On C-SPAN's Q&A, Washington Post staff writer Susan Schmidt -- one of three Post reporters to be awarded a 2006 Pulitzer Prize for investigating the influence-peddling schemes of Republican lobbyist Jack Abramoff -- repeated the false claim that Abramoff gave "a lot of money to Democrats." In fact, as Media Matters has noted repeatedly, no Democrats received contributions from Abramoff directly.
Fred Barnes claimed that "only the press" refers to former Rep. Tom DeLay (R-TX) as "the Hammer." But The New York Times reported that a tribute dinner held by DeLay supporters in Washington, D.C., in May 2005 included numerous references to DeLay's nickname: "Mr. DeLay was served a red-white-and-blue cake festooned with sparklers and plastic hammers -- a reference to his nickname, the Hammer -- while the band played 'If I Had a Hammer.' "
Fox News host Neil Cavuto interviewed Rep. Tom DeLay (R-TX) only two days after DeLay announced his intention to resign his congressional seat. But during the entire interview, Cavuto asked DeLay nothing about why he abandoned his re-election bid after winning a contentious primary or why he decided to leave office altogether, even though Cavuto claimed he "can't believe" that he had done so. Neither did Cavuto once mention DeLay's alleged ties to Republican lobbyist Jack Abramoff or the guilty pleas of two of his former top aides, Michael Scanlon and Tony C. Rudy, for conspiring with Abramoff.
On MSNBC's Hardball, Chris Matthews once again suggested Democrats would abuse the congressional subpoena authority if they regain control of one or both houses of Congress in the 2006 elections. In a conversation with former Rep. Vin Weber (R-MN), Matthews asserted that in 2006, Republicans will likely campaign on the claim that if elected, Democrats "are going to try to lynch the president."
The USA Today described the House ethics committee as being "gridlocked since January 2005 because of partisan disputes over its rules, staff and procedures." At that time, House Republicans weakened the ethics committee by granting either party complete power to block a complaint against a fellow party member.
In articles about the immigration reform debate on Capitol Hill, The New York Times and the Associated Press presented two Senate immigration reform proposals -- a comprehensive bipartisan bill and a compromise measure recently put forth by Republicans -- as the full scope of the current debate on the issue in Congress. But the Times and the AP ignored entirely the more severe reform proposal the House passed in December 2005.
An April 5 Washington Post editorial asserted that Rep. Tom DeLay's (R-TX) departure from Congress will make it "much tougher for Democrats to flog their 'culture of corruption' message," offering only a quote from DeLay in support of the assertion -- but a Post article published the same day quoted a Democratic leader saying the opposite. The editorial then went on to undermine its own argument by noting that the political culture fostered by DeLay -- rather than the man himself -- represented the Republicans' "real problem."
On Fox News, numerous media figures asserted that Rep. Tom DeLay's (R-TX) decision to resign from Congress will hurt Democrats' ability to campaign against congressional Republicans' record of corruption -- and DeLay's part in it -- during the November 2006 midterm elections. But such predictions overlook the widening ethics scandals involving DeLay and the Republican Party.
In an interview with former House Majority Leader Tom DeLay (R-TX), Brit Hume misleadingly claimed that the scandal involving former lobbyist and DeLay associate Jack Abramoff has resulted in "charges against one of" DeLay's former aides and "possibly against a second." In fact, two former DeLay staffers have pleaded guilty to felonies in connection with the Abramoff scandal, and a third former DeLay staffer is reportedly under investigation.
On MSNBC's Hardball, Chris Matthews asked Democratic strategist Bob Shrum if he could "promise" that, if the Democrats regain control of the House after the midterm elections, "they will not use the subpoena power to go after the president."
Discussing a recent report by Citizens Against Government Waste detailing wasteful government spending or so-called "pork," ABC News Washington correspondent Jake Tapper claimed on Good Morning America that Sen. John McCain (R-AZ) "is such an opponent of pork he's almost kosher." Tapper apparently overlooked a bill recently introduced by McCain asking for $10 million in federal money to establish a law center in his home state as a tribute to the late U.S. Supreme Court Chief Justice William H. Rehnquist.
Chris Matthews falsely claimed that Rep. Tom DeLay (R-TX) -- "quite sacrificially" -- engineered a redistricting in Texas that reduced his home district to "only about a 55 percent Republican district now," in order to raise GOP percentages in other districts and strengthen the Republican majority in Congress. In fact, the congressional district that DeLay represents is 65.9 percent Republican following DeLay's redistricting plan.
A New York Times article that reported on the divisions among Republican members of Congress over immigration reform failed to quote a single Democrat on the issue. By contrast, recent Times articles focusing on similar divisions among congressional Democrats have made sure to include Republicans' viewpoints.
On March 30, Chris Matthews said of the presidential chances of Sen. George Allen (R-VA), "I think George Allen might be a stretch." But a day earlier, after interviewing Allen, Matthews said, "I say he's running, I say he's one of the two top guys to watch, he and [Sen. John] McCain [R-AZ]."
Reporting on the disappointed reaction of Sen. John McCain to the lobbying reform bill that was passed by the Senate on March 29, CBS' Gloria Borger mentioned McCain's pledge that continued congressional investigations into the Jack Abramoff scandal should "light a fire under [McCain's] colleagues." However, Borger ignored reports that, as chairman of the Indian Affairs Committee, McCain steered the investigation into the Abramoff scandal away from examining any potential wrongdoing by his Republican colleagues.