In reporting on the United Arab Emirates (UAE) ports controversy, NBC's Brian Williams failed to inform viewers that Dubai Ports World is owned by the government of Dubai, a member of the UAE. NBC's David Gregory later indicated that the company is state-owned but entirely ignored the significance of this. In doing so, they obscured the source of the controversy surrounding the Bush administration's approval of a deal to grant the company control of six U.S. ports.
The Los Angeles Times, in two articles about the Dubai Ports World deal to acquire operational control of six U.S. ports, omitted reference to a U.S. law calling for further investigation of business deals with possible national security implications and to a government report sharply criticizing what it called an overly narrow application of that law.
On the February 22 edition of PBS' The NewsHour with Jim Lehrer, David Brooks claimed that "a week ago," Sen. Chuck Schumer and Gov. Jon Corzine did not "kn[ow] a thing" or "care" about port security. Similarly, on the same day, Rush Limbaugh suggested that Schumer and Sen. Hillary Rodham Clinton had only recently emphasized port security. In fact, Schumer, Corzine, and Clinton have all sponsored or co-sponsored port security legislation and have also frequently spoken out on the subject.
Fox News' Carl Cameron reported that congressional Democrats are "hoping for an election-year chance to appear more hawkish than the president on national security," in "pushing legislation to block" a proposal to permit a company owned by the government of the United Arab Emirates (UAE) to manage port terminals in six major U.S. cities. But one of the two Democrats Cameron cited in his report has proposed such legislation jointly with a Republican senator, undermining Cameron's suggestion that Democrats are objecting to the deal for purely political reasons.
NBC's Tim Russert suggested that Democrats have seized on the Dubai Ports World takeover of a British company -- in which Dubai Ports, a company owned by the government of Dubai, a member state of the United Arab Emirates (UAE), would assume control of six major U.S. seaports -- in order to build their national security credentials. Russert was able to make this claim by omitting any reference to numerous calls by Democrats in both houses of Congress for increased port security and various pieces of port-security legislation proposed by Democrats that have been, in most instances, opposed by Republicans.
In detailing the evaluation process the Bush administration purportedly undertook before agreeing to permit a company owned by the government of the United Arab Emirates (UAE) to manage port terminals in six major U.S. cities, several media outlets reported that the administration approved of the deal only after a thorough review by the Committee on Foreign Investment in the United States (CFIUS). But none of the reports noted the glaring inconsistency in the administration's account: that Donald Rumsfeld, a key member of CFIUS, acknowledged in a February 21 press conference that he possessed "minimal information" about the deal because he had "just heard about this over the weekend."
Bill O'Reilly suggested that the United States "hand over everything to the Iraqis as fast as humanly possible" because "[t]here are so many nuts in the country -- so many crazies -- that we can't control them." O'Reilly has previously called those advocating immediate withdrawal from Iraq "pinheads" and compared them to Hitler appeasers.
CNN anchors and reporters repeatedly described Dubai Ports World -- the company set to assume control of six U.S. ports -- as an "Arab company" or a "Dubai-based company." However, in describing the company as such, these reporters are ignoring a key factor in the bipartisan controversy surrounding the takeover deal, which is that the company is a state-run business in the United Arab Emirates.
In her syndicated column, Ann Coulter referred to the Iranian president as a "jihad monkey" and wrote that "conventions of civilized behavior, personal hygiene and grooming" are "inapplicable when Muslims are involved."
Advancing a line put forth by the administration, several conservative media figures have argued that the revelation of President Bush's warrantless domestic surveillance program has effectively rendered it worthless because its existence and practices have been disclosed to terrorist groups. However, Media Matters for America has previously noted the absurdity of this claim.
CNN became at least the fourth news outlet to adopt the administration's preferred term "terrorist surveillance program" to describe President Bush's warrantless domestic surveillance program.
A New York Times article noted that Sen. Jack Reed (D-RI), appearing on the February 12 broadcast of Fox News Sunday, criticized the Bush administration for allegedly authorizing the leaking of classified information. However, it failed to note that -- during the very same segment of the program -- Sen. George Allen (R-VA) also criticized the administration's leaking of classified information.
On ABC's This Week, Washington Post columnist George F. Will called President Bush's controversial warrantless domestic spying program "a winner politically" because "[t]here's no question the country says, 'You're listening in? We don't care.' " However, polling shows that, depending on the wording of the poll question, a strong minority of the public or even a majority opposes the program.
A Washington Post article about the Bush administration's warrantless domestic surveillance program falsely claimed that the program's critics are "some Democrats." In fact, many Republicans, including Senate Judiciary Committee chairman Arlen Specter, also disagree with the administration's legal justifications for the program.
Reporting on President Bush's February 9 account of how the government successfully thwarted a 2002 Al Qaeda plot to crash a hijacked airplane into a Los Angeles skyscraper, numerous media outlets -- including The New York Times, Associated Press, and USA Today -- ignored doubts among counterterrorism officials that the proposed attack ever advanced beyond the initial planning stages and ever posed a serious threat.