ABC's David Wright reported without challenging Sen. John McCain's claim to voters in New Hampshire that Sen. Barack Obama "wants to confiscate their hard-earned money." Wright did not note that Obama has proposed cutting taxes for low- and middle-income taxpayers, while raising taxes only on individuals earning more than $200,000 per year and families earning more than $250,000 per year.
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.
On World News, Jake Tapper reported on "accusations of voter fraud" against ACORN workers, noting that "ACORN officials said the primary problem isn't a few phony names on voter registrations, but real voters being prevented from casting their ballots." But World News did not report on the indictment of former RNC official James Tobin and in the past two weeks has not aired any reports on the issue of voter suppression.
ABC News correspondent Kate Snow uncritically quoted Gov. Sarah Palin's claim that Sen. Barack Obama voted for "[c]utting off funding for our troops while in a war zone." However, Snow did not report that Sen. John McCain voted against legislation to fund the wars in Afghanistan and Iraq, as Obama noted during the September 26 presidential debate.
During her ABC World News report on the Bush administration's $700 billion Wall Street proposal, Betsy Stark uncritically aired Treasury Secretary Henry Paulson's claim that he "welcome[s]" oversight of the administration's plan, but did not note that a section of the bill states: "Decisions by the Secretary [of the Treasury] pursuant to the authority of this Act are non-reviewable and committed to agency discretion, and may not be reviewed by any court of law or any administrative agency."
ABC's David Wright aired a quote of Sen. John McCain saying during a September 16 speech that "[o]ur economy is broken." But Wright did not note that the previous day -- and many times before that -- McCain made a remark that was flatly inconsistent with that comment, saying that "the fundamentals of our economy are strong."
After airing a video clip of Sen. Barack Obama saying of the "the surge of U.S. troops in Iraq," "I've already said, it's succeeded beyond our wildest dreams," ABC's David Wright stated, "The McCain campaign has been pushing Obama for weeks to admit that he was wrong to oppose the surge, a policy McCain championed early on," falsely suggesting that Obama said during his interview that he was wrong to oppose the surge.
In a September 3 interview, Charles Gibson did not challenge the claim by Sen. John McCain that after Sarah Palin obtained millions of dollars in earmarks as mayor of her home town, she "learned that earmarks are bad" when she became governor and said, "No more for my state." At no point did Gibson point out that as governor, Palin, by her own account, requested hundreds of millions of dollars in earmarks for Alaska just this year. ABC News did not air that part of the interview on the September 3 broadcast of World News, much less note that McCain was promoting a false claim.
ABC's Jake Tapper reported that Sen. John McCain "has attacked Obama for being ... anti-troops." On-screen, a clip from a McCain campaign ad displayed the text "Against Troop Funding," with several references to congressional votes. But Tapper did not note that McCain has also voted against legislation funding the wars in Afghanistan and Iraq, and that Sen. Barack Obama has voted numerous times to fund the wars.
On World News, Charles Gibson and David Wright suggested that Sen. Barack Obama's and Sen. John McCain's presidential campaigns were equally guilty of "negative attacks." However, Wright provided no evidence that Obama had engaged in negative attacks, stating only that Obama is "constantly comparing McCain to President Bush."
Evening news broadcasts on CBS and NBC failed to cover a new report finding that the actions of top aides in the Justice Department who used political considerations in hiring "violated federal law and Department policy, and also constituted misconduct." ABC's World News, meanwhile, devoted less than 30 seconds to the report. Despite the potential implications for U.S. counterterrorism efforts, all three networks ignored the finding that "an experienced career terrorism prosecutor" was denied a counterterrorism assignment while "a much more junior attorney who lacked any experience in counterterrorism issues and who officials believed was not qualified for the position" was hired instead.
ABC News' George Stephanopoulos falsely suggested that Sen. Barack Obama shifted positions on increasing U.S. troops in Afghanistan and is "now" aligned with the position of Sen. John McCain. In fact, Obama has been calling for increasing U.S. troops in Afghanistan since at least 2006.
ABC's World News and NBC's Nightly News both reported that Sen. John McCain vowed to send more troops to Afghanistan. But neither program noted that McCain also reportedly suggested that, in the words of The Washington Post, "he might call on NATO to supply part of the additional troops he hopes to send to the region." ABC's Charlie Gibson did not report that Obama, too, called for increasing troops in Afghanistan in his July 15 speech.
The evening news programs on ABC, NBC, and CBS have yet to cover Sen. John McCain's statement regarding Social Security -- that "Americans have got to understand that we are paying present-day retirees with the taxes paid by young workers in America today. And that's a disgrace. It's an absolute disgrace, and it's got to be fixed" -- even though they have broadcast other remarks McCain made at the same town hall meeting.
On the July 9 edition of Good Morning America, Diane Sawyer introduced a question to Sen. Barack Obama about Iraq by stating, "[S]ome of your core supporters have been saying that they sense that you are shifting positions, and you've gotten quite a drubbing on a couple of fronts." However, Sawyer did not ask Obama about any of Sen. John McCain's "shifting positions." In an interview that aired later that day on World News, Charles Gibson asked McCain about McCain's criticism of Obama for what Gibson characterized as "changing position on a number of ... issues" and whether McCain is "ready, yet, to call him [Obama] a flip-flopper," but did not ask McCain about McCain's reversals.