Numerous media outlets reported -- as President Bush claimed in an interview on National Public Radio -- that Iraqi troops took the lead in the battle near Najaf against religious militia the Soldiers of Heaven, without noting that the Iraqis were reportedly "overwhelmed" until U.S. forces joined them.
On Special Report, Fox News' Bret Baier aired a quote by retired Maj. Gen. Robert Scales Jr., who uncritically touted military operations on Haifa Street in Baghdad as "evidence of the Iraqi army and the police on the march." But Baier did not mention first-hand accounts of various battles for Haifa Street that indicated that U.S. forces led the fighting, Iraqi forces performed poorly, and residents accused Iraqi forces on Haifa Street of "atrocities."
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Tim Russert did not challenge Sen. John McCain's dubious claim that it is not "clear-cut" that the war is unpopular nationally because, if it were, Sen. Joe Lieberman "would not have been re-elected in the state of Connecticut." McCain also falsely claimed that "[a]t the time of the first Gulf War, only 15 percent of the American people thought we ought to go to Kuwait and get rid of Saddam Hussein there" and was not challenged by Russert about his changing positions on the number of additional troops he would like to see sent to Iraq.
A day after The Washington Post's Dan Balz wrote that Sen. Hillary Rodham Clinton is "continuing her steady evolution from one of the war's staunchest supporters to one of the administration's most prominent critics," CNN's John Roberts asserted that Clinton's "language has shifted over the years from a staunch supporter of the Iraq war to now one of its fiercest critics."
On January 18, Brit Hume again asserted as fact that "Scooter" Libby did not commit the "actual leak" of Valerie Plame's identity as a CIA officer. The day before, Hume had stated that Libby was "not responsible" for leaking the information. However, prosecutors allege that Libby did discuss Plame's CIA employment with Judith Miller before it was made public; Miller herself confirmed this.