In an "analysis" of Sen. Barack Obama's response to a question about being rated the "most liberal senator" of 2007 by National Journal, FactCheck.org deputy director Viveca Novak claimed that "[t]he nonpartisan public policy magazine's analysis of the votes and the designation of 'liberal' and 'conservative' positions was done according to a rather rigorous process the publication has been using since 1981." In fact, National Journal editor Charles Green has admitted that the publication changed the methodology it had used in its 2003 ratings after it determined that the methodology that resulted in a "most liberal" senator ranking for 2004 Democratic presidential nominee John Kerry had been flawed.
The Washington Post's Paul Kane claimed that Sen. John McCain is "using his blanket opposition to earmarked spending as a regular line of attack" against Sen. Hillary Clinton. But in the same article, Kane contradicted his claim that McCain has a policy of "blanket opposition to earmarked spending," reporting: "McCain, who has helped lead efforts to strip some earmarks from Senate bills, has not focused on the money headed to his home state. Other Arizona lawmakers secured more than $214 million in pet projects in fiscal 2008 spending bills."
MSNBC political analyst Pat Buchanan claimed that if Sen. Barack Obama (IL) wins the Democratic presidential nomination, Republicans will "tear him apart because ... he has the most liberal voting record in the United States Senate." Buchanan was presumably referencing the National Journal's 2007 vote rankings that claimed Obama was the "most liberal senator in 2007," but he did not mention that the Journal changed its methodology and has acknowledged a flaw in a previous vote rating. Buchanan also did not note a study that ranked Obama as tied with Sen. Joe Biden as the 10th "most liberal" senator last year.
The Washington Post and the Politico both noted the National Journal's rating of Democratic presidential candidate Sen. Barack Obama as "the most liberal senator in 2007" without mentioning an admitted flaw in the Journal's 2003 rating of Sen. John Kerry as "the most liberal senator," or that Republican presidential candidate Sen. John McCain did not receive a composite score in 2007 because he "missed more than half of the votes in both the economic and foreign-policy categories."
In his nationally syndicated column, echoing Rush Limbaugh's assertion that "if you look" at Sen. Barack Obama's legislative record, "you won't find a Senate bill with this name on it," Cal Thomas wrote that Obama has "no legislation he can point to that has his name on it." In fact, Obama was the primary sponsor of a bill in the 109th Congress to "promote relief, security, and democracy in the Democratic Republic of Congo," signed into law by President Bush in December 2006, was a key co-sponsor of the Federal Funding Accountability and Transparency Act, and has so far introduced 55 bills in the current session of Congress.
Rush Limbaugh falsely asserted that if "you look at" the legislative record of Sen. Barack Obama, "you won't find a Senate bill with his name on it." In fact, Obama was the primary sponsor of a bill in the 109th Congress to "promote relief, security, and democracy in the Democratic Republic of Congo," signed into law by President Bush in December 2006, was a key co-sponsor of the Federal Funding Accountability and Transparency Act, and has so far introduced 55 bills in the current session of Congress.
Echoing the false assertion in a Politico article that Democrats are "Zero for 40" on passing "bills limiting President Bush's war policy," CNN's Carol Costello reported, "Forty times Democrats have forced a vote to curtail the Iraq war and 40 times they've lost." In fact, in April, both the House and Senate passed war funding legislation that included a timetable for a U.S. troop withdrawal, which President Bush vetoed.
A Washington Times article reported that House Minority Leader John Boehner was demanding that House Democrats take up a nonbinding resolution condemning MoveOn.org's "General Betray Us" ad, but the Times did not note that Boehner declared earlier this year that a "nonbinding resolution is nothing more than political theater."
CNN's Brianna Keilar reported, "Today the Senate voted to stop debate on a bill that would have given Washington, D.C., residents their first ever representative in the U.S. House." But Keilar did not note that it was 41 Republicans and one Democrat who voted to block the bill, denying proponents the 60-vote supermajority needed to end their filibuster.
An article in the latest issue of Newsweek reported on Fred Thompson's leadership of a 1997 investigation into campaign finance irregularities, asserting that "Thompson wound up losing control of the investigation, and the support of his own party," and that "Thompson has said he wanted to make sure the inquiry was fair, and not just a Republican hunting party that would be viewed with suspicion by the public." But Thompson reportedly shut down the investigation before Democrats were able to introduce evidence linking Republican lawmakers to a fundraising group that was found to have skirted campaign finance laws.
The Washington Post twice reported that Republicans need a "net gain" of just one seat in the 2008 elections to recapture control of the Senate. However, a "net gain" of one seat for Republicans would result in a 50-50 split. For the Post's assertion to be correct, a senator currently caucusing with the Democrats would have to defect or the GOP would have to keep the White House, neither of which was noted by the Post.
A New York Times article, which reported on Fred Thompson's leadership of a 1997 Governmental Affairs Committee investigation into campaign finance irregularities, uncritically quoted Thompson saying of the hearings, "[T]here was no way that I was going to shield any obvious problems that our side had." However, according to a New York Times article published at the time, Republicans shut down the hearings before Democrats were able to introduce evidence linking Republican lawmakers to Triad Management, a fundraising group that Democrats claimed had skirted campaign finance laws.