On CBS' Face the Nation, Bob Schieffer asserted that Sen. John McCain "suspended his campaign" to deal with the Wall Street crisis, ignoring evidence that after McCain announced he was going to suspend his campaign, his ads continued to run; his advisers repeatedly attacked Sen. Barack Obama on cable news networks; and he gave interviews with the three broadcast networks the following day.
In an RNC speech, former Sen. Fred Thompson said of Sen. John McCain, "[B]eing a POW doesn't qualify anyone to be president. But it does reveal character." Similarly, retired Gen. Wesley Clark, in a July appearance on CBS' Face the Nation, told host Bob Schieffer that McCain was "a hero," and that "I certainly honor his service as a prisoner of war," but that "I don't think riding in a fighter plane and getting shot down is a qualification to be president." But while Schieffer suggested in July that Clark "denigrate[d]" and "attack[ed]" McCain's "military service," he did not ask McCain about Thompson's remarks during a September 7 interview on Face the Nation.
On the CBS Evening News, Bob Schieffer asserted that Gov. Sarah Palin is "[s]omeone, you know, who is against earmarks, who is against that bridge to nowhere." But Palin's administration has said it requested federal earmarks in 2008, and she reportedly initially supported the so-called "bridge to nowhere" project.
On Face the Nation, Bob Schieffer alleged that "[Sen. Barack] Obama's people are trying to denigrate the war hero's military service," referring to Sen. John McCain. Schieffer did not explain which of "Obama's people" he was talking about, but a few days earlier he said that "[retired Gen.] Wesley Clark, who was speaking for Obama, tried to marginalize John McCain's military service" in a June appearance on Face the Nation. In fact, Clark did not "denigrate" McCain's "military service"; rather, he questioned the relevance of McCain's combat experience as a qualification to be president.
On Face the Nation, Bob Schieffer stated that Sen. Barack Obama "seemed to have a slightly different take" on withdrawing troops from Iraq in July 3 remarks, as compared with a speech he made on March 19. But Schieffer omitted Obama's statement in the March 19 speech that he would set Iraq policy in consultation with military commanders.
On Face the Nation, Bob Schieffer claimed that Sen. Hillary Clinton is "saying it looks like ... maybe the surge is working in the sense that there is less violence there." But as Media Matters for America has repeatedly noted, Clinton actually said: "We've begun to change tactics in Iraq, and in some areas, particularly in Al Anbar province, it's working. ... We're just years too late changing our tactics. We can't ever let that happen again."
On CBS' The Early Show, Hannah Storm told Bob Schieffer that "[a] lot of people ... took" Michelle Obama's statement "as a slam at [Sen.] Hillary Clinton," adding: "She and her husband both said, 'Not so,' but there is a school of thought that says with a woman running for the Democratic presidential nominee that it may be up to the wives to criticize her because the men can't." At no point did either Storm or Schieffer provide Mrs. Obama's full comments, in which she talked about her own family and did not refer generally or specifically to any other candidates.
In appearances by Karl Rove on Sunday morning talk shows on Fox, CBS, and NBC, not one interviewer asked whether an August 19 Washington Post article was accurate in stating that, according to White House officials, one of Rove's "two basic rules" in putting together briefings for political appointees was "to make sure they complied with the Hatch Act," a federal law that limits political activities by federal employees. As the article noted, "the Office of the Special Counsel ... has concluded that the Hatch Act was violated" during a briefing that was conducted by a Rove aide for political appointees in the General Services Administration.
On Face the Nation, Bob Schieffer did not challenge Vice President Dick Cheney's false claim that Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid "now has said he's adamantly opposed to any funding for the troops." In fact, Reid voted for the supplemental funding bill that the Senate passed March 29.
CBS' Bob Schieffer baselessly claimed that many of the freshman Democratic House members are "conservative"; Tucker Carlson called newly elected Democratic Rep. Heath Shuler "more conservative than most Republicans in the House." In fact, the Democratic candidates who won Republican-held seats in the November 7 midterm elections, including Shuler, have said they support central issues in the Democratic platform.
Media figures have attributed Democratic gains in the House and Senate in the midterm elections to the number of wins by conservative or moderate Democratic challengers and have suggested that because the party's victory in the House was purportedly "built on the back of more centrist candidates," the incoming Democratic majority will be sharply divided. However, a Media Matters for America survey of the policy positions of 27 victorious House candidates found that they all agree on a core set of issues, including raising the minimum wage and protecting Social Security.
On November 6, all three major network evening news broadcasts pointed to "new polling" to assert that the midterm elections are "tightening." In doing so, these outlets ignored several polls released during the same period that indicate the gap between Democrats and Republicans is stable or widening.
Despite the significance of President Bush's November 1 pronouncement that Donald Rumsfeld will remain defense secretary until the end of his presidency, multiple media outlets have devoted much greater attention to the controversy over Sen. John Kerry's "botched joke."