On the December 13 edition of Tucker, Norah O'Donnell asserted that during the same day's Hardball, Clinton adviser Mark Penn "once again brought up cocaine -- twice" in relation to Sen. Barack Obama and later claimed that Penn "on his own brought up cocaine." In fact, the entire Hardball segment was devoted to controversial remarks regarding Obama's past drug use made by Clinton's campaign co-chair, who later resigned. Chris Matthews explicitly asked Penn at least three distinct questions about the topic, and Penn had offered at least two specific responses before he used the word "cocaine."
Discussing Mitt Romney's "Faith in America" speech, CNN's Colleen McEdwards said to the Southern Baptist Convention's (SBC) Richard Land, "I mean, let's face it, some people go as far as saying Mormonism is a cult." At no point during the interview, however, did Land acknowledge or McEdwards point out that the SBC lists the Mormon church as a "Major Cults/Sect in North America" or that an SBC group uses Mormonism as an example in highlighting four of the six characteristics it uses to answer the question, "What is a Cult or Sect?"
On Hardball, Chris Matthews asked about Sen. Hillary Rodham Clinton (D-NY), "[D]oes she look like Nurse Ratched here?" referencing a character in Ken Kesey's novel and the movie One Flew Over the Cuckoo's Nest, who has been described as a "scheming, manipulative agent" who "asserts arbitrary control simply because she can." In fact, Matthews and others on programs on NBC, MSNBC, and CNBC have a long history of associating Clinton with Nurse Ratched.
Discussing religious questions asked at the November 28 CNN/YouTube Republican presidential debate, Chris Matthews said: "[T]hese questions are getting very liturgical. How literal do you take the [Bible]? Where did Jesus stand on capital punishment? ... Why are candidates for the presidency being asked religious questions?" But Matthews voiced no objections over the September 26 Democratic debate, which was moderated by Matthews' NBC colleague Tim Russert, who asked of the candidates, "[W]hat is your favorite Bible verse?"
MSNBC's Chris Matthews said of Republican presidential candidate Mike Huckabee, "I think Huckabee has got the biggest free ride from the liberal media that I have ever seen in my life. I mean, the guy, if you want to get into conspiracy theories -- I mean why is everybody who is liberal pushing Huckabee? Give me a break." However, during the November 8 edition of Hardball, Matthews introduced an interview with Huckabee by comparing him with the other Republican presidential candidates and asking, "[W]hy are prominent Christian conservatives bypassing former Arkansas Governor Mike Huckabee to support a New Yorker with liberal positions on social issues, a senator who's had poor relations with evangelicals, and a Mormon who's changed his position on abortion?" Matthews went on to say, "[I]t's an honor to have you on the show. Everybody likes you, Governor Huckabee. We're waiting for those poll numbers to reflect it. Everybody around here seems to like you, and we'll see what that's worth. Anyway, good luck in Iowa."