Both the CBS Evening News and NBC's Nightly News reported that President Bush endorsed a proposal by Senate Republicans to grant the executive branch authority to set fuel-efficiency standards for cars -- a power that currently resides with Congress. CBS and NBC failed to note, however, that this move by Bush represents a significant shift for the White House, which opposed, as recently as February, increasing efficiency standards for passenger cars.
Fox News host John Gibson contradicted himself twice while discussing whether Democrats have a plan to combat high gasoline prices. He first referred to one part of their "plan," then said he "never heard an actual Democrat plan," and finally noted that President Bush was following the advice of Sen. Charles E. Schumer (D-NY) by ordering an investigation into possible price gouging.
On the April 25 edition of ABC's World News Tonight, co-anchor Elizabeth Vargas reported that President Bush "unveil[ed] an ambitious plan to lower the cost of oil and gas." Yet later in the same broadcast, ABC News chief White House correspondent Martha Raddatz reported that the Bush administration "acknowledges that this plan will likely not bring down the price of gas anytime soon."
Bill O'Reilly falsely claimed that both the "state and federal" government are "making more money now that the gasoline prices are higher because their tax goes up." In fact, for the federal government and more than three-fourths of the states, gasoline taxes remain constant regardless of gas prices because they are measured in cents per gallon, not as a percentage of total gasoline sales or wholesale prices.
On April 24 and 25, CNN and ABC reported that congressional Republicans, including Senate Majority Leader Bill Frist, were calling for President Bush to investigate possible price gouging by the oil industry. But none of the reports noted that Democrats had previously called for a price-fixing probe, including Sen. Chuck Schumer, who had called for such an investigation at a press conference a week earlier.
In reporting on President Bush's announcement that he would suspend fuel deposits into the Strategic Petroleum Reserve in an effort to reduce rising gasoline prices, numerous news outlets failed to note that Bush had previously criticized both the Clinton administration and Sen. John Kerry (D-MA) for proposing to use the reserve to lower prices.
Fox News' Neil Cavuto failed to challenge House Homeland Security committee chairman Peter King's (R-NY) misleading claim that "Democrats voted" for a provision in the House immigration reform bill that makes illegal presence in the U.S. a felony. Cavuto also left unchallenged King's false claim that Alaska's oil reserves are "equivalent" to those of Saudi Arabia.
On Fox News' Special Report with Brit Hume, Weekly Standard executive editor Fred Barnes said he was "tired of hearing" the complaints of people who are "so upset about gas costing too much." Barnes said: "[I]f it costs a lot to fill up the tanks and they don't like that, well, demand that the supply increase. Demand that oil be drilled offshore, in ANWR [the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge], and so on." He added: "Otherwise, look, shut up."
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NBC News' Andrea Mitchell falsely suggested that the United States, unlike China, does not import oil from Venezuela and Nigeria. However, according the Department of Energy's Energy Information Administration (EIA), the United States imports significant quantities of oil from Venezuela and Nigeria. In fact, in January 2006, Venezuela was the second-largest source of imported oil to the United States, after Canada.
A Washington Times editorial asserted that the amount of petroleum imported into the United States was projected to increase by more than 7 million barrels daily from 2004 to 2025 "[u]ntil President Bush recently joined his six immediate predecessors by promising that America's addiction to oil would end." In fact, new, lower projections came in December 2005, before Bush promised to "break" the country's "addiction" to oil in his January 31 State of the Union address.
Echoing Brit Hume's recent report that global warming "could ... be in remission," a Washington Times editorial cited a misleading statistic -- recently highlighted by global-warming skeptic Bob Carter -- to suggest that global warming might have "stopped in 1998" because of a "negligible decrease in temperature" since that year. But Hume and the Times neglected to mention why temperatures have slightly decreased since 1998: That year was the hottest on record, according to the Climatic Research Unit, the source of Carter's data.
In separate columns, George Will and Robert Novak misrepresented the facts and omitted key evidence -- embraced by the vast majority of climate scientists -- demonstrating that global warming is occurring and that human activity is contributing to the problem.
In a recent column, Pete du Pont quoted Washington Post columnist David Ignatius's claim that "human activity is accelerating dangerous changes in the world's climate," and responded to Ignatius by claiming that "it is not clear that human activity is wholly responsible" for global warming. Ignatius, however, did not assert that humans are "wholly responsible" for global warming -- he claimed that humans are "accelerating" global warming, as the quote du Pont provided clearly indicated.
An article by Time magazine's Mike Allen and Karen Tumulty highlighted Sen. Jim Talent as one of the incumbent GOP candidates in the 2006 midterm elections "point[ing] out their differences with the president." However, Allen and Tumulty failed to note that Talent's voting record in the Senate has largely been in sync with the Bush administration's energy policy and the interests of oil companies.
Wall Street Journal editorial writer Stephen Moore claimed that the Preble's meadow jumping mouse -- a small rodent native to Colorado that was placed on the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service's "Threatened" list in 1998 -- is "not endangered" and "isn't even a unique species," citing a 2003 study. However, a more recent and more exhaustive study conducted by the U.S. Geological Survey (USGS) found that Preble's meadow jumping mouse is, in fact, a distinct subspecies, qualified for protection under the Endangered Species Act.