On CNN Newsroom, Ali Velshi falsely claimed, "In 2005, Hurricane Katrina destroyed more than 40 of these [offshore drilling] platforms, but still no oil shed into the Gulf of Mexico because of that." In fact, a 2007 report prepared for the federal government by an international consulting firm identified damage from Katrina to 27 platforms and rigs that resulted in the spilling of approximately 2,843 barrels of petroleum products into the Gulf of Mexico.
With reports that Sen. John McCain had picked Alaska Gov. Sarah Palin to be his running mate, sexist commentary on cable news followed. On CNN, John Roberts raised the question of whether as vice president, Palin would be able to devote the time necessary to care for her baby with Down syndrome, and on MSNBC, Andrea Mitchell and Chuck Todd suggested that Sen. Joe Biden bears the burden of having to adjust his behavior in a vice-presidential debate because of Palin's sex.
CNN's Bill Schneider asserted that "[t]here are some Jewish voters who still have questions about Barack Obama," and that Sen. Joe Lieberman's speaking role at the RNC "could be a way of drawing some Jewish voters over to the Republican ticket." But Schneider made no mention of a poll released in mid-July that found that 48 percent of Jews have a negative opinion of Lieberman, with 37 percent holding a favorable view. In contrast, the same survey found that 60 percent have a favorable view of Obama, while 34 percent view him unfavorably.
On July 9, CNN Election Center uncritically aired Sen. John McCain's false claim that he "voted to condemn" the Iranian Revolutionary Guard as a terrorist organization "when a amendment was on the floor of the United States Senate" -- the Kyl-Lieberman amendment. However, a July 10 CNN.com blog post reported that "McCain was in New York instead of being in the Senate chamber for the vote in question. The McCain campaign admits the error." But CNN Election Center has yet to report that the McCain campaign has admitted that McCain's assertion was false.
CNN anchors Kyra Phillips and Campbell Brown each uncritically aired Sen. John McCain's false suggestion that Sen. Barack Obama opposed designating the Iranian Revolutionary Guard as a terrorist organization. In fact, Obama co-sponsored a bill in 2007 that would have designated the group a terrorist organization.
CNN's Rick Sanchez falsely suggested that Democrats rarely discuss their religious faith, saying of Sen. Barack Obama's speech at the Apostolic Church of God in Chicago, "When was the last time that you saw a Democrat ... in church giving what appears to be a sermon to a congregation?" In fact, Media Matters for America has documented numerous examples of Democrats discussing their faith in churches and other public settings.
CNN anchor Don Lemon teased Drew Griffin's report about Sen. Barack Obama's 1996 run for the Illinois state Senate by asserting, "[I]f his very first political campaign is any indication, the Illinois senator isn't opposed to getting a little dirty." But Griffin, whose report detailed the 1996 Obama campaign's successful tactic of challenging the petitions for other candidates to appear on the ballot, failed to note that a Chicago Tribune article he cited had reported that the former Obama opponent he interviewed "now suspects" some of the signatures on his petition were forged.
On CNN Newsroom, CNN national security contributor Fran Townsend twice made the false claim that neither Karl Rove nor I. Lewis "Scooter" Libby had "outed Valerie Plame" as a CIA agent and that the leaker was Richard Armitage. In fact, both Rove and Libby were sources of the information about Plame's CIA employment for at least two journalists.
In two reports on CNN Newsroom, CNN aired comments by Robert Gibbs, Sen. Barack Obama's communications director, responding to President Bush's remarks that "[s]ome seem to believe we should negotiate with terrorists and radicals," reportedly in reference to Obama, but CNN spliced the audio clip to omit part of the statement in which Gibbs noted that Secretary of Defense Robert Gates has reportedly advocated a position on engaging Iran that echoes Obama's. CNN had left intact Gibbs' reference to Gates in the audio clip of Gibbs' comments it aired earlier in the program.
In CNN State Department correspondent Zain Verjee's report about Kenyans' reaction to the New Hampshire Democratic primary and its impact on the presidential candidacy of Sen. Barack Obama, CNN aired a video clip in which an unidentified man "on the streets of" Kenya said: "[T]here are some people who say they don't want him [Obama] because ... they don't want someone who is closer to Islamic." But Verjee never noted that Obama is a Christian, not a Muslim.
During an interview with the Competitive Enterprise Institute's Marlo Lewis, CNN's Heidi Collins did not challenge Lewis' assertion that, in An Inconvenient Truth, Al Gore claimed that global warming would cause sea levels to rise "20 feet ... in this century." Lewis added: "That is science fiction, but Gore presented it as fact. It's scaremongering." In fact, Gore was addressing what could happen if the West Antarctic ice shelf or the Greenland ice dome "broke up and slipped into the sea" at an indefinite point in the future, not "in this century."
Discussing the Jena Six controversy, CNN host Kyra Phillips said, "Let's talk about the reality of the hate groups that are in that area [Jena, Louisiana] and the reality of a mind-set that does exist." In response, conservative commentator Rev. Jesse Lee Peterson asserted: "I also agree that there are hate groups all around the country. There are skinheads, KKK, and the NAACP. The NAACP is a hate group as well."
In reports on a new Rudy Giuliani campaign ad criticizing Sen. Hillary Clinton's position on the Iraq war, several media outlets highlighted a quote from the ad in which the narrator says: "[J]ust when our troops need all our support to finish the job, Hillary Clinton is turning her back on them." But none of these reports mentioned Giuliani's claim in October 2004, that U.S. troops, and not President Bush, were responsible for the missing explosives at the Al Qaqaa weapons depot.
In reports on recent news that Iraq's Interior Ministry has revoked the license of Blackwater USA, an American security firm, several news outlets did not mention that Blackwater USA's vice chairman is also the head of Mitt Romney's counterterrorism policy advisory group.