MSNBC provided free air time for a new Republican National Committee (RNC) ad attacking Tennessee Democratic Senate candidate Harold Ford Jr. that critics, including an NAACP spokesman and former Republican Sen. William Cohen, have called racist.
CNN's Candy Crowley uncritically aired Tennessee Republican Senate candidate Bob Corker's false claim that he has "never said a negative word" about the family of his Democratic opponent, Rep. Harold Ford Jr. In fact, Corker has "question[ed]" Ford's father's employment as a lobbyist, and Corker's campaign has repeatedly attacked Ford's family as the "Ford Political Machine."
Glenn Beck claimed that "the forces of radical Islam and political correctness have conspired to slowly gain power and influence" in Europe and that "the continent is on the precipice of civil war." He further predicted that the United States "very well could be next ... [i]t may only be a matter of time before it happens in Detroit or New York or Chicago." He concluded, "We could be on the verge of a global religious civil war."
Michael Medved claimed that two recent CNN specials, Broken Government and War on the Middle Class, are evidence that CNN "has been anti-[Bush] administration." In fact, both specials included criticism of and attacks on Democrats.
During a segment that looked at the Democrats' prospects in the upcoming midterm elections, CNN's Candy Crowley devoted her report to reinforcing negative stereotypes about the Democratic Party promoted by Republicans and repeated in the media.
The Republican National Committee's (RNC) new political ad -- featuring clips of Osama bin Laden and other terrorists making threats against the United States and clips of explosions -- has not yet aired as a paid advertisement, but broadcast and cable news networks have already played portions of it several times as part of their news programming -- essentially giving the RNC the opportunity to fearmonger on their airwaves free of charge.
CNN's Lou Dobbs and Fox News' Bret Baier reported on President Bush's visit to Pennsylvania to campaign for Rep. Don Sherwood and noted that Sherwood has acknowledged having an "extramarital affair." But neither Dobbs nor Baier mentioned allegations that Sherwood had "repeatedly chok[ed]" and "attempt[ed] to strangle" his former mistress.
CNN, Fox News, and MSNBC dedicated a considerable amount of airtime to a purported threat to NFL stadiums in seven cities, despite the fact that the Department of Homeland Security and the FBI both characterized the threat as not credible. Further, with one brief exception, at no point was there any reference on any of the three channels to evidence that the Bush administration has used terrorism-related announcements for political gain.
In their news reports on President Bush's signing of the Military Commissions Act, The New York Times reported that the war on terrorism is a "winning issue for Republicans," and CNN's Suzanne Malveaux uncritically reported that the Bush administration believes national security is "a strong issue for Republicans" heading into the midterm elections. In fact, recent polling shows that more voters prefer Democrats to handle the issue of combating terrorism.