Monday, July 28, 2008

Media Matters Daily Summary 07-28-08

Reuters uncritically reported McCain campaign's misleading claim that Obama "made time to go to the gym, but canceled a visit with wounded troops"
Reuters reported on July 27 that Sen. John McCain's campaign aired an advertisement attacking Sen. Barack Obama "in which the announcer says: 'And now, he made time to go to the gym, but canceled a visit with wounded troops. Seems the Pentagon wouldn't allow him to bring cameras.' " The article did not note, however, that Obama reportedly visited wounded troops at Walter Reed Army Medical Center without the media, and although he did not visit Landstuhl Regional Medical Center in Germany, he reportedly made phone calls to wounded soldiers there. Moreover, NBC's Andrea Mitchell reported that Obama "visited a casualty unit in the Green Zone" in Iraq "without photographers" several days before arriving in Germany. Read More

MSNBC's Hall falsely suggested that Obama did not "visit[] wounded American troops" on overseas trip
MSNBC's Tamron Hall noted that Sen. John McCain was "ripping" Sen. Barack Obama "for not visiting wounded American troops" on his "global tour," then aired a clip from an ad released by McCain's campaign which asserts that Obama "made time to go to the gym, but canceled a visit with wounded troops." Hall did not note that, as NBC's Andrea Mitchell previously reported, Obama did in fact visit wounded troops on his trip while in Iraq, going to "a casualty unit in the Green Zone without photographers as part of the congressional delegation." Read More

MSNBC on-screen text attributed to Obama camp claim that Obama met with troops in Iraq without press -- but NBC had reported it as fact
On the July 28 edition of MSNBC Live, on-screen text stated, "Barack Obama's Campaign," beneath which was additional text stating, "Obama camp: He met troops in Iraq without American press." However, while the text attributed the assertion that Obama "met troops in Iraq without American press" to the Obama campaign, NBC chief foreign correspondent Andrea Mitchell, who was with Obama on the trip to Iraq, reported the same thing earlier in the day on MSNBC Live, asserting that she had personally confirmed it. Mitchell said, "I can attest to the fact that he did visit troops in Iraq only four or five days earlier, that there was no notice of it, that I confirmed that it happened, but they had no video of any type and no reporters. And that he's been to Walter Reed. So let's at least get that off the table." Read More

MSNBC's Buchanan falsely suggested Obama did not visit wounded troops, repeated smears of Obama's patriotism
On Morning Joe, Pat Buchanan asserted that an ad by Sen. John McCain attacking Sen. Barack Obama for not visiting the U.S. military's Landstuhl Regional Medical Center in Germany played into "the sense that, you know, Barack is not one of us. He's just not a normal guy who would go see the wounded troops." In fact, Andrea Mitchell reported that, while in Iraq, Obama "visited a casualty unit in the Green Zone, without photographers, as part of the congressional delegation." Read More

NY Times reported McCain's criticism of Obama plan without noting McCain recently said 16 months is "a pretty good timetable"
The New York Times reported that during an interview on This Week, Sen. John McCain criticized Sen. Barack Obama "for proposing to withdraw American forces from Iraq within 16 months," but did not mention that only days earlier, McCain told CNN's Wolf Blitzer that 16 months is "a pretty good timetable." The Times not only failed to mention McCain's comment about a timetable, it did not report that McCain denied having used the word "timetable" when asked about it by George Stephanopoulos. Read More

Fox's Henneberg falsely claimed Obama's campaign said he didn't visit troops at Landstuhl because Pentagon prohibited cameras
Discussing Sen. John McCain's criticism of Sen. Barack Obama for not visiting wounded soldiers in Germany, Fox News' Molly Henneberg asserted that the "Obama campaign originally said the candidate thought it would be, quote, 'inappropriate' to visit wounded troops as part of a campaign-funded trip, but later they said that the Pentagon said they couldn't go without media cameras." In fact, the Obama campaign did not say that Obama decided not to visit because the Pentagon barred media from accompanying him. Read More

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