Fox News' Major Garrett uncritically aired an audio clip of Focus on the Family's Tom Minnery asserting that in a June 2006 speech, Sen. Barack Obama was "diminishing the idea that people of Christian faith have anything to say." In fact, in that speech, Obama said: "[W]hat I am suggesting is this -- secularists are wrong when they ask believers to leave their religion at the door before entering into the public square. Frederick Douglass, Abraham Lincoln, William Jennings Bryan, Dorothy Day, Martin Luther King -- the majority of the great reformers in American history -- were not only motivated by faith, but repeatedly used religious language to argue for their cause."
On Hannity & Colmes, Sean Hannity criticized the purchase of credits to offset one's "carbon footprint," asserting, "Those offsets -- that is the biggest hoax in the world. ... You know what it's like? You go cheat on your wife, and then say, 'Honey, but don't worry. I bought an offset.' Good luck." Hannity has yet to address the pledge by News Corp. chairman and CEO Rupert Murdoch "to be carbon neutral, across all our businesses" -- which includes Fox News -- "by 2010."
On Special Report, Brit Hume issued a correction following his false claim that Sen. Barack Obama's half brother had told The Jerusalem Post that Obama had a "Muslim background." But while Hume suggested that his only "error" was in repeating a flawed report in the Post, he did not acknowledge that he had falsely claimed Malik Obama had spoken with The Jerusalem Post. The Post did not claim that Malik Obama spoke to the newspaper; the article indicated that Malik Obama gave an interview to Israel's Army Radio, not the Post.
On his radio show, host Don Imus explained controversial comments he'd made the previous day about Adam "Pacman" Jones, who, it was noted, is African American, by asserting, "My point was that there's no reason to arrest this kid six times. He's a football player. He's a lovely kid. He's out having fun. He doesn't need to be arrested six -- he gets arrested times. Well, we know why he gets arrested six times." But, sportscaster Warner Wolf, who was part of both conversations, offered a different explanation: "[A]nybody that listens to the show knows that whether it's a politician or an athlete or anyone, someone who's obviously guilty, you joke and say, 'Well, it must have been racism.' I mean, it's a joke. I mean, we all know that 'Pacman' is no model citizen. The guy's been arrested and suspended. So it's a joke." Notwithstanding the apparent conflict in their explanations, WABC's* Phil Boyce reportedly said of Imus' explanation: "When I first heard the comment I thought that's probably what he meant, but I called him and he explained and it made sense to me. I said, 'Let's make sure you explain it the next time you're on the air,' and he did a very good job."
After being asked by a caller: "I want to know how the Republicans don't need Christians and conservatives, and they think we're 30 percent. Twelve percent black people in the population. Ten percent -- they claim -- homosexuals in the population. Rush, honey, when did 30 percent get to be a small number?" Rush Limbaugh responded, "Let me see if I can get your question right. You want to know why the Republicans are willing to say, 'Screw you,' to 30 percent or more of their voters and yet Democrats will bend over, grab the ankles, and say, 'Have your way with me,' for 10 percent and 2 percent of the population?"
On his radio show, James Dobson falsely suggested that Sen. Barack Obama claimed Dobson "wants to expel people who are not Christians" from the United States. Dobson was referring to a 2006 speech in which Obama actually asked: "And even if we did have only Christians in our midst, if we expelled every non-Christian from the United States of America, whose Christianity would we teach in the schools? Would it be James Dobson's, or Al Sharpton's?"
On Today, Dick Morris asserted: "[T]his whole debate about what kind of president [Sen. Barack] Obama would make has swirled around almost an existential level. Is he sort of a Manchurian candidate? A sleeper agent?" Morris has previously stated that "the determinant in the election will be whether we believe that Barack Obama is what he appears to be, or is he somebody who's sort of a sleeper agent who really doesn't believe in our system."
New York Times columnist Maureen Dowd responded to complaints about her frequent use of gender stereotypes by saying that "nobody had objected to her use of similar images about men over seven presidential campaigns," according to Times public editor Clark Hoyt. However, many writers and organizations -- including Media Matters for America -- have noted Dowd's feminization of male Democratic presidential candidates.
Discussing gay marriage, San Francisco radio host Brian Sussman said to guest Charlie Self: "On your website -- it's interesting you're addressing this very topic, Dr. Self, and you talk about how gay and lesbian radicals actively recruit through our schools and the media in order to swell their ranks. Talk to us about that for a moment." Self asserted that there has been "a rash of [TV] programs in the last 10 years" that are "normalizing this particular chosen lifestyle." Self added, "The only way that you are going to grow the ranks of this kind of movement is this kind of onslaught because it is simply not part of the nature of things as designed or as evolved or as historically recorded for thousands of years."
Responding to a caller who said, "I had to explain to my young son why these two men were holding hands the other day," Michael Savage stated, "You've got to explain to the children ... why God told people this was wrong." He went on to say, "You have to explain this to them in this time of mental rape that's going on. The children's minds are being raped by the homosexual mafia, that's my position. They're raping our children's minds."
MSNBC political analyst Pat Buchanan said of the Republican strategy against Sen. Barack Obama: "[T]hey're going to use his associations. And they're going to use his statements, his elitism. They're going to use the fact he's exotic."
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The Chicago Tribune juxtaposed smears on Sen. John McCain in 2000 with Sen. Barack Obama's May 8 comment that McCain was "losing his bearings" without noting the context of Obama's remarks that would have made clear that the Tribune was advancing a false comparison. Obama made the remark in response to an attack by McCain and was accusing McCain of violating his pledge to avoid negative campaigning.
Referring to a New York Times article headlined "Those Loyal to the Clintons Take Note of Who Was Not," Monica Crowley claimed that those who reportedly spoke to the Times did so "only on the condition of anonymity, because they also do not want to end up in cement shoes." Crowley also described Hillary Clinton's purported treatment of someone who is, in Crowley's words, "backing the 'hope' guy": "[I]t will be too bad for you because girlfriend will cut you. She will strap you into the electric chair. Then she will waterboard you. Then she will slowly and methodically pull off each one of your toenails. Then she will deprive you of sleep by blasting 'The Best of the '80s Hair Bands' at you, and then she will cut off your manhood, and then she will throw the switch."
MSNBC's Chris Matthews said that Sen. Barack Obama should pick as his running mate "[s]omeone who's palpably patriotic, who sort of exudes it." Also, referring to Sen. John McCain's 6-percentage-point advantage over Obama among suburban white women in a recent poll, Matthews asserted, "[W]omen are low-hanging fruit, though, in the terms of politics. You can reach up and say, 'I'm pro-choice, he's not.' "