On Hannity & Colmes, Jack Kemp falsely claimed that Sens. Hillary Clinton and Barack Obama have "call[ed] for a halt to trade with Canada and Mexico." In fact, both have spoken of "opt[ing] out" of NAFTA if the agreement is not renegotiated.
On Fox & Friends, Karl Rove claimed that there is "a difference between" Sen. Barack Obama's current position on NAFTA and "what Senator Obama said in 2004, when he ran for the Senate and said we need more trade agreements like NAFTA." Rove cited no specific 2004 comments by Obama or news stories about Obama. In fact, Obama's statement during an interview on the same program echoed his position on trade as reported in a September 27, 2004, Chicago Tribune article, and several other media outlets reported similar statements from Obama in 2004.
On The Tim Russert Show, Russert falsely claimed that Sen. Hillary Clinton said in 2004: "[O]n substance, NAFTA's been good for New York and America." In fact, what Clinton said in 2004 was: "I think on balance NAFTA has been good for New York and America, but I also think that there are a number of areas where we're not dealt with in an upfront way." On Meet the Press, Russert claimed that a video clip showed Clinton and Sen. Barack Obama "coming out against NAFTA"; as the clips made clear, neither candidate "c[ame] out against NAFTA."
During the October 9 Republican presidential debate, MSNBC's Chris Matthews and CNBC's Maria Bartitomo did not challenge Rudy Giuliani's claim that Sen. Hillary Clinton "once said that the unfettered free market is the most destructive force in modern America." In fact, in a 1996 interview, Clinton said she agreed with the quote, "The unfettered free market has been the most radically disruptive force in American life in the last generation."
Fox News' Neil Cavuto did not challenge Tony Snow's false claim that "since the president cut taxes in 2003, the Dow Jones is up 60 percent. The Nasdaq is up 80 percent." But even under the most favorable criteria, Snow's statistics are plainly wrong. And when adjusted for inflation, the value of both stock indices has decreased since President Bush's first major tax cut package in June 2001.
Fox News' Jim Angle falsely suggested that the U.S. has begun to close its trade deficit with China. Noting that Chinese President Hu Jintao "said China is shifting away from a reliance on exports to the U.S. to fuel its economy and moving, instead, toward more consumption at home," Angle uncritically reported that, according to President Bush and Hu, "that is already happening, to some extent, as U.S. exports to China increased last year by 21 percent." However, Angle failed to note that imports from China to the U.S. increased nearly 24 percent during the same period, further widening the U.S.-China trade deficit by 25 percent over 2004.
NBC News' Andrea Mitchell falsely suggested that the United States, unlike China, does not import oil from Venezuela and Nigeria. However, according the Department of Energy's Energy Information Administration (EIA), the United States imports significant quantities of oil from Venezuela and Nigeria. In fact, in January 2006, Venezuela was the second-largest source of imported oil to the United States, after Canada.
Bill O'Reilly falsely claimed that "[m]ost Republicans didn't want" the 1993 North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA), which was signed by the United States, Mexico, and Canada. In fact, in both the House and the Senate, congressional Republicans voted overwhelmingly in favor of the agreement.
In detailing the evaluation process the Bush administration purportedly undertook before agreeing to permit a company owned by the government of the United Arab Emirates (UAE) to manage port terminals in six major U.S. cities, several media outlets reported that the administration approved of the deal only after a thorough review by the Committee on Foreign Investment in the United States (CFIUS). But none of the reports noted the glaring inconsistency in the administration's account: that Donald Rumsfeld, a key member of CFIUS, acknowledged in a February 21 press conference that he possessed "minimal information" about the deal because he had "just heard about this over the weekend."
CNN anchors and reporters repeatedly described Dubai Ports World -- the company set to assume control of six U.S. ports -- as an "Arab company" or a "Dubai-based company." However, in describing the company as such, these reporters are ignoring a key factor in the bipartisan controversy surrounding the takeover deal, which is that the company is a state-run business in the United Arab Emirates.