Chris Matthews claimed that "there's a big question about whether it's even legal or not in the Senate" to censure President Bush, as Sen. Russ Feingold recently proposed, over Bush's authorization of warrantless domestic surveillance. But Matthews said something very different about the issue of censure in the context of former President Bill Clinton, at that time taking credit for first promoting the idea of censuring Clinton over the Monica Lewinsky controversy: "I'm not bragging, but I believe I was the first person to talk about the notion of censure because nobody else talked about it."
In covering the straw poll of Republican presidential hopefuls at the Southern Republican Leadership Conference, Chris Matthews characterized Sen. John McCain (R-AZ) as a "maverick," "kind of a party renegade," and a "lone gun," despite McCain's request that conference attendees cast write-in votes in support of President Bush.
ABCNews.com's The Note criticized New York Times columnist Paul Krugman for using "selective facts" to say that John McCain "is not a maverick, a moderate, nor a straight talker." However, The Note offered no facts to counter Krugman's argument.
A Washington Post article on the "partisan infighting" on the Senate Intelligence Committee failed to report that, in response to calls for an investigation into President Bush's warrantless domestic surveillance program, Senate Majority Leader Bill Frist's (R-TN) threatened to restructure the committee "so that it is organized and operated like most Senate committees." The Senate Intelligence Committee's rules currently grant the minority party more power than on other Senate committees.
Discussing congressional Republicans' willingness to oppose the Bush administration on the ports deal, Sean Hannity claimed that Republicans are not like Clinton supporters "that defended the indefensible." But from Abu Ghraib and Guantánamo Bay to CNN analyst Bill Bennett's controversial abortion remarks and Focus on the Family founder James Dobson's comparison of embryonic stem cell research to Nazi experiments, Hannity has gone to astonishing lengths to defend what are, at best, questionable remarks and actions, often with falsehoods of his own.
CNN ran a headline on its website referring to a political attack by RNC chairman Ken Mehlman as "Dems Indicted."
A Reuters article on former Republican lobbyist Jack Abramoff's disclosure to Vanity Fair that he "worked closely with many top Republicans, despite their claims to the contrary" ignored Abramoff's claims, in the same magazine article, of close ties with President Bush, White House senior adviser Karl Rove, and Sen. John McCain (R-AZ).
Fox News' John Gibson misrepresented a Washington Post article to baselessly claim that Democratic senators are "teed up for lie detector tests" in an FBI investigation into the disclosure of the Bush administration's domestic surveillance program. In fact, the Post reported that the Bush administration's efforts to curb leaks have included "a polygraph investigation inside the CIA," not among members of Congress.
On MSNBC's Hardball, host Chris Matthews repeatedly praised House Majority Leader John Boehner (R-OH) and New York U.S. Senate candidate KT McFarland, remarking that he was "proud" of Boehner and "can see this man's greatness," and describing McFarland as a "delightful candidate" who will "probably do very well in this uphill battle as the underdog."
On Fox News Sunday, Juan Williams said that he didn't think the Republicans are going to lose the House because "most people" aren't going to run on national issues. In fact, Williams was merely repeating what the Republican campaign strategy for 2006 will be but ignored the Democratic effort to capitalize on national issues in upcoming congressional races.
Various media outlets have failed to challenge the claims of Republican senators that they disregarded ideology when voting to confirm Supreme Court justices Ruth Bader Ginsburg and Stephen Breyer in the 1990s. In fact, both Ginsburg and Breyer were consensus nominees, suggested to President Clinton by Sen. Orrin Hatch (R-UT), and had reputations and judicial records of moderates at the time of their nominations.
The Wall Street Journal's Daniel Henninger falsely claimed in his January 13 column that Democrats had "deliver[ed] yet another innovation" in their use of the filibuster to block Bush judicial nominees. In fact, as Media Matters for America has previously noted, Republicans have used the filibuster and other tactics to block Democratic nominees.
On CNN, anchor Miles O'Brien suggested that a Senate filibuster of Supreme Court nominee Samuel A. Alito Jr. would not be "dignified"; anchor Wolf Blitzer wondered if Alito will "get the fair vote the president has been asking for."
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Both Peggy Noonan and Newt Gingrich claimed that the Abramoff scandal is worse for Republicans because Democrats are expected to be corrupt.
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