On February 19, WashingtonPost.com's On Faith section published a guest column by Glenn Beck in which the former Fox News host attacked President Obama for his announcement that under health care reform, women will have access to health care plans that cover contraception at no additional cost and declared, "we are all Catholics now."
WashingtonPost.com's decision to grant Beck a platform as part of their "conversation on Religion and Politics" comes in spite of Beck's repeated condemnation by Jewish groups for offensive comments, as well as his history of violent rhetoric.
On Friday, Fox host Chris Wallace acknowledged that Beck had gone "over the line in some of the things he said" during his tenure at that network.
In his piece, Beck stated:
This is why Americans are offended by the ruling from the White House that would force church-run institutions to pay for birth control and morning-after pills, which are tantamount to abortion. The so-called compromise is no compromise - under government-approved health insurance plans that the church pays for, abortifacients would be covered. Sin by proxy - that's the compromise.
In fact, Obama's birth control policy has broad support from Catholic hospitals, colleges, and charities, and recent polls show a majority of Catholics think employers should be required to provide health care plans that cover contraception at no additional cost.
Now it appears the WashingtonPost.com's Behind the Numbers blog is trying to provide some cover for "birther" minded conservatives after the news outlet's own poll confirmed that nearly one-in-three Republicans and Tea Partiers ascribe to the notion that President Obama may not have been born in the United States.
But still, the Washington Post's "Behind the Numbers" blog downplayed the results today of its own poll (done with ABC). At least Chris Cillizza at his The Fix blog at the same site played it more accurately, to a point. Dave Weigel, who covers the right for the paper, points out that 31% of tea party supporters hold the Birther view (the same number of Republicans, as if that needs to be pointed out).
The raw numbers: Nearly one in three GOPers (31%) believe Obama was born "in another country." The same figure for Democrats is 15% and among Independents 18%. The number for those who describe themselves as "very conservative" is 36%. Of that segment 17% claim they have "solid evidence" for his birth abroad.
But Jon Cohen at Behind the Numbers attributes this all to a "misunderstanding," not ignorance, bias, political or media manipulation, or, in part, racism. He emphasizes that overall 77% do not endorse this view, noting, "Broad majorities across party lines volunteer that Obama was born in the U.S., although substantial numbers in some groups say he wasn't.." He buries the 1 in 3 finding for all Republicans way down in his report.
From a discussion on washingtonpost.com:
Indianapolis Indiana: I am seeing comments from all over the map on what the GOP will do concerning Obama's Supreme Court selection. Go nuts? Fight like the devil? Pretend to be mad? Do nothing? What is your take on this?
Kathleen Parker: In public, they'll be open-minded; behind closed doors, they'll try to figure out how to derail the nominee. I hope the president will go moderate on this one. I think the nation is suffering battle fatigue and could use a respite. If he does, Republicans will have no basis for opposition.
UPDATE: Politico's Michael Calderone reports: "The video was a satirical piece that lampooned people of all stripes," a Post spokesperson tells POLITICO. "There was a section of the video that went too far, so we have removed the piece from our website."
"The video was a satirical piece that lampooned people of all stripes," a Post spokesperson tells POLITICO. "There was a section of the video that went too far, so we have removed the piece from our website."
From Dana Milbank and Chris Cillizza's July 31 installment of their washingtonpost.com video series, "Mouthpiece Theater":
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Tucker Carlson falsely asserted that President Obama was "afraid to use the word" "abortion" during his May 17 commencement address at Notre Dame. In fact, Obama used the word several times during the speech.
Washingtonpost.com blogger Ed O'Keefe uncritically quoted Betsy McCaughey's false claim from her Bloomberg op-ed that provisions in the House-passed recovery bill would permit the government to "monitor [health] treatments" and restrict what "your doctor is doing" with regard to patient care. In fact, the provisions McCaughey referred to address establishing an electronic records system such that doctors would have complete, accurate information about their patients "to help guide medical decisions at the time and place of care."
The Denver Post, ABC News, and The Washington Post all uncritically reported that Sen. John McCain, during an August 14 appearance in Aspen, Colorado, responded to criticism that he had changed his position on President Bush's tax cuts by stating he originally opposed them because they were not accompanied by spending reductions. None of these outlets noted that when McCain voted against the tax cuts in 2001, the reason he gave in his Senate floor statement was not that they were not accompanied by spending cuts but, rather, that "so many of the benefits go to the most fortunate among us, at the expense of middle class Americans who most need tax relief."
Washingtonpost.com's Chris Cillizza falsely suggested that Sen. John Kerry's call for Sen. John McCain to "cut ties" with retired Col. George "Bud" Day stemmed from Day's defense of McCain's military service in Vietnam. In fact, Kerry's statement called for McCain to sever ties with Day after Day described the Swift Boat Veterans for Truth attacks on Kerry in 2004 -- attacks Cillizza noted McCain denounced at the time -- as "revelation of the truth."
Washingtonpost.com's The Trail blog, CNN, and CBSNews.com each repeated Sen. John McCain's false claim that "[i]f you are one of the 23 million small business owners in America who files as an individual rate payer, Senator [Barack] Obama is going to raise your tax rates." In fact, Obama has proposed rolling back President Bush's tax cuts only on "people who are making 250,000 dollars a year or more"; according to the nonpartisan Tax Policy Center, only 481,000 small businesses fall into the tax brackets that would be affected by those increases.
Several media reports falsely claimed that Wesley Clark criticized Sen. John McCain's military service during a June 29 appearance on CBS' Face the Nation, including CNN anchor John Roberts, who said that "Clark took a weekend hit at McCain, targeting his history as a war hero and his possible future as president." In fact, Clark praised McCain as "a hero to me and to hundreds of thousands of millions of others in the Armed Forces as a prisoner of war."
In a June 20 article, The Washington Post reported that "[t]o date, no conservative 527 groups have materialized" to oppose Sen. Barack Obama. The day before, washingtonpost.com's Chris Cillizza had similarly asserted: "[N]o ... national 527 with an eye on the presidential election has emerged yet on the Republican side, and there doesn't appear to be significant impetus to form one given [Sen. John] McCain's commitment to campaign finance reform." In fact, both 527s and other outside conservative groups have attacked Obama, and McCain has not limited his denunciations to the activities of 527s.
The Washington Post's Michael Shear falsely suggested that Sen. Barack Obama has changed his position on U.S. troop withdrawal from Iraq since September 2007, writing that when Obama was "[a]sked to make a withdrawal timeline pledge during a debate last September," he "declined, saying that 'it's hard to project four years from now,' " but that Obama now says "he will remove all combat brigades from Iraq within 16 months of becoming president and will leave 'some troops' in Iraq to protect U.S. embassy personnel there and carry out targeted strikes on terrorists." But contrary to Shear's suggestion, Obama did not make contradictory statements.
On America's Election HQ, Chris Cillizza repeatedly and falsely referred to Connecticut Sen. Joe Lieberman as a Democrat. Even though an on-screen graphic identified Lieberman as an independent, Cillizza stated of the possibility that Sen. John McCain would pick a Democrat as a running mate: "[T]he Democrat that I think makes the most sense -- though I would say I think it's very unlikely John McCain picks a Democrat -- but the Democrat that makes the most sense is Joe Lieberman."