On America's Election HQ, Fox News contributor Michael Steele asserted that Sen. John McCain was "against the Bush tax cuts because it didn't address spending." While McCain now says he voted against the Bush tax cuts because they were not paired with spending cuts, it was not the reason he gave in 2001 on the floor of the Senate. McCain said, "I cannot in good conscience support a tax cut in which so many of the benefits go to the most fortunate among us, at the expense of middle-class Americans who most need tax relief."
On numerous May 8 programs, Fox News anchors and reporters promoted the notion that Sen. John McCain is reluctant to discuss his experience as a prisoner of war in Vietnam. In fact, as Media Matters for America has documented, McCain has repeatedly highlighted that experience.
Beginning on the afternoon of April 23, MSNBC, Fox News, and CNN aired a controversial ad by the North Carolina Republican Party attacking Sen. Barack Obama and two Democratic gubernatorial candidates at least 22 times combined, in most cases also noting that Sen. John McCain denounced the ad. As media figures on MSNBC and CNN pointed out, the repeated broadcasts benefit the North Carolina Republican Party, which does not have to pay for them, and they presumably benefit McCain, even as he is credited with taking the high road for criticizing the ad.
During a panel discussion on America's Election HQ that included two former Bush administration officials but no progressives or Democrats, Ari Fleischer said Sen. John McCain's questioning of Gen. David Petraeus and U.S. Ambassador to Iraq Ryan Crocker showed "he had the best intuitive understanding of the issues." But no participant in the discussion noted that during his questioning of Petraeus, McCain asked of Al Qaeda in Iraq (AQ-I): "Certainly not an obscure sect of -- of the Shiites all -- overall?" In fact, AQ-I is a Sunni Muslim, not Shiite, group.
On Fox News' America's Election HQ, radio host Tammy Bruce suggested that Sen. Hillary Clinton suffers from "mythomania ... part of a larger psychiatric scheme of people who make up fantastic stories to bolster their own image." As purported evidence, Bruce asserted that Clinton had said her daughter, Chelsea Clinton, was "at the World Trade Center on September 11th." In fact, Hillary Clinton made no such claim.
On America's Election HQ, Chris Cillizza repeatedly and falsely referred to Connecticut Sen. Joe Lieberman as a Democrat. Even though an on-screen graphic identified Lieberman as an independent, Cillizza stated of the possibility that Sen. John McCain would pick a Democrat as a running mate: "[T]he Democrat that I think makes the most sense -- though I would say I think it's very unlikely John McCain picks a Democrat -- but the Democrat that makes the most sense is Joe Lieberman."
On America's Election HQ, Megyn Kelly repeatedly distorted comments by Howard Dean and falsely claimed that Dean charged that "McCain is out there touting his military experience and that there is something opportunistic about it." Several other Fox News hosts have similarly misrepresented Dean's comments.
After ABC's Jake Tapper quoted "an anonymous Democratic Party official" saying that Hillary Clinton's "securing the nomination is certainly possible -- but it will require exercising the 'Tonya Harding option,' " numerous media figures have repeated the "Tonya Harding option" analogy in reference to the Clinton campaign -- some going so far as to assert that it is a specific strategy adopted by the campaign.
Fox News' Megyn Kelly echoed a Washington Times column that questioned the legality of an Elton John concert for Sen. Hillary Clinton's campaign, even after the Clinton campaign posted a statement from FEC spokesman Bob Biersack saying he does not believe there is "anything unlawful about Elton John performing in a concert to raise money for a US presidential candidate." Additionally, Lis Wiehl falsely claimed that a 1981 FEC advisory opinion stated that "you couldn't volunteer any time if you're a foreign national."