New York Post columnist John Podhoretz described Democrats' use of the term "incompetent" to describe President Bush as "an act of political cowardice," adding, "voters can smell that kind of cowardice a mile off." But a poll by the Pew Research Center reported that "incompetent" was the most frequently cited one-word description for Bush, and that, overall, negative impressions of Bush -- measured by respondents' selection of words such as "incompetent," "idiot" or "liar" to describe Bush -- outweighed positive ones, 48 percent to 28 percent.
On CNN's Lou Dobbs Tonight, CNN senior legal analyst Jeffrey Toobin asserted that "social, largely religious conservatives" forced the withdrawal of Harriet Miers's nomination to the U.S. Supreme Court. Wall Street Journal columnist John Fund responded to Toobin by naming two conservative religious leaders who had been Miers's "biggest backers" and claiming, "It was economic conservatives, including The Wall Street Journal, that were skeptical" of her nomination. In fact, following the disclosure of a speech by Miers in which she said that "self-determination" should guide decisions about abortion and school prayer, numerous social conservative groups and leaders demanded that Miers's nomination be withdrawn.
When Fox News host Sean Hannity featured Rep. Katherine Harris (R-FL), a candidate for the U.S. Senate in Florida, he failed to challenge her about her relationship with disgraced defense contractor Mitchell Wade. While Hannity did ask Harris to comment about $32,000 in illegal campaign contributions received from Wade, he did not press Harris about her request to the Defense Appropriations Committee for a $10 million counterintelligence project that would have benefited Wade's company, MZM Inc.
Discussing a new NBC News/Wall Street Journal poll showing that just 39 percent of respondents expressed "positive" feelings toward President Bush, compared with 50 percent who expressed "negative" feelings, Chris Mathews stated: "I'm amazed when 50 percent of the people don't like him -- just don't like this guy."
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Chris Matthews claimed that "there's a big question about whether it's even legal or not in the Senate" to censure President Bush, as Sen. Russ Feingold recently proposed, over Bush's authorization of warrantless domestic surveillance. But Matthews said something very different about the issue of censure in the context of former President Bill Clinton, at that time taking credit for first promoting the idea of censuring Clinton over the Monica Lewinsky controversy: "I'm not bragging, but I believe I was the first person to talk about the notion of censure because nobody else talked about it."
In discussing Sen. John McCain's endorsement of President Bush in the March 9-12 Southern Republican Leadership Conference presidential straw poll on MSNBC's Hardball, Chuck Todd, editor in chief of the National Journal's The Hotline weblog, asserted that, for McCain, "right now, rallying around the president is the maverick thing to do."
Sean Hannity "affectionately" nicknamed Colorado student Sean Allen "Sean Junior," because Hannity is "proud of what you've [Allen] done here." Allen released to the conservative media taped portions of a class lecture in which his teacher, Jay Bennish, compared the style of President Bush's January 31 State of the Union address to speeches made by Adolf Hitler.
In covering the straw poll of Republican presidential hopefuls at the Southern Republican Leadership Conference, Chris Matthews characterized Sen. John McCain (R-AZ) as a "maverick," "kind of a party renegade," and a "lone gun," despite McCain's request that conference attendees cast write-in votes in support of President Bush.
ABCNews.com's The Note criticized New York Times columnist Paul Krugman for using "selective facts" to say that John McCain "is not a maverick, a moderate, nor a straight talker." However, The Note offered no facts to counter Krugman's argument.
A Washington Post article on the "partisan infighting" on the Senate Intelligence Committee failed to report that, in response to calls for an investigation into President Bush's warrantless domestic surveillance program, Senate Majority Leader Bill Frist's (R-TN) threatened to restructure the committee "so that it is organized and operated like most Senate committees." The Senate Intelligence Committee's rules currently grant the minority party more power than on other Senate committees.
Keith Olbermann, appearing on C-SPAN, said: "There are people I know in the hierarchy of NBC, the company, and GE, the company, who do not like to see the current presidential administration criticized at all. ... There are people who I work for who would prefer, who would sleep much easier at night if this never happened. On the other hand, if they look at my ratings and my ratings are improved and there is criticism of the president of the United States, they're happy."
Discussing congressional Republicans' willingness to oppose the Bush administration on the ports deal, Sean Hannity claimed that Republicans are not like Clinton supporters "that defended the indefensible." But from Abu Ghraib and Guantánamo Bay to CNN analyst Bill Bennett's controversial abortion remarks and Focus on the Family founder James Dobson's comparison of embryonic stem cell research to Nazi experiments, Hannity has gone to astonishing lengths to defend what are, at best, questionable remarks and actions, often with falsehoods of his own.
CNN ran a headline on its website referring to a political attack by RNC chairman Ken Mehlman as "Dems Indicted."
Weekly Standard executive editor Fred Barnes asserted that former Rep. Nick Lampson is "vulnerable to attack as a carpetbagger" in his race against Rep. Tom DeLay. It is true that, as Barnes noted, Lampson "used to represent a different district" and "moved into" Texas' 22nd Congressional District to run against DeLay. But in attacking Lampson, Barnes ignored some highly relevant facts: Lampson previously represented nearly one-fifth of what is now DeLay's district, and Lampson was defeated in his old district after it was reconfigured through a controversial redistricting plan spearheaded by DeLay.
Fox News host Brit Hume continued to tout the Associated Press' misleading March 3 "clarification" of a previous article about a pre-Katrina presidential briefing as justification for President Bush's claim -- debunked even at the time -- that "I don't think anybody anticipated the breach of the levees."