On Fox News' The Journal Editorial Report, Wall Street Journal editorial page editor Paul Gigot and editorial writer Bret Stephens addressed the "urgency" of the "crisis" regarding Iran's attempts to enrich uranium and reported pursuit of nuclear weapons. Gigot and Stephens engaged in similar rhetoric regarding Saddam Hussein's alleged nuclear capabilities prior to the March 2003 invasion of Iraq.
In his nationally syndicated column, Cal Thomas contrasted the growing number of retired U.S. generals who have recently called for the resignation of Defense Secretary Donald H. Rumsfeld with Zacarias Moussaoui and Iran's generals, suggesting that because Moussaoui and Iranian generals will not question their authority figures, neither should U.S. generals, who "are encouraging the enemy to fight on, believing we will ultimately surrender."
Brit Hume asserted that the seven retired generals calling for Donald Rumsfeld's resignation are doing so exclusively "based on an old argument" about prewar planning for the invasion of Iraq, and that the generals are not linking their criticism of Rumsfeld to "what's happening now" in Iraq. But contrary to Hume's assertions, several of the generals have criticized what Rumsfeld is "doing now" in Iraq.
NBC Today co-host Matt Lauer and retired Gen. Michael P. DeLong falsely suggested that the seven retired generals who have recently advocated for Secretary of Defense Donald H. Rumsfeld's resignation "have a problem with his personality" but "can't say that he's incompetent." In fact, at least two of the generals have specifically cited incompetence as a reason Rumsfeld should resign or be fired.
In a column purportedly explaining the inconsistencies between The Washington Post's April 9 editorial titled "A Good Leak" and an article published the same day by staff writers Barton Gellman and Dafna Linzer, Post ombudsman Deborah Howell suggested the principal reason for the differences in the two pieces was that reporters and editorial writers "can see things quite differently." But the editorial did not merely advocate a position; it did so with numerous false statements.
Fox News journalists and commentators repeatedly -- and baselessly -- cited a correction issued by CIA leak case special counsel Patrick J. Fitzgerald as evidence that the Bush administration had not "hyp[ed]" prewar intelligence and that reporters had "wrongly accuse[d]" President Bush of directing I. Lewis "Scooter" Libby to provide false information to reporters about Iraq's supposed nuclear program to justify the decision to invade Iraq.
On Fox News' The O'Reilly Factor, retired Lt. Gen. Thomas McInerney purported to "lay out a campaign today that will take Iran down very quickly," agreeing with host Bill O'Reilly that the military strategy for this "would be all air, no infantry, and maybe some Special Forces trying to help." But in 2002, McInerney promised that the military campaign in Iraq, which has now lasted longer than three years, would be "shorter" than the 42 days it took to complete the Persian Gulf War in 1991."
On Hannity & Colmes, Newt Gingrich falsely claimed that former ambassador Joseph C. Wilson IV was sent on a fact-finding trip to the African country of Niger "because his wife got him the job," that Wilson "implied that [Vice President Dick] Cheney had gotten him the job," and that Wilson "lied about his own report" on the findings of his trip. Media Matters for America has previously debunked each of these falsehoods.
Byron York claimed that court papers pertaining to Patrick J. Fitzgerald's investigation of I. Lewis "Scooter" Libby "contained the erroneous and later-corrected suggestion that Libby lied about the contents of the National Intelligence Estimate [NIE]." York, however, misstated Fitzgerald's correction. In fact, Fitzgerald corrected the suggestion that Vice President Dick Cheney authorized Libby to tell Judith Miller that a "key judgment" of the 2002 NIE was that Iraq was "vigorously trying to procure" uranium -- not the "suggestion that Libby lied about the contents of the" NIE, as York wrote.
In a series of broadcasts, Bill O'Reilly condemned the media "hysteria" over Seymour Hersh's article in the April 17 issue of The New Yorker -- on one show calling it a "phony and political" attempt to "denigrate the Bush administration." But O'Reilly largely ignored a primary reason Hersh's story has received such attention: the disclosure that the administration is considering "the use of a bunker-buster tactical nuclear weapon" against Iran.
On Fox News' Your World, Jonathan Hoenig, the managing member of Capitalistpig Asset Management LLC, asserted that the U.S. economy would be unable to "thrive" in the event that convicted September 11 conspirator Zacarias Moussaoui is not summarily executed. "If I had my way, you'd bring him out back, put a bullet in his head, and toss him in the dumpster," Hoenig said, adding, "This is an evil monster and I just don't see how society can prosper or the economy can prosper, if this guy lives."
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CNN's David Ensor adamantly defended President Bush against allegations that Bush may have been aware of contradictory evidence at the time of his May 29, 2003, statement that the United States had discovered biological weapons labs in Iraq, stating that the information could not feasibly have made it to the president's desk in time. But Ensor's claim that Bush could not have seen the conflicting intelligence is one that not even the White House has made in responding to questions about the issue.
In an April 13 Washington Post op-ed, Vets for Freedom executive director Wade Zirkle criticized Reps. Jim Moran and John P. Murtha for their treatment of former Sgt. Mark Seavey, who chided the Democratic legislators at a January 5 town hall meeting in Virginia for saying that they "have talked to the troops and the troops are demoralized." Zirkle failed to note, however, that Seavey is one of the co-founders of Zirkle's organization.
Washington Post editorial page editor Fred Hiatt, in an article in the Washington City Paper, was quoted reiterating the Post's defense of President Bush in an April 9 editorial: that President Bush's authorization to leak classified portions of the 2002 National Intelligence Estimate (NIE) to the media was intended to make clear the administration's reasons for going to war. But Hiatt's statement, like the April 9 editorial, is based on a false assumption -- that the administration's leak of the NIE presented an accurate and complete picture of the intelligence.
CNN White House correspondent Suzanne Malveaux reported that White House press secretary Scott McClellan had said "very clearly" during an April 12 briefing that President Bush did not see a May 27, 2003, intelligence report that contradicted his declaration two days later that the United States had discovered biological weapons labs in Iraq. In fact, McClellan said no such thing during the briefing.