The Washington Post again falsely reported that former President Bill Clinton claimed that Sen. Hillary Rodham Clinton's Democratic opponents engaged in "Swift boat"-style attacks on her. In fact, President Clinton condemned Republican attacks on Democrats and the media's role in contributing to such attacks.
In an article, the Los Angeles Times joined other media outlets in truncating a comment by Sen. Hillary Rodham Clinton about civil rights, quoting Clinton's statement that "Dr. King's dream began to be realized when President Lyndon Johnson passed the Civil Rights Act of 1964" and that "it took a president to get it done" but omitting Clinton's reference to President Kennedy. Clinton had also said that passing a civil rights bill was "something that President Kennedy was hopeful to do, the president before had not even tried."
A Washington Post article reported that in the New Hampshire primary, Sen. Hillary Rodham Clinton "fared best among working-class and middle-class voters, while [Sen. Barack] Obama did better with higher-income voters and in college towns -- a demographic that Clinton at one point mocked as people who 'don't need a president.' " Searches of Google and the Nexis database found a newspaper article that quoted Clinton as saying, "Rich people don't need a president. They have been doing fine, and have been having a run of luck with George Bush." But Media Matters could find no reports that quoted Clinton saying people "in college towns" don't need a president.
Responding to an online commenter who said that a lot of women are "getting incredibly angry about the progressively dismissive way" Sen. Hillary Rodham Clinton "gets treated by the [New York Times columnist Maureen] Dowds and [MSNBC host Chris] Matthews of the world," The Washington Post's Anne E. Kornblut asserted, "I think there is something to that" and "certainly Chris Matthews has taken her on quite aggressively over the last few weeks."
Numerous print media outlets reported on Sen. John McCain's assertion following the Iowa caucuses that "[t]he lesson of this election in Iowa is that ... negative campaigns don't work." But none of those articles noted that McCain has run negative TV and Web ads against Mitt Romney.
In articles on President Bush's December 20 press conference, the Associated Press, the Los Angeles Times, The New York Times, The Washington Post, and USA Today uncritically reported Bush's criticism of Congress for passing all but two of the fiscal year 2008 appropriations bills as a single omnibus appropriations bill "at the last minute, nearly three months after the end of the fiscal year." But none of the articles noted that during his seven years in the White House, Bush has never signed all of Congress' appropriations bills into law before the beginning of the fiscal year, and has on two occasions signed omnibus spending bills on dates later than that on which the fiscal year 2008 bill passed.
Washington Post media critic Howard Kurtz asserted that Obama's "fundraising receives far less press attention than Clinton's," citing as evidence a November 30 Post article claiming that "Obama's Hopefund Inc. distributed more than $180,000 in donations to political groups and candidates in the early presidential voting states of Iowa, New Hampshire and South Carolina." But Kurtz did not note that the retired Federal Election Commission chief counsel quoted in the article said he was quoted "out of context" and that the "facts as played out in the Washington Post piece are not exactly what I was told. ... I was assuming there was more."
A December 19 Washington Post article by Dan Eggen referred to captured Al Qaeda member Abu Zubaydah as a "senior al-Qaeda suspect[ ]." But in an article the previous day, Eggen and Walter Pincus reported on a "dispute between FBI and CIA officials over" Zubaydah's "significance as a terrorism suspect." Eggen did not mention in the December 19 article that Zubaydah's importance and credibility had been questioned by some FBI agents.
The Washington Post's Dana Milbank wrote that Sen. Barack Obama's "signature legislation as a state senator, the Health Care Justice Act, merely set up a panel to craft a plan," not, as Obama claimed, "expanded health care in Illinois by bringing Democrats and Republicans together, by taking on the insurance industry." In fact, Obama sponsored a bill that expanded health insurance programs for low-income families in Illinois. Following that bill's passage, more than 150,000 additional people reportedly received health insurance through the programs.
A Washington Post article by Dan Balz described Rudy Giuliani as "[a]t odds with the majority of his party on abortion, guns and gays," but failed to note that Giuliani has shifted his position on these issues, moving toward more conservative stances on them, since launching his campaign for the 2008 Republican presidential nomination.
In an article on "what you might not know about" Sen. Barack Obama, The Washington Post's John Solomon wrote that, as a state senator, Obama "declined to take a position" on parental notification legislation, "voting 'present' instead of 'yes' or 'no.' " Solomon continued: "But five years earlier, he had filled out an issues questionnaire ... opposing such notifications." But Obama's "present" votes were reportedly part of a strategy he had worked out with the Illinois Planned Parenthood Council, which opposed the measures.
The Washington Post reported that "Democrats are trying to prove that they can be an equal partner to [President] Bush" and that "congressional approval ratings dropp[ed] this week to 32 percent, a notch below Bush's 33 percent, according to the latest Washington Post-ABC News poll." But according to the Post's own polling, congressional approval is not dropping, and the approval rating for "Democrats in Congress" is seven percentage points higher than Bush's in the latest poll.
In an article on Mitt Romney, The Washington Post reported that Romney "repeatedly asserts his firm belief in the separation of church and state" and quoted from Romney's "Faith in America" speech: "No candidate should become the spokesman for his faith. For if he becomes president, he will need the prayers of the people of all faiths." But the Post did not mention that, in that same speech, Romney attacked unnamed people who "seek to remove from the public domain any acknowledgment of God," or his claims that "[f]reedom requires religion just as religion requires freedom," and "[f]reedom and religion endure together, or perish alone."