Ignoring Clark's praise, LA Times uncritically reported McCain camp's assertion that Clark "didn't pay proper homage" to his POW service

››› ››› MATT GERTZ

In an article about Wesley Clark's June 29 comments, the Los Angeles Times reported the McCain campaign's assertion that "Clark didn't pay proper homage" to Sen. John McCain's service as a POW in Vietnam, but did not report that, in fact, Clark said: "I certainly honor his service as a prisoner of war. He was a hero to me and to hundreds of thousands of millions of others in the Armed Forces as a prisoner of war."

In a July 2 Los Angeles Times article about June 29 comments retired Gen. Wesley Clark made about Sen. John McCain on CBS' Face the Nation, staff writer Peter Nicholas wrote that, "by the reckoning of the McCain campaign, Clark didn't pay proper homage to McCain's greatest sacrifice: 5 1/2 years as a prisoner of war in North Vietnam." But Nicholas did not note that, during his Face the Nation appearance, Clark specifically praised McCain's service as a POW, saying: "I certainly honor his service as a prisoner of war. He was a hero to me and to hundreds of thousands of millions of others in the Armed Forces as a prisoner of war."

As Media Matters for America has documented, numerous media outlets have echoed the false claim by the McCain campaign that "Clark attacked John McCain's military service record."

From the July 2 Los Angeles Times article:

A war lingers in Iraq; the economy falters at home. But since Sunday, the 2008 presidential race seems to have been consumed by what a retired general said on a television talk show.

Retired Army Gen. Wesley K. Clark appeared on CBS' "Face the Nation" and questioned whether famed war hero John McCain had the executive experience to be commander in chief.

Worse, by the reckoning of the McCain campaign, Clark didn't pay proper homage to McCain's greatest sacrifice: 5 1/2 years as a prisoner of war in North Vietnam.

When host Bob Schieffer countered that Barack Obama, unlike McCain, had never been shot down in a fighter plane, Clark replied: "Well, I don't think riding in a fighter plane and getting shot down is a qualification to be president."

The two campaigns batted that around the next day. And on Tuesday, it was clear that the issue was still with us.

Network/Outlet
Los Angeles Times
Stories/Interests
John McCain, 2008 Elections
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