By Brenda Witt (Contact)
To be delivered to: Ben Sherwood, President, ABC News, Jeff Fager, Chairman, CBS News, Steve Capus, President, NBC News, Jim Walton, President, CNN Worldwide, Roger Ailes, President, Fox News Channel, and Phil Griffin, President, MSNBC
Americans are not being accurately informed about campaign issues because the mainstream media is more concerned with "balanced reporting" of what each candidate says, without fact-checking and reporting what are lies and what are facts. In this crucial election, news reporters have an obligation to educate the public about the facts regarding the major issues and call out the candidates when they lie. That's why I am asking major news corporations--ABC, CBS, NBC, CNN, FOX, and MSNBC--to live up to their obligations to report the truth.
In his convention speech, Paul Ryan lied to the American people. Some journalists and outlets covered Ryan's lies. But others failed to fact-check and didn't call Ryan out on his brazen lies.
Here is a list of five lies that Ryan told when he gave his speech at the Republican National Convention last night. Every single news outlet should report on these lies.
1. Lie: President Obama is the "greatest threat" to Medicare.
Truth: Obama didn't make any cuts to Medicare benefits; he made cuts to provider reimbursements, to improve cost efficiency and extend the fiscal security of Medicare by eight years. According to the Medicare actuary, "[Obama's] Affordable Care Act makes important changes to the Medicare program and substantially improves its financial outlook."
But, Ryan actually does want to cut benefits. He proposed dismantling Medicare and replacing it with a voucher system, leaving millions of seniors to come up with more money to pay for care out of pocket.
2. Lie: President Obama didn't save a General Motors plant in Wisconsin.
Truth: First, Obama wasn't even in office when the GM plant closed. Second, Obama never made a promise to save it.
3. Lie: President Obama ignored recommendations of a bipartisan debt commission.
Truth: Paul Ryan actually sat on that commission. And he led Republicans in voting down the commission's own recommendation. So the commission never gave a report to Obama, because Ryan himself voted to kill the report before it could.
4. Lie: President Obama is responsible for the downgrading of the U.S. Credit Rating
Truth: House Republicans, including Paul Ryan, held the full faith and credit of the United States hostage to try to ransom it for trillions of dollars in cuts to social programs without increasing taxes on the wealthy one dime. Standard & Poors said specifically, "We have changed our assumption on [revenue] because the majority of Republicans in Congress continue to resist any measure that would raise revenues." That's why our nation's credit rating was downgraded.
5. Lie: Ryan wants to protect the "weak."
Truth: Ryan's biggest feat in his political career was proposing a budget with dramatic cuts to programs benefiting the poor. He'd cut Medicaid by one third, take away health care insurance from 30 million Americans, and cut Pell Grants for 1 million students. All so that he could give more tax breaks to the rich.
In this crucial election, news reporters have an obligation to educate the public about the facts regarding the major issues, and call out the candidates every time they lie.
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