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Thursday, October 18, 2012

Facts Are Not Up For Debate

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We're in full blown debate season now, with three down, one to go in the presidential election and even more for state and local elections. This week, we're sending a reminder that political debates should be over ideas, and not over facts. The facts are not up for debate. And it's up to the media to establish what the facts are. Too often this season media are missing the mark.
John Whitehouse
Twitter: @existentialfish

Fox Erases Libya Event From Its Timeline

During the debate, Candy Crowley dared to actually fact-check Mitt Romney's claim about President Obama's statement about Benghazi being an "act of terror" on September 12. And while she's stood by her fact-check, Fox has pushed relentlessly to erase it. The most galling of these attempts is Fox erasing from its timeline President Obama's statements on September 13 - when Obama made the exact same point. Another example of the right-wing media bubble creating its own reality: http://action.mediamatters.org/r?u=http%3A%2F%2Fmm4a.org%2FTwjHIU&utm_campaign=weekly_1018_2&n=7&e=281829f68d739d1ebda7df39736cad5a6c6efbfa&utm_source=mediamatters&utm_medium=email

Where's The Media On Romney's Bogus Jobs Math?

Did you know that independent fact checkers found that Mitt Romney's "12 million jobs" plan "doesn't add up"? If you're only reading the news coverage in The Washington Post, The New York Times, and The Wall Street Journal, you may have missed that. Somehow, these papers covering the presidential debate repeated the myth - without stating the facts. http://action.mediamatters.org/r?u=http%3A%2F%2Fmm4a.org%2FPBCsiN&utm_campaign=weekly_1018_2&n=10&e=281829f68d739d1ebda7df39736cad5a6c6efbfa&utm_source=mediamatters&utm_medium=email

Fox News Lies: Early Voting In Ohio Edition

Fox News is not pleased that the Supreme Court approved early voting in Ohio. During the 2004 election, tens of thousands of Ohioans were disenfranchised due to long lines, a problem alleviated by early voting in 2008 and 2010 (and, now 2012 as well). But Fox has consistently tried to dishonestly frame this around military voting. Todd Gregory explains the lies: http://action.mediamatters.org/r?u=http%3A%2F%2Fmm4a.org%2FWvaTrQ&utm_campaign=weekly_1018_2&n=13&e=281829f68d739d1ebda7df39736cad5a6c6efbfa&utm_source=mediamatters&utm_medium=email

The Natural Consequence Of Horse-Race Journalism

The focus of cable news on presidential style during the debates buries any mention of substance. Eric Boehlert examines Mark Halperin's role in allowing Mitt Romney to reinvent himself. Mitt Romney campaigned as a severe conservative in the primaries and his campaign even famously bragged about being able to "etch-a-sketch" and create a new reality in the general election. But when Romney tried to do that in the first debate, Halperin only praised Romney's style - and ignored any discussion of the substance. http://action.mediamatters.org/r?u=http%3A%2F%2Fmm4a.org%2FQP840z&utm_campaign=weekly_1018_2&n=16&e=281829f68d739d1ebda7df39736cad5a6c6efbfa&utm_source=mediamatters&utm_medium=email

Important Things, Like Joe Biden's Smile

You probably noticed the media talking nonstop about Joe Biden's smile following the Vice Presidential debate. Pundits on all the cable news channels couldn't stop talking about it. But as they were complaining about Biden smiling, fact-checkers were noting numerous falsehoods from Rep. Paul Ryan during the debate.   http://action.mediamatters.org/r?u=http%3A%2F%2Fmm4a.org%2FRfHrRN&utm_campaign=weekly_1018_2&n=19&e=281829f68d739d1ebda7df39736cad5a6c6efbfa&utm_source=mediamatters&utm_medium=email


As we approach the election, the right-wing media have dedicated their energy to changing the grounds of the debate by avoiding reality and living in a fantasy. Watch Rachel Maddow burst that fantasy bubble: http://action.mediamatters.org/r?u=http%3A%2F%2Fmm4a.org%2FQuk1JP&utm_campaign=weekly_1018_2&n=22&e=281829f68d739d1ebda7df39736cad5a6c6efbfa&utm_source=mediamatters&utm_medium=email


Everyone knows that from the start of the Obama administration, Republicans vowed to not work with the President. But perhaps David Brooks just missed it. How else can you explain Brooks accusing President Obama of being hyper-partisan and driving Republicans away from the table? Kevin Zieber explains how Brooks got it wrong: http://action.mediamatters.org/r?u=http%3A%2F%2Fmm4a.org%2FTZ4fLa&utm_campaign=weekly_1018_2&n=25&e=281829f68d739d1ebda7df39736cad5a6c6efbfa&utm_source=mediamatters&utm_medium=email


Rupert Murdoch's prized paper stepped in it again this week. The Wall Street Journal published an editorial blasting Sec. Hillary Clinton for being "mute" on Benghazi. Of the many problems with this, the biggest is that the WSJ itself had talked to Clinton about Benghazi five days earlier - and withheld publishing her comments. Oliver Willis explains: http://action.mediamatters.org/r?u=http%3A%2F%2Fmm4a.org%2FXjzWgR&utm_campaign=weekly_1018_2&n=28&e=281829f68d739d1ebda7df39736cad5a6c6efbfa&utm_source=mediamatters&utm_medium=email


The Transcript Truthers Get A Seat At The Table

Smile Over Substance
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Thursday's Daily Brief: Romney Hoped Business Owners Influence Employees' Votes

Thursday, October 18, 2012
Mitt Romney's Contraception Strategy: Change The Subject
Twitter Censors An Account For The First Time
Newsweek To Stop Printing, Go All-Digital
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Family Shocked At Accused Man's Federal Reserve Terror Plot
Daniel Ellsberg: Progressives: In Swing States, Vote for Obama
I don't 'support Obama.' I oppose the current Republican Party. The only way for progressives and Democrats to block Romney from office, at this date, is to persuade enough people in swing states to vote for Obama: not stay home, or vote for someone else.
Dan Froomkin: The Big Chill: How Obama Is Operating in Unprecedented Secrecy -- While Attacking the Secret-Tellers
Far from reversing the Bush-Cheney executive power grab, President Obama is taking it to new extremes. More than a decade after it started, we still have no clue how much the government is listening in on us or reading our email. And the government's response to this unprecedented secrecy is a war on leaks.
Sen. Dianne Feinstein: Malala Tragedy Reveals Plight of AfPak Girls
Malala was targeted because she refused to remain silent as the Taliban turned women and girls into second-class citizens. She was targeted because she was an advocate for education. We cannot remain silent.
Russell Simmons: Economic Inequality Must Be Part of the Debate!
We have allowed our government to be bought and sold by a few lobbyists and the billionaires and millionaires who line their pockets with oil, prison, war, gun and insurance money.
Marlo Thomas: Mom and Dad -- Do You Have Five Minutes?
If you are a parent, I just want to ask you for five minutes. I think that's all it should take to make you think differently about bullying, an issue most of us don't spend a lot of time on, but should.