In an article on President Bush's plans for his last year in office, The Washington Post included a quote from "a senior White House official" saying, "Don't ever underestimate the leverage of the presidency. ... Many of us here still believe there are a number of things that will get done." The Post, which has repeatedly allowed administration officials to praise Bush anonymously, gave no indication as to why a White House source required anonymity in order to express confidence in the White House's ability to achieve its goals.
New York Times columnist Frank Rich mischaracterized Tim Russert's question to Sen. Hillary Clinton during the October 30 Democratic presidential debate regarding a 2002 letter written by former President Bill Clinton to the National Archives and Records Administration. Rich wrote that "Bill Clinton exercised his right to insist that all communications between him and his wife be 'considered for withholding' until 2012," adding, "When Mrs. Clinton was asked by Mr. Russert at an October debate if she would lift that restriction, she again escaped by passing the buck to her husband: 'Well, that's not my decision to make.' " In fact, Russert falsely claimed that Bill Clinton's letter asked that the communications "not be made available to the public until 2012."
CNN's Jessica Yellin uncritically reported Sen. Mitch McConnell's claim that a recently released report on the Iraq war by the Government Accountability Office was "not equal" in significance to an upcoming report from the Bush administration because the administration's report "is written into law." In fact, the GAO report is required by the same law as the president's report.
On Hardball, Chris Matthews did not challenge a claim by David Rivkin, a former Justice Department official, that the impeachment of Bill Clinton by the House of Representatives "is tantamount to what the jury found with regard to [Lewis] Scooter [Libby]." In fact, the two impeachment articles passed by the House constituted a compilation of accusations against Clinton. These accusations were then considered by the Senate, which acquitted him on both charges.
On Fox News Sunday, Sen. Trent Lott claimed that President Bush would be "making a huge mistake" if he allows "his close advisers in the White House to testify before Congress under oath," adding: "There is a thing called executive privilege." While host Chris Wallace noted the number of Clinton administration officials who testified, he did not question Lott about his assertions then about the limitations of executive privilege: that the president should not be able to claim executive privilege unless national security considerations are involved.