In reporting that the Senate Committee on Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs rejected a proposal to create an independent Office of Public Integrity to investigate ethics violations by members of Congress, March 3 articles by The New York Times and The Washington Post ignored Democratic support on the committee for the measure. In fact, more Democrats on the committee voted for the proposal than against it, while only one Republican supported it.
On the February 17 broadcast of his radio program, Focus on the Family president James C. Dobson and Tom Minnery, the organization's vice president of public policy, sought to fend off questions arising from reports of their alleged collusion with convicted felon and former gambling industry lobbyist Jack Abramoff in a scheme to shut down competition to his clients' casinos. While both Dobson and Minnery deny working with Abramoff, email exchanges between Abramoff and associates Ralph Reed and Michael Scanlon appear to contradict Dobson and Minnery's claim that Focus on the Family's activities in opposition to the expansion of a Louisiana casino had nothing to do with requests from Abramoff or Reed.
Discussing the contradiction between the newly released videotape of President Bush at a FEMA briefing on Hurricane Katrina and Bush's statement during a September 1, 2005, appearance on Good Morning America that "I don't think anybody anticipated the breach of the levees," Chris Matthews invoked alleged flip-flops by Sen. John Kerry. Matthews asked campaign consultant Bob Shrum, "Do you think [Bush] was aware of the Katrina situation before he was unaware of it," then stated, "I'm reminding everybody of your candidate and how his positions changed."
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In an article covering the Pennsylvania U.S. Senate race between Sen. Rick Santorum (R) and likely Democratic nominee Robert P. Casey Jr., The Washington Post mischaracterized issues surrounding mortgage deals each candidate made. By reporting that each candidate had received a loan from a bank whose board members had made campaign contributions to him, the Post falsely suggested that their transactions were comparable when, in fact, Santorum's deal may have violated Senate ethics rules.
A Washington Post editorial adopted several claims that the Bush administration has made in defense of its agreement to let a company owned by the government of the United Arab Emirates (UAE) manage six U.S. ports, even though those claims are contradicted by the Post's own news reporting. News reports in the Post and The New York Times also cited without challenge the administration claims about the length of the review, even though their own previous reporting directly contradicted the claims.
In reporting on the United Arab Emirates (UAE) ports controversy, NBC's Brian Williams failed to inform viewers that Dubai Ports World is owned by the government of Dubai, a member of the UAE. NBC's David Gregory later indicated that the company is state-owned but entirely ignored the significance of this. In doing so, they obscured the source of the controversy surrounding the Bush administration's approval of a deal to grant the company control of six U.S. ports.
In detailing the evaluation process the Bush administration purportedly undertook before agreeing to permit a company owned by the government of the United Arab Emirates (UAE) to manage port terminals in six major U.S. cities, several media outlets reported that the administration approved of the deal only after a thorough review by the Committee on Foreign Investment in the United States (CFIUS). But none of the reports noted the glaring inconsistency in the administration's account: that Donald Rumsfeld, a key member of CFIUS, acknowledged in a February 21 press conference that he possessed "minimal information" about the deal because he had "just heard about this over the weekend."
CNN anchors and reporters repeatedly described Dubai Ports World -- the company set to assume control of six U.S. ports -- as an "Arab company" or a "Dubai-based company." However, in describing the company as such, these reporters are ignoring a key factor in the bipartisan controversy surrounding the takeover deal, which is that the company is a state-run business in the United Arab Emirates.
In an article about President Bush's renewable energy tour, The Washington Post overlooked the White House's retreat from Bush's pledge to "replace more than 75 percent of our oil imports from the Middle East by 2025." The article also reported on Bush's planned visit to the National Renewal Energy Laboratory without mentioning that just before his visit, the federal government had reallocated $5 million to restore the jobs of 32 employees who had been laid off as a result of administration budget cuts.
Fox News' Major Garrett falsely claimed that the House of Representatives report on Hurricane Katrina verified Fox News reporting that Louisiana officials prevented the American Red Cross from delivering needed supplies to the Louisiana Superdome in the aftermath of the storm. In fact, the report highlighted the testimony of Red Cross senior vice president Joseph C. Becker, who said, "[W]e were asked by state and federal officials not to enter New Orleans."
The Los Angeles Times reprinted an abridged version of a flawed Associated Press story about links between disgraced former lobbyist Jack Abramoff and Senate Democratic Leader Harry Reid. The Washington Times' Donald Lambro also selectively cited the article in a column.
In airing Brit Hume's interview with Vice President Dick Cheney, Fox News omitted Cheney's comments about drinking a beer the day he shot his hunting companion. Fox News even excluded the comments from what it said was the "full interview" posted on its website.
On CNN's Live From..., anchor Kyra Phillips and White House correspondent Suzanne Malveaux reported that, in an interview conducted with Fox News that day, Vice President Dick Cheney accepted full responsibility for accidentally shooting Texas attorney Harry Whittington during a February 11 hunting expedition. However, both Phillips and Malveaux failed to note that Cheney reportedly has been telling friends privately that Whittington was at fault and that Katharine Armstrong, whom he had designated to report the incident to the media, blamed Whittington for the accident.
Media reports regarding when the Kenedy County Sheriff's department actually interviewed Vice President Dick Cheney have varied widely and have sometimes conflicted, a fact that the media themselves have largely ignored.
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