The conservative activist group Citizens United is reportedly distributing Hype: The Obama Effect, a DVD attacking Sen. Barack Obama, this week in newspapers in Ohio, Nevada, and Florida. The AP quoted Citizens United president David Bossie saying of the film, "We think it's a truthful attack. People can take it anyway they want." But a Media Matters analysis of Hype finds that it contains numerous falsehoods and misrepresentations of Obama's record. Newspapers that distribute the DVD should consider their obligation to provide readers with information that discredits it.
CNN's Anderson Cooper stated: "On taxes, Senator McCain pledges not to roll back the Bush tax cuts, which Democrats say favor the rich." In fact, it is not just Democrats who say that the Bush tax cuts favor the rich. McCain himself made the same claim in 2001, in explaining his opposition to the tax cuts, a fact that Cooper did not mention.
NBC's Kelly O'Donnell, Lester Holt and the AP uncritically repeated the McCain campaign's claims that Sen. Barack Obama is already writing or has already written an inaugural address. The claims are reportedly based on a New York Times article, which asserted that Obama transition chief John D. Podesta "has already written a draft Inaugural Address for Mr. Obama, which he published this summer in a book called 'The Power of Progress.' " But neither O'Donnell nor the AP gave any indication that they had attempted to verify the accusation or obtain a response from Podesta, who issued a statement calling the charge "a complete fabrication."
Reporting on a rally Gov. Sarah Palin held in Pennsylvania, the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette quoted an audience member saying of Sen. Barack Obama: "Tell him to go back to Indonesia. Tell him to show his birth certificate." The Post-Gazette did not note that the charge that Obama has not released a valid U.S. birth certificate has been widely debunked.
CNN's Jason Carroll aired Cindy McCain's claim that Sen. Barack Obama's "vote to not fund my son when he was serving sent a cold chill through my body." However, Carroll did not point out that Sen. John McCain himself voted against legislation to fund the wars in Afghanistan and Iraq.
Fox News' Steve Brown accused Sen. Barack Obama of omitting the purported reason Sen. John McCain initially opposed the Bush tax cuts, which Brown claimed was "because they didn't match up with corresponding cuts coming out of the budget." In fact, the reason McCain gave for voting against the tax cuts in a May 2001 floor statement was that "so many of the benefits go to the most fortunate among us, at the expense of middle class Americans who most need tax relief."
ABC's David Wright reported without challenging Sen. John McCain's claim to voters in New Hampshire that Sen. Barack Obama "wants to confiscate their hard-earned money." Wright did not note that Obama has proposed cutting taxes for low- and middle-income taxpayers, while raising taxes only on individuals earning more than $200,000 per year and families earning more than $250,000 per year.
WorldNetDaily.com again cited dubious emails containing errors and stilted English that Jerome Corsi has said were sent by Sen. Barack Obama to advance the claim that Obama "campaigned for" "radical Kenyan Prime Minister Raila Odinga" during a 2006 trip.
Discussing Sam Joe Wurzelbacher ("Joe the Plumber") on MSNBC Live, Tamron Hall said that "according to the federal government's Bureau of Labor Statistics, the national average for a plumber: $45,000. ... I think it would be rude to ask Joe what his income is." But Wurzelbacher's income -- or expected income -- is the issue in determining the veracity of McCain's charge that Wurzelbacher's taxes would increase under Sen. Barack Obama's tax plan.