On Hardball, the Politico's Roger Simon falsely suggested that "the last thing [Sen. Hillary Clinton] said" during a recent interview on 60 Minutes when asked whether she believed Sen. Barack Obama is a Muslim was: "No, there is nothing to base that on, as far as I know." In fact, Clinton went on to say, "I have been the target of so many ridiculous rumors. I have a great deal of sympathy for anybody who gets ... smeared with the kind of rumors that go on all the time." In his column, Simon wrote of Clinton's "as far as I know" comment, "Doesn't that just continue a smear?"
On Hardball, Chris Matthews played clip of a 60 Minutes interview in which Sen. Hillary Clinton said "[o]f course not" when asked if she believed false rumors that Sen. Barack Obama is a Muslim. However, Matthews ignored that statement and other comments Clinton made in the interview, instead highlighting the fact that at one point Clinton said "as far as I know" and repeatedly suggesting that Clinton had left Obama's religious beliefs in doubt.
Fox News correspondent Caroline Shively asserted that "[Sen. Barack] Obama says 'Enough already. There's nothing wrong with being a Muslim, but I have been a Christian for two decades now.' " In fact, Obama has said that he has "always been a Christian," and has also repeatedly stated that he has never been a Muslim or ever practiced Islam.
A Drudge Report headline linking to a 60 Minutes interview of Sen. Hillary Clinton read, "Hillary: Obama Not Muslim 'As Far As I Know' ...," falsely suggesting that Clinton characterized the issue of Sen. Barack Obama's religion as unresolved. In fact, she did the opposite.
Despite reporting in early 2007 Bill Donohue's criticism of John Edwards' presidential campaign for hiring two bloggers who Donohue said are "anti-Catholic, vulgar, trash-talking bigots," neither The New York Times nor the Associated Press has reported that Donohue blasted Sen. John McCain for accepting the endorsement of televangelist John Hagee. In a statement, Donohue described Hagee as a "bigot," and said McCain should "retract his embrace of Hagee."
In an interview with Mike Huckabee, MSNBC's Alex Witt identified televangelist John Hagee, who has endorsed Sen. John McCain for president, only as an "evangelist" who is "based in San Antonio," and did not note Hagee's numerous controversial statements on such topics as homosexuality, Islam, Catholicism, and women.
The Washington Post's Jonathan Weisman reported that during the Democratic presidential debate, Sen. Barack Obama "disavowed an endorsement from [Nation of Islam leader Louis] Farrakhan but did not directly answer a question about [Obama's pastor, Rev. Jeremiah] Wright once having said that Farrakhan 'epitomizes greatness.' " In fact, the debate question Weisman referenced was not specifically about Wright's reported remarks on Farrakhan.
In an item consisting of suggested questions sent in by readers for the upcoming Democratic presidential debate, The New York Times featured a question for Sen. Barack Obama that included the assertion that Obama's church, Trinity United Church of Christ, "gives the impression that it encourages only black attendance and black allegiance." The reader went on to write: "Your willing participation in this church for some 20 years does not speak to an open mind and quest. Please explain." But visitors to the church have said that they experienced Trinity as racially inclusive.
On Hannity & Colmes, Alan Colmes asked Ann Coulter, "Why do you keep emphasizing his [Sen. Barack Obama's] middle name as if you're trying to associate him with Saddam Hussein?" Coulter replied, "Because I think it's funny." During the interview, Coulter referred to Obama as "B. Hussein Obama" twice and injected: "Get ready for President Hussein, and let's start planning for the next president."
NBC's David Gregory stated: "John McCain is not going to pander to the right. He did that once and it didn't work." The Washington Post's Eugene Robinson and MSNBC analyst Pat Buchanan both agreed, asserting: "He's not going to do it." In fact, McCain has attempted to satisfy conservative Republicans by reversing his positions on issues such as taxes, immigration, and the religious right.
In an entry on her website, Debbie Schlussel posted "Valentines," in the form of candy hearts, about Barack Obama and Hillary Rodham Clinton. The hearts for Obama were black instead of the usual pastel colors and referenced widely debunked allegations that Obama is, or has been, a Muslim. A number of the candy hearts Schlussel posted for Clinton referenced David Shuster's remark, "But doesn't it seem like Chelsea's sort of being pimped out in some weird sort of way?"
On Imus in the Morning, Richard "Bo" Dietl said he was "pissed off" because the FBI is expending too many resources prosecuting mob criminals while ignoring the northern border of the United States: "Now, what bothers me is our borders up near Canada are opened up. It looks like the pilgrimage in to Mecca, the amount of 'Aba Dabba Doos' that are coming in from Canada in to the United States. ... We should take some of our great FBI agents and station them up there so they can make some oberservationtations [sic] about these guys, Al Swawahiwi [sic] and all his brothers and cousins coming through there."
On Glenn Beck, Minuteman Project founder Jim Gilchrist claimed that a sign in downtown Los Angeles identifying "La Raza Plaza" "is perhaps a racist sign." He further stated: "And if we're going to have a La Raza Plaza sign, what's next? A KKK Plaza sign, a Black Panther Plaza sign?" Later in the program, Gilchrist said the "Anti-Defamation League, like the Southern Poverty Law Center, are professional fundraising groups" and asserted: "They participate in encouraging and proliferating hate. These are not groups that you want to get -- you rely on for any valid information."
On Hannity & Colmes, Rev. Jesse Lee Peterson said of Rev. Jeremiah Wright, pastor of Trinity United Church of Christ in Chicago: "If a white preacher, including the KKK, espouses so-called white values -- remember, at one time, the KKK was doing that." During the show, neither Peterson nor Sean Hannity explained how Trinity United Church of Christ in any way reflects the ideology, mission, or history of the KKK.