On The Lee Rodgers Show, a caller suggested that Sen. Barack Obama's remark that "you can put lipstick on a pig; it's still a pig" was directed at Gov. Sarah Palin and said: "[I]t's a little indicative of a Muslim attitude towards women that's creeping up, you know, and he just can't help but say it, how he feels." Brian Sussman responded: "Well, there's no question that Muslims, at least the religious ones, look at women as second-class citizens. ... I don't know if it was his father's genetic DNA welling up inside of him or not, but I'll tell you something: It was stupid."
In an article regarding Sen. Barack Obama's recent comment about Sen. John McCain's policies -- "[Y]ou can put lipstick on a pig; it's still a pig" -- AP's Nedra Pickler baselessly asserted that Obama's audience "clearly dr[ew] a connection to [Gov. Sarah] Palin's joke even if it's not what Obama meant." However, Pickler provided no evidence for her assessment of the audience's reaction, and, indeed, the interpretation by New York Times reporter Jeff Zeleny of the audience's reaction was completely different.
On Morning Joe, NBC News political director Chuck Todd said of media coverage of Sen. Barack Obama's comment that "[y]ou can put lipstick on a pig; it's still a pig" while discussing Sen. John McCain's proposed policies: "I think the McCain campaign is laughing, laughing their butts off this morning. That any of us have taken the bait on this lipstick thing, I mean, this is a joke. It is laughable." Time's Jay Carney stated that the McCain campaign's claim that Obama's comments represented "sexism" was "false" and "ridiculous."
On Hannity & Colmes, Mike Huckabee and Howard Wolfson both disagreed with Sean Hannity's claim that Sen. Barack Obama was "talking about [Gov.] Sarah Palin" when he made his "lipstick on a pig" comment. Wolfson asserted: "[T]here's no question that he was referring to [Sen.] John McCain, not Sarah Palin, and I think anything to the contrary is ridiculous."
While media outlets reporting Gov. Sarah Palin's claim that "I told the Congress 'Thanks, but no thanks' on that 'Bridge to Nowhere' " have noted that Palin had previously supported the bridge, or that Palin did not refuse the funds previously allocated for the bridge or reimburse the federal government, they did not report that Palin's claim is false, because Congress abdicated responsibility for determining how the money would be spent a year before Palin was elected governor.
The Washington Post's Howard Kurtz wrote that Gov. Sarah Palin's "description of her role in the infamous bridge [to nowhere] funding is highly selective at best," but falsely suggested that there was insufficient evidence to establish that Palin's claims about her actions on the project are false. Kurtz ignored outright falsehoods in Palin's claims about her opposition to the bridge, including her claim that she "told the Congress, 'Thanks, but no thanks' on that 'bridge to nowhere.'"
ABC's Charlie Gibson posed no challenge to several false, contradictory, or dubious assertions made by Sen. John McCain during a September 3 interview. Gibson is scheduled to interview McCain's running mate, Gov. Sarah Palin, later this week.
On NPR, Renee Montagne asked Juan Williams of Gov. Sarah Palin's claims about the "bridge to nowhere": "Is it surprising that she keeps saying that, or repeating that she told Congress, 'No thanks,' on that bridge?" Rather than note that Palin's assertion is false, Williams responded in part by saying: "Well, what they're [the McCain campaign] emphasizing is that she, you know, did eventually turn down the idea without disclosing that early on she was, as you said, campaigning for it back in 2006. ... So, it's a matter of, you know, omission in their view."
On Studio B, Carl Cameron said, "Fifty-eight days before the elections, and the Obama campaign is accusing the McCainiacs of lying about this 'bridge to nowhere' issue." He went on to claim of Gov. Sarah Palin, "Now, she didn't ask for the bridge, nor did she ask for the money. ... [W]hen people say, 'Sarah Palin asked for earmark money or pork,' it's just inaccurate." In fact, in an op-ed in the Fairbanks Daily News-Miner, Palin wrote that in 2008, her administration "requested 31 earmarks, down from 54 in 2007" and that "the federal budget, in its various manifestations, is incredibly important to us, and congressional earmarks are one aspect of this relationship."
In a September 7 New York Times column about Gov. Sarah Palin, Bill Kristol wrote: "[S]hould voters be alarmed by a relatively young or inexperienced vice-presidential candidate? No." The column marks at least the second time that Kristol has dismissed questions of Palin's experience since citing in his August 25 Times column the fact that "Palin has been governor for less than two years" as a possible reason for McCain not to pick her.
After Gov. Sarah Palin was announced as Sen. John McCain's running mate, Dick Morris characterized the media's coverage of Palin as the result of "the deep sexism that runs through our society." Two days later, Morris said that "when a woman wants to attack, it's hard because she's seen as strident or shrill," adding: "[Sen.] Hillary [Clinton] has that problem perhaps because she is strident and shrill."
The Chicago Tribune's Mark Silva repeated Gov. Sarah Palin's claim that "the Obama-Biden Democrats have been vicious in their attacks directed toward ... my family," but gave no indication that he had challenged Republican aides to substantiate Palin's charge with examples of purported attacks. By contrast, while reporting the charge, NBC, ABC, and the AP all reported that when asked to provide examples of such attacks, Palin aides, the McCain campaign, and the RNC did not provide any.
In a September 3 interview, Charles Gibson did not challenge the claim by Sen. John McCain that after Sarah Palin obtained millions of dollars in earmarks as mayor of her home town, she "learned that earmarks are bad" when she became governor and said, "No more for my state." At no point did Gibson point out that as governor, Palin, by her own account, requested hundreds of millions of dollars in earmarks for Alaska just this year. ABC News did not air that part of the interview on the September 3 broadcast of World News, much less note that McCain was promoting a false claim.
The New York Times, Los Angeles Times, and The Washington Post have previously challenged Gov. Sarah Palin's assertion that she "told the Congress, 'Thanks, but no thanks,' on that bridge to nowhere," but they did not report that she repeated the false claim in her September 3 vice-presidential acceptance speech.