Media echoed the Republican accusation that the United Auto Workers union killed the $14 billion bailout for GM, Ford, and Chrysler. But The New York Times stated that it was Senate Republicans who "refused to support a bill endorsed by the White House and Congressional Democrats."
On MSNBC Live, Tamron Hall forcefully challenged Republican strategist Doug Heye's characterization of President-elect Barack Obama as a "good friend" of Gov. Rod Blagojevich's. Hall challenged Heye on his "assessment of 'good friend' because," Hall said, "I don't want these things to linger out there without you kinda backing them up."
MSNBC's Tamron Hall aired a clip of Sen. John McCain apologizing on CBS' Late Show for having canceled an earlier planned appearance and reported on McCain's attack on Sen. Barack Obama for his association with William Ayers. But Hall failed to note that Late Show host David Letterman questioned McCain on his association with G. Gordon Liddy.
Discussing Sam Joe Wurzelbacher ("Joe the Plumber") on MSNBC Live, Tamron Hall said that "according to the federal government's Bureau of Labor Statistics, the national average for a plumber: $45,000. ... I think it would be rude to ask Joe what his income is." But Wurzelbacher's income -- or expected income -- is the issue in determining the veracity of McCain's charge that Wurzelbacher's taxes would increase under Sen. Barack Obama's tax plan.
MSNBC's Tamron Hall asserted that Sen. John McCain "was accused of corruption, although he was later cleared by a Senate committee" in the Keating Five scandal. But Hall did not note that the Senate ethics committee concluded that McCain's conduct "reflected poor judgment."
Several media figures have asserted that Gov. Sarah Palin faces "low" or "lowered" expectations in the upcoming vice-presidential debate and that she therefore faces a lower bar for victory than Sen. Joe Biden. They have made these assertions despite criticism by at least one member of the media over the media's setting of a lower bar for Palin and despite praise of her performance in the Alaska gubernatorial debate by others in the media and by McCain campaign surrogate Mitt Romney.
Several media outlets falsely suggested that only Democrats denied Republican claims that Speaker Nancy Pelosi's speech on the floor of the House of Representatives before a September 29 vote on the Emergency Economic Stabilization Act of 2008 "cost some GOP votes." In fact, several House Republicans also have denied the allegation.
MSNBC hosts Tamron Hall and John Harwood did not challenge the false "contrast" that McCain campaign political director Mike DuHaime purported to draw between Alaska Gov. Sarah Palin and Sen. Barack Obama on earmarks. DuHaime claimed that Palin has "cut half a billion dollars in spending when she was governor using her veto," whereas Obama has "asked for a billion dollars in earmarks." In fact, Palin, by her own account, has requested hundreds of millions of dollars in earmarks for Alaska in her two years as governor.
MSNBC's Tamron Hall noted that Sen. John McCain was "ripping" Sen. Barack Obama "for not visiting wounded American troops" on his "global tour," then aired a clip from an ad released by McCain's campaign which asserts that Obama "made time to go to the gym, but canceled a visit with wounded troops." Hall did not note that, as NBC's Andrea Mitchell previously reported, Obama did in fact visit wounded troops on his trip while in Iraq, going to "a casualty unit in the Green Zone without photographers as part of the congressional delegation."
MSNBC's Tamron Hall failed to challenge the assertions of Nancy Pfotenhauer, an adviser for Sen. John McCain, that Sen. Barack Obama "fought funding for our troops on the ground in Iraq and Afghanistan over a year ago" and was "withholding funds for our troops who are in combat in Iraq and in Afghanistan." Hall did not note that Obama has cast several votes for war-funding legislation, nor did she note that McCain himself has voted against legislation funding the wars in Afghanistan and Iraq.
On MSNBC Live, Contessa Brewer falsely claimed that former President Bill Clinton "reportedly told London's The Telegraph paper that [Sen.] Barack Obama was going to, quote, 'have to kiss my you-know-what,' unquote, if he wanted the former president's help." In fact, the Telegraph article quoted an anonymous "senior Democrat who worked for Mr Clinton," who in turn cited another anonymous source: "One person told me that Bill said Obama would have to quote kiss my ass close quote, if he wants his support."
On MSNBC Live, Tamron Hall stated: "Well, remember when there were those reports out that Hillary Clinton would use the so-called 'Tonya Harding strategy' to perhaps take out Barack Obama? Well, we're going to talk to the real Tonya Harding about her place in history and now her infamy within American politics. Yes, really, Mika." Mika Brzezinski said: "Oh, my God," later adding: "I can't believe that. It's great."
MSNBC's Tamron Hall held a discussion with North Carolina radio host Jeff Katz about the effect Sen. Barack Obama former pastor, Rev. Jeremiah Wright, is having on North Carolina voters without disclosing that Katz's website prominently encourages visitors to "Help the N.C. GOP keep their ad on the air," referring to an ad that attacks Obama for his connections to Wright, and contains the false claim that Obama "won't pledge to the flag."
On Morning Joe, Joe Scarborough and Willie Geist repeatedly mocked Sen. Barack Obama's bowling performance -- which Scarborough called "dainty" -- at a campaign stop in Pennsylvania. Deriding Obama's score, Scarborough said: "You know Willie, the thing is, Americans want their president, if it's a man, to be a real man." He added, "You get 150, you're a man, or a good woman," to which Geist replied, "Out of my president, I want a 150, at least." After guest Harold Ford Jr. said that Obama's bowling showed a "humble" and "human" side to him, Scarborough replied, "A very human side? A prissy side."
On Today, Tim Russert discussed the schedules from Sen. Hillary Clinton's time as first lady and asserted: "Senator Clinton has made her experience such a part of this campaign, particularly her eight years as first lady. So this may be very rich in terms of exactly how did she spend her time, who did she meet with?" Russert added that "this, I think, today will be analyzed very closely by all of us at NBC News and media organizations across the country." Indeed, while NBC and MSNBC journalists discussed more substantive issues related to her schedules, they also repeatedly discussed what the schedules say, or do not say, about where Hillary Clinton was during Monica Lewinsky's encounters with President Clinton, in many cases teasing segments or leading them with that information.