After Chuck Todd acknowledged a media double standard in coverage of Sen. John McCain's Al Qaeda-Iran gaffe, CNBC's John Harwood asserted on Morning Joe: "I think that at the end of the day, John McCain has got sufficient credibility on that issue that people are not going to look at that and say, 'Oh, John McCain is confused' or 'John McCain's too old' or 'John McCain doesn't get it.' ... But he obviously can't do that too many times or he's got a problem." Harwood was not alone in misrepresenting or excusing McCain's false claim on MSNBC; several MSNBC reporters and anchors have ignored or excused McCain's false claim.
On MSNBC Live, discussing the New York Times article on Sen. John McCain's ties to lobbyist Vicki Iseman, Contessa Brewer asked A.B. Stoddard, "[I]n Washington, is it unusual if you get a letter from a constituent or a lobbyist on a matter, and you're concerned about it, that you would move on it?" Brewer was referring to the Times' reporting that Iseman "asked Mr. McCain's staff to send a letter to the [Federal Communications] commission to help Paxson [Communications], now Ion Media Networks." Stoddard replied, "Senators and members of Congress act all the time on behalf of concerns from their constituents, as well as lobbyists, if they think that they are valid points to make, and they're acting on their own beliefs." But neither Brewer nor Stoddard noted that then-FCC chairman William E. Kennard expressed concern about McCain's letter, calling it "highly unusual."
On Tucker, while discussing a Wall Street Journal article that suggested a major donor may have funneled illegal campaign contributions to Sen. Hillary Rodham Clinton, A.B. Stoddard asserted that "this is exactly the kind of thing that could bring her down." However, as the Journal article itself reported: "[R]egulators and law-enforcement officials said they have seen a spike recently in the number of cases of individuals and companies illegally reimbursing others for campaign donations. Those cases don't necessarily implicate the candidates, who sometimes don't even appear to be aware of such payments executed on their behalf."
The Hill associate editor A.B. Stoddard claimed that "we learned" from Robert Novak's syndicated column that the leak of then-CIA employee Valerie Plame's identity "was inadvertent." But Novak's assertion that the leak was "inadvertent" appears to conflict with an earlier assertion he made, that his sources thought Plame's identity "was significant" and that "they gave me the name and I used it."