In recent days, media figures pronounced the story surrounding Vice President Dick Cheney's accidental shooting of a hunting partner "over," despite several unanswered questions regarding the incident and contradictory statements offered by Cheney and hunting party host Katharine Armstrong, whom Cheney said he designated to first report the incident.
Following Vice President Dick Cheney's exclusive February 15 interview with Fox News' Brit Hume, the media widely reported that he took "full responsibility" for accidentally shooting Harry Whittington while hunting. But numerous news outlets have ignored that Cheney's acceptance of responsibility contradicts his friends' prior statements that Whittington was to blame.
Media reports regarding when the Kenedy County Sheriff's department actually interviewed Vice President Dick Cheney have varied widely and have sometimes conflicted, a fact that the media themselves have largely ignored.
A Media Matters review found that, following the revelation of the Bush administration's warrantless wiretapping program, recent television news coverage has quoted or replayed President Bush's 2004 denial of such a program far less than President Clinton's denial of a relationship with Monica Lewinsky during a comparable period in 1998 following his acknowledgment of such a relationship.
On ABC's This Week, Washington Post columnist George F. Will called President Bush's controversial warrantless domestic spying program "a winner politically" because "[t]here's no question the country says, 'You're listening in? We don't care.' " However, polling shows that, depending on the wording of the poll question, a strong minority of the public or even a majority opposes the program.
Reporting on Attorney General Alberto Gonzales's appearance before the Senate Judiciary Committee, Elizabeth Vargas of ABC News said Gonzales "held his own." ABC News chief Washington correspondent George Stephanopoulos agreed and added that, at times, "it got personal."
Most major news outlets did not report the dispute over Senate Judiciary Committee chairman Arlen Specter's refusal to swear in Attorney General Alberto Gonzales at the committee's hearing on the Bush administration's warrantless domestic surveillance program.
The Associated Press, The New York Times, and ABC's World News Tonight reported on Republican efforts to present new House Majority Leader John A. Boehner (R-OH) as a clean break from GOP corruption scandals, but they ignored criticism Boehner received for passing out checks from a tobacco industry group on the House floor moments before a key tobacco vote, as well as other ethical questions raised by Boehner's record.
On Good Morning America, Charles Gibson characterized as "new" President Bush's call, in his January 31 State of the Union address, to end dependence on foreign oil. However, in every prior State of the Union address since 2002, Bush called on Congress to pass his energy proposal, saying the United States needed to reduce its dependence on foreign sources of energy.
ABC's Charles Gibson said that President Bush may get a "pretty good size boost in his polls" after the State of the Union address, even though ABC News polling director Gary Langer had dismissed such polls as a highly unreliable indicator of the entire country's view of the speech because those who listen or watch the speech, by and large, support the president already.
An ABC News graphic labeled a segment previewing President Bush's State of the Union address as "America's Agenda."
An ABC Nightline report noting that Samuel A. Alito Jr., if confirmed, would make the Supreme Court majority Catholic stated that "liberals do have some concerns about such a Catholic court." But the report quotes no identifiable liberals or Democrats expressing this view. Nor does it mention it is supporters of President Bush's nominees who have raised the issue of their religious affiliations while attacking critics as anti-religion.
ABC's World News Tonight uncritically reported President Bush's discredited claim that the National Security Agency might have identified some of the 9-11 terrorists before the attacks if his warrantless domestic surveillance program had been in place.
Many news outlets have uncritically repeated Gen. Michael Hayden's claim that the administration's warrantless spying program would have detected some of the 9-11 attackers.