Sunday on Meet The Press, Tom Brokaw moderated a debate between McCain strategist Steve Schmidt and Obama strategist David Axelrod on topics ranging from Iraq to the Wall Street bailout. At the end, Tom Brokaw did something strange. He opted to give himself the last word and told the audience:
In fairness to everybody here, I'm just going to end on one note. And that is that we continue to poll on who's best equipped to be Commander in Chief, and John McCain continues to lead in that category despite the criticism from Barack Obama by a factor of 53 to 42 percent in our latest NBC News/Wall Street Journal poll. Gentlemen, thank you very much.1
We checked, and the latest NBC poll actually has no question about Commander in Chief.2 We contacted NBC about this, and it turns out Brokaw was referring to a poll taken weeks ago--right after the Republican convention and well before Friday's big national security debate.3 And in each of NBC's last two polls, Americans chose Obama over McCain.4
Can you email Tom Brokaw today? Let him know that this election is very close, and we need journalists to be responsible. Giving himself the last word in the debate, and citing an outdated poll number as if it was current, was a mistake. As a responsible journalist, he should apologize for both.
Here's where to contact him:
Tom Brokaw, Meet The Press feedback form: http://www.msnbc.msn.com/id/6872152/
Then, help us track our progress by reporting your comment here:
Barack Obama was widely praised after Friday's presidential debate for his knowledge of foreign affairs and national security. ABC's George Stephanopoulos summed up the consensus this way: "Overall, bottom line, the winner is Barack Obama...his number one goal was to show that he belonged on that stage...he could hold his own on national security, he did that tonight, he gets the win."5
Every major poll after that debate showed Americans thought Obama won--and a CNN poll said voters trusted Obama over McCain to handle Iraq.6 Plus, three major polls released on Sunday showed Americans choosing Obama over McCain.7
So Brokaw's insertion at the end of the debate wasn't just random--it painted an inaccurate picture of the race for voters. Can you contact Brokaw today?
Thanks for all you do.
–Nita, Peter, and the rest of the team
1. Video of Brokaw's remarks:
Meet The Press transcript, September 28, 2008
2. NBC/Wall Street Journal poll, September 19-22, 2008
3. NBC/Wall Street Journal poll, September 6-8, 2008
4. NBC/Wall Street Journal poll, September 19-22, 2008
NBC/Wall Street Journal poll, September 6-8, 2008
5. ABC News, September 26, 2008
6. "CBS News / Knowledge Network Undecideds Give Debate To Obama," The Atlantic blog, September 26, 2008
"Debate Reviews Go To Obama," Huffington Post, September 26, 2008 (includes CNN poll)
7. Sunday's polls showing voters preferring Obama over McCain (via RealClearPolitics.com)