Tuesday, March 25, 2008

Media Matters Daily Summary 03-25-08

Chicago Tribune falsely claimed Clinton, Obama, and McCain "essentially agree" on immigration
In an article on immigration as a campaign issue, the Chicago Tribune reported that Sens. Hillary Clinton, Barack Obama, and John McCain "essentially agree on the need for an overhaul of U.S. Immigration law that would combine increased border enforcement with a new guest-worker program and measures to permit the estimated 12 million illegal immigrants already in the country to eventually apply for citizenship." In fact, McCain has said he "would not" support his original comprehensive immigration proposal if it came to a vote on the Senate floor and now says that "we've got to secure the borders first." Read More

In reporting "surprising good news on sales of existing homes," ABC ignored 24 percent decline in sales from Feb. 2007
Introducing a report on "surprising good news on sales of existing homes," ABC* News' Charles Gibson stated that "[a]fter falling for six straight months, sales rose almost 3 percent in February." But neither Gibson, nor correspondent Sharyn Alfonsi in the subsequent report, noted that home sales were still down nearly 24 percent from February 2007. Read More

Kurtz continues to cover Wright comments while giving short shrift to Hagee, Parsley comments
On CNN's Reliable Sources, Howard Kurtz has devoted a total of approximately 18 minutes to the controversy surrounding remarks made by Sen. Barack Obama's former pastor, Rev. Jeremiah Wright. In contrast, Kurtz has led only brief discussions on two religious figures who have endorsed Sen. John McCain and who have made controversial comments -- a single two-minute discussion on Rev. John Hagee and only seven seconds on Rev. Rod Parsley. Read More

Boston Globe's Canellos claimed McCain has a "nonideological voting record" -- but not according to McCain
The Boston Globe's Peter S. Canellos reported that Sen. John McCain's "opposition to Bush on a range of issues, combined with his nonideological voting record, gives him an image of moderation." In fact, McCain himself has stated, "My record in public office taken as a whole is the record of a mainstream conservative," and has said that he will "offer Americans ... a clearly conservative approach to governing." Furthermore, academic studies of McCain's voting record have ranked him among the most conservative members of the Senate. Read More

Wash. Times' Lambro asserted McCain "burnish[ed] his defense and foreign policy credentials" on trip, ignored Al Qaeda-Iran gaffe
The Washington Times' Donald Lambro asserted that Sen. John McCain's "fact-finding foreign policy trip" "burnish[ed] his defense and foreign policy credentials." Lambro wrote this despite McCain's admittedly false claim during the trip that "it's common knowledge and has been reported in the media that ... Al Qaeda is going back into Iran and receiving training and are coming back into Iraq from Iran." Read More

NY Times touted National Journal vote ratings to cast doubt on Obama's ability to "end the partisan and ideological wars"
In an article discussing whether Sen. Barack Obama "can transcend the starkly red-and-blue politics of the last 15 years, end the partisan and ideological wars and build a new governing majority," The New York Times noted that the National Journal rated Obama's "voting record ... the most liberal in the Senate." But the Times did not mention that the Journal's rating conflicts with that of a respected study that, in contrast to the Journal's, uses every non-unanimous vote cast within a given year. Read More

Olbermann named Kristol "Worst Person" "runner-up," McCain and Hume the "winners"
On the March 24 edition of MSNBC's Countdown, Keith Olbermann named New York Times columnist William Kristol the "runner-up" and Sen. John McCain and Fox News' Brit Hume the "winners" in his nightly "Worst Person in the World" segment. Read More

On Hannity & Colmes, Dick Morris again falsely claimed Clinton said Chelsea "was saved only because she ducked into a coffee shop" on 9-11
Dick Morris falsely claimed that Sen. Hillary Clinton "says Chelsea [Clinton] was in danger on 9-11, jogging around the towers of the World Trade Center and was saved only 'cause she ducked into a coffee shop." In fact, Hillary Clinton made no such claim; rather, she said that her daughter had "gone, what she thought would be just a great jog. She was going to go down to Battery Park, she was going to go around the towers. She went to get a cup of coffee and -- and that's when the plane hit." Read More

On Fox News, Sabato equated Democrats to "mommy," Republicans to "daddy"
Recycling a standard gender cliché frequently used by the media to discuss Republicans and Democrats, Larry Sabato said: "Look, when you analyze parties, you need to think of them this way: The Democratic Party is the mommy party, and the Republican Party is the daddy party." Read More

Media continue to ignore McCain endorsers' controversial comments
Media Matters has extensively documented the disparity in media coverage devoted to controversial comments made by supporters of Sen. Barack Obama and to those made by supporters of Sen. John McCain. Several major publications have reported only on the controversy over remarks by McCain supporter John Hagee targeting Catholics, but not his controversial statements about Hurricane Katrina, Islam, women, and homosexuality. Most of those same publications have yet to report on pastor Rod Parsley and his controversial remarks in the context of McCain's campaign. Read More

On Hardball, Matthews ignored his own advice to stop "trying to see things through the eyes of the Clintons"
Despite saying that "we should [not] be putting our focus... on the feelings of the Clintons," and "we got to stop talking about this as if this were a sitcom," Chris Matthews devoted a six-minute segment on Hardball to speculation about Sen. Hillary Clinton's motivations and preferred outcomes in the event that she loses the Democratic nomination for president, including wondering whether the "worst-case scenario" for Clinton is "[t]hat [Sen.] Barack Obama becomes the greatest Democratic president in modern times, and everybody forgets her husband and forgets she ever ran." Read More

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