A front-page Los Angeles Times article reported that Sen. John McCain "has attacked [Sen. Barack] Obama for canceling a visit to wounded U.S. soldiers at a military hospital because he couldn't bring reporters along. Obama's campaign has angrily disputed the charge as false and misleading." But in depicting the issue as a point of contention between the Obama and McCain campaigns, the article did not note that the McCain campaign has since acknowledged that the attack, which it had included in a campaign ad, "seem[s]" to be inaccurate. Nor did the article note that numerous reports, including a separate Times article that same day, have supported the Obama campaign's position that the attack is "false and misleading."
In his Washington Post column, Dana Milbank claimed that Sen. Barack Obama "has long been his party's presumptive nominee. Now he's becoming its presumptuous nominee." As purported evidence, Milbank misrepresented quotes, neglected to do basic reporting, and advanced the baseless suggestion that actions Obama has reportedly taken are unprecedented for a presidential candidate.
On The Situation Room, Wolf Blitzer aired portions of an advertisement by Sen. John McCain's campaign without noting key facts undermining several of the ad's attacks on Sen. Barack Obama. Blitzer also solicited analysis of the ad from CNN political contributor Alex Castellanos without disclosing that Castellanos reportedly advises McCain on his campaign ads.
On MSNBC Live, Alex Witt aired an ad from Sen. John McCain asserting that Sen. Barack Obama "made time to go to the gym, but canceled a visit with wounded troops. Seems the Pentagon wouldn't allow him to bring cameras." But in neither segment did Witt or her guests note that Obama reportedly previously visited wounded troops at Walter Reed Army Medical Center without the media, or that although Obama decided not to visit Landstuhl Regional Medical Center in Germany, he reportedly made phone calls to wounded soldiers there. Nor did they challenge any of the other misleading claims in the ad.
Numerous media outlets quoted or aired all or part of a statement Sen. John McCain made criticizing Sen. Barack Obama for giving a "political speech" in Berlin while "a candidate for the office of the presidency," but none noted that McCain himself gave a "political speech" in a foreign country last month, speaking to the Economic Club of Toronto in Ottawa, Canada, on a trip paid for by his presidential campaign.
In a statement reported by The Washington Post on July 24, CBS News now acknowledges that it erred in splicing video of an interview with Sen. John McCain that resulted in the expungement of a false statement made by McCain and the misleading inclusion of an answer McCain gave to a different question. But in the reported statement, CBS News senior VP Paul Friedman maintains, falsely, that the error "did not in any way distort what Senator McCain was saying."
On the CBS Evening News, anchor Katie Couric aired portions of an interview she conducted with Sen. John McCain, removing a part of a response in which he falsely asserted that the 2007 U.S. troop surge "began the Anbar awakening." Couric gave no indication that McCain's comments had been edited in any manner, nor did she otherwise note his falsehood.
Several print media outlets reported that during a July 21 campaign event, Sen. John McCain, in the words of the Associated Press, "disparaged [Sen. Barack] Obama as 'someone who has no military experience whatsoever.' " But none of the articles noted that McCain has previously said he does not "accept the notion" that military experience is necessary to be an effective commander in chief.
MSNBC's Tamron Hall failed to challenge the assertions of Nancy Pfotenhauer, an adviser for Sen. John McCain, that Sen. Barack Obama "fought funding for our troops on the ground in Iraq and Afghanistan over a year ago" and was "withholding funds for our troops who are in combat in Iraq and in Afghanistan." Hall did not note that Obama has cast several votes for war-funding legislation, nor did she note that McCain himself has voted against legislation funding the wars in Afghanistan and Iraq.
The Boston Globe's Michael Kranish stated that Sen. John McCain "criticized [Sen. Barack] Obama for not voting for a resolution condemning the antiwar group MoveOn.org for a newspaper ad calling the top US commander in Iraq, General David Petraeus, 'General Betray Us.' " But Kranish did not note that Obama did vote for a separate amendment that condemned the ad, as well as other attacks on past and present members of the armed forces.