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More details continue to emerge putting to rest the claims by conservative media activists that Rep. Nancy Pelosi faced a conflict of interest as speaker of the House because of an investment in Visa she made during that time.
On Thursday, 60 Minutes reporter Steve Kroft asked Pelosi whether her family had invested in Visa while she served as speaker, thereby creating a conflict of interest as she oversaw credit card reform. Andrew Breitbart and Fox Nation quickly sought to create a mini-scandal by linking to the video with salacious headlines.
The smear was completely discredited by the fact that, during that time, Pelosi oversaw the passage of historic credit card reform -- legislation aggressively opposed by the financial services industry and touted by consumer advocates.
Today, Politico further discredited the story, reporting that Pelosi's investment did not create a conflict of interest based on Congressional ethics rules:
[T]he House Ethics Committee notes that "ownership in a publicly traded company generally will not present a conflict of interest requiring recusal from voting" on legislation affecting that company. In that instance, lawmakers are treated as part of a "class" of investors rather than as individuals and are allowed to vote.
The Pelosi's holdings in Visa stock would likely not have been seen as significant in a company with hundreds of millions of shares outstanding.
Right-wing media figures are accusing Rep. Nancy Pelosi of a "conflict of interest" based on an investment in Visa when she was Speaker of the House. But as Pelosi herself noted, while she was Speaker she oversaw historic credit card reform that was opposed by the financial services industry and touted by consumer advocates.
Breitbart.tv is highlighting a YouTube video that shows Sen. Frank Lautenberg (D-NJ) speaking at a seaside event that the video says was held on Wednesday in Belmar, New Jersey. The title of the video on YouTube is "Lautenberg 'we got to eliminate the rich.' " Similarly, the title of the Breitbart.tv post is "Sen Lautenberg: 'We Got to Eliminate the Rich.' "
Toward the end of the video, Lautenberg references Warren Buffett's recent statement that taxes should be raised on the wealthy. Lautenberg then says, "And it's a tough fight, but" -- and at this point, a graphic appears over the footage that says, "We got to Eliminate the rich."
If you listen carefully and ignore the text over the video, it's fairly easy to understand that what Lautenberg actually says is, "And it's a tough fight, but we've got to eliminate the waste, we've got to eliminate the fraudulent practice, the expanded things that have no value and the" -- and at this point, the video ends.
Right-wing blogs including Andrew Breitbart's website and Fox Nation are dishonestly editing comments made by CBS chief White House correspondent Norah O'Donnell to make up evidence that she is liberally "biased." But the full transcript of O'Donnell's comments makes clear that she was asking the White House to comment on what she hears "Democrats saying," not expressing her personal views.
Media conservatives are accusing the Obama administration of "threatening" Social Security benefits after the president observed in an interview that he could not guarantee that benefits could be paid if the debt limit were not increased. Economic experts agree that failure to increase the debt limit would force the federal government to prioritize its legal obligations and strain its ability to pay Social Security benefits.
Lila Rose is back, accusing Planned Parenthood of lying about the effects a recent Indiana law would have on health-care access, without actually demonstrating anything of the sort.
Instead, Rose has demonstrated that Planned Parenthood's concerns - that women on Medicaid who rely on Planned Parenthood for preventive health care would lose that access under the Indiana law denying funds to Planned Parenthood - were accurate.
The video features Cecile Richards, CEO of Planned Parenthood, discussing Indiana's controversial law to withhold Medicaid funding from Planned Parenthood during a June CNN interview. Richards explained that she has received letters from women saying, "I can't believe that the state legislature, or the U.S. Congress is going to tell me I can't get - where I've been going to Planned Parenthood for years for my preventive care, for my birth control - and they are telling me now that I can't go to the health provider that I trust for my health."
Immediately after airing those comments, Rose played what she says is a recorded phone call to a Planned Parenthood clinic in Terre Haute, Indiana, where a woman who claimed to be a Medicaid recipient tried to schedule a preventive health-care examination. A voice, identified as belonging to a Planned Parenthood clinic worker, responded:
Right now we can't see new Medicaid people, just with the new law that's going on right now.
She then directed the caller to contact a primary care physician.
To recap: Planned Parenthood's Cecile Richards warned that women would not be able to go to Planned Parenthood for preventive care if they lost their funding. Rose claimed that she has "caught on tape" a Planned Parenthood worker in Indiana saying that because of the "new law," a Medicaid recipient cannot get preventive care at Planned Parenthood. She then presented this as evidence that Planned Parenthood has been lying.
This type of deception is par for the course with anti-abortion hoaxster Lila Rose. Of course, the usual cast of right-wing media characters are once again promoting Lila Rose's false smears of Planned Parenthood.
Media conservatives have found yet another excuse to push the myth that President Obama's economic policies have failed to increase employment, this time pointing to Obama's unremarkable observation that eliminating unnecessary regulations might speed up business activity and help create jobs. Economists have said that Obama's economic policies have boosted employment and raised gross domestic product.
Perhaps the reason most successful comics are liberals is because the right-wing media have repeatedly proven that they can't take -- or properly make -- a joke. They proved this point in the aftermath of President Obama's remarks on border security in El Paso, TX, yesterday, when he joked at Republicans' expense, stating that "they said we needed to triple the Border Patrol. Or now they're going to say we need to quadruple the Border Patrol. Or they'll want a higher fence. Maybe they'll need a moat. Maybe they want alligators in the moat. They'll never be satisfied. And I understand that. That's politics."
Unable to take the joke, right-wing media attacked Obama over the comment.
Fox & Friends co-host Brian Kilmeade discussed Obama's comment during the May 11 broadcast of the show. After airing a clip of the president's moat remarks, he stated, "I guess you're allowed" to mock Republicans. Co-host Steve Doocy responded to this by interjecting, "He's campaigning." Kilmeade went on to criticize Obama's steps toward immigration reform. On-screen text during the segment read, "Obama's Partisan Attack."
Bill O'Reilly attacked Rev. Wallace Charles Smith, whose church President Obama attended on Easter Sunday, as a "race activist" for claiming that Fox News provides a forum for racially charged statements. In fact, Fox News has a history of hosts and guests who make race-baiting statements, in addition to its relentless promotion of the phony New Black Panthers controversy.
Discredited right-wing activist Lila Rose is promoting yet another video hoax, falsely claiming to have caught Planned Parenthood officials lying about the organization's work providing patients with access to cancer screenings, including mammograms. But the comments Rose highlights in no way contradict the undisputed fact that Planned Parenthood provides patients with access to these services.
Yesterday, we noted that Fox Nation amplified Breitbart.tv's paranoid suggestion that CNN "sabotage[d]" Michele Bachmann's Tea Party response to last week's State of the Union address. That's a crazy conspiracy theory for any number of reasons, not least the fact that Fox News itself was responsible for the video feed in question.
Now Breitbart.tv has noted Fox's responsibility -- and suggests that the right-wing cable channel may have sabotaged the right-wing congresswoman:
UPDATE: Sources who were in the room at the time of broadcast now confirm that the pool camera providing the feed for CNN was Fox News. The Fox News pool camera was set up off-kilter from the tele-prompter feed despite the protestations of the Tea Party Express production team. Developing...
In an update, Fox Nation acknowledges that "Breitbart changes his allegation" -- but can't quite bring itself to tell readers that the new allegation is that Fox is the guilty party:
UPDATE: Breitbart changes his allegation. Click here to read more.
When Fox Nation and Andrew Breitbart team up for an attack, you can start counting down the seconds until the story begins to unravel. In this edition of bumbling from the conservative media, Breitbart's Bretibart.tv has posted video of Rep. Michele Bachmann's Tea Party Express response to the State of the Union along with the claim that the off-kilter look of the video was "sabotage" by CNN. Breitbart claimed that CNN provided its own camera to the side of Bachmann, which it used for the network feed of the proceedings. For comparison, Breitbart embeded the Tea Party Express feed, which is a head-on view of Bachmann.
The problem? The feed that went out of Bachmann looking off-kilter was from Fox News, not CNN. As Mediaite noted, CNN political director Sam Feist tweeted that Bachmann was looking into the Tea Party Express camera rather than the network pool camera, and that "Fox News was pool."
Now, there's certainly a serious question to be asked as to why CNN is acting as the de facto media outlet of the Tea Party Express organization, but in their haste to attack CNN, we've run into yet another twisted tale from the conservative press.
Maybe the people running Fox Nation should have run this by their coworkers first.
Right wing blogs were forced to issue humiliating updates after their most recent fake story -- that the Israeli delegation had rejected President Obama by "skip[ping]" his speech to the United Nations -- completely dissolved. In fact, the Israeli delegation was absent because they were observing the Jewish holiday Sukkot.