Thursday, April 24, 2008

Media Matters Daily Summary 04-24-08

NBC's Mitchell said McCain took "very strong stand" against NC GOP's anti-Obama ad, but omitted pattern of smears benefiting McCain
Reporting on an ad from the North Carolina Republican Party that attacks Sen. Barack Obama for his relationship with Rev. Jeremiah Wright, NBC News' Andrea Mitchell asserted that Sen. John McCain "is taking a very strong stand," telling the party "that he does not want them to run this ad." She later said that "John McCain immediately demanded that the North Carolina Republicans kill the ad." By simply reporting McCain's condemnation of the North Carolina ad, Mitchell was repeating a pattern in the media of allowing McCain, as's Melinda Henneberger noted, to "take the high road," while his supporters engage in smears for his benefit. Read More

NY Times, LA Times reported that McCain asked NC GOP not to run ad, but did not report Obama's response or that smears fit pattern
Articles in the Los Angeles Times and New York Times reported that Sen. John McCain disapproved of an ad produced by the North Carolina Republican Party that attacks Sen. Barack Obama for his relationship with Rev. Jeremiah Wright, and that McCain called on the party not to air it. But neither newspaper noted Obama's response, nor that this ad is part of a pattern in which McCain supporters and even McCain staff members have spread smears about Obama, and McCain has denounced those smears even as he has reaped their benefits. Read More

MSNBC's Brewer asked if attack ad against Obama is "a new way to get your ad covered without buying time" -- while giving ad free airtime
On MSNBC Live, while airing video of a new ad that attacks Sen. Barack Obama, Contessa Brewer said, "Well, here's the catch: [Floyd] Brown [the ad's creator] does not have a single ad buy in any TV market. Instead of paying for airtime, he just announces this in a press release for outlets like YouTube to pick up." Brewer then asked, "[I]s this a new way to get your ad covered without buying any time?" -- apparently missing the irony of MSNBC's giving the ad free airtime while reporting that the producer was hoping for free publicity. Read More

Ignoring McCain's inconsistent statements, Blitzer did not challenge Gov. Crist's defense of comparison of Iraq and South Korea
On The Situation Room, Wolf Blitzer left unchallenged Florida Gov. Charlie Crist's claim that "what Senator [John] McCain talks about" when he said he advocated a long-term military presence in Iraq is "to make sure that those who have lost their lives, that their lives were not lost in vain. I mean, we still maintain troop presence in South Korea." In fact, McCain has made inconsistent statements on the subject of a troop presence in Iraq modeled on South Korea, which Blitzer did not note. Read More

Special Report aired quotes from military analyst Robert Scales -- but has not mentioned he was in Times' exposé on military analysts
In two separate reports since The New York Times published an exposé on the hidden ties between media military analysts and the Pentagon, Fox News' Special Report aired quotes from Fox News military analyst Robert Scales without mentioning that Scales was named in the Times article and addressing Scales' relationship with the Defense Department and defense contractors. Read More

On Fox, Napolitano claimed McCain "for his whole career, has tried to stay above this kind of a fray"
Discussing an attack ad on Sen. Barack Obama that Sen. John McCain has denounced, Fox & Friends co-host Andrew Napolitano asserted: "John McCain, for his whole career, has tried to stay above this kind of a fray. Why should he change now?" Napolitano did not point out that this is the latest example of a pattern in which McCain denounces smears against his opponents, while also benefiting from them. Moreover, in asserting that McCain has "tried to stay above this kind of a fray," Napolitano seemingly ignored several instances in which McCain has misrepresented the statements or positions of his opponents. Read More

Doocy's claim that "I believe those records have all been released" ignores McCain's delay of release of most recent medical records
Discussing on Fox & Friends whether Sen. John McCain is "fit enough to be the next commander in chief," radio host Mike Papantonio said, "[W]e ought to have the right to know about what's the status of the cancer that he had -- he developed two times, malignant melanoma." Steve Doocy replied, "That is true. All right. And I believe those records have all been released." However, while McCain released his full medical records in 1999, he has yet to release his recent medical records, which his campaign reportedly says it will do "sometime in May" after reportedly having "pledged to release [his cancer] test results before the end of April." Read More

On Cavuto, Floyd Brown claimed Obama has "a pattern of weakness" on crime; likened Chicago to Baghdad
On Fox News' Your World, Floyd Brown, creator of a new ad claiming that Sen. Barack Obama is "weak in the war on gangs," asserted: "[I]n Chicago, we saw six people killed and over 31 injured. People were stabbed. This is, you know, like Baghdad. And he was the state senator there, and he didn't do anything to clean it up, and I think it's a legitimate issue." Host Neil Cavuto gave no indication that Obama has responded to the ad, much less provide Obama's response. Read More

Cable news nets run ad attacking Obama over and over -- even as pundits note win-win for McCain
Beginning on the afternoon of April 23, MSNBC, Fox News, and CNN aired a controversial ad by the North Carolina Republican Party attacking Sen. Barack Obama and two Democratic gubernatorial candidates at least 22 times combined, in most cases also noting that Sen. John McCain denounced the ad. As media figures on MSNBC and CNN pointed out, the repeated broadcasts benefit the North Carolina Republican Party, which does not have to pay for them, and they presumably benefit McCain, even as he is credited with taking the high road for criticizing the ad. Read More

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