A FAIR Action Alert on July 15 encouraged readers to ask the Washington Post why it asked a misleading poll question about Obama and McCain's positions on the Iraq War. The question, which framed the candidates' positions as two different “approaches” to withdrawal, led the paper to conclude that the country was “split down the middle between those backing Sen. Barack Obama's 16-month timeline for withdrawal of U.S. troops from Iraq and those agreeing with Sen. John McCain's position that events, not timetables, should dictate when forces come home."
Post ombud Deborah Howell dismissed FAIR's criticism without addressing FAIR's argument. Howell wrote (7/20/08):
The Post's White House Watch columnist, Dan Froomkin, had a different take. In an online discussion with readers on July 16, Froomkin cited FAIR's criticism in response to a reader's bafflement over the Post article's conclusions. The reader asked:
FAIR thanks the activists who wrote to the paper.