Wednesday, April 23, 2008

Media Matters Daily Summary 04-23-08

CNN has yet to note that, notwithstanding McCain's criticism of Obama, McCain reportedly doesn't expect Al Qaeda in Iraq would "be taking a country" if "we left" Iraq
After airing several reports in February highlighting Sen. John McCain's assertion that "if we left [Iraq], [Al Qaeda in Iraq] wouldn't be establishing a base ... they'd be taking a country," CNN has yet to follow up by noting that McCain reportedly does not believe that assertion. According to The New York Times, "[f]ew, including Mr. McCain, expect Al Qaeda in Mesopotamia [Iraq], a Sunni group, to take control of Shiite-dominated Iraq in the event of an American withdrawal." Read More

Wash. Post's Balz touted McCain's "advocacy of comprehensive immigration reform" -- which McCain no longer supports
The Washington Post's Dan Balz asserted that Sen. John McCain's "advocacy of comprehensive immigration reform" is among the policy positions that help "paint a portrait of someone not cut from the traditional [Republican] party mold." In fact, McCain has abandoned his previous support for comprehensive immigration legislation, saying that he "would not" support his original comprehensive immigration proposal if it came up for a vote in the Senate. Read More

Wash. Post's Cohen's double standard: Clinton's acts disqualifying, while McCain's numerous inconsistencies and falsehoods are "understandable"
The Washington Post's Richard Cohen wrote of Sen. John McCain: "He's an honorable man who has fudged and ducked and swallowed the truth on occasion ... but always, I think, for understandable although not necessarily admirable reasons." By contrast, Cohen accused Sen. Hillary Clinton of "want[ing] to become president so badly that she has made the goal more important than how she gets there -- and now she has rendered herself incapable of doing an essential part of the job." Read More

Following Buchanan's comment on Clinton's voice, Matthews warned: "Go the other way. You're in the danger area"
On Morning Joe, after Pat Buchanan said of Sen. Hillary Clinton's speech following the Pennsylvania primary that "only once or twice did that voice start rising to the level that every husband in America at one time or another has heard. You know, where it starts going up -- " Joe Scarborough said, "Be careful here, Buchanan." Chris Matthews added, "Go the other way. You're in the danger area. ... You're in the danger area, Pat, take my advice." Read More

After lamenting absence of debate on "fundamental issues," Lauer asked Clinton only about the race
On the April 15 edition of Today, Matt Lauer asserted, "It's been a long time since an actual vote was cast in this primary season, a long time since we've debated actual fundamental issues. We've had a lot of sniping and second-guessing." Yet in an April 23 interview on Today with Sen. Hillary Clinton, Lauer discussed only the state of the Democratic presidential primary race, not any "actual fundamental issues." Read More

Matthews purports to channel Dem party "grandee[]" in suggesting Obama pick Jewish running mate for "ethnic balance" to his middle name
On the noon edition of MSNBC Live on April 22, MSNBC host Chris Matthews -- purporting to channel Robert Strauss, former Democratic National Committee chairman, chairman of Jimmy Carter's 1976 presidential campaign, and ambassador under former President George H.W. Bush -- suggested that Sen. Barack Obama could provide "ethnic balance" to the "interesting, sort of Middle Eastern Hussein in his name" by selecting a Jewish running mate in the 2008 presidential election. According to Matthews, Strauss -- whom Matthews called "one of the grandees of the party"-- "would sit there and say: 'You know what we need? We need a Clinton person on this Barack ticket. We need some ethnic balance. He's got that interesting, sort of Middle Eastern Hussein in his name. Let's put a Jewish running mate with this guy. Put [Pennsylvania Gov.] Eddie Rendell on the ticket with him.' " Read More

New Orleans visit offers media another chance to confront McCain with Hagee's just-repeated Katrina comments -- will they take it?
Sen. John McCain is scheduled to visit Xavier University in New Orleans on April 24. On the April 22 edition The Dennis Prager Show, John Hagee -- whose endorsement McCain solicited and received -- affirmed his 2006 comment about Hurricane Katrina: "I believe that New Orleans had a level of sin that was offensive to God, and they are -- were recipients of the judgment of God for that." Hagee's affirmation of his comments and McCain's scheduled trip to New Orleans two days later offer the media an opportunity once again to report the Katrina comment and other offensive remarks -- will they take it? Read More

MSNBC on-screen text falsely suggested Republicans wanted to pass Fair Pay Act
On MSNBC Live, as host Alex Witt reported on a press conference held by Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell, on-screen text read: "GOP leaders criticize Dems for delaying vote on Fair Pay Act," falsely suggesting that Republicans wanted to pass the measure. At no point in the coverage of McConnell's press conference did Witt or MSNBC in its on-screen text explain that the Republicans planned to filibuster the bill. Read More

Multiple choice: Of the following, which outlet covered two recent major national security stories -- NBC, CBS, NPR, PBS, or ... Comedy Central?
On April 22, The Daily Show's Jon Stewart highlighted two recent reports concerning national security that have been largely ignored by most television news outlets and NPR: a New York Times article reporting that "the Bush administration has used" media military analysts, many of whom have clients with or seeking Pentagon contracts, "into a kind of media Trojan horse -- an instrument intended to shape terrorism coverage from inside the major TV and radio networks"; and a Government Accountability Office report that found that the "United States has not met its national security goals to destroy terrorist threats and close the safe haven in Pakistan's FATA." Read More

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