Aug
01
2008

The 'Pledge' That Wasn't

Misrepresenting Obama's public financing promise

When Barack Obama decided to reject public financing in the general election, corporate media and Republican partisans made an identical attack, claiming that Obama broke a promise to take public funding. Unfortunately, this claim was demonstrably untrue: Obama hadn't made an unconditional promise to take public financing. The New York Times (6/20/08) referred to Obama's "decision to break an earlier pledge to take public money." NPR (All Things Considered, 6/19/08) reported, "Earlier, Obama had said he would participate in public financing if his Republican rival, Arizona Sen. John McCain, did the same." NPR's Weekend Edition host Scott Simon (6/21/08) went […]

Aug
01
2008

Dowd Must Not Read Reviews

Columnist claims critics never called her on her sexism

Maureen Dowd--Photo Credit: Flickr Creative Commons/Dave Robinette

"I've been twisting gender stereotypes around for 24 years," Dowd responded. She said nobody had objected to her use of similar images about men over seven presidential campaigns. . . . "From the time I began writing about politics," Dowd said, "I have always played with gender stereotypes and mined them and twisted them to force the reader to be conscious of how differently we view the sexes." Now, she said, "you are asking me to treat Hillary differently than I've treated the male candidates all these years, with kid gloves." —New York Times columnist Maureen Dowd, responding to charges […]

Aug
01
2008

SoundBites

Cherry-Picking Intelligence The recent Senate Intelligence Committee report didn't really conclude that the White House was playing games with pre-Iraq invasion intelligence, argued Washington Post editorial page editor Fred Hiatt (6/9/08): "On Iraq's nuclear weapons program? The president's statements 'were generally substantiated by intelligence community estimates.'" Hiatt failed to quote the rest of the sentence from the report: " . . . but did not convey the substantial disagreements that existed in the intelligence community." Hiatt also wrote: "On chemical weapons, then? 'Substantiated by intelligence information.'" Yet the report said that Bush and Cheney's statements "regarding Iraq's chemical weapons production […]

Aug
01
2008

Failing to Do the Math on Oil

Support for offshore drilling increases following media misinformation

Photo Credit: Flickr Creative Commons/Bryan Burke

When Republican presidential contender John McCain called on June 17 for an end to the federal ban on offshore oil drilling, corporate media framing of the debate that followed helped sell his position. Journalists focused more on the political calculations of the move and its supposed populist appeal—while downplaying the question of whether or not offshore drilling would do what supporters argued it would. Much of the coverage led voters to believe that such drilling would have an immediate effect on oil prices. "Sen. John McCain has come out with an idea for how to solve the nation's current oil-related […]