Reuters reported that Sen. John McCain's campaign "is preparing to take $84 million in public funding after the Republican Party convention in September and he is challenging [Sen. Barack] Obama to stick by last year's pledge to use public money and its accompanying spending limits," but did not note that Federal Election Commission chairman David Mason has taken the position that McCain cannot opt out of public financing in the primary without FEC approval, as McCain has attempted to do, or that McCain could be breaking federal laws by exceeding spending limits within the public financing system for the primary.
In an online article, the Detroit Free Press reported of Sen. John McCain's May 6 town hall meeting at Oakland University: "As usual, McCain was candid and said things like fuel efficiency standards have to increase and the way to make the domestic automotive industry more competitive is to get other costs, like health care for autoworkers, under control." While the media routinely refer to McCain as a straight-talker who resists pandering, Media Matters for America has identified numerous instances in which McCain has promulgated falsehoods about himself and his opponents.
In an audio recording of an April 18, 2006, Pentagon meeting attended by several media military analysts, one of the attendees tells then-Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld that he would "personally love" for Rumsfeld "to take the offensive, to just go out there and just crush these people so that when we go on, we're -- forgive me -- we're parroting, but it's what has to be said. It's what we believe in, or we would not be saying it." He adds: "And we'd love to be following our leader, as indeed you are. You are the leader. You are our guy." Will media outlets try to determine if they have hosted the speaker?
On Special Report, Carl Cameron reported that on the issue of immigration, Sen. John McCain "announced that if elected, in January he'll begin finalizing border security, then immediately launch the guest worker program and path to citizenship that many in his party oppose." But Cameron did not note that McCain's current position that border security must be addressed first is at odds with his prior assertion that border security could not be disaggregated from other aspects of comprehensive immigration reform without being rendered ineffective.
CNN's Wolf Blitzer did not challenge Sen. Lindsey Graham's claim that Sen. John McCain opposed President Bush's 2001 tax cuts because he "wanted a tax cut, a very healthy tax cut, but he wanted spending limitations." In fact, when he voted against the cuts in 2001, contrary to what he now says on the campaign trail, McCain made no mention of deficit concerns or of the absence of offsetting spending cuts.
In his Newsweek column, George Will falsely claimed that Social Security taxes are levied on household income. He had similarly falsely asserted on ABC's This Week that Sen. Barack Obama "wants to raise taxes on a lot of people, beginning with those earning about $100,000 a year, a household." In fact, Social Security taxes are levied based on individual income, and contrary to his assertion in Newsweek, a married couple with each spouse making less than $102,000 would not face a payroll tax increase if the income cap was raised, even if combined they made more than the current cap.
The AP reported that Sen. John McCain "said President Bush should not be held responsible for the much-criticized 'Mission Accomplished' banner five years ago," and that McCain said of the banner, "I thought it was wrong at the time." But the AP did not report comments McCain made "at the time" about the banner in a Fox News interview, in which host Neil Cavuto noted that "many argue the conflict [in Iraq] isn't over," to which McCain replied, "Then why was there a banner that said 'Mission Accomplished' on the aircraft carrier?"
On MSNBC, during a discussion of the focus on Sen. Barack Obama's relationship with Rev. Jeremiah Wright compared with that on Sen. John McCain's relationship with Pastor John Hagee, Newsweek's Richard Wolffe stated, "In some ways, John McCain is getting a free ride." Hagee has made controversial statements about Hurricane Katrina, women, homosexuality, the Catholic Church, and Islam.
The New York Times' Carl Hulse reported that congressional Republicans "worry just what a President McCain would portend for them come January, given their divergent views on big-ticket items like immigration, climate change and campaign spending." But Hulse did not note that McCain has moved to the right on immigration to align himself more closely with his party's base, nor did he mention that McCain may be violating campaign finance laws by surpassing spending limits under the public financing system for the primary period.
Despite the availability of expenditure reports showing that Sen. John McCain's campaign used a corporate jet owned by his wife's company over a seven-month period beginning in the summer of 2007, several members of the media asserted earlier this year that McCain flew coach when the campaign was low on funds.