On Fox News' America's Election HQ, Ralph Peters falsely suggested that Sen. Barack Obama has said that the United States "should send ground troops into Pakistan" and "invade the country through which we get our supplies." In fact, Obama did not say he would "invade" Pakistan; rather, he stated: "If we have actionable intelligence about high-value terrorist targets and [Pakistani] President [Pervez] Musharraf won't act, we will."
In an article on Sen. John McCain's proposed plan to balance the budget by 2013, The Washington Post's Michael Shear reported that "Democrats immediately criticized McCain, asserting that his promise is unrealistic, given his stated goals of tax cuts and other government spending." In fact, several economists and nonpartisan analysts have also criticized McCain's plan, reportedly saying that McCain's proposal for numerous tax cuts would bloat the deficit or require huge spending cuts.
ABCNews.com's The Note, after linking to reports on Sen. John McCain's recent trip to Colombia, stated: "(And the RNC may want you to remember that it was Obama's name -- not McCain's -- that popped up on a seized FARC laptop.)" ABC offered no explanation for its reference to a report that Obama's name "popped up" in a computer seized from "FARC," the Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia. Several right-wing groups and media outlets have used a letter from a FARC spokesman that reportedly mentioned Obama to falsely allege "contacts" and other connections between FARC and Obama.
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On The Laura Ingraham Show, Monica Crowley claimed that Sen. Barack Obama "lifted his campaign line 'Yes, we can' from the recent presidential campaign of the Iranian president, Mahmoud Ahmadinejad." Crowley claimed that Ahmadinejad used the slogan "We can." In fact, Obama reportedly used the phrase "Yes, we can" during his 2004 Senate campaign -- a full year before Ahmadinejad was elected in 2005.
Discussing Sen. John McCain's statement that "if the election were tomorrow ... Republicans would lose seats in both the House and the Senate," Wolf Blitzer asserted of McCain, "Should he be saying that right now? I know he's a straight-talker, but what do you think?" Blitzer has, on several previous occasions, pronounced McCain a straight-talker.
On The Situation Room, Wolf Blitzer asked Sen. Lindsey Graham how Sen. John McCain would "pay for $300 billion in new tax cuts" and said, "But there's no waste -- with all due respect, Senator ... you're going to find $300 billion in waste, are you?" But when Graham replied, "No, no, $35 billion from earmarks, but there are other programs up here that can be reined in, including the Department of Defense," Blitzer did not press Graham to identify which specific "programs" McCain would "rein in" to "pay for $300 billion in new tax cuts."
On his PBS program, Charlie Rose did not challenge Antonin Scalia's false assertion that "the press unanimously" found that, in Rose's words, George W. Bush "won that election in Florida." In fact, according to The Washington Post, data from a study conducted by the National Opinion Research Center found that under several different criteria for assessing a voter's intent, Al Gore would have received more votes than Bush after a statewide recount of all ballots "that were initially rejected by voting machines."
In a Wall Street Journal column, Karl Rove wrote, "After Rev. [Jeremiah] Wright repeated his anti-American slurs at the National Press Club, Mr. Obama said their relationship was forever changed -- but not because of what he'd said about America. Instead, Mr. Obama complained, 'I don't think he showed much concern for me.' " However, Rove cropped Obama's quote, excluding his next statement: "[M]ore importantly, I don't think he showed much concern for what we are trying to do in this campaign and what we're trying to do for the American people and with the American people."
Reuters falsely suggested that Sen. John McCain most recently called for Russia to be excluded from the Group of Eight major industrialized nations (G-8) in October 2007, and uncritically quoted an anonymous McCain adviser's assertion that McCain no longer holds that position. In fact, McCain again called for Russia to be excluded from the G-8 in a March 2008 speech.
On The Laura Ingraham Show, guest host Monica Crowley stated that "according to this genealogy -- and again, because I haven't done the research, I can't verify this -- but according to this guy Kenneth Lamb, Barack Obama is not black African, he is Arab African." Crowley continued: "And yet, this guy is campaigning as black and painting anybody who dares to criticize him as a racist. I mean, that is -- it is the biggest con I think I've ever seen."
NBC's Nightly News and the CBS Evening News have yet to cover Sen. John McCain's campaign loan, despite a February 29 post on the MSNBC.com blog First Read that stated: "We've noticed today the [Sen. John] McCain/FEC stories -- that McCain very well might have to abide by spending limits before the GOP convention -- are starting to roll in. But why is this only now starting to get more traction, compared with all the stories about [Sen. Barack] Obama waffling on his pledge to accept public funds in the general?"
While guest-hosting CNN Headline News' Glenn Beck, Michael Graham asserted as fact that Sen. Barack Obama is "the most liberal member of the U.S. Senate." While The National Journal rated Obama the most liberal senator in 2007, the rankings were based on a subjective selection of Senate votes by the magazine's staff. By contrast, another study based on all non-unanimous votes found Obama to be tied for the 10th most liberal senator in 2007.
In an article on five new FEC confirmations, The Washington Post did not note that President Bush withdrew the renomination of chairman David Mason, who has requested that Sen. John McCain assure the FEC he did not act improperly by signing a loan agreement 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.
On Fox News, Dick Morris asserted that as president, Sen. Barack Obama "would double the capital gains tax. That means that you get far less when you sell your home, or your 401(k) or your stock plan," and added, "[H]e would increase the limit on Social Security taxes, which means instead of paying 12 1/2 percent of the first $100,000, you pay it on everything that you're making." Morris' claims are false or highly misleading.