Norah O'Donnell incorporated the White House and Republican talking point that Democrats do not have a strategy to change course in the war in Iraq by asserting that "the thing that perplexes many about the Democratic Party is, what is the alternative?" Later, O'Donnell asked if "part of the problem that the Democrats have is that they don't have a message to respond to the president."
On The Situation Room, John King failed to challenge Rep. Christopher Shays's claim that "since January," the Iraqi government "has done nothing." King did not mention the fact that Shays has, since January, touted "progress" in Iraq.
A McClatchy Newspapers report on President Bush's August 31 speech at the American Legion national convention omitted any Democratic response to the speech, despite reporting it was the beginning of the president's "latest effort to shore up support for the war as Republicans battle to retain control of Congress in the November elections."
Numerous media figures have asserted that a recent report purportedly identifying former deputy Secretary of State Richard Armitage as Robert Novak's original source for Valerie Plame's identity as a CIA operative prove that Karl Rove and I. Lewis "Scooter" Libby were not involved in the leak of her identity. However, Armitage's role as Novak's first source is not inconsistent with Rove's and Libby's involvements in the leak -- both were original sources of the information for two other reporters.
In his interview with President Bush, NBC's Brian Williams allowed Bush to falsely claim that "we delivered" on the promises Bush made during a September 2005 address to the nation in New Orleans; that Saddam Hussein had an active weapons of mass destruction program prior to the U.S.-led invasion of Iraq; and that Bush had never suggested ties between Iraq, Saddam, and the 9-11 terrorist attacks. Williams also left unchallenged Bush's objection to the argument that the Iraq war has acted as a recruitment tool for terrorists.
Several media figures have recently claimed, or let Republicans claim, that the White House "rejects" the policy that the United States should "stay the course" in Iraq, even though President Bush and White House spokesman Tony Snow have continued to use that term to describe the administration's Iraq policy.
Fox News' Alan Colmes repeatedly challenged Fox News political analyst Dick Morris's false claims that "Democrats oppose" "the Patriot Act, the NSA wiretaps, the seizure of bank deposits, [and] data mining."
New York Times reporter Anne E. Kornblut asserted that President Bush "did not emphasize signs of progress in Iraq as he had in the past" during an August 30 speech. In fact, Bush repeatedly touted the "amazing progress" on display in Iraq and the "amazing things" occurring there.
On Your World, Neil Cavuto responded to retired Gen. Wesley Clark's assertion that President Bush describes "anybody who disagrees with him on ... his attack on Iraq as someone who is soft on terror" by falsely claiming that Bush "is not equating Iraq [to the war on terror] in that sense." In fact, Bush recently claimed that those advocating a timetable for the withdrawal of U.S. troops are "wrong" because it "would be a defeat for the United States in a key battleground in the global war on terror."
On MSNBC's Hardball, Norah O'Donnell left unchallenged James Gilmore's claim that "we should all agree that a precipitous withdrawal" from Iraq "would be injurious to the United States. I think most people would agree with that." In fact, recent polling indicates that a majority of Americans support a timeline for U.S. troop withdrawal from Iraq.
On the August 27 Chris Matthews Show, panelists Elisabeth Bumiller, Howard Fineman, and Michael Duffy failed to note Sen. John McCain's history of conflicting statements on President Bush's Iraq policy and on Donald Rumsfeld's performance as secretary of defense.
On Hardball, O'Donnell left unchallenged the assertion by Rep. Christopher Shays that "[s]ince January ... you did not see progress" in Iraq, despite the fact that Shays has made numerous claims since January that "progress" has been made there.
Rush Limbaugh accused Democrats and the "drive-by media" of "celebrat[ing] a one-year anniversary of Hurricane Katrina." He complained that the media have recently avoided coverage of the September 11, 2001, terrorist attacks because it "would help the Bush administration," and that this purported lack of coverage is responsible for a "split in public opinion on the war in Iraq and the war on terror."