On Fox News Sunday, Brit Hume falsely claimed that Sen. John D. Rockefeller IV (D-WV) "has never said that he wasn't fully briefed" on President Bush's warrantless domestic spying program. In fact, in a July 2003 letter to Vice President Dick Cheney, Rockefeller stated that the briefing he received on the program left him "unable to fully evaluate, much less endorse" the wiretapping program, and that "[w]ithout more information and the ability to draw on independent legal or technical expertise, I simply cannot satisfy lingering concerns raised by the briefing we received" on the program. Hume acknowledged Rockefeller's letter but called it "one weak little, weird, sort-of-slightly-incomprehensible letter ... which was followed up by him in no way whatever."
Discussing immigration legislation, Brit Hume asked: "Is it fair to say the Republicans want these people to stay here so they can work, and Democrats want them to stay here so they can vote?"
A March 13 CBS News poll showed President Bush's approval rating at 34 percent -- unchanged from a February 28 CBS poll, despite a substantial increase in the number of Republicans polled relative to Democrats and independents. Conservative media figures attacked the earlier poll's validity, arguing that CBS' sample included a higher percentage of Democrats than they contended accurately reflected the general population. Now that CBS has released an updated poll showing that a roughly equal percentage of Democrats and Republicans produced the same approval rating for Bush, will the same media figures who denounced the prior poll report on the newest results?
An article in the Capitol Hill newspaper The Hill made a poorly substantiated claim that "tax experts" believe that Citizens for Responsibility and Ethics in Washington (CREW), a nonprofit government ethics watchdog group, may have violated IRS regulations governing nonprofit organizations by filing ethics complaints with the Justice Department and Federal Elections Commission against mostly Republican members of Congress. The claim against CREW was forwarded by Republicans, but the article downplayed the claim's partisan nature. In fact, no complaint has been filed with the IRS, and two of the three "experts" cited in the article demonstrated either incomplete or inaccurate knowledge of the issue.
Fox News host Brit Hume continued to tout the Associated Press' misleading March 3 "clarification" of a previous article about a pre-Katrina presidential briefing as justification for President Bush's claim -- debunked even at the time -- that "I don't think anybody anticipated the breach of the levees."
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.
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."