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  • Right-Wing Media Scandalize Deceptively Edited Anti-Clinton Clip From Republican PAC

    ››› ››› CRAIG HARRINGTON

    Conservative media are promoting a deceptively edited video from a Republican opposition research firm that purports to show Hillary Clinton coldly demanding that a supporter "go to the end of the line," to allege that Clinton is out of touch with voters. But even as the dishonest attack made its way to Fox News, network contributor Guy Benson admitted the full context of the video "casts [Clinton] ... in a far less damaging light."

  • How Conservative Media's Attacks On Michelle Obama's Anti-Obesity Efforts May Lead To A Government Shutdown

    Blog ››› ››› SOPHIA TESFAYE

    Republican lawmakers reportedly plan to demand the suspension of first lady Michelle Obama's school lunch program in order to avoid a government shutdown, an ultimatum that follows follows a sustained conservative media campaign against her anti-obesity efforts. 

    According to The New York Times, congressional Republicans plan "to scale back Michelle Obama's school-lunch nutrition mandates and curtail some clean water regulations in a $1 trillion spending bill that would avert" a government shutdown on December 11. Republicans have staked their ground against a program the Times describes as an attempt to "improve school nutrition by reducing the sodium content and increasing the percentage of whole grains in school lunches."

    While Pew polling has found that a majority of Americans agree that "the government should play a significant role in reducing obesity among children," Michelle Obama's efforts to combat childhood obesity have been met with consistent opposition from conservatives, including right-wing media. Here are some of the worst attacks on the first lady's school nutrition initiative: 

    Healthy School Lunches Are Government Fiat

    • Fox reported that school nutrition standards mean "the lunch lady is now a health czar."
    • Fox host Sean Hannity predicted that the healthy school lunch program will lead to a nanny state, asking if "every American family need[ed] a dietitian appointed by the government." 
    • Rush Limbaugh claimed government will monitor citizens as part of the "obesity problem." 
    • Fox's John Stossel argued that nutrition standards will allow the government to "dictate" who citizens are allowed to marry. 
    • The Daily Signal, an online publication of the Heritage Foundation, attacked Obama's initiative as an attempt to "co-parent to your children" and described the first lady as "the self-appointed First Parent of the United States." 

    Michelle Obama Is Too Fat To Lead Nutrition Efforts 

    • Fox News host Keith Ablow said the first lady "needs to drop a few" and accused her of "hypocrisy" because she "has not been consistently a picture of fitness."
    • Rush Limbaugh attacked "Michelle, my butt" for "talking about nutrition."
    • Conservative site Breitbart.com published a cartoon depicting the first lady as overweight. 

    Nutrition Standards Caused "Plate Waste" And Hunger 

    • Conservative media hyped a survey from the Government Accountability Office (GAO) on the implementation of new standards to argue that "kids can't be healthy if they aren't hunger-free." 
    • Fox's Steve Doocy described new nutrition standards as "the food police" to claim that "kids are ending up hungry." 
    • Fox's Sandra Smith blasted the "incredibly expensive" standards as the reason why "school nutritionists are having a very hard time, first, keeping the food on the plate and into the kids' mouth. They're throwing it away. So you've got the plate waste that everybody's talking about."
    • Conservative website Twitchy.com aggregated a list of tweets from what they described as a social media campaign from "ticked-off kids" who "blame[d] Michelle Obama for pitiful school lunches." Twitchy claimed "Many students fled the school lunch lines after Michelle Obama's anti-obesity campaign brought misery (and miniature portions) to lunchrooms around the country." 

    Michelle Obama's Efforts Lead To Higher Pedestrian Deaths 

    • Conservative media hyped an article by the Washington Examiner that baselessly claimed that "First lady Michelle Obama's campaign to get people to exercise outdoors might be a factor in an increase in the number of pedestrian deaths" in 2010, a claim the Governors Highway Safety Association (GHSA) called a "total sham."

  • Conservative Media Grossly Exaggerate What Bobby Jindal Just Did To Common Core

    Blog ››› ››› HILARY TONE

    Bobby JindalRight-wing media outlets ran misleading headlines about Louisiana Gov. Bobby Jindal's recent move against Common Core, erroneously claiming that he has withdrawn the state from the education standards. Jindal may be able to block a standardized test connected to Common Core, but he can't eliminate the standards entirely without help from the state legislature or the state school board.

    On June 18, the New Orleans Times-Picayune reported that Jindal announced plans "to try and roll back Louisiana" from the Common Core State Standards, a set of education standards adopted in 2010 by 45 states and the District of Columbia. Recent "political turbulence," fueled by misplaced conservative media outrage, has led a few states to withdraw from Common Core.

    The Times-Picayune noted that the Louisiana legislature, the state school board, and "almost all other high-ranking state education officials" have said they want to keep Common Core. It also reported that while Jindal may be able to block the standardized test, developed by the Partnership for Assessment of Readiness for College and Careers (PARCC), Jindal himself acknowledged he can't unilaterally abandon Common Core.

    Nevertheless, conservative media outlets, many of whom have been leading the anti-Common Core rage machine, deceptively spun Jindal's announcement as "withdrawing" Louisiana from the standards. The Washington Times, for example, ran a headline that read, "Bobby Jindal pulls Louisiana out of Common Core." A post at Erick Erickson's RedState.com also claimed that Jindal was "pull[ing] Louisiana out of Common Core," while Michelle Malkin's Twitchy posted "Jindal withdraws La. from Common Core standards."

    Times Headline

    Redstateheadline

    Twitchy headline

    The right-wing media's use of misleading headlines about this story is troubling, given recent data showing that six in 10 Americans don't read beyond headlines when consuming their news.

    The Times-Picayune also reported that "Jindal also notified the National Governors Association that he was removing Louisiana from the Common Core development group. That does not end the use of the standards but is more of a symbolic gesture."

    Jindal's announcement was especially notable given that he was initially considered a "staunch supporter when Louisiana signed on [to Common Core] four years ago." As the New America Foundation's Anne Hyslop pointed out, "most of Jindal's objections appear to stem not from the quality of the standards or tests or from the bidding process, but from concerns over federal overreach."

  • Gingrich Didn't Always Take Issue With John Kerry's Climate Change Rhetoric

    Blog ››› ››› SHAUNA THEEL

    Gingrich holding Kerry's climate change book (Via C-Span)

    CNN co-host and former House Speaker Newt Gingrich is calling for Secretary of State John Kerry's resignation for comparing climate change to a "weapon of mass destruction." However, media coverage of Gingrich's call has largely left out that Gingrich once agreed with Kerry on climate change, even standing with him on stage touting Kerry's book, in which he called climate change the "single largest threat" to mankind.

    On February 18, in Jakarta, Indonesia, Kerry discussed climate change as a national security threat, saying "in a sense, climate change can now be considered another weapon of mass destruction, perhaps the world's most fearsome weapon of mass destruction." Gingrich responded in a misspelled tweet, calling for Kerry's resignation:

    Twitter

    The Huffington Post claimed in an article on his tweets, that "Gingrich has repeatedly dismissed the dangers of man-made climate change." But that article, like similar ones in The Washington Post, The Hill, and conservative media, failed to mention that less than a decade ago, Gingrich was sitting with Rep. Nancy Pelosi (D-CA) on a couch, agreeing we should act on climate change.

    In fact, in 2007, Gingrich "debated" Kerry on climate change, but really agreed on almost everything:

  • Malkin Attacks Meghan McCain And Sandra Fluke For Bonding Over Sexist Attacks

    Blog ››› ››› ADAM SHAH

    Michelle Malkin and the team at Twitchy.com, a website she founded, are attacking Meghan McCain and Sandra Fluke for showing solidarity with each other over the sexist attacks both have endured.

    Yesterday, McCain tweeted a picture of herself and Fluke at an after-party following the White House Correspondents Dinner. McCain said "My fav meeting of the night" and referred to Fluke as "very brave and badass."

    Meghan McCain tweet

    McCain later tweeted: "Everyone calm down. I'm a proud pro-life republican but standing up to publicly being called a slut is brave. I've been through it." Fluke tweeted a response to McCain: "thanx 4 support/advice re: public attacks! We girls have each others' backs despite polit differences."

    McCain and Fluke have indeed been subjected to sexist attacks for speaking out publicly: Fluke was infamously called a "slut" and a "prostitute" and subjected to a barrage of other sexist attacks by Rush Limbaugh after speaking out about insurance coverage for contraception, and McCain has been subjected to repeated sexist comments after speaking publicly.

    Malkin's Twitchy.com was outraged that McCain and Fluke would compare notes on sexism. The website collected some of the tweets on the subject by McCain, Fluke, and others under the headline "Groan: When Meggie Met Fluke-y" and called McCain a "GOP embarrassment" and referred to Fluke as a "Democratic embarrassment."