Despite the fact that Supreme Court nominee Samuel A. Alito Jr.'s wife's emotional response did not come during the Democrats' questioning, but during Sen. Lindsey Graham's characterization of the Democrats' questioning, numerous media outlets pounced on the incident to raise the question of whether Democrats on the committee "took this a step too far."
MSNBC's Joe Scarborough characterized a factually accurate statement by Howard Dean -- that no congressional Democrats had received campaign contributions from lobbyist Jack Abramoff -- as a "snow job," and falsely claimed that The Washington Post and "other news outlets" had proven Dean's statement wrong. In fact, Dean's statement in an appearance on CNN was entirely accurate, and neither CNN nor the Post has challenged or refuted it.
The Washington Post falsely reported that the wife of acting House Majority Leader Roy Blunt "does not lobby Congress." In fact, Abigail Blunt is a registered lobbyist for Philip Morris, as she was in 2002, when Blunt tried to modify Homeland Security legislation in a way that would have benefited Philip Morris.
On Fox News Live, anchor Jon Scott claimed that Sen. Patrick Leahy (D-VT) had criticized Supreme Court nominee Samuel A. Alito Jr. for "chang[ing] his thinking over time." In fact, Leahy did not criticize Alito for changing his viewpoint over the course of his career; rather, he objected to the nominee's failure to explain inconsistencies between his record and his Senate testimony.
Robert D. Novak falsely stated that there was "no evidence" the group Concerned Alumni of Princeton, of which Supreme Court nominee Judge Samuel A. Alito Jr. was a member, was against women.
During CNN's live coverage of Samuel A. Alito Jr.'s hearing, Wolf Blitzer once again accused the Democrats -- but not Republicans -- of prejudging the nomination.
In an interview with CNN's Wolf Blitzer, CNN senior analyst Jeff Greenfield repeated a false claim by former Republican National Committee chairman Ed Gillespie that John Roberts "never said" that Roe v. Wade was "settled law" during his Supreme Court nomination hearings. Blitzer failed to challenge or correct this false statement.
CNN's Jeffrey Toobin corrected a previous misstatement that Supreme Court nominee Samuel A. Alito Jr. was in the majority of the Doe v. Groody decision, a 2003 case involving the physical and visual search of a 10-year-old girl. In fact, Alito dissented in the case, while the majority ruled that the search went beyond the scope of the warrant, in violation of the Fourth Amendment.
PBS senior correspondent Gwen Ifill characterized criticism of Supreme Court nominee Samuel A. Alito Jr. by liberal "interest groups" as "demonization."
During MSNBC's live coverage of Supreme Court nominee Samuel A. Alito Jr.'s confirmation hearing, scrolling onscreen text falsely suggested that Alito was in the majority in the Bray v. Marriott anti-discrimination case. In fact, Alito dissented in the decision that reversed the lower court's ruling on the case.
Following the first day of Samuel A. Alito Jr.'s Supreme Court nomination hearing, The Washington Post reported that Sen. Sam Brownback (R-KS) said, "The idea that there are spots on the Supreme Court reserved for certain ideologies is a falsehood. Seats on the bench are not reserved for causes or interests." But the Post failed to note that Brownback made contradictory remarks last October, when he reportedly said he would consider voting against former Supreme Court nominee Harriet Miers over the question of her willingness to revisit Roe v. Wade.
On January 9, MSNBC's prime-time coverage of the Senate Judiciary Committee hearing for Supreme Court nominee Samuel A. Alito Jr. featured several Republicans but no Democratic or progressive guests. For the entire day, the channel featured discussion with only two guests critical of Alito. On January 10, NBCis Today followed suit, featuring only a Republican guest in its report on the hearing.
CNN legal analyst Jeffrey Toobin falsely claimed that Supreme Court nominee Samuel A. Alito Jr. was in the majority on a three-judge panel when he said that the physical and visual search of a 10-year-old girl and her mother was legal. In fact, Alito dissented from the majority opinion, which ruled that the search was illegal.
In an interview with Sen. Edward M. Kennedy (D-MA) during CNN's live coverage of Supreme Court nominee Samuel A. Alito Jr.'s confirmation hearing, host Wolf Blitzer asked Kennedy: "It sounded, based on your opening statement, as if you have already made up your mind. You are going to oppose this nominee. Is that right?" Yet during a subsequent interview with Senate Majority Leader Bill Frist (R-TN), Blitzer never questioned whether Frist had already decided how he was going to vote on the Alito nomination even though Frist repeatedly praised Alito.
An Associated Press article on the contest between Reps. John Boehner and Roy Blunt to replace Rep. Tom DeLay as House majority leader did not mention the ethics issues surrounding both men.