Video ››› ››› BRIAN LEVY
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A CNN online poll asked: "Does [Sen.] Barack Obama show the proper patriotism for someone who wants to be president of the United States?" The Politico's Ben Smith wrote: "[I]t's odd to see the mainstream media drive a largely whispered question that none of his main, named critics -- Hillary, McCain or the RNC -- will touch."
On MSNBC Live, author Dan Hill claimed that Sen. Hillary Rodham Clinton is "often showing what I would call almost a 'crocodile smile.' " NBC News' Peter Alexander replied: " 'Crocodile smile,' we will add that to our lexicon. Dan Hill, a facial decoding expert." Hill also claimed that during the February 21 Democratic presidential debate Clinton "had a true smile, which for Hillary Clinton is about as rare as a lunar eclipse, I have to tell you."
On MSNBC Live, Armstrong Williams said of the New York Times article on Sen. John McCain's relationship with a telecommunications lobbyist, "I think what it does more than anything else, it causes those of us in the media to lose credibility. People begin to question what we print, whether there's any truth to it, whether we do our research." But Williams himself has been embroiled in controversy that undermined his "credibility," reportedly receiving $240,000 from the Bush administration to promote President Bush's No Child Left Behind legislation.
On CNN's The Situation Room, host Wolf Blitzer did not challenge Republican strategist Mary Matalin's assertion that global warming is "a largely unscientific hoax. And it's a political concoction." As Media Matters for America has documented, numerous scientific organizations share the consensus view that the Earth is warming.
Introducing an interview with Director of National Intelligence Michael McConnell, Chris Wallace asserted: "A law which gives President Bush powers to monitor communications among terrorism suspects expired at midnight." In fact, the expired PAA revisions to the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act, did not simply give Bush "powers to monitor communications among terrorism suspects," but rather, among other things, the revisions expanded the government's authority to eavesdrop on Americans' domestic-to-foreign communications without a warrant. Further, Wallace never mentioned that the government had the authority to listen in on the communications of suspected terrorists before Congress passed the PAA in August 2007 or that this authority continues despite the PAA's expiration.
CNN's Carol Costello said that audience response at a Barack Obama rally is "a scene some increasingly find not inspirational, but 'creepy,' " quoting columnists who have likened Obama supporters to members of a cult or described their enthusiasm as "creepy." On-screen text during Costello's report read: "OBAMA-MANIA BACKLASH" and "PASSION 'CULT-LIKE' TO SOME." Washington Post columnist Charles Krauthammer similarly cited other writers to make the same assertion: "ABC's Jake Tapper notes the 'Helter-Skelter cult-ish qualities' of 'Obama worshipers,' what Joel Stein of the Los Angeles Times calls 'the Cult of Obama.' "
CNN's Dana Bash uncritically aired a video clip from Republican Sen. John McCain (R-AZ) making a comparison between "the Democrats who want to raise your taxes, or me, I want to lower your taxes. Whether it will be a health care system run by the federal government, or whether families in America will make their choices about health care." In fact, neither Sen. Hillary Clinton nor Sen. Barack Obama has proposed "a health care system run by the federal government," and both have proposed tax cuts for the poor and the middle class.
In an email to readers encouraging recipients to read the National Journal article on the magazine's 2007 vote ratings, the National Journal Group wrote: "In 2004, President Bush invoked Senator John Kerry's liberal Vote Ratings score repeatedly on the campaign trail and at their head-to-head debates. We anticipate similar attention for our Vote Ratings across the 2008 election cycle." Numerous media did follow suit and tout the Journal's 2003 rating of Kerry. And once again, the media are giving the 2007 ratings the "similar attention" the National Journal Group anticipated -- despite the Journal's acknowledgment that the methodology it used to rate Kerry was flawed.
On CNN's The Situation Room, Jeanne Moos reported on why presidential candidates point when addressing crowds and stated, "[S]ince we usually can't see who the candidates are pointing at, we'll just have to use our imagination." Moments later, the report showed footage of Sen. Barack Obama pointing, followed by a still image of Osama bin Laden.