Syndicated columnist Debra Saunders and CNN Headline News host Glenn Beck both falsely claimed that Gov. Sarah Palin supports benefits for same-sex partners of state employees. In fact, while Palin did veto a bill that would have prevented state officials from granting spousal benefits to same-sex couples, she stated that she did so because the Alaska attorney general had advised her that the bill was unconstitutional, not because she supported spousal benefits for same-sex couples. She has also reportedly said that she would support a ballot question banning benefits for same-sex couples.
On CNN, Alex Castellanos falsely claimed that Sen. Barack Obama has never held a job for four years. In fact, Obama taught at the University of Chicago Law School from 1992-2004, served in the Illinois senate from 1997-2004, and held positions as associate and of counsel at the law firm of Miner, Barnhill & Galland from 1993-2002.
On MSNBC, Andrea Mitchell falsely asserted that Sen. John McCain had not set a "threshold" that his vice presidential pick would be someone "ready to step in on a moment's notice." In fact, McCain has said that the "overwhelming priority" for his selection "is a person who shares my principles, my values, my priorities ... and could be -- immediately take my place."
G. Gordon Liddy asserted on his nationally syndicated radio show: "[W]e still don't have a birth certificate for [Sen. Barack] Obama. There are claims that he was actually born in Kenya." The Washington Times' Wesley Pruden similarly wrote that a "summer-long controversy continues about when and where the senator was actually born" and falsely asserted that "[t]he Obama campaign has been reluctant to produce a birth certificate." In fact, the Obama campaign has released Obama's birth certificate, and even the right-wing website WorldNetDaily has reported that claims about Obama's birth certificate being fraudulent are false.
The AP reported that Sen. John McCain "has expressed limited support for the rights accorded couples in same-sex civil unions" and that he "oppos[es] a constitutional amendment to ban abortion." But the AP's assertions about McCain's views are contradicted by statements McCain himself has made, which the AP did not report.
On his radio show, Bill O'Reilly falsely suggested that no state would prohibit abortions in cases of rape and incest if such a prohibition were constitutional. In fact, at least two states, South Dakota and Louisiana, have passed laws to take effect if Roe v. Wade is overturned that prohibit abortions even in cases of rape and incest.
The Atlanta Journal-Constitution reported as fact the false allegation that Sen. Harry Reid received political contributions from Jack Abramoff. While Reid received contributions from Abramoff's firm's PAC (to which Abramoff did not contribute) and from some of Abramoff's partners and clients, a Center for Responsive Politics breakdown of Abramoff's donations confirms that Abramoff himself made contributions only to Republicans, not Democrats.
The Atlanta Journal-Constitution uncritically quoted a Republican National Committee spokeswoman's false assertion that Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid "took nearly $68,000 from [former Washington lobbyist Jack] Abramoff." In fact, Abramoff made contributions only to Republicans, not Democrats.
In its preface, Jerome Corsi compares his new book, The Obama Nation, to his 2004 book Unfit for Command. The comparison seems apt: Just as Unfit for Command contains false attacks on Sen. John Kerry's military service, a Media Matters review finds that The Obama Nation similarly contains numerous falsehoods about Sen. Barack Obama.
Evening news broadcasts on CBS and NBC failed to cover a new report finding that the actions of top aides in the Justice Department who used political considerations in hiring "violated federal law and Department policy, and also constituted misconduct." ABC's World News, meanwhile, devoted less than 30 seconds to the report. Despite the potential implications for U.S. counterterrorism efforts, all three networks ignored the finding that "an experienced career terrorism prosecutor" was denied a counterterrorism assignment while "a much more junior attorney who lacked any experience in counterterrorism issues and who officials believed was not qualified for the position" was hired instead.
On Fox News, David Asman falsely claimed of Sen. Barack Obama's reported plans for a White House transition months before the November election: "It's never been done before." Similarly, on MSNBC Live, U.S. News & World Report's Kenneth Walsh asserted that Obama is preparing for taking office "very early, and it plays into this notion that the Republicans are talking about, about Obama being too arrogant, that he has sort of a sense of inevitability that has set in there." However, a Media Matters review confirms that Presidents George W. Bush, Bill Clinton, Ronald Reagan, and Jimmy Carter all planned for a White House transition months before the election.
On MSNBC Live, Alex Witt reported on a statement by Sen. John McCain's campaign criticizing Sen. Barack Obama for reportedly having "already set up a White House transition team." Witt did not challenge the suggestion that it is unusual or inappropriate for a presumptive nominee to plan for a presidential transition; indeed then-Gov. George W. Bush did in the summer of 2000. Nor did Witt note that Bush-Cheney transition director Clay Johnson said at the time that it would be "irresponsible not to be doing this."
Several print media outlets reported that during a July 21 campaign event, Sen. John McCain, in the words of the Associated Press, "disparaged [Sen. Barack] Obama as 'someone who has no military experience whatsoever.' " But none of the articles noted that McCain has previously said he does not "accept the notion" that military experience is necessary to be an effective commander in chief.
In a story on Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki's assertion to a German magazine that Sen. Barack Obama's 16-month timeline "would be the right timeframe for a withdrawal," the Los Angeles Times reported that "a Maliki spokesman said the magazine, Der Spiegel, had misinterpreted the prime minister's comments." But the Los Angeles Times did not note that the Maliki office's statement was issued only after the U.S. embassy reportedly contacted Maliki "to express concern."
On his radio show, Fox News' Sean Hannity touted a Washington Examiner blog post claiming that Sen. Barack Obama got a "discount" and a "Countrywide-like sweetheart mortgage deal" from Northern Trust for the purchase of his house. But the Examiner's only source for that claim in the blog post was a Washington Post article that did not cite any evidence that the interest rate Obama received was in any way out of the ordinary or in any way the result of preferential treatment.