In an interview on CBS' The Early Show, White House senior adviser Dan Bartlett stated that the Bush administration's Iraq policy has "never been a 'stay the course' strategy" -- a claim that the Associated Press reported immediately after. But neither the CBS interview nor the AP article made any mention of previous, repeated assertions by President Bush that the United States "will stay the course in Iraq."
In his interview with President Bush, ABC's George Stephanopoulos did not challenge Bush on several statements that directly contradict previous statements and actions, including when Bush asserted that his administration has "never been stay the course" in Iraq.
Chris Matthews did not challenge Sen. John McCain's (R-AZ) assertion that he would "be one of the first to support going to the United States Supreme Court" if the president indicated through a signing statement that he was "not going to abide" by a law passed by Congress. In fact, while McCain initially rebuked President Bush over a signing statement to his detainee treatment bill and threatened close congressional oversight, he has since neither sought a ruling from the Supreme Court, nor even held hearings on the subject.
During a report on the Military Commissions Act of 2006, Fox News' Bret Baier uncritically reported the Bush administration's assertion that, under the bill, noncitizen detainees have a right to challenge their detention and designation as "unlawful enemy combatant[s]" and that critics of the bill who say otherwise are "just flat wrong." In fact, a detainee's ability to challenge his or her detention effectively depends on the government's willingness to provide an initial hearing, which the government can postpone indefinitely.
CNN, Fox News, and MSNBC dedicated a considerable amount of airtime to a purported threat to NFL stadiums in seven cities, despite the fact that the Department of Homeland Security and the FBI both characterized the threat as not credible. Further, with one brief exception, at no point was there any reference on any of the three channels to evidence that the Bush administration has used terrorism-related announcements for political gain.
Loading the player leg...
PBS NewsHour host Jim Lehrer reported without challenge or rebuttal that White House senior political adviser Karl Rove "dismissed Democrats' chances of winning control of Congress." MSNBC's David Shuster similarly reported without challenge that Rove "remain[s] very calm and optimistic about the election." But as CNN's Wolf Blitzer noted, Rove "ha[s] to say that."
Although Washington Post, New York Times, and Reuters reports on President Bush's signing of the Military Commissions Act included general criticism of the legislation, they were all silent on its most controversial provision: allowing the president to detain noncitizens in the United States or abroad for any reason, indefinitely.