On Fox News Sunday, Chris Wallace did not challenge McCain campaign manager Rick Davis' assertion that "[y]ou'll never find [Sen.] John McCain changing his stripes just because of an election," despite criticism of Sen. John McCain's shifts on policy, some of which he has acknowledged. Indeed, McCain has "chang[ed] his stripes" and reversed his position on comprehensive immigration reform and the religious right.
On Fox News Sunday, Juan Williams asserted of a recent campaign ad from Sen. Barack Obama: "He makes himself out to be born in Kansas, Kansas values. He's in Hawaii." However, as Media Matters for America has noted, in the ad, Obama does not "make himself out to be born in Kansas"; rather, he makes clear he was "raised" by his mother and grandparents, who "grew up" in Kansas. Karl Rove made a similar claim in a Wall Street Journal op-ed.
On Fox News Sunday, Bill Kristol, who previously declared that "[w]hite women are a problem ... we all live with that," stated of Sen. Hillary Clinton: "She's put behind her the horrible sexism and misogyny the Democratic primary voters demonstrated, which I'm appalled by, personally. Never would have happened in the Republican Party. You know, we're -- Republicans are much more open to strong women."
On Fox News Sunday, Bill Kristol criticized the Supreme Court's decision striking down portions of the Military Commissions Act of 2006 (MCA) and suggested that fears about that law's denial of the writ of habeas corpus were overblown because "American citizens ... and anyone arrested in this country [have] a right to habeas corpus." But contrary to Kristol's suggestion, the MCA explicitly denied habeas rights to noncitizens, regardless of where that person is detained.
On Fox News Sunday, Mara Liasson falsely asserted that a Tax Policy Center analysis of Sens. McCain's and Obama's tax plans "said that Obama might add more to the deficit -- because it's unclear how he's going to pay for these -- than McCain would add to the deficit." In fact, the Tax Policy Center found that Obama's tax proposals would raise $700 billion over the next 10 years, while McCain's tax proposals would lose $600 billion, when scored against a " 'current policy' baseline," which "assumes that the 2001 and 2003 tax cuts would be extended and the AMT [Alternative Minimum Tax] patch made permanent."
Fox News Sunday's Chris Wallace did not challenge Gov. Tim Pawlenty's false assertion that Sen. Barack Obama "is somebody who has first said that the Iranian Revolutionary Guard isn't a terrorist group, and now he's changed his views on that and several other foreign policy issues." In fact, Obama has consistently supported designating the Iranian Revolutionary Guard a terrorist organization, having co-sponsored a bill in 2007 to do so.
On Fox News Sunday, Bill Kristol falsely claimed that Sens. Hillary Clinton and Barack Obama "didn't denounce MoveOn.org when they ran the 'General Betray Us' ad when General [David] Petraeus was testifying before Congress." In fact, both Clinton and Obama voted for an amendment in September 2007 that condemned the ad. Additionally, Clinton stated at the time, "I am an admirer of General Petraeus, as I've said on numerous occasions. I don't condone it, and I joined in voting for a resolution that condemned such attacks."
Despite the availability of expenditure reports showing that Sen. John McCain's campaign used a corporate jet owned by his wife's company over a seven-month period beginning in the summer of 2007, several members of the media asserted earlier this year that McCain flew coach when the campaign was low on funds.
Sen. John McCain said at a New Hampshire town hall meeting that the U.S. may have a presence in Iraq for "[m]aybe a hundred [years]. We've been in South Korea; we've been in Japan for 60 years. We've been in South Korea for 50 years or so." But McCain said in an interview four months earlier on Charlie Rose that a long-term U.S. presence in Iraq, modeled after its presence in South Korea, would not work "because of the nature of the society in Iraq." When Sen. John Kerry pointed out this inconsistency on Fox News Sunday, host Chris Wallace did not acknowledge it, instead saying that he thought Kerry was "conflating two different interviews."
Responding to Sen. John Kerry's assertion that "[n]obody ever would insinuate that John McCain is anything but a hero for his activities in -- in -- ," Fox News Sunday host Chris Wallace interrupted him and stated: "Well, [Democratic National Committee chairman] Howard Dean called him a blatant opportunist," falsely suggesting that Dean accused McCain of being a "blatant opportunist" because McCain has discussed his military experience.
Discussing Howard Dean's assertion that Sen. John McCain is a "blatant opportunist," on Fox News Sunday, host Chris Wallace stated, "I think you can call John McCain a lot of things. Opportunist?" Bill Kristol responded that polls on the Iraq war show "that most people would like to be told, 'Hey, we can get out of there soon, no problem, no damage,' " and added: "I think the opportunist line is just ludicrous." The Chicago Tribune's Jill Zuckman asserted: "McCain actually revels in saying the thing that you don't want to hear. And he says it first." No member of the Fox News Sunday panel mentioned that McCain has reversed his positions on issues such as taxes, immigration, and his view of the religious right to align himself more closely with the base of his party.
On the March 24 edition of MSNBC's Countdown, Keith Olbermann named New York Times columnist William Kristol the "runner-up" and Sen. John McCain and Fox News' Brit Hume the "winners" in his nightly "Worst Person in the World" segment.
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On Fox News Sunday, when Bill Kristol was asked whether "it's fair" to compare "[Sen. John] McCain's, quote, 'ministers,' " John Hagee and Rod Parsley, "to [Sen. Barack] Obama's pastor," Kristol replied: "No, because these are just individuals who've endorsed Senator McCain." However, McCain stated in a joint appearance with Hagee that he was "very proud to have Pastor Hagee's support" and reportedly called Parsley a "spiritual guide."
The Washington Post's George Will asserted that Sen. John McCain's admittedly false claim that Iran is training Al Qaeda is "[n]ot damaging at all" to McCain, "because people say it's a given that this man knows what he's talking about." Similarly, The Chicago Tribune's Jill Zuckman asserted that "I don't think many people believe" "the argument that McCain doesn't know what he's talking about when it comes to foreign policy." But neither Will nor Zuckman noted that McCain has made that error more than once.
On Fox News Sunday, in discussing Sen. Barack Obama's statement that money being spent on the war in Iraq "is money that we could be spending here in the United States, rebuilding our infrastructure, building schools, sending kids to university," Karl Rove quoted a "Democrat" he said he had spoken to in Los Angeles as saying, "I'm worried about that, because does that mean he's going to be looking at our support, for example, for the state of Israel and looking at it in terms of what could we be doing at home with those dollars?" However, Obama has consistently supported aid to Israel.