Issues ››› Elections
  • Media continue to repeat Cindy McCain's comment about troop funding without noting her husband's own vote


    The New York Times, The Washington Post, and Morning Joe reported Cindy McCain's attack on Sen. Barack Obama that his "vote to not fund my son while he was serving sent a cold chill through my body." However, none of their reports noted that Sen. John McCain himself voted against legislation to fund the wars in Afghanistan and Iraq.

  • Anybody? Bueller? Bueller?

    Blog ››› ››› ERIC BOEHLERT

    Right-wing radio talker Hugh Hewitt still can't find a publisher for his book, How Sarah Palin Won the Election... And Saved America, according to The New York Observer. In fact, his agent has given up trying to sell the project.

    Maybe Hewitt, who last year wrote a Mitt-Romney's-gonna-be-president book, should go with a Plan B book proposal: How George Bush Transformed America and Left It A Stronger Country.

  • Media repeat Cindy McCain's attack on Obama troop-funding vote, ignore John McCain's troop-funding vote


    The CBS Evening News, Fox News' The Live Desk, and the Politico's Jonathan Martin noted Cindy McCain's attack on Sen. Barack Obama that his "vote to not fund my son when he was serving sent a cold chill through my body." However, none of their reports pointed out that Sen. John McCain himself voted against legislation to fund the wars in Afghanistan and Iraq.

  • Charlotte Observer relies on flawed Factcheck.org claims to criticize VoteVets ad

    Blog ››› ››› JAMISON FOSER

    The Charlotte Observer reports on a new VoteVets ad:

    Meanwhile, a veterans' group is spending $200,000 on TV ads saying [NC Sen. Elizabeth] Dole voted against body armor for troops.

    The ad by VoteVets.org features a man identified as an Iraq war veteran firing shots from an AK-47 through a flak jacket given out early in the war. He also fires into more modern body armor, which stops the shots. It claims Dole twice voted against the more modern armor.

    The ad appears to be the same one used in 2006 in a Virginia Senate race. According to the watchdog site FactCheck.org, the votes came on a 2003 amendment that would have appropriated just over $1 billion for unspecified "National Guard and Reserve Equipment" but made no mention of body armor. The amendment lost on a generally party-line vote.

    The group called the ad false.

    Problem is, FactCheck.org got it wrong, as Media Matters documented at the time.

    Here's the short version:

    But as Media Matters for America noted in response to FactCheck's September 20 analysis, [FactCheck.org director Brooks] Jackson's assertion that "[t]here has never been a vote on body armour" is false. Allen opposed an October 2003 amendment offered by Sen. Christopher Dodd (D-CT), which would have provided additional funding explicitly for body armor. Moreover, Landrieu repeatedly stated on the House floor that the bill would ensure that National Guard soldiers had "helmets" and other "force protection" equipment intended to "minimize causalities." And in a March 26, 2003, press release, Landrieu further explained that the bill "targets shortfalls identified by the National Guard and Reserve in their Unfunded Requirement lists," including the "shortage of helmets, tents, bullet-proof inserts, and tactical vests."

  • Is that a threat?

    Blog ››› ››› ERIC BOEHLERT

    CBC's Dean Reynolds filed a lengthy piece online comparing and contrasting what it was like to cover the Obama and McCain campaigns from a journalist's perspective; which team was more informed and made life easier on the road for reporters.

    According to Reynolds, it's no contest. He much preferred the way the McCain camp ("helpful" and "friendly") treated the press, how it printed up schedules well in advance and how it was flexible in terms of accommodating deadline needs. By contrast, Dean complies a long list of complaints about Team Obama, including the fact the press' chartered press plane smelled bad.

    That's Reynolds' opinion and, since he's the one schlepping around the campaign trail, he's entitled to it. But the essay does end on a rather ominous note, and seems to indicate that angry journalists like Reynolds are already plotting their revenge against Obama if he wins the election.

    How else could you read this closing [emphasis added]:

    Maybe none of this means much. Maybe a front-running campaign like Obama's that is focused solely on victory doesn't have the time to do the mundane things like print up schedules or attend to the needs of reporters. But in politics, everything that goes around comes around.

  • "[J]ournalist" Sean Hannity gives bogus defense for interviewing Andy Martin


    On Hannity & Colmes, Sean Hannity defended his report featuring Andy Martin -- who has called a judge a "crooked, slimy Jew" and accused African-American public officials of corruption -- by saying: "I'm a journalist who interviews people who I disagree with all the time, that give their opinion. Fox has all points of view." However, during the report, Hannity did not challenge any assertion or statement by Martin, nor did he mention any of Martin's anti-Semitic and racially charged statements.

  • Calling in to Quinn & Rose from Kenya, Corsi said of his detention: "[C]all Barack's office and ask him why I'm being detained"

    ››› ››› HANNAH DREIER

    In a phone call to The War Room with Quinn & Rose, Jerome Corsi stated that he and his staff were "being detained by the immigration of Kenya 'cause they lost our entry papers." Corsi repeatedly suggested Obama was responsible for his detention, stating at one point: "[J]ust don't write anything bad about Senator Obama, because, otherwise, this is what happens to you." Corsi also said, "[C]all Barack's office and ask him why I'm being detained."

  • Wash. Times misrepresented Obama debate comment, repeated false claim about his Pakistan comment


    In an article about the second presidential debate, The Washington Times falsely suggested that, during the debate, Sen. Barack Obama said he doesn't think the U.S. can "face the challenge" in Afghanistan "after spending years and hundreds of billions of dollars in Iraq," and it uncritically reported Sen. John McCain's false claim that Obama "threaten[ed] to invade Pakistan"; and quoted Gov. Sarah Palin's claim that Obama has been "palling around with terrorists" without noting that Palin distorted a New York Times article in making that claim.

  • NRO column repeated debunked claim that Obama attempted to delay troop withdrawals


    In a National Review Online column, Lisa Schiffren claimed that "[i]n personal conversations," Sen. Barack Obama "asked that the Iraqi leadership wait for the next administration (his) to begin serious troop withdrawals -- as Amir Taheri has documented." In fact, a Bush administration official has reportedly said that Taheri's assertion was not true. Schiffren also repeated other false and baseless claims in her column providing "suggestions" to the McCain campaign.

  • Despite most polls finding Biden won VP debate, Brzezinski asserted, "I think people overwhelmingly thought [Palin] won"

    ››› ››› MORGAN WEILAND

    On MSNBC's Morning Joe, Mika Brzezinski asserted that "people overwhelmingly thought [Gov. Sarah Palin] won her debate," while Willie Geist suggested that Palin won by a smaller margin than Brzezinski claimed. However, most polls conducted on the days following the vice presidential debate found that Sen. Joe Biden won. In fact, a Media Matters review of polling sites did not find any national polls that found Palin won the debate.

  • "Off message"?

    Blog ››› ››› JAMISON FOSER

    That's how Ben Smith describes the most recent instance of a Republican speaker at a McCain event invoking Barack Obama's middle name.

    How many times do speakers at McCain events have to invoke Obama's middle name before reporters stop stipulating that McCain doesn't want it to happen?

  • The David Brooks contradiction cont'd

    Blog ››› ››› ERIC BOEHLERT

    Okay, this is getting confusing.

    Last Friday we noted the hypocrisy of the Times' David Brooks, the East Coast media elite intellectual, cheering Palin's debate performance and her anti-intellectual approach; cheering the way Palin's "accent, her colloquialisms and her constant invocations of the accoutrements of everyday" likely connected with "casual parts of the country."

    That struck us as rather embarrassing narrative for Brooks of all people to embrace. And guess what? Apparently so did Brooks. Because on Monday during an interview, he did a complete about-face and announced that Palin and her anti-intellectual approach represents a "a fatal cancer to the Republican party." And that she was no way qualified to be VP.

    So to recap: On Friday, Palin was the star of the GOP. On Monday she represented a cancer.

    At least Brooks now has the bases covered.

  • NY Times uncritically reported Palin's attacks about Obama's troop-funding vote and his "air-raiding" statement


    The New York Times uncritically quoted Gov. Sarah Palin saying of Sen. Barack Obama: "Our opponent voted to cut off funding for our troops. ... And he said, too, that our troops in Afghanistan are just, quote, 'air-raiding villages and killing civilians.' " The article did not note that Sen. John McCain himself voted against a bill to fund the wars in Afghanistan and Iraq and that Defense Secretary Robert Gates recently apologized for civilian deaths resulting from coalition air strikes in Afghanistan.