Thursday, May 29, 2008

Media Matters Daily Summary 05-29-08

CNN's Crowley, Fox News' Rosen cite McCain attacks on Obama's Iraq knowledge without noting McCain's misstatements about conditions in Iraq
CNN's Candy Crowley uncritically reported that Sen. John McCain is "continually suggesting Obama wants to surrender in Iraq without knowing what's happening there," and Fox News' James Rosen said, "Obama's absence from the war zone over the last two and a half years, McCain argued, has left the first-term senator divorced from the reality that now prevails on the ground in Iraq." However, neither Crowley nor Rosen mentioned any of the misstatements McCain has made that have raised questions about whether McCain himself "know[s] what's happening" in Iraq. Read More

Wash. Post's Perry Bacon Jr. misrepresented Obama statement to claim he "effectively dismissed the importance of policy proposals"
In a Washington Post article, Perry Bacon Jr. asserted that when Sen. Barack Obama "decided to run for president after only two years in the Senate ... he effectively dismissed the importance of policy proposals, declaring in one speech in early 2007, 'We've had plenty of plans, Democrats,' and in another: 'Every four years, somebody trots out a white paper, they post it on the Web.' " But Bacon omitted the very next sentence in the second statement he quoted: "But the question we have to challenge ourselves is do we have the political will and the sense of urgency to actually get it done." Read More

CNN's Todd falsely described Lieberman as a "close Democratic ally of John McCain's"
CNN's Brian Todd misidentified Sen. Joe Lieberman (I-CT) as a "Democratic ally" of Sen. John McCain. In fact, Lieberman was re-elected to the Senate in 2006 as an independent and has reportedly "asked to be called an Independent Democrat," and that "if the compound modifier that the senator prefers was not going to take hold, then Lieberman's second choice is to be described as an Independent." Read More

Ignoring support for waste storage at Yucca, NY Sun said McCain's position on international nuclear waste storage "could win him votes in Nevada"
New York Sun reporter Eli Lake wrote that in a May 27 speech on nuclear safety, Sen. John McCain said "he favored the creation of an international repository where all spent nuclear fuel could eventually be sent," which Lake described as a "position that could win him votes in Nevada." However, Lake did not note that McCain has previously supported storing nuclear waste at Yucca Mountain in Nevada. Read More

MSNBC's Mitchell did not challenge GOP strategist's false assertion that McCain called for Rumsfeld's resignation
On MSNBC Live, Andrea Mitchell failed to challenge Republican strategist Trent Duffy's false claim that Sen. John McCain "was one of the first to call for Secretary Rumsfeld's resignation." In fact, as his campaign itself has reportedly admitted, McCain did not call for former Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld's resignation. While McCain expressed "no confidence" in Rumsfeld in 2004, he reportedly "said his comments were not a call for Rumsfeld's resignation." Read More

The Hill's Stoddard falsely claimed Obama attempting to "get away from" national security, John McCain's "comfort zone"
In an online video segment, A.B. Stoddard described national security as Sen. John McCain's "comfort zone" and asserted that Sen. Barack Obama "hasn't quite figured out yet how to get away from it, but he will. He has a few months to figure out how to always lob it back to the economy." But far from attempting "to get away" from the issue of national security, Obama has challenged McCain to debate the issue. Read More

Defending media's war coverage, NBC's Gregory asked, "Where was Congress?" (Answer: Most Dems were voting against the bill)
Discussing the run-up to the Iraq war on Hardball, David Gregory said, "If there wasn't a debate in this country, then maybe the American people should think about, why not? Where was Congress? Where was the House? Where was the Senate?" In fact, a majority of congressional Democrats voted against the Authorization for Use of Military Force Against Iraq in October 2002. Of the 258 Democrats in Congress at the time, 147 voted against the resolution, while 110 voted for it. One Democrat did not vote. Read More

Fox News anchor falsely suggested Obama only now -- in wake of McCain criticism -- contemplating trip to Iraq
Fox News' Jon Scott asked whether Sen. Barack Obama should "go to Iraq" and said to Republican strategist Chip Saltsman, "Seems, though, like [Obama] is only talking about going [to Iraq] now, Chip, because [Sen. John] McCain held his feet to the fire." Saltsman replied, "Absolutely. And I think this highlights one of the biggest problems Obama's got -- his youth and inexperience." In fact, Obama discussed visiting Iraq as a presidential candidate in 2007. Read More

Fox News' Hemmer aired ad "blasting" Obama from Vets for Freedom PAC, without noting McCain's denunciation of independent ads or campaign advisers' link to VFF
Fox News' Bill Hemmer aired a portion of an ad from Vets for Freedom in reporting that Sen. John McCain is "getting a bit of help" from the group, which is "launching ads featuring Iraq veterans blasting [Sen.] Barack Obama." However, Hemmer did not note that Sens. Lindsey Graham and Joe Lieberman served on the group's board of advisers or that McCain has previously denounced independent expenditures on his behalf, asserting, "If anyone considering an outside expenditure thinks they are benefiting me I would prefer they do not air the ads." Read More

In contrast with Gregory, former NBC colleagues Couric and Yellin affirmed McClellan's criticism of media
Responding to reported claims in Scott McClellan's new book about the media's role in the lead-up to the Iraq war, David Gregory has challenged McClellan's claims and defended the performance of the press. But at least two of Gregory's former colleagues at NBC News have given a very different view of the media's conduct in the lead-up to the war. Katie Couric said, "I do think we were remiss in not asking some of the right questions," while Jessica Yellin cited corporate pressure "to make sure that this was a war that was presented in a way that was consistent with the patriotic fever in the nation and the president's high approval ratings." Read More

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