During a report on Sen. Hillary Clinton's health care proposal, CNN's Betty Nguyen aired Mitt Romney's attack on the plan, but claimed that, "like Clinton, he'd mandate health insurance." But in announcing his national health reform plan in August, Romney declined to support mandates in what was reportedly a "significant" departure "from the universal health care measure that he helped forge as governor of Massachusetts."
During a one-hour report on ABC's 20/20 on "America's health-care system," co-host John Stossel interviewed five advocates of free-market approaches to health care but only one advocate of increased government-mandated health coverage. The five free-market advocates were interviewed on air for a total of 6 minutes, 24 seconds, while the lone advocate of a public health system, filmmaker Michael Moore, was interviewed on air for a total of 1:40.
Good Morning America aired a preview of John Stossel's "Whose Body is it Anyway? Sick in America," which contained an interview with one expert, David Gratzer, whom Stossel identified only as an author and "Canadian doctor." Stossel failed to note that Gratzer is a senior fellow at the conservative Manhattan Institute or that the World Health Organization ranks Canada and Great Britain -- whose nationalized health systems he criticized for their long waits -- ahead of the United States in its ranking of world health systems. At the end of Stossel's report, Diane Sawyer told him: "It is so hard to get perspective on this. Thank heaven you're doing it."
On a special edition of CNN's Larry King Live specifically focused on reaction to President Bush's Iraq address, Larry King failed to challenge Rudy Giuliani's assertion that "our goal is in Iraq is no different now than it was at the very beginning. The goal of the mission in Iraq is to provide safety and security so we can have an ally in Iraq against the Islamic terrorists. And that was the mission that most of the Democrats agreed to in 2003." In fact, the Bush administration has frequently changed its "goal of the mission in Iraq," which at various times it has articulated as disarming Iraq of weapons of mass destruction, building democracy, and providing stability and security in the Middle East.
On Hannity & Colmes, Republican pollster Frank Luntz cited Republican focus group responses to an exchange over Iraq policy between Mike Huckabee and Rep. Ron Paul, and, echoing Huckabee's assertion about needing not "to lose our honor," declared: "Clearly, principle won out in this exchange." Luntz cited no evidence that the focus group participants favored Huckabee's comments because they thought that the comments -- in contrast with Paul's -- were based on "principle." In fact, Paul's position on the Iraq war has been consistent, though originally sharply at odds with public opinion.
On Kudlow & Co., Larry Kudlow allowed Republican presidential candidates Mitt Romney and Rudy Giuliani to mischaracterize two statements by Sen. Hillary Rodham Clinton to portray her as being opposed to free markets. In fact, in one instance, Clinton went on to say that "there is no greater force for economic growth than free markets," and in the other, she said that "the market is the driving force behind our prosperity."
On MSNBC, Pat Buchanan asserted that Rep. Barney Frank "had a fellow running a -- basically a full-service whorehouse in his basement." In fact, the House ethics committee found that the man's initial public assertions that he had run a prostitution ring out of Frank's residence were contradicted by evidence and the sworn testimony of third parties.
During a Fox & Friends segment discussing an August 28 column by Cuban dictator Fidel Castro, on-screen text falsely asserted, "CASTRO'S DREAM TEAM: WANTS CLINTON AND OBAMA IN '08," referring to Democratic presidential candidates Hillary Clinton and Barack Obama. Also during the segment, an on-screen graphic depicted Castro, Clinton, and Obama enclosed in a red heart. In fact, at no point in his column did Castro endorse Clinton or Obama. Indeed, he attributed to Clinton and Obama a pro-democratic view that he called an "error," and he said of Clinton and Obama, "They are not making politics: they are playing a game of cards on a Sunday afternoon."
From 5 p.m. to 11 p.m. ET on August 27, Fox News devoted only 3 minutes and 47 seconds to segments discussing Sen. Larry Craig's lewd-conduct arrest. By contrast, MSNBC aired 8 minutes and 26 seconds of coverage on the story, while CNN aired 20 minutes and 38 seconds.