On the CBS Evening News, Washington correspondent Bob Orr characterized a recent Internal Revenue Service (IRS) regulations proposal allowing tax return preparers to sell information from returns to third parties as spelling out a "loophole of sorts" that has "been around for more than 30 years." In fact, in permitting sales to third parties, the new proposal would allow tax preparers to do something they are not currently permitted to do; under current law, they can pass on such information only to affiliates.
Sean Hannity claimed that the current unemployment rate "is literally ... lower than the '70s, '80s, and '90s." But while the current unemployment rate is, in fact, lower than the average unemployment rate for the 1990s it is higher than in 1998, 1999, and 2000 -- the last three years before President George W. Bush took office.
On PBS' The NewsHour with Jim Lehrer, New York Times columnist David Brooks falsely claimed that "in the Reagan years, unemployment went from 13 percent to 5 percent."
NBC News correspondent David Gregory uncritically reported a claim by "Republican leaders" that the "president's strengths, like tax cuts or tough anti-terror measures, have been overlooked" because of Americans' concern over the war in Iraq. Gregory ignored the most recent polling on the subject -- a Los Angeles Times/Bloomberg poll -- which found that 43 percent of Americans trust Democrats to do "a better job of handling taxes" than the president. In that poll, only 34 percent said the president would do a better job. And regarding "tough anti-terror" measures, polls indicate that American approval of the president on terrorism is decidedly more mixed than Gregory's statement suggested.
A New York Times article documented a recent rift between employers and labor unions over a unionizing method that uses "card checks" instead of secret ballot elections. The Times included comments from Richard Berman, the founder of the anti-union organization, the Center for Union Facts; however, it did not mention Berman's history of lobbying for the restaurant and beverage industry or his support for and involvement in controversial campaigns.
Fox News falsely reported the White House claim that President Bush has never vetoed a bill "because Congress has always stayed below his spending limit." In fact, Bush signed the 2005 transportation bill, which cost $286.4 billion, after initially threatening to reject any bill that cost more than $256 billion.
In a conversation with a caller about the disproportionately few jobs and contracts that have gone to locals in the rebuilding of New Orleans, Bill O'Reilly said: "[T]he homies, you know -- I mean, they're just not going to get the job."
A February 23 Wall Street Journal editorial bemoaned what it called "a $1 billion tax hike for roads and transit projects" proposed by Virginia's GOP senators, whom it accused of spending "like crazy on social services and schools," leaving the state's highways underfunded. In fact, in recent years, Virginia's spending on schools and social welfare has stayed below the national average, and in some cases, ranks among the lowest in the country.
A Washington Post editorial adopted several claims that the Bush administration has made in defense of its agreement to let a company owned by the government of the United Arab Emirates (UAE) manage six U.S. ports, even though those claims are contradicted by the Post's own news reporting. News reports in the Post and The New York Times also cited without challenge the administration claims about the length of the review, even though their own previous reporting directly contradicted the claims.
In reporting on the United Arab Emirates (UAE) ports controversy, NBC's Brian Williams failed to inform viewers that Dubai Ports World is owned by the government of Dubai, a member of the UAE. NBC's David Gregory later indicated that the company is state-owned but entirely ignored the significance of this. In doing so, they obscured the source of the controversy surrounding the Bush administration's approval of a deal to grant the company control of six U.S. ports.
In a discussion with Rep. Barney Frank (D-MA) regarding income disparity in the United States, Fox News' Neil Cavuto repeatedly claimed that real wages for American workers have increased. In fact, as Frank pointed out, real wages declined in each of the past two years.
On Hannity & Colmes, Manhattan Institute senior fellow John McWhorter claimed that the poverty rate of African-American minors has decreased "ever since 1996," a trend he credited to "the Republican party, who created welfare reform." In fact, according to U.S. government census data, the poverty rate among African-Americans under 18 began decreasing in 1992 and continued to do so until 2002, midway through President Bush's first term.
In detailing the evaluation process the Bush administration purportedly undertook before agreeing to permit a company owned by the government of the United Arab Emirates (UAE) to manage port terminals in six major U.S. cities, several media outlets reported that the administration approved of the deal only after a thorough review by the Committee on Foreign Investment in the United States (CFIUS). But none of the reports noted the glaring inconsistency in the administration's account: that Donald Rumsfeld, a key member of CFIUS, acknowledged in a February 21 press conference that he possessed "minimal information" about the deal because he had "just heard about this over the weekend."
CNN anchors and reporters repeatedly described Dubai Ports World -- the company set to assume control of six U.S. ports -- as an "Arab company" or a "Dubai-based company." However, in describing the company as such, these reporters are ignoring a key factor in the bipartisan controversy surrounding the takeover deal, which is that the company is a state-run business in the United Arab Emirates.
On Fox News' Special Report with Brit Hume, Fred Barnes, executive editor of The Weekly Standard, claimed that the issue of taxes helps Republicans politically. However, the most recent Fox News/Opinion Dynamics poll, which was cited during the program's "Political Grapevine" segment and during its newscast, indicates that a plurality of voters believes that Democrats "would do a better job" than Republicans on the issue of taxes.