Since Sen. John McCain named Alaska Gov. Sarah Palin as his running mate, media outlets including the Associated Press, MSNBC, CNN, Fox News, the Detroit Free-Press, and the washingtonpost.com blog The Fix have taken the "maverick" label the media have frequently and uncritically applied to McCain and affixed it to Palin as well.
Fox News' Neil Cavuto interviewed "anti-feminist attorney" Roy Den Hollander, who discussed his lawsuit against Columbia University for offering a women's studies program "but not a men's studies program." Den Hollander said: "[C]ut out the feminazi, feminist women's studies programs and bring back varsity sports, and you're going to do a lot better for the university." Den Hollander later said that women "are a suspect class. Every time they open their mouths, I begin to suspect something."
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Echoing The Washington Post's Dana Milbank, Fox News' Neil Cavuto repeated as fact a disputed version of a comment Sen. Barack Obama reportedly made in a closed-door meeting with congressional Democrats, citing it as purported evidence that Obama's "messianic thing is getting a little over the top."
On Fox News, David Asman falsely claimed of Sen. Barack Obama's reported plans for a White House transition months before the November election: "It's never been done before." Similarly, on MSNBC Live, U.S. News & World Report's Kenneth Walsh asserted that Obama is preparing for taking office "very early, and it plays into this notion that the Republicans are talking about, about Obama being too arrogant, that he has sort of a sense of inevitability that has set in there." However, a Media Matters review confirms that Presidents George W. Bush, Bill Clinton, Ronald Reagan, and Jimmy Carter all planned for a White House transition months before the election.
Fox News' Stuart Varney misrepresented the cost of the Housing and Economic Recovery Act of 2008, falsely asserting that the "House, right now, [is] voting on that $300 billion housing bailout bill." During the segment, on-air captions read "$300B Bailout Bill," and "House Voting On $300B Housing Bailout Bill." In fact, the Congressional Budget Office estimated that the bill "would increase budget deficits (or reduce future surpluses) by about $24.9 billion over the 2008-2018 period."
Fox Business Network's Eric Bolling asserted that, according to offshore oil "drillers" with whom he had spoken, "China was probably drilling offshore, very close to our shore through Cuba, and taking some of that oil that -- that honestly could -- could and should be helping our situation." His assertion that China was drilling "very close to our shore" echoed a claim made by Vice President Dick Cheney -- citing columnist George Will -- that both Cheney and Will have since corrected.
On Your World, Dick Morris claimed that Antoin Rezko sold Sen. Barack Obama a strip of land "for an amount that was substantially below its apparent market value." However, according to documents posted on the Obama campaign website, Obama paid $104,166 for the piece of property -- well above its appraised value of $40,500.
On The O'Reilly Factor, Marc Rudov said men should boycott the Sex and the City movie and would not see it because "paying to hear women whine is as stupid as paying for cobwebs, because you can get them both at home for free." When Bill O'Reilly asked Margaret Hoover whether she believed "that most American women are as shallow as" the four main characters in the movie, Rudov interrupted: "I do."
Fox News' Neil Cavuto left unchallenged a false claim by Vets For Freedom chairman Pete Hegseth that Sen. Barack Obama has "never met with General Petraeus." In fact, as recently as April 8, Obama questioned Petraeus and U.S. Ambassador to Iraq Ryan Crocker at a Senate Committee on Foreign Relations hearing on Iraq.
On Fox News' Your World, Neil Cavuto reported on Sen. John McCain's rejection of Rev. John Hagee's endorsement, but he didn't note Hagee's remarks about Adolf Hitler and Zionism or that McCain admitted he sought Hagee's endorsement.
Fox News' Neil Cavuto misrepresented the projected cost of a federal "housing rescue package" by saying it was going to cost "300 billion bucks," while an on-air graphic read, "House lawmakers set to pass $300B housing bill; bailout?" In fact, while the legislation would authorize the FHA to insure up to $300 billion in homeownership retention loans, the Congressional Budget Office estimated that the program would cost the government $2.7 billion between 2008-2013.
On Your World, Neil Cavuto said of Sen. Barack Obama: "Well, one of the reasons why he espoused talking to our enemies -- much as Jimmy Carter has with his recent meeting with Hamas and all that -- is that we can't make things worse, so what's the harm in talking to them?" Contrary to Cavuto's suggestion that Obama has expressed a willingness to meet with Hamas, Reuters reported on March 3 that Obama "has said he would break with President George W. Bush's stance of declining to talk to some other international adversaries but that stance does not apply to Hamas."
Beginning on the afternoon of April 23, MSNBC, Fox News, and CNN aired a controversial ad by the North Carolina Republican Party attacking Sen. Barack Obama and two Democratic gubernatorial candidates at least 22 times combined, in most cases also noting that Sen. John McCain denounced the ad. As media figures on MSNBC and CNN pointed out, the repeated broadcasts benefit the North Carolina Republican Party, which does not have to pay for them, and they presumably benefit McCain, even as he is credited with taking the high road for criticizing the ad.
On Fox News' Your World, Floyd Brown, creator of a new ad claiming that Sen. Barack Obama is "weak in the war on gangs," asserted: "[I]n Chicago, we saw six people killed and over 31 injured. People were stabbed. This is, you know, like Baghdad. And he was the state senator there, and he didn't do anything to clean it up, and I think it's a legitimate issue." Host Neil Cavuto gave no indication that Obama has responded to the ad, much less provide Obama's response.