On MSNBC, Tony Blankley claimed that President Bush "doesn't have much of a political view" of Iraq. "He is now looking at the policy ... and he's going to decide what to decide on a policy basis." Republican strategist Cheri Jacobus repeated the claim by Bush supporters that he "has always been pretty good [at] not conducting his job based on the polls, even if a lot of the people around him wanted to."
CBS national security correspondent David Martin reported that Republican Sens. John McCain and Lindsey Graham "were in Baghdad ... warning it will take more than [20,000 additional troops] to save Iraq," but Martin did not mention Gen. John Abizaid's assessment that such an increase would likely not improve the situation in Iraq.
On MSNBC News Live, beyond pointing out that "there are a lot of deaths every day," Norah O'Donnell did not challenge Laura Bush when she claimed that the media have failed to cover "a lot of good things that are happening" in Iraq or when she accused the media of lacking a "balanced view" of Iraq in emphasizing reports of violence. Instead, O'Donnell prompted her to point out "some of those good things that people should know about."
Despite the daily toll of casualties in Iraq, Matt Lauer and Kelly O'Donnell did not respond to Byron York's comment that "public relations" contributed to President Bush's decision to delay the announcement of changes in his Iraq policy.
In a report on Sen. Bill Nelson's recent visit to Syria, Fox News' Bret Baier falsely suggested that "despite warnings and disapproval" from various administration officials, only Democratic lawmakers would defy the administration and meet with Syrian President Bashar al-Assad. He did not mention that Sen. Arlen Specter, a Republican, is also reportedly expected to go to Syria.
On Meet the Press, host Tim Russert let former Reagan adviser Ken Adelman assert without challenge that "no one knew" that intelligence indicating Iraq had weapons of mass destruction "wasn't true" prior to the U.S.-led invasion in 2003. In fact, members of the intelligence community, including senior CIA analysts, challenged the accuracy of the intelligence that Iraq had WMDs.
Discussing Sen. Gordon Smith's December 7 Senate floor statement denouncing the war in Iraq, neither ABC's George Stephanopoulos nor CNN's Wolf Blitzer challenged Smith on the timing of his statement, when it had become clear long before that no weapons of mass destruction would be found in Iraq and that the function of coalition troops had become essentially that of, in Smith's words to Blitzer, "street cops in a sectarian civil war."
On Imus in the Morning, Newsweek's Evan Thomas characterized John McCain's proposal to increase troop levels in Baghdad for the purpose of gaining control of the security situation on the ground as "having the guts to send in ... more troops." Neither Thomas nor Don Imus noted serious questions about the feasibility of McCain's proposal.
On Fox News Sunday, Brit Hume falsely characterized the Iraq Study Group's report as a "stay-the-course document" that "did not reject the president's policy on Iraq." In fact, the ISG report specifically states that "[c]urrent U.S. policy is not working, as the level of violence in Iraq is rising and the government is not advancing national reconciliation."
CNN's Ed Henry's description of President Bush being "in listening mode right now" regarding his strategy for the Iraq war ignored that Bush's "listening mode" apparently does not include asking questions of the Iraq Study Group or receptivity to some of the ISG's key recommendations.
Following a confrontation between Tony Snow and NBC's David Gregory, numerous conservative media figures attacked Gregory, calling him "angry," "partisan," "grouchy," and "ignorant," and claiming that he is "doing this for personal gain."
Conservative media figures, including Bill Kristol, Rush Limbaugh, and Glenn Beck, have attacked both the members of the Iraq Study Group and its report: Kristol has called the report "an evasion" and "not a serious document"; Limbaugh asserted that ISG members are "doing everything they can to unite the American people" in "defeat" and "surrender"; while Beck has called the ISG report "Operation White Flag."