Numerous media outlets have reported all or part of Sen. John McCain's statement rebuking Sen. Barack Obama for his decision to forgo public financing in the general election without mentioning that during the primary, McCain signed a loan that could have forced him to remain in the race -- even if he had no chance of winning -- in order to be eligible for public matching funds to repay the loan.
The Politico's Ben Smith reported that Sen. Barack Obama "has complained that [Sen. John] McCain said he couldn't control attack ads from outside groups -- though the only outside attack ads to run this cycle have been financed by Obama allies and directed at McCain." In fact, the Vets for Freedom political action committee launched two Internet ads in May attacking Obama over issues related to the Iraq war, and the independent group Freedom's Watch ran television ads attacking Obama and two Democratic congressional candidates.
A USA Today article quoted Tucker Bounds, a spokesman for Sen. John McCain, who said, "Unlike Barack Obama, John McCain believes in keeping his word to the American people, and he will undergo public financing for the general election." But the article did not note that while the McCain campaign, through Bounds, now says McCain will not opt out of public financing because he is "keeping his word to the American people," McCain himself previously indicated that his decision over whether to take public financing if Obama opted out would depend not on "keeping his word" but on whether it would be financially prudent to do so. Indeed, McCain senior adviser Charlie Black reportedly said, "We could sit down in July or August and say, 'Hey, we're raising a lot of money and maybe we should forgo it.' ... We don't have enough data."
On CNN's American Morning, reporting on Sen. Barack Obama's decision to opt out of public financing for the general election, Candy Crowley asserted that "you can expect that [Sen. John McCain] will hit Obama on two scores: One, you went back on what you said you would do; and two, this is not how to reform Washington." But Crowley did not report that McCain may actually be breaking campaign finance law.
On Hannity & Colmes, Sean Hannity twice called Sen. Barack Obama the "No. 1 radical liberal in the Senate," failing to note that the National Journal vote ranking to which he was referring -- which said nothing about Obama being "radical" -- was based on a subjective selection of Senate votes by the magazine's staff, or that a more comprehensive examination of Senate votes produced a different result.
The Chicago Tribune juxtaposed smears on Sen. John McCain in 2000 with Sen. Barack Obama's May 8 comment that McCain was "losing his bearings" without noting the context of Obama's remarks that would have made clear that the Tribune was advancing a false comparison. Obama made the remark in response to an attack by McCain and was accusing McCain of violating his pledge to avoid negative campaigning.
Referring to a New York Times article headlined "Those Loyal to the Clintons Take Note of Who Was Not," Monica Crowley claimed that those who reportedly spoke to the Times did so "only on the condition of anonymity, because they also do not want to end up in cement shoes." Crowley also described Hillary Clinton's purported treatment of someone who is, in Crowley's words, "backing the 'hope' guy": "[I]t will be too bad for you because girlfriend will cut you. She will strap you into the electric chair. Then she will waterboard you. Then she will slowly and methodically pull off each one of your toenails. Then she will deprive you of sleep by blasting 'The Best of the '80s Hair Bands' at you, and then she will cut off your manhood, and then she will throw the switch."
MSNBC's Keith Olbermann awarded the "Bronze" to the Associated Press in his nightly Worst Person in the World segment for calling Sen. Barack Obama "inexperienced in foreign affairs" in a June 5 news analysis. Calling the analysis a "really slanted piece," Olbermann said: "When the AP starts taking sides and starts reading like The Washington Times, or The Nation, we're all in a lot of trouble."
The Washington Post falsely suggested in an editorial that, in contrast with Sen. Barack Obama, Sen. John McCain has said definitively that he will accept public financing for the general election. In fact, in recent interviews with ABC News and USA Today, McCain did not give a definitive answer. According to USA Today, McCain "said he has not decided whether to accept about $85 million in public financing for the fall campaign."
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.