Discussing a new video message Osama bin Laden was expected to release, Chris Matthews asked, "Does it have a help to Rudy [Giuliani] there? Does it help the Republicans generally?" Washingtonpost.com staff writer Chris Cillizza responded, "It immediately brings to mind the sense that we are still in this war on terror. I think any time that that dynamic exists in the political dialogue, it helps Rudy." But Giuliani's performance before, during, and after the 9-11 attacks has been questioned and criticized.
During a discussion about U.S. efforts to capture or kill Osama bin Laden, Wolf Blitzer did not ask presidential homeland security adviser Frances Fragos Townsend about the cease-fire agreement between Pakistani President Pervez Musharraf and pro-Taliban leaders in Pakistan's tribal areas, which the Bush administration reportedly "reluctantly endorsed."
The New York Post asserted that "[t]he writer who penned the script for last year's controversial ABC miniseries 'The Path to 9/11' says pressure from powerful supporters of Bill and Hillary Clinton is delaying the mini's DVD release." But the Post article failed to address the inaccuracies in the film and the sharp discrepancies between the film's account of certain events and the findings laid out in the 9-11 Commission's report, upon which ABC said the miniseries was based.
A Los Angeles Times article on the DVD release of ABC's The Path to 9/11 reported that the original miniseries "ignited a political firestorm, almost entirely from high-profile Democratic leaders who viewed its account ... as a right-wing hatchet job," overlooking factual inaccuracies in the film and sharp discrepancies between the film's account of certain events and the findings laid out in the 9-11 Commission's report, upon which ABC claimed the miniseries was based. Those inaccuracies and discrepancies were pointed out in the Times' own review of The Path to 9/11, which also noted the film's "partisan politics" and its "hopeless muddle of the line between fact and 'dramatization.' "
An article in The New York Times reported President Bush's assertion that withdrawing U.S. troops from Iraq would "embolden our enemies and make it more likely that they would attack us at home," without noting expert opinion that a U.S. troop withdrawal is unlikely to result in a terrorist attack on the United States.
In a New Yorker profile of Rudy Giuliani, Peter Boyer uncritically reported that "Giuliani speaks often of his own expertise on terrorism" and asserted that he "performed well on September 11th." He added: "The common refrain among New Yorkers" is that "Giuliani showed leadership on the day of the terrorist attacks." However, Boyer did not mention that Giuliani's performance before, during, and after the attacks has been questioned and criticized.
In reporting that Jose Padilla "was convicted ... of supporting terrorism," ABC's Charles Gibson stated that Padilla "was originally accused of plotting with Al Qaeda to detonate a radioactive dirty bomb, but that charge was dropped." In fact, Padilla was never "charge[d]" in relation to the alleged "dirty bomb" plot. Indeed, Padilla, a U.S. citizen, was held without charges for more than three years, a fact that Gibson did not mention.
Reporting on U.S. troops having returned to Afghanistan's Tora Bora region, CNN's Miles O'Brien and Barbara Starr noted that Osama bin Laden had reportedly escaped capture there in late 2001, but not that, according to a previous CNN report, the administration ignored requests for more troops, allowing bin Laden to escape.