In his Los Angeles Times column, Jonah Goldberg falsely claimed that "[w]ithin months of the [Iraq] invasion, [Sen. John] McCain was calling for more troops and the head of then-Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld." In fact, McCain did not call for Rumsfeld to be fired, or for his resignation.
On the CBS Evening News, anchor Katie Couric aired portions of an interview she conducted with Sen. John McCain, removing a part of a response in which he falsely asserted that the 2007 U.S. troop surge "began the Anbar awakening." Couric gave no indication that McCain's comments had been edited in any manner, nor did she otherwise note his falsehood.
Several print media outlets reported that during a July 21 campaign event, Sen. John McCain, in the words of the Associated Press, "disparaged [Sen. Barack] Obama as 'someone who has no military experience whatsoever.' " But none of the articles noted that McCain has previously said he does not "accept the notion" that military experience is necessary to be an effective commander in chief.
In a discussion with Newt Gingrich on Fox News, Sean Hannity mischaracterized Sen. Barack Obama's comments about taking unilateral action against terrorism targets in Pakistan, if necessary, suggesting that Obama advocated "invading Pakistan." Rather, in an August 2007 speech, Obama said: "If we have actionable intelligence about high-value terrorist targets [in Pakistan] and President [Pervez] Musharraf won't act, we will." Further, just two days earlier on Fox News' The O'Reilly Factor, Gingrich himself spoke in favor of taking action against terrorists in Pakistan.
The Washington Post's Howard Kurtz wrote that an ad by Sen. John McCain "is accurate in saying that [Sen. Barack] Obama, who has spent most of the past two years campaigning, has not held a hearing on Afghanistan in the Senate Foreign Relations subcommittee he chairs." But Kurtz failed to note that McCain -- a member of the Senate Armed Services Committee -- reportedly has not attended a single hearing of that committee related to Afghanistan in 2007-08.
On Lou Dobbs Tonight, Dana Bash asserted that Sen. John McCain's proposal to send more troops to Afghanistan offered "proof" -- in the form of what Bash said was "a new proposal for Afghanistan" -- that McCain "know[s] how to win wars." Bash did not explain how this "proposal" constituted proof that McCain "know[s] how to win wars."
On Fox News' America's Election HQ, Ralph Peters falsely suggested that Sen. Barack Obama has said that the United States "should send ground troops into Pakistan" and "invade the country through which we get our supplies." In fact, Obama did not say he would "invade" Pakistan; rather, he stated: "If we have actionable intelligence about high-value terrorist targets and [Pakistani] President [Pervez] Musharraf won't act, we will."
In an article on Sen. John McCain's proposed plan to balance the budget by 2013, The Washington Post's Michael Shear reported that "Democrats immediately criticized McCain, asserting that his promise is unrealistic, given his stated goals of tax cuts and other government spending." In fact, several economists and nonpartisan analysts have also criticized McCain's plan, reportedly saying that McCain's proposal for numerous tax cuts would bloat the deficit or require huge spending cuts.
ABCNews.com's The Note, after linking to reports on Sen. John McCain's recent trip to Colombia, stated: "(And the RNC may want you to remember that it was Obama's name -- not McCain's -- that popped up on a seized FARC laptop.)" ABC offered no explanation for its reference to a report that Obama's name "popped up" in a computer seized from "FARC," the Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia. Several right-wing groups and media outlets have used a letter from a FARC spokesman that reportedly mentioned Obama to falsely allege "contacts" and other connections between FARC and Obama.
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On The Laura Ingraham Show, Monica Crowley claimed that Sen. Barack Obama "lifted his campaign line 'Yes, we can' from the recent presidential campaign of the Iranian president, Mahmoud Ahmadinejad." Crowley claimed that Ahmadinejad used the slogan "We can." In fact, Obama reportedly used the phrase "Yes, we can" during his 2004 Senate campaign -- a full year before Ahmadinejad was elected in 2005.
Discussing Sen. John McCain's statement that "if the election were tomorrow ... Republicans would lose seats in both the House and the Senate," Wolf Blitzer asserted of McCain, "Should he be saying that right now? I know he's a straight-talker, but what do you think?" Blitzer has, on several previous occasions, pronounced McCain a straight-talker.
On The Situation Room, Wolf Blitzer asked Sen. Lindsey Graham how Sen. John McCain would "pay for $300 billion in new tax cuts" and said, "But there's no waste -- with all due respect, Senator ... you're going to find $300 billion in waste, are you?" But when Graham replied, "No, no, $35 billion from earmarks, but there are other programs up here that can be reined in, including the Department of Defense," Blitzer did not press Graham to identify which specific "programs" McCain would "rein in" to "pay for $300 billion in new tax cuts."
On his PBS program, Charlie Rose did not challenge Antonin Scalia's false assertion that "the press unanimously" found that, in Rose's words, George W. Bush "won that election in Florida." In fact, according to The Washington Post, data from a study conducted by the National Opinion Research Center found that under several different criteria for assessing a voter's intent, Al Gore would have received more votes than Bush after a statewide recount of all ballots "that were initially rejected by voting machines."