Fox News' Carl Cameron falsely suggested that Sen. John McCain acknowledged weakness on economic issues only once, "[i]n one of those marathon interactions with reporters on the bus," while NBC's Andrea Mitchell baselessly asserted that McCain was "obviously joking" when he admitted his lack of knowledge about the economy. In fact, McCain has made such an acknowledgement on numerous occasions over the course of the campaign, and when confronted with one such remark at a Republican presidential debate, McCain did not respond by asserting that he had been "joking" -- he suggested he hadn't said it.
On Morning Joe, John Harwood once again described Sen. John McCain as a "maverick," claiming that McCain's criticism of the media is in part "a way for John McCain, who has been such a maverick, to try to unify the Republican Party." Harwood has repeatedly referred to McCain as a "maverick" or having a "maverick brand."
Discussing in February a New York Times article about Sen. John McCain's ties to lobbyists, MSNBC's Joe Scarborough, Mike Barnicle, and Pat Buchanan criticized the Times for its use of anonymous sources. However, Scarborough, Barnicle, and Buchanan offered no such criticism in their discussions of a Vanity Fair article that also relied on anonymous sourcing in purporting to report on "post-presidential sexual indiscretions" by former President Bill Clinton.
On MSNBC's Morning Joe, Tucker Carlson said of Sen. Hillary Clinton, "Look, she's a trapped animal, there's absolutely no question about it. As I've thought to myself many times, if you've ever tried to get your cat in a box, you know what Hillary Clinton is doing right now." Carlson then imitated a screeching cat, and added, "with all four paws out, all the hair standing up? Look, she is in feral mode." Later in the segment, Mika Brzezinski referred to Clinton as "the cat in a box, as Tucker so aptly put it."
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On Morning Joe, Mike Barnicle and Pat Buchanan discussed whether "sexism [will] play a key role in what went wrong" in Sen. Hillary Clinton's presidential campaign, with Barnicle saying that "reality," not sexism, "will play a much larger role in what has happened," and Buchanan asserting that, while "there's resistance to a woman being the nominee," "the fact that she's a woman has helped her." But Barnicle has referred to Clinton as "looking like everyone's first wife standing outside a probate court." Buchanan has described Clinton's voice as "rising to the level that every husband in America at one time or another has heard."
On Morning Joe, John Harwood described Sen. John McCain as a "maverick" without noting any of the numerous actions McCain has taken that undermine that characterization. Harwood later asserted that McCain "voted against Bush's tax cuts" without noting that McCain reversed his position on the tax cuts and now calls for making them permanent, or that he has since offered a different explanation about why he voted against them than he gave at the time.
On Morning Joe, Chris Matthews stated: "If you talk to people, older women, and I don't mean older than me, but maybe my age and older, and you talk to them, and they get really angry at me, of course. ... They usually have a hard time figuring out what the fact I was wrong on, but that's OK." But Media Matters for America has documented numerous "fact[s] [he] was wrong on."
MSNBC's Joe Scarborough stated that Sen. Barack Obama has "the most liberal record in the Senate, according to the National Journal," but he did not mention a respected, comprehensive vote study that found Obama was the 10th most liberal senator in 2007.
Despite the availability of expenditure reports showing that Sen. John McCain's campaign used a corporate jet owned by his wife's company over a seven-month period beginning in the summer of 2007, several members of the media asserted earlier this year that McCain flew coach when the campaign was low on funds.
On Morning Joe, after Pat Buchanan said of Sen. Hillary Clinton's speech following the Pennsylvania primary that "only once or twice did that voice start rising to the level that every husband in America at one time or another has heard. You know, where it starts going up -- " Joe Scarborough said, "Be careful here, Buchanan." Chris Matthews added, "Go the other way. You're in the danger area. ... You're in the danger area, Pat, take my advice."
On Morning Joe, John Harwood asserted that Sen. John McCain's speech on the economy "trying to go after ... corporate greed" demonstrated that his "maverick brand is intact," and that "this is a guy who has established a brand for himself that has endured ... despite that phase in 2007 when he was getting a lot of flak for sort of flip-flopping and trying to court the right." However, The Washington Post reported that "tax cuts, mostly for corporations and wealthy individuals, remain the centerpiece of McCain's economic agenda."
The Hill's A.B. Stoddard asserted of Sen. John McCain: "[H]e is seen as so nonpartisan, someone who has bucked his party so many times, if he did something even nakedly partisan now, we'd all have trouble seeing it that way." In fact, McCain has reversed his positions on numerous issues to align himself more closely with his party's base.
MSNBC's Joe Scarborough falsely claimed that Sen. Barack Obama said of Americans with religious beliefs: "Your faith, the faith of your fathers, the faith of your grandfathers, the faith of your grandmothers -- it's just a crutch. It's just a crutch. You only believe that because you're bitter, because you're poor, because you didn't go to college, because you're working class." In fact, Obama said that "in a lot of these communities in big industrial states like Ohio and Pennsylvania," people are "beaten down" and "feel ... betrayed by government," and "it's not surprising then they get bitter, they cling to guns or religion."
Author and Fox News contributor Bernard Goldberg falsely claimed on MSNBC's Morning Joe that Sens. Barack Obama and Hillary Clinton "didn't condemn" an ad that referred to Gen. David Petraeus as "General Betray Us." In fact, Obama and Clinton voted for an amendment that condemned the ad.
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