A Washington Post editorial arguing for legally mandated full disclosure of campaign donation "bundlers" left out key facts about the two cases that it cited, Geoffrey Fieger and Norman Hsu. The editorial did not note that prosecutors have reportedly confirmed that John Edwards' campaign was unaware of alleged illegal contributions made by Fieger and absolved the campaign of any wrongdoing; similarly, the editorial failed to note that the Wall Street Journal article it cited offered no evidence implicating Hillary Clinton with regard to Hsu.
The Washington Times claimed that Norman Hsu "donated more than $1 million to senior Democrats, including the presidential campaigns of Sens. Hillary Rodham Clinton of New York and Barack Obama of Illinois." The article later claimed, providing no evidence, that "[s]ome of Mr. Hsu's donations were made through several people" -- which would presumably be a violation of federal law. In fact, Hsu himself has reportedly donated $255,000 to federal candidates since 2003," and has acted as a "bundler," soliciting friends and associates to make contributions to certain candidates with their own money, which, when added to Hsu's own donations, total more than $1 million. Bundling itself is not illegal, but as The New York Times noted, it is "illegal for a bundler to reimburse a contributor."
The Washington Post twice reported that Republicans need a "net gain" of just one seat in the 2008 elections to recapture control of the Senate. However, a "net gain" of one seat for Republicans would result in a 50-50 split. For the Post's assertion to be correct, a senator currently caucusing with the Democrats would have to defect or the GOP would have to keep the White House, neither of which was noted by the Post.
Keith Olbermann named Rush Limbaugh the "winner" of his nightly "Worst Person in the World" segment for claiming that Democratic opponents of the Iraq war have focused on the genocide in Darfur in order to secure a percentage of the black "voting bloc." Olbermann also named Bill O'Reilly the "runner-up" for telling "his cable audience, quote, 'We know that journalists, most journalists, give money to Democrats.' " Olbermann asserted: "Not really, no. The report said that most journalists who do give money to political groups give that money to Democrats. But the report only found 127 American journalists who had given money to Democrats out of about 100,000."
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In reports on a recent advertisement buy by Freedom's Watch in support of the Iraq war, media reports have failed to resolve the question of which members of Congress the ad buys are targeting, despite the apparent newsworthiness of the issue. For instance, The Washington Post suggested that the ad campaign is an attack on Democrats, a suggestion repeated by Time's Karen Tumulty; other reports have not even mentioned the issue; while still others have asserted that the ads target both Democrats and Republicans. However, according to analyses by war opponents, the buys target mainly Republicans, a charge Freedom's Watch called "propaganda by our enemies."
On The O'Reilly Factor, Bill O'Reilly stated: "[A]ll the money from the elites. We know that journalists -- most journalists give money to Democrats." However, the study O'Reilly was apparently referring to showed that of the small fraction of journalists who donated money at all to campaigns, more gave to Democrats than Republicans -- not that "most journalists give money to Democrats."
On Special Report, correspondent Anita Vogel falsely claimed that ballot initiatives proposed by Democrats on the distribution of California's electoral votes would "protect the current process." In fact, the initiatives would change the "current process" if enacted by California and other states.
On Fox News Live, correspondent Anita Vogel reported on a ballot initiative proposed by a Republican organization that would "divvy up" California's "55 coveted electoral votes to the winner of each congressional district, rather than the winner-take-all system currently in place." On-screen text during Vogel's report identified a spokesman for the GOP group as "pro-reform" and an opponent of the initiative as "anti-reform." However, the spokesman has criticized two other initiatives on California's electoral vote that have been proposed by Democrats.
Karl Rove asserted that Sen. Hillary Rodham Clinton "enters the general election campaign with the highest negatives of any candidate in the history of the Gallup Poll," and added: "The only person who comes close is ... hers are at 49. The only other candidate to come close was Al Gore with 34, I believe." In fact, Gallup's polling results show that President Bush's unfavorability ratings as he entered the 2004 general election campaign were consistently above what Rove claimed to be "close[st]" to Clinton's unfavorability rating -- "Al Gore with 34" percent.
In reports about Karl Rove's announcement that he is resigning as White House deputy chief of staff, numerous news reports uncritically repeated Rove's assessments that President Bush "will move back up in the polls" and that Republicans have "a very good chance" of winning the White House in 2008. However, these outlets did not mention Rove's recent track record: Before the November 2006 midterm elections, he predicted that Republicans would "keep" their majorities in the U.S. House and Senate.
Washingtonpost.com's Chris Cillizza asserted that during a debate for Democratic presidential candidates, "Democrats were asked, 'Are your kids in public schools?' Well, most of them said, 'Yes, we believe very strongly in public schools. But no, our kids don't go to them.' " In fact, three of the candidates said their children currently attend or did attend public schools, two said their children attended both public and private schools, and two said their children currently attend or did attend private schools.