7News' Trujillo uncritically reported misleading Bush criticism of Democrats for "delay" in war funding


Anne Trujillo of KMGH 7News uncritically repeated an allegation from President Bush in stating that a purported "delay" in funding "is hurting the war effort" in Iraq and Afghanistan. She did not mention other news reports stating that the Army has money for operations "through most of July," or Bush's vow to veto spending bills Congress already has passed.

On the April 10 broadcast of KMGH's 7News at 10 p.m., co-anchor Anne Trujillo uncritically repeated President Bush's complaint that a supposed "delay in [Iraq] funding" by Democrats "is hurting the war effort." But Trujillo failed to report that, according to the Congressional Research Service, the Army would be able to fund its operations in Iraq "through most of July 2007" with money on hand, as Colorado Media Matters has noted. Furthermore, Trujillo failed to mention, as The New York Times did, that "Democrats have argued that Mr. Bush made no such complaint last year when Congress, then held by Republicans, did not approve an emergency war spending measure until late spring."

From the April 10 broadcast of KMGH's 7News at 10 p.m.:

TRUJILLO: In Washington tonight, Democrats are openly skeptical of an invitation to the White House. President Bush invited congressional leaders to talk about an emergency war funding bill. Mr. Bush says the delay in funding is hurting the war effort. Democrats say there's no use talking; the president won't address a timetable for troop withdrawal.

However, as Colorado Media Matters has noted, a March 28 memo the Congressional Research Service sent to the Senate Budget Committee stated that the Army would be able to fund its operations in Iraq "through most of July 2007" with money now on hand. As CNN reported on April 10, "[T]he bipartisan Congressional Research Service has concluded that the military will have the money to continue fighting through July without additional funding."

Further, Trujillo failed to mention that in 2005 and 2006, the Republican-controlled Congress took considerably longer to pass funding requests for Iraq and Afghanistan -- as the weblog ThinkProgress.org noted on April 3, when it reported Bush complained that "[i]t has now been 57 days" since he made his funding request:

February 14, 2005: Bush submits $82 billion supplemental bill

May 11, 2005: Bush signs the supplemental

Total time elapsed: 86 days

February 16, 2006: Bush submits $72 billion supplemental bill

June 15, 2006: Bush signs the supplemental

Total time elapsed: 119 days

Despite uncritically reporting Bush's assertion that Congress is holding up funding for "the war effort," Trujillo did not note that Bush has promised to veto the spending bills Congress already passed because they require a timeline for redeployment of troops from Iraq.

Trujillo also omitted the fact that the U.S. House of Representatives passed an emergency supplemental spending bill on March 23 that provides more than $100 billion for the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan. As The Washington Post reported, the bill includes a series of provisions that mandate standards for training, equipping, and resting combat troops; establish security benchmarks for the Iraqi government; and, most notably, require that U.S. combat forces begin to withdraw from Iraq in March 2008 and leave that country completely by August 31, 2008. The Senate on March 29 passed a similar spending bill that provides funds for both wars and mandates that U.S. troops begin redeploying from Iraq within 120 days of the bill's passage, with a nonbinding goal of ending combat operations there by March 31, 2008. The Senate and House are expected to reconcile the bills in conference and send a final version to Bush for his signature.

We've changed our commenting system to Disqus.
Instructions for signing up and claiming your comment history are located here.
Updated rules for commenting are here.