On ABC's World News Tonight, anchor Charles Gibson cited a poll showing that 60 percent of Americans disapprove of President Bush's handling of the economy and asked chief Washington correspondent George Stephanopoulos to explain the "disconnect" between this disapproval rating and the fact that that "economic numbers are pretty good." Stephanopoulos responded by quoting unnamed "Republican strategists" who attributed the low poll numbers solely to high gas prices. No perspective was offered from Democrats, who might have noted that wage increases are barely keeping pace with inflation.
On Fox News' Hannity & Colmes, Neal Boortz made misleading claims about the Fair Tax Act, introduced by Rep. John Linder, which would replace all existing federal taxes with a national retail sales tax on most consumer and government purchases. In fact, Boortz relied on an unusual method of describing sales tax rates. Moreover, according to President Bush's Advisory Panel on Federal Tax Reform, Boortz significantly understated the tax rate necessary for the Fair Tax Act to be revenue-neutral.
On Fox News Live, Time magazine White House correspondent Mike Allen declared that the guilty verdicts for former Enron CEOs Kenneth L. Lay and Jeffrey K. Skilling are "going to be very helpful to the president [George W. Bush] because it shows that even friends of the president, even big business, longtime supporters of the president are prosecuted, and there is justice even for big fish."
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On Fox News' Your World, Michelle Dallacroce, the founder of Mothers Against Illegal Aliens, asserted that there is no reason "that we have to have" immigrant women and children in the United States, since there are no jobs for "the women and the children [to] do ... other than their children's job is to dumb down the American children and overpopulate our schools."
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The Washington Post reported on House Republicans' passage of a $2.8 trillion budget proposal, the GOP divide over the spending plan, and an alternative budget blueprint put forward by moderate Republicans. But the Post ignored entirely an alternative budget proposed by House Democrats, which would have restored GOP-proposed cuts to social services and reinstated the pay-as-you-go rule that Republicans let expire in 2002.
On ABC's World News Tonight, anchor Elizabeth Vargas noted President Bush's claim that dividend and capital gains tax cuts passed in 2003 "have helped expand the economy and create jobs," but she omitted any mention of critics who have challenged the administration's claims that the tax cuts were responsible for the recent economic growth.
A New York Times article about new Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee radio advertisements on Social Security incorrectly stated that the ads "try to remind those who traditionally vote Republican of their party's plan to add private investment accounts" to the retirement program. In fact, President Bush did not propose adding accounts to the existing system; instead, he proposed allowing workers to divert up to 4 percent of wages (about one-third of their payroll taxes) into a private account, removing it from the money available to pay Social Security benefits for current retirees.
On ABC's Good Morning America, John Stossel, co-host of ABC's 20/20, claimed that it is a "myth" that "women earn less" than men for "doing the same work." Stossel acknowledged that women "earn less" than men overall, and concluded that "[t]he truth is" that "men are more willing to take lousy jobs" and "work longer," and that is why they yield higher wages. In fact, contrary to Stossel's suggestion that men earn more because they take "lousy jobs," numerous studies and data indicate that, on average, men earn more than women regardless of occupation.
The White House released a series of statements, reportedly initiated by new press secretary Tony Snow, attacking specific media reports and editorials as misleading. Conservatives in the media have touted the statements as indicative of a new willingness on the part of the White House communications office, led by Snow, to call the press on its misinformation. But Media Matters for America has found that, of the six "Setting the Record Straight" releases issued from May 8 to May 11, at least four are highly misleading.
Chris Matthews claimed that the Democratic Party "hasn't done jack" to improve the economic well-being of poorer and middle-class Americans. In fact, during the Clinton administration -- the last period during which Democrats had significant control over national economic policy -- the economy added more jobs per year, unemployment decreased, and personal per capita income increased more per year than it has under President Bush.
Wall Street Journal articles on the $70 billion GOP tax bill ignored entirely the disproportionate benefit to the wealthy of the GOP package.
Stephen Moore selectively cited Internal Revenue Service statistics in order to buttress his assertion that "[i]n the aftermath of the Bush investment tax cuts, the federal income tax burden has substantially shifted onto the backs of the wealthy." In fact, the reason that the total share of income tax paid by those making more than $200,000 increased between 2002 and 2004 is that the number of people earning at least that much increased substantially, as did the average income of people within that bracket. However, filers earning at least $200,000 actually paid an average of 4 percent less federal income tax in 2004 than they did in 2002, even though their average incomes increased 10 percent during the same period.
Fox News' Carl Cameron misleadingly suggested that "Senate Democrats, along with a handful of moderate Republicans" were to blame for adding billions of dollars in spending projects to an emergency supplemental appropriations bill for the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan, hurricane relief, and bird-flu preparedness.
ABC World News Tonight anchor Elizabeth Vargas -- repeating a false characterization by the Bush administration that has been repeatedly debunked -- described the revised estimates for when the Social Security and Medicare programs' respective trust funds will become depleted as "the day when the Social Security and Medicare programs run out of money." In fact, neither program would "run out of money" when its trust fund became depleted.
Fox News host Neil Cavuto asked whether the May 1 "Day Without Immigrants" protests were "freedom of expression or economic terrorism."
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