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.
The Boston Globe reported in an article that Sen. John McCain has "accus[ed] [Sen. Barack] Obama of going back on his word to take part in the public system" without noting that the Obama campaign has also criticized McCain on public financing or that the FEC chairman has taken the position that McCain cannot legally opt out of public financing during the primary season without FEC approval.
On Hannity & Colmes, Kellyanne Conway falsely suggested that Sen. John McCain has been consistent in voting for funding for the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan. Purporting to contrast McCain with Sen. John Kerry, Conway asserted: "John McCain never voted against and then voted for, and then voted against and for." In fact, in March 2007, McCain himself voted against an emergency spending bill that would have funded both wars.
Newsweek has corrected George Will's false assertion in his Newsweek column that Social Security taxes are levied based on household income. Will made the same assertion on ABC's This Week, but ABC has yet to issue a correction on the show.
Reporting on the $4 million loan Sen. John McCain's campaign obtained in November 2007, neither The New York Times nor ABCNews.com's Political Radar blog noted that the loan is at the center of a dispute between McCain's campaign and the FEC, whose chairman has cited the loan in taking the position that McCain cannot opt out of public financing in the primary without FEC approval.
In a post on The Caucus, Michael Luo uncritically quoted -- and The New York Times has yet to challenge -- the assertion by McCain adviser Charlie Black that "I have personally had a policy that, if I'm working in somebody's campaign that I do not lobby they and their staff, since 1984." In fact, the Politico's Mike Allen reported that while "Black served as an informal adviser to the Bush-Cheney reelection campaign in 2004," "[l]obbying filings show that in 2003 and 2004, Black's firm lobbied the Defense Department, State Department and Executive Office of the President on behalf of" Fluor Corp. and Occidental Petroleum Corp. According to a search of the Lobbying Disclosure Act Database, in 2003 or 2004, Black's firm lobbied the Executive Office of the President for 12 companies or individuals in addition to those Allen cited. Moreover, during the period that Black was lobbying the Bush administration, he and his wife were "Pioneers" for the Bush/Cheney campaign, raising more than $100,000.
In reporting on former Justice Department lawyer Hans von Spakovsky's decision to withdraw from consideration as a nominee to the FEC, The Washington Post's Paul Kane wrote that "Senate Democrats had refused for a year to confirm von Spakovsky, torpedoing the nominations of three other nominees." But later in the same article, Kane contradicted his own suggestion that Democrats were responsible for "torpedoing" the other nominations, reporting that Republican Mitch McConnell "had demanded that the entire slate of bipartisan nominees be considered at once or that they be voted on in bipartisan packages of two nominations."
The Washington Post reported that President Bush "compared people seeking talks with Iran and radical Islamic groups to the Nazis' appeasers" and noted that "Democratic leaders demanded that [Sen. John] McCain repudiate Bush's comments." The article reported that "McCain joined in on Bush's side" and quoted McCain as saying: "What does Senator Obama want to talk about with Ahmadinejad?" But the article did not note that, as the Post previously reported, Secretary of Defense Robert Gates, like Obama, has said that the United States needs to be willing to "sit down and talk" with Iran.
The Washington Post's Michael Shear falsely suggested that Sen. Barack Obama has changed his position on U.S. troop withdrawal from Iraq since September 2007, writing that when Obama was "[a]sked to make a withdrawal timeline pledge during a debate last September," he "declined, saying that 'it's hard to project four years from now,' " but that Obama now says "he will remove all combat brigades from Iraq within 16 months of becoming president and will leave 'some troops' in Iraq to protect U.S. embassy personnel there and carry out targeted strikes on terrorists." But contrary to Shear's suggestion, Obama did not make contradictory statements.