Media figures have attributed Democratic gains in the House and Senate in the midterm elections to the number of wins by conservative or moderate Democratic challengers and have suggested that because the party's victory in the House was purportedly "built on the back of more centrist candidates," the incoming Democratic majority will be sharply divided. However, a Media Matters for America survey of the policy positions of 27 victorious House candidates found that they all agree on a core set of issues, including raising the minimum wage and protecting Social Security.
NBC News' Andrea Mitchell baselessly suggested that making "robocalls," such as the one "being used in Illinois against [Democratic congressional candidate] Tammy Duckworth" is "the kind of procedure that both parties have used -- clearly -- but the Republicans have used it more this year than not."
During MSNBC's Battleground America coverage, Chris Matthews stated that Tennessee Democratic Senate candidate Harold Ford Jr. is "not as good a candidate as [Maryland Republican Senate candidate] Michael Steele," citing an incident in which Ford approached his opponent outside a campaign event. Matthews compared this to a 2000 presidential debate in which Al Gore approached George W. Bush; Matthews said Gore was "being a fool" and "a dork" for doing so. However, in a 2002 book, Matthews wrote that Gore "turned in his best performance" during that debate.
On MSNBC's Battleground America, discussing races in which the Republican candidate has been accused of physical abuse, Tucker Carlson stated, "I thought, post-Clinton, your personal sexual conduct was not supposed to be relevant to anything unless you broke the law," adding: "[I]t's very odd all of a sudden to see Democrats attacking Republicans for their weird sex lives -- basically."
During an interview with Howard Dean, Norah O'Donnell selectively cited polls to suggest that the Democratic advantage in the generic congressional ballot has been considerably reduced. However, several other recent polls show Democrats with leads in excess of 15 percentage points.
A Media Matters for America review of MSNBC's daytime Battleground America coverage found that while prime-time anchors Chris Matthews, Joe Scarborough, and Tucker Carlson have all participated in MSNBC's special midterm election coverage, Keith Olbermann has been absent.
Fox News' John Gibson repeatedly asserted -- falsely -- that because The New York Times reported that the United States had posted Iraqi documents related to constructing an atomic bomb, the Times "said today Saddam had nukes." Similarly, conservative radio host Pat Campbell falsely suggested that the Times reported Iraq was "a year away from making the atomic bomb" at the time of the 2003 U.S.-led invasion. In fact, Iraq did not have nuclear weapons in 2003 or at any time -- including prior to the 1991 Persian Gulf War -- and Iraq did not have a nuclear weapons program in 2003.