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.
During a report on Sen. Hillary Clinton's health care proposal, CNN's Betty Nguyen aired Mitt Romney's attack on the plan, but claimed that, "like Clinton, he'd mandate health insurance." But in announcing his national health reform plan in August, Romney declined to support mandates in what was reportedly a "significant" departure "from the universal health care measure that he helped forge as governor of Massachusetts."
On CNN Newsroom, Marine Sgt. Marco Martinez claimed that "if we were to pull out prematurely, the terrorists would follow us home, and it would be disastrous for both us and Iraq," a statement that anchor Betty Nguyen did not challenge. As Media Matters has repeatedly noted, this claim is contested by a wide range of U.S. intelligence officials, security experts, and military analysts.