Numerous media outlets reported -- as President Bush claimed in an interview on National Public Radio -- that Iraqi troops took the lead in the battle near Najaf against religious militia the Soldiers of Heaven, without noting that the Iraqis were reportedly "overwhelmed" until U.S. forces joined them.
Anderson Cooper, David Gregory, and Soledad O'Brien have all asked Sen. Barack Obama about smears leveled against him, purportedly by his political "opponents" or "enemies." But in each case, they did not name any of these "opponents." Indeed, by framing their questions in terms of political "opponents," they ignored the media's role in promoting these smears, and in some cases originating them.
CNN correspondent Brian Todd warned that "an onslaught of subpoenas" from congressional Democrats could be seen as "payback" by voters. However, polling indicates that a majority of the public favors oversight of certain aspects of the Bush administration.
In several reports from Baghdad, CNN's Michael Ware has stated that Iraq is embroiled in a civil war. However, several other CNN reporters and analysts have continued to avoid the unqualified use of the term "civil war."
On CNN, the Family Research Council's Charmaine Yoest falsely claimed that "every single time" a marriage initiative has appeared on the ballot, "it's passed with over 70 percent of the popular vote." The statement is wrong for two reasons. First, a same-sex marriage ban failed in Arizona in the midterm elections. Second, all of those that did pass did not get 70-percent support -- only two did. Yoest also falsely claimed that those that passed did so "resoundingly."
CNN's Joe Johns and National Public Radio's Ken Rudin declared that portions of a political ad by Minnesota Democratic congressional candidate Patty Wetterling, claiming that "[c]ongressional leaders have admitted covering up the predatory behavior of a congressman who used the Internet to molest children," were false. But neither Rudin nor Johns noted that admitted actions by members of the House Republican leadership arguably had the result of a "cover-up."
In their coverage of the Clinton-Wallace interview, the media largely ignored the substance of former President Clinton's criticism of the Bush administration's efforts to combat terrorism, instead focusing on Clinton's behavior during the interview or the possibility that his reaction was motivated by politics.
Discussing incumbent Sen. Joseph I. Lieberman's defeat in the Connecticut Democratic Senate primary, CNN host Anderson Cooper and senior political correspondent Candy Crowley both suggested that the election result shows that "moderates" or "centrists" cannot win a Democratic primary race. Their assertions are based on a false premise: that on the issue on which challenger Ned Lamont primarily ran -- the Iraq war -- Lamont's view that the United States should withdraw is one held only by liberals, and that Lieberman's opposition to withdrawal is the "centrist" position.
A Media Matters analysis of the media coverage of the Iraq war debate shows that the favored Republican talking points on Iraq have gone largely unchallenged in the media and have even been adopted as truths by some media outlets and figures.
CNN's Anderson Cooper interviewed Glenn Beck to discuss immigration. Even though Beck asserted during the interview that he has "no problem with immigrants coming in" to the United States, Cooper neither noted nor asked Beck about recent comments he made regarding illegal immigrants, Mexicans, and Mexico.
In reporting on President Bush's announcement that he would suspend fuel deposits into the Strategic Petroleum Reserve in an effort to reduce rising gasoline prices, numerous news outlets failed to note that Bush had previously criticized both the Clinton administration and Sen. John Kerry (D-MA) for proposing to use the reserve to lower prices.
Over the past year, CNN hosts, anchors, and reporters have repeatedly commented on the Democratic Party's purported lack of a clear plan or concrete set of alternatives on issues ranging from Social Security to the war in Iraq. When a large coalition of Democrats stood together on March 29 to unveil a unified national security platform, CNN largely ignored the news.
President Bush and senior aides have claimed that Americans are increasingly disillusioned about the Iraq war because the mainstream media report only the violent and tragic events occurring there -- an accusation that has simultaneously been advanced by an array of conservative media figures.