On Good Morning America, Claire Shipman warned that "we're still likely, if the Democrats get the House, to see a culture of gridlock" because "[n]either side will have the 60 votes in the Senate they would need to really get things done." Shipman did not inform viewers of the number of issues on the GOP legislative agenda that went unaddressed in this congressional session.
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On Fox News Sunday, National Public Radio's Juan Williams acknowledged that "most people are telling pollsters that they trust the Democrats more on taxes than they do the Republicans," but then said, "To me, that's crazy." On The Chris Matthews Show, Chris Matthews again falsely suggested that the issue of taxes favors Republicans, even though recent polling shows otherwise.
ABC News' George Stephanopoulos prompted Cheney to again blame the recent upsurge of violence in Iraq on an insurgent "strategy" to "influence" the midterm elections, asking Cheney if "that mean[s] that a Democratic victory is a victory for the insurgents," not mentioning the administration's recent pattern of attempting to extract political benefit from the ebb and flow of violence in Iraq by claiming success in both increases and decreases in levels of violence in Iraq.
During Tony Snow's recent series of appearances on cable news channels, interviewers on CNN and Fox News left unchallenged a number of false, misleading, and baseless Republican talking points on a variety of issues. After allowing Snow to misrepresent the Democratic position on the surveillance and detention of suspected terrorists, CNN host Wolf Blitzer told Snow that he is "a straight shooter."
During an interview with White House counselor Dan Bartlett, CNN's Tony Harris touted newly released unemployment figures while ignoring the negative news -- that the job creation rate for the month of October fell well short of expectations. Harris also failed to challenge Bartlett's claims that Democrats would raise taxes if they win control of Congress; that the wealthy "are paying more as a percentage of taxes than they did before the tax relief"; and that Democrats must raise taxes because "it's fundamentally within their DNA to spend money."
MSNBC and Fox News uncritically reported claims by the Bush administration, including that "wages for the average middle-class American today are actually higher than they were just a couple of years ago," ignoring a report alleging that the median hourly real wage has "declined 2 percent since 2003."
Fox News' Neil Cavuto did not challenge Tony Snow's false claim that "since the president cut taxes in 2003, the Dow Jones is up 60 percent. The Nasdaq is up 80 percent." But even under the most favorable criteria, Snow's statistics are plainly wrong. And when adjusted for inflation, the value of both stock indices has decreased since President Bush's first major tax cut package in June 2001.
Neil Cavuto did not challenge Ken Mehlman's false claim that Rep. Charlie Rangel has said that "you would get across-the-board tax increases" if Democrats regain control of the House. In fact, during an interview with Cavuto less than two weeks earlier, Rangel stated: "The president has -- had allowed these things to expire in 2010 ... and I would not advocate or support a retroactive increase in taxes."
The New York Times and The Washington Post highlighted President Bush's recent attack on the Clinton administration's tax increases and his touting of the tax cuts he passed in his first term, but did not compare the effects of these policies. In fact, after President Bill Clinton's 1993 tax bill passed, deficits declined and budgets were in surplus within five years, while the federal budgets approved under Bush have produced record deficits.
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