The Washington Post's George Will asserted that Sen. John McCain's admittedly false claim that Iran is training Al Qaeda is "[n]ot damaging at all" to McCain, "because people say it's a given that this man knows what he's talking about." Similarly, The Chicago Tribune's Jill Zuckman asserted that "I don't think many people believe" "the argument that McCain doesn't know what he's talking about when it comes to foreign policy." But neither Will nor Zuckman noted that McCain has made that error more than once.
On ABC's This Week, George Will falsely asserted that "in the primaries," Sen. John McCain "has achieved more independent voters than [Sen. Barack] Obama." In fact, in calculations based on exit polls, in each of the nine states that have held open or semi-open primaries contested by both Obama and McCain, Obama received more votes from voters who identified themselves as "independent" than McCain.
Media Matters for America has identified numerous media outlets or figures who reported that the National Journal has rated Sen. Barack Obama "the most liberal senator in 2007," but did not report that the same National Journal feature stated that Sen. John McCain "did not vote frequently enough in 2007 to draw a composite score. He missed more than half of the votes in both the economic and foreign-policy categories."
In an interview on This Week, George Stephanopoulos did not challenge Fred Thompson's assertions that "I think ... that Roe versus Wade should be overturned" and that "I've had a pro-life voting record my entire career on every conceivable issue that came up before us for almost a decade." Similarly the Politico reported that Thompson "trumpeted his own anti-abortion credentials after receiving the endorsement of the National Right to Life Committee." Neither Stephanopoulos nor the Politico noted that Thompson has reportedly expressed support for abortion rights, as well as for Roe v. Wade.
On This Week, George F. Will suggested that developing countries are "not interested" in climate change. In fact, during the recent United Nations General Assembly, numerous leaders from so-called developing nations said that their countries are particularly vulnerable to the impact of climate change and requested international cooperation to help mitigate its impact.
On ABC's This Week, The Washington Post's George Will asserted "What they [Republican primary voters] have learned about Giuliani is that he doesn't flip-flop. ... [H]e's taken exactly the un-Romney approach to his problem, which was to say, 'Look, this is me. Take it or leave it.' " But as NPR senior news analyst Cokie Roberts said, "[H]e equivocated on guns. He equivocated on abortion."
ABC's George Stephanopoulos said that "even some Democrats have said that's the mission that needs to be done in Iraq over a long period of time," referring to functions of "border security, going after the terrorists, [and] training and equipping the Iraqi forces" laid out by Defense Secretary Robert Gates. But Stephanopoulos understated the extent to which Democrats have advocated such a role for U.S. troops in Iraq; many Democratic proposals have called for keeping a residual force in Iraq to deal with such issues, including a bill that garnered the support of a majority of congressional Democrats earlier this year.
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Discussing Sen. Gordon Smith's December 7 Senate floor statement denouncing the war in Iraq, neither ABC's George Stephanopoulos nor CNN's Wolf Blitzer challenged Smith on the timing of his statement, when it had become clear long before that no weapons of mass destruction would be found in Iraq and that the function of coalition troops had become essentially that of, in Smith's words to Blitzer, "street cops in a sectarian civil war."
George F. Will falsely suggested that most employees who would benefit from a Democratic proposal to raise the federal minimum wage to $7.25 an hour are "students and other part-time workers." In fact, a majority of those who would be affected by the Democratic minimum-wage proposal are full-time workers.
On Good Morning America, Claire Shipman warned that "we're still likely, if the Democrats get the House, to see a culture of gridlock" because "[n]either side will have the 60 votes in the Senate they would need to really get things done." Shipman did not inform viewers of the number of issues on the GOP legislative agenda that went unaddressed in this congressional session.