Several media figures mischaracterized a response that Rep. Ron Paul gave at the Republican debate, with some asserting that Paul had "blamed" the United States for the 9-11 terrorist attacks and others simply accepting Rudy Giuliani's misrepresentation of Paul's statement -- that the United States had "invited the attack." In fact, Paul did not blame the United States for the 9-11 attacks or say that the United States had "invited" them.
Media figures and outlets heaped praise on Mike Huckabee's comment, during the May 15 Republican presidential debate, that "[w]e've had a Congress that's spent money like John Edwards at a beauty shop," a reference to reports that former Sen. John Edwards spent $800 of campaign money (which Edwards said was reimbursed) on two haircuts. ABC News' The Note, as well as The Politico's Mike Allen called the line an "instant classic," while The Politico's Jonathan Martin predicted that it "will dominate the news coverage in the days ahead."
CNN's Wolf Blitzer and Carol Costello drew an analogy between the French presidential election and a possible 2008 matchup between Hillary Clinton and Rudy Giuliani, misleadingly suggesting that the victory of "law-and-order, plain-talking conservative" Nicolas Sarkozy in France bodes well for Giuliani -- whose actual record on security issues has come under considerable criticism -- and referring to Clinton as a "liberal woman" who is similar to Sarkozy's opponent, the socialist Ségolène Royal.
During his Lou Dobbs Tonight "special report" on the efforts of the city of Hazleton, Pennsylvania, to combat illegal immigration, Lou Dobbs praised a controversial anti-immigrant ordinance passed by the city, but he did not mention that, during the segment, he was promoting, on the show's CNN website, a website soliciting money for Hazleton's legal fund.
On CNN, Washington Post media critic Howard Kurtz asked: "Republicans were willing to participate in an MSNBC debate with a guy [Chris Matthews] who used to work for Jimmy Carter and Tip O'Neill. Should Democrats be refusing to debate on Fox News?" Similarly, an Associated Press article implicitly contrasted Matthews, presented as not overtly partisan, with MSNBC colleague Keith Olbermann. Neither Kurtz nor the AP mentioned the numerous instances in which Matthews has showered praise on several of the Republican presidential hopefuls.
CNN's Bill Schneider falsely suggested that Sen. Hillary Rodham Clinton had changed her position on the Iraq war during the past week because she announced her intention to introduce a bill "to sunset the authorization for the war in Iraq." However, Clinton introduced a bill in the Senate on February 16 that includes a provision that would "require a new authorization for use of United States military forces in Iraq" unless certain conditions are met.