NBC's Today and CBS' The Early Show both aired interviews with Sen. John McCain while the candidate was in New Orleans, but in neither case asked McCain about controversial comments that one of his endorsers, Pastor John Hagee, recently made about Hurricane Katrina, though both programs discussed controversial comments made by Rev. Jeremiah Wright.
Referring to a controversial ad by the North Carolina Republican Party attacking Sen. Barack Obama, Bill O'Reilly said: "[T]he reality -- and we've researched this -- is that Senator McCain has no power at all in North Carolina, all right? ... And that's the truth." But several people identified as having leadership positions in the North Carolina Republican Party also have "official" roles in the McCain campaign. Additionally, neither McCain nor the Republican National Committee, which has also denounced the ad, has suggested that the North Carolina GOP will face any repercussions for its refusal to pull the ad.
In an April 24 PBS NewsHour report about a New York Times article that revealed "the role of military analysts on TV and in the Pentagon," Judy Woodruff stated:"[W]e invited Fox News, CNN, MSNBC, CBS, ABC, and NBC to participate, but they declined our offer or did not respond." Further, according to a search of programs in Nexis, several of these outlets have yet to report on the revelations in the April 20 Times article.
A week after claiming that Sen. Barack Obama "can't walk into a dinette [sic] with five or six guys there, white guys, in some cases. He can't just shake hands and hang out," Chris Matthews asserted, "[Obama] doesn't seem to have the knack for walking into a dinette [sic] with regular people in it and just having fun, just connecting."
Beginning on the afternoon of April 23, MSNBC, Fox News, and CNN aired a controversial ad by the North Carolina Republican Party attacking Sen. Barack Obama and two Democratic gubernatorial candidates at least 22 times combined, in most cases also noting that Sen. John McCain denounced the ad. As media figures on MSNBC and CNN pointed out, the repeated broadcasts benefit the North Carolina Republican Party, which does not have to pay for them, and they presumably benefit McCain, even as he is credited with taking the high road for criticizing the ad.
Discussing on Fox & Friends whether Sen. John McCain is "fit enough to be the next commander in chief," radio host Mike Papantonio said, "[W]e ought to have the right to know about what's the status of the cancer that he had -- he developed two times, malignant melanoma." Steve Doocy replied, "That is true. All right. And I believe those records have all been released." However, while McCain released his full medical records in 1999, he has yet to release his recent medical records, which his campaign reportedly says it will do "sometime in May" after reportedly having "pledged to release [his cancer] test results before the end of April."
Discussing an attack ad on Sen. Barack Obama that Sen. John McCain has denounced, Fox & Friends co-host Andrew Napolitano asserted: "John McCain, for his whole career, has tried to stay above this kind of a fray. Why should he change now?" Napolitano did not point out that this is the latest example of a pattern in which McCain denounces smears against his opponents, while also benefiting from them. Moreover, in asserting that McCain has "tried to stay above this kind of a fray," Napolitano seemingly ignored several instances in which McCain has misrepresented the statements or positions of his opponents.
On The Situation Room, Wolf Blitzer left unchallenged Florida Gov. Charlie Crist's claim that "what Senator [John] McCain talks about" when he said he advocated a long-term military presence in Iraq is "to make sure that those who have lost their lives, that their lives were not lost in vain. I mean, we still maintain troop presence in South Korea." In fact, McCain has made inconsistent statements on the subject of a troop presence in Iraq modeled on South Korea, which Blitzer did not note.
Reporting on an ad from the North Carolina Republican Party that attacks Sen. Barack Obama for his relationship with Rev. Jeremiah Wright, NBC News' Andrea Mitchell asserted that Sen. John McCain "is taking a very strong stand," telling the party "that he does not want them to run this ad." She later said that "John McCain immediately demanded that the North Carolina Republicans kill the ad." By simply reporting McCain's condemnation of the North Carolina ad, Mitchell was repeating a pattern in the media of allowing McCain, as Slate.com's Melinda Henneberger noted, to "take the high road," while his supporters engage in smears for his benefit.
On Morning Joe, after Pat Buchanan said of Sen. Hillary Clinton's speech following the Pennsylvania primary that "only once or twice did that voice start rising to the level that every husband in America at one time or another has heard. You know, where it starts going up -- " Joe Scarborough said, "Be careful here, Buchanan." Chris Matthews added, "Go the other way. You're in the danger area. ... You're in the danger area, Pat, take my advice."
The Washington Post's Dan Balz asserted that Sen. John McCain's "advocacy of comprehensive immigration reform" is among the policy positions that help "paint a portrait of someone not cut from the traditional [Republican] party mold." In fact, McCain has abandoned his previous support for comprehensive immigration legislation, saying that he "would not" support his original comprehensive immigration proposal if it came up for a vote in the Senate.
On MSNBC Live, David Shuster presented to Tucker Carlson "a Hillary laughing pen" -- a pen shaped in the likeness of Hillary Clinton's head with a mouth that moves as the pen makes a laughing noise. In response, Carlson stated: "I can't tell you, David, how much I appreciate this, how much I appreciate your going through Chris' mail while he's gone and how much I'm really going to miss that cackle. I hope it goes on forever. It's brought light to my life."
In a post on MSNBC.com's First Read blog about Sen. Barack Obama's position on former President Jimmy Carter's meeting with Hamas, Aswini Anburajan reported that Obama has been "attacked by [Sen. John] McCain for not condemning Carter's visit more sternly." But McCain has not merely "attacked" Obama "for not condemning Carter's visit more sternly"; he has actually misrepresented Obama's position on Carter's meeting with Hamas, falsely suggesting that Obama "approve[d]" of the meeting.
Responding to a question about whether Sen. John McCain was "maintaining the endorsement" of controversial televangelist John Hagee. NPR's Cokie Roberts asserted: "Well, he says that it was a mistake to seek and accept the endorsement. So I -- what does that mean? I don't know if that means that he has -- maintains it or not." In fact, when asked if he "no longer want[ed]" Hagee's endorsement, McCain stated: "I'm glad to have his endorsement."
On The Situation Room, an on-screen chart showed Sen. John McCain's income to be significantly lower than that of Sens. Barack Obama and Hillary Clinton when combined with the income of their spouses. However, the chart did not include any income earned by McCain's wife, Cindy. As Dana Bash reported moments earlier of Cindy McCain, "Some estimates actually put her worth at about $100 million."