Politico.com's "update" of an article by Michael M. Rosen -- which had reportedly echoed the false smear that Sen. Barack Obama "spent part of his youth studying in an Indonesian madrassa" -- stated that the "article was edited on Nov. 28 to clarify writer Andrew Sullivan's description of Obama's educational background." But the update gave no indication what Rosen's article originally included about "Sen. Barack Obama's educational background" or why it needed to be "clarif[ied]."
A Washington Post article on how Sen. Barack Obama "has had to address assertions that he is a Muslim" reported that an "early rumor about Obama's faith came from Insight, a conservative online magazine. The Insight article said Obama had 'spent at least four years in a so-called madrassa, or Muslim seminary, in Indonesia' " [emphasis in original]. But rather than citing the investigative reports conclusively debunking the smear, or providing his own reporting on whether the school Obama attended was, in fact, a madrassa, Bacon reported only that "Obama denied the rumor," portraying the issue as a "he said/he said" dispute. CBSNews.com featured the Post article as the top story on its home page.
MSNBC's Norah O'Donnell aired a clip of a television ad by the Fred Thompson campaign, in which Thompson is described as a "courageous reformer, fighting corruption in both parties" who "[h]elp[ed] to expose the truth during Watergate." But rather than address the content of Thompson's ad -- contrary to the ad's claims, Thompson leaked key information to the office of then-President Richard Nixon about the Watergate investigation and reportedly canceled his 1997 Senate hearings on allegations of improper campaign fundraising before Democrats were able to present evidence of Republican wrongdoing -- O'Donnell went on to ask Thompson supporter Liz Cheney, "How well does Fred Thompson have to do in Iowa?"
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A Washington Post article reported that David Frum's review of Post columnist Michael Gerson's book Heroic Conservatism "offers several examples of what he [Frum] terms the author's self-aggrandizement, saying that Gerson inflated his role in the development of the president's AIDS initiative in Africa and in writing a potential concession speech for George W. Bush on Election Day 2000." However, the article did not mention that Frum accused Gerson of plagiarizing from Frum's White House memoir.
Reporting on a Republican-backed California ballot initiative that would award the state's electoral votes by congressional district, NPR correspondent Ina Jaffe aired an audio clip of Republican consultant Dave Gilliard, who asserted: "We want [presidential candidates] to come out here and actually campaign throughout California. We want them to go to the Central Valley, and Inland Empire, and the North Coast, and talk to Californians about what's important to California." In fact, California has only three congressional districts that Sen. John Kerry (D-MA) or President Bush carried by 5 percentage points or less during the 2004 election, and thus, if the initiative passed, campaigns would presumably have little incentive "to come out here and actually campaign." Further, Jaffe's report did not note one of the major arguments made in opposition to the California initiative -- that it reapportions the electoral votes of only California, rather than applying a nationwide standard for the distribution of electoral votes.
On Hardball, Chris Matthews stated: "Al Gore, he's the one who said he created the Internet. He's the one who put out the word that he was the subject or the role model for Love Story, that he pointed the country's attention to Love Canal. He stuck himself into that story." Matthews concluded: "Gore got himself in those problem areas by vanity and showing off and trying to make himself cool." Matthews' comments echoed debunked falsehoods that were spread by the media, and Matthews in particular, during the 2000 presidential campaign.
A New York Times op-ed by Martin B. Gold and Dimple Gupta that criticized legislation changing Senate rules to "make it easier for last-minute proposals to be inserted into legislation behind closed doors" identified the writers only as "lawyers and former Congressional aides." In fact, both previously served as aides to Senate Republicans -- Gold for former Majority Leader Bill Frist and Gupta for Sen. Arlen Specter during Specter's tenure as chairman of the Judiciary Committee.