Interviewing Barack Obama on Meet the Press, Tim Russert read a quote he attributed to Obama to suggest that he has "not been a leader against the [Iraq] war": "In July of 2004, Barack Obama: 'I'm not privy to Senate intelligence reports. ... What would I have done? I don't know,' in terms of how you would have voted on the war." Russert did not quote the very next sentence of Obama's statement, which was, "What I know is that from my vantage point the case was not made" for authorizing the war.
On Special Report, U.S. News & World Report senior writer Michael Barone asserted that an Oregon initiative that would have increased cigarette taxes to fund children's health care failed because Oregon voters did not want to pay higher taxes. Barone later claimed "the main reason" Utah voters rejected a statewide school voucher plan was "that there was a very big campaign put on against it by the National Education Association and other teacher unions." In fact, spending by an interest group also played a role in the Oregon vote -- tobacco companies reportedly spent $11.8 million in a campaign to defeat the Oregon initiative, nearly triple the $4.4 million reportedly spent by the "very big campaign" to defeat the Utah school voucher plan.
A New York Times article quoted Chris Matthews saying, "Deceit is what drives me crazy, either by Bill Clinton or the hawks in this administration." However, Media Matters for America has documented several instances in which Matthews has failed to note "deceit" by Rudy Giuliani. Despite evidence of Giuliani's "deceit," Matthews routinely praises Giuliani and his candidacy.
During the October 30 Democratic presidential debate, Tim Russert falsely claimed that a 2002 letter written by President Clinton to the National Archives "specifically ask[ed] that any communication between [then-first lady Hillary Clinton] and the president not be made available to the public until 2012" before asking Sen. Clinton, "Would you lift that ban?" In fact, President Clinton's letter did not ask that such communications "not be made available," but rather listed them as documents to be "considered for withholding" [emphasis added]. Clinton Records representative Bruce Lindsey said that Clinton asked in the letter that such communications be designated as part of a "subset" of presidential records "that should be reviewed prior to release."
On Fox News' Special Report, Charles Krauthammer claimed that Sen. Barack Obama's policy regarding Iran's purported nuclear weapons program "takes all aggression, all threats, everything serious off the table in advance." But in an interview with The New York Times that formed the basis for an article Krauthammer cited, Obama did not take military action against Iran "off the table." When asked whether he would "retain a military option for striking Iran's nuclear facilities," Obama said, "I don't think the president of the United States takes military options off the table, but I think that we obviously have to measure costs and benefits in all the decisions that we make."
A Politico article discussed the results of a recent poll showing that in the 2008 presidential election, registered voters would choose Sen. Hillary Rodham Clinton over Rudy Giuliani by a margin of 51 percent to 43 percent. It also reported that "[o]ther recent polls, however, have placed Giuliani ahead of Clinton in a head-to-head race." The Politico did not cite any of these "other polls," and, in fact, of eight polls released in October that featured questions about such matchups, just one found Giuliani leading Clinton.
On The Situation Room, Amy Holmes asserted that while Bill Clinton is "definitely an asset in the primary" for Sen. Hillary Rodham Clinton's presidential campaign, "in the general campaign, it becomes a lot more complicated. Pew did a really interesting poll in May of 2005 where they asked ... the voter would they like to see a Bill Clinton third term. And the majority said no." However, Holmes ignored several 2007 polls finding that a majority of the public thinks that Bill Clinton is an asset.
During an interview with Rudy Giuliani, Fox News' Neil Cavuto did not challenge Giuliani's assertion that "[t]he chance of a man surviving prostate cancer in the United States is somewhere, when I was doing it, 82, 84 percent. It's probably over 90 percent now. In socialized medicine countries ... some of them can be less than 50 percent." However, the purported source for the statistics, the Commonwealth Fund, issued a statement saying that the numbers are "incorrect."