Tim Russert let Newt Gingrich claim, without challenge, that the Internal Revenue Service "said there was nothing wrong" with funding a college course he had taught with tax-deductible donations. However, in its final report, the IRS wrote that "if the [House] Ethics Committee had rendered full cooperation with our examination, the transcripts might have affected our conclusion."
A New York Times article uncritically reported Dennis Hastert's statement that the ethics committee's investigation into former Rep. Mark Foley's conduct toward congressional pages "found no evidence that anyone knew about the sexually charged instant messages that led to Mr. Foley's resignation." However, it did not report evidence found by the committee that, in 2001, a former page provided Rep. Jim Kolbe with sexually explicit IMs allegedly written by Foley.
Tom DeLay falsely claimed that Alan Colmes told a "lie" when Colmes noted that the House ethics committee, in the course of admonishing DeLay for objectionable fundraising and improper use of a federal agency, called on DeLay to "temper your future actions to ensure you were in compliance with House ethics rules." In fact, the House Committee on Standards of Official Conduct did indeed ask DeLay to "temper [his] future actions" to assure "full compliance ... with the applicable House rules and standards of conduct."
Wolf Blitzer failed to challenge Rep. Thomas Reynolds's claim that he forced then-Rep. Mark Foley's (R-FL) resignation after ABC News released sexually explicit Internet communications between Foley and underage, male congressional pages. In fact, House Speaker Dennis Hastert has denied that the House leadership was responsible for Foley's resignation, though he later claimed credit.
Fox News' Brett Baier failed to challenge Rep. Peter Hoekstra's claim that his decision to suspend a Democratic House Intelligence Committee staffer for allegedly leaking portions of a National Intelligence Estimate was based on "sufficient evidence." A Washington Post report debunked a previous claim by Hoekstra about the staffer's involvement.
The New York Times, The Washington Post, and the Associated Press have reported Rep. Curt Weldon's statements blaming an FBI investigation of him on Citizens for Responsibility and Ethics in Washington (CREW) but failed to include any response from CREW or point out that the FBI is a division of the U.S. Department of Justice, which is part of the Bush administration and headed by a Bush confidante.
On Hannity & Colmes, Sean Hannity joined authors Melanie Morgan and Catherine Moy in comparing Cindy Sheehan's purported interest in online pornography to sexually explicit instant messages former Rep. Mark Foley allegedly sent to underage congressional pages. Morgan asserted that "[t]here's a double standard and hypocrisy at work" in the fact that there was far greater attention and criticism focused on the Foley scandal.
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In a Washington Post article, staff writer Jonathan Weisman purported to equate the controversy surrounding a land deal involving Senate Democratic Leader Harry Reid with another involving Republican House Speaker Dennis Hastert. But Weisman ignored a key difference between the two: While there are allegations that Hastert used his office to increase the value of his real estate, there is no similar evidence about Reid's transaction.
Evening news programs on ABC and CBS made no mention that federal agents raided the homes of Rep. Curt Weldon's (R-PA) daughter and her business partner, as well as four additional locations, as part of a reported investigation into whether Weldon improperly assisted their company. NBC's Nightly News did report on the raids, but NBC devoted equal time to Democratic Sen. Harry Reid's announcement that he would issue updated disclosure forms to add more details of a land transaction, without noting a key difference: There are no allegations that Reid used his office to benefit from the land deal.
Republican National Committee chairman Ken Mehlman has been inconsistent in his public statements about his relationship to disgraced GOP lobbyist Jack Abramoff. In recent interviews, CNN's Wolf Blitzer and U.S. News & World Report staff writer Will Sullivan passed up the opportunity to challenge Mehlman about these inconsistencies.