Elections

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  • Blitzer on McCain: "I know he's a straight-talker"

    ››› ››› BRIAN LEVY & MATT GERTZ

    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.

  • Blitzer lets Graham off hook on how McCain would "pay for $300 billion in new tax cuts"

    ››› ››› JEREMY HOLDEN

    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."

  • Charlie Rose did not challenge Scalia's false claim that "the press unanimously" agreed that Bush won Florida in 2000

    ››› ››› RAPHAEL SCHWEBER-KOREN

    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."

  • Purporting to cite Obama's "arrogance," Rove misrepresented Obama's comments in latest WSJ column

    ››› ››› RYAN CHIACHIERE

    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 uncritically reported McCain adviser's assertion that McCain no longer believes Russia should be excluded from G-8

    ››› ››› MATT GERTZ

    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.

  • Monica Crowley forwarded smear that Obama has lied about his ethnicity

    ››› ››› SIMON MALOY

    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."

  • What you've been missing: NBC, CBS nightly news shows fail to report on McCain's campaign loan

    ››› ››› BRIAN LEVY

    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?"

  • On CNN Headline News' Glenn Beck, guest host Graham asserted as fact that Obama is "the most liberal" senator

    ››› ››› MEREDITH ADAMS

    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.

  • Discussing FEC confirmations, Wash. Post omitted that Bush withdrew nomination of chairman who questioned McCain loan

    ››› ››› BRIAN LEVY

    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.

  • Dick Morris repeated false and misleading claims about Obama's tax proposals on Hannity & Colmes and Today

    ››› ››› JEREMY HOLDEN

    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.

  • Limbaugh falsely suggested Hamas supports Obama

    ››› ››› ANNE SMITH

    Rush Limbaugh asserted, "Hamas has endorsed Obama. ... Why do you think they've endorsed Obama? Because they want a very strong ally for Israel in the White House?" In fact, Obama stated his support for Israel in a speech June 4 speech in which he said: "Those who threaten Israel threaten us. ... And I will bring to the White House an unshakeable commitment to Israel's security." Hamas reportedly responded to Obama's remarks by saying, "Hamas does not differentiate between the two presidential candidates, Obama and McCain, because their policies regarding the Arab-Israel conflict are the same and are hostile to us, therefore we do have no preference and are not wishing for either of them to win."

  • On Meet the Press, Williams allowed Graham to crop Obama's questionnaire response on public funding

    ››› ››› LILY YAN

    On Meet the Press, host Brian Williams allowed Sen. Lindsey Graham to crop an answer Sen. Barack Obama gave on a Midwest Democracy Network questionnaire about whether he would commit to public financing for the general election if his opponent did so. While Graham read the question and beginning of Obama's answer aloud, neither he nor Williams noted that Obama concluded his answer by saying he would "aggressively pursue an agreement with the Republican nominee to preserve a publicly financed general election," which the Obama campaign maintains he did before determining an agreement with the McCain campaign was unreachable.

  • Numerous media outlets reported McCain's attack on Obama over public financing without noting McCain's loan

    ››› ››› MATT GERTZ & LAUREN AUERBACH

    Numerous media outlets have reported all or part of Sen. John McCain's statement rebuking Sen. Barack Obama for his decision to forgo public financing in the general election without mentioning that during the primary, McCain signed a loan 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.

  • Ben Smith ignored Politico's own reporting in claiming "the only outside attack ads to run this cycle have been financed by Obama allies"

    ››› ››› LILY YAN

    The Politico's Ben Smith reported that Sen. Barack Obama "has complained that [Sen. John] McCain said he couldn't control attack ads from outside groups -- though the only outside attack ads to run this cycle have been financed by Obama allies and directed at McCain." In fact, the Vets for Freedom political action committee launched two Internet ads in May attacking Obama over issues related to the Iraq war, and the independent group Freedom's Watch ran television ads attacking Obama and two Democratic congressional candidates.

  • USA Today uncritically quoted McCain campaign saying that decision not to opt out of public financing was about "keeping his word to the American people"

    ››› ››› MATT GERTZ

    A USA Today article quoted Tucker Bounds, a spokesman for Sen. John McCain, who said, "Unlike Barack Obama, John McCain believes in keeping his word to the American people, and he will undergo public financing for the general election." But the article did not note that while the McCain campaign, through Bounds, now says McCain will not opt out of public financing because he is "keeping his word to the American people," McCain himself previously indicated that his decision over whether to take public financing if Obama opted out would depend not on "keeping his word" but on whether it would be financially prudent to do so. Indeed, McCain senior adviser Charlie Black reportedly said, "We could sit down in July or August and say, 'Hey, we're raising a lot of money and maybe we should forgo it.' ... We don't have enough data."