Blog posts by The New York Times and Reuters quoted Sen. John McCain criticizing Sen. Barack Obama for attending a Hollywood fundraiser without noting reports that McCain himself has recently held lucrative fundraisers in Beverly Hills and Miami.
Naomi Foner at Huffington Post offers up some advice to SNL:
In a time of great political turmoil it seems almost essential that these creative, funny people step up to their responsibility to make people think. They can still be funny. Jon Stewart is funny. Stephen Colbert is funny. That Was The Week That Was was funny. But also relevant. Choose your style. Entertain. SIng. Dance. But stir the pot.
Note that SNL writers said they included Hillary Clinton in last week's Sarah Palin skit because they were more comfortable making fun of both political parties. Cutting edge, eh?
Brian Beutler argues that, despite the focus by some media on how the present dire economic situation will "affect the electoral prospects of the presidential candidates," actual voters probably want more useful information:
From where I sit, though, we're witnessing a series of events that might lead to a fundamental restructuring of the financial sector--risk tolerance, jurisdictions of federal agencies, closing loopholes in existing regulations, etc--and voters might also want to know how these guys have voted on related issues, which one was best buds with Charles Keating, and so on.
On Fox News' The O'Reilly Factor, host Bill O'Reilly said that Sen. Barack Obama's wife, Michelle Obama, "looks like an angry woman."
Just said the press turned on McCain because he's no longer bashing conservatives. The far-right press critic dismissed the idea that it's because the press has been turned off by the falsehoods being churned out by the McCain campaign. And Goldberg said the fact that McCain has completely eliminated his interaction with the campaign press has played no role in the tone of the media coverage.
Best line: Goldberg claimed McCain would be getting much better press if he'd picked "liberal Democrat" Joe Lieberman as his running mate.
In recent reports, McClatchy News Service and the Las Vegas Sun falsely suggested that Gov. Sarah Palin supports benefits for same-sex partners of state employees. In fact, while Palin did veto a bill that would have prevented state officials from granting spousal benefits to same-sex couples, she stated that she did so because the Alaska attorney general had advised her that the bill was unconstitutional, not because she supported spousal benefits for same-sex couples.
Politico reports that scribes covering McCain, upset that they haven't had any access to him in more than 30 days, staged a mini-insurrection on the campaign airplane, with chants of "Bring Mac back!" The McCamp just laughed:
The chanting lasted under a minute as staffers in the business cabin smiled and then promptly closed the curtain between business and coach.
Here's an idea, maybe the traveling press should write front-pages news articles and fill up the cable airwaves with stories about how McCain and his running mate remain hermetically sealed from the press and that the candidates refuse to answer the simplest question. Maybe that would produce some results. Or do journalists think the veil of secrecy will magically be lifted on the 45th day?
... as Brit Hume almost lets the truth slip out.
Reporting on a McCain advisor's comments crediting John McCain for the development of the Blackberry, FOX's Brit Hume made the obligatory comparison to Al Gore. For a moment there, it seemed Hume was actually going to describe Gore's comments about the Internet truthfully. But Hume is a veteran newscaster - a real pro - and was able to catch himself and adjust mid-sentence to deliver the standard media lie about Al Gore:
HUME: Another McCain advisor, economic advisor trying to make a point ended up implying at least that the Arizona senator had helped create the Blackberry -- that's the communications device, not the fruit. Douglas Holtz-Eakin was referring to McCain's work on telecommunications deregulation back in the 1990s. He waved his Blackberry and said, quote, "You're looking at the miracle that John McCain helped create." The analogy immediately conjured up memories of the claim that Al Gore, made by him, invented the Internet. The McCain campaign quickly issued a statement saying Holtz-Eakin's statement was merely a less-than-effective attempt at humor.
Ah, no. Al Gore didn't say he "invented the Internet." Hume and his colleagues have been lying about that for years. Last night, Hume almost let the truth slip out - that people have claimed (falsely) that Al Gore said he invented the Internet.
By the way: Rather than cracking wise about Al Gore, Brit Hume might have offered viewers an assessment of whether John McCain's actions in the Senate really did help lead to the creation of the Blackberry. Think Progress and Steve Benen suggest they did not. But Brit Hume is too busy taking cheap (and false) shots at Al Gore to assess the validity of Holtz-Eakin's claim.
On his radio show, G. Gordon Liddy again falsely claimed that Sen. Barack Obama does not "have a birth certificate to show that he was born in Hawaii." In fact, the Obama campaign has released Obama's birth certificate and reportedly provided the original to FactCheck.org, whose staff said that they "have now seen, touched, examined and photographed the original birth certificate" indicating that Obama was born in the United States.
Today's Washington Post reports that "Barack Obama's campaign accused Sen. John McCain of running a 'disgraceful, dishonorable campaign'" and that Joe Biden "also joined in accusing McCain of shameful tactics" and that "Obama said the Republican had let 'lies and spin consume a campaign that should be about you, should be about the issues, the great challenges of our time.'"
Those are serious allegations. But the Post article doesn't give readers any indication of what Obama and Biden were talking about, or whether their criticisms were based in reality. It gave readers no way to assess the validity of the descriptions of McCain. Has McCain been using "lies and spin" in his campaign? If so, that's the story - and if not, readers should know that Obama is lying about McCain lying.
As it happens, pretty much every major news organization in the country, including the Washington Post itself, has recently pointed out that McCain and his campaign aren't telling the truth, so Obama's reference to McCain lying seems accurate. But either way, the Post has a responsibility to help readers assess the validity of the charge, not to simply quote it. Instead, the Post article gives the impression that Obama and Biden are simply hurling baseless insults at McCain. Coincidentally, that's exactly what John McCain wants people to think:
Earlier in the day, after the Illinois senator made similar remarks at a stop in western Colorado, McCain pushed back. "Friends, Senator Obama's been saying some pretty nasty things about me and Governor Palin," McCain said. "That's okay; he can attack if he wants. All the insults in the world aren't going to bring change to Washington, and they're not going to change Senator Obama's record."
So, Barack Obama says John McCain is lying; John McCain says Barack Obama is just offering "insults." By not exploring the factual basis for what Obama says, the Post is, in effect, taking McCain's side.
Instead of including examples of what it knows are dishonest claims by McCain, which would help readers assess Obama's charges, the Post simply refers to "a string of tactical successes by McCain and his running mate, Alaska Gov. Sarah Palin, over the past two weeks."
Those "tactical successes" include a series of claims that the Washington Post has previously concluded are false. Calling them "tactical successes" without any further explanation seems like a textbook case of putting lipstick on a pig.
It's like a trend or something. Check out Gawker for the vid highlights.
We always thought it was goofy when media insiders (i.e. Mark Halperin) announced which candidate won a given week of the campaign cycle, as if campaigns a) are sporting events, b) have clear winners and losers within a pre-determined time schedule, and c) need to be handicapped that way.
By recently Politico, the Beltway daily, has been crowning the the winner of each campaign day. What's creepiest of all is that voters are virtually invisible to the calculations the Politico editors make as they pretend to decipher, in real time, the unfolding events and exactly how they're playing out across the country.
Guys (and gals), why can't you just let the campaignunfold without constantly inserting yourself into the story by telling us what to think. In other words, please just get out of the way.
And see why Howard Kurtz's claim that no national candidate has ever gotten press that's tougher than Sarah Palin is, well, a howler.
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."