Search Results for: Joseph L. Conn and Rob Boston

Apr 1 2010

The Right’s Library of Fake Quotes

Putting words in dead people’s mouths


Abraham Lincoln despised class warfare, Thomas Jefferson detested bailouts and the founders of the nation were all Bible-believing Christians. These are among the historical “facts” you’ll learn as a regular consumer of talk radio, Fox News and other conservative sources. While non-conservatives have been known to misquote historical figures to add credibility to their own views, the right seems to have a special enthusiasm for putting words in dead people’s mouths. Take what has become known as the “The Ten Cannots,” a list repeatedly misattributed to Abraham Lincoln. It begins: You cannot bring about prosperity by discouraging thrift. You cannot […]

Sep 1 2004

Media’s Gay Marriage Consensus

Insider critics charge press didn't play it straight

Brides kissing (CC Photo: Ben Salter)

When the Massachusetts Supreme Judicial Court ruled in November 2003 that the state could no longer deny gays and lesbians the right to marry, it touched off a string of events that have kept gay marriage in the media spotlight for months. With that new-found prominence has come scrutiny from watchers of the media, with mainstream media critics and ombudsmen from prominent newspapers seeming to reach a consensus: News media have a pro-gay bias. Washington Post media critic Howard Kurtz (, 7/26/04) found fault across the board: “ALL of the press was being way too sympathetic to the gay marriage […]

Jan 1 2001

Uprising Without Explanation

“The Palestinians began the latest protests with old-style demonstrations. Then they started shooting at Israeli towns. Now they are attacking settlements. It’s not at all clear what the next step will be, but every step seems to get bloodier.” — “Into the War Zone,” Time (12/4/00) In war–especially the kind of war that has now broken out between Israel and the Palestinians–each side has its reasons. Not all reasons are equally valid, but in journalism both sides must be told, context and balance provided, and ultimately the audience should decide. When Israel is asked to explain the 300 Palestinians (compared […]

Mar 1 1996

The End of Racism?

Somebody tell Marge Schott

There seems to be a growing attempt by pundits both of the right and center to claim that significant racism no longer exists. The American Enterprise Institute’s Dinesh D’Souza, of course, makes this claim in his book The End of Racism, in which he asserts that racism “no longer has the power to thwart blacks or any other group in achieving their economic, political, and social aspirations.” (Racism apparently ended sometime after he was editor of the Dartmouth Review, which under his early-’80s tenure published a crude racial parody under the title “Dis Sho Ain’t No Jive, Bro”–see Washington Post, […]

Mar 1 1995

The Extremist Worldview Behind Pat Robertson’s Media Empire

In May 1992, television preacher Pat Robertson announced that he was interested in buying United Press International, the financially struggling news service. Reflecting on the proposed deal, Robertson told reporters the purchase “may be a little opportunity” for God to touch society. Two months later, the deal was off. Robertson explained that his auditors had looked at UPI‘s books and determined it would take at least $31 million to turn the troubled news agency around. Robertson said the investment just wasn’t worth it. God, it seems, would have to look elsewhere to touch society. As the UPI move illustrates, Robertson’s […]

Mar 8 1992

The Way Things Aren’t

Rush Limbaugh Debates Reality

Most of us here in the media are what I consider infotainers…. Rush Limbaugh is what I call a disinfotainer. He entertains by spreading disinformation. –Al Franken at the White House Correspondents’ Dinner (4/23/94) Rush Limbaugh has gotten a lot of mileage out of his claim that volcanoes do more harm to the ozone layer than human-produced chemicals. He featured it in his best-selling book, The Way Things Ought to Be (paperback edition pp. 155-157): “Mount Pinatubo in the Philippines spewed forth more than a thousand times the amount of ozone-depleting chemicals in one eruption than all the fluorocarbons manufactured […]