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Several media reports have noted that Sen. Judd Gregg cited concerns about the census in a press release announcing that he was withdrawing his nomination for secretary of commerce. But those reports ignored Gregg's subsequent statement during a press conference that the census was "not a major issue" in his decision to withdraw.
On The O'Reilly Factor, Juan Williams again baselessly attacked first lady Michelle Obama, claiming that "her instinct is to start with this 'blame America' ... stuff." Williams asserted that Michelle Obama's "instinct" is to "blame America" or be "the victim," and said she has "this Stokely Carmichael-in-a-designer-dress thing going." Williams also said that she could be a "liabilit[y]" or an "albatross" for President Barack Obama. Williams previously claimed Michelle Obama sometimes uses "this kind of militant anger."
On Fox News, Juan Williams falsely suggested that during the Democratic primary campaign Sen. Barack Obama did not support allowing ROTC on college campuses. In fact, when asked during a January debate, "Will you vigorously enforce a statute which says colleges must allow military recruiters on campus and provide ROTC programs?" Obama responded, "Yes."
On NPR, Renee Montagne asked Juan Williams of Gov. Sarah Palin's claims about the "bridge to nowhere": "Is it surprising that she keeps saying that, or repeating that she told Congress, 'No thanks,' on that bridge?" Rather than note that Palin's assertion is false, Williams responded in part by saying: "Well, what they're [the McCain campaign] emphasizing is that she, you know, did eventually turn down the idea without disclosing that early on she was, as you said, campaigning for it back in 2006. ... So, it's a matter of, you know, omission in their view."
Fox News' Juan Williams asserted of Michelle Obama's upcoming speech at the DNC: "Well, she's got to be herself, but I do not think she can go for it all out in terms of this kind of militant anger that she sometimes uses." Williams gave no examples of what he claims to be "this kind of militant anger" that Michelle Obama "sometimes uses."
On Fox News Sunday, Juan Williams asserted of a recent campaign ad from Sen. Barack Obama: "He makes himself out to be born in Kansas, Kansas values. He's in Hawaii." However, as Media Matters for America has noted, in the ad, Obama does not "make himself out to be born in Kansas"; rather, he makes clear he was "raised" by his mother and grandparents, who "grew up" in Kansas. Karl Rove made a similar claim in a Wall Street Journal op-ed.
NPR's Juan Williams asserted that Sen. John McCain "has fought his own party, the GOP, on immigration." And Fox News' Dick Morris stated that McCain "really has moved to the left of the Republican Party" on "the immigration bill." However, neither Williams nor Morris mentioned that McCain has reversed his position on immigration and now asserts that "we've got to secure the borders first" -- a position at odds with his prior assertion that border security could not be disaggregated from other aspects of comprehensive immigration reform without being rendered ineffective.
On Special Report, Juan Williams cited Sen. John McCain's record on immigration as evidence of a willingness to "work across party lines," without noting that McCain has said he no longer supports his own bipartisan bill. Williams then claimed that Sen. Barack Obama "doesn't have a record" of "working across party lines." In fact, Obama has co-sponsored bills with Republican Sens. Tom Coburn and Richard Lugar that have been signed into law.
On Fox News Sunday, when Bill Kristol was asked whether "it's fair" to compare "[Sen. John] McCain's, quote, 'ministers,' " John Hagee and Rod Parsley, "to [Sen. Barack] Obama's pastor," Kristol replied: "No, because these are just individuals who've endorsed Senator McCain." However, McCain stated in a joint appearance with Hagee that he was "very proud to have Pastor Hagee's support" and reportedly called Parsley a "spiritual guide."
Several media figures have falsely claimed that Sen. Barack Obama contradicted previous statements when he said during a March 18 speech on race: "Did I ever hear him [Rev. Jeremiah Wright, Obama's former pastor] make remarks that could be considered controversial while I sat in the church? Yes." In fact, Obama previously asserted he had not been present for particular statements Wright made that were repeated by various media outlets and that spurred the recent controversy. He did not claim to have never heard Wright make "remarks that could be considered controversial."
William Kristol attributed Sen. Hillary Rodham Clinton's victory in the New Hampshire Democratic primary to "the tears," saying, "She pretended to cry; the women liked it." He added, "The women were sorry for her, and she won." Kristol is one of several media figures who described Clinton's actions as "calculated," reviving a characterization frequently made by the media that Clinton is "calculating."