During separate interviews on NBC's Nightly News and Fox News Sunday, Sen. John McCain falsely claimed that Sen. Barack Obama was a community organizer when Gov. Sarah Palin was in elected office. Neither NBC's Brian Williams nor Fox's Chris Wallace noted that McCain's claim is false. In fact, Palin was an undergraduate at the University of Idaho when Obama was a community organizer.
On Fox News Sunday, Chris Wallace did not ask Sen. John McCain about the current ethics investigation of Alaska Gov. Sarah Palin, despite McCain's statement that Palin is "a reformer" and that his selection of her as his vice-presidential running mate "brings a spirit of reform and change that is vital now in our nation's capital."
On Fox News Sunday, Sen. John McCain said that regarding the "bridge to nowhere" project, Alaska Gov. Sarah Palin "stood up and said, 'We don't need it. And if we need it, we'll pay for it ourselves.' " Chris Wallace did not note in response that during her 2006 gubernatorial campaign, Palin reportedly supported the proposal to build a bridge between Ketchikan, Alaska, and Gravina Island and suggested that Alaska's congressional delegation should continue to try to procure funding for the project.
During an interview with Sen. John McCain, Katie Couric did not challenge McCain's false claim that Sen. Joe Biden "said you had to break Iraq up into three different countries" as part of his Iraq plan. On America's Election HQ, Karl Rove falsely asserted that Biden's proposal for Iraq involved "unilaterally splitting up a sovereign nation," a statement that Chris Wallace echoed. In fact, Biden introduced a "five-point plan" to "[m]aintain a unified Iraq by decentralizing it and giving Kurds, Shiites and Sunnis breathing room in their own regions." Further, Biden has made clear that he was not proposing that his plan be imposed on Iraq "unilaterally."
On Late Edition, Wolf Blitzer and John King both cited an August 15-18 Wall Street Journal/NBC News poll in which 52 percent of Sen. Hillary Clinton's supporters said they will support Sen. Barack Obama, but neither noted that an August 19-22 Washington Post/ABC News poll found that 70 percent of Clinton supporters "back Obama," according to the Post.
On Fox News Sunday, Chris Wallace said that "after giving Hillary Clinton a speaking role on Tuesday night and Bill Clinton a speaking role on Wednesday night, now Hillary Clinton's going to get her name placed in nomination and to have a roll call. Question: Is that the way President Obama would negotiate, to just keep caving in?" Wallace also asked if placing Clinton's name in nomination was "[s]mart politics or a show of weakness."
On Fox News Sunday, Chris Wallace did not challenge McCain campaign manager Rick Davis' assertion that "[y]ou'll never find [Sen.] John McCain changing his stripes just because of an election," despite criticism of Sen. John McCain's shifts on policy, some of which he has acknowledged. Indeed, McCain has "chang[ed] his stripes" and reversed his position on comprehensive immigration reform and the religious right.
Fox News Sunday's Chris Wallace falsely claimed that Sen. John McCain "momentarily mistook Shias and Sunnis in Jordan," and the Chicago Tribune's Michael Dorning asserted that if Sen. Barack Obama "makes a mistake" on his upcoming overseas trip, "it'll be a much bigger deal than, say, when McCain was in Jordan, or somewhere in the Middle East, and basically mixed up Shia and Sunnis for a moment." In fact, McCain did not "mix up" Shias and Sunnis just for a moment; he made the false statement three times in two days.
Fox News Sunday's Chris Wallace did not challenge Gov. Tim Pawlenty's false assertion that Sen. Barack Obama "is somebody who has first said that the Iranian Revolutionary Guard isn't a terrorist group, and now he's changed his views on that and several other foreign policy issues." In fact, Obama has consistently supported designating the Iranian Revolutionary Guard a terrorist organization, having co-sponsored a bill in 2007 to do so.
Despite the availability of expenditure reports showing that Sen. John McCain's campaign used a corporate jet owned by his wife's company over a seven-month period beginning in the summer of 2007, several members of the media asserted earlier this year that McCain flew coach when the campaign was low on funds.
Sen. John McCain said at a New Hampshire town hall meeting that the U.S. may have a presence in Iraq for "[m]aybe a hundred [years]. We've been in South Korea; we've been in Japan for 60 years. We've been in South Korea for 50 years or so." But McCain said in an interview four months earlier on Charlie Rose that a long-term U.S. presence in Iraq, modeled after its presence in South Korea, would not work "because of the nature of the society in Iraq." When Sen. John Kerry pointed out this inconsistency on Fox News Sunday, host Chris Wallace did not acknowledge it, instead saying that he thought Kerry was "conflating two different interviews."
Responding to Sen. John Kerry's assertion that "[n]obody ever would insinuate that John McCain is anything but a hero for his activities in -- in -- ," Fox News Sunday host Chris Wallace interrupted him and stated: "Well, [Democratic National Committee chairman] Howard Dean called him a blatant opportunist," falsely suggesting that Dean accused McCain of being a "blatant opportunist" because McCain has discussed his military experience.
Fox News Sunday's Chris Wallace criticized the hosts of Fox & Friends for engaging in "two hours of Obama bashing" and for "distorting" comments Sen. Barack Obama made about his grandmother in a radio interview on March 20.
On Fox News Sunday, Karl Rove asserted of Sen. Barack Obama facing questions about the Nation of Islam's Louis Farrakhan: "Now, having ties to Louis Farrakhan and his anti-Semitic comments, that's -- that's -- you know, people have a reason -- that's a reasonable question: Do you agree with him? Do you renounce him? Do you reject him?" In fact, Obama has denied that his campaign has "ties to" Farrakhan and has answered the questions posed by Rove, having repeatedly denounced Farrakhan's anti-Semitic statements.
Introducing an interview with Director of National Intelligence Michael McConnell, Chris Wallace asserted: "A law which gives President Bush powers to monitor communications among terrorism suspects expired at midnight." In fact, the expired PAA revisions to the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act, did not simply give Bush "powers to monitor communications among terrorism suspects," but rather, among other things, the revisions expanded the government's authority to eavesdrop on Americans' domestic-to-foreign communications without a warrant. Further, Wallace never mentioned that the government had the authority to listen in on the communications of suspected terrorists before Congress passed the PAA in August 2007 or that this authority continues despite the PAA's expiration.