Thursday, March 27, 2008

Media Matters Daily Summary 03-27-08

MSNBC's Brewer on McCain's housing crisis speech: "Is this a real turning point for him, being this specific and detailed on what the economy needs?"
After playing a video clip of Sen. John McCain's March 25 speech on the housing crisis, MSNBC's Contessa Brewer asked, "Is this a real turning point for him, being this specific and detailed on what the economy needs?" Brewer provided no examples from the speech to support her claim that McCain was being "specific and detailed on what the economy needs." In fact, in the speech, McCain's "specific" proposals consisted of changes to the tax code that he has previously endorsed, raising the down payment requirement for Federal Housing Authority loans and convening two meetings. Read More

Media report that McCain now insists on respect for U.S. allies -- but ignore 2003 smears of Germany and "aging movie actress" France
Several media outlets reported Sen. John McCain's assertion, in his March 26 foreign policy speech, that "[w]e need to listen to the views and respect the collective will of our democratic allies," without nothing that, during the run-up to the Iraq war, McCain made statements that suggested the opposite of "respect" for the views of U.S. allies. For example, in February 2003, McCain likened France, which opposed the invasion, to an "aging movie actress in the 1940s who's still trying to dine out on her looks, but doesn't have the face for it." Read More

Wash. Post's Dobbs criticized Clinton for citing "somewhat misleading" 1996 Post report that the Post has yet to correct
In his "Fact Checker" column, The Washington Post's Michael Dobbs criticized Sen. Hillary Clinton's presidential campaign for "cit[ing]" a Post article about her 1996 trip to Bosnia -- an article Dobbs described as "somewhat misleading." However, the Post has yet to correct the article that the Clinton campaign has cited. Read More

Morning Joe reported that Saddam allegedly financed three Dems' Iraq trip, but not that DOJ reportedly said they didn't know
On Morning Joe, Mika Brzezinski and Joe Scarborough discussed "[a] trip made by three U.S. lawmakers to Iraq before the war [that] was secretly financed by -- Saddam Hussein." Brzezinski stated, "The dates of the tour match one taken by Democratic representatives Jim McDermott, David Bonior, and Mike Thompson." But neither Brzezinski nor Scarborough mentioned that, as reported on the Morning Joe on-screen news ticker, "The Justice Department [told] NBC News it is satisfied the lawmakers believed in good faith the trip was funded by a legitimate charity." Read More

MSNBC's O'Donnell issues "clarification" for falsely claiming McCain "called for Don Rumsfeld's resignation"
A day after falsely claiming that Sen. John McCain "called for Don Rumsfeld's resignation," MSNBC's Norah O'Donnell issued a "clarification," saying: "Yesterday, I suggested that John McCain had called for Secretary Rumsfeld's resignation in the past. In fact, what McCain had said repeatedly was that he lacked confidence in Rumsfeld. But he did not directly call for Rumsfeld to step down back when Rumsfeld was still in office." Read More

Just weeks after criticizing McCain for exploiting campaign finance laws, Wash. Post dubbed him a "champion" of campaign finance reform
The Washington Post asserted in a March 27 editorial that Sen. John McCain is a "champion" of "campaign finance reform," despite having stated less than three weeks before that McCain's decision to "deriv[e] some benefit from the matching funds system and then abandon[] it when that was to his advantage" was "not Mr. McCain's proudest moment as a reformer." Read More

Dick Morris again falsely claimed Clinton said Chelsea "was jogging around the World Trade Center on 9/11"
Syndicated columnist and Fox News contributor Dick Morris and his wife, Eileen McGann, falsely asserted in a column that Sen. Hillary Clinton "said that Chelsea [Clinton] was jogging around the World Trade Center on 9/11 and happened to duck into a coffee shop when the airplanes hit. She said that this move saved Chelsea's life." In fact, Hillary Clinton made no such claim. Read More

AP uncritically quoted McCain claim that Obama will "raise taxes" on homeowners
The Associated Press quoted Sen. John McCain claiming that Sen. Barack Obama will "raise taxes" on homeowners. In fact, Obama has proposed "at least $80 billion a year in tax cuts to middle-class workers, homeowners and retirees," and specifically called for "extending a mortgage credit to taxpayers who do not itemize, generating about $500 in savings for 10 million people." Read More

MSNBC anchor, guests ignore Obama's prior condemnation of anti-Israel statements in church newsletter and by his pastor
On MSNBC, Tucker Carlson described statements on the "pastor's pages" section of Sen. Barack Obama's church's newsletter as "wild," "anti-Israeli statements" and asserted: "I think Obama will feel the need to address that directly fairly soon." Later, Andrea Mitchell asked Chicago Sun-Times Washington bureau chief Lynn Sweet: "Does he [Obama] have to do more explaining? Does he have to meet perhaps once again with Jewish leaders to try to reassure them that these are not his views as well?" Sweet responded: "Andrea, yes, yes, yes, and yes on everything you're saying." But no one mentioned Obama's prior condemnation of his pastor's "views on Israel" and the church's republication of an op-ed by a Hamas official. Read More

Wash. Times' McCaslin misrepresented FEC spokesman, advisory opinions, to raise questions about Clinton's Elton John concert
In a column about an Elton John concert on behalf of Sen. Hillary Clinton's campaign, The Washington Times' John McCaslin questioned whether the concert violates federal election law and wrote that FEC spokesman Bob Biersack "said he doesn't know whether the Elton John performance would be considered unlawful by FEC standards." While McCaslin later updated his column, he did not note that, according to the Clinton campaign, Biersack said: "I did not intend to convey ... that there is anything unlawful" about the concert. McCaslin also falsely asserted that a 1981 FEC advisory opinion "prohibited a foreign national artist from donating his services in connection with fundraising for a U.S. Senate campaign." Read More

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