The New York Times' John Harwood wrote that Sen. John McCain "prevailed over a field of Republicans who almost unanimously shared his support for the Iraq war, embrace of President Bush's tax cuts, skepticism toward government-run health care and opposition to abortion rights," while Sen. Barack Obama and Hillary Clinton "both staked out opposite ground from Mr. McCain." But neither Obama nor Clinton has proposed "government-run health care"; the Times has previously pointed out that McCain has "inaccurately described Obama's and Clinton's health care proposals" by likening them to "government-run health care systems."
In an article discussing Sen. Barack Obama's and Sen. John McCain's positions on direct diplomacy with Iran, the AP reported that "Condoleezza Rice, a key player for eight years in the Bush administration's strategy to try to isolate Iran, told AIPAC on Tuesday that there is no point engaging Iran 'while they continue to inch closer to a nuclear weapon under the cover of talks.' " But, while noting that Madeleine Albright took a different position in a speech two years ago, the article did not note that President Bush's own secretary of defense, Robert Gates, has also reportedly said the United States should "sit down and talk" with Iran.
The Chicago Tribune's Jill Zuckman asserted that Sen. John McCain "has a considerable record" as a "maverick" and cited his partnership with Democrats on immigration legislation, among other issues. But Zuckman did not mention that McCain reversed his position on immigration reform to appeal to Republican primary voters and no longer supports the comprehensive immigration reform legislation he sponsored with Sen. Edward Kennedy.
On Your World, Dick Morris claimed that Antoin Rezko sold Sen. Barack Obama a strip of land "for an amount that was substantially below its apparent market value." However, according to documents posted on the Obama campaign website, Obama paid $104,166 for the piece of property -- well above its appraised value of $40,500.
The AP and the Los Angeles Times quoted Sen. John McCain's assertion that Sen. Barack Obama voted "to deny funds to the soldiers who have done a brilliant and brave job" in Iraq, without noting that McCain himself voted against bills that would have provided "funds to the soldiers" serving in Afghanistan and Iraq.
On MSNBC, David Brooks asserted that "less educated" and "downscale" people "look at [Sen. Barack] Obama, and they don't see anything," adding: "And so, Obama's problem is he doesn't seem like the kind of guy who could go into an Applebee's salad bar, and people think he fits in naturally there." Applebee's officials have confirmed to Media Matters that its restaurants do not have salad bars.
During The Hill's online video segment "Ask A.B.," A.B. Stoddard asserted: "[Sen.] Barack Obama has pretty much conceded that he doesn't think that he's going to win Ohio and Florida, two states that are necessary to becoming president of the United States -- usually." Stoddard offered no evidence to support this claim. In fact, the South Florida Sun-Sentinel recently quoted Rep. Robert Wexler, co-chairman of Obama's Florida campaign, as saying Obama "is confident he will win Florida," and a recent SurveyUSA poll shows Obama leading Sen. John McCain by nine percentage points in Ohio.
During a May 29 campaign appearance, Sen. John McCain falsely stated that U.S. troops in Iraq "have [been] drawn down to pre-surge levels." As the Associated Press reported, "[T]here are 17 brigades in Iraq" right now, as opposed to the 15 brigades in place before the increase. In 2003, then-Democratic presidential candidate Howard Dean was criticized in the media for his response to a question about the number of active-duty soldiers, with Tim Russert and others questioning his fitness to be commander in chief. In light of McCain's troop-surge falsehood and numerous national security gaffes, will the media similarly question his suitability to be commander in chief?
CNN's Candy Crowley uncritically reported that Sen. John McCain is "continually suggesting Obama wants to surrender in Iraq without knowing what's happening there," and Fox News' James Rosen said, "Obama's absence from the war zone over the last two and a half years, McCain argued, has left the first-term senator divorced from the reality that now prevails on the ground in Iraq." However, neither Crowley nor Rosen mentioned any of the misstatements McCain has made that have raised questions about whether McCain himself "know[s] what's happening" in Iraq.
On Fox News' America's Election HQ, GOP strategist Terry Holt said that Al Gore "claimed to have invented the Internet," and on Fox News' On the Record, Politico reporter Ken Vogel stated: "And they're going to try to show him [Sen. Barack Obama] as a chronicle -- a chronic exaggerator, like they did with Al Gore in 2000, when they seized on his every claim, starting memorably with his claim that he invented the Internet, as some say that he said." In fact, Gore did not claim that he "invented the Internet." Rather, he said: "During my service in the United States Congress, I took the initiative in creating the Internet."
NBC News Washington bureau chief Tim Russert, who in February stated that "the story about Senator [John] McCain and lobbyists and ethics and money -- that continues," again ignored the issue of "McCain and lobbyists and ethics and money" on the May 25 edition of Meet the Press, despite numerous recent, related developments bearing on that issue.
In his column, Robert Novak wrote, "[Sen. Barack] Obama, while asserting that 'nobody is pro-abortion,' has said that if his two daughters 'make a mistake, I don't want them punished with a baby,' " falsely suggesting that Obama was discussing abortion when he said that if his two daughters were to "make a mistake, I don't want them punished with a baby." However, as video of the campaign event at which Obama made his comments shows, he was not referring to abortion but was instead referring to sex education.
The Los Angeles Times reported that Sen. John McCain "notably call[ed] Pat Robertson and Jerry Falwell 'agents of intolerance' in the 2000 presidential campaign," without noting that McCain later said he no longer believed Falwell was an "agent of intolerance" and delivered the commencement address at Falwell's Liberty University in May 2006.
The Politico stated that Sen. Barack Obama is "blaming Republicans for the smears" about his religion, patriotism, and citizenship "even though they have not been traced back to GOP sources." In fact, there have been numerous instances in which Republicans, including on Sen. John McCain's own staff, have promulgated or promoted these smears, some of which the Politico itself reported on.
In two separate appearances on MSNBC Live, NBC News political director Chuck Todd discussed the announcement that Sen. John McCain will make his medical records available on May 23, suggesting first that the McCain campaign scheduled the records' availability before Memorial Day weekend to minimize coverage of them and later that such a strategy would be effective. But it is within NBC's power to prevent the strategy from working by covering the issue adequately.