On Meet the Press, Tim Russert failed to correct Mike Murphy's false claim that James Rubin "mischaracterized" Sen. John McCain in a Washington Post op-ed. Russert said, "And there is an interview with James Rubin, as you know, from Senator McCain where he said that in time, we would have to talk with Hamas." Murphy replied, "Right. Well, but I think if you look, like many of us did, at the full YouTube of that, Rubin mischaracterized him in his op-ed. ... McCain had a lot of qualifications, if you look at the full context of it, which is not what Rubin paraphrased in that op-ed." In fact, Rubin did not "mischaracterize" or "paraphrase" McCain's comments, as video posted on YouTube shows.
Reuters reported: "Arturo Leyva has voted Democratic in the past, like many U.S. Hispanics. This year, the candidate catching his eye happens to be a Republican: John McCain." It later added that "Hispanics like Leyva, 45, say they like the fact that McCain teamed with Democratic Sen. Edward Kennedy on the immigration bill, which was later killed by the Republicans." But the article did not report that McCain has since reversed his position on immigration reform, arguing that "we've got to secure the borders first" and stating that he would no longer support his own bill if it were to come up in the Senate.
While discussing President Bush's speech to the Israeli Knesset, in which Bush stated that "some seem to believe that we should negotiate with the terrorists and radicals," Jeff Greenfield stated that "the number one fear in Israel and among some American Jews is Iran -- that's who Obama wants to talk to." However, Greenfield did not note that Defense Secretary Robert Gates reportedly stated that the United States should "sit down and talk with" Iran.
In two reports on CNN Newsroom, CNN aired comments by Robert Gibbs, Sen. Barack Obama's communications director, responding to President Bush's remarks that "[s]ome seem to believe we should negotiate with terrorists and radicals," reportedly in reference to Obama, but CNN spliced the audio clip to omit part of the statement in which Gibbs noted that Secretary of Defense Robert Gates has reportedly advocated a position on engaging Iran that echoes Obama's. CNN had left intact Gibbs' reference to Gates in the audio clip of Gibbs' comments it aired earlier in the program.
Michael Savage stated that Rev. Rod Parsley, whom Sen. John McCain has reportedly referred to as "a spiritual guide," has made "some inflammatory statements of which I agree with 100 percent." Savage then played clips in which Parsley stated that "America was founded, in part, with the intention of seeing this false religion [Islam] destroyed" and that supporters of same-sex marriage "are seeking to redefine marriage. In other words, they are intending to pervert God's original intention."
The Washington Post's Michael Shear falsely suggested that Sen. Barack Obama has changed his position on U.S. troop withdrawal from Iraq since September 2007, writing that when Obama was "[a]sked to make a withdrawal timeline pledge during a debate last September," he "declined, saying that 'it's hard to project four years from now,' " but that Obama now says "he will remove all combat brigades from Iraq within 16 months of becoming president and will leave 'some troops' in Iraq to protect U.S. embassy personnel there and carry out targeted strikes on terrorists." But contrary to Shear's suggestion, Obama did not make contradictory statements.
In a profile of Mark Salter, Sen. John McCain's chief of staff, The Wall Street Journal reported that Salter responded to Sen. Barack Obama's comment that McCain was "losing his bearings" by "complain[ing] publicly" that it "was a 'not particularly clever way of raising John McCain's age.' " But the Journal did not provide the context of the remark, which Obama made in response to a smear by McCain, and in which Obama said, "John McCain always says, well, I'm not going to run that kind of politics."
On Hannity & Colmes, Sean Hannity asserted that Sen. Barack Obama said he would "maybe invade an ally like Pakistan." In fact, during an August 2007 speech, Obama did not say he would "invade an ally like Pakistan"; rather, Obama stated: "If we have actionable intelligence about high-value terrorist targets and [Pakistani] President [Pervez] Musharraf won't act, we will."
In a Hardball report on Sen. John McCain's position on the environment, MSNBC's David Shuster pointed to "taxes" and "immigration" as evidence that McCain has "tangled with conservatives before." But Shuster did not report that McCain has since embraced conservative positions on both of those issues, now supporting the permanent extension of the Bush tax cuts and saying that he would no longer support his own immigration bill if it came up for a vote in the Senate.
On America's Election HQ, Megyn Kelly hosted Sen. Joe Lieberman in a discussion about the apology made by Rev. John Hagee, a supporter of Sen. John McCain, over controversial comments he made concerning the Catholic Church. But Kelly did not challenge Lieberman's suggestion that McCain merely accepted Hagee's endorsement, and Kelly made no mention of McCain's acknowledgment that he actually sought Hagee's endorsement.
While discussing John Hagee's apology for his controversial remarks concerning the Catholic Church, MSNBC's Contessa Brewer stated that Sen. John McCain "has pointed out" that Hagee was not his personal pastor for 20 years, "and says, 'Look, I'm not going to repudiate the endorsement of this man. I don't like the comments that he made, but I'll take his endorsement if he wants to give it.' " However, Brewer did not mention that McCain has admitted that he sought Hagee's endorsement.
In reports about televangelist John Hagee's apology for his anti-Catholic remarks, neither The Washington Post's Michael D. Shear nor Fox News' Brit Hume mentioned that Hagee -- whose endorsement Sen. John McCain has acknowledged seeking -- also has made controversial statements about women, race, homosexuality, and Islam.
On Morning Joe, John Harwood described Sen. John McCain as a "maverick" without noting any of the numerous actions McCain has taken that undermine that characterization. Harwood later asserted that McCain "voted against Bush's tax cuts" without noting that McCain reversed his position on the tax cuts and now calls for making them permanent, or that he has since offered a different explanation about why he voted against them than he gave at the time.
On MSNBC's Race for the White House, host David Gregory, like NBC colleagues Tim Russert and Chris Matthews, suggested that it is not possible for the media to adequately cover both the Democratic primary race and Sen. John McCain. Gregory stated, "John McCain has not gotten a lot of scrutiny right now because we've had an historic Democratic race to contend with, but does that necessarily hold up as we go along?"