A USA Today blog and the Politico both repeated the false suggestion that a National Labor Relations Board election is currently required before obtaining union representation. In fact, current law already allows a union that shows it has the support of a majority of workers to represent the workers if their employer voluntarily agrees to recognize the union.
USA Today attributed the claim that federal databases used by the E-Verify program are "riddled with errors that could result in millions of workers being wrongly identified as not authorized for work" to "business groups and immigrant advocacy groups." In fact, federal government reports also state that E-Verify databases contain errors.
USA Today uncritically reported Rep. Tom Price's false claim that President Obama's tax proposal would "eliminat[e] tax deductions for upper-income Americans." In fact, rather than "eliminating" itemized tax deductions, the proposal would limit to 28 percent the tax rate at which families earning more than $250,000 can take itemized deductions.
USA Today reported that the Employee Free Choice Act "would allow workers to form a union by gathering signed cards from a majority of employees, rather than the current method of winning a secret-ballot election overseen by the National Labor Relations Board." But the suggestion that a NLRB secret ballot election is currently required before obtaining union representation at a workplace is false. Under current law, a union that shows it has the support of a majority of workers can represent the workers if their employer voluntarily agrees to recognize the union.
USA Today claimed in an article that the "rising cost" of the economic stimulus bill "could be a challenge" for President Barack Obama, noting that a provision intended to "protect about 24 million Americans from paying higher taxes under the alternative minimum tax [AMT]" constituted the "major Senate addition" that increased the bill's cost. However, USA Today did not point out that the amendment was added by Republican Sen. Charles E. Grassley.
A USA Today editorial discussing former President Bush's departure from office claimed that Bush "eschewed controversial pardons," which it called "a refreshing contrast" to former President Clinton's departure. In fact, Bush's pardon for New York developer Isaac Toussie, announced December 23, was withdrawn after it was revealed that Toussie's family contributed more than $37,000 to Republicans.
In separate articles, The New York Times mischaracterized opposition to the selection of Rev. Rick Warren to deliver the inaugural invocation as a function solely of Warren's opposition to same-sex marriage or same-sex marriage and abortion. In fact, Warren has compared same-sex marriage to incest, pedophilia, and polygamy.
Several media figures are promoting the notion of division among Obama supporters, asserting that "the left" is or should be disappointed with the president-elect's Cabinet selections. But the idea of significant disappointment with Obama runs counter to a USA Today/Gallup poll finding that 94 percent of Democrats "approve of the way Obama is handling his presidential transition."
USA Today reported that under Sen. John McCain's health-care plan, "[a]bout 4.6 million more people would gain coverage by 2013, the Urban Institute and Brookings Institution Tax Policy Center say," but it did not point out that the TPC also reported that after 2013, "the number of uninsured would creep upward." According to the TPC analysis, by 2018, the number of people covered would be only 2 million more than would have been covered that year without McCain's plan.
USA Today reported, "Less than three weeks before the November election, the Democratic and Republican presidential campaigns are trading accusations of voter fraud and voter suppression and gearing up for possible court battles over the outcome." The rest of USA Today's report focused on allegations that ACORN demonstrated "a pattern of submitting fraudulent voter registrations," providing no examples of allegations of voter suppression, even though there have been numerous reported instances in battleground states.
In reporting on Sen. John McCain's October 16 appearance on The Late Show with David Letterman, several media outlets noted McCain's response to a question about his association with Watergate break-in figure G. Gordon Liddy that Liddy "paid his debt, he went to prison." However, none of these outlets noted other controversial actions by Liddy, which McCain did not mention, let alone denounce, on Letterman's show, including multiple instances of reportedly advising his radio show audience on the best way to shoot Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, and Firearms agents -- statements that were reportedly made long after Liddy left prison.
USA Today reported that a Vets for Freedom ad "says [Sen. Barack] Obama missed nearly half the Senate's votes but showed up 'to vote against emergency funding for our troops' " and went on to assert: "Obama and [Sen. John] McCain each have voted for bills that include troop funding. Obama said he opposed one such bill in May 2007 because it did not set a timetable for removing U.S. troops from Iraq." However, USA Today did not report that McCain himself voted against legislation to fund the wars in Afghanistan and Iraq.
Numerous media outlets quoted or aired all or part of a statement Sen. John McCain made criticizing Sen. Barack Obama for giving a "political speech" in Berlin while "a candidate for the office of the presidency," but none noted that McCain himself gave a "political speech" in a foreign country last month, speaking to the Economic Club of Toronto in Ottawa, Canada, on a trip paid for by his presidential campaign.
In an article about appearances by Sens. John McCain and Barack Obama at the LULAC conference, USA Today reported that McCain "began placing more of an emphasis on border security during the primaries." But McCain's current position "to secure the borders first" is not just a change of "emphasis"; it is at odds with his prior position that border security could not be disaggregated from other aspects of immigration reform without being rendered ineffective.
A USA Today article quoted Tucker Bounds, a spokesman for Sen. John McCain, who said, "Unlike Barack Obama, John McCain believes in keeping his word to the American people, and he will undergo public financing for the general election." But the article did not note that while the McCain campaign, through Bounds, now says McCain will not opt out of public financing because he is "keeping his word to the American people," McCain himself previously indicated that his decision over whether to take public financing if Obama opted out would depend not on "keeping his word" but on whether it would be financially prudent to do so. Indeed, McCain senior adviser Charlie Black reportedly said, "We could sit down in July or August and say, 'Hey, we're raising a lot of money and maybe we should forgo it.' ... We don't have enough data."