On Fox News, David Asman falsely claimed of Sen. Barack Obama's reported plans for a White House transition months before the November election: "It's never been done before." Similarly, on MSNBC Live, U.S. News & World Report's Kenneth Walsh asserted that Obama is preparing for taking office "very early, and it plays into this notion that the Republicans are talking about, about Obama being too arrogant, that he has sort of a sense of inevitability that has set in there." However, a Media Matters review confirms that Presidents George W. Bush, Bill Clinton, Ronald Reagan, and Jimmy Carter all planned for a White House transition months before the election.
Despite media figures from the three broadcast networks asserting that because of the extensive media presence on his trip to the Middle East and Europe, any "mistake," "gaffe," or "misstatement" by Sen. Barack Obama would be amplified and could have vast negative consequences, none of the networks' evening news programs has reported on Sen. John McCain's recent misstatements regarding a nonexistent Iraq-Pakistan border and the timing of the Anbar Awakening.
On MSNBC Live, Alex Witt reported on a statement by Sen. John McCain's campaign criticizing Sen. Barack Obama for reportedly having "already set up a White House transition team." Witt did not challenge the suggestion that it is unusual or inappropriate for a presumptive nominee to plan for a presidential transition; indeed then-Gov. George W. Bush did in the summer of 2000. Nor did Witt note that Bush-Cheney transition director Clay Johnson said at the time that it would be "irresponsible not to be doing this."
In his Los Angeles Times column, Jonah Goldberg falsely claimed that "[w]ithin months of the [Iraq] invasion, [Sen. John] McCain was calling for more troops and the head of then-Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld." In fact, McCain did not call for Rumsfeld to be fired, or for his resignation.
On CNN's The Situation Room, Dana Bash uncritically aired an ad by Sen. John McCain that states that Sen. Barack Obama "never held a single Senate hearing on Afghanistan. He hasn't been to Iraq in years. He voted against funding our troops -- positions that helped him win his nomination." Neither Bash nor host Wolf Blitzer noted that McCain himself "voted against funding our troops" when he voted against legislation that would have provided funds for the wars in Afghanistan and Iraq.
CNN.com's Political Ticker blog uncritically repeated the false claim by Sen. John McCain that Sen. Barack Obama favors "hav[ing] the government take over the health care system in America." In fact, Obama has called for individuals to choose their own insurance and has not proposed that the "government take over the health care system in America." CNN has repeatedly uncritically aired -- or repeated -- similar attacks by McCain.
The Weekly Standard's Matthew Continetti falsely suggested that Sen. Barack Obama opposed designating the Iranian Revolutionary Guard a terrorist organization. In fact, Obama said he would have voted against the bill Continetti referenced -- the 2007 Kyl-Lieberman amendment -- because it "states that our military presence in Iraq should be used to counter Iran," not because it designated the Revolutionary Guard as a terrorist organization. Indeed, Obama co-sponsored a different bill in 2007 that also would have designated the group a terrorist organization.
On a Hardball segment concerning the chances that Sen. Barack Obama would select Sen. Chris Dodd (D-CT) as a running mate, Ken Vogel said: "[L]et's not forget that Obama, too, was the subject of a story in The Washington Post, actually, suggesting that he got a good deal on his mortgage. So unless they want an all-sweetheart-mortgage ticket, I think this is probably not the way to go." In fact, the Washington Post article provided no evidence that Obama had received preferential treatment in obtaining his mortgage.
On July 9, CNN Election Center uncritically aired Sen. John McCain's false claim that he "voted to condemn" the Iranian Revolutionary Guard as a terrorist organization "when a amendment was on the floor of the United States Senate" -- the Kyl-Lieberman amendment. However, a July 10 CNN.com blog post reported that "McCain was in New York instead of being in the Senate chamber for the vote in question. The McCain campaign admits the error." But CNN Election Center has yet to report that the McCain campaign has admitted that McCain's assertion was false.
CNN anchors Kyra Phillips and Campbell Brown each uncritically aired Sen. John McCain's false suggestion that Sen. Barack Obama opposed designating the Iranian Revolutionary Guard as a terrorist organization. In fact, Obama co-sponsored a bill in 2007 that would have designated the group a terrorist organization.