Discussing controversial remarks made by a then-co-chair of Sen. Hillary Rodham Clinton's presidential campaign about Sen. Barack Obama, Jennifer Donahue claimed that the Clinton campaign is "playing the race card" because of "what happened last week on the drug issue" and that Clinton's chief strategist, Mark Penn, "kept repeating it over and over and over." In fact, the entire Hardball segment on which Penn appeared was devoted to the controversy over the remarks about Obama's past drug use, and Penn was not the first to raise the drug issue.
On CNN, Anderson Cooper asked Joe Klein: "You actually -- you hear fear in Hillary Clinton's voice?" Klein responded: "Well, it's interesting. Earlier in the year when she was doing really well, she was speaking more slowly and from, like, her diaphragm. Now, she's speaking much more quickly again and through her nose. It's interesting."
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During post-debate discussion of the November 28 CNN/YouTube Republican debate, CNN's Anderson Cooper praised Mike Huckabee's response to the question, "The death penalty: What would Jesus do?" calling Huckabee's answer, "certainly, probably one of the best answers you could possibly come up to, to that question." However, Huckabee, who has repeatedly invoked Jesus Christ and Christianity to explain his position on matters of public policy, did not answer the question or Cooper's own follow-up.
On Anderson Cooper 360, CNN's John Roberts said of Mike Huckabee: "[H]e brings Christian conservatives in the door, values voters." CNN personalities have repeatedly linked "values" and religious faith to conservative voters or politicians.
CNN's Anderson Cooper and Gloria Borger, and Fox News' Megyn Kelly claimed that Sen. Barack Obama (D-IL) "waffled" during the Democratic presidential debate on the issue of driver's licenses for undocumented immigrants. In fact, Obama stated: "Look, I have already said, I support the notion that we have to deal with public safety and that driver's licenses at the state level can make that happen." When debate moderator Wolf Blitzer asked him to respond "yes or no" to the question, "Do you support driver's licenses for illegal immigrants?" Obama answered, "Yes."
Numerous media outlets reported -- as President Bush claimed in an interview on National Public Radio -- that Iraqi troops took the lead in the battle near Najaf against religious militia the Soldiers of Heaven, without noting that the Iraqis were reportedly "overwhelmed" until U.S. forces joined them.
Anderson Cooper, David Gregory, and Soledad O'Brien have all asked Sen. Barack Obama about smears leveled against him, purportedly by his political "opponents" or "enemies." But in each case, they did not name any of these "opponents." Indeed, by framing their questions in terms of political "opponents," they ignored the media's role in promoting these smears, and in some cases originating them.
CNN correspondent Brian Todd warned that "an onslaught of subpoenas" from congressional Democrats could be seen as "payback" by voters. However, polling indicates that a majority of the public favors oversight of certain aspects of the Bush administration.
In several reports from Baghdad, CNN's Michael Ware has stated that Iraq is embroiled in a civil war. However, several other CNN reporters and analysts have continued to avoid the unqualified use of the term "civil war."
On CNN, the Family Research Council's Charmaine Yoest falsely claimed that "every single time" a marriage initiative has appeared on the ballot, "it's passed with over 70 percent of the popular vote." The statement is wrong for two reasons. First, a same-sex marriage ban failed in Arizona in the midterm elections. Second, all of those that did pass did not get 70-percent support -- only two did. Yoest also falsely claimed that those that passed did so "resoundingly."
CNN's Joe Johns and National Public Radio's Ken Rudin declared that portions of a political ad by Minnesota Democratic congressional candidate Patty Wetterling, claiming that "[c]ongressional leaders have admitted covering up the predatory behavior of a congressman who used the Internet to molest children," were false. But neither Rudin nor Johns noted that admitted actions by members of the House Republican leadership arguably had the result of a "cover-up."
In their coverage of the Clinton-Wallace interview, the media largely ignored the substance of former President Clinton's criticism of the Bush administration's efforts to combat terrorism, instead focusing on Clinton's behavior during the interview or the possibility that his reaction was motivated by politics.