Fox News' Major Garrett uncritically quoted a portion of an ad by Sen. John McCain's campaign that claimed that Sen. Barack Obama's biggest accomplishment on education was teaching "comprehensive sex education to kindergartners." Garrett gave no explanation of Obama's actual position on sex education, provided no response from the Obama campaign, and gave no indication that he had sought such a response, nor did Garrett note that the bill Obama supported would have required school sexual education programs to give "age and developmentally appropriate" materials and instruction for students in kindergarten through 12th grade and included material warning children about sexual predators.
On Special Report, Major Garrett stated that "Barack Obama made the decision not to attack [Sen. John] McCain and [President] Bush" and later claimed, "[J]ust a few hours ago in his hometown of Scranton, surrounded by friends and family, [Sen. Joe] Biden ripped into John McCain on energy, Iran, and Iraq, calling him wrong on all three. And the Republicans said that's a hard way for them to see how politics is being avoided in the light of Hurricane Gustav." But neither Garrett nor Brit Hume noted that McCain ran attack ads that day or that a campaign spokesman reportedly attacked Obama.
On Special Report, after playing part of an ad from Sen. Barack Obama's presidential campaign that calls Sen. John McCain "Washington's biggest celebrity" and shows McCain embracing President Bush, Carl Cameron asserted that "[w]hat the Obama attack ad does not say is that much of McCain's celebrity over the last decade or so is attributed to a liberal media love affair, fond of McCain because he so often breaks with the GOP." Yet the nonpartisan publication Congressional Quarterly and McCain himself have cited McCain's record of agreeing with Bush.
Numerous media outlets quoted or aired all or part of a statement Sen. John McCain made criticizing Sen. Barack Obama for giving a "political speech" in Berlin while "a candidate for the office of the presidency," but none noted that McCain himself gave a "political speech" in a foreign country last month, speaking to the Economic Club of Toronto in Ottawa, Canada, on a trip paid for by his presidential campaign.
Several media outlets, including CNN, MSNBC, Fox News, and The Washington Post, have uncritically reported Sen. John McCain's speech attacking Sen. Barack Obama for "outlining a plan" for Afghanistan and Iraq before his upcoming visit to the region without noting that in the same speech, McCain outlined his own "Comprehensive Strategy For Victory In Afghanistan," but hasn't visited that country since December 2006.
On Special Report, Jim Angle reported that during debate on the FISA Amendments Act of 2008, "Senator Orrin Hatch dismissed the idea that the intelligence agencies were trying to listen to anyone other than those with terrorist connections" and aired a clip of Hatch stating, "I don't want to bruise anyone's ego, but if Al Qaeda is not on your speed dial, the government is probably not interested in you." Angle did not note that several news articles have reported that surveillance under the government's warrantless eavesdropping program was not limited to those with "Al Qaeda on [their] speed dial," but also included thousands of Americans with no ties to any terrorist group.
Fox News' Molly Henneberg uncritically reported the assertion by Bud Day, a member of the then-named Swift Boat Veterans for Truth, that Wesley Clark "spent a month in Vietnam, got badly wounded, evacuated, and that was his Vietnam experience." In fact, according to documents posted on the website for Clark's 2004 presidential campaign, Clark served at least six months in Vietnam -- first as a 1st Infantry Division staff officer, then as an infantry company commander -- before he was wounded.
On Special Report, Brit Hume falsely claimed that Sen. Barack Obama "contradicted what he wrote in his book" about town hall meetings and quoted from Obama's book The Audacity of Hope, in which Obama wrote: "One of my favorite tasks of being a senator is hosting town hall meetings." But contrary to Hume's assertion, Obama has hosted 18 town hall meetings in the past two months.
Fox News' Major Garrett uncritically aired an audio clip of Focus on the Family's Tom Minnery asserting that in a June 2006 speech, Sen. Barack Obama was "diminishing the idea that people of Christian faith have anything to say." In fact, in that speech, Obama said: "[W]hat I am suggesting is this -- secularists are wrong when they ask believers to leave their religion at the door before entering into the public square. Frederick Douglass, Abraham Lincoln, William Jennings Bryan, Dorothy Day, Martin Luther King -- the majority of the great reformers in American history -- were not only motivated by faith, but repeatedly used religious language to argue for their cause."
On Special Report, Brit Hume issued a correction following his false claim that Sen. Barack Obama's half brother had told The Jerusalem Post that Obama had a "Muslim background." But while Hume suggested that his only "error" was in repeating a flawed report in the Post, he did not acknowledge that he had falsely claimed Malik Obama had spoken with The Jerusalem Post. The Post did not claim that Malik Obama spoke to the newspaper; the article indicated that Malik Obama gave an interview to Israel's Army Radio, not the Post.
On Special Report, citing purported findings by the Tennessee Center for Policy Research, Brit Hume claimed that Al Gore's "energy use has surged more than 10 percent" since environmentally friendly renovations were completed on his home. Hume offered no response from Gore. Responding to the charge, a Gore spokeswoman stated that "[w]hen [the Gores] do use power, it's green power." According to the Tennessee Valley Authority, green power "create[s] less waste and pollution" than standard electricity.
On Special Report, Brit Hume stated that Malik Obama, Sen. Barack Obama's half brother, "tells The Jerusalem Post that 'if elected his brother will be a good president for the Jewish people, despite his Muslim background.' " In fact, the article to which Hume was apparently referring indicated that Malik Obama did not speak directly with the Post but, rather, gave an interview to Israel's Army Radio. Moreover, nowhere in audio of the interview that ABC's Jake Tapper posted did Malik Obama assert that Obama "will be a good president for the Jewish people, despite his Muslim background."
CNN's Carol Costello and Ed Henry, and Fox News' Brit Hume falsely suggested that only the Democratic members of the Senate Select Committee on Intelligence approved the committee's June 5 "Report on Whether Public Statements Regarding Iraq by U.S. Government Officials Were Substantiated by Intelligence Information." In addition to the committee's Democrats, Republican Sens. Chuck Hagel and Olympia Snowe endorsed the report and stated that it "accomplished its primary objective."