Author Page | Page 7 | Media Matters for America

Brian Levy

Author ››› Brian Levy
  • CNN re-airs smear video, no mention of McCain campaign's attacks on Obama patriotism

    ››› ››› BRIAN LEVY

    Reporting on a YouTube video that CNN's Wolf Blitzer described as portraying Sen. Barack Obama and his wife as "America-hating racists," correspondent Carol Costello quoted, without challenge, a Republican National Committee official saying attacks on Obama's patriotism "do[n't] come from us." Costello did not note that Sen. John McCain's campaign has suspended one staffer for circulating the video and that the campaign also reportedly said it was "an error" when it sent out a Wall Street Journal op-ed attacking Obama's minister.

  • Media continue to ignore McCain endorsers' controversial comments

    ››› ››› BRIAN LEVY

    Media Matters has extensively documented the disparity in media coverage devoted to controversial comments made by supporters of Sen. Barack Obama and to those made by supporters of Sen. John McCain. Several major publications have reported only on the controversy over remarks by McCain supporter John Hagee targeting Catholics, but not his controversial statements about Hurricane Katrina, Islam, women, and homosexuality. Most of those same publications have yet to report on pastor Rod Parsley and his controversial remarks in the context of McCain's campaign.

  • CNN's Todd claimed Dem contributions from securities and investment industry "dwarf" McCain's -- but a greater proportion of McCain's donations came from Wall Street

    ››› ››› BRIAN LEVY

    CNN's John King said of campaign donations from the securities and investment industry, "It appears Barack Obama and Hillary Clinton are getting the lion's share, but some wonder if that might make them too cozy with the financial services sector should either of them become president." Brian Todd asserted: "Senator Clinton got nearly $6.3 million from donors in the securities and investment industry. ... Senator Obama got just over $6 million. Both dwarf Senator John McCain's take of over $2.5 million." However, Todd ignored the fact that McCain's "take" from the securities and investment industry represents a larger portion of the total contributions he received than Clinton's or Obama's over the same time period.

  • CNN's Situation Room misinformed on McCain's overseas trip

    ››› ››› BRIAN LEVY

    CNN's Dana Bash uncritically reported the assertion by Sen. John McCain's campaign that he simply "misspoke" when he falsely claimed Iranian operatives are training members of Al Qaeda. In fact, McCain has made that error more than once. Also, Wolf Blitzer adopted the McCain campaign talking point that McCain -- in Blitzer's words -- "usually takes pride in" his "straight talk," despite McCain's repeated falsehoods and his stark inconsistencies on numerous issues.

  • Today aired YouTube video "hit[]" on Obama's "patriotism," "pastor, and his faith"

    ››› ››› BRIAN LEVY

    In a report on the controversy surrounding Sen. Barack Obama's former pastor, Rev. Jeremiah Wright, NBC's Lee Cowan uncritically aired clips from a YouTube video that Cowan said "hits not just on Obama's pastor and his faith ... but on the senator's patriotism, too." Cowan did not mention who was behind the video or comment on any of the video's content. However, the Politico reported that the video was created in part by Lee Habeeb, "a former producer of the Laura Ingraham Show" and currently "director of strategic content at Salem Radio Network, the conservative talk radio powerhouse." Cowan's uncritical airing of the video echoes similar reporting on Fox News, which has aired several YouTube videos smearing Democrats.

  • CNN's Blitzer aired spliced video in support of false assertion that McCain "quickly corrected" Al Qaeda-Iran gaffe

    ››› ››› BRIAN LEVY

    Discussing Sen. John McCain's false claim that Iranian operatives are "taking Al Qaeda into Iran, training them and sending them back," CNN's Wolf Blitzer falsely asserted that McCain "quickly corrected [it] after some prodding from his Senate colleague, Joe Lieberman." Blitzer then aired a spliced video of McCain's misstatement immediately followed by his "correct[ion]." In fact, as The Washington Post reported, it was later in the press conference when McCain was "[p]ressed to elaborate" on his claim and after he reiterated that "Al Qaeda is going back into Iran and receiving training and are coming back into Iraq from Iran," that Lieberman "stepped forward and whispered" in his ear. McCain then corrected himself.

  • Ignoring previous CNN report, Blitzer uncritically repeated McCain's assertion that overseas trip is "not for campaign purposes"

    ››› ››› BRIAN LEVY

    CNN host Wolf Blitzer simply reported Sen. John McCain's assertion that his current trip overseas is "not for campaign purposes" without noting that before McCain's trip, Dana Bash had quoted McCain advisers saying that the trip was at least in part an effort to "stay[] in the headlines" and promote the "imagery of a leader comfortable on the world stage."

  • AP, CNN ignored McCain's "gaffe" on Al Qaeda

    ››› ››› BRIAN LEVY

    The Associated Press reported that Sen. John McCain voiced concern about Iran allegedly training "militants" and sending them to fight in Iraq, while's Political Ticker reported that McCain had referred to "Iraqi extremists" being trained by Iran. In fact, McCain did not refer generically to "militants" or "Iraqi extremists"; he claimed that Iranian operatives are "taking al-Qaeda into Iran, training them and sending them back" to fight U.S. troops in Iraq, a misstatement that Washington Post reporters Cameron W. Barr and Michael D. Shear wrote "threatened to undermine McCain's argument that his decades of foreign policy experience make him the natural choice to lead a country at war with terrorists."

  • Schlessinger again blamed wives for their husbands' behavior

    ››› ››› BRIAN LEVY

    On Hannity & Colmes, responding to criticism of remarks she made on Today, including, "[W]hen the wife does not focus in on the needs and the feelings, sexually, personally, to make him feel like a man ... he's very susceptible to the charm of some other woman making him feel what he needs. And these days, women don't spend a lot of time thinking about how they can give their men what they need," Laura Schlessinger reiterated that wives of "most men who cheat" "haven't been respecting" their husbands.

  • After saying she "hold[s] women accountable" when their husbands "stray[]," Schlessinger returned twice to Today in same morning


    Discussing marital infidelity on Today, Laura Schlessinger said, "I hold women accountable for tossing out perfectly good men by not treating them with the love and kindness and respect and attention they need." Despite the fact that panelists later referred to Schlessinger's comments as "absurd" and "nonsense" and that Meredith Vieira said of Schlessinger's first appearance, "The women were hysterically upset with her," Today had Schlessinger return to the program twice more the same morning.