Numerous print media outlets reported on Sen. John McCain's assertion following the Iowa caucuses that "[t]he lesson of this election in Iowa is that ... negative campaigns don't work." But none of those articles noted that McCain has run negative TV and Web ads against Mitt Romney.
On Morning Joe, Chris Matthews asserted that if Sen. Hillary Rodham Clinton were to "squeak" out a victory in the Iowa caucuses, she will nonetheless have been "rejected here in Iowa by two-thirds of the Democratic Party." Matthews added that she would be "lucky to get 33 percent" and went on to say that a "low 30 percent" result would represent "a resounding rejection" of Clinton.
On Today, David Gregory and Frank Luntz discussed video clips of what Gregory called "the year's best quotes from the campaign trail." However, Gregory and Luntz omitted relevant context for two of the quotations -- an attack on Sen. Hillary Rodham Clinton by Rudy Giuliani and a separate attack on Clinton by Sen. John McCain.
Referring to a video clip of John Edwards discussing campaign finances at an appearance in Emmetsburg, Iowa, Republican pollster Frank Luntz stated: "But the problem with Edwards is, whenever he brings up money, people remember how wealthy he is, and they have a hard time listening to him complain about other candidates spending money when he himself is worth dozens and dozens of millions of dollars." But Edwards did not "bring up money" during his appearance in Emmetsburg; rather, he was responding to a question about campaign finances from an attendee at the event.
Washington Post media critic Howard Kurtz asserted that Obama's "fundraising receives far less press attention than Clinton's," citing as evidence a November 30 Post article claiming that "Obama's Hopefund Inc. distributed more than $180,000 in donations to political groups and candidates in the early presidential voting states of Iowa, New Hampshire and South Carolina." But Kurtz did not note that the retired Federal Election Commission chief counsel quoted in the article said he was quoted "out of context" and that the "facts as played out in the Washington Post piece are not exactly what I was told. ... I was assuming there was more."
Slate.com's Mickey Kaus touted a National Enquirer article, the headline of which was posted on the Drudge Report website, stating that former John Edwards campaign worker Rielle Hunter is six months pregnant with Edwards' baby. But neither Drudge nor Kaus have noted that the story contained a statement from the lawyer for Edwards confidante Andrew Young stating that "Young is the father of Ms. Hunter's unborn child." Don Imus on his radio show said about the story: "[W]hat does that say about your judgment, to be -- be president of the United States if you're going around impregnating people?"
Describing it as "nearly a case of Too Much Information," Dana Milbank wrote that Sen. Hillary Rodham Clinton "divulged some startling news: She was dispatching across Iowa 'people who have known me, who can talk about what I do when the lights are off.' As luck would have it, Bill Clinton was campaigning with his wife in the Hy-Vee, and he was asked what he and the senator do in their, um, downtime." But Milbank left off the rest of Clinton's sentence, which makes clear that she was not insinuating what Milbank suggested.
After the Drudge Report displayed an Associated Press photo of Hillary Clinton above the headline "The Toll of a Campaign," the conservative echo chamber went into effect. Rush Limbaugh discussed the photo on his radio show, Drudge then linked to the transcript on Limbaugh's website, and The Washington Times and Michelle Malkin on Fox news' The Big Story, then reprinted or discussed the photograph, characterizing it as representative of the toll the campaign was taking on Clinton.
FrontPageMag.com, the "online magazine" of the David Horowitz Freedom Center, posted an excerpt from a New York Sun article published that day detailing allegations by a Princeton University student who claimed he had been assaulted because of his conservative views. However, while the Sun updated its story to report that Nava admitted to police that "he fabricated the assault," FrontPageMag.com has yet to acknowledge that the entire story was fabricated.
As he had during a previous interview with Rudy Giuliani on Fox News' Hannity & Colmes, Sean Hannity failed to disclose that he has reportedly helped raise money for Giuliani's presidential campaign.
The Des Moines Register's endorsement of Sen. John McCain praised him for "taking stands based on principle, not party dogma," citing his positions on immigration reform and President Bush's tax cuts, among others. However, as noted in several reports, McCain has shifted his position on immigration reform and actually reversed his position on the tax cuts.
In a blog post, ABC's Jake Tapper wrote: "Some Obama supporters have asked why former Sen. Bob Kerrey, D-Neb., who endorsed Sen. Hillary Clinton, D-N.Y., today, mentioned her opponent Sen. Barack Hussein Obama's middle name in remarks published in The Washington Post." Tapper's headline read: "Why Did Bob Kerrey Mention Obama's Middle Name -- 'Hussein.' " While the question is justified, Tapper himself has made unprompted references to Obama's middle name in two prior blog posts and a Nightline report.