On The Situation Room, Gloria Borger asserted that Sen. Barack Obama's decision to forgo public financing for the general election "is going to become a character issue for Barack Obama, because ... [i]t gives [Sen.] John McCain an opening to say, 'This is not the man you think you know.' " But Borger did not note that McCain has also given Obama an "opening" on the issue of public financing: a loan agreement McCain signed during the primary season that could have forced him to remain in the race -- even if he had no chance of winning -- in order to be eligible for public matching funds to repay the loan.
On Special Report, Brit Hume issued a correction following his false claim that Sen. Barack Obama's half brother had told The Jerusalem Post that Obama had a "Muslim background." But while Hume suggested that his only "error" was in repeating a flawed report in the Post, he did not acknowledge that he had falsely claimed Malik Obama had spoken with The Jerusalem Post. The Post did not claim that Malik Obama spoke to the newspaper; the article indicated that Malik Obama gave an interview to Israel's Army Radio, not the Post.
In a blog post, the Chicago Tribune's Jill Zuckman wrote: "Asked by one of his supporters to provide a few examples where [Sen. Barack] Obama has reached across the aisle, [Sen. John] McCain -- not surprisingly -- was unable to come up with anything." But Zuckman did not note that McCain has previously thanked Obama for his bipartisan work on a bill with several Republicans, including McCain, and McCain's Senate office reportedly contacted Obama's office to cosponsor an update of that bill.
Chris Matthews again aired an on-screen graphic that falsely suggested that Sen. John McCain's lead of 44 percent to 38 percent over Sen. Barack Obama among white suburban women in a recent NBC News/Wall Street Journal poll was statistically significant. A chart that appeared on-screen provided only the margin of error for the survey as a whole -- 3.1 percentage points -- and not the margin of error of 9.34 percentage points for the subset of white suburban women.
On-screen graphics based on an NBC News/Wall Street Journal poll that aired during MSNBC's Hardball falsely suggested that Sen. John McCain's lead over Sen. Barack Obama among white suburban women is statistically significant because it provided only the poll's margin of error for the overall poll -- not the higher margin of error for the crosstab of white suburban women.
Los Angeles Times blogger Andrew Malcolm and CNN.com's Rebecca Sinderbrand quoted statements in a blog post by McCain deputy communications director Michael Goldfarb, in which Goldfarb wrote that "there is a genuine affection for her here at McCain HQ" and that Clinton is an "impressive candidate" who "inspired a generation of women." But neither noted that before joining the McCain campaign, in his prior capacity as online editor of The Weekly Standard, Goldfarb regularly engaged in the kind of personal smears that McCain has denounced.
CNN's Campbell Brown played a video clip of Sen. John McCain praising Sen. Hillary Clinton and then said, "[T]his has certainly got to reverberate with Clinton supporters, the die-hards," without noting that McCain reportedly denied having made the comments aired in the clip.
On MSNBC Live, Andrea Mitchell discussed energy policy with former Sens. John Breaux and Trent Lott but failed to disclose that both are lobbyists for major oil and gas companies. While Mitchell said that Lott and Breaux "formed a firm" together, she did not note that their firm conducts lobbying or that its clients include oil and gas companies Chevron, Shell, and Plains Exploration & Production Co.
In recent comparisons of Barack Obama's and John McCain's positions, Gannett News Service and the Associated Press claimed that McCain opposes a constitutional amendment banning abortion. However, McCain has previously asserted that he supports such an amendment, and McCain advisers have reportedly said that he would not try to change the Republican Party's platform on abortion, which in 2004 called for a constitutional ban on abortion.
The New York Times' John Harwood wrote that Sen. John McCain "prevailed over a field of Republicans who almost unanimously shared his support for the Iraq war, embrace of President Bush's tax cuts, skepticism toward government-run health care and opposition to abortion rights," while Sen. Barack Obama and Hillary Clinton "both staked out opposite ground from Mr. McCain." But neither Obama nor Clinton has proposed "government-run health care"; the Times has previously pointed out that McCain has "inaccurately described Obama's and Clinton's health care proposals" by likening them to "government-run health care systems."