Monday, April 30, 2007

Media Matters for America , April 30, 2007

Broder pronounced McCain's return to "candor," despite reported efforts to pander to GOP base on former pet issues

In his April 27 nationally syndicated column, headlined "Straight Talking Again," Washington Post columnist David Broder wrote that Sen. John McCain (R-AZ) is "risking the ire of Bush fans" by "running as the anti-Bush" and concluded that, for McCain, "there must be at least some relief now in being able to speak his own mind -- whatever the consequences. Candor, even belatedly, becomes him." But elsewhere in the column, Broder acknowledged to some extent the seemingly contradictory fact that McCain has backed off certain issues because his prior positions were unpopular with the Republican base. Indeed, Broder noted that McCain "gives no emphasis to the campaign finance reforms that were central to his 2000 message, knowing that they are not popular with Republican power brokers." Broder further wrote that during McCain's official announcement that he is running for president, McCain "was notably silent on immigration reform, another issue on which he has found himself at odds with many of his fellow Republicans." Read more

Ignoring McCain's "greeted as liberators" assurance, Wash. Post editorial credited him with prewar "foresight"

A Washington Post editorial praised Sen. John McCain's "foresight and consistency about how the [Iraq] war should have been waged"; however, in the days immediately before and after the invasion, McCain echoed Bush administration statements that U.S. forces would be greeted as "liberators." Since then, McCain has made apparently contradictory statements on the administration's management of the Iraq war. Read more

Scripps article uncritically reported that RNSC attack ad contains quotes from U.S. troops

In an April 26 article, Scripps News Service reported that Sen. John Ensign (R-NV) would not criticize the recent assertion by his state's Democratic colleague, Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid, that the Iraq war "is lost," which Reid followed up by stating that the war "can only be won diplomatically, politically, and economically." The article noted that the National Republican Senatorial Committee, which Ensign heads, recently released an "Internet advertisement that used Reid's words to campaign against Senate Democrats up for reelection in 2008." Scripps asserted that the ad features "written comments from U.S. troops" and then uncritically reported the claim by an NRSC spokeswoman that the comments were taken from letters "sent to a blogger who asked troops to write in to tell the majority leader how they felt about his comment." Yet the article did not mention that the "blogger" the NRSC spokeswoman referred to is right-wing pundit Michelle Malkin or that two of the five quotes used in the ad came from letters sent to Malkin signed by one person who included only a first name and another who used only initials. The other two identified themselves as "LT Jason Nichols, USN" (who was quoted twice in the ad) and "SPC Matthew S Gangwer." Read more

After attacking Reid over war "is lost" comment, Broder "doubtful" Iraq victory is possible

On the April 30 edition of XM Radio's The Bob Edwards Show, Washington Post columnist David Broder asserted that it was "really doubtful" President Bush would be able "to salvage something that would look like a victory in Iraq." Broder made this statement four days after he attacked Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-NV) for what he called Reid's "ineptitude," because of, as he wrote in his April 26 Post column, Reid's assertion that the Iraq war "is lost." As Media Matters for America noted, in that column, Broder pointed to Reid's "war is lost" remark to compare him to embattled Attorney General Alberto R. Gonzales and accuse him of engaging in "inept discussion[s] of the alternatives in Iraq" and of not being "a man who misses many opportunities to put his foot in his mouth." Further, after discussing Democratic strategist Paul Begala's recent column on The Huffington Post, in which he wrote that "Broder, of course, is a gasbag," host Bob Edwards noted, "[W]e're in the world of the blogs and this stuff spreads so fast." Broder responded: "I am not a fan of the blogs, and the blogs are not fans of mine." Read more

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