CNN's Wolf Blitzer did not challenge Sen. Lindsey Graham's claim that Sen. John McCain opposed President Bush's 2001 tax cuts because he "wanted a tax cut, a very healthy tax cut, but he wanted spending limitations." In fact, when he voted against the cuts in 2001, contrary to what he now says on the campaign trail, McCain made no mention of deficit concerns or of the absence of offsetting spending cuts.
In his Newsweek column, George Will falsely claimed that Social Security taxes are levied on household income. He had similarly falsely asserted on ABC's This Week that Sen. Barack Obama "wants to raise taxes on a lot of people, beginning with those earning about $100,000 a year, a household." In fact, Social Security taxes are levied based on individual income, and contrary to his assertion in Newsweek, a married couple with each spouse making less than $102,000 would not face a payroll tax increase if the income cap was raised, even if combined they made more than the current cap.
The AP reported that Sen. John McCain "said President Bush should not be held responsible for the much-criticized 'Mission Accomplished' banner five years ago," and that McCain said of the banner, "I thought it was wrong at the time." But the AP did not report comments McCain made "at the time" about the banner in a Fox News interview, in which host Neil Cavuto noted that "many argue the conflict [in Iraq] isn't over," to which McCain replied, "Then why was there a banner that said 'Mission Accomplished' on the aircraft carrier?"
On MSNBC, during a discussion of the focus on Sen. Barack Obama's relationship with Rev. Jeremiah Wright compared with that on Sen. John McCain's relationship with Pastor John Hagee, Newsweek's Richard Wolffe stated, "In some ways, John McCain is getting a free ride." Hagee has made controversial statements about Hurricane Katrina, women, homosexuality, the Catholic Church, and Islam.
The New York Times' Carl Hulse reported that congressional Republicans "worry just what a President McCain would portend for them come January, given their divergent views on big-ticket items like immigration, climate change and campaign spending." But Hulse did not note that McCain has moved to the right on immigration to align himself more closely with his party's base, nor did he mention that McCain may be violating campaign finance laws by surpassing spending limits under the public financing system for the primary period.
Despite the availability of expenditure reports showing that Sen. John McCain's campaign used a corporate jet owned by his wife's company over a seven-month period beginning in the summer of 2007, several members of the media asserted earlier this year that McCain flew coach when the campaign was low on funds.
Articles in the Los Angeles Times and New York Times reported that Sen. John McCain disapproved of an ad produced by the North Carolina Republican Party that attacks Sen. Barack Obama for his relationship with Rev. Jeremiah Wright, and that McCain called on the party not to air it. But neither newspaper noted Obama's response, nor that this ad is part of a pattern in which McCain supporters and even McCain staff members have spread smears about Obama, and McCain has denounced those smears even as he has reaped their benefits.
On Morning Joe, after Pat Buchanan said of Sen. Hillary Clinton's speech following the Pennsylvania primary that "only once or twice did that voice start rising to the level that every husband in America at one time or another has heard. You know, where it starts going up -- " Joe Scarborough said, "Be careful here, Buchanan." Chris Matthews added, "Go the other way. You're in the danger area. ... You're in the danger area, Pat, take my advice."
Several media outlets have reported that Sen. John McCain's campaign justified refusing to release Cindy McCain's tax returns by citing Sen. John Kerry and his wife, Teresa Heinz Kerry, as "precedent." But they did not report that, in contrast with Cindy McCain, Heinz Kerry did release a part of her 2003 income tax return that showed "total income," which enabled The New York Times to analyze how she benefited from the Bush tax cuts. Such an analysis of how the McCains have benefited from the tax cuts -- which Sen. McCain supports extending permanently -- is not possible, based on the information his campaign has released on Cindy McCain's income.
MSNBC's David Shuster asserted that "[Sen. John] McCain also made clear he will continue to insist that Barack Obama stay in the public financing system for the general election as he promised," adding that the issue "could help McCain tarnish the image of Obama's political purity." But Shuster did not mention that McCain may be violating campaign finance laws by surpassing spending limits under the public financing system for the primary period.