On the heels of several conservative media outlets cropping a quote from Rep. John Dingell to suggest that he had refused to condemn Hezbollah's actions in the ongoing conflict with Israel, Newt Gingrich announced on Fox News Sunday that Dingell had said "there's no moral difference" between Hezbollah and Israel.
Days after crediting former President Ronald Reagan for achieving "an amazing, historic pause in Muslim extremists' relentless war on America," Ann Coulter suggested that the Reagan administration's decision to withdraw U.S. troops from Beirut, Lebanon, in 1984, helped bring about the September 11, 2001, terrorist attacks.
Interviewing New York political candidates on Hardball, Chris Matthews claimed that "[w]e know" President Clinton "didn't stop" the September 11, 2001, terror attacks on the World Trade Center.
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On Imus in the Morning, Richard "Bo" Dietl decried the "influxitation [sic] of the Muslim Empire that's taking over Europe," suggested the United States should "make a parking lot out of Damascus," and claimed that "every Muslim family is told to have six to eight children." Dietl added that Muslim fanatics are willing to "let two of them go get blown up because you always got six more."
Julie Banderas rhetorically asked viewers to "guess which television" outlet Hezbollah leader Hassan Nasrallah had recently appeared on, and then stated: "No, not The New York Times, but Al Jazeera television, broadcasting this terrorist on TV."
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Rush Limbaugh deceptively cropped a series of news reports on the recent violence in the Middle East to falsely suggest the reports didn't identify Hezbollah as a terrorist organization. In fact, each of the news reports Limbaugh cited mentioned that Hezbollah is an organization devoted to destroying the state of Israel and either called it a terrorist organization or noted that the United States and Israel describe the group as such.
Chris Matthews continued his practice of praising former New York City Mayor Rudy Giuliani as a strong potential presidential candidate in 2008, comparing him to President John F. Kennedy. And when NBC News chief foreign correspondent Andrea Mitchell attempted to bring up criticism Giuliani received for pushing President Bush to nominate former New York City Police Commissioner Bernard Kerik to the post of Homeland Security secretary, Matthews interrupted her and changed the subject.
In an article on President Bush's threat to veto legislation expanding federal funding for stem cell research, Time magazine reported that "you could argue" that Bush "has made a career of ... holding fast to positions that many voters reject, as a sign of strength in these dangerous times." In fact, as Media Matters for America and many others have pointed out, Bush has a long history of reversing course on issues, particularly when it is politically expedient or necessary to do so.
On NBC's Meet the Press, Newt Gingrich declared that "we are in the early stages of what I would describe as the Third World War." As evidence of "World War III," Gingrich cited -- among other events -- two purported terror plots that involved alleged conspirators who intended to attack U.S. targets but had no apparent means to do so.
In her fifth appearance on NBC or MSNBC since the release of her latest book, Coulter denied that her previous remarks disparaging the 9-11 widows were cruel, claiming that the widows' actions "put a lot of other women at risk for becoming widows."
On MSNBC's Tucker, former New York Police Department detective Bo Dietl falsely claimed that "all the hijackers that came and then bombed [the United States] on 9-11, all of them were in this country illegally." In fact, all 19 of the 9-11 hijackers reportedly entered the United States legally, though two had overstayed their visas.
Bill O'Reilly and Laura Ingraham baselessly attacked the The New York Times for publishing a photo of Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld's vacation home. In fact, Rumsfeld's public affairs director confirmed that he granted the Times permission to run the photo, the Secret Service confirmed that the photo "is not a threat" to Rumsfeld's security, and numerous media -- including Fox News -- had previously reported the location of Rumsfeld's residence. Further, a nearly identical photo ran in The Washington Post six months earlier.
In a report aired on Fox News' The Big Story with John Gibson and Special Report with Brit Hume, Reena Ninan advanced the discredited claim that "45,000 boxes of Arabic-language Iraqi documents captured by American troops" have revealed a connection between Saddam Hussein and Al Qaeda. According to a New York Times report, senior intelligence officials have dismissed the suggestion that the documents provide evidence of a Saddam-Al Qaeda link.