Ignoring all evidence to the contrary, NBC's Todd asserted as fact that McCain "pulled the plug on his campaign for two days"

››› ››› MATT GERTZ

NBC's Chuck Todd asserted as fact that Sen. John McCain "pulled the plug on his campaign for two days." But Todd did not note that following McCain's September 24 announcement that he was going to suspend his campaign, McCain campaign ads continued to run; that his advisers repeatedly attacked Sen. Barack Obama on cable news networks; or that McCain gave interviews with the three broadcast networks.

On the September 26 edition of NBC's Nightly News, NBC News political director Chuck Todd asserted as fact that Sen. John McCain "pulled the plug on his campaign for two days." Todd did not note that following McCain's September 24 announcement that he was going to suspend his campaign, McCain campaign ads continued to run; that his advisers repeatedly attacked Sen. Barack Obama on cable news networks; or that McCain gave interviews with the three broadcast networks the day following his announcement. Nor did Todd give any indication that he had attempted to determine if the campaign had in fact stopped; by contrast, according to reporter Sam Stein, The Huffington Post "called up 15 McCain-Palin and McCain Victory Committee headquarters in various battleground states. Not one said that it was temporarily halting operations because of the supposed 'suspension' in the campaign."

As Media Matters for America noted, articles in The Washington Post and the Los Angeles Times, as well as from the Associated Press, reported that McCain's campaign "continued," with the AP's Steven Hurst writing that McCain "did not, in fact, truly suspend campaign activities." And on the September 25 edition of CNN's The Situation Room, CNN senior legal analyst Jeffrey Toobin asserted that the media were "being kind of gullible" in uncritically reporting McCain's announcement, and said of McCain's actions: "I think this is posturing of being apolitical and, frankly, I think we're being kind of gullible in falling for it. He didn't stop his campaign. He's campaigning."

From the September 26 edition of NBC's Nightly News with Brian Williams:

WILLIAMS: Which brings us to our political director, Chuck Todd, who is here in the arena. And Chuck, let's begin with John McCain, who comes here tonight, and let's remember, this is supposed to be the foreign policy, national security debate, though they're going to talk about the economy. McCain comes in here after a bit of a high-wire act, inserting himself into the bailout talks in Washington.

TODD: He does. It's interesting. Talking to some people that were witness to the walk-throughs, Barack Obama seemed to be the looser guy, and there's some tenseness to John McCain, and there might very well be because now he's got to explain to 70, 80 million people tonight why he did this, why he pulled the plug on his campaign for two days, why he threatened to potentially postpone this debate in order to get there. What is it that he didn't like? What is it that he wants to see done? Because the good news for him is the Bush administration hasn't done a good job explaining this. And if one of these two gentlemen, but particularly in John McCain's case, explains it better, they might be able to have won this week, which right now, it seems to be slipping away from McCain.

Network/Outlet
NBC
Person
Chuck Todd
Show/Publication
NBC Nightly News
Stories/Interests
John McCain, 2008 Elections
We've changed our commenting system to Disqus.
Instructions for signing up and claiming your comment history are located here.
Updated rules for commenting are here.