On his radio show, Rush Limbaugh claimed that Sen. Hillary Clinton is "in the Northeast ... surrounded by her good old ... white female new castrati male base, while her husband, Bill, pays penance -- left to deal in South Carolina, while she's up with her people, the whites and the less-than-blacks." Other media figures have also used various forms of "castrati" in reference to Clinton and her supporters, including Chris Matthews, who once questioned people who have endorsed Clinton, saying, "[A]ren't you appalled at the willingness of these people to become castratos in the eunuch chorus here or whatever they are?"
John Gibson responded to criticism of his comments the previous day mocking the death of actor Heath Ledger, and said "Did I mock him?" After Gibson's producer pointed out that Gibson had in fact mocked Ledger's death, Gibson replied, laughing, "Oh, that. Well," later adding, "There's no point in passing up a good joke."
CNN's Wolf Blitzer asserted, as did a Washington Post blog entry, that Bill Clinton "lashed out" at CNN congressional correspondent Jessica Yellin after she asked him a question following a campaign event in South Carolina that day. Recounting the exchange to Blitzer, Yellin agreed, "He lashed out, Wolf." Similarly, an ABCNews.com report described a "testy exchange" between Barack Obama and New York Times reporter Jeff Zeleny. But videos of the two exchanges do not support these sensational descriptions.
On Imus in the Morning, during a discussion of Toni Morrison's 1998 statement that former President Bill Clinton was "our first black president," comedian and impersonator Rob Bartlett interjected, "I thought it was because he'd had an affinity for fat white women."
On Hannity & Colmes, Rev. Jesse Lee Peterson said of Rev. Jeremiah Wright, pastor of Trinity United Church of Christ in Chicago: "If a white preacher, including the KKK, espouses so-called white values -- remember, at one time, the KKK was doing that." During the show, neither Peterson nor Sean Hannity explained how Trinity United Church of Christ in any way reflects the ideology, mission, or history of the KKK.
After airing a video clip of Sen. Hillary Clinton talking about "gender equality" during a Democratic presidential candidates debate, MSNBC host Tucker Carlson stated: "It takes a lot of guts for a rich, privileged white lady who is one of the most powerful people in the world to claim that she is a victim of gender discrimination."
The CBS Evening News and CNN's The Situation Room noted Sen. John McCain's opposition to displays of the Confederate flag, but did not report that during the campaign for the South Carolina Republican primary in 2000, McCain had equivocated on whether the flag should fly atop South Carolina's state Capitol. Nor did the reports mention McCain's subsequent admission his equivocation "was an act of cowardice" and that he had "broke[n] [his] promise to always tell the truth" in order to try to "win the South Carolina primary" in 2000.
On January 18, Morning Joe host Joe Scarborough said it was "outrageous that Chris Matthews ha[d] to apologize" following his January 9 comment, documented by Media Matters, in which he said that "the reason" Hillary Clinton is "a U.S. senator, the reason she's a candidate for president, the reason she may be a front-runner is her husband messed around." By "apologize," Scarborough was referring to a statement Matthews made at the start of his January 17 show addressing the firestorm sparked by his earlier comments.
The Washington Times reprinted portions of an Investor's Business Daily editorial smearing Sen. Barack Obama's faith, including the editorial's charge that "[a]t the core of the Democratic front-runner's faith ... is African nativism," and the false assertion that the "Black Value System" espoused by Obama's church "encourages blacks to group together and separate from the larger American society by pooling their money, patronizing black-only businesses and backing black leaders." In fact, according to a document on the church's website, the Black Value System urges members to "Pledge to Allocate Regularly, a Portion of Personal Resources for Strengthening and Supporting Black Institutions."
A Media Matters for America review of MSNBC host Chris Matthews' commentary has found a history of degrading comments about women, in which he focuses on the physical appearances of his female guests and other women discussed on his show.