In discussing Sen. John McCain's endorsement of President Bush in the March 9-12 Southern Republican Leadership Conference presidential straw poll on MSNBC's Hardball, Chuck Todd, editor in chief of the National Journal's The Hotline weblog, asserted that, for McCain, "right now, rallying around the president is the maverick thing to do."
Chris Matthews said that if Republicans choose Sen. John McCain as their 2008 presidential candidate, they will have "vote[d] for somebody who is not actually one of them." Matthews then mentioned five hot-button issues that he said "aren't the issues [McCain] talks about." In fact, on three of those issues, McCain is very much "one of them."
In covering the straw poll of Republican presidential hopefuls at the Southern Republican Leadership Conference, Chris Matthews characterized Sen. John McCain (R-AZ) as a "maverick," "kind of a party renegade," and a "lone gun," despite McCain's request that conference attendees cast write-in votes in support of President Bush.
An editorial in the Los Angeles Times misrepresented the position of President Bush on a South Dakota law banning all abortions except in cases in which a woman's life is threatened by a pregnancy. MSNBC host Chris Matthews also misstated Sen. John McCain's position on the bill.
A Reuters article on former Republican lobbyist Jack Abramoff's disclosure to Vanity Fair that he "worked closely with many top Republicans, despite their claims to the contrary" ignored Abramoff's claims, in the same magazine article, of close ties with President Bush, White House senior adviser Karl Rove, and Sen. John McCain (R-AZ).
Chris Matthews described a recent flap between Sen. Barack Obama and Sen. John McCain as "the new kid on the block versus Mr. Straight Talk," a reference to McCain's 2000 presidential campaign slogan, Straight Talk America, and his Straight Talk Express campaign bus. Matthews then proceeded to describe what he called "the big fight in Washington."
Substituting for Rush Limbaugh on Limbaugh's radio show, Roger Hedgecock said that the dispute between Sens. Barack Obama and John McCain shows "how Democrats treat African-American" officeholders. According to Hedgecock, "[T]hey get put back on the plantation."
On Lou Dobbs Tonight, CNN's Ed Henry and Bill Schneider reported on the dispute over lobbying reform between Sens. John McCain and Barack Obama -- uncritically touting McCain's "years of work" on lobbying reform. However, in doing so, they both ignored a number of relevant facts.
Chris Matthews promised viewers "straight talk" from Sen. John McCain, but instead provided a friendly forum for McCain to attack fellow Sen. Barack Obama, at one point calling McCain's criticism of Obama "brilliantly angry."
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During a report on a dispute between Sens. John McCain and Barack Obama, CBS' Gloria Borger uncritically presented McCain's side of the dispute. While she noted that McCain accused Obama of distancing himself from McCain's reform proposals for "partisan reasons," she said: "It's very clear that lobbying reform is a very personal issue for John McCain. It's very important to John McCain."
NBC Today co-host Matt Lauer failed to challenge Sen. John McCain's misleading claims that "members of Congress -- including Democrats -- were briefed" on President Bush's warrantless domestic spying program "and there didn't seem to be ... any public outcry until recently." In fact, of the seven Democratic lawmakers known to have been briefed on the domestic spying program prior to its disclosure by The New York Times, three have said they objected privately at the time, and three more have said they weren't given adequate information about the program. Moreover, these lawmakers could not have raised "any public outcry," because the briefings were classified.
Media figures have argued that the scandal surrounding former Washington lobbyist Jack Abramoff is good news for Sen. John McCain because, unlike other members of Congress, he is untainted by the scandal and could benefit politically from being cast as a reformer. But these media figures failed to note that, like many Democrats who they have suggested are tainted, McCain received campaign money from Abramoff's clients, as reported by the Associated Press and the Center for Responsive Politics. *
Rush Limbaugh twice falsely claimed that Sen. John McCain (R-AZ) had "admitted that torture worked on him" during his five years as a prisoner of war in North Vietnam. The false assertion originated in a NewsMax.com article and is not supported by McCain's version of events.