Good Morning America's Diane Sawyer did not challenge an assertion by McCain campaign senior adviser Nicolle Wallace that the "fervor with which the Democratic-leaning blogs and a few in the mainstream media pursued" questions about Gov. Sarah Palin's pregnancy " forced the Palin family ... maybe ahead of a schedule that worked best for the family, to make this news yesterday about their daughter." But contrary to Wallace's claim, according to The New York Times, the McCain campaign released the information about Palin's daughter's pregnancy on Labor Day because that was when the media were focused on Hurricane Gustav and because "the nation was busy with family and social activities."
Several media figures have echoed the sexist notion that Sen. Joe Biden will have to soften his tone and manner in a debate against Gov. Sarah Palin, in contrast with the tougher tone he could take if the Republican vice-presidential nominee were male.
In his New York Times column, Bill Kristol asserted that many of the Republicans who are "unhappy about John McCain's selection of Sarah Palin" as his vice-presidential running mate are "insiders who highly value -- who overly value -- 'experience.' " However, when he was making the case that Sen. Joe Lieberman could be McCain's best choice for running mate in a column one week earlier, Kristol cited the fact that "Palin has been governor for less than two years" as a possible reason for McCain not to pick her.
Syndicated columnist Debra Saunders and CNN Headline News host Glenn Beck both falsely claimed that Gov. Sarah Palin supports benefits for same-sex partners of state employees. In fact, while Palin did veto a bill that would have prevented state officials from granting spousal benefits to same-sex couples, she stated that she did so because the Alaska attorney general had advised her that the bill was unconstitutional, not because she supported spousal benefits for same-sex couples. She has also reportedly said that she would support a ballot question banning benefits for same-sex couples.
On Fox News Sunday, Chris Wallace did not ask Sen. John McCain about the current ethics investigation of Alaska Gov. Sarah Palin, despite McCain's statement that Palin is "a reformer" and that his selection of her as his vice-presidential running mate "brings a spirit of reform and change that is vital now in our nation's capital."
On Fox News Sunday, Sen. John McCain said that regarding the "bridge to nowhere" project, Alaska Gov. Sarah Palin "stood up and said, 'We don't need it. And if we need it, we'll pay for it ourselves.' " Chris Wallace did not note in response that during her 2006 gubernatorial campaign, Palin reportedly supported the proposal to build a bridge between Ketchikan, Alaska, and Gravina Island and suggested that Alaska's congressional delegation should continue to try to procure funding for the project.
National Review Online's Greg Pollowitz falsely claimed that Alaska Gov. Sarah Palin visited troops in Kuwait "a year before Senator [Barack] Obama felt the need to go." In fact, Obama first visited troops in Kuwait in January 2006, a year and a half before Palin's visit.
New York Times columnist David Brooks asserted of Alaska Gov. Sarah Palin: "She's evangelical, but she's pretty progressive on gay and lesbian issues. She's for drilling in ANWR [Arctic National Wildlife Refuge], but she talks about global warming quite a lot." But Palin has reportedly said of global warming, "I'm not one though who would attribute it to being man-made," a position at odds with findings by the United Nations Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change; she has also reportedly opposed giving spousal benefits to same-sex partners of public employees.
On August 29, Dick Morris said of Gov. Sarah Palin: "[I]t's OK if the Republicans nominated somebody for vice president who needs a little warm-up time 'til they become president." But discussing Palin on June 16, Morris said that Sen. John McCain "needs someone with a little more experience" for vice president.
On the CBS Evening News, Bob Schieffer asserted that Gov. Sarah Palin is "[s]omeone, you know, who is against earmarks, who is against that bridge to nowhere." But Palin's administration has said it requested federal earmarks in 2008, and she reportedly initially supported the so-called "bridge to nowhere" project.
The Associated Press reported that Alaska Gov. Sarah Palin "opposes gay marriage -- constitutionally banned in Alaska before her time -- but exercised a veto that essentially granted benefits to gay state employees and their partners." However, the AP did not note that Palin stated that she vetoed the bill because the Alaska attorney general had advised her that it was unconstitutional, not because she believed same-sex partners of public employees should receive benefits.
Forbes.com's Brian Wingfield asserted that Alaska Gov. Sarah Palin "shares [Sen. John] McCain's opposition to earmarks." However, in a Juneau Empire op-ed, John Katz -- Alaska's director of state-federal relations and special counsel to Palin -- wrote that in 2008, the Palin administration "request[ed] 31 earmarks, down from 54 last year."
A Wall Street Journal article asserted that Alaska Gov. Sarah Palin "highlighted her opposition to a much-derided congressional earmark for her state," uncritically quoting her assertion, "I told Congress 'thanks but no thanks' on that bridge to nowhere." In fact, Palin reportedly had supported the project for the proposed bridge between Ketchikan, Alaska, and Gravina Island and suggested that Alaska's congressional delegation should continue to try to procure funding for it.
Since Sen. John McCain named Alaska Gov. Sarah Palin as his running mate, media outlets including the Associated Press, MSNBC, CNN, Fox News, the Detroit Free-Press, and the washingtonpost.com blog The Fix have taken the "maverick" label the media have frequently and uncritically applied to McCain and affixed it to Palin as well.