Numerous conservative media figures have lashed out at The New York Times and its executive editor, Bill Keller, over an article describing a secret Bush administration program designed to monitor international financial transactions, arguing that the publication of the article was a treasonous act and suggesting that the newspaper is "sid[ing] with al Qaeda" and "aiding and abetting the terrorist movement."
Several conservative media figures baselessly asserted that "a lot" of Democrats, including Rep. John P. Murtha (D-PA), had asked The New York Times not to publish an article disclosing a secret counterterrorism program that involves tracking bank records. But Times executive editor Bill Keller named only three people outside the administration (two of whom were Democrats) who Keller said contacted the Times regarding the story; moreover, he did not say whether the two Democrats advocated against publishing the article.
After criticizing the revelation of the Bush administration's warrantless domestic wiretapping program, The Wall Street Journal editorial board has been silent on the disclosure of the administration's monitoring of international financial transactions, on which the Journal's own news division reported.
On The Journal Editorial Report, Wall Street Journal editorial writer Bret Stephens asserted that an internal White House poll "reflects the fact that Americans want a strategy for winning ... not for pulling out," but failed to note that the most recent Journal poll, as well as other recent public polls, show that Americans do support pulling troops out of Iraq.
On Fox News Watch, Newsday columnist James P. Pinkerton asserted that "the press turned on the Iraq war several years ago" and now chooses to "frame" its coverage of the war in two ways: "One is, the U.S. military is evil" and two, "the U.S. military needs to be carefully restrained with legal rules and procedures." Pinkerton suggested the media portray American servicemen and women as "bad people" and "killers."
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Chris Matthews and Time columnists Andrew Sullivan and Joe Klein heaped praise on Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice, never mentioning that Rice, in her current capacity and previously as national security adviser, repeatedly made false or misleading statements about the administration's use of intelligence in advance of the Iraq war and pre-9-11 intelligence.
Charles Krauthammer dubiously suggested that the United States had successfully completed "seven out of eight" tests of a missile defense system capable of intercepting the intercontinental ballistic missile (ICBM) North Korea is reportedly preparing to test-fire. But the system Krauthammer specifically referred to is not designed to intercept ICBMs. Additionally, John Fund dubiously claimed that if North Korea test-fires its ICBM, the United States has "a better than 50-50 chance" of shooting it down; in fact, the system Fund was apparently alluding to has been tested only under highly artificial conditions.
Commenting on Fox News' Your World, private investigator Bo Dietl argued that the recent arrest in Miami of seven men on charges of conspiracy, which allegedly included plans to bomb the Sears Tower in Chicago, illustrates that "we can't go off ... where we are going with [racial] profiling." Dietl referred to the men as a "crew of mutts" and stated that law enforcement officials should "[g]o into your 7-Elevens or go into one of these stores that keep rotating young men who are Muslims," and say "identify yourself."
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On Fox News Sunday, Brit Hume derided The New York Times' justification for revealing a Bush administration program that monitors international financial transactions. Responding to the notion that it is "a matter of public interest," Hume said: "Well, that can apply to almost anything. ... That applies to ball scores. And you know, I mean, women with their breasts exposed are a matter of public interest to some people."
Joe Scarborough baselessly claimed that "the majority" of Senate Democrats, by voting against a proposal by Sen. John Kerry (D-MA) to redeploy troops from Iraq by mid-2007, "voted with George Bush" to "maintain the course in Iraq." In fact, 37 of 43 Senate Democrats voted in favor of a nonbinding amendment sponsored by Sen. Carl Levin (D-MI) calling for "the beginning of a phased redeployment of U.S. forces from Iraq by the end of the year," which all but one Republican voted against.
In reporting on the purported pullout plan proposed by Gen. George Casey Jr. for Iraq, on the CBS Evening News, correspondent Joie Chen stated: "It's not a cut-and-run strategy, but the report suggests the Pentagon is contemplating a sharp change in direction, a way out for some forces." Chen did not say how she thought Casey's reported plan differs from what the White House and Senate Republicans have labeled the Democrats' "cut-and-run" proposals for U.S. troop withdrawals.
On NBC's Meet the Press, New York Times reporter Anne E. Kornblut claimed that the Connecticut Democratic primary in August between Sen. Joseph I. Lieberman and challenger Ned Lamont will be "a test of if taking a principled stand can work in a Democratic primary" -- suggesting that Lamont is not "principled" in his criticism of the Bush administration's handling of the Iraq war. Kornblut later simply repeated a GOP smear against Democratic war critics, claiming that some Democratic senators "have made the calculation that it would be more dangerous to take ... the cut-and-run position."
Recent reports on the reported activation of the U.S. ground-based missile defense system have overstated its ability to defend against an actual attack and uncritically reported administration claims about its effectiveness. Government Accountability Office reports indicate that the system has no proven ability to shoot down a hostile missile.
Fox News' Brit Hume, John Gibson, and Jim Angle, as well as nationally syndicated radio hosts Rush Limbaugh and Janet Parshall, continued to ignore conclusive assertions of intelligence officials that the degraded chemical munitions found in Iraq and hyped by Sen. Rick Santorum and House Intelligence Committee Chairman Peter Hoekstra were not, in fact, in the category of "weapons of mass destruction" that the U.S. was looking for at the time of the 2003 U.S.-led invasion.