On the January 13 edition of Meet the Press, host Tim Russert -- who, with NBC's Brian Williams, will moderate the Democratic presidential debate in Las Vegas on January 15 -- once again cited the " National Intelligence Estimate, which had a lot of caveats" about Iraq's weapons programs to challenge a Democrat about his or her Iraq war vote, something he did not do in two previous interviews with Sen. John McCain. Russert also aired a statement from Democratic strategist Donna Brazile criticizing former President Bill Clinton's recent comments about Sen. Barack Obama, but not her subsequent remark that "I take the president at his word that he was not being condescending; he was not being insulting."
On the January 11 Morning Joe, Chris Matthews defended his statement on the show two days earlier that "the reason [Hillary Clinton is] a U.S. senator, the reason she's a candidate for president, the reason she may be a front-runner is her husband messed around," saying that his statement was an "assessment of history," not an "opinion." But on the January 9 Morning Joe, Matthews said that Clinton "didn't win there [her Senate seat in New York] on her merits. She won because everybody felt, 'My God, this woman stood up under humiliation,' right? That's what happened."
Discussing a recent campaign event during which Sen. Hillary Rodham Clinton's voice broke as she talked about why she is seeking the presidency, Robert Novak wrote that "only the naive can believe Clinton was not artfully playing for sympathy from her sisters." Novak's remarks echoed other media figures who characterized Clinton's emotional moment as "pretend" or not "genuine" or "calculated."
Discussing a recent campaign event during which Sen. Hillary Clinton's voice broke while answering a question from the audience, several media figures have baselessly claimed that Clinton's actions were not "genuine" or were "pretend," including Glenn Beck, who said of the incident, "Hillary Clinton isn't just running for president, but she's also making a run for the best actress nomination." Michelle Malkin wrote that "[a]nyone who believes Hillary spontaneously teared up and got emotional on the campaign trail has been in a coma the last three decades."
William Kristol attributed Sen. Hillary Rodham Clinton's victory in the New Hampshire Democratic primary to "the tears," saying, "She pretended to cry; the women liked it." He added, "The women were sorry for her, and she won." Kristol is one of several media figures who described Clinton's actions as "calculated," reviving a characterization frequently made by the media that Clinton is "calculating."
On Fox News' Weekend Live, reporting on an incident involving Bill O'Reilly and an aide for Sen. Barack Obama, Brian Wilson said that "Obama staffers now say the confrontation got physical," but that O'Reilly "says it was heated but just verbal." But when Wilson had earlier interviewed O'Reilly about the incident, O'Reilly had repeatedly said he had "removed" or "gently removed" the Obama aide from in front of The O'Reilly Factor's camera.
During ABC News' coverage of the ABC News-Facebook debates, correspondent Bianna Golodryga asserted that the fact that 66 percent of respondents answered yes when asked, "Could a Democratic president keep America safe?" "surprised us." But she did not say why those results were "surpris[ing]." Other media figures have previously asserted that Republicans have an advantage on issues of national security and terrorism, despite polls showing Democrats either tied or at a slight advantage against Republicans on that issue.
MSNBC Live anchor Tamron Hall aired a clip from an ad for Sen. John McCain's presidential campaign in which an announcer asserts, "Mitt Romney says the next president doesn't need foreign policy experience. John McCain for president." Hall called the ad a "straight-up target at Mitt Romney," but Hall did not note that McCain had delivered a speech the night before in which he said that "[t]he lesson of this election in Iowa is that, one, you can't buy an election in Iowa, and, two, negative campaigns don't work. They don't work there, and they don't work here in New Hampshire."
Numerous print media outlets reported on Sen. John McCain's assertion following the Iowa caucuses that "[t]he lesson of this election in Iowa is that ... negative campaigns don't work." But none of those articles noted that McCain has run negative TV and Web ads against Mitt Romney.