National Public Radio senior correspondent and FOX News Channel contributor Juan Williams joined fellow FOX News Sunday panelist Brit Hume in adopting the Bush-Cheney '04 campaign's misrepresentation of Senator John Kerry's statement about a "global test." On October 5, Williams falsely reported on NPR that during the first presidential debate, Kerry "talked about getting global consent for America to take preemptive action."
As Media Matters for America has noted, Kerry made clear in his September 30 statement that he would act preemptively to protect the United States, while stressing that the United States must demonstrate the necessity of having done so. Still, many in the media have allowed Republican distortions of Kerry's "global test" statement to go unquestioned.
MMFA has documented that on the October 3 edition of FOX Broadcasting Company's FOX News Sunday, panelist Brit Hume asserted to his co-panelists -- including Williams -- that the "global test" phrase "may turn out, when we look back on this later, to have been the gaffe of the night, if there was one." On the October 5 edition of National Public Radio's Morning Edition, Williams claimed that Kerry "talked about getting global consent for America to take preemptive action":
WILLIAMS: No, I think in this situation, Cheney's got to get his teeth right into Senator Edwards and do it quickly. He's got to take the argument back to 9-11, Renée [Montagne, interim host of Morning Edition], and say that the president had to make tough decisions. I think he's going to go back to some of the things that Senator Kerry had to say during his debate session where he talked about getting global consent for America to take preemptive action. Senator Kerry talked about the war in Iraq as a grand diversion. I think you're going to hear Vice President Cheney say this is terrorism and we've got to be aggressive and we've got to take preemptive action.