Fox News' Major Garrett uncritically aired an audio clip of Focus on the Family's Tom Minnery asserting that in a June 2006 speech, Sen. Barack Obama was "diminishing the idea that people of Christian faith have anything to say." In fact, in that speech, Obama said: "[W]hat I am suggesting is this -- secularists are wrong when they ask believers to leave their religion at the door before entering into the public square. Frederick Douglass, Abraham Lincoln, William Jennings Bryan, Dorothy Day, Martin Luther King -- the majority of the great reformers in American history -- were not only motivated by faith, but repeatedly used religious language to argue for their cause."
On Special Report, Brit Hume issued a correction following his false claim that Sen. Barack Obama's half brother had told The Jerusalem Post that Obama had a "Muslim background." But while Hume suggested that his only "error" was in repeating a flawed report in the Post, he did not acknowledge that he had falsely claimed Malik Obama had spoken with The Jerusalem Post. The Post did not claim that Malik Obama spoke to the newspaper; the article indicated that Malik Obama gave an interview to Israel's Army Radio, not the Post.
On his radio show, James Dobson falsely suggested that Sen. Barack Obama claimed Dobson "wants to expel people who are not Christians" from the United States. Dobson was referring to a 2006 speech in which Obama actually asked: "And even if we did have only Christians in our midst, if we expelled every non-Christian from the United States of America, whose Christianity would we teach in the schools? Would it be James Dobson's, or Al Sharpton's?"
On Today, Dick Morris asserted: "[T]his whole debate about what kind of president [Sen. Barack] Obama would make has swirled around almost an existential level. Is he sort of a Manchurian candidate? A sleeper agent?" Morris has previously stated that "the determinant in the election will be whether we believe that Barack Obama is what he appears to be, or is he somebody who's sort of a sleeper agent who really doesn't believe in our system."
Discussing supporters of Sens. John McCain and Barack Obama, Bill O'Reilly said of Rev. John Hagee's controversial comments, "[T]he Hagee thing isn't going to take off because there's no tape on Hagee." In fact, there is audiotape of several of Hagee's comments about Jews, Islam, and Hurricane Katrina.
While discussing reports that six Muslim women were fired from a Minnesota tortilla factory because of dress code violations, Neal Boortz asked: "Muslims, making tortillas? You know, this world is really screwed up when Muslims are making our tortillas, folks." He added: "I mean, with all of the illegal Mexicans in this country, we can't find some Mexicans to make those tortillas?
On Fox News' Your World, Neil Cavuto reported on Sen. John McCain's rejection of Rev. John Hagee's endorsement, but he didn't note Hagee's remarks about Adolf Hitler and Zionism or that McCain admitted he sought Hagee's endorsement.
A South Florida Sun-Sentinel article quoted Sid Dinerstein, chairman of the Palm Beach County Republican Party, saying, "This is a terrible thing," and adding, "I wish Obama would not pretend to care about the Jewish community." At no point did the article quote the Obama campaign or anyone besides Dinerstein on the issue of Obama's commitment to the Jewish community.
Michael Savage stated that Rev. Rod Parsley, whom Sen. John McCain has reportedly referred to as "a spiritual guide," has made "some inflammatory statements of which I agree with 100 percent." Savage then played clips in which Parsley stated that "America was founded, in part, with the intention of seeing this false religion [Islam] destroyed" and that supporters of same-sex marriage "are seeking to redefine marriage. In other words, they are intending to pervert God's original intention."
While discussing John Hagee's apology for his controversial remarks concerning the Catholic Church, MSNBC's Contessa Brewer stated that Sen. John McCain "has pointed out" that Hagee was not his personal pastor for 20 years, "and says, 'Look, I'm not going to repudiate the endorsement of this man. I don't like the comments that he made, but I'll take his endorsement if he wants to give it.' " However, Brewer did not mention that McCain has admitted that he sought Hagee's endorsement.
The Drudge Report ran the headline "West Virginia country folk keep distance from Obama: 'I heard he's a Muslim ...' " in linking to a Financial Times article. The article quoted a West Virginia resident stating, "I heard Obama is a Muslim and his wife's an atheist." But Obama is, in fact, not a Muslim. While the article characterized the rumors of Obama's religion as "unfounded," it did so 12 paragraphs after quoting the "I heard he's a Muslim" assertion and did not report that the Obamas are both Christians.
In addition to a May 7 Washington Times article previously identified by Media Matters, May 6 reports in the Los Angeles Times and on washingtonpost.com and The Baltimore Sun's website quoted an Indiana man saying that Sen. Barack Obama is "a Muslim" without noting that the assertion was false.
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."