Thursday, May 22, 2008

Media Matters Daily Summary 05-22-08

Hannity, Rove again mischaracterized Obama's Pakistan comments
On Hannity & Colmes, discussing issues that purportedly "have totally changed the narrative on Senator [Barack] Obama," Sean Hannity repeated a falsehood that he has promoted numerous times before, that Obama would advocate "possibly invading an ally, Pakistan." Read More

The Hill reported McCain's immigration bill "damaged his credibility with conservatives," but not that he responded by now opposing it
The Hill reported that Sen. John McCain "sponsored legislation with Sen. Edward Kennedy (D-Mass.) that would offer a path to citizenship to millions of illegal immigrants" and said "[t]his damaged his credibility with conservatives, and they do not trust him on the issue." While asserting that McCain took a "harder stance" on immigration during the primary, the article did not note that McCain now says he would no longer support the bill he co-sponsored with Kennedy if it came up for a vote in the Senate. Read More

MSNBC's O'Donnell misrepresented Jim Baker's position on talking to Iran "without preconditions"
MSNBC's Norah O'Donnell falsely asserted that James Baker has taken the position that there must be preconditions before the United States enters into talks with Iran. In fact, at a forum in March, Baker said that he favors the United States negotiating with Iran "without preconditions" over how to handle Iraq, just as the United States had engaged Iran in discussions "about our common interest in a stable Afghanistan" from 2001 to 2003. Read More

On MSNBC, purveyors of sexism Buchanan and Barnicle purported to assess role of sexism in presidential campaign coverage
On Morning Joe, Mike Barnicle and Pat Buchanan discussed whether "sexism [will] play a key role in what went wrong" in Sen. Hillary Clinton's presidential campaign, with Barnicle saying that "reality," not sexism, "will play a much larger role in what has happened," and Buchanan asserting that, while "there's resistance to a woman being the nominee," "the fact that she's a woman has helped her." But Barnicle has referred to Clinton as "looking like everyone's first wife standing outside a probate court." Buchanan has described Clinton's voice as "rising to the level that every husband in America at one time or another has heard." Read More

Boston Globe reported McCain's attack on Obama on campaign finance, but not that McCain may be breaking campaign finance laws
The Boston Globe reported in an article that Sen. John McCain has "accus[ed] [Sen. Barack] Obama of going back on his word to take part in the public system" without noting that the Obama campaign has also criticized McCain on public financing or that the FEC chairman has taken the position that McCain cannot legally opt out of public financing during the primary season without FEC approval. Read More

Media forecast successful McCain effort to manipulate media on medical records
In two separate appearances on MSNBC Live, NBC News political director Chuck Todd discussed the announcement that Sen. John McCain will make his medical records available on May 23, suggesting first that the McCain campaign scheduled the records' availability before Memorial Day weekend to minimize coverage of them and later that such a strategy would be effective. But it is within NBC's power to prevent the strategy from working by covering the issue adequately. Read More

AP misled on McCain's position on "an amendment to the Constitution to ban same-sex unions"
The Associated Press reported that Sen. John McCain "opposes an amendment to the Constitution to ban same-sex unions." In fact, in a March appearance on Hannity & Colmes, McCain said he supports amendments to state constitutions to ban same-sex marriage and would also support an amendment to the federal Constitution banning same-sex marriage if necessary. Read More

CNN's Yellin uncritically aired unidentified woman's false assertion that Wright's "avowed interest was the elimination of the Jewish race"
In a report on Sen. Barack Obama's outreach to Jewish voters in Florida, CNN's Jessica Yellin aired a quote from an unidentified woman who said that Obama "was affiliated with someone whose avowed interest was the elimination of the Jewish race, and that was Reverend [Jeremiah] Wright." Yellin did not challenge or contradict the woman's false assertion. Read More

Ignoring Tennessee GOP and McCain staffers, Politico claimed "smears" against Obama "have not been traced back to GOP sources"
The Politico stated that Sen. Barack Obama is "blaming Republicans for the smears" about his religion, patriotism, and citizenship "even though they have not been traced back to GOP sources." In fact, there have been numerous instances in which Republicans, including on Sen. John McCain's own staff, have promulgated or promoted these smears, some of which the Politico itself reported on. Read More

Savage plays Dead Kennedys song again after asserting he "is now being persecuted for refusing to take the party line" on Sen. Kennedy's illness
On the May 21 broadcast of his nationally syndicated radio show, Michael Savage stated of Sen. Ted Kennedy, "His poor health does not excuse him from what he has done to our nation, and so, now, the Soros-run media sets on Michael Savage for daring to disclose the truth about Ted Kennedy's legacy." Savage added: "Just as in a Soviet show trial, Michael Savage is now being persecuted for refusing to take the party line that the great lion of the left must be praised -- all praise, all praise." On May 20, Savage aired the Dead Kennedys song "California Über Alles" while discussing Kennedy's recent diagnosis with a malignant brain tumor. Savage again aired the song during his May 21 broadcast. Read More

No "façade": CNN correspondent Sylvester rebuffs Dobbs' efforts to get her to affirm his false accusations of secrecy against Appleseed
On Lou Dobbs Tonight, Dobbs introduced a segment by Lisa Sylvester about a report by the nonprofit group Appleseed by asserting, "Many of these groups call themselves nonpartisan, nonprofit organizations when in reality they are nothing more than advocates for illegal alien amnesty and, in many cases, open borders. Lisa Sylvester reports on the façade." But Sylvester did not expose any such "façade," and Sylvester rebuffed Dobbs' efforts to get her to assert that Appleseed is something other than what it claims to be -- "[a] non-profit network of 16 public interest justice centers in the U.S. and Mexico ... dedicated to building a society where opportunities are genuine, access to the law is universal and equal, and government advances the public interest." Read More

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