A Los Angeles Times article asserted that Sen. John McCain "is running as the most fiscally conservative" presidential candidate, and specifically cited in support only McCain's "critici[sm] [of] the Medicare prescription benefit when it was created in 2003, saying that Congress and President Bush failed to provide for the long-term cost." But Sen. Hillary Clinton also opposed the bill the Times cited, saying the legislation would "start an insurance cost death spiral that will unravel Medicare's financing."
The Boston Globe's Peter S. Canellos reported that Sen. John McCain's "opposition to Bush on a range of issues, combined with his nonideological voting record, gives him an image of moderation." In fact, McCain himself has stated, "My record in public office taken as a whole is the record of a mainstream conservative," and has said that he will "offer Americans ... a clearly conservative approach to governing." Furthermore, academic studies of McCain's voting record have ranked him among the most conservative members of the Senate.
The Associated Press reported that Sen. John McCain "has decided not to accept the public matching funds," but that the Federal Election Commission "wants him to assure regulators that he did not use the promise of public money as collateral for [a] loan." The article did not mention that FEC Chairman David Mason has asserted that McCain cannot legally withdraw from the public finance system without FEC approval. Additionally, a Wall Street Journal article did not note that McCain may not be able to opt out of the public financing system.
On Today, Tim Russert discussed the schedules from Sen. Hillary Clinton's time as first lady and asserted: "Senator Clinton has made her experience such a part of this campaign, particularly her eight years as first lady. So this may be very rich in terms of exactly how did she spend her time, who did she meet with?" Russert added that "this, I think, today will be analyzed very closely by all of us at NBC News and media organizations across the country." Indeed, while NBC and MSNBC journalists discussed more substantive issues related to her schedules, they also repeatedly discussed what the schedules say, or do not say, about where Hillary Clinton was during Monica Lewinsky's encounters with President Clinton, in many cases teasing segments or leading them with that information.
MSNBC's Joe Scarborough claimed that when Hillary Clinton said, "[N]o matter where you were born, or how much money you are born into, no matter where you worship, or the color of your skin, it is a bedrock American principle that we are all equal in the voting booth," she was using "code language." Scarborough made the "code" claim two more times on Morning Joe.
Responding to Barack Obama's comment, made in his March 18 speech addressing controversial statements by Rev. Jeremiah Wright, that his white grandmother had "uttered racial or ethnic stereotypes," Joe Scarborough said: "I really wonder why anybody, why any man, would throw his grandmother under the bus during a political speech regardless of the point he was trying to make." But last week, Scarborough said that "we all have people that we love dearly who are crazy," adding, "Do not hold me accountable for things that my father has said in the past ... or for e-mails ... that my mother sends me. ... And again, Mom and Dad, I love you. I'm just making a bigger point."
Joe Scarborough asserted on MSNBC's Morning Joe: "John McCain has never attached himself to these people on the far right that say if you're gay, you're going to hell, et cetera, et cetera, et cetera." In fact, McCain has "attached himself to" some notable religious figures who have made controversial statements, among them John Hagee and Rod Parsley.
On Fox & Friends, Brian Kilmeade discussed the release by Sen. Barack Obama's campaign of a list of campaign contributions raised by Antoin "Tony" Rezko -- which the campaign says will be donated to charity -- and asserted that the list was of "people that donated to his campaign for Senate and for the presidency." Steve Doocy replied, "Well, actually, I think it's just during the presidential campaign." In fact, a Politico article noted that "the only presidential campaign contribution on the list" came from "financier and Hollywood producer Thomas Rosenberg."
Interviewing Al Franken on CNN's American Morning, Kiran Chetry falsely claimed that Al Franken, in a 2005 appearance on David Letterman's show, "said some things about Karl Rove and Scooter Libby, saying they should be executed for treason." In fact, as Franken noted, he had said that "George H.W. Bush, the president's father, was the head of the CIA, and he has said that outing a CIA agent is treason. ... And so, basically, what it looks like is going to happen is that Libby and Karl Rove are going to be executed." Chetry then denied having said that Franken "advocated" executing Rove and Libby.
On Fox News, Sean Hannity said to Sen. John McCain, "You've said three times in the last week or week and a half that you promised no new taxes. You mean none." In response, McCain said, "None." However, in a Wall Street Journal interview, McCain did not rule out raising taxes. Later in the Fox News interview, Hannity suggested that Sen. Hillary Clinton's health care proposal would "nationalize health care," and McCain replied, "We tried this. We've seen this movie before back in 1993, OK? And it is a government takeover." In fact, Clinton's proposal would not "nationalize health care" or seek a "government takeover" of it.