On Hannity & Colmes, Newt Gingrich cited Dick Morris' "most recent column," which he called "just devastating on taking apart President Clinton's most recent 5-minute ad in favor of his wife," as evidence to support his claim that Bill Clinton is "fundamentally dishonest on a routine, regular basis." Gingrich was apparently referring to an August 9 Morris column in which he purported to offer "corrections" to Clinton's "syrupy five minute ad" for his wife's presidential campaign. But Morris' column contained several falsehoods, misrepresentations and claims that are contradicted by other sources.
On The Situation Room, Dana Bash said that former House Speaker Dennis Hastert, who is resigning, "presided over a politically polarizing era. He said that was his biggest regret." A November 16 Chicago Tribune article also reported that Hastert "bemoaned the 'pool of bitterness' he believes exists in the nation's capital and urged his colleagues to try and work together in civility after he is gone." But neither Bash nor the Tribune noted Hastert's own history of partisan attacks.
Echoing the false assertion in a Politico article that Democrats are "Zero for 40" on passing "bills limiting President Bush's war policy," CNN's Carol Costello reported, "Forty times Democrats have forced a vote to curtail the Iraq war and 40 times they've lost." In fact, in April, both the House and Senate passed war funding legislation that included a timetable for a U.S. troop withdrawal, which President Bush vetoed.
On The Situation Room, Tom Foreman reported, "From Iraq to domestic programs, Democrats face White House vetoes and little support from Republicans on Capitol Hill." Foreman then aired a clip of House Speaker Nancy Pelosi saying, "I know that Congress has low approval ratings. I don't approve of Congress because we haven't done anything." However, Foreman cut off the end of Pelosi's remarks, in which she made clear that she was referring only to Congress' not having done anything that brought an end to the Iraq war.
In articles on Blackwater USA chairman Erik Prince's congressional testimony about his security contracting company's performance in Iraq, USA Today and the Los Angeles Times did not report, as other media outlets have, that Prince has made more than $226,000 in political contributions to Republican organizations and candidates.
In a report on Supreme Court Justice Clarence Thomas, ABC News' Jan Crawford Greenburg stated simply that Anita Hill "told the FBI that, 10 years before, Thomas pressured her to date him." However, Hill has said she told the FBI agents who interviewed her "about Thomas' descriptions of pornography, the pressure for dates, [and] the discussions of his sexual activities."
During a discussion of Dan Rather's lawsuit against CBS, CNN's Howard Kurtz asked if it was "plausible" that CBS made Rather "a scapegoat to placate the Bush administration" over the controversial 60 Minutes II report about President Bush's service in the Texas Air National Guard, as Rather alleges. Kurtz's guests -- conservative radio host Laura Ingraham and former CBS Evening News executive producer Rome Hartman -- disputed Rather's assertion. But neither Kurtz nor his guests mentioned two other instances in which CBS allegedly acted to placate the White House in 2004.
In a New York Daily News column, Michael Goodwin claimed that a Democratic amendment that "condemn[ed] all attacks on the honor, integrity, and patriotism of any individual who is serving or has served honorably in the United States Armed Forces, by any person or organization" was "almost identical" to an alternative Republican amendment "except that [the Democratic amendment] did not mention MoveOn." Though the Democratic amendment did not refer to MoveOn.org by name, it did specifically criticize MoveOn's ad about Gen. David Petraeus.
A Washington Times article reported that House Minority Leader John Boehner was demanding that House Democrats take up a nonbinding resolution condemning MoveOn.org's "General Betray Us" ad, but the Times did not note that Boehner declared earlier this year that a "nonbinding resolution is nothing more than political theater."
CNN's Brianna Keilar reported, "Today the Senate voted to stop debate on a bill that would have given Washington, D.C., residents their first ever representative in the U.S. House." But Keilar did not note that it was 41 Republicans and one Democrat who voted to block the bill, denying proponents the 60-vote supermajority needed to end their filibuster.
A New York Times article on President Bush's decision to nominate Michael B. Mukasey for attorney general reported that Sen. Charles Schumer "issued a statement on Sunday evening praising Mr. Mukasey," which it called "a suggestion that Democrats, who are already challenging Mr. Bush over the war in Iraq, have little appetite for another big fight." In fact, Schumer had previously named Mukasey as one of three potential attorney general nominees whose selection would likely be approved by a Democratic-controlled Senate, and Senate Democrats made clear that they were prepared to block confirmation of another potential nominee, Theodore Olson.
On his radio show, Rush Limbaugh asserted: "Three weeks ago, you had Jim Clyburn of the Congressional Black Caucus saying, 'You know, if this report is good, it presents problems for us,' meaning the Democrat [sic] Party." In fact, Clyburn did not say that good news from Iraq is bad news for Democrats in electoral terms, but rather that a recommendation from Gen. David Petraeus against withdrawal would impede Democrats' efforts to garner support in Congress for legislation to begin withdrawal. And while Limbaugh identified Clyburn merely as "of the Congressional Black Caucus," Clyburn is also House majority whip, the third-highest position in the House.
Glenn Beck -- apparently referring to Democratic donor William Paw -- falsely stated that Paw, who Beck said had an income of $46,000, sent Clinton "I think $200,000 in donations." In fact, according to the Federal Election Commission's donor database, William Paw himself donated $4,200 to Hillary Clinton's campaign and $11,800 to all Democratic candidates beginning in October 2005, while, according to the Los Angeles Times, the seven members of the Paw family "gave $213,000, including $55,000 to Clinton and $14,000 to candidates for state-level offices in New York." Beck's guest, American Spectator's R. Emmett Tyrrell Jr., stated that Norman Hsu, a businessman and Clinton "bundler," is one of several "shadowy Asian figures" who have been involved with campaign finance violations associated with the Clintons.
An article in the latest issue of Newsweek reported on Fred Thompson's leadership of a 1997 investigation into campaign finance irregularities, asserting that "Thompson wound up losing control of the investigation, and the support of his own party," and that "Thompson has said he wanted to make sure the inquiry was fair, and not just a Republican hunting party that would be viewed with suspicion by the public." But Thompson reportedly shut down the investigation before Democrats were able to introduce evidence linking Republican lawmakers to a fundraising group that was found to have skirted campaign finance laws.