On Sunday's Meet the Press, NBC's Tom Brokaw allowed McCain strategist Steve Schmidt to falsely claim that John McCain had called for Don Rumsfeld to be fired. That's an old lie that the McCain campaign had abandoned long ago -- but Brokaw let Schmidt get away with bringing it back.
Even worse, Brokaw ended the segment by announcing -- "in fairness to everybody here" -- that the "latest NBC News/Wall Street Journal poll" found that John McCain "continues" to lead Barack Obama on the question of who is "best-equipped to be commander in chief."
Yesterday, Nicole Belle at Crooks and Liars pointed out that the numbers Brokaw read did not, in fact, appear in the "latest NBC News/Wall Street Journal poll."
Now MoveOn says they contacted NBC -- and "it turns out Brokaw was referring to a poll taken weeks ago--right after the Republican convention and well before Friday's big national security debate. And in each of NBC's last two polls, Americans chose Obama over McCain."
MoveOn thinks Brokaw should apologize.
That's a good first step. He might also want to figure out a way to reassure the public that he'll do a better -- and more fair -- job when he moderates the October 7 presidential debate.
He probably won't spend much time doing that, though -- his days are apparently pretty full acting as NBC's liaison to the McCain campaign. In that role, Brokaw works to assure the McCain camp that "Mr. McCain could still get a fair shake from NBC News."
After Brokaw's performance on Sunday, NBC should be scrambling to assure the Obama campaign of the same thing.