Media figures have attributed Democratic gains in the House and Senate in the midterm elections to the number of wins by conservative or moderate Democratic challengers and have suggested that because the party's victory in the House was purportedly "built on the back of more centrist candidates," the incoming Democratic majority will be sharply divided. However, a Media Matters for America survey of the policy positions of 27 victorious House candidates found that they all agree on a core set of issues, including raising the minimum wage and protecting Social Security.
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CNN's Wolf Blitzer again failed to identify a member of Sen. George Allen's campaign who spoke favorably of Allen; this time, Mary Matalin, who was identified as a "Republican Strategist," on-screen, while Blitzer called her an "informal adviser" to Dick Cheney and "close family friend" of the Cheneys. Blitzer also failed to challenge Matalin's repetition of the GOP smear that Nancy Pelosi has gone into hiding in the week before the midterm elections.
During Tony Snow's recent series of appearances on cable news channels, interviewers on CNN and Fox News left unchallenged a number of false, misleading, and baseless Republican talking points on a variety of issues. After allowing Snow to misrepresent the Democratic position on the surveillance and detention of suspected terrorists, CNN host Wolf Blitzer told Snow that he is "a straight shooter."
CNN host Wolf Blitzer failed to challenge Sen. Jim Talent's denial that he is a " 'stay the course' senator," even though Talent has repeatedly used the expression "stay the course" to describe his position on the Iraq war and his support for legislation declaring that "the United States is committed to the completion of the mission to create a sovereign, free, secure, and united Iraq."
During an interview with White House counselor Dan Bartlett, CNN's Tony Harris touted newly released unemployment figures while ignoring the negative news -- that the job creation rate for the month of October fell well short of expectations. Harris also failed to challenge Bartlett's claims that Democrats would raise taxes if they win control of Congress; that the wealthy "are paying more as a percentage of taxes than they did before the tax relief"; and that Democrats must raise taxes because "it's fundamentally within their DNA to spend money."
During an interview with Michael Steele, CNN's Wolf Blitzer did not ask Steele to reconcile his conflicting positions on the war in Iraq. He also failed to challenge Steele's assertion that he is "not running away from President Bush" and that he has "never run away from" being a Republican, despite his having been exposed as the "candidate" who reportedly told The Washington Post that he "probably" did not want President Bush to campaign with him.
CNN anchors and reporters stated or suggested without evidence that the controversy over Sen. John Kerry's remarks will have an impact on the midterm elections, despite the fact that Kerry is not running for office in the election.
Wolf Blitzer failed to challenge Rep. Thomas Reynolds's claim that he forced then-Rep. Mark Foley's (R-FL) resignation after ABC News released sexually explicit Internet communications between Foley and underage, male congressional pages. In fact, House Speaker Dennis Hastert has denied that the House leadership was responsible for Foley's resignation, though he later claimed credit.