In an article on President Bush's threat to veto legislation expanding federal funding for stem cell research, Time magazine reported that "you could argue" that Bush "has made a career of ... holding fast to positions that many voters reject, as a sign of strength in these dangerous times." In fact, as Media Matters for America and many others have pointed out, Bush has a long history of reversing course on issues, particularly when it is politically expedient or necessary to do so.
After featuring a segment in which he purported to explain why his CNN Headline News show "doesn't talk more about politics," Glenn Beck declared: "You get stupid people voting, you know who's president? John Kerry. No, I'm kidding." The following day, Beck stated that Democrats are now "so Hollywood in their approach, it's like they don't even understand the heartland of America." He later added that "I like George W. Bush," and vouched that Bush will "do what it takes to keep us safe and our families safe."
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On NBC's Meet the Press, New York Times reporter Anne E. Kornblut claimed that the Connecticut Democratic primary in August between Sen. Joseph I. Lieberman and challenger Ned Lamont will be "a test of if taking a principled stand can work in a Democratic primary" -- suggesting that Lamont is not "principled" in his criticism of the Bush administration's handling of the Iraq war. Kornblut later simply repeated a GOP smear against Democratic war critics, claiming that some Democratic senators "have made the calculation that it would be more dangerous to take ... the cut-and-run position."
Fox News' John Gibson and Sean Hannity hosted segments hyping the threat posed by reports that North Korea will soon conduct a test launch of a long range missile. Most notably, Fox News analyst Col. David Hunt baselessly suggested on Hannity & Colmes that North Korea could attack the U.S. with a nuclear weapon at any moment.
In his latest column, Wall Street Journal OpinionJournal.com assistant editor Brendan Miniter claimed that Maryland Gov. Robert Ehrlich's "approval rating has reached as high as 67%, and at the end of the Legislature's regular session in April ... he was polling at 55%." Recent polls, however, put Ehrlich's approval rating in the 40s.
On MSNBC's Hardball, Chris Matthews failed to question Republican National Committee Chairman Ken Mehlman's baseless assertion that illegal votes helped Democrats win the Washington state gubernatorial election.
In reporting on a newly released ABC News/Washington Post poll on the favorability of presumptive 2008 presidential nominees Sen. Hillary Rodham Clinton and Sen. John McCain, the Post and ABC's Good Morning America focused almost entirely on numbers that indicate Clinton is "polarizing" and on the percentage of respondents who "would definitely not vote for" her in 2008. In its article, the Post also included an assertion about how people view Clinton that was contradicted by the poll results.
In his Washington Times column, Donald Lambro repeated the oft-debunked claim that Democrats received money from Jack Abramoff and used months-old polling data to claim that a "plurality" of Americans view congressional ethics scandals as affecting both Democrats and Republicans equally. In fact, more recent polling indicates that the public views ethics scandals as more of a Republican problem than a bipartisan issue.
New York Times columnist David Brooks claimed that Republican lobbyist Jack Abramoff visited the White House only "twice, in 2001 and 2004," citing recently released Secret Service visitor logs. But as Media Matters for America previously noted, the White House has acknowledged several Abramoff visits not mentioned in the logs, and the White House and the Secret Service have both admitted that the records released "would not present a complete picture of Abramoff's" visits.
The Washington Times' Donald Lambro claimed that New Jersey state Sen. Thomas H. Kean Jr., a Republican, "is running even" with Sen. Robert Menendez (D-NJ) in the 2006 New Jersey senatorial race. In fact, the most recent polling shows that Menendez is six points ahead of Kean.
On MSNBC's Hardball, Chris Matthews once again suggested Democrats would abuse the congressional subpoena authority if they regain control of one or both houses of Congress in the 2006 elections. In a conversation with former Rep. Vin Weber (R-MN), Matthews asserted that in 2006, Republicans will likely campaign on the claim that if elected, Democrats "are going to try to lynch the president."
Just days after the Democratic Party released a national security plan, CNN host Wolf Blitzer and NBC Today host Matt Lauer simply ignored the release and allowed -- and even encouraged -- Republican guests to suggest the Democrats have no "agenda." This continues patterns by CNN and Today of largely ignoring the Democrats' security plan, despite repeatedly reporting or commenting on the Democratic Party's purported lack of clear alternatives to the Republicans.
O'Reilly Factor guest host and former Rep. John Kasich (R-OH) falsely claimed that 2004 presidential candidate Sen. John F. Kerry (D-MA) lost "every place that Bruce [Springsteen] went," referring to the Vote for Change tour and Kerry rally concerts leading up to the election. In fact, Springsteen performed in a total of six states, four of which -- Pennsylvania, Michigan, Minnesota, and Wisconsin -- Kerry carried in the election, as well as the District of Columbia, where Springsteen also performed.
Chris Matthews falsely claimed that Rep. Tom DeLay (R-TX) -- "quite sacrificially" -- engineered a redistricting in Texas that reduced his home district to "only about a 55 percent Republican district now," in order to raise GOP percentages in other districts and strengthen the Republican majority in Congress. In fact, the congressional district that DeLay represents is 65.9 percent Republican following DeLay's redistricting plan.