Following the release of President Obama's proposal for the fiscal year 2010 budget, media figures and outlets have promoted a number of myths and falsehoods related to the proposal.
Numerous media outlets and personalities have claimed or suggested that given the size of the current and projected U.S. federal debt, the Obama administration's health-care reform proposal is untenable, but did not address the administration's argument that health-care reform is essential to the long-term economic health of the country.
A Washington Times editorial labeled Rick Wagoner's departure from GM as "unprecedented." At no point did the editorial mention that the government has required AIG, Fannie Mae, and Freddie Mac to replace their CEOs as a condition of receiving government funds.
Despite the scientific consensus that human-caused global warming is real and is negatively affecting the planet, the media have repeatedly provided a platform for critics who argue that the Earth is in a period of "cooling" or that the issue of global warming does not need to be addressed.
A Washington Times article reported GOP criticism of Democrats over the AIG bonus issue and quoted a Republican strategist asserting: "This is not something [Democrats] can point to George Bush. ... They own the issue of giving bonuses to the AIG executives." But the article did not note that $53 million in AIG bonuses that the article mentioned were reportedly paid out under the Bush administration, or that a Bush-appointed special inspector general for TARP has stated that the Bush Treasury Department knew about the AIG bonus contracts and did not insist on their abrogation as a condition of AIG's receiving bailout money.
From Frank Gaffney's March 17 Washington Times column:
President Obama on Friday reiterated for the umpteenth time his determination to develop a "new relationship" with the Muslim world. On this occasion, the audience were the leaders of Saudi Arabia, Indonesia and the Philippines.
Unfortunately, it increasingly appears that, in so doing, he will be embracing the agenda of the Muslim Brotherhood - an organization dedicated to promoting the theo-political-legal program authoritative Islam calls Shariah and that has the self-described mission of "destroying Western civilization from within."
As part of Mr. Obama's "Respect Islam" campaign, he will travel to Turkey in early April. While there, he will not only pay tribute to an Islamist government that has systematically wrested every institution from the secular tradition of Kemal Ataturk and put the country squarely on the path to Islamification. He will also participate in something called the "Alliance of Civilizations."
The Washington Times reprinted part of a National Review Online column that claimed that former Guantánamo Bay detainee Binyam Mohammed is "the al Qaeda jihadist who was planning to carry out mass-murder attacks in American cities, who is now free and clear to live and plot in Londonistan." However, the Times did not note that the Justice Department withdrew charges against Mohammed of plotting to commit terrorist attacks and subsequently transferred Mohammed to the U.K.
From Charles Krauthammer's March 13 Washington Post column, titled "Obama's 'Science' Fiction":
I am not religious. I do not believe that personhood is conferred upon conception. But I also do not believe that a human embryo is the moral equivalent of a hangnail and deserves no more respect than an appendix. Moreover, given the protean power of embryonic manipulation, the temptation it presents to science and the well-recorded human propensity for evil even in the pursuit of good, lines must be drawn. I suggested the bright line prohibiting the deliberate creation of human embryos solely for the instrumental purpose of research -- a clear violation of the categorical imperative not to make a human life (even if only a potential human life) a means rather than an end.
On this, Obama has nothing to say. He leaves it entirely to the scientists. This is more than moral abdication. It is acquiescence to the mystique of "science" and its inherent moral benevolence. How anyone as sophisticated as Obama can believe this within living memory of Mengele and Tuskegee and the fake (and coercive) South Korean stem cell research is hard to fathom.
From Cal Thomas' March 13 Washington Times column, titled "Journey to Destruction":
What will constrain science? The president says it will be up to the National Institutes of Health to come up with "guidelines" for the use of embryonic stem cells. He specifically came out against creating embryos for the purpose of human cloning. But the question is this, if there are to be no moral, ethical or religious restraints on the initial experiments, why should anyone expect them to be invoked later? One can only be a virgin once. After a moral or ethical line has been erased, it is nearly impossible to redraw it.
At the extreme, unrestrained science has the capacity to produce a Josef Mengele. The Third Reich "scientist" and doctor was given the green light to do whatever he wished with Jews, twins, the physically deformed, the mentally challenged - all in the name of "science" and progress. We are repulsed by the horrors he created in his "scientific" laboratory, to which many of the German people turned a blind eye, mostly because they had been conditioned to do so by nonstop propaganda, which convinced them that some lives were less valuable than others.
We have been warned by history, in novels like Aldous Huxley's "Brave New World" and on TV news, of what can happen when government operates outside a moral code established to protect us from its penchant to be excessive. Unfortunately, government in recent years has sometimes engaged in a type of moral freelancing, embracing a mushy morality in order to serve purposes that are sometimes immoral.
Removing restraints on stem cell research is another step on a journey leading us to a distant somewhere. Does anyone know the destination? Do enough people care that it might just be leading us not only to the destruction of more pre-born human life, but also ultimately to our own end?
The Washington City Paper quoted from a 2008 "memo" from the "regime" of Washington Times executive editor John Solomon, which stated that as part of "recent updates to TWT style," "We will use illegal immigrants, not illegal aliens." Nonetheless, a Media Matters review indicates that in the past month alone, six Washington Times articles have referred to undocumented immigrants as "illegals" in their headline or subhead, while seven articles have been posted on the paper's website with "illegals" in their headline or subhead.
Numerous media outlets have devoted significant coverage to the earmarks contained in the pending omnibus appropriations bill, even though, according to most estimates, earmarks constitute less than 2 percent of the total spending in the bill. In many instances, the media have allowed attacks by Sen. John McCain and other opponents of the omnibus bill to dominate their coverage of the legislation -- at times themselves characterizing the bill as laden with "pork."
Many media conservatives have recently embraced and promoted the accusation, almost in unison, that President Obama has "lied" or broken promises. In many cases, these accusations are based on distortions of comments he has made or misrepresentations of campaign pledges.
From a March 4 Washington Times editorial:
Driving snow froze the hopes of organizers of "the biggest global warming protest in history" Monday in Washington. With the government on a two-hour snow delay and the speaker of the House unable to attend because her flight was grounded by inclement weather, shivering protestors gathered on the west front of the Capitol, the latest victims of a climatological phenomenon known by the scientific community as the Gore Effect.
The Gore Effect was first noticed during a January 2004 global warming rally in New York City, held during one of the coldest days in the city's history. Since then, evidence has mounted of a correlation between global warming activism and severely cold weather.
A year ago a congressional media briefing on the Bingaman/Specter Climate Bill was cancelled due to a cold snap. In October 2008 London saw the first snow since 1922 while the House of Commons debated the Climate Change Bill. That same month Al Gore's appearance at Harvard University coincided with low temperatures that challenged 125-year records. Tellingly, the average global temperature for each of the 366 days in 2008 was below the average for Jan. 24, 2006, the date Gore's "An Inconvenient Truth" was released at the Sundance Film Festival.
Critics claim the Gore Effect is mere coincidence, though one could also argue that coincidence is also the basis for the anthropogenic theory of climate change. Alternative theories, e.g., citing the influence of sun spot activity, have gained increasing credence as scientists have noted global warming in recent years on other planets, which presumably have been human-free. Significant data issues have also arisen, such as the recent discovery of a chunk of Arctic sea ice the size of California that satellites had missed (but which in all probability had been known to polar bears).
The Washington Times uncritically reported Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell's statement that the omnibus bill is part of an ongoing "spending binge," without noting that according to a study by independent budget watchdog group Taxpayers for Common Sense, McConnell himself added 36 earmarks to the bill totaling about $51.2 million.
The Washington Times' Donald Lambro wrote, "Nine thousand pork barrel earmarks were buried in the $410 billion omnibus budget that passed the House last week," adding that "President Obama told Congress the day before it passed that he was happy it didn't contain any earmarks, eliciting gales of laughter from the Republican side of the chamber who knew better." In fact, during his February 24 address to Congress, Obama praised the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act -- not the omnibus legislation -- for not containing any earmarks.
In an editorial, The Washington Times asserted that Abu Ghraib and Guantánamo "are completely unrelated," adding that "there have never been credible allegations of Abu Ghraib-like misconduct at Guantanamo." In fact, a 2008 Senate Armed Services Committee report concluded that military "interrogation policies were influenced by the Secretary of Defense's December 2, 2002 approval of aggressive interrogation techniques for use at GTMO," and that those "policies were a direct cause of detainee abuse and influenced interrogation policies at Abu Ghraib and elsewhere in Iraq."