Fox News' Carl Cameron falsely suggested that Sen. John McCain acknowledged weakness on economic issues only once, "[i]n one of those marathon interactions with reporters on the bus," while NBC's Andrea Mitchell baselessly asserted that McCain was "obviously joking" when he admitted his lack of knowledge about the economy. In fact, McCain has made such an acknowledgement on numerous occasions over the course of the campaign, and when confronted with one such remark at a Republican presidential debate, McCain did not respond by asserting that he had been "joking" -- he suggested he hadn't said it.
The Washington Post falsely suggested in an editorial that, in contrast with Sen. Barack Obama, Sen. John McCain has said definitively that he will accept public financing for the general election. In fact, in recent interviews with ABC News and USA Today, McCain did not give a definitive answer. According to USA Today, McCain "said he has not decided whether to accept about $85 million in public financing for the fall campaign."
CNN's Carol Costello and Ed Henry, and Fox News' Brit Hume falsely suggested that only the Democratic members of the Senate Select Committee on Intelligence approved the committee's June 5 "Report on Whether Public Statements Regarding Iraq by U.S. Government Officials Were Substantiated by Intelligence Information." In addition to the committee's Democrats, Republican Sens. Chuck Hagel and Olympia Snowe endorsed the report and stated that it "accomplished its primary objective."
In an article discussing Sen. Barack Obama's and Sen. John McCain's positions on direct diplomacy with Iran, the AP reported that "Condoleezza Rice, a key player for eight years in the Bush administration's strategy to try to isolate Iran, told AIPAC on Tuesday that there is no point engaging Iran 'while they continue to inch closer to a nuclear weapon under the cover of talks.' " But, while noting that Madeleine Albright took a different position in a speech two years ago, the article did not note that President Bush's own secretary of defense, Robert Gates, has also reportedly said the United States should "sit down and talk" with Iran.
Discussing in February a New York Times article about Sen. John McCain's ties to lobbyists, MSNBC's Joe Scarborough, Mike Barnicle, and Pat Buchanan criticized the Times for its use of anonymous sources. However, Scarborough, Barnicle, and Buchanan offered no such criticism in their discussions of a Vanity Fair article that also relied on anonymous sourcing in purporting to report on "post-presidential sexual indiscretions" by former President Bill Clinton.
On Mike Gallagher's radio show, Mike Allen said of Scott McClellan's new book: "Scott does adopt the vocabulary, rhetoric of the left-wing haters. Can you believe it in here he says that the White House press corps was too deferential to the administration ... in the run-up to the war?" By contrast, two of Allen's former colleagues echoed the media criticism of Allen's so-called "left-wing haters." Michael Dobbs asserted that "on the question of whether the American press did its job properly during the run-up to the Iraq war, it is difficult to argue with his conclusions. We failed you." Similarly, Howard Kurtz stated that print coverage during the run-up to the war was "flawed," adding: "It was only when violence surged in Iraq and public opinion began turning against the war that ABC, CBS, NBC, and the rest of the media turned more skeptical."
Fox News' Bill Hemmer aired a portion of an ad from Vets for Freedom in reporting that Sen. John McCain is "getting a bit of help" from the group, which is "launching ads featuring Iraq veterans blasting [Sen.] Barack Obama." However, Hemmer did not note that Sens. Lindsey Graham and Joe Lieberman served on the group's board of advisers or that McCain has previously denounced independent expenditures on his behalf, asserting, "If anyone considering an outside expenditure thinks they are benefiting me I would prefer they do not air the ads."
In a segment on Sen. Barack Obama "misspeaking in a story about his, quote, uncle's role in fighting World War II," Fox News echoed a Republican National Committee talking point when it featured on-screen text that read: "Obama WWII slip: Evidence he's unfit for top job?" But at no point during the segment did on-air hosts note Sen. John McCain's series of errors during the campaign relating to foreign policy.
On MSNBC's Morning Joe, Tucker Carlson said of Sen. Hillary Clinton, "Look, she's a trapped animal, there's absolutely no question about it. As I've thought to myself many times, if you've ever tried to get your cat in a box, you know what Hillary Clinton is doing right now." Carlson then imitated a screeching cat, and added, "with all four paws out, all the hair standing up? Look, she is in feral mode." Later in the segment, Mika Brzezinski referred to Clinton as "the cat in a box, as Tucker so aptly put it."
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In two separate appearances on MSNBC Live, NBC News political director Chuck Todd discussed the announcement that Sen. John McCain will make his medical records available on May 23, suggesting first that the McCain campaign scheduled the records' availability before Memorial Day weekend to minimize coverage of them and later that such a strategy would be effective. But it is within NBC's power to prevent the strategy from working by covering the issue adequately.