Uncritically repeating Sen. John McCain's mischaracterization of Sen. Barack Obama's tax plan, CNN's Dana Bash stated that McCain has "been saying, basically, Barack Obama and the Democrats are going to raise your taxes; I'm going to lower your taxes." But Bash did not note that Obama has proposed cutting taxes for low- and middle-income taxpayers, or that McCain's own chief economic policy adviser has reportedly said it is inaccurate to say that "Barack Obama raises taxes."
CNN's Dana Bash noted that Sen. John McCain "is going to try to hit much more on the idea" that Sen. Barack Obama is "going to raise your taxes," but not that the claim misrepresents Obama's tax plan. Obama has proposed cutting taxes for low- and middle-income families.
Dana Bash pronounced Sen. Barack Obama's decision not to go through with a visit to U.S. troops at a military hospital in Germany a "stumble," asserting that as a result of Obama's decision, "the McCain campaign got something they could use -- an Obama stumble." Simply presenting McCain's reported take on the issue as fact, Bash made no mention of comments made earlier in the day by CNN analysts Bill Schneider and Gloria Borger, who agreed with the view articulated by an Obama spokesman that the Illinois senator "felt like he was in a damned-if-you-do, damned-if-you-don't situation."
On CNN's The Situation Room, Dana Bash uncritically aired an ad by Sen. John McCain that states that Sen. Barack Obama "never held a single Senate hearing on Afghanistan. He hasn't been to Iraq in years. He voted against funding our troops -- positions that helped him win his nomination." Neither Bash nor host Wolf Blitzer noted that McCain himself "voted against funding our troops" when he voted against legislation that would have provided funds for the wars in Afghanistan and Iraq.
Several media outlets, including CNN, MSNBC, Fox News, and The Washington Post, have uncritically reported Sen. John McCain's speech attacking Sen. Barack Obama for "outlining a plan" for Afghanistan and Iraq before his upcoming visit to the region without noting that in the same speech, McCain outlined his own "Comprehensive Strategy For Victory In Afghanistan," but hasn't visited that country since December 2006.
On Lou Dobbs Tonight, Dana Bash asserted that Sen. John McCain's proposal to send more troops to Afghanistan offered "proof" -- in the form of what Bash said was "a new proposal for Afghanistan" -- that McCain "know[s] how to win wars." Bash did not explain how this "proposal" constituted proof that McCain "know[s] how to win wars."
On The Situation Room, CNN's Dana Bash twice falsely suggested that Sen. Barack Obama responded to Sen. John McCain's proposal for 10 joint town hall appearances by offering to "just have one," failing to note that McCain rejected Obama's proposal for five joint appearances: three traditional debates, a town hall meeting on the economy, and an in-depth debate on foreign policy.
CNN and MSNBC.com's First Read blog uncritically repeated McCain campaign adviser Charlie Black's claim that campaign manager "Rick Davis and nobody else at his firm [Davis Manafort] either has been a registered lobbyist in five years." In fact, public disclosure reports filed with Congress show that Davis was registered to lobby in 2005 for Davis Manafort -- three years ago, not five. In addition, in 2006, while no longer registered as a lobbyist, Davis reportedly helped arrange a meeting with McCain on behalf of a Russian aluminum magnate with whom he was "seeking to do business."
On Meet the Press, Tim Russert failed to correct Mike Murphy's false claim that James Rubin "mischaracterized" Sen. John McCain in a Washington Post op-ed. Russert said, "And there is an interview with James Rubin, as you know, from Senator McCain where he said that in time, we would have to talk with Hamas." Murphy replied, "Right. Well, but I think if you look, like many of us did, at the full YouTube of that, Rubin mischaracterized him in his op-ed. ... McCain had a lot of qualifications, if you look at the full context of it, which is not what Rubin paraphrased in that op-ed." In fact, Rubin did not "mischaracterize" or "paraphrase" McCain's comments, as video posted on YouTube shows.
On The Situation Room, Dana Bash uncritically aired a clip of Sen. John McCain saying of health care plans put forward by Sen. Hillary Clinton and Sen. Barack Obama: "This will accomplish one thing only. We will replace the inefficiency, irrationality, and uncontrolled costs of the current system with the inefficiency, irrationality, and uncontrolled costs of a government monopoly." In fact, neither Clinton nor Obama has proposed a "government monopoly" on insurance coverage; rather, both have called for individuals to choose their own insurance.
CNN's Dana Bash, Wolf Blitzer, and Kyra Phillips all uncritically aired video of Sen. John McCain's false attacks on Sens. Barack Obama and Hillary Clinton regarding health care, in which McCain suggested that the Democratic candidates favor a "one-size-fits-all, big-government takeover of health care," and that "[t]hey want the government to make the decisions." In fact, neither Obama nor Clinton has proposed a "big-government takeover of health care"; both have called for individuals to choose their own insurance.
Reporting on a New Orleans campaign event at which Sen. John McCain's "carefully scripted imagery was interrupted by a voter's question about Pastor John Hagee," CNN's Dana Bash aired a clip of Hagee -- who has endorsed McCain -- saying of Hurricane Katrina, "What happened in New Orleans looked like the curse of God." But Bash did not air the portion of Hagee's comments in which he reaffirmed his previous assertion that Hurricane Katrina was at least in part the result of "sin" that Hagee identified as "a massive homosexual rally." CNN's John Roberts and Kyra Phillips similarly noted that Hagee said that "Katrina was God's punishment for sinful behavior in New Orleans" without mentioning that among the "sinful behavior" Hagee referenced was the gay pride parade.
CNN's The Situation Room and a Wall Street Journal article both noted that, during a Senate hearing, Sen. John McCain asked Gen. David H. Petraeus about whether Al Qaeda in Iraq (AQ-I) is a "major threat," without also noting that McCain went on to ask of Al Qaeda in Iraq: "Certainly not an obscure sect of -- of the Shiites all -- overall?" In fact, AQ-I is a Sunni Muslim, not Shiite, group.
CNN's Dana Bash uncritically reported the assertion by Sen. John McCain's campaign that he simply "misspoke" when he falsely claimed Iranian operatives are training members of Al Qaeda. In fact, McCain has made that error more than once. Also, Wolf Blitzer adopted the McCain campaign talking point that McCain -- in Blitzer's words -- "usually takes pride in" his "straight talk," despite McCain's repeated falsehoods and his stark inconsistencies on numerous issues.
Reporting about John McCain's upcoming trip to Iraq, CNN's Dana Bash read from a statement in which McCain said: "Had I not traveled to Iraq, I doubt I would have been informed enough to understand what we were doing wrong and what we should do to correct our mistakes." But Bash and host Wolf Blitzer did not report that just before and during a previous fact-finding trip to Iraq, McCain made claims about the safety of Baghdad neighborhoods that were widely criticized as misleading and that McCain later admitted he had "missp[oken]."