Elections

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  • 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."

  • Hannity paraphrased passage from Corsi's book that gets Obama's speech on abortion bill wrong

    ››› ››› ERIC HANANOKI & DIANNA PARKER

    Sean Hannity paraphrased a passage from Jerome Corsi's discredited book The Obama Nation that misrepresents a March 2001 speech Sen. Barack Obama gave in the Illinois state Senate opposing a bill amending the Illinois Abortion Law of 1975. Corsi claimed Obama said that if the bill passed, and "a nine-month-old fetus" that survived a late-term labor-induced abortion was defined as "a person who had a right to live," that it would essentially "forbid abortions to take place." In fact, Obama was not referring to "a nine-month-old fetus"; he was specifically talking about a "previable fetus."

  • Spinonymous: Chicago Tribune inexplicably provides "senior McCain adviser" anonymity to attack Obama

    ››› ››› MORGAN WEILAND

    A Chicago Tribune article uncritically and repeatedly quoted a "senior McCain adviser" attacking Sen. Barack Obama and asserted that the adviser "spoke on condition that he not be identified in order to discuss strategy." But the authors gave no explanation of why they would agree to anonymity for a source who proceeded to attack and to foreshadow further attacks on the opposing candidate.

  • Media cite anti-abortion activist and Obama critic Jill Stanek as though she's credible

    ››› ››› MATT GERTZ, MARK BOCHKIS, CHRISTINE SCHWEN & MORGAN WEILAND

    Media outlets have quoted or cited criticism of Sen. Barack Obama by anti-abortion activist and WorldNetDaily columnist Jill Stanek without citing relevant facts that undermine her credibility, including her suggestion that domestic violence is acceptable against women who have abortions, her support of billboards in Tanzania with the words "Faithful Condom User" next to a picture of a large skeleton, and her citation of a report that "aborted fetuses are much sought after delicacies" in China to which she added, "I think this stuff is happening."

  • CNN claims "Chicago-style politics" in Obama's signature challenges in state Senate race -- while ignoring McCain's Arizona-style politics

    ››› ››› JEREMY HOLDEN

    In a special report on Sen. Barack Obama, referring to Obama's challenges to signatures on his opponents' nominating petitions during his 1996 run for the Illinois state Senate, CNN's Suzanne Malveaux described Obama as "an avid student of Chicago-style politics" and aired remarks by a Chicago reporter calling the practice "cutthroat." But CNN's special on Sen. John McCain made no mention of McCain's reported petition challenges in at least two U.S. Senate races, aired no one labeling McCain "cutthroat" for those challenges, or at any point pronounced McCain an avid student of Arizona-style politics for those challenges.

  • A 3-point poll blip is page-one news?

    Blog ››› ››› ERIC BOEHLERT

    We understand that in recent days the media narrative has been set that the dynamics of the White House race have shifted dramatically. And that's why the WSJ hyped its recent poll findings on A1 with headline, "McCain Closes Gap on Obama In Poll as Conventions Loom." (According to WSJ survey, Obama's lead has shrunk from 6 to 3 points.)

    But we'd sure like to know the last time the Journal published an above-the-fold, front-page article when poll results shifted by just three points.