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Matt Drudge wasn’t the only one to mainstream Alex Jones this year. CNN, Fox News and even the House of Representatives did the same, even as Jones pushed wild conspiracies (like how a government weather weapon may have been responsible for the devastating Oklahoma tornado). Ben Dimiero tours the year on the fringe: http://mm4a.org/19bOOTp
Beltway pundits far too often focus on the debt while sneering at the social safety net. Unemployment, food stamps, disability, Social Security, and Medicaid have all been attacked in 2013. Craig Harrington explains what the pundits are getting wrong: http://mm4a.org/1carqKnRelated: One of the most common mistakes journalists make is conflating centrist policy with objectively good policy. But sometimes the center is wrong. Columbia Journalism Review‘s Brendan Nyhan explains what deficit hysteria misses: http://bit.ly/192SGck
We’re wrapping up our year-end fundraiser. Fighting conservative misinformation is a big job – and we can’t do it without you. Please support our work here: http://bit.ly/1h2JGpL
It seems conservative media can’t open their mouth without saying something horrible about women. Here are the worst of their moments in 2013, from “Abortion Barbie” to “something about the female brain.” http://mm4a.org/1ligoDZ
Benghazi. IRS targeting of the Tea Party. Benghazi. Government ammo stockpiling. Taxpayer-funded abortions. Even more Benghazi. The War on Christmas.
What do this year’s most resilient right-wing myths have in common?
They’re all phony scandals — sensational narratives cooked up from twisted facts or outright lies, designed to manufacture outrage for partisan gain. Stand up for the truth by making a contribution today.
Because of their emotional nature, phony scandals are a special challenge to discredit or contain. They play on frustrations and assumptions. They drive ratings; they go viral. Each one has been declared “the worst since Watergate.”
To fight back against this year’s lies, Media Matters had to know more about the “scandals” than the people and organizations spreading them. When the misinformers tweaked a detail or changed their story, we were there to catch them in the act. And when those same hoaxes crept into the mainstream media, we were prepared to immediately and methodically take them down, again and again.
No matter the issue, the media’s coverage of it drives key policy debates and decisions. That’s why the truth-telling work that Media Matters does matters so much. Today, we’re kicking off our year-end fundraiser so that we can continue to fight back against phony scandals and cheap outrage. Click here to help us reach our $50,000 fundraising goal by the end of the year. Phony scandals use their staying power to distract us from genuine issues that are worth our attention. Don’t let the conservative echo chamber manipulate our debate with lies and smears. Your support makes a difference. Keep us watching in 2014: http://action.mediamatters.org/donate_2013 Sincerely,
Bradley Beychok President Media Matters for America
The cognitive dissonance between Thanksgiving and Black Friday is well-noted, but as more retailers open on Thanksgiving instead of Friday, it’s worth remembering this weekend what being thankful really means — and what are the best ways to pass that on to others.
Conservatives have rushed to compare the the preliminary nuclear agreement with Iran to the 1938 Munich agreement. Simon Maloy explains how this comparison points to gross misunderstanding of both agreements. http://mm4a.org/187oZTMRelated: As experts praise diplomatic efforts, Fox’s John Bolton calls for military strikes on Iran right now: http://mm4a.org/Ipq0Q9
Fact Checking Fox
Fox News blamed Obamacare for layoffs at the Cleveland Clinic. Just one problem: there aren’t any layoffs. A spokeswoman for the Clinic explained the real story to Tyler Hansen – and noted that they’ve been trying to get Fox to correct the record. http://mm4a.org/1bPRbeVRelated: Economists agree the ACA is already successful in controlling health care costs. So why is the media ignoring that? http://mm4a.org/1a4EKL2
CBS finally retracted its flawed 60 MinutesBenghazi report. But as it continues to stonewall calls for an independent inquiry, new concerns being raised about the original report, and another flawed CBS report has emerged.
Another CBS “exclusive” story has quickly fallen apart. CBS reported a project manager was kept in the dark about HealthCare.gov security failures. In reality, a “partial transcript” that excluded the context shows that this was about a part of the site not due to go live until 2014: http://mm4a.org/1aRQWozRelated: Simon Maloy explains how CBS could have quickly fact checked this: http://mm4a.org/1dqTtnw Storied outlets from The New York Times to the Associated Press ran with this flawed story: http://mm4a.org/19kDQJX
What Is Wrong At Fox?
Fox host Stuart Varney said he got a “big smile” when Australia refused to give aid after an official from the Philippines tearfully asked for nations to give to a climate fund in the wake of Super Typhoon Haiyan: http://mm4a.org/1fBZbEwRelated: Fox also lashed out at George Clooney over climate change and Typhoon Haiyan: http://mm4a.org/18mveD3 You can support the American Red Cross Typhoon relief effort here: http://rdcrss.org/1fDOiBS
In response to a series of ads for health care aimed at young people, Rush Limbaugh claimed his sexist attacks on Sandra Fluke from last year were vindicated. http://mm4a.org/1gKwuby
FACT CHECKING THE KELLY FILE
Megyn Kelly recently featured a guest who claimed he sold his business because of Obamacare. When Salon’s Eric Stern looked into it, he found the story far more complicated than Kelly let on: http://bit.ly/HVxMC3