During CNN's Democratic National Convention coverage, Paul Begala debunked the claim that Bob Casey Sr. was not allowed to speak at the 1992 Democratic convention because of his opposition to abortion rights. Less than 15 minutes later, CNN displayed the false on-screen caption: "FACT: Casey's father was denied a speaking role at the 1992 Democratic convention because he opposed abortion rights." MSNBC's Chris Matthews also repeated the false claim.
On August 26, Fox News aired just over two minutes of former Virginia Gov. Mark Warner's keynote address to the convention. After returning from a commercial, Alan Colmes stated, "In other election news, an independent group supporting John McCain released an ad last week attacking [Sen.] Barack Obama's ties to former Weather Underground leader Bill Ayers," and aired an ad from the Obama campaign responding to the independent ad. Colmes and Sean Hannity then interviewed Rudy Giuliani.
Who's the first person Maureen Dowd quotes in today's New York Times column to gage the "vibe" at the Democratic convention? A partisan Republican operative and former McCain aide, naturally.
The evening newscasts on ABC and NBC each aired a portion of a McCain campaign ad featuring Clinton supporter Debra Bartoshevich. But neither noted that at a Republican press conference, Bartoshevich reportedly falsely suggested that Sen. John McCain does not support overturning Roe v. Wade. In fact, McCain's campaign website says that he "believes Roe v. Wade is a flawed decision that must be overturned."
Discussing Sen. Bob Casey's speaking slot at the Democratic National Convention, both NPR and CNN falsely asserted that late Gov. Bob Casey Sr. was not allowed to speak at the 1992 Democratic convention "because of his opposition to abortion rights." In fact, other Democrats who opposed abortion rights spoke at that convention and at every convention since, so Casey's opposition to abortion rights could not have been the sole reason he was not given a speaking role.
On Fox News' America's Election HQ, David Freddoso claimed: "Senator [Barack] Obama says that he is a reformer, an agent of positive change. And looking at his record, though, in Chicago, Springfield, and Washington, I found that he is absolutely -- there's nothing in his record to bear out that claim." However, in Freddoso's recently released book, he specifically credited Obama with two "real accomplishment[s] ... in the name of reform" -- the Federal Funding Accountability and Transparency Act of 2006, and a 1998 Illinois ethics bill.
CNN's John King, working his interactive map on Sunday, claimed if the election were held today Obama would win 221 electoral votes and McCain 189. King stressed that so many key states remain toss-ups. (That's good a narrative for the media.)
King claimed one key toss-up state is Minnesota. Really? According to Pollster's trend estimates, Obama is up by seven points in Minnesota, and there's only one poll listed at Pollser that shows McCain ahead in the land of lakes. And that was from January. We get the feeling CNN is trying a bit too hard to push the, It's-a-tie! storyline.
P.S. Pollster puts the current (albeit, hypothetical) electoral count at Obama 260, McCain 176. (That's a bad narrative for the media.)
The basic problem with Ron Fournier's "analysis" of the Biden pick comes right up top: "In picking to be his running mate, Barack Obama sought to shore up his weakness — inexperience in office and on foreign policy..."
Well, wait a second. Why doesn't the Biden pick reinforce Obama's strength on foreign policy? Most people, after all, would say Barack Obama was right to oppose the Iraq war. Given how easy it is to argue the opposite of Fournier's premise, it seems his analysis tells us more about his own attitudes than about the meaning of Obama's decision.
And Lindsay Beyerstein wonders who has been paying him up to $10,000 a pop for speeches.
UPDATE: Want to write to your local newspaper about Fournier? Jane Hamsher at Firedoglake can help.
The Los Angeles Times reported that when Sen. Joe Biden ran for president in 1987, he "was accused of plagiarism when he did not credit Neil Kinnock, then leader of the British Labor Party, for much of his stump speech." The New York Times and the Associated Press made similar reports. But they did not note that Biden reportedly had credited Kinnock, as The Washington Post reported at the time: "John Quinlan, a reporter for the Sioux City Journal, said his notes showed Biden said he was quoting Kinnock when he used the same passage in a speech Aug. 14. Stories in The [New York] Times, The Boston Globe and other newspapers also said Biden had used the rhetoric and credited Kinnock for it."
Sean Hannity paraphrased a passage from Jerome Corsi's discredited book The Obama Nation that misrepresents a March 2001 speech Sen. Barack Obama gave in the Illinois state Senate opposing a bill amending the Illinois Abortion Law of 1975. Corsi claimed Obama said that if the bill passed, and "a nine-month-old fetus" that survived a late-term labor-induced abortion was defined as "a person who had a right to live," that it would essentially "forbid abortions to take place." In fact, Obama was not referring to "a nine-month-old fetus"; he was specifically talking about a "previable fetus."
Several media outlets have uncritically reported the false charge by Sen. John McCain's campaign that Sen. Barack Obama "just got back from vacation on a private beach in Hawaii." In fact, according to the Hawaii Department of Land and Resources, all beaches in Hawaii are public.
A Chicago Tribune article uncritically and repeatedly quoted a "senior McCain adviser" attacking Sen. Barack Obama and asserted that the adviser "spoke on condition that he not be identified in order to discuss strategy." But the authors gave no explanation of why they would agree to anonymity for a source who proceeded to attack and to foreshadow further attacks on the opposing candidate.
Todd Gitlin at TPM Cafe notes the ABC anchor suggested Thursday's campaign back-and-forth between Obama and McCain revolved around "which of them is richer."
Not true. It revolved around which one couldn't remember how many houses he owns.
Media outlets have quoted or cited criticism of Sen. Barack Obama by anti-abortion activist and WorldNetDaily columnist Jill Stanek without citing relevant facts that undermine her credibility, including her suggestion that domestic violence is acceptable against women who have abortions, her support of billboards in Tanzania with the words "Faithful Condom User" next to a picture of a large skeleton, and her citation of a report that "aborted fetuses are much sought after delicacies" in China to which she added, "I think this stuff is happening."
In a special report on Sen. Barack Obama, referring to Obama's challenges to signatures on his opponents' nominating petitions during his 1996 run for the Illinois state Senate, CNN's Suzanne Malveaux described Obama as "an avid student of Chicago-style politics" and aired remarks by a Chicago reporter calling the practice "cutthroat." But CNN's special on Sen. John McCain made no mention of McCain's reported petition challenges in at least two U.S. Senate races, aired no one labeling McCain "cutthroat" for those challenges, or at any point pronounced McCain an avid student of Arizona-style politics for those challenges.