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.
On Fox News, Morton M. Kondracke presented a "theory" for why Sen. Hillary Clinton may be having a "good time" on the campaign trail: "[S]omebody I know has a theory about this. Remember back when [Bill] Clinton was president of the United States, people said that he's really Satan because he walks through life and people collapse around him and go to jail and die, and all this kind of stuff? Well, this person says Hillary's a vampire. She's sucking the blood out of Barack Obama." Kondracke did not name his "theor[ist]," but the purported "theory" has been publicly articulated before, by New York Times columnist Maureen Dowd.
The New York Times asserted that Rep.-elect Don Cazayoux (D-LA) "fit the conservative model Democrats deployed successfully in the 2006 elections when they took seats from Republicans." In fact, the Democratic candidates who won Republican-held seats in the November 2006 midterm elections all backed key portions of the Democratic platform, and the vast majority of them also supported embryonic stem cell research and abortion rights.
CNN's Jim Acosta uncritically aired video of Sen. John McCain asserting: "There are those who are convinced the solution is to move to a nationalized health-care system," echoing his repeated assertions that Sens. Hillary Clinton and Barack Obama are proposing government-run health care. But, while McCain has routinely made such assertions, Acosta did not note that McCain's suggestion is false; neither Clinton nor Obama has proposed a "nationalized health-care system."
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 Hardball, Chris Matthews asserted: "Look, the war's not going to be any more popular in November. It may be somewhat OK with 30, 40 percent of the people, but it's never going to be a winner. The economy's not going to be a winner. So what do you have with [Sen. John] McCain? Integrity." But Matthews did not note his own role in promoting that image of McCain, despite numerous false assertions and inconsistencies.
On Your World, Neil Cavuto said of Sen. Barack Obama: "Well, one of the reasons why he espoused talking to our enemies -- much as Jimmy Carter has with his recent meeting with Hamas and all that -- is that we can't make things worse, so what's the harm in talking to them?" Contrary to Cavuto's suggestion that Obama has expressed a willingness to meet with Hamas, Reuters reported on March 3 that Obama "has said he would break with President George W. Bush's stance of declining to talk to some other international adversaries but that stance does not apply to Hamas."
On Hardball, John Harwood stated: "John McCain's brand ... has been pretty well-established since 2000. He's likable. He's a maverick. He's a war hero. All of that redounds to his benefit." But while citing McCain's purported "brand" as a "maverick," Harwood did not acknowledge his own role in promoting that "brand." Nor did he point out any of McCain's actions that challenge that "brand," such as McCain's rightward shift on high-profile issues such as immigration and taxes, and his growing list of falsehoods.
On Glenn Beck's CNN Headline News program, Ann Coulter asked of Sen. Barack Obama: "Is Obama a Manchurian candidate to normal Americans who love their country? ... Or is he being the Manchurian candidate to the traitor wing of the Democratic Party?"
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 AP reported that "Sens. Barack Obama and Hillary Clinton supported a 2006 bill, sponsored by Republican candidate John McCain, that offered illegal immigrants legal status on conditions such as learning English." But the AP did not note that McCain has reversed his position on comprehensive immigration legislation and said in January that he would no longer support his own bill.
On The Situation Room, Dana Bash uncritically aired a clip of Sen. John McCain saying of health care plans put forward by Sen. Hillary Clinton and Sen. Barack Obama: "This will accomplish one thing only. We will replace the inefficiency, irrationality, and uncontrolled costs of the current system with the inefficiency, irrationality, and uncontrolled costs of a government monopoly." In fact, neither Clinton nor Obama has proposed a "government monopoly" on insurance coverage; rather, both have called for individuals to choose their own insurance.
A Media Matters for America review found that since February 27, the date that televangelist John Hagee endorsed Sen. John McCain for president, The New York Times and The Washington Post combined have published more than 12 times as many articles mentioning Rev. Jeremiah Wright Jr. and Sen. Barack Obama as they have mentioning Hagee and McCain.
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.