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.
During an interview with Wolf Blitzer, House Majority Leader John Boehner falsely claimed that the Democratic plan to "pull out the troops" of Iraq is not "what the American people want." In fact, recent polling shows that a majority of Americans favor setting a timetable for withdrawal. In addition, Blitzer did not challenge Boehner's claim that House Democratic Leader Nancy Pelosi is responsible for the failures of the House ethics committee.
CNN reportedly canceled a scheduled appearance by Air America Radio's Sam Seder, who claimed that he was to debate Ann Coulter on The Situation Room, but that Coulter "refused to appear with me," because, Seder said, "she was afraid ... I might mention," her reported "refus[al] to cooperate in an investigation into whether she voted in the wrong precinct." Co-host Paula Zahn did not ask Coulter about the AP report.
In reporting on "the most liberal politicians in America" who are "set to rocket to the top positions in Congress" should Democrats take control of the House and Senate after the midterm elections, CNN's Andrea Koppel claimed that some Republican leaders "have more moderate voting records" but that "the Democrats that they're looking for these chairmanships are all extremely to the left of their party."
CNN's Your World Today devoted 16 minutes to live coverage of a press briefing by Tony Snow, which focused on the controversy over Sen. John Kerry's recent remark about Iraq. When questions turned to President Bush's Iraq policy, however, CNN cut away from live coverage after two minutes.
CNN's Lou Dobbs misrepresented remarks made by Sen. John Kerry, adopting the White House's interpretation of them and running an Internet poll asking, "Do you believe John Kerry owes our troops in Iraq an apology?" Moreover, CNN's live coverage regarding the remarks failed to note an Associated Press report that supports Kerry's explanation for them.