An October 28 McClatchy Newspapers article reported that Sen. John McCain "hammered" Sen. Barack Obama "as someone who'd ... rais[e] taxes on small businesses, much like the plumbing business in Ohio that 'Joe the Plumber' Wurzelbacher said he wanted to buy someday." In fact, McClatchy itself noted in an October 18 article that Wurzelbacher would not likely see a tax increase under Obama's plan if he bought the plumbing business.
McClatchy Newspapers reported that Sen. John McCain and Gov. Sarah Palin are claiming that Sen. Barack Obama "would raise taxes on ordinary folks such as Joe the Plumber." The article did not note that Obama has proposed cutting taxes for low- and middle-income taxpayers and that "Joe the Plumber" Wurzelbacher himself has said that he would not see a tax increase under Obama's plan.
On MSNBC Live, McClatchy's Steven Thomma asserted that Sen. John McCain will likely attack Sen. Barack Obama "as a tax-raiser, someone who'll take money out of your pocket at the very moment you don't want it to happen." Neither Thomma nor Politico's David Mark, who agreed with Thomma's assessment, noted that claims that Obama will raise taxes and "take money out of your pocket" misrepresent Obama's tax plan.
On MSNBC Live, Alex Witt aired an ad from Sen. John McCain asserting that Sen. Barack Obama "made time to go to the gym, but canceled a visit with wounded troops. Seems the Pentagon wouldn't allow him to bring cameras." But in neither segment did Witt or her guests note that Obama reportedly previously visited wounded troops at Walter Reed Army Medical Center without the media, or that although Obama decided not to visit Landstuhl Regional Medical Center in Germany, he reportedly made phone calls to wounded soldiers there. Nor did they challenge any of the other misleading claims in the ad.
On MSNBC, Steve Thomma asserted that Sen. John McCain's campaign is "not going to touch" controversial comments by the former pastor of Sen. Barack Obama's church. On Morning Joe, McCain adviser Charlie Black declined to comment on Wright's statements, saying that McCain has said that "these candidates cannot be held accountable for all the views of people who endorse them or people who befriend them." Later on MSNBC, Chuck Todd noted Black's comments. However, the McCain campaign had already circulated to reporters a Wall Street Journal op-ed in which Ronald Kessler wrote that "Obama's close association with Mr. Wright ... raises legitimate questions about Mr. Obama's fundamental beliefs about his country," which "deserve a clearer answer than Mr. Obama has provided so far."