Numerous media figures have cited Japanese fiscal policy during the "lost decade" of the 1990s to criticize President-elect Barack Obama's plan to undertake a large-scale stimulus program. These media figures ignore evidence that, according to prominent economists, economic conditions were improving in Japan before the Japanese government temporarily abandoned stimulus spending in an attempt to reduce the deficit.
Several media outlets have praised or uncritically reported praise of the President's Emergency Plan for AIDS Relief. However, none of those outlets noted criticism of PEPFAR's requirement that starting in fiscal year 2006, 33 percent of funds set aside for prevention under the act that created PEPFAR be spent on abstinence-until-marriage education. According to many of the government officials responsible for managing PEPFAR abroad, as well as the Institute of Medicine, this requirement hindered PEPFAR's effectiveness in preventing the spread of AIDS until it was removed when Congress reauthorized PEPFAR in 2008.
Again downplaying President-elect Barack Obama's victory, Karl Rove claimed on Today that the "call for change gave Barack Obama the presidency of the United States with 2.1 percent more than Al Gore got." In fact, in 2000, Gore received 48.38 percent of the popular vote, and according to unofficial election results posted on National Public Radio's website, Obama has received 52.7 percent of the popular vote, which is a difference of 4.32 percentage points.
Several conservative commentators claim America is ideologically a "center-right" country, citing as evidence general election exit polls showing that 22 percent of respondents identify themselves as "liberal," 44 percent as "moderate" and 34 percent as "conservative." But political scientists dispute the reliability of voters' identification with political ideologies, and other polling has found that a strong majority favored the more progressive position on a number of issues.
The Wall Street Journal asserted that Sen. Barack Obama's "kind of organizers work at Acorn, the militant advocacy group that is turning up in reports about voter fraud across the country." The editorial cited as evidence reports that ACORN submitted allegedly false or duplicate voter registration applications this year in Michigan, Nevada, Ohio, Florida, New Mexico, North Carolina, Missouri, Wisconsin, Indiana, Connecticut, and Texas. But the editorial did not note that the statutes of at least nine of those 11 states require third parties registering prospective voters to submit to election officials all registration forms they received -- even those they believed to be false or duplicate applications.
A Wall Street Journal Washington Wire blog post reported that Rep. Tom Feeney, who, in a new ad, apologizes for a 2003 trip he took to Scotland financed by Jack Abramoff, "re-paid the $5,643 cost of the trip to the U.S. Treasury." But the blog post did not note that, according to a plea agreement by another trip attendee, the trip had "costs exceeding $160,000" for Abramoff and the seven other participants, or at least $20,000 per person.
A Wall Street Journal article uncritically quoted an ad by Sen. John McCain's campaign that accuses Sen. Barack Obama's campaign of being "disrespectful" to Gov. Sarah Palin without noting that the ad contains several distortions. The article also uncritically quoted an unnamed "McCain spokesman" as saying, "Barack Obama has no record of bipartisan legislative accomplishment, no history of bucking his party and no chance of bringing change," without noting that Obama has played key roles in the passage of bipartisan legislation in the U.S. Senate.
In his Wall Street Journal column, Karl Rove falsely asserted that, in contrast with Gov. Sarah Palin, Sen. Barack Obama has "ratchet[ed] up his requests [for earmarks] each year he's been in the Senate." In fact, Obama has reportedly requested no earmarks in 2008, while Palin has reportedly requested at least $197 million in earmarks in 2008, which, according to The Seattle Times, amounts to "more, per person, than any other state." Indeed, on a per-capita basis, Palin has requested more than 10 times the amount of earmarks per year than Obama has.
In a blog post, Wall Street Journal reporter Amy Chozick baselessly asserted that Sen. Barack Obama's statement that "[y]ou can put lipstick on a pig; it's still a pig" "played on [Gov. Sarah] Palin's joke during the Republican National Convention that the only difference between a pit bull and a hockey mom was lipstick." Chozick provided no evidence for this assertion, and, in fact, Obama did not mention Palin in at least the 65 words preceding his "lipstick on a pig" comment. Indeed, his preceding comments consisted of what he described as a "list" of Sen. John McCain's policies that Obama said were no different from President Bush's.
A Wall Street Journal article asserted that Alaska Gov. Sarah Palin "highlighted her opposition to a much-derided congressional earmark for her state," uncritically quoting her assertion, "I told Congress 'thanks but no thanks' on that bridge to nowhere." In fact, Palin reportedly had supported the project for the proposed bridge between Ketchikan, Alaska, and Gravina Island and suggested that Alaska's congressional delegation should continue to try to procure funding for it.
In her online column, The Wall Street Journal's Peggy Noonan wrote that Sen. Barack Obama's DNC speech at Denver's Invesco Field "has every possibility of looking like a Nuremberg rally." Other conservative pundits have made references to Nazis when talking about Obama or discussing his speeches, including radio host Tom Sullivan, who once aired what he called a "side-by-side comparison" of an Adolf Hitler speech and an Obama speech.
Several media outlets have uncritically reported the false charge by Sen. John McCain's campaign that Sen. Barack Obama "just got back from vacation on a private beach in Hawaii." In fact, according to the Hawaii Department of Land and Resources, all beaches in Hawaii are public.
The Associated Press, The New York Times, The Wall Street Journal, and The Washington Post all reported Sen. John McCain's assertion at a forum hosted by Pastor Rick Warren that he believes "a baby [is] entitled to human rights" "[a]t the moment of conception." But none of the articles raised the question of how McCain reconciles this statement with his support for federal funding of embryonic stem cell research and certain exceptions to a ban on abortion.
The Wall Street Journal reported that the RNC "made note of Sen. Obama's party-line votes. During the 109th Congress, which was in session in 2005-2006, Sen. Obama voted along party lines 97% of the time. Sen. McCain voted with his party 81% of the time, according to Congressional Quarterly." But in citing only the CQ 2005-2006 "party unity" scores provided by the RNC, the Journal failed to note that according to a 2008 CQ study, McCain voted in support of the Bush administration's position 95 percent of the time in 2007, making McCain the administration's most reliable supporter in the Senate that year.
In a Wall Street Journal column, Karl Rove claimed that "[Sen. John McCain] opposes tax increases and [Sen. Barack] Obama favors them." In fact, Obama has proposed cutting taxes for low- and middle-income families, and McCain's own chief economic adviser, Douglas Holtz-Eakin, has reportedly said that it is inaccurate to say that "Barack Obama raises taxes." Moreover, McCain himself recently suggested he would be open to raising Social Security payroll taxes.