CNN.com uncritically reported on "McCain is right" ad without noting Obama's criticisms moments later

››› ››› ERIC HANANOKI

In a post on CNN.com's Political Ticker blog, CNN associate political editor Rebecca Sinderbrand wrote: "Before John McCain walked off the stage, his campaign already had a new Web video up featuring footage of the first debate -- clips of Barack Obama agreeing with his Republican rival." However, Sinderbrand did not note that the ad omitted Obama's criticisms of McCain moments later on the subjects which Obama purportedly "agree[d] with his Republican rival."

In a September 26 post on CNN.com's Political Ticker blog, CNN associate political editor Rebecca Sinderbrand wrote: "Before John McCain walked off the stage, his campaign already had a new Web video up featuring footage of the first debate -- clips of Barack Obama agreeing with his Republican rival. On the McCain campaign Web site, spokesman Michael Goldfarb noted mid-debate that journalists were already describing that refrain as fodder for a new ad: 'It's like they have the place bugged,' he said." However, Sinderbrand did not note that the ad omitted Obama's criticisms of McCain moments later on the subjects which Obama purportedly "agree[d] with his Republican rival."

McCain's September 26 ad:

McCAIN: I'm John McCain, and I approved this message.

NARRATOR: Barack Obama's answers at the first presidential debate:

JIM LEHRER [debate moderator]: Do you have something directly to say, Senator Obama, to Senator McCain about what he just said?

OBAMA: Well, I think Senator McCain's absolutely right that we need more responsibility, bu --

OBAMA: Well, Senator McCain is absolutely right that the earmarks process has been abused.

OBAMA: John mentioned the fact that business taxes on paper are high in this country, and he's absolutely right.

NARRATOR: Is Barack Obama ready to lead? No.

Wall Street

McCain's ad quoted Obama stating that, regarding Wall Street, "I think Senator McCain's absolutely right that we need more responsibility, bu --." However, the ad omitted Obama's remarks moments later in which he said: "[B]ut we need it not just when there's a crisis. I mean, we've had years in which the reigning economic ideology has been what's good for Wall Street, but not what's good for Main Street," and "Ten days ago, John said that the fundamentals of the economy are sound." From the debate [remarks which the McCain ad quoted are bolded]:

LEHRER: Do you have something directly to say, Senator Obama, to Senator McCain about what he just said?

OBAMA: Well, I think Senator McCain's absolutely right that we need more responsibility, but we need it not just when there's a crisis. I mean, we've had years in which the reigning economic ideology has been what's good for Wall Street, but not what's good for Main Street.

And there are folks out there who've been struggling before this crisis took place. And that's why it's so important, as we solve this short-term problem, that we look at some of the underlying issues that have led to wages and incomes for ordinary Americans to go down, the -- a health care system that is broken, energy policies that are not working, because 10 days ago, John said that the fundamentals of the economy are sound.

Earmarks

McCain's ad quoted Obama stating that "Senator McCain is absolutely right that the earmarks process has been abused." However, the ad omitted Obama's criticisms of McCain moments later in which he said: "But let's be clear: Earmarks account for $18 billion in last year's budget. Senator McCain is proposing -- and this is a fundamental difference between us -- $300 billion in tax cuts to some of the wealthiest corporations and individuals in the country, $300 billion." From the debate:

OBAMA: Well, Senator McCain is absolutely right that the earmarks process has been abused, which is why I suspended any requests for my home state, whether it was for senior centers or what have you, until we cleaned it up.

And he's also right that oftentimes lobbyists and special interests are the ones that are introducing these kinds of requests, although that wasn't the case with me.

But let's be clear: Earmarks account for $18 billion in last year's budget. Senator McCain is proposing -- and this is a fundamental difference between us -- $300 billion in tax cuts to some of the wealthiest corporations and individuals in the country, $300 billion.

Now, $18 billion is important; $300 billion is really important.

And in his tax plan, you would have CEOs of Fortune 500 companies getting an average of $700,000 in reduced taxes, while leaving 100 million Americans out.

So, my attitude is, we've got to grow the economy from the bottom up. What I've called for is a tax cut for 95 percent of working families, 95 percent.

And that means that the ordinary American out there who's collecting a paycheck every day, they've got a little extra money to be able to buy a computer for their kid, to fill up on this gas that is killing them.

And over time, that, I think, is going to be a better recipe for economic growth than the -- the policies of President Bush that John McCain wants to -- wants to follow.

Business taxes

McCain's ad quoted Obama stating: "John mentioned the fact that business taxes on paper are high in this country, and he's absolutely right." However, the ad omitted Obama's remarks moments later in which he said: "Here's the problem: There are so many loopholes that have been written into the tax code, oftentimes with support of Senator McCain, that we actually see our businesses pay effectively one of the lowest tax rates in the world." From the debate:

OBAMA: Now, John mentioned the fact that business taxes on paper are high in this country, and he's absolutely right. Here's the problem: There are so many loopholes that have been written into the tax code, oftentimes with support of Senator McCain, that we actually see our businesses pay effectively one of the lowest tax rates in the world.

And what that means, then, is that there are people out there who are working every day, who are not getting a tax cut, and you want to give them more.

It's not like you want to close the loopholes. You just want to add an additional tax cut over the loopholes. And that's a problem.

Just one last point I want to make, since Senator McCain talked about providing a $5,000 health credit. Now, what he doesn't tell you is that he intends to, for the first time in history, tax health benefits.

So, you may end up getting a $5,000 tax credit. Here's the only problem: Your employer now has to pay taxes on the health care that you're getting from your employer. And if you end up losing your health care from your employer, you've got to go out on the open market and try to buy it.

It is not a good deal for the American people. But it's an example of this notion that the market can always solve everything, and that the less regulation we have, the better off we're going to be.

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CNN
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Barack Obama, John McCain, 2008 Elections
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