In offering his analysis of President Bush's announcement that 14 terrorism detainees once held at secret prisons had been transferred to Guantánamo Bay, Cuba, CBS' Bob Schieffer ignored the politics behind Bush's move. Overlooking the fact that Bush was in no way obligated to make this announcement -- which apparently was timed for maximum political impact -- when he did, Schieffer claimed that Bush had "no choice" but to go to Congress now and request the authority to try the detainees. In stating that there was "no doubt" that Congress will grant Bush that authority, Schieffer ignored the criticism raised by three prominent Senate Republicans of Bush's proposed system for trying terrorism suspects.
On Tucker, Tucker Carlson falsely claimed that when CBS chose not to air 2003 biopic The Reagans, he had "sort of agreed" that the move constituted "censorship," just as he now argues that it will be "censorship" if ABC is pressured into not running The Path to 9/11.
ABC Entertainment released a statement regarding its "docudrama" The Path to 9/11 stating that "[n]o one has seen the final version of the film ... so criticisms of film specifics are premature and irresponsible." But ABC reportedly screened the film at the National Press Club and provided preview copies to conservative radio host Rush Limbaugh and a number of right-wing bloggers.
Investigative reporter Ron Suskind's new book, The One Percent Doctrine, includes numerous significant revelations regarding the White House's handling of the terrorism threat, but news outlets have largely ignored the compelling and relevant questions raised by Suskind's disclosures.
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On September 5, both CNN's Ed Henry and the Associated Press' Merrill Hartson reported that President Bush's September 5 speech regarding the fight against terrorism was an attempt to fight American "complacency."
On Hannity & Colmes, Newt Gingrich stated that Donald Rumsfeld's likening of Iraq war critics to Nazi appeasers was "not an insulting comment." Gingrich also repeated the misleading claim that the United States "found over 700 chemical warheads and weapons in Iraq, which supposedly had none, according to our friends on the left."
On Your World, Neil Cavuto failed to challenge Dan Bartlett's straw man argument that "nobody has suggested that or directly said that Saddam Hussein ordered" the 9-11 terrorist attacks. In fact, no one is accusing the administration of claiming that Saddam ordered the terrorist attacks; rather, critics point out the Bush administration's repeated attempts to link Iraq and 9-11 more generally.
Discussing former New York City Mayor Rudy Giuliani's performance before, during, and after the September 11, 2001, terrorist attacks with author Wayne Barrett, Norah O'Donnell asked Barrett: "[Y]ou can't honestly say he [Giuliani] could have predicted that that area [the World Trade Center complex] would have been attacked?" In response, Barrett pointed out that the World Trade Center complex "was at the top of the vulnerability list that [Giuliani's] own police department prepared."
On Your World, Neil Cavuto responded to retired Gen. Wesley Clark's assertion that President Bush describes "anybody who disagrees with him on ... his attack on Iraq as someone who is soft on terror" by falsely claiming that Bush "is not equating Iraq [to the war on terror] in that sense." In fact, Bush recently claimed that those advocating a timetable for the withdrawal of U.S. troops are "wrong" because it "would be a defeat for the United States in a key battleground in the global war on terror."
Rush Limbaugh accused Democrats and the "drive-by media" of "celebrat[ing] a one-year anniversary of Hurricane Katrina." He complained that the media have recently avoided coverage of the September 11, 2001, terrorist attacks because it "would help the Bush administration," and that this purported lack of coverage is responsible for a "split in public opinion on the war in Iraq and the war on terror."
CNN's Kitty Pilgrim uncritically repeated White House senior adviser Karl Rove's dubious claim that the Bush administration's warrantless domestic wiretapping program "might have prevented" the September 11, 2001, terrorist attacks. In fact, the Bush administration had information on two of the 9-11 hijackers more than a year before the attacks occurred, and according to the 9-11 Commission and congressional investigators, it was primarily bureaucratic problems -- rather than a lack of information -- that resulted in their escaping detection.
The documentary CNN Presents: In the Footsteps of Bin Laden reported that the insufficient deployment of U.S. troops to Tora Bora in 2001 allowed the Al Qaeda leader to escape, but it failed to note investigative reporter Ron Suskind's recent disclosure that President Bush ignored specific warnings from the CIA that more troops were needed.
An Associated Press article uncritically repeated Karl Rove's assertion that the Bush administration's warrantless domestic wiretapping program "might have prevented the Sept. 11 terrorist attacks," even though law enforcement officials had information on some of the 9-11 hijackers more than a year before the attacks occurred. The article also accepted Rove's characterization of the debate over the program as whether "the government should be free to listen if al-Qaida is calling someone within the U.S.," although critics of the program have not contested this point.