Several media outlets uncritically reported President Bush's claim that he delayed the release of his new "way forward in Iraq" strategy from before Christmas to until January 2007 to allow new Defense Secretary Robert Gates to join the policy discussion and visit Iraq. These media outlets did not mention that the White House scheduled Gates' swearing-in ceremony fully 12 days after his Senate confirmation in order for him to attend commencement at Texas A&M before resigning as the school's president.
Mary Matalin said discussion about Sen. Barack Obama's middle name, Hussein, is "really about nothing" and responded that co-host Alan Colmes should "get a sense of humor" after Colmes requested that Matalin ask her "conservative friends to drop the 'Hussein.' " CNN's Jeff Greenfield had similarly claimed that he was joking when he likened the style of Obama's clothing to that of Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad.
Discussing Sen. Gordon Smith's December 7 Senate floor statement denouncing the war in Iraq, neither ABC's George Stephanopoulos nor CNN's Wolf Blitzer challenged Smith on the timing of his statement, when it had become clear long before that no weapons of mass destruction would be found in Iraq and that the function of coalition troops had become essentially that of, in Smith's words to Blitzer, "street cops in a sectarian civil war."
CNN's Ed Henry's description of President Bush being "in listening mode right now" regarding his strategy for the Iraq war ignored that Bush's "listening mode" apparently does not include asking questions of the Iraq Study Group or receptivity to some of the ISG's key recommendations.
Media Matters for America has identified six findings in the Iraq Study Group's report that major news outlets have largely overlooked. They include: that the Pentagon has significantly underreported the extent of violence in Iraq, that U.S. officials possess little knowledge about the sources of the ongoing attacks, and that the situation in Afghanistan has grown so dire that U.S. troops may need to be diverted there from Iraq.
Wolf Blitzer has raised the topic of Sen. John McCain's plan to send more troops to Iraq in interviews or in panels at least once on each of the last three editions of Late Edition with Wolf Blitzer and on seven of the 12 editions of The Situation Room on which he appeared between November 13 and December 5; on the December 5 edition of The Situation Room, Blitzer asked all three of his interviewees about McCain's plan. At no point during any of these appearances did Blitzer note that questions have been raised about the plan's feasibility.
On The Situation Room, Wolf Blitzer asked whether Sen. John McCain's call for more troops is "a Profiles in Courage kind of statement," adding that McCain deserves "credit" for his statement because "he totally believes that the United States does not have enough troops in Iraq right now." But Blitzer ignored the possible political motives behind McCain's proposal.