In a syndicated column criticizing Sen. Barack Obama's education plan, Thomas Sowell falsely claimed that under Obama's "merit pay for teachers" proposal, merit would be "measured by teachers themselves," rendering Obama's reference to merit pay, Sowell wrote, "meaningless." In fact, Obama has said that he will work with teachers unions to develop a system to determine merit pay, not that he would allow teachers to evaluate their own performance or independently choose the measures by which merit is evaluated.
On Hardball, Chuck Todd falsely claimed that the U.S. Court of Appeals for the 9th Circuit "wants to get rid of the Pledge" of Allegiance. In fact, in Newdow v. U.S. Congress, a 9th Circuit panel did not decide that the entire Pledge of Allegiance was unconstitutional, but rather "h[e]ld that ... the 1954 Act adding the words 'under God' to the Pledge ... violate[s] the Establishment Clause" of the First Amendment.
A Washington Post article uncritically reported a McCain campaign ad's false assertion that Sen. Barack Obama's " 'one accomplishment' on education has been to support 'comprehensive sex education' for kindergarteners," even after Michael Dobbs, the Post's own "Fact Checker," wrote that the McCain campaign's claim is "wrong," and that the ad is "dishonest" and "deceptive."
Fox News' Major Garrett uncritically quoted a portion of an ad by Sen. John McCain's campaign that claimed that Sen. Barack Obama's biggest accomplishment on education was teaching "comprehensive sex education to kindergartners." Garrett gave no explanation of Obama's actual position on sex education, provided no response from the Obama campaign, and gave no indication that he had sought such a response, nor did Garrett note that the bill Obama supported would have required school sexual education programs to give "age and developmentally appropriate" materials and instruction for students in kindergarten through 12th grade and included material warning children about sexual predators.
On his Milwaukee radio talk show, Mark Belling referred to schoolteachers who talk to their students about global warming as "idiot union teacher[s]," "liberal unionized hack[s]," "greedy, overpaid unionized schoolteacher[s]," and "fruitcake[s]."
Chris Matthews stated of Sen. Hillary Clinton, "When she went to New York, she quickly became a New Yorker with the Yankees hat and the upstate listening tour." Matthews has repeatedly suggested that Clinton's assertion during her first Senate campaign that she has "always been" a Yankees fan is false, despite photographic and other evidence showing that her allegiance to the Yankees long precedes her Senate run.
On World News, Charles Gibson aired a clip of Sen. John McCain's remarks at the April 14 Associated Press Annual Meeting and Luncheon -- during which McCain criticized Sen. Barack Obama for comments Obama made on April 6 -- but did not note that Obama responded to McCain's comments later that day at the same event.
Washington Post editorial page editor Fred Hiatt falsely claimed that Sen. Barack Obama "derided" teaching math and reading to "all children, especially poor and minority children" as "preparing children 'to fill in bubbles on standardized tests.' " In fact, Obama suggested that preparation for standardized tests shouldn't "come at the expense of music, or art, or phys. ed., or science." Hiatt also claimed that Sen. John McCain is the only current presidential candidate with "principles" that he "holds strongly enough to take an electoral hit" on issues such as the Iraq war, immigration, and "curbing the influence of money in politics." But McCain has shifted positions and demonstrated inconsistencies on all three of those issues.
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Washingtonpost.com's Chris Cillizza asserted that during a debate for Democratic presidential candidates, "Democrats were asked, 'Are your kids in public schools?' Well, most of them said, 'Yes, we believe very strongly in public schools. But no, our kids don't go to them.' " In fact, three of the candidates said their children currently attend or did attend public schools, two said their children attended both public and private schools, and two said their children currently attend or did attend private schools.