On Special Report, Charles Krauthammer said, "The Obama campaign and the Democrats will say that [Sen. John] McCain has his Reverend [John] Hagee, and Obama has his reverend, and they disavowed them, and they're sort of morally equivalent." Krauthammer continued, "The obvious counterargument, which the Democrats refuse to accept, is that presidential candidates are endorsed by hundreds of people, half of whom they don't know, some of whom are scoundrels and rogues whom they then dissociate themselves from." But McCain, by his own admission, actively sought Hagee's endorsement, despite Hagee's numerous controversial comments.
CNN's Candy Crowley uncritically reported that Sen. John McCain is "continually suggesting Obama wants to surrender in Iraq without knowing what's happening there," and Fox News' James Rosen said, "Obama's absence from the war zone over the last two and a half years, McCain argued, has left the first-term senator divorced from the reality that now prevails on the ground in Iraq." However, neither Crowley nor Rosen mentioned any of the misstatements McCain has made that have raised questions about whether McCain himself "know[s] what's happening" in Iraq.
Fox News' Carl Cameron reported that Sen. John McCain "suggested [Sen. Barack] Obama is naïve" for his position on negotiating with Iran, and aired a clip of McCain saying, "It could very well convince him [Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad] that those policies are succeeding in strengthening his hold on power, and embolden him to continue his very dangerous behavior. The next president ought to understand such basic realities of international relations." But Cameron did not note that Defense Secretary Robert Gates also reportedly has said that the United States should "sit down and talk with" Iran.
In reports about televangelist John Hagee's apology for his anti-Catholic remarks, neither The Washington Post's Michael D. Shear nor Fox News' Brit Hume mentioned that Hagee -- whose endorsement Sen. John McCain has acknowledged seeking -- also has made controversial statements about women, race, homosexuality, and Islam.
On numerous May 8 programs, Fox News anchors and reporters promoted the notion that Sen. John McCain is reluctant to discuss his experience as a prisoner of war in Vietnam. In fact, as Media Matters for America has documented, McCain has repeatedly highlighted that experience.
Fox News' Bret Baier claimed that in an interview on NPR, "Former Vice President Al Gore says global warming is to blame for the cyclone in Myanmar." In fact, while Gore did discuss the cyclone in the context of global warming, he also stated -- just moments earlier -- that "any individual storm can't be linked singularly to global warming."
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 Special Report, Carl Cameron reported that on the issue of immigration, Sen. John McCain "announced that if elected, in January he'll begin finalizing border security, then immediately launch the guest worker program and path to citizenship that many in his party oppose." But Cameron did not note that McCain's current position that border security must be addressed first is 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 Fox News, Morton M. Kondracke presented a "theory" for why Sen. Hillary Clinton may be having a "good time" on the campaign trail: "[S]omebody I know has a theory about this. Remember back when [Bill] Clinton was president of the United States, people said that he's really Satan because he walks through life and people collapse around him and go to jail and die, and all this kind of stuff? Well, this person says Hillary's a vampire. She's sucking the blood out of Barack Obama." Kondracke did not name his "theor[ist]," but the purported "theory" has been publicly articulated before, by New York Times columnist Maureen Dowd.
Reporting on Sen. Barack Obama's answer to a question about his "favorite Scripture," Fox News' Major Garrett asserted that "Obama's answer [was] not exactly rooted in Scripture but [was] in the ballpark," and then aired a clip of Obama saying: "[T]he Golden Rule. It's very simple. I mean, it's a very simple concept. I think what he asks of me is that I treat my brother as -- and my sister -- as I would have them treat me." Contrary to Garrett's claim, Obama's answer is, in fact, "rooted in Scripture."
Beginning on the afternoon of April 23, MSNBC, Fox News, and CNN aired a controversial ad by the North Carolina Republican Party attacking Sen. Barack Obama and two Democratic gubernatorial candidates at least 22 times combined, in most cases also noting that Sen. John McCain denounced the ad. As media figures on MSNBC and CNN pointed out, the repeated broadcasts benefit the North Carolina Republican Party, which does not have to pay for them, and they presumably benefit McCain, even as he is credited with taking the high road for criticizing the ad.
In two separate reports since The New York Times published an exposé on the hidden ties between media military analysts and the Pentagon, Fox News' Special Report aired quotes from Fox News military analyst Robert Scales without mentioning that Scales was named in the Times article and addressing Scales' relationship with the Defense Department and defense contractors.
Fox News' Major Garrett falsely claimed that Sen. Barack Obama's comments about Rev. Jeremiah Wright made during the April 16 Democratic presidential debate were "in conflict with his speech on that very subject." But in purporting to contrast Obama's reference during the debate to "comments not made by me but somebody who is associated with me that I have disowned" with Obama's assertion during his March 18 speech that "I can no more disown [Wright] than I can disown the black community," Garrett left out the next two sentences said in the debate exchange during which Obama made clear that he was not claiming to have "disowned" Wright, but to have disowned "[t]he comments" Wright made.
On Fox News, The Washington Examiner's Bill Sammon said of House Democrats' move to suspend the 60-day requirement for voting on the United States-Colombia Trade Promotion Agreement: "I call it more like the 'nuclear option,' because that's what the Democrats called the Republican threat to change the rules back when they were trying to get judges through." Sammon was referring to a 2005 Republican-proposed Senate rule change that would have effectively eliminated the ability to filibuster judicial nominations. But the term "nuclear option," as it pertains to judicial filibusters, was originally coined by Republican Sen. Trent Lott -- not by Democrats.
On MSNBC, Joe Scarborough failed to challenge Sen. John McCain's false suggestion that Sen. Barack Obama has only "in the last few days" proposed that a "strike force" remain in Iraq after the U.S. withdraws troops. Similarly, on Fox News, Carl Cameron uncritically aired McCain's claim that Obama "has now said that he would keep a, quote, 'strike force' -- a, quote, 'strike force' -- in Iraq." In fact, as early as October 2007, Obama said he envisioned a U.S. military "strike force" either in the region or in Iraq for performing counter-terrorism operations.