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On MSNBC's postdebate coverage of the January 15 Democratic presidential debate, Tim Russert misrepresented the positions on Iraq articulated that evening by Barack Obama, Hillary Rodham Clinton, and John Edwards to suggest a shift in "emphasis" from their statements on the issue during a September 26, 2007, debate, which Russert also moderated.
One week after claiming that Sen. Hillary Rodham Clinton's suggestion that Sen. Barack Obama "has not done the kind of spadework" that Clinton has done was "not coincidental," Rush Limbaugh returned to the subject on his January 14 show. While discussing Obama, Limbaugh twice used the word "spade," which can be used as a racial slur. Specifically, Limbaugh said that "Obama is holding his own against both of them [Bill and Hillary Clinton], doing more than his share of the 'spadework,' maybe even gaining ground at the moment, using not only the spade, ladies and gentlemen. But when he finishes with the spade in the garden of corruption planted by the Clintons, he turns to the hoe. And so the spadework and his expertise, using a hoe. He's faring well." "Spadework" is a common term among political figures and the media.
A New York Times article asserted that at a recent event, Michelle Obama, wife of Democratic presidential candidate Sen. Barack Obama, "nimbly entwin[ed] references to violence with her more usual admonitions that a history of racism and despair should not keep her husband" from office. But the article did not provide any specific quote from Obama's speech to support its claim that she had "entwin[ed] references to violence" or that she "evok[ed] dangers," as the headline stated. Moreover, the article acknowledged that "[n]ot everyone detected a double message in Mrs. Obama's remarks." Nonetheless, the Times cited purported complaints by unnamed "critics" that "raising the specter of violence is nothing more than an attempt to raise Senator Obama to mythic stature."
Discussing his most recent book on MSNBC's Morning Joe, National Review Online editor-at-large Jonah Goldberg said that Benito Mussolini is tied to the American liberal movement because he "was a socialist." When co-host Joe Scarborough asked whether he was suggesting "you can draw a line from Mussolini" to Sen. Hillary Rodham Clinton or to Sen. Barack Obama, Goldberg replied, "Well, I'm saying you can draw a line, but it's not a straight one."
In discussions and reports on the New Hampshire primaries, numerous media outlets and personalities praised Sen. John McCain as authentic, real, exhibiting "flinty independence," and a "maverick," and described him as "Mr. Straight Talk."
Previewing the January 5 presidential debates, MSNBC's Chris Matthews discussed what he said would be "a good question" to ask candidates, such as one that would force the candidates to "choose between Latino voters who want more of an open border and the other voters ... who definitely don't want that kind of an open border." Yet, while Matthews did not offer any examples of "Latino voters who want more of an open border," in fact, a number of national and regional Latino groups have specifically rejected the idea of "open borders" while advocating for comprehensive immigration reform, as have members of Congress representing states and districts with large Latino constituencies.
On January 1, CNN re-aired Campaign Killers: Why Do Negative Ads Work?, a special that first ran on November 28, 2007. In Campaign Killers, Campbell Brown stated: "General David Petraeus made his reputation taking on insurgents in Iraq. But when he came to Capitol Hill in September, he was confronted by American insurgents, a liberal anti-war group called MoveOn.org."
In CNN's investigative report, Iran: Fact & Fiction, Frank Sesno said that Iran's nuclear "weaponizing program" has "apparently ... stopped," but that Iran is "still proceeding with" its development of highly enriched uranium. However, the most recent National Intelligence Estimate noted that "Iran's civilian uranium enrichment program is continuing," not that Iran is currently processing highly enriched uranium. And in its report, the International Atomic Energy Agency stated that from "samples taken by the Agency from cascade components and related equipment" in Iran, it has found, so far, only uranium enrichment consistent with a civilian nuclear program.