Reporting on Pat Robertson's endorsement of Republican presidential candidate Rudy Giuliani, MSNBC anchor Peter Alexander asserted, "Giuliani and Robertson: both prostate cancer survivors, both strong supporters of Israel." MSNBC campaign reporter Matthew Berger stated, "They have traveled to Israel together." And NBC News political director Chuck Todd said that "to a lot of evangelicals, the war against Islamic fundamentalism, protecting Israel is actually a bigger issue than some of these other issues." But at no point in discussing Robertson and Israel did an MSNBC news anchor or Todd note Robertson's past controversial comments regarding former Israeli Prime Minister Ariel Sharon's stroke and former Israeli Prime Minister Yitzhak Rabin's assassination.
During an interview with Rudy Giuliani, Fox News' Neil Cavuto did not challenge Giuliani's assertion that "[t]he chance of a man surviving prostate cancer in the United States is somewhere, when I was doing it, 82, 84 percent. It's probably over 90 percent now. In socialized medicine countries ... some of them can be less than 50 percent." However, the purported source for the statistics, the Commonwealth Fund, issued a statement saying that the numbers are "incorrect."
A Politico article cited health care as an issue on which Democratic "party leaders have shunned compromise" and cited the congressional debate over expanding the State Children's Health Insurance Program (SCHIP) as part of this purported "storyline." However, the Politico did not note that an earlier bill expanding SCHIP by $35 billion over five years -- which President Bush vetoed -- represented a bipartisan compromise.
Chris Matthews, Wolf Blitzer, and Chris Jansing each uncritically aired or reported on a Rudy Giuliani radio ad in which Giuliani claims that when he had prostate cancer, his "chance of surviving ... in the United States, 82 percent" but that his "chance of surviving prostate cancer in England, only 44 percent under socialized medicine." However, a post on washingtonpost.com's Fact Checker blog noted that "the survivability figures tell us little about the differences in the quality of treatment received by prostate cancer patients in the United States and Britain" and that "the two countries are much closer" in terms of the "mortality rates from the disease." Neither Matthews nor Blitzer nor Jansing noted Giuliani's use of "meaningless" -- according to a cancer research expert -- statistics.
Discussing President Bush's threat to veto a bill expanding the State Children's Health Insurance Program, NPR Weekend Edition Saturday host Scott Simon stated: "The president vetoed the last one, but lawmakers said they've made some important changes to the bill, which, as Senator [Mitch] McConnell often reminds interviewers, began as a program under a Republican president." In fact, in a September 27 statement, McConnell credited a Republican Congress -- not, as Simon said, a Republican president -- for the program, which was signed into law by President Clinton.