During ABC's April 16 Democratic presidential debate, Charles Gibson claimed that the issue of whether Sen. Barack Obama wears a flag lapel pin "comes up again and again when we talk to voters" and "is all over the Internet." But McClatchy Newspapers reported that the woman who asked Obama about the flag lapel pin during the debate was "tracked ... down" by ABC "after she was quoted in a New York Times story about white voters in small-town Latrobe, Pa., revealing her as 52, out of work and against Obama." If, as Gibson claimed, the flag pin issue "comes up again and again when we talk to voters," why did ABC turn to the one voter from Pennsylvania quoted in The New York Times criticizing Obama over the issue?
Neal Boortz asserted that "the single most dangerous entity, group of people in this country right now are the teachers unions," adding that "[t]hey do more damage to this country than all the drug pushers together. ... If I had a button right now, two buttons -- push this button and it gets rid of all the drug dealers; push this button, it gets rid of the teachers unions -- I'm getting rid of the teachers unions."
In a report on Sen. John McCain's economic speech, NBC's Kelly O'Donnell aired a clip of McCain saying of Sens. Hillary Clinton and Barack Obama: "They're going to raise your taxes by thousands of dollars a year." However, O'Donnell did not note that Clinton and Obama have proposed tax cuts for middle- and low-income Americans.
On MSNBC Live, Mika Brzezinski said that Sen. John McCain "wants to eliminate the federal gas tax -- that's about 20 percent of the cost." Later, Monica Novotny said McCain is "proposing suspending the federal gas tax for the summer, potentially cutting prices by nearly 20 percent." In fact, the federal gas tax -- 18.4 cents per gallon -- comprises only 5.4 percent of the current average cost of regular gasoline.
A post on The Washington Post's political blog, The Trail, stated that John McCain "once again made clear his opposition to broad federal intervention or bailouts." But the post, by Dan Balz, did not note that McCain reportedly agreed with the Federal Reserve's decision to extend a $30 billion loan to facilitate JP Morgan Chase's acquisition of Bear Stearns.
On Fox News' Your World, Monica Crowley asserted that "liberals like the Clintons" argue "against tax cuts" and to "let the government have more of your money." In fact, Sen. Hillary Clinton's website says that she would "[l]ower taxes for middle class families by: extending the middle class tax cuts ... offering new tax cuts for healthcare, college and retirement, and expanding the EITC [earned income tax credit] and the child care tax credit."
On Morning Joe, co-host Mika Brzezinski and Carly Fiorina, an economic adviser to Sen. John McCain, suggested that McCain acknowledged his weakness on economic issues only once. But the Boston Globe has reported that "on numerous occasions over the course of the campaign, McCain has volunteered that he is unsatisfied with his lack of knowledge about aspects of economics."
A CBS Evening News report on the national debt, the current level of which both anchor Katie Couric and correspondent Anthony Mason described as "mind-numbing," failed to quote a single Democrat and did not point out the extent to which deficit spending by Republican-led Congresses has contributed to the debt.
Responding to an ad by John McCain's campaign, which asserts that in response to "home foreclosures mounting, markets teetering," "[Hillary] Clinton and Barack Obama just said they'd solve the problem by raising your taxes -- more money out of your pocket," Joe Scarborough said the ad would "probably work." But Scarborough didn't note that the ad's central claim is false: Neither Clinton nor Obama has asserted that she or he would respond to "home foreclosures rising" by raising taxes.
On Fox News' The Live Desk, Martha MacCallum, discussing with correspondent Major Garrett a report about Sen. Hillary Clinton's campaign manager, Maggie Williams, stated that Williams "sat on the board of one of the nation's once-largest and now bankrupt mortgage lenders, Delta Financial." However, neither Garrett nor MacCallum mentioned Sen. John McCain's reported ties to the mortgage industry.
A March 30 New York Times article about the debate over government aid for homeowners facing foreclosure contrasted "Democrats emboldened by the Federal Reserve's intervention in the collapse of Bear Stearns [who] are demanding help for 'everyday Americans,' " with "Republicans including Senator John McCain, the party's presumptive nominee, [who] are urging restraint, reluctant to commit taxpayer funds to what they say is simply a bailout." The article did not mention that McCain reportedly agreed with the Fed's decision to step in to avert the collapse of the investment bank Bear Stearns.
In a blog post, ABC's Jake Tapper wrote, "Campaigning in Indiana on Friday, Sen. Hillary Clinton, D-NY, claimed to have been a 16-year vocal opponent of NAFTA." But in the very comments Tapper cited, Clinton did not assert that she had "been a 16-year vocal opponent of NAFTA"; rather, she said she "spoke out" against NAFTA starting in 1992.
CNN's Suzanne Malveaux and an article in the Los Angeles Times both uncritically quoted Sen. John McCain's statement regarding possible responses to the home mortgage crisis: "What is not necessary is a multibillion-dollar bailout for big banks and speculators, as Senators Clinton and Obama have proposed." In fact, neither Clinton nor Obama has proposed "a multibillion-dollar bailout" for "speculators." Moreover, neither Malveaux nor the Times noted that McCain recently expressed support for the Federal Reserve's decision to extend a $30 billion line of credit to facilitate the acquisition of the near-bankrupt investment bank Bear Stearns by JP Morgan Chase.
The Washington Post and The New York Times reported that Sen. John McCain, in the words of Times reporters Michael Powell and Jeff Zeleny, "argued this week against a vigorous federal intervention to address the [housing] crisis, saying Washington should not bail out banks and homeowners who in his view had knowingly taken on risky mortgages." However, neither article noted that McCain reportedly expressed support for the Federal Reserve's decision to extend a $30 billion line of credit to facilitate the acquisition of Bear Stearns by JP Morgan Chase.