ABC's Wright did not note falsehoods in the attacks on Obama that he reported McCain will make

››› ››› MATT GERTZ

During a preview of the third presidential debate on ABC's World News, David Wright said that Sen. John McCain "plans to present [Sen. Barack] Obama as someone who will raise your taxes" and will "question Obama's judgment and character following from [Gov.] Sarah Palin's charge that Obama has been palling around with terrorists, like former '60s radical William Ayers" without noting the misrepresentations in those attacks.

Previewing the third presidential debate on the October 15 edition of ABC's World News, correspondent David Wright asserted that Sen. John McCain "plans to present [Sen. Barack] Obama as someone who will raise your taxes" and will "question Obama's judgment and character following from [Gov.] Sarah Palin's charge that Obama has been palling around with terrorists, like former '60s radical William Ayers." Wright, however, did not note that those attacks misrepresent Obama's tax proposal and The New York Times story that Palin was citing.

While Wright asserted that McCain would "present Obama as someone who will raise your taxes" -- a charge frequently made by conservatives that often goes unchallenged by the media -- Obama has repeatedly said he would cut taxes for low- and middle-income families, specifically those making less than $250,000 per year. Further, McCain's own chief economic adviser, Douglas Holtz-Eakin, reportedly said that it is inaccurate to claim that "Barack Obama raises taxes."

Regarding Ayers, Wright was referring to comments originally made by Palin during an October 4 Colorado campaign appearance, in which she referred to an October 4 New York Times article about Obama's relationship with Ayers and asserted: "I was reading my copy of today's New York Times and I was interested to read about Barack's friends from Chicago." She went on to assert: "Our opponent though, is someone who sees America it seems as being so imperfect that he's palling around with terrorists who would target their own country?" However, Wright did not note that the very Times article Palin cited in making that claim reported that Obama and Ayers "do not appear to have been close. Nor has Mr. Obama ever expressed sympathy for the radical views and actions of Mr. Ayers, whom he has called 'somebody who engaged in detestable acts 40 years ago, when I was 8.' " Indeed, as Washington Post White House reporter Michael Abramowitz noted in an October 5 article, Palin's comments are a "distortion of what the Times story concluded." Media Matters for America noted that Wright also uncritically reported that Palin has "accus[ed]" Obama of "palling around with terrorists" on the October 9 edition of ABC's Good Morning America.

From the October 15 edition of ABC's World News with Charlie Gibson:

WRIGHT: Good evening, Charlie. The McCain campaign knows it is crunch time -- quite possibly his last, best shot to make a big impression before the voters have their say three weeks from now. And McCain obviously has some ground to make up. So, tonight, expect him to be combative.

WRIGHT (video clip): John McCain plans to present Obama as someone who will raise your taxes and put your job at risk. He'll also question Obama's judgment and character following from Sarah Palin's charge that Obama has been palling around with terrorists, like former '60s radical William Ayers. After last week's debate, Obama told Charlie Gibson he was surprised his opponent did not follow through on the character attacks -- yet.

Posted In
Economy, Taxes
Network/Outlet
ABC
Person
David Wright
Show/Publication
ABC World News Tonight
Stories/Interests
Barack Obama, John McCain, 2008 Elections
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