On Hardball, Chris Matthews, Dana Milbank, and Pat Buchanan discussed what they agreed were the likely political benefits to President Bush and congressional Republicans if he were to launch a pre-emptive war against Iran.
Rush Limbaugh falsely claimed that Rep. Dennis Kucinich's proposal for a cabinet-level Department of Peace and Nonviolence would "[g]et rid of the Department of Defense." In fact, Kucinich's proposed Department of Peace would operate in addition to the Department of Defense to "develop policies that promote national and international conflict prevention, nonviolent intervention, mediation, peaceful resolution of conflict, and structured mediation of conflict."
The Los Angeles Times reported on March 17 that "Republicans added nearly $1 billion to tighten security at seaports," but did not note that GOP senators voted down a separate Democratic proposal to boost port-related funding by an additional $1.7 billion. The article also made no mention of House Republicans' March 16 rejection of a Democratic amendment to increase port security funding by $1.2 billion.
During its initial coverage of Operation Swarmer -- a joint U.S.-Iraqi military operation that began March 16 -- Fox News aired video footage of the wreckage of the World Trade Center following the terrorist attacks of September 11, 2001.
In describing what would happen if the Democrats took control of the House, former Republican House Speaker Newt Gingrich, appearing on Fox News' The O'Reilly Factor, said "you can expect two years of all-out investigations, attacks, anything they can bring to bear." What Gingrich didn't say is that prior to the 1994 elections, he reportedly vowed, "Washington just can't imagine a world in which Republicans would have subpoena power," and he delivered.
Bill O'Reilly argued that a New York Times article -- which disclosed that Iraqi military leaders had assumed Saddam Hussein possessed weapons of mass destruction -- vindicated President Bush. He declared that "those people who accused President Bush of lying about WMDs owe him an apology" and proceeded to present a "liar list" that included numerous Democratic and progressive critics of the war. In fact, the Times revelation does nothing to undermine these critics' argument -- that Bush downplayed or outright ignored the intelligence community's doubts about Iraq's weapon capability in presenting the case for war.
On the March 14 edition of his nationally syndicated show, Rush Limbaugh said, "What do you think this is doing for the morale of these insurgents who are probably in their last gasp over there or close to it?" and "How many Iraqi women and children have been killed by insurgents who have been emboldened by the American left?"
On Hannity & Colmes, co-host Sean Hannity selectively quoted from a speech that Sen. Russ Feingold (D-WI) gave before the U.S.-led invasion of Iraq to falsely characterize Feingold as a "flip-flopper" on the decision to authorize the Bush administration to use force to remove Iraqi dictator Saddam Hussein. In fact, Feingold's comments, made days before he voted against the October 11 war resolution, contained a multi-faceted argument against the resolution.
On Fox News' Special Report with Brit Hume, Roll Call executive editor Mort Kondracke falsely claimed that "depending on who you listen to," it will take Iran "between six months and two years" to produce "the material that they need for a nuclear weapon." In fact, many estimates -- including those within the U.S. Intelligence Community -- suggest that it could take Iran significantly longer to develop a nuclear weapon.
On the Christian Broadcasting Network's (CBN) The 700 Club, news anchor Lee Webb and host Pat Robertson asserted that recent public opinion polls indicating that the majority of Americans believe that Iraq is "heading for civil war" show that Americans "don't have a clue." In fact, American public opinion is in line with numerous military and Middle East experts who agree that Iraq is either in a civil war or on the brink of one.
On Fox News' Hannity & Colmes, Ann Coulter suggested that the United States should invade Iran and China.
In covering President's Bush's March 13 speech, the media reported that Bush effectively laid out a timetable for U.S. troop withdrawal from Iraq by setting a "goal of having the Iraqis control more territory than the coalition by the end of 2006" but completely ignored the numerous statements Bush and other administration officials have made denouncing timetables for withdrawal, and attacking those who propose them.
National Public Radio (NPR), the Associated Press, and ABC reported uncritically on the purported improvement of Iraqi forces, as touted by President Bush in a speech. But these outlets failed to note that the number of Iraqi battalions capable of operating independently has dropped from three in June 2005 to none eight months later. Moreover, contrary to NPR's assertion, Bush ignored this statistic in his speech and instead focused on other, more favorable indicators of improved troop readiness.
Rush Limbaugh falsely suggested that The Washington Post and the Los Angeles Times changed their positions on the Dubai Ports World deal in order to criticize Bush. In fact, both papers had previously editorialized in favor of the deal.
Fox News political analyst Dick Morris claimed that there is no civil war coming to Iraq because "when Iraqi politicians negotiate over the coalition of their cabinet, they bomb each other's mosques."