Monday, March 31, 2008

Media Matters Daily Summary 03-31-08

Charlie Rose falsely asserted McCain "call[ed] for the firing of Secretary Rumsfeld"
During an interview with Sen. Chuck Hagel, Charlie Rose falsely asserted that Sen. John McCain "early on call[ed] for the firing of Secretary Rumsfeld." In fact, while McCain expressed "no confidence" in Rumsfeld in 2004, he did not call for him to be fired; he said the decision about whether Rumsfeld should leave was the president's. Read More

ABC's Tapper distorted Clinton's comments on NAFTA
In a blog post, ABC's Jake Tapper wrote, "Campaigning in Indiana on Friday, Sen. Hillary Clinton, D-NY, claimed to have been a 16-year vocal opponent of NAFTA." But in the very comments Tapper cited, Clinton did not assert that she had "been a 16-year vocal opponent of NAFTA"; rather, she said she "spoke out" against NAFTA starting in 1992. Read More

Ignoring his last presidential campaign, CBS' Higgins claimed McCain "didn't speak about" time as Vietnam POW until now
CBS News' Andante Higgins reported in a blog post that "[o]ne of [Sen. John] McCain's claims to fame is his time as a prisoner of war in Vietnam, something he didn't like to discuss a lot before this campaign," adding, "Perhaps he didn't speak about it sooner because he learned from his father not to." In fact, McCain and his campaign repeatedly invoked his experience as a POW during his failed bid for the Republican presidential nomination in 2000. Read More

WSJ editorial falsely claimed "Senate Intelligence Committee found" that Wilson "had lied" about Niger trip and that his report "produced no information of any intelligence value"
A Wall Street Journal editorial falsely asserted that "the Senate Intelligence Committee found" former Ambassador Joseph C. Wilson IV "had lied in claiming his wife [former CIA agent Valerie Plame] had played no role in sending him to Niger." In fact, the full committee did not conclude that Plame had suggested the mission. Further, multiple news reports have quoted unnamed intelligence officials who refuted the notion that Plame authorized, or even suggested, Wilson's trip. Read More

On NewsHour, Shields and Brooks ignored "aging movie actress," other statements in stressing McCain's purported "places of disagreement" with Bush's foreign policy
On The NewsHour with Jim Lehrer, Mark Shields asserted that Sen. John McCain "emphasized a lot of places of disagreement" with President Bush during his March 26 foreign policy speech, including "the sense of communality and collegiality among nations, reaching to the allies." But neither Shields nor the others in the discussion noted any of the highly critical statements McCain made about U.S. allies who opposed the Iraq war. Read More

Scarborough on Obama's "dainty" bowling performance: "Americans want their president, if it's a man, to be a real man"
On Morning Joe, Joe Scarborough and Willie Geist repeatedly mocked Sen. Barack Obama's bowling performance -- which Scarborough called "dainty" -- at a campaign stop in Pennsylvania. Deriding Obama's score, Scarborough said: "You know Willie, the thing is, Americans want their president, if it's a man, to be a real man." He added, "You get 150, you're a man, or a good woman," to which Geist replied, "Out of my president, I want a 150, at least." After guest Harold Ford Jr. said that Obama's bowling showed a "humble" and "human" side to him, Scarborough replied, "A very human side? A prissy side." Read More

Dobbs claimed there "isn't much difference" among the three candidates, except on Iraq
CNN's Lou Dobbs claimed that, "with the exception of Iraq, there isn't much difference among" Sens. Barack Obama, Hillary Clinton, and John McCain. In fact, on health care, Obama and Clinton have both proposed plans to expand coverage, which McCain has denounced. Obama and Clinton also both support comprehensive immigration reform; McCain abandoned his previous support for comprehensive immigration legislation during his campaign for the Republican nomination. Read More

Media report McCain's recent efforts to tout his military record, but not that he told Kerry not to do so in '04
Several media outlets reported on Sen. John McCain's recent efforts to highlight his Vietnam War experience as part of his presidential campaign without noting that, in 2004, he reportedly told Sen. John Kerry that Kerry should not use his Vietnam war record during his campaign, or that McCain falsely asserted in 2004 that he "didn't talk about" his own service during his 2000 presidential campaign "because," he said, "I didn't need to." Read More

Limbaugh's purported translation of Obama statement on Clinton: "I don't know why the B-I-itch is staying in"
On his radio program, after airing comments by Sen. Barack Obama, in which he stated, "Senator Clinton can run as long as she wants," Rush Limbaugh said: "Can I translate that for you? 'I don't know why the B-I-itch is staying in. I feel like a damn hostage here. But I can't say it because she's a woman. And if I say that, they're going to jump down in my throat for being a sexist.'" Read More

Matthews claimed McCain "has campaigned brilliantly against Bush" -- but not according to McCain
On NBC's Today, Chris Matthews asserted that Sen. John McCain "has campaigned brilliantly against Bush," adding, "He won this by basically running against the Bush administration." But when President Bush endorsed him on March 5, McCain said, "All I can say is that on the fundamentals and the principles of our Republican Party and most of the specifics of our shared conservative philosophy, Bush and I are in agreement." Read More

Kurtz falsely claimed that "[u]nlike in 2000," McCain is "now us[ing]" POW experience "in some of his TV advertising"
During a online discussion, Howard Kurtz falsely claimed that Sen. John McCain did not use his military service in television advertising during his failed 2000 presidential campaign. In fact, Kurtz's own reporting during the 2000 Republican presidential primary campaign contradicts his statement. Read More

NBC's Mitchell falsely suggested Obama was discussing abortion when he made "punished with a baby" comment
On MSNBC Live, NBC News' Andrea Mitchell falsely suggested that Sen. Barack Obama was discussing abortion when he said of his two daughters at a March 29 campaign event: "I don't want them punished with a baby." In fact, as CNN reported, Obama's comments were in response to "a question about how his administration, if he's elected, would deal with the issue of HIV and AIDS and also sexually transmitted diseases with young girls." Read More

NY Times reported McCain's "reluctan[ce]" to support "bailout for greedy lenders and reckless buyers" -- but he reportedly approved of Bear Stearns aid
A March 30 New York Times article about the debate over government aid for homeowners facing foreclosure contrasted "Democrats emboldened by the Federal Reserve's intervention in the collapse of Bear Stearns [who] are demanding help for 'everyday Americans,' " with "Republicans including Senator John McCain, the party's presumptive nominee, [who] are urging restraint, reluctant to commit taxpayer funds to what they say is simply a bailout." The article did not mention that McCain reportedly agreed with the Fed's decision to step in to avert the collapse of the investment bank Bear Stearns. Read More

Touting report on Clinton aide's connection to subprime lender, Fox News ignored report on McCain's aides' lobbying for "notorious lender"
On Fox News' The Live Desk, Martha MacCallum, discussing with correspondent Major Garrett a report about Sen. Hillary Clinton's campaign manager, Maggie Williams, stated that Williams "sat on the board of one of the nation's once-largest and now bankrupt mortgage lenders, Delta Financial." However, neither Garrett nor MacCallum mentioned Sen. John McCain's reported ties to the mortgage industry. Read More

Dobbs: "What we have is a problem of talking about race without fearing recrimination and distortion"
On CNN's The Situation Room, Lou Dobbs criticized Condoleezza Rice's statement on race, saying, "I think it's really unfortunate that Secretary of State Rice believes as she does. The fact is most Americans don't have a problem talking about race. What we have is a problem of talking about race without fearing recrimination and distortion and someone using whatever comments are made for their own purposes -- usually political purposes." Read More

Fox News' Doocy distorted Dean's comments about McCain
Fox News' Steve Doocy asserted that Sen. John McCain "has not really talked much about his time in the Hanoi Hilton for five years, and what happened to him, and they are including some of that archival stuff in a [campaign] video. And now, Howard Dean says that that is 'blatant opportunism.' " In fact, Dean said: "John McCain can try to reintroduce himself to the country, but he can't change the fact that he cast aside his principles to stand shoulder-to-shoulder with President Bush for the last seven years. While we honor McCain's military service, the fact is Americans want a real leader who offers real solutions, not a blatant opportunist who doesn't understand the economy and is promising to keep our troops in Iraq for 100 years." Read More

Matthews on Obama: "[T]his gets very ethnic, but the fact that he's good at basketball doesn't surprise anybody"
On Hardball, discussing Sen. Barack Obama's bowling performance at a campaign stop, Chris Matthews said to MSNBC political analyst Michelle Bernard, "You know, Michelle -- and this gets very ethnic, but the fact that he's good at basketball doesn't surprise anybody, but the fact that he's that terrible at bowling does make you wonder." While showing the video of Obama's bowling, Matthews asserted, "[I]t isn't the most macho form there." Read More

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