The Boston Globe uncritically reported Sen. John McCain's false claim that Sen. Barack Obama proposes to "fine" small businesses that do not provide employee health insurance. While Obama has proposed requiring large businesses that do not provide employer-sponsored health coverage to pay a percentage of their payroll into a National Health Insurance Exchange to help Americans purchase private health insurance, small businesses would be exempt.
Several conservatives in the media have recently blamed the Community Reinvestment Act for the current financial crisis -- when, in fact, the CRA does not apply to institutions making the vast majority of troubled loans underlying the crisis. It applies only to depository institutions, such as banks and savings and loan associations. Experts have estimated that 80 percent of high-priced subprime loans were offered by financial institutions that are not subject to the CRA.
Several media outlets falsely suggested that only Democrats denied Republican claims that Speaker Nancy Pelosi's speech on the floor of the House of Representatives before a September 29 vote on the Emergency Economic Stabilization Act of 2008 "cost some GOP votes." In fact, several House Republicans also have denied the allegation.
Several print media outlets reported that during a July 21 campaign event, Sen. John McCain, in the words of the Associated Press, "disparaged [Sen. Barack] Obama as 'someone who has no military experience whatsoever.' " But none of the articles noted that McCain has previously said he does not "accept the notion" that military experience is necessary to be an effective commander in chief.
The Boston Globe's Michael Kranish stated that Sen. John McCain "criticized [Sen. Barack] Obama for not voting for a resolution condemning the antiwar group MoveOn.org for a newspaper ad calling the top US commander in Iraq, General David Petraeus, 'General Betray Us.' " But Kranish did not note that Obama did vote for a separate amendment that condemned the ad, as well as other attacks on past and present members of the armed forces.
In an article on Mitt Romney's decision to reclassify loans to his failed presidential campaign as contributions, The Boston Globe quoted Stuart Rothenberg's assertion that if Sen. John McCain were to pick Romney as his running mate, "Democrats would use" Romney's decision "to undermine his [McCain's] reputation as 'Mr. Reformer.' " But Kranish did not note that McCain himself has attempted to "reject public financing" for the primary election in a manner that could "undermine his reputation as 'Mr. Reformer.' "
The Boston Globe reported in an article that Sen. John McCain has "accus[ed] [Sen. Barack] Obama of going back on his word to take part in the public system" without noting that the Obama campaign has also criticized McCain on public financing or that the FEC chairman has taken the position that McCain cannot legally opt out of public financing during the primary season without FEC approval.
In asserting that Sen. John McCain "appears to delight in defying his fellow Republicans on matters ranging from taxes to the environment," Boston Globe reporter Susan Milligan cited "McCain's support for immigration reform" and his "opposition to the Bush tax cuts of 2001 and 2002." But Milligan made no mention of the fact that McCain has reversed his position on taxes and immigration to more closely align himself with the base of his party.
The Boston Globe's Peter S. Canellos reported that Sen. John McCain's "opposition to Bush on a range of issues, combined with his nonideological voting record, gives him an image of moderation." In fact, McCain himself has stated, "My record in public office taken as a whole is the record of a mainstream conservative," and has said that he will "offer Americans ... a clearly conservative approach to governing." Furthermore, academic studies of McCain's voting record have ranked him among the most conservative members of the Senate.
A Washington Times article and a Boston Globe column both discussed a statement from the New York chapter of the National Organization for Women that criticized Sen. Edward M. Kennedy for endorsing Sen. Barack Obama and not Sen. Hillary Rodham Clinton for president, but both omitted the Clinton campaign's reported disavowal of NOW New York's statement. In a New York Daily News column, Bill Hammond reported that "her [Clinton's] campaign quickly disavowed [NOW New York president Marcia] Pappas' attack on Kennedy. 'This statement does not at all reflect her views or the opinion of the Clinton campaign,' spokesman Howard Wolfson said."
A Boston Globe article suggested that Sens. Chuck Hagel and Hillary Rodham Clinton took different positions on the 2002 resolution that authorized the use of force against Iraq. But the article did not mention that Hagel, like Clinton, voted in favor of the resolution, nor that he praised the "substantially similar" Senate version and its sponsors.