Reporting on a Republican-backed California ballot initiative that would award the state's electoral votes by congressional district, NPR correspondent Ina Jaffe aired an audio clip of Republican consultant Dave Gilliard, who asserted: "We want [presidential candidates] to come out here and actually campaign throughout California. We want them to go to the Central Valley, and Inland Empire, and the North Coast, and talk to Californians about what's important to California." In fact, California has only three congressional districts that Sen. John Kerry (D-MA) or President Bush carried by 5 percentage points or less during the 2004 election, and thus, if the initiative passed, campaigns would presumably have little incentive "to come out here and actually campaign." Further, Jaffe's report did not note one of the major arguments made in opposition to the California initiative -- that it reapportions the electoral votes of only California, rather than applying a nationwide standard for the distribution of electoral votes.
Several media outlets have reported on the latest ad released by Sen. John McCain's presidential campaign attacking Sen. Hillary Rodham Clinton over her support for an earmark funding a Woodstock Festival museum, but these outlets have not noted that McCain skipped the vote on removing the earmark.
Washington Post media critic Howard Kurtz wrote that NBC Washington bureau chief Tim Russert "was ripped by liberal bloggers" after "he repeatedly pressed Hillary Clinton during a presidential debate." But Kurtz did not note that at least two of the questions Russert posed to Clinton included falsehoods.
The Associated Press reported that the Republican National Committee is "ask[ing] people to sign a petition to the Clintons asking them to release all the 78 million pages of records and 20 million e-mail messages at the [Clinton Presidential] library." But the article did not report that the House Oversight and Government Reform Committee has said that it "has reason to believe that many e-mails related to official government business may have been deleted from the RNC's servers."
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."