Despite admitting that they had no evidence to support their allegations, Fox News' Sean Hannity and Robert Novak suggested that "dirty political tricks" by Sen. Hillary Rodham Clinton (D-NY) are behind the recent "leaking" of Sen. Barack Obama's admission that he had used cocaine. But as Democratic strategist Laura Schwartz noted, Obama wrote in a 1995 memoir that he used drugs; she added, "There's no leak." Earlier in the conversation, Novak claimed that "we have no evidence whatsoever that George W. Bush ever used cocaine."
Don Imus didn't challenge John McCain's claim that his 2008 presidential campaign manager, Terry Nelson, while serving as head of the independent expenditure unit of the Republican National Committee, "realized it was a mistake" to sign off on an ad attacking Tennessee Democratic Senate candidate Harold Ford Jr. and that Nelson subsequently "resigned from the group of people who approved of it." In fact, Nelson has publicly defended the ad, and there is no apparent evidence that Nelson "resigned" from his RNC position in protest over the ad.
Bill O'Reilly glossed over objections to a new book by Missouri judge Robert H. Dierker Jr. -- which attacks "femifascists" and "illiberal liberals," and has a chapter titled "The Cloud Cuckooland of Radical Feminism" -- while allowing Dierker to assert, unchallenged, that, "almost by definition," liberals are the ones who primarily engage in judicial "activism."
Major papers and the broadcast news networks have either ignored or downplayed the "personal and political baggage" identified by the staff of former New York City mayor and presumptive 2008 Republican presidential candidate Rudy Giuliani in a document that lays out his plan for a "bid for the White House."
On Special Report, Fox News' Wendell Goler reported that President Bush is willing to "compromise" with the Democrats when their party assumes control of Congress. But Bush has taken several actions recently suggesting he has no intention of meeting Democrats halfway.
In his Washington Post column, Richard Cohen asserted that Sen. John McCain has, for a "long time," displayed a "visceral hostility toward the ways of Washington's K Street lobbying crowd." In fact, McCain and his staff have longstanding ties to the lobbying industry, and he is reportedly strengthening those ties in anticipation of a 2008 presidential bid.
Tim Russert let Newt Gingrich claim, without challenge, that the Internal Revenue Service "said there was nothing wrong" with funding a college course he had taught with tax-deductible donations. However, in its final report, the IRS wrote that "if the [House] Ethics Committee had rendered full cooperation with our examination, the transcripts might have affected our conclusion."
Several media outlets have reported that if Sen. Tim Johnson (D-SD), who recently had brain surgery, were "incapacitated" or "unable to serve in any way," that South Dakota's Republican governor would be responsible for selecting his replacement. However, the U.S. Constitution does not provide for circumstances in which an "incapacitated" senator can be replaced.
A New York Times article uncritically reported Dennis Hastert's statement that the ethics committee's investigation into former Rep. Mark Foley's conduct toward congressional pages "found no evidence that anyone knew about the sexually charged instant messages that led to Mr. Foley's resignation." However, it did not report evidence found by the committee that, in 2001, a former page provided Rep. Jim Kolbe with sexually explicit IMs allegedly written by Foley.