Wash. Times uncritically repeated McCain campaign's statement that Obama “voted in lockstep with President George W. Bush nearly half the time”

A Washington Times article uncritically repeated an assertion by Sen. John McCain campaign spokesman Tucker Bounds that "[i]n the Senate, Barack Obama has voted in lockstep with President George W. Bush nearly half the time" and did not mention that, according to Congressional Quarterly, McCain voted with the Bush administration 95 percent of the time in 2007 and has voted with Bush 90 percent of the time over the course of Bush's presidency.

In an August 14 Washington Times article, reporter Christina Bellantoni uncritically repeated an assertion by Sen. John McCain campaign spokesman Tucker Bounds that "[i]n the Senate, Barack Obama has voted in lockstep with President George W. Bush nearly half the time, including the Bush-Cheney Energy bill which gave close to $3 billion in new giveaways to Big Oil." But Bellantoni did not report that according to the nonpartisan publication Congressional Quarterly, which tracks legislators' votes, McCain voted with the Bush administration 95 percent of the time in 2007 and has voted with Bush 90 percent of the time over the seven-and-a-half years of Bush's presidency.

Further, while Bellantoni uncritically quoted Bounds' claim that Obama voted for an energy bill that “gave close to $3 billion in new giveaways to Big Oil” and uncritically repeated a McCain campaign statement that asserted Obama “voted for the Bush energy bill in 2005, which gave tax breaks to Big Oil,” a February 27, 2007, Congressional Research Service report found that although the bill “included several oil and gas tax incentives, providing about $2.6 billion of tax cuts for the oil and gas industry,” it also “provided for $2.9 billion of tax increases on the oil and gas industry, for a net tax increase on the industry of nearly $300 million over 11 years” :

The Energy Policy Act of 2005 (EPACT05, P.L. 109-58) included several oil and gas tax incentives, providing about $2.6 billion of tax cuts for the oil and gas industry. In addition, EPACT05 provided for $2.9 billion of tax increases on the oil and gas industry, for a net tax increase on the industry of nearly $300 million over 11 years. Energy tax increases comprise the oil spill liability tax and the Leaking Underground Storage Tank financing rate, both of which are imposed on oil refineries. If these taxes are subtracted from the tax subsidies, the oil and gas refinery and distribution sector received a net tax increase of $1,356 million ($2,857 million minus $1,501 million).

From Bellantoni's August 14 Washington Times article:

But Team McCain pointed out in a statement that Mr. Obama voted for the Bush energy bill in 2005, which gave tax breaks to Big Oil.

“In the Senate, Barack Obama has voted in lockstep with President George W. Bush nearly half the time, including the Bush-Cheney Energy bill which gave close to $3 billion in new giveaways to Big Oil - a terrible policy that John McCain opposed,” said McCain spokesman Tucker Bounds. “The truth is Barack Obama's plan is a job-killing machine that ignores the struggling economy and raises taxes on family savings, Social Security and small businesses.”