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On Imus in the Morning, Newsweek's Evan Thomas characterized John McCain's proposal to increase troop levels in Baghdad for the purpose of gaining control of the security situation on the ground as "having the guts to send in ... more troops." Neither Thomas nor Don Imus noted serious questions about the feasibility of McCain's proposal.
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While discussing potential candidates for the 2008 Republican presidential nomination, Fred Barnes and Morton Kondracke mentioned Sen. John McCain's views on abortion rights, but did not note his apparently inconsistent statements. Neither Barnes nor Kondracke mentioned that McCain told reporters in 1999 that he would "not support repeal of Roe v. Wade" or that McCain later issued a "clarification" saying he "would work toward its repeal."
CNN's John King echoed what CNN anchor Don Lemon noted was an accusation "critics" used to "dismiss" a speech by Sen. Barack Obama as "obviously" given purely to establish Obama's "foreign-relations credentials," adding a baseless claim that no senators "would disagree" with anything Obama said in the speech. King also failed to note evidence supporting Florida Democratic congressional candidate Christine Jennings' assertion that voting machines in her district did not operate properly.
A New York Times article that noted Sen. John McCain's recent statement that "he thought Roe v. Wade ... should be overturned" did not mention that McCain has voiced several inconsistent positions on Roe v. Wade. The Times also wrote that McCain "seemed to countenance civil unions"; in fact, McCain offered two apparently contradictory positions on civil unions.
Even though Democrats gained control of the House of Representatives and the Senate without losing a single seat -- an electoral feat last accomplished in 1938 -- the media have not highlighted this achievement in the two weeks after Election Day. But when Republicans gained seats in both the House and Senate in the 2002 midterm elections, the first time since 1934 a president's party had done so during its first midterm election, news outlets praised it as "remarkable" and "historic."
In articles reporting Sen. John McCain's renewal of his call for more U.S. troops to be sent to Iraq, the Los Angeles Times and The Washington Post did not mention that Gen. John Abizaid said McCain's plan is unlikely to "add considerably to our ability to achieve success in Iraq."
In attributing Republican losses in the midterm elections on a "six-year curse" that has "plagued every president, Republican and Democrat alike, since Ulysses S. Grant," Glenn Beck ignored that Democrats gained seats in Congress in 1998, the sixth year of Bill Clinton's presidency. Beck also mischaracterized a study making the "six-year curse" claim, ignoring the author's statement that "[n]ot all presidents experience difficulties in every category."
While discussing Sen. John McCain's potential presidential candidacy, CNN's Wolf Blitzer ignored McCain's inconsistencies on taxes and abortion and essentially contradicted himself about McCain's position on Iraq. Blitzer also noted the names and experience of other political figures with presidential exploratory or campaign committees but did not describe their positions on any issues.
In reporting on recent speeches by Sen. John McCain, National Public Radio's Mara Liasson uncritically reported his argument that "his brand of maverick conservatism ... is what voters are looking for now" and asserted that the "role of independent and moderate voters" in the midterm elections "reinforces McCain's appeal as a general election candidate." She did not mention that McCain is at odds with a majority of voters on Iraq -- including most independents -- who disapprove of the war and favor some type of U.S. troop withdrawal.