Fox News' Carl Cameron falsely suggested that Sen. John McCain acknowledged weakness on economic issues only once, "[i]n one of those marathon interactions with reporters on the bus," while NBC's Andrea Mitchell baselessly asserted that McCain was "obviously joking" when he admitted his lack of knowledge about the economy. In fact, McCain has made such an acknowledgement on numerous occasions over the course of the campaign, and when confronted with one such remark at a Republican presidential debate, McCain did not respond by asserting that he had been "joking" -- he suggested he hadn't said it.
Fox News' Carl Cameron reported that Sen. John McCain "suggested [Sen. Barack] Obama is naïve" for his position on negotiating with Iran, and aired a clip of McCain saying, "It could very well convince him [Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad] that those policies are succeeding in strengthening his hold on power, and embolden him to continue his very dangerous behavior. The next president ought to understand such basic realities of international relations." But Cameron did not note that Defense Secretary Robert Gates also reportedly has said that the United States should "sit down and talk with" Iran.
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.
On Special Report, Carl Cameron reported that on the issue of immigration, Sen. John McCain "announced that if elected, in January he'll begin finalizing border security, then immediately launch the guest worker program and path to citizenship that many in his party oppose." But Cameron did not note that McCain's current position that border security must be addressed first is at odds with his prior assertion that border security could not be disaggregated from other aspects of comprehensive immigration reform without being rendered ineffective.
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."
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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."