Slate.com's Mickey Kaus touted a National Enquirer article, the headline of which was posted on the Drudge Report website, stating that former John Edwards campaign worker Rielle Hunter is six months pregnant with Edwards' baby. But neither Drudge nor Kaus have noted that the story contained a statement from the lawyer for Edwards confidante Andrew Young stating that "Young is the father of Ms. Hunter's unborn child." Don Imus on his radio show said about the story: "[W]hat does that say about your judgment, to be -- be president of the United States if you're going around impregnating people?"
On Countdown, Keith Olbermann asked Dana Milbank about the repeated references in The Washington Post to the cost of John Edwards' haircuts, including in his own column. Milbank replied that he is "guilty of the haircut slander" and added: "[T]he $400 dollar haircut speaks of that the same way Romney having the illegal immigrants twice return to work in his home even ... as he's complaining about illegal immigrants." While Milbank identified an inconsistency between Romney's actions and his stated views, he offered no justification for suggesting a similar inconsistency in Edwards' efforts to fight poverty while paying for expensive haircuts.
On The O'Reilly Factor, Bill O'Reilly noted that Harry Belafonte had endorsed John Edwards and commented: "Oh, I guess that means Edwards has a lock on the Fidel Castro vote." After noting that actors Danny Glover and Tim Robbins also support Edwards, O'Reilly stated: "[W]hy don't you get Jeffrey Dahmer, John Wayne Gacy. ... Look, these people are so kooky."
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In its "Front-runners" package on John Edwards, The Washington Post published four pieces that each highlighted the cost or "expensive" nature of Edwards' haircuts. The media have extensively scrutinized Edwards' haircuts, his North Carolina estate, and his work as an adviser to a hedge fund, often baselessly suggesting that they conflict with his anti-poverty campaigning.
On The O'Reilly Factor, Newsmax.com chief Washington correspondent Ronald Kessler falsely claimed that Sen. Barack Obama and Sen. Hillary Rodham Clinton "voted to give Osama bin Laden the same rights that Americans have when it comes to intercepting his calls, even if he made calls within Pakistan, to Pakistan. They voted in August to not revise the FISA act." In fact, Obama and Clinton both voted for legislation sponsored by Sen. Carl Levin that would have amended FISA to allow warrantless wiretapping of foreign-to-foreign calls, regardless of whether they are transmitted through the United States.
A Politico article asserted that "even the most ambitious [energy] plans presented by the Democratic presidential candidates are setting goals so distant that they won't be met until most of these contenders might be dead." In fact, while Sen. Hillary Rodham Clinton, former Sen. John Edwards, and Sen. Barack Obama have called for reducing greenhouse gas emissions by 80 percent from 1990 levels by 2050, the candidates have also established specific goals to be reached within the next two to 23 years.
On Morning Joe, Larry Kudlow asserted that "on the campaign trail, Democrats trashing this economy, talking about raising taxes across the board are totally, utterly missing the boat here." In fact, the leading Democratic candidates for president have all proposed economic plans that include some tax cuts.
Bill O'Reilly falsely claimed that "abolition of all anti-terror measures" is one of John Edwards's "major campaign themes." But in making that claim, O'Reilly ignored a recent speech in which Edwards called for "a comprehensive new counterterrorism policy that will be defined by two principles -- strength and cooperation" and suggested the creation of "a new multilateral organization called the Counterterrorism and Intelligence Treaty Organization."
Discussing remarks by Sens. Hillary Rodham Clinton and Barack Obama, and former Sen. John Edwards, that they would not commit "by January of 2013, to have all American troops out of Iraq," NBC's David Gregory described this as "a really measured position," and asserted, "Edwards particularly, who was embracing the left wing of the party's view that you have to end the war now, and the others even voting for cutting off funding." But Gregory's suggestion that Clinton's and Obama's current positions are inconsistent with their having "even vot[ed] for cutting off funding" -- an assertion that is itself misleading -- is false. And Gregory offered no evidence that Edwards has shifted position either.
NBC's David Gregory said it was "surprising" Sen Hillary Rodham Clinton, Sen. Barack Obama, and former Sen. John Edwards, speaking at a Democratic presidential debate, "would not promise a complete withdrawal of U.S. forces." But Gregory did not explain why he thought that this was "surprising," and in fact the statements of all three candidates were consistent with their previous positions.
Despite running numerous stories on Democratic fundraisers currently under indictment, a September 20 article was only the first from The Washington Post to mention the connection between Mitt Romney and Alan Fabian, who was recently "charged in a 23-count indictment," and his ties to Robert Lichfield, the "subject of lawsuits alleging abusive treatment" at boarding schools Lichfield founded. However, the Post has yet to report on a member of Rudy Giuliani's presidential campaign team currently the subject of a class-action lawsuit involving allegations of fraud.