Thursday, May 29, 2008

Media Matters Summary

Matthews again mischaracterized Clinton's remarks to accuse her of fostering doubt about Obama's religion
Chris Matthews, asserting that Sen. Barack Obama "might want to make sure" the public knows he is a Christian, added: "Of course, Hillary Clinton's not helping by saying he's not a Muslim, 'as far as I know.' " In fact, Clinton's first three words in response to a question about Obama's religion on CBS' 60 Minutes were, "Of course not," and she likened the rumors about Obama's religion to false rumors about her. Read More

Amid spate of high-profile stories, Russert continues to ignore "the story about Senator McCain and lobbyists and ethics and money" on Meet the Press
NBC News Washington bureau chief Tim Russert, who in February stated that "the story about Senator [John] McCain and lobbyists and ethics and money -- that continues," again ignored the issue of "McCain and lobbyists and ethics and money" on the May 25 edition of Meet the Press, despite numerous recent, related developments bearing on that issue. Read More

GOP strategist Holt, Politico's Vogel revive false assertion about Gore and Internet
On Fox News' America's Election HQ, GOP strategist Terry Holt said that Al Gore "claimed to have invented the Internet," and on Fox News' On the Record, Politico reporter Ken Vogel stated: "And they're going to try to show him [Sen. Barack Obama] as a chronicle -- a chronic exaggerator, like they did with Al Gore in 2000, when they seized on his every claim, starting memorably with his claim that he invented the Internet, as some say that he said." In fact, Gore did not claim that he "invented the Internet." Rather, he said: "During my service in the United States Congress, I took the initiative in creating the Internet." Read More

Blitzer misrepresented McCain's position on "a constitutional amendment on the issue of marriage"
While discussing Sen. John McCain's position on gay marriage, Wolf Blitzer said: "Because on that issue, he doesn't really disagree all that much with [Sens. Hillary] Clinton or [Barack] Obama. He opposes a constitutional amendment on the issue of marriage, is that right?" CBN's David Brody replied: "That's right." In fact, McCain supports amendments to state constitutions to ban same-sex marriage and would also support under certain circumstances an amendment to the federal Constitution banning same-sex marriage. Read More

Print media reported McCain's call for nuclear arms talks with Russia, without noting his proposal to exclude Russia from the G8
In reporting on Sen. John McCain's speech on nuclear security, the AP, Reuters, The Wall Street Journal, and The Washington Post noted McCain's claim that he would pursue nuclear arms reduction talks with Russia, but did not mention that McCain has also proposed excluding Russia from the Group of Eight. Read More

Fox News highlighted RNC accusations following Obama's WWII comments, ignored McCain's numerous foreign policy errors
In a segment on Sen. Barack Obama "misspeaking in a story about his, quote, uncle's role in fighting World War II," Fox News echoed a Republican National Committee talking point when it featured on-screen text that read: "Obama WWII slip: Evidence he's unfit for top job?" But at no point during the segment did on-air hosts note Sen. John McCain's series of errors during the campaign relating to foreign policy. Read More

Despite evidence to the contrary, NPR's Horsley called McCain "ordinarily straight-talking"
During a report on NPR's Morning Edition, correspondent Scott Horsley referred to Sen. John McCain as "ordinarily straight-talking," despite evidence of McCain's numerous falsehoods, flip-flops, inconsistencies, and instances of apparent political pandering. Read More

Wash. Post ignored own role in creating false Love Canal story about Gore
The Washington Post asserted that "Republicans tarred [Al Gore] in 2000 as someone who claimed to have discovered the Love Canal disaster and invented the Internet." But the Post did not note that the Love Canal smear was based on a falsehood originating in The New York Times and The Washington Post itself, nor did it note that Gore never claimed to have "invented the Internet." Read More

Claiming he would not "add to the public record," Rove "add[ed]" to the misinformation in "the public record" on Plame case
During a discussion of Scott McClellan's new book on Hannity & Colmes, Karl Rove said that McClellan's "questions to me were: Did I leak Valerie Plame's name? And the answer is no. In fact, we know today that the name of Valerie Plame was leaked to Robert Novak by Richard Armitage, the number two guy at the State Department, and not by me." In fact, Novak identified both Rove and Armitage as the sources for his column that revealed Plame's employment with the CIA. And former Time magazine reporter Matthew Cooper named Rove as his source who identified former Ambassador Joseph Wilson's wife as a CIA agent. Read More

On Morning Joe, Carlson compared Clinton to a "cat in a box" and a "drunk party guest"
On MSNBC's Morning Joe, Tucker Carlson said of Sen. Hillary Clinton, "Look, she's a trapped animal, there's absolutely no question about it. As I've thought to myself many times, if you've ever tried to get your cat in a box, you know what Hillary Clinton is doing right now." Carlson then imitated a screeching cat, and added, "with all four paws out, all the hair standing up? Look, she is in feral mode." Later in the segment, Mika Brzezinski referred to Clinton as "the cat in a box, as Tucker so aptly put it." Read More

Wash. Post asserted that McCain did not "launch political attacks" on Obama on Memorial Day, ignoring AP report that he did
In an article discussing statements Sens. Barack Obama and John McCain made on Memorial Day, The Washington Post asserted: "Neither candidate used the solemn day to launch political attacks." But according to an Associated Press article that has been posted on, McCain said of Obama during an interview on Memorial Day: "He really has no experience or knowledge or judgment about the issue of Iraq and he has wanted to surrender for a long time." Read More

Novak falsely suggested Obama was discussing abortion when he made "punished with a baby" comment
In his column, Robert Novak wrote, "[Sen. Barack] Obama, while asserting that 'nobody is pro-abortion,' has said that if his two daughters 'make a mistake, I don't want them punished with a baby,' " falsely suggesting that Obama was discussing abortion when he said that if his two daughters were to "make a mistake, I don't want them punished with a baby." However, as video of the campaign event at which Obama made his comments shows, he was not referring to abortion but was instead referring to sex education. Read More

Ignoring his reversal, media mention McCain's immigration bill in context of his attempt to gain Hispanic support
In reporting on Sen. John McCain's efforts to woo Hispanic voters, the Los Angeles Times, The Washington Post, the Politico, and Reuters mentioned McCain's previous support for comprehensive immigration reform but did not note that he has since said he would no longer support a comprehensive reform measure he co-sponsored. Read More

AP reported McCain's offer to "educate" Obama on Iraq trip without noting McCain's false claims about Iraq
The Associated Press quoted Sen. John McCain claiming in an interview that he would "seize that opportunity to educate Senator [Barack] Obama along the way" if the two were to visit Iraq together, and that McCain also said that Obama "really has no experience or knowledge or judgment about the issue of Iraq." But the AP did not mention a series of claims made by McCain that raised questions about his own "knowledge" and "judgment" about Iraq, including about the safety of Baghdad neighborhoods and that Iran is training Al Qaeda. Read More

Print media noted Cindy McCain's limited financial release, but not how McCains benefit from tax cuts
In contrast with The New York Times' 2004 analysis of the benefit Teresa Heinz Kerry gained from the Bush tax cuts, the Los Angeles Times, The Wall Street Journal, the Associated Press, and The New York Times did not note, following the May 23 release of a summary of her 2006 tax returns, that Cindy McCain also benefited significantly from the tax cuts -- which Sen. John McCain has pledged to make permanent. Read More

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