On The New York Times' weblog The Caucus, Kate Phillips wrote that "swift-boating became a verb for negative ads" during the 2004 presidential election. However, the group behind the ads, the Swift Boat Veterans and POWs for Truth, did much more than just run "negative ads" -- they launched a widespread smear campaign against Sen. John Kerry based on lies, factual distortions, and baseless attacks on Kerry's Vietnam War record and personal life.
On Hardball, Chuck Todd, editor in chief of the National Journal's weblog The Hotline, asserted that Republicans had invoked the issue of national security "in a positive [way]" in the 2002 and 2004 elections. In fact, Republicans launched numerous attacks on Democrats such as former Sen. Max Cleland in 2002 and Sen. John Kerry in 2004.
On MSNBC's Hardball, Chris Matthews failed to question Republican National Committee Chairman Ken Mehlman's baseless assertion that illegal votes helped Democrats win the Washington state gubernatorial election.
On Fox News' Special Report, chief White House correspondent Bret Baier falsely reported that "President Bush won all 11 states" that passed bans on same-sex marriage in the 2004 election. On the same program, Washington Post staff writer Jeffrey H. Birnbaum repeated the inaccurate claim when he stated that "all those states passed those referenda" and "all of them voted for President Bush for re-election." In fact, Sen. John Kerry won two of the states that passed referendums banning gay marriage in 2004, Michigan and Oregon.
In airing an interview with former Sen. John Edwards (D-NC), ABC's This Week omitted a key segment in which Edwards provided context for remarks he made in the 2004 vice-presidential debate. During the debate, Edwards commended Vice President Dick Cheney and his wife, Lynne Cheney, for their response to their daughter Mary Cheney's coming out as a lesbian.