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Lipstick: Media Gets it Wrong, Play Right Into McCain’s Favor.

NBC News political director: Media taking bait on "lipstick" comment "a joke," "laughable"
Summary: On Morning Joe, NBC News political director Chuck Todd asserted of media coverage of Sen. Barack Obama’s comment that "[y]ou can put lipstick on a pig; it’s still a pig" while discussing Sen. John McCain’s proposed policies: "I think the McCain campaign is laughing, laughing their butts off this morning. That any of us have taken the bait on this lipstick thing, I mean, this is a joke. It is laughable." Time’s Jay Carney stated that the McCain campaign’s claim that Obama’s comments represented "sexism" was "false" and "ridiculous."

Citing no evidence, AP’s Pickler purported to know how audience interpreted Obama’s remark
Summary: In an article regarding Sen. Barack Obama’s recent comment about Sen. John McCain’s policies — "[Y]ou can put lipstick on a pig; it’s still a pig" — AP’s Nedra Pickler baselessly asserted that Obama’s audience "clearly dr[ew] a connection to [Gov. Sarah] Palin’s joke even if it’s not what Obama meant." However, Pickler provided no evidence for her assessment of the audience’s reaction, and, indeed, the interpretation by New York Times reporter Jeff Zeleny of the audience’s reaction was completely different.

MSNBC poll about Obama’s "lipstick on a pig" comment precluded exoneration of Obama or assessment of McCain reaction
Summary: conducted a poll September 9 asking readers "Do you think Sen. Barack Obama went too far with his ‘lipstick on a pig’ remark?" Not only did the poll frame the question in a way that baselessly presumed Obama was referring to Gov. Sarah Palin, but MSNBC did not offer readers the opportunity to respond that Obama did not go "too far" or to criticize the McCain campaign’s reaction to the comments.

Hannity baselessly claimed Obama’s "lipstick" comment was about Palin — Huckabee, Wolfson disagree
Summary: On Hannity & Colmes, Mike Huckabee and Howard Wolfson both disagreed with Sean Hannity’s claim that Sen. Barack Obama was "talking about [Gov.] Sarah Palin" when he made his "lipstick on a pig" comment. Wolfson asserted: "[T]here’s no question that he was referring to [Sen.] John McCain, not Sarah Palin, and I think anything to the contrary is ridiculous."

Halperin: Media attention to "lipstick on a pig" comment "playing into the McCain campaign’s crocodile tears"
Summary: On CNN’s Anderson Cooper 360, Time’s Mark Halperin characterized the recent media attention to Sen. Barack Obama’s comment that "[y]ou can put lipstick on a pig; it’s still a pig" as "a low point in the day … and one of the low days of our collective coverage of this campaign." Halperin went on to say, "I think this is the press just absolutely playing into the McCain campaign’s crocodile tears."

WSJ’s Chozick misrepresented Obama’s "lipstick on a pig" comment
Summary: In a blog post, Wall Street Journal reporter Amy Chozick baselessly asserted that Sen. Barack Obama’s statement that "[y]ou can put lipstick on a pig; it’s still a pig" "played on [Gov. Sarah] Palin’s joke during the Republican National Convention that the only difference between a pit bull and a hockey mom was lipstick." Chozick provided no evidence for this assertion, and, in fact, Obama did not mention Palin in at least the 65 words preceding his "lipstick on a pig" comment. Indeed, his preceding comments consisted of what he described as a "list" of Sen. John McCain’s policies that Obama said were no different from President Bush’s.

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