Several media outlets reported on Sen. John McCain's recent efforts to highlight his Vietnam War experience as part of his presidential campaign without noting that, in 2004, he reportedly told Sen. John Kerry that Kerry should not use his Vietnam war record during his campaign, or that McCain falsely asserted in 2004 that he "didn't talk about" his own service during his 2000 presidential campaign "because," he said, "I didn't need to."
Several media outlets reported Sen. John McCain's assertion, in his March 26 foreign policy speech, that "[w]e need to listen to the views and respect the collective will of our democratic allies," without nothing that, during the run-up to the Iraq war, McCain made statements that suggested the opposite of "respect" for the views of U.S. allies. For example, in February 2003, McCain likened France, which opposed the invasion, to an "aging movie actress in the 1940s who's still trying to dine out on her looks, but doesn't have the face for it."
Media Matters has extensively documented the disparity in media coverage devoted to controversial comments made by supporters of Sen. Barack Obama and to those made by supporters of Sen. John McCain. Several major publications have reported only on the controversy over remarks by McCain supporter John Hagee targeting Catholics, but not his controversial statements about Hurricane Katrina, Islam, women, and homosexuality. Most of those same publications have yet to report on pastor Rod Parsley and his controversial remarks in the context of McCain's campaign.
In an article discussing whether Sen. Barack Obama "can transcend the starkly red-and-blue politics of the last 15 years, end the partisan and ideological wars and build a new governing majority," The New York Times noted that the National Journal rated Obama's "voting record ... the most liberal in the Senate." But the Times did not mention that the Journal's rating conflicts with that of a respected study that, in contrast to the Journal's, uses every non-unanimous vote cast within a given year.
The New York Times' Adam Nagourney stated in a March 24 online piece that aides to Sen. John McCain "are beginning to see a general election upside ... to the problems that Mr. McCain's support of immigration legislation caused him in the primaries." However, Nagourney did not mention that McCain reacted to those perceived "problems" by abandoning his own comprehensive immigration reform plan.
The New York Times quoted a woman who "said she would vote for Senator John McCain, the presumptive Republican nominee, 'because he spent all those years in a P.O.W. camp and he doesn't talk about it,' an indicator of a reserve that she sees as a sign of the character and good manners she admires in her neighbors." In fact, in his campaign ads, McCain has repeatedly touted his experience as a prisoner of war.
The New York Times' Mark Leibovich asserted that the "conventional wisdom" that Sen. John McCain would be "done in by immigration in the Republican primaries" in 2008 "Proved to Be False." But Leibovich did not mention that McCain may have avoided being "done in" by the immigration issue by reversing his position to align himself with the Republican base.
New York Times columnist Bob Herbert misrepresented comments Sen. Hillary Clinton made on 60 Minutes about Sen. Barack Obama's religion and asserted that Clinton's remarks represented "one of the sleaziest moments of the campaign to date."
In an article discussing potentially competitive 2008 Senate elections, The New York Times understated Sen. James Infohe's views on global warming, reporting that Inhofe "has said that its effects are exaggerated." In fact, Inhofe has repeatedly referred to global warming as the "greatest hoax ever perpetrated on the American people" and reportedly compared Al Gore's global warming documentary to Adolf Hitler's Mein Kampf.
The New York Times stated in an editorial that Sen. Barack Obama "has backed away from his proposal to run the general election on public funds." In fact, Obama recently confirmed he would "aggressively pursue" an agreement with the Republican nominee on "a publicly funded general election in 2008 with real spending limits."
A New York Times Week in Review piece stated: "Senator John McCain, the early Republican front-runner whose championing of the bill [Comprehensive Immigration Reform Act of 2007] had made him look soft on illegal immigration, faded in the polls," adding that now McCain has "emphasized border security more than the Democrats have." But the article didn't mention that this "emphasi[s]" on border security is at odds with his previous position.
The New York Times has devoted only two paragraphs and 102 words thus far to Catholic League president Bill Donohue's criticism of Sen. John McCain for his failure to repudiate the support of evangelist John Hagee, who has made statements Donohue considers anti-Catholic, and McCain's ensuing response. By comparison, the Times published three separate articles on Donohue's criticism of former Sen. John Edwards' presidential campaign for hiring two bloggers who Donohue contended were "anti-Catholic, vulgar, trash-talking bigots," and the Edwards campaign's subsequent reaction.
A New York Times article falsely asserted that Sen. Hillary Clinton's campaign had "released a letter signed by Mrs. Clinton calling on MSNBC to fire a reporter who had made an off-color reference to her daughter." In fact, the letter did not "call on" NBC News president Steve Capus to fire the reporter, David Shuster; indeed, Clinton's letter did not seek any specific action against Shuster.
A New York Times article about possible attacks against Sen. Barack Obama in the general election reported that Sen. John McCain's aides said "their first line of attack would be to portray [Obama] as a liberal, and they have already begun pointing to a rating in The National Journal, based on his votes, of Mr. Obama as the most liberal member of the Senate." But among the "liberal" positions Obama took to earn the distinction of "most liberal senator in 2007" were his votes to implement the bipartisan 9-11 Commission's homeland security recommendations, provide more children with health insurance, expand federal funding for embryonic stem-cell research, and maintain a federal minimum wage.
Despite reporting in early 2007 Bill Donohue's criticism of John Edwards' presidential campaign for hiring two bloggers who Donohue said are "anti-Catholic, vulgar, trash-talking bigots," neither The New York Times nor the Associated Press has reported that Donohue blasted Sen. John McCain for accepting the endorsement of televangelist John Hagee. In a statement, Donohue described Hagee as a "bigot," and said McCain should "retract his embrace of Hagee."