In two separate appearances on MSNBC Live, NBC News political director Chuck Todd discussed the announcement that Sen. John McCain will make his medical records available on May 23, suggesting first that the McCain campaign scheduled the records' availability before Memorial Day weekend to minimize coverage of them and later that such a strategy would be effective. But it is within NBC's power to prevent the strategy from working by covering the issue adequately.
The Boston Globe reported in an article that Sen. John McCain has "accus[ed] [Sen. Barack] Obama of going back on his word to take part in the public system" without noting that the Obama campaign has also criticized McCain on public financing or that the FEC chairman has taken the position that McCain cannot legally opt out of public financing during the primary season without FEC approval.
The Hill reported that Sen. John McCain "sponsored legislation with Sen. Edward Kennedy (D-Mass.) that would offer a path to citizenship to millions of illegal immigrants" and said "[t]his damaged his credibility with conservatives, and they do not trust him on the issue." While asserting that McCain took a "harder stance" on immigration during the primary, the article did not note that McCain now says he would no longer support the bill he co-sponsored with Kennedy if it came up for a vote in the Senate.
On Hannity & Colmes, discussing issues that purportedly "have totally changed the narrative on Senator [Barack] Obama," Sean Hannity repeated a falsehood that he has promoted numerous times before, that Obama would advocate "possibly invading an ally, Pakistan."
In criticizing Sen. Barack Obama for proposing to "lift the tax cap on earnings subject to the 12.4% Social Security tax, which now covers only the first $102,000," an Investor's Business Daily editorial quoted a false assertion made by George Will that a "Chicago police officer married to a Chicago public-school teacher, each with 20 years on the job, have a household income of $147,501, so you (Obama) would take another $5,642 from them." Newsweek issued a correction of Will's false claim the day before the IBD editorial appeared.
On Hannity & Colmes, Kellyanne Conway falsely suggested that Sen. John McCain has been consistent in voting for funding for the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan. Purporting to contrast McCain with Sen. John Kerry, Conway asserted: "John McCain never voted against and then voted for, and then voted against and for." In fact, in March 2007, McCain himself voted against an emergency spending bill that would have funded both wars.
Newsweek has corrected George Will's false assertion in his Newsweek column that Social Security taxes are levied based on household income. Will made the same assertion on ABC's This Week, but ABC has yet to issue a correction on the show.
The Washington Times ignored reports that President Bush was referring to Sen. Barack Obama when he said, "Some seem to believe we should negotiate with terrorists and radicals," and uncritically quoted a memo from presidential counselor Ed Gillespie, who called the controversy a "media-manufactured story line." The Times also quoted Gillespie saying Bush was "reiterat[ing] a long-standing policy" regarding Iran, but did not note that Robert Gates has, like Obama, reportedly said that the United States needs to be willing to meet with Iran.
Reporting on the $4 million loan Sen. John McCain's campaign obtained in November 2007, neither The New York Times nor ABCNews.com's Political Radar blog noted that the loan is at the center of a dispute between McCain's campaign and the FEC, whose chairman has cited the loan in taking the position that McCain cannot opt out of public financing in the primary without FEC approval.
The Washington Times reported that conservatives "have clashed" with Sen. John McCain "on issues such as his support for strict limits on campaign finance, his teaming with Sen. Edward M. Kennedy ... on immigration and his votes against President Bush's two major tax-cut packages." However, the article did not mention that McCain now says he would not support his own immigration bill if it came to a vote on the Senate floor, or that he now supports extending Bush's tax cuts.
CNN and MSNBC.com's First Read blog uncritically repeated McCain campaign adviser Charlie Black's claim that campaign manager "Rick Davis and nobody else at his firm [Davis Manafort] either has been a registered lobbyist in five years." In fact, public disclosure reports filed with Congress show that Davis was registered to lobby in 2005 for Davis Manafort -- three years ago, not five. In addition, in 2006, while no longer registered as a lobbyist, Davis reportedly helped arrange a meeting with McCain on behalf of a Russian aluminum magnate with whom he was "seeking to do business."
Fox News' Carl Cameron reported that Sen. John McCain "suggested [Sen. Barack] Obama is naïve" for his position on negotiating with Iran, and aired a clip of McCain saying, "It could very well convince him [Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad] that those policies are succeeding in strengthening his hold on power, and embolden him to continue his very dangerous behavior. The next president ought to understand such basic realities of international relations." But Cameron did not note that Defense Secretary Robert Gates also reportedly has said that the United States should "sit down and talk with" Iran.
CNN's Carol Costello said that Sen. John McCain "told reporters ... he would support a [same-sex marriage] ban in his own state of Arizona in November," without noting that McCain previously supported such a ban in Arizona that was rejected by the state's voters in 2006.
After citing "Senator John McCain's maverick image," The New York Times' William Yardley wrote that "Republicans in Oregon are less likely to go to church and more likely to have a libertarian streak than those in some other states. Ordinarily, that might benefit Mr. McCain, who has struggled to win support from religious conservatives and has a history of breaking with his party on matters like immigration and campaign finance reform." But in citing McCain's purported "history of breaking with his party on matters like immigration," Yardley did not report that McCain has reversed his position on immigration -- to the point of saying that he no longer supports his own bill on comprehensive immigration reform.
On Meet the Press, Tim Russert failed to correct Mike Murphy's false claim that James Rubin "mischaracterized" Sen. John McCain in a Washington Post op-ed. Russert said, "And there is an interview with James Rubin, as you know, from Senator McCain where he said that in time, we would have to talk with Hamas." Murphy replied, "Right. Well, but I think if you look, like many of us did, at the full YouTube of that, Rubin mischaracterized him in his op-ed. ... McCain had a lot of qualifications, if you look at the full context of it, which is not what Rubin paraphrased in that op-ed." In fact, Rubin did not "mischaracterize" or "paraphrase" McCain's comments, as video posted on YouTube shows.