October 17, 2004

The media has devoted enormous attention to Senator John Kerry's reference to Mary Cheney, Vice President Dick Cheney's daughter, as a lesbian during the October 13 presidential debate. Yet President George W. Bush's false claim from that same debate -- "I just don't think I ever said I'm not worried about Osama bin Laden" -- has received less than half as much media attention. (Bush's debate claim is false because he said of bin Laden on March 13, 2002: "I'm truly not that concerned about him.")

A Nexis search by Media Matters for America for coverage of Kerry's remark produced 364 hits. A Nexis search for coverage of Bush's claim produced only 135 hits. A Nexis search for only the candidates' key quotations -- "I think if you were to talk to Dick Cheney's daughter, who is a lesbian" versus "I just don't think I ever said I'm not worried about Osama bin Laden" -- produced an even sharper imbalance: 156 to 40.* MMFA

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