On FOX News Channel on August 30, the network's chief political correspondent, Carl Cameron, repeatedly distorted a new campaign ad that Senator Tom Daschle's (D-SD) campaign is running in South Dakota, incorrectly suggesting that the ad praises President George W. Bush and undermines Senator John Kerry.
Cameron claimed the ad "blindside[d]" Kerry by "touting his [Daschle's] strong support for the war on terror in terms of the $87 billion that was voted on for the post-Saddam-Iraq war." But a transcript of the ad, posted on The Drudge Report, makes no mention of the $87 billion vote.
Cameron's characterization of the Daschle ad is similar to Republican comments about the ad. The Associated Press reported on August 30: "Republicans pointed to a TV ad that Senate Minority Leader Tom Daschle of South Dakota is running in his reelection campaign to claim that top Democrats don't agree with their party's line. ... A Daschle campaign official, Dan Pfeiffer, said Republicans had a flawed interpretation of the ad, which has been on the air a week in South Dakota."
From the August 30 edition of FOX News Channel's The Big Story with John Gibson:
CAMERON: While all of this is unfolding are [sic] Democrats are trying to paint Senator Kerry as a stronger leader in the war on terror than President Bush, perhaps something of a blindside from none other than the Democratic leader of the U.S. Senate, Tom Daschle.
He's in a very tough reelection race in South Dakota and is now running ads in South Dakota that include him with the president, talking rather fondly of the president. There is even a shot of him hugging Mr. Bush and touting his strong support for the war on terror in terms of the $87 billion that was voted on for the post-Saddam-Iraq war. That's something that John Kerry voted against. Republicans are saying that for the Democratic leader of the Senate to be touting his allegiance and alliances with the president and the $87 billion is a very unfortunate blow to Senator Kerry at this particular juncture, John.
GIBSON: Yeah, Carl Cameron. That's an eye-popper. Carl, thanks very much.
From the August 30 edition of Special Report with Brit Hume:
CAMERON: [T]he Democratic ticket may have taken an inadvertent hit from Senate Democratic leader Tom Daschle, who is in a tough re-election fight in conservative South Dakota. Daschle associates himself not with Kerry but with the president in his latest ad, and touts his vote for the $87 billion to fight the war on terror, something Kerry voted against.