On MSNBC, Joe Scarborough failed to challenge Sen. John McCain's false suggestion that Sen. Barack Obama has only "in the last few days" proposed that a "strike force" remain in Iraq after the U.S. withdraws troops. Similarly, on Fox News, Carl Cameron uncritically aired McCain's claim that Obama "has now said that he would keep a, quote, 'strike force' -- a, quote, 'strike force' -- in Iraq." In fact, as early as October 2007, Obama said he envisioned a U.S. military "strike force" either in the region or in Iraq for performing counter-terrorism operations.
In a Fox News report, Carl Cameron asserted as fact that "[m]any Europeans mistakenly believe that if elected, [Sen. John] McCain will mimic all Bush policies," citing as evidence of their purported "mistake" that "McCain was a leading critic of the early Bush Iraq strategy, and has disagreed on various issues ranging from how aggressively to combat climate change to wanting to close Guantánamo Bay." However, Cameron did not note that McCain has entirely embraced President Bush's current Iraq policy.
Reuters and Special Report both reported that Sen. John McCain simply "misspoke" when he said in a March 18 press conference that "it's common knowledge and has been reported in the media that al-Qaeda is going back into Iran and is receiving training and are coming back into Iraq from Iran." But McCain did not refer to Al Qaeda training in Iran just once during the press conference -- he did so twice. Moreover, he made the same misstatement the day before on Hugh Hewitt's radio program.
On Special Report, Brit Hume aired a report by Carl Cameron about Sen. John McCain keeping his temper in check when the microphone did not work during a donor's conference in Florida and later when he was hit on the head by a TV camera. At the end of the report, Cameron stated: "McCain makes no bones about blowing his stack occasionally and having a temper. A campaign has the capacity to test the temperament and character of a candidate. If today was a pop quiz, you got to say McCain passed." Hume replied: "Yeah, with flying colors I'd say, under the circumstances."
Loading the player leg...
On Special Report, Carl Cameron reported: "At Republican headquarters, [Sen. John] McCain several times today reiterated his commitment to run what he calls a respectful campaign against Democrats. It seemed a pretty clear signal to his party not to be throwing any low blows on his behalf." However, Cameron did not report that McCain recently touted the endorsement of Tennessee Republican Party chairwoman Robin Smith even after the state party issued a press release titled "Anti-Semites for Obama."
On Special Report, Carl Cameron reported that Sens. John McCain and Barack Obama "were both present for the debate and vote on the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act [FISA] being tweaked a little bit today." However, if the FISA amendments bill becomes law, it would do far more than "tweak" FISA "a little bit" -- as The Washington Post reported, it "include[s] major revisions to the 30-year-old Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act, which established a secret court to issue warrants for domestic spying on suspects in terrorism and intelligence cases."
In reports on the possible indictment of former New York Police Commissioner Bernard Kerik on charges relating to a company suspected of having ties to organized crime, Newsday, MSNBC's Hardball, and Fox News' Special Report all uncritically aired statements by Rudy Giuliani suggesting he had been unaware of Kerik's relationship with Interstate Industrial Corp. However, in April 2006, Giuliani reportedly "told a grand jury that the former city commissioner of investigation remembered briefing him on some aspects of Mr. Kerik's relationship to the company in question."