ABC World News and CBS Evening News aired comments by President Bush at his January 12 press conference in defense of his administration's handling of Hurricane Katrina, during which he asserted in part: "[C]ould I have done something differently, like land Air Force One either in New Orleans or Baton Rouge?" However, neither network's report noted the bipartisan congressional criticism of the Bush administration's response to Katrina.
On CBS' The Early Show, Harry Smith teased an interview with Ann Coulter by saying, "Ann Coulter is in the studio this morning. She has a brand new book ... and in it, she says that I am certifiably insane. Perhaps I am, for having her on the program this morning."
CBS' Bob Schieffer baselessly suggested that Hillary Clinton may "try to block" Caroline Kennedy's possible appointment to replace her as U.S. senator from New York, adding that there is "[n]o love lost with the Kennedy family after they endorsed [President-elect Barack] Obama early on." But Clinton has reportedly "told her supporters not to involve her in their efforts to stop Caroline Kennedy's path to the U.S. Senate" and that their comments critical of Kennedy "weren't appreciated."
In the absence of any actual allegations of wrongdoing by President-elect Barack Obama or his staff in connection with the scandal involving Gov. Rod Blagojevich, several media figures have in recent days ominously asserted that a "cloud" hangs over Obama because of the Blagojevich scandal, or that the scandal threatens to cast a "cloud" over Obama's presidency.
On all three network evening news programs, reports on the bailout of Citigroup included interviews with supporters of the deal, but only the CBS Evening News included any criticism of the bailout -- and that criticism came from a source who argued that the bailout was not large enough. None of the reports featured criticism of the bailout on the grounds that it is a poor deal for taxpayers, even though several economists have made that argument.
A Media Matters analysis found that, on the first two Sundays following the November 4 elections, in which a Democrat took the White House and the party added to its majority in the House and Senate, conservatives and Republicans dominated post-election analysis on both Fox News Sunday and Face the Nation -- a pattern that is consistent with their guest and panelist lineups in the first weeks after the November 2004 elections.
On CBS' Face the Nation, Fox News contributor Newt Gingrich falsely claimed that Indiana and Utah -- both governed by Republicans -- have the "lowest unemployment rates in their respective regions." However, according to the most recent Bureau of Labor Statistics records, neither Utah nor Indiana has the lowest unemployment rate in its region, and several states with lower unemployment rates are governed by Democrats.
On two successive nights, Bob Schieffer asserted that Sen. John McCain will tell voters that Sen. Barack Obama is going to raise their taxes without noting that the charge misrepresents Obama's tax plan. In fact, Obama has proposed cutting taxes for low- and middle-income taxpayers and raising taxes only on single people earning more than $200,000 per year and families earning more than $250,000 per year.
The CBS Evening News, Fox News' The Live Desk, and the Politico's Jonathan Martin noted Cindy McCain's attack on Sen. Barack Obama that his "vote to not fund my son when he was serving sent a cold chill through my body." However, none of their reports pointed out that Sen. John McCain himself voted against legislation to fund the wars in Afghanistan and Iraq.
On Face the Nation, Bob Schieffer did not ask Rep. Heather Wilson about a recent Justice Department report that called for further investigation of actions she and others allegedly took surrounding the firing of former New Mexico U.S. Attorney David Iglesias. The report stated that their actions may have constituted an "attempt to pressure Iglesias to accelerate his charging decision" in a case and that if attempts to pressure Iglesias occurred, they could constitute obstruction of justice or wire fraud.
In reports on the vice presidential debate, CBSNews.com, MSNBC.com, and FactCheck.org all falsely claimed that Sen. Joe Biden's statement that Sen. John McCain "voted against funding the troops" in a 2007 appropriations bill was wrong. In fact, while McCain did not vote on a later version of the appropriations bill, he voted against the measure on March 29, 2007, and said at the time that he was opposing it, in part, because it "would establish a timeline" for U.S. withdrawal from Iraq.
A CBSNews.com article asserted that "[Gov. Sarah] Palin's readiness to be president ... has been widely questioned by Democrats and many in the media." The article failed to note, however, that many of those "questioning" Palin's readiness are conservatives. In fact, CBS Early Show correspondent Jeff Glor noted, "even some conservatives are concerned, including syndicated columnist Kathleen Parker, who said Palin is 'clearly out of our league' and called for the Alaska governor to leave the race."
On the CBS Evening News, Bob Orr repeated Republican claims that "[c]onservative support" for the financial bailout bill "evaporated" because of a speech given by House Speaker Nancy Pelosi -- without noting contrary statements by members of Congress, including Republicans.
On CBS' Face the Nation, Bob Schieffer asserted that Sen. John McCain "suspended his campaign" to deal with the Wall Street crisis, ignoring evidence that after McCain announced he was going to suspend his campaign, his ads continued to run; his advisers repeatedly attacked Sen. Barack Obama on cable news networks; and he gave interviews with the three broadcast networks the following day.