While discussing John Hagee's apology for his controversial remarks concerning the Catholic Church, MSNBC's Contessa Brewer stated that Sen. John McCain "has pointed out" that Hagee was not his personal pastor for 20 years, "and says, 'Look, I'm not going to repudiate the endorsement of this man. I don't like the comments that he made, but I'll take his endorsement if he wants to give it.' " However, Brewer did not mention that McCain has admitted that he sought Hagee's endorsement.
On Morning Joe, Chris Matthews stated: "If you talk to people, older women, and I don't mean older than me, but maybe my age and older, and you talk to them, and they get really angry at me, of course. ... They usually have a hard time figuring out what the fact I was wrong on, but that's OK." But Media Matters for America has documented numerous "fact[s] [he] was wrong on."
On Imus in the Morning, Richard "Bo" Dietl asked: "Why doesn't Fredo [President Bush] get on his Air Force One, fly over to Riyadh, get those little hamel humpers over there, sit 'em down, and say, 'Look, we got our F-16s --' " Don Imus interrupted Dietl and said: "It's, uh, 'camel humpers.' "
The Drudge Report ran the headline "West Virginia country folk keep distance from Obama: 'I heard he's a Muslim ...' " in linking to a Financial Times article. The article quoted a West Virginia resident stating, "I heard Obama is a Muslim and his wife's an atheist." But Obama is, in fact, not a Muslim. While the article characterized the rumors of Obama's religion as "unfounded," it did so 12 paragraphs after quoting the "I heard he's a Muslim" assertion and did not report that the Obamas are both Christians.
A Wall Street Journal article reported that "Sen. [Barack] Obama suggested Sen. [John] McCain was 'losing his bearings,' " and noted the response of a McCain adviser, who "called it a 'not particularly clever way of raising John McCain's age as an issue.' " But the Journal did not note the context of Obama's remark, which he made after accusing McCain of violating his pledge to avoid negative campaigning, and it did not report an Obama spokesman's denial that Obama was referring to McCain's age.
In addition to a May 7 Washington Times article previously identified by Media Matters, May 6 reports in the Los Angeles Times and on washingtonpost.com and The Baltimore Sun's website quoted an Indiana man saying that Sen. Barack Obama is "a Muslim" without noting that the assertion was false.
A Washington Times article uncritically quoted an Indiana man saying of Sen. Barack Obama, "I can't stand him. ... He's a Muslim. He's not even pro-American as far as I'm concerned." By contrast, after quoting the same man in its own article, the Chicago Sun-Times wrote that "Obama has never been a Muslim, but bogus e-mails accuse him of being a Muslim who put his hand on a copy of the Quran to be sworn into the U.S. Senate and refusing to say the Pledge of Allegiance."
On MSNBC Live, magician Penn Jillette told a version of a joke about Sen. Hillary Clinton: " '[Sen. Barack] Obama did great in February, and that's because that was Black History Month. And now Hillary's doing much better 'cause it's White Bitch Month,' right?" After Jillette told the joke, co-host Joe Scarborough said, "I knew I -- you know, I knew I should have warned you before you started it." Co-host Mika Brzezinski added: "I don't like that." But MSNBC had plenty of notice that Jillette likes to tell the joke, which he is seen telling in a Web video, clips of which aired while Scarborough and Brzezinski introduced him.
In writing that Rev. Jeremiah Wright "made it legitimate" to use Sen. Barack Obama's middle name, the Politico's Roger Simon selectively quoted Wright saying at an NAACP dinner, "Please run and tell my stuck-on-stupid friends that Arabic is a language; it's not a religion. Barack Hussein Obama. Barack Hussein Obama. Barack Hussein Obama." Simon omitted the portion of Wright's remarks that immediately followed the part he quoted, in which Wright appeared to criticize those who use Obama's middle name.
Reporting on a New Orleans campaign event at which Sen. John McCain's "carefully scripted imagery was interrupted by a voter's question about Pastor John Hagee," CNN's Dana Bash aired a clip of Hagee -- who has endorsed McCain -- saying of Hurricane Katrina, "What happened in New Orleans looked like the curse of God." But Bash did not air the portion of Hagee's comments in which he reaffirmed his previous assertion that Hurricane Katrina was at least in part the result of "sin" that Hagee identified as "a massive homosexual rally." CNN's John Roberts and Kyra Phillips similarly noted that Hagee said that "Katrina was God's punishment for sinful behavior in New Orleans" without mentioning that among the "sinful behavior" Hagee referenced was the gay pride parade.
A week after claiming that Sen. Barack Obama "can't walk into a dinette [sic] with five or six guys there, white guys, in some cases. He can't just shake hands and hang out," Chris Matthews asserted, "[Obama] doesn't seem to have the knack for walking into a dinette [sic] with regular people in it and just having fun, just connecting."
On MSNBC Live, as host Alex Witt reported on a press conference held by Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell, on-screen text read: "GOP leaders criticize Dems for delaying vote on Fair Pay Act," falsely suggesting that Republicans wanted to pass the measure. At no point in the coverage of McConnell's press conference did Witt or MSNBC in its on-screen text explain that the Republicans planned to filibuster the bill.