In his column, George F. Will claimed that "Hillary Clinton, 60, Illinois native and Arkansas lawyer, became, retroactively, a lifelong Yankee fan at age 52, when, shopping for a U.S. Senate seat, she adopted New York state as home sweet home." However, the idea that Clinton proclaimed herself a Yankees fan "retroactively" is a myth commonly repeated in the media and contradicted by the evidence.
A Reuters article on President Bush's nominations for the Federal Election Commission did not note that President Bush withdrew the renomination of FEC chairman David Mason, who told Sen. John McCain that he needed the FEC's permission to opt out of the public financing system in the presidential primary.
A Washington Times article uncritically quoted an Indiana man saying of Sen. Barack Obama, "I can't stand him. ... He's a Muslim. He's not even pro-American as far as I'm concerned." By contrast, after quoting the same man in its own article, the Chicago Sun-Times wrote that "Obama has never been a Muslim, but bogus e-mails accuse him of being a Muslim who put his hand on a copy of the Quran to be sworn into the U.S. Senate and refusing to say the Pledge of Allegiance."
The Associated Press' Libby Quaid wrote that Sen. John McCain "dismissed Democratic rival Barack Obama as having zero national security experience," quoting McCain as saying that Obama "obviously has no national security experience, and therefore that's reflected in his judgment on a number of those issues." Quaid did not challenge McCain's accusation, nor did Quaid note that Obama has been involved in several bills and initiatives related to national security.
Reporting on Sen. John McCain's efforts to "attract" Hispanic voters, The Hill's Klaus Marre wrote that McCain "has spent the past few years courting Hispanic voters by being the lead Republican sponsor of failed immigration legislation that would have granted a path to citizenship to most of the more than 12 million illegal immigrants living in the United States." But Marre did not note that McCain has said he no longer supports that legislation.
The Los Angeles Times, The New York Times, USA Today, and The Wall Street Journal have yet to report on Sen. John McCain's statement that "I will have an energy policy that we will be talking about which will eliminate our dependence on oil from the Middle East, that will -- that will then prevent us -- that will prevent us from having ever to send our young men and women into conflict again in the Middle East" [emphasis added]. Media Matters offers questions for these news outlets to ask McCain should they decide to cover the story.
On Special Report, Carl Cameron reported that on the issue of immigration, Sen. John McCain "announced that if elected, in January he'll begin finalizing border security, then immediately launch the guest worker program and path to citizenship that many in his party oppose." But Cameron did not note that McCain's current position that border security must be addressed first is at odds with his prior assertion that border security could not be disaggregated from other aspects of comprehensive immigration reform without being rendered ineffective.
On Fox News, Morton M. Kondracke presented a "theory" for why Sen. Hillary Clinton may be having a "good time" on the campaign trail: "[S]omebody I know has a theory about this. Remember back when [Bill] Clinton was president of the United States, people said that he's really Satan because he walks through life and people collapse around him and go to jail and die, and all this kind of stuff? Well, this person says Hillary's a vampire. She's sucking the blood out of Barack Obama." Kondracke did not name his "theor[ist]," but the purported "theory" has been publicly articulated before, by New York Times columnist Maureen Dowd.
The New York Times asserted that Rep.-elect Don Cazayoux (D-LA) "fit the conservative model Democrats deployed successfully in the 2006 elections when they took seats from Republicans." In fact, the Democratic candidates who won Republican-held seats in the November 2006 midterm elections all backed key portions of the Democratic platform, and the vast majority of them also supported embryonic stem cell research and abortion rights.
CNN's Jim Acosta uncritically aired video of Sen. John McCain asserting: "There are those who are convinced the solution is to move to a nationalized health-care system," echoing his repeated assertions that Sens. Hillary Clinton and Barack Obama are proposing government-run health care. But, while McCain has routinely made such assertions, Acosta did not note that McCain's suggestion is false; neither Clinton nor Obama has proposed a "nationalized health-care system."
In his Newsweek column, George Will falsely claimed that Social Security taxes are levied on household income. He had similarly falsely asserted on ABC's This Week that Sen. Barack Obama "wants to raise taxes on a lot of people, beginning with those earning about $100,000 a year, a household." In fact, Social Security taxes are levied based on individual income, and contrary to his assertion in Newsweek, a married couple with each spouse making less than $102,000 would not face a payroll tax increase if the income cap was raised, even if combined they made more than the current cap.
The AP reported that Sen. John McCain "said President Bush should not be held responsible for the much-criticized 'Mission Accomplished' banner five years ago," and that McCain said of the banner, "I thought it was wrong at the time." But the AP did not report comments McCain made "at the time" about the banner in a Fox News interview, in which host Neil Cavuto noted that "many argue the conflict [in Iraq] isn't over," to which McCain replied, "Then why was there a banner that said 'Mission Accomplished' on the aircraft carrier?"
On Hardball, Chris Matthews asserted: "Look, the war's not going to be any more popular in November. It may be somewhat OK with 30, 40 percent of the people, but it's never going to be a winner. The economy's not going to be a winner. So what do you have with [Sen. John] McCain? Integrity." But Matthews did not note his own role in promoting that image of McCain, despite numerous false assertions and inconsistencies.
On Your World, Neil Cavuto said of Sen. Barack Obama: "Well, one of the reasons why he espoused talking to our enemies -- much as Jimmy Carter has with his recent meeting with Hamas and all that -- is that we can't make things worse, so what's the harm in talking to them?" Contrary to Cavuto's suggestion that Obama has expressed a willingness to meet with Hamas, Reuters reported on March 3 that Obama "has said he would break with President George W. Bush's stance of declining to talk to some other international adversaries but that stance does not apply to Hamas."
On Hardball, John Harwood stated: "John McCain's brand ... has been pretty well-established since 2000. He's likable. He's a maverick. He's a war hero. All of that redounds to his benefit." But while citing McCain's purported "brand" as a "maverick," Harwood did not acknowledge his own role in promoting that "brand." Nor did he point out any of McCain's actions that challenge that "brand," such as McCain's rightward shift on high-profile issues such as immigration and taxes, and his growing list of falsehoods.