A recent poll conducted by CBS News that placed President Bush's approval rating at 34 percent has become the target of misleading and uninformed attacks by conservatives in the media.
MSNBC's Keith Olbermann named Fox News host Brit Hume "Worst Person in the World" for accusing Senate Democratic Leader Harry Reid of being "factually challenged" in his description of the deal under which a company owned by the government of Dubai would take over the British firm Peninsular & Oriental Steam Navigation Co., which runs terminal operations at six U.S. ports. Hume took issue with Reid's statement that the deal gives "another country control of our ports," but as Media Matters for America has noted, Hume himself has described the Dubail company as assuming "control" of the ports.
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Fox News' Brit Hume and Carl Cameron both took issue with Sen. Harry Reid's statement that in allowing state-owned Dubai Ports World (DPW) to manage terminal operations at six major U.S. ports, the Bush administration gave "another country control of our ports." Cameron retorted that DPW "is not taking control of any U.S. ports" and Hume later claimed that Reid's assertion was "factually challenged." However, numerous Fox News reporters and anchors -- including Hume himself -- have described DPW as "assuming control" of the ports.
Several journalists and media figures have taken to describing Democratic criticism of the Bush administration's approval of a deal allowing state-owned Dubai Ports World to assume control of six major U.S. ports as an attempt by Democrats to move "to the right" of President Bush and Republicans in Congress on issues of national security. In fact, some of the Democrats who have most strongly denounced the deal have been among the most active proponents of enhancing port security since the 9-11 terrorist attacks.
On Fox News Sunday, Brit Hume praised his own work -- the interview with Vice President Dick Cheney in Cheney's first public appearance since accidentally shooting his hunting partner -- saying "my job was to simply sit there and walk through this episode with him and ask all the relevant questions." In fact, Hume neglected to ask a number of relevant questions, as Media Matters for America has previously noted.
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.
Recounting an exchange with a network news "crew," Brit Hume said that crew members attributed Cheney's choice of Hume as his interviewer for his February 15 appearance on Fox News -- Cheney's first since he accidentally shot a hunting companion -- to Fox's association with "conservative causes." Hume dubiously claimed that Cheney had chosen Fox "probably because he wanted to go with ... the news channel with the largest audience." In fact, the broadcast network news programs each have at least three times Fox's highest average audience.
Reporting on a Government Accountability Office (GAO) study that found that the Bush administration has spent $1.6 billion in public relations contracts since 2003, Brit Hume noted the White House claim that its use of "video news releases" is legal. However, Hume did not report that, according to the GAO, this practice violates federal law.
Fox News' Brit Hume selectively cited a Chicago Sun-Times column to attack Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee (DCCC) chairman Rep. Rahm Emanuel (D-IL) over his relationship to his former campaign treasurer, William Singer. Citing the column, Hume said Singer lobbied Emanuel on at least one occasion since he became Emanuel's campaign treasurer but omitted that the same Sun-Times column also reported that "Emanuel voted against Singer's position."
Following President Bush's State of the Union address, various media figures described his defense of domestic eavesdropping as "strong," "vigorous," and "fierce." But they failed to note the numerous inaccuracies Bush employed in justifying the surveillance program, whose legality has been challenged not just by Democrats, but by Republicans and some prominent conservative legal scholars as well.
Brit Hume misrepresented the results of a Fox News poll to suggest that Americans "would now support" air strikes to prevent Iran from developing nuclear weapons, when in fact the question added the condition "if diplomacy fails."
Promoting a falsehood he had previously told, Brit Hume failed to challenge Sen. Lindsey Graham when he asserted that Alito's comments in his 1985 memo -- that he didn't believe in a constitutional right to abortion -- were the views of the Reagan administration, not his personal views.