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."
A Los Angeles Times article reported that Sen. John McCain "hopes that his support for legalizing many undocumented immigrants, and the political price he paid for it within his party, will keep him competitive with Latinos." Yet the article did not note that during the race for the Republican nomination McCain reversed himself on the issue of immigration; he now says that "we've got to secure the borders first" and that he "would not" support the comprehensive immigration reform legislation he once sponsored.
Reuters, The New York Times, The Wall Street Journal, and NBC's Today reported Sen. John McCain's praise of Sen. Hillary Clinton in a June 3 speech, but none of those outlets noted that McCain has previously distorted Clinton's record on issues such as health care, taxes, the environment, and housing, nor did they note that McCain has a history of personal attacks against Clinton and her family.
A Washington Post article falsely reported that "[Sen. Barack] Obama questioned in early May whether [Sen. John] McCain was 'losing his bearings' over Middle East peace issues." In fact, Obama was responding to a smear by McCain when he said, "John McCain always says, well, I'm not going to run that kind of politics ... And, so, for him to toss out comments like that, I think, is an example of him losing his bearings as he pursues this nomination."