On MSNBC Live, RNC press secretary Alex Conant claimed that "The New York Times today has a 2,000-word story about Barack Obama's friendship with an unrepentant terrorist." However, Alex Witt did not challenge Conant's claim that the article was about their "friendship" by pointing out that the Times in fact reported that Obama and Ayers "do not appear to have been close."
The WaPo's fact checking of Joe Biden's health care comments during the debate (i.e his "significant omissions or exaggerations") was way off the mark, writes Gene Sperling at HuffPost:
They got the Pinocchios completely backwards in this case. As good fact checkers, I hope the Post will review their analysis and admit that they got this one wrong.
On October 4, The New York Times published a front-page article about Sen. Barack Obama's association with William Ayers -- at least the 18th Times article this year mentioning that association. But the Times has yet to mention Sen. John McCain's relationship with G. Gordon Liddy. The October 4 article quoted Chicago Tribune columnist Steve Chapman denouncing Obama's association with Ayers but did not note that Chapman has described Liddy as McCain's "own Bill Ayers" and written that "[i]f Obama needs to answer questions about Ayers, McCain has the same obligation regarding Liddy."
On Lou Dobbs Tonight, Michael Goodwin and Lou Dobbs falsely claimed that Sen. Joe Biden was wrong when he said during the vice-presidential debate that Sen. John McCain "voted against funding the troops" in a 2007 bill making supplemental appropriations for troops in Iraq and Afghanistan. In fact, McCain voted against a supplemental appropriations bill on March 29, 2007, saying at the time that he was opposing it, in part, because it "would establish a timeline" for U.S. withdrawal from Iraq.
BAGnewsNotes takes a look.
On his Cincinnati-based radio program, Bill Cunningham falsely claimed that former Fannie Mae CEO Franklin Raines is an "economic adviser" and "chief financial adviser" to Sen. Barack Obama. A McCain campaign ad claims that Raines "advises" Obama -- a claim that Raines and the Obama campaign have denied -- but even that ad did not claim that Raines is a "chief" adviser.
The New York Times and the Los Angeles Times both reported Gov. Sarah Palin's attack during the vice-presidential debate that Sen. "Barack Obama voted against funding troops" without noting, as Sen. Joe Biden pointed out in response, that "[Sen.] John McCain voted the exact same way. John McCain voted against funding the troops because of an amendment he voted against had a timeline in it to draw down American troops."
Conservative radio host Armstrong Williams criticized vice-presidential debate moderator Gwen Ifill over her upcoming book about African-American political leaders, saying she "should have disclosed" it, and that it is "ultimately impossible" for her not to favor Sen. Barack Obama, because she has a "financial stake" in his winning the presidency. However, beginning in 2003, Williams did not disclose that he received $240,000 in Education Department funds to promote No Child Left Behind. The Government Accountability Office found that the Department of Education's actions constituted "covert propaganda" in violation of the law.
When you don't schedule a debate for Friday night--record viewing.
On Morning Joe, host Joe Scarborough did not challenge Sen. John McCain's false assertion that Gen. Dwight Eisenhower wrote "a letter of resignation from the Army" in case the D-Day invasion failed, a claim that McCain also made during the September 26 presidential debate.
In his Washington Post analysis, Dan Balz wrote that, during the vice presidential debate, Gov. Sarah Palin "did not stumble over names of foreign leaders." But Balz did not note that Palin misstated the name of Gen. David McKiernan, the top U.S. commander in Afghanistan, twice referring to him as "McClellan."
On two recent editions of Hannity & Colmes, Sean Hannity claimed that Franklin Raines is an "economic adviser" to Sen. Barack Obama, in one case citing "The Washington Post" as a source for his claim. However, both Raines and the Obama campaign have denied that Raines advises Obama in any way, and a washingtonpost.com Fact Checker item examined several Post items cited in a McCain ad that makes the same claim and concluded that the ad "exaggerat[ed] wildly" in its claim that Raines "advises" Obama.
The Los Angeles Times asserted that, during the vice-presidential debate, Sen. Joe Biden called President Bush's policies toward Israel "an abject failure" and that Gov. Sarah Palin "reject[ed] the way Biden depicted Bush's policies with her line about the 'blame game.' " But the Times did not note that Biden was responding to moderator Gwen Ifill's question specifically asking the candidates to assess the Bush administration: "What has this administration done right or wrong -- this is the great, lingering, unresolved issue, the Israeli-Palestinian conflict -- what have they done?"
Hopefully, that will put to rest the lazy, utterly predictable press performance regarding Biden and its really, really, really tired attempt to blow up minor campaign utterances of his into so-called gaffes.
Cenk Uygur at HuffPost argues that Ifill failed in her job as moderator last night and here's why:
Because all she did was pose simple questions that were easily deflected with prepared talking points. That's not a debate; that's a boring, fairly useless, series of mini-speeches. If you don't probe beyond the initial non-answer, you are simply not doing your job. That's a disservice to the American people who came to find out if these people know what they're talking about and what their real plans for the country are.
Was Ifill's timidty due to the surrounding controversy regarding her forthcoming Obama book? It's impossible to say. But this we do know for sure: If every four years the Commission on Presidential Debates didn't select moderators from the same extremely small, elite circle of Beltway media insiders, than perhaps potential conflicts like this wouldn't come up.
Believe it or not, there are more than four of five Americans who are qualified to moderate a debate. It's time for the commission to branch out and tap other talent.