Several media outlets have reported that Sen. John McCain's campaign justified refusing to release Cindy McCain's tax returns by citing Sen. John Kerry and his wife, Teresa Heinz Kerry, as "precedent." But they did not report that, in contrast with Cindy McCain, Heinz Kerry did release a part of her 2003 income tax return that showed "total income," which enabled The New York Times to analyze how she benefited from the Bush tax cuts. Such an analysis of how the McCains have benefited from the tax cuts -- which Sen. McCain supports extending permanently -- is not possible, based on the information his campaign has released on Cindy McCain's income.
In an article on immigration as a campaign issue, the Chicago Tribune reported that Sens. Hillary Clinton, Barack Obama, and John McCain "essentially agree on the need for an overhaul of U.S. Immigration law that would combine increased border enforcement with a new guest-worker program and measures to permit the estimated 12 million illegal immigrants already in the country to eventually apply for citizenship." In fact, McCain has said he "would not" support his original comprehensive immigration proposal if it came to a vote on the Senate floor and now says that "we've got to secure the borders first."
Chicago Tribune columnist John Kass sat by as Glenn Beck repeated a baseless claim in Kass' column and added a falsehood of his own regarding Barack Obama's house purchase in Chicago. Beck repeated Kass' claim that Obama received "a $300,000 discount" on the purchase of his Chicago home and falsely asserted that indicted businessman Antoin Rezko "bought the property next door at $300,000 more." Kass did not dispute either assertion.
Chicago Tribune editorial board member and syndicated columnist Clarence Page wrote that John McCain "shifted his emphasis on immigration reform to border protection after his earlier emphasis on providing a path to citizenship for illegal workers failed to get through Congress. In other words, he was not flip-flopping on his core beliefs, but he was willing to listen to critics." However, McCain's current stance on immigration represents a reversal of his prior position -- not simply a "shift in emphasis": McCain had previously argued that border security could not be disaggregated from other provisions in legislation on comprehensive immigration reform.
Numerous print publications -- including The New York Times, The Washington Post, and the Los Angeles Times -- continued a longstanding practice of referring to Sen. John McCain as a "maverick" in their coverage of the February 5 presidential primaries and caucuses.
In their coverage of the January 30 Republican presidential debate, the Los Angeles Times, The Wall Street Journal, the Chicago Tribune, ABC, and National Public Radio all reported Sen. John McCain's criticism of Mitt Romney over negative campaign ads. However, none of those media outlets noted that McCain has aired numerous ads attacking Romney, despite having said that "negative campaigns don't work."
Chicago Tribune religion writer Manya Brachear wrote that Barack Obama, in responding to "repeated and false claims" that he is a "closet Muslim," has "reiterate[d] that he is a committed Christian. But he stops short of saying that being Muslim wouldn't be a bad thing. In addition to setting the record straight about his own faith, should Obama also give a shout-out to his Muslim brothers and sisters and defend Islam?" But the previous day, during an interview with the Christian Broadcasting Network, Obama had said, "I think that those who are of the Muslim faith are deserving of respect and dignity."
On The Situation Room, Dana Bash said that former House Speaker Dennis Hastert, who is resigning, "presided over a politically polarizing era. He said that was his biggest regret." A November 16 Chicago Tribune article also reported that Hastert "bemoaned the 'pool of bitterness' he believes exists in the nation's capital and urged his colleagues to try and work together in civility after he is gone." But neither Bash nor the Tribune noted Hastert's own history of partisan attacks.
Several media outlets have reported on the latest ad released by Sen. John McCain's presidential campaign attacking Sen. Hillary Rodham Clinton over her support for an earmark funding a Woodstock Festival museum, but these outlets have not noted that McCain skipped the vote on removing the earmark.
A Chicago Tribune article cited Barack Obama's statement, "Anybody gone into Whole Foods lately and see what they charge for arugula?" in an appearance at an Iowa farm as evidence that Obama has had more success among "wine-track" voters than among "beer-track" voters -- though arugula is grown by Iowa farmers and is available at grocery stores throughout the state. The article also noted "white zinfandel with an Obama logo on the bottle" available at one rally as purported evidence of Obama's "wine-track" affinity, though it could have just as easily highlighted "beer-track" anecdotes, including an event where Obama's face was on the label of beer bottles.
Columnist Jim Mateja wrote that Sen. Barack Obama (D-IL) "has more homework to do" and "should [hire] a fact-checker" because Obama stated that "Japanese cars [are] now getting an average of 45 miles to the gallon." In fact, a report from the Pew Center on Global Climate Change stated that the 2002 average fleet fuel economy value in Japan was 46.3 miles per gallon.