Elections

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  • MSNBC airs "pretty smart" McCain ad congratulating Obama without noting attacks on the same day

    ››› ››› ERIC HANANOKI & MATT GERTZ

    On MSNBC, Tom Brokaw aired an ad by Sen. John McCain in which McCain congratulates Sen. Barack Obama on the day of his acceptance of the Democratic presidential nomination, calling it a "[p]retty smart ad." Chicago Sun-Times columnist Mary Mitchell added: "Well, people who may have been turned off by the negative ads and the negative conversations of late. He may have won them over with ad like that. It's classy. It is a classy ad." But neither Brokaw nor Mitchell noted that, notwithstanding the ad's suggestion that McCain was taking the day off from attacking Obama, the McCain campaign issued numerous attacks against Obama on August 28.

  • ABC reports that Republicans are mocking Democrats' columned stage, not that 2004 GOP convention stage also had columns

    ››› ››› DIANNA PARKER

    Good Morning America's Robin Roberts and Diane Sawyer echoed Republican talking points mocking the stage at Invesco Field in Denver, where Sen. Barack Obama plans to give his acceptance speech for the Democratic nomination for president, for including a structure with columns. But Roberts and Sawyer failed to mention that the stage at the Republican National Convention in 2004 also included columns.

  • On Fox, Huckabee misrepresented Obama plans for health care, taxes

    ››› ››› JEREMY HOLDEN

    Fox News contributor Mike Huckabee falsely claimed that, under Sen. Barack Obama's health-care plan, "the government will be in control," and that "we're going to be rationing it." In fact, Obama has not proposed government-run health care. Indeed, Obama's website specifically states that, under his proposal, individuals "will not have to change plans."

  • Minutes after Begala debunked the falsehood, CNN caption claimed Casey "was denied a speaking role ... because he opposed abortion rights"

    ››› ››› MATT GERTZ

    During CNN's Democratic National Convention coverage, Paul Begala debunked the claim that Bob Casey Sr. was not allowed to speak at the 1992 Democratic convention because of his opposition to abortion rights. Less than 15 minutes later, CNN displayed the false on-screen caption: "FACT: Casey's father was denied a speaking role at the 1992 Democratic convention because he opposed abortion rights." MSNBC's Chris Matthews also repeated the false claim.

  • Fox News aired two minutes of Democratic keynote address, discussed Ayers instead

    ››› ››› SIMON MALOY

    On August 26, Fox News aired just over two minutes of former Virginia Gov. Mark Warner's keynote address to the convention. After returning from a commercial, Alan Colmes stated, "In other election news, an independent group supporting John McCain released an ad last week attacking [Sen.] Barack Obama's ties to former Weather Underground leader Bill Ayers," and aired an ad from the Obama campaign responding to the independent ad. Colmes and Sean Hannity then interviewed Rudy Giuliani.

  • MoDo, cub journalist

    Blog ››› ››› ERIC BOEHLERT

    Who's the first person Maureen Dowd quotes in today's New York Times column to gage the "vibe" at the Democratic convention? A partisan Republican operative and former McCain aide, naturally.

  • ABC, NBC reported on ad of Clinton supporter backing McCain without noting her false suggestion that McCain supports abortion rights

    ››› ››› LILY YAN

    The evening newscasts on ABC and NBC each aired a portion of a McCain campaign ad featuring Clinton supporter Debra Bartoshevich. But neither noted that at a Republican press conference, Bartoshevich reportedly falsely suggested that Sen. John McCain does not support overturning Roe v. Wade. In fact, McCain's campaign website says that he "believes Roe v. Wade is a flawed decision that must be overturned."

  • NPR, CNN repeat falsehood that Casey was denied speaking role at '92 Dem convention "because of his opposition to abortion rights"

    ››› ››› MORGAN WEILAND

    Discussing Sen. Bob Casey's speaking slot at the Democratic National Convention, both NPR and CNN falsely asserted that late Gov. Bob Casey Sr. was not allowed to speak at the 1992 Democratic convention "because of his opposition to abortion rights." In fact, other Democrats who opposed abortion rights spoke at that convention and at every convention since, so Casey's opposition to abortion rights could not have been the sole reason he was not given a speaking role.

  • Contradicting his own book, Freddoso claimed "there's nothing" in Obama's record indicating he is a "reformer"

    ››› ››› SIMON MALOY

    On Fox News' America's Election HQ, David Freddoso claimed: "Senator [Barack] Obama says that he is a reformer, an agent of positive change. And looking at his record, though, in Chicago, Springfield, and Washington, I found that he is absolutely -- there's nothing in his record to bear out that claim." However, in Freddoso's recently released book, he specifically credited Obama with two "real accomplishment[s] ... in the name of reform" -- the Federal Funding Accountability and Transparency Act of 2006, and a 1998 Illinois ethics bill.

  • Question for CNN: Is Minnesota really a toss-up state?

    Blog ››› ››› ERIC BOEHLERT

    CNN's John King, working his interactive map on Sunday, claimed if the election were held today Obama would win 221 electoral votes and McCain 189. King stressed that so many key states remain toss-ups. (That's good a narrative for the media.)

    King claimed one key toss-up state is Minnesota. Really? According to Pollster's trend estimates, Obama is up by seven points in Minnesota, and there's only one poll listed at Pollser that shows McCain ahead in the land of lakes. And that was from January. We get the feeling CNN is trying a bit too hard to push the, It's-a-tie! storyline.

    P.S. Pollster puts the current (albeit, hypothetical) electoral count at Obama 260, McCain 176. (That's a bad narrative for the media.)

  • On Fournier ...

    Blog ››› ››› JAMISON FOSER

    The basic problem with Ron Fournier's "analysis" of the Biden pick comes right up top: "In picking Sen. Joe Biden to be his running mate, Barack Obama sought to shore up his weakness — inexperience in office and on foreign policy..."

    Well, wait a second. Why doesn't the Biden pick reinforce Obama's strength on foreign policy? Most people, after all, would say Barack Obama was right to oppose the Iraq war. Given how easy it is to argue the opposite of Fournier's premise, it seems his analysis tells us more about his own attitudes than about the meaning of Obama's decision.

    Steve Benen has something to say about Fournier's analysis. MoveOn has something to do about it.

    And Lindsay Beyerstein wonders who has been paying him up to $10,000 a pop for speeches.

    UPDATE: Want to write to your local newspaper about Fournier? Jane Hamsher at Firedoglake can help.

  • Media outlets reported allegations Biden plagiarized Kinnock, but not that he had previously credited him

    ››› ››› MATT GERTZ

    The Los Angeles Times reported that when Sen. Joe Biden ran for president in 1987, he "was accused of plagiarism when he did not credit Neil Kinnock, then leader of the British Labor Party, for much of his stump speech." The New York Times and the Associated Press made similar reports. But they did not note that Biden reportedly had credited Kinnock, as The Washington Post reported at the time: "John Quinlan, a reporter for the Sioux City Journal, said his notes showed Biden said he was quoting Kinnock when he used the same passage in a speech Aug. 14. Stories in The [New York] Times, The Boston Globe and other newspapers also said Biden had used the rhetoric and credited Kinnock for it."