In reporting on Sen. Russ Feingold's call for the censure of President Bush for authorizing the National Security Agency's warrantless domestic surveillance program, numerous media outlets have repeated the Republican talking point that Feingold's action provides an opportunity for Bush and the GOP to regain ground by turning the public's attention back to national security.
In reporting on President Bush's March 14 remarks on the Medicare prescription drug program, The Washington Post and the Associated Press both uncritically repeated Bush's claim that 26 million senior citizens have voluntarily enrolled in the program. In fact, the number of seniors who voluntarily enrolled is about 5 million, or one-fifth of the number touted by Bush and repeated by the Post and AP.
In covering President's Bush's March 13 speech, the media reported that Bush effectively laid out a timetable for U.S. troop withdrawal from Iraq by setting a "goal of having the Iraqis control more territory than the coalition by the end of 2006" but completely ignored the numerous statements Bush and other administration officials have made denouncing timetables for withdrawal, and attacking those who propose them.
National Public Radio (NPR), the Associated Press, and ABC reported uncritically on the purported improvement of Iraqi forces, as touted by President Bush in a speech. But these outlets failed to note that the number of Iraqi battalions capable of operating independently has dropped from three in June 2005 to none eight months later. Moreover, contrary to NPR's assertion, Bush ignored this statistic in his speech and instead focused on other, more favorable indicators of improved troop readiness.
Associated Press staff writer Katherine Shrader referred to the Bush administration's warrantless domestic surveillance program as a "terrorist monitoring" program, once again echoing the White House's preferred terminology -- "terrorist surveillance program" -- to describe the controversial operation.
A March 6 Associated Press article misstated what Rep. Duncan Hunter outlined as the scope of his proposal to ban foreign companies from owning or operating any U.S. installations deemed critical to national security. According to the article, on the March 5 broadcast of ABC's This Week, Hunter said his proposal would "require foreign governments to divest of critical U.S. installations." In fact, Hunter stated that his legislation would require that all "critical infrastructure[s]" in the United States "be operated by Americans and ... be owned by Americans," meaning that the ban would apply to all foreign companies, not only those owned or controlled by foreign governments.
An Associated Press clarification of a previous story about video footage showing President Bush being briefed about Hurricane Katrina not only echoed the Bush administration's explanation of why the AP videos do not contradict Bush's claim about not anticipating a breach of the levees, it omitted key facts that undermine the administration's explanation.
Faced with widespread criticism in recent weeks, the Bush administration and some of its supporters have promoted numerous false and misleading claims intended to downplay the approval of a deal that would turn over control of terminal operations at six U.S. ports to Dubai Ports World (DPW) -- a company owned by the government of Dubai, a member state of the United Arab Emirates (UAE) -- and cast critics of the transaction as racist, politically opportunistic, or both. The media, in turn, have often repeated these claims without challenge or correction.
Most major print and broadcast media outlets offered no coverage of House Homeland Security Committee chairman Peter King's March 1 claim that there was "no investigation into terrorism whatsoever" during the Bush administration's initial review of the proposed deal that would allow Dubai Ports World (DPW) to assume control of terminal operations at six major U.S. ports.
An Associated Press article on the request by Dubai Ports World (DPW) that the U.S. government fully review the national security implications of the company's takeover of six U.S. ports did not note that DPW is owned by the government of Dubai. The article also omitted the fact that the Committee on Foreign Investments in the United States (CFIUS), in its original review of the DPW deal, declined to conduct the additional 45-day investigation that DPW is now offering to undergo and that critics of the deal say the law required originally.
Vice President Dick Cheney's recent hunting accident offered yet another example of an unmistakable pattern with the Bush administration, which few in the media have noted. When faced with potential political damage stemming from its actions or decisions, the Bush White House attacks those fomenting the criticism; Cheney or President Bush then take to the airwaves and appear to temper the debate -- while benefiting from whatever discrediting their surrogates' smears brought on their targets.
Despite multiple reports on the subject, The New York Times, The Washington Post, the Los Angeles Times, and the Associated Press have ignored several important issues concerning a proposal by Sen. Mike DeWine (R-OH) to resolve any potential legal problems involving the Bush administration's warrantless domestic surveillance program by crafting legislation that would exempt the program from the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act.
Associated Press staff writer Katherine Shrader again used the White House's preferred terminology -- "terrorist surveillance program" -- to describe President Bush's warrantless domestic surveillance program.
Using an unfair and misleading comparison, the Associated Press accused the New York State Democratic Committee of editing AP articles the committee reprinted on its website.