Issues ››› Elections
  • USA Today can read Hillary Clinton's mind

    Blog ››› ››› ERIC BOEHLERT

    Or at least it tries to.

    The newspaper's Clinton article today is relatively straight-forward report on how Clinton is pitching in to help get Democrats, and especially Barack Obama, elected in November. It details the fundraisers she'll host.

    But here's the odd part, with emphasis added:

    Democrat Hillary Rodham Clinton has raised more than $8 million for former rival Barack Obama's presidential campaign since July and plans to barnstorm the country for even more cash, as the New York senator works to show she is aggressively helping the candidate who cut short her White House bid.

    USA Today seems to suggest that Clinton isn't actually working aggressively to help Obama. She's working to show that she is helping Obama.

    See the difference between the two? And see why why it's really not USA Today's place, especially since it provides no evidence to back it up, to imply Clinton's campaign work is just for show and she's simply trying to create the perception that she's helping, rather than, y'know, actually helping.

    In other words, why didn't USA Today just write this:

    Democrat Hillary Rodham Clinton has raised more than $8 million for former rival Barack Obama's presidential campaign since July and plans to barnstorm the country for even more cash, as the New York senator works aggressively to help the candidate who cut short her White House bid.

  • MSNBC's Hall said McCain was "cleared by a Senate committee" in Keating Five scandal, but not that the committee said he exercised "poor judgment"


    MSNBC's Tamron Hall asserted that Sen. John McCain "was accused of corruption, although he was later cleared by a Senate committee" in the Keating Five scandal. But Hall did not note that the Senate ethics committee concluded that McCain's conduct "reflected poor judgment."

  • RE: Regarding Gwen Ifill

    Blog ››› ››› JAMISON FOSER

    Last week, Eric wrote:

    Believe it or not, there are more than four of five Americans who are qualified to moderate a debate. It's time for the commission to branch out and tap other talent.

    Here's a good sign he's right: On Meet the Press yesterday, VP debate moderator Gwen Ifill said Sarah Palin "more than ignored" her questions, adding, "Blew me off i think is the technical term." As Brad DeLong notes, it's one thing for Ifill to say three days later that Palin wasn't answering the questions asked of her -- but she should have done it during the debate:

    When you are running a debate, and when one participant doesn't answer your questions. You say: "governor, please answer my question." Gwen Ifill didn't do that.

  • McCain and press, pals for life?

    Blog ››› ››› ERIC BOEHLERT

    Despite running an anti-media campaign, and despite columnists like Richard Cohen and Joe Klein announcing their public break-ups with McCain, the GOP candidate won't have trouble re-igniting the Beltway media's passion after Nov. 4, according to Michael Shaffer at TNR:

    Candidates like John McCain don't have to change their behavior when the pundits get on their high horses. They know that their reputations will be bailed out eventually.

  • AP's Sidoti reported Palin's claim that Obama has been "palling around with terrorists" -- but not evidence to contrary

    ››› ››› JULIE MILLICAN

    The AP's Liz Sidoti reported Gov. Sarah Palin's recent comment that Sen. Barack Obama has been "palling around with terrorists who would target their own country," which Sidoti asserted "was a reference to [William] Ayers, a founder of a 1960s radical group." But Sidoti did not note that contrary to Palin's claim that Obama has been "palling around" with Ayers, the New York Times article Palin cited in making her remarks reported of the relationship between Obama and Ayers: "[T]he two men do not appear to have been close."

  • Cable TV, still addicted to the campaign

    Blog ››› ››› ERIC BOEHLERT

    This is pretty remarkable, and continues the disturbing newsroom trend of Beltway reporters being incapable of turning their attention away from the campaign, regardles of breaking news events.

    For the week of Sept. 22-28, when Wall Street was collapsing, historic bailouts were being negotiated and news consumer interest in the topic of the economy reached record heights, cable TV still devoted more time to the campaign (51%) than any other news story that week.

  • MSNBC's Witt did not challenge RNC official's mischaracterization of NY Times article on Obama and Ayers

    ››› ››› MORGAN WEILAND

    On MSNBC Live, RNC press secretary Alex Conant claimed that "The New York Times today has a 2,000-word story about Barack Obama's friendship with an unrepentant terrorist." However, Alex Witt did not challenge Conant's claim that the article was about their "friendship" by pointing out that the Times in fact reported that Obama and Ayers "do not appear to have been close."

  • Fact checking the fact checkers

    Blog ››› ››› ERIC BOEHLERT

    The WaPo's fact checking of Joe Biden's health care comments during the debate (i.e his "significant omissions or exaggerations") was way off the mark, writes Gene Sperling at HuffPost:

    They got the Pinocchios completely backwards in this case. As good fact checkers, I hope the Post will review their analysis and admit that they got this one wrong.

  • Why is the NY Times continuing to ignore McCain's "own Bill Ayers"?


    On October 4, The New York Times published a front-page article about Sen. Barack Obama's association with William Ayers -- at least the 18th Times article this year mentioning that association. But the Times has yet to mention Sen. John McCain's relationship with G. Gordon Liddy. The October 4 article quoted Chicago Tribune columnist Steve Chapman denouncing Obama's association with Ayers but did not note that Chapman has described Liddy as McCain's "own Bill Ayers" and written that "[i]f Obama needs to answer questions about Ayers, McCain has the same obligation regarding Liddy."

  • Daily News' Goodwin, CNN's Dobbs, NBC's Mitchell latest to mislead on Biden's claim that McCain "voted against funding the troops"

    ››› ››› ERIC HANANOKI

    On Lou Dobbs Tonight, Michael Goodwin and Lou Dobbs falsely claimed that Sen. Joe Biden was wrong when he said during the vice-presidential debate that Sen. John McCain "voted against funding the troops" in a 2007 bill making supplemental appropriations for troops in Iraq and Afghanistan. In fact, McCain voted against a supplemental appropriations bill on March 29, 2007, saying at the time that he was opposing it, in part, because it "would establish a timeline" for U.S. withdrawal from Iraq.

  • Joining Hannity, Cincinnati radio host Cunningham repeatedly misled on Raines' purported role with Obama campaign

    ››› ››› JOCELYN FONG

    On his Cincinnati-based radio program, Bill Cunningham falsely claimed that former Fannie Mae CEO Franklin Raines is an "economic adviser" and "chief financial adviser" to Sen. Barack Obama. A McCain campaign ad claims that Raines "advises" Obama -- a claim that Raines and the Obama campaign have denied -- but even that ad did not claim that Raines is a "chief" adviser.

  • Media again quote debate attack that Obama "voted against funding the troops" while omitting Dem response


    The New York Times and the Los Angeles Times both reported Gov. Sarah Palin's attack during the vice-presidential debate that Sen. "Barack Obama voted against funding troops" without noting, as Sen. Joe Biden pointed out in response, that "[Sen.] John McCain voted the exact same way. John McCain voted against funding the troops because of an amendment he voted against had a timeline in it to draw down American troops."

  • Armstrong Williams -- who received and didn't disclose Bush administration money to promote NCLB -- criticized Ifill for book deal


    Conservative radio host Armstrong Williams criticized vice-presidential debate moderator Gwen Ifill over her upcoming book about African-American political leaders, saying she "should have disclosed" it, and that it is "ultimately impossible" for her not to favor Sen. Barack Obama, because she has a "financial stake" in his winning the presidency. However, beginning in 2003, Williams did not disclose that he received $240,000 in Education Department funds to promote No Child Left Behind. The Government Accountability Office found that the Department of Education's actions constituted "covert propaganda" in violation of the law.