Saturday, September 27, 2008

Media Matters Daily Summary 09-27-08

CNN's King reads Kissinger statement without noting accusation against Obama is false
On CNN, John King read a statement issued by former Secretary of State Henry Kissinger in response to Sen. Barack Obama's citation during the presidential debate of Kissinger's support for direct negotiation with Iran without preconditions. The statement read: "Senator [John] McCain is right. I would not recommend the next President of the United States engage in talks with Iran at the Presidential level." But King did not point out that, contrary to Kissinger's suggestion, at no point during the debate that night did Obama suggest that Kissinger had previously endorsed presidential-level talks between the United States and Iran. Read More uncritically reported on "McCain is right" ad without noting Obama's criticisms moments later
In a post on's Political Ticker blog, CNN associate political editor Rebecca Sinderbrand wrote: "Before John McCain walked off the stage, his campaign already had a new Web video up featuring footage of the first debate -- clips of Barack Obama agreeing with his Republican rival." However, Sinderbrand did not note that the ad omitted Obama's criticisms of McCain moments later on the subjects which Obama purportedly "agree[d] with his Republican rival." Read More

CNN's Schneider suggested Obama took a "cheap shot" because "McCain almost certainly misspoke when he said he wouldn't speak with Spain" - but McCain's adviser said he didn't
Suggesting that Sen. Barack Obama had taken a "cheap shot" at Sen. John McCain during the presidential debate, CNN's Bill Schneider wrote: "McCain almost certainly misspoke when he said he wouldn't speak with Spain. ... I am not sure that's a fair thing for Obama to call him on." In fact, McCain foreign policy adviser Randy Scheunemann reportedly wrote that "there is no doubt Senator McCain knew exactly to whom the question referred" and that McCain in fact "refused to commit to a White House meeting with President Zapatero." Read More

Reporting attacks over troop funding votes, Politico ignores McCain's own record
In repeating a claim by a campaign adviser to Sen. John McCain that "McCain would continue to criticize Obama for voting against a bill that included funding for troops," Politico reporters Ben Smith and Jonathan Martin didn't note that McCain himself has voted against legislation to fund the wars in Afghanistan and Iraq, as Obama pointed out during their September 26 presidential debate. Read More

Matthews on Obama's debate performance: "[D]id it surprise you that he was so un-ethnic tonight?"
On MSNBC, Chris Matthews asserted that "we don't know who won this debate 'til we know how, to put it bluntly, the white working class guy, the regular working stiff out there, responds." He later asked Washington Post columnist Eugene Robinson: "[D]id it surprise you that he [Obama] was so un-ethnic tonight?" Read More

Ignoring Obama's July trip to Afghanistan, NPR reported McCain "criticized Obama for not having visited Afghanistan"
An NPR news summary uncritically stated that during the September 26 presidential debate, Sen. John McCain "criticized Obama for not having visited Afghanistan" without noting that, in fact, Obama visited Afghanistan in July. Read More

Cillizza uncritically reported false claim that Obama misrepresented Kissinger's comments on talks with Iran
On, Chris Cillizza uncritically reported Sen. John McCain's false claim that Sen. Barack Obama had misrepresented comments former Secretary of State Henry Kissinger had made about negotiating with Iran, writing that "McCain was able to turn a single question about meeting with rogue leaders into an extended colloquy that ended with him hitting Obama for misunderstanding Henry Kissinger." In fact, Obama accurately represented Kissinger's comments about negotiations with Iran. Read More

Norah O'Donnell aired cropped "John is right" clips, but in nearly all instances, Obama was criticizing McCain
On MSNBC, Norah O'Donnell aired a montage of what she described as "the multiple times that Barack Obama said 'John [McCain] is right' " during the first presidential debate. Following the montage, O'Donnell commented, "I thought this was a debate." In fact, in nearly all instances, Obama was actually criticizing McCain after first noting a point of agreement on the topic Obama was discussing. Read More

CNN airs McCain ad attacking Obama over troop funding vote, but ignores McCain's own record
CNN aired clips of what correspondent Jim Acosta called a "new ad from John McCain" that "makes one of the most explosive charges of the campaign, accusing Barack Obama of endangering American soldiers by voting to cut off funds for the war." Despite mentioning that Obama said in the September 26 presidential debate that "he opposed that bill because it lacked a timeline for troop withdrawal," Acosta failed to note Obama also pointed out that McCain himself has voted against legislation to fund the wars in Afghanistan and Iraq. Read More

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