The Washington Post once again reported as fact the Bush administration's misleading claim that "29 million Americans have enrolled" in the Medicare prescription drug program. But while the Post suggested that the 29 million enrollees joined the program voluntarily, more than two-thirds were, in fact, enrolled automatically.
On his nationally syndicated radio program, Glenn Beck said of Native Americans who are considering circumventing a new South Dakota law banning nearly all abortions by opening an abortion clinic on an Indian reservation in the state: "Indians will have found something that can be more profitable than casinos, and that's abortion clinics. And then, look out, man -- exploiting everything illegal for profit."
Washingtonpost.com's newly hired Republican blogger Ben Domenech, in a post about the Supreme Court on his previous weblog, wrote that "[t]he worst black-robed men and women are worse then [sic] the KKK." He also asked rhetorically: "In the past 30 years, how many innocent lives has the KKK ended? How about the Judiciary?"
In describing Nigeria's new public education campaign to fight the spread of bird flu, radio host Glenn Beck stated that the country has "actually resorted to radio jingles," and then asked if the United States could be "as dumb as Nigeria."
In reporting on President Bush's March 14 remarks on the Medicare prescription drug program, The Washington Post and the Associated Press both uncritically repeated Bush's claim that 26 million senior citizens have voluntarily enrolled in the program. In fact, the number of seniors who voluntarily enrolled is about 5 million, or one-fifth of the number touted by Bush and repeated by the Post and AP.
During a conversation about the potential presidential candidacy of Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney, MSNBC's Chris Matthews misrepresented the position of Shannon O'Brien, Romney's Democratic opponent in the 2002 gubernatorial election, on parental consent requirements for pregnant teenagers seeking an abortion.
A Cybercast News Service article falsely reported that Rev. Jane Holmes Dixon, a retired Episcopal bishop of Washington, D.C., called the Mexico City Policy -- a Reagan-era rule, reinstated by President Bush, that prohibits U.S. funding of international groups that provide abortion services -- a "disgrace." In fact, Dixon was referring to Bush's proposed cuts in financing for international family planning programs.
Focus on the Family's James C. Dobson accused Harper's Magazine of "say[ing] the most crazy things" for reporting that he is "in favor of people who want to execute abortionists." In fact, Dobson has endorsed at least two political candidates, Randall Terry and Sen. Tom Coburn (R-OK), who have expressed support for executing "abortionists."
An editorial in the Los Angeles Times misrepresented the position of President Bush on a South Dakota law banning all abortions except in cases in which a woman's life is threatened by a pregnancy. MSNBC host Chris Matthews also misstated Sen. John McCain's position on the bill.
A Wall Street Journal article on the constitutionality of South Dakota's recently passed abortion ban stated that Supreme Court Justice Samuel A. Alito "expressed skepticism about abortion rights while working for the Reagan administration." However, the suggestion that Alito merely "expressed skepticism" about abortion rights mischaracterizes his clearly articulated view that there is no constitutional right to abortion.
On MSNBC's Hardball, Tony Perkins of the Family Research Council claimed that "the majority of Americans identify themselves as pro-life," even though recent polls show otherwise.
Without offering any supporting evidence, a Wall Street Journal editorial claimed that "plenty of data" indicate "high customer satisfaction" with Health Savings Accounts (HSAs), the focal point of President Bush's healthcare plan. But the Employee Benefit Research Institute has found significant levels of dissatisfaction among people covered by the high-deductible, HSA-style plans.
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."
Rush Limbaugh said that Wal-Mart should charge "a thousand bucks a pill," for emergency contraception pills because "the last place you want to be is between a ... liberal woman and her morning-after pill."
A Washington Post article characterized a Senate vote blocking a bill that would have created a trust fund for asbestos victims as a "victory for Democrats and their trial-lawyer allies." In fact, 11 Republicans voted with Democrats to prevent the bill from moving forward.