The CBS Evening News aired a clip of an attack ad against Sen. Barack Obama in which the narrator says, "Obama was enrolled in school as a Muslim while living in Indonesia." Nowhere did the report note that Obama is in fact not a Muslim but, rather, a practicing Christian.
All three network evening newscasts misrepresented retired Gen. Wesley Clark's comments about Sen. John McCain on Face The Nation, with none noting that Clark praised McCain as a "hero" for his Vietnam war service. ABC's David Wright asserted that McCain's experience as a POW made Clark's comments "especially provocative." CBS' Dean Reynolds falsely suggested that Clark had questioned McCain's patriotism and had "critici[zed]" McCain's "service, including five years as a POW." And NBC's Brian Williams falsely suggested that Clark had impugned McCain's "war record."
NBC's Nightly News and the CBS Evening News have yet to cover Sen. John McCain's campaign loan, despite a February 29 post on the MSNBC.com blog First Read that stated: "We've noticed today the [Sen. John] McCain/FEC stories -- that McCain very well might have to abide by spending limits before the GOP convention -- are starting to roll in. But why is this only now starting to get more traction, compared with all the stories about [Sen. Barack] Obama waffling on his pledge to accept public funds in the general?"
Numerous media outlets have reported all or part of Sen. John McCain's statement rebuking Sen. Barack Obama for his decision to forgo public financing in the general election without mentioning that during the primary, McCain signed a loan that could have forced him to remain in the race -- even if he had no chance of winning -- in order to be eligible for public matching funds to repay the loan.
While discussing President Bush's speech to the Israeli Knesset, in which Bush stated that "some seem to believe that we should negotiate with the terrorists and radicals," Jeff Greenfield stated that "the number one fear in Israel and among some American Jews is Iran -- that's who Obama wants to talk to." However, Greenfield did not note that Defense Secretary Robert Gates reportedly stated that the United States should "sit down and talk with" Iran.
A New York Times article detailed the connection between numerous media military analysts and the Pentagon and defense industries, reporting that "the Bush administration has used its control over access and information in an effort to transform" media military analysts "into a kind of media Trojan horse -- an instrument intended to shape terrorism coverage from inside the major TV and radio networks." A Media Matters review found that since January 1, 2002, the analysts named in the Times article -- many identified as having ties to the defense industry -- collectively appeared or were quoted as experts more than 4,500 times on ABC, ABC News Now, CBS, CBS Radio Network, NBC, CNN, CNN Headline News, Fox News, MSNBC, CNBC, and NPR.
ABC, CBS, and NBC have still not reported on any of their news programs The New York Times' revelations about the hidden ties between media military analysts and the Pentagon. Further, the major broadcast networks and cable news networks all reportedly declined to discuss the issue for an NPR report; the networks similarly reportedly declined to participate in an April 24 PBS NewsHour segment on the issue.
Despite having reported the allegation by Sen. Joe Lieberman's campaign that supporters of Ned Lamont had "hacked" Lieberman's campaign website, ABC, CNN, and CBS have yet to report that an FBI investigation reportedly found "no evidence of (an) attack." The Advocate of Stamford, Connecticut, reported on April 9 that an October 2006 FBI email indicated that the FBI had found Lieberman's website "crashed because Lieberman officials continually exceeded a configured limit of 100 e-mails per hour the night before the primary."
Since The New York Times reported on the hidden ties between media military analysts and the Pentagon on April 20, ABC, CBS, and NBC have still not mentioned the report. By contrast, during their April 28 evening news broadcasts, all three networks reported on the Vanity Fair photo of Miley Cyrus.
NBC's Today and CBS' The Early Show both aired interviews with Sen. John McCain while the candidate was in New Orleans, but in neither case asked McCain about controversial comments that one of his endorsers, Pastor John Hagee, recently made about Hurricane Katrina, though both programs discussed controversial comments made by Rev. Jeremiah Wright.
On April 22, The Daily Show's Jon Stewart highlighted two recent reports concerning national security that have been largely ignored by most television news outlets and NPR: a New York Times article reporting that "the Bush administration has used" media military analysts, many of whom have clients with or seeking Pentagon contracts, "into a kind of media Trojan horse -- an instrument intended to shape terrorism coverage from inside the major TV and radio networks"; and a Government Accountability Office report that found that the "United States has not met its national security goals to destroy terrorist threats and close the safe haven in Pakistan's FATA."
During a CBS report purporting to discuss what "leads a candidate to exaggerate or be hyperbolic about his or her record," Time magazine's Joe Klein was quoted stating: "John McCain doesn't need to exaggerate his biography. It's a spectacular biography. But he does exaggerate the threat of Al Qaeda in Iraq." In fact, McCain's campaign has reportedly admitted McCain made at least one false claim about his "record," when he stated that "I'm the only one that said that Rumsfeld had to go." In reality, McCain never called for Rumsfeld's resignation. Further, he has admitted to making a false statement regarding Iran's involvement in training members of Al Qaeda and has repeatedly distorted the positions of Hillary Clinton and Barack Obama.
Blogs on MSNBC.com and CBSNews.com noted that Sen. John McCain planned to honor Martin Luther King Jr. in Memphis, Tennessee, on April 4, the 40th anniversary of King's death. However, neither reported that in 1983, McCain voted against establishing a holiday honoring King.
A CBS Evening News report on the national debt, the current level of which both anchor Katie Couric and correspondent Anthony Mason described as "mind-numbing," failed to quote a single Democrat and did not point out the extent to which deficit spending by Republican-led Congresses has contributed to the debt.
In a report on "powerful men who cheat and the women who stand stoically by them," CBS News' Nancy Cordes aired a clip of The Washington Post's Sally Quinn saying, "I can only think that ambition, their own personal ambition, is part of why they stick by these men, because they are accomplished women in their own right. And so, why would a Hillary Clinton or a Silda [Wall Spitzer] stand by her man and allow herself to be humiliated unless there was something in it for her?"