilly claimed that the food-stamp provision in the economic recovery bill will not stimulate the economy. But economists, including the director of the bipartisan Congressional Budget Office and a reported adviser to the presidential campaign of Sen. John McCain, disagree.
On The O'Reilly Factor, Dick Morris asserted that the economic recovery bill "won't work," in part because "two hundred billion of it is just money to the state. That just stops taxes from going up, but it doesn't stimulate anything." However, economist Mark Zandi testified to Congress that "aid to financially-pressed state governments" is an "economically potent stimulus," and a table provided with his testimony indicated that aid to states would boost GDP by $1.36 for every dollar spent. Similarly, information that the CBO provided to Congress shows that aid to states produces a greater "cumulative impact on GDP" than do tax cuts.
On The O'Reilly Factor, Juan Williams again baselessly attacked first lady Michelle Obama, claiming that "her instinct is to start with this 'blame America' ... stuff." Williams asserted that Michelle Obama's "instinct" is to "blame America" or be "the victim," and said she has "this Stokely Carmichael-in-a-designer-dress thing going." Williams also said that she could be a "liabilit[y]" or an "albatross" for President Barack Obama. Williams previously claimed Michelle Obama sometimes uses "this kind of militant anger."
On his Fox News show, Bill O'Reilly baselessly characterized the OneUnited Bank -- which received a $12 million federal loan under a provision of the Troubled Asset Relief Program written by Rep. Barney Frank -- as "Barney Frank's bank." But O'Reilly provided no evidence that Frank has a financial stake in the bank, and The Boston Globe reported that "OneUnited executives have not contributed to Frank's congressional campaigns, according to the database of Center for Responsive Politics."
On The O'Reilly Factor, Dick Morris repeatedly criticized Treasury Secretary-designate Timothy Geithner for his failure to pay Social Security taxes several years ago. But Morris has his own history of tax delinquency; USA Today included Morris in an April 2008 report on "[b]ig names" who are tax delinquents.
Dick Morris baselessly claimed that Al Franken is "cheating" in the Minnesota Senate race, that "Minnesota's doing it for him," and that "[t]his is outright larceny" and "a total theft." As evidence, Morris again repeated the debunked claim that in Minnesota, "[t]here's a county where there are 177 more votes than there are voters."
Bill O'Reilly again falsely claimed that the Army Field Manual "says, quote, 'You are not to make any captured person uncomfortable in any way.' " In fact, the Army Field Manual includes an entire section on "Interrogation Operations," which includes several techniques and strategies that make detainees "uncomfortable."
On The O'Reilly Factor, Dennis Miller ridiculed Thomas Beatie, a transgender man who recently gave birth to a child, calling him a "nympho satyr" and saying: "[A]ll I know is the guy's more pregnant than the old woman in the shoe is. And somebody has got to get some protection for this guy, be it a condom or an IUD or a satellite dish or a catcher's mitt. I don't even know what he needs down there, but I need an equipment check on aisle five." Referring to the baby, Miller had video of the polar bear cub at the Berlin zoo aired.
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In the absence of any actual allegations of wrongdoing by President-elect Barack Obama or his staff in connection with the scandal involving Gov. Rod Blagojevich, several media figures have in recent days ominously asserted that a "cloud" hangs over Obama because of the Blagojevich scandal, or that the scandal threatens to cast a "cloud" over Obama's presidency.