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.
On CNN's The Situation Room, Carly Fiorina asserted that Sen. John McCain is "extremely well qualified" on the economy and that he "understands how the economy works." John Roberts did not challenge Fiorina's assertion, and he concluded the interview without noting numerous statements by McCain on the economy that were false or disputed by economists -- including McCain's own economic adviser -- or that McCain has repeatedly acknowledged weakness on economic issues.
CNN's John Roberts asserted that Sen. John McCain "is a very different person, at least his record in terms of being a maverick and independent, than George Bush." But Roberts did not mention that, according to Congressional Quarterly, McCain was the Bush administration's most reliable supporter in the Senate in 2007, or that McCain said in 2005 that "on the transcendent issues, the most important issues of our day, I've been totally in agreement and support of President Bush."
Several media reports falsely claimed that Wesley Clark criticized Sen. John McCain's military service during a June 29 appearance on CBS' Face the Nation, including CNN anchor John Roberts, who said that "Clark took a weekend hit at McCain, targeting his history as a war hero and his possible future as president." In fact, Clark praised McCain as "a hero to me and to hundreds of thousands of millions of others in the Armed Forces as a prisoner of war."
On Anderson Cooper 360, CNN's John Roberts said of Mike Huckabee: "[H]e brings Christian conservatives in the door, values voters." CNN personalities have repeatedly linked "values" and religious faith to conservative voters or politicians.
Discussing Sen. Hillary Rodham Clinton's new television advertisement, Howard Kurtz began an article: "In a stark, black-and-white ad that pictures her in a mask at Ground Zero, Hillary Rodham Clinton is treading on Rudy Giuliani's turf." Similarly, on CNN's American Morning, John Roberts said that Clinton's ad "really is a shot across Rudy Giuliani's bow to say, 'You're not the only one who has a claim to 9-11 here.' But is she going too far? Is she politicizing 9-11?" Roberts did not ask whether Giuliani, who has repeatedly discussed 9-11 in campaign settings, is "going too far" or "politicizing 9-11."
After reporting on National Intelligence Director Mike McConnell's claim that the recently approved law expanding the government's ability to eavesdrop on U.S. citizens contributed to arrests in Germany, The Washington Post and CNN have not subsequently reported that McConnell has since acknowledged that the newly passed law did not factor into the German arrests.
While discussing possible replacements for Alberto Gonzales, several CNN anchors and reporters cited DHS Secretary Michael Chertoff's handling of the aftermath of Hurricane Katrina as a "potential problem" but did not provide any details regarding Chertoff's mismanagement of the disaster. Indeed, two congressional reports specifically identified numerous failures by Chertoff and DHS in overseeing the government's response.
In a report on the "dispute" between the Bush administration and Senator Hillary Rodham Clinton, CNN's John Roberts stated that during an interview Vice President Cheney told Larry King that he "backed a Pentagon bureaucrat [Eric Edelman] who has accused Clinton of helping the enemy in Iraq." But Roberts did not note that Edelman is a "former top aide" to Cheney, nor that, in contrast with Cheney, Defense Secretary Gates responded to Clinton that the Pentagon in no way "believe[s] that congressional oversight emboldens our enemies."
Several media figures mischaracterized a response that Rep. Ron Paul gave at the Republican debate, with some asserting that Paul had "blamed" the United States for the 9-11 terrorist attacks and others simply accepting Rudy Giuliani's misrepresentation of Paul's statement -- that the United States had "invited the attack." In fact, Paul did not blame the United States for the 9-11 attacks or say that the United States had "invited" them.