While announcing that he is "going down to Guantánamo Bay on Friday" to become "the first journalist ... to interrogate the interrogators" there, Bill O'Reilly mocked concerns about the use of torture techniques in interrogations. O'Reilly declared that according to "the far-left press," "[d]egrading treatment" could consist of "mocking the guy's turban" and "torture" could be merely "call[ing] a guy a name."
On MSNBC's Imus in the Morning, nationally syndicated talk-radio host Jay Severin criticized President Bush for calling the Abu Ghraib prisoner-abuse scandal "a mistake," stating: "[W]e took terror prisoners, and we treated them essentially to a week in Las Vegas. I have to pay good money to have that done to me."
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On NBC's Today, Philadelphia-based radio host Michael Smerconish falsely claimed that "no one died at Abu Ghraib" -- a detention facility operated by U.S. forces in Iraq -- and that the abuse of prisoners by U.S. personnel at Abu Ghraib was merely "a lot of ridiculous actions ... carried out by nine knuckleheads." Additionally, in a report that aired repeatedly on CNN, senior Pentagon correspondent Jamie McIntyre falsely reported that "[n]one of the abused prisoners at Abu Ghraib died." In fact, detainee Manadel al-Jamadi reportedly died at Abu Ghraib during an interrogation by CIA personnel on November 4, 2003. The Pentagon has labeled al-Jamadi's death a "homicide," indicating that it resulted from the treatment he received at the prison -- not from natural causes.
On Fox News Live, Time magazine White House correspondent Mike Allen declared that the guilty verdicts for former Enron CEOs Kenneth L. Lay and Jeffrey K. Skilling are "going to be very helpful to the president [George W. Bush] because it shows that even friends of the president, even big business, longtime supporters of the president are prosecuted, and there is justice even for big fish."
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For at least the third time, Fox News' Jim Angle repeated misleading characterizations of the National Security Agency's (NSA) domestic surveillance program.
On Fox News' Special Report with Brit Hume, guest host and chief Washington correspondent Jim Angle left unchallenged a Heritage Foundation fellow's misleading claims about the United Nations Committee Against Torture's report on the treatment of detainees at the U.S. detention facility in Guantanamo Bay, Cuba. On Fox News Sunday, host Chris Wallace allowed Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice to make similar misleading claims.
On ABC News' WorldNewser weblog, polling director Gary Langer purported to explain the disparate results of an ABC News/Washington Post poll and a Newsweek poll measuring public reaction to a National Security Agency (NSA) program that reportedly collects millions of Americans' phone records. Langer claimed that the polls' results -- the Newsweek poll showed much less support for the program than the ABC/Post poll -- might be explained in part by differences in their wording. Langer also touted the ABC/Post poll's assertion that the NSA program is intended "to identify possible terrorism suspects." In doing so, Langer uncritically accepted the Bush administration's rationale for the program, without noting reports that the Bush administration has engaged in the surveillance of others with no suspected terrorism links and reports that its efforts to identify possible terrorists have been highly ineffective.
On Fox News' Special Report, Washington Post columnist Charles Krauthammer claimed that after The New York Times first publicly disclosed the National Security Agency's (NSA) warrantless domestic surveillance program, "we learned about the NSA listening in on Al Qaeda calling the U.S." Krauthammer's statement echoed the Bush administration's oft-made claim that the surveillance program is limited to "international communications of people with known links to Al Qaeda and related terrorist organizations." In fact, media reports have revealed that the NSA has eavesdropped on the communications of thousands of residents with no links to terrorism, and that the NSA has captured purely domestic calls.
Jim Angle falsely claimed that Sen. Carl Levin accused the Bush administration of "orchestrat[ing]" leaks to the media about its own domestic surveillance program. Media Matters for America has noted four other instances, all on Fox News' Special Report, in which Angle and other Fox News correspondents have cropped or misrepresented quotes from Democratic senators.
The Washington Post reported Attorney General Alberto R. Gonzales's defense of the Justice Department's decision to terminate an inquiry into whether department lawyers acted properly in authorizing the National Security Agency's (NSA) warrantless domestic surveillance program without providing any indication of the nature or degree of criticism greeting that decision.
In his Los Angeles Times column, Max Boot mischaracterized the opposition to the Bush administration's warrantless domestic surveillance programs, offered a misleading defense of the National Security Agency's reported call-tracking operation, and falsely claimed that the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act impeded a pre-9-11 terror investigation.
In its coverage of the nomination of Gen. Michael V. Hayden to be CIA director, CNN made no mention of Hayden's testimony in 2002, in which he told Congress he did not have the authority to electronically eavesdrop on U.S. residents without a warrant, until Sen. Ron Wyden (D-OR) confronted Hayden about it at his May 18 nomination hearing.
On his radio show, Bill O'Reilly blamed "the Mexican drug corruption" for the alleged mugging in New York City of his television show's makeup artist. O'Reilly explained that she "was mugged the other day; punched in the face" by "[d]rug addicts desperate for money." O'Reilly then warned that "all you have to do is multiply that by 10 million, and you see how all of this corruption in Mexico has infected our society."
On Fox News' Special Report, Roll Call executive editor Morton Kondracke said the telecommunications company Qwest was "basically helping terrorists" because "to its discredit, [it] said it was not cooperating with the NSA [National Security Agency] and specifically decided not to cooperate" by providing the NSA with the phone call records of its customers. According to The New York Times, a lawyer representing Qwest's former CEO has said that the company "[[Qwest]] turned down requests by the National Security Agency for private telephone records because it concluded that doing so would violate federal privacy laws."
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The Associated Press reported without challenge Sen. Orrin Hatch's (R-UT) statement that at least two of the judges on the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Court had been briefed on the National Security Agency's (NSA) domestic spying activities and that "[n]one raised any objections." The AP article did not note that these two judges reportedly expressed serious concerns about the constitutionality of the NSA's warrantless domestic surveillance program.