Lee Cowan

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  • On Today, NBC's Cowan repeated as fact discredited rumors about ballots in Franken-Coleman race

    ››› ››› ERIC HANANOKI

    In a report on NBC's Today about the Minnesota Senate race, Lee Cowan repeated the discredited rumor that "ballots have suddenly appeared out of nowhere, including some found unsecured in an election worker's car." In fact, according to election officials quoted in news reports, the ballots did not "suddenly appear[] out of nowhere," and they weren't "unsecured." Cowan also aired a statement by Fritz Knaak, a lawyer for Sen. Norm Coleman, apparently critical of the handling of the ballots in question, but he didn't report previous statements in which Knaak reportedly said he felt assured that the ballots weren't compromised.

  • 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.

  • NBC's Cowan said "Nobody that I know of has asked" Obama about Wright's 9-11 comments -- but NY Times did and he disavowed them

    ››› ››› MATT GERTZ

    On MSNBC's Morning Joe, NBC correspondent Lee Cowan stated that "[n]obody that I know of has asked" Sen. Barack Obama about controversial comments his former pastor, Rev. Jeremiah Wright, made just days after the September 11, 2001, terrorist attacks. In fact, The New York Times asked Obama about Wright's remarks in a 2007 interview, and Obama reportedly replied, "The violence of 9/11 was inexcusable and without justification."