Wednesday, February 27, 2008

Media Matters Daily Summary 02-29-08

AP again reported McCain "didn't embrace the [bitch] epithet" without noting that he called the question "excellent"
Associated Press reporter Liz Sidoti wrote: "Last fall, [Sen. John] McCain faced criticism for initially not repudiating a voter in South Carolina who called [Sen. Hillary Rodham] Clinton a 'bitch.' McCain chuckled in response to the voter's question, but didn't embrace the epithet." Sidoti further reported: "A few minutes later, [McCain] said he respected Clinton, a New York senator and colleague." However, Sidoti made no mention of the fact that McCain first called the question "excellent" and then pointed to a Rasmussen poll that he said showed him beating Clinton in a head-to-head matchup. Read More

Ignoring Obama's repeated denunciations of Farrakhan during debate, NY Times quoted him only as saying, "I obviously can't censor him. ... It is not support that I sought"
After reporting that, at the Democratic presidential debate, Sen. Barack Obama "was asked whether he would reject the support of Louis Farrakhan," The New York Times' Patrick Healy and Jeff Zeleny purported to convey Obama's response, but left out Obama's repeated denunciation of Farrakhan's comments, writing only: " 'I obviously can't censor him,' Mr. Obama said. 'It is not support that I sought.' " Read More

MSNBC's Buchanan compounded sexist comments, misquoted Samuel Johnson
Referring to comments he had made about Sen. Hillary Clinton's voice, MSNBC contributor Pat Buchanan said on the February 27 edition of Morning Joe, "Look, the famous Dr. Johnson, and I hate to repeat it, said, you know, 'To hear a woman speaking is to watch a dog walking on its hind legs ... Sure, he said you're surprised not to see it done -- not that it's not done well, but to see it done at all." Read More

Following McCain rally appearance, Bill Cunningham used Obama's middle name seven times on Hannity & Colmes
On Fox News' Hannity & Colmes, conservative radio talk-show host Bill Cunningham used Sen. Barack Obama's middle name seven times in referring to the candidate. Cunningham appeared on the show the same day he appeared at a rally for Sen. John McCain and repeatedly used Obama's middle name. Read More

Russert persisted in questioning Obama on Farrakhan -- even after his repeated "denunciation[s]" of Farrakhan's "unacceptable and reprehensible" comments
During the February 26 Democratic primary debate, Tim Russert repeatedly questioned Sen. Barack Obama about his endorsement by Louis Farrakhan without noting that the campaign was quoted criticizing Farrakhan in the very article Russert cited to note the minister's support, that Obama himself said in a speech the day before the debate that he is a "consistent denunciator of Louis Farrakhan," or that Obama denounced Farrakhan's comments in his response to Russert's initial question on the subject. Read More

AP gets FISA, wiretapping authority wrong again
An AP article falsely suggested that the U.S. government does not currently have the authority to "eavesdrop[] on phone calls and e-mails of suspected terrorists." The article also claimed, "The Senate has already passed its version of the measure to renew the law, which expired Feb. 16." In fact, what expired on February 16 was the Protect America Act's revisions to the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act; the federal government still has the authority under FISA to listen in on the communications of suspected terrorists. The AP made similar false suggestions in a January report. Read More

Fox's Gretchen Carlson said "connotation" of Obama's middle name is that he is a "Muslim potentially" -- but he's not
While discussing conservative radio host Bill Cunningham's repeated reference to Sen. Barack Obama's middle name -- Hussein -- Fox & Friends co-host Gretchen Carlson asserted: "[T]he silent thing that nobody is really talking about here is the reason that he was saying the middle name so many times ... is because the connotation is that Barack Obama is a Muslim potentially. His father was a Muslim." Carlson then referred to claims that Obama is a Muslim as "rumors," but neither she nor co-hosts Steve Doocy and Brian Kilmeade pointed out that those rumors are false, and that Obama is a Christian. Read More

MSNBC ad for McCain documentary said McCain "mastered the art of straight talk"
Promoting a documentary on Sen. John McCain, an MSNBC announcer asserted: "Before he was a senator, before running for president, John McCain mastered the art of straight talk." MSNBC has made numerous references to McCain's "straight talk." Read More

Media diagnose Hillary "Sybil" Clinton with "mood swings," depression, and "multiple personality disorder"
In recent days, members of the media asserted that Sen. Hillary Clinton displayed "mood swings," "could be depressed," "[r]esembl[ed] someone with multiple personality disorder," and "has turned into Sybil." Read More

Matthews, Carlson, Wolffe "impress[ed]" by McCain's denunciation of Cunningham remarks, despite McCain's own smears and failure to denounce others'
On MSNBC's Hardball, host Chris Matthews, Bloomberg columnist Margaret Carlson, and Newsweek's Richard Wolffe praised Sen. John McCain for his response to radio host Bill Cunningham's repeated references to Sen. Barack Obama as "Barack Hussein Obama" at a February 26 rally for McCain. But they did not mention that McCain apparently has yet to distance himself from the comments of Rep. Rob Portman, who followed Cunningham at the rally, or note McCain's own smears. Read More

Media uncritically report McCain surprised by Cunningham's remarks despite Cunningham's history of using Obama's middle name
NBC's Kelly O'Donnell and CNN's John King asserted that Sen. John McCain was surprised by conservative radio talk-show host Bill Cunningham's controversial remarks about Sen. Barack Obama at a February 26 McCain rally, failing to note that Cunningham has previously referred to Obama as "Barack Hussein Obama" and "Barack Mohammed Hussein Obama." Fox News' Molly Henneberg suggested McCain could not have expected Cunningham to refer to Obama's middle name, even though Cunningham did just that on Fox News a month ago. Read More

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