Conservative media figures are comparing possible prosecutions of Bush administration officials for their roles in authorizing the use of harsh interrogation techniques to circumstances in a "banana republic," in "Third World ... dictatorships," or "some little Latin American country that's run by ... the latest junta."
The New York Post falsely reported that a Rasmussen poll found that "[n]early one in two Americans thinks it likely" that President-elect Barack Obama or members of his staff were "in on" the scandal involving Gov. Rod Blagojevich and that 23 percent of respondents in the poll "[s]ay it's 'very likely' an Obama aide will be implicated." In fact, the poll found that 23 percent of respondents found it "[v]ery likely" and 22 percent of respondents found it "[s]omewhat likely" that "Obama or one of his top campaign aides was involved in the Blagojevich scandal" [emphasis added]. The Rasmussen question itself is ambiguous as to whether "involvement" is limited to instances of wrongdoing by Obama or his staff, of which there is no evidence.
Several media figures are promoting the notion of division among Obama supporters, asserting that "the left" is or should be disappointed with the president-elect's Cabinet selections. But the idea of significant disappointment with Obama runs counter to a USA Today/Gallup poll finding that 94 percent of Democrats "approve of the way Obama is handling his presidential transition."
Since the beginning of October, Dick Morris has repeatedly used his columns and Fox News appearances to promote and raise money for the National Republican Trust PAC without disclosing that the organization has paid $24,000 to a company apparently connected to Morris, according to FEC filings. During that time, Morris' email newsletter has frequently included ads that state: "Paid for by The National Republican Trust PAC."
Special Report host Brit Hume, Fox & Friends co-host Gretchen Carlson, and New York Post writer Geoff Earle uncritically repeated a report by Israeli newspaper Haaretz that French President Nicolas Sarkozy called Sen. Barack Obama's position on Iran "utterly immature" and "formulations empty of all content" without noting that the French Embassy issued a statement calling the Haaretz report about Sarkozy's comments "groundless."
The New York Post reported that "Barack Obama apparently broke his promise to the family of a fallen Wisconsin soldier when he mentioned the slain sergeant's name in his Friday debate with Sen. John McCain." The article added that "Brian Jopek, the father of the late Ryan David Jopek, told National Public Radio in March that the family asked Obama to stop wearing his son's bracelet, but the Illinois senator continued to do so." However, the Post provided no evidence that Obama ever "promise[d]" the Jopek family that he would "stop wearing" Ryan Jopek's bracelet. In fact, during the March 20 interview, Brian Jopek made no such claim.
The New York Post falsely claimed that the results of a Wisconsin Advertising Project analysis stating that in a recent week Sen. Barack Obama ran more negative ads than Sen. John McCain "clash with recent media coverage accusing McCain of distorting Obama's record in ads." In fact, the analysis reportedly "do[es]n't measure the veracity of the ads"; rather, in the words of the San Francisco Chronicle's Joe Garofoli, it "define[s] 'negative' as any time you mention the opponent's name." Thus, the analysis did not "clash" with recent media reports noting that McCain's ads distorted Obama's record because it reportedly did not analyze whether the ads contained distortions.
The New York Post falsely claimed that Sen. Barack Obama "once insisted that US forces invade Pakistan" and that he "opposes sanctions" against Iran (emphasis in the original). In fact, Obama has never said he would "invade Pakistan." Also, he has stated that he favors sanctions on Iran and introduced legislation to enable state and local governments to divest from Iran.
The New York Post's Charles Hurt asserted that Sen. Barack Obama "is ranked the most liberal member of the Senate based on his votes on issues," citing no evidence for his assertion. Many conservatives and media figures have repeated the National Journal's ranking of Obama as the "most liberal senator" for 2007 without noting the ranking's subjectivity.
The New York Post reported CNBC host Maria Bartiromo's assertion that Sen. Barack Obama would "take the capital gains tax at 15 percent right now all the way up to 25 to 28 percent." The Post further quoted Bartiromo: "Sell anything, like a home or stocks, and make a profit ... [almost] 30 percent of the profit will go to the government instead of 15' " [brackets in original]. But Bartiromo's suggestion that the entire profit on the sale of a house is always subject to tax is false; single homeowners can exempt up to $250,000 in gains realized from the sale of an owner-occupied home from capital gains taxes, and married homeowners can in most cases exempt up to $500,000. Politico's Mike Allen uncritically reprinted the Post report of Bartiromo's comments in its entirety.
The New York Post's Charles Hurt wrote that when Sen. Hillary Clinton proposed national health-care reform as first lady, "Americans revolted over her proposals," adding that "she still doesn't understand that most people believe the federal government is the only thing that could actually make health care worse." In fact, recent polling suggests that a majority of Americans support health-care reform proposals that expand the government's role.
A New York Post editorial characterized as "cheap shots and low blows" Sen. Hillary Clinton's recent comments made in response to a question about Sen. Barack Obama's religion and asserted that "Clinton hedged on whether Obama is a Muslim." In fact, during an interview on CBS' 60 Minutes, Clinton repeatedly made clear that she believes Obama is not a Muslim and likened the false rumors about Obama's religion to false rumors about her.
In an editorial on Sen. Hillary Clinton's recent $5 million loan to her presidential campaign, the New York Post falsely asserted that, in 2004, John Kerry "borrow[ed] millions from his wife" to finance his presidential candidacy. In fact, Kerry did not "borrow millions" from Teresa Heinz Kerry; doing so would have been a violation of federal law.
The Washington Post and the New York Post both baselessly asserted that Sen. Hillary Clinton referred to an emotional moment before last month's New Hampshire primary when she said during a February 4 visit to the Yale Child Study Center, "I said I would not tear up."