In an August 13 Associated Press article, Nedra Pickler suggested that the controversial aspect of the Bush administration's domestic surveillance program is that it is secret, rather than that it bypasses the law requiring court warrants for such surveillance. The Washington Post's Josh White similarly referred to "secretly wiretapping [terrorism] suspects" as one of several "controversial Bush administration programs," without noting the specific nature of the controversy.
In an August 10 article, the Associated Press quoted Sen. Joseph Lieberman's use of the recently foiled terrorist plot in Britain in his attack on Ned Lamont, but the article omitted Lieberman's statement that using national security issues for political purposes is "just unacceptable and in my opinion un-American."
An AP article about a speech by RNC chairman Ken Mehlman uncritically reported his claim that, if in power, Democrats -- specifically Rep. Nancy Pelosi and DNC chairman Howard Dean -- would "surrender" the U.S. government's ability to monitor the communications of suspected terrorists. But Pelosi and Dean both have explicitly acknowledged the need for U.S. intelligence agencies to spy on suspected terrorists, although they have said that the government should conduct such surveillance in accordance with the law
Numerous media outlets failed to challenge Donald Rumsfeld's claim to Sen. Hillary Rodham Clinton that he had "never painted a rosy picture" about the Iraq war, despite Sen. Clinton's proffer of specific instances in which she claimed he did just that.
On July 30, Associated Press writer Katherine Shrader reported that Condoleezza Rice had canceled a trip to Lebanon after Prime Minister Fuad Saniora and other Lebanese officials apparently made clear she "was not welcome to visit." But numerous subsequent AP articles ignored entirely the earlier report that the Lebanese government had asked her to postpone the trip.
An Associated Press article on President Bush's signing of a 25-year extension of certain provisions of the 1965 Voting Rights Act described those in Congress who "rebelled" against the renewal as "[s]ome Southern lawmakers," without mentioning that the vast majority of those lawmakers were Republicans. Fox News' Brit Hume, meanwhile, completely glossed over House Republicans' efforts to derail the act's renewal.
Following President Bush's claim on Larry King Live that the United States had a functional missile defense system, numerous media outlets reported his statement without challenge. By contrast, a report on NPR's Morning Edition noted that the missile defense system "has been plagued with technical problems" and has never been thoroughly tested, citing Government Accountability Office reports that indicate the system has no proven ability to shoot down a hostile missile.
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.
In their coverage of the postponement of congressional negotiations on immigration reform, several major print media outlets failed to note that legislation passed by House Republicans would designate as felons the approximately 11 million illegal immigrants currently residing in the United States.
The Associated Press and Fox News' Special Report with Brit Hume uncritically reported Vice President Dick Cheney's claim that he did not "think anybody anticipated the level of violence that we've encountered" in Iraq, as well as Cheney's claim that when Cheney said in May 2005 that the Iraqi insurgency was in its "last throes," he was referring to "the series of events that took place in" 2005. In fact, some did anticipate a violent insurgency if the United States invaded Iraq, and Cheney explicitly based his "last throes" assessment on the insurgency's "level of activity, from a military standpoint."
In articles on Senate Democrats' efforts to withdraw U.S. troops from Iraq, numerous print outlets focused on differences between two Democratic proposals on the issue and highlighted Republicans' dismissals of the measures as "cutting and running." But these outlets failed to note that recent polls show a majority of Americans support some form of withdrawal from Iraq.
Associated Press reporter Andrew Taylor wrote in an article that a "boatload" of "liberal-leaning" Democrats would chair committees should the Democrats win control of the House of Representatives in the November elections and, without pointing to any speeches, votes, or any other specific action, referred to Rep. David Obey (D-WI) as "a free-spending progressive." Taylor added, again without offering any specific evidence, that Obey is an "unapologetic liberal" who has been an "ardent opponent of GOP efforts to clamp down of [sic] domestic agency budgets that Congress approves each year."
On June 2, The New York Times compounded the distortions found in Associated Press reporter John Solomon's highly misleading May 31 follow-up article (updated June 1) to his flawed May 29 report, publishing an edited version of Solomon's June 1 article that omitted key portions near the end. In his May 31/June 1 report, Solomon falsely suggested Senate Democratic Leader Harry Reid had retracted his claim that he did nothing improper in accepting "credentials" from the Nevada Athletic Commission to attend Las Vegas boxing matches.
Associated Press staff writer John Solomon's seriously flawed articles suggesting that Senate Democratic Leader Harry Reid had acted improperly by attending Las Vegas boxing matches as the guest of the Nevada Athletic Commission "while that state agency was trying to influence him on federal regulation of boxing" are the latest in a series of misleading reports by Solomon alleging unethical behavior by Reid, as well as by Sen. Byron Dorgan (D-ND).