Numerous media outlets quoted or aired all or part of a statement Sen. John McCain made criticizing Sen. Barack Obama for giving a "political speech" in Berlin while "a candidate for the office of the presidency," but none noted that McCain himself gave a "political speech" in a foreign country last month, speaking to the Economic Club of Toronto in Ottawa, Canada, on a trip paid for by his presidential campaign.
In a second omission of a falsehood by Sen. John McCain during his interview with Katie Couric, the CBS Evening News did not air a statement in which McCain characterized the war in Iraq as "the first major conflict since 9/11," apparently disregarding the war in Afghanistan, which began in October 2001.
On the CBS Evening News, anchor Katie Couric aired portions of an interview she conducted with Sen. John McCain, removing a part of a response in which he falsely asserted that the 2007 U.S. troop surge "began the Anbar awakening." Couric gave no indication that McCain's comments had been edited in any manner, nor did she otherwise note his falsehood.
During a CBS Evening News interview, Katie Couric did not challenge Sen. John McCain's suggestion that "five Nobel laureates and 300 economists" agree that his economic plan will allow him to balance the budget, despite an article, excerpted hours before on CBSNews.com, reporting that the statement the economists signed in support of McCain's economic plan said nothing about balancing the budget. The article further quoted one signatory saying, "He's not going to balance the budget. No one's going to balance the budget."
In a report about a back-and-forth between Sens. Barack Obama and John McCain over a recently passed GI bill, CBS' Chip Reid uncritically quoted from a McCain statement, in which McCain stated that, instead of "tak[ing] the time and trouble to understand this issue," Obama "prefers impugning the motives of his opponent." But, in the same statement, McCain himself impugned Obama's motives.
A CBS Evening News report on the national debt, the current level of which both anchor Katie Couric and correspondent Anthony Mason described as "mind-numbing," failed to quote a single Democrat and did not point out the extent to which deficit spending by Republican-led Congresses has contributed to the debt.
In their coverage of the Michigan Republican primary, numerous media outlets and personalities praised Republican presidential candidate Sen. John McCain as a "maverick" who has challenged his party. However, as Media Matters for America has repeatedly documented, on several major issues, McCain has taken positions consistent with those of his party.
Responding to a question from CBS' Katie Couric, Rudy Giuliani asserted that "Iran is moving toward accomplishing the worst nightmare of the Cold War -- nuclear weapons in the hands of an irresponsible regime. And then they're threatening the use of these weapons." Although the most recent National Intelligence Estimate on Iran concluded with "high confidence" that Iran had "halt[ed]" its nuclear weapons program in 2003, Couric did not challenge Giuliani's assertion or ask him a follow-up question about his answer.
On the CBS Evening News, Katie Couric asked Mitt Romney "why he didn't spend more time explaining the tenets of his Mormon faith in his speech last week." Romney replied: "I can't imagine doing that in a speech as you're running for president. ... [T]hat would really open the door to the kind of religious test where people would listen and say, 'OK, do I believe that?' " He later stated that "[n]o religious test should ever be required for qualification for office in these United States." But Couric did not note that Romney has repeatedly asserted that Americans "want a person of faith to lead them."
In an interview with Gen. David Petraeus, Katie Couric noted that Petraeus has recommended reducing the number of U.S. troops serving in Iraq, but not his concession that a drawdown of troops would be necessary to avoid further strain on the U.S. Armed Forces.
On the CBS Evening News, Katie Couric introduced a report on the Iraqi military's "first-class special operations force" by saying that "a panel of retired military officers recommended the U.S. cut troop levels significantly next year to give Iraqi forces more control" and that "the panel admitted the Iraqis won't be able to fully control their country anytime soon, not in the next 18 months." However, Couric did not report that the panel recommended that the Iraqi National Police "should be disbanded and reorganized."
Katie Couric did not challenge Gen. David Petraeus' assertion during an interview that "if you look at the country as a whole ... the number of ethno-sectarian deaths, you name it, the number of incidents has been reduced dramatically" in Iraq. Couric failed to note the conclusion reached by a recent progress report by the Government Accountability Office on Iraqi benchmarks that "[i]t is unclear whether sectarian violence in Iraq has decreased;" the report also stated that "the average number of daily attacks against civilians remained about the same over the last six months."
ABC's World News, CBS Evening News, and NBC's Nightly News reported that the death toll for U.S. service members in Iraq was down in July. But none of the programs noted at the time that U.S. troop death numbers for July, while lower than previous months, meant that this July was the deadliest July of the war. And none of the programs have reported the fact that the current number of troops killed in Iraq for the months of June, July, and August makes the summer of 2007 the bloodiest summer of the war for American soldiers.